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  #1  
Old 02-10-2009, 04:15 PM
Oakminster Oakminster is offline
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Why is Gandalf considered a great wizard?

Not to knock the guy, but he really doesn't do much in the way of spellcasting. He's got a nifty sword, had a staff until he broke it, has a lesser ring...but not a lot of firepower. Elminster would smoke him with a single "Magic Missle" spell. In WoW, my level 73 gnome mage farts for more DPS (damage per second) than Gandalf has ever done. In the original Everquest, the infamous Oakbrow Farwalker could have quadkited Balrogs and Ring Wraiths without breaking a sweat. (that version of Oakie was known to solo old world dragons and other outlandish stunts--it was good to be a druid then). Hell, even Giles from the Buffyverse has shown more magical ability than Gandalf (granted with some channeling power from other Watchers or somesuch).

Seems like I almost remember an article in Dragon magazine or somewhere claiming Gandalf was about a 5th level magic user under AD&D rules. 5th level isn't particularly powerful--1 3rd level spell, 2 second level spells, 3 first level spells not counting inteligence bonuses if any.
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  #2  
Old 02-10-2009, 04:28 PM
Bosstone Bosstone is offline
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The way I've heard it, and I can't remember from where precisely, is that the best wizards never need their magic. They use wisdom and reputation to accomplish their goals, and a wizard is most fearsome when you don't know exactly what he's capable of. They don't throw fireballs around, they influence things. Gandalf had magic, but he rarely needed it, and only used it when it could be exploited to best and most dramatic effect.

Of course, most readers/gameplayers are in it for the action, and a fireball-throwing wizard is inherently more interesting to them than a conniver, which Gandalf was.
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  #3  
Old 02-10-2009, 04:35 PM
Risha Risha is offline
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Well, I'm sure that the LotR masters will show up here soon, but I'll note that he's not actually human - he's actually some sort of angel-equivilent whose name I can never remember. So he presumably has a lot more power than he normally displays.
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  #4  
Old 02-10-2009, 04:35 PM
Cerowyn Cerowyn is offline
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Wizards in Tolkein's milieu were maia, angel-like beings who were sent to Middle Earth to rally support and get the locals to implement the policies of Management back in Valinor. Gandalf's role, in particular, was to "kindle the fire" of Men and Elves, so he was more of an advisor than a doer.
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  #5  
Old 02-10-2009, 04:36 PM
Ichini Sanshigo Ichini Sanshigo is offline
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Originally Posted by Bosstone View Post
Of course, most readers/gameplayers are in it for the action, and a fireball-throwing wizard is inherently more interesting to them than a conniver, which Gandalf was.
Ha! I came here to say just the opposite: that a wizard/witch/sorcerer who isn't ridiculously powered up with video-game abilities makes for a better character (and a better narrative) than one who is.
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  #6  
Old 02-10-2009, 04:47 PM
Oakminster Oakminster is offline
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Hmmm. My perspective is very much that of a reader/gamer. That whole subtle conniver thing can work...but to establish the "true power" of the character, you have to show him really kick ass at least once. I don't recall Gandalf ever really doing that. Yeah, he sorta almost soloed a balrog. Whoopee. Didn't really beat it so much as held it to a draw and sorta killed himself in the process. Showed up for the big battle somewhere...Helmsdeep maybe?...glowing like a Vorlon...but again, no real spell slinging. Dude may as well be flying a desk somewhere, and sending in a drunk dwarf to do the fighting.
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  #7  
Old 02-10-2009, 05:35 PM
RiverRunner RiverRunner is offline
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Originally Posted by Oakminster View Post
Yeah, he sorta almost soloed a balrog. Whoopee. Didn't really beat it so much as held it to a draw and sorta killed himself in the process.

It should be noted that the balrog had kicked an entire nation of dwarves out of Khazad-Dum. This wasn't some troll or something.

(Also, the Ring he bore was a Great Ring, not a lesser one, but that's neither here nor there.)


RR
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  #8  
Old 02-10-2009, 05:49 PM
The Superhero The Superhero is offline
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To quote the Great Red Dragon*, "Never play an ace when a two will do."

