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Found an error in the Dwarf concept-art


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#1 Aldandil

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Posted 22 June 2006 - 01:21 AM

Hello TLA Community!

I'm a new member here at the forum. I'm posting to tell you there is an error in the concept-art for the Dwarves. There's a picture of a beardless Dwarf-woman! But Dwarf-women have beards just as much as the males do, in fact Dwarves already have beards when they are born. War of the Jewels p. 205:

"For the Naugrim have beards from the beginning of their lives, male and female alike; nor indeed can their womenkind be discerned by those of other race, be it in feature or in gait or in voice..."

Which might even imply that they lacked breasts! Or rather, like most mammals except for humans, that the breasts only showed when they had nursing children. Visible breasts seems like it would be a "feature" that could be used to tell them apart, unless they were just very flat-chested.
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#2 CrazyThumbs

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Posted 22 June 2006 - 01:40 AM

Welcome :P

About that concept art, I think alot of it is out of date, except for the Noldor ones. So it might be changed in-game.

Just wondering, who did the Dwarven concept art, because it's really good.
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#3 Aldandil

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Posted 22 June 2006 - 01:44 AM

I haven't looked at it, but the Druedain art is quite good.
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#4 Enarwaen

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Posted 22 June 2006 - 07:06 AM

the dwarven concepts were done by a former member named Quellion. but you can bet that we'll have bearded dwarf women ingame :P
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#5 Beren IV

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Posted 25 June 2006 - 10:34 PM

Tolkien doesn't say that Dwarf women have beards in LotR (although he does say that quite explicitly in some earlier drafts). Nonetheless, I agree that that pic looks too obviously feminine, and Dwarf-females explicitly do not look feminine (at least not to us).
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#6 Aldandil

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Posted 05 July 2006 - 11:49 PM

The LotR is not at all the only thing that Tolkien ever wrote, Beren. The War of the Jewels material I quoted was also written by JRRT, or else I wouldn't quote it. And it is by no means earlier than the LotR, it was written about 1958 -- after the first edition LotR, but before the second edition. I don't see why it is invalid as a source.
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#7 Beren IV

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Posted 06 July 2006 - 02:54 PM

Because Tolkien himself never saw fit to publish it, even after it became abundantly clear that he could, if he wanted to.

I agree that Tolkien's unpublished works are valid sources - even the Silmarillion is unpublished, in that regard (Christopher did not "finish" the Sil; the "finished" Sil, if there is one, is HoME, all twelve books of it). The War of the Jewels (that's HoME12 for the unitiated) is definitely a source, but no more so than the first Book of Lost Tales (aka HoME1). But LotR supercedes it, as far as staying "true" to Tolkien. Of course, many of the stories in the unpublished works are able to stand alone, and indeed the books that became the Sil were originally intended so, and therefore it is certainly very silly to absolutely ignore them.

But I agree; Dwarf females should be difficult to distinguish from Dwarf males. I would even suggest that TLA use the same sprites, graphics, and even sounds, for the two sexes. I can't imagine Tolkien arguing with that.
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#8 NaurwenT

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Posted 18 October 2006 - 03:01 PM

Beren, I do not agree.
You can't compare BoLT I & II to MR, WoJ or PoME.
The earliest versions of Tolkien's myth have indeed great value to understand the process of creation, but the information is basically obsolete. However, the final volumes of HoME represent the very opossite - in many cases the stories are the revised versions of older ones, in some cases they can be called "final". So, please, do not say categorically that LotR supercedes it as a general concept. In many cases it is so, and we are all well aware of that, rest assured, the same way we understand when HoME's versions supercede any other.
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#9 Beren IV

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Posted 27 October 2006 - 02:09 AM

Well, as I said, in being true to Tolkien, LotR (and the Hobbit) are the only versions Tolkien ever published himself, meaning that these are the only versions he saw fit to publish, particularly since it did become clear that he could have published whatever he desired. I take this to mean that LotR was the only version he considered finished, complete, "canon" if you will, in his own mind. This is why I say that LotR supercedes anything else: it is the only version that is genuinely Tolkien's: "it is his, and he let a great part of his former power pass into it." ;)

HoME, by contrast, is unfinished, incomplete, and most importantly of all, unpublished, not canonical; if it were, Tolkien would have published it. Now, I can accept the argument that the later versions, described in HoME X-XII, might supercede the earlier versions, such as BoLT. But anything that is explicit in LotR is going to take precedent over anything in BoLT, HoME, or anything else in Tolkien except arguably The Hobbit, since it is also published (although of course The Hobbit was written before LotR and in a different light, so more likely LotR supercedes it too). The barrow-wights really do hold memories of the warriors who died in the Fall of Angmar, as we expect ghosts might, and Galadriel really did blow the begezus out of Dol Guldor after Celeborn and Thranduil besieged it, and the Balrog really does resemble a classical demon in a number of visibly obvious cosmetic ways.

