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  1. #1
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    >
    > I have read the Silmarillion, the Hobbit, and the Lord of the Rings at
    least
    > once a year each for I guess over two decades now (the first book being
    the
    > hardest to get through); and all those years as an avid player of D&D (in
    > its many forms) I have never once thought of Beorn as a Lycanthrope. He
    > likes the daytime too much. ;-)
    >
    >


    Just remember though D&D`s lycanthropes follow D&D rules, real world myths,
    folklore and other fictions are not bound by D&D rules--he resembles a great
    deal to me a Witchcraft Nomad (it being a modern "dark urban fantasy"
    game--what some might call "horror" ) and Nomads are people who control the
    change due to pacts made with great spirits centuries ago. Beorn in this
    case is simply someone with an inborn "art" a magical gift, that belongs to
    him /and his people/. Just as the Elves have their things of non-aging, and
    craftsmanship in LOTR/Silmarillion. Trying to cram fictional characters into
    game rules is in general a bad idea--because those fictions were written
    with their own rules in mind. In Folklore there are good werecreatures--in
    fact one saint was tuned into a wolf for several years IIRC, where he guided
    lost travellers in the wilderness back to the roads.


    D&D is a set of rules. It is not the /only/ set of rules by which games can
    be played, its also has quite a narrow view on how creatures are built.
    Dwarfs in many legends are highly magical in some fictions, completely non
    magical in others. Trolls turn to stone in sunlight and do no regenerate at
    all (they are more liked D&D`s Ogres)- D&D decided "this is how our
    creatures work" thats fine, and well. But it in no way makes creatures from
    other sources work remotely like D&D rules.

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  2. #2
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    (serious question, no sarcasm intended) Are you saying I`m placing Beorn in
    D&D terms? I`ve been the one arguing against it...or maybe you are chiming
    in with me? I`m not sure, but since you used my post and then said
    "remember though" I thought you perhaps were of the mind that I was arguing
    for Beorn in D&D terms?


    Tony
    (who thinks Beorn is Beorn of Middle Earth and not Beorn the Lycanthrope or
    Druid of D&D)


    ----Original Message Follows----
    From: Sidhain <sidhain@EARTHLINK.NET>

    >
    > I have read the Silmarillion, the Hobbit, and the Lord of the Rings at
    least
    > once a year each for I guess over two decades now (the first book being
    the
    > hardest to get through); and all those years as an avid player of D&D (in
    > its many forms) I have never once thought of Beorn as a Lycanthrope. He
    > likes the daytime too much. ;-)
    >
    >


    Just remember though D&D`s lycanthropes follow D&D rules, real world myths,
    folklore and other fictions are not bound by D&D rules--he resembles a great
    deal to me a Witchcraft Nomad (it being a modern "dark urban fantasy"
    game--what some might call "horror" ) and Nomads are people who control the
    change due to pacts made with great spirits centuries ago. Beorn in this
    case is simply someone with an inborn "art" a magical gift, that belongs to
    him /and his people/. Just as the Elves have their things of non-aging, and
    craftsmanship in LOTR/Silmarillion. Trying to cram fictional characters into
    game rules is in general a bad idea--because those fictions were written
    with their own rules in mind. In Folklore there are good werecreatures--in
    fact one saint was tuned into a wolf for several years IIRC, where he guided
    lost travellers in the wilderness back to the roads.


    D&D is a set of rules. It is not the /only/ set of rules by which games can
    be played, its also has quite a narrow view on how creatures are built.
    Dwarfs in many legends are highly magical in some fictions, completely non
    magical in others. Trolls turn to stone in sunlight and do no regenerate at
    all (they are more liked D&D`s Ogres)- D&D decided "this is how our
    creatures work" thats fine, and well. But it in no way makes creatures from
    other sources work remotely like D&D rules.

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  3. #3
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    ----- Original Message -----
    From: "Anthony Edwards" <anthony_c_edwards@HOTMAIL.COM>
    To: <BIRTHRIGHT-L@ORACLE.WIZARDS.COM>
    Sent: Sunday, June 22, 2003 12:19 PM
    Subject: Re: [BIRTHRIGHT] Beorn (was: Rapunzel)


    > (serious question, no sarcasm intended) Are you saying I`m placing Beorn
    in
    > D&D terms? I`ve been the one arguing against it...or maybe you are
    chiming
    > in with me? I`m not sure, but since you used my post and then said
    > "remember though" I thought you perhaps were of the mind that I was
    arguing
    > for Beorn in D&D terms?
    >
    >
    > Tony
    > (who thinks Beorn is Beorn of Middle Earth and not Beorn the Lycanthrope
    or
    > Druid of D&D)
    >

    Well, by strictest definition he can`t be a lycanthrope--as the term means
    "wolf man". So in that part I agree.

