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Fellowship Phase question

Thu 23 Sep 2021, 17:11

Does a fellowship phase have to happen at a Safe Haven?

My campaign started with the party travelling from Bilbo's house all the way to Esgaroth to pick up some source material for his book that was held for him there. Using the travel rules, they have, in one 4 hour session, travelled all the way to the High Pass. This involved three extended stops (a week or longer) to recover accumulated fatigue. Looking back at the rules, it seems those should have been Fellowship Phases. They left Hobbiton after the Midsummer festival, and mean to be in Esgaroth by winter. After they get through the High Pass, they will be taking their first Fellowship phase.

Had they turned their extended stops into Fellowship phases, it would mean that there would not have been any XP to spend since this was all happening in the context of one gaming session. They would have had a chance to recover some hope and even reduce Shadow points. Since all ability gains can only be one per Fellowship phase, I can see the desirability to have more Fellowship phases to focus bonuses, rather than fewer phases with more points that need to be spread more widely (assuming it is more advantageous to be better in a few things, than middling in many).

I realize that opening a campaign with a solid session of journeying is not typical, and for that reason I am interested in the opinions of other folks.
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Re: Fellowship Phase question

Fri 24 Sep 2021, 04:53

Yes, a Fellowship phase should take place somewhere that could be considered a safe haven. A stop in Bree could conceivably have included a Fellowship phase, but I doubt that the stopover would have been long enough. Also, why have one only a few days out from the Shire after facing little or no danger? A stop in Rivendell seems to be a better and more logical candidate for a Fellowship phase (either planned or impromptu). Where, east of the High Pass, were you intending to stop for that first Fellowship phase?
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Re: Fellowship Phase question

Fri 24 Sep 2021, 08:46

Well, the structure of the game is, that you usually have an adventure (Adventure Phase) followed by a recovery at a safe haven (Fellowship Phase). It all depends now, what kind of adventures you want to play during the journey from the Shire to Esgaroth. If you're just travelling, then I would suggest, cutting it short and just storytell that you've had some breaks and recovered .

From the Shire to Esgaroth a journey could look like this:

Aventuring Phase: The group travels from the Shire to the Barrow Downs, cause they heard rumors of some Hobbit needing help. They return the Hobbits to Buckland and turn to Bree.

Fellpwship Phase in Bree

Adventuring Phase: They travel along the East Road and have some nasty encounters with Trolls and help the Rangers protect a hidden village.

Fellowship Phase: They are invited to Rivendell to heal and recover.

Adventuring Phase: The Heroes cross the Misty Mountains an look for a missing Beorning who went off hunting Orcs.

Fellowship Phase: They take refuge at Beorns House after being hunted by Orcs and Wargs.


Meaning, I wouldn't just play out a Fellowship Phase, because the Players want to update their characters. It should be included in the story as something special. Like meeting the Elves of Rivendell, spending time with the Beornings and so on. I would allow it though, to camp in the wild and recover fatigue and endurance.
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Posts: 57
Joined: Thu 26 Aug 2021, 19:11

Re: Fellowship Phase question

Sat 25 Sep 2021, 03:33

Thank you, that is all good insight. They are going to have three encounters in the High Pass and then a Fellowship Phase with the Beornings. I know it kind of messes with the system when you are travelling primarily. The whole purpose is to get our feet wet with the alpha system while we are waiting for the official books to arrive. We only play once or twice a month for three hours at a time, so if we we're not got to Esgaroth by then, I could cook up a scenario that has them about facing and getting back to Bree to adventure in the primary 2E source material area.

Or we might look at The Books and start a whole new campaign, if experience has people wanting to try out different characters.

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