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Gandalf hires Konoha ninja to form the Fellowship Challenge

Discussion in 'Story Challenges' started by R. Daneel Olivaw, Apr 23, 2013.

  1. SmileOfTheKill

    SmileOfTheKill Magical Amber

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    Balancing your characters to make the plot be nice and tidy ends up making the story incredibly boring. It makes it even more obvious that you are rail roading the plot hard to get some desired outcome.
     
  2. R. Daneel Olivaw

    R. Daneel Olivaw Groundskeeper

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    It can be a problem, but it really depends on how the issues are handled and what the nature of the issues is. There is a difference between balancing characters and butchering them, as there is between careful plotting and railroading.

    I think it depends on:

    1. If the issue needing to be balance is an intimate part of the character, or if it is incidental to them. Denying a soldier access to a gun for a scene is fine. Making him temporarily forget how to fight due to PTSD is railroading.

    2. If the solution grows out of existing elements of the story. Are you making something up to justify forcing a certain chain of events? (See: the elder wand and the disarming rule) Or would what you are suggesting seem a reasonable extension of the world? For example, Sauron's Eye being attracted to large used of chakra fits with the story.
     
  3. Russano

    Russano Disappeared

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    Any Naruto story that relies on him being a little kid or an academy level ninja as the premise is auto-fail.

    Would rather read a curbstomp or a crossover with a different fandom.
     
  4. Zenzao

    Zenzao 500 Club King Prestige

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    Why not have Gandalf show up earlier in the series? Make something of the recent Hokage revelations and send along the Shodai, for example. Or better yet Minato - he's decently skilled and a pretty fair middle-of-the-road between Hashirama and Madara's age and the current generation.

    Reading about Naruto - especially if we keep him anywhere near accurate to the way he was around the Genin era, is going to be awful. Set him later on, ~Pain arc or so, and he would at least be tolerable.
     
  5. Republic

    Republic The Snow Queen Prestige DLP Supporter

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    I think the issue here is how the fuck did Gandalf find the time to travel all the way to the Elemental Countries or know how the ninja system works and how to reach the Leaf? If it is easy, why isn't Middle Earth full of ninjas, or the Countries full of orcs?
    If some gimmicky magic was used for transportation between the two, cool. Why not use to go directly to Mordor, or something?
     
  6. Agayek

    Agayek Dark Lord

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    To be fair, that could easily be explained away as "Sauron is actively blocking it and any attempts would only alert him to your location and, potentially, your plan." Remember, both Sauron and Gandalf are both of the Maiar, and the big eye is supposed to be vastly more powerful than Gandalf.

    The other half is something that would need to be considered, but it can be worked around fairly easily.

    That said, the premise alone for this crossover has all sorts of problems. Not least of which because one is a shounen manga that, at the end of the day, has Rule of Cool as one of the foundational laws of the universe, while the other is a rather more serious take on high fantasy. They fundamentally conflict and trying to combine the two universes in any meaningful way creates all kinds of thematic and tonal issues that may well be beyond the reach of even the greatest of authors.
     
  7. Nauro

    Nauro Headmaster

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    I'm actually giving though to try that opposite variant at some point. Probably in summer, as a somewhat short story. If there's time.

    There's a few ideas, conflict from having the mission or doing what is better and all that.

    Probably will be one of the stories that might end at the middle of the first chapter, when I realise that it's not to be.
     
  8. R. Daneel Olivaw

    R. Daneel Olivaw Groundskeeper

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    The Shodai would be interesting. And if you are looking for a "Konoha ninja curbstomps the entire evil army" story that would be a fun one. I can imagine what would happen once Hashirama entered Fangorn forest and encountered the Ents. He also seems to be rather incorruptible.

    Minato would not be as fun. The Hirashin would just be too much of an advantage. All he'd have to do is send a clone ahead of himself with some of those sealed tri-kunai, have one of them get to Mount Doom, and then Flash-toss in lava-Flash, goodbye Dark Lord. And if that's not enough-- "Oh hello Balrog. I'd like to introduce you to something I call a sealing jutsu. How would you like to spend the next thousand years in this scroll?"