    However, many games and fiction works extend the term to any shapeshifter
    which becomes a single animal, which in that definition of the term he
    indeed he is. It entirely depends on how you choose to use the term--I
    vastly prefer leaving lycanthrope to wolves (funny is I`m in a Buffy game
    right now playing a Were-lion and one of the other players knows I`m a were,
    but /he/ believes I`m a lycanthrope--werewolf, not a werelion, so he is
    going to be in for a HUGE difference of abilities and limitations.)

    So, it`s more "no he is not a wolf-man" but yes he is a singular animal
    shapeshifter. I am not much a D&D player (love Birthright, don`t like D&D)
    and would write him up as a "were" in Gurps, or a primal in Witchcraft
    (which I just realized would do a good job of Birthright) along with my own
    tinkering with Saga.

    Although I did find a D20 mechanic I might use for running Birthright
    (Mutants and Masterminds Power Level 3-5 is perfect for Birthright Regents
    and Allies)


    >From the one D&D 3E game I did play in this might be more usefull: (it
    does have some setting specific info, but make of it what you will for your
    own game, its a Prestige class)




    Rover Knights

    The Wanderers of the World, Battle-Striders, sometimes called simply “The
    Riven”



    Knight-Penitent:
    The penitent is one who has not yet proven his worth; he comes
    unknowingly into the watchful eyes of other Rover Knights. The Knight’s
    sense something akin to their own spirits within him, and mark him or her
    with a primal scent, unnoticeable to all but the Knights. A Penitent is
    watched, from afar cautiously for signs that he may prove worthy of
    initiation into the Knighthood.
    A Rover-Knight Penitent can come from any walk of life save those that
    bind his spirit, soul or mind to another. Once the scent is given it cannot
    be removed accept by the actions of the penitent, should he fail to live up
    to the simple precepts of the order it fades.
    If those precepts are upheld then the scent grows strong enough that
    it calls a Knight onto the trail to hunt the Penitent. When the Knight
    reaches the Penitent he will strike him three times with a weapon, always
    causing the most minute wounds possible with the weapon used. Those three
    wounds will bleed faintly and cause a wound fever which cannot be stopped by
    spell, or salve but puts the Knight-Penitent into a trance in which he sees
    a vision of his primal soul, the form his spirit takes outside it’s body
    this vision lasts for a single night and day, after which he awakes, if he
    has chosen to follow the path of a Rover Knight the wounds will fade one of
    them leaving a faint scar in the shape of the Knight’s primal soul. Shortly
    after the vision a number of Rover Knights will gather and reveal themselves
    to the former Penitent, explain why he was chosen, and tell him news of
    where to go from there as well as welcome him into the order.

    Knight-Errant:
    From her acceptance revel to the day she has becomes Riven the path of a
    Rover-Knight is not an easy one they are driven rootless across the world,
    doing what must be done, gathering information, fighting beasts no one else
    can, toppling petty warlords who oppress, and guarding the wild places from
    irrevocable harm. Not all Rover Knights are “good” in the strictest
    sense—they have a duty of a primal nature that doesn’t follow the morals of
    man strictly but it’s own rugged path of honor, and necessity. The training
    of a Rover Knight is intense and notable, fashioning the Knight into a
    capable and willing warrior, as well as scout, hunter, and guardian of the
    wilderness. When a Rover Knight achieves some skill (4th-6th level dependant
    on Wisdom) they gain the ability to use minor Beast Magicks.





    Riven Lord:
    The Oldest tales of the Elves refer to the Riven Lords as “Were Lords” but
    it is an ancient (although true) legend of which only this fragment remains:

    “Wyne the moon’s bloome fulle in forests dark nyt, those Riven fromme
    reason shall again ryse and revel in primal hunger to fight and hunt in
    beastly skin, free from mortal restraint”

    The truth is that as the Knight wanders slowly, inexorably his primal
    soul, and the animal guide begin to merge, driving him to seek solace in a
    vast stretch of untamed wilderness that is native to his animal guide/primal
    soul.
    Alone in the wilderness the primal soul fully merges with his animal
    guide taking physical form. This incarnation challenges the Knight,
    physically, mentally, and spiritually until at last his ordeal is over his
    animal guide is gone and his primal soul returns to him stronger and more
    powerful than before. This process takes a full lunar month.


    The Riven Lords gather once a year under twin full moons to revel and rally
    their strength. Games and drinking are common during a revel but when the
    moons reach their highest point, all of the lords transform to their animal
    forms and hunt—some bring down regular prey some hunt each other in a mad
    game where roles are often reversed at a moment’s notice. At best a Riven
    Lord may gain a scar or two, at worst the Riven lord may end up siring a few
    children amongst the gathered Lords. (The Term “Lord” is equally used to
    refer to female Riven Lords.


