Rohirrim

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This is adapted from fan-created material, and the options I have presented (there are only four) are all Rohirrim options that give the hero a reason to be far to the North of his or her own country, in Wilderland.

Men of Rohan

“They are proud and willful, but they are true-hearted, generous in thought and deed; bold but not cruel; wise but unlearned, writing no books but singing many songs, after the manner of the children of Men before the Dark Years. ’’
—Aragorn, The Two Towers

History
The Rohirrim are descended from the Éothéod, a race of Men who lived in the vales of the Great River Anduin, but that removed to Calenardhon, which was granted them in perpetuity by the Ruling Steward of Gondor, Cirion in reward for the assistance that they offered Gondor at a time of great need. As a result, they were lifelong allies of Gondor bound by the Oath of Eorl. At that time Calenardhon was renamed Rohan (Horse-land) after their many horses. By the Rohirrim themselves Rohan is usually called The Mark.

They are ruled by a line of kings descended from Eorl the Young, who had first brought them to Rohan, and in time of war every able man rode to meet the Muster of Rohan.

Description
The people of the Mark, men and women, tend to be tall and fair, and usually wear their hair long and braided. They often have beautiful singing voices, and know many songs, which is how they pass on lore and history from generation to generation. They are the culture that has the closest bond with their horses. They are accustomed to fighting the Dunlendings in the west and fending off goblin-raids from the north and east when they come seeking to steal horses and slaves.

The Rohirrim share a close ancestry with the Bardings of Dale and a more distant ancestry with the people of Wilderland.

Standard of Living
The people of Rohan do not live extravagant lives – their horses and wide lands constitute the majority of their wealth outside of Edoras. They are a Martial people, eschewing outward wealth but always well-equipped for war.

Languages
The people of Rohan speak Westron as well as their own tongue commonly called Rohirric, distantly related to that spoken by the people of the Vales of Anduin to the north.

Rohirrim Adventurers

Suggested Callings
People of Rohan living in Rhovanion are far from home, and this makes the most sense for a Slayer who has taken on a quest of some kind, to hunt a legendary beast or avenge a long-forgotten wrong, or a Wanderer, who is simply struck by a desire to see distant sights in Middle-Earth, and followed the Anduin north from his homeland.

Unusual Calling
It is highly unusual for one of the Rohirrim to live the life of the Scholar. Most Rohirrim are much more interested in glory than in lore.

What Their Chieftain Says…

Bardings
Bard’s people have returned to their homeland, we have heard, though we know little of how things fare with them. Some trade has come south down the Great River, and we have returned in kind. Time will tell whether the line of Girion will return to its former glory.

Beornings
We know nothing about these strange folk apart from rumors – that they take the shapes of bears. Our oldest songs speak of such things, but they have not come to the Mark.

Dwarves of the Lonely Mountain
We know of Dwarves, but see little of them. We have our own smiths and stonemasons, and the only creatures living in the mountains to the north are Orcs and Goblins. We know them to be doughty warriors, but what we know is from ancient songs and stories.

Elves of Mirkwood
We do not trust Elves nor their sorcery. Some of our own have come under the shadow of the Lady of the Wood, or so she is called, and have been enchanted. They never return, or they return changed. Elves are best left alone, and they seem to prefer it that way for their part.

Hobbits of the Shire
We know stories of the holbytlan, the hole-dwellers, from before the time of Eorl the Young. We once lived near them, or so we believe, but we have not seen any of them for many generations, and most now believe them to be a fairy-story told to children during long winter nights.

Woodmen of Wilderland
It is said that Eorl the Young and the first Eorlingas came from the people who are now called Woodmen. Perhaps they stayed, preferring the woods to the open fields. Sometimes a group of them comes south, seeking to explore or trade, and now and then riders go North to learn of our history for themselves, but while we share some distant relation to them Woodmen, we share little else.

Cultural Blessing
Rider of the Mark: When mounted, all weapon skills and movement skills are considered favored.

Starting Skill Scores
Awe 2
Athletics 2
Awareness 1
Explore 1
Song 2
Craft 0
Inspire 1
Travel 3
Insight 2
Healing 1
Courtesy 0
Battle 2
Persuade 0
Stealth 0
Search 0
Hunting 2
Riddle 1
Lore 0

Weapon Skills
Bow 2, Axe 1, Dagger 1
Spear 2, Sword 1, Dagger 1

Specialties
Choose two Traits from: Beast-Lore, Fire-making, Herb-lore, Horse-riding, Leechcraft, Riddermark-lore, Story-telling

Backgrounds (aimed at why they would be in the North)

1 – Shieldmaiden
While the men are called upon to defend the Mark, it is the women who are often called upon to defend the homestead, and there are no reinforcements coming to the rescue when reavers and raiders come. Some women eschew a family entirely, devoting themselves to martial training, and they will often fight alongside the men as well as in defense of their homes. You are one such, and you had to prove yourself more skilled and more fierce than most men – but you will see that your name is remembered. You do not fear death, but rather to be bound by any will but your own. You have left your homeland to make a name for yourself in the wider world.