Gandalf doesn't "work" like a D&D wizard because he doesn't have to, and at times in fact, should not. When the Fellowship is attempting the Caradhras pass, Gandalf lights a fire using magic, saying (I don't remember the exact words), "I've just written, 'Gandalf is here' in giant letters for anyone who can read them." In other words, when stealth is the goal (as it is in "Fellowship," for sure), you don't go around casting Magic Missile willy-nilly.

And I'd say the stand against the Balrog is the totally kick-ass moment you seek, no matter how you look at it. Gandalf was the only member of the Fellowship who had even the slightest chance of going toe-to-toe with the Balrog - and that's a group not short on warrior-ish prowess. Aragorn, Boromir, Legolas and Gimli are all pretty bad-ass, no? And yet Gandalf says, "This foe is beyond any of you."



* from Jeff Smith's "Bone," for those who don't pick up the reference.
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  #9  
Old 02-10-2009, 07:23 PM
Der Trihs Der Trihs is offline
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Originally Posted by RiverRunner View Post
It should be noted that the balrog had kicked an entire nation of dwarves out of Khazad-Dum. This wasn't some troll or something.
I think this needs to be emphasized. Gandalf, when finally in a situation where the rules allowed him to unleash his power, managed a mutual kill against a being capable of routing a colony of dwarves. How many D&D "5th level magic users" could do that ? Balrogs are basically the LOTR version of fallen angels, not minor monsters.

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Originally Posted by eleanorigby View Post
And somewhere in the saga, Gandalf has to use a few words of Command
When the Balrog first shows up, as I recall. Gandalf seals a door against it, and the clash collapses it. He says something like "The counterspell was terrible - I had to use a Word of Command."
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  #10  
Old 02-10-2009, 04:49 PM
Airk Airk is offline
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The whole bit about "kite balrogs and ringwraiths" seems a bit absurd. For all you know, Glamdring could have been a weapon +100,000,000 and the Balrog could have mocked your puny spells and had you for lunch. Let's not mix our apples with our shiny rocks here.

What Gandalf is, however is several things:

A) One of the few people who can do real, honest magic, in a world which, while full of 'magical' creatures, doesn't really contain much in the way of sparklie, castable magic. If I walked down main street and lit my cigarette with a snap of my fingers, I'd be the Greatest Wizard on Earth, simply because I could do ANY magic.

B) The inspiration for all those two bits comeafters. Do you sincerely think Elminster would exist without Gandalf?

C) One of the beings who helped shape the universe with his song, which means that if it weren't for...

D) Explicitly forbidden by the Powers that Be to "match Power with Power"; You really, truly, have no idea -what- Gandalf could or could not do, because he was, on some fairly fundamental level, prohibited from doing it.

... that you'd be talking about some pretty epic level destruction.
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  #11  
Old 02-10-2009, 04:50 PM
What Exit? What Exit? is offline
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Originally Posted by Risha View Post
Well, I'm sure that the LotR masters will show up here soon, but I'll note that he's not actually human - he's actually some sort of angel-equivilent whose name I can never remember. So he presumably has a lot more power than he normally displays.
Indeed, Gandalf was Olórin in the West. An angelic type collectively called Maiar. He had excellent control over fire, helped by the Elven Ring of Fire. He was fairly handy with lightning as seen at the Goblin Cave in the Hobbit and on Weathertop as he held of the Black Riders. His greatest power though was staying true to his mission that including minimizing the use of his powers and guiding others to fight Sauron. By AD&D rules he did not show many great powers but then neither did Merlin that I recalled. The arch-type wizards and Gandalf is clearly one of them, second only to Merlin I think, did not constantly use their powers. It was a pretty good trick to fight a Balrog to the death and come back with only Gods help.

He was quite exceptional in making useful friends from the Great Eagles who were natural allies as servants of Manwë who picked Olórin to go; to Beorn, Shadowfax, Fangorn, Elrond, Glorfindel and Galadriel, Aragorn and the Hobbits. He brave exploring Moria, Dol Guldor and Mordor and as pointed out we know only a very small portion of everything he did in his 2000+ years in Middle Earth as Gandalf. As Gandalf the White he was far more powerful as he no longer had to hold back.