    The Revel’s typically last until dawn when the tired Riven gather their
    things and spread to the four winds.


    The shapes taken by the Riven are typically—90% large predatory mammals,
    amongst the other 10% there are assorted non-predators, non-mammal, and
    smaller lycanthropes of various types. The humans tend towards being Wolves,
    bears, and the like. The elves make up a variety of types mostly large
    cats—lions, tigers, and lynxes, but a fair number are foxes deer, owls and
    eagles. There are rumored to be a few who are were-seals or were-dolphins
    but they are far removed from their land bound brethren and hold their own
    revels.



    Lesser Beast Magic’s (As Ranger)
    1st: Animal Friendship, Detect Poison, Cure Minor Wounds (Animals only),
    Resistance (Animals only), Detect Animal’s or Plants, Magic Fang, Speak with
    Animals, Summon Nature’s Ally

    2nd Level: Animal Messenger, Hold Animal, Sleep,
    Snare, Summon Nature’s Ally II

    3rd Level: Greater Magic Fang, Remove Disease (Animals/Plants only), Summon
    Nature’s Ally III

    4th Level: Cure Serious Wounds (Animal’s plants),
    Freedom of Movement, Non-detection, Polymorph Self (Animal Forms only),
    Summon Nature’s Ally IV, Tree Stride

    Greater Beast-Magic: (Riven Lord)
    1st Level: Enlarge, Reduce, Spider Climb, Mount, Calm Animals, Faerie
    Fire.

    2nd Level: Animal Trance, Lesser Restoration, Summon Swarm, Web, Bull’s
    Strength, Cat’s Grace, Darkvision, Giant Vermin

    3rd Level: Phantom Steed, Water Breathing, Animal Growth, Commune with
    Nature.


    4th Level: Creeping Doom, Animal Shapes, Fly, Beast’s Cry (Shout),



    Game Stats:

    A Rover-Knight is for all intents and purposes a Ranger; he receives no
    special abilities beyond that initial training
    Note he can become a Riven Lord and still gain levels alternating with the
    Riven Lord Prestige Class.

    Riven Lords Prestige Class:
    Requirements:
    Six Ranks Animal Empathy,
    Eight Ranks Wilderness Lore
    +6 Attack Bonus


    Special Abilities:
    Level 1:
    Lycanthropy:
    The Riven lord loses the tyranny of his rational soul and becomes of
    equal primal/rational spirit, thus he is afflicted with lycanthropy as per
    the Monster Manual: Although their alignment is retained, and they are not
    infectious.
    In addition to this they add +8 to all “Change Shape” DC Rolls.

    Level 2:
    +2 Change Shape DC Rolls
    Rapport: The Riven Lord can create a link that allows exchange of
    information between any animals he can see unaided. This allows him to
    borrow its senses, and know anything it knows as if he had lived through it.


    Level 3:
    +1 Change Shape DC Rolls
    Ironhide: Damage reduction in beast form increases to 25/+1


    Game Stats (Cont’d)


    Level 4:
    +1 Change Shape DC Rolls

    Level 5:
    +1 Change Shape DC rolls

    Beast’s Guise:
    The Riven Lord gains the ability to shift his arms/legs/head into his beast
    form quick enough to make a single attack using his enhanced
    stats/abilities.) No Change Shape check required.


    Level 6:
    +1 Change Shape Rolls

    Level 7:
    +1 Change Shape Rolls

    Level 8:
    +1 Change Shape Rolls
    Freedom’s Cry: This allows the Riven to shatter any controlling spells upon
    a natural creature—man or animal so long as it is considered a natural
    creature. (Some Magical beasts, Dragons, etc fit this category) Must beat DC
    of Spell adding will save modifiers.

    Level 9:
    +1 Change Shape Rolls
    Regeneration

    Level 10:
    +1 Change Shape Rolls
    Call the Hunt:
    A Riven Lord calls forth all the predators within a given area (a
    league of forest, a valley’s boundaries) and lends them his supernatural
    stamina and some of the primal energies of their locale (he loses the
    ability to change shape and is stuck in human form for the duration)
    The animals will then hunt as prey any single creature he asks. Duration
    is 2d6 days per level (and can be ended at any time by the Riven Lord but he
    won’t regain his supernatural strengths for a number of hours equal to the
    days the beasts have been hunting.


    (the chart below won`t come out so if anyone likes, e-mail me and I can send
    a PDF of all this to them individually.)



