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Through the Ages: A Story of Civilization» Forums » Variants

Subject: Lord of the Rings Version? rss

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David Tompkins
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I have been playing through the ages for a couple years on BGO and love the game. My friends and I got an idea that a Middle Earth universe could be really cool. It has 4 ages, leaders, and events. Basically it would take someone very familiar with the Silmarillion. It would take a lot of work for someone to do, but it could be sweet. Someone could use this website as a guide. http://lotrproject.com/timeline/#zoom=2&lat=-1485&lon=1500&l...

I just thought I'd throw the idea up here and see if anyone got a crazy hair to run with it.
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Vic R
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Pure mathematics is the world's best game. It is more absorbing than chess, more of a gamble than poker, and lasts longer than Monopoly. It's free. It can be played anywhere - Archimedes did it in a bathtub
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I also like the idea. The players will be humans, elfs, darwf and orcs with some special bonus to each race. For example orcs can get a new population for only 1 food each time they built a military unit. (So they can built a really large army). Elf could double their investigation production, darwf could start with coal and humans could have two leaders simultaneously. No idea how balanced it will be, just brainstorming a bit here.

I will even leave a few wonders/leaders unchanged (the most generic wonders as the great wall or translantic transport, and the most iconic leaders, Cristobal Columbus, Michaelangelo, Napoleon, Gandhi how they will fit in the middle earth? it will be fun to discover IMHO. Change the rest of wonders/leaders to wonders/leaders of LOTR and the tech/military/goverment/tactics could stay the same (changing the most modern/advanced tech for some "magic" tech, although the problem is that this will mean that age 3 will be the age with more magic as opposed to LOTR ambiance. Any thoughts on it?


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JR Wr
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This, is intriguing...
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Sam Carroll
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I see these two settings as antithetical. TTA sees near-constant progress from each civilization; while the time of LOTR is a lesser shadow of the great events of the First Age. The elves are nowhere near as powerful as they once were (the Silmarillion suggests that Elves wane in strength over the ages; and besides there are far fewer at least of the High Elves); men have faded from the glories of Numenor in the Second Age, and even from the high-water-marks of Arnor and Gondor in the early Third Age; Sauron himself was formerly just the greatest servant of Morgoth - and was of comparable power to the greatest of the Elves (notably Finrod and Luthien) of that time. Have a read through The Hobbit and LOTR and notice how much they talk about empty lands, ancient ruins, and so on.

What they have in common is indeed the progression of ages; in Tolkien's writings we see the first three ages (though not very much of the Second) and there's just a hint of the Fourth Age; the same is true in TTA.

As another side, the style of conflict is different, too. TTA sees plenty of skirmishes, but rarely a war of annihilation. All three ages of Middle-Earth saw total wars.

I kind of hate to be a downer and discourage you here. You could certainly put a thin veneer of Tolkien over TTA; if you're looking for appropriate wonders and leaders I'll suggest a few, with some notes . . .

Leaders of the First Age:
Men:
d10-1 Hurin Thalion - perhaps the greatest - and certainly the most steadfast and faithful - of the warriors of men. Should get some kind of defense bonus.
d10-2 Beren Erchamion - Started his career as an outlaw living in the wild. With the aid of Luthien, snuck into Morgoth's stronghold and stole one of the Silmarils out of Morgoth's crown. Some kind of sneaky bonus, I guess.
d10-3 Turin Turambar - had a terribly unhappy life, but quite a warrior; notable for killing Glaurung the dragon.
d10-4 Hador Lorindal - the father of many of the greatest warriors. Some kind of population bonus, rather like Moses.

Dwarves:
d10-1 Durin - established the greatest city of the Dwarves (Khazad-Dum). Perhaps a bonus to building mines?
d10-2 Azhaghal - lord of Belegost, killed by Glaurung the dragon, but wounded him on the way out. The Dwarves of Belegost made the best armor of the time.

