Updated Game Rules - Last Updated 27 January 2017

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Fieranor of Imladris
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Updated Game Rules - Last Updated 27 January 2017

Unread postby Fieranor of Imladris » 12 Sep 2015, 23:15

RULES UPDATES

(LAST MODIFIED: February 2017)

Gentlemen,

Some time ago we had a discussion about performing a possible update to the combat system, at least, for our The One Ring RPG, and making the learning curve of this game less onerous. Although I was dearly enjoying it back then, and enjoy it as much, now, I have found the combat system RAW to be out of date. While the larger portion of The One Ring is very organic, certain systems are very mechanical in their execution. Is combat supposed to be mechanical? Yes. However, it can also give the impression of being organic, and should not be incongruous to the rest of the game.

Nearly a year ago I introduced the possibility of making the combat system Action Point based, so you guys could have your options in front of you and could do different things each round, based on the outcome of the previous round, or just to switch things up a bit. I was going to build the system solely from the Warhammer Fantasy Role-Play 2nd Edition Action Point system I had built for that game, but again it wasn’t terribly organic and, in the end, we decided to remain as simple as possible, with the Rules As Written (RAW).

Well, with the advent of the Adventurer’s Companion for The One Ring, an introduction of a number of new rules that actually discourage the simplicity of the game and the organic nature of it even further, I have found that having an Action Point system is now a necessity if I’m to be as inclusive as possible. Read along further and I will continue to explain why, through briefing you on how the changes will affect you and your character –which will actually be reasonable in scope, I feel- and how the rules will change how I adjudicate the game.

The remainder of this post will be as short, per section, as I can make it, and links are provided to specific rules changes, immediately below, to make it easier for you to read in sections and/or refer to them easily, so bear with me, please?


One last note, I’m afraid. I developed a brand-new character record sheet (see attachment, below) for use with all of the updated game rules for our game, almost entirely based on the changes put forward by Cubicle 7 in the Adventurer’s Companion. However, I do not have the tools, or the knowledge or skills, to turn that graphical character sheet I built into a format I can edit as a document or PDF file, and then upload for your ease of reference. However, a friend of mine from the Arlington group, if she ever gets time, is going to do that for me... well, for us. So, for the time-being, we’ll stick with the sheets we’ve been using, and I’ll make changes as time goes on; however, I've attached the newer version, below, for your off-line use, as you like.

2016 TOR Character Sheet.docx

What you see in this post, and throughout the remainder of this thread, are the foreshortened version of the rules I've written, though you may access the full version, here...

TOR Rules Clarifications BoY 2017.pdf

______________________________

Why?
Various imperfections exist within the varied game systems of The One Ring, which are relatively easily remedied through better implementation of the original game rules, as below. The largest change to appear within will be the Combat and Dramatic Actions System (CADAS). The use of this system is three-fold:
  1. To allow Skill Use and Actions to have a more organic flow and feel to them without including additional rules, just an expenditure system to allow you to spend Action Points each round to accomplish your goals for your hero in combat,

  2. To help place characters whose Attributes, Skills, and/or Characteristics might otherwise preclude them from acting in combat on at least a closer level to other Player-heroes on the field of honor, and

  3. To give you the ability to make choices you otherwise might not think of through the construction and use of a sheet outlining how to calculate Initiative and spend Action Points to execute specific Actions, Attacks, Effects, Movement, and/or Traits. These things are outlined for the use of Players in the LoreMaster's Guide and the Adventurer's Companion, but there is otherwise nothing denoting what you're allowed to do in the Rules As Written (RAW) game. With the new CADA System, there is now.
Note these are house rules, available for play-testing and may be reversed or modified if they are inconvenient to organic game-play or provide an ongoing incongruous 'feel' to the game. The first GOAL of these rules modifications is to change only what is necessary to clarify or complete a game rule I feel is lacking or could have been developed much better, based on my not inconsiderable experience as a Games Master over the course of close to three decades. The second goal is to make the game EASIER, if possible, but definitely NOT make it more difficult, than it already is. The third goal is to shift some of the responsibility for play into your hands to both give you more power in the game and to aid in steadying my job as the LoreMaster. After all, this game is supposed to be about telling a collective and epic tale, all of us together, for me to give leads and all of us to work out and tell glorious tales of derring-do.

