Leaf and Land
"But everywhere he looked he saw signs of war…Under the boughs of Mirkwood there was deadly strife of Elves and Men and fell beasts. The land of the Beornings was aflame; a cloud was over Moria; smoke rose on the borders of Lórien…"
Every player character in Middle-earth belongs to a particular culture: a set of traditions and customs, and in some cases lineage, that define them as belonging to a particular group. These groups are mostly geographic in nature: for example the Bardings and Men of the Lake share much in terms of ancestry, but are considered different cultures for the purpose of character creation; likewise, the Beornings are a very young folk, with no special heritage to differentiate them from the Woodmen. Their culture however is what defines them, and marks them as different; Elves of Mirkwood while being comprised of various lineages are all considered to be one group for the purposes of Leaf and Land.
All cultures presented here belong to the Free Folks, brave peoples that refuse the darkness, some of whom are at open war with it.
When choosing a culture, players should read through the summary description, maybe even reading some or all the background examples provided, and choose which description is closest to the hero concept that they have in mind.
The cultural descriptions are detailed in the wiki below, in the following format:
The geographical area that is home to the Culture, some information on how they live and an overview of their history and origins.
Some details that typically distinguish the appearance of the hero type.
Guidance on naming conventions and lists of common male and female names.
Players choose the starting age of their character using the information in this section as a guide.
Heroes rarely start their adventuring career before they are deemed fully grown by their culture. On the other hand, if they progress too far into adulthood without answering the call to adventure, then they probably won't heed it at all.
Standard of Living
A culture's Standard of Living is a rough indication of the resources of any one of its members. The game ranks the average economic status of a folk in five tiers: Poor, Frugal, Martial, Prosperous, and finally Rich. It is used to gauge the approximate economic background of a character, and his ability to make out-of-pocket expenses.
Cultures give different ability score modifiers and special abilities, reflecting innate aptitudes, upbringing, and beliefs.