BTW: His staff was never broken, he broke Sauruman’s.
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  #12  
Old 02-10-2009, 04:59 PM
Oakminster Oakminster is offline
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Originally Posted by What Exit? View Post
BTW: His staff was never broken, he broke Sauruman’s.
I thought he broke his own staff in the Balrog fight, right before taking the fall of not-quite-doom. Also thought that was the inspiration for the "retributive strike" mechanic in AD&D, that unleashed much whoopass if you're willing to break a Staff of the Magi....
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  #13  
Old 02-10-2009, 05:01 PM
Sage Rat Sage Rat is offline
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Because in terms of the story he's a guide on the side of the road. He's not a lead character.
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  #14  
Old 02-10-2009, 05:06 PM
What Exit? What Exit? is offline
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Originally Posted by Oakminster View Post
I thought he broke his own staff in the Balrog fight, right before taking the fall of not-quite-doom. Also thought that was the inspiration for the "retributive strike" mechanic in AD&D, that unleashed much whoopass if you're willing to break a Staff of the Magi....
Nope. Actually he used his staff and his subtle power to shatter that ancient stone bridge* and send the Balrog plummeting. Sadly the Balrog's whip got Gandalf.

Clearly not 5th level magic.
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  #15  
Old 02-10-2009, 07:26 PM
JohnT JohnT is offline
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Originally Posted by What Exit? View Post
...By AD&D rules he did not show many great powers but then neither did Merlin that I recalled. The arch-type wizards and Gandalf is clearly one of them, second only to Merlin I think...
Could you explain this? Merlin was, IIRC, from the King Arthur tales, right? What does he have to do with Gandalf and how does one rank wizards with any level of accuracy?
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  #16  
Old 02-11-2009, 12:40 PM
Lust4Life Lust4Life is offline
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I thought that he was supposed to be an Angel in the book.
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  #17  
Old 02-11-2009, 12:48 PM
jayjay jayjay is offline
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Originally Posted by Lust4Life View Post
I thought that he was supposed to be an Angel in the book.
More or less. He's a maia, which are of the same nature as the Valar (the big good guys), but of lesser stature. All of the Wizards are maiar, kind of "encased" in a mortal body and with their powers limited. They were sent to Middle-Earth to rally and aid the mortal races against Sauron, but had their powers "dialed back" because (at least in part) the Valar didn't want a reiteration of the Drowning of Beleriand (caused by the full force of the Valar against Melkor) on their hands.
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  #18  
Old 02-11-2009, 01:02 PM
Lumpy Lumpy is offline
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Tom Bombadil is the only character in story who knows he's a fictional character. Thus, he transcends the story itself.
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  #19  
Old 02-10-2009, 10:59 PM
Polycarp Polycarp is offline
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Originally Posted by Bosstone View Post
The way I've heard it, and I can't remember from where precisely, is that the best wizards never need their magic. They use wisdom and reputation to accomplish their goals, and a wizard is most fearsome when you don't know exactly what he's capable of. They don't throw fireballs around, they influence things. Gandalf had magic, but he rarely needed it, and only used it when it could be exploited to best and most dramatic effect.
I see you are also an aficionado of Moon-Tse's "The Art of Wizardry."

===================

Dr. Strange, Master of the Mystic Arts, would have simply summoned up the Dread Dormammu and banished all RPG wizards to the Cavern of Torments.

Which is to say, there aren't any criteria for comparing the relative prowess of fictional magic users from universes with disparate "laws of magic." Maybe there can't be.

In the real, non-magical world Gandalf stands out as the premier magic-user in the single work of fiction that all but singlehandedly resurrected epic fantasy from a specialty genre read by only a few dozen enthusiasts, to a culturally significant movement in popular literature -- and an impact on the cultural awareness and motivation of its millions of readers. It would not be going overboard to say that Gandalf was an element in the ending of the Vietnam War -- the shift from the 1950s-early 60s 'fight communism'/progress ethos to the late 60s-70s antiwar/environmentalism ethos can be attributed in part to the popularity of Tolkien. Tolkien's legacy is still a little close to accurately measure, but (as was discussed in another thread recently) I believe it's safe to say that his writing stands head and shoulders above anything in the fantasy genre since in its influence on popular culture.

