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Tag Archives: J. R. R. Tolkien

The Hobbit: Observations

So, the Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey… too good to really be bad, too sedate and full of padding to really be good. Comes out as mediocre. Fans of the LOTR movies might like it. I didn’t like the movies so much even though I loved the books, so this one left my kind of cold as well. Some observations:

1. I don’t think there was ever a better presentation of dwarves in film than this one. These dwarves are earnest and melancholic, but also able to lose themselves in food, drink, and song. And nearly all the actors were chosen perfectly for their roles.

2. Radagast the Brown has, if I remember correctly, about 4 pages in the whole of the Hobbit, LOTR, and Unfinished Tales. You might not think so when seeing this here. On the one hand I am a fan of Sylvester McCoy and like him in every role for the  sheer presence he manages to show, on the other hand this was basically a Doctor Who/Hobbit crossover.

3. A rabbit sled. A rabbit sled without snow. A rabbit sled without snow that can outrun wargs. Brain hurts.

4. Martin Freeman is perfect for his role, although I slowly suspect he just always plays the same role. His Bilbo is kinda close to his Watson. And come to think of it: his Arthur Dent as well. Also: why always book adaptions?

5. They are now making three movies out of the book. This movie was as long as one of the LOTR movies. There was a lot of padding and sedate moments involved. A lot of padding. All of the padding was somehow grounded in the writings of Tolkien, but it felt kinda odd to have flashback after flashback to what happened back then, whenever.

6. 3D needs to die. We weren’t even in a 3D showing. Me and my colleagues decided to go to a 2D showing because we didn’t want to wear the 3D glasses over our normal glasses. Did it help? Well, every time there was a scene that showed something that might look absolutely AMAZING in the 3D version the whole picture blurred and we saw, basically, just some shapes. So 3D is even ruining movies when you watch them in 2D. Not that that was a surprise. You know these stupid scenes when they tried to show how awesome their CGI was in the early 90s? They do the same things with 3D right now, only people watching it in 2D don’t even see it. They notice that something awesome is happening though. After all the picture just got blurry and they don’t see what’s going on right now.

Bonus: for some reason the cinema we were at found it necessary to show two different trailers for “The Impossible”. The “extraordinary true story” about a group of rich and very white tourists who experience the 2004 tsunami. Seeing it once made me cringe, seeing the second trailer I wanted to puke and sign a petition barring the leeches responsible for this piece of shit from ever making a movie again.

Spam, Spam, Bacon, and Spam

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-Miesha Rutherford on Rescued from the Scrappy Heap

Dear Miesha, that is so nice of you. I knew that the fact that Hobgoblins in Dungeons and Dragons are meant to be Tolkien’s Uruk Hai is a piece of knowledge that should be more widespread. I did not realize that your life depended on this, but I am glad, albeit unsurprised, that I was able to help you with this. I, too relish my future, now firm in my knowledge that I am a guru of Dungeons and Dragons, even able to help gamers like you in their spots of need.

[Labyrinth Lord] Uruk Hai

Español: Un Uruk-hai a tamaño real (yo le lleg...

Uruk Hai

Requirements:      CON 13, DEX 10
Prime Requisite:    DEX
Hit Dice:              1d8
Maximum Level:    12

Uruk Hai resemble large, muscled humans, their bodies covered in coarse fur with red-brown or gray skin. Large males have tusks, and may have beards and male-pattern baldness. Uruk Hai eyes are dark brown or yellowish, and their teeth tend to be yellow. They are lean and tall, averaging six and a half feet in height and weighing around 200 pounds. Their muscles are designed more for agility than brute strength, and they have been described as having almost feline dexterity.

Move Silently: an Uruk Hai can Move Silently like a Thief of the same level

Darkvision: Uruk Hai can see in the dark up to 60 feet (18m).

Uruk Hai prefer blood-red garments with black-tinted leather. Their weapons are kept highly polished and in good repair. Many Uruk Hai sport tattoos, deep scars gouged and burnt into their flesh meant to display their tolerance for pain rather than for art’s sake. Some sport piercings for the same reason, often in places that hurt even to look at. Their hair is often braided with jewelry carved from the bones of slain enemies. Any other adornments worn are also meant to call attention to their endurance or battle prowess.

Reaching 9th Level:  Uruk Hai reachin level 9 have the option of setting up a fortress . An Uruk hai lord or Commander is always accompanied by 1d6 loyal bodyguards who will all be 3rd level. All Uruk Hai in the presence of their leader have a morale score of 9.

URUK HAI LEVEL PROGRESSION

Experience

Level

Hit Dice (1d8)

0

1

1

2,035

2

2

4,065

3

3

8,125

4

4

16,251

5

5

32,501

6

6

65,001

7

7

120,001

8

8

240,001

9

9

360,001

10

+2 hp only *

480,001

11

+4 hp only *

600,001

12

+6 hp only *

Rescued from the Scrappy Heap

Uruk-Hai

Uruk-Hai (Photo credit: Dunechaser)

I did not realize until I read Zak’s post pointing it out: Hobgoblins are Uruk-Hai.

This changes everything!

Well, not everything, but certainly my stance towards the monster. Previously I  was thinking that the name was derived from Tolkien (which it was), but that the creature itself never actually appeared in Tolkien’s writing. As far as I remember the only mention was a brief half-sentence in the Hobbit. But no… obviously the professor changed the name of the race after he realized that traditionally hobgoblins were a benevolent, smallish variation of goblins. Which D&D hobgoblins are not. So, in The Lord of the Rings they start to appear as Uruk-Hai.

I can live with that.

So, my campaigns from now on will refer to hobgoblins as Uruk-Hai. Just as halflings should be hobbits (or maybe kenders if everything goes sour), treants are just an evil variant of ents, spectres are Nazgul… did I forget something?