Flipped tolerance in Encounters

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Dunkelbrink
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Re: Flipped tolerance in Encounters

Post by Dunkelbrink » Thu Mar 16, 2017 4:47 pm

Falenthal wrote:
Wed Mar 15, 2017 5:38 pm
jamesrbrown wrote:
Wed Mar 15, 2017 4:40 pm
I've found the RAW for Tolerance to be almost trivial. Most companies can easily rack up 5 or more successes before exceeding Tolerance, thereby providing the expectation that they will always get what they want and then some. I just didn't like how this played out.
Exactly the same experience here. With the use of Traits, also, 1 success per hero was always granted at least. Adding one or two succesful rolls was a warranty of achieving 5 to 7 successes without any real effort.
I will definitely try this since I'm experiencing the same thing. The only thing I'm still worried about (as I stated above in the thread) is that some heroes will then never have to use social skills. Encounters will Always have the same hero or heroes doing the rolls that matter. I guess even the introductions are just roleplayed with this variant? Or maybe you could have every failed roll in the introduction (having everyone roll there or invoke trait) lower the Tolerance by one while not adding to the "success score". You botch the introduction=less patience for the LMC and less chance for a great outcome when you start debating.

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Re: Flipped tolerance in Encounters

Post by Falenthal » Thu Mar 16, 2017 7:06 pm

As far as I understand it, from previous talks with James, the Introduction works as follows:

The whole introduction is considered as "one roll".
- If there's a spokesman, his roll is considered normally.

- If the group opts for individual presentations, then add all successes, then substract each failure, and consider the result: if there're no successes left, one point of Tolerance is wasted. If there're more successes than failures, count them to a maximum of 3 successes (as if this "one roll" resulted in an extraordinary success).

Regarding that the same heroes will always do the talking, my experience is that it's not always sol. Some NPCs prefer Awe, other Courtesy, others Song, other Riddle, others Persuade, etc. In TOR, as you know, every character has one or two of those skill at a decent level. The Lake-man that Persuades Bard might better stay in the back while the Hobbit entertains Beorn with his Riddles.

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Re: Flipped tolerance in Encounters

Post by jamesrbrown » Thu Mar 16, 2017 9:30 pm

Here's how I do it exactly:
  • I set the Tolerance rating normally.
  • I allow a roll of Insight as a preliminary roll to check for encounter advantages. This roll may also reveal the best skills to choose for the Introduction or the Interaction. The reason for this, is because I may decide that a particular skill will have zero effect on the Loremaster character (counting as no successes even if the rolls are good). This allows player-heroes to really get to know who they are talking to. For example, the Elven-king may only respond positively to a roll of Courtesy in the Introduction. Anything else would yield 0 successes no matter what the dice results are.
  • I run the Introduction and the Interaction phases by allowing as many rolls as desired, but the Tolerance rating determines the number of rolls that will count toward getting what they want, and the players must choose prior to rolling if it will count or not. Sometimes I decide that the first roll of the Introduction automatically counts (a first impression) or that they must count each roll until they pass at least one. This all depends on the situation and who they are meeting.
So, what would be the purpose of making other rolls outside the "influencing" rolls? I can think of two very important reasons:
  1. There are more than rewards to consider in an encounter. Specific dialogue, accompanied by good rolls using a valid skill may yield valuable information that is not necessarily considered a reward. It didn't have anything to do with the company's request or encounter goal, but it certainly helped them further the conversation or gave them useful clues for the future.
  2. Encounters are the perfect time to propose social tasks that can earn Advancement points. In other words, while the player-heroes have the opportunity, they might as well fine-tune their speaking and listening skills. This includes using skills that need improvement.
Of course, to make point #1 effective, the Loremaster must prepare answers and reveals in response to possible questions. He should also teach the players that "influencing" rolls need to be accompanied by dialogue centered around their main goal, while other rolls are used for inquiries or comments which may elicit specific advice, wisdom, or clues. If the goal is to get Thranduil to bring a warband from the Woodland Realm to Woodland Hall, for example, the dialogue and skill usage should be focused on that. "I use Persuade and let Thranduil know that if Woodland Hall were to be overtaken, the evil that would be unleashed would quickly reach to his Halls, so it would be better to unite now and keep the threat confined to southern Mirkwood." That's an influencing roll that will count toward Tolerance. But, if in the same conversation Thranduil warns the company of 'nasty creatures' in the forest, they might try rolling Riddle to get him to be more specific about what type of creatures, where to find them, or how to defeat them. Doing well on this roll isn't going to make Thranduil anymore willing to send a warband, but it does give the companions useful information. And these rolls won't count toward Tolerance.

One last thing, I like to use the final influencing roll to mark the end of the encounter and take back the narration. This is good because it means the last words spoken by the companions was directly related to the encounter goal and they will now get a result based on their performance. They may have done very well in collecting information from their host or telling their story, but at the same time they may have done a terrible job at getting what they came for.
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Re: Flipped tolerance in Encounters

Post by Angelalex242 » Mon Mar 20, 2017 5:24 pm

How do you choose what skills the lord of the land responds to?

