Advancing Fellowship Focus rules

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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Falenthal
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Re: Advancing Fellowship Focus rules

Post by Falenthal » Tue Apr 03, 2018 7:11 pm

There are some ideas I also have mixed up from your different posts.

To see if we are on the same page, this are the ideas I think you propose that I like the best:

- The Fellowship pool of Hope doesn't replenish automatically.
- The FP does replenish (the mechanics should be considered) thanks to roleplaying (and with a succesful test) relationships between players (probably limited to those defined with a Fellowship Focus).

Is this ok? Is there something else you want to propose/achieve?
I think this two concepts are very great, and shouldn't impose many changes to the RAW.
Adding more things might get clumsy, IMHO, unless you have a genius idea (which is quite possible!)

An addition to this ideas that I'd give is NOT to make the Fellowship Focus mandatory: this way you can roleplay a band or mercenaries, with only their individual Hopes but no grupal sense.

Or a starting party could begin without Fellowship pool, and develop it along the campaign, as they have experiences together.

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Ecorce
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Re: Advancing Fellowship Focus rules

Post by Ecorce » Tue Apr 03, 2018 8:12 pm

Falenthal wrote:
Tue Apr 03, 2018 7:11 pm
There are some ideas I also have mixed up from your different posts.

To see if we are on the same page, this are the ideas I think you propose that I like the best:

- The Fellowship pool of Hope doesn't replenish automatically.
- The FP does replenish (the mechanics should be considered) thanks to roleplaying (and with a succesful test) relationships between players (probably limited to those defined with a Fellowship Focus).

Is this ok? Is there something else you want to propose/achieve?
My first ideas were about recovering the individual Hope points, using Fellowship Focuses in another way.

My second idea, thinking it would be an enhancement, was to delete completely the individual pool. In this idea, the Hope points increased the Fellowship Pool which would have been the only Hope pool for the whole Fellowship. But a problem remained: with no more individual pool, how to know when a companion is Miserable? My answer was to compare Shadow Points to the Fellowship Pool, which would have been the same process as RAW, but with the Fellowship Pool in place of the individual one.

Your versio seems to be a mix of my ideas. Everybody seems on that kind of page (included me).

Maybe I wanted to go one step too far. :)
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Falenthal
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Re: Advancing Fellowship Focus rules

Post by Falenthal » Tue Apr 03, 2018 8:24 pm

Well, any idea could be fruitful, but I think leaving the personal Hope points as they are is key to avoid messing too much with the system. Otherwise, too many things should be revised: Cultural Blessings, Rewards, Virtues, Fellowship Undertakings,... and ALL of the Shadow vs. Hope rules.

Might be too messy.

I'll try to re-read your posts under this light, and see what mechanics can be used to represent that way of recovering the FP.

The hobbit's Cultural Blessing and all Virtues/Rewards that add to the FP should be revised afterwards, though.

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Re: Advancing Fellowship Focus rules

Post by Ecorce » Wed Apr 04, 2018 7:31 am

Falenthal wrote:
Tue Apr 03, 2018 8:24 pm
The hobbit's Cultural Blessing and all Virtues/Rewards that add to the FP should be revised afterwards, though.
Concerning that, I suggested to add them (the Hope points) every session at the beginning. No more refreshing every session, apart from those Virtues and Cultural Blessing (Hobbits' Cultural Blessing, Beornides' Honey-Cakes...).
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Re: Advancing Fellowship Focus rules

Post by Falenthal » Wed Apr 04, 2018 7:38 am

gsecaur wrote:
Sat Mar 31, 2018 5:02 pm
So how about this: The Fellowship Pool does not refill every session. Instead, as it is depleted, it is only refilled by conducting these Fellowship scenes that you've described. Each pairing of characters can only gain a Fellowship Point by this method once per session, so it can't just be the same two heroes carrying the full burden of refilling the pool by continuing their banter every night around the campfire. (But even after the example I used above, Legolas could still share an Elvish song with Aragorn. He just can't quarrel with Gimli again to regain more points.)
Oooops! I didn't realize this text was an idea from gsecaur, not from you, Ecorce!
Apologies to gsecaur for stealing his idea without giving him credit. :?

