Another "New Journey Rules", inspired by AiMe

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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Another "New Journey Rules", inspired by AiMe

Post by Falenthal » Wed Sep 28, 2016 2:08 pm

This is not a conversion of AiMe's Journey's rules, but a modification to the TOR ones using ideas from AiMe.
I think we all have begun to rethink TOR's Journeys Rules once AiMe came out. Rich H is already working on his [viewtopic.php?f=56&t=6970], and I'm eager to see what he's come up with. But for now, this are my own ideas.

I've always considered TOR's Journeys rules to be the best concept in ages for a RPG, but the mechanics have ended up being too much of dice-rolling for me, without any significant decisions on behalf of the players once the route has been set.
Even if, as LM, I try to introduce small descriptions during the travel, the number of rolls remains the same. Even Hazards, which I love, end up being all the same: just rolling one determined skill, whatever the Hazard is about.

With the publishing of Journeys & Hazards, it became even more blatant for me that all those wonderful ideas about Hazards and Natural Wonders couldn't have a direct impact on the mechanics of Hazards and encounters during Journeys.

This is a first draft on a modified Journey Rules.
Hope you care to comment and criticize on it, please. ;)
JOURNEYS

1) Set route and assign roles.

2) Preliminary rolls, with a Lore check at TN14.

3) Calculate the number of Fatigue tests needed depending on the length of the Journey.

For the purpose of calculating the length of a Journey, count roads and rivers when sailing with the current as half hexes (rounding down):
-Short [1-12 hexes]: 1
-Medium [13-24 hexes]: 2
-Long [25+ hexes]: 3
Force the March
If a fellowship wants to hasten the Journey and force the march, double the number of the resulting hexes only for the purpose of calculating the number of Fatigue tests and the number of Hazards encountered (see below).
In addition, all Fatigue tests are resolved using the worst of Travel or Athletics skill.
Note that, as this mechanic doesn’t calculate the exact duration of the Journeys in days, the consequences of arriving earlier at the destination should be considered by the LM and introduced in the adventure.
4) Calculate the severity of the Fatigue tests.
Use the TN of the terrain with more hexes during the Journey. If even, choose the highest TN.

Hint: If the fellowship traverses terrains with very different TNs, the LM can choose to divide the Journey in shorter legs that accomodate to those regions. Or he can place one or more of the Hazards in the most difficult terrain using its higher TN to solve it/them.

5) Roll and resolve the Fatigue tests.

* Each Fatigue test increases the Travel Fatigue points by 4 during Spring-Summer, and 6 during Autumn-Winter.

Each level of success on the Fatigue test reduces the Travel Fatigue points gained by 1.
Example: A Great Success (-2 Fatigue gained) during a Short Journey in Winter (base increase of 6 Fatigue points) will make the hero gain 4 Travel Fatigue points.

Invoking a Trait for auto succeed counts as a normal success, decreasing the Fatigue gained only by 1 point per test passed this way.

If using ponies and/or boats during half or more of the Journey, reduce the Travel Fatigue points gained by 1.

All reductions are to a minimum of 0.

Add 1 extra Hazard (see step 6) for each Eye result during the Fatigue test rolls.

6) Calculate the number of Hazards during the Journey.

For the purpose of calculating the number of Hazards, use the length of the Journey as with the number of Fatigue tests. Count roads and rivers when sailing with the current as half hexes (rounding down):
-Short [1-12 hexes]: 1
-Medium [13-24 hexes]: 2
-Long [25+ hexes]: 3

Remember to add 1 extra Hazard for each Eye result during the Fatigue test rolls (step 5).

7) Hazards resolution

A) The LM rolls on the Role affected and Hazards table as usual. With the results, he describes the situation of the Hazard.
Optional: If rolling a Gandalf rune on the Hazards table, the LM can choose to introduce a positive encounter to the fellowship, like finding one of the Natural Wonders described in the Journeys & Maps supplement, that can have benefitial consequences for the group.

B) When a Hazard is described, all of the Heroes in the affected role can decide to avoid facing the Hazard:
The characters in the affected role don't test their skill, the Hazard is considered passed (the consequences of failing the Hazard are not applied), and the whole fellowship gains automatically 1 Fatigue point.
If at least one of the Heroes in the affected role decides to take the test, then proceed to step C (next step).

