Classes in Middle-earth for 5e

A low-magic setting such as Tolkien's Middle-earth in the Third Age limits your options with traditional 5e classes. Most of the classes rely heavily on spellcasting, which may not easily fit into your setting.

Option 1: No Spellcasters

One option is to prohibit spellcasting classes. This is a bit extreme and leaves little to choose from:

  • Barbarian
  • Fighter (no Eldritch Knight)
  • Rogue (no Arcane Trickster)

This is the simplest approach, but players may find their limited options unsatisfying. This option is not recommended.

Option 2: Reduced Magic

Another option is to reduce spellcasting using the rule variants described in Magic & Spellcasting. You'll see more spellcasting classes this way, but with limited powers. Many campaigns have had success with this method.

Option 3: New Classes

A third option is to use Option 1 and add modified or custom classes specifically designed for a low-magic fantasy setting. This option is more difficult but potentially more rewarding.

Here are some non-standard classes that may be appropriate for your Middle-earth story:

Here are some additional Fighting Styles for fighters, paladins, and rangers.

This approach may be combined with Option 2 also.