The parts left up for interpretation even by the purist are when LotR doesn't say anything, is ambiguous, or only implies something, which is most everything that is discussed in UT, the Sil, or any volume of HoME (except books VI through IX, of course). Tolkien implies in LotR that the Dúnedain can be mistaken for Elves, but he doesn't explain why or how. Souls obviously exist on Arda, but they aren't easily observable even apparently by the Elves. Because of these implications, for instance, I prefer a BoLT-like interpretation of the Edain: the house of Bëor in particular are more like Elves than like real-world Humans, and that when people die they die in much the same way that real people do - i.e. as bodies, rather than as immortal spirits imprisoned within bodies. However, these are my preferred interpretations: Tolkien isn't explicit in LotR, especially since we never see the story written from an Elvish, let alone Maiar, point of view. There is no reason to believe that Men in LotR have much if any concept of Ilúvitar and even less that Ilúvitar directly intervenes, and it is difficult to believe that the religion of the Reunited Kingdom could have changed that much by the time of The New Shadow, but it is not explicitly said not so, so you can take The New Shadow for what you want.

Now, of course, you can adopt whatever interpretation you want. However, true to Tolkien means true to his published works first, and to his unpublished works second.
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#10 Arthadan

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Posted 27 December 2006 - 04:14 PM

Hello all,

I'm new on the forum and I love what I have seen about this upcoming game so far. About this topic, I assume that villagers would be the typical resource-collectors and/or structure-builders in the game and since Dwarven women were uncommon, IMO they will not do any heavy work such building a house or mining.

About Dwarven concept art there are some points which I would like to discuss with the utmost respect for the artist:

- Dwarven armours: No evolution at all! They are exactly the same since Durin I to Thorin II. I would suggest more chainmail and less plate armour in the earlier times.

- Dwarf axe-thrower: While one warrior can carry perfectly 20 or more arrows for his bow, I find absurd the same guy overloaded carrying 20 hand-axes or more to throw at short range in battle. It could be a weapon used once or twice per battle or so to be realistic.

- Dwarf Berserker: Although I understand the need of variety for Dwarven units, this one looks quite "Warhammeresque", I would suggest heavily armoured elite warriors instead.

- Crossbows: There is no single quote for crossbows in Middle-earth, but Dwarves do use short bows in The Hobbit. The common enemies for Dwarves would normally be light armoured Orcs and since a bow can be fired more quickly than a crossbow and has better range even if crossbows have been developped, wouldn't be practical at all use them).

- Dwarven war-masks: Dwarven used war-mask before the Battle of the Sudden Flame, when the first dragon appeared, so it's very unlikely they wear dragon-masks. However some of them may change the design after the battle.


Arthadan

Edited by Arthadan, 27 December 2006 - 04:23 PM.

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#11 Beren IV

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Posted 28 December 2006 - 06:52 AM

Well, unfortunately that information is verymuch out of date. There will be a population dynamics system operating alongside of the usual resource-gathering, and the developers have so far released nothing about their population dynamics system other than there will be one and that it will change the usual AoX-style of economics.

The units there are a list that is also subject to flux, and those illustrations were drawn by an artist who no longer works for TLA, or at least so I get the impression (all of the concept art on the main website is quite old...). I would not take any of it at face value.


Last, about weapons: Tolkien makes it clear in his writings that there are a large number of powers and weapons that exist in Middle-Earth that he does not describe in detail. There are instances of the use of magic as a weapon in places, and the bad guys at least have something that passes for gunpowder (both Saruman and Sauron). Dwarves use shortbows in The Hobbit, this is true, but that does not mean that shortbows are their only long-range infantry weapon. That said, given that the dwarves do use shortbows, I would prefer to see dwarves with shorbows in TLA before seeing dwarves with crossbows or guns - although I am not adverse to the idea that the dwarves have both shortbowmen and crossbowmen or gunmen.


