Under Review ~ TASK RESOLUTION: Hope and Fellowship Points

You will find the basic rules of our game, here; these MAY be updated from time-to-time, you can find links to these rules in Fieranor's signature block, and you should access and read these often.
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Under Review ~ TASK RESOLUTION: Hope and Fellowship Points

Unread post by Fieranor of Imladris » 27 Sep 2016, 23:05

TASK RESOLUTION: Hope and Fellowship Points
These rules are split into several posts, as follows...
  1. Introduction, Character Generation & New Adventure Phase Hope (this post);
     
  2. The Fellowship Pool;
     
  3. Your Hope Economy - In-game Currency (examples of what you can spend Hope on);
     
  4. Restoring Hope (how you get Hope back);
     
  5. Being Miserable, Bouts of Madness, and Recovering (insanity from having too little Hope)
INTRODUCTION
Having played through several game sessions of The One Ring, already, I have the following problems with the Hope system in the game.
  • The One Ring is written to parallel Professor Tolkien's world, that darkness is always encroaching, in one way or another on the light, working to snuff it out. Still, there are great things happening in the world, among the Free People's, nature continues to produce beautiful colors throughout the year, people are generally good to one-another, and there is a social order to the world where people know and understand how they fit. However, for adventurers it's different; Hope is a dwindling resource, especially when you are far from home, perhaps not even visiting sanctuaries, while working to thwart elements of the Shadow. The way the rules and house rules I've seen for using and recovering Hope in the game are written, none reflect an appropriate means of either.

    I hope to write easy-to-follow rules that will address these deficiencies and fit better within the world of J.R.R. Tolkien.
     
  • I have not liked many of the rules for this game for some time, but I've fought through them because I've always liked games with their own unique flair, especially when the game rules seem to reflect the world the game is set in so very well as The One Ring does.
     
  • Francesco Nepitello, one of the authors of The One Ring, began using a rules system in his games in May 2013 proposed by another player, as opposed to as-written rules.
In essence, these rules are being written to allow you to have choices, within reason, about how to spend Hope for your Player-hero, and how to recover spent Hope so you don't become miserable. Spending Hope is on you, while helping you recover it in a story-based fashion is on both of us.

CHARACTER GENERATION & NEW ADVENTURE PHASE HOPE
Hope generated for a new character will remain unchanged, though the player should be warned that Hope is a precious commodity that is not returned quickly. Hope gained between the end of one Adventure Phase and the next will be in accordance with the rules found herein, designed to be more organic and ongoing, an economy of use and loss over time, not expended during a game session only to be refilled at the end of the session by the Fellowship Pool.
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Under Review ~ New Hope Rules

Unread post by Fieranor of Imladris » 28 Sep 2016, 16:40

THE FELLOWSHIP POOL
(LAST UPDATED: 28 September 2016)
Rules within The One Ring allow for the establishment of a Fellowship Pool which is filled at a rate of one point per character, plus additional points for each Hobbit in a group and for certain virtues and situations, at the beginning of a new Game Session, what we call a Thread, here. If a person is beginning to get low on Hope points and is in danger of becoming Miserable, with the permission of at least one-half the Players at the table, they can take a Hope point. If the Players don't agree with this, the player requiring the Hope Point can take it, anyway, but they also gain a point of Shadow in the process.

Our first change is to get rid of the Fellowship Pool, and make each Player responsible for their own additional point(s), keeping track of them each game session and, if a Player needs a point they can ask if anyone has an additional point they can use. However, the point cannot simply be taken, but must be given freely by the Player holding the point. Here's how it should look...
  1. The Fellowship Pool is gone. Each player with additional points, whether Hobbit or Twice-Baked Honey Cakes, or any other Blessing, Skill, or Virtue providing additional points, are in control of those additional points. That player is required to remember they have the points, and to remember when they have renewed;
     
  2. The player holding additional point(s) is welcome to give up a point if one is requested by a fellow player, but the holding player is NOT required to give it up. If they fail to help their fellow player, and the consequences of doing so prove to be dire to any character, or the Company, the holding player may gain a Shadow Point;
     
  3. The requesting player may spend one of their own Hope Points, then request another one, if they wish, but no more than two Hope may be spent on a single skill roll in a round by this method;
     
  4. These individual additional points are renewed in one of three ways...
    1. at the beginning of each new game session/thread;
       
    2. when the rules express they should be renewed (also remembered and tracked by the Player holding the points);
       
    3. when the LoreMaster expresses they are renewed.
    Points do NOT carry over from one session/thread to the next, but they also do NOT count against the normal maximum Hope for a character, as they are temporary points, only.
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Under Review ~ New Hope Rules

Unread post by Fieranor of Imladris » 28 Sep 2016, 16:40

YOUR HOPE ECONOMY - IN-GAME CURRENCY
(LAST UPDATED: 5 October 2016)
I'm going to take a page from Earthdawn, Warhammer Fantasy Role-Play, 2nd Edition and Torg: Role-Playing the Possibility Wars, here, because these all have rules for "savior point" economies that make much more sense than the rules presently written for TOR. Hope Points are there to help your character succeed in heroic ways, to save their back side while under nasty circumstances, to be the heroes they're supposed to become.

