Sauron as a player character in DND 3.5

Celebrim

Legend
But the Sauron's powers mentioned do appear in the books:

Not in the way you interpret them.

Volcano Control? - 9th level spell?

There is no sign whatsoever that Sauron can control volcano's generally or even that volcano in great detail. Sauron seems to have enchanted a portion of the volcano to obey his will in a limited manner so that he can use it as a forge. Moreover, that's probably something that has more to do with the really different way magic works in Middle Earth compared to D&D. Sauron essentially has a limited domain power, and I mean that more in the sense of a lair power in 5e. It's probably best to treat Orodruin as a sort of magic item he's created.

Earthquake

Again, there is no sign whatsoever that Sauron can cause earthquakes generally, as opposed to earthquakes that are a natural side effect of allowing Mount Doom to erupt.

Control Weather

Again, there is no sign whatsoever that Sauron can control the weather generally, as opposed to fumes that are the natural side effect of allowing Mount Doom to erupt. A D&D spell caster could repeatedly cast control weather when things weren't going to plan, but Sauron can't and when the natural forces he unleashes don't go his way he's pretty much helpless to do anything about it. Moreover, there is internal textual evidence against this claim through Tom Bombadil.

Dominate Monster - Orcs, Trolls, Nazgûl, Wargs

Yes, he can do this. Dominating the will of others is very much Sauron's thing. But also not outside the abilities I outlined of an undead sorcerer. But mostly Sauron has high levels of skill in intimidate, diplomacy, bluff ect. that are augmented the way Saruman's are by Sauron's natural authority as a Maiar. This is the part you don't get. There isn't much in the way of D&D magic in Middle Earth. What there actually is is a combination of skill and authority. Sauron can dominate things because he's twisted his natural gift of altering and shaping to forcing others. But mostly he doesn't do that as a spell in the D&D sense of it.

Sympathy - the attraction of Gollum and all evils to Mordor:

Has absolutely nothing to do with casting the spell Sympathy. It's vastly more subtle thing going on here, both much weaker than the spell Sympathy (in that it can take years to come into full effect) and in some sense more powerful (in that it's area of effect is basically a whole planet). This is more or less a domain or lair power that would need a special write up because D&D doesn't normally deal with magic that subtle or pervasive, and probably has more to do with a rule set like Birthright.

Antimagic field:

Absolutely nothing like the spell Antimagic Field. Again, you are kludging D&D spells into situations that they don't really fit into. Sauron might reasonably said to have Spell Resistance, but he doesn't have an Antimagic Field. What he has is Authority dispensationally granted him by Eru as a Maiar. Ownership of something is a really big deal in Middle Earth. If you have a legitimate claim to something and have legitimate authority, then it obeys you. So what you are dealing with is something more like a lair power. If Sauron goes to Rivendell or Lothlorien, the reverse thing happens to him - not because Elrond or Galadriel have Antimagic Field as a power, but because Sauron would be then in the place they legitimately own and so his ability to command things would be weakened. Heck, to some extent this would even happen to Sauron if he enters uninvited into Bag End, and a Baggins challenged him. This is for example why Farmer Maggot, who can't cast Antimagic Field and who isn't a 9th level cleric, can nevertheless daunt and force Nazgul to leave his property. This isn't something modeled in D&D, but effectively it's like if you are on someone else's property all your spells get downgraded X caster levels depending on how much authority that property owner has.

Mass suggestion/Mass charm person

Sure. Again, that's Sauron's thing. But that's not outside the realm of power for what I suggested of an 11th level undead sorcerer. However, mostly again this is not Sauron using magic that gives him great ability to control and sway other people's minds. This is mostly high levels of intimidate, diplomacy, and bluff. Sauron is mostly just using his oratory and conversational skills and the respect people are going to feel for him when they sense his Eru granted authority (however twisted to evil).

Create undead: The Nazgûl, Barrow Wight

The Nazgul were created by what was effectively an artifact magic item, one that was created under such unique circumstances that Suaron can no longer make more. (It's a trope of the setting that skilled craftsmen can make artifacts once, but can't repeat the magic. See Feanor and the Silmarils, for example). And the fact that they turned into undead was a side effect of that item, not the product of a Create Undead spell. As for the Barrow Wights, they weren't created by Sauron in the first place, and were probably created by the same sort of processes that create Wights normally.

Shapechange

Racial ability of all Ainur, lost to him by the third age. See the text of Morgoth's Ring for why.

Self resurrect - twice. With and without the ring.

It's not so much self-resurrect as it is a racial ability (shared with elves) that they can't be killed because their spirits are bound to the earth. He's more like a D&D Liche except Arda itself is his phylactery. But then, so are Tolkien elves! The only real difference is as a Maiar he can make himself a body, although he's increasingly losing that ability by the 3rd age as he's just taken too much damage and grown too evil.

Aura of Terror

Don't even really know what you mean by that, but while projecting fear is probably something he can do, it's just as much high levels of the skill intimidate as it is a spell. Plus, as a ghost or a specter he's going to have that sort of aura of terror thing going, both in RAW and more specifically if we were to use some sort of Ravenloft style Fear/Horror/Madness checks (which would probably be appropriate).