    I completely disagree about younger Naruto being awful. The whole reason we cheer for Naruto is because of what he had to rise up and overcome. In my opinion, he puts Harry Potter to shame in terms of being a sympathetic character. I'm hard pressed to think of any character more sympathetic than poor old Naruto.

    Stories that explore that struggle resonate with me much more than those where he becomes some hardened bad-ass super ninja who blows up tracts of forest with a single shot.

    LoTR is not about the battles. It's about the journey. It's about realizing there's a world out there and things worth fighting for beyond just your doorstep. And it's about combating the darkness within us.

    And for me Naruto is not about the kick-ass jutsu and awesome tailed-beast modes he can break out when the chips are down--it's about him seeing what's precious in the world and then being the kind of person who won't ever give up or back down when those things are threatened. And that's when those kick-ass jutsu make you feel something.

    So, for me, I want to see a Naruto who has room to grow, and one that stays true to his base character. And I would rather read a Naruto/LoTR crossover that focuses more on the internal struggle and the conflict of the seduction of the ring than on going from point A and blowing up this objective and then to point B and wiping out that threat on the way to point X where there's an even bigger jutsu needed to end it.

    Don't get me wrong, I can enjoy an action-based Naruto story where creative butt-whooping and Die Hardesque one-liners are the draw. But that's not all there is to the fandom. Character driven pieces can be just as enjoyable and don't require bigger and flashier explosions to be good.

    ---------- Post automerged at 10:06 AM ---------- Previous post was at 09:49 AM ----------

    Gandalf is known as the Grey Pilgrim for having traversed the lands for years and years. He's explored so much of the world that he having come across a hidden land across the seas years ago would not be a problem.

    There's also the whole Blue Wizards angle--Alatar and Pallando were sent to the West. What did they mean by "the West?" Why, the Elemental Nations of course! It would be a long and difficult journey for a normal person, as the seas are treacherous and the winds against you--but for the Istari, the gales calm and the terrors of the deep slumber.

    If you want to use gimmicky magic, Summoning contracts are probably the best bet. But there are also sealing arrays, space-time jutsu, etc. Coupled with ancient magic circles and caves in Middle-Earth you have a fixed arrival point that wouldn't let that method bypass the trip to Mordor.
     
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2013
  9. Gengar

    Gengar Polymagus Prestige DLP Supporter

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    I think you missed the point. Naruto isn't unbearably awful because he's a super underdog, we can, and do sympathise with his plight.

    He's unbearably awful because he's an annoying little shit, whatever reasons you can come up for it are irrelevant.
    I've never had a problem with his power levels (I fucking hate that term) or his ability, save for the retarded kiba fight and the decidedly non ninja style of post time skip.

    I think the problem most people would have with a that age naruto in any crossover is that he's just a loudmouthed, annoying, stupid brat who does everything for the wrong reasons (impressing sakura) .
     
  10. DrSarcasm

    DrSarcasm Auror

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    Something to keep in mind is that Naruto despite his Messiah-like status in his world, would make a very poor Ring-bearer.

    The entire point behind the Ring is not that it offers infinite power and the ability to smite ones' enemies, or even the ability to become invisible, but rather it gives someone the ability to accomplish their deepest desires. For Bilbo, at the moment he put it on, he wanted to be hidden from Gollum, so he became invisible (there's also the bit where the Hobbits' desire is to be hidden from the Big Folk). For Boromir, he wanted the power to protect his people. For Gandalf, it would have given him the power to save everyone. It doesn't need to find evil desires in people in order to tempt them, just desires that are hard to reach on their own.

    The only reason that Hobbits make such good Ringbearers is because their desires are really simple. Good food, a warm fire, some ale and a pipe are all that it takes to satisfy a Hobbit. When Sam picked up the Ring, it tried to tempt him with one of the only desires he had: a beautiful garden the size of the Shire. His 'Hobbit-sense' however, told him that that would be too big to take care of, so it failed.

    Naruto on the other hand, desires to become the Hokage and solve all the ills of his village and the world. At the point of the Chuunin Exams, he has seen the injustice of the Hyuuga clan, the hatred of the shinobi in Haku and Zabuza, how much he needs to grow to protect his friends, etc. And despite his comment to Konohamaru about how there are no shortcuts, he has no compunctions against using the Kyuubi's power whenever he gets into a bind. It's not until post-timeskip when he injures Sakura that he starts to see the Kyuubi's power as a crutch and shortcut and strives for power on his own.

