Brainstorming LOTR builds for Treasure of Midnight Isles

Hi all,

In preparation for the Midnight Isles, I was thinking about assembling a party of LOTR-inspired characters. Not exactly building Gandalf or Aragorn, but characters that would fit in the Tolkien universe.

I was going through the classes and archetypes and these are the ones I think would make the cut.
Would you add/remove any? Which ones you envision as a nice build?

Thanks.

Alchemist: none
Arcanist: base, brownfur, white mage, nature mage
Barbarian: base, beastkin, instinctual warrior
Bard: flame dancer, tranquil whisperer
Bloodrager: base, greenrager
Cavalier: none
Cleric: none
Druid: base, feyspeaker, drovier
Fighter: base, 2H fighter
Hunter: base, colluding scoundrel, forester, wandering marksman
Inquisitor: none
Kineticist: none
Magus: base, eldrittch scion, sword saint, hexcrafter, armored battlemage, spell dancer
Monk: base, sensei, traditional, zen archer, quarterstaff, student of stone
Oracle: base, lone strider, divine herbalist, seeker, wind whisperer
Paladin: base
Ranger: all but stormwalker and demonslayer
Rogue: all but eldritch scoundrel and underground chemist
Shaman: none
Skald: all
Slayer: base, vanguard, executioner, stygian and imitator
Sorcerer: base, sylvan, crossblooded, seeker
Warpriest: none
Witch: base, hex channeler
Wizard: base, thassilonian, exploiter, elemental, spell master
Assassin
Stalwart Defender
Mystic Theurge
Duelist
Student of War
Loremaster

If we’re talking a LotR selection of classes, you can probably exclude almost every magic wielding class from humans, hobits and dwarves. Even Aragorn (and consequently the Rangers of the North) probably wouldn’t be a Ranger in this system, but rather a Fighter with Stealth, Nature, Religion (Treat Affliction) and Use Magic Device proficiency.

  • Halflings would largely be limited to Rogue and Slayer (a Rogue-y warrior without magic).
  • Dwarves would for the most part be Fighters.
  • Humans would probably be mostly Fighters and Rogues.
  • Elves would be able to choose divine caster classes pretty freely, being the most magical of the people of Middle Earth.
  • Aasimar and kitsune (assuming Istari similarity) would have access to arcane and divine magic classes.
  • Tieflings and dhampir (assuming fallen Istari and wraith similarity) would have arcane magic classes.
  • Barbarian would probably be mostly reserved for half-orcs.

Some additional observations:

  • Full casters would be very rare / unlikely party members. Half-casters would be more common. Magus, Eldrtich Scoundrel, Alchemist, Warpriest etc. Multiclassed full casters to cap their progression makes sense too. Like a Fighter 10 / Wizard 10.
  • Plate armor probably wouldn’t be used while on adventure. IIRC, the Fellowship mostly used chainmail shirts and such, which is notably more realistic than adventuring in plate.
  • Most magical abilities would come from items and consumables, so Use Magic Device would be an important skill.

Those are just my initial thoughts anyway

1 Like

Tom, I think your comments are perfectly on point. I have absolutely nothing to discuss or argue.
The tiefling and dhampir part is a great point. I hadn’t thought of those.

Between when I posted this and now, when the DLC is out, I ended up purchasing Kingmaker and started playing it. I actually applied the same idea to my whole party (MC+mercs) to the campaign.

I bought 5 mercs when I got to the trading post (and held on levelling to the 2nd level with the MC so that I could afford them). The early game was tough with almost the whole party one level lower, but now around 5-6 things are getting “more normal”.

As for the regular companions, I’ll switch one of the mercs for a companion when needed for a quest (I’ve already had to do it once with Amiri).

The party is:

Base ranger, elf, with a bow and no animal companion;
Two handed fighter, dwarf, with a blunt heavy weapon (earth breaker, for example);
Base slayer, half elf, with a glaive (inspired by Gilgalad, which is 100% elf, I know, and Elrond);
Knife master rogue, halfling, dual wielding daggers;
Eldritch archer magus, elf, with a bow;
Evangelist cleric, aasimar, with a long sword and no armor (the wise “wizard”).

The magus is probably the least LOTR character in the party, but I felt something like this was necessary and at least differentiates from the other archer in the party.
And the wizard was by far the toughest one to crack. I’ve changed my mind on this build like 5 times (cleric, paladin, bard, skald, oracle, sorcerer…). The evangelist is from the Call of the Wild mod and seemed like the best fit (it adds a splash of bard to the cleric). I’ve been using him for support and only stepping in to melee if safe.
The dwarf, the half elf and the hobbit (after finesse training) are dealing great damage and the 2 archers help a lot as well. I think I’ll have problems later on if the enemy has a lot of martial resistance or reductions, as the party is thin on arcane magic (I suffered a lot with the swarm, for example).
But having a lot of fun so far. =)