New Journey role: Driver

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'.
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New Journey role: Driver

Post by gsecaur » Fri Mar 09, 2018 4:20 am

First, apologies to all who might deem it inappropriate to post this among the TOR general discussions rather than on the separate house rules forum. That space doesn't seem to get much traffic anymore.

Second, a justification: my regular gaming group consists of six human persons, so we have five player characters. That means that once the four official Journey roles are assigned, somebody ends up doubling up on a role, which can lead to that last player feeling inessential. After all, he wasn't first choice for Scout, since his Explore isn't the best. Wouldn't it be nice to have a job for that character which would actually matter to the success of the adventure?

More immediately, I'm working on developing an adventure which will entail the PCs traveling from Wilderland to the Shire, returning with waggons loaded with supplies for the Easterly Inn. (After all, Dindy lost just about everything in Of Leaves & Stewed Hobbit!) It seems useful to add a fifth optional role for just such occasions: the Driver.

The Driver is responsible for conducting waggons or carts, or leading teams of pack animals such as ponies, or driving herds of livestock, as called for by the scenario. None of these things necessarily arise during a typical scenario, so it's a role that probably wouldn't be used in the majority of adventures, and likely would not be assigned until circumstances demand it. (One common circumstance that may arise, though, is the need to transport large amounts of Treasure. After the companions slay the monster, they invariably find a large cache of valuables, far more than they could possibly carry. But if they hide the loot and come back later with transportation, the LM might choose to invoke this role and make the party play through the safe recovery of their Treasure.)

Unlike other Journey roles, the Driver doesn't have one skill that covers his responsibilities. If a cart-wheel breaks, he must roll Craft to fix it. If a pony is spooked by Wolves, he must roll Hunting to soothe the animal.

Hazards should be easy enough to develop. Any ideas?

-- gsecaur

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Re: New Journey role: Driver

Post by Otaku-sempai » Fri Mar 09, 2018 4:54 am

Yes, this thread probably should be posted under House Rules.

That out of the way, this could be an interesting, optional Journey role. I briefly considered alternate titles, but 'Drover' applies mainly to wrangling animals, and I can't think of a better alternate name than 'Driver'. Maybe 'Wainsman'.
"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."

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Re: New Journey role: Driver

Post by gsecaur » Sat Mar 10, 2018 9:15 pm

Yes, I'd also thought of "Drover" as my first choice, but couldn't find a usage of the word that didn't apply to moving animals. "Driver', while not a very evocative name, at least adequately describes all the applications of the role that I had in mind. Anyway, it's not like "Scout" is more than a straightforward description of the job (<== not a criticism!).

As I was trying to come up with complications for the journey in the scenario I'm working on, I kept coming back to the idea that there should be Hazards related to the risks of transporting animals, relying on wheeled vehicles to carry goods, etc. But to which standard Journey role should these Hazards be assigned? The four primary roles have enough to do without adding this to their portfolio of responsibilities, so adding a fifth role to be used only in these unusual circumstances makes some sense.

Some Hazards that come to mind:

Broken Spoke
A waggon or cart hits a nasty rock while fording a river or cutting through a field of tall grasses. There's a cracking sound from the wheel, and inspection reveals a split in the wood. The Driver must pass a Craft test to continue the journey immediately, or lose half a day making more extensive repairs. On an Eye result, the wheel is completely irreparable, and the vehicle must be abandoned.

Soothe the Beast
Something startles one of the animals, and the frightened creature threatens to spill a cart or buck the load it carries. The Driver must pass a Persuade or Hunting test to calm the beast, or some of the goods being transported are lost -- crates break open, sacks of Treasure burst open, food falls in the mud, etc. The LM or the players (if LM permits) may declare what they lose, but it should be valued at no more Treasure than the roll of one Success die. On an Eye result, the beast breaks free entirely and races away. It is lost, unless the LM is willing to allow the companions to try to retrieve it by making more skill tests.

Wayward Herd
A watchful Driver sees that a few of the animals being transported are growing agitated, and this spreads rapidly through the herd. The Driver must make a Hunting test to pull the herd back together again and keep them moving, or they attempt to scatter. If the test is failed, the entire company must work to find and bring back the restless animals, which is long and tiring work, costing each hero 1 Fatigue. On an Eye result, some of the herd cannot be found (or are found dead).

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Re: New Journey role: Driver

Post by Glorelendil » Sun Mar 11, 2018 12:32 pm

Many of us keep an eye on the House Rules forum and if something new (and interesting) shows up we check it out. The "last post" is visible from the General page.

I could see making room for some additional roles that only come into play if the regular roles are filled. Driver is a good one.
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Re: New Journey role: Driver

Post by Rich H » Sun Mar 11, 2018 1:31 pm

gsecaur wrote:
Fri Mar 09, 2018 4:20 am
First, apologies to all who might deem it inappropriate to post this among the TOR general discussions rather than on the separate house rules forum. That space doesn't seem to get much traffic anymore.
The house rules section is exactly for things like this. The reason why it was initially created was to stop the clutter of such threads swamping distracting from other discussions and to avoid the conclusions that TOR was somehow broken and needed house rules to fix it.

Let's use the sub-forum for the purpose its created, thanks.
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