Half-Elven Culture

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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Agnot
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Half-Elven Culture

Post by Agnot » Sun Mar 18, 2018 2:11 pm

I know, don't shoot me. Half-Elven is not a culture, nor should it be. But, from a game-mechanics standpoint, this is the best way I could come up with for making this work.

Okay, taking a page out of the write-up for Bree-Hobbits in the Bree book, I decided to narrow my focus a bit and concentrate on creating a Half-elven template using a combination of Woodmen and Elves of Mirkwood, since this is my current in-game dilemma.

In a nutshell, I combined three virtues from the Woodmen with two from the Elves, trying to stay away from virtues that are deeply significant to each culture (such as Elf-magic and Hound of Mirkwood). My thought process was that, if the character is not truly part of either culture, then truly unique or culturally significant virtues would not be shared with them. I also created the Outsider Distinctive Feature to represent this in-game.

Take a look at it and let me know how it sounds.

New Culture: Half-elven (A Blend of Elves of Mirkwood and Woodmen)

You are the product of the rare union between a Man of the Forest and an Elf of Mirkwood. You benefit from the immortal kin from which you came, but you are not a true Elf. Your heritage is a blend of your two Cultures.

A player desiring to create a Half-Elf uses all the rules for creating a Woodmen, with the following exceptions:

1. They must replace the Cultural Blessing of Woodcrafty with that of the Elves of Mirkwood, Folk of the Dusk.
2. They must pick their Cultural Virtues from the following list: A Hunter’s Resolve (Woodmen), Herbal Remedies (Woodmen), Natural Watchfulness (Woodmen), Deadly Archery (EoM), and The Speakers (EoM).
3. They are considered Fair.
4. You are an Outsider.
5. Any Cultural Reward must be selected from those available to the Woodmen.

New Distinctive Feature: Outsider
Being of mixed-heritage, you have never felt like you quite belonged to either of your birth-cultures.

Otaku-sempai
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Re: Half-Elven Culture

Post by Otaku-sempai » Sun Mar 18, 2018 2:41 pm

While I agree that Half-elves should probably not constitute a distinct Culture, nothing else works very well for them in TOR other than arguably the Character Archetypes (from the Adventurer's Companion). It's a little easier with AiMe where Half-elven (or Elf-blooded!) can be written up as a Background.
"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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Agnot
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Re: Half-Elven Culture

Post by Agnot » Sun Mar 18, 2018 2:51 pm

Otaku-sempai wrote:
Sun Mar 18, 2018 2:41 pm
While I agree that Half-elves should probably not constitute a distinct Culture, nothing else works very well for them in TOR other than arguably the Character Archetypes (from the Adventurer's Companion). It's a little easier with AiMe where Half-elven (or Elf-blooded!) can be written up as a Background.
I agree. I know very little about how character creation is handled in AiMe, but I read your post in that forum and it seemed an easy and natural fit. TOR just doesn’t have an easy mechanic for it, but the way I wrote it above feels the most natural so far. It’s also fairly simple, which is always my preference.

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Re: Half-Elven Culture

Post by Otaku-sempai » Sun Mar 18, 2018 3:10 pm

Agnot wrote:
Sun Mar 18, 2018 2:51 pm
I agree. I know very little about how character creation is handled in AiMe, but I read your post in that forum and it seemed an easy and natural fit. TOR just doesn’t have an easy mechanic for it, but the way I wrote it above feels the most natural so far. It’s also fairly simple, which is always my preference.
I don't think this should be a template limited to the Woodmen as we already have a precedent in Tolkien's legendarium in the Princes of Dol Amroth. That's why I looked at the Character Archetypes from the Adventurer's Companion. It was suggested to me that looking at Changeling Characters (The Darkening of Mirkwood, page 98) might provide some help on how to approach this. I've changed the name of your new Distinctive Feature to Alienated because 'Outsider' is a noun, not an adjective.
Half-elven Hero

You are the product of the rare union between mortal Man and a Wood-elf (most likely Silvan but possibly Sinda). You benefit from the immortal kin from which you came, but you are not a true Elf. Your heritage is a blend of your two Cultures. You may choose either the Cultural Blessing of your Mannish parent or the Cultural Blessing of your Elven parent. You cannot have both.

Half-elves use a special Background: Elf-blooded.

There are some who have a strong strain of elven blood in their ancestry, though they are not of the lineage of Elrond of Rivendell. In such rare instances, a union of Man and Elf (most often Silvan) has resulted in one or more children who are Half-elven. Such offspring do not receive the Choice of the Peredhil; they are mortal-born. Elf-blooded heroes often feel out of place in the Culture in which they are raised, prompting them to strike out on their own. Alternately, they might be inspired by their heritage to fight against the Shadow so that the kindreds of both of their parents can know peace.

BASIC ATTRIBUTES: (choose a set of Basic Attributes from those available to the player-hero's Culture of birth)

FAVOURED SKILL: Stealth

DISTINCTIVE FEATURES: (choose two from those listed)
Alienated, Fair, Fair-spoken, Keen-eyed, Lordly, Robust, Tall, Wary.

New Trait: Alienated
Being of mixed-heritage, you have never felt like you quite belonged to either of your birth-cultures.

You may substitute the following Elves of Mirkwood Cultural Virtues for two of the Cultural Virtues from the culture of your Mannish parent: Deadly Archery and The Speakers.

Any Cultural Reward must be selected from those available from the Heroic Culture of your Mannish parent.
Last edited by Otaku-sempai on Sun Mar 18, 2018 7:25 pm, edited 2 times in total.
"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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Agnot
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Re: Half-Elven Culture

Post by Agnot » Sun Mar 18, 2018 7:13 pm

I don't think this should be a template limited to the Woodmen as we already have a precedent in Tolkien's legendarium in the Princes of Dol Amroth.
I agree with you on this. As I mentioned in my opening post, I used Woodmen because it fits my particular dilemma at the moment. However, one could easily use it for any combination of Men and Elves. Only the Cultural Blessing and Virtues would change. Take the Blessing from the Elven culture and combine three of the Mannish virtues with two of the Elven virtues.

I recognize that it can be tedious; but, for the life of me, I can't see one template that would fit every possible scenario. I see what you're trying to do with the Archetype, but I don't think they were meant to be used that way. To me, they are merely suggested guidelines for creating a particular character stereotype, not rules per se.

Good catch on the Distinctive Feature. I never noticed they were all adjectives. I'm not sure about Alienated, as it sounds pretty harsh, but its a good first step.

Thanks for the feedback though. I'm glad I've got someone out there who is willing to debate some ideas.

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Re: Half-Elven Culture

Post by Otaku-sempai » Tue Mar 20, 2018 1:47 pm

Agnot wrote:
Sun Mar 18, 2018 7:13 pm
I recognize that it can be tedious; but, for the life of me, I can't see one template that would fit every possible scenario. I see what you're trying to do with the Archetype, but I don't think they were meant to be used that way. To me, they are merely suggested guidelines for creating a particular character stereotype, not rules per se.
I have toyed around with Elf-blooded as a Character Archetype, though above I was using some of the sidebars in the other books (such as Changelings in DoM) as my guides. I agree that the Archetypes, in general represent backgrounds that apply to more than a single Culture. The trouble with Elf-blooded is that it doesn't work with Hobbits, Dwarves or Elves (unless in the latter case you want a mortal Half-elf raised among Elves).
Thanks for the feedback though. I'm glad I've got someone out there who is willing to debate some ideas.
I'm glad I can be of use.
"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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