This was first published on Nov. 29th, 2014.
This week we’re going to continue our nitpicking. Today, we’re going to look at the race deeds and traits. I should point out that we are only going to look at the emnity deeds. The class deeds are based on your attacks, which we are going to ignore completely. They don’t have any connections to the lore, so we can safely ignore them. Next we’re going to look at our trait trees. Why do we have a dps, a tank, and a healer/buffer as our choices? The first two are understandable, but how does that last one fit in? Let’s take a look.
Our three emnity deeds are against goblins, orcs, and spiders. Let’s cover goblins and orcs first. These two quotes more than prove Beorn’s hatred of goblins/orcs.
“”Where was I? O yes – I was not grabbed. I killed a goblin or two with a flash -”
“”Good!” growled Beorn, “It is some good being a wizard, then.”” (pg 115)
“I wish I had been there! I would have given them more than fireworks!” (pg 116)
Note Beorn’s rudeness in the first quote. In the first quote there is also the implication that Beorn only actually approves of Gandalf after he says that he has killed some goblins. He also shows a great eagerness to fight goblins.
This hatred of goblins also translates over to orcs, because Tolkien considered orcs, goblins, and hobgoblins the same thing as shown by this quote.
“Orc is not an English word. It occurs in one or two places but is usually translated as goblin (or hobgoblin for the larger kinds). Orc is the hobbit’s form of the name given at that time to these creatures, and it is not connected at all with our orc, ork, applied to sea-animals of dolphin-kind.” (pg 1)
The above quote was taken from the introduction to “The Hobbit” that is published in later editions. It shows that if Beorn can hate goblins, he can hate orcs, since they are really the same thing. I wish that Tolkien would learn the meaning of the word consistency. Sometimes it’s confusing to have three words (for the same thing!) be used in different contexts and by different races. Does the above quote mean that only Hobbits refer to orcs as goblins? What about the Hobbits who don’t live in the Shire? Do they have a different word for orcs? But, I digress…
How does this hatred of spiders fit in? No quotes could be found to support this odd hatred of spiders. While I do admit that Beorn’s house is near Mirkwood, that doesn’t mean that he hates spiders. He doesn’t say anything about spiders when he’s sending the troop off to Mirkwood. He tells them about what sort of food they can find there (none) and to not stray from the path.
Might and Conviction Bonus gives a bonus to Ent’s Strength and Eagle’s Cry. We’ll tie into the idea of a Beornings dual nature as a dps and a healer with the trait trees, so for now, let me just say that this is completely accurate.
Beorning Club Damage Bonus is exactly what it looks like. But it isn’t that accurate. Beorn doesn’t ever use any sort of weapons. He usually just mauls people. In the Battle of Five Armies, clubs were not mentioned. The only weapon we’ve seen him use is an axe when we first met him. And he was chopping firewood at the time. Sorry Lotro, but that’s a point lost.
Emissary gives Beornings a +20 fate bonus since they represent their people. This one we’ll let slide since every one of Beorn’s descendants represents his family line.
Natural Diet gives Beornings a 1% resistance against disease. Sorry, but honey and cream won’t do this. I would have given them a point if it was a wound resistance.
Virtuous Beorning gives a +1 to Fortitude, Empathy, and Honour since Beornings are known for these traits. This is fairly accurate. Beorn is known for being tough, honourable, and very nice to his animal friends. Although he is very rude to anyone with two legs.
Bake A Honey-Cake seems pretty random. But Beorn is known to make honey-cakes, and it is easy to imagine them as a family recipe. We even have a quote for this one!
Among the provisions Beorn gave our troop there were “…twice-baked cakes that would keep good a long time, and on a little of which they could march far. The making of these was one of his secrets; but honey was in them, as in most of his foods, and they were good to eat, though they made one thirsty.” (pg 125)
Bracing Roar gives you a skill that recharges Wrath and recovers morale. This can be seen as a sort of rallying cry. I see no reason to deduct points for this.
Return To Grimbeorn’s Lodge sends you home. This is pretty accurate. The Beornings would view the lodge as their home.
Feral Presence gives your fellowship a fate bonus. This can be viewed as encouragement. Don’t worry guys! I’ll just maul anyone who gets in our way! The troop is shown to be dismayed when Beorn leaves them when sending them off to Mirkwood, and happy when he is traveling with them, so a fate bonus is understandable.
What about the trait trees? How do they fit into all this? Let me explain.
The Hide is the tank. There is a focus on absorbing damage, and debuffing your enemies ability to hurt you. This whole idea is shown to be something that Beorn himself does in the Battle of Five Armies as shown by this quote. Another quote reinforces the tank line.