    This means that at this point in time, he is just as vulnerable to temptation as Boromir would have been. He would be like Gandalf--best of intentions, would have them perverted, without the foreknowledge that Gandalf had to protect him. Now he wouldn't fall to it, not easily, simply because he's Naruto, but if you are going to include him, DO NOT have him easily brush off the power. He is a good kid, but not infallible.

    (There's also an angle from the Kyuubi's side: a way to overpower the seal and get out.)
     
  11. R. Daneel Olivaw

    R. Daneel Olivaw Groundskeeper

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    Considering we were discussing balance of power just previously, I don't think it is surprising that I would interpret that comment in terms of power. If you want to shift the discussion towards Naruto's personality, that's fine, just make it clear that's what you mean.

    No question that Naruto was an annoying brat, but that was how he entertained the readers. His loud, obnoxious, over-the-top personality was funny. If it wasn't everyone would have quit reading or watching, especially when the other characters are Sakura the queen b**ch and Sasuke master of all things emo. There's not a character on the show who isn't in some way retarded.

    I think for most Naruto fans, the real annoying aspect about him wasn't that he was a loudmouth or relatively less advanced than others, it was that he wasn't awesome and he was stupid and ignorant when they want to root for him. They didn't like him deserving his embarrassment. They didn't like him desperately trying to impress someone who had, at the time, not been worth his attention.

    The good news was that by the time of the Chunin Exams Naruto had found the right reasons to do things, the right motivation, and his deeds started matching his boasts. He showed real growth of character.

    Most Naruto fics have a strong measure of wish fulfillment. Naruto learns some lesson in the first couple chapters and from then on performs the way the author would desire the hero to act. Fair enough, this is fan fiction. But the stories that really do justice to Naruto are the ones where his change into the character we want him to be is done gradually--where the rough edges and annoying traits persist until he is forced to confront them and learn a better way.

    So, no, I really don't agree that having young, annoying Naruto makes for a bad story. Not as long as he grows from it over the course of the story.

    ---------- Post automerged at 01:59 PM ---------- Previous post was at 01:53 PM ----------

    That is an excellent argument. I can't disagree with a single point you made.

    The only thing I can say in defense is that Naruto quickly learns to resist the temptation of a quick path to power and has experience with feeling subtle influences.
     
  12. KaiDASH

    KaiDASH High Inquisitor DLP Supporter

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    Almost killing one of your best friends is a pretty strong motivator.
     
  13. Russano

    Russano Disappeared

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    I was never once entertained by Naruto's kid personality.Hell, I often find myself being annoyed in Shippuden when we get random scenes in the anime of him revealing himself to be a complete moron. That "S ranked" island mission before the 4th war for instance. His moments of derp are probably the single thing I hate the most in the entire Naruto series.

    As for power levels....Genins are boring. I don't want to read about Naruto only using the basic 3, and shadow clones. Those suck.
     
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2013
  14. CheddarTrek

    CheddarTrek Set Phasers to Melt Moderator DLP Supporter

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    You suck! :awesome

    @DrSarcasm -- I actually hadn't heard that interpretation of LotR before. I enjoyed reading it. Thanks for writing it out like that.
     
  15. Vincent

    Vincent Death Eater

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    I think the story idea works better with someone other than Naruto and if they're accidentally sent to middle earth. If Gandalf gets to handpick a team then it's only logical that he does pick some army stompers. Why even just hire a team for the ring bearer? He can hire a couple teams of army crushing ninja then he have them proactively destroy the forces of evil the old fashioned way and with considerably less lives lost. Sabotaging, poisoning, and ambushing the slow armies all over the place doesn't seem like it would be that difficult.
     
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2013
  16. CheddarTrek

    CheddarTrek Set Phasers to Melt Moderator DLP Supporter

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    Not so much, at least in my opinion. Fanfics rarely profit by featuring protagonists other than, well, the protagonist.
     
