AC: Wayward Elves more thematic Virtues and Rewards

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Re: AC: Wayward Elves variation

Post by Falenthal » Fri Dec 30, 2016 3:54 pm

Ok, a first attempt at writing a post with the new ideas that have been proposed and the personal concepts I have in mind for the Wayward Elves.

First of all, let me copy here the sentences in the Wayward Elves description that made me think that this cultures could offer something really different from the Mirkwood Elves:
a shadow is falling upon their land –but they seek to combat it through less martial means.
They see themselves as dedicated as any warrior to the fight against the Shadow, but do not believe weapons of war to be the strongest tools in their arsenal.
Wayward Elves enjoy a Martial standard of living, though they spend less of their resources on articles of war. Instead they wear fine garb rather than carrying keen weapons, and always they carry with them a musical instrument.
Wayward Elves rarely take up the sword and spear in direct combat against the agents of the Shadow, but instead use hope and wisdom to triumph against their foes.
"Though the world may be fading, our voices may yet bring light to the world!"
Now, think for a moment how a RAW Wayward Elf character would enter combat in TOR. My bet is:
With a Woodland Bow, with a Great Spear and a Spearman's Shield, or with a Bitter Spear.
Can you spot any difference with a Mirkwood Elf? Because I can't, despite the colorfoul description of the culture.
Oh, I forgot! And with more Endurance points than a normal Mirkwood Elf because of the Wine Virtue. All in all, a Wayward Elf is an equal or better weapon fighter than a Mirkwood Elf.
IMHO, disappointing.

That said, let me return to the proposed changes and additions to the Virtues and Rewards I have in mind, to allow Wayward Elves to offer something different from other cultures when entering combat.

REWARDS
Foreword: Remember that the Cultural Rewards of Mirkwood Elves, all of them weapons, are available to the Wayward Elves by the RAW.

Wine of the Dark Mountains- I don't see the need for a Reward that increases the prowess in battle of the Wayward Elves. In fact, it goes against my idea of what a Wayward Elf is.
I would change it to some kind of Musical Instrument, which seems headfront thematic. Personally, I'd also swap it for the Spearman's Shield: Not being that martial, I don't see why they would use such a specialized piece of combat equipement for such a big weapon as a Great Spear. Again, goes against all sense of the previous descriptions of the culture.
I love how the Pipe of the Prancing Poney works for the Men of Bree (Feat die twice, and benefit to Standing), for example, but have to admit that Song is much powerful than Riddle. Also the Dwarves of the Blue Mountains have a musical Harp as Reward, related to rolling the Feat die twice, and to some bonus to Standing, too. I think the WE's Reward should be related to these two Rewards.
I don't know what exact effect it should have, but I'm sure of this: I'll erase the Spearman's Shield and the Wine of the Dark Mountains, and swap them for a Reward related to a Musical Instrument.

My first approach is:

Harp of the Woods [replaces Spearman's Shield]
There was the sound, too, of elven-harps and of sweet music; and as it echoed up towards them it seemed that the chill of the air was warmed, and they caught faintly the fragrance of woodland flowers blossoming in spring.
--The Gathering of Clouds, The Hobbit

When using Song during an Adventuring phase, roll the Feat die twice and keep the best result [this leaves the Song use for Heal Corruption outside of the benefit].
Additionally, if you spend a point of Hope, you (not the LM) may decide how to allocate the Hate loss among the enemies when using Intimidate Foes, even focusing it all in a single adversary.

VIRTUES
I'm still convinced that the damage oriented Virtues (Deadly Archery and Stinging Arrow) have to be swapped for something else, not based in Weapon skills, but in Common skills, specially Song.

Stinging Arrow will be deleted in my version of the WE, making Elf-lights the first tier in the Wood-elf Magic Virtue. Enchanted Sleep will be the second, and the third will be:

Songs from Elder days
…and their faces and their songs were filled with mirth. Loud and clear and fair were those songs…
-Flies and Spiders, The Hobbit

You may use the Intimidate Foes from Open Stance in Combat, but using the Song skill instead of Awe or Battle. [credits to Scrollreader!]

Feast Clearing [replaces Deadly Archery]
There was a fire in their midst and there were torches fastened to some of the trees round about; but most splendid sight of all: they were eating and drinking and laughing merrily. –Flies and Spiders, The Hobbit

Once per Adventuring phase, when travelling through a Border Land or Wild Land in Mirkwood, the fellowship can rest for a night as if they were taking a prolongued rest in a safe place, thus using the improved recovery rates for Endurance, Fatigue and Wounds.

The fellowship can decide to stay for more days and continue to recover at the increased rate, but each hero will gain 1 point of Shadow for each day above the first.


Sorry for the long post!
Last edited by Falenthal on Mon Jan 02, 2017 1:06 pm, edited 4 times in total.

