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  1. #1
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    The Validity of the Runekeeper

    This is a holdover from another thread where it didn't belong on the validity of the existance of the Runekeeper in regards to the lore. I decided to make it it's own thread.

    [QUOTE/]
    Originally Posted by BotLike
    "I'd rather have RK's deleted : P ( Yeah absurd right ? )

    They have nothing to do with the lore , no matter how hard turbine tried to make us think so.
    In my eyes, it's just a flashy class , needed for every MMO : |

    If we ever get new race/class combos it should be Elf captains.

    Ow , and remove man lore-master too : * Makes no sense."

    Mellonbeleg

    "There are three types of magic in Middle Earth(in the books and from Tolkien)

    Music-Luthien Tinuviel and the Aniur who sang the whole thing to be in the first place.

    Nature(the subtle shaping thereof)-Galadriel, Elrond, Gandalf, Cirdan the Shipwright.

    Language-Celebrimbor the ring smith, Fegulund, any elf or dwarf who uses magic without music or nature(all of the dwarven magic items)

    What are our three caster classes based off of the use of:Music, Nature, and Language.

    Also, please read the description of the skill, not the visual that accompanies it. If you closely look at the RK or LM skills you will find that they really aren't using a non-free people style of magic. Please read letter 131 in the letters of J.R.R. Tolkien for more information of Tolkien's magic and see how closely it mirrors the game.

    Also, the RK is basically a ring smith, but instead smithed a piece-of-rock of power and a lesser one at that.
    That is why it is limited to Elves and Dwarves because only Elves and Dwarves were present when Celebrimbor was working.

    Edit: The reason they are so flashy is the same reason Peter Jackson had to change some things: To get enough Denarii so he could make the next movie. They need a Flashy class to get the people who think it is just another fantasy MMO."


    Today 09:41 AM #21
    Fionnuala

    "Quite honestly, even though I am a lore fanatic, Turbine has already miserably failed to stick to the lore with various classes. Their justifications for what some of the classes can do are beyond ridiculous. All the in game descriptions of the RK, for instance, are laughable. I honestly wish they would just stop trying and stop pretending that classes are part of the lore. Just let any race be any class already and forget about the excuses."



    Today 09:59 AM #22
    BotLike

    Originally Posted by Mellonbeleg
    "Edit: The reason they are so flashy is the same reason Peter Jackson had to change some things: To get enough Denarii so he could make the next movie. They need a Flashy class to get the people who think it is just another fantasy MMO."

    "Exactly my point !

    However , language and power of words , even though they are greatly powerful in the world of Tolkien , they have nothing to do with lightning coming out from hands !

    Not even Gandalf did that ! lol

    Middle-earth has nothing to do with witchcraft/sorcery etc.RK serves nicely as a second healer/range dps , but lore-wise he doesnt fit , especially visually,at least in my eyes!

    That's what i meant and since it ain't the purpose of the thread i'll just stay quiet now : )))"

    Today 10:10 AM #23
    Mellonbeleg

    "However for those that care about the lore you can read the actual skill descriptions and find out what is really happening.
    Another thing is that we use Morale, not Health, which is why a Mini can kill someone by yelling at them, they don't really kill them, they just lose the will to fight, but that is a subtlety that is seldom noticed by the people who say "to Angband with the lore, we want a free WoW!" The Lore people however can notice it and see the difference it causes

    But we should really make another thread for this."
    [/QUOTE]

    Edit:Sorry I can't quite get the quote feature to work.
    Last edited by Mellonbeleg; Jan 02 2013 at 10:34 AM.
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  2. #2
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    Yeah, but even do I do not like or care for the existence of Rune Keepers, I can understand Turbine's decision to make that class. Too many people were asking for a magic user class and Turbine made a compromise with the Rune Keeper. I think they did a pretty good job with bringing in the rune stones as a tool for magic.


    It's tough keeping that balance between lore and gameplay. I think they did well in this regard.
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  3. #3
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    Agreed, that is unfortunately the same conclusion I came to.

    Any other comments are welcome.
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  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nymphonic View Post
    It's tough keeping that balance between lore and gameplay. I think they did well in this regard.
    There is no balance where the RK's concerned, given that there's zero 'real' lore to it -just some generic stuff some people find convincing, probably because they want it to be.

    As for you, OP:

    - Tolkien describes two types of magic (magia and goetia), not three and didn't classify them in anything like the way you do. Don't make stuff up, please.

    - the Ainur did not sing the world into being, the Great Music only provided the 'blueprint' for the world, something which Eru then used his own power to make real

    - we have no idea what power Cirdan might have had because Tolkien never goes into any detail, so where are you getting that from?

    - where exactly did Tolkien characterize the nature of Celebrimbor's power? It looks to me like you're parroting Turbine's version as if it were 'real' lore.

    - the RK skill descriptions aren't all consistent with the idea of it being just words. In particular, for skills like 'Fall to Storm' to make sense the lightning would have to be 'real'.

    - limiting runes to symbols on rocks is the stuff of generic fantasy

    - RK is not limited to Elves and Dwarves because they were there when Celebrimbor was working, Turbine said that it's because it takes longer than a human lifetime to master. So you can't even get Turbine's version of things straight, let alone Tolkien's.

    - By adding the RK they have actually made the game more like other fantasy MMOs, they didn't do it just to kid Joe Gamer. The kidding part was the weasel words they wrapped round it in an attempt to make it sound Tolkienesque.

    - Mobs die when defeated, it's only player-characters who don't. The 'morale' system is really just an ugly hack to get around having to have permadeath for player-characters, which gives odd results like being able to kill mobs by shouting at them. What you're doing is trying to make excuses for Turbine's inconsistent game mechanics.
    Last edited by Radhruin_EU; Jan 02 2013 at 06:20 PM.

  5. #5
    This again. The RK is a valid entity for LOTRO's alternate history of Middle Earth.

    It doesn't exist in the official legendarium.

    Similar to Hobbit Wardens soloing trolls on level in Limlight Gorge.

    So once upon a time...

