Play styles: Adventures in middle earth vs The One ring

The place for discussion of Cubicle 7 and Sophisticated Games' "Adventures in Middle-earth" OGL setting.
Stan Shinn
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Re: Play styles: Adventures in middle earth vs The One ring

Post by Stan Shinn » Sat Feb 04, 2017 2:53 pm

In AiME, as with all D&D 5e games, the rates at which you level, the amount of hit points you gain, and how fast you heal, are all uber-simple to house rule and tune to your tastes. Level up once each six months of play if it suits you :-)
— Stan Shinn
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Check out my Adventures in Middle-earth blog posts on my game club's website.

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ThrorII
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Re: Play styles: Adventures in middle earth vs The One ring

Post by ThrorII » Sat Feb 04, 2017 6:13 pm

Stan Shinn wrote:In AiME, as with all D&D 5e games, the rates at which you level, the amount of hit points you gain, and how fast you heal, are all uber-simple to house rule and tune to your tastes. Level up once each six months of play if it suits you :-)
This is very true. If you like the 'set hit points' that TOR offers, you can go with a gritty hp = Con score, or keep traditional hp, but cap them at a given level (say no more hp after 5th level, for example).

You can run a level = xp game (traditional D&D), or a session based advancement as the DMG suggests (about 1 level every 2 sessions), or (as I'm going to run AiMe) you level AFTER an adventure (2-3 sessions) during a Fellowship phase. I plan on only 1 or 2 adventures per game year (2 in early levels, 1 in higher levels) you get that generational feel that TOR evokes.

Otaku-sempai
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Re: Play styles: Adventures in middle earth vs The One ring

Post by Otaku-sempai » Sat Feb 04, 2017 8:13 pm

Stan Shinn wrote:In AiME, as with all D&D 5e games, the rates at which you level, the amount of hit points you gain, and how fast you heal, are all uber-simple to house rule and tune to your tastes. Level up once each six months of play if it suits you :-)
Likewise, a Loremaster might rule that Hero characters can only level up during a Fellowship Phase (though perhaps not restricted to an end-of-year Fellowship Phase). Or is that already suggested in the Player's Guide?
"Far, far below the deepest delvings of the Dwarves, the world is gnawed by nameless things. Even Sauron knows them not. They are older than he."

Paid a bod yn dwp
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Re: Play styles: Adventures in middle earth vs The One ring

Post by Paid a bod yn dwp » Sat Feb 04, 2017 11:35 pm

Thanks all

Thats good advice on the HP side of levelling up, that makes sense in retaining a low level feel. It allays my one concern with the D&D element of AIME.

Again very much appreciate your experienced input on this comparison of the 2 middle earth games. Both sound excellent, I'm intrigued by the fresh approach of the One ring and want to find out more, but I'm also very impressed with how cubicle 7 appear to have successfully adapted the game for AIME. From what I gather some aspects that have been ported over may actually work better in AIMe then they did in TOR.

Its clear from this discussion that I still need to read up on TOR. Perhaps find some simple video tutorial demonstration of aspects of the game? Does such a thing exist?

That being said I know 5ed and like its crunchy, yet streamlined design, with emphasis on character role-play.The combination and adaptation of TOR elements sounds to me like a winner.

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zedturtle
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Re: Play styles: Adventures in middle earth vs The One ring

Post by zedturtle » Sun Feb 05, 2017 1:25 am

There are quite a few resources for The One Ring in the corresponding section of the forum, along with a FAQ that is hopefully of some help. We also have lots of folks who would love to answer questions and take a crack at explaining the basics of the game.

Here is an official presentation of the game.

As far as videos go, this actual play seems (on a skim) to have a decent handle on the rules, and is up front about their house-rules. But with the unusual nature of the rules, there seems often to be something that trips folks up... it's usually not a big deal (for example, on my skim-through there seemed to be an impression that Hope reset during a Fellowship. It doesn't normally... the slow dwindling of Hope is an interesting facet of campaign play).

This is a video that goes through the core rulebook. The good news is that the presenter is reading from the rules, so things seem to be pretty accurate. The bad news is the same... there didn't seem to be a lot of discussion of the why or the feeling that the rules provoke at the table, which to me is one of the great strengths of the game.
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Paid a bod yn dwp
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Re: Play styles: Adventures in middle earth vs The One ring

Post by Paid a bod yn dwp » Sun Feb 05, 2017 3:24 pm

zedturtle wrote:There are quite a few resources for The One Ring in the corresponding section of the forum, along with a FAQ that is hopefully of some help. We also have lots of folks who would love to answer questions and take a crack at explaining the basics of the game.
Thanks for this. A big help. Ive looked through the cubicle 7 presentation & made a few notes which has helped clarify a general feeling for the TOR game. I think those videos maybe more useful now that i have a better grasp of the game. It comes across as very elegant game design, I like what I've read. Its not too complex, but very evocative. I shall delve a bit deeper...

Regarding AIME ( now I have clearer idea of TOR) how is "shadow: balanced with "Hope"? Does it work in the same way as TOR?

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Re: Play styles: Adventures in middle earth vs The One ring

Post by Paid a bod yn dwp » Sun Feb 05, 2017 4:18 pm

zedturtle wrote:This is a video that goes through the core rulebook. The good news is that the presenter is reading from the rules, so things seem to be pretty accurate. The bad news is the same... there didn't seem to be a lot of discussion of the why or the feeling that the rules provoke at the table, which to me is one of the great strengths of the game.
I think you've touched on and clarified a key concern, very succinctly..."the feeling that the rules provoke at the table". So is it still possible to have as an evocative experience with AIME as it is with TOR?