Some years back I cleaned out my parents' attic, and found my old Hula Hoop and my copy of "The Little Old Lady from Pasadena" album. I suspect that in 40 years or so, people will feel much the same about a Gygax DM handbook and WoW printouts from Blizzard as I did then.
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  #20  
Old 02-11-2009, 12:01 AM
mutantmoose mutantmoose is offline
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And shouldn't we add Galadriel herself?
And Tom Bombadil. Don't forget Tom.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tom_Bombadil


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Tom first appears within the story after Merry and Pippin are trapped by Old Man Willow and Frodo cries for help. Tom commands Old Man Willow to release them, singing him to sleep, and shelters the hobbits in his house for two nights. Here it is revealed that the One Ring has no power over Bombadil. Frodo wearing the Ring can be seen by him, and Tom wearing the Ring does not turn invisible. He even tosses the Ring in the air and makes it disappear, but then produces it from his other hand and returns it to Frodo. While this demonstrates he has unique and mysterious power over the Ring, the idea of giving him the Ring for safekeeping is rejected within Book Two's second chapter, "The Council of Elrond." Gandalf says, rather, that "the Ring has no power over him", and believes that Tom would simply not find the Ring to be very important and so might simply misplace it.
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  #21  
Old 02-11-2009, 12:09 PM
EddyTeddyFreddy EddyTeddyFreddy is offline
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And Tom Bombadil. Don't forget Tom.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tom_Bombadil
[tangent]

I've read The Hobbit and the Ring trilogy, but nothing else in the Tolkein canon. What should I read to learn more about Tom Bombadil? He's always been a mysterious character to me, a being in some ways outside of the world of the trilogy.
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  #22  
Old 02-11-2009, 12:14 PM
jayjay jayjay is offline
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Originally Posted by EddyTeddyFreddy View Post
[tangent]

I've read The Hobbit and the Ring trilogy, but nothing else in the Tolkein canon. What should I read to learn more about Tom Bombadil? He's always been a mysterious character to me, a being in some ways outside of the world of the trilogy.
You've already largely read everything we really know about Bombadil. Tolkien was fairly coy about him, even in the Letters. We do know that he was more or less outside the power structure of Arda, although he may have been plugged into it previously (possibly a maia "gone native"). He appears to be completely content to just exist in his little corner of the world.

He is sort of a Hobbit-ish add-on, though, deriving from a doll that Tolkien's children had and inserted into the earlier, more storyteller-type mood of the beginning of Fellowship.

Ol' Tim Benzedrine, on the other hand...
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  #23  
Old 02-11-2009, 12:22 PM
What Exit? What Exit? is offline
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Originally Posted by EddyTeddyFreddy View Post
[tangent]

I've read The Hobbit and the Ring trilogy, but nothing else in the Tolkein canon. What should I read to learn more about Tom Bombadil? He's always been a mysterious character to me, a being in some ways outside of the world of the trilogy.
Actually you have summed him up perfectly. In one of Tolkien's letters (144) he talked about how Tom was an enigma. Not everything was known and he was different. The conjecture about who Tom was beyond a children's toy is hopeless and Tolkien himself did not know.

