An Introductory Adventure

Adventure in the world of J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings. Learn more at our website: http://www.cubicle7.co.uk/our-games/the-one-ring/
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zedturtle
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Re: An Introductory Adventure

Post by zedturtle » Tue Aug 04, 2015 8:39 pm

Thanks for the kind words, all. Ironically, that version hasn't been posted yet and I'm actually going to tweak things again (thus proving Majestic right). I'm going to continue to move my 'fan-house style' in a different direction from the official products (while it's fun to try and match, I don't want confusion). Plus, having run the beast in its home environment (a Con, and in the preferred length of time, and with the target players {i.e. brand-new to the game}), I'm going to try and make things better.

First off, some acknowledgements... I added some stuff to the games that I ran this weekend based on excellent feedback from others who had run the game. Torbald now officially has prize-winning jams, but that's all barefoottourguide and not really me.

What follows is going to be a recitation/analysis of the two games that I ran. My memory is not perfect, and I know that several people that I played with are active on the forum. If you're reading one of the following posts and I got something wrong or misrembered, please let me know.

Without further ado, I shall make two posts, one for each game, immediately following this one:
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zedturtle
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Re: An Introductory Adventure

Post by zedturtle » Tue Aug 04, 2015 9:15 pm

Friday Afternoon:

I had originally hoped to get in on Wednesday, or early Thursday, but I actually arrived in the wee hours of Friday morning. I slept for a few scant hours and then took the shuttle into the con. I spent some time walking the exhibit floor and hanging out at the C7 booth. Then I headed over to the JW and got to my room early.

Before I had left, I had packed up a bunch of stuff... stance cards, extra bags of dice (one Feat Die and four Success Dice, since no one had a skill higher than 3), separate character sheets, little stands for people to write their names on, lots of pencils, etc. (This will become more relevant when I get to Saturday's game).

Once everyone (6 players, I believe) had picked out characters we got started. I had the map out and pointed out Stonyford and explained a bit about the Festival. We talked a little bit about the basic process of the game and then I launched right into Torbald's greeting and explanation of the first Trials. The first Trial (Stage of the Nobles) went exceptionally poorly since I had a really hard time thinking on my feet (it did prompt a better way for Saturday's game). The rest of the Trials that day went better, with the Torch Race being the highlight. By the end of the first night I think most everyone was onboard with rolling skills, counting Great and Extraordinary successes and recording APs.

We then talked a little about money and Treasure and Standard of Living as the heroes figured out sleeping arrangements. I don't recall the heroes getting up to too much during the night and then we launched into the second day. Mean Shurack went over well, and I remember the hobbit having some time to shine as well.

When the Sickle was stolen, the table split up almost seamlessly... we had two people (Radegund and Walfred) sneak into the Marshall's tent, two people interrogate Rathwulf, and two others interrogated Ethal. Despite Egil's social errors, they fairly easily resolved that Rathwulf was guilty, that Torbald was innocent (but upset at Radegund, and missing some of his jams), and that Ethal was okay. However, they never directly accused Rathwulf of betraying his people, and thus never got him to confess. Ava detained them briefly, but some good social rolls got them released that night. They elected to track the thieves directly (having no idea where they were going) and caught up to them with a flurry of successful rolls. They snuck up on them (Walfred again proving his worth) and were able to learn that some were thralls.

However, they misjudged the situation and thought that thralls would surrender immediately (not knowing Viglund's motivating tactics). A barely successful ambush later, they had Cenric but no thralls. He wasn't carrying the Sickle (because the game time was only half over :) ), so they had to go the Old Ford and talk to Maracar the Bald in order to learn that they had indeed crossed over. Fortunately, Cenric had slowed them down so that the thieves again had some Lead. But another successful series of rolls had them catch up again.

Radegund snuck up on them, and learned that someone (Guthred aka Jarn) had joined them. She also was able to explain to the company why the thralls would not surrender, which was very useful as they planned things out. Combat was soon joined and was a relatively easy combat. I don't remember anyone getting hit enough to go unconscious and Guthred was soon dealt with. The thralls were taken alive, but unconscious, with the hope that the rumor that the entire expedition had been a failure enough to keep their families safe. They then went to Beorn's house and had an Encounter with the Bear Lord. In the end, he presented the Sickle to Egil to use, as long as Egil remained at the Old Ford and provided his smithy services to the guards there.

