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hsi379
Posts: 6
Joined: Fri 10 Sep 2021, 19:24

Re: Councils too simple?

Fri 10 Sep 2021, 20:14

Anyone know if Councils were changed for the final?

Also, does the math work for the Alpha version for Councils and Skill Endeavours? I'm not sure how it's exactly suppose to work. The Skill Endeavour section says "sets a time limit for the endeavour — that is, the total number of attempts that the Player-heroes are granted as a group to achieve their goal." This can be Resistance to Resistance +2. Concil time limit could be more depending on Tengwars I guess. So you might have to get 6 successes in 6 or 7 checks, meaning you have to hit Tengwars pretty regularly to make up for failures? How often will parties with average of 2 rank skills succeed? 3 rank skills? 5?

I like the move to X success in Y rounds instead of X success before Y failure. This was the Stalker0 Obsidian version (can google) of D&D4e skill challenges and worked better for many situations. However, the Obsidian system

1) assumed the entire party was involved or you should use a different resolution system -- everyone in the party was incentivized to roll even if bad at a situation, since any chance of success was better than not rolling.
2) Assumed characters using appropriate skills for the challenge (e.g., social for social challenge, physical for physical challege) with limited uses of other skills with creative explainations
3) had degrees of success depending on the # in the party and final success vs. failures
4) was always 3 rounds (so 12 checks for a party of 4)
5) the math was calculated well so you knew the TNs/DCs that would produce the results you wanted. The default for an average party facing an "on level" challange was 20-30% failure, 30-35% partial victory, and 40-45% total victory. It was easy to adjust this if needed.

The math needs to be pretty well worked out or these extended skill check systems tend to fall apart.
 
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jamesrbrown
Posts: 54
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Re: Councils too simple?

Sat 11 Sep 2021, 00:10

I think the following description of what qualifies as a "Council" is key to understanding EVERYTHING about how the rules have been framed:

Councils represent social events of extraordinary importance, gatherings vital for the success of the Company’s aims and goals that can be influenced by how they behave. The rules presented in this section should not be adopted for every verbal exchange between the Company and the Loremaster characters — everyday circumstances are better represented using the standard rules for Skill rolls.

To qualify as a council, a meeting must be a formal gathering during which the stakes are high and, depending on the outcome, the Company stands to win or lose something valuable.

(Bold was applied by me for emphasis and is not found in the Alpha doc.)

Understanding this properly, we know that most social encounters will be handled with the standard rules for Skill rolls. By this council definition, it will be the Company who needs to succeed at this formal social event to progress them forward in their goals. It is not about the Loremaster character's goals, or how well the Loremaster character impresses them. The Loremaster character may very well want something from them, but the council is about the Company wanting and "asking" for something from the Loremaster character, and the impression they leave will determine whether or not they get it.

I do not see using these rules to meet with a Patron, for example, even though a Patron is certainly an important Loremaster character that they will meet and socialize with.

What I like about the rules for Councils for TOR 2e is that they provide a simple framework in which roleplaying can take place, but in the end, die results still measure the Loremaster character's final impression for success or failure rather than the Loremaster. I really like this because it is impartial. Some may not like this. Some would prefer there to be roleplaying triggers for success or failure rather than die rolls. But, I would rather not choose these things based on player charisma and ability. Not entirely. Let me explain.

As you can see, I have changed the perspective of a die result slightly just for councils. In councils, I primarily see successful or failed rolls not so much about how well the player-hero delivers a speech, as much as how well the speech is received by the Loremaster character. At the table, a player may present unforgettable, beautiful prose, but a failed die result could bring underlining suspicion. Because the roleplaying was so good, the speech still gets applause and an answer to a question (a minor reward), but it does not bring the player-heroes any closer to their ultimate goal for the council. Does that make sense?

To reward good roleplaying, the Loremaster will need to prepare the imagined substance of the conversation in advance. The Council rules do not do this. What rewards and penalties will there be for asking the right or wrong questions? For behaving in a certain way? Or, using right or wrong skills? Of course, planning ahead for the Loremaster character's responses for successful or failed die rolls will also enhance the roleplaying aspect of the council. By doing this, even if the council fails, the player-heroes may still walk away with something to show for their social efforts as portrayed by the roleplaying skills of the players, even though they are denied their ultimate ask.
 
