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    DwarfClericGuy

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    Default Is there a Balrog statted for 5e?

    The one from LotR. Wanted to know this a long time, decided to ask this on a rainy sunday. (I did google a bit, but did not find the statblock)

    this :)

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    Default Re: Is there a Balrog statted for 5e?

    No, but there is a Balor. It resembles, but is legally distinct from, a balrog.
    Last edited by Xihirli; 2019-11-16 at 12:56 PM.

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    Default Re: Is there a Balrog statted for 5e?

    Quote Originally Posted by Xihirli View Post
    No, but there is a Balor. It resembles, but is legally distinct from, a balrog.
    Still we fools should fly like it is a balrog.

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    Default Re: Is there a Balrog statted for 5e?

    Quote Originally Posted by Xihirli View Post
    No, but there is a Balor. It resembles, but is legally distinct from, a balrog.
    Indeed. There are no hobbits either, and halflings are completely different thing that isn't a trademark of Tolkien Estate. Same with ents and treants.
    It's Eberron, not ebberon.
    It's not high magic, it's wide magic.
    And it's definitely not steampunk. The only time steam gets involved is when the fire and water elementals get loose.

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    Default Re: Is there a Balrog statted for 5e?

    Quote Originally Posted by Xihirli View Post
    No, but there is a Balor. It resembles, but is legally distinct from, a balrog.
    Unfortunately the 5E Balor is underwhelming. I recommend making its Teleport part of its Multiattack (before or after attacking) and bumping its total number of attacks up to three (its choice of sword or whip).

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    Default Re: Is there a Balrog statted for 5e?

    Quote Originally Posted by MaxWilson View Post
    Unfortunately the 5E Balor is underwhelming.
    Well, so was the Balrog. A wizard soloed it in melee, after all....
    It's Eberron, not ebberon.
    It's not high magic, it's wide magic.
    And it's definitely not steampunk. The only time steam gets involved is when the fire and water elementals get loose.

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    Default Re: Is there a Balrog statted for 5e?

    Quote Originally Posted by JackPhoenix View Post
    Well, so was the Balrog. A wizard soloed it in melee, after all....
    He was high level though. Downside to power-leveling noobs, sometimes they aggro elites.


    Hmmm, now I'm curious how well a 15+ Wizard would do soloing a Balor.
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    Default Re: Is there a Balrog statted for 5e?

    Quote Originally Posted by False God View Post
    He was high level though. Downside to power-leveling noobs, sometimes they aggro elites.


    Hmmm, now I'm curious how well a 15+ Wizard would do soloing a Balor.
    Obligatory "Gandalf was a 5th level wizard". Though, lore-wise, he's more like a celestial.
    Last edited by Luccan; 2019-11-16 at 10:47 PM.
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    Default Re: Is there a Balrog statted for 5e?

    Quote Originally Posted by Luccan View Post
    Obligatory "Gandalf was a 5th level wizard". Though, lore-wise, he's more like a celestial.
    Fights with a sword.

    Summons mount.

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    Default Re: Is there a Balrog statted for 5e?

    Sounds like Tolken didn't play D&D.

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    Default Re: Is there a Balrog statted for 5e?

    I donít remember him *summoning* Shadowfax, he just made friends with him. Especially looking at Radagast Iíd just say there arenít any distinctions to Tolkien between druids and wizards.
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    Default Re: Is there a Balrog statted for 5e?

    Quote Originally Posted by Luccan View Post
    Obligatory "Gandalf was a 5th level wizard". Though, lore-wise, he's more like a celestial.
    By lore, the Istari were celestials: Maiar.
    A Protector Aasimar Lore Bard would seem to fit Gandalf's role.
    Or, make him a Solar / Deva / Planetar and be done with it. (He's an NPC)
    Last edited by KorvinStarmast; 2019-11-17 at 11:55 AM.
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    Default Re: Is there a Balrog statted for 5e?

    Quote Originally Posted by KorvinStarmast View Post
    Or, make him a Solar / Deva / Planetar and be done with it. (He's an NPC)
    DMPC, to be precise.

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    Default Re: Is there a Balrog statted for 5e?