Disease? The Great Plague in third age;

Natural science. Sauron understands what disease is and has the technical knowledge to control and guide it if he finds it in the environment.[/quote]
 
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Ragnaros.

Villager
Not in the way you interpret them.



There is no sign whatsoever that Sauron can control volcano's generally or even that volcano in great detail. Sauron seems to have enchanted a portion of the volcano to obey his will in a limited manner so that he can use it as a forge. Moreover, that's probably something that has more to do with the really different way magic works in Middle Earth compared to D&D. Sauron essentially has a limited domain power, and I mean that more in the sense of a lair power in 5e.



Again, there is no sign whatsoever that Sauron can cause earthquakes generally, as opposed to earthquakes that are a natural side effect of allowing Mount Doom to erupt.



Again, there is no sign whatsoever that Sauron can control the weather generally, as opposed to fumes that are the natural side effect of allowing Mount Doom to erupt. A D&D spell caster could repeatedly cast control weather when things weren't going to plan, but Sauron can't and when the natural forces he unleashes don't go his way he's pretty much helpless to do anything about it. Moreover, there is internal textual evidence against this claim through Tom Bombadil.



Yes, he can do this. Dominating the will of others is very much Sauron's thing. But also not outside the abilities I outlined of an undead sorcerer. But mostly Sauron has high levels of skill in intimidate, diplomacy, bluff ect. that are augmented the way Saruman's are by Sauron's natural authority as a Maiar. This is the part you don't get. There isn't much in the way of D&D magic in Middle Earth. What there actually is is a combination of skill an authority. Sauron can dominate things because he's twisted his natural gift of altering and shaping to forcing others. But mostly he doesn't do that as a spell in the D&D sense of it.



Has absolutely nothing to do with casting the spell Sympathy. It's vastly more subtle thing going on here, both much weaker than the spell Sympathy (in that it can take years to come into full effect) and in some sense more powerful (in that it's area of effect is basically a whole planet). This is more or less a domain or lair power that would need a special write up because D&D doesn't normally deal with magic that subtle or pervasive, and probably has more to do with a rule set like Birthright.



Absolutely nothing like the spell Antimagic Field. Again, you are kludging D&D spells into situations that they don't really fit into. Sauron might reasonably said to have Spell Resistance, but he doesn't have an Antimagic Field. What he has is Authority dispensationally granted him by Eru as a Maiar. Ownership of something is a really big deal in Middle Earth. If you have a legitimate claim to something and have legitimate authority, then it obeys you. So what you are dealing with is something more like a lair power. If Sauron goes to Rivendell or Lothlorien, the reverse thing happens to him - not because Elrond or Galadriel have Antimagic Field as a power, but because Sauron would be then in the place they legitimately own and so his ability to command things would be weakened. Heck, to some extent this would even happen to Sauron if he enters uninvited into Bag End, and a Baggins challenged him. This is for example why Farmer Maggot, who can't cast Antimagic Field and who isn't a 9th level cleric, can nevertheless daunt and force Nazgul to leave his property. This isn't something modeled in D&D, but effectively it's like if you are on someone else's property all your spells get downgraded X caster levels depending on how much authority that property owner has.



Sure. Again, that's Sauron's thing. But that's not outside the realm of power for what I suggested of an 11th level undead sorcerer. However, mostly again this is not Sauron using magic that gives him great ability to control and sway other people's minds. This is mostly high levels of intimidate, diplomacy, and bluff. Sauron is mostly just using his oratory and conversational skills and the respect people are going to feel for him when they sense his Eru granted authority (however twisted to evil).



The Nazgul were created by what was effectively an artifact magic item, one that was created under such unique circumstances that Suaron can no longer make more. (It's a trope of the setting that skilled craftsmen can make artifacts once, but can't repeat the magic. See Feanor and the Silmarils, for example). And the fact that they turned into undead was a side effect of that item, not the product of a Create Undead spell. As for the Barrow Wights, they weren't created by Sauron in the first place, and were probably created by the same sort of processes that create Wights normally.



Racial ability of all Ainur, lost to him by the third age. See the text of Morgoth's Ring for why.



It's not so much self-resurrect as it is a racial ability (shared with elves) that they can't be killed because their spirits are bound to the earth. He's more like a D&D Liche except Arda itself is his phylactery. But then, so are Tolkien elves! The only real difference is as a Maiar he can make himself a body, although he's increasingly losing that ability by the 3rd age as he's just taken too much damage and grown too evil.



Don't even really know what you mean by that, but while projecting fear is probably something he can do, it's just as much high levels of the skill intimidate as it is a spell. Plus, as a ghost or a specter he's going to have that sort of aura of terror thing going, both in RAW and more specifically if we were to use some sort of Ravenloft style Fear/Horror/Madness checks (which would probably be appropriate).



Natural science. Sauron understands what disease is and has the technical knowledge to control and guide it if he finds it in the environment.
[/QUOTE]
That's a matter of interpretation and adaptation.

1) Control the Volcano. Sauron, when he was in Númenor, the Orodruin stopped smoking or erupting.

