spelmästaren
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First impressions!

Mon 04 Mar 2024, 15:17

I spontaneously bought the game this weekend and was very impressed by the quality of the books and positively surprised by the rules, I was hooked on them straight away and I think it can easily grow to become one of my favorite RPGs in recent times. (Feels like a lovely mix with best parts from brp, D20, T6 system and Edge Of "starwars rules"). So I ended up also buying all the other books/box that were released. The only critical thing I can say about the book is that not all of Middle Earth can be found with playable races Rohan, Gondor etc. As I think my players expect to be able to play what is strongly associated with lotr. But I understand the idea and hope that everything like that will later become a complete collection.

I read in the rules that you could start from 20 or 18 (one shot adventures) to calculate your TN. What would you recommend? Is 20 too hard or will 18 be too easy in the long run for the characters? Otherwise, I think the game feels 9/10, really captures the feeling of LOTR
with atmospheric rules that are both simple but also have finesse.
 
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Harlath
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Re: First impressions!

Mon 04 Mar 2024, 15:48

Welcome aboard!

The first edition of the game gradually added playable cultures (including Rohan and Gondor, having not started with those), and we're seeing the same done in the second edition. High Elves, Wood Elves, Beornings, Woodmen and a new Dwarven Culture (in the Moria supplement) are all available now.

But while you wait for the official cultures, fans have had a go at converting various cultures from 1e to 2e if you're keen to add characters from Rohan/Gondor etc. https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/ ... uL1uPF4JeC

TN - I play with 20-attribute. It works well, with new players it can be important to remind them to spend Hope for +1d, or even +2d when inspired. Reminding them that Hope refills due to the Heart attribute, the Fellowship pool plus a full refresh in Yule can encourage players to spend. Physical props like tokens for both Hope and the Fellowship Pool can help too.
 
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Linklite
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Re: First impressions!

Mon 04 Mar 2024, 20:23

Welcome to the game! I'm glad you like it, I'm really enjoying it!

I read in the rules that you could start from 20 or 18 (one shot adventures) to calculate your TN. What would you recommend? Is 20 too hard or will 18 be too easy in the long run for the characters?
Yes. ;)
For one-shots and short term characters that you're just trying out for a couple of sessions, the 18 is best. You will have low Proficiencies, so hitting the TNs is challenging... and you're spending time and resources trying to reach the TNs. It makes for a hard game that perhaps will be off-putting when you're learning the game, or make it harder for you to see how a character plays.

However, after a longer campaign, when you've had chance to rank up your Proficiencies, then hitting your TNs when calculated from 18 becomes trivial and boring. You very rarely fail...which makes for a bland game. You want a nice mix between successes and failures.

Starting from 20 makes it harder and means choosing the right player for the job more important. It keeps the game interesting much longer (statistically, you need Favoured to balance out the difficulty, or an extra rank to counter it and you get some nice benefits on top), and so it's much better with 20.

So, if you're doing a one-shot or just trying out a character, I'd go with 18. If you're planning to do a campaign (a full year's worth of adventures or more, so 3+) with the characters, then I'd recommend 20. Tougher start...but you can keep the character for longer.
 
spelmästaren
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Re: First impressions!

Mon 04 Mar 2024, 21:11

Yes thank you that sounds very reasonable! I guess its also important to point out for new players in character creation how important TN is and
how it will effect their skills/rolls.

The only other thing I find a bit different or unusual is how treasure points? works instead of typical silver or gold currency.
But I guess it just takes some time to get used to, or do you house rule currency and costs on items? :)
 
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Harlath
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Re: First impressions!

Mon 04 Mar 2024, 22:52

I play rules as written when it comes to standard of living/treasure.

The rules makes treasure match the source material: it’s meaningful and useful (boosts purchasing power, more useful items, better defensive wargear, better mount) without tracking individual coin spending. This is appropriate as there’s little discussion of prices/exact monetary amounts in the novels. This lets the game focus on heroic adventuring instead! Some other games operate a similar system via a credit score, wealth die or similar. I find tracking 3 silver pieces to stay at an inn (and similar items) doesn’t add much to a game.
 
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Linklite
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Joined: Wed 21 Jun 2023, 23:44

Re: First impressions!

Tue 05 Mar 2024, 02:23

The only other thing I find a bit different or unusual is how treasure points? works instead of typical silver or gold currency.
But I guess it just takes some time to get used to, or do you house rule currency and costs on items? :)
It is different to, say, D&D. However, despite the fact that I used to tinker with rules a lot, I generally don't really house rule anymore. That's reflective of both the game not really needing it, but also my changing attitude towards the rules. I actually really like the TOR wealth system.

