I have been working on setting up a RPG campaign set in Middle-Earth but using the D20 rule system (D&D 3.5 to be exact). I have several books for the old Iron Crown Enterprises Middle-Earth Role-Playing
game so I am using those to help me. The biggest challenge was how to work magic but I think I have gotten it licked. Here are some of the things I have done:
1.) Dropped the D&D magic system altogether. Instead of going through and trying to decide which spells to keep and which ones to drop, I chose to just use the Magic system from the M.E.R.P. game. In keeping with that system I have opened all classes to learning spells but they are restricted by 2 things a.) they need to have a feat called Spell Casting to have access to casting spells; b.) I have limited the level of spells they can access based on what classes they have. Classes that have no D&D spell casting are restricted to 3rd level and lower spells. They need to choose which type of spell caster they are Essence or Channeling (Once chosen, it cannot be changed). Magic user classes are divided thusly: Bards and Sorcerers are Essence users, Rangers and Healers (miniatures book) are Channeling users. Wizards can access both realms of magic. They can delvelop spells up to 10th level (highest it goes in the M.E.R.P. system).
2.) No Clerics, Paladins or Druids. They just require to many changes to make them work well in this setting. I am using the Healer Class from the Miniatures book in the place of the Cleric.
3.) To cast spells, you must have a feat I made called Spell Caster. Here is the description:
Spell Casting (Feat)
To cast spells in Middle-Earth, the character must first have an aptitude towards magic. This is represented by the feat: Spell Casting. The description is below:Prerequisites:
Intelligence or Wisdom of 12 or higher.Benefit:
Character can gain access to spell lists of either the Essence or Channeling realm. Spells are cast by expending Power Points, which are determined by your Int(Essence) or Wis(Channeling) bonuses x your level and cost a number of power points equal to the level of the spell. Rangers and Healers are Channeling users. Bards and Sorcerers are Essence users. All other classes can choose a spell casting realm once the have this feat. Once a magic realm is chosen it cannot be changed. Spell Lists are purchased using Spell Points (equal to Power Points). Spells are purchased by spending 1 point point for every 2 levels of spells in the list (ex. A 3rd level Bard has an Int of 17 and so has 9 spell points to purchase his spells with. He puts 2 points into the Item Lore spell list and learns the 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th level spells from that list). Left over points can be saved for later use.
Note: Wizards can gain access to both realms but must meet the Stat Requirement of 12 in both Int and Wis.
Here is the breakdown of what an be learned
Magic in M.E.R.P. is divided into Essence or Channeling. Essence would be Arcane magic and Channeling would be Divine magic. What they can develop is divided like this:
Sorcerer - All Open Essence and Mage Only lists to 10th Level. Cannot Learn Bard Spells.
Bards - All Bard and Open Essence Lists to 10th Level. Cannot learn Mage Only lists.
Healers - All Open Channeling and Healer Only lists to 10th Level. Cannot learn Ranger lists.
Rangers - All Ranger and Open Channeling Lists to 10th Level. Cannot learn Healer Only Lists.
Wizards - All Open Essence and Open Channeling Lists to 10th Level. Mage Only and Healer Only lists to 5th level. Cannot Learn Bard or Ranger lists.
All other classes - Open Essence or Open Channeling lists to 3rd level (based on which realm of magic they choose to follow).
I have just finished creating the first bad guy for my game using this method and she came out looking pretty good in my opinion.
What do you think of this idea?