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Friday, October 23, 2009

Return to Moria: Player Races

A couple days ago I posted up the pitch I offered my regular gaming group for one of our mega-weekend gaming sessions. It met with much enthusiasm, so it looks like we'll be playing Return to Moria soon. Time to start planning! Here's the race and class combinations we're probably going to be using. I wanted to give things a Tolkienesque feel without deviating too far from old school D&D.

Races / Classes

Potential class and race combinations listed below. These are tentative at this point. Maximum levels possible for each race/class combination are listed in parenthesis where appropriate.

Iron Hills Dwarf

Representatives of the Iron Hill Dwarfs. Dain's kinsmen are fascinated with Moria and expeditions from the Iron Hills are quite common. Unfortunately, like Balin's original foray, they have ended in failure.
  • Classes: Cleric (8), Fighter (9)
  • Multi-class: Cleric/Fighter
  • Bonuses: Dwarf racial bonuses, Lore of the Dwarfs

Western Dwarf

Often scorned by their more noble cousins, the Western Dwarfs represent the scattered clans inhabiting hills and valleys west of the Misty Mountains. They are a less reputable class of Dwarf, though they are just as greedy as their distinguished cousins.
  • Classes: Fighter (9), Thief (8)
  • Multi-class: Fighter/Thief
  • Bonuses: Dwarf racial bonuses, +5% Hide in Shadows, Move Silently

Elf of Mirkwood

Elves rarely have anything to do with the works of Dwarfs and Men, but King Thranduil has a streak of avarice larger than most of his kind, so he encourages the boldest among his folk to join the exploration of Moria.
  • Classes: Druid (7), Fighter (7)
  • Multi-class: N/A
  • Bonuses: Elf racial bonuses, speak with animals 1/day

Elf of Lothlorien

Since the fall of Sauron, most of the inhabitants of Lothlorien sailed into the West. Those that remain are seemingly lost in a world that has left them behind, lost in a dream of past glories. Some of these Elves still seek to oppose the darkness left by Sauron's fall, and some of the Elves in Hollin fall into this group.
  • Classes: Fighter (7), Magic User (11), Ranger (7)
  • Multi-class: Fighter/Magic User
  • Bonuses: Elf racial bonuses, detect evil 1/day

Half-Elven of Rivendell

Though their leader Elrond has departed Middle-Earth, many of his kindred, loyal to Arwen and the new king in Gondor, remained behind. The adventuresome among their ranks are sometimes found in Hollin, seeking their fortunes and pursuing the hated Orcs that dwell beneath the Misty Mountains.
  • Classes: Druid (7), Fighter (7), Magic User (11), Ranger (7)
  • Multi-class: Druid/Ranger, Fighter/Magic User
  • Bonuses: Half-elf racial bonuses, Lore of the Elves

Man of Gondor

The power of Gondor is on the rise, but not all are content with the peace. The bold, the discontent, the greedy, and the adventurous souls of Gondor are drawn to Moria, seeking glory, riches and power.
  • Classes: Cleric, Fighter, Magic User, Paladin, Ranger
  • Multi-class: N/A
  • Bonuses: Family Heirloom, Lore of Men

Man of Rohan

The fury of the Rohirrim, guided and channeled by Lord Eomer, still burns. The Riders of Rohan pursue the foul remnants of Sauron's army wherever it hides. Though unused to the deeps of Moria, the Rohirrim have come to see pursuit of their hated enemies in the depths as a test of manhood.
  • Classes: Cleric, Fighter, Ranger
  • Multi-class:N/A
  • Bonuses: Mount, Free weapon proficiency

Man of the North

The Men of the North receive undue scorn from the noble Men of Gondor. They are the Northmen and Dunlendings. Lesser men, perhaps, than the noble line of Gondor, but Men with the same desires as their betters, wealth, power and fame.
  • Classes: Fighter, Magic User, Thief
  • Multi-class: N/A
  • Bonuses: 2d6x10 extra gold, A map


Rare is the Shireling that makes the journey to Hollin, but other Hobbits of less renowned communities do show up from time to time. Like all Hobbits, they place comfort and food first, but some desire something more.
  • Classes: Fighter (6), Thief
  • Multi-class: Fighter/Thief
  • Bonuses: Hobbit racial bonuses, 8 weeks rations


Wilson Theodoro said...

I feel the class level limitations for demi-humans are a little low ...

Mark Thomas said...

Interesting, most of those are straight out of 1st edition AD&D.

Wilson Theodoro said...

I know, but Moria looks like such a big dungeon - won't those caps somehow hamper gameplay?

Mark Thomas said...

It's possible they will. One of the things I'm considering is raising the various level caps at least to 'named' level. This gives the demi-humans an 'out' via stronghold construction / followers.

For the group I'm going to be running this for, I doubt it'll be an issue, since we only play 2-3 times a year. Weekend long games, granted, but that's slow play for a campaign.

Wilson Theodoro said...

I also believe raising the level caps would fit well. Even in a slow campaign.

Your answer reminds me of a question a friend of mine brought up when I commented your Moria campaign with him. Will it be possible to build strongholds inside Moria? - I mean, within areas reclaimed by the players in the complex?

Mark Thomas said...

One of the themes I'm hoping to explore in this campaign is the reclamation of Moria, so I'm hoping players will eventually claim portions of the Mines as their own. A few of my players are enamored with Dwarves so I expect at least a few Dwarf NPCs. I can't imagine Elves or Hobbits being all that interested, but Dwarves, and possibly humans, are ideal candidates for reclaiming the depths.

Wilson Theodoro said...

Cool. I`ll keep following your progress.