C) If they decide to face the Hazard, each one of the Heroes in the affected role can invoke a Trait meaningful to the described situation, and substitute the skill usually used for the test (as defined by his role) for another one of his choosing. This has to be argumented narratively and needs the LM approval.

This rules might help improve a few aspects:
- Less rolling, of course.
- Great and Extraordinary Successes now have an impact.
- The use of Traits for autosucceeding in Fatigue tests only allows to reduce the Fatigue gained by 1, but not all of it.

As for Virtues, I was thinking that:
-Beorning's Twice Baked Honey-Cakes reduce the TN of the Fatigue tests as usual. I don't see a need to tweak that Virtue. Although with less Fatigue tests in general, and the need of 6s in the rolls to better negate the Fatigue gain, the Virtue gets a bit weaker than by RAW. But, IMO, that's not a bad thing and it's still very useful.
-Ranger's Ways of the Wild might allow to pass your successes to another player. Example: the Ranger rolls an Extraordinary Success (reducing the Fatigue gained by 3) on his Fatigue test, but his Hobbit companion rolls a Failure. The Ranger decides that he'll keep 2 successes, and pass one to the Hobbit.

ADDITIONAL RULES

Healing while travelling: For simplicity, and after calculating an aproximate average of the healing rate when crossing different types of terrains (that involve more or less days of travel out of a single hex), simply consider the following rule:
- Heal 0 points of Endurance for each 2 hexes travelled if Wounded and untreated.
- Heal 3 points of Endurance for each 2 hexes travelled if Wounded but treated.
- Heal 6 points of Endurance for each 2 hexes travelled if not Wounded.

When playing a Hazard, situate it in an exact hex during the Journey (in the middle of the Long Marshes, when crossing the Forest River,...). Then, you'll be able to count the hexes travelled until that point and allow the players to recover the corresponding Endurance before facing the Hazard.

Optional: If more detail is needed, so that the difficulty of the terrain affects the healing rate, this other numbers can be used:

*A Wounded hero with an untreated injury does not recover any Endurance while travelling.
* The rates indicated next apply to Wounded but treated heroes / Unwounded heroes.

1 hex of Easy terrain recovers 0.5 (i.e. Recover 1 Endurance point each 2 hexes of Easy terrain) /1 Endurance point.
1 hex of Moderate terrain recovers 0.6 / 1.2 Endurance points (i.e. simply use the Easy terrain ratio).
1 hex of Hard terrain recovers 1/2 Endurance points.
1 hex of Severe terrain recovers 1.5 (i.e. Recover 3 Endurance points each 2 hexes of Severe terrain) / 3 Endurance points.
1 hex of Daunting terrain recovers 2.5 (i.e. Recover 5 Endurance points each 2 hexes of Daunting terrain) / 5 Endurance points .

Virtues affected

*Elvish Dreams:
-Original: At the end of a day of activity, you recover a number of
Endurance points equal to your Wisdom rank. If you then
take a prolonged rest, you recover normally.

-Addition to be usable with this Journey Rules: Every 2 hexes travelled, add 3 times your Wisdom to the amount of Endurance healed.

*Tough in the Fibre:
-Original: When you are travelling, you recover normally (the reduced
recovery rates found at page 163 do not apply to you).

-Addition to be usable with this Journey Rules: Every 2 hexes travelled, recover 3 Endurance points if Wounded and untreated, 6 if Wounded but treated, and 6 plus 3 times your Heart rating if not Wounded.

Blighted Places: The LM should consider the amount of Corruption tests needed depending on the place travelled, independently of the Journey rules. Crossing the Long Marshes might need a daily Corruption test, and the LM can define that it takes three days to cross them. Passing along the shore where Smaug's corpse lies might need a single Corruption test, but at a much higher TN.
If needed, the usual way of calculating the duration of a Journey, as found in the Revised Core Book, can be used.
Last edited by Falenthal on Fri Nov 18, 2016 9:47 pm, edited 16 times in total.

