A Wizard by your side

The unique One Ring rules set invites tinkering and secondary creation. Whilst The One Ring works brilliantly as written, we provide this forum for those who want to make their own home-brewed versions of the rules. Note that none of these should be taken as 'official'.
Post Reply
User avatar
Ecorce
Posts: 65
Joined: Thu Jul 11, 2013 9:36 am
Contact:

A Wizard by your side

Post by Ecorce » Fri Apr 06, 2018 11:39 am

Playing (with) one of the Istari is something I really want to achieve in TOR. The common solution was to create a new Culture, dealing with the blanks about them. In other words, a player create and play a Wizard as its own PC. And it's a solution that I appreciate but not accepted by the whole community (Magic and Magicians are risky businesses in Middle-Earth RPG).

A Wizard as permanent PC, no. Ok, so what about a Wizard as a temporary NPC?

New Undertaking: A Wizard By Your Side

During a Fellowship Phase, a fellowship can ask an Istar to join them for (at least a part of) an Adventure. The Wizard has to be a Patron for the group. Choose between: Radagast, Gandalf or Saruman, depending of the year and the place where the Fellowship Phase belongs.

I wonder if a price is needed, because it can be a powerful Undertaking. I would say that it costs several Experience Points, as the fellowship relies on the power of an Istar, not its own strength.

That Istar in the Fellowship

The Wizard has no sheet, no stats, and no one can play him directly (except during Fellowship Focus, see below).

First, the benefits of his presence:
  • +1 point in the Fellowship Pool (as if he were a PC member of the fellowship)
He also provides somes options to the players to get access to his skills as a Wizard. They can be choosed anytime, everywhere, but once per scene (battle, travel, encounter, etc).

For the narration purpose, basically, players still act by themselves, but some options can imply that the Istar helps them in their actions or do it for them... The loremaster and the players decide that aspect together in the narration of the action to fit the context.

Each option has a price in Hope points. The players use the Fellowship Pool (and only that pool, not the individual one) to pay them.

Here are some examples of those options (we could make cards to be easier to read and use):

A Look Ahead (1 HP)
Cancel a Hazard during a Travel.
The Wizard take a look ahead and go back on time to prevent a bad situation to happen.

Flame of the Battle (1 HP)
Increase the benefits of the abilities "Intimidate Foes" (more Hate points lost) and "Rally Comrades" (more Endurance points recovered).
The Wizard is a kind of "guiding light" in the battle. The fellowship remains like his superior presence: strong.

Saved just in Time (3 HP)
Interrupts a situation (probably a battle) to save the characters from death. The Wizard will leave the fellowship alone after that.
The Wizard uses his full powers - lightenings for example - to give the fellowship time to flee from a bag-end. The Istar feels tired or powerless for a time and leave the Adventure to recover his strengh.*.

Wizardry (1 HP)
Converts a successful roll from a common skill to a "magical success" (see Rivendell). This action can't be accumulated to a magical relic and can't be used if such an object exists in the fellowship (priority to the players' feats).
The hero's action succeeded in a way that seems out of reach for the mortal people. The Wizard's influence can be obvious or invisible.

Voice of the Free People (1 HP)
Tolerance of an Encouter increased by 2. Restricted to places where people appreciate the Wizard.
Wizards know many people and chiefs by travelling a lot. His presence can prevent an encounter to end too soon.

(...)

*Though, no need in Bag-End, huhu.

Left alone...

Wizards disappear and reappear sometimes.

When facing a Hazard during a Travel, the Fellowship can convert a Hazard by a new one : "Left Alone". The fellowship has no roll to do, but the Wizard leaves the group for some time. The loremaster decides when to get it back, or the players can invoke the "A Look Back" action to get the Wizard back in the fellowship.

As said before, the Wizard leaves the fellowship when invoking the "Saved just in Time" action until it chooses again the "A Wizard By Your Side" Undertaking during a next Fellowship Phase.

When a Wizard is away from the characters, they cannot invoke anymore these actions. However, the Hope point added when the Wizard joined them remains in the Fellowship Pool.
Ecorce French TOR community

Thoughts about The One Ring : Les Carnets d'Imladris / Notes from Imladris

Glorelendil
Posts: 5139
Joined: Mon Jan 13, 2014 5:20 pm

Re: A Wizard by your side

Post by Glorelendil » Fri Apr 06, 2018 12:47 pm

Overall I'm pretty wary of implementing this as a player-driven mechanic. The participation of a Wizard should (in my mind...but maybe I'm not seeing all angles of this) only occur because it's part of the adventure the LM has planned.

That said, the facet of this I really like...if you're going to be able to invite a Wizard along...is that sometimes the Wizard disappears for his own purposes, only to reappear later. Very flavorful, and appropriate to the text.
The Munchkin Formerly Known as Elfcrusher
Journey Computer | Combat Simulator | Bestiary | Weapon Calculator

Otaku-sempai
Posts: 3344
Joined: Sun May 12, 2013 2:45 am
Location: Lackawanna, NY

Re: A Wizard by your side

Post by Otaku-sempai » Fri Apr 06, 2018 2:55 pm

I don't think the Wizard should need to be a Patron (was Gandalf a Patron for the Company of Thorin?) and the benefit should be limited to the next Adventure phase (which I think is already covered by your house rule). As long as the Wizard remains a Loremaster character I don't see too much of a problem other than convincing the Istari to commit his valuable time to your cause.
"Far, far below the deepest delvings of the Dwarves, the world is gnawed by nameless things. Even Sauron knows them not. They are older than he."

