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The One Ring» Forums » Play By Forum

Subject: The Marsh Bell [OOC] - Table 1 rss

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Karl Larsson
Norway
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Index
Character Wiki
Introduction
Character creation
Basic rules
PbF - my thoughts
Social encounters
More on traits

The story:
Meeting in Esgaroth
Meeting Glóin
The journey begins
Day 1
Hostility from the lake-men
Day 2
The elves
Erulissë impresses Galion
Day 3
[article=8632045]Ulfric's ditty[/article]
The Dwarven camp
Balin's camp, and a troll
Erulissë defeats the troll
Opfspillar berries and a jewel case
The King's message
Day 4
Tavin's ditty
The Rotting River and the boat
Gallows-weed
The Dark pool
Erulissë and Sceotan's song
Attack of the Marsh Dwellers
The Marsh Dwellers defeated and two dwarves appear
Escape
The end

 
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Karl Larsson
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Introduction
Hi, and welcome to my one of two The One Ring games. Since I am running the same mission with two groups, please refrain from peeking on the action in the other group.

This is the Out-of-character thread (OOC). Here I will post the rules, we will create characters, and have discussions between us during the game. That doesn't mean you can't post OOC in the game thread, but we'll have larger discussions here. You can also, at any time, send me a private message. The first post of the OOC post will be an index of sorts, so you'll be able to quickly find any information you are looking for.

Since this is a game that rely on several people, I hope you all are commited to follow this game through. That means posting regulary. Some times you might be able to lay low for a while, while other times you are expected to post more frequently. A post everyother day, will usually be enough. I think totally, this game will take between two and three months to play.

The One Ring is a fairly simple game, but it has many situation specific rules. I will shortly post the basic rules. They are posted by order of relevance, so pay the most attention to the first set of rules, those regarding skill tests and dice.

Let us start of by doing two things. First post your experience with RPGs and PbFs. Then I want you to consider if you want to take a pre-generated character, or if you want to make your own. Making a character is very easy. There is an on-line site were you can do it, with just a few simple instructions from me.
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Karl Larsson
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Basic rules
Skill rolls
Whenever you attempt any action were the outcome is in question. You should make a skill roll. A skill roll is made with two types of dice, one feat die, which is 12-sided, and a number of skill dice, which is 6-sided, equal to your skill rating. When making a skill roll these dice are rolled, and the scores are added together. Usually a score of 14 or above is required, that is 14 is the normal target number (TN). Each dice also have additional effects.

When rolling skill tests in this game, please roll all the d6 together, and the d12 seperate.

The feat dice
This die has twelve sides. Ten of the sides have the numbers 1 through ten, while the final two have the Eye of Sauron and Gandalf rune on it. A roll of the Gandalf rune is an automatic success, while the Eye of Sauron is 0, with a possible negative effect

The success dice
The six sides of the skill dice are marked 1 through 6, much like a regular six sided die. 1-3 are written as outlines, which means they don't count if your character is weary (more on this later). While the number 6 has a tengwar rune next to it. Rolling the tengwar rune increases the quality of a success, if the roll itself was successful. Rolling none runes make it a regular success, rolling one rune makes it a great success, and rolling two or more runes makes it a extraordinary success.

Attributes
Each character has 3 attributes, Body, Heart and wits, ranked between 1 and 9. Each of these have a regular and a favoured rating. The most frequent use of attributes is during skill tests, when a character uses hope.

Skills
There are six categories of skills: personality, movement, perception, survival, custom and vocation. Each skill is connected to one category and one attribute, for a total of 18 skills. Each skill is ranked 0-6, depending on their characters' ability with them. Some skills are favoured, which means an increased bonus when the character uses hope in skill tests with this skill.

Traits (distinctive features and Specialties)
While the skills and attributes indicate a character's capabilities, traits add detail and nuance to what they are able to do. A trait can be invoked in several ways. First of all, he can invoke a trait to achieve an automatic success on his action. If the trait fits with the action, for example a keen-eyed character spotting something, then the player doesn't have to roll, but instead gets an ordinary success.

Secondly, a trait can be invoked for the character to interrupt the narrative, if the characters were about to make a poor business deal, a player with a character with the trading trait, might interrupt the story because something like that would never happen with his character around.

Finally, a player might invoke a trait after making a successful skill roll. By describing how the character is successful, in a way that fits with the trait, might earn the character an advancement point. These points are spent at the end of the adventure, to improve the character.