You could pick up the Adventures of Tom Bombadil for a little bit more about him though. It has two poems on Tom and maybe 10 other poems.
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  #24  
Old 02-11-2009, 02:40 PM
Belrix Belrix is offline
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Originally Posted by Polycarp View Post
Some years back I cleaned out my parents' attic, and found my old Hula Hoop and my copy of "The Little Old Lady from Pasadena" album. I suspect that in 40 years or so, people will feel much the same about a Gygax DM handbook and WoW printouts from Blizzard as I did then.
Dang! I just listed my old first edition books on eBay. Now you're making me second-guess that action...
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  #25  
Old 02-10-2009, 05:11 PM
Terrifel Terrifel is offline
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Gandalf was so powerful, he once blew a smoke-ring through a man's skull just for snoring too loud.
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  #26  
Old 02-10-2009, 05:16 PM
What Exit? What Exit? is offline
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Originally Posted by Terrifel View Post
Gandalf was so powerful, he once blew a smoke-ring through a man's skull just for snoring too loud.
But it was only Barliman Butterbur, and there was plenty of room for it to go through. No harm was done.
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  #27  
Old 02-10-2009, 05:13 PM
Will Repair Will Repair is offline
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So you finally found out that his major power was blowing smoke.
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  #28  
Old 02-10-2009, 06:44 PM
The Second Stone The Second Stone is offline
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Originally Posted by Oakminster View Post
Not to knock the guy, but he really doesn't do much in the way of spellcasting. He's got a nifty sword, had a staff until he broke it, has a lesser ring...but not a lot of firepower. Elminster would smoke him with a single "Magic Missle" spell. In WoW, my level 73 gnome mage farts for more DPS (damage per second) than Gandalf has ever done. In the original Everquest, the infamous Oakbrow Farwalker could have quadkited Balrogs and Ring Wraiths without breaking a sweat. (that version of Oakie was known to solo old world dragons and other outlandish stunts--it was good to be a druid then). Hell, even Giles from the Buffyverse has shown more magical ability than Gandalf (granted with some channeling power from other Watchers or somesuch).

Seems like I almost remember an article in Dragon magazine or somewhere claiming Gandalf was about a 5th level magic user under AD&D rules. 5th level isn't particularly powerful--1 3rd level spell, 2 second level spells, 3 first level spells not counting inteligence bonuses if any.

I remember that article, but it was original D & D, AD & D had not been published yet.

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Originally Posted by The Superhero View Post
And I'd say the stand against the Balrog is the totally kick-ass moment you seek, no matter how you look at it. Gandalf was the only member of the Fellowship who had even the slightest chance of going toe-to-toe with the Balrog - and that's a group not short on warrior-ish prowess. Aragorn, Boromir, Legolas and Gimli are all pretty bad-ass, no? And yet Gandalf says, "This foe is beyond any of you."
I think that Aragorn or Legolas could have defeated the Balrog but died in the effort. Neither was any slouch, but powerful lords of their people, akin to Glorfindel in the First Age who defeated a Balrog and fell to his death in the process. Gandalf had a plan: the Balrog knew who and what Gandalf was from the encounter behind the door, and Gandalf knew the Balrog would not simply jump past Gandalf, but plant himself firmly for the fight. Gandalf expected this and planned to destroy the bridge the way he did. Gandalf did not expect to be pulled down.
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  #29  
Old 02-10-2009, 06:50 PM
Oakminster Oakminster is offline
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Originally Posted by The Second Stone View Post
Gandalf did not expect to be pulled down.
He failed a dexterity check. Happens to the best of us. Had he asked nicely, I woulda let him borrow my purple 20-sider.
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  #30  
Old 02-10-2009, 06:57 PM
What Exit? What Exit? is offline
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The consensus seems to be that Gandalf was sorta like Kosh. I was wanting more of a Duke Nukem in a pointy hat.
Sorry, that guy did not really exist but you would have loved Fingolfin fighting Melkor.
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I think that Aragorn or Legolas could have defeated the Balrog but died in the effort. Neither was any slouch, but powerful lords of their people, akin to Glorfindel in the First Age who defeated a Balrog and fell to his death in the process. Gandalf had a plan: the Balrog knew who and what Gandalf was from the encounter behind the door, and Gandalf knew the Balrog would not simply jump past Gandalf, but plant himself firmly for the fight. Gandalf expected this and planned to destroy the bridge the way he did. Gandalf did not expect to be pulled down.
Neither Legolas or Aragorn were capable of defeating the Balrog. Glorfindel was vastly more powerful and skilled.
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He failed a dexterity check. Happens to the best of us. Had he asked nicely, I woulda let him borrow my purple 20-sider.
Actually Gandalf was distracted by Aragorn and Boromir. They had no clue what they were up against and did not want to leave Gandalf to face it alone. Legolas knew what it was and wanted to get out fast.
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  #31  
Old 02-10-2009, 07:43 PM
Ludovic Ludovic is online now
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He failed a dexterity check. Happens to the best of us. Had he asked nicely, I woulda let him borrow my purple 20-sider.
The only reason for existence for Formula De
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  #32  
Old 02-10-2009, 06:54 PM
jayjay jayjay is offline
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I think that Aragorn or Legolas could have defeated the Balrog but died in the effort. Neither was any slouch, but powerful lords of their people, akin to Glorfindel in the First Age who defeated a Balrog and fell to his death in the process.
Neither of them was even CLOSE to that level of power. Aragorn was a direct descendant of the Numenoreans, yes, but the great Numenorean kings were far in the past. The Dunedain of the Third Age were diminished, though not as much as the Gondoreans.