When Númenor fell, Sauron made a great volcanic eruption to herald his return:

Sauron was indeed caught in the wreck of Númenor, so that the bodily form in which he long had walked perished; but he fled back to
Middle-earth, a spirit of hatred borne upon the dark wind. He was unable ever again to assume the form that seemed fair to men, but became black and hideous, and his power thereafter was through terror alone. He re-entered Mordor, and hid there for a time in silence. But his anger was great when he learned that Elendil whom be most hated, had escaped him, and was now ordering a realm upon
his borders. Therefore, after a time he made war upon the Exiles, before they should take root. Orodruin burst once more into flame, and was named anew in Gondor Amon Amarth, Mount Doom.

How is this not a Volcano Control? Furthermore, the volcano continued to spew magma while Sauron was present.

In the Third Age, he did it again, the volcano was inactive and he activated Orodruin again:

Turgon followed Turin, but of his time it is chiefly remembered that two years ere his death, Sauron arose again, and declared himself openly; and he re-entered Mordor long prepared for him. Then the Barad-dûr was raised once more, and Mount Doom burst into flame, and the last of the folk of Ithilien fled far away.

2) Control Weather: Sauron unleashed a Storm of Lightning and Hail on Gondor:

"The skirts of the storm were lifting, ragged and wet, and the main battle had passed to spread its great wings over the Emyn Muil, upon which the dark thought of Sauron brooded for a while. Thence it turned, smiting the Vale of Anduin with hail and lightning, and casting its shadow upon Minas Tirith with threat of war."

We have to remember the windstorm and blizzard that hit Averdui in the fall of Arnor:

"Do not mount on this sea-monster! If they have them, let the seamen bring us food and other things that we need, and you may stay here till the Witch-king goes home. For in summer his power wanes; but now his breath is deadly, and his cold arm is long."

And:

"But Arvedui did not take his counsel. He thanked him, and at parting gave him his ring [the Ring of Barahir], saying: 'This is a ring of worth beyond your reckoning. For its ancientry alone. It has no power, save the esteem in which those hold it who love my house. It will not help you, but if ever you are in need, my kin will ransom it with great store of all that you desire."

Gimli, Gandalf and Boromir discuss Sauron's power over the Weather:

'I wonder if this is a contrivance of the Enemy,' said Boromir. "They say in my land that he can govern the storms in the Mountains of Shadow that stand upon the borders of Mordor. He has strange powers and many allies.'
'His arm has grown long indeed,' said Gimli, `if he can draw snow down from the North to trouble us here three hundred leagues away.'
'His arm has grown long,' said Gandalf.

3) Earthquake:

Again, a matter of interpretation. The tremors from the passages of the Two Towers occurred in Ithilien and Minas Morgul. Both regions were 50 to 60 miles from Orodruin. It's a very long distance, in my opinion. So does that mean that Sauron controls a tectonic plate (with the Volcano) to reach that distance?

4) Antimagic Field:

"In his great need he drew out once more the phial of Galadriel, but it was pale and cold in his trembling hand and threw no light into that stifling dark. He was come to the heart of the realm of Sauron and the forges of his ancient might, greatest in Middle-earth; all other powers were here subdued."

Sam tried to use the light of the phial of Galadriel (with the Light of Earendil), but the artifact stopped working. Are you sure it's not Antimagic Field inside Orodruin? With a Permanency?

Furthermore, Tolkien says that Galadriel's power in Lothlorien, which repelled 3 attacks from Dol Guldur, would be ineffective against Sauron. So would it be a Dispel Spell?

"Three times Lórien had been assailed from Dol Guldur. but besides the valour of the elven people of that land. the power that dwelt there was too great for any to overcome, unless Sauron had come there himself."

5) Create Undead:

Aren't you being too orthodox? Sauron cursed the rings that would be worn by men and dwarves. Why not adapt Spell to be the side effect?

The 9 men became Nazgul. The Barrow-wights were created by the Witch-King (or perhaps by Sauron himself):

It was at this time that an end came of the Dúnedain of Cardolan, and evil spirits out of Angmar and Rhudaur entered into the deserted mounds and dwelt there. It is said that the mounds of Tyrn Gorthad, as the Barrowdowns were called of old, are very ancient, and that many were built in the days of the old world of the First Age by the forefathers of the Edain, before they crossed the Blue Mountains into Beleriand, of which Lindon is all that now remains.
Gold was piled on the biers of dead kings and queens; and mounds covered them, and the stone doors were shut; and the grass grew over all. ... A shadow came out of dark places far away, and the bones were stirred in the mounds. Barrow-wights walked in the hollow places with a clink of rings on cold fingers, and gold chains in the wind. Stone rings grinned out of the ground like broken teeth in the moonlight."

Whose powers come from Sauron:
a sorcerer of dreadful power, master of shadows and of phantoms, foul in wisdom, cruel in strength, misshaping what he touched
The Witch-king, their leader, is more powerful in all ways than the others; but he must not yet be raised to the stature of Vol. III. There, put in command by Sauron, he is given an added demonic force. Letter 210

In your opinion, so Sauron's spells wouldn't work like in DND, and would they be racial abilities or, at best, spell-like abilities?
 
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