    Yep, the Balor was the Balrog. And yes, it's (barely) impressive even with Lair Actions, Legendary Actions and Resistances.

    Quote Originally Posted by JackPhoenix View Post
    Well, so was the Balrog. A wizard soloed it in melee, after all....
    Nope. Gandalf and the others were Demi-gods and only called wizards, mostly with the "wise one" meaning.

    Quote Originally Posted by KorvinStarmast View Post
    By lore, the Istari were celestials: Maiar.
    A Protector Aasimar Lore Bard would seem to fit Gandalf's role.(*)
    Or, make him a Solar / Deva / Planetar and be done with it. (He's an NPC)
    * I Agree.

    Bolded is the closest for D&D, I think. The Valar were Planetars. I don't recall any of them being more powerful (Solar) than any of the others, just having different areas they focused on.

    Also remember that among those on the Mortal Plane - color was Rank.
    White was #1 and Grey was supposed to be last.
    Brown focused too much on nature, and Blues were not very well defined.

    Quote Originally Posted by Warlush View Post
    Sounds like Tolken didn't play D&D.
    well no = considering that The Hobbit (There and Back Again) was written in 1937 (for the same reason J.K. Rowling did Harry Potter - as bedtime stories for their Kids) and the Lord of the Rings (originally written as a single book, that the publishers had to break down into manageable sizes) was in 1957.

    Chainmail in 1973-ish and Blackmore (renamed Greyhawk) 1974;
    Gygax (and friends) was an obvious Tolkien fan; although he went with Jack Vance's idea for how magic worked.
    Last edited by Great Dragon; 2019-11-18 at 08:37 AM.
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    Default Re: Is there a Balrog statted for 5e?

    Quote Originally Posted by Great Dragon View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Warlush View Post
    Sounds like Tolken didn't play D&D.
    well no = considering that The Hobbit (There and Back Again) was written in 1937 (for the same reason J.K. Rowling did Harry Potter - as bedtime stories for their Kids) and the Lord of the Rings (originally written as a single book, that the publishers had to break down into manageable sizes) was in 1957.

    Chainmail in 1973-ish and Blackmore (renamed Greyhawk) 1974;
    Gygax (and friends) was an obvious Tolkien fan; although he went with Jack Vance's idea for how magic worked.
    I'm like 99.99% certain Warlush was only joking and being sarcastic...

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    Default Re: Is there a Balrog statted for 5e?

    You fear to go into those books. The forumites delved too greedily and too deep. You know what they awoke in the darkness of the Monster Manual... shadow and flame.Buffing a Balor is probably sufficient. Couldn't help myself :p

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    Default Re: Is there a Balrog statted for 5e?

    Quote Originally Posted by JackPhoenix View Post
    Well, so was the Balrog. A wizard soloed it in melee, after all....
    Quote Originally Posted by KorvinStarmast View Post
    By lore, the Istari were celestials: Maiar.
    A Protector Aasimar Lore Bard would seem to fit Gandalf's role.
    Or, make him a Solar / Deva / Planetar and be done with it. (He's an NPC)
    Bingo, take a Deva stat block add a longsword (Glamdring) and the appropriate spellcasting list (which is pretty short) and you've got a Gandalf.

    And yeah standard Balor works great for a Balrog.

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    Default Re: Is there a Balrog statted for 5e?

    Quote Originally Posted by False God View Post
    He was high level though. Downside to power-leveling noobs, sometimes they aggro elites.


    Hmmm, now I'm curious how well a 15+ Wizard would do soloing a Balor.
    Going all out my Divination wizard could escape for sure, Banish/Maze for sure. Killing would require foreknowledge and a plan. Sans sim would be very bad. If I could set up a demi-plane or use one of my existing demi-plane offensive traps than I could do it but it would hurt. Having mature clones helps.

    So basically if I used up some of my consumables and pre-arranged resources I think I could do it. But it would be brutal and I might die and wake up in one of my clones. In many ways it would be easier for my evoker but she isn't at that point yet.

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    Default Re: Is there a Balrog statted for 5e?

