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Narl
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First Alpha Session

Tue 21 Sep 2021, 04:43

I just ran my first session with the alpha rules and we had a great time!

I plan to run the adventures in the Bree book, and started with Old Bones and Skin. The only real "conversions" required ahead of time were to adjust the number of hexes for the journeys, reskin some alpha stat blocks to use for Grór and his thugs, and to adjust the amount of Treasure to be awarded in the two hoards (Treasure points are much lower in 2nd). Skill checks were easy to adjust on the fly.

So far, running 1st edition TOR stuff in 2nd is looking quite promising and easy. More stat blocks will help, along with a revised map with 20 mile hexes to match the Journey rules.

We left off right at the start of combat with the troll. We will see how things go next week for the adventurers!
 
gull2112
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Re: First Alpha Session

Thu 23 Sep 2021, 20:48

We also have run one session, and there was lots of travel, but no combat. Lot's of interaction type encounters which worked really well. This Sunday we are running again, and this time there will be more combat encounters. They are travelling through the High Pass, so it is not journeying so much as a series of encounters. I mention all this because their last encounter will be when the goblins unleash a cave troll on their last night encampment. I'm fully aware that the Troll might be too much, so I have planned to have a Beorning intervention IF it is required. I figured having the eagles rescuing them would be too cheesy, even if more true to the source material! :lol:
 
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Narl
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Re: First Alpha Session

Fri 24 Sep 2021, 01:55

I am also not sure how my adventurers will fare against the Old Troll. I will have the ranger Haleth show up if things go really badly!

I will be interested to hear how things go for your group on Sunday.
 
gull2112
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Re: First Alpha Session

Sat 25 Sep 2021, 03:57

I will report back! These are the next three encounters they will have crossing the High Pass:
1. Caravan ambushed by Orcs, lots and lots of Orcs. They carry off prisoners, but along the way start squabbling, with the greater majority heading back to Goblin Town.
2. Rescue fellow caravan members carried off by Orcs. They will face a much smaller number of Orcs, which they should be able to beat.
3. Orcs unleash cave troll in desperate last bid on their last night crossing the High Pass.

Of course, This all depends on how the encounters actually turn turn out, I don't want to railroad the narrative.
The first hiccup is one of my players had a family thing come up, so he won't be at the next session. So, I have decided that this session will end after the first encounter, and the missing PH will be captured by the Orcs. When he rejoins us in the next session he will have escaped from the Orcs amidst a quarrel, and will lead the party to the Orc base.
 
Dunheved
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Re: First Alpha Session

Sun 26 Sep 2021, 20:37

I have started a TOR2e game too. In fact the beginning was already started when the co authoring LM asked me to take over completely. (Its a PbP game on Tavern Keeper so you should be able to read it all for yourself if you can get on that.) His original plan was to update Old Bones as well. We decided ....


whoops I was just going to reveal the plan then! Better not, in case some of the players do pass by!


Instead, I can say that I modelled an attack by a Troll against a small group, 2 PCs at first, and then 3 PCs. It didn't go well. Players died quickly. Hope was spent like mad - often simply to get some hits in on the troll.
Faced with such a situation as a LM now: I might consider limiting the Troll's abilities. All of the company are of course first time adventurers, and with both valour and wisdom at level 1, and a Troll that can attack twice per go... how big is your company, and how many archers have you got? An elf to magically drain Hate might be an idea.

So far we have attempted a Council with Gandalf in the Prancing Pony, and are setting out along the Great East Road to check out the mystery of a hobbits death. Already we think we are being followed by his murderers. And we have a financial crisis to resolve as well.
I intend leaving the Old Bones plotline, but sticking with the geography. As it's Bree, I am trying to get the Ferny family in on the action: in LOTR itself, it is clear that by 3019 the Rangers (i.e. Strider) and Bill Ferny know of each other and have almost certainly crossed swords, so I think I can throw in some story based on that.
One thing I am aware of is that TOR2e is set about 35 years before the Fellowship of the Ring. I want to tread carefully with canon, and have suggested as such to the players.

Good luck with your troll fight Narl! And impressive solution for a missing player gull2112, I like it.
 