Hope
Each character has a certain number of hope points. While the number of hope points may go up and down during play, it may never be higher than their starting number. Hope is used during skill tests, if an action fails, the character can use a point of hope to add the skills attribute to the roll. If the skill was a favoured skill, then the favoured attribute rating is added. Used hope might return at the end of a session, depending on how the mission went, and what the characters spend their free time doing.

Fellowship points
The party as a whole has a number of fellowship points equal to the number of members of the party. During play, a character can, if the other players agree, can spend one of these points to regain a point of hope. Fellowship is replenished at the end of a session.

Fellowship focus
Each character has an other character that they are particularly friendly or protective towards. The number of hope points the replenish at the end of a session depends on the health their fellowship focus is in. Also, if they spend hope points on actions that are beneficial to the fellowship focus, they will immediately recover their hope point.

Misery
If hope is ever equal, or lower, than shadow, the player becomes miserable. More on how to get shadow points later.

Endurance and fatigue
Fatigue is decided by a characters starting equipment. Endurance is spent when a character does straining actions, particularly when they are hit during combat. If endurance is ever ever equal to or lower than fatigue, the character becomes weary. If it reaches 0, the character passes out.
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Karl Larsson
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Character creation
Let me begin my talking a bit about characters. You can find the character sheet here: Character sheet

There is also an online character creator here: Online character creator

There is a lot of text here, I know. I have made he most important parts, the options, bold.

I'll try to post enough here, so you can create a character there by yyourself. This isn't really a game were you can create a "wrong" character. They usually turn out good, but it might be an idea to make sure that not everyone picks the same skills.

There are no classes (like fighter and priest) in this game. In a way, you are all the same class, explorer/adventurer. The biggest choice you will make for your character is his culture. The setting for this game is the North of Middle-Earth, the area Bilbo travelled in during the Hobbit. After the events of the hobbit, this area is starting to repopulate. There are now six cultures of free people that live together here, your character is from one of these. They are
1. Hobbits of the Shire
2. Dwarves of the Lonely mountain
3. Elves of Mirkwood
4. Beornings
5. Bardings of Dale
6. Woodman of Wilderland


After picking one of these cultures, you pick one of six backgrounds in that culture. That background decides most of your characters abilities. There is also a story that goes what that background, but you can choose to make your own.

After that you pick a calling, why you want to adventure. Remember that is your calling, not your occuopation. So if you pick Scholar, that doesn't mean you are a bookish type, but rather that you are an adventurer because you want to learn more. The callings are:
1. Slayer
2. Warden
3. Wandrer
4. Scholar
5. Treasure hunter
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Geoff Hall
United Kingdom
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Hey there, my name is Geoff and I've been roleplaying fairly consistently since the tail end of 2000 when 3rd Ed. D&D came out (so a little over 11 years). I got into it in my final year of university as a number of my friends were interested and the release of 3rd Ed. pushed me over the edge from curiosity (I already played Warhammer and Magic) into trying it out.

Since then I've played many, many different RPGs including other d20 stuff, Exalted, WFRP 2nd Ed. and a whole boatload of different hippie, indie RPGs, which I personally love. I'm actually old friends with the current editor of White Dwarf, Andrew Kenrick, who is also part of the Collective Endeavour. They are a group of UK indie RPG designers that includes people like Malcolm Craig (Cold City, Hot War), Gregor Hutton (Best Friends, 316: Carnage Among the Stars) and Joe Prince (Contenders) and I've hung out with that crowd numerous times. This probably explains why I like indie RPGs so much (stuff like Polaris, Dogs in the Vineyard, Houses of the Blooded, Dead of Night, etc.)

As to PbF games, I've tried a few over on RPG.net in the past but they've usually petered out fairly quickly, which has always been disappointing. I've spent time creating characters that I loved over there only to have the adventure stall out due to other people's lack of posting. On the other hand I've played in some successful and long running groups using IRC and similar programs before (my old uni D&D campaign continued in this fashion for a good couple of years after uni and I played in a long running and very cool Nobilis campaign like this for a couple of years). Attempts to use skype or similar have always fallen down though.

Right now I play in a regular game on Friday nights. We've been playing 3.5 Ed D&D there for a few years and recently switched to oWoD Mage, which is proving interesting. Our first story arc finished last week so it will be fun to see what our GM pulls out tomorrow for the next arc.

As to this game I'd certainly like to put together a character myself. I enjoy creating characters and it tends to be easier to relate to them than it does to pre-gens.

Cheers,
Geoff
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Tim Buckley
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Howdy all! I'm Tim and this is my first PBF RPG other than the recent Mountains of Madness one. I have played a little bit of D&D throughout the years but nothing too serious or involved. I have played a lot of video games around the theme like Baldur's Gate and Icewind Dale and such but that's about the extent of it. That said, I'm really excited to play this because I had a lot of fun with the Mountains of Madness campaign...

