Dragon 5 & Gandolf was a 5th level Wizard

jedion357's picture
jedion357
February 4, 2015 - 4:57am
http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=1&ved=0CB4QFjAA&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.annarchive.com%2Ffiles%2FDrmg0...


Page 27
One page arguement for Gandolf being low level. Author analyzes the displayed powers of Gandolf (and Sauron) viewed against the D&D magic system and makes a case for Gandolf being only a 5th level Wizard.
He ignores the possibility that Gandolf (and Sauron) could have undisplayed powers.

One of the things I challenged my daughters to explain to me after watching the Peter Jackson movies was if Gandolf is a great wizard then why doesn't he do very much magic? It led to an interesting discussion of just because you have "power" it doesn't mean you need to use it.

I actually think that Gandolf was conservative with his power. Knowing that displays of power drew unwanted attention he had developed the habbit of only using as much power as necessary for the circumstances at hand. Under that scenario he could have immense power at his disposal. Its true enough that a 5th level D&D magic user could simulate the gandolf seen in Tolkien's book but I think he would come up short as a 2000 year old quasi angelic being.
I might not be a dralasite, vrusk or yazirian but I do play one in Star Frontiers!
Comments:

Abub's picture
Abub
February 4, 2015 - 1:28pm
I've always considered that as a wizard, which in tolkien's books are more like directly angels (where elves are like angel-kin) Gandolf was really trying to make the mortals accomplish the great deeds, to earn thier world, and make thier own choices.

So he was more or less, shepperding the mortals.
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Abub's picture
Abub
February 4, 2015 - 1:29pm
in 1977... gencon was at a playboy resort!
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jedion357's picture
jedion357
February 4, 2015 - 2:08pm
Abub wrote:
in 1977... gencon was at a playboy resort!


yeah i saw that, there would be an uproar over that today

RE: Abub's analysis of Gandolf in the ME setting- not exactly my position but I would not dispute your position as without a definitive statement from Tolkien either position is equally vallid IMO.
I might not be a dralasite, vrusk or yazirian but I do play one in Star Frontiers!

jedion357's picture
jedion357
February 4, 2015 - 2:42pm
Just noticed that that Dragon had a Tom Wham game I have never seen- Knights of the Dinner Table.
I might not be a dralasite, vrusk or yazirian but I do play one in Star Frontiers!

TerlObar's picture
TerlObar
February 4, 2015 - 7:26pm
I remember from my reading of a lot of Tolkien material in my youth (beyond the Silmarillion, Hobbit, and LotR) that the Wizards were not just angels but fallen angels trying to redeem themselves.  I.e. they were on the same team as Sauron in the first age but had "seen the errors of their ways" and had come back to the good side.  They were sent back to prove themsleves (Sauraman failed) in middle earth in the 3rd age and to aid the races against Sauron and other evil forces.  But they were limited in their use of power.  Basically they could use no more than absolutely necessary and as Abub said, were to assist but not overshadow the races of elves, men, and dwarves.  I was always under the impression that Gandalf had the power to do much more but didn't because of those restraints. 

It's always been my impression that he and the Balrog were actually very evenly matched (as the balrog was another supernatural denzin left over from the 1st age of similar power) and after the fellowship left he unleased his full power in that fight, unseen by anyone else.
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jedion357's picture
jedion357
February 4, 2015 - 8:57pm
TerlObar wrote:


It's always been my impression that he and the Balrog were actually very evenly matched (as the balrog was another supernatural denzin left over from the 1st age of similar power) and after the fellowship left he unleased his full power in that fight, unseen by anyone else.


It was a three day fight which make Gandolf's effort sort of super human. You can bet the balrog didn't offer a truce for a lunch break.
I might not be a dralasite, vrusk or yazirian but I do play one in Star Frontiers!

Abub's picture
Abub
February 5, 2015 - 11:13am
Or potty breaks... stinking wizard robes... EEEWWWWWW



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Gullwind's picture
Gullwind
February 6, 2015 - 3:34pm
Who says demi-angels need potty breaks?
"Rome didn't build an empire by having meetings. They did it by killing those who stood in their way."

Abub's picture
Abub
February 6, 2015 - 6:01pm
Well, he did eat and drink.
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Sargonarhes's picture
Sargonarhes
February 6, 2015 - 7:21pm
I think it would take more than a lvl 5 wizard to take down something like a balrog, in single combat at that.

