Where did your character learn magic?

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Dragon Turtle
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Where did your character learn magic?

Post by Havard » Mon Oct 05, 2015 10:27 am

If we are allowing sorcerers and spellcasters as PCs and NPCs besides the ones mentioned in the books, would it be a good idea to give some thoughts to where these characters learned their magic?

1) The Elves: Magic and sorcery is known to the elves of course. Galadriel, Elrond and others know secrets that they could teach to other elven characters at least. Perhaps some elves would even be willing to teach their lore to humans?

2) Sauron and his allies: Learning from the dark ones would probably be a possibility. Would it be possible to use such magic for good though, or should that be limited to evil characters only?

3) The Wizards: I dont know if Gandalf ever took on any mortal apprentices? What about the others? Does their magic even work the same way as that of mortal sorcerers?

4) Tom Bombadil or other ancient creatures: There is a lot of weird stuff lurking around in Middle-earth. If anything Tom Bombadil is proof of that. There could be many sources of magical lore out there.

What else?


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Blue Dragon
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Re: Where did your character learn magic?

Post by Sturm » Mon Oct 05, 2015 11:08 am

I think any old man or old woman who learned somehow the "ancient craft" would work. Elves and mythical creatures too, obviously. But mostly I see the Middle Earth as heavily inspired by RW folk and fairy tales, where the hero may learn magic from a magical creature or simply from a wise man or woman, or even receive a book or a magical object that will teach him/her magic.
If something appears in some european fairy tale, it can fit in Tolkien's Middle Earth IMO.
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Re: Where did your character learn magic?

Post by Falconer » Mon Oct 05, 2015 9:37 pm

Here’s the way I see it. I use AD&D.

There is definitely an element of teaching/learning spells, but you’ve either got inherent power or you don’t. And Men (incl. Hobbits) as a rule don’t possess magical power. But there are definite exceptions:

Númenóreans have it because of their Elda and Maia ancestry and their unique doom. They can be Clerics. Black Númenóreans can be Sorcerers (Anti-Clerics). A typical PC might be a member of the Rangers of the North and would learn healing craft from his superiors all the way up to the Chieftain of the Dúnedain (Aragorn) as well as possibly even Elrond (who let’s not forget is one of the Edain).

Beornings have their own peculiar magic. They can be Druids. Beorn and presumably his ancestors were acquainted with Radagast, and though it’s not clear who learned more from whom, Radagast is now definitely a master of their style of magic. So, a PC could learn skin-changing craft from his superiors all the way up to the Chieftain of the Beornings (Grimbeorn) as well as possibly even Radagast.

…gotta get back to work; more thoughts later.
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