Earthdawn has a system closest to what we are going to use for our game; where you were able to regain a certain number of Karma points each in-game morning by performing a Karma Ritual and spending a number of Legend Points (what we refer to as Experience Points), and then being able to spend Karma on Talents, if allowed, to enhance your die rolls by certain amounts. Our new Hope system also allows you to regain points, though there will be no in-game morning ritual and/or expenditure of XP to regain them, though the expenditure principles are the same.

With Warhammer, Fortune Points are based on your character's Fate Points, determined by a random dice roll during character generation, usually between 0 and 3 points you could use for simple saves, and those points would renew every morning in-game. Fate Points were there to expend to save your character's butt if a situation was dire enough that your character could die, or if failure of a particular roll could lose the entire adventure, kill an important NPC, etc. Fortune Points were a much weaker version of Fate, in that they could be used to improve dice rolls, mitigate damage, etc. If you expended a Fate Point, however, normally to save vs. death, it was gone and your daily Fortune would be reduced to equal the new Fate Point(s). For our new Hope system, again these do not renew each morning as with Fortune Points, nor are they expended permanently, but rather fall somewhere in-between Fate and Fortune in that they do renew, but only at organically-relevant moments, and they are used to save your character's back side, within the tenets of The One Ring.

In Torg, your Possibility energy was used for everything, to save your character's butt, but also as Experience Points and, if you ran out of them, you would have to wait until you were able to earn more by the GameMaster before you could attempt to save against anything, again. This Possibility energy was a cross between Fate and Fortune points and, while Hope cannot be used to affect absolutely everything in the game, it does affect the more important aspects of our TOR game.

As with those games, ours will work as an economy, but Hope is not Experience Points, nor does it come from a pool where all other improvements come from, nor will it renew each morning. Rather, in keeping with the ideals of Tolkien's Middle-earth, where individual's can be inspired in many ways, your Hope can be restored during any Phase in our game, literally at any appropriate time. However, this section is about how you spend your Hope Points...

The first thing to discuss is caution in expenditures, as the ability to restore even one Hope Point can be a long and/or difficult affair, and though I will always try to be fair, they may turn out to be rare, so you might find yourself becoming Miserable if you spend too many too quickly. That being expressed thoroughly enough, here are examples of the ways in which you may spend your Hope...
  1. Spend one Hope to invoke an Attribute bonus for a skill just rolled. If the skill is not favored, meaning it is NOT underlined, you may only add your Base Attribute value to the Skill; remember, Weapon Skills fall under Body, always. If the skill IS favored, you will of course add your favored Attribute value to the Skill. (NOTE: This is one of the options you may combine with two other options to help improve a single dice roll in a round; you are allowed to combine up to three of these options to succeed, but you should have a story reason, and the approval of your fellow players, before-hand. In a virtual environment, if more than half of the table objects to this combination, you will gain a Temporary Shadow point.);
     
  2. Spend one Hope to purchase another Success Die (1D6) for a roll, whether it's a Common or Weapon Skill, Wisdom or Virtue, or even for rolling an Armor save vs. a Piercing Blow, to keep from taking a Wound. This may be declared prior to, or after, the dice roll is made; if declared before, even if you roll way over the Target, the Hope Point is gone, but the benefit will most likely be tangible. (NOTE: This is one of the options you may combine with two other options to help improve a single dice roll in a round; you are allowed to combine up to three of these options to succeed, but you should have a story reason, and the approval of your fellow players, before-hand. In a virtual environment, if more than half of the table objects to this combination, you will gain a Temporary Shadow point.);
     
  3. Spend one Hope to gain a High-Feat roll (rolling the Feat Die twice and taking the highest of the two rolls);
     
  4. Spend one Hope to purchase a one round addition to your Parry score to keep from being hit, equal to your character's Base Wits score;
     
  5. Spend one Hope to purchase a roll of Valor to reduce the Endurance loss you've taken due to damage in combat, as follows: a basic success (Target Number 14) restores one Endurance, each Image restores one additional Endurance and, if you roll Image plus six points over the TN, the Image counts as another higher success, as if you had rolled a Image. You may only regain up to one-half of points of damage done to your Endurance in this way, rounded down;
     
