Are you a fan of Tolkien's work and a great connoisseur of the LOTR lore? Do you want the LOTR Mod for Minecraft to be really immersive? Then this guide for roleplaying in Middle Earth is for you!
Choose a Name Edit
Before being a writer, Tolkien was a linguist. He wrote all his stories around the fictional languages he created as a hobby. You can create a name for your character using one of the many dictionaries freely available on Internet, such as Ambar Eldaron (beware though, as these dictionaries are not precise enough to be considered as references).
Languages that Tolkien created are :
- Quenya, especially the Noldorin variant, the language of the High Elves who came to Middle Earth, present in these lands in some important and old names (such as Minas Tirith, Tol Morwen, etc), and is still in use by the High Elves. An example of Quenya is Namárië. This language, as the other elven languages
- Sindarin, the language of the Elves that stayed in Middle Earth while the others followed the Valar across the ocean. This is by far the most common form of Elvish used in Middle Earth, Quenya being used for more formal matters. The poem A Elbereth Gilthoniel is written in Sindarin.
- Adûnaic, the language of the Numenoreans. "Ar-Pharazon", the name of the last king of Numenor, is an Adûnaic word. This language is used by men from Black Numenorean kingdoms. Haradic, Dwarven or Easterling names were derived from these.
- Khuzdul, the language of the Dwarves. A good example of Khuzdul is the dwarven war cry "Baruk Khazâd! Khazâd ai-mênu!" which means "Axes of the Dwarves! The Dwarves are upon you!". Tolkien based Khuzdul off of Adunaic.
- Westron, the most common language in western Middle-earth, it is a heavily broken-down form of Adûnaic, and is used nearly everywhere in the West because the Numenoreans visited and traded with nearly all of the places in western Middle-earth. In the Lord of the Rings books, Westron is represented by English.
- Rohirric, this language is used by the Rohirrim, which are descendants of the Northmen of Rhovanion. It is a more ancient version of Westron, and many words in it are the same or very similar. In this language most likely lie the origins of the word "hobbit", holbytla, which means "hole-dwellers". In the Lord of the Rings books, Rohirric is represented by Old English.
-Orcish, the language of the fearsome Orcs is generally rough and hideous-sounding. Names are usually two ugly noises mashed together- like Gorbag, Grishnakh, or Shagrat.
Dictionaries and Name Lists Edit
We do not intedn to provide a full overview of all possibly relevant dictionaries available on the web, but here's a few sources that have proven valuable and can be considered sufficiently consistent.
- Parf Edhellen: A very extensive dictionary that registered almost any word Tolkien has created in his works. It enables understanding of the various (related) languages and helps in creating customised names.
- The Neo-Khuzdul-English dictionaries of The Dwarrow Scholar: Two extensive dictionaries in pdf (large files!) that support many roleplay purposes for any true dwarf.
- Names of Middle-earth: A helpful glossary providing quick aide in finding names for roleplaying with the mod for those who don't feel like fiddling with the lingo too much to create names themselves.
Speaketh and thou shall be heard! Edit
There are various guides on the pronunciation of the languages constructed by Tolkien. Two trusted and recommended sources on Sindarin are:
The mod uses a range of various made-up words to describe the myriad of features the mod adds. In many cases Sindarin is used for that purpose. Therefore there is alos a dedicated pronunciation guide for the words introduced in the mod.
On Conversions Edit
In the books, several languages are represented by a real life one instead of the actual one used in Middle-earth. For example, Sam and his father Ham's names were actually Ran and Ban. Here is a table of name conversions. Italics signify that the conversion is non-canon and only used in this mod.
Rohirric= Old English
Rovanic (the language of Rhovanion)= Gothic
Far Haradic= Swahili
Choose a Faction Edit
The main choice is: Good or Evil? After that, you can choose a more specific faction with which you can gain alignment. To learn more about alignment and its benefits, see here. You can also select a skin representing your race for a more immersive roleplay experience.