I figured, for Thranduil, for example, he'd respond best to Awe or Song. The idea being the King should respond well to the skills Woodland Elves have naturally. There's a reason they develop those skills in particular after all, and Thranduil is very isolationist/I love my bros and that's it type of guy.

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Re: Flipped tolerance in Encounters

Post by mica » Tue Mar 21, 2017 9:35 am

When you set the tolerance, do you tell the players this number? If not, do you hint either initially or as they use up the tolerance or allow further insights to gauge tolerance?

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Re: Flipped tolerance in Encounters

Post by Falenthal » Tue Mar 21, 2017 1:04 pm

mica wrote:
Tue Mar 21, 2017 9:35 am
When you set the tolerance, do you tell the players this number? If not, do you hint either initially or as they use up the tolerance or allow further insights to gauge tolerance?
Personally I don't tell my players neither the Tolerance of an Encounter, nor the Endurance or Hate points of an Adversary. I keep those scores secret.

What I do is try to roleplay those scores. Someone with a Tolerance of 1 or 2 will begin the conversation with a "What are you doing in my house? Who the hell are you? Explain yourselves, quickly, or I'll kick you out."
Or "My friends! I'm glad to see you, but I don't have much time. I'd wish we had met in another moment, but the preparations for war don't allow me to receive you properly. What do you want of me today? I'll try my best within the little capabilities I have left."

Someone with a 7 or more Tolerance will give a very different welcome, of course. Not necessarily friendly, mind you. Tolerance is not necessarily how friendly the NPC is towards you (although it might be). An important rival might be willing to spend the whooooole afternoon chatting with you about negotiations on your competitions, for example. He might even enjoy it.

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Re: Flipped tolerance in Encounters

Post by jamesrbrown » Tue Mar 21, 2017 9:29 pm

I decide which skills will impress the Loremaster character in much the same way that has been suggested already, but I also may adjust for current circumstances. Sometimes these things have been written in official adventures, such as Courtesy being a must in the Elven-king's Halls.

I flat out tell the players the Tolerance rating. They can basically figure this out on their own anyway, as they know the rules. They know it is based on either highest Wisdom or Valour and they know that certain modifiers will apply.
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Re: Flipped tolerance in Encounters

Post by jamesrbrown » Tue Mar 28, 2017 9:14 pm

In last night's game, the companions met a hermit in a hollow tree after being stuck in a downpour. The hermit required Wisdom to set Tolerance and the highest Wisdom happened to be a whopping 4. Due to his prejudice, we subtracted 1 for each Elf (there were 2 of them) and 1 for the Dwarf. That brought Tolerance down to 1. Using my house rules, this meant the companions had 1 roll to influence the Hermit and convince him to let them stay the night out of the rain. This also meant that they needed to roll at least a great success on the influencing roll to get 2 successes and convince him. They did.

If their influencing roll had produced only 1 success, I would have let them spend the night, but the hermit would have kept them up all night with nightmares and they would start the next day with 3 more Fatigue each! If they had failed the influencing roll, he would have attacked them immediately, considering them enemies!

The companions performed other rolls in conversation with the hermit, but the first one was a roll of Courtesy and it was their influencing roll. Without introducing themselves and calming his fears right away, they would not have been able to carry on the rest of the conversation anyway.

If the highest Wisdom had been a 2 or 3, the Tolerance would have dropped to 0 to begin with, and no matter what they tried, the hermit would have freaked out and attacked them.

So, with my house rules, the best they could ever do would be a normal success in this encounter. Using the RAW, they could have failed one roll and kept rolling (accumulating successes) until they failed 2 rolls.
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Re: Flipped tolerance in Encounters

Post by Falenthal » Thu Mar 30, 2017 8:28 am

jamesrbrown wrote:
Tue Mar 28, 2017 9:14 pm
If the highest Wisdom had been a 2 or 3, the Tolerance would have dropped to 0 to begin with, and no matter what they tried, the hermit would have freaked out and attacked them.
So you changed the RAW that says "Tolerance can't be lower than 1" (if I don't misremember), thus allowing two failures before the successes counting is over, right?
With your rules, an Encounter can be automatically failed even before it starts.

That's what you say in the end sentence, if I understand it correctly.

As a side note, RAW also says to reduce Tolerance because of prejudices (elves, dwarves,...) by 1 point if a certain race is present, but not for each member of that race. In your case, it would have been -1 for the two elves, not -2 (again, according to the RAW). Have you changed this as well?

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Re: Flipped tolerance in Encounters

Post by jamesrbrown » Fri Mar 31, 2017 4:37 am

You are correct Falenthal: I butchered the RAW when I did this the other night. However, applying the RAW for Prejudice modifiers and minimum Tolerance would probably be better in most circumstances now that you point it out.

Concerning Prejudice modifiers, however, sometimes the officially published adventures break the normal RAW as well. For example, the encounter with Lindar on p. 10 of Tales from Wilderland, states: "Reduce the Tolerance by 1 for each Dwarf in the company."

This is just an example of how Loremasters can "bend" the RAW to fit the situation better.
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