I fully agree with your initial mechanic exposed:
-Fellowship Pool does not refill every session (I would go as far as not refilling it automatically never, not even once an Adventure phase is started, but that's open to discussion).
-Each pairing of characters can only replenish 1 point of Hope using the Relationship Trait invocation (per session or per Adventure phase? Again, open to discussion)
gsecaur wrote:
Sat Mar 31, 2018 5:02 pm
It would make sense to grant a full Fellowship Pool at the start of the Adventuring Phase, figuring that the fellowship has been relaxing together and engaging in behavior that naturally restores that pool -- singing and drinking together in the local tavern, for example.

It would also make sense to grant the Hobbit bonus and the honey-cake bonus on a per-session basis, so as not to seriously reduce the usefulness of those Virtues. So in my own group, session one of the Adventuring phase would start with 7 FP. Session two would start with whatever number they had at the end of session one, +1 for a Hobbit and +1 for honey-cakes, etc.
I think these two would allow a too easy recovery of the FP, even if the relationships were not played at all.
But I'd have to think a bit more about it.
I wouldn't mind if the company didn't always have a full FP disposable to recover their own personal Hope.

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Re: Advancing Fellowship Focus rules

Post by Ecorce » Wed Apr 04, 2018 8:09 am

Falenthal wrote:
Wed Apr 04, 2018 7:38 am
I fully agree with your initial mechanic exposed:
-Fellowship Pool does not refill every session (I would go as far as not refilling it automatically never, not even once an Adventure phase is started, but that's open to discussion).
-Each pairing of characters can only replenish 1 point of Hope using the Relationship Trait invocation (per session or per Adventure phase? Again, open to discussion)
I would let the players play as many scenes as they want, even for a same Fellowship Focus. I aim to make them interact, I prefer not to block them by constraining the use of FF once per session/Adventure. If I had to choose, I would say once per session. In my opinion, the players will find their own rhythm. They will find the good balance between going on the adventure and interact each other through their FF.
Falenthal wrote:
Wed Apr 04, 2018 7:38 am
gsecaur wrote:
Sat Mar 31, 2018 5:02 pm
It would make sense to grant a full Fellowship Pool at the start of the Adventuring Phase, figuring that the fellowship has been relaxing together and engaging in behavior that naturally restores that pool -- singing and drinking together in the local tavern, for example.

It would also make sense to grant the Hobbit bonus and the honey-cake bonus on a per-session basis, so as not to seriously reduce the usefulness of those Virtues. So in my own group, session one of the Adventuring phase would start with 7 FP. Session two would start with whatever number they had at the end of session one, +1 for a Hobbit and +1 for honey-cakes, etc.
I think these two would allow a too easy recovery of the FP, even if the relationships were not played at all.
But I'd have to think a bit more about it.
I wouldn't mind if the company didn't always have a full FP disposable to recover their own personal Hope.
I agree. I don't it to be easy. And it would make no sense to those house rules... I don't want the players to interact to recover just Hope, I want to make them understand that relationship is an important theme in Middle-Earth that deserves roleplay and attention.
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Re: Advancing Fellowship Focus rules

Post by Falenthal » Wed Apr 04, 2018 12:35 pm

Fair point about the number of times that this can be used. Once per session should be fine.

So, addittional ideas:

- The FP has a maximum calculated as in the RAW: 1 Hope point for each hero, plus Rewards/Virtues/Blessings. That's the maximum number of Hope points in the FP that can't be exceeded.

Example: the group consists of 4 heroes, one of them a hobbit. So, the group has a Maximum FP of 5. No matter how many times they play their scenes or how succesful they are, they can never exceed 5 Hope points in their Pool.

- I would say that, once an Adventure phase ends, the heroes can decide to take Hope points from the FP to recover their own (as in the RAW). Once the next Adventure phase starts, only the Rewards/Virtues/Blessings are added to the remaining FP.

Example: the group ends an adventure with 3 FP. One of the heroes wants to recover 1 Hope point and everyone agrees. The FP is left with 2 FP.
There's a hobbit in the group, an as the next Adventure phase begins, he adds his Blessing to the FP: the group starts the Adventure phase with 3 FP.


- During the Adventure phase, Relational Scenes can be played once per session and focus (??). A social test is rolled and 1 Hope point is replenished from the FP if successful [I think replenishing more than one could make unnecessary to play other scenes for other players, as the FP could be filled with just one extraordinary success].

-> This last point, the really mechanical way of handling this, is what needs most thinking and options.

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Re: Advancing Fellowship Focus rules

Post by poosticks7 » Wed Apr 04, 2018 3:18 pm

I like the idea of this, I reckon we could have a nice mechanic/roleplay incentive idea brewing here.