Good Factions Edit
Hobbits: Even if Hobbits are not a warring faction, they have NPCs you can hire (such as shirriffs and farmhands) to defend their land. Hobbits-aligned players should prefer slings and daggers as weapons, and sometimes vanilla bows. Most of them don't use any armor, but if they do, it is often leather-made and/or a feathered hat. It is also known that some very rich Hobbits can have a mithril chestplate in a long forgotten chest, deeply hidden in their Hobbit hole.
Gameplay with this faction would essentially be farming, breeding, eating, drinking and smoking pipeweed. Trading could fit into some of them as well, but as Hobbits despise travels (because they think it's a dangerous thing to leave the Shire), they won't go very far; Lindon and Bree-land would be their main destinations.
Rangers of the North: This faction is likely the first warring one you'll meet when entering Middle Earth. Rangers use various bows, as well as daggers (sometimes poisoned), swords and spears made by men or Elves. They wear Ranger armor, or perhaps Wood-elven scout armour for the ones bound with the Woodland Elves; some may even wear a helmet, such as the men of the Grey Company, who wore mail-coats and helmets with a grey cape. Crossbows can be accepted as a sniping weapon, but they have a very poor reload time.
The Rangers of the North gameplay style would be centered around the invisible defense of the fallen kingdom of Arnor, specifically the last places where the Free People live, such as the Shire and Bree-land. A general rule is that they are found across almost all of Eriador. Hunting down trolls, Wargs, and Orcs (mostly allied with Gundabad) is a common hobby for them. Rangers are discreet men, who spend most of their time wandering the wilderness. They are the descendants of the Numenoreans and most of them have nearly pure Numenorean blood.
Dwarves: Dwarves are scattered throughout Middle Earth. The current dwarvish factions in the mod are the Iron Hills the Blue Mountains and Erebor. They all live in mountainous areas, where they build mines and fortresses deep inside the mountains. They all share a love for gems, gold, mithril and other metals. Dwarves like heavy weapons and armors, such as warhammers, battleaxes, and if they want to engage the enemy at a distance, they will almost always use throwing axes; Dwarven armor sets are stronger than iron ones and have better durability, as the dwarves were master smiths and metal-workers.
Gameplay will include building underground fortresses, excavating mines seeking for ores and gems, and trying to take back their fallen mountainous forts from Orcs. They are also great smiths and traders, because they love to craft strong and beautiful things for money.
Noldor: High Elves live in Lindon and Rivendell. They are one of the stronger "Good" factions. They use a large variety of weapons and armors, such as Galvorn armor, which deflects all kind of projectiles.
Their gameplay should be centered around building bright and beautiful towns and fortresses, holding their realms and discussing about important things for Middle Earth, as well as poetry. Some are great adventurers that travel through many lands to see how humans live, such as the brothers Elladan and Elrohir, sons of Elrond. They usually use Quenya, but most can speak Westron and Sindarin as well.
Galadhrim Elves: Galadhrim Elves live in Lothlórien, hidden away from the surrounding world. They are more secretive than their cousins from the West. They commonly use Sindarin, but sometimes use Quenya for more formal matters.
Their gameplay should be centered on defending their homes in Lothlórien against the Orcs of Gundabad. Some places where they might visit are the Anduin, and maybe Rohan and Fangorn to hunt Orcs and help in the fight against Sauron.
Wood-Elves of Mirkwood: Wood-Elves live in the midst of the Mirkwood Forest and are even more secretive than their Galadhrim cousins, and are suspicious as well of foreigners. This is largely due to the fact that their home is completely surrounded by a corrupted forest infested with spiders. No one can enter the Woodland Realm without detection. Wood-Elven armies have heavy armored warriors as well as very speedy scouts.
Their gameplay is focused around defending the last remnants of their Woodland Realm, the majority of which has been corrupted by the Necromancer of Dol Guldur, which is a ruined evil fortress in the south of Mirkwood.
