Valour and Fear

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Yepesnopes
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Valour and Fear

Post by Yepesnopes » Tue Aug 01, 2017 9:28 am

Hi fellow GMs and players!

I have always found that the effects of failing a Fear (Valour) test (The companion is daunted and may
not spend Hope while subject to a source of fear) is not as dire as failing a Corruption (Wisdom) test (Gain 1 Shadow, or more if threat is severe).

Since Fear and Corruption tests are the two most used rolls for Valour and Wisdom respectively (at least in my games). I have found that players end up favoring Wisdom in front of Valour.

I was thinking to try to house rule that a failed Fear test makes you temporary Weary, or temporary Miserable instead.

What do you think?

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jamesrbrown
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Re: Valour and Fear

Post by jamesrbrown » Tue Aug 01, 2017 1:50 pm

Since a failed Corruption test leads to Shadow Gain, I've wondered if it was ever considered to allow a failed Fear test to result in Hope loss, much like the consequence of Despair during a journey. This would be in addition to the rule already in place.

So, if a hero fails a Fear test, he may not spend Hope as long as he is subject to the source of fear. In addition, he loses 1 point of Hope or 2 on an Eye.
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Falenthal
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Re: Valour and Fear

Post by Falenthal » Tue Aug 01, 2017 2:28 pm

@Yepesnopes: I agree that the current consequence of failing a Valour test is, IMHO, too low. I don't know what other consequences can there be.

Not being too beautiful, my first idea would be to make a Daunted hero get into a status similar to a mix of Miserable and Spent: In addition to the normal effect (not able to spend Hope), the hero becomes Spent if he rolls an Eye of Sauron in the presence of the element that provoked the Valour test.

@James: My first reaction is to say that Hope is so much difficult to recover than to reduce Shadow, that it is not comparable. Besides, I feel (and that might just be me) that Shadow is a resource that the LM can affect, but Hope should, in general terms, be left for the players to manage. It's just a personal feeling, but I tend to not affect the hero's Hope score myself: in a way, it's their sphere of control, while the Shadow is "mine".

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Re: Valour and Fear

Post by Stormcrow » Tue Aug 01, 2017 5:38 pm

Assuming that Rewards are equal in value to Virtues...

Assuming that there are equal numbers of game elements that grant bonuses to Valour and Wisdom...

Assuming that a Loremaster calls for Fear tests as often as Corruption tests...

Assuming that Loremaster characters favor Valour and Wisdom equally during encounters and as patrons...

Then yes, Wisdom has more value than Valour, because the effect of failing a Corruption test is more permanently damaging than that of failing a Fear test.

Can you demonstrate the above assumptions to be valid?

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Re: Valour and Fear

Post by Falenthal » Tue Aug 01, 2017 8:30 pm

Yepesnopes wrote:
Tue Aug 01, 2017 9:28 am
I have found that players end up favoring Wisdom in front of Valour.
@Stormcrow: If that is true for Yepesnopes, then he can safely try to find a way to make Valour more important (improve the power of Rewards or Masteries, make it the overall preferred value for Encounters, etc.) or, as he is asking, failing a Valour test more grave.

Independently from how the game was designed/how he as LM runs his games.

I don't think any two skills are used with the same balance between two different LMs and, therefore, we don't all use or look for the same house-rules.

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Re: Valour and Fear

Post by Falenthal » Tue Aug 01, 2017 10:25 pm

Yepesnopes wrote:
Tue Aug 01, 2017 9:28 am
I was thinking to try to house rule that a failed Fear test makes you temporary Weary, or temporary Miserable instead.
Maybe a good way to face this issue is to look for quotes that represent in the literature what you want to accomplish with mechanics. If it works, it feels very tolkienesque.

Also, I think there's a differentiation that should be made: are you thinking about increasing the effect of failing a Fear test in all situations, or only when facing a monster with Strike Fear or Thing of Terror?
If the first one, then it is the daunted state that has to be changed.
If the second one, then it is the abilities that need changes.

Personally, I'd only go with the second one.

1) Strike Fear, which asks for a single Fear test from all heroes at the cost of 1 Hate point. While potentially rendering the heroes unable to attack for several rounds, it will drain the creature of its Hate points.

2) Thing of Terror, which forces a Fear test at the beginning of every round until succeeded with a great or extraordinary success. So, they could be unable to attack for several rounds.

It would be important to decide if the hero could be able to attack other targets or not if they failed the Fear test, or just the creature that provoked it.

I guess a good example would be the Fellowship facing the Balrog, isn't it?
Legolas turned and set an arrow to the string, though it was a long shot for his small bow. He drew, but his hand fell, and the arrow slipped to the ground. He gave a cry of dismay and fear. Two great trolls appeared; [...]. But it was not the trolls that had filled the Elf with terror.

[...]

Gimli stared with wide eyes. 'Durin's Bane! ' he cried, and letting his axe fall he covered his face.

'A Balrog,' muttered Gandalf. 'Now I understand.' He faltered and leaned heavily on his staff. 'What an evil fortune! And I am already weary.'

[...]

Then Boromir raised his horn and blew.

[...]

'Over the bridge!' cried Gandalf, recalling his strength."
So I'd say that the effect of failing a Fear test against an Adversary's Special Ability should be related to being unable to act (objects fell from the hands, cower in fear, unable to look at the font of the fear, etc.), until capable to recover the composure.

Maybe forcing the hero to flee would be too punishing (as would be the case if applying the Spent state),but adding to both Special abilites something like this could be a start:
A hero that fails the Fear test cannot attempt any action for one round, unless he spends a point of Hope to do so.
Of course, the Daunted state would not be an effect of failing those tests in this case.

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Yepesnopes
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Re: Valour and Fear

Post by Yepesnopes » Wed Aug 02, 2017 1:07 am

@Stormcrow: Your points are valid, and the situation I find in my games may be only arising due to my GM style. Yet, I feel there is something more fundamental. The game dedicates a big deal to Shadow and Corruption (in number of pages and relevance to the game style and mechanics) and both are fundamental parts of the game. On the other hand Fear and Terror occupies a tiny part of the game, and has no deep impact on the developing of the character contrary to Shadow.

Thanks for the ideas guys

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Re: Valour and Fear

Post by Stormcrow » Wed Aug 02, 2017 11:12 am

Yet the effects of a Fear test are stronger and more immediate. If you fail a Corruption test, you gain some Shadow, but your performance is usually not immediately affected. If you fail a Fear test, you lose the upper levels of your abilities just at the moment you need them most.

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Re: Valour and Fear

Post by jamesrbrown » Wed Aug 02, 2017 2:19 pm

I think it would be helpful to develop some text and possibly a chart for "Sources of Fear" and "Consequences of Fear" in the game, much like the sections from pages 222-229 in the core rules for Corruption.

Because Corruption is a bit more explained and there are specific mechanics involved, it obviously gets more attention.

I would even like to brainstorm ways in which Fear intersects with a hero's Calling or Culture and how succumbing to Fear might lead to developing new Flaws that affect performance during similar situations in the future.
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Yepesnopes
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Re: Valour and Fear

Post by Yepesnopes » Wed Aug 02, 2017 9:58 pm

This is a nice idea James.

In games like Warhammer Fantasy, Sahdows of Esteren or the Call of Cthulhu, Fear and Terror taxes the sanity of the PC, but in TOR this is covered by corruption as well.

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