Friday, January 7, 2011

Hobbit Wizards, Norwegian or Otherwise

Who knew the Shire was in Norway?
The Rangers won the game I went to on Wednesday, thanks to an overtime goal by Mats "The Norwegian Hobbit Wizard" Zuccarello.  Standing in at a "mere" 5'7" and bearing a passing resemblance to Elijah Wood, Zuccarello has previously led the Swedish Elite League in scoring and looks to have a pretty good future, despite his relatively diminutive size for an NHL forward.

The thought of a Hobbit Wizard is kind of curious.  It was expressly forbidden in earlier versions of the game and is just not that efficient in the 4th Edition.  Plus, it kind of takes away from the "aw-shucks" quality of Hobbits.

I confess that I haven't read the books since just before Fellowship of the Ring came out in film.  I saw the movies in the theaters but only once.  I'm not expert on Tolkien or the stories.  I have, however, played a metric ton of Dungeons and Dragons and can say that Halflings are not Hobbits.  I'm not sure if there is an exact reason, but the longer I play D&D, the less I like D&D Halflings.  This isn't because of the changes in appearance.  It's because they are pretty much as pointless as gnomes.  Anyone who has played D&D with me knows that I just don't see the point of gnomes and I'm starting to get that way with Halflings as well.

I received the Blu-Ray edition of the Lord of the Rings trilogy for Christmas and I was watching them with my fiancee a week or so ago. One of the things I noticed about the four hobbits is that they are not pure adventurers.  This isn't something that translates too well into a role-playing game, since you want to play a pure adventurer.  The only hobbit with a real responsibility is Frodo.  Look what it does to him.  The other three hobbits, Samwise, Merry, and Pippin, all serve a very different purpose--they are the consciences of their charges.

I don't see any of these guys making it in the NHL.
Hobbits were innocence.  Halflings are mischief.  Hobbits resort to trickery to overcome the fact that they are not fighters, sorcerers, or powerful in any material way.  Halflings  seem to enjoy trickery for the sake of it.  Hobbits are the heart and soul of any group they are part of, while Halflings just seem like little douchebags.

I'm thinking of not allowing Halflings into my Lamentations of the Flame Princess game.  If a player insisted, I guess I'd relent as long as he played it more like a Hobbit than a Halfling.  Instead of any kind of thieving bonuses, I'd give them some kind of ability to influence opinions, but only if they were on behalf of "the right thing to do."  The penalties for not being a fundamentally good person and wearing your heart on your sleeve would be steep.  Really bad saving throws and absolutely no abilities of suggestion.

What do you think?