Leaf and Land
Rules For Creating Characters
Adventurers are often simply common individuals born in exceptional times. They have most likely led an ordinary life until the day something happened and changed the way they looked at their world and the people they knew. For some reason, the place they grew up in didn't look as interesting and boundless as before, or they started to realise that they weren't doing enough for the safekeeping of their loved ones by staying at home in idleness, pretending shadows weren't growing nearer and nearer every year.
For every member of the Wise and the Great, for every Wizard or Ranger of the North, there are countless more like Samwise Gamgee, simple people who never crossed the boundaries of their own village or town, or individuals like Gimli son of Glóin, who ignored the existence of Rohan until he visited it, or Men like noble Faramir who, while learned in many lores, never encountered an Elf or a Hobbit before the War of the Ring.
Whatever their motivation or purpose, most characters created for Leaf and Land are individuals who have chosen to abandon their day-to-day activities and become adventurers. They do not begin as great captains or legendary hunters, nor are they subtle Wizards trying to weave the threads spun by fate, they are bold souls putting themselves in peril by their own free will, sometimes simply for the love af adventure itself.
The following wiki shows you how to craft an adventurer drawn from one of the Free Peoples. Using the guidelines presented, all players will be able to create their hero, complete with strengths and weaknesses, equipment and abilities, hopes and fears. Beyond this wiki players will find additional new rules and play structures that bring extra Middle-earth atmosphere to your table.
"For the rest, they shall represent the other Free Peoples of the World: Elves, Dwarves, and Men."
All player characters come from one of the Free Folk, the heroic cultures who have not yet fallen to the Shadow. Each of these cultures offers a number of unique and special virtues, traits that reflect the character's upbringing and heritage. Your culture also determines certain starting talents and ability score adjustments, as well as some of your starting equipment and how you are seen by others in Middle-earth.
Choosing a home culture replaces the choice of race.
Leaf and Land offers a range of setting-specific cultures, selected to provide focus to your company of player characters and to add credibility to why they have come together to seek out adventure. Balanced against this is the provision of a range of cultures from further afield, so that any fan of Middle-earth will find something they want to play in the setting.
The heroic cultures are described in the Cultures wiki.
Player characters from all the varied cultures of Men and the Dúnedain all start with a single Cultural Virtue. Characters from all Cultures can shoose to acquire a Cultural Virtue in place of an Ability Score Improvement at their 4th, 8th, 12th, 16th, and 19th levels.
The list of Cultural and Open Virtues can be found in the Virtues wiki.
"If by life or death I can save you, I will."
Leaving home and setting off on the road is a courageous choice. Player characters will be leaving behind all they know and love, so they must have a strong motivation to become an adventurer. In Leaf and Land, a character class is as much a calling as it is a vocation – the choice of class determines why the character embarks on adventures just as much as it describes how they overcome perils.
The unique classes presented in Leaf and Land are designed to help create characters who feel like they belong in Middle-earth. They carefully reflect the range of characters we see in Tolkien's novels, and are one of the tools the game uses to bring the spirit of the setting to the tabletop.
There is little in the way of blatant, showy magic in Middle-earth, nor do the divine powers who watch over the world grant spells or blessings to their adherents as a matter of course. While there is a supernatural component to Middle-earth, it is much more subtle and hidden than in other fantasy settings. Therefore, to maintain the proper atmosphere, the use of the classes presented in the Classes wiki are the only ones available to starting characters.
"Dark have been my dreams of late' he said, 'but I feel as one new-awakened."
The Backgrounds in Leaf and Land give your character various qualities that help define who they are: two skill proficiencies, a Distinctive Feature, a Specialty, a Hope, and a source of Despair.
Roleplaying your character in accordance with your background grants inspiration. Inspiration not only allows a roll with advantage, it can also be spent to trigger certain special abilities, representing an effort of will or the use of an innate power. Finally, while a character has Inspiration, they may avoid the worst effects of being Miserable.
"But I say: let a ploughman plough, but choose an otter for swimming, and for running light over grass and leaf or over snow – an Elf."
Virtues are a new kind of Trait introduced in Leaf and Land. These are a number of special abilities shared by individual cultural groups, but not reliably present in every member of that culture. During the creation of a player character, if you chose a Mannish culture you will get to initially choose one such Virtue that personalises your character.
Those player characters from other cultures need to wait until 4th level, when they may choose a virtue instead of increasing an ability score.
Additional Virtues are available to all cultures and are referred to as Open Virtues. A player character from any culture may be "Fell-handed" or exhibit expertise in a particular skill.
Due to the range of Virtues available to player characters, these can be found in their own wiki page.
Steps for Character Creation
Step 1: Choose a Culture.
Step 2: Choose a Class.
Step 3: Determine Ability Scores
You have 27 points to spend on your ability scores. The cost of each score is shown on the table below. For example, a score of 14 costs 7 points. Using this method, 15 is the highest ability score you can end up with, before applying racial increases. You can't have a score lower than 8.
Step 4: Determine Your Background
Step 5: Choose a Virtue (if allowed)
Step 6: Equip Your Character
You can download a printable character sheet here.