The only other dwarves of the First Age we know by name were Mim the petty-dwarf and his sons, and they're not suitable. You could maybe have the lord of Nogrod as a leader. Nogrod was notable for its trade with Doriath, so that might give you something to go on.

Elves: The Silmarillion is mostly about the Elves, so there are many good choices here
d10-1 Feanor - the greatest craftsman ever; created the Silmarils and probably the Palantiri as well. Came up with the elvish alphabet. Also a vengeful sonofagun. Should certainly have some kind of research bonus.
d10-2 Fingolfin - the most valiant of the elves. Was High King of the Noldor, held a coalition together against Morgoth, eventually in despair challenged Morgoth to single combat and was killed after wounding Morgoth seven times.
d10-3 Finrod Felagund - One of the wisest of the elves. Dug a hidden city (Nargothrond) which defended a huge realm. He made first contact with Men when they arrived in Beleriand. Perhaps some kind of diplomacy bonus?
d10-4 Elu Thingol - his forested kingdom was protected by the power of his wife (Melian the Maia) for thousands of years.

Dark:
Morgoth of course, but that might be unreasonable.
d10-1 Sauron - Morgoth's cruel lieutenant; originally a Maia of Aule the smith. A master of sorcery and changes of shape. Perhaps a mining bonus.
d10-2 Gothmog - the lord of the Balrogs; killed both Feanor and Fingon (Fingolfin's son and heir).

Leaders of the Second Age:
Men:
d10-1 Elros Tar-Minyatur - half-elf; Elrond's brother; first king of Numenor; ruled Numenor for 410 years. Established the line of kings.
d10-2 Tar-Meneldur - 5th king of Numenor; during his time, Numenoreans began the first colonization of Middle-Earth.
d10-3 Tar-Minastir - 11th king of Numenor. Sent a huge fleet to the aid of Gil-Galad against Sauron.
d10-4 Tar-Palantir - 24th king of Numenor. In his time, most of the Numenoreans were under the shadow. Notable as a farseer and prophet.
d10-5 Elendil the Tall - led the Faithful away from Numenor at the time of its destruction; established the realm of Arnor; killed in the Siege of Barad-Dur.

Elves
d10-1 Gil-Galad - High King of the Noldorin Elves in Middle-Earth. Ruled throughout the Second Age; resisted Sauron steadfastly. Eventually killed in the Siege of Barad-Dur. Some kind of combat bonus.
d10-2 Celebrimbror - Feanor's grandson; chief maker of the Rings of Power. Greatest craftsman of the Second Age.
d10-3 Elrond Half-Elven - probably the wisest of the Elves of his time. Was never fooled by Sauron. After Eregion was destroyed, he established a stronghold at Imlandris (Rivendell).
d10-4 Cirdan the Shipwright. Built a lot of ships.

Dwarves The only one whose name we know is:
d10-1 Narvi - a Dwarf of Khazad-Dum; made the secret doors on the west side.

Dark We don't know much beyond Sauron, though you could perhaps put a couple of the Kings of Numenor on this list, especially Ar-Pharazon the Golden, who sent a fleet against Valinor (which fleet promptly got destroyed, along with the island of Numenor itself).

Leaders of the Third Age:
Men
d10-1 Aragorn son of Arathorn. You know about him.
d10-2 Helm Hammerhand - an immensely strong King of Rohan, who would stalk his enemies barehanded.
d10-3 Isildur - stole a fruit of the White Tree of Numenor to take to Middle-Earth. Cut the One Ring from Sauron's hand. Killed by Orcs in the disaster of the Gladden Fields. Largely responsible for establishing the realm of Gondor.

Elves
Galadriel, Thranduil (lord of Mirkwood), perhaps Celeborn are all good choices. Elrond if you want to have him in this age instead of the 2nd.
Or you could put Gandalf into the Elvish category, since he spent much of his time with them.

Dwarves
Thorin Oakenshield for sure, Dain II Ironfoot, Thror, Thrain the Old (first King Under the Mountain).