Finally, these rules changes do not reiterate what already exists in the rules, though some explanation may be necessary, but rather to supplement them.

So, let’s begin...

Definition(s)/Key(s)
High-low Feat/Success Die ~ If you have a Trait, an Action or Attack, or I tell you to use a High-low dice in a roll, and I define which type –Feat (D12) or Success (D6)- you’re supposed to roll, it will work as follows...
  • If you’re given a High-low FEAT die, you will roll 2D12 and take the best roll. If you roll a Image, and that is your highest of the two rolls, that roll will be converted to a 10, instead. A Image is the highest you can possibly roll on that Feat die, so that’s what you will take.

  • If you’re given a High-low SUCCESS die, you will add 1D6 to your roll and remove the lowest 1D6 from the roll once made. If you have two of those dice, you’ll remove the lowest two from the roll.
Add your dice together with those higher numbers and that will be your total.
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"Gondolin might not have fallen, with proper military technique and force applied."
"Los que arriesgan , vivir de verdad || Those who risk, truly live." ~ It isn't Tolkien, but it's true.

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Updated Game Rules - Dice, TNs, Parry and Fellowship Rating/Points

Unread postby Fieranor of Imladris » 27 Jan 2017, 09:19

(LAST MODIFIED: February 2017)

How Dice Work ~ The standard dice system requires that 1D12, a twelve-sided dice, be rolled for ALL feats, period. Along with the Feat Die, as it's called, are the Success Dice, which are equal to 1D6 PER RANK in a character's Common or Weapon's Skill being rolled, or for Ranks in Valor and Wisdom.

For example, a Player-hero has Hunting skill with three ranks, Image Image Image Image Image Image, so he would roll 1D12 (Feat) + 3D6 (Success) to attempt a successful skill roll.

The following changes to the dicing system are written to help players achieve what might, otherwise, be impossible for their Player-hero...
  • Cultural Half-Skills ~ There are only eighteen skills in the game, at this point, and many of these skills will have been taught, in some measure, to every child of that culture before they have a Calling or a Background. In the native game (RAW or Rules as Written), if your Player-hero does not gain the skill through their Calling or Background, they do not have any means by which to roll for that skill, except through use of the Feat Die alone; under the old moderate target of 14, the only way to achieve that for a standard skill is to roll 12 (aka Gandalf's Rune, Image), the maximum roll on the Feat Die. I found this to be short-sighted and confounding for my players and myself.

    Half-skills allow for players to roll most skills, except those their culture would not have been taught by using a single D6 Success Die along with the D12 Feat Die. The difference between this Half-Skill Success Die and the regular Success Die, however, is when rolling a 6 (which is also a Tengwar Rune, Image), which is normally a greater degree of success, is not so in this instance. If you have at least one Rank in a skill, Image, you roll as normal, with the 6 granting the greater degree of success, aka a Image. However, if you only have the Half-Skill, Image, you can not gain that higher degree of success.

Target Numbers ~ The nominal target number is reduced to 10 for tests that are a minor to moderate challenge for your hero, and can be adjusted to meet the difficulty of the task, whether up for harder tasks or down for tasks that are easier but still have a chance to fail.

Parry Ratings ~ Because the Stance system is being replaced by CADAS, your Parry also has to be adjusted. Rather than your basic Wits attribute score being your basic Parry Rating, you will now add the total of your Athletics and Battle Ranks, as well as the Ranks for the Weapon you're presently using, to your Wits score to form your Melee Parry Rating. Unless you have anything modifying your Ranged or Melee Parry Rating, they will be equal to one-another. This lends to the possibility of a maximum natural Parry score of 30 at your character’s height of development, an end-game target, to be sure, though most Player-heroes will begin the game with no less than 6 and an average of 7-10.

Parry = Wits + Athletics + Battle + (Chosen Weapon Skill)

Your shield and/or any special abilities or Traits your hero has adds to this value, as normal. Also, if you're wielding two weapons, only the Skill Ranks for your primary weapon are used.

At four-feet of distance or less, a Melee attack will be 2+ the target’s adjusted Parry and +5 between that range and seven-feet. Melee attacks are not allowed beyond seven feet.

