Expanding Oaths of the Riddermark

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Halbarad
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Expanding Oaths of the Riddermark

Post by Halbarad » Sun Dec 10, 2017 12:59 pm

Oaths of the Riddermark is excellent. I’m not sure though that it’s original intent was for each of the adventures to follow directly on from one another, even though there is a suggested timeline for this. I reckon that it’s going to be very difficult for fairly inexperienced characters to get through some of the challenges involved. Even the first scenario is a tough ask for starting characters. The addition of potential allies and the wild card band of riders might save the day, but I’d still be expecting my characters to have a hard time of it.

I wondered if anyone had written any other adventures that might be slotted in, to enable the characters to grow in strength and ability before playing the last few scenarios of this campaign. I’ve come up with one, but it requires a minor adjustment to the final outcome of Blood on the Snow to make it work.

It’s called Dark of the Moon and will pit the characters against the Black Warg of Methedras. It occurs between Blood on the Snow and Red Day Rising.

The minor adjustment also leaves a named character from that adventure with the potential to return as a recurring villain.

Halbarad
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Re: Expanding Oaths of the Riddermark

Post by Halbarad » Sun Dec 10, 2017 1:02 pm

Also, i’m quite surprised that ‘Thorongil’ didn’t get a mention in the campaign. He is in service to a Thengel during the proposed timeline. Any thoughts on incorporating the errantries of the King?

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Falenthal
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Re: Expanding Oaths of the Riddermark

Post by Falenthal » Sun Dec 10, 2017 5:34 pm

I'm writing a starting adventure in Rohan that was inspired by the politics presented in Horselords of Rohan.
The basic ideas are:

Thengel has been king for a short time, and he doesn't know whom to trust in his kingdom.
At the same time, the leaders of Rohan still don't know what it means to be "loyal to Rohan and his King": for some, being loyal to Rohan and to King Fengel were not compatible. To others, not being loyal to Fengel meant being a traitor to Rohan, as he was the King. And now, with an unknown Thengel on the throne, no one knows what Rohan, King and loyalty mean.

The players can be diplomats of different cultures that have arrived in Edoras to present their respects to the new king (and know what to expect of him), and are staying there for some time.

In this situation, Thengel is asked for a diplomatic intervention in a very delicate situation (I don't want to spoil it for now). As he doesn't know which of his own men and women to trust, he asks the foreigners for help: whatever they do, they won't be spoiled by his father's old politics. And also, the people from the Riddermark won't hold any grudge against them for injustices during the latest reign. They are, in this situation, at least a wild card no one will know what to expect from.

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Falenthal
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Re: Expanding Oaths of the Riddermark

Post by Falenthal » Sun Dec 10, 2017 5:58 pm

That said, I'm first of all eager to see your adventure, Halbarad. It sound really interesting.

But also, and this is just an impression, I think that Oaths is designed to be "hard". That means, I don't think it is the purpouse of the campaign that players are able to obtain all "good endings" or accomplish each and every secondary task. What I felt when reading the supplement was "the players will have to cope with many loses here". Part of what I felt was more interesting is that surely not every good guy or girl will survive, or not every neutral faction will end up being in friendly terms with Rohan.

Halbarad
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Re: Expanding Oaths of the Riddermark

Post by Halbarad » Sun Dec 10, 2017 6:50 pm

I can totally understand what you are saying Falenthal. It’s just that there is so much wonderful stuff in there that might never see the light of day due to the inability of inexperienced characters to fulfill the requirements of the campaign. I believe that there might be a high turnover of characters and that just doesn’t suit my style of play. I think that some of the challenges are almost overwhelming in the battle scenes and I am working on a few additions to Winter of Woes to try to redress the difficulty, should my characters ever reach that adventure.

I don’t think that there is enough opportunity within the scenarios, as written, to get enough Aps and Eps to make themselves strong enough by the last adventure. I suspect that Thengel’s reign might get off to a bad start in 3 out of 4 games.

There are a lot of opponents to be defeated in a very short time.


Your adventure idea sounds really interesting. A politicking adventure in Rohan for non Riders sounds like it could be great fun. Are you going to present it here, or in OM or HoF?

Dark of the Moon is pretty basic at present. It involves the delivery of blood money to a Lord of the Westfold just as the Black Warg launches a raid to replenish it’s larder and to take captives. The characters are forced to mount a rescue operation and encounter a messenger of Lugburz. It won’t (or at least it should
n’t) lead to the defeat of the Black Warg. It’s more about discovering it’s existence and looking at the reaction of the folk of Nan Curunir to a Rohirric incursion.

My alternative ending to Blood on the Snow follows. It still needs a little tidying up, but the basics are there.

Ulfúr’s underhandedness is revealed in this, along with the lengths he will go to to protect his reputation.

Spoiler alert













The character of Ulfúr does not die in the initial encounter with the Horse Eater. Instead, it was one of his followers who met their grisly end and the bloody death unmanned Ulfúr and caused most of his remaining followers to take flight. One remained behind, a young rider named Héastan.

(This Héastan is doomed to die, buying some extra time for the characters to defeat the Horse Eater. His death would also provide a direct link to my own adventure, ‘Dark of the Moon’. Use the stats for Blódred from Red Day Rising to represent Héastan.)