    Codemaster Forum snapshot courtesy of the Wayback Machine

    Developer's Diary courtesy of the Wayback Machine and quoted below:

    Developer Mini-FAQ courtesy of the Wayback Machine and quoted below:

    Quote Originally Posted by Zombie Columbus - US Forums via Codemasters Forum 2008
    Originally Posted by Zombie Columbus
    Rune-keeper Mini-FAQ
    I've been lurking for a little while, so here are some of the bigger issues I thought could be addressed.


    I’m worried that no one at Turbine is considered the lore of the Rune-keeper.
    Lore consideration has been part of the classes design since day one. Since I was first asked to head the development of the class, keeping the class grounded in Tolkien’s work has been a high priority. Actually, the lore was a great help in deciding what he could and couldn’t do, which helped focus the gameplay design choices. On a personal level, I am very proud of the result and believe that playing the class in game is fun, exciting and less lore jarring then most fear.

    How will the Rune-keepers DPS compare to the Hunter or Champion?
    As stated in the dev diary, the rune-keeper is designed to be a primary DPS class. Expect the damage he can deal out to be in the same ballpark as those two. Much as the Hunter and Champion are different yet comparable, the Rune-keeper will have is own strengths and weaknesses. The Rune-keepers biggest difference is that it takes more time to ramp up to full effect, due to his DoT (damage over time) based gameplay. The best example of this is the Writ of Fire skill. Using it puts a DoT on a foe, but using it a second and third time will upgrade that DoT up to full damage. After that, occasional uses of the skill will be required to maintain the DoT at full strength.

    What about healing? Will my Minstrel be useless?
    Minstrels will not be useless, but they will no longer be the only primary healer. Much as with damage, the Rune-keeper will be healing comparable amounts as the Minstrel, but in different ways. The Rune-keeper will do some things better and some things worse then the Minstrel. The Rune-keeper’s emphasis is on maintenance and HoTs (heal over time), with his quick heals lacking compared to the Minstrel. Like DPS, it will take time to get all of his HoTs pulsing.

    CC? But that’s what Burglars and Lore-masters are supposed to do!
    That wasn’t a question, but I know what you are saying. The design of the Rune-keeper was interesting because when Battle attuned (as most solo players will likely be) there are no good heals to get you out of a bind. This, coupled with his light armour and lack of a shield, made adding some form of CC important to keep soloing viable. However, since the Rune-keeper is not a CC class, any skills that were added needed to be low potency and not very useful during group play. With those design goals in mind, I made the few CC skills that he does have. Shocking Touch, from the dev diary, is a good example. It dazes, but for a short amount of time and only at melee range, and pulls Attunement towards the Steady state. This skill works very well while soloing, but not terribly useful during group play, since the Rune-keeper will usually try to be a distance from the fighting.

    Heals and DPS on one character? You sir, are mad!
    Just about every LOTRO class has multiple roles it can fill if geared, traited and played particular ways, the Rune-keeper is no different. Like those other classes, the Rune-keeper has stops in place that keep him from being multiple roles at the same time. In fact, the stops for the Rune-keeper are more extreme then other classes we’ve done this with. Consider the Minstrel swapping from War-speech to healing (1 toggle) or a Champion dropping from Fervor to Glory stance (1 toggle). The Rune-keeper will require multiple skill plays to go from fully Battle Attuned to Healing, and if not properly traited, will not be able to dish out as much healing or damage as others.

    Will Elves be able to use the same runes as Dwarves?
    There is no mechanical difference between the two races. There was some thought of doing this, but it was decided not to make the initial race choice (a choice that cannot be changed later) significantly impact a player’s gameplay style.

    Will Rune-stones really be the only weapon? Where do they come from?
    Yes. You will be auto-attacking in melee with them. The Rune-stones will not allow the Rune-keeper to block, but parrying is possible. Rune-stones will be able to be crafted by Jewelers and be found in loot, boss drops and as quest reward.


    Quote Originally Posted by Developer Diary - Codemasters Forum

    Sep 10th 2008, 16:00 GMT
    The Rune-keeper - Brian “Zombie Columbus” Aloisio

    The Rune-keeper

    The Minstrel sings words of Power and the Lore-master finds Power from ancient secrets, but there are more paths than these. Middle-earth is a land where language has Power, and such words are comprised of rune-letters. Put them together in the right order and the world can be changed in subtle and sometimes grand ways. There are some who greatly specialize in such linguistic arts: they are known as Rune-keepers. Their kind had a hand in curiosities like moon-letters, and marvels like the west gate to Moria. In these troubled times, even these normally secluded linguists have stepped up to fight against the Enemy.

    Class Summary

    Role: Healer or Damage Dealer (DPS)
    Equipment: Light armour, Rune-stone
    Races: Elves, Dwarves
    Skill Level: Advanced

    The Rune-keeper joins the Free Peoples of Middle-earth, adding his unique skills to the fight against the Enemy. Scribing words of Power upon special Rune-stones, the Rune-keeper can harm foes or assist allies. Cirth-based writing, favored by the Dwarves, are associated with influencing the elements of Middle-earth, allowing the Rune-keeper to battle foes. Elvish tengwar Runes and words are commonly used more for inspiring allies, keeping them healed and in the action. Rune-keepers even dabble in foretelling, allowing them to change what will happen next in a fight. Through these skills, they can perform such feats as foreseeing that a blade will not Wound an ally, or that a foe will fall to fire.

    Is this Magic?
    A question I know some of you will be asking is “Does the Rune-keeper use magic?” The answer is a little yes, and a little no. In Tolkien’s world, and in our world, ‘magic’ is a term for explaining things that are not well understood. A perfect example of this is when Sam was offered to look in Galadriel’s Mirror:

    `And you? ' she said, turning to Sam. 'For this is what your folk would call magic. I believe; though I do not understand clearly what they mean; and they seem also to use the same word of the deceits of the Enemy. But this, if you will, is the magic of Galadriel.'

    Rune-keepers utilize the Power of writing and of words to change small bits of the world. There are some who would call this magic, while others would call this the natural way of things.

