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One Rule to bind them.

Posted: Tue 14 Sep 2021, 23:58
by Dunheved
This may be the other side of "Spending Hope First". (And if it has been discussed already, then I've missed it. Please point it out to me.)

I am presuming that in order to be consistent, Adversaries being operated by the L'M must declare Hate/Resolve before the relevant dice roll is taken?
E.g. a goblin archer must spend 1 Hate first, and only if the shot qualifies for a Piercing Attack will the PC protection roll be ill-favoured. (Sure shot)
E.g. a great orc must use 1 Hate if it wishes to add it's Horrible Strength, and that Hate point is wasted if the attack roll does not produce a Piercing Attack.
E.g. snake like speed is declared before the attack is made.

Just beginning to plan a Combat.. And I caught myself thinking in a TOR1e way for Adversary abilities.

Re: One Rule to bind them.

Posted: Wed 15 Sep 2021, 02:58
by eternalsage
That seems consistent, but I do not think it specifies it in the text. At least no where that I can recall.

Re: One Rule to bind them.

Posted: Wed 15 Sep 2021, 07:22
by Sebastian
Keep in mind, that Heroes and Adversaries don’t follow always the same rules. I didn’t even think about this whole discussion of using Hope before or after a roll when it comes to enemies. Maybe the finished version is clearer, but I will use Hate for adversary, when the opportunity comes.

I don’t have the rules in front of me, but when it says, „If the LM rolls a Piercing Blow, spend a Hate point…“, that clearly indicates, that the LM doesn’t has to declare the Hate point before the roll.

Re: One Rule to bind them.

Posted: Wed 15 Sep 2021, 09:01
by Dunheved
The decision to be made is therefore whether to be consistent or not in the mechanics?

It seems balanced to me that Hate points can be occasionally wasted in the same manner as Hope points, as it carries its own (positive) unexpected narrative. E.g. "... the evil being attempts a sly stab into the exposed hip, under her elevated shield, yet in its eagerness it overbalances and misses entirely..." *
So, if there is a chance that Hope expenditure comes to zero effect, then so do some Hate expenditures.
In particular, the Snake like Speed will surely need to be declared before the attack, else the correct number of FEAT dice may not be rolled in that attack. (Good way to provoke Hate draining btw)

* and in fact, paying Hate (or Hope) and getting zero bonus for it sort of reminds me of an effect that has been lost in the new version, the "fumble". Tbf it's not exactly the same, but it has that feel about it.

Re: One Rule to bind them.

Posted: Wed 15 Sep 2021, 09:25
by Sebastian
Sure, a lot of Fell Abilities only make sense, if you spend Hate before you or the Player Hero roll. But look at Horrible Strength for example:

"If the creature scores a Piercing Blow, spend 1 Hate to make the target’s Protection roll Ill-favoured."

It right there in the text, that you don't use the Hate point, before you attack, but after you rolled and stored a Piercing Blow.

Re: One Rule to bind them.

Posted: Wed 15 Sep 2021, 10:04
by Dunheved
Oh I agree entirely about the wording: its the wording that provoked me into considering if Hate/Resolve and Hope were being dealt with consistently.
The mechanics are one thing; the wording of a rule is another*; as is the experience in play. And in this case, my use of the word 'experience' covers how much satisfaction I might feel in a game as the narrative unfolds.

My PC has to choose to spend their Hope point in advance, when it may be of zero additional effect: yet the thing it is facing makes an attack, waits to see if it hits, and only then decides that it would prefer it if it used more muscle in that attack? This seems imbalanced and contrary to the implication on page 143 Alpha rules, where Hate and Resolve "serve a function that is similar to that of Hope" ... triggering bonuses and special abilities. I know it says Similar not Identical, but if the Hope mechanic has had its timing altered why has the Hate mechanic escaped this alteration? (Can you feel my lack of satisfaction?)

*For instance, I can be explicit and reword this rule as
Hideous Strength: Spend 1 Hate so that the impact of the attack, if successful, makes a Protection roll ill-favoured.
And this is broadly the same effect AND consistent, because the attack might be parried. Parried hard, yes, but still parried.

Re: One Rule to bind them.

Posted: Wed 15 Sep 2021, 10:52
by Sebastian
I get your point, but don't forget that TOR usually doesn't try to simulate reality. It is a story-driven game and game balance is not the first thing that pops up my mind, when I think about Middle-earth.

Adversaries don't follow the rules of Player Characters. They don't choose a stance, they don't use skills and Hate is something, that first might look like something similar to Hope, but it really powers their special abilities. It's often almost like a magical success in the sense, that it's an auto-success. For example: "Spend a Hate point and Heroes add 3 Shadow." The LM doesn't even roll for the, the Players have to roll against it.

There is also a difference between spending Hope before and gaining 1-3 success dice and spending a Hate point, gaining nothing, and have to hit, to see if the ability works. From my point of view that would weaken opponents drastically. Scoring a Piercing Blow is hard enough, but spending a Hate point, not knowing, if I get one, just doesn't make sense to me.

Though the usual take on Hope still applies also to Hate. Adversaries can always spend Hate to get an extra die, just like Player Heroes, before the LM rolls.

Re: One Rule to bind them.

Posted: Wed 15 Sep 2021, 14:51
by mrdabakkle
The lifespan of an enemy is measured in rounds, and they often have less hate overall than the player's have hope. So not letting them spend hate for their special abilities as the text says will severely weaken them when imo combat tends to favour the player's anyway. And as stated an enemy can spend hate before they roll to gain extra dice. LM characters and enemies are not meant to work as characters. So it is balanced, and fair. Since monsters get less resources overall.

Re: One Rule to bind them.

Posted: Wed 15 Sep 2021, 15:33
by eternalsage
Ah... the desire for symmetry. I feel you on this. I would want, in my heart, for the baddies to work the same as the heroes. But my brain understands that they don't, because nothing about foes work the same as heroes in TOR. They don't have the same stats even!

And that is by design to prevent the ludicrous stat blocks you get in some games (specifically thinking of D&D 3rd ed here, but others also do this) in which you waste a ton of space and time giving enemies all the same stats and rules and then they die in 2 rounds.

Also, the players should NEVER KNOW what the baddies stats are! The only one that should be privy to that knowledge is you. Foes only exist to serve as obstacles to heroes and in TOR they (rightly, imho) chose to only give them the tools they need to serve that limited purpose. Players don't even have access to most (any?) Of these abilities.

They do not require symmetry nor should they. And RAW they don't. BUT I am not going to call the cops if you do things your way in your games. That is your GM style, and I refuse the idea that you can do it 'wrong'. More or less effective maybe, but not wrong. Enjoy, my dude.

Re: One Rule to bind them.

Posted: Wed 15 Sep 2021, 16:54
by Carcharoth
What about creating a Loremaster Character that acts as a main villian? It would allow you to model something closer to a PC in terms of power and abilities, without having to alter the mechanics of Adversaries.