Terisonen
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Re: Another "New Journey Rules", inspired by AiMe

Post by Terisonen » Wed Sep 28, 2016 3:42 pm

Only one fatigue test by journey?? That seem's very low...
Nothing of Worth.

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Rich H
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Re: Another "New Journey Rules", inspired by AiMe

Post by Rich H » Wed Sep 28, 2016 3:55 pm

Falenthal wrote:Hope you care to comment and criticize on it, please. ;)
Some quick thoughts...

It's far less 'crunchy' that what I'm looking at doing - this can be good or bad depending on the gaming preferences and as these are house rules people could adopt one or the other or alter to get something in between.

I really like the idea of one Fatigue test rather than the huge amount that we have to roll under the RAW currently. I think it's a nifty idea. I also like the affect that this has on traits like 'Hardy'.

If you're rolling less then remember that this is going to impact the Eye of Mordor rules so you may need to tweak the thresholds for those.

I'd personally tweak the ranges for short, medium and long journeys. My feeling here is that long journeys are far too rare at 41+ hexes and therefore you're not getting the full variation of fatigue amounts.

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Falenthal
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Re: Another "New Journey Rules", inspired by AiMe

Post by Falenthal » Wed Sep 28, 2016 7:09 pm

Rich H wrote: It's far less 'crunchy' that what I'm looking at doing - this can be good or bad depending on the gaming preferences and as these are house rules people could adopt one or the other or alter to get something in between.
Yes, I was looking for rules that simplified the calculations and number of rollings from the RAW. And also that increased the number and importance of Hazards, which I love.
But I'm also sure that there's people who love more detailed rules for Journeys.
As you say, what's great is to have options for everyone.
Rich H wrote: I really like the idea of one Fatigue test rather than the huge amount that we have to roll under the RAW currently. I think it's a nifty idea. I also like the affect that this has on traits like 'Hardy'.
Yeah, being able to give some effect to great and extraordinary successes for Fatigue tests allows to overcome the Trait abuse.
On the other hand, the variant of step 3 implies a maximum of 3 rolls, probably with Hazard interludes. Not too much if the Journey is considered Long, I think. But the one-roll system has more appeal to me.
Rich H wrote: If you're rolling less then remember that this is going to impact the Eye of Mordor rules so you may need to tweak the thresholds for those.
Good point. Or accept that there will be less Revelation episodes. But something to think about, nonetheless.
Rich H wrote: I'd personally tweak the ranges for short, medium and long journeys. My feeling here is that long journeys are far too rare at 41+ hexes and therefore you're not getting the full variation of fatigue amounts.
My first impression is the same as yours, that the ranges are too big. But I haven't been brave enough to tweak this yet. As an example, a Short travel is from Rhosgobel to the Old Ford. Medium is from Rhosgobel to the Forest Gate. Long is from Rhosgobel to beyond the middle of the Grey Mountains Narrow.
Ranges of, for example, 12 hexes (as 6 is the "magical" TOR number :D), look better to me at first sight (1-12 / 13-24 / 25+). A short journey would be to travel from Rhosgobel to Woodland Hall. A medium would be from Rhosgobel to Beorn's House. A long one would be from Rhosgobel to the Forest Gate.

I'll have to think about it.

Also, other aspects to care about are the effects of roads and rivers (with and agains current) on the new rules.
I'd say that roads and sailing with the current do half the number of hexes as far as lenght of journey's calculations.
For example, there are 33 hexes from Rivendell to Bree. That would be a long journey with ranges of 12 hexes. If following the Great East Road, that would make it a medium journey instead.

Horses and boats should also be thought throughly.

Thanks for the comments, Rich.
Last edited by Falenthal on Thu Sep 29, 2016 5:52 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Falenthal
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Re: Another "New Journey Rules", inspired by AiMe

Post by Falenthal » Thu Sep 29, 2016 5:32 am

Terisonen wrote:Only one fatigue test by journey?? That seem's very low...
The fact is, the result is progressive, not an all-or-nothing as with the usual tests.

While in the RAW you can have, let's say, 3 Fatigue tests for a considerable Journey, the use of Traits, a medium to high skill and/or the bonus dice from Preliminary rolls make it pretty easy to end up the Journey with none to minimal Fatigue.

