Firsttime TOR Loremaster asking for Marsh Bell Oneshot Advice

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Thormgrim
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Firsttime TOR Loremaster asking for Marsh Bell Oneshot Advice

Post by Thormgrim » Sun Jan 14, 2018 8:43 pm

Hello there,
I'm currently preparing a TOR - The Marsh Bell Oneshot with 4 Players.
3 of my Players have little to no experience with Pen and Paper, the 4th has already played TOR with me one time on a Convention (We both were Players).

So I've got 3 questions:
1.
Its my first time using the TOR System, has anyone got experience running the Marsh Bell? Especially with partly inexperienced players and can tell me what Length of a Session I should plan on / can expect?

I have already added atleast 1 hour of Introduction and Explanation of the Core Mechanics and choosing of their pregenerated Characters.

2.
I havent really found indications on recommended Strength level for Enemies for a new Companionship.
(I will have 4 Players) and I'd like to avoid pressuring them too hard from the get go, since some of them have never played P&P before.

3.
I am unsure if I get the Journey Rules / Endurance vs Encumbrance & Fatique right.
As I understand the Character starts with a Fatique Rating equal to all the War-Gear's Encumbrance.
(For example Beran of the Mountains starts with 28 Endurance and 14 Fatique)

When a Character then fails an Fatique Test, he adds the whole War-Gear's encumbrance + Travelgear encumbrance on top of the "base" Fatique?
(In the example Beran travelling in Spring [Travelgear=3 encumbrance] would add 17 Fatique to his 14 and would instantly be Weary because his Endurance is below his Fatique and he wasnt even in a Fight yet)

Is this correct?
If yes, the recovery of Fatique seems really harsh (Only being recoverable 1 Fatique per Night and only while not travelling the Wilds).

Am I reading something wrong or are the Journey Rules just that harsh?
I have the fear of the whole Adventure being bogged down by 1 Companion failing his test and being forever Weary since he wont be able to reduce his fatique without returning to a Village or something like that.

Thanks in advance =)
Last edited by Thormgrim on Mon Jan 15, 2018 7:11 am, edited 1 time in total.

Butterfingers
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Re: Firsttime TER Loremaster asking for Marsh Bell Oneshot Advice

Post by Butterfingers » Sun Jan 14, 2018 10:44 pm

Oh no, that's incorrect. Your starting fatigue is equal to your war gear enc, and whenever you fail a travel check, you add an amout of fatigue which is equal to your travel gear (and only that).

Otaku-sempai
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Re: Firsttime TER Loremaster asking for Marsh Bell Oneshot Advice

Post by Otaku-sempai » Mon Jan 15, 2018 12:26 am

TER? Okay, you've raised my curiosity. Is your copy of The One Ring in a language other than English? How does the title read in your language?
"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."

Glorelendil
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Re: Firsttime TER Loremaster asking for Marsh Bell Oneshot Advice

Post by Glorelendil » Mon Jan 15, 2018 3:18 am

Butterfingers wrote:
Sun Jan 14, 2018 10:44 pm
Oh no, that's incorrect. Your starting fatigue is equal to your war gear enc, and whenever you fail a travel check, you add an amout of fatigue which is equal to your travel gear (and only that).
Butterfingers is correct. There's often confusion about this. To (maybe) clarify:
Your war gear encumbrance is used only for your base Fatigue. Fatigue cannot go below this number.
Your traveling gear encumbrance is used only for Fatigue gains due to failing Fatigue (Travel) checks.
The Munchkin Formerly Known as Elfcrusher
Journey Computer | Combat Simulator | Bestiary | Weapon Calculator

Thormgrim
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Re: Firsttime TOR Loremaster asking for Marsh Bell Oneshot Advice

Post by Thormgrim » Mon Jan 15, 2018 7:11 am

Ah okay that clears it up alot xD
Adding only the travelgear as fatique seems alot more sensible =)
That answers my third question thanks alot =)

@Otaku-sempai, its indeed in english .... I'm from germany though and it would pronounce DER here "Der Eine Ring", guess I mixed the two... fixed it now xD

Anyone got experience / advice regardig Question 1 and 2 in the topic?

Thanks in advance =)

NIÑO
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Re: Firsttime TOR Loremaster asking for Marsh Bell Oneshot Advice

Post by NIÑO » Mon Jan 15, 2018 7:48 am

Hiyas!