    It is worth mentioning that of the races of Middle-earth, only Elves and Dwarves have such innate Power. No Man or hobbit scribe could harness the power of runes in these ways; such talents are not part of their nature. Yet to an Elf, such things can be as natural as breathing.

    Tools of the Trade
    A linguist by trade, the Rune-keeper does not train with any conventional weaponry, or even armour. Instead, he wields Rune-stones. These he covers with the writings he uses to work his trade. These stones are tied to the elements whence they came (for instance, volcanic rock tends to have a fiery touch to it) and modify some of the Rune-keeper’s skills. Rune-keepers also utilize rune-satchels for holding their supplies. These supplies include various writing implements, scrolls of powerful words, and extra Rune-stones. All of these help the Rune-keeper focus his abilities.

    Class Design
    Game design boils down to a sequence of choices. Some choices are made for you, either by fundamentals of the game or by other people, and some you get to make yourself. Each choice influences the options available at the next choice, until the design has been finished. I was given the task of designing one of the new LOTRO classes with these few choices already made:

    1-The new class is called “Rune-keeper”
    For the class name, we wanted something that evoked more of the mystical side of Middle-earth. Using Rune-letters to make words of Power fit nicely with other classes who use such words, but with different ways of presenting them. The Rune-keeper would be a mystic linguist, capable of writing and presenting words of Power on Rune-stones.
    2-Rune-keepers are capable primary healers
    Adding an additional primary healer would allow fellowships a variant on the Minstrel, and allow players who enjoy healing roles to try out a different style of play.
    3-Address the desire for a “glass-cannon” class
    Many MMO’s have a class with high offensive power, but lacking in defence; a “glass-cannon.” LOTRO did not ship with such a class; the Hunter wore medium armour and neither the Lore-master nor the Minstrel were offensive powerhouses.

    With all that, we are left with a class capable of acting as both a primary damage-dealer and a primary healer. This is a very strong combination of class roles, so caution was required. It's very easy to make such a class too powerful; quick and easy access to high-end heals and damage skills is very potent. On the other hand, overly segregating the two roles can become frustrating. If changing between them required a trip back to town for a full trait respec and gear change, why even make it a single class? The solution we came up with is the Attunement system.

    Attunement

    The Attunement system is our solution for the Rune-keeper’s hybrid nature. Attunement is a spectrum, with nine steps of Healing (Nestad) Attunement on one side, and nine steps of Battle (Dagor) Attunement on the other. Over the course of a battle, the Rune-keeper will shift his position on this spectrum by the skills he uses. The closer he gets to one side, the less he is attuned with the other.

    When a battle starts, a Rune-keeper will typically be in the Steady (Thalas) Attunement state. This is a position of readiness that allows a few minor healing or damaging skills to be used (though all utility skills are available). The grey rune in the middle of the Attunement meter that looks like a “b” is the first rune-letter of Thalas in Tengwar.

    If a Rune-keeper uses skills that damage foes, Attunement will shift towards the Battle side of the scale. As that end of the scale is approached, new damaging skills will unlock and some damaging skills will deal additional damage, but healing skills will be blocked. Here, the symbol that looks like an “f” is the first rune-letter of Dagor in Cirth script (which all Battle-attuned skills use.)

    Likewise, if a Rune-keeper starts using healing skills, then Attunement will shift towards the Healing side of the scale. As that end is approached, new healing skills will unlock and some healing skills will restore additional morale, but other damaging skills will be blocked. Lastly, the green symbol here that looks like an “m” is the first rune-letter of Nestad in Tengwar script (which all Healing attuned skills use.)

    Looking over the skills a Rune-keeper has will help illustrate this. Here are some example skills:

    Scribe’s Spark is a basic Rune-keeper Battle skill. It deals lightning damage to a target, and its damage increases by 4% for every step of Battle Attunement. Using it shifts Attunement one step towards Battle.

    Prelude to Hope is a basic healing skill that shifts one step towards Healing. It receives a bonus to its healing amount based on Healing Attunement.

    If a Rune-keeper alternates between these two skills, his Attunement will end up staying at the Steady midpoint. However, if Scribe’s Spark is used 9 times in a row, full Battle Attunement will be achieved. This will unlock a number of Battle-aligned skills, and increase the damage of Scribe’s Spark by a total of 36%!

    Finally, there are various utility skills not associated with Healing or Battle. These skills are Steady skills that always pull Attunement toward the middle. Their advantage is that they have no Attunement prerequisites.

    The system may be a little confusing to read about, but while in game the link between skills and Attunement is fairly easy to see. The net effect of this system is that the Rune-keeper can shift from damage to healing focus and back again during a fight, but it takes time. Don’t expect a quick spot-heal from a damage-dealing Rune-keeper!

    Gameplay

    So far, we’ve gone over the lore aspects of the class, the higher-level design, and the Attunement system. All that’s left to share is a bit about the Rune-keeper’s skill families and how they work.

    First, the Damaging skill families. All skills here shift Attunement towards Battle, and some require a high Battle Attunement to be used.

    Fury of the Storm – These lightning damage skills are mostly quick instants that can be used while moving. They have unpredictable effects, like the storms they are derived from.

    Wrath of Flame – Fire damage-over-time is the style of this family. Most skills have longer casting times. Maintenance is required to keep the Flames burning hot, but very efficient damage can be generated.

    Chill of Winter – These chilling skills deal frost damage in smaller amounts than the other two families. However, many skills hit multiple targets or debuff the Rune-keeper’s foes.

    Next are the healing skills. There is only one skill family, but it is rather large. All the skills here require Healing Attunement.

    Words of Grace – One of our goals for the Rune-keepers has been to make sure his healing skills work differently than the Minstrels. Rune-keeper healing is mostly done through heal-over-time (HOT) effects. Maintenance on a single target is rewarded with a number of different, smaller heals affecting the target at the same time. Group maintenance is also done through HOTs. This leads the Rune-keeper to be wonderful at maintaining high morale, but he cannot quickly react to new threats like the Minstrel can (though, he does have a few tricks to help him out).