That said, throwing axes were something you used immediately before closing in melee; they're something to give the infantry a slight edge.
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#12 Arthadan

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Posted 28 December 2006 - 08:13 AM

Aiya Beren,

The units there are a list that is also subject to flux, and those illustrations were drawn by an artist who no longer works for TLA, or at least so I get the impression (all of the concept art on the main website is quite old...). I would not take any of it at face value.


Good to know that, because even if the artwork is rather good I don't find some of them accurate to Tolkien.

That said, given that the dwarves do use shortbows, I would prefer to see dwarves with shorbows in TLA before seeing dwarves with crossbows or guns - although I am not adverse to the idea that the dwarves have both shortbowmen and crossbowmen or gunmen.


Well, Tolkien did describe some battles involving Dwarves in different Ages and even in the Third Age, in the Battle of the Five Armies they have no missile troops because they were only used to fight underground battles against Orcs in their mines. Also, as I expose before crossbows are useful against heavily armoured enemies because their penetration power is greater than bows, but Orcs don't wear heavy plate armours at all. About gunmen there is no single hint Dwarves knew/used gunpowder (and for Saruman it could even be a thunder spell, so IMO it's not that clear that it ever exist in Middle-earth).


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#13 Beren IV

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Posted 28 December 2006 - 03:40 PM

Frankly, the idea that the Dwarves possess no missle weapons in their armies is absurd. They may not have used them at that time, but they would have reason to have them.

Tolkien doesn't describe orc armor very well; we can assume that the orcs of the Misty Mountains are a lot less armored than those of Angband.

Last, as for gunpowder, as I said, the bad guys have something that passes for gunpowder - as you say, it could be magical. But my point is that this is a weapon that Tolkien does not describe in detail. Tolkien is generally very vague on the big battles and the weapons and tactics used therein, especially in the First Age. We know that the Noldor use swords, the Sindar axes, all Elves use bows, and that the Dwarves like both axes and modified mining tools. Any real historical army would be armed with a vast variety of weapons beyond just one standard melee weapon and one standard ranged weapon, and Tolkien does show characters up wielding weapons that are not what he had described earlier as the primary norm for their race, so we know that the troops of the races have more weapons than what he describes. The Dwarves use shortbows - we know that - and because we know of their use of shortbows and not of other ranged weapons, and we know tha the Dwarves used primarily melee weapons, so we can assume that shortbows were more important as a ranged weapon for Dwarves than others that did not recieve mention, but throwing axes, crossbows, javelins, guns, darts, slings, magic, and atl-atls are all possible minor components in Dwarven armies.
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#14 Arthadan

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Posted 29 December 2006 - 08:36 AM

The Dwarves use shortbows - we know that - and because we know of their use of shortbows and not of other ranged weapons, and we know tha the Dwarves used primarily melee weapons, so we can assume that shortbows were more important as a ranged weapon for Dwarves than others that did not recieve mention



Exactly my thoughts sir.

but throwing axes, crossbows, javelins, guns, darts, slings, magic, and atl-atls are all possible minor components in Dwarven armies.


I think that should be made very carefully or we will end with a full army of mounted wizard Dwarves with guns. IMHO some weapons are more reasonble for Dwarven culture in ME than others. For example, there is not such thing as "battle-magic", and for Dwarves the only magic they have as far as Tolkien wrote is when forging. I think we should try to analyze the real need of new weapons for a Dwarven army and compare them with the knowledge they could have of surface battles, so we can try to decide if they would have had enough field experience to realise those needs.


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#15 Beren IV

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Posted 30 December 2006 - 01:43 AM

I think that should be made very carefully or we will end with a full army of mounted wizard Dwarves with guns.


Agreed. I will note, however, that with regard to dwarf weapons, the only uses of shortbows that we see is by Thorin's company - who are, honestly, a bunch of quite down-on-their-luck dwarves. They don't have access to the weapons that they would like.