Having defeated the monster, the characters would be confronted by Ulfúr and his followers as they descended from it’s lair. Ulfúr intended that his reputation was not to be tarnished by his recent act of cowardice and was quite willing to murder the characters to ensure that it remained secret.

Any Dunlendings, who survived the Horse Eater, had already departed for home and were not present for this encounter.

There is a single rider for each player character, plus Ulfúr himself. None of them have sustained any damage and Ulfúr believes that the injured characters are no match for them. Ulfúr’s main failing is that he liked the sound of his own voice and thus he will confront the characters instead of simply ambushing them.

During the exchange, Ulfúr accuses the characters of being in league with the Dunlendings and that foul sorcery was employed in order to unman him and his followers. He further claims that the companions have only slain the beast now because the Dunlending ruse has been discovered.

Successful Insight Tests reveal doubt in the eyes of several of Ulfár’s followers at the proposed murder of fellow Riders. The characters must engage in a Social Encounter, aimed at convincing Ulfúr’s riders not to besmirch their honour any further.

These are the Social Encounter parameters.

Ulfúr’s followers valued Wisdom more than Valour in these particular circumstances. They realise that what Ulfúr is asking them to do is near unconscionable and it is only their loyalty to him as a friend that allows them to even consider such an unwise course of action. The base Tolerance is equal to the highest Wisdom score among the companions.

If any of the characters are not Riders of Rohan, the Tolerance level of the Encounter will be reduced by 1point. If any are Dunlendings, this will be reduced by a further point.

If any character has a Standing of 3 or more, or possesses the Kingsguard Virtue, the Tolerance Level of the Encounter is increased by 1point.

Persuade Tests are at TN12, Awe Tests are less effective as Ulfúr’s men are veteran riders who will not take kindly to perceived intimidation. Awe Tests will therefore require a Success at TN18.




A single character might seek to engage Ulfúr in a Flyting contest. This character must not be a Dunlending. For one of the Hillfolk to seek to engage in a Flyting would be regarded by Ulfúr and his men as a dreadful insult and would count as a failed test towards exceeding the Tolerance of the encounter.

To challenge Ulfúr in this manner is a dangerous ploy. Defeating him in verse will cause him to draw his sword and attack(Use the stats for Hirdan from the adventure ‘Black Horses, Black Deeds’ to represent him in this Combat). This is, in fact, the truth behind his earlier killing of a minstrel.

The duel would be to the death. However, victory at a Flyte will effectively have ended the Social Encounter and Ulfúr’s followers will react as dictated by the number of successes that have been achieved by the characters to this point.

0 Successes prior to exceeding Tolerance Level

Ulfúr’s Men decide that their interests are best served by going along with his plan. They set aside their honour and Battle is joined.

1-2 Successes prior to exceeding Tolerance Level

Ulfúr’s Men do not agree to the killing of the characters and convince him to stay his hand. They will not, however, permit the characters to take action against Ulfúr either.

3+ Successes prior to exceeding Tolerance Level

Ulfur’s men do not agree to the killing of the characters. If a duel has occurred between Ulfúr and one of the characters because of a Flyte, they will intervene only to prevent either party’s death. They claim that Ulfúr must be returned to face the King’s Justice, regardless of whether he is defeated or victorious. Each man of them is willing to testify before the King.

Thengel King will accept the testimony of the characters and of Ulfúr’s former associates. Ulfúr is ordered to pay a Weregild to the company worth 5 Points of Treasure per character. Unable to raise such a sum, he is declared Outlaw and banished from the Riddermark.

Each of his followers is likewise instructed to pay a Weregild of 5 points of Treasure each.

Héastan, it transpired, was the eldest son of a wealthy noble of Westfold and a portion of the treasure from the Grimgelad would be payable to his kin. After giving them time to recover from their injuries, the King’s Reeve requests that the characters carry it to Lord Héamarh of Bregostoc. Each of the characters is given 25 Points of Treasure from the Horse Eater’s hoard.

The events surrounding that particular task would draw the company into my adventure, ‘Dark of the Moon’.

Ulfúr would live to fight another day with a grudge in his heart.

Alternatively....

In the unlikely event that the characters have failed completely in their attempts to sway the followers of Ulfúr, Battle will be joined. It is highly likely that the characters are facing defeat. As the last of the characters slumps in their saddle they will hear the braying of a horn and the thunder of hooves as another party of riders arrives upon the scene.

When they regain consciousness, they will find that they are safely back in Edoras and are in the home of the King’s Reeve.

The other riders were Léora and her men of Harrowdale. Ulfúr had attempted to persuade her that it was the characters who had attacked his company upon their return from the Grimgelad, but Léora was no fool. She knew of this Ulfúr and though he did not realise it, she was the sister of the Minstrel whom he had killed some years earlier. That and the shame faced expressions of his followers gave the lie to his words. Léora decided that the ownership of the treasure and the cause of the fighting between the two bands of riders would be decided upon by the King in hides wisdom.

She was not surprised when Ulfúr and his allies slipped away in the night, never to be seen again.

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