    Finally, there are the utility skills. All of the skills in these two families shift the Rune-keeper towards the Steady Attunement, which is the middle of the scale. This makes these skills interesting strategic choices, since access to higher Attunement skills can be temporarily removed by using them

    Visions and Foretellings - The small amount of prophecy the Rune-keeper is capable of lies here. His talents generally allow him to predict an event, and then see that it comes true. For instance, he can see that a foe will meet their end in flames. This will cause later fire attacks against that foe a chance to see that end come about!

    The Middle Path – This family contains all the tricks of the Rune-keepers trade. Neither damaging nor healing, these skills help keep the Rune-keeper running smoothly. There are some tricks to escaping from enemies or temporarily disabling them. Other skills help keep enemies from getting upset with you in the first place.

    And so:
    I hope you enjoyed getting a glimpse of what went into creating the Rune-keeper. Adding a new class into the mix we already have has been challenging and rewarding. I hope that everyone who tries the class out finds something they enjoy in it!

    -Brian “Zombie Columbus” Aloisio
    Last edited by hallasan; Jan 02 2013 at 06:55 PM.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by hallasan View Post
    This again. The RK is a valid entity for LOTRO's alternate history of Middle Earth.
    Who says? It's not even consistent with the other classes, it's the only one without a proper physical weapon, the only one that apparently needs no weapon other than magic and thus it stands out like a sore thumb even within their own alternate version. And if there's one thing about Middle-earth, it's that nobody ever relies entirely on magic.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Radhruin_EU View Post
    Who says? It's not even consistent with the other classes, it's the only one without a proper physical weapon, the only one that apparently needs no weapon other than magic and thus it stands out like a sore thumb even within their own alternate version. And if there's one thing about Middle-earth, it's that nobody ever relies entirely on magic.
    The RK also relies on running backwards in a circle, much like the Ancient Phoenicians and the Mongol Horde did [citation needed].

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by hallasan
    This again. The RK is a valid entity for LOTRO's alternate history of Middle Earth.
    Quote Originally Posted by Radhruin_EU View Post
    Who says? It's not even consistent with the other classes, it's the only one without a proper physical weapon, the only one that apparently needs no weapon other than magic and thus it stands out like a sore thumb even within their own alternate version. And if there's one thing about Middle-earth, it's that nobody ever relies entirely on magic.

    Who says? Turbine. It's Turbine's Middle Earth historical narrative.

    Turbine can take the words "blasting fire" and have legendary hand-grenades of Arnor if it thought applicable.

    Derivative works, such as this game and the current Peter Jackson movies, provide the single most important consequence of people being aspirationally nudged to reading the legendarium and keeping the lore alive.

    If it takes a Rune-Keeper class, then make an enjoyable class. Turbine succeeded.
    Last edited by hallasan; Jan 02 2013 at 07:48 PM.

  9. #9
    This horse died years ago, why keep beating on it ?

    There was no agreement then and I'm not reading any brand new insights this time around, just a re-hash of old battles. This forum is for discussion of the Professor, his works and the lore of Middle-earth. This is my personal opinion but, since they are a pure Turbine invention, I don't think this is the proper forum for debating their validity in the game.
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by hallasan View Post
    Who says? Turbine. It's Turbine's Middle Earth historical narrative.
    That's a circular argument: that it's in the game, therefore it must fit. That one won't fly; try harder.

    Turbine can take the words "blasting fire" and have legendary hand-grenades of Arnor if it thought applicable.
    Lousy argument, the good guys don't use that stuff in war. And if anything like that appeared, it'd be a joke - everyone would call them Holy Hand Grenades

    You can't argue for one thing that doesn't really fit by suggesting another one that'd be as bad or worse.

    Derivative works, such as this game and the current Peter Jackson movies, provide the single most important consequence of people being aspirationally nudged to reading the legendarium and keeping the lore alive.
    You're generalizing something awful there, and I strongly suspect that the primary reason for stuffing this game full of generic fantasy is to sell it to people who don't read books much, if at all. That 'keeping the lore alive' line is baloney - you can't keep anything alive by murdering it, and as LOTR is an acknowledged classic of fantasy it has a draw of its own and can stay 'alive' perfectly well all by itself.

    If it takes a Rune-Keeper class, then make an enjoyable class. Turbine succeeded.
    Oh, I have no doubt they succeeded in their aim of making more money. Pity about the lack of artistic integrity.

  11. #11
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    For the record, my comment which you quoted wasn't really directed so much at the RK, but more at Turbine's general attitude toward shoving classes into the lore. And honestly, my biggest pet peeve against the RK is the class skill descriptions. They sound stupid, all lore aside, just by themselves. It's like Turbine couldn't decide if this class was based around runes or around the idea of Creative Writing students using literary devices as assault weapons. It's just horrible implementation.

    No one really complains about the Minstrel, but in many ways it is just as bad as the RK. Many of the effects that a Minstrel produces are obviously magical (giant ethereal swords, shafts of light from the sky) and yet EVERY race can be a Minstrel.

    I do think it would be better if the class system was just divorced from the lore and viewed purely as a game mechanic. All races could be all classes and we just wouldn't bother pretending that the two can go hand in hand anymore.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lestache View Post
    The RK also relies on running backwards in a circle, much like the Ancient Phoenicians and the Mongol Horde did [citation needed].
    You sir, just earned some +rep!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fionnuala View Post
    No one really complains about the Minstrel, but in many ways it is just as bad as the RK. Many of the effects that a Minstrel produces are obviously magical (giant ethereal swords, shafts of light from the sky) and yet EVERY race can be a Minstrel.
    I've muttered darkly about it in the past because of the whole "I shout at badgers and they die" thing, the fact that pseudo-magical effects (it's a disguised caster class) and hobbits don't go together at all, and how War-speech is a bad joke. (War-speech is a similar sort of dynamic to being a Shadow Priest in WoW, but without any justification). The only saving grace is that the more of what the class does can reasonably be considered to be metaphorical in some way, unlike the Sith Lord thing the RK does.

    Loved the bit about 'literary devices as assault weapons', by the way

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by Radhruin_EU View Post
    That's a circular argument: that it's in the game, therefore it must fit. That one won't fly; try harder.