There are a lot of ways of making units vulnerable. Obvious rock-paper-scissors relationships are one common way; introducing combat bonuses for combined forces is another. A good way of dealing with magic, for instance, would be to have magic-users just not be cost effective as troops, but like heroes, commanders, harpers, or similar support units, their mere presence in small numbers makes the entire army more effective. Our magic-user doesn't even need to be a Dwarf; there are several instances I can name in which a certain Maia made probably quite a difference!


there is not such thing as "battle-magic"


Yes there is - it's just not common in the battles that we actually see in LotR, but what we do see is decisive: Elrond's and Gandalf's sweeping the Nine away with Greyflood, Gandalf's use of fire on the knoll agains the were-wargs outside of Moria, the fight with the Balrog, the Witch-King's use of lighthing to help bust open the gates of Minas Tirith, leading into his standoff with Gandalf, and then finally whatever it was that Galadriel did to cast down the walls of Dol Guldor after the War of the Ring was over. There are also several less-effective uses of combat magic by Gandalf in The Hobbit.

The thing to remember is that most of the battles that we actually see in Tolkien are battles in which the combatants are mostly Men and Orcs, and which take place in the late Third Age, not in the First. Granted, there is the Battle of the Five Armies, but recall that Bilbo is knocked unconscious early in that battle, so we really don't see what happens when push comes to shove even then. The battles of the First Age are described in terms of movements of peoples and to some extent of armies, and we get occasional hints about what weapons and tactics are used, but we never get enough of a description to have a "we are there" prospective, unlike in LotR. The hints that we do get indicate that the most common weapons among the Elves of the First Age (for example) are fantastical versions of otherwise familiar weapons: bows, swords, spears, and such, not magical spells, although there certainly are quite a number of those in the Silmarillion that do get used. As a result, I would make the same caution as I do with the Dwarves and others elsewhere in M.E. - warfare consists primarily of fighting with weapons that at least appear at first glance similar to weapons that we know of, but there are other weapons there besides. Your average Elven soldier in Nirnaeth Anoediad probably carried a sword, and possibly a spear and/or bow as well, and these were his primary weapons, but there probably were spellcasters as well. That said, the sword belonging to your average Elven soldier in Nirnaeth Anoediad probably was quite superior in any number of ways, some mundane and some fantastical, to any sword used in historical Earth! ;)


and for Dwarves the only magic they have as far as Tolkien wrote is when forging.


Dwarves also had some kind of crystal lamps to illuminate their underground cities, if we are to believe UT.


I think we should try to analyze the real need of new weapons for a Dwarven army and compare them with the knowledge they could have of surface battles, so we can try to decide if they would have had enough field experience to realise those needs.


Again, agreed.

Unlike many fantasy worlds, there seems to be no "underdark" for Middle-Earth; there are plenty of underground cave complexes, but you cannot travel from the Blue Mountains to the Iron Hills without spending quite a lot of time on the surface. As a result, because Dwarves do seem to be a people who are interested in trade, at least with other Dwarves, they would have reason to protect their surface interests, at least to the extent of being able to protect their own trade routes. Moreover, Dwarven societies do come to the aid of one-another, as we saw with Thorin calling his cousin from the Iron Hills in The Hobbit. For these reasons, I think it quite certain that Dwarves quild be very familiar with the necessities to fight on the surface, and would have appropriate weapons.

Now, for Nain's force - if I remember correctly (and I am not sure that I do), Nain did not expect to actually find Thorin besieged, and so the weapons his dwarves brought may have been chosen in the expectation of fighting an undergound battle against the besieging Men and Elves. So, their picks might have been chosen for such a purpose.

Last, certain weapons would be more or less effective against certain races. For instance, ironically, arrows would be very effective against Elves. Elves are fast, and thus unless you are on horseback, they will be able to choose their combat distance, which will probably be optimal for the use of their own bows. As a result, the most effective tactic of a slower race against Elves would be to carry the same weapons to fight back with!
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#16 Arthadan

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Posted 02 January 2007 - 11:16 AM

QUOTE(Arthadan)
there is not such thing as "battle-magic"


Yes there is - it's just not common in the battles that we actually see in LotR, but what we do see is decisive: Elrond's and Gandalf's sweeping the Nine away with Greyflood, Gandalf's use of fire on the knoll agains the were-wargs outside of Moria, the fight with the Balrog, the Witch-King's use of lighthing to help bust open the gates of Minas Tirith, leading into his standoff with Gandalf, and then finally whatever it was that Galadriel did to cast down the walls of Dol Guldor after the War of the Ring was over. There are also several less-effective uses of combat magic by Gandalf in The Hobbit.