Ranged attacks are also modified to be Parry +5 at ranges under four-feet distance, +0 between four-feet-one-inch up to the high-end of Short Range, +2 for Medium Range, +2 again for Long Range, and +4 at Extreme (up to twice Long Range).

Cover and Concealment, and other modifiers will be considered during play.

Calculating an opponent's Parry will be based on their Attribute Level + Movement + Vocation Skill Group ratings.

Fellowship Rating and Points ~ These have been done away with. Instead, any individual or Trait responsible for generating additional points will reside with the one generating the point(s). If someone asks for help through an additional point and it’s held back by the owning player, and something bad happens to the one who made the request and/or to the party as a result, all players holding back will suffer a Shadow Point.

(NOTE: For my present VTT group members, as of 27 Jan. '17, your Parry Ratings have been updated for the new rules.)
"Gondolin might not have fallen, with proper military technique and force applied."
"Los que arriesgan , vivir de verdad || Those who risk, truly live." ~ It isn't Tolkien, but it's true.

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Updated Game Rules - Skill and Trait Clarifications

Unread postby Fieranor of Imladris » 27 Jan 2017, 09:25

(LAST MODIFIED: February 2017)

Skills Clarifications ~ The following Skills have received clarification or expansion: Athletics, Awe, Battle, Healing, Riddle, and Stealth.
  • Athletics and Battle are now used to help determine your Player-heroes’ Initiative and Action Points, along with Valor and the Weapon you use.

  • Awe now also helps establish your character’s Charisma.

  • Healing now works like Healing in other RPGs. You HAVE to Treat any Wounds, first, but you can also help restore Endurance.

  • Riddle is now used to help figure things out, such as locks or machines.

  • Stealth may also now be used by those who possess the Burglary Trait to scale buildings (a la cat burglar), pick pockets, and other similar burglary things.
Weapon Skills ~ When calculating your Initiative and Action Points for the new CADA System, you use your primary Weapon Skill for your character to determine those numbers. However, if you switch weapons, your Initiative and Action Points may also change.

Trait Clarifications ~ I have outlined the Uses of Traits on the CADA System page you will find as an attachment, below, but those are available for all play times and, mainly, I put them out there to help remind you all of their availability and uses within the game.

The following Traits have received clarification or expansion, and all but two gain a High-low Success Die for use with the skill listed in parenthesis... (be mindful these skill uses may be limited, such as using Song for your Minstrelsy Trait, but only for playing instruments, singing, or writing songs) while using Song for your Rhymes of Lore Trait is good only for writing poetry (not sung, but read) and prose.
  • Boating (Athletics)
  • Burglary* (Riddle and Stealth)
  • Minstrelsy (Song)
  • Mountaineer (Athletics)
  • Rhymes of Lore* (Song)
  • Swimming (Athletics)
  • Cautious (Awareness)
  • Elusive (Stealth)
  • Fair-spoken (all Skills in Encounters)
  • Hardy (Travel for Journey Phases)
  • Keen-eyed (Awareness)
  • Quick of Hearing (Awareness)
  • Robust (vs Poison or Fatigue)
  • Small (Stealth)
  • Wrathful (Weapon Skill; this does NOT add to your Action Points)
The Swift and Vengeful Traits work a bit differently, as below…
Swift: +2 Action Points
Vengeful: you do not become Weary if your Current Endurance is reduced equal to or below your Fatigue Threshold until you’ve taken your first Wound.


(NOTE: For my present VTT group members, as of 27 Jan. '17, your Traits have been updated for the new rules.)
"Gondolin might not have fallen, with proper military technique and force applied."
"Los que arriesgan , vivir de verdad || Those who risk, truly live." ~ It isn't Tolkien, but it's true.

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Updated Game Rules - Virtues/Rewards, Stdd of Living, Endurance/Hope, and Wounds

Unread postby Fieranor of Imladris » 27 Jan 2017, 10:46

(LAST MODIFIED: February 2017)

Updates to Certain Virtues and Rewards
Unless otherwise noted, Virtues/Masteries and Rewards/Qualities work as RAW. Some, however, are modified due to the elimination of the Fellowship Pool, providing High-low Success Dice and/or for the sake of fitting into the new CADA System.