    Lousy argument, the good guys don't use that stuff in war. And if anything like that appeared, it'd be a joke - everyone would call them Holy Hand Grenades

    You can't argue for one thing that doesn't really fit by suggesting another one that'd be as bad or worse.


    You're generalizing something awful there, and I strongly suspect that the primary reason for stuffing this game full of generic fantasy is to sell it to people who don't read books much, if at all. That 'keeping the lore alive' line is baloney - you can't keep anything alive by murdering it, and as LOTR is an acknowledged classic of fantasy it has a draw of its own and can stay 'alive' perfectly well all by itself.


    Oh, I have no doubt they succeeded in their aim of making more money. Pity about the lack of artistic integrity.


    The divide here is I am approaching the subject matter in context to a derivative entertainment narrative.

    The impact of derivative works has been beneficial. The book sales are clear indicators.

    Circular argument? No, two different arguments. The "validity" argument doesn't apply to LOTR.

    LOTRO is Turbine's narrative. LOTR is Tolkien's. Two different narratives.

    Turbine isn't authorized to write an official sequel.

    Rune-keeper's exist in LOTRO, not in LOTR.

    I realise many relish recreating the Annie Hall McLuhan moment.

    This isn't one of them.

    In context, I agree with:

    Quote Originally Posted by Fionnuala View Post
    I do think it would be better if the class system was just divorced from the lore and viewed purely as a game mechanic. All races could be all classes and we just wouldn't bother pretending that the two can go hand in hand anymore.
    Last edited by hallasan; Jan 03 2013 at 06:46 PM.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by hallasan View Post
    The divide here is I am approaching the subject matter in context to a derivative entertainment narrative.
    Which it isn't. Classes are game mechanics, not story. The game's story doesn't need RKs, the class is there purely for commercial reasons.

    The impact of derivative works has been beneficial. The book sales are clear indicators.
    Irrelevant to the question. It's not as if the presence or absence of something like the RK in the game is going to have anything other than the tiniest of effects on book sales, if that.

    Circular argument? No, two different arguments. The "validity" argument doesn't apply to LOTR.
    You're trying to suggest that just because Turbine think it fits, it therefore does but that's baloney. The idea that anyone could rely on nothing more than magic in battle is belied by the fact that Gandalf has need of a sword, and as they've reproduced that in the game it logically still applies. So how come the RK can get away with nothing more than magic? It's inconsistent. Really, it's bad design since they could very easily have given the RK a physical weapon (a rune-staff, say) and the class would then at least have blended in a bit better. But no, that would have made way too much sense...

    LOTRO is Turbine's narrative. LOTR is Tolkien's. Two different narratives.
    LOTRO's story is Turbine's narrative, not its gameplay. The story worked just fine without RKs in SoA, and it would work just fine if RKs weren't in the game now. The RK's role is simply to provide the sort of gameplay that some people prefer but which wasn't in SoA. The actual narrative is entirely class-independent, as it has to be.

    Turbine isn't authorized to write an official sequel.
    Irrelevant.

    Rune-keeper's exist in LOTRO, not in LOTR.
    Well, duh. The question is whether anything like an elemental mage has any business at all being in any adaptation of LOTR, given how utterly foreign it is. It's inartistic, cynical exploitation. You could have Aragorn doing Kung Fu and it wouldn't be any more out of place than the RK is.

    In context, I agree with:
    Fionnula's suggestion appears to be born of despair and it would be a final, pathetic end to any credibility this game still has. I've never, ever seen a game where the classes were entirely divorced from the background; the result would be an even more ridiculous mess than we have now.

  16. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by Radhruin_EU View Post
    Well, duh. The question is whether anything like an elemental mage has any business at all being in any adaptation of LOTR, given how utterly foreign it is. It's inartistic, cynical exploitation. You could have Aragorn doing Kung Fu and it wouldn't be any more out of place than the RK is.

    Finally.

    Turbine's narrative of a revenue generating game using LOTR as a framework provided an opportunity to introduce, and exploit, another plot device called a Rune-keeper.

    Again, this is Turbine's LOTRO, not Tolkien's LOTR.

    Turbine's narrative ends when the servers go offline. If there is a market, another company will introduce their own narrative and use the legendarium to benefit its narrative of revenue generation.

    This is a game, not a memorial.

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    I understand the concern here, I guess. You fear that one class like this (which has almost nothing to do with the real lore, or at least wouldn't fit under circumstances provided in this thread) might be a beginning for LOTRO's transform into generic (I don't know if there's anything bad with generic) MMORPG. Yet, I don't mind one class. Either I don't mind if minstrel is slightly over-the-top - I don't play either class as they don't suit me and my mindset.

    But there are people who are drawn more into the game because of such, dare I say, magical or even "epic" (with the modern meaning, I don't mean anything related to literature) classes/NPCs, and so on. I know many a friend of mine who fancied Amdir's turning into Cargul even if such characters (well, Cargul might be a wraith, but I don't know certainly) don't exist in Tolkien's original works. Maybe the RK's reason is to conjure thoughts about us, the players, being mystical heroes (I mean, even more than before...), but okay, this is just a poor attempt of reasoning.

    I might've grown a thicker skin as a former player of WoW, a game which lore changes "radically" each expansion and players (those of more conservative folk) have only two options: leave or just adapt. I've adapted, yet now as I've started playing LOTRO I'm unsure if I ever return to WoW - LOTRO is way more "realistic" (read: in terms of high fantasy, following Tolkien's books), despite RKs and minstrels, etc. Characters behave as they should in different situations, and... well, okay, I won't continue this topic anymore.

    Just my two copper coins here (oh no! you won't steal my copper coins! they're mine!). It's only my opinion and I don't wish to harm anyone.
    "'Nonetheless they will have need of wood', said Aulë and he went on with his smith-work."

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by hallasan View Post
    Finally.

    Turbine's narrative of a revenue generating game using LOTR as a framework provided an opportunity to introduce, and exploit, another plot device called a Rune-keeper.

    Again, this is Turbine's LOTRO, not Tolkien's LOTR.