And Legolas was a Sindarin elf. Neither he nor his father had even seen the Trees. He was NOT the equal of Glorfindel. Not even close.
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Old 02-10-2009, 07:27 PM
The Hamster King The Hamster King is offline
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And Legolas was a Sindarin elf. Neither he nor his father had even seen the Trees. He was NOT the equal of Glorfindel. Not even close.
Yeah. It's worth remembering that Galadriel, the most powerful elf in Middle Earth during the War of the Ring, the only living being to have seen the Trees ... barely even rates a mention in the old sagas. She's just somebody's little sister.

The Lord of the Rings is all about the corrupting influence of power. Saruman, Boromir, and Denethor all succumb to it. The greatest heroes are the ones who turn away from power when offered it, or who accept it only reluctantly: Bilbo, Frodo, Aragorn, Faramir. Gandalf's mission is to inspire and guide the people of middle earth. Showing restraint while using power is part and parcel of that mission.
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  #34  
Old 02-10-2009, 07:36 PM
What Exit? What Exit? is offline
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Yeah. It's worth remembering that Galadriel, the most powerful elf in Middle Earth during the War of the Ring, the only living being to have seen the Trees ... barely even rates a mention in the old sagas. She's just somebody's little sister.

The Lord of the Rings is all about the corrupting influence of power. Saruman, Boromir, and Denethor all succumb to it. The greatest heroes are the ones who turn away from power when offered it, or who accept it only reluctantly: Bilbo, Frodo, Aragorn, Faramir. Gandalf's mission is to inspire and guide the people of middle earth. Showing restraint while using power is part and parcel of that mission.
While she was the most powerful Elf left in Middle Earth, she had grown over the millenium in power and craft and had an Elven Ring. However she was not the last Elf of the Light or Elf that saw the Two Trees. Glorfindel clearly was another and there was quite possible others in Rivendell and the Havens.

Your second part is dead on. Let's add Sam to those that resisted and Isildur to those that failed.
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  #35  
Old 02-10-2009, 10:24 PM
Northern Piper Northern Piper is offline
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Originally Posted by Pochacco
Yeah. It's worth remembering that Galadriel, the most powerful elf in Middle Earth during the War of the Ring, the only living being to have seen the Trees ... barely even rates a mention in the old sagas. She's just somebody's little sister.

The Lord of the Rings is all about the corrupting influence of power. Saruman, Boromir, and Denethor all succumb to it. The greatest heroes are the ones who turn away from power when offered it, or who accept it only reluctantly: Bilbo, Frodo, Aragorn, Faramir. Gandalf's mission is to inspire and guide the people of middle earth. Showing restraint while using power is part and parcel of that mission.
While she was the most powerful Elf left in Middle Earth, she had grown over the millenium in power and craft and had an Elven Ring. However she was not the last Elf of the Light or Elf that saw the Two Trees. Glorfindel clearly was another and there was quite possible others in Rivendell and the Havens.

Your second part is dead on. Let's add Sam to those that resisted and Isildur to those that failed.
And shouldn't we add Galadriel herself?

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Originally Posted by Galadrial to Frodo
'I pass the test,' Galadriel said. 'I will diminish, and go into the West and remain Galadriel.'
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  #36  
Old 02-12-2009, 12:22 AM
tim314 tim314 is offline
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I think that Aragorn or Legolas could have defeated the Balrog but died in the effort. Neither was any slouch, but powerful lords of their people, akin to Glorfindel in the First Age who defeated a Balrog and fell to his death in the process.
I doubt it. My impression is that the greatest warriors of any age were pretty much crap compared to the greatest warriors of earlier ages.

