Saturday, March 2, 2013

The Age of Men in Middle Earth

The Age of Men
A Middle Earth Setting for AD&D 1E/OSRIC Gameplay
Tony Sandoval

The purpose of this setting is to provide gaming adventures in the realm of Middle Earth as presented by J.R.R. Tolkien in the books “The Hobbit” and “The Lord of the Rings” using the core game rules of Advanced Dungeons & Dragons First Edition and/or OSRIC.

The situation I have set up takes place at the beginning of the Fourth Age which begins after the events of “The Lord of the Rings” concludes.  Using some information from the appendices at the end of that series, Players will be able to interact with some of the characters from the stories in a direct or indirect way.

Tolkien describes the fourth Age as the “Age of Men” and that everything is beginning to change in Middle Earth.  I have taken that opportunity to interject the AD&D 1E world as the world that the Fourth Age is becoming.  This allows the Players the familiarity of geography and history while forging a new and different future for Middle Earth.  This obviously veers away from ideas that Tolkien had discussed in other works but this is where I as the DM/GM and game creator take over to make it something different.

In the timeline, the first adventure takes place about 25 years after the departure of Frodo, Bilbo, Gandalf and the others. which began the Fourth Age.  Many things from the days of the Third Age are ending with those who remain behind.  

Some “old” creatures are departing, never to be seen again.  Some are still there, yet hidden and becoming more legendary.  Meanwhile, new creatures are emerging.  Some are variants of old creatures and some never seen before.  

Magic is changing and it is not the same magic as when Gandalf and Saruman walked Middle Earth.  An astral gate was opened with the destruction of Sauron.  He had been tampering with forces unknown to anyone else in his efforts to rule all.  With the opening of this gate, many new beings have found their way to Middle Earth.  Some Good, others Evil.  The impact of their presence on Middle Earth only contributes to further changes of what is to come.

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