“Then Beorn stooped and lifted Thorin, who had fallen pierced with spears, and bore him out of the fray. Swiftly he returned and his wrath was redoubled, so that nothing could withstand him, and no weapon seemed to bite upon him.” (pg 267)
“… but he was well guided and well guarded – the wizard was with him, and Beorn for much of the way…” (pg 270)
The first quote gives us an image of Beorn as an unstoppable wall of fur who will go out of his way to protect his allies. We even see that the term used in Lotro to show a Beorning’s power, wrath, is used in “The Hobbit” to show Beorn’s power. The idea of saving a friend from harm (although Thorin actually died, more on that when covering The Roar. The point is that Beorn tried to save him, not that he actually didn’t succeed. The effort was there.) and pulling enemies is shown in this quote, and that’s exactly what a tank does. The Hide is a lore accurate representation of this. Even the capstone relates to this first quote in a way. The quote says “and no weapon seemed to bite upon him.” The capstone reduces damage taken by an enormous amount, and other traits in this tree give you the ability to reduce the damage that your enemy does.
The second quote shows Beorn being a successful tank. He guards Bilbo for part of his journey. Isn’t it interesting that even though Gandalf is traveling with them (not to mention that Bilbo has a super special ring that could probably help him avoid any sort of trouble) Beorn is directly mentioned as guarding him? Beorn isn’t just along for the ride, he’s making sure that Bilbo is safe.
Is this line accurate? Incredibly so.
The Claw is the dps line. It, like most dps lines, focuses on doing damage to as many people as possible as quickly as it can. I refer you to this quote.
“The roar of his voice was like drums and guns; and he tossed wolves and goblins from his path like straws and feathers. He fell upon their rear, and broke like a clap of thunder through the ring.” (pg 267)
Although this quote raises some odd questions, (why is Gandalf referring to orcs as goblins? He’s not a Hobbit. Why is Gandalf comparing Beorn’s roaring to guns? Do they have guns in Middle Earth? Is Gandalf a time traveler or something?) it shows what a potent force Beorn can be when he really wants to hurt something. This quote shows a dps doing what he does best. Hurting things really quickly. This is very accurate.
The Roar is more complex. This is the friendly bear. The bear that goes and heals people and focuses on crowd control. It’s very different from the other lines. Is it lore accurate? I refer you to these quotes:
“Then Beorn stooped and lifted Thorin, who had fallen pierced with spears, and bore him out of the fray.” (pg 267)
“He scattered the bodyguard, and pulled down Bolg himself and crushed him. Then dismay fell on the goblins and they fled in all directions.” (pg 267)
“”Little bunny is getting nice and fat again on bread and honey,” he chuckled. “Come and have some more!”” (pg 123)
“He would provide ponies for each of them, and a horse for Gandalf, for their journey to the forest, and he would lade them with food to last them for weeks with care…” (pg 125)
“…my house is open to you, if you ever come back this way again.” (pg 125)
The job of a yellow line Beorning is to support healing, buff allies and to use crowd control. The core idea is to protect friends, but in a gentler way than a tank. A blue line Beorning will punch people who hurt their ally, while a yellow line Beorning will encourage you to do the punching and possibly give you an ice pack to deal with any bruises you get. The core idea is to protect allies in a gentle manner, which the yellow line exemplifies.
The first quote shows Beorn trying to protect Thorin, not by pulling enemies, but by getting him out of there. He saves the corpse of his friend, and so protects Thorin’s honour, which is very important to both Beorn and Thorin.
The second quote shows Beorn utilizing crowd control. That’s right, he goes and scares enemies. One of the ways a yellow line uses crowd control is by scaring enemies, and Beorn does this.
The last three quotes show the gentler ways in which Beorn cares for his allies. He gives them gifts, he offers them a safe place to stay and he makes sure that they take care of themselves. He looks after their health and does his best to make sure that they can protect themselves. This can easily be translated into giving out heals and buffs. While at first it seems like the yellow line is an odd choice for a Beorning trait line, it is actually very lore accurate. We’ve just covered crowd control, healing, and buffing.
So what’s the verdict? How lore accurate is the Beorning? Let’s tally it up.
– bulky build
– Beornings are a race
– hair color matches fur color
– rude, distrustful, and impolite
– beornings descend form ancient men
– 4 accurate race bonuses
– 2 emnity deeds are accurate
– 7 race traits are accurate
– 3 trait tree lines are accurate
Things not found:
– height is wrong
– Beornings can shift into a bear at any time
– movement speed buff while in bear form should be given
– 1 emnity deed isn’t accurate
– 2 race traits are not accurate
That’s a total of 21/27 points for the class. The starting area recieved a total of 9/10 points.
The starting area has recieved a Lotro-Worth Rating of 90%.
The Beorning itself has recieved a Lotro-Worthy Rating of 78%.
While 78% isn’t as high as 90%, it should be remembered that we deducted points on minor things such as lacking a movement speed buff while in bear form, and their height. I think we can all agree that a rating of 78% isn’t that bad. All of the major things have been accurate, and there are no gaping flaws in the class.
That wraps it up for our special panel, it’s back to normal stuff for us. I hope that you enjoyed this! Remember to subscribe and leave a comment or two. Do you think we were too picky? Not picky enough? Tell us in the comments below!