Basic Attributes
Body 6, Heart 6, Wits 2

Favored Skill
Battle

Distinctive Features
(choose two traits from the following)
Bold, Determined, Fair, Fierce, Forthright, Proud, Secretive, Wilful

2 – Fell Deeds Awake – Ride to Ruin
You were not there when they came to your village in the Eastfold, raiders from the shadowy East. You were not there when they slaughtered families, including yours – when they burned farms and fields and took only the horses with them. You were suddenly awakened to a wider world around you, and to a looming Shadow that seems to be growing despite the courage of your people. You have sworn to hunt that Shadow – the least your village deserves is revenge.

Basic Attributes
Body 5, Heart 6, Wits 3

Favored Skill
Hunting

Distinctive Features
(choose two traits from the following)
Determined, Elusive, Grim, Hardened, Patient, Vengeful, Wrathful

3 – Emissary of Edoras
You were chosen by King Fengel to ride with a small group North and re-establish relations with King Bard and, if possible, King Dain of the lonely mountain. You are not so sure that Elves are to be trusted, but any information about them might be helpful to your King. You are to remain in the North. Each spring a rider will leave the north for Edoras, and each fall he will return to exchange news. Do what you can to learn of these distant relatives, and represent your own people to them well.

Basic Attributes
Body 3, Heart 5, Wits 6

Favored Skill
Awe

Distinctive Features
(choose two traits from the following)
Bold, Curious, Fair, Fair-spoken, Generous, Lordly, Proud, Tall

4 – Exile
You had a rival, or outright enemy, and the conflict between you escalated over the course of your adolescence until it finally came to blows. You fought, a duel like your ancestors used to fight, but it turned bloodier than you intended. It was meant to be to first blood, but the first wound you inflicted was fatal. Your foe was of higher standing than you, and had many friends. Your family, disgraced, had to pay the weregild, bankrupting them, and you were exiled. There was not enough evidence of malice to have you executed by the Marshall, but you doubt you can ever come home. You heard that some of the peoples in the North share ancestry with your people, and so you have made the long and arduous journey there to try and make a new life.

Basic Attributes
Body 7, Heart 3, Wits 4

Favored Skill
Explore

Distinctive Feature
(choose two traits from the following)
Elusive, Grim, Hardened, Merciful, Reckless, Suspicious, Wrathful

Rohirrim Names (Use and adapt Anglo-Saxon names)

Male Names:

Female Names:

Adventuring Age: 16-30

Endurance and Hope
Endurance 22 + Heart
Hope 8 + Heart

Cultural Virtues
Wise but unlearned
One of the Rohirrim with this Virtue can roll Song in place of Lore. If she also has Lore, then she can roll an extra advantage die.

Horse-speech
Your understanding of horses is such that you can speak to them simple phrases, and understand their responses.

True-hearted
When rolling Insight to discern whether someone is being honest, roll the Feat die twice and take the best result. When using Courtesy to speak the simple truth, do the same.

Proud and willful
When rolling a Valour check to resist fear, roll the Feat die twice and take the better result.

Cultural Rewards
White-plume Helm
When making an Awe or Inspire roll wearing the helm, roll the Feat die twice and take the best result.

Bow of the Mark (easier to use from horseback)
This is a recurve bow designed to be used from horseback, and imposes no penalty for being used thusly.

Named Blade
You have inherited a well-known blade, one that has been named and will be remembered. The edge rating for this sword is one better than normal.

Horn of the Mark
If the Horn of the Mark is blown during the opening volley of a skirmish or battle, all foes nearby lose 1 Hate.

Horse of the Mark (you are not assumed to start with a warhorse – they are very valuable, especially in the North)

Grave-Mound Spear
The spears that ring a burial mound of one of the Kings of Rohan are left to rust and moulder, but this one did not. It carries the blessing of one of the kings of old. Whenever you inflict a wound with this spear, your foe also loses one Hate (or Hope).

Fighting from Horseback
When attacking from horseback, all weapon skills are considered to be favored. In addition, when the hero would take a wound, the wound can instead be taken by the horse. Horses have two wounds, so if wounded twice, a horse is near death.

During the opening volley between two groups in a skirmish, a mounted character can charge to a Forward stance and make an attack with a bonus advantage die.

It is assumed that a warhorse is trained to lash out with bites and hooves during battle, but that these will not deal significant damage – they just provide the rider with an advantage over foes on foot.

A mounted fighter who is unobstructed (not in the middle of a melee or a battle line) can move from a forward to a rearward stance with one move.

Rohirrim

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