Reminds me of when I played 2nd edit 40K. My Eldar Warp Spider Exarch went out and faced a Khorne Bloodthirster in single combat and won. Then by 3rd edit 40K they nerfed the Warp Spiders so such a thing will never happen again.
In every age, in every place, the deeds of men remain the same.

jedion357's picture
jedion357
February 6, 2015 - 7:53pm
Abub wrote:
Well, he did eat and drink.


So did Jesus.
And:

Hebrews wrote:
Be not forgetful to entertain strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.


I've never really thought about this verse much but entertain does implies food.

Edit: and i have to side with Sargon that it would take more than a 5th level wizard to gank a Balrog, Unless of course that's 5th level in Star Frontiers at which point you should be pretty bad assed at what you do and then you should give the Balrog a run for his lunch money.
I might not be a dralasite, vrusk or yazirian but I do play one in Star Frontiers!

Rotten's picture
Rotten
February 7, 2015 - 6:36am
I don't think a 5th level wizard could solo a Balrog. 

rattraveller's picture
rattraveller
February 9, 2015 - 2:32am
Given his use of a full sword, Gandolf could not have been a D&D wizard. He also lived a very long time and apparently ate only when he felt like it considering how often he got looked in cages or on top of towers without any apparent support.

Maybe if you use the 3.5 rules version of D&D you could create a 5th level Gandolf, that is if you could understand that version of D&D.
Sounds like a great job but where did you say we had to go?

jedion357's picture
jedion357
February 9, 2015 - 4:11am
He would have been a warrior mage in HARP.- cast spells and use a sword but no real armor.
I might not be a dralasite, vrusk or yazirian but I do play one in Star Frontiers!

Abub's picture
Abub
February 10, 2015 - 9:37pm
Was it 2nd edition or 3rd edition that you earned weapon proficiency slots as you leveled?
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dmoffett's picture
dmoffett
February 16, 2015 - 11:02am
Abub wrote:
Was it 2nd edition or 3rd edition that you earned weapon proficiency slots as you leveled?


Its actually Both. 2nd edition was just a lot slower about it. Third edition started adding other powers to it also; Special attacks and so forth. Made the game more complicated for no apparent reason other than they could. 2nd Edition D&D is still my favorite rule set as far as D&D goes. But it did need some mods. Such as the saving throw system was arbitrary class based, and Had nothing to do with ability scores at all except for the occasional bonus to save with dex or wis.... for example Fighter from levels 1-3, gets to save vs Rod Staff or wand 17 or higher on d20. Those Numbers are not acurate its just an example of how the chart would read. But as to original question its both.
The bombing starts in five minutes.

Abub's picture
Abub
February 16, 2015 - 5:59pm
And... Jesus... had to take potty breaks.  I doubt soiling himself was a concern during his final days... he had other harsher things on his mind.
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Shadow Shack's picture
Shadow Shack
February 17, 2015 - 7:27am
Not to mention a "Strider" is a 2nd level ranger.

Rotten wrote:
I don't think a 5th level wizard could solo a Balrog. 

Well they both ended up falling into that near-bottomless chasm...it really wasn't much of a fight per se.

I'm not overly fond of Zeb's Guide...nor do I have any qualms stating why. Tongue out

My SF website

Stormcrow's picture
Stormcrow
February 17, 2015 - 10:16am
Not much of a fight?!

"‘Long I fell, and he fell with me. His fire was about me. I was burned. Then we plunged into the deep water and all was dark. Cold it was as the tide of death: almost it froze my heart.’"

"‘We fought far under the living earth, where time is not counted. Ever he clutched me, and ever I hewed him, till at last he fled into dark tunnels."

"In that despair my enemy was my only hope, and I pursued him, clutching at his heel. Thus he brought me back at last to the secret ways of Khazad-dûm: too well he knew them all. Ever up now we went, until we came to the Endless Stair.’"

"‘From the lowest dungeon to the highest peak it climbed, ascending in unbroken spiral in many thousand steps, until it issued at last in Durin’s Tower carved in the living rock of Zirakzigil, the pinnacle of the Silvertine."

