Heroes of Arnor

Our new ‘B’ campaign is ‘Heroes of Arnor’. Check out the trailer!:

Was doing some research in preparation for a potential Middle-earth campaign. Here are my notes.

A Brief History of Middle-earth & Arnor

In twelve minutes, you can learn just about all you need to know! Watch these two videos if you have time:

Middle-earth in TA 1640

This adventure is set in Arnor, over a thousand years before the events of The Hobbit. Here is some background on Middle-earth in that region at the time of Third Age 1640:

  • Durin’s Folk still inhabit Moria; Erebor won’t be founded until the year 1999. The colony in the Iron Hills won’t be established until 2590.
  • In Mirkwood, around TA 1,000, a dark sorcerer known as the Necromancer took residence at the stronghold of Dol Guldur, though none will know until nearly a millennium later that this is the spirit of Sauron.
  • Also around TA 1,000, the Valar sent the five Wizards, or Istari, including Gandalf, to oppose Sauron and rally the free peoples of Middle-Earth against him.
  • The Ringwraiths reappeared in the year TA 1300, and began steadily assaulting Arnor (the Numenorian kingdoms in exile). Whether the Witch King (the head Ringwraith, or Nazgul) was acting on his own, or was being guided by Sauron, is not known.
  • The Beorning culture won’t come into existence until after the year 2941.
  • Arthedain is the only remaining North-kingdom; the current ruler is Argeleb II, tenth King of Arthedain (1589-1670).
  • Rhudaur is controlled by Hill-men allied with Angmar.
  • The Shire was ceded to the Hobbits less than forty years ago; the Stoors arrived only ten years ago.
  • The Great Plague swept through Middle-earth in 1636 to 1637. Hobbits wandering back east should be very rare (if at all).
  • Dale would be thriving, but the inhabitants would not be known as Bardings, but simply as ‘men of Dale’ or ‘Dale folk’.
  • The current Esgaroth would be the old town that had fallen into ruin long before the coming of Thorin and Company.
  • The present ruler of Gondor is Tarondor, twenty-seventh King of Gondor (1636-1798).His predecessor Telemnar (who ruled 1634-1636) died in the Great Plague with all his children. The capital is Minas Anor, Osgiliath having burned during the Kin-strife (1432-1448) and then having been abandoned following the Great Plague. Minas Anor will be renamed Minas Tirith after the fall of Minas Ithil in 2002.

Pregen Characters

You can use the pregens in the book (except for the Beorning).

Custom Characters

If you create your own custom character:

Abilities: Use the stat array method from the D&D Player’s Handbook.

Cultures: All cultures are allowed except Beornings (Beornings don’t exist in T.A. 1640). Note the following modifications or additions to cultures.

  • Bardings — Bardings at this time are simply known as Men of Dale or Dale Folk.
  • Dwarves — Use background as-is, but your origin has you be from Moria (or Khazad-dûm), which at this time is still alive and well with Dwarves. Only in T.A. 1980 do they dig too deep and encounter the Balrog. Erebor won’t be founded until the year 1999. The colony in the Iron Hills won’t be established until 2590.
  • Men of Arnor — This is a new culture which is simply a renamed Dúnedain, Man of Minas Tirith, or Riders of Rohan cultures.
  • NPC Races — Hillmen, Elves of Rivendell and Elves of Lindon, and Noldor Elves are not in the Adventures in Middle-earth book nor are they playable races (although you’ll be seeing them as NPCs).

Starting Equipment: Use the standard starting equipment and money appropriate to your class and culture, and standard of living (I’m still deciphering these rules).

Character Names: Names are an amazingly important part of keeping the tone of Middle-earth. Don’t make up a name; rather, select a name from the Adventures in Middle-earth book appropriate to your race and culture. Alternatively, select a name from this page: I would ideally like all characters to have unique first letters to their names to avoid confusion. Lastly, please review all character names past the GM for approval (to make sure you selected the right culture, etc.). 🙂