Mythicos
Posts: 123
Joined: Tue 16 Jun 2020, 03:46

Re: Councils too simple?

Sat 11 Sep 2021, 04:46

I think the following description of what qualifies as a "Council" is key to understanding EVERYTHING about how the rules have been framed:

Councils represent social events of extraordinary importance, gatherings vital for the success of the Company’s aims and goals that can be influenced by how they behave. The rules presented in this section should not be adopted for every verbal exchange between the Company and the Loremaster characters — everyday circumstances are better represented using the standard rules for Skill rolls.

To qualify as a council, a meeting must be a formal gathering during which the stakes are high and, depending on the outcome, the Company stands to win or lose something valuable.

(Bold was applied by me for emphasis and is not found in the Alpha doc.)

Understanding this properly, we know that most social encounters will be handled with the standard rules for Skill rolls. By this council definition, it will be the Company who needs to succeed at this formal social event to progress them forward in their goals. It is not about the Loremaster character's goals, or how well the Loremaster character impresses them. The Loremaster character may very well want something from them, but the council is about the Company wanting and "asking" for something from the Loremaster character, and the impression they leave will determine whether or not they get it.

I do not see using these rules to meet with a Patron, for example, even though a Patron is certainly an important Loremaster character that they will meet and socialize with.

What I like about the rules for Councils for TOR 2e is that they provide a simple framework in which roleplaying can take place, but in the end, die results still measure the Loremaster character's final impression for success or failure rather than the Loremaster. I really like this because it is impartial. Some may not like this. Some would prefer there to be roleplaying triggers for success or failure rather than die rolls. But, I would rather not choose these things based on player charisma and ability. Not entirely. Let me explain.

As you can see, I have changed the perspective of a die result slightly just for councils. In councils, I primarily see successful or failed rolls not so much about how well the player-hero delivers a speech, as much as how well the speech is received by the Loremaster character. At the table, a player may present unforgettable, beautiful prose, but a failed die result could bring underlining suspicion. Because the roleplaying was so good, the speech still gets applause and an answer to a question (a minor reward), but it does not bring the player-heroes any closer to their ultimate goal for the council. Does that make sense?

To reward good roleplaying, the Loremaster will need to prepare the imagined substance of the conversation in advance. The Council rules do not do this. What rewards and penalties will there be for asking the right or wrong questions? For behaving in a certain way? Or, using right or wrong skills? Of course, planning ahead for the Loremaster character's responses for successful or failed die rolls will also enhance the roleplaying aspect of the council. By doing this, even if the council fails, the player-heroes may still walk away with something to show for their social efforts as portrayed by the roleplaying skills of the players, even though they are denied their ultimate ask.

That's very insightful, James. Thank you for taking the time to write this.
 
gull2112
Posts: 51
Joined: Thu 26 Aug 2021, 19:11

Re: Councils too simple?

Sat 11 Sep 2021, 21:40

I agree, thanks James.

The rules are there to facilitate such formal engagements, not to burden every social discourse. I like that there is a framework for these situations. A framework, not a cage!
 
gyrovague
Topic Author
Posts: 390
Joined: Tue 28 Apr 2020, 16:52

Re: Councils too simple?

Mon 13 Sep 2021, 07:37

What I like about the rules for Councils for TOR 2e is that they provide a simple framework in which roleplaying can take place, but in the end, die results still measure the Loremaster character's final impression for success or failure rather than the Loremaster. I really like this because it is impartial. Some may not like this. Some would prefer there to be roleplaying triggers for success or failure rather than die rolls. But, I would rather not choose these things based on player charisma and ability. Not entirely. Let me explain.

As you can see, I have changed the perspective of a die result slightly just for councils. In councils, I primarily see successful or failed rolls not so much about how well the player-hero delivers a speech, as much as how well the speech is received by the Loremaster character. At the table, a player may present unforgettable, beautiful prose, but a failed die result could bring underlining suspicion. Because the roleplaying was so good, the speech still gets applause and an answer to a question (a minor reward), but it does not bring the player-heroes any closer to their ultimate goal for the council. Does that make sense?