"‘There upon Celebdil was a lonely window in the snow, and before it lay a narrow space, a dizzy eyrie above the mists of the world. The sun shone fiercely there, but all below was wrapped in cloud. Out he sprang, and even as I came behind, he burst into new flame. There was none to see, or perhaps in after ages songs would still be sung of the Battle of the Peak.’ Suddenly Gandalf laughed. ‘But what would they say in song? Those that looked up from afar thought that the mountain was crowned with storm. Thunder they heard, and lightning, they said, smote upon Celebdil, and leaped back broken into tongues of fire. Is not that enough? A great smoke rose about us, vapour and steam. Ice fell like rain. I threw down my enemy, and he fell from the high place and broke the mountain-side where he smote it in his ruin. Then darkness took me, and I strayed out of thought and time, and I wandered far on roads that I will not tell."

rattraveller's picture
rattraveller
February 17, 2015 - 10:45am
Just picked up the D&D cyclopedia PDF which is a lot like the new version of D&D just cheaper. Still Strider being a level 2 is just ridiculous.
Sounds like a great job but where did you say we had to go?

Shadow Shack's picture
Shadow Shack
February 17, 2015 - 4:15pm
I never read the LOTR books, apparenty neither did Jackson...the flick was what I based that comment on.
I'm not overly fond of Zeb's Guide...nor do I have any qualms stating why. Tongue out

My SF website

Sargonarhes's picture
Sargonarhes
February 17, 2015 - 7:24pm
Having seen the movie and listen to the audio books, that sounded like quite the brawl Gandalf had with the Balrog. The movie doesn't give you as much of the fight, just it's beginning and end. But it sounds like it took him days to do this, no easy task indeed.
In every age, in every place, the deeds of men remain the same.

Shadow Shack's picture
Shadow Shack
February 18, 2015 - 8:09pm
One thing to remember is the Tolkien books were penned before D&D. So it's really not an accurate yardstick to translate D&D specs to what was spelled out in the books. While it's fair to say one influenced the other, TSR was still forbidden to use terms like "hobbits" and "balrogs" when spelling out their definitions. 

In retrospect, I'm actually surprised that "strider" made it into their books.
I'm not overly fond of Zeb's Guide...nor do I have any qualms stating why. Tongue out

My SF website

Shadow Shack's picture
Shadow Shack
February 18, 2015 - 8:10pm
Wow, I never had a triple post before...this site is just too slow for that kind of thing.
I'm not overly fond of Zeb's Guide...nor do I have any qualms stating why. Tongue out

My SF website

dmoffett's picture
dmoffett
February 19, 2015 - 12:12am
Just Like the military. I need you to fill out that form in triplicate.
The bombing starts in five minutes.

jedion357's picture
jedion357
February 19, 2015 - 6:39pm
Shadow Shack wrote:
Wow, I never had a triple post before...this site is just too slow for that kind of thing.


I just deleted the extras
I might not be a dralasite, vrusk or yazirian but I do play one in Star Frontiers!

Stormcrow's picture
Stormcrow
February 20, 2015 - 6:47pm
The first few printings of D&D—and Chainmail—included hobbits, ents, and balrogs. When the Tolkien people told them to cease and desist, they changed hobbits and ents to halflings and treants, and dropped balrogs (though these would return as type VI demons in Eldritch Wizardry, and would be named balors in AD&D 2nd Edition).

The ranger subclass of fighting-man appeared in The Strategic Review #2, by Joe Fischer, not a member of Tactical Studies Rules' staff. The levels of ranger are, in ascending order, Runner, Strider, Scout, Guide, Pathfinder, Warder, Guardian, Ranger-Knight, and Ranger-Lord. That a Strider is a 2nd level ranger is not to say that the Tolkien character Strider was a 2nd level ranger; for both Aragorn and the D&D subclass it's just a fancy way to say "someone who moves about quickly."

The ranger appeared as an official class with the first edition of AD&D. It was not in violation of intellectual property laws for the same reason why D&D could use elves and dwarves and goblins and so on: Tolkien did not invent either the term ranger or the term strider, and, although the subclass is obviously based on Tolkien's rangers, the words ranger, meaning someone who travels around the wilderness and strider, meaning someone who moves about quickly, are not exclusive to Tolkien.

And by the way, the name is spelled Gandalf, with two a's and no o's. Both are pronounced as in the a in apple, never the a in father.