I meant in common armies. Maiar and Úlari and the most powerful of the Eldar are exceptions. Also, even this powerful beings don't kill entire armies or units with fireballs and so.

Unlike many fantasy worlds, there seems to be no "underdark" for Middle-Earth; there are plenty of underground cave complexes, but you cannot travel from the Blue Mountains to the Iron Hills without spending quite a lot of time on the surface. As a result, because Dwarves do seem to be a people who are interested in trade, at least with other Dwarves, they would have reason to protect their surface interests, at least to the extent of being able to protect their own trade routes. Moreover, Dwarven societies do come to the aid of one-another, as we saw with Thorin calling his cousin from the Iron Hills in The Hobbit. For these reasons, I think it quite certain that Dwarves quild be very familiar with the necessities to fight on the surface, and would have appropriate weapons.


I think it would depend mainly on the Tribe (BTW would be different Dwarven Tribes to play with in TLA?).

Now, for Nain's force - if I remember correctly (and I am not sure that I do), Nain did not expect to actually find Thorin besieged, and so the weapons his dwarves brought may have been chosen in the expectation of fighting an undergound battle against the besieging Men and Elves. So, their picks might have been chosen for such a purpose.


If Thorin's company had been besieged, they would have had to fight a standard "surface" siege and missile weapons would have been extremely handy for them to protect the walls.
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#17 Beren IV

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Posted 11 January 2007 - 05:16 AM

I meant in common armies. Maiar and Úlari and the most powerful of the Eldar are exceptions. Also, even this powerful beings don't kill entire armies or units with fireballs and so.


What is "common"? Are the Elvish armies of the First Age common?

The idea of "battle magic", as we normally think of it, I think, comes probably from Dungeons and Dragons games. However, if you read the D&D books, magic is divided into eight schools, only one of which deals with the spells that basically function as artillery. And yet, when you think about it, you could concievably mount a very effective attack built around magic from any one of those eight schools. Tolkien isn't D&D, of course, but I do think that you could make the case that the apparent lack of war magic and in fact magic in general is that there are many more options for a wise, intelligent magic-user other than the flashy attack magic that characterizes so many relatively unimaginitive fantasy games. And, after all, the original meaning of the word wizard is simply 'one who is wise'.

For instance, I think that, if you're up against Galadriel, or Sauron for that matter, you can expect that your opponent will use their Arts to forsee your actions, know when you are vulnerable and where you are vulnerable, and strike when and where you are least prepared to defend or counterattack. Lúthien, on the other hand, could be expected to charm your troops into switching sides and joining up with her. And Melian, of course, could lay down enchantments that make her forces simply invulnerable to your weapons - and as long as you are still vulnerable to hers, you lose. The weapons that get used in each of these cases are spears and arrows and swords, but that doesn't change the fact that these are magic-based attacks!

And then, of course, there are the Valar, who will leave your entire continent under the sea, you have corrupted it it so much. ;)
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#18 Tathar

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Posted 11 January 2007 - 10:22 PM

Now, of course, you can adopt whatever interpretation you want. However, true to Tolkien means true to his published works first, and to his unpublished works second.

the only reason those works were unpublished was cause he DIED before he could finish them.
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#19 Beren IV

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Posted 12 January 2007 - 12:57 AM

the only reason those works were unpublished was cause he DIED before he could finish them.


Yes, but the reason he did not finish them sooner was because he was unsatisfied with them, and recognized accurately that they wouldn't work if he had published them as they were. If he had lived to be able to finish them, I don't doubt that, like the books that he did publish, they would have been edited such that most fantasy readers and particularly most people who don't share his particular ultra-conservative faith would still be able to enjoy them. There are certain parts of the Sil, particularly those parts dealing with the souls of Elves and Men, that really grate on me, most of the rest is something I enjoy very much.
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#20 rohirwine

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Posted 12 January 2007 - 12:40 PM

One thing for sure: there will be no dwarven gunmen... ;)

As for crossbows-shortbows, i prefer the latter, but things are still in progress and i'm not sure bowmen will be included (at least in FA dwarven hosts).

And please, forget about darts too (it either sounds too much AD&D or "Let's have some nice Pub evening with friends"... :D )

:D ;) ;) ... i don't know if you get what i mean... :D

Mat

Edited by rohirwine, 12 January 2007 - 12:42 PM.

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