Virtues/Masteries
  • Shadow Bane (Elves of Mirkwood): Because Combat Stances have been eliminated, you gain an additional Success Die when making Aggressive Attacks against servants of the Shadow; this is a full Success Die, NOT a High-low Success Die.

  • Swordmaster (Barding): Because Combat Stances have been eliminated, add your Weapon's Encumbrance value to your Parry Score when using that weapon.

  • Twice-baked Honey Cakes (Beorning): Because the Fellowship Rating/Pool is eliminated in my game, an additional rule applies; roll Craft vs. a median Target Number of 10. With a failure or a basic success, you are allowed to track one additional Hope point per our new holding rules for Hope Points, which may be requested for use by one in your Company. You are NOT required to expend this point to help your companion, though circumstances may force a Shadow Point on you, per the Company Creation || Fellowship house rule, above if something untoward happens to them as a result of not sharing. If you roll one Image or 16+, including a Image, you gain two additional Hope Points to be held. If you roll ImageImage or 16+, including a Image and a Image, each member of the Company gains an additional Hope Point to be tended as described immediately above.

    Rolling above these limitations gains no further benefit.

    Once expended, the point is gone until you roll to create Twice-baked Honey Cakes, again. Any unused points at the end of the present Adventure Phase are dismissed, not carrying over to the next Adventure Phase, and unable to be used to recover any lost Hope Point.
Rewards/Qualities
  • Noble Armor (Beornings): High-low Success Die added for skills used during Encounters.
______________________________

Standards of Living Upkeeps ~ This just makes official what we've already been doing in the game. Your character starts off with enough money to pay for the Standard of Living Upkeep for one year, which is...
  • Poor = 1 Gold
  • Frugal = 3 Gold
  • Martial = 6 Gold
  • Prosperous = 12 Gold
  • Rich = 24 Gold
Unofficially, while your character lives at that Standard of Living, as they are able to change during the course of game-play, they accrue this much as the beginning of each year. What this means is, if you have a Prosperous hero, but they have spent 3 of their Gold during the course of adventuring through the year, they are set back at 12 for the beginning of the new year. However, for those who've accrued more than they had, that is what they keep, they do not gain an additional amount based on their Standard of Living. Holdings and events throughout the course of a year can force ill or good fortune on a Player-hero, adjusting -whether temporarily or permanently- their Standard of Living to match that fortune.

Endurance, Hope ~ At the end of a combat, the Player-hero regains one-half of each Hope and Endurance, rather than just RAW Endurance. For Hope, moments of inspiration, which may be developed by the Player for their Hero, causing an Inspiration test to see if Hope is regained, may be done. It is up to the Player to bring these up, unless the LM has designed something into the adventure!

Finally, if your PH suffers from a Weary condition, your Success Die act abnormally for you. The RAW explains the rule as 1-3 count as 0 and 4-6 count as normal, the idea being for ease of use but in fact making the dice lopsided, so instead the dice will act as follows: 1-3 on the dice will count as normal, but the 4-6 will be reduced by 3 each, so when you roll a 4, it's as though you're rolling a 1, instead, meaning a 5 acts as a 2 and a 6 as a 3, instead. If you roll a Image, however, it still counts as a higher degree of success. For my VTT group, I have constructed a new Tengwar Rune, and the tables set up, there, can only roll 1-3 and 1-3 with the new Image

Treating Wounds ~ Healing skill can now be used to help treat Wounds and Endurance loss in and immediately after combat. Remember, you regain one-half your Endurance from the most recent combat because, while you're taking time to rest, you're regaining the Endurance points lost to shock and strain, leaving your hero, at the end of that time, with only the damage suffered. Using Healing skill may now allow you to treat more. The sequence used for healing is as follows:
  1. Wound(s) MUST be treated, per LMBr pg. 131, before OTHER healing may be done. Said other healing must wait one 24-hour period after treatment of Wound(s) before it can be used,

  2. One with Healing skill may roll vs. TN 14; a BASIC Success allows the recipient to heal a number of DAMAGE -not Fatigue- points equal to their own Valor rating. Each Image rolled allows another 1D6/2 (1-3) damage to be healed, up to the recipient’s total damage taken during the present fight.

