New to The One Ring

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New to The One Ring

Post by Gnarri on Sun May 27, 2018 4:39 pm

Hello!

I just missed the old forum with my questions, so I will try here.

After reading through the rules and done a few simulations of travel and combat:

1) Isn't it too few hazards during journeys? If you only get a hazard if a PC rolls an Eye at the travel roll, the chance of one occuring is about 1/3 to 1/2 per set of travel-rolls, depending on how big a party you have. And these hazards are not so severe, at least half of them will be fixed by the guide/scout etc making the roll. Have I misunderstood something?

2) Is it not a tad boring that PC:s usually "win" the initative almost always? It seems to be hard to get surprised, since more than 50% have to miss their awareness rolls. And if the orcs are attacking (they always are) then you automatically win initiative?

3) Is it not too little with only one fellowship undertaking per fellowship phase? It seems as if you have to use the "heal corruption" a lot, at least until you have enough Wisdom to make your rolls. Does not this limit the early game?

I'm planning to play RAW, but I want to pinpoint problems that may come up beforehand.


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Re: New to The One Ring

Post by Wbweather on Sun May 27, 2018 5:02 pm

I’ll answer your questions from my experience. Hopefully others can give you there insight too.

1. Hazards: From my experience, hazards can get to feel not very hazardous, especially once characters get there skills leveled up a bit. I would suggest basing the TN on the level of the terrain the company is traversing. a hazard in the heart of Mirkwood should have a TN of 18 or 20, something to challenge your players. I also like to occasionally double up hazards and hold off on one temporarily so that I can hit them with a two part challenge later.

2. By the same token, enemies will generally have the initiative if the company attacks them. Once again, you can always bump up the TN if your players are finding it too easy to make awareness rolls.

3. As far as the number of fellowship undertakings, a lot of this has to do with the number of adventures your group runs in a year. We have had some years of game time where we run 2 or 3 adventures and for those shorter adventures, a single undertaking is generally sufficient. A year end fellowship phase will generally have 2 undertakings. If you are running Darkening of Mirkwood with one adventure per year, then you will be getting two undertakings during each fellowship phase.
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Re: New to The One Ring

Post by Fenton Hardy on Sun May 27, 2018 5:21 pm

Welcome to TOR and the forum Gnarri!

I'll answer your questions in order.

1) You can design hazards that are more severe if you think the examples in the books are too benign. Be careful, however, as hazards in addition to travel fatigue will wear down the company before pre-planned encounters. If you are too hard on the players during the journey, then they may be overmatched in subsequent encounters. Also do not feel that you have to be constrained by the players' rolls. If you have a hazard you really want to use or you think the company needs an obstacle, then throw a hazard at them whether they roll an Eye or not. You might want to run a few journeys first before making modifications just to see how your players handle fatigue and the hazards they do encounter.

2) Yes, the company usually holds the initiative, but I haven't found that that makes combat dull. To be sure TOR combat is not as cinematic as other systems, but there are options players and adversaries can employ to spice up combat. See the called shot and combat options in the Adventurers Companion. Some adversaries spend Hope to use special abilities. You can add interest to combat by describing the landscape and assigning terrain modifiers. For example, if archers can reach the high ground or climb up into a tower, subtract 2 from the TN to hit.

3) Yes, during short Fellowship Phases, players may have only one undertaking. Keep in mind that during the longer Year End Fellowship Phase, players may take more than one undertaking. Personally, I like the limitation because it reflects the wear and tear characters experience and the hard choices they have to make.

Would love to hear how your game goes and how you find the rules once you have had a chance to test them.
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Re: New to The One Ring

Post by Gnarri on Mon May 28, 2018 2:42 am

Thank you and thanks for answers!

It sounds a bit like I expected, but as you say, there is nothing in RAW that prevents me from putting one hazard per leg of the journey as a pre-planned encounter.

I'll continue with another concern:

4) When doing called shots - there is only spears and arrows that can produce wounds as a succefsul called shot? If you use an axe, you can only break shield? It seems as if the ability to give your opponent wounds can be critical when you fight Giant-zized opponents and have to give them a wound before they go down. How does this play out? Or have I misunderstood?

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Re: New to The One Ring

Post by Wbweather on Mon May 28, 2018 7:34 am

Gnarri wrote:

4) When doing called shots - there is only spears and arrows that can produce wounds as a succefsul called shot? If you use an axe, you can only break shield? It seems as if the ability to give your opponent wounds can be critical when you fight Giant-zized opponents and have to give them a wound before they go down. How does this play out? Or have I misunderstood?

You are correct that only bows and spears can use the called shot ability to produce an automatic piercing blow. However, it is not guaranteed that they will succeed with their called shot. A called shot with a sword or ax can also produce a produce a piercing blow, but is just not as likely to, since it is not automatic on success, but still requires hitting the damage rating of the weapon with the feat die. However, on a creature with great size, you still need players engaged in close combat to help engage the monster so that your archer can take shots unhindered while the melee fighters can wear him down and try to make him weary through intimidation so that it's harder for him to pass his protection tests.
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Re: New to The One Ring

Post by geomtje on Mon May 28, 2018 8:07 am

Most have already been said; but I would like to add the following:

You can always change the TN of a role  (or stats) if you think that a specific area (or thing) is too difficult or easy. Just make sure its balanced correctly and that you are able to substantiate why you have done so (both for yourself as for your players).

As far as called shots go: It makes sense that sharp piercing weapons make piercing blows (especially since they are used from a distance and therefore the wielder has the ‘time’ to prepare without immediate danger). Blunt weapons, such as an axe, are more likely to do 'blunt' damage, thus smashing a shield and swords are nimble enough to disarm a foe.
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Re: New to The One Ring

Post by Gnarri on Tue May 29, 2018 1:20 pm

Thanks for answers!

I suppose I can let called shots against foes without shield or already disarmed result in piercing blows if they use axe or sword, and still be pretty RAW.

Hmm, likewise about called shots:

5) Doesn't enemies produce too few called shots against the heroes? Usually, a combat only lasts a couple of rounds, and you only have one attack and one chance to roll an eye to trigger a called shot. It would mean that you only receive a called shot perhaps 1/2 or 1/3 of the combats you participate in?

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Re: New to The One Ring

Post by Fenton Hardy on Tue May 29, 2018 1:24 pm

The rules state that a hero rolling an Eye triggers a called shot, but the LM may have an adversary use a called shot at any time during combat not only after an Eye result. Or that is the way I have played it anyway.
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Re: New to The One Ring

Post by Gnarri on Wed May 30, 2018 1:12 pm

Sounds reasonable. Have you had some sort of system for when they try "extra" called shots, or have you just let boss-type bad guys try it more or something?

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Re: New to The One Ring

Post by Fenton Hardy on Wed May 30, 2018 2:42 pm

I do not have any sort of system and use called shots infrequently. When it seems appropriate though, I'll have an adversary who has a high enough weapon skill to have some hope of succeeding try a called shot.
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Re: New to The One Ring

Post by Wbweather on Wed May 30, 2018 4:50 pm

I generally try and use monster's abilities to adjust the difficulty of the combat on the fly. If the players are not challenged, I try to throw all I've got at them. If they are really struggling, I don't use any special abilities. I think the same applies to called shots.
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