    Level BAB Fort Ref Will Specia l Spells Per day 1st 2nd
    3rd 4th
    1 +1 +2 0 0 Lycanthropy - - - -
    2 +2 +3 +2 +1 Rapport - - - -
    3 +3 +4 +2 +1 Ironhide 1 - - -
    4 +4 +5 +3 +3 2 - - -
    5 +5/+1 +6 +3 +3 Beast’s Guise 2 1 - -
    6 +6/+2 +7 +4 +5 2 2 - -
    7 +7/+3 +8 +4 +5 2 2 1 -
    8 +9/+4/+1 +9 +6 +7 Freedoms Cry 2 2 2 -
    9 +10/+5/+2 +10 +6 +7 Regeneration 2 2 2 1
    10 +11/+6/+3 +11 +8 +9 Call the Hunt 2 2 2 2

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  4. #4
    Site Moderator kgauck's Avatar
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    ----- Original Message -----
    From: "Sidhain" <sidhain@EARTHLINK.NET>
    Sent: Sunday, June 22, 2003 11:33 AM


    > Just remember though D&D`s lycanthropes follow D&D rules, real world
    myths,
    > folklore and other fictions are not bound by D&D rules

    For those of use who place setting above rules, this is an inversion. Rules
    are adjusted to fit setting. There are no D&D rules, per se, just a
    generalized system designed to be adapted to specific campaigns. I have no
    interest in mantaining a rule because it came to me in print. I am much
    happier with the idea that in BR lycanthropy is a gift of Vorynn, or a
    Rjurik doom, or a manifestation of Azrai`s bloodline, or a host of other
    explanations that make sense in the setting, irregardless of D&D`s published
    descriptions.

    Kenneth Gauck
    kgauck@mchsi.com

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  5. #5
    Site Moderator geeman's Avatar
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    At 12:07 PM 6/22/2003 -0400, Tony wrote:

    >Why do druid levels seem a stretch? Only because he didn`t turn into any
    >other creature?

    I wouldn`t say that`s the only reason. It`s decent evidence,
    though. Aside from the rather obvious hint that Tolkien gives us about the
    character (Beorn -- Bruin) I just don`t get a real druidic vibe from the
    character. Gandalf has more of a druid thing going on than Beorn. It`s
    probably the "nature priest" aspect of the character class that doesn`t
    jibe to me, or it may be the spellcasting ability of druids that doesn`t
    add up. Beorn is decidedly unpriest-like.

    I think a few ranger levels would make sense--though I think most of his
    capacities could be attributed to a sort of "legendary werebear" status
    rather than character levels, and maybe levels in the King of the Wild
    prestige class. Something like that.

    Gary

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  6. #6
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    ----- Original Message -----
    From: "Kenneth Gauck" <kgauck@MCHSI.COM>
    To: <BIRTHRIGHT-L@ORACLE.WIZARDS.COM>
    Sent: Sunday, June 22, 2003 3:23 PM
    Subject: Re: [BIRTHRIGHT] Beorn (was: Rapunzel)


    > ----- Original Message -----
    > From: "Sidhain" <sidhain@EARTHLINK.NET>
    > Sent: Sunday, June 22, 2003 11:33 AM
    >
    >
    > > Just remember though D&D`s lycanthropes follow D&D rules, real world
    > myths,
    > > folklore and other fictions are not bound by D&D rules
    >
    > For those of use who place setting above rules, this is an inversion.
    Rules
    > are adjusted to fit setting. There are no D&D rules, per se, just a
    > generalized system designed to be adapted to specific campaigns. I have
    no
    > interest in mantaining a rule because it came to me in print. I am much
    > happier with the idea that in BR lycanthropy is a gift of Vorynn, or a
    > Rjurik doom, or a manifestation of Azrai`s bloodline, or a host of other
    > explanations that make sense in the setting, irregardless of D&D`s
    published
    > descriptions.
    >

    Me too, that was the point I was trying to make. D&D is only one way of
    looking at it. There are many other ways.

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  7. #7
    Site Moderator kgauck's Avatar
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    ----- Original Message -----
    From: "Sidhain" <sidhain@EARTHLINK.NET>
    Sent: Sunday, June 22, 2003 3:48 PM


    > Me too, that was the point I was trying to make. D&D is only one
    > way of looking at it. There are many other ways.

    But I don`t even see D&D as an interpretation of such things, except, as
    Gary has pointed out, D&D generally tends to reflect the interpretation of
    Greyhawk or FR. D&D as a mechanic should have no interpretation, a good
    mechanic should get out of the way and just facilitate the campaign`s
    interpretation.

    Kenneth Gauck
    kgauck@mchsi.com

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