There are two things that it doesn't really match up to a more traditional and literal system on.
  • It doesn't allow you to focus on getting specific items first. Like, you can't focus on getting that chain mail by delaying other stiff because it's all by tiers. That's just a different system
.
  • The other thing is that you can't flip a coin to a beggar/bartender/informant/etc and have it be meaningful and a sacrifice. In reality though, it ends up saving on bookkeeping. Players won't bankrupt themselves on tipping barmaids, so it just saves the time spent bookkeeping by letting it be flavour.
 
spelmästaren
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Re: First impressions!

Tue 05 Mar 2024, 07:59


But while you wait for the official cultures, fans have had a go at converting various cultures from 1e to 2e if you're keen to add characters from Rohan/Gondor etc. https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/ ... uL1uPF4JeC
Thank you just what I was looking for and looks so professional aswell!

And yes I will try to keep the house rules as minimum aswell and try to learn the system :)
 
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Harlath
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Re: First impressions!

Tue 05 Mar 2024, 11:14


But while you wait for the official cultures, fans have had a go at converting various cultures from 1e to 2e if you're keen to add characters from Rohan/Gondor etc. https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/ ... uL1uPF4JeC
Thank you just what I was looking for and looks so professional aswell!

And yes I will try to keep the house rules as minimum aswell and try to learn the system :)
No worries! Happy to help on any specific cultures if you think anything looks too weak/too strong - it isn't my work but hopefully I can offer a sane view based on my experience with TOR 1e and 2e. Have fun. :)
 
spelmästaren
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Re: First impressions!

Tue 05 Mar 2024, 22:08

BTW, how do you use Shadow Points? Is there any recommendation on how much shadow players could be exposed to per adventure? Like 3-5 shadow points?
 
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Harlath
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Re: First impressions!

Tue 05 Mar 2024, 23:23

BTW, how do you use Shadow Points? Is there any recommendation on how much shadow players could be exposed to per adventure? Like 3-5 shadow points?
- I vary it with the tone/style of the adventure. Undead heavy adventures have more, whereas diplomacy in the Grey Havens or an investigation in Bree will be light on Shadow tests or have no Shadow tests at all.
- Remember heroes always get a test to reduce Shadow gains, except for Misdeeds (and even then, some misdeeds allow Shadow tests).
- How Shadow tests are delivered matters: two shadow tests of 3/3 are generally tougher than 1/1/1/1/1/1 as even if you pass the 3/3 tests, you're still probably taking some Shadow (passing the test reduces Shadow by 1, each 6 reduces it by a further 1).
- I tend not to have a lot of Shadow tests in the first adventure, as starting PCs almost always fail Shadow tests as they're at 1d on the roll (2d with hope). Once they've had a chance to get Valour or Wisdom 2, the gloves come off! Starting PCs thematically generally aren't going on dangerous quests/facing undead, so I find this fits. While I just wait for one of Valour/Wisdom to get to 2 and that doesn't cover you on both sorts of tests, various cultures can cover both via re-rolls/a virtue that gives 1d on Shadow tests/a virtue that grants inspiration. For example, if you've got access to inspiration on Shadow tests via a virtue at Wisdom 2, you're suddenly potentially 3d on valour tests, 4d on Wisdom tests. Remember, inspiration via distinctive features only works on SKILL tests. If you want inspiration on attacks/shadow tests/protection rolls you generally need a virtue.
- How do official adventures look? Taking Tales from the Lone Lands we've got....
Adventure 1: 1 Shadow
Adventure 2: 6 Shadow (5 for elves).
Adventure 3: 3/6 Shadow (2/5 for elves) - note that 3 of this Shadow is Single Target Dreadful Spells, hence the split potential Shadow.
Adventure 4: 2 Shadow (3 for one PC)
Adventure 5: 2 Shadow - repeatable Strike Fear
Adventure 6: tons of Shadow (20+ for Non Elves is perfectly possible, 14 for non elves). Leaving this one off the overall calculation as it is a big campaign closer, plus lots of the Shadow is dependent on choices and how PCs approach things. Plus it is spread across more Shadow tests, some can be avoided by PC choices and this adventure is for High Valour/Wisdom PCs so that will help mitigate what the high headline Shadow. Experienced PCs will pass more shadow tests and have larger dice pools, so better odds of rolling 6s.

Bear in mind the point I make above about the difference between testing Shadow 3/3 v 1/1/1/1/1/1. A high valour PC generally suffers less Shadow with the latter.

That comes out at an average of 2.8 Shadow per adventure for heroes, 2.4 for Elves based on adventures 1-5. But this will vary depending on the type of adventures undertaken and the type of campaign you want to run. Plus PCs might accrue some misdeed Shadow too.

Hope this helps!

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