Hi Sam. I've been thinking about your posts as well. And i think it makes sense to discuss them together because the changes and rationale presented are similar. And by the way, I am a beginner and have not seen much of this game, so please let me know if I am missing something. But I just wanted to discuss the playability options and whether removing the CP would really matter.
Gift of Comprehension - Tap to play on a Dunedain at a Haven. Gives 2CP and the Sage skill.
Mathom Lore - Tap to play on a Hobbit at Bag End. Gives 2CP and lets bearer tap to take a non-sideboard minor item into hand. Take CC.
Lore of the Ages - Tap an Elf at a Haven. Gives 2CP and lets the Elf tap to give +1P to entire company against an attack. Take CC.
Tales of the Hunt - Tap a Man at a Border-hold . Lets bearer tap to untap another in his company. Take a CC.
Proposed change to make more playable: remove CP.
Other options: increase playability (any site/character); remove the upfront tapping cost; remove the activation tapping cost; remove the CC upon activation.
For Gift of Comprehension. What are the uses and who is a likely target? Simply playing Marvels Told? Well, if you don't want to haven squat, then you could use a character like Anborn (2mind scout/ranger) instead of Ioreth or Halbarad. And he could provide great skill utility. And you probably wont have many other items on him so the 2CP wouldnt matter. I saw a great deck with Anborn and Galadriel. Giving Anborn sage status frees up Galadriel in her Hour of Need. Aragorn could also be a target, AND the 2CP would actually hurt him. But with sage be could Reforge his own sword, plant his own Tree, launch Fireworks, and more. And you could have Gift of Comprehension be a sideboard item, incase Arwen or your other sage dies. Aragorn is too prime a target for corruption hazards to make this worth it. Or GoP could be in the SB in case you don't get Ioreth in your starting draft (everyone really love Ioreth). So bottom line, I think this card has some basic uses. AND it doesn't require tapping to activate its effect (of being a Sage), compared to the other cards. An alternative means to get Sage is Magic Ring of Lore. I think the difficulty of getting that and its additional benefits are balanced with Gift of Comprehension.
Bottom line, I'm not convinced that removing the 2CP is the answer to get this card into play more often. And I'm not sure we should be buffing weak cards (though I agree with nerfing overpowered cards). But either way, it seems like removing the Dunedain restriction would make this card more playable vs removing 2CP.
For Mathom Lore, I don't think a Hobbit squatting a Bag End is going to have any trouble with corruption even with 2CP. The alternative is a character squatting at a Haven with Cup of Farewell (which is from SB vs not-SB for Mathom). Cup of Farewell has 0 CP. But again, a Hobbit has bonuses to CC. I seem to see Cup of Farewell played more though. But Mathom could let you recycle Thror's Map.
For Lore of the Ages, who is the target? I would imagine that it would be a weaker elf that would need to tap against the attack anyway. Someone like Arwen, Annalena, Arinmir, or even Galadriel. The letter-A elves could tap, get -1 from that, and then get +1 back as well as giving +1 to everyone else in the company. That's pretty nice considering they were going to tap already. And these characters aren't likely to be carrying high CP items otherwise. Galadriel is risky as she would be a target for corruption cards. If you have a strategy using these lower-mind/prowess elves, I could see LotA making sense to help a high prowess character stay untapped.
For Tales of the Hunt, this seems to work nicely in a Saruman deck. Especially FW since he requires so much tapping. And you can easily get Dunlendings or Rohan characters into play and at border-holds (collecting factions for White Hand). I have this card in my FW Saurman deck so I can retrieve multiple cards or use palantir. And the targets of TotH likely won't have other CP items. So removing the CP might not make sense.
My Conclusion: I don't think removing the CC will help playability much. If anything, I think it makes sense to remove the Race/site playability restrictions vs removing the CC. Removing the tapping to activate seems too powerful. And removing the CC is also powerful. Still, I'm not sure I'd support buffing weaker cards that still have some use in some cases (even if these are not tournament winning decks).