I've run The Marsh Bell several times and my experience has been that it's usually better to divide it in 2 parts/sessions, (of course the first session includes rules explanation and setting questions) the first part ending when/if they battle the lurking Troll.

About lethality:
I've had one party absolutely obliterate the Troll in about 2 rounds (a Slayer Dwarf, none other) and then suffer intenselly at the hands of the killer grass!

Also, another party was overrun by the Dwellers.

So, all I can tell you is, be aware of their Health and fighting skills (and adjudicate accordingly), especially defense.

All in all, all players thought it was a very kwl scenario, loathed their time in the Long Marshes and dreaded going back.

HtH
Ñ

Otaku-sempai
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Re: Firsttime TOR Loremaster asking for Marsh Bell Oneshot Advice

Post by Otaku-sempai » Mon Jan 15, 2018 8:08 am

Thormgrim wrote:
Mon Jan 15, 2018 7:11 am
Otaku-sempai, its indeed in english .... I'm from germany though and it would pronounce DER here "Der Eine Ring", guess I mixed the two... fixed it now xD
I see! that would explain it--not that it was a problem that needed fixing! ;)
Last edited by Otaku-sempai on Mon Jan 15, 2018 7:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.
"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."

Butterfingers
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Re: Firsttime TOR Loremaster asking for Marsh Bell Oneshot Advice

Post by Butterfingers » Mon Jan 15, 2018 10:32 am

We played the Marsh-bell adventure, and how long it takes time depends pretty much how much time and detail you want to invest in the travel & search side of it. You can lavish a lot of narrative and details for it, or concentrate it into some dice rolls etc. Or something in between. Also, if your group doesn't notice the elves, you can get to skip one encounter...

As for combat difficulty, our group of companions had much harder time with the marsh-dwellers than the troll, simply because of numbers. We had three companions. They could pretty easily deal with a single troll, but once the advantage of numbers is with the enemy, things get a bit more tricky, even if the enemies arent' as formidable as individuals. The dynamics of combat change a lot.

As I recall, they adventure has a recommendation of X number of enemies per every companion, I'd run with that or reduce by one, if you have cause to suspect the companions aren't able to handle it? The troll episode might give you a clue of what to expect.

Also, dice luck can have a big effect in combat with rookie companions, be sure to emphasize that they do have hope, both fellowship and individual, and possibly extra combat bonus dice. Don't let them forget these.

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Earendil
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Re: Firsttime TOR Loremaster asking for Marsh Bell Oneshot Advice

Post by Earendil » Mon Jan 15, 2018 11:40 am

If you're planning to just do a one-off and won't be continuing it as a campaign, you'll find that the characters have far too much Hope (no reason to hold onto it, so they'll spend it like water). I recommend dividing each character's starting Hope by 3, rounding up.

If you have the Lake-Town book, it might be worth swapping the Troll for a Marsh-Ogre, but it's not necessary at all. I would try to include the elves if your players are Tolkien fans; my players found it hilarious when they found out who Galion was and why he was doing this relatively crappy job!

TOR is unusual compared to most RPGs, but having players who have little RPG experience can actually help. My group, with many years' experience of various systems, found it quite difficult to wrap their heads around how different it is; your players will have a lot less to unlearn! But make sure they have a good grasp on when they might want to ask to make rolls and how they can narrate the results of their successes.

Make sure you (and, ideally, your players) clearly understand how Encounters work, and that combat stances are more about how you're fighting than where you are (words like "forward" can be misleading). Don't be afraid to give them advice regarding the rules, but don't let the rules take over either. All that really matters is that everyone should have fun telling a story in Middle-Earth.
Aiya Eärendil Elenion Ancalima!

... but you can call me Mark.

Thormgrim
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Re: Firsttime TOR Loremaster asking for Marsh Bell Oneshot Advice

Post by Thormgrim » Mon Jan 15, 2018 11:50 am

Thanks for all the feedback =)
I'll let incorporate that into my planning of the adventure =)

Another minor Question, for a Group of 4 , what would you recommend as an introductory Combat Encounter on their way to Esgaroth?
I thought of maybe 4-6 Wild Wolves depending which pregen Characters they choose.
Or should I go with a group of Hill-Men ?

Thanks again =)

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