  6. Spend one Hope to trigger the effect(s) of a Cultural Virtue or Reward you possess;
     
  7. Spend one Hope to save your Fellowship Focus, or as a means to help the entire Company;
     
  8. Donate one Hope to another Player-hero so they may add it to their performance of a single action. Depending on the circumstances, the donation of this point of Hope to another may see it returned immediately to you for a valorous or wise pursuit by the player you donated it to, or the addition of a Temporary Shadow Point for aiding them in performing something considered to be outside of heroic action. (NOTE: This is one of the options you may combine with two other options to help improve a single dice roll in a round; you are allowed to combine up to three of these options to succeed, but you should have a story reason, and the approval of your fellow players, before-hand. In a virtual environment, if more than half of the table objects to this combination, you will gain a Temporary Shadow point.);
     
  9. Spend one Hope to purchase an additional point of Tolerance in an Encounter;
     
  10. As The One Ring is designed to be a story-telling game, and thus free-flowing, the above-listed items are examples of how Hope points may be used. If you have a means, via story-telling reason, of expending a point of Hope, and you and I agree to it, then you can do it. However, if one-half or more of the rest of the Company disagrees, you will gain a Temporary Shadow Point.
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Under Review ~ New Hope Rules

Unread post by Fieranor of Imladris » 28 Sep 2016, 16:41

RESTORING HOPE
(LAST UPDATED: 5 October 2016)
Apart from the standards of recovering Hope through a Fellowship Focus, which rules will remain intact, and through Fellowship Phase Undertakings allowing it, the following will replace the TOR RAW...

Original Author: Dankers; used without permission, as I will not use the Cubicle 7 TOR Forums

HOPE
Alternative Recovery Of...
The LoreMaster called for an Awareness test because a tree spirit is awakening in the oak grove that the characters are passing by. On a successful roll, characters feel invigorated by the barely audible musical singing (and gain a Hope Point); on a failure, they perceive the tree-song as an eerie, sinister lament.
O-LMB p. 28
Sources of Inspiration
Middle-earth is an inspiring place. Its natural beauty as well as the actions of the Free Peoples can be a source of hope and inspiration to those who bear witness to them.

Other than through the bonds of Fellowship, Heroes mainly find hope in the following four ways:
  1. Experiencing inspiring events;
     
  2. Crossing or dwelling in an area of great beauty, wonder, or enchantment;
     
  3. Committing kind or merciful deeds even when harsher actions would be justified;
     
  4. Taking honorable and responsible possession of a blessed or [extraordinarily] significant item.
Inspiration Tests
The LoreMaster may call for an Inspiration test when a hero faces or does something that could lift [their] spirit. An Inspiration test is made using [a dice roll indicated by the LoreMaster, whether Valor, Wisdom, or Common Skill] depending on the situation. [Some examples of test types include, but are not limited to...]
  • witnessing an act of great compassion might entail a Wisdom test;
     
  • choosing to embark on a perilous quest (errr, thing) might call for a test of Valor;
     
  • noticing a subtle wonder of Middle-earth might involve an Awareness or Song test.
The Target Number for the roll is 14, but may be raised or lowered by the LoreMaster as the situation merits. If the roll is successful, the character [re]gains Hope. At the LoreMaster's discretion, a Image result on an Inspiration test may cause the character to gain a temporary point of Shadow, instead.

(NOTE: I have changed the original table into bullet points and made some significant changes otherwise, so the examples are actual examples, and to include language for Hope Recovery (was Inspiration Gain) that is less limiting.)
  1. Source of Inspiration: Natural but unexpected turn of events.
    Examples
    • Rolling extraordinarily well, despite the odds being against you;
       
    • Bad guys about to ambush you being caught in a mud slide;
       
    • Being saved from a serious mistake by a friend.
    Recovery: The Player-hero regains 1 Hope by succeeding at an appropriate skill or characteristic test.
     
  2. Source of Inspiration: Witnessing a display of uncommon kindness, compassion or mercy.
    Examples
    • A farmer needs one Treasure to save his farm for one more season; he not only receives two Treasure, but those who gave it also help him prepare his farm for the new season;
       
    • The Dale City Guard have every right to beat a homeless vagrant half-to-death for disobeying the law, but one has mercy and takes him to the Old Quarter, instead, where he can find a meal and a place to stay.
    Recovery: The Player-hero regains 1 Hope by succeeding at an appropriate skill or characteristic test. For one or more Image runes in the roll, the LoreMaster may allow the Player to remove one or more points of Shadow.
     
