Decipher’s Lord of the Rings roleplaying game includes the intriguing idea of playing a character who is favoured by one of the Valar. The details are on p87 of the Core Rule Book. Unfortunately, only two members of the Valar are described. To improve on this situation, the remaining Valar are described in this article along with a few of the more prominent Maiar.
It should also be noted that any possessor of this Ability will be well-received by any Elf or Wizard, except in the most extreme circumstances (with the obvious exception of servants of Morgoth). Narrators may wish to assess a +1 (or more) modifier to any rolls using social skills with such folk.
As the ability stands, it is only available to members of the Loremaster order. Narrators may wish to broaden its availability. Certainly it should be open to almost any Noldor Elf or Wizard without restriction, since these heroes will actually be from the West (and in the case of Wizards, are explicitly and directly servants of the Valar). Since certain Races and Orders are associated with certain of the Valar in any case, Narrators may wish not to restrict the availability of this ability. It should be noted that the choices for Race and Order patrons are cumulative – all relevant patrons are available. Furthermore, Narrators should be prepared to allow reasonable choices if the hero’s background makes it a logical choice.
Naturally, Morgoth, Sauron and Saruman are not available as choices for heroic characters. Only evil non-player characters are likely to be favoured by such beings.
For those Valar whose favour confers edges or abilities that require pre-requisites, these requirements should be ignored except when otherwise specified below.
- Aule: The hero gains the edge of Craftmaster. In addition, the hero receives a +2 modifier to all Renown tests to made by him or about him when interacting with Dwarves.
- Este: The hero gains the edge of Healing Hands.
- Lorien (Irmo): +2 to all Healing and Inspire tests.
- Mandos (Namo): The hero gains the edges of Foresighted and Favour of Fortune.
- Manwe: The hero gains the ability of Deference, with a Duty to Manwe. In addition, the hero receives the edge of Honour’s Insight.
- Nessa: +2 to all Run tests, and to Perform (Dancing) tests. In addition, the hero adds +1 to all rolls using the Nimbleness attribute.
- Nienna: The hero gains the edges of Hardy and Incorruptible.
- Tulkas: +2 to all Jump, Run and Unarmed Combat tests. In addition, the hero gains the edge of Lion-hearted.
- Ulmo: The hero gains the abilities of Diver (even if not a member of the Mariner order) and Elven-Sense (even if they are not an elf themselves!). However, the latter ability may only be used within the sight or sound of running water (although anything from the tiniest stream or pond to the mightiest oceans and rivers qualifies as water).
- Vaire: The hero gains the edges of Foresighted and Wise.
- Vana: The hero gains the edge of Charmed Life.
- Varda (Elbereth): In addition to the benefits listed in the Core Rulebook, the hero gains the Elf-Friend edge.
- Yavanna: +2 to all tests of Lore (plants, animals, herbs or other related fields) and Survival. In addition, the hero receives a +2 modifier to all Renown tests to made by him or about him when interacting with Ents.
- Morgoth: +2 to all rolls of Inquire, Persuade and Intimidate, but gains the flaw of Arrogance and Hatred (of the Valar, the Noldor and all their allies). In addition, the hero receives a +2 modifier to all Renown tests to made by him or about him when interacting with servants of the Shadow.
- Eonwe: +1 to all Inspire and Intimidate tests.
- Melian: +1 to all Conceal and Stealth tests.
- Osse: +1 to all Sea-craft and Swim tests.
- Uinen: +2 to all Sea-craft tests and +1 to all Swim tests.
- Saruman: (Saruman should only be available as a patron in sagas set in the late Third Age, after Saruman succumbs to the Shadow) +2 to all rolls of Intimidate and Appraise.
- Sauron: +2 to all Inquire, Persuade and Intimidate tests, but gains the flaws of Arrogance and Hatred (all Elves and Dunedain). In addition, the hero receives a +1 modifier to all Renown tests to made by him or about him when interacting with servants of the Shadow.