    Turbine's narrative ends when the servers go offline. If there is a market, another company will introduce their own narrative and use the legendarium to benefit its narrative of revenue generation.

    This is a game, not a memorial.
    'This is a game' is a weak excuse for creating a class which is deliberately as glaringly bad a fit as they dared to make it. (They even had to tone down the original sound effects because so many people complained). You're just sitting there denying there's anything wrong with it at all, despite how they could readily have made it less obnoxiously obtrusive while still having it fulfil the role they wanted for it. When the design of a class doesn't fit comfortably with any of the others, with this silly "look at me running around Middle-earth clutching a rock" thing when everybody else is properly armed, and when they had to fiddle things for the RK to allow parrying with said rock (pure metagaming) then the design is dubious. Pretending that Turbine are absolutely right about it is laughable, as we're talking Turbine here and they're not gods of gaming (and that's putting it mildly). Go on, tell everyone how you think that everyone who has a problem with the RK is completely wrong just because Turbine stuck it in the game. If you're trying to pretend it's beyond criticism then you're just a fanboy.

    And again, the RK is not a 'plot device' as it's not needed for the plot. Classes are game mechanics, not narrative. And 'narrative of revenue generation' is supposed to mean what, exactly? Sounds like management gibberish to me... murder the English language more, why don't you?

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Radhruin_EU View Post
    And again, the RK is not a 'plot device' as it's not needed for the plot. Classes are game mechanics, not narrative. And 'narrative of revenue generation' is supposed to mean what, exactly? Sounds like management gibberish to me... murder the English language more, why don't you?
    I'm willing to stipulate that classes are game mechanics.

    Do game mechanics have to fit with lore?

    Did Tolkien write about flaming pillars in convenient locations around Middle Earth that, once touched, a person could teleport to from anywhere else in the world?

    Was there a banking system by which one could put an item in a vault in Michel Delving and retrieve the exact same item from a vault in Eastern Rohan? (A mere minute or two later, if one had used one's flaming pillar teleport.)

    Worldwide postal service, with mailboxes in the darker regions of Southern Mirkwood?

    When is it okay to subvert the lore in favor of game mechanics, and when isn't it? I suspect that we all have different lines that we'd rather not see Turbine cross - and clearly the RK is over the line for some - but why accept some subversions of lore and not others?

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dweorg View Post
    I might've grown a thicker skin as a former player of WoW, a game which lore changes "radically" each expansion and players (those of more conservative folk) have only two options: leave or just adapt. I've adapted, yet now as I've started playing LOTRO I'm unsure if I ever return to WoW - LOTRO is way more "realistic" (read: in terms of high fantasy, following Tolkien's books), despite RKs and minstrels, etc. Characters behave as they should in different situations, and... well, okay, I won't continue this topic anymore.
    It always does amaze me how WoW is able to constantly shoehorn in the most disparate elements and call it all part of the same lore. I mean, there's pandas now and everything.

    I'd imagine that if Blizzard had developed LOTRO...never mind Rune-keeper, we'd have full-blown Wizards running around. Dwarven mechanics who build motorcycles, also. Oh, look...this book mentions something called a "necromancer"...let's make that a class! (pet class with a wraith that follows you around) Hmm...dragons are nice and all, but dinosaurs would be better. No no, I said MORE dinosaurs in Moria. The Balrog was basically just a huge dinosaur too, right? Which reminds me, are those baby Balrog mounts ready yet? Come on, people! Those are supposed to drop in the next expac along with the flying eagle mounts! Get busy!

    Anyway. That sort of thing can be fun (I did enjoy playing as my spacegoat/Draenei), but sometimes it just starts to feel gimmicky. I know that not everyone is keen on everything Turbine has done with this game. Certainly it's not all perfect. But I do appreciate the restraint that they HAVE show thus far. LOTRO does feel like a more mature and, IMO, far more immersive game than many.
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  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lestache View Post
    Do game mechanics have to fit with lore?
    Games tend to have some relationship between lore and classes in particular since their existence as a role (rather than as a class, which is very much game mechanics) may creep into things like dialogue. For example there was supposed to 'really' be such a thing as a Burglar, at least in The Hobbit. Other things may just be 'pure' game mechanics, which are there for convenience only (e.g. swift travel, huge player inventory, location-independent banking, mounts appearing out of thin air, mailboxes all over the place) and are clearly not supposed to be 'real' in any way within the game.

    When is it okay to subvert the lore in favor of game mechanics, and when isn't it? I suspect that we all have different lines that we'd rather not see Turbine cross - and clearly the RK is over the line for some - but why accept some subversions of lore and not others?
    The complaint about the RK in particular is that elemental mages are not a legitimate role in this setting, any more than clerics, paladins, druids or summoners would be. Every other class in the game is based on something from the books, however tenuous that connection may be, but not the RK as it isn't based on anything Tolkien ever wrote, for all of Turbine's attempts to dress it up in pseudo-Tolkienesque terms. Some race/class combinations are also way over the line by any sensible standard (e.g. anything that involves hobbits being front-line warriors).
    Last edited by Radhruin_EU; Jan 04 2013 at 02:12 PM.

  22. #22
    Quote Originally Posted by Radhruin_EU View Post
    'This is a game' is a weak excuse for creating a class which is deliberately as glaringly bad a fit as they dared to make it. (They even had to tone down the original sound effects because so many people complained). You're just sitting there denying there's anything wrong with it at all, despite how they could readily have made it less obnoxiously obtrusive while still having it fulfil the role they wanted for it. When the design of a class doesn't fit comfortably with any of the others, with this silly "look at me running around Middle-earth clutching a rock" thing when everybody else is properly armed, and when they had to fiddle things for the RK to allow parrying with said rock (pure metagaming) then the design is dubious. Pretending that Turbine are absolutely right about it is laughable, as we're talking Turbine here and they're not gods of gaming (and that's putting it mildly). Go on, tell everyone how you think that everyone who has a problem with the RK is completely wrong just because Turbine stuck it in the game. If you're trying to pretend it's beyond criticism then you're just a fanboy.