I think I'd like to try rolling my own character and at least see if it passes muster. I'd love to play as a Hobbit rogue-like character of some sort if possible. I'll try out the character generator and see what I come up with.

Looking forward to a fun and active campaign!
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Karl Larsson
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Beorn is a character you'll come to in the book. He is kind of a rugged loner type.

In the game, he has decided to gather people like him for common support. They are called beornings. That is, they are humans, like the bardings and the woodmen.
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Karl Larsson
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Since elves, hobbits and dwarves kind of explain themselves, perhaps I should say something about the three human cultures:
The beornings are the rugged warriors. They follow beorn, and emulate his behaviour in many ways. They are distrustful of strangers, and they seeks adventure and glory. Best skills are athletics and insight

The bardings follow King Bard of Dale. A young kingdom, eager to leave its mark. Since they live in a city, they often know trade, but they are also militaristic, ready to defend their new found wealth. Best skills are persuade and inspire.

The woodmen have been in the area for the longest, and they have survived under very harsh conditions. Most of all, they are survivalists. They might be able fighters, but it is their wits that often keeps them alive. Best skills are healing and explore.
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Geoff Hall
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Okay, I've rolled up a human Woodman of Wilderland called Sceotan son of Iwald using the character generator. I admit that I'm not sure what a lot of what's on my sheet actually means. I've saved the character as code and obviously as a forum post (no idea how that will look on the BGG forums mind) so you can have a look at him if you like. I got the impression that there were some extra bits that may require modifying from what it said at the end but I'm not sure quite what it was talking about.
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Karl Larsson
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Great! Just send it as a PM. I'll make a forum version of the sheet later, and post it in that.
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Karl Larsson
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The character wiki for this thread is up.
Character Wiki

I will include a link to it, on the first post of the OOC and game threads, as well as my profile. You should probably have it available to, or perhaps have a character sheet on paper for easy reference.

I have included Tim's character, the only thing lacking is gear. Gear is faily straight forward.

I'll get to Geoff's later.

The rest of you, let me know if there is anything you need from me to get going. During the weekend I'll send some reminders to those that haven't found their way here yet.
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Karl Larsson
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Above I have added a basic rules section. I think you can manage pretty will with only understanding the dice rolling parts, so don't feel pressured to memorize and understand it all completely.
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Karl Larsson
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jmanders85 wrote:
Annie and I are going to make our characters tomorrow. I'm pretty set on being a Beorning.


Cool. I am looking forward to it.
 
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Annie C
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Very much looking forward to this! I'm anxious to generate my character and get started.
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Geoff Hall
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Just wondering if you'd intentionally changed some stuff on my character sheet when you put it onto the wiki or if there are just a couple of errors? If it's the latter then do you mind if I edit it with corrections? It's just a couple of the skills that are off (Battle should be 1, Bows should be 2 and Dagger should be 1 specifically).

EDIT: Oh, also the background is wrong, it was Fairy Heritage not The Hound.
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Karl Larsson
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Thank you. I will correct it when I am back at my laptop. It was not intentional.
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Dwayne Hendrickson
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I have played a few RPGs over the years, D&D, Star Wars, Traveler. I enjoy boardgames a lot more since I normally don't have time for RPGs, but I thought that I would give this a try.
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Dwayne Hendrickson
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Bye the way, my character is Horshead the Bearded
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Karl Larsson
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This is looking good. How are we doing with the characters Joe and Annie?
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Annie C
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Erulissë reporting for dütÿ.
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Karl Larsson
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Night here in Norway. I'll update the wiki tomorrow. Then we'll do the last steps of character creation, I'll go through some more basics,and then we begin.
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Finising steps
Now some posts in quick succession.

We are now at the final step of character generation. There are a few things left.

Your characters have formed a fellowship. The default name is the “The Fellowship of Esgaroth”, but if any of you have a better choice, we can use that. Without going into to much detail, all the characters are in Esgaroth, to the east of Mirkwood.

Your fellowship must have an objective. I am picking this one, so it will fit with what I am running. Your fellowship's goal is to find a safer rout to Mirkwood. Everyone, except for the dwarf, has travelled through it to get here, and you have seen how dangerous it can be.

All characters must now pick a fellowship focus. That is, an other party member you care especially for. That might be the tender protectiveness of Sam towards Frodo, or the friendly competitiveness between Legolas and Gimli. You pick only your character's focus, the relationship does not have to be mutual.