The Trees of Fangorn: The Trees of Fangorn mostly consist of Ents and Huorns. Here, they live in relative peace against the troubles that the rest of Middle-earth is facing. They wear no armour, but are extremely powerful against anyone that dares to defy them. Some of the things you will most likely come to Fangorn for are Ent-Draughts and Huorns for hire.
Living like an Ent in the forest is a bit difficult, as there isn't much to do if you truly would like to be an Ent. If you do, you will mostly stay around the forest and kill any orcs that come near. If you would like a more daring route, maybe enter the Misty Mountains and you can maybe travel to the Fangorn Wasteland and attack the Uruk-hai that guard. Maybe help the Rohirrim by attacking Isengard?
Rohirrim: The Rohirrim, also known as the Eorlingas, are the Horse-Lords of Rohan, a land of rolling plains, with occasional forests and boulder fields, which they guard against the spawn of Isengard. They have the fastest horses in the game, and no NPC in the mod can outpace them. When Rohan was founded, it swore an allegiance with Gondor, saying that it would defend Gondor if the need arose.
To play as a true Rohirrim, it is essential that you ride a horse! Get yourself a lance, or perhaps a bow, and defend the lands of Rohan against Uruk-hai. Another option is to launch an attack on the Uruk Highlands or to defend Gondor against an attack by the Black Land. If you insist on fighting on foot instead, your options will be limited to guarding a fort, watchtower, or mead hall. Or, you could become the blacksmith's apprentice and mine for a living. Regions where Rohirrim might visit include the Vales of Anduin, Gondor, and the White Mountains.
Gondor: Gondorians are folk that believe in valour, chivalry, and honour. They take orders from the Steward, and will fight down to the last man to defend their homeland. Their infantry are fairly powerful, and they are well-trained in combat, for they have defended Western Middle-Earth from constant attacks by Mordor and the Haradrim.
Rangers of Ithilien: One of the sub-factions of Gondor, the Rangers of Ithilien keep the Shadow from claiming complete control over that land. They are similar to the Rangers of the North in their attack strategies, preferring to remain hidden most of the time. Like the Rangers of the North, many of them come from Numenor.
Gameplay for this faction would be fairly similar to that for the Rangers of the North; defend the lands of Ithilien and Harondor from attacks by Mordor and the Near Haradrim. Be sure to use a bow at range, and Ranger Armour.
Swan Knights: Another of Gondor's sub-factions, the Swan Knights are the warriors of Gondor that live in Dol Amroth. They are stronger than regular Gondorian soldiers, and some of them still contain Elvish blood. They usually remain in their province, but will occasionally assist Gondor when the need arises.
Swan Knight gameplay should be centered on defending Dol Amroth, and possibly Gondor at times. Ranged weapons should not be used. Mounted warriors should rely on their lance, foot-soldiers their sword.
Dorwinion: The people of Dorwinion are famous for their large vineyards and potent wine, which is strong enough to make even the Wood-Elves drowsy. They engage in much trade with several other factions, including the Wood-Elves, Dwarves, and the men of Dale. The Vintner Guard defends the land of Dorwinion, and one can occasionally find a warrior of the late King Bladorthin as well.
With Dorwinion, one has the option to roleplay either as an elf or a man. Many elves of Dorwinion were considered expert wine-brewers, while others traveled throughout Middle-Earth, marketing their wine and other wares. Either of these (or both!) could be a choice for roleplaying. One could also roleplay as a warrior of Bladorthin, using Dorwinion Elven eqiupment and armour or maybe a Half Elf.
The men of Dorwinion were the primary grape-growers. Thus, one could roleplay as a Vinekeeper or Vineyard-Master. You would harvest tons of grape (actually, you would make your vinehands do it!), and probably sell most of the produce to Vintner Elves. Some men, however, served as Vintner Guards; they used iron weapons and Dorwinion armour. Roleplaying as a Vintner Guard, one would use an iron crossbow at range, while no mount would be used.