[Adventure] Building The Heart of Winter

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/
Blubbo Baggins
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Re: [Adventure] Building The Heart of Winter

Post by Blubbo Baggins » Mon Apr 25, 2016 11:02 pm

Yes, my question was real, I was curious to know if your players were getting miserable due to Hope and Shadow. (Not due to some other affect).

Makes sense that Darkening would have that happening more often.

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zedturtle
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Re: [Adventure] Building The Heart of Winter

Post by zedturtle » Sat May 28, 2016 3:41 pm

Okay, been swamped with some other stuff, but didn't want to leave this entirely fallow. The next section deals with a situation that's always tricky in roleplaying games... times when the agency of the player heroes gets impinged upon by outside events. In a story, barely escaping a no-win scenario can be an exciting piece of drama, but in a game it can be an exercise in frustration, as heroes choose to fight to the bitter end (refusing to board the 'train' that they see as a railroad to a certain plotpoint) or otherwise conclude that there has to be a certain action that will make everything right.

So I have to approach 'The Patrol' carefully; I might even make it into two sections... one is the result if the heroes aren't present and the other is a much more dynamic situation that occurs if they are present.

In other The Heart of Winter news, I was recently reminded of Michebugio's fun little encounter that I had promised would be included in THoW (urggh... that doesn't abbreviate in a non-confusing manner, does it?). It will definitely be included as a Hazard suggestion.
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barefoottourguide
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Re: [Adventure] Building The Heart of Winter

Post by barefoottourguide » Sun May 29, 2016 12:10 am

Zed, love what I am reading. Agreed about shadow points. They are also a measure of sanity. Eitnessing harrowing events eats away at that.
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Read my campaign's journal entries at https://the-company-of-the-whiskey-drin ... ortal.com/

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zedturtle
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Re: [Adventure] Building The Heart of Winter

Post by zedturtle » Sun May 29, 2016 1:47 am

barefoottourguide wrote:Zed, love what I am reading. Agreed about shadow points. They are also a measure of sanity. Eitnessing harrowing events eats away at that.
garrett
Awesome. Thanks for the great feedback!
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zedturtle
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Re: [Adventure] Building The Heart of Winter

Post by zedturtle » Sat Jun 04, 2016 4:28 pm

Chapter 8: The Patrol

This section depends heavily on how the heroes have proceeded. If they did not go to the North Ford, it's a pretty standard (if a bit gruesome) fixed event on the Journey to Black Tom's. But if they did go to the North Ford, then there's a decent chance that they're part of the force that comes under attack! And that's the tricky bit that I've been tip-toeing around for a little while: how to handle an overwhelming attack... player-heroes have a tendency to fight to the death, instead of retreating.
  • Marching to Black Tom's

    Trahearn divides the recruits into two forces: a patrol, commanded by Swín, and a personal guard, commanded by Guthwin. If the heroes did well in their interview, they accompany Guthwin, Trahearn and Viglar on a direct route to Black Tom's stead. This requires four days and two TN 18 Fatigue tests. Heroes gain one point of Fatigue even on a successful test, due to the extreme weather. Proceed from here to Chapter 6, Black Tom's Stead. Note, however, that the heroes will have a chance to discover the Fate of the Patrol (see below).

    If they are assigned to Swín, they will either be greeted as equals to the other fighting men, or as barely acceptable mercenaries. In either case, the patrol takes a wending route to a campsite near to Black Tom's steading. Swín is careful to let as many folk of the Sceadudene see the Viglunding patrol as he can and he orders the banner of Viglund (a red boar rampant on a black field) struck whenever the patrol makes camp.

    However, he is loathe to actually become involved in any problems the men encounter... he has a timetable to keep. The journey to the campsite will require nine days and three TN 18 Fatigue Tests. If the heroes are poorly regarded, these tests are instead TN 20 as they are often asked to scout ahead during the day or pull extra watches at night. Even successful Fatigue tests gain the heroes 1 Fatigue point, due to the terrible winter they travel through.

    A Dark Night
    Use this section if the heroes were assigned to the patrol force by Viglar and Trahearn...

    Once the patrol reaches the campsite near to Black Tom, Swín orders the men to be careful... they are to be discreet, lighting no fires, nor giving any other sign to their position. But that night (for once they are not on watch), the heroes awaken to the screams of dying men!

