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    ClericGuy

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    Default Aragorn's character sheet.

    From another thread, we were discussing how high level Aragorn needed to be to be effectively modelled by DND. This sparked the discussion.

    http://www.thealexandrian.net/creati...librating.html

    Take Aragorn, for example. He’s clearly described as one of the best warriors in Middle Earth. But what do we actually see him do? Let’s take THE FELLOWSHIP OF THE RINGS as an example:

    He leads the hobbits through the wilderness with great skill. (The highest Survival DC in the core rules is DC 15. A 1st level character can master the skill for non-tracking purposes. Aragorn, as a master tracker, would need to be 5th level, have at least one level of ranger, and have spent one of his feats on Skill Focus (Survival) to achieve all of this.)

    He drives off the ringwraiths at Weathertop. (It’s difficult to conclude anything from this because it’s one of the more problematic passages in the book when subjected to analysis. If the ringwraiths are truly impervious to harm from any mortal man, why are they scared off by a guy waving two “flaming brands of wood”? Are they vulnerable to fire in a way that they’re not vulnerable to mortal weapons? The point is, the true strength of the ringwraiths is obscure, so it’s impossible to know how tough Aragorn would need to be in order to accomplish this.)
    *

    Aragorn treats Frodo’s wound, unsuccessfully. (The highest Heal DC is 15. As with Survival, Aragorn could have mastered this skill at 1st level.
    *

    In Moria (fighting orcs): “Legolas shot two through the throat. Gimli hewed the legs from under another that had sprung up on Balin's tomb. Boromir and Aragorn slew many. When thirteen had fallen the rest fled shrieking, leaving the defenders unharmed, except for Sam who had a scratch along the scalp. A quick duck had saved him; and he had felled his orc: a sturdy thrust with his Barrow-blade. A fire was smouldering in his brown eyes that would have made Ted Sandyman step backwards, if he had seen it. (Aragorn slays no more than six or seven CR 1/2 orcs in this encounter. A trivial accomplishment for a 5th level character.)

    Even if you follow Aragorn all the way through The Two Towers and The Return of the King, you’ll find that this is fairly representative of what he accomplishes. The only other notable ping on the radar is his ability to use athelas, and even if we don’t assume that’s merely an example of him knowing athelas’ properties (with a Knowledge (nature) check), it’s still just one ability.

    So what can we conclude form this? Aragorn is about 5th level.
    Onto my discussion.

    Lets not be ludicrous eh ? "the sweet grass of Rohan" = "Most normal outdoor surfaces (such as lawns," ... it's nothing like deep snow or mud. Sure, the grass is blackened, but that doesn't make footprints on the ground magically sink in deeper, or be more noticeable; if anything, it would make finding tracks harder since any impressions in the grass made the hobbit are clearly obliterated by the passage of the Uruks (which is why he loses the trail later, when the DC goes up as a result). Pippin's tracks weren't even in the blackened slot in the grass, they were off to the side.
    The sweet grass of Rohan was what they noticed being trampled. You can see footprints in grass as well as mud. Grass is, if anything, even more receptive than mud to footprints. Especially long grass, which can be bent over and damaged. The hobbits could have simply trampled some more grass. This would fit perfectly with the earlier failed rolls- he shouldn't have failed

    LIt was not long before Aragorn found fresh signs. At one point, near the bank of the Entwash,
    he came upon footprints: hobbit-prints, but too light for much to be made of them.
    That check if he had a skill of 18.

    The glass is blackened because the Uroks stepped on it. It died when they walked on it. And he failed numerous other checks on lesser surfaces while not running. It's pretty clearly argued that his skill level isn't immensely high. You can be an amazing hero, and not be high level. He failed repeatedly at checks, even here.

    the sweet
    grass of Rohan had been bruised and blackened as they passed.
    The hobbit footprints would leave marks on the grass as well as the dirt. Indeed, he wouldn't be able to see marks on the ground, as there was grass in the way. It would be especially easy to see where they walked, since the grass isn't that resistant to stamping.