We then had sufficient time to go into a mini Fellowship Phase where we talked about the Advancement Points that had been earned over the course of the adventure would be used and everyone got 4 XP (enough to upgrade something on their character sheet).

(The report on Saturday will come later, time management has yet again caught up to me)
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mirkwoodfalcon
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Re: An Introductory Adventure

Post by mirkwoodfalcon » Wed Aug 05, 2015 1:35 am

zedturtle wrote: Despite Egil's social errors, they fairly easily resolved that Rathwulf was guilty, that Torbald was innocent (but upset at Radegund, and missing some of his jams), and that Ethal was okay. However, they never directly accused Rathwulf of betraying his people, and thus never got him to confess.
Ah! I knew we forgot to do something! :lol:
zedturtle wrote: They elected to track the thieves directly (having no idea where they were going) and caught up to them with a flurry of successful rolls
I believe we had some idea, since Norin (the character I played) had used awareness to spot the four (3 slaves + Cenric) in the distance and knew which direction they were headed, but the successful travel rolls were certainly helpful. :)
zedturtle wrote: We then had sufficient time to go into a mini Fellowship Phase where we talked about the Advancement Points that had been earned over the course of the adventure would be used and everyone got 4 XP (enough to upgrade something on their character sheet).

(The report on Saturday will come later, time management has yet again caught up to me)
Can't wait to read the other report, I'm very interested in how the other groups handled the adventure! Thanks again for running it. I'd also be interested in reading a report on Dead of Winter, if you're willing to spoil the details of that module for us.
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zedturtle
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Re: An Introductory Adventure

Post by zedturtle » Wed Aug 05, 2015 1:59 am

mirkwoodfalcon wrote:I believe we had some idea, since Norin (the character I played) had used awareness to spot the four (3 slaves + Cenric) in the distance and knew which direction they were headed, but the successful travel rolls were certainly helpful. :)
Oh yes, y'all had tracked them down with great success originally. And y'all had a definite idea about them going back to Viglund. It was just the specific route that was in doubt.
Can't wait to read the other report, I'm very interested in how the other groups handled the adventure! Thanks again for running it. I'd also be interested in reading a report on Dead of Winter, if you're willing to spoil the details of that module for us.
Good deal. Saturday will appear momentarily, if I can keep up the stamina for it. Sunday's game will also be analyzed... maybe not here, maybe so. In any case I will link to it.
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zedturtle
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Re: An Introductory Adventure

Post by zedturtle » Wed Aug 05, 2015 2:45 am

Saturday Afternoon:

I had a very early day Saturday, and my packing job somehow involved me moving the separate character sheets for this day's game around the hotel room but never actually getting them into the backpack. That, and a last minute decision to get something else for my daughter meant I was running "on-time" which was effectively late for the Saturday game.

I then made a poor decision... I had all of my ticketed players and some others who wanted to play using generic tickets. In previous games this had occurred and for the most part it had worked out. But I went ahead and allowed eight players in to the game. So every character was in play, and the table was very full.

The scene opens again on Stonyford after a bit of rules explanation and folding and tearing to make the character sheets separate. This time they are greeted by Willifred and asked about arrangements up front, as they have arrived beforehand. This allows us to talk about Standard of Living. The well off characters rent out a house, the elf Luthwen and Biarnor camp out, I think Dhuoda hung out with her friends rather than visit her parents and Radegund snuck into Ava's house. Hartwulf is heard, but not seen by our disappearing woodwoman.

The next day starts with the opening of the festival. This time Torbald is a bit more boisterous, calling out the names of the Trials. We cover the various areas as we talk about the Trials. We then launch into Stage of the Nobles and I do something different than the previous time... each success gets a character a card from Hobbit Tales. You have to use at least one Card in your narration of each round, so those with Great or Extraordinary Success have more options. The other games proceed apace, but the big table means that I end having to ask certain players (those who have won a trial) to recuse themselves, which is no fun for me or them. Luthwen wins the Torch Race, narrowly edging Dhuoda out.

That night Radegund sneaks back into Ava's house and finds some money. I'm not sure whether or not she got any Shadow or not, but I know we talked about it. The next day is a flurry of activity, but the Riddle game is the only one not won by a hero. Maybe I need to tweak the LMCs and make them even better. It's time to present the Sickle but it's been stolen!