    Quote Originally Posted by Great Dragon View Post
    Gygax (and friends) was an obvious Tolkien fan; although he went with Jack Vance's idea for how magic worked.
    Heard Gygax himself was more into Howard's and Vance's novels than into Tolkien's.


    Quote Originally Posted by KorvinStarmast View Post
    By lore, the Istari were celestials: Maiar.
    A Protector Aasimar Lore Bard would seem to fit Gandalf's role.
    Or, make him a Solar / Deva / Planetar and be done with it. (He's an NPC)
    A Ghaele maybe?
    Last edited by Petrocorus; 2019-11-18 at 04:29 PM.
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    Default Re: Is there a Balrog statted for 5e?

    Quote Originally Posted by Petrocorus
    Heard Gygax himself was more into Howard's and Vance's novels than into Tolkien's.
    That's entirely possible.
    (I got only Rumor-based information about the personal opinions of Arneson and Gygyx, etc.)
    I do remember that there were "Hobbits" (which he had to change the name) in the Original D&D, but might be the only thing used from Tolkien. (Like, maybe Gygax liked the book of that name over LotR?)
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    Default Re: Is there a Balrog statted for 5e?

    Quote Originally Posted by Petrocorus View Post
    Heard Gygax himself was more into Howard's and Vance's novels than into Tolkien's.
    That's correct, Gygax was especially into Vance's novels. The spellcasting in D&D is largely influenced by Vance, and is often called "Vancian Magic" as a result.

    (For those who don't know the term, Vancian Magic means that when a spellcaster prepares spells, they memorize each of them into individual spell slots which remain available until they're cast, or take the "8-hour-nap", whichever comes first, and then they're simply forgotten until you prepare new spells; this is slightly different from 5th edition, actually, which kind of meets midway between Vancian Magic and "AEDU" (4th edition's At-Will, Encounter, Daily, and Utility powers a.k.a. spells etc.)
    Last edited by Arkhios; 2019-11-21 at 04:59 AM.
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    Default Re: Is there a Balrog statted for 5e?

    Quote Originally Posted by Great Dragon View Post
    That's entirely possible.
    (I got only Rumor-based information about the personal opinions of Arneson and Gygyx, etc.)
    I do remember that there were "Hobbits" (which he had to change the name) in the Original D&D, but might be the only thing used from Tolkien. (Like, maybe Gygax liked the book of that name over LotR?)
    Hobbits, Ents, and Balrogs. All three ended up in a lawsuit in the TSR era, so they got renamed to Halflings, Treants, and Balors. Somehow this was considered sufficient.
    I would really like to see a game made by Obryn, Kurald Galain, and Knaight from these forums.

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    Default Re: Is there a Balrog statted for 5e?

    Quote Originally Posted by Knaight View Post
    Hobbits, Ents, and Balrogs. All three ended up in a lawsuit in the TSR era, so they got renamed to Halflings, Treants, and Balors. Somehow this was considered sufficient.
    Wasn't it because there was the Middle Earth Roleplaying game being made?

    Middle-earth Role Playing (MERP) is a 1984 role-playing game based on the writings of J.R.R. Tolkien (specifically The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit) under license from Tolkien Enterprises. Iron Crown Enterprises (I.C.E.) published the game until they lost the license on 22 September 1999.
    Middle-earth Role Playing was ranked 11th in the 1996 reader poll of Arcane magazine to determine the 50 most popular roleplaying games of all time. The UK magazine's editor Paul Pettengale commented: "The popularity of the books, we would suggest, explains why the game based on Tolkien's world is so popular. For the system is overly complicated (being based on the complex Rolemaster system - see number 15), and it suffers from the problem of timing. For example, in which time do you set your campaign? Set it before The Lord of the Rings and everyone knows what's going to happen, set it after The Lord of the Rings and you've got to make a whole load of stuff up. Still, the supplements are all good, if you get off on bucketfuls of detail and polished prose. Not for everyone, sure, but die-hard Tolkien fans should check it out.

    In 1991-1993, I.C.E. also published the Lord of the Rings Adventure Game. It used a much simpler system than MERP and was intended to introduce new players to role-playing.