    They evidently went a slightly different way to the orcs, because their tracks weren't comingled with the orcs. Which was why he could find them.

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    Ettin in the Playground
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    Default Re: Aragorn's character sheet.

    He ran for 3 days straight, so his Con is over 50.

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    Default Re: Aragorn's character sheet.

    I think they're kinda low level. Look at the wealth-by-level guidelines. The halflings between them have a mithril chain shirt and a +1 shortsword, and all this Aragorn dude has is some heirloom magic ring and a bunch of masterwork elvish stuff. And their wizard doesn't have many spells.

    They got more stuff from the wood elves, but I think they leveled up there.

    Last edited by gbprime; 2011-01-13 at 04:22 PM.
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    Default Re: Aragorn's character sheet.

    Aragorn is about a 5th level character.

    But as most of the world is 0th level and 1st level that is quite high.

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    Default Re: Aragorn's character sheet.

    Honestly, and this is of course only my opinion, but DnD really fails at modeling characters not specifically written to be modeled by DnD. Levels, hit points, skill points and all the associated baggage of DnD maps poorly to literary exploits.

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    Default Re: Aragorn's character sheet.

    Aragorn treats Frodo’s wound, unsuccessfully. (The highest Heal DC is 15. As with Survival, Aragorn could have mastered this skill at 1st level.
    Not really. Treating poison is the same DC as the poison's original save, and those, even in core-only, go as high as 26 (Dragon Bile).

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    Default Re: Aragorn's character sheet.

    He probably has some LA. Dunedain are described as being generally better than normal humans in pretty much every meaningful way. That would be at least +1, and maybe +2 LA. I would guess a racial stat mod of +2 in every stat except perhaps wisdom, with maybe some +4s.

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    Default Re: Aragorn's character sheet.

    Quote Originally Posted by Britter View Post
    Honestly, and this is of course only my opinion, but DnD really fails at modeling characters not specifically written to be modeled by DnD. Levels, hit points, skill points and all the associated baggage of DnD maps poorly to literary exploits.
    I agree.

    After all, LotR as an example is a very poorly written adventure by D&D standards.

    Lets see...low level group fights a billion goblins in Moria, plus the 10 CR cave troll and the 100 CR Balrock.....not too balanced there. Then the 100,000 orcs and such at Helm's Deep and the billion or so at the final battle.

    Take Aragorn, he fights 1 CR or less orcs, goblins and such...that's it. He never gets to be the hero....does he fight and slay any BBEG?

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    Default Re: Aragorn's character sheet.

    His ancestor killed 70 trolls in one battle. You could claim to be a hero just by being Hurin's descendant.

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    Default Re: Aragorn's character sheet.

    Quote Originally Posted by Gamer Girl View Post
    Take Aragorn, he fights 1 CR or less orcs, goblins and such...that's it. He never gets to be the hero....does he fight and slay any BBEG?
    Lurtz and the Mouth of Sauron, but it's been years since I've read the books, there might be more.
    Last edited by Jjeinn-tae; 2011-01-13 at 04:45 PM.
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    Default Re: Aragorn's character sheet.

    Aragorn is a ranger2/paladin14.

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    Default Re: Aragorn's character sheet.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jjeinn-tae View Post
    Lurtz and the Mouth of Sauron, but it's been years since I've read the books, there might be more.
    Lurtz doesn't exist in the book, and nobody kills the Mouth of Sauron

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    Quote Originally Posted by Project_Mayhem View Post
    Lurtz doesn't exist in the book, and nobody kills the Mouth of Sauron
    Ahch, too many years since I read the book then. I think that proves Boromir is not level 5 then.
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    Default Re: Aragorn's character sheet.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jjeinn-tae View Post
    Ahch, too many years since I read the book then. I think that proves Boromir is not level 5 then.
    He still could be. Been fighting orcs for a while, then somebody crits him with a strength bow? Those suckers are x3 damage! And the party was too low level to afford a Rez.
    Last edited by gbprime; 2011-01-13 at 04:54 PM.
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    Default Re: Aragorn's character sheet.