My proposed rule imposes a certain amount of Fatigue just for travelling, and the Fatigue check's level of success helps diminish it gradually. Usually, heroes will end up nearly always with some Fatigue from travelling, except under the best conditions (short travel during the spring or summer with ponies or boats).

Of course, this is still a draft that needs playtesting.

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Wbweather
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Re: Another "New Journey Rules", inspired by AiMe

Post by Wbweather » Fri Sep 30, 2016 4:45 pm

I think this really looks good at first glance. Might consider trying it out with my group.

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Re: Another "New Journey Rules", inspired by AiMe

Post by Falenthal » Fri Sep 30, 2016 5:29 pm

Wbweather wrote:I think this really looks good at first glance. Might consider trying it out with my group.
Thanks for the confidence!

I've been recalculating the example journeys from the Core Book (Halls of Thranduil to Esgaroth - Short Journey / Beorn's House to Rivendell - Medium Journey / Erebor to Beorn's House - Long Journey) to compare the potential results.

Of course, it's very difficult to make a real comparison, but just by seeing the numbers I think I like better the optional step 3 (the one that requires 1 Fatigue test for short journeys, 2 for medium and 3 for long). It gives a broader spectre of results in Fatigue, and therefore it's more interesting to differentiate between a good traveller from a bad one.

Also, I've definetely changed the number of hexes for each category of journey, in multiples of 12:
Short 1-12 hexes
Medium 13-24 hexes
Long 25+ hexes

With this, a medium journey through a good road always becomes a short journey in terms of dangers and number of Fatigue tests (24/2 = 12). Also, a long journey of just 25 hexes in the same good conditions would qualify as a medium journey (25/2=12.5 rounded up to 13). This makes sense to me.

I've edited this numbers in the first post.

Moreover, forcing the march gives the same "upgrade" in category with this ranges:
A short journey of 7 to 12 days turns into a medium journey.
A medium journey of just 13 days turns into a long journey.
Of course, a short journey of less than a week (6 or less days) still would fall into the same short journey category and wouldn't change anything. This is blind spot that annoys me a bit: every time a fellowship has to do a journey of less than 7 days, they can choose to force the march without any bad consequences.
I'll have to look into this.
For now, I haven't included anything like extra Athletics test when forcing the march or such. There could lie the solution to the problem.

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Wbweather
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Re: Another "New Journey Rules", inspired by AiMe

Post by Wbweather » Fri Sep 30, 2016 6:46 pm

On a forced march, players could be required to pass an additional fatigue test if they fail an athletic test, maybe becoming weary for the journey if they roll an Eye on the athletic test.

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Re: Another "New Journey Rules", inspired by AiMe

Post by Falenthal » Sat Oct 01, 2016 7:19 am

Wbweather wrote:On a forced march, players could be required to pass an additional fatigue test if they fail an athletic test, maybe becoming weary for the journey if they roll an Eye on the athletic test.
I would try to avoid adding new rolls, as the main goal of this house-rule is to reduce the number of rolls required for a Travel. But probably an Athletics test should be included at some point.

Maybe it could simply be an additionl Fatigue test, but resolved with Athletics instead of Travel, and only occuring when arriving at the destination.

Or Forcing the March could automatically increase the amount of Fatigue gained per Fatigue test, so that more will be gained.

Or the heroes have to do the usual Fatigue test, but using the worst of their Athletics or Travel skill.
I think I love this option the best, for now.

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Rich H
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Re: Another "New Journey Rules", inspired by AiMe

Post by Rich H » Sat Oct 01, 2016 10:26 am

Falenthal wrote:Also, I've definetely changed the number of hexes for each category of journey, in multiples of 12:
Short 1-12 hexes
Medium 13-24 hexes
Long 25+ hexes
Those are the numbers I've gone with for my house rules.
Falenthal wrote:Moreover, forcing the march gives the same "upgrade" in category with this ranges:
A short journey of 7 to 12 days turns into a medium journey.
A medium journey of just 13 days turns into a long journey.
Why does a forced march make a journey longer?

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