Anything that promotes roleplaying is welcome, yet we also have to be careful about it being too 'gamey'. Needs to be handled with care.

I will have a think about this.

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Re: Advancing Fellowship Focus rules

Post by Ecorce » Mon Apr 23, 2018 8:46 am

Falenthal wrote:
Wed Apr 04, 2018 12:35 pm
- During the Adventure phase, Relational Scenes can be played once per session and focus (??). A social test is rolled and 1 Hope point is replenished from the FP if successful [I think replenishing more than one could make unnecessary to play other scenes for other players, as the FP could be filled with just one extraordinary success].

-> This last point, the really mechanical way of handling this, is what needs most thinking and options.
One thing that feels frustrating to me in the game is the fact that for some mechanics, you just need a success, no matter the type of success. I think there should always be an additionnal reward for a player rolling a superior or extraordinary success.

Maybe granting more HP is not the most balanced solution.

I feel that adventurers in Middle-Earth should face Shadow regularly and toughly. They would use Hope Points many times and need to refill the Fellowship Pool regularly too.

For a group of 5 players, I think it can be interesting. But for a group of 3 players... sure, one focus could be enough to refill it, not very balanced.

Knowing this, we could have a rule exception for small groups ?
  • 3 players or less: any success grant 1 HP
  • 4 players and more: 1 HP for a normal success, 2 HP for a superior success, 3 HP for an extraordinary success
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Re: Advancing Fellowship Focus rules

Post by poosticks7 » Wed Apr 25, 2018 2:13 pm

How about the ONLY way to replenish the Fellowship Pool is through meaningful interactions within the Fellowship during both the adventure phase and the Fellowship phase.

This would give a mechanical reason to roleplay those little moments between characters. Perhaps a system of three tick boxes for each player would be the upper limit to how many scenes each character can contribute to the Fellowship pool. This would be an inbuilt cap to how many times players could fish for these Fellowship replenishments. The tick boxes would be refreshed at the start of a new adventuring phase.

So an example of this would be:

A fellowship of three characters (keeps the example small)

Tori the Dwarf
The Widow the woodswoman
Fram the Man of the Lake

During the adventure The Widow and Fram share a moment over cultural differences between the woodsmen and the Lakemen - This interaction would recharge the Fellowship Pool by one and the two characters both check one of their boxes.

Later Tori sings a Dwarven song about travelling around the campfire in an attempt to lift spirits. Fram joins in the song and the two of them bond a little more. Again refreshing the Fellowship Pool by one and again both players check one of their boxes.

During the aftermath of a clash with orcs, The Widow tends to the wounds of Fram and the two of them share a moment and Fram drags a smile from The taciturn woman. Again refreshing the Pool by one and again they both mark their tick boxes. Now Fram has filled in his three boxes and cannot contribute any more to the replenishment of the Pool for the rest of the adventure and Following Fellowship Pool.

This example would allow Tori and the Widow to share two more roleplaying scenes to refill the pool, perhaps one at the end of the adventure and another during the Fellowship Phase. At the beginning of the next adventuring Phase the tick boxes are refreshed and they can again interact as they see fit.


A few notes on this idea.

I didn't include the need for rolling dice and the use of skills in the example but you could include it. I would say at least one of the characters would have to succeed at a skill check for the Fellowship Point to be refreshed. Having skill rolls would obviously mean there is a chance of not regaining a Fellowship Point - which could have serious repercussions if the group can't refresh the pool at all for a long period of time because of a glut of bad rolls. On the plus side it does allow the chance to get more advancement points to be obtained through skill use, so it may balance out in the long run. I would like to hear what others think about this trade off, I'm unsure).

The second point I'd raise is the number of tick boxes each characters has. I went with three boxes in the example but really you could modify it to taste - say 2 boxes per character or 4 or even the number of boxes equal to the number of fellowship members (as in the example).

In regards to the Fellowship Focus mechanic you could allow a separate box that can only be ticked after a meaningful interaction with the Fellowship Focus. This would be like a bonus interaction that mechanically shows the bond.

Not sure how Rangers, Hobbits and Honey Cakes would fit into that idea though. Perhaps just the way they work already would be fine... not sure.


Would love to hear folks thoughts on the idea. It likely could do with a little refinement but at its core I ... think it might be a pretty good house rule.

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