"Rumour of the earth" Wanderer feature

The place for discussion of Cubicle 7 and Sophisticated Games' "Adventures in Middle-earth" OGL setting.
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ThanassisCon
Posts: 5
Joined: Fri Feb 03, 2017 1:15 pm

"Rumour of the earth" Wanderer feature

Post by ThanassisCon » Wed Jun 28, 2017 9:22 am

Reading the "Rumour of the earth" Wanderer feature I see endless possibilities of exploitation. There seem to be no boundaries regarding the quarry or the land that the PCs might be looking for.
Is this how it is meant to be played?
Does anyone have any ideas on how to narrow it down a bit?
Do they have to know who they are looking for to use it?
Is a vague description of that someone enough for the wanderer to find useful info on him?

MrUkpyr
Posts: 194
Joined: Mon May 01, 2017 5:40 pm

Re: "Rumour of the earth" Wanderer feature

Post by MrUkpyr » Wed Jun 28, 2017 1:52 pm

ThanassisCon wrote:
Wed Jun 28, 2017 9:22 am
Reading the "Rumour of the earth" Wanderer feature I see endless possibilities of exploitation. There seem to be no boundaries regarding the quarry or the land that the PCs might be looking for.
Is this how it is meant to be played?
Does anyone have any ideas on how to narrow it down a bit?
Do they have to know who they are looking for to use it?
Is a vague description of that someone enough for the wanderer to find useful info on him?
The more they try and exploit it, the less useful the information is.

It is like the game of "telephone", where the longer the group the more the message becomes warped.
In this case, the farther away the target is, the less useful is the info.
Why? Because you are not only playing "telephone", but you are playing the game with ROCKS! The Earth can only provide so much detail, and the farther away the target, the more rocks get involved, and thus the more the information can be distorted.
MrUkpyr
"If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world."

ThanassisCon
Posts: 5
Joined: Fri Feb 03, 2017 1:15 pm

Re: "Rumour of the earth" Wanderer feature

Post by ThanassisCon » Fri Jun 30, 2017 10:12 am

MrUkpyr wrote:
Wed Jun 28, 2017 1:52 pm

The more they try and exploit it, the less useful the information is.

It is like the game of "telephone", where the longer the group the more the message becomes warped.
In this case, the farther away the target is, the less useful is the info.
Why? Because you are not only playing "telephone", but you are playing the game with ROCKS! The Earth can only provide so much detail, and the farther away the target, the more rocks get involved, and thus the more the information can be distorted.
I totally understand what you're saying. This is what I have been doing anyway. However, the Adventurer's guide states that the LM must give the wanderer useful information and I really don't enjoy arguing about how useful is a piece of information. After all, it is a rare feature with a pretty difficult DC. I still feel like it needs clarification...

MrUkpyr
Posts: 194
Joined: Mon May 01, 2017 5:40 pm

Re: "Rumour of the earth" Wanderer feature

Post by MrUkpyr » Fri Jun 30, 2017 10:42 am

ThanassisCon wrote:
Fri Jun 30, 2017 10:12 am
I totally understand what you're saying. This is what I have been doing anyway. However, the Adventurer's guide states that the LM must give the wanderer useful information and I really don't enjoy arguing about how useful is a piece of information. After all, it is a rare feature with a pretty difficult DC. I still feel like it needs clarification...
Ah - ok. Now I see the problem you face.
I may just be lucky that my players don't argue about whether the provided information is or is not useful.

I think a touch of "official clarification" will help you then, because then you can say to your player's "see - this is considered useful information".
MrUkpyr
"If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world."

ThanassisCon
Posts: 5
Joined: Fri Feb 03, 2017 1:15 pm

Re: "Rumour of the earth" Wanderer feature

Post by ThanassisCon » Fri Feb 09, 2018 11:41 pm

Any more insights on this?? :?:

Gilrohir Arncelevon
Posts: 60
Joined: Fri Feb 27, 2015 1:46 pm
Location: Suffolk, England

Re: "Rumour of the earth" Wanderer feature

Post by Gilrohir Arncelevon » Sat Feb 10, 2018 5:08 pm

Hi there

First off, the ability in question can only be used once per LONG rest. Effectively that means once per journey (as you can't usually take a long rest during a journey. So the ability can't be used often. For the average wanderer with Wisdom of 12 or 14, up to level 5, with a DC of 15 to get useful information, the player has about 50% chance of gleaning something useful. So i don't really see this as overly powerful/useful.