Matt Clark
Posts: 25
Joined: Mon Nov 06, 2017 2:04 pm

Re: A Wizard by your side

Post by Matt Clark » Tue Apr 10, 2018 8:15 pm

I wonder if thematically there could be conundrums that capture something of the problem of having a wizard alongside the company. For example you mentioned the use of magic/lightening by the wizard. In the LotR Gandalf says something about having announced himself to all that he is in a location having used magic to help the company.
Also, perhaps having such a high profile NPC also increases the prestige of the company but in terms of The Eye of Mordor/Eye Awareness makes the company more of a threat/target. Narratively you could argue that in doing so it allows 'interesting things' to happen to the company.
My general impression is that it is more common practice for the Istari to get others to do low level heroic tasks while they preoccupy themselves with the bigger picture. They are busy trying to get the bigger personalities into the battle with the shadow.

Hamarr
Posts: 43
Joined: Sat Sep 03, 2016 9:39 pm
Location: Fargo, ND

Re: A Wizard by your side

Post by Hamarr » Tue Apr 10, 2018 10:17 pm

Matt Clark wrote:
Tue Apr 10, 2018 8:15 pm
I wonder if thematically there could be conundrums that capture something of the problem of having a wizard alongside the company. For example you mentioned the use of magic/lightening by the wizard. In the LotR Gandalf says something about having announced himself to all that he is in a location having used magic to help the company.
Also, perhaps having such a high profile NPC also increases the prestige of the company but in terms of The Eye of Mordor/Eye Awareness makes the company more of a threat/target. Narratively you could argue that in doing so it allows 'interesting things' to happen to the company.
My general impression is that it is more common practice for the Istari to get others to do low level heroic tasks while they preoccupy themselves with the bigger picture. They are busy trying to get the bigger personalities into the battle with the shadow.
Ruins of the North takes this into consideration with the last adventure. Gandalf briefly travels with the company to the borders of Angmar, but he won't go past the borders. The company continues on and he says he will meet them in two weeks or whatever it is. Because going into Angmar will attract a lot of attention from the Eye. If a Wizard is with the company you could increase eye awareness by three like High Elves or even four. And for overt magical feats like bursts of light, lightening increase the Eye Awareness by 2. Smaller effects by one.

thorr-kan
Posts: 34
Joined: Mon Mar 17, 2014 3:44 pm

Re: A Wizard by your side

Post by thorr-kan » Wed Apr 11, 2018 2:01 am

This is a clever usage of existing mechanics to model what we see in The Hobbit and The Fellowship.

User avatar
Ecorce
Posts: 65
Joined: Thu Jul 11, 2013 9:36 am
Contact:

Re: A Wizard by your side

Post by Ecorce » Wed Apr 11, 2018 7:02 am

Some months ago, I thought of an Istar Culture (I wanted to try my own version). Its Cultural Blessing was around his presence and its influence on the group, catching the Eye.

At first the Wizard is seen as an old man, nothing else. His presence in the fellowship increases by just 1 point the Eye awareness.

But when using the Wizard's abilities, the Eye awareness would be increased by 4 !

However, remember that the Eye awareness is an optional rule.
Maybe his presence should be managed by another rule?
Ecorce French TOR community

Thoughts about The One Ring : Les Carnets d'Imladris / Notes from Imladris

User avatar
Ecorce
Posts: 65
Joined: Thu Jul 11, 2013 9:36 am
Contact:

Re: A Wizard by your side

Post by Ecorce » Mon Apr 23, 2018 8:53 am

Glorelendil wrote:
Fri Apr 06, 2018 12:47 pm
Overall I'm pretty wary of implementing this as a player-driven mechanic. The participation of a Wizard should (in my mind...but maybe I'm not seeing all angles of this) only occur because it's part of the adventure the LM has planned.
I have to say that I play Darkening of Mirkwood with a "sandbox" style. Players do what they want and get inspiration from the year's events to make choices (I don't play every story hook). It means I don't write entire stories: just some important scenes, thematics, a general goal... I make sure there are several ways to play into that story, then players do what they want.

I've thought of these houserules with that sandbox style in mind.
Ecorce French TOR community

Thoughts about The One Ring : Les Carnets d'Imladris / Notes from Imladris

NIÑO
Posts: 122
Joined: Mon May 20, 2013 10:29 pm

Re: A Wizard by your side

Post by NIÑO » Mon Apr 23, 2018 9:04 am

Hello!


My 2 gold:
Are you really describing any Wizard, mechanically? 'Cos, honestly, this looks pretty much like Gandalf. Are any other Wizards described as that interested in the Free Peoples?


Hopefully these don't come off as snarky
Ñ
PS: There's an adventure where Saruman accompanies the PC group which is quite spectacular.

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest