TOR vs AiME, can't decide which...

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Glorelendil
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Re: TOR vs AiME, can't decide which...

Post by Glorelendil » Fri May 04, 2018 11:39 am

Yepesnopes wrote:
Fri May 04, 2018 8:13 am
Majestic wrote:
Wed May 02, 2018 10:23 pm
Two factors that should be kept in mind here: (1) 5E is, for myself, many of my friends, and many others, the best version of the game out there; the Advantage/Disadvantage mechanic is one of the most brilliant ones I've seen in ANY RPG, and is something that even now is being used by many other games (TOR included)
I am not sure I follow here. TOR was released in 2011 while D&D 5th was released in 2014. In any case could be that games like TOR influenced D&D 5th, not the otherway around.
Yeah. TOR doesn't call it "Advantage" but there are many cases where the rule is "roll two Feat die and use the best/worst."

In fact, I thought I had read somewhere that Mearles acknowledges he got this idea from TOR. Or was it just that he is known to be a fan of TOR and has said it influenced 5e, and we extrapolated from there?

Or is the whole thing extrapolated? Funny how memory works.

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Re: TOR vs AiME, can't decide which...

Post by Majestic » Mon May 07, 2018 8:53 pm

Rich H wrote:
Thu May 03, 2018 5:08 pm
Majestic wrote:
Wed May 02, 2018 10:23 pm
... the Advantage/Disadvantage mechanic is one of the most brilliant ones I've seen in ANY RPG, and is something that even now is being used by many other games (TOR included)
Perhaps as a point of interest(your comment here seems to suggest that you think 5e invented this) the advantage/disadvantage mechanic where dice are re-rolled has existed for donkeys years in lots of different systems. Interestingly, there are a lot of people that don't like it as well, which I suppose means it takes all kinds; it was one of the elements I really liked when I playtested it.
Not that 5E invented it, but it seems to be one of the first to really make this a core mechanic. It has seemed to me that 5E took some items from TOR, and now TOR seems to have dabbled in some of the 5E mechanics some. For instance, I just a couple of days ago was reading through Erebor and there was a mechanic where you rolled the Feat die twice and kept the best result.

So not suggesting this was an 'invention' of D&D 5E, but it seems to be one of the more popular features of D&D's latest edition, and I've noticed more of that in more recent TOR products than what I noticed in earlier ones.
Yepesnopes wrote:
Fri May 04, 2018 8:13 am
Majestic wrote:
Wed May 02, 2018 10:23 pm
Two factors that should be kept in mind here: (1) 5E is, for myself, many of my friends, and many others, the best version of the game out there; the Advantage/Disadvantage mechanic is one of the most brilliant ones I've seen in ANY RPG, and is something that even now is being used by many other games (TOR included)
I am not sure I follow here. TOR was released in 2011 while D&D 5th was released in 2014. In any case could be that games like TOR influenced D&D 5th, not the otherway around.
As I said above, yes, I think there has even been some acknowledgement by some of the folks involved how they appreciate the other. And not suggesting the base TOR game was influenced by 5E, but rather that many things in TOR seem to have influenced the designers of 5E (who have admitted as much), and now that appreciation has gone full circle, as I've seen small elements of TOR (more recent books) that are similar and perhaps influenced by 5E.
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Re: TOR vs AiME, can't decide which...

Post by Glorelendil » Tue May 08, 2018 1:37 am

Majestic wrote:
Mon May 07, 2018 8:53 pm
For instance, I just a couple of days ago was reading through Erebor and there was a mechanic where you rolled the Feat die twice and kept the best result.
???

Read the core rule book more closely. Examples of "Advantage" abound: Fair Shot, Hound of Mirkwood, Dalish Longbow, Spear of King Bladorthin, Helm of Awe, Lucky Armour, Feathered Armour, Stout-Hearted, Hobbit-sense...

And if you make a skill roll under the influence of a Flaw you roll twice and keep the worse result. There's even this (page 227):
If a hero was already entitled by a special ability to roll the Feat die twice and keep the best result, then the Flaw neutralises the ability and lets him roll the Feat die just once.
Tell me that's not identical to Advantage/Disadvantage. And it predates 5e by several years.
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Re: TOR vs AiME, can't decide which...

Post by Kenomica » Tue May 08, 2018 8:14 am

I struggled with this for a while too - my group, nor I, had ever played another RPG other than Hero Kids (a children's RPG I play with my son.)

When deciding, I saw lots of people saying 'TOR is better', 'AME is for 5e players who refuse anything else' etc. So I gave a decent look through of both books with my partner (who would be playing with me) and read the general rules. Overall we settled on AME. My partner especially seemed to prefer the AME rules over TOR.

I have played 0 games of TOR and 1 game of AME - so take my views with a large pinch of salt! THeses are my views on reading the core books of both.

We both agreed that we prefer the look of 5e combat (less abstract) - but I found myself drawn to the idea of not levelling up and getting more powerful and balancing for levels etc. I'm also not sure on how I feel about TOR's abstract system for money. I found AME's journey events to be much more interesting than AME's fatigue & hazard tests - though I also found the TOR version harder to understand, so my opinion isn't the most reliable.

In general, I think I like to less abstract areas of AME (combat, money, journeys etc.) but I do prefer the more gritty aspects of TOR (no HP / HP gain, No levels, etc.)

Based on this, I bought basically all the AME books and have started a campaign. I'd love to try TOR and see if it would change my mind, but I don't have the budget to buy more TOR books on top of the AME ones I already have, and there are no games near me to join. I think one hurdle, has been half the rules being in the 5e Basic rules, and the rest being in AME - since I've never played 5e before, it wasn;t something I 'just knew'

I found that in the game of AME I am DMing, when a player loses health, unless it's a BIG hit, I describe it as a glancing blow that winds them etc - so I've not found HP to be a big problem in 5e like say, in video games, where you can take 50 arrows and you're bleeding everywhere, but it's fine 'coz you have 50hp left.

Hopefully that's helped a little? I would actually love to hear more opinions on TOR vs. AME from those of you who are more experienced.

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Re: TOR vs AiME, can't decide which...

Post by Irinyir » Tue May 08, 2018 11:45 am

Kenomica wrote:
Tue May 08, 2018 8:14 am
Hopefully that's helped a little? I would actually love to hear more opinions on TOR vs. AME from those of you who are more experienced.
Thanks for your reply.

Obviously the easy answer is buy both of them, although financially I'm also in a position to only invest in one system at the moment.

Having done some more research, I've decided to try out TOR first. Mostly because a lot of people say it is probably the best Middle Earth roleplay in regards to capturing the feel, spirit and essence of Tolkien’s works. The artwork throughout all the TOR material is also beautiful and this has been another factor in my decision.

Therefore my reasons for choosing TOR at this stage are mostly for aesthetics and my love of Tolkien’s works, rather than the system itself. So although I agree that the more abstract approach to TOR is one of the reasons I have been unsure (My only previous experience is using more conventional systems) I am going to keep an open mind for now.

I will certainly give you my thoughts on TOR once I’ve tried it out.

Thanks

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Re: TOR vs AiME, can't decide which...

Post by Glorelendil » Tue May 08, 2018 12:09 pm

Kenomica wrote:
Tue May 08, 2018 8:14 am
I found myself drawn to the idea of not levelling up and getting more powerful and balancing for levels etc.
Great point. I love that TOR enables characters of greatly different "level" to adventure together. To generalize, because TOR characters don't get much tougher as they gain experience, a new character can hang with the veterans without risking insta-death. Contrast that with 5e, where a 1st level character would be in constant peril in a 6th level adventure.

(The exception is in Fatigue and Corruption checks: fellowships venturing into darker lands will face more frequent rolls with higher TNs.)

On the other hand, if one thing you love about RPGs is the adrenaline shot of power boosts, you don't see as many of those in TOR.
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Re: TOR vs AiME, can't decide which...

Post by Majestic » Wed May 09, 2018 7:43 pm

Glorelendil wrote:
Tue May 08, 2018 1:37 am
Majestic wrote:
Mon May 07, 2018 8:53 pm
For instance, I just a couple of days ago was reading through Erebor and there was a mechanic where you rolled the Feat die twice and kept the best result.
???

Read the core rule book more closely. Examples of "Advantage" abound: Fair Shot, Hound of Mirkwood, Dalish Longbow, Spear of King Bladorthin, Helm of Awe, Lucky Armour, Feathered Armour, Stout-Hearted, Hobbit-sense...

And if you make a skill roll under the influence of a Flaw you roll twice and keep the worse result. There's even this (page 227):
If a hero was already entitled by a special ability to roll the Feat die twice and keep the best result, then the Flaw neutralises the ability and lets him roll the Feat die just once.
Tell me that's not identical to Advantage/Disadvantage. And it predates 5e by several years.
Absolutely. And I was aware of some of those from the original rules (though I did not realize until you listed so many that there were so many!).
Adventure Summaries for my long-running group (currently playing through The Darkening of Mirkwood/Mirkwood Campaign), and the Tale of Years for a second, lower-level group (in the same campaign).

Irinyir
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Re: TOR vs AiME, can't decide which...

Post by Irinyir » Thu May 10, 2018 11:03 am

Can anyone also advised as to what is the best campaign/supplement book to start with after completing The Marsh Bell introductory adventure? And if there is any particular order to the other books?

Thanks

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Re: TOR vs AiME, can't decide which...

Post by Falenthal » Thu May 10, 2018 11:56 am

Irinyir wrote:
Thu May 10, 2018 11:03 am
Can anyone also advised as to what is the best campaign/supplement book to start with after completing The Marsh Bell introductory adventure? And if there is any particular order to the other books?

Thanks
Tales from Wilderland, without doubt. The adventures are fully detailed, and the mood is purely Tolkien. They also have a background story of their own and can be run without further work from the Loremaster.

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Re: TOR vs AiME, can't decide which...

Post by Elmoth » Thu May 10, 2018 3:32 pm

Just in case it might be useful to the discussion, this was posted by John White in the G+ AIME Community. A review of his experience playing AIME compared to regular D&D.
Just finished our campaign. Homebrew adventures. PCs were 9th level for last game. They foiled a plot by Allatar the Blue to release Melkor from his void prison below the Withered Heath.

A few comments:

Cubicle 7 successfully brings Middle Earth to 5e. Classes and cultures are distinct and nicely flavored. Balanced? That depends on your campaign. We have numerous combat encounters. The Scholar class was very weak for us.

The journey mechanic is fun. But at higher skill and proficiency bonus levels, it is not quite as challenging. As the PCs advanced in level, I began using the journey events and arrival mechanics more loosely to fit the campaign narrative.

At high levels, PCs -especially the weapon master warrior - dish out a lot of damage. Almost auto hits due to various advantage conditions and 5e’s lower AC’s.

The PCs took down an adult white dragon in two rounds. Of course one PC did die.

The also fled (and later killed) a balrog (D&D balor) and killed Melkor (a Lich). Three PCs down - last man standing revived two comrades. The third was very dead. Combat with the lich would have been tougher if it had lackeys in support.

AiME does not have enough monsters. I do like the Lore Master’s Guide features for modifying monsters and terrain. Lots of orc encounters, but they all felt different.

We treated heirloom weapons as magic weapons. Other than that, the setting is low magic. Fun for a while, but I think my group began to miss the free wheeling spell casting of D&D.

Shadow points are cool - but severely punishing. A miserable PC is almost unplayable.

Overall, depending on your group’s style of play, I highly recommend Adventures in Middle Earth. At least for a shorter campaign. No magic, no long rest in the wild, Shadow points - all make this is a challenging almost unforgiving setting. On the other hand, PCs become quite formidable themselves.

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