Dark The Witch-King of Angmar, Khamul the Shadow of the East (2nd-in-command of the Nazgul); perhaps Saruman.

As for wonders . . .

1st Age:
The city of Gondolin
The Silmarils
Glaurung the dragon - or perhaps all the dragons as one.

2nd Age:
the Rings of Power are obvious choices (with Celebrimbror providing a bonus to them). You could maybe split them up into their various categories (3 for the Elves, 7 for the Dwarves, etc.)

3rd Age:
I don't even know here . . . the Palantiri? (They were from the First Age, but did not feature in the stories much until the Third.)
The tower of Orthanc?
How about Caras Galadhon? Don't have any idea what power you could associate with it, though.
The toy-market of Dale? (Kind of a joke; Tolkien used the words "the wonder of the Northern world" to describe it.)

Anyway, there's a few ideas for you to consider. Good luck!
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Vic R
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Pure mathematics is the world's best game. It is more absorbing than chess, more of a gamble than poker, and lasts longer than Monopoly. It's free. It can be played anywhere - Archimedes did it in a bathtub
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spartax wrote:
I see these two settings as antithetical. TTA sees near-constant progress from each civilization; while the time of LOTR is a lesser shadow of the great events of the First Age. The elves are nowhere near as powerful as they once were (the Silmarillion suggests that Elves wane in strength over the ages; and besides there are far fewer at least of the High Elves); men have faded from the glories of Numenor in the Second Age, and even from the high-water-marks of Arnor and Gondor in the early Third Age; Sauron himself was formerly just the greatest servant of Morgoth - and was of comparable power to the greatest of the Elves (notably Finrod and Luthien) of that time. Have a read through The Hobbit and LOTR and notice how much they talk about empty lands, ancient ruins, and so on.


You are right. I was thinking along the problema of less magic in age 2 and 3 than 1 whereas the high tech (higher than the middle earth tech) is more frequent in age 2 and 3, but the problem is even bigger, there are not really some kind of progression in the civilizations in middle earth, along the different eras, more like the opposite (they reach their peaks in the silmarillion and they are for the most part exhausted kingdoms in age 3), so a civ game cant model what was happening on the stories.

Good review of leaders by the way, I read silmarillion too many years ago and was nice to be remembered some parts of it.
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Ɓukasz Madaj
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spartax wrote:
the time of LOTR is a lesser shadow of the great events of the First Age.


Hmm... do you know any civ/economic game in which one starts with a lot of stuff, loose it gradually until the end of the game, and one's goal is to manage what one has the best possible way? And I'm not talking about Last Will. Any ideas?
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Nicola Bocchetta
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I think the general idea of retheming the game under LotR while borrowing Vlaada's 'TTA engine' is a promising idea. My concerns are that it would be incredibly difficult to balance - you would have to adjust techs/leaders/wonders/etc. that you are porting over and modifying and this would be compounded exponentially if you decided to use asymmetric races with different abilities. If you are willing to put in the work, you potentially have an amazing sequel/expansion but it will be difficult to match the refined base game that is TTA.

Lucto wrote:
spartax wrote:
the time of LOTR is a lesser shadow of the great events of the First Age.


Hmm... do you know any civ/economic game in which one starts with a lot of stuff, loose it gradually until the end of the game, and one's goal is to manage what one has the best possible way? And I'm not talking about Last Will. Any ideas?


I see these as being easily implemented even within TTA's current rules framework.

You could do something as simple as increasing the number of yellow tokens lost at the beginning of each age. Alternatively you could give each race different handicaps such as removing 4 yellow tokens per age for elves or 4 blue tokens per age for humans, etc.

Additionally you could make the events more punishing to the group as a whole, but increase the point rewards for playing an event such as to encourage a prisoner's dilemma situation. A simple example might be "Famine: each civilization loses 1 population, 1 yellow token, and 1 blue token"

Overall I like the idea of creating a game under the TTA framework that would lean to playing out in a way that mimics LotR history but I'm hesitant to endorse a project that would take an enormous amount of resources to complete.
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