Mundane Rewards

The place for discussion of Cubicle 7 and Sophisticated Games' "Adventures in Middle-earth" OGL setting.
Post Reply
rav3nking
Posts: 11
Joined: Wed Jun 11, 2014 12:59 pm

Mundane Rewards

Post by rav3nking » Mon Sep 18, 2017 9:43 pm

Hi folks,

I'm about to run an archery (and possibly other competitions) in my AiME game as part of a travelling fair. The heroes are all new to the game and level 1. I'd like to be able to provide some mundane rewards for winning such competitions that have a bit of flavour and maybe some small bonus or boon. I'd love to pick all your brains for ideas/inspiration if I may :)

e.g. Beeswax bowstring of the Beornings - something along the lines of 'ignore disadvantage on the attack roll using a bow in inclement weather'.

Anarfin
Posts: 32
Joined: Sun Sep 10, 2017 9:21 am

Re: Mundane Rewards

Post by Anarfin » Mon Sep 18, 2017 10:38 pm

rav3nking wrote:
Mon Sep 18, 2017 9:43 pm
Beeswax bowstring of the Beornings
Absolutely love that :)

Page 36 of LMG gives plenty of ideas for mundane items giving small bonuses to checks or attributes.
Generally I would stay with such upgrades - bonus +1 will be enough for a first prize in a contest on a travelling fair (such item is worth 4 gp - remember that 6gp is a living cost for one year in a martial culture).

In this case Beeswax Bowstring of the Beornings - would be weapon (bow) upgrade that gives +1 to attack rolls with it and it should be main prize.

Rest prizes (for second, third and lower places) should be of fine quality, worth even 1 or 2 gp, but without in-game bonus/boon (unless you're planning prize pool greater than 8 gp - unlikely for a travelling fair)
Music instruments, fine boots, ornamented belts, sturdy purses, archer's bracer, elven-made quivers would all make great prizes for second and lower places/minor competitions.

User avatar
ThrorII
Posts: 268
Joined: Thu Jun 13, 2013 3:35 am

Re: Mundane Rewards

Post by ThrorII » Tue Sep 19, 2017 5:21 am

Don't forget a modest +1 or +2 in Renown for the culture where the contest takes place.

I've house ruled that for every +5 in Renown in a culture, the character gets a +1 in his Traditions check and Reaction rolls.

rav3nking
Posts: 11
Joined: Wed Jun 11, 2014 12:59 pm

Re: Mundane Rewards

Post by rav3nking » Wed Sep 20, 2017 9:09 am

Anarfin wrote:
Mon Sep 18, 2017 10:38 pm
rav3nking wrote:
Mon Sep 18, 2017 9:43 pm
Beeswax bowstring of the Beornings
Absolutely love that :)


In this case Beeswax Bowstring of the Beornings - would be weapon (bow) upgrade that gives +1 to attack rolls with it and it should be main prize.
Thank you Anarfin - I'd completely overlooked the LMG Pg.36 as a starting point - d'oh!
I'm trying to avoid the stacking of too many +1's and whatnot too early on, though I know they will creep in later down the line.
At the moment, I'm looking to make items and prizes that are narratively interesting and have that little edge of wonder (and some kind of benefit to the player, though quite a limited one). The idea of the Beeswax Bowstring was to make something that is narratively "eye-catching," to the player, so to speak, that also serves to afford the character a bonus (albeit a narrow, specific one i.e. narratively ignoring the effects of rain or snow when making a ranged attack by negating attacks made at a Disadvantage under those conditions). I'm not averse to making items or bonuses that are a little houserule-y.