    A UK edition was published by Games Workshop in 1985. It featured the First Edition rules, with new box and booklet art by Chris Achilleos, along with 25mm floorplans for the sample adventure.

    In Sweden a translated version called Sagan om Ringen: Rollspelet was released in 1986 by Target Games, followed by several translated modules.

    A Finnish language edition (Keski-Maa Roolipeli or KERP) was published in 1990.

    In the Summer of 2005 a new annual convention began known as Merpcon (Middle-earth Role Playing Convention). It initially used the ICE MERP and ICE Rolemaster role playing game systems.
    Perhaps because TSR got to print first were they allowed to change the names of those three?
    Last edited by Great Dragon; 2019-11-21 at 10:53 AM.
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    Default Re: Is there a Balrog statted for 5e?

    Quote Originally Posted by Great Dragon View Post
    Wasn't it because there was the Middle Earth Roleplaying game being made?
    Nope, that was almost a decade later. It was, according to Gary--

    "TSR was served with papers threatening damages to the tune of half a mil by the Saul Zantes (sp?) division of Elan Merchandising on behalf of the Tolkien Estate. The main objection was to the boardgame we were publishing, The Battle of Five Armies. The author of that game had given us a letter from his attorney claiming the work was grandfathered because it was published after the copyrights for JRRT's works had lapsed and before any renewals were made. The action also demanded we remove balrog, dragon, dwarf, elf, ent, goblin, hobbit, orc, and warg from the D&D game. Although only balrog and warg were unique names we agreed to hobbit as well, kept the rest, of course. The boardgame was dumped, and thus the suit was settled out of court at that."

    And the change occurred between the fifth and sixth printing of oD&D.

    Quote Originally Posted by Knaight View Post
    Hobbits, Ents, and Balrogs. All three ended up in a lawsuit in the TSR era, so they got renamed to Halflings, Treants, and Balors. Somehow this was considered sufficient.
    I've always wondered about this and the explanation for why/how it worked. With no specific evidence, my assumption is that it is because the various Tolkien interested parties never actually wanted to have to defend their claims to things in an actual court trial. In no small part because JRRT based almost all of his specific names of things or creatures off of obscure old English words, and concepts like 'half-sized persons,' 'vaguely human-sized elves,' 'talking trees,' and 'fiery demons' are too general to be declared a new concept. In the worst case scenario, if they pushed a company to actually cash up and argue against them, the Tolkien estate could have walked out of a court room with the right to stop people from making games about Gandalf, Bilbo, Isengard, and Sauron, but an absolute defeat in stopping someone from making a suspiciously similar substitute/serial-numbers-filed-off-equivalent (ex., a game about hobbits in the midst of five battling armies fighting for a dragon's gold or a fellowship working to bring 'the one ring' to 'the mountain of doom,' while evading 'the dark lord' and his orcs).
    Last edited by Willie the Duck; 2019-11-21 at 11:05 AM.

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    Default Re: Is there a Balrog statted for 5e?

    @Willie the Duck: Ah, thanks!!
    While I'm a fan - I'm like, almost always the last to find these things out.

    And thanks for the links.
    Last edited by Great Dragon; 2019-11-21 at 05:13 PM.
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    Default Re: Is there a Balrog statted for 5e?

    Quote Originally Posted by Great Dragon View Post
    @Willie the Duck: Ah, thanks!!
    While I'm a fan - I'm like, almost always the last to find these things out.
    If you ever decide you want to read up on the history of the game, this is what I would recommend. There are quite a few good histories of the early days of gaming, but Peterson goes one farther and made a rigorous, primary-source documents only, academic level analysis of the games' history.

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    biggrin Re: Is there a Balrog statted for 5e?

    Quote Originally Posted by Warlush View Post
    Sounds like Tolken didn't play D&D.
    Underappreciated joke. Well done.

    Also don't forget: The D&D version of Tolkien's Balrog is called Balor, but the D&D version of mythic Balor is the Fomorian, which should not be confused with the ant-like Formians, while also keeping in mind that Balrog, M. Bison, and Vega had their names shuffled in the localization of Street Fighter, and none of those guys are giant demons with whips. Any questions?
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