The heroes didn't as evenly break out as they did on the Friday game, but we end up with a few people talking to each of the three... Torbald is healed without upsetting him this time, and he mentions the word 'Falrock' when asked directly if he heard anything. Rathwulf is still reluctant to talk, and heroes don't force things too much with him. However, the encounter with Ava goes poorly. Very poorly. I'm not even sure exactly how things got so bad, but (Eye of Sauron fail on a social roll) they end up being kicked out of Stonyford at swordpoint and told not to come back without the Sickle.

They elect to take it easy and not try to chase the thieves, since they know exactly where they're going. Ethal (from the Encounter) and Maracar (at the Ford) are able to help them know that some of the thieves are thralls. Once they reach the Falrock, they move onto the rocks after a discussion of both Hobbit and Dwarf tossing. Then Radegund and Walfred sneak to the big rock and with fantastic results get into the thieves camp and start searching the tent and pavilion. Not finding the Sickle, the rest of the heroes cross over and decide to confront the thieves directly. They can't get Guthred to surrender and combat ensues. During this entire time Walfred and Radegund are still hidden. I explain the rules on ambushes to them, and that when they pop out they'll act out of initiative (the thieves hold the initiative, as they're defending the ruined fort).

With the thieves acting first, the heroes are hard pressed (due to the eight players, there are four thralls, Cenric and Guthred. But since two heroes are hidden it is six versus six. And we have archers to consider as well.). Dhuoda is hurt badly. So Walfred and Radegund pop out of hiding, but decide not to attack. Instead it is time for Rally Comrades! So we now have a surprise singing and dancing group. The next round, Nórin joins into the act. After a hard fight, Guthred is dispatched and Cenric tries to escape, but Nórin's broken spells of prohibition have been cast on the stone bridge to the north shore... he is caught. He offers to "forget" everything for a modest fee, but the heroes are having none of it.

The debate is less certain this time, but eventually the heroes decide to report to Beorn and ask for his aid in helping the thralls and their families. They manage to get Beorn more or less on their side, but the Sickle remains with him. We talk a bit about the Fellowship Phase, but with the large table we've not been good at tracking APs, and our time is up.

So I learned some very useful things from both runs... some unique to cons, some not. I really regret doing the overfull table on this day, but its hard to say no... one of the generic ticket holders told me during a break that this game wasn't just the first time she'd played The One Ring, but the first time she'd ever played a roleplaying game. So I guess learning experience for me as well.

A summary of the learning opportunities and tweaks will probably have to wait till tomorrow.
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Re: An Introductory Adventure

Post by Majestic » Thu Aug 06, 2015 8:13 pm

Thanks so much for the detailed synopses, zed. It sounds like you did an outstanding job juggling quite a few players, made all the more difficult by lack of sleep. Well done!
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zedturtle
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Re: An Introductory Adventure

Post by zedturtle » Thu Aug 06, 2015 9:34 pm

For those who are interested, the first part of Dead/Heart of Winter is here. Cross-forum warning, spoiler warning, and analysis warning.

I hope to get the second part up soon but life is getting in the way now.
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zedturtle
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Re: An Introductory Adventure

Post by zedturtle » Sat Aug 08, 2015 2:02 am

The second part is up, right below the first part. Hopefully it will be instructive or amusing in some way. (Again, spoilers.)
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gazery
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Re: An Introductory Adventure

Post by gazery » Thu Aug 27, 2015 10:50 pm

Sorry, new to this and clearly late to the party. Just finished reading through this thread and the adventure looks fantastic. I was just wondering/hoping/wishing/praying if you had managed to finish this and if you are able to post it?

Once again excellent work Zed, you have clearly put a lot of effort into this.

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zedturtle
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Re: An Introductory Adventure

Post by zedturtle » Thu Aug 27, 2015 11:18 pm

gazery wrote:Sorry, new to this and clearly late to the party. Just finished reading through this thread and the adventure looks fantastic. I was just wondering/hoping/wishing/praying if you had managed to finish this and if you are able to post it?

Once again excellent work Zed, you have clearly put a lot of effort into this.
Thank you! I'm hoping to have a new version of the adventure ready to post in the next few days... it's not going to be drastically different from the previous versions in terms of content, but will have a single unified presentation (in other words, there won't be a need for a separate low-colour version, instead certain layers won't (normally) print and it will be ink-saving that way.
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