    And again, the RK is not a 'plot device' as it's not needed for the plot. Classes are game mechanics, not narrative. And 'narrative of revenue generation' is supposed to mean what, exactly? Sounds like management gibberish to me... murder the English language more, why don't you?

    I'm glad we agree the RK has validity in context to the game. The point of this thread.

    The issue of execution of the class is a different issue.

    Are there issues with the RK mechanics? The RK sub-forum has excellent examples.

    Yes, this is a game in the same way a cigar is sometimes just a cigar. But that's a different narrative.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by hallasan View Post
    I'm glad we agree the RK has validity in context to the game. The point of this thread.
    Don't play games, I said nothing of the sort.

    The issue of execution of the class is a different issue.
    No, it most certainly is not because it was the execution that pushed it over the line. They could have made something like that fit no more poorly than some other classes with a bit of real creative thinking but no, because they were fixated on the elemental theme they were seemingly hell-bent on it being as obtrusive as possible. (And so loud that umpteen people complained and they had to change it).

    If the idea was a mage class based on the power of verbal imagery then that imagery could be anything (like the imagery Finrod Felagund and Sauron used in their duel of magic) and that could have been really, really cool but no, it simply had to be the stereotypical fire, frost and lightning and they phrased it so poorly that it had to be real, not metaphorical. They blew it, in other words. And even with the lightning, it was simply crass to have it flying from someone's fingertips, guaranteeing it looked out of place. That was the first thing people said: that it looked like a Sith Lord's Force Lightning. Sure, you can include imagery that hackneyed in a game but it's pathetically uncreative because we've seen it all before. Likewise with the floating healing rock, it couldn't have been more out of place if they'd tried.

    Yes, this is a game in the same way a cigar is sometimes just a cigar. But that's a different narrative.
    "It's a game" is so generalised as to be meaningless. Saying that doesn't redeem their lack of creativity or their dubious design decisions, like that bizarre floating healing rock. Hey, let's all invent things that are entirely out of keeping with what the other classes do, and look like something out of WoW (which that thing is anyway, it's basically a direct steal of a Shaman's healing stream totem). Stuff like that is just ill-considered and tasteless, it was like they'd given up even trying.

    As for 'narrative'... you keep using this word, but I do not think it means what you think it means.

  24. #24
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    (I Am going to add other things to address other issues but I was getting sick of getting logged off and having to restart)

    Quote Originally Posted by Radhruin_EU View Post
    There is no balance where the RK's concerned, given that there's zero 'real' lore to it -just some generic stuff some people find convincing, probably because they want it to be.

    As for you, OP:

    - Tolkien describes two types of magic (magia and goetia), not three and didn't classify them in anything like the way you do. Don't make stuff up, please.

    - the Ainur did not sing the world into being, the Great Music only provided the 'blueprint' for the world, something which Eru then used his own power to make real

    - we have no idea what power Cirdan might have had because Tolkien never goes into any detail, so where are you getting that from?

    - where exactly did Tolkien characterize the nature of Celebrimbor's power? It looks to me like you're parroting Turbine's version as if it were 'real' lore.

    - the RK skill descriptions aren't all consistent with the idea of it being just words. In particular, for skills like 'Fall to Storm' to make sense the lightning would have to be 'real'.

    - limiting runes to symbols on rocks is the stuff of generic fantasy

    - RK is not limited to Elves and Dwarves because they were there when Celebrimbor was working, Turbine said that it's because it takes longer than a human lifetime to master. So you can't even get Turbine's version of things straight, let alone Tolkien's.

    - By adding the RK they have actually made the game more like other fantasy MMOs, they didn't do it just to kid Joe Gamer. The kidding part was the weasel words they wrapped round it in an attempt to make it sound Tolkienesque.

    - Mobs die when defeated, it's only player-characters who don't. The 'morale' system is really just an ugly hack to get around having to have permadeath for player-characters, which gives odd results like being able to kill mobs by shouting at them. What you're doing is trying to make excuses for Turbine's inconsistent game mechanics.
    -The types of magic I listed are the three means through which magic is used and the ways through which it is brought into the world, not the ends of the magic (I presume you found those in the History of Middle Earth in addition to the brief reference to them in letter 155) and they came from observation of the Lord of the Rings itself and they language it used in regards to magic. There are beginnings (Elves and Dwarves), Means (Nature, Music, and Language), and ends (Magia and Goetia) and none depend on the other.

    -I know Eru was the one who actually brought Arda into being, but Eru gave the music of the Anuir power, in effect making it magical.

    -My thought process was that since the other three I cited were all possessors of the elven rings, then the fomer possessor of Gandalf's Ring (Cirdan) would use his power through the same means.

    -He didn't, I took this from inference and especially the work of Feanor and the other creators of magical items, especially the dwarves (the dwarves of Yore wove mighty spells while hammers fell like ringing bells.)

    -Most, not all, but as a whole they do fit.

    -I didn't say they are limited to stuff on rock, just that the former ringsmiths decided to instead forge pieces of rock(maybe they are easier to make or something). Also I suspect Turbine made them only rocks so they wouldn't run into the "oh drat my weapon caught on fire and burnt up because I was fighting something that fought with fire" effect due to the rune thingy being a piece of paper or parchment.

    -I don't care about Turbine's view of things, all of my inferences came from "This class is based on the elf Smith Celebrimbor" But if you insist I have this quote from letter 155 "[Magic] is in an inherent power not possessed or attainable by men as such."

    -I disagree

    -You got me on this one, sorry I messed up, but it was only a side point.

    I think I covered all the points and I noticed a lore mistake of your own. There were two documented people who attacked or went into a situation where they may have to defend themselves with only Magic: Galadriel when she tore down Dol Guldar and Luthien when she did anything including entering Angband.