To reward good roleplaying, the Loremaster will need to prepare the imagined substance of the conversation in advance. The Council rules do not do this. What rewards and penalties will there be for asking the right or wrong questions? For behaving in a certain way? Or, using right or wrong skills? Of course, planning ahead for the Loremaster character's responses for successful or failed die rolls will also enhance the roleplaying aspect of the council. By doing this, even if the council fails, the player-heroes may still walk away with something to show for their social efforts as portrayed by the roleplaying skills of the players, even though they are denied their ultimate ask.
I also tend to prefer an impartial system here, rather than leave it up to the eloquence of the players and the opinion of the DM.

But, as I said at the beginning of the thread, what I don't like about this particular system is that it doesn't leave room for any interesting decision-making. Sure, you can still have fun roleplaying/narrating how you implement that system, but it's always obvious what your optimal next move is.
 
hsi379
Posts: 6
Joined: Fri 10 Sep 2021, 19:24

Re: Councils too simple?

Mon 13 Sep 2021, 08:19


What I like about the rules for Councils for TOR 2e is that they provide a simple framework in which roleplaying can take place, but in the end, die results still measure the Loremaster character's final impression for success or failure rather than the Loremaster.
Agreed. I like games that provide a non-combat resolution framework. They key is that it provides mechanics to resolve a more complicated series of actions working toward a specific goal and gives the players much more adjency vs. the LM ending things whenever it "feels right". You certainly shouldn't use it for every social interaction or every non-combat scene (in the case of skill endeavors). IMO, it usually works best when

* there are clear and interesting narrative stakes
* the whole party can /should want to contribute to overcoming the 'challenge' / getting the goal
* it is complex enough of a challenge/activity that you want to abstract it over multiple rolls

It's a framework for resolution and should enhance the roleplaying and not at all replace it.

I've had great success in other games using this kind of resolution framwork to model -- asking a king for troop aid, convincing a fey court to release a prisoner, sneaking through a city, building fortifications before an attack, researching lore in a ancient library, traveling in the wilderness quickly to get to a village before a raiding party, etc.

That said, it falls apart quickly if the math hasn't been worked out. Hopefully the designers have done this, but it would be very helpful to Loremasters to know the assumptions. How hard is it to make a 3 resistence , 6, or 9 resistence with certain levels of skills and TNs? It's complicated to calulate with multiple rolls, Tengwar adding extra succeses, and Gandalf runes auto success (not to mention expected hope use). I remember an excel sheet someone had in 1e but can't find it now.
 
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jamesrbrown
Posts: 54
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Location: Gilbert, Arizona
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Re: Councils too simple?

Mon 13 Sep 2021, 19:15

It is going to take preparation, imagination, and roleplaying to make Councils interesting. But this is true of any rules for any roleplaying game. Too many rules could get in the way and slow down a free-flowing conversation. This system simply measures the impact of a few Skill rolls.

That being said, here are some ideas swimming around in my head...

The Alpha doc Council rules do not include suggestions for negative impact of failed rolls showing the Eye, or for weak, defiant, or insulting roleplaying choices. It only includes rules for positive impact of rolling Tengwars and a suggestion to add 1 success each time a player makes an effective roleplaying choice.

What if the time limit of the Council is reduced by 1 or the Resistance is increased by 1 (Loremaster's choice), anytime an Eye is rolled or when a player makes a weak roleplaying choice?

When the time limit is reduced, the Loremaster character is losing patience and may cut the meeting short. When the Resistance is increased, they are becoming hardened or their confidence is waning. They allow the meeting to continue for its allowed time, but it has become harder to convince them.

The Loremaster will need to decide what constitutes effective roleplaying or weak roleplaying to hand out bonuses and penalties. This is all dependent on who the particular Loremaster character is and how they would respond to a specific behavior, etc.
 
mrdabakkle
Posts: 33
Joined: Mon 01 Jun 2020, 18:15

Re: Councils too simple?

Tue 14 Sep 2021, 00:40

Another thing I would point out, in my playtest of an adapted of herbs and stewed hobbit I ran a council where characters asked some Beornings for boats to take the River south. I put a few obstacles in their way increasing the resistance if their where Dwarves of Elves in the party as well as making the npc reluctant to speak to Dwarves and Elves and Friendly with Hobbits. I also at the suggestion of Jacob in the discord allowed players to roll any of their skills as long as they had reason to. So people used Travel, Awe, Persuade, and Explore all with various reasons for it. It's a way to expand rp opportunities.
The One Ring and Adventure's in Middle-earth Discord Server: https://discord.me/theonering
The One Ring Subreddit: https://www.reddit.com/r/oneringrpg/
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