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4th Edition - Regarding Magic in Middle Earth.

Moon Letters courtesy of Maria Lombide Ezpeleta

Of many issues I see with attempting to shoe horn the Magic of Middle Earth into 3.5, the largest one is this:

Gandalf was not a wizard, he was more like, an Angel or Spirit, which is part of my case that Gandalf is an NPC, not an actual player, nor should a Wizard be a Player class in the game.

Elves of great lineage were capable of magic, but not to the degree of even a 15th level Wizard in 3.5. Elrond could not toss fireballs, lightning bolts, or mass teleport without error... again, it’s not a question of limiting the spells available, it’s a question of limiting spells entirely.


1. Making Wizard/sorcerer AND Cleric/Druid prestige classes that are not even attainable until 10th -11th level, along with dedicated pursuit of the ability to use magic.

2. ICE made magic seem prevalent to reflect their game system, not indicative of actual Middle Earth, so please do not use ICE as an example of magic in Middle Earth.

3. The Witch King of Angmar, known to possess (even in canon references) great magical power lands in front of Eowyn and... proceeds to melee with her. Not shoot a fireball. Not shoot lightning bolts. ..not cast mirror image... he melees with her. Maybe a Bull's Strength, maybe a cat's grace but at the end of the day, Tolkien magic is pretty specific. It is nowhere NEAR the concept of a mages guild anywhere in the world, nor is there any formula to learning magic. It truly is a self taught craft. Elrond, for all his magical ability, infers that outside of Rivendell, he could not have cast the 'mass banish' or 'Forbidance' spell he did at the River... any 10th level D&D mage or cleric could pop that off no problem.

Sauruman, also an Angel, finally reaches a point where he can cast Fireballs at great distances, or possibly meteor swarm... but again, he wasn't even human, and it took him long years / centuries of study to achieve that. I am not advocating that Istari be included as a playable race, I am trying to illustrate the pitfalls of allowing any pure caster class to start as a caster at level 1. Additionally, I think it warrants a sweeping reduction in available spells to the hybrid caster classes, Paladin, Ranger, Bard.
Ryan Thomas


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