    Edit:Clarification of points and 10
    Last edited by Mellonbeleg; Jan 06 2013 at 01:05 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mellonbeleg View Post
    -The types of magic I listed are the three means through which magic is used and the ways through which it is brought into the world, not the ends of the magic (I presume you found those in the History of Middle Earth in addition to the brief reference to them in letter 155) and they came from observation of the Lord of the Rings itself and they language it used in regards to magic. There are beginnings (Elves and Dwarves), Means (Nature, Music, and Language), and ends (Magia and Goetia) and none depend on the other.
    So in other words, that's no more than what you reckon and it's not what Tolkien thought about it himself, going by what he actually had to say on the subject. I don't believe for one second that he made those same distinctions you have, and it's no coincidence you've picked those ones in particular. Come off it, you started with the game and tried to write a justification, making arbitrary choices about those 'means' as you went and pretending they're distinct in some way.

    For example: in using spells, some people would just say it, others chant it, some sing it but it's really all the same thing: a verbal statement of intent. Why some people would sing was that lengthy passages of poetry are easier to remember if there's a tune that goes with them; that's what bards did, to remember all the tales. I'm afraid you're wrong about music, words or symbols being inherently powerful because Tolkien said he considered magic to be an innate power. People would use a mixture of these things. Galadriel, for example, would probably have sung spells: firstly because she was an Elf, and it seems to go with the territory if her brother Finrod is any example and secondly because she'd studied under Melian, who'd also taught Luthien. You're just trying to pigeon-hole her arbitrarily because you imagine this distinction between 'music' and 'nature' just to fit in with what the game does. Lore-wise, though, no such distinction is made.

    -I know Eru was the one who actually brought Arda into being, but Eru gave the music of the Anuir power, in effect making it magical.
    No, that is not what the Sil says. After the Ainur had made the Music, Eru showed the Ainur a vision of what it meant ('Behold your Music!') and then after that, he made the world based on that grand design. That's it. At no point does it say anything about the Music being or becoming magical in itself, just that it was incredibly complex.

    -My thought process was that since the other three I cited were all possessors of the elven rings, then the fomer possessor of Gandalf's Ring (Cirdan) would use his power through the same means.
    More arbitrary pigeon-holing and you failed to mention that this was only something you imagined.

    -He didn't, I took this from inference and especially the work of Feanor and the other creators of magical items, especially the dwarves (the dwarves of Yore wove mighty spells while hammers fell like ringing bells.)
    Dwarves were somewhat magical in themselves, most particularly as regarding crafting and the means of keeping their treasures safe, secure and hidden. Turbine have simply taken that known feature of the Dwarves and used it as an excuse for them to be using powerful magic in battle, something which is entirely absent from the books. Lore-wise, the magic of the Dwarves resided almost entirely in the things they made. Elves were a different matter, but then again you don't see Legolas doing any magic, do you?

    -Most, not all, but as a whole they do fit.
    Sorry, but that's rubbish because it with major exceptions apparent (the lightning, fire and frost) that's more than enough to demonstrate that the idea of it being just words and the effects being metaphorical is bogus.

    -I didn't say they are limited to stuff on rock, just that the former ringsmiths decided to instead forge pieces of rock(maybe they are easier to make or something). Also I suspect Turbine made them only rocks so they wouldn't run into the "oh drat my weapon caught on fire and burnt up" effect due to the rune thingy being a piece of paper or parchment.
    You didn't but Turbine did. So why do they have to have a silly rock instead of a rune-staff? Of course it's not easier to inscribe runes on stone - the benefit of using stone is permanence (which is why there are real rune-stones to be found, acting as memorials and boundary markers, things you'd want to last for a long, long time). And what's that about things catching fire? You only just went and admitted the fire is 'real'. Besides that, Gandalf's staff doesn't catch fire itself when he conjures fire with it. And so stop talking about ringsmiths, that's entirely made up.

    -I don't care about Turbine's view of things, all of my inferences came from "This class is based on the elf Smith Celebrimbor" But if you insist I have this quote from letter 155 "[Magic] is in an inherent power not possessed or attainable by men as such."
    Err, hello, it being based on Celebrimbor is just something else Turbine made up! Celebrimbor was a Noldor craftsman, not someone we know to have possessed powerful magic of any other sort or application.

    -I disagree
    Based on what? Jeff Steefel came right out and said the RK wasn't something based on lore, it was just something that a game like this simply had to have. And further, when the game originally launched we were told that the LM (in its original, blander form as it was at the time) was as much of a mage as we would see given the lore of the setting. The RK represented them changing their minds and taking the game in a more commercial direction, i.e. they wanted to get more subscriptions and earn more money. So what did they do? They put in a blatant elemental mage class to make the game more mainstream; they also jazzed up the LM to make it more 'magical'. You're just kidding yourself.

    I think I covered all the points and I noticed a lore mistake of your own. There were two documented people who attacked with only Magic: Galadriel when she tore down Dol Guldar and Luthien when she did anything including entering Angband.
    Nowhere does it say that Galadriel 'attacked'; she used her power to demolish the place after the defenders had been dealt with. ('They took Dol Guldur, and Galadriel threw down its walls and laid bare its pits'). That mirrors how Luthien had done the sort of magical demolition job on Sauron's old fortress at Tol-in-Gaurhoth, she did it after Sauron and his werewolves had been defeated. Sounds like the sort of magic that'd take a while to perform, singing a song as Luthien did to basically unzip the place and make all the walls fall apart. Personally, I imagine it'd require standing there singing for quite some time, hence not something you could do until the place had been taken. And as for Luthien, you'll note that she didn't possess any destructive game-style 'battle magic'; Huan had to deal with the werewolves for her, and it was only the power of her cloak that saved her from Wolf-Sauron when he went for her (making Sauron stumble, and giving Huan time to gather himself and leap on him). She puts Carcharoth to sleep; she sings a song to Morgoth that's so lovely he's forced to listen to it, and 'of such blinding power' that he loses sight of her, and while he's hopelessly ensnared she sings the song that puts him and all his court to sleep. Nowhere does she go around hurling destructive magic at anyone! She didn't just scoot into Angband and attack Morgoth: he made the mistake of having her sing for him, as if she were a minstrel. And besides all that, Luthien would have been a crackly snack for Sauron's werewolves if she hadn't had Huan to look out for her, so she wasn't just relying on magic - she'd got the Hound of Valinor to handle the rough stuff.
    Last edited by Radhruin_EU; Jan 05 2013 at 06:04 AM.

 

 
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