    He's an epic level evil cleric. After all, he did kinda command several thousand undead at once.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tvtyrant View Post
    He ran for 3 days straight, so his Con is over 50.
    Perhaps the dunedain have the living construct type?
    He just pretends to eat and sleep to blend in. When he becomes king he instantly starts replacing the illogical population of Gondor with machines!
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    Default Re: Aragorn's character sheet.

    Frankly it's pretty obvious that LotR was an E6 world, except for the Maia and Ainur. The only Epic person is probably Illuvitar.
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    Default Re: Aragorn's character sheet.

    I'm not going to copy much from that discussion, but I'll grab a little.

    The article claiming that Aaragorn is 5th level is more than a little disingenuous. It focuses on things that make it's case look good and ignores/handwaves anything that doesn't. It uses circular reasoning in places (making the assumption of a low level world to prove it's a low level world).

    One of the feats from the LOTR that stands out to me that is totally glossed over in that article: Aragorn, Legolas and Gimli following after the uruk's who have captured Pipin and Merry. The run for 3+ days straight with virtually no rest, including running through the night. The running, in and of itself, is quite a feat, and is not something that a 5th level character can do. I'm not even sure a 100th level character can do it, since the non-lethal damage taken while hustling doubles each hour, and there's no save.

    The following passage in highlights Aragorn's use of tracking while on the run.
    Quote Originally Posted by The two towers
    They went in single file, running like hounds on a strong scent, and an eager light was in their eyes. Nearly due west the broad swath of the marching Orcs tramped its ugly slot; the sweet grass of Rohan had been bruised and blackened as they passed. Presently Aragorn gave a cry and turned aside. "Stay!" he shouted. "Do not follow me yet!" He ran quickly to the right, away from the main trail; for he had seen footprints that went that way, branching off from the others, the marks of small unshod feet.
    He spotted pippin's footprints, while on the run. That'd be a DC 18 check (+1 for small hobbits, +2 for being 2 days behind, 15 DC base for normal ground), or 23 if you count the orcs as obscuring the tracks of the hobbits in a similar manner to someone covering thier tracks, at -20 due to "running like a hound". He makes the first tracking check and fails the latter (losing the trail once it gets trampled by the uruks).

    the DC might be 1 less (they might not be a full 2 days behind at that point)

    "the sweet grass of Rohan" = "Most normal outdoor surfaces (such as lawns, fields, woods, and the like)" which is a base DC of 15 ... it's nothing like deep snow or mud (base DC 5). Sure, the grass is blackened, but that doesn't make footprints on the ground magically sink in deeper, or be more noticeable; if anything, it would make finding tracks harder since any impressions in the grass made the hobbit are clearly obliterated by the passage of the Uruks (which is why he loses the trail later, when the DC goes up as a result of being trampled).

    You could make the argument that the ground there may have been softer than normal, and that it was a DC 13 check with a -20 modifier, but I find that kind of far fetched.


    If you assume that he rolled a 20 on that check, he still had to have a +18 to make the check to see Pippin's tracks; that sets a minimum level significantly above level 5.
    Last edited by Jayabalard; 2011-01-13 at 05:17 PM.
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    Default Re: Aragorn's character sheet.

    The Alexandrian article is ridiculous. It contradict itself in many places (a badass character has an elite array, but an exceptional blacksmith has 18 intelligence), it makes wrong assumptions, it forgets how pathetically weak level 1 characters are not just at adventuring, but simply doing their job, and at the same time it overestimates the awesomeness of characters at levels 10+ (casters do get awesome, non-casters, not really). And that's just off the top of my head. Somewhere on this forum is a more in-depth analysis of this article, but it's old and I can't be bothered to look it up by now.

    Quote Originally Posted by Britter View Post
    Honestly, and this is of course only my opinion, but DnD really fails at modeling characters not specifically written to be modeled by DnD. Levels, hit points, skill points and all the associated baggage of DnD maps poorly to literary exploits.
    This, except I'd say that it fails at modeling characters from its own books too. Exhibit 1: Drizzt. Exhibit 2: Elminster.