  3. Source of Inspiration: Undertaking a difficult task that will benefit others.
    Examples
    • This one is better handled by the quote from the original document,
      "Yet it is not our part to master all the tides of the world, but to do what is in us for the succor of those years wherein we are set, uprooting evil in the fields that we know, so that those who live after may have clean earth to till."
    Recovery: The Player-hero regains 1 Hope by succeeding at an appropriate skill or characteristic test. For one or more Image runes in the roll, the LoreMaster may allow the Player to remove one or more points of Shadow. If a Image result is rolled, the Player-hero also gains a Shadow point, even while regaining Hope. If a Player-hero is blocked from pursuing and/or completing this undertaking, on the LoreMaster's discretion this could become a source of Anguish.
     
  4. Source of Inspiration: Experiencing the beauty and wonder of Middle-earth.
    Examples
    • Again, the original example works better, here,
      "There are columns of white and saffron and dawn-rose, Legolas, fluted and twisted into dreamlike forms ... Caves! The Caverns of Helm's Deep! Happy was the chance that drove me there!"
       
    • As with Bilbo, when he climbed above the tree-tops in Mirkwood while traveling with Thorin's Company, he regained Hope by seeing the blue sky and the red leaves atop the trees and the Lonely Mountain in the distance.
    Recovery: The Player-hero regains 1 Hope by succeeding at an appropriate skill or characteristic test.
As other examples are made available, such as rearing their ugly head during game-play, they may be posted here, again as examples only.

Just to reiterate, your Fellowship Focus may be responsible for restoring Hope to you at the end of an Adventure Phase, or even for taking it away.

One final point about recovering Hope I wish to make, here, is that apart from the normal Fellowship Phase Undertakings that can allow you to either reduce Shadow Points or recover your Hope Points, each FULL month you are Home or in a Sanctuary, you regain a point of Hope, to your maximum value only.
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Under Review ~ Being Miserable, Bouts of Madness, and Recovering

Unread post by Fieranor of Imladris » 28 Sep 2016, 16:41

BEING MISERABLE, BOUTS OF MADNESS, AND RECOVERING
(LAST UPDATED: 27 October 2016)

Comparative Values
As with the Rules as Written, Hope and Shadow will continue to be comparative values. What this means is, as you accrue Shadow Points, it becomes increasingly easier for your character to become Miserable. If you spend enough Hope points where they become even with, or go below your Shadow score (the total of Temporary and Permanent Shadow points), your character gains the Miserable condition.

The Miserable Condition
As long as your Player-hero (PH) is Miserable, they are in danger of suffering a Bout of Madness, temporarily losing control of their mind. Other factors within the game may make your PH temporarily Miserable, whether that's as short as the remainder of combat, or as long as the remainder of the adventure.

Regardless of your character's Shadow score, if you ever spend Hope to 0, your character is spent, spiritually drained, not able to bear himself to continue a struggle of any sort, and will flee from any source of danger or stress at the first opportunity, unless cornered and forced to face the source of the danger.

Bouts of Madness
You run the risk of reacting violently in your Miserable Condition, suffering a Bout of Madness if you roll a Image on ANY die roll. If this happens, you relinquish control of your character to the LoreMaster for a short period of time, who plays out the crisis, making the player do something s/he will later regret. Some examples include flying into a rage, sinking into an extraordinary state of depression, becoming desperate about their life (unable to spend Hope on anything), or temporarily gaining an irresistible desire for something that does not belong to them. Typically, the LoreMaster will base the bout on the action that was being attempted when the Rune was rolled, on your character's Shadow-weakness, or on a negative Trait earned during a previous bout.

A bout can be postponed for a more dramatically-appropriate moment, allowing the player to maintain control until the time comes for the PH to fall apart.

Recovery and the Player-heroes Future
When a bout passes, the character regains control of him/herself and sees their mind cleared of the tangle of fear and doubt that caused the crisis. Two effects of this outcome are then recorded for the PH. First, a Player-hero gains a Permanent point of Shadow, but loses all Temporary shadow at that moment; permanent points may normally NEVER be removed, for the life of the character. Second, the PH gains a negative Trait, a Flaw if you will, and begins to Degenerate from that point forward. Flaws are permanent, as well, and cannot be 'bought off' or replaced.

Contrary to how these rules sound, this game is not truly designed to force your character to go insane; however, adventuring in places most folk would never think of breaching and fighting against the Enemy can come at great cost, namely your own sanity. It is up to you to decide if the deeds you will perform are, indeed, worth it, and how you will guide your hero to their mental, if not physical doom.
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