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Re: AC: Wayward Elves variation

Post by Falenthal » Fri Dec 30, 2016 4:33 pm

Deadmanwalking wrote:I'd go with something either trickery-based or something that actually recovers or otherwise interacts with Hope. A Song-based Virtue that regains you 1 Hope when you use it to reduce Shadow, or something like that, maybe. Or a Virtue allowing them to erase memories like the High Elf 'Beauty of the Stars' (but possibly more controllably and without some of the other effects).
That's an idea I'd like to develop further. Something like those "laughters in the woods" that are so typical of faeries and that lure others to get lost in the deepest parts of the forest. This trick, though, should IMO be tied somehow to the Shadow score (Permanent) of the Wayward Elf, so that it can be harmful to the victim even if it wasn't the elf's intention. See, for example, what happens in page 20 of the Darkening of Mirkwood:
A few of the younger Elves at a feast in the Bower (Heart
of the Wild, page 73) decide to punish the Bardings for
their trespassing. When a group of foresters next enter
the woods, the Elves harass and ensorcel them, weaving
spells around the mortals. The foresters lose their way
and wander into the depths of the forest. Three are met
by friendlier Elves and guided back to the Elf-path, but
another goes mad and dies.
But everything that occurs to me is too similar to the luring effect of the Elf-lights.
Any original idea regarding this?

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Re: AC: Wayward Elves variation

Post by Falenthal » Fri Dec 30, 2016 4:43 pm

EDIT: In fact, that jest-trickery is exactly what happens to Thorin's Company regarding the Feast Glade!

So that maybe the Feast Glade Virtue can be improved (used more times during the Adventuring phase), but with a risk to all non-Wayward Elves companions that increases with the score of Permanent Shadow of the WE.

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Re: AC: Wayward Elves variation

Post by Falenthal » Mon Jan 02, 2017 1:06 pm

EDIT: Modified the Harp of the Woods, Songs of Elder Days and Feast Glade Rewards and Virtues.

Copied them to the first post, in case anyone comes to this thread for the first time.

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Re: AC: Wayward Elves variation

Post by Deadmanwalking » Mon Jan 02, 2017 5:59 pm

I feel like that version of Feast Clearing is a bit weak. Still, if not powering up Deadly Archery (which it seems like you should, IMO) that Virtue is probably on par. Other than that, those look okay (though Songs From Elder Days is still an entirely combat-oriented Virtue, which seems off given your stated priorities...that's definitely the one to replace with a trickery/memory erasure effect if they get one).

I'd also still be inclined to give them Wine (if perhaps not of the kind they get by default) rather than a musical instrument as a Reward, though. Or maybe both and ditch the Bitter Spear as an option...

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Re: AC: Wayward Elves variation

Post by Falenthal » Mon Jan 02, 2017 8:17 pm

Thanks for the comments, Deadmanwalking.
Deadmanwalking wrote:I feel like that version of Feast Clearing is a bit weak. Still, if not powering up Deadly Archery (which it seems like you should, IMO) that Virtue is probably on par.
This might be true, and I tend to agree with you that it's on the weak side. Although I wanted to play it safe and not overpower it too much from the beginning.
The inspiration for it is The Star of the Dúnedain Reward, that allows a maximum of 1 point of Travel Fatigue recovered, although more than one time per Adventure phase.

And though I will take out Deadly Archery in my games from the Wayward Elves, other can choose not to do so and add the Feast Clearing as an additional Virtue to choose from.
Deadmanwalking wrote: though Songs From Elder Days is still an entirely combat-oriented Virtue, which seems off given your stated priorities...
I have probably not explained myself properly: the quotes don't say that WE don't fight the Shadow, only that they don't do it with weapons and looking to inflict Damage and Pierces; they fight with their Songs. I simply wanted to give them options in Combat that use their Song skill instead of Weapon skills.
Deadmanwalking wrote: that's definitely the one to replace with a trickery/memory erasure effect if they get one).
As I said before, I'm struggling to get something along this lines, but I can't come up with anything that doesn't overlap with Elf-lights. I even have the name and the quote :lol:
Eerie Laughter
At times they heard disquieting laughter. Sometimes there was singing in the distance too. The laughter was the laughter of fair voices not of goblins, and the singing was beautiful, but it sounded eerie and strange, and they were not comforted, rather they hurried on from those parts with what strength they had left.
--Flies and Spiders, The Hobbit
It should probably provoke enemies to flee if done succesfully before combat. Something like an action that can be done instead of Ambush, probably using Riddle or Song.
Deadmanwalking wrote: I'd also still be inclined to give them Wine (if perhaps not of the kind they get by default) rather than a musical instrument as a Reward, though. Or maybe both and ditch the Bitter Spear as an option...
I prefer to ditch the Bitter Spear, and add the Wine, but no special ideas yet. Probably a boost to Encounters. The musical instrument is a must, IMHO. In fact, I think that the special Reward and Virtue of the Dwarves of the Blue Mountains would've been perfect for the Wayward Elves! :D