Also, Gimli matched (and if I remember right, surpassed) Legolas's kill total at Helm's Deep, so he's presumably a comparable warrior. And yet a whole freaking nation of dwarves couldn't beat one Balrog.
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Old 02-10-2009, 07:05 PM
Mr. Miskatonic Mr. Miskatonic is offline
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Could one make the same argument about Merlin? He wasn't exactly the Magic Missile type.
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Old 02-10-2009, 07:12 PM
DocCathode DocCathode is offline
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Could one make the same argument about Merlin? He wasn't exactly the Magic Missile type.
It's much harder to analyze Merlin as he's a loose conglomeration of myths from various cultures and centuries. Gandalf is the product of one author, with letters to clarify things.
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Old 02-10-2009, 07:14 PM
What Exit? What Exit? is offline
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Could one make the same argument about Merlin? He wasn't exactly the Magic Missile type.
I think I did earlier though according to Geoffrey of Monmouth, Merlin did raise Stonehenge with his magic. Pretty damn impressive if not to showy. But yes, the other arch-type Wizard that also did not use showy D&D type magic.
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Old 02-10-2009, 07:12 PM
Knorf Knorf is offline
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Gandalf is great for his power under restraint, for his wisdom, and for his basic goodness.
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  #41  
Old 02-10-2009, 07:35 PM
Bootis Bootis is offline
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Eh.. I just invented a wizard named Marmaduche who can disappear the universe by waving a finger, and is the most powerful Wizard in the history of all wizards by a factor of over a million. Now that this super wizard exists to compare to, why is this infamous Oakbrow Farwalker considered a great wizard?
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Old 02-10-2009, 07:51 PM
Oakminster Oakminster is offline
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Eh.. I just invented a wizard named Marmaduche who can disappear the universe by waving a finger, and is the most powerful Wizard in the history of all wizards by a factor of over a million. Now that this super wizard exists to compare to, why is this infamous Oakbrow Farwalker considered a great wizard?
First of all, Oakie was/is not a wizard at all. He was/is a druid that concentrated primarily on DPS rather than healing. His name was known all across Norrath as one of the most loyal and powerful mortal servants of Karana. So great was his power that he traversed time and space to spread his teachings across this place you non-magical types call earth. His stories brought much mirth to the internet, until that dark day when Sony condoned selling in game money/equipment for real world money. Terrible was the wrath of Oakie. Well, terrible up until the point where he got banned from the official forums, got reinstated the same night, and quit the game forever shortly thereafter. The original Oakie was a half elf. For a short time he lived as a dwarf in a future version of Norrath, and was later reborn yet again as a night elf in the lands of Azzaroth.

Put another way, He is me and I am he and we are the eggman. Goo Goo Ga Joo.
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Old 02-10-2009, 09:01 PM
smiling bandit smiling bandit is offline
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First of all, Oakie was/is not a wizard at all. He was/is a druid that concentrated primarily on DPS rather than healing. His name was known all across Norrath as one of the most loyal and powerful mortal servants of Karana. So great was his power that he traversed time and space to spread his teachings across this place you non-magical types call earth. His stories brought much mirth to the internet, until that dark day when Sony condoned selling in game money/equipment for real world money. Terrible was the wrath of Oakie. Well, terrible up until the point where he got banned from the official forums, got reinstated the same night, and quit the game forever shortly thereafter. The original Oakie was a half elf. For a short time he lived as a dwarf in a future version of Norrath, and was later reborn yet again as a night elf in the lands of Azzaroth.

Put another way, He is me and I am he and we are the eggman. Goo Goo Ga Joo.
Mate, and I say this as a man who briefly enjoyed Everquest and EQ2, and played WoW for months, as well as DAoC, and is a pretty big nerd all around...

that's pathetic.

Maybe you're a young lad. I dunno. But judging a fantasy character by their DPS? My only response to that is: WTF?!

More to the point, who cares? Wizards are Druids, anyway. The weird modern idea of druid as some oddbal nature guardian comes straight from DnD, where, ironically, Bards are almost more like classic druids.

