TASK RESOLUTION: Traits, Skills, and Rolling Dice

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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Fieranor of Imladris
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TASK RESOLUTION: Traits, Skills, and Rolling Dice

Unread post by Fieranor of Imladris » 24 Dec 2018, 15:32

TASK RESOLUTION: Traits, Skills, and Rolling Dice
There are many types of tasks your character can perform, in and out of combat, and against living and inanimate objects. When you decide how you want to take on a certain task, write a post for what you're doing; no special code or overt description is required, unless of course you wish to add such flourish.

Definitions
  • Unopposed Action: This is where you're acting, without opposition, to solve a problem or overcome a task in the game. Usually, if you are unopposed, you are interacting with something that is not living, not moving, and/or not fighting back. This could be a puzzle you have to complete, a wide chasm you have to jump, a camp you have to find for the Company, a riddle on the wall to solve, etc. Dependent on your Traits and/or Skill Values, you may not even have to roll to beat the challenge.

  • Opposed Action: Most typically, if you are opposed it is by something or someone that is live, moving, and/or fighting back. These typically come in the form of opposition, such as monsters, minions, and intelligent bad guys you must defeat or overcome. The greater portion of the time, opposed actions will require the use of an appropriate Trait and/or Skill to beat them. In a fight, you are considered to be fighting the closest bad guy to your character, as the LoreMaster sees your position (or as it's displayed on Roll 20), or chasing the bad guy you have already been fighting if they decide to flee and you decide to follow them.

  • Group Effort/Coordination: In some instances of play, your group may need to work together in order to overcome an obstacle. Let's look at the movie "The Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring", when the Fellowship are in the Mines of Moria and they are fighting the Cave Troll. Each of them made individual decisions on how to fight, and in-game they would have made individual die rolls, but working together allowed them to overcome the Troll more easily. Another example is in lifting or moving heavy weights; sometimes the most-stout Dwarf cannot life a massive block of stone on their own, but if they have friends to help, by combining their strength they can not only lift it but move it, as well.
In The One Ring several avenues exist for overcoming opposed and unopposed tasks/actions and you should consider carefully how each one might work for you, as follows...

  1. Traits: During character generation your Player-hero is given around five Traits to use, three Specialties (things they can do mechanically in the world) and two Distinctive Features (things that distinguish them as a person in the world). Any of these Traits may apply to a task or action your character is caught in, or that another character may find themselves requiring help for. A Trait that becomes relevant to a situation, and you may have to ask whether a Trait is or not, you can request to use it in one of the following ways...
    1. Automatic Action: You announce the use of the Trait and automatically succeed. The down-side to this is it's a basic success and, likely, you won't have much of a return on it; however, since it's an automatic success, this can be especially useful in life and death situations. While there is no limitation to the number of times you may succeed in this way, it can become dull to the story and the LoreMaster and/or your fellow players may deny its use after a time.

    2. Unforeseen Action: Sometimes a task, action, or situation is so far beyond a Player-hero, or perhaps beyond the entire Company, that the LoreMaster denies the ability to roll against it. A Player believing a Trait their Hero possesses should be relevant to the situation MAY ask for its use. If the argument of the Player, fellow players around the table, or the LoreMaster sways to allow a roll, the LM then gives a target number for a die roll to be made. Keep in mind, this is NOT an Automatic Action, but an action allowed because the Player interceded with their character to ALLOW the roll to be made.

    3. (HOUSE) Bonus to Skill Use: A Player whose Character possesses a Trait they believe is relevant to the situation may request the LoreMaster provide them a bonus for the use of the Trait. This may come in the form of giving a temporary form of Mastery (High-low Success Die) to the chance of using the skill, a hard number provided by the LM, or being able to apply a basic or favored attribute bonus to the outcome of the die roll.

    4. Experience Point: If a Player successfully uses a skill and overcomes a task or action to which a Trait might be closely linked, the Player may then request to acquire an extra Experience Point for the skill just used.

      (NOTE: You may only select one of the four listed here; they may not be mixed and matched, nor multiplied. You are welcome to see the definitions of all traits by clicking here.)
  2. Skills and Rolling Dice: If no one in the Company has a Trait to do the job, then it comes down to using skills.
    1. Definitions
      • Skill Rating: On your Player-hero Record Sheet you will see, next to every Common Skill at the middle-right of the sheet, and also for Weapon Skills toward the bottom-left, a series of six long diamonds. Each diamond filled on the sheet represents a rank for the Skill it is next to. Each Skill Rank available allows you to roll one Success Die (six-sided dice with a Image (aka Tengwar Rune) replacing the 6); thus, if you have three of those diamonds filled in, you may roll three Success Dice along with the Feat Die (twelve-sided dice) in an attempt to succeed at using a skill.