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Narl
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Re: First Alpha Session

Tue 28 Sep 2021, 05:02

The Fellowship has their first combat, battling the Old Troll outside of his cave! I used the stats for the Stone-Troll Robber. The adventurers are an Elven Champion, a Hobbit Messenger, a Dwarven Warden, and a Ranger Warden. Only the elf has a Weapon Proficiency of 3 (great bow). Everyone else has 2 in their primary weapon.

An Opening Volley took off some Endurance from the troll. Following that, the dwarf and ranger went Forward while the hobbit stayed Open. The troll, with his +3 Parry, was difficult to hit to say the least. Realizing this, a lot of Hope was spent, on nearly every attack roll.

The troll dished out massive Endurance damage, rendering the dwarf unconscious and getting the ranger down to but a few points left. No Wounds were suffered by the adventurers. Only one Piercing Blow was inflicted. It was on the dwarf and he was able to make even the Ill-favoured (Horrible Strength) armour roll.

The elf rolled poorly--average or better rolls from him would have made the combat less terrifying. On the other side, the troll did land only one Piercing Blow when he probably should have rolled two or three. The troll was slain with 3 Hate remaining. Hideous Toughness didn't do much as he was at 4 Endurance when it came into effect, so the next blow easily took him down.

Overall, it was a tough combat. It certainly could be deadly. On the other hand, Weapon Proficiency 3 adventurers would be able to take him down pretty handily with some Hope and decent rolls. More experienced players likely would have had an easier time as well--knowing when to use Hope and special actions. I know my players learned a lot from this first combat.
 
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Narl
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Re: First Alpha Session

Wed 29 Sep 2021, 03:16

It you want to check out my group's campaign log it is here:

https://swordsineriador.obsidianportal.com

The log entries are written by one of my awesome players!
 
gull2112
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Re: First Alpha Session

Wed 13 Oct 2021, 17:47

To continue, the next session all were present and it was looking like TPK when they attacked the 10 or so Orcs at their encampment. They were rolling really poorly! No 12s on the feat dice and almost no sixes on the success dice. It was only by burning through their hope that they survived.

The following encounter was with a Giant cave troll who was unleashed on their camp site in the wee hours. I was thinking this was going to be a TPK, and so threw everything the Troll's hate could generate at them. I thought that since they now had a taste for the system they might want to restart with fresh characters. This time the Dwarf rolled two Gandalfs in as many rounds and the Troll was easily dispatched.

The party emerged from the High Pass the next day and will begin a fellowship phase among the Beornings.

It is interesting the effect a ten or a Gandalf can have!
 
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Narl
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Re: First Alpha Session

Wed 13 Oct 2021, 21:33

My Company completed Old Bones and Skin. During the Fellowship Phase they met with Galdor, herald of their patron Círdan, who passed on to them a rumor about the Landmark in the core rules book.

After an eventful Journey, they drove the brigands out of the cave in front of the ruin. Next session they will have to deal with the Marsh-dwellers, which should be challenging.

Once we get through this Landmark I am going to make a decision on the future of the campaign. I really like the sort of sandbox play that the Landmarks are built for. On the other hand, having prewritten adventures has advantages but I don't like the sort of "railroad" aspect of many of them. Continue with a loose sandbox game or run more scripted adventures? That is the decision I will need to make....
 
gull2112
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Re: First Alpha Session

Thu 14 Oct 2021, 02:04

Narl, I'm kind of in your boat.

My idea right now is to have the party meet Glorfindel, who will tell them that Cirdan is looking for them. In meeting with Cirdan, they will be told that there is a nameless horror that they must face, as he doesn't want it falling under the control of the Shadow forces. If the party successfully defeats this foe, then Cirdan will have another, more fearsome foe. Essentially, I am starting with the nameless thing tables. the first creature will be Gandalf result on the attribute table and will get harder each time.

My plans, to avoid the rail road issue, is to imagine a circle with rings around it, equal to the Attribute level of the Nameless Thing, with the Nameless thing at the center. On the outer most ring is rumors for the next circles. As they work towards more inner circles, the rumors will start to reflect the next deepest circles, once they have collected enough of those they will start moving towards the next circle inward, each circle will have a challenge to defeat. Of course, the circle is just a diagram I can hang the challenges on, the players will only know that they are facing challenges. I imagine it as a circle because the advance isn't linear, the difficulties are stacked progressively, but they can be overcome in any order.

Most will no doubt be tied to the landmarks in the rulebook.

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