Blah. Anyway, Gandalf was a mighty warrior who had vast knowledge of the world, its peoples, and at least at one point knew every spell ever made by men, dwarves, elves, and probably orcs. This is a world where smiths could make blades of awesome - but subtle - power, and really "magic" in your view never existed. There was Sorcery, the ability of powerful wills to force reality to its wish (and was considered a very, very bad thing to do). Sauron, as well as some of his servants, were capable of this. Mordor, for example, was not wholly natural. What elves and men and swarves did was more like convinving the world to do something, by turning the natural resources to a different use. Sorcery is a brutal rape and beat-down, but others use persuasion and build things up.

As an example, look at the Ring. This thing screwed with everyone nearby. The Ring is Sauron. It tormented Gollum (who was broken by it but not wholly corrupted). It turned Boromir briefly before he regained his senses. Aragorn realized he and his friends had to get away from it or be destroyed by it. That is power. Who cares how much friggin DPS you can do, when you can control everyone anyway?

Then, on the other hand, we have the elven boats. They always stayed upright, were easy to guide, and flowed easily where they were meant to go. A small and handsome item, but not an item meant to corrupt or control.
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Old 02-10-2009, 09:40 PM
Oakminster Oakminster is offline
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Mate, and I say this as a man who briefly enjoyed Everquest and EQ2, and played WoW for months, as well as DAoC, and is a pretty big nerd all around...

that's pathetic.
Nooo....that's self-mocking humor delivered with tongue firmly in cheek. As is the notion of casually tossing in one of my favorite characters in league with fictional characters of great reknown. I do that sometimes.
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Old 02-10-2009, 09:50 PM
smiling bandit smiling bandit is offline
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Nooo....that's self-mocking humor delivered with tongue firmly in cheek. As is the notion of casually tossing in one of my favorite characters in league with fictional characters of great reknown. I do that sometimes.
Ok, then you whooshed me. However, I have seen far too many fancic writers do exactly that, so forgive my apprehension.
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  #46  
Old 02-10-2009, 09:53 PM
MOIDALIZE MOIDALIZE is offline
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There are 9 levels of magic in D&D, correct? 5th level out of 9 would be decent powered spells, nothing great?
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  #47  
Old 02-11-2009, 11:43 AM
GargoyleWB GargoyleWB is offline
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If I was a DM running a high level group, and if during the epic facedown between the PC party and my uberbaddest monster encounter, the 20th level Wizard in the party said, "No, I don't think I'm going to cast 'wish' or 'time stop' or 'sphere of annihilation'. I'm going to talk first. The rest of the party can go, I'll take care of it." And then that PC left the battle victorious and rejoined the party back at the local inn, dressed in cool new flashy white robes, well, I'd hand that player my DM screen right then and there and bow down to his awesomeness.
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  #48  
Old 02-11-2009, 03:34 AM
Grumman Grumman is online now
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Eh.. I just invented a wizard named Marmaduche who can disappear the universe by waving a finger, and is the most powerful Wizard in the history of all wizards by a factor of over a million. Now that this super wizard exists to compare to, why is this infamous Oakbrow Farwalker considered a great wizard?
Second most powerful - Pun Pun doesn't have to wave his finger.
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  #49  
Old 02-10-2009, 10:26 PM
Northern Piper Northern Piper is offline
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Seems like I almost remember an article in Dragon magazine or somewhere claiming Gandalf was about a 5th level magic user under AD&D rules. 5th level isn't particularly powerful--1 3rd level spell, 2 second level spells, 3 first level spells not counting inteligence bonuses if any.
I believe that article came out about 1978.
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Old 02-10-2009, 10:50 PM
What Exit? What Exit? is offline
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Yabut there was also the Witch-King. And the Black Numenorean necromancers. And the Blue Wizards might have been responsible for founding schools of magic in the eastern lands! And what of Queen Beruthiel and her cats? And Radagast had a squirrel apprentice that he taught spells to, although that was a story that I wrote so maybe it doesn't count.

I go sit down now.
Only 5 Wizards if we narrow it to the Istari, but plenty of other magic users of various sorts. Even Thranduil had some magic though his son did not seem to.

As to Radagast, if we are being silly about this, then he trained Glee's character Ghân on this very board.
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And shouldn't we add Galadriel herself?
Yes!
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