      • Normal and Favored Skills: Regardless of whether a skill is normal or favored, whatever Skill Rating the Skill possesses are the number of Success Dice you roll when using that skill. A Common or Weapon Skill which is NOT underlined is a normal Skill; on making your dice roll, if you find your outcome is close, but not close enough to the target number for the skill, you may decide to spend a point of Hope, which will allow you to add the base attribute number for the controlling attribute for that Skill. Alternately, if you have a favored skill -an underlined Skill meaning it's favored-, then spending a point of Hope will allow you to add your favored attribute number for the controlling attribute for that Skill, instead.

      • Weapon Skills, Favored and (Cultural): A favored Weapon Skill works in the same way as a favored Common Skill, using the favored attribute value when spending a point of Hope rather than the base attribute value. Having a (Cultural) skill, on the other hand, one that is surrounded by beginning and ending parenthesis, means your character is equally adept at all weapons within that group. Though it IS possible to delineate weapons within a group, so one may be improved over the others within the group, it is difficult to do.
    2. (HOUSE) Skill Groups and Why I Don't Use Them: The Rules As Written (RAW) have skills split into six groups; with only eighteen skills in the game, each group contains three skills. The Experience rules for use of these skills are that, the first time during a game session you have a Basic success, you get to mark the first of three points that may be accrued. The next point cannot be achieved until your character does something out of the ordinary with a skill, and the third point cannot be rewarded except on a Great or Exceptional Success. Once these three points have been awarded for the Skill Group -meaning all three Skills in the group- no more points may be awarded for that group until after the next Fellowship Phase, which means not until the next adventure begins. Here's where I have heartache with this rule...
      1. What if your character does something extraordinary with their skill, first? Do they then have to wait to do something even more extraordinary? Can they simply mark the second point and leave the first point open for a normal success?

      2. What if a Player has all three circles marked and then achieves an Epic success? Do they not receive the Experience from that success? Where does it go? What if the LoreMaster allows the player to mark all three circles for XP in one game session, but the next game session the Player performs so much better than the previous session? They don't gain any more Experience?

      3. What if a Player wants to improve a skill that was not used from a full group during the Fellowship Phase between Adventures? If they didn't use it, they shouldn't be allowed to improve it, I feel.

      4. Limiting each Skill Group to three points maximum does not encourage proper skill use or even role-playing; it is an artificial block to being able to achieve more, especially when the Player has done extremely well during a game. It is a game mechanic set in place to move Player-heroes along more slowly and stretch the game out further.
      Thus, I allow for the accrual of Experience Points beyond three per Skill Group, and I leave the Skill Groups as a nebulous control during Character Generation for favored skills from their Calling. There are other uses in the game, as well, but they are few and weak.

    3. (HOUSE) Automatic Successes Based on Skill Rating: If you have a skill possessed of a sufficiently high Rating, you may be able to automatically succeed, though as with the use of the Automatic Action for Traits, it would be a basic success. For unopposed tasks/actions, your LoreMaster may set a difficulty number for, say, a puzzle of stone tablets you have to arrange to open a door; let's set the Target at 16, for example. If the average of your Feat die and the Success Dice available to you exceeds the Target by 5, you can consider that an automatic, though basic, success. The average of a Feat die with two sides used for automatic successes and failures, which turns it into a basic ten-sided die, instead, is 6, and the average for each Success die is 4. Thus, if you had four (4) Ranks in the skill more than what is necessary to defeat the puzzle, you would not have to roll. Should you choose to roll, anyway? You might desire to for the sake of rolling higher levels of success; chance remains if you roll the dice, but fantastic things come from chance.

      For opposed tests, if you have one (1) Success Die more in your Weapon Skill than the Attribute Level of the creature you're trying to bring down, you can hit them for the base weapon damage, but nothing more, automatically. Rolling the to-hit dice gives you the opportunity to strike them down with even more damage, while a miss in a to-hit roll still acts like a miss. Finally, having three (3) Success Dice more allows you to incapacitate and/or kill that bad actor outright, which may cause the others of its type to become Craven automatically, fleeing from you.

    4. Target Numbers: A TN# is what the LoreMaster sets, whether based on Adventure Phase requirements or on long years of knowledge and experience, for you to overcome through dice rolls. As your character is represented in The One Ring as being generally competent in anything they're skilled in, skill rolls SHOULD be as few as possible; thus, when you're called to roll a test with your dice you know it's something a bit more difficult or unusual than your character is used to. A typical target number for a skilled individual (2+ ranks in a skill) will be 14, while beginning characters will more often face around a 10, still dependent on the difficulty of the task as deemed by the LoreMaster.

    5. Rolling Dice: As explained, earlier, there are two types of dice in The One Ring, a twelve-sided dice known as the Feat Die, of which you typically roll only one in concert with a number of Success Dice, of the six-sided variety, in accordance with how many Ranks you have in a skill.