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Re: AC: Wayward Elves more thematic Virtues and Rewards

Post by Falenthal » Fri Jan 20, 2017 2:38 pm

For a long time, I've been thinking about a Virtue for the Wayward Elves that represented the mischievous tricks of the faeries, that could become dangerous in the worst case. Also, as this Virtue should represent the detachment of the elf with the "real world", I wanted to use the elf's Shadow score as a representative of that growing distance between them and the mortal world (in the same way as, for a "normal" elf, it represents their growing lure to sail West and abandon Arda).

That's what I've come up with:

Eerie Laughter
At times they heard disquieting laughter. Sometimes there was singing in the distance too. The laughter was the laughter of fair voices not of goblins, and the singing was beautiful, but it sounded eerie and strange, and they were not comforted, rather they hurried on from those parts with what strength they had left.
--Flies and Spiders, The Hobbit

While a Wayward Elf detaches himself from the living world, his voice and joy acquires a disturbing beauty, and becomes strange, even sinister, to mortal's ears.

When a Wayward Elf can be heard by a Mortal (elves, undead and maia are excluded, along with other special creatures as the Lore Master sees fit), he can do a Task rolling the Feat die and as many Success die as his Shadow score (up to a maximum of 6 dice). According to the level of success, a number of creatures can be affected by the Elf's eerie laughter and strange songs, and be considered Spent (see Revised Book, page 129). Several Mortal creatures can be affected, as long as the sum of their Attribute levels (or Wisdom rating, if heroes are involved) is equal or less to the following total:
Ordinary success - 2
Great success - 4
Extraordinary success - 6

If any of the affected Mortals has an Attribute level (or a Wisdom score) equal or lower than the Permanent Shadow score of the Wayward Elf, then it is considered Temporary Miserable instead of Spent, as long as it is within hearing range of the Wayward Elf (with the danger of having a Bout of Madness).

Adversaries and Loremaster's Characters are roleplayed by the Loremaster as indicated for heroes in page 129 of the Revised Book regarding their behaviour when Spent, Temprary Miserable or affected by a Bout of Madness.

*****
EDIT: A grim addittion could be:
On a Failure with an Eye, someone (I don't know how to solve who) must do a Protection test or get Wounded.
Last edited by Falenthal on Sat Jan 28, 2017 9:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: AC: Wayward Elves more thematic Virtues and Rewards

Post by Angelalex242 » Mon Jan 23, 2017 3:02 am

If you aim that last one at heroes, I can see allied elves to the company asking, "Hey, can I sing a countersong to help my allies out?"

And the normal Mirkwood Elf or Lorien Elf or Noldor starts singing to block the Wayward Elf.

Also, is the Wayward Elf's power subject to 'friendly fire'? He may have mortal companions, after all, who are no less unsettled...

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Re: AC: Wayward Elves more thematic Virtues and Rewards

Post by Falenthal » Mon Jan 23, 2017 9:41 am

Angelalex242 wrote:If you aim that last one at heroes, I can see allied elves to the company asking, "Hey, can I sing a countersong to help my allies out?"

And the normal Mirkwood Elf or Lorien Elf or Noldor starts singing to block the Wayward Elf.
Good idea. A "bad" effect of a Virtue, but that could be compensated by other companions.
Probably the Song roll of the other Elf should simply be higher than that of the Wayward Elf, but should look into it with more detail.
Angelalex242 wrote: Also, is the Wayward Elf's power subject to 'friendly fire'? He may have mortal companions, after all, who are no less unsettled...
With that in mind is why I added the rough idea that, upon a Failure with an Eye, anyone within hearing range could be affected, even heroes. Wayward elves are wild and dangerous, and that should be reflected somehow.
I still have no idea of what mechanic to use for that "friendly fire", as you call it. But I think it should provoke a random chance for anyone, friend or foe, to be affected.

Would be too cumbersome, but my current idea is to make everyone within hearing range roll the Feat die as many times as the Permanent Shadow of the WE: everyone who rolls an Eye, becomes Miserable.
It's a mechanic inspired by the Blighted Lands and Blighted Treasures ones. But would imply too much rolling, so I don't like it too much.

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Re: AC: Wayward Elves more thematic Virtues and Rewards

Post by Angelalex242 » Tue Jan 24, 2017 5:00 am

In particular, the Noldor Virtue 'Elbereth Gilthoniel'...well, that's reminding the Wayward Elf of the very Valar they decided to Spite. I can see that doing something very bad to any elf who doesn't follow the Calling of the Sea.

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