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    Default Re: Aragorn's character sheet.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jayabalard View Post
    If you assume that he rolled a 20 on that check, he still had to have a +18 to make the check to see Pippin's tracks; that sets a minimum level significantly above level 5.
    Devil's advocate says hi:
    8 ranks + 4 Wisdom + 3 Skill Focus + 2 Synergy with Search + 2 Synergy with Knowledge (Nature) = +19 Survival on level 5.
    Last edited by Vladislav; 2011-01-13 at 05:12 PM.

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    Default Re: Aragorn's character sheet.

    Quote Originally Posted by Britter View Post
    Honestly, and this is of course only my opinion, but DnD really fails at modeling characters not specifically written to be modeled by DnD. Levels, hit points, skill points and all the associated baggage of DnD maps poorly to literary exploits.
    I kinda assumed that people know it, and do it anyway, just for... (insert something here).

    Examples in this thread nicely illustrate it.
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    Default Re: Aragorn's character sheet.

    [QUOTE=Gamer Girl;10154379]I agree.

    After all, LotR as an example is a very poorly written adventure by D&D standards.

    Lets see...low level group fights a billion goblins in Moria, plus the 10 CR cave troll and the 100 CR Balrock.....not too balanced there. Then the 100,000 orcs and such at Helm's Deep and the billion or so at the final battle.
    A troll is CR 5. The CR of the balrog is uncertain (the dnd statted up version is CR 20 but really we don't have any good way of gauging its strength as tolkein intended) but the party didn't fight it, Gandalf did. They were both maiar of the same order so they should be similar strengths. Fighting a host of goblins sounds like a pretty fun fight. Fighting in an army sounds pretty fun too.

    Take Aragorn, he fights 1 CR or less orcs, goblins and such...that's it. He never gets to be the hero....does he fight and slay any BBEG?
    In the movie they tried to fix that by having him fight Sauron. Then they realized the book fans would be a bit annoyed and they replaced the CGI with a troll.

    Edit.


    You could make the argument that the ground there may have been softer than normal, and that it was a DC 13 check with a -20 modifier, but I find that kind of far fetched.


    If you assume that he rolled a 20 on that check, he still had to have a +18 to make the check to see Pippin's tracks; that sets a minimum level significantly above level 5.
    The grass died and bruised when people stepped on it. That would make it a pretty easy check. They'd be able to see dying grass.
    Last edited by Ytaker; 2011-01-13 at 05:20 PM.

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    Correct by the rules an extraordinary person is about 5th level. 11+th level is legendary. Most mundane characters you see in literature and movies are about 5th level and only those that seem to break the laws of physics (even when they are non-magical characters) are higher.

    I might put LotR characters around 7th level as they do take down huge numbers of foes. I mean fighting 6 at once is CR 5 and 10 at once is CR 7. And because characters like the nameless (in the movie not the books I'm sure) elf captain who also takes down quite a few foes should be around 5th level. Still in the same ballpark.
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    Default Re: Aragorn's character sheet.

    Quote Originally Posted by Vladislav View Post
    Devil's advocate time:
    8 ranks + 4 Wisdom + 3 Skill Focus + 2 Synergy with Search + 2 Synergy with Knowledge (Nature) = +19 Survival on level 5.
    I know that was missing something. So, it sounds like any build of Aragorn requires an 18 wisdom and skill focus: survival; it may also rule out builds that include many paladin levels.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ytaker View Post
    A troll is CR 5.
    A D&D troll is; a LOTR troll bears no resemblance to that.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vladislav View Post
    Devil's advocate says hi:
    8 ranks + 4 Wisdom + 3 Skill Focus + 2 Synergy with Search + 2 Synergy with Knowledge (Nature) = +19 Survival on level 5.
    Don't forget that, as a ranger he can also take favored enemies: Halflings and by level 5 get another +4 to track them, and a +4 competence item costs only 1600 according to the SRD, wich is well within the limits for a lvl 5 character.
    And with the Self-sufficient feat it's another +2.
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    Quote Originally Posted by drakir_nosslin View Post
    Don't forget that, as a ranger he can also take favored enemies: Halflings and by level 5 get another +4 to track them, and a +4 competence item costs only 1600 according to the SRD, wich is well within the limits for a lvl 5 character.
    And with the Self-sufficient feat it's another +2.
    Lets not be silly; Aragorn would not have favored enemy hobbit (we're talking lotr, you can call them hobbits again); and the world of LOTR is sufficiently low magic enough to discount the possibility of a magic item for a competence bonus to survival.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ytaker View Post
    The grass died and bruised when people stepped on it. That would make it a pretty easy check. They'd be able to see dying grass.
    Not at all, lawns are explicitly called out as DC 15. Lawns have grass. Having grass does not make the check any easier.