From my understanding there are some great thematic elements in TOR, which I can see being very evocative of Tolkien ideas, and how characters struggle in the stories:
  • Shadow vs Hope (I like this duality)
  • Endurance/Fatigue, & the weary condition
  • The Fellowship hope pool of points
  • Customised Dice: Gandalf success, and Eye of Sauron failure
Are all these elements transferred to AIME equivalents or have aspects of the TOR game been discarded here?

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ThrorII
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Re: Play styles: Adventures in middle earth vs The One ring

Post by ThrorII » Sun Feb 05, 2017 9:06 pm

Paid a bod yn dwp wrote:[/list]Shadow vs Hope (I like this duality)[/list]
  • Endurance/Fatigue, & the weary condition
  • The Fellowship hope pool of points
  • Customised Dice: Gandalf success, and Eye of Sauron failure
Are all these elements transferred to AIME equivalents or have aspects of the TOR game been discarded here?
Shadow v. Hope:
Not as much as in TOR. The duality is gone. There is a shadow score. When your Shadow surpasses your Wisdom score, you are Miserable (where in TOR when Shadow surpasses Hope, you are Miserable). AiMe doesn't use Hope, instead uses the Inspiration mechanic (and treats recovery Hit Dice like a form of Hope economy for magic-item/magic-ability usage).

Endurance v. Fatigue:
No. And I'm glad. We did not like the Fatigue rules at all. A set Endurance is replaced by Level-gained hit points. Fatigue is replaced with the 5e exhaustion mechanics. However, AiMe says you don't benefit from a long rest while on a journey (with exceptions), so exhaustion tends to creep up, similar to Fatigue in TOR. There is no 'Weary condition in AiMe, the Exhaustion rules cover that. End result is the same.

Hope/Fellowship pools:
This is completely scrapped, to my dismay. The Inspiration mechanic replaces Hope/Fellowship completely. You can port over the Hope/Fellowship mechanics in total without messing anything up (look at the 1d6 bonus from Hero Points for ideas), or go with straight Hero Points from the 5e DMG for a similar effect.

Dice (Eye/Gandalf):
Gone with the replacement of standard d20 dice. A bit of a shame, as I liked that Tengwars allowed players to aid eachother on failed rolls. Unavoidable with the change to 5e.

Paid a bod yn dwp
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Re: Play styles: Adventures in middle earth vs The One ring

Post by Paid a bod yn dwp » Sun Feb 05, 2017 11:25 pm

ThrorII wrote: Shadow v. Hope:
Not as much as in TOR. The duality is gone. There is a shadow score. When your Shadow surpasses your Wisdom score, you are Miserable (where in TOR when Shadow surpasses Hope, you are Miserable). AiMe doesn't use Hope, instead uses the Inspiration mechanic (and treats recovery Hit Dice like a form of Hope economy for magic-item/magic-ability usage).
That waters down the strong thematic concept a little. I really like the duality of Hope vs shadow, and how they are in balance with each other. It sums up the nature of the game for me. However its still there, just not as elegant a thematic mechanic as in TOR... So its Wisdom vs Shadow in AIME instead, and the hope economy has been broken, with inspiration taking the place of hope. I suppose that 5e inspiration mechanic does the job very similarly. Just a shame the strong simple thematic element is a slightly watered down...but not a biggy for most people i imagine.
ThrorII wrote: Endurance v. Fatigue:
No. And I'm glad. We did not like the Fatigue rules at all. A set Endurance is replaced by Level-gained hit points. Fatigue is replaced with the 5e exhaustion mechanics. However, AiMe says you don't benefit from a long rest while on a journey (with exceptions), so exhaustion tends to creep up, similar to Fatigue in TOR. There is no 'Weary condition in AiMe, the Exhaustion rules cover that. End result is the same.
Yes I've never been a fan of fatigue rules in a game (RQ3 put me off completely), but it does seem to fit the feeling of Tolkien very well. Actually the use of the term "Endurance" is a good way to conceptualise hit points in AIME too. Makes their level increase seem more palatable in a low level game. I'll have to look over the 5ed exhaustion rules again.
ThrorII wrote: Hope/Fellowship pools:
This is completely scrapped, to my dismay. The Inspiration mechanic replaces Hope/Fellowship completely. You can port over the Hope/Fellowship mechanics in total without messing anything up (look at the 1d6 bonus from Hero Points for ideas), or go with straight Hero Points from the 5e DMG for a similar effect.
Yes I agree this sounds like a missed opportunity. But as you mention it may be easy to house rule. I wonder if there are suggestions in the new Loremasters guide?
ThrorII wrote: Dice (Eye/Gandalf):
Gone with the replacement of standard d20 dice. A bit of a shame, as I liked that Tengwars allowed players to aid eachother on failed rolls. Unavoidable with the change to 5e.
Yes, although not normally a fan of custom dice, I can see how they could immerse you in the feeling of the game. The fact that the ToR dice can be replaced with standard ones makes it much more acceptable. Maybe it would have been nice to introduce 1 extra custom dice for a similar purpose to AIME? but that could get fiddly i guess.

All in all I'm starting to see the pluses and minuses to each game now. These last points shows me how perhaps a little of the immersive Tolkien feeling could be lost with AIME. But I also note that a few people have spoken very positively about AIMe's interpretation of Encounters/Audiences and Travel/Journeys

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Soninlawofelfland
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Re: Play styles: Adventures in middle earth vs The One ring

Post by Soninlawofelfland » Mon Feb 06, 2017 1:22 am

Actually a customized set of polyhedrals from Q-Workshop for AiME would be really cool. They could have the Eye on the one's place on the d20 (and Gandalf's rune would be nice on the 20). I really like their classic dice (the more ornate elven dice are too hard to read for me). They did do a set for TOR after all, and they make nice Call of Cthulhu dice.

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