Does that make any sense, or am I waffling? :roll:

Halbarad
Posts: 253
Joined: Thu May 09, 2013 6:16 am

Re: Mundane Rewards

Post by Halbarad » Wed Sep 20, 2017 9:49 am

It makes perfect sense to me. Your Beeswax Bowstring is an excellent concept, anchored in the narrative and not powerful enough to be unbalancing. It's exactly the sort of thing that might bring merchants across Mirkwood to purchase them for the Bowman's Guild or the Royal Guard Archers of Dale. 🙂

Anarfin
Posts: 32
Joined: Sun Sep 10, 2017 9:21 am

Re: Mundane Rewards

Post by Anarfin » Wed Sep 20, 2017 11:59 am

Weapons and items with small houseruled bonuses are perfectly OK if you introduce them in moderation and you're not afraid that your players would stack or abuse them ("I would remind you, kind Loremaster, that my Beeswax Bowstring of the Beornings along with Bardish Bracer of Bowcraft, combined with Quirky Quickdraw Quiver adds + 11 ft to maximum distance of my Dalish longbow, and allows me to ignore any disadvantages in cold, stormy, rainy, moonless, starry Mirkwood nights, between 2-3 a.m." ;) ).

Just remember, that "ignoring disadvantage" (even under certain conditions) is not a small boon. It's virtually removing -5 penalty to roll - that's why I am careful with adding advantage/removing disadvantage features. +1 bonus is maybe not that impressive but much "safer" in game terms, but if you're ok with it, go for it :).

If you're making up items with small boon/bonus, it's worth to consider:
-How much they cost and who can afford them
-How unique/popular are they in your world (is Beeswax Bowstring of the Beornings really widely used by Beorning archers? Are they so widely known, that the Bowman's Guild is purchasing them on regular basis, as Halbarad suggested?)
-Do players can obtain them later in some other way (can they buy them from Beornings, or if one can only be obtained as a gift from Beorn himself?)
-Do they stack with other mundane/enchanted items/bonuses
-Do they have any restrictions, making their boon truly a "lesser" one (One Beeswax Bowstring of the Beornings is good for one adventuring phase - like all bowstrings they are prone to damage and eventually they wear out).

If you and your players are ok with making house rules, it's perfectly fine to introduce such items - they can certainly add much flavour :)
Last edited by Anarfin on Thu Sep 21, 2017 1:53 am, edited 1 time in total.

Halbarad
Posts: 253
Joined: Thu May 09, 2013 6:16 am

Re: Mundane Rewards

Post by Halbarad » Wed Sep 20, 2017 3:15 pm

I've only recently joined a group for AiME (finally took the plunge) but have been in from the start with The One Ring.

So, my experience of TOR leads me to believe that these Beeswax Bowstrings would be fairly rare in usage among the Beornings themselves as Bows are not cultural weapons for them. Individual Beornings might use them, but it is actually more likely that they would be used by their neighbours, the Woodmen.

Perhaps they are actually 'Woodmen Bowstrings coated with Beorning Beeswax', but the name became too unwieldy. I would suggest that they are quite the rarity in Dale/Laketown in the earlier days of the campaign. Perhaps Baldor and Belgo (Stay on the Path published adventure) might trade for some in Woodland Hall and introduce them in that area.

Anyway, as Anarfin has rightly pointed out, you need to be careful not to overcomplicate matters. A few little items for flavour is fine but it's important not to let the mundane become as important as the marvellous.🙂
Last edited by Halbarad on Wed Sep 20, 2017 3:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Halbarad
Posts: 253
Joined: Thu May 09, 2013 6:16 am

Re: Mundane Rewards

Post by Halbarad » Wed Sep 20, 2017 3:23 pm

Btw, I like Anarfin's suggestion that any such mundane items might have a finite durability. That ties in quite well with the Laketown Market rules from TOR where the bonuses to a skill from an exceptionally well made item last for only as long as it takes for the character to 'level up' (so to speak) in that skill.

rav3nking
Posts: 11
Joined: Wed Jun 11, 2014 12:59 pm

Re: Mundane Rewards

Post by rav3nking » Sun Sep 24, 2017 4:03 pm

Thank you for all of your thoughts - you've brought up a number of points I hadn't initially thought of (particularly the further reaching implications that such items can have). The struggle now is finding the correct line between narrative and mechanics.

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 5 guests