I just wanted to make a quick comment on that article. I know I'm probably picking nits here, but I can't help myself when it comes to Tolkien.
Anyway, in talking about the Forcemage, Anthony says, "Unfortunately, the creation of Arda was very likely done in a different way than more commonly accepted methods in our own universe."
Now I doubt that a Forcemage is apporpriate for a Middle-Earth setting, but Tolkien actually struggled with how his "creation myth" writings jived with reality. For instance, when discussing the Sun and the Moon, Tolkien made comments (in some of his letters and other corespondence) that the elves must have known the physics of how the stars and planets (Sun and moon? Tolkien never really mentioned any other planets.) moved and were formed, and so perhaps the tales of Tilion and Rana were just that - tales.
Of course, these were things that he thought about after the fact, sometimes by a large time gap, so it's really up to a GM as to how he would rule. But I always got the feeling that Tolkien was implying that Middle-Earth is the same as our Earth, but just an extremely antediluvian time.
As for the reshaping of Arda from being flat to round, obviously there was something quite extraordinary going on there, but I just wanted to point out that Tolkien was already perplexed about these "realism" things in his world - years before the first GM was even around!
Anonymous posted on Tuesday, June 18, 2002 - 12:50 am
Tolkien was the first GM, and his world created FRP.
Since Middle-earth is a reflection of our own world then it's only natural that the art of science would eventually have to have some rationale in Tolkiens world, regardless of his own beliefs.
However, the fact that Sauron was a demi-god and his past lay along the lines of Morgoth, then there can be no dispute as to the creation of Arda because the main character is proof of this creation (if you follow me).
For example, in todays society if there arose a great demonic power then by definition no one could deny Gods exsistance - because the two are inseparable and therefore linked to some 'sort' of heavenly truth.
Unless of course Sauron was some extraterrestial being that had extraordinarily long life with or without his body, and so the local aborigines (i.e. elves and men) forumlated this story about gods and Valar, etc. ;)
joeman posted on Wednesday, June 19, 2002 - 11:39 am