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)
- Available as a target for my Fellowship Focus homesrules (viewtopic.php?f=56&t=11272).
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.
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.