The Segregation of Role-Playing

By: Derek S. on 9/05/08

Men, Dwarfs, Goblins, Elves, Orcs, Hobbits… These are all examples of different types of characters in the LOTR saga. From the books to the movies to the games. They all make an appearance in some fashion and they all have a major role to play.

These characters shape the world of LOTR and give it a solid definition. All the races interact with each other differently. Men are not trusted by any race due to the weakness Isildur demonstrated when he had the chance to destroy the ring. Elves and Dwarfs are polar opposites of each other which causes them not to trust the other race. None of the other races know what to think about the Hobbits due to the fact that almost no one knows anything about Hobbits.

Different Races are specialized for different tasks. This is most evident in the MMORPG: LOTRO (Lord of the Rings Online). Men have the choice of being champions, guardians, hunters. Men can be whatever they want to. Dwarfs, on the other hand, are restricted to only the champion, guardian, hunter, and minstrel classes. Hobbits are limited to being hunters, burglars, minstrels, and guardians. Elves finish in a close second to men, only having two classes less than men. Those two missing classes are burglar and captain. These classes fit closely into the stereotypes the movies and books fit the different races into. Hobbits are small and more like stealth and support characters. Elves are the lore-masters, focused mainly on spells and incantations. Dwarfs, while they are indeed stout and hard-hitting, tend not to be capable of the same type of fighting expertise as men. The way these races are portrayed in the movies and the books correlates directly with what these characters are capable of in the game.

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