Other Hands #2 - July 1993
Well, it’s issue two and we’re still afloat.
Our baptismal issue of Other Hands was a great success — one hundred and twenty copies were printed of which less than twenty now remain.
Documents of the section
Editorial: So far, so good… ⇨
Well, it’s issue two and we’re still afloat. Our baptismal issue of Other Hands was a great success — one hundred and twenty copies were printed of which less than twenty now remain. More importantly, we have made progress in arranging for a European contact to distribute our journal throughout the EEC, which will hopefully reduce our overseas subscription rates.
No Elves in the Fourth Age?! ⇨
In the first issue of Other Hands, Mr. Anders Blixt states something quite dismaying about the state of affairs with the Elves (i.e., the Eldar; the Avari are not the concern of this article) in the Fourth Age. He states that “The Elves voyage to Aman or disappear into the deep forests and shun Men (p. 16).” Since this was all he stated about the Elves, he should have perhaps have not written anything; because the little that he did say comes across as a gross generalization. This article hopes to correct this as well as to shed a little light and “hope” for those of you out there who thought the Eldar were completely extinct in the Fourth Age.
Religion in Middle-earth ⇨
Religion is a standard feature of fantasy role-playing universes. If we broadly define religion as creed (what people believe), code (what people value) and cultus (how people express beliefs and values through ritual), then we can usually discern its presence as a factor in most role-playing games.
Character Profile ⇨
In an effort to acquaint itself with some of the more colorful personalities to be found in Middle-earth, Other Hands’ 1640s correspondent, Oxrandir (venerable loremaster from Minas Tirith and president of the eminent Gondorian Historiographical Society), has taken it upon himself to make the journey to a rather important trade conference being held in the city of Tharbad; and there to interview one of the most unlikely prime movers of such an event: King Konar of Dor-en-Gurth.
Arda in a distant mirror: Some problems of RPG design in Tolkien’s world ⇨
Despite the fact that they often deal in similar genres, literary fiction and role-playing games are very different modes of artistic expression. For instance, while the modern novel privileges the inner development of its characters, role-playing necessarily emphasizes externalized problem-solving and interpersonal action. To capture the overall feel of a literary world through the medium of role-playing therefore requires a certain skill in translation, which may very well result in a product distinctly different from the original literary work. For no author is this more true than for Tolkien.