    The grass is blackened because of the passage of many orcs (something similar happens all the time on the local college campus, where the students make their own paths); it's simply trampled down. This does not help him spot Pippins print in any way.

    Quote Originally Posted by gbprime View Post
    He still could be. Been fighting orcs for a while, then somebody crits him with a strength bow? Those suckers are x3 damage! And the party was too low level to afford a Rez.
    he "was pierced by many arrows" ... not just a single hit.
    Last edited by Jayabalard; 2011-01-13 at 05:27 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jayabalard View Post

    Not at all, lawns are explicitly called out as DC 15. Lawns have grass. Having grass does not make the check any easier.

    The grass is blackened because of the passage of many orcs (something similar happens all the time on the local college campus, where the students make their own paths); it's simply trampled down. This does not help him spot Pippins print in any way.
    Firm Ground

    Most normal outdoor surfaces (such as lawns, fields, woods, and the like) or exceptionally soft or dirty indoor surfaces (thick rugs and very dirty or dusty floors). The creature might leave some traces (broken branches or tufts of hair), but it leaves only occasional or partial footprints.
    It's explicitly mentioned that the reason it's a hard check is that you only have occasional or partial footprints.

    for he had seen footprints that went that way, branching off from the others, the
    marks of small unshod feet.
    Not partial tracks or occasional footprints. The likely reason is that the long grass bent very easily. Long grass bends and breaks in the middle, and holds tracks for a long time. That also makes it easier to see where a few hobbits ran off.

    It's long grass as Aragorn sang around p 4.

    Through Rohan over fen and field where the long grass grows
    The West Wind comes walking, and about the walls it goes.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gamer Girl View Post
    After all, LotR as an example is a very poorly written adventure by D&D standards.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ericgrau View Post
    And because characters like the nameless (in the movie not the books I'm sure) elf captain who also takes down quite a few foes should be around 5th level. Still in the same ballpark.
    Which elf are you talking about, out of curiosity? I'm trying to think of an elf captain in the films and am only coming up with Haldir (who had a name in the films, but wasn't present at Helm's Deep in the book). I think his name was only said in the films a couple of times, and it might not have been really obvious, which could explain why it was overlooked.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ytaker View Post
    The CR of the balrog is uncertain (the dnd statted up version is CR 20 but really we don't have any good way of gauging its strength as tolkein intended) but the party didn't fight it, Gandalf did. They were both maiar of the same order so they should be similar strengths.
    Defeating the foe at the cost of your own life is a recurring theme in Tolkien. All three listed Balrog fights as well as the defeat of Sauron at the hands of Elendil and Gil-galad.

    I think it's less of a "similar strengths" matter and more of a case of Good can overcome Evil, but at a cost - with the added implication that the cost is worth paying.

    In the movie they tried to fix that by having him fight Sauron. Then they realized the book fans would be a bit annoyed and they replaced the CGI with a troll.
    Also note that Pippen took down a troll during that fight in the book.

    LotR operates on things closer to Narrative Causality than Game Mechanics.
    Last edited by WalkingTarget; 2011-01-13 at 07:00 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kurald Galain View Post
    Oh man, how much I thank you for this link!! I didn't know it! It's 1:00 a.m. here in my city and I barely can't contain my laughs! just hope the neighbours don't mind
    Last edited by Blas_de_Lezo; 2011-01-13 at 07:03 PM.

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