Friday, July 22, 2016

Tolkien and Magic Items

I have a confession.  I have not read all of The Lord of the Rings.  When I was a teenager I only made it 100 pages into The Fellowship of the Ring and I never finished it.  As an adult I finished The Fellowship of the Ring and read two-thirds of The Two Towers.  During this time the Peter Jackson films were coming out, so I saw those and never went back to finish the book.  My current summer project is to finally read through The Lord of the Rings.  I am currently 50 pages into The Return of the King.

Any of you grognards remember this adaptation?

During my re-read of LotR I am fascinated with Tolkien's treatment of magical items.  Magical items have become common and cliched in a lot of fantasy rpgs.  I know that I am guilty of passing out magic items like candy in my Pathfinder campaign.  In Tolkien's writing, magic items have meaning.  For one thing, they are rare.  There are not a lot of rings floating around in Middle Earth.  Each item has a whole legend written about it.  Also, they are imbued with power.  People feel the power around these items.  Just looking at one fills people with awe and wonder.  In my next fantasy game I will copy Tolkien and have rare magic items that actually mean something.  Now back to my book!