      For the Feat Die, there are twelve sides, labeled 1 - 10, which are read based on what appears on the face, 1 - 10, and two other sides that are generally considered to be an automatic success or automatic failure based on the rune that comes up on top. These are your Image (Eye of Sauron) and Image (Gandalf's Rune). Sauron's Eye will, at least, mean some manner of penalty for the Player who rolls it, while it may also bring the Player-hero to ruin for the round, and perhaps further. Gandalf's Rune, however, means your PH has found favor and will, at least, have a bonus to their success, or perhaps even an automatic success.

      For the Success Die, there are six sides, labeled 1 - 5, which are read based on what appears on the face, 1 - 5, and one other side that is generally considered to provide a higher degree of success, which is the Image (Tengwar Rune). A higher degree of success will mean some manner of boon for the Player that rolled it and, perhaps, the entire Company.

      Mastery of a Skill, of factors of Corruption, of how you handle your Armor, or of Traits that can provide it, can lead to better successes, as well. These come as the Low-feat, High-feat, and High-low Success Die (HLSD), as described, here...
      • Low-feat is where a Trait gives you a hard opportunity to succeed at something you might normally not be able to do, or a Skill allows you to roll the Feat die twice and take the lower result.

      • High-feat is the opposite of Low-feat, where you take the higher result.

      • HLSD (High-low Success Die) allows you to roll one or more additional Success Dice and remove the lowest roll(s) from the total. For each HLSD you receive, you remove an equal number of lowest roll(s) in the test. These are typically done with Mastery of Skills, though they may also be granted, at the LoreMaster's discretion, from a Trait the Player decides to use.
  3. Other means of resolving tasks exists, also, and the come in the form of Hope and Fellowship Points.
Remember, when you post, use the proper punctuation and BBCode buttons, along with the language appropriate to make the outcome and/or description for completing the task clear and concise, so as to allay misunderstanding.
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Fieranor of Imladris
LoreMaster
LoreMaster
Posts: 2546
Joined: 07 Jul 2015, 19:46
Melee APs: 4
Stealth APs: 4
Location: Rivendell, Valley of Imladris
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Re: How to Play The One Ring Play-by-Forum/Roll 20

Unread post by Fieranor of Imladris » 16 Jan 2019, 15:13

ROLLING DICE FOR OUR GAME
There are many methods of rolling dice in our game, one using Roll 20 and one NOT using Roll 20. I would prefer that you use Roll 20, but there is no die roller, whether dice on a desk or table top or virtual, that will treat your Player-hero well at all times. I will address the preferred method, first, and then the alternate(s)...
 
Using Roll 20 for Die Rolls for Our Game
The following image is found in Roll 20 toward the top-left of your screen when you click on your character token, and allows you to both roll dice easily and allows me to keep a record of rolls, to fit The One Ring.
 
Image
 
These buttons are, from left-to-right...
  • Awareness, Explore, Hunting, and Travel ~ These are your Journey Phase skills that you will roll most often, though they are NOT restricted to that phase. All you need do to use these skills is click on your character token and then on the appropriate skill; the chat window to the far right will populate with your die roll.
     
  • Feat ~ This is a normal skill roll for all Common and Weapon Skills as well as for Valor and Wisdom rolls.
     
  • Half-Feat ~ Used for Cultural skills your character has no formal training in; this rolls your Feat die (1d12) and one Success die (1d6), which is NOT counted as a Success Die. Contrary to the instructions given, below, you are not required to put a Rank for the Skill.
     
  • High-Feat ~ This is the opposite of Low-Feat, as the roll selects the higher of the two Feat Dice rolled.
     
  • Low-Feat ~ Used when you are required to roll two Feat die and take the lowest roll.
 
Using the remaining buttons for the Feats has an extra step or two, as follows...
  1. On clicking a skill from the bar near the top-left of your window, a smaller window will pop open titled "Input Value" and "Skill Name"; in this window type the name of the skill you are rolling for. For example, use "Test: Riddle". Click the Submit button...
     
  2. Where you move to the next screen which asks the question: "What Rank is the Skill"; let's use the example of "1". Click the Submit button...
     
  3. Your resultant roll appears at the bottom of the chat window. That's all there is to it...
 
Alternate Methods for Rolling Dice for Our Game
You can roll your dice on your desk or table top at home, take a screenie or cell phone pic of the dice -though you are NOT REQUIRED to do so-, then record the result in the main game forum thread, if you like. Your fellow Players and I are trusting you! Don't forget, if you're using non-TOR twelve-sided dice (1d12), an 11 is a Image (Sauron's Eye), or pretty much a failure for you, while a Image (Gandalf's Rune) is pretty much a really nice success or even an automatic success; otherwise, the roll is read as 1 - 10. For the Success die/dice (1d6 per rank in the skill or characteristic you are using), a Image (Tengwar Rune) represents a greater level of success, while the rest of each die is read as 1 - 5.

You may also use other die rollers on the net; many of them allow you to record the die roll, if not also store it in a database and allow you to link to it. (NOTE: None of these die rollers do what I do in our game, so some interpretation will be required). Here is a list, short as it may be, of die rollers I allow...
 
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