I also want you to look at your character sheet. Except for the weapon stuff, is there anything there that is unclear. Most of it is self-explanatory, but I'll be happy to give further details if needed. There is also the possibility of looking things up in the character creator. Holding the courser over text there, reveal, I think, almost all the information from the rulebook. Anyhow, there isn't really any right or wrong here, so just go with your guts

You all have traits and virtues to guide you through role-playing, I am very much looking forward to seeing how you play your character.

To those of you with rewards (weapons), feel free to name your weapon.

Also, with each of the background package you selected comes a short story. I will put that on your character sheet. If you don't like it, let me know, and I'll remove it. Of you want to write a better story, feel free!
 
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Karl Larsson
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PbF - my thoughts
So, what will this PbF by like? In comparison with Mountain of Madness, it will be free and more demanding on you. Your choices will be less explicit, and sometimes you must discuss amongst yourself what direction to take. If you get stuck, I will nudge you along, but I prefer it when you find your own path within the parameters of the adventure.

I also like it when my players take charge in the narrative, at least with the smaller things. While I tell the plot, you can elaborate as you wish. If your character is in a town, for instance, feel free to narrate a conversation he has with a trader, or how he feels about this city, or anything you like that fit with what I already have told. Perhaps you even can include some of the other players in you narrative, words traded, glances shared and so on.

Things to be aware of
Play by forums sometimes stall, or grind to a halt. This can be for many different reasons. Sometimes people just lose interest, but most of the time, everyone feel that someone else should be the person to take the next step. Here are some tips on how to avoid stalling.

If you feel someone is the one who should post next, say so in the OOC thread.
If are talking to another character, include as much as possible in one post. Introducing your character and asking several questions in a single post, is encouraged. If you try to have a real dialogue, back and forth, things will go very slowly.
If another player has taken an action, or said something to a character, and you also have something you want to do or say, don't wait for me to respond to the other player. Just throw out what you want to do, and I will sort it out.
Instead of asking if you are allowed to do something. Just assume you can, and throw the dice if you feel that dice rolling is appropriate.
While waiting for someone, perhaps you can write some flavour text. What is your character doing right now? Mundane information about your character, brings flavour.

All this can make PbF a bit chaotic at times, but it will be my job to sort it out. That means I sometimes have to inform you that an action is not possible, and you'll have to revise your action.

Also, if I feel we are waiting for someone, and that person doesn't respond, I will sometimes post a reminder. Don't take this the wrong way, it is perfectly OK to take your time, but sometimes people miss their “cue”, and it is better we remind each other, than wait for someone that doesn't know their up.

The main rule is: Have fun!
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Karl Larsson
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Rules recap
So. Here is the short version of the rules.

When you are doing a test in the game, either because you have an idea, or I have asked you to, roll 1d12, and the number of d6 equal to your skill. Roll the d12 separate from the d6.

A 12 on the d12 is a Gandalf rune. An automatic success, with the possibilities of other positive effects. An 11 is a Eye of Sauron, it equals 0, and if the roll itself is a failure, there might be other negative effects.

Each 6, on the d6 can increase the potency of the success, if the roll itself was a success.

After you have rolled a failure, you can spend a point of hope to add your attribute to the roll. You add your favoured attribute, if the skill was favoured (underlined).

That's about it. After we have the fellowship focuses in place, we'll begin.
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Karl Larsson
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Social encounters
Let me first go through the rules of social encounters. You enter into a social encounter when you are meeting with a person or group that isn't immediately hostile, that you want something from.

It is important to remember that these are the rules for social encounters. When to roll and what skills to use. While these are the mechanics, they also have to be followed by role-playing!

First your party has to decide if they want a spokesperson that speak for the entire group, or if they want to speak individually. If you have a spokesperson, he rolls the awe skill. If he succeeded, he has made a strong and good impression. The tone for the rest of the discussion has been set.

A softer approach is that everyone introduces themselves. Each member of the fellowship rolls courtesy. If they fail, they might not take part in the encounter.

Finally, a party member can choose to use riddle. That means they reveal little during their presentation, hiding as much about them as possible.

After introductions has been made, a tolerance is set. This determines how many times the party can make unsuccessful skill rolls, before the encounter comes to an end. The person or party the fellowship is talking to, will have a preference of either wisdom or valour. Tolerance is equal to the highest score of this in the fellowship, with the addition or subtraction of modifiers.

After introductions has been done, and tolerance has been set, you can attempt to make skill rolls, to achieve your goal in the encounter. What skills you use will varie, but often used skills are Insight, Inspire, Persuade, Riddle and Song.
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