  3. Normal Endurance Recovery, IAW LMBr 131, takes place from that point forward.

Preliminary Rolls ~ The rolls that used to be made for Combat, Encounter, and Journey Advantage Dice are ELIMINATED! They weren't really a help at all, they were a nuisance to keep track of, and a better system has been provided in Mastery Dice, aka High-low Success Dice, that will do a far better job than Ad Dice did.
"Gondolin might not have fallen, with proper military technique and force applied."
"Los que arriesgan , vivir de verdad || Those who risk, truly live." ~ It isn't Tolkien, but it's true.

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Updated Game Rules - Initiative, Stances, Player Turns & Action Points

Unread postby Fieranor of Imladris » 27 Jan 2017, 13:50

(LAST MODIFIED: February 2017)

Initiative ~ In the RAW, Initiative is determined initially during the Onset of Combat and there are some pretty strict rules that do not always make sense for making that determination. This Initiative is carried on into the Close Quarters stage of combat, though it may change based on how the combat is going, such as which side has the upper hand in the fight. This system allows Player-hero groups to soundly defeat opposition within a few rounds, offering combat that is shallow, boring, or at least very one-sided. While this is fun for groups for a short period of time, it can drag on the game during times when challenges are supposed to mount for the Player-heroes and provide opportunities to think through alternate means of prosecuting a new fight.

At the outset, the new Initiative and Action Points system I have developed for our game will treat combat in a very similar fashion; however, with a reversal of the typical RPG initiative order, all Player-heroes get to act in a round, from slowest to quickest, and the opposition can be sewn into the middle of each round of combat -more often than not- to give the Player-heroes a moment of pause even against weaker opposition. As play continues and PHs grow in their abilities, Initiative and Action Points, those abilities should help to offset, somewhat, the ability to overcome stronger opponents.

Initiative -and Action Points- are determined by adding a Player-heroes' double-Valor characteristic, Athletics and Battle skills. As expressed, above, the PH with the LOWEST initiative goes first; this means if there are opponents that have lower Initiative values, they fall in line with how actions are resolved.

Initiative = 2x Valor + Athletics + Battle


Combat Stances ~ These have been eliminated especially because, most typically, our group uses a map to allow each player to represent their own movements and to for the resolution of combat actions. In the RAW, Combat Stances were made for the sake of providing average Target Numbers based on the imagined range of the Player-hero from their opponent. Now, however, to-hit targets are determined as the target's adjusted Parry Rating (Wits + the average of Athletics and Battle) adjusted for the situation and conditions the combatants find themselves in.

Player Turns & Action Points ~ The Combat and Dramatic Actions System (CADAS) I have developed for this game contains parts only from this game, placed into a format that will allow you to know what options are available to you for play. You need Action Points, which are equal to your Player-heroes' Initiative, to spend on each portion of CADAS. Most of the new system is specific to combat, but the Trait Invocation section is used as a reminder for Trait use any time during the game; however, other parts of the system may give clues as to things you can do, otherwise.

Action Points renew at the beginning of each new round. To spend them, find the action you would like to perform, out of the following document (which you may have downloaded earlier in this thread), and then find the cost of that action.

TOR Combat and Dramatic Actions System Record.pdf

Page one allows you to determine your Initiative/Action Points and your Parry rating, which you may also record on your character record sheet, and then gives the complete listing of available actions, split out as Trait Invocation, Movement, Defensive, Melee Combat (which continues from the left into the right column), Ranged Combat, and Additional Tasks During Combat. Under each of these headers you will find a number of actions you're able to decide on for your character to take and, as long as you have enough Action Points (which are equal to your Hero's Initiative value) you can spend for the round, enough to purchase a second or third action, you're welcome to mix and match as you see fit.

Page two gives you the experience expenditure chart, which allows you to figure out what parts of your character you wish to improve and how much it will cost to make improvements. As well, you're going to find the Common Skill, Trait, and Virtue/Reward Adjustments listed earlier in this thread.

Pages three and four of the CADA System document outline the EXTENDED versions of all of the actions from page one, above. If you're not quite sure a description of an action fits, or what that action does, you can look up the complete rules brief on these two pages. They are NOT in the same order as the sections for the simple descriptions are, so make sure you read the headers.