In terms of the type of information, the word "useful" is always open to interpretation, but the rule does make quite clear that you have to role a 25 or better to get the sort of information which might seem "near miraculous". So i think the type of information which would constitute "useful" would be the direction of travel or the speed of travel or the rough numbers of travellers who constitute the "quarry". In terms of a place, again it woul be direction and rough distance, or perhaps if there are rivers or hills between tge wanderer and the place he is seeking.

Really this is a skill to allow the story to continue if, for example, the fellowship lose the trail of their quarry or become lost whilst travelling from A to B.

A "near miraculous" result would include, for example, the exact number of travellers who constitute the quarry, or whther they are heavily or lightly encumbered or how fast they are travelling or whether one or more is injured. In terms of a place, exact distance or visible landmarks aling the way might be the type of information.

I think the idea behind the ability is based on Aragorn's ability described in the Two Towers as the three hunters are tracking the uruks across Rohan. So if your players want to understand the context and therefore the meaning of "useful" information, you might point them to that section of the book. I don't have my copy handy or I'd give you the exact reference. Sorry.

Anyway, i hope that helps. I honestly don't think the ability needs to be limited, but your players do need to understand that useful means less than "near miraculous", though obviously it must be more information than they already have. Example of a recent situation with my own game (I LM), the fellowship were tracking a troll in the coldfells and were themselves being tracked by an orc warband. Then needed to know whether to stop and lay an ambush for their pursurers or whether they could reach the troll and kill it before theor pursurers caught up. I told them the troll was travelling more slowly than they were and that their pursurers were travelling more quickly, but not by much, so they had time to catch the troll, provided it didn't realise it was being followed.

Does that make sense?

MrUkpyr
Posts: 194
Joined: Mon May 01, 2017 5:40 pm

Re: "Rumour of the earth" Wanderer feature

Post by MrUkpyr » Sat Feb 10, 2018 5:54 pm

ThanassisCon wrote:
Fri Feb 09, 2018 11:41 pm
Any more insights on this?? :?:
To piggy-back on Gilrohir, using the Two Tower's movie as a perfect example, refer the players to the scene in the movie where Aragorn has his ears to the ground and when he lifts up he says something to the effect of "their pace has quickened, they must have caught our scent". He also gets an idea of the direction they are going.
MrUkpyr
"If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world."

ThanassisCon
Posts: 5
Joined: Fri Feb 03, 2017 1:15 pm

Re: "Rumour of the earth" Wanderer feature

Post by ThanassisCon » Thu May 03, 2018 1:09 pm

Hey guys! Haven't loggen in for some time..
After some months (and enough sessions) I come to realize that (as Gilrohir sais) it really isn't used that often.
Thank you both for your time! It really helped! :D :D :D

Otaku-sempai
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Location: Lackawanna, NY

Re: "Rumour of the earth" Wanderer feature

Post by Otaku-sempai » Thu May 03, 2018 1:39 pm

Gilrohir Arncelevon wrote:
Sat Feb 10, 2018 5:08 pm
First off, the ability in question can only be used once per LONG rest. Effectively that means once per journey (as you can't usually take a long rest during a journey. So the ability can't be used often. For the average wanderer with Wisdom of 12 or 14, up to level 5, with a DC of 15 to get useful information, the player has about 50% chance of gleaning something useful. So i don't really see this as overly powerful/useful.
You can take long rests during a long journey IF the journey is broken into shorter legs ending at safe places (such as the Company of Thorin resting at Rivendell, Beorn's house and Lake-town (even Thranduil's cells might count). Of course using the optional 'gritty reality' rules for rests would complicate that a bit (the company only stayed with Beorn for a couple of days).
"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."

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