  17. Vincent

    Vincent Death Eater

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    I think one of the cases where they do is when the main character is too world breaking. Naruto being an one man army of super soldiers kind of fits the bill and I'd rather not see an academy Naruto that barely knows anything fumbling around ME. As long as you pick someone I think is interesting as an alternative then I can read stories with them as the protagonists.
     
  18. Gengar

    Gengar Polymagus Prestige DLP Supporter

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    Lol, what are you talking about?

    By the time he graduates from the academy, he can use chakra to enhance his strength/ speed, make countless solid clones of himself, instantly switch himself with an inanimate object and perfectly disguise himself.

    How much more imbalanced do you want to get for ME?

    And if you think pre-timeskip proper ninja battles/abilities suck, maybe you're in the market for a DBZ/LOTR crossover.

    There's plenty of roflstomp to be had there.

    Oh, and I've never, ever found over the top idiot protagonists funny. I also hate abusive, unlikable Tsundere as well.

    If you find that funny, power to you. I'm not gonna tell you your sense of humour is wrong, and it might just be me in the minority here, but these days I wouldn't touch manga like naruto with a ten foot pole. I got over the whole genre when I realised FT was basically the same shit (to my despair.
     
  19. Snarf

    Snarf Squanchin' Party Bro! Prestige DLP Supporter

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    My first issue with this idea is Naruto's age. Even the Hobbits, who are the least mature of the group, are in their thirties. Thirty-three is the coming of age for Hobbits. Unless you decide to use a Naruto many years into the future, which brings up its own host of issues with power scaling, then he's just too young for anyone to give him the time of day. Boys are little better than women in the eyes of men and will receive little in the way of respect.

    Ignoring all of Naruto's incredibly overpowered techniques, bandits don't scare Shinobi for a reason. Elemental Ninjutsu, the staple of any Shinobi over the age of twelve in the series, are army killers. You take a single dragon technique from any elemental affinity and it's lights out for a horde of Uruks. Hell, even a ring-wraith would flee in an instant from Jutsu that Sasuke could produce at the age of six.

    Considering Taijutsu or Kenjutsu, with speeds faster than anything ever seen in the LotR universe, there just isn't a feasible way to incorporate ninja into Middle Earth without completely destroying their ability sets. I just read the story posted in this thread and it completely ignored all Ninjutsu without even discussing the issue. An army of Uruks came at the Rohan people and not a single Rasengan was used, much less ink clones or elemental techniques. Sakura could honestly drop a fist on the ground and pull something similar to the scene in front of the Black Gates.

    I'd guess if you want to work this out, your best opportunity is to take away Chakra. I know it ruins the ninja feel, but any working age combination would leave your character addition super overpowered.

    Maybe Naruto can try to take in some Nature Chakra and the different energy of the planet screws with his coils. Now he can only internalize Chakra, making it so he can perform amazing feats of Taijutsu but cannot walk along walls or throw around spamming Jutsu. Maybe over time he could work with the new Nature Chakra and at some super dramatic point he can suddenly use his abilities again. Out of nowhere appears Uber!Naruto and he slays everything in sight.
     
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2013
  20. DrSarcasm

    DrSarcasm Auror

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    There's actually no real way to achieve any sort of balance between an anime or comic book character and a serious setting. They are just too over the top and ignore the laws of physics for it too work, really.

    If we accept that the Elemental Nations exist and that Gandalf goes to hire shinobi, he wouldn't be going there to get a full Fellowship. He would be going there to accomplish the same thing as if he had managed to get the Eagles to give them a lift to Mount Doom: getting there faster than Sauron could keep up. Between their stealth, water walking and wall walking abilities, all you would have to do is strap Frodo to a shinobi's back and they could ninja-run from Rivendell to Mordor without really being slowed down in the least.

    It's an interesting idle thought, but it would ruin what Lord of the Rings was really about: The inherent goodness in the Free Peoples overcoming the overpowered might of Sauron and his horde of Orcs, despite overwhelming odds. If you introduce shinobi as warriors, then the point doesn't become that Men can hold onto hope in the face of despair, but that the shinobi can turn the tide by their awesomeness. If you have them as infiltrators, then the series will be over before it can truly begin, with the Ents not having their last march, the Balrog still loose, Denethor still the Steward, etc.