Print out the first and second pages, reference the action you want to do, find its cost and the action name. If you want more description, you would then go to the advanced description page; otherwise, all you ever have to use is the short description.

(NOTE: For my present VTT group members, as of 11 Feb. '17, your Initiative/Action Points and Parry have been updated for the new rules.)
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"Gondolin might not have fallen, with proper military technique and force applied."
"Los que arriesgan , vivir de verdad || Those who risk, truly live." ~ It isn't Tolkien, but it's true.

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Updated Game Rules - New XP System, Undertaking Clarifications, and the Leader Calling

Unread postby Fieranor of Imladris » 27 Jan 2017, 14:58

(LAST MODIFIED: February 2017)

The New Experience Points System ~ In the RAW, Advancement Points exist for the improvement of Common Skills, while Experience Points exist for the improvement of your Wisdom and Valor characteristics, Weapon Skills, and my addition of Attributes. Normally, the number of Experience Points one gains from a single session of gaming is half the number of Advancement Points, though improvement points can be added to individual skills or characteristics, and then more points earned through session play as general experience. However, having two systems of experience is unnecessary to the game, adding an unnecessary mechanical element and making accounting difficult on the Players. Thus, I've developed an updated system that will allow the important of Experience Points to be added in with the Advancement Points, at a rate of 1.5 per XP and 1 for 1 for AP, to make the system viable and remove the confusion wrought in the game.

Thus, the average number of Experience Points, in the new system, will be 7 per session, not including specific points earned. So, the experience chart will now be as follows...













Attribute Cost
Valor/Wisdom Cost
Weapon Skills Cost
Common Skills Cost
Rank or Value
(Max +5 any
Att. Cumul.)
(Normal/Rangers
& High Elves)
(Normal/Rangers
& High Elves)
(Normal/Favored)
1
**********
**********
3/4
4/3
2
**********
6/9
5/7
8/6
3
15
9/13
8/11
12/9
4
20
15/21
12/17
16/12
5
25
24/31
20/26
20/15
6
30
39/48
32/40
24/18
7
35
**********
**********
**********
8
40
**********
**********
**********
9
45
**********
**********
**********
10
50
**********
**********
**********
11
55
**********
**********
**********
12
60
**********
**********
**********

Updated Fellowship Phase Undertakings
Gain New Distinctive Feature or Specialty ~ A clarification of the RAW is that you do not lose your old Trait, it simply is not one you practice on a normal basis, anymore. It can still be used to allow you to make die rolls in situations you wouldn't normally be able to, as if it were still a normal Trait Invocation.

Open New Sanctuary ~ The RAW says ALL MEMBERS of a Company have to perform this FPU together, which I thoroughly disagree with. It is a false wall, bad geography, and thoroughly unnecessary. One Player-hero may take this FPU on their own, but only they will reap the benefits of it being a Sanctuary. Later, however, they may vouch for a fellow hero so that hero can also acquire the Sanctuary, though the new hero must take it as a normal FPU.

Tend to Holding ~ This one is very long, but it loosens restrictions and adds clarifying points concerning taking care of one's holding during a Year's End Fellowship Phase. I will say I am tempted to remove this from the listing of Fellowship Phase Undertakings and make it a mandatory annual issue, or allow it as a secondary undertaking at the end of the year.

______________________________

New Calling: Leader ~ Though it is not a requirement to have someone in the Company become that Company's leader, it is an optional thing that can improve the party's chances, especially when it comes to the new rule concerning Taking Courage. If anyone thinks they would like to change their calling to Leader, strike up a conversation in this thread.

______________________________

(NOTE: For my present VTT group members, as of 11 Feb. '17, your old Experience and Advancement Points have been updated for the new Experience Points system.)

(NOTE: That's it for the rules updates, for now.)

If any of you have any questions, anything you would like further clarification on, please make sure you post it in this thread, and I will respond to it as soon as I am able.)
"Gondolin might not have fallen, with proper military technique and force applied."
"Los que arriesgan , vivir de verdad || Those who risk, truly live." ~ It isn't Tolkien, but it's true.


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