    [INSET]
    Viglar's Plan

    The plan of Viglund's son was simple... send messages to the orcs of the Misty Mountains through his tame goblin Saviga that they should attack Black Tom's stead this winter, when it would be weakened by the weather (it's Trahearn's business about the weather and Viglar understands little about how the old man would know that the winter would be this bad, or that it would let up on the night of the new moon). When the orcs attacked, the patrol would come to the rescue of the stead, proving to Black Tom that he needed the protection of the Viglundings.

    But the Shadow is oft treacherous, and Saviga is both clever and sneaky. The orcs know of the full plan and have decided to destroy the patrol so that victory at the steading is assured...
    [/INSET]

    The heroes will have only a few moments to make themselves ready for battle (the Loremaster might elect to make the battle more challenging by specifying that the heroes are without their armour). Emerging into the pitch-black night, each hero is assaulted by an Orc Guard. The heroes do have Initiative but there is no time for Opening Volleys. The darkness and cold means that the heroes find themselves Severely Hindered for all rolls.

    After the first and each additional round of combat, roll a Feat Die. If you receive a numerical result, add the number of foes defeated this round and then consult the following table:

    <EYE>: Add one more Orc Guard for every two heroes.
    6-10+: Add one more Goblin Scout for every two heroes.
    2-5: Add one more Orc Soldier for every two heroes.
    1: Add a Great Orc.
    <GANDALF>: Add no foes this round.

    Despite whatever success the heroes find, the rest of the camp is being cut down around them. The Loremaster might encourage heroes to Escape Combat... Black Tom's stead is only a couple of miles away and they will not be missed in the confusion and darkness. Heroes that do so will need to make a TN 14 Corruption Test as they realise that their comrades are being killed as they flee.

    If the heroes fight to the bitter end, it is likely that they will fall to the horde of orcs. Any such defeated heroes are left for dead (the orcs are lazy and disorganised) and wake up the next morning, surrounded by death but still alive. It is likely that they will want to report to Viglar and Trahearn, who are at Black Tom's stead only a couple of miles away.

    Blood on the Snow
    Use this section if the heroes are travelling from other places to Black Tom's stead, or if they have been ordered by Viglar or Trahearn to check in on the patrol.

    As the heroes grow close to a defile south of Black Tom's stead, one of the Look-outs will notice a trail of red in the white snow that blankets the land of the Sceadudene. Following the trail leads the heroes to a gruesome sight... a large number of men killed by orcs in their camp. There are a few orcish bodies about, but it's clear to anyone with experience in battle affairs that the men were surprised.

    Heroes that Search the bodies or Riddle the scene will learn that the men were Viglundings and armed as if expecting conflict. But a number of them are not wearing any armour and it can be reasoned that the orcs attacked at night and that Vigludings were not being cautious in their camp or would have been more successful in defending against the attack.
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zedturtle
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Re: [Adventure] Building The Heart of Winter

Post by zedturtle » Sat Aug 13, 2016 2:13 am

Alright, Gen Con is done and it's time to get back in the saddle (or maybe that's out of the saddle) and get back to this thing.

Let's do a bit of organisation, just for clarity. Drafted means that I've posted here, everything has some measure or write-up in the original notebook:

Chapter 1: A Winter Visitor (Beorn's House) - drafted
Chapter 2: Warm and Cozy Lodgings (The Easterly Inn) - drafted
Chapter 3: Crossings of the Anduin (Journey) - drafted
Chapter 4: Danger at the Falrock (Combat) - drafted
Chapter 5: Old Mab (Encounter, Rushdown Forest, Combat) - drafted
Chapter 6: Black Tom's Steading - mapped, needs write-up. Maybe needs to move?
Chapter 7: The North Ford (skill test, Encounter) - drafted
Chapter 8: The Patrol (Journey, Combat, skill test) - drafted
Chapter 9: Trolls at the Mill (Encounter) - needs final draft
Chapter 10: The Battle of the Steading - needs final draft
Chapter 11: Hírilhim (Journey, skill test, maybe Combat?) - needs final draft
Chapter 12: Epilogue (wrapping up the adventure) - needs final draft

Do folks think that Chapter 6 needs to be broken apart? I'm going to try and simplify the number of characters, in order to make the story tighter and easier to understand.
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zedturtle
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Re: [Adventure] Building The Heart of Winter

Post by zedturtle » Sat Aug 13, 2016 2:14 am

And here's the map for Black Tom's Steading, which we will be looking at soonish:

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zedturtle
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Re: [Adventure] Building The Heart of Winter

Post by zedturtle » Sat Aug 13, 2016 3:03 pm

Okay, so we probably need to build a box-out to list everyone at the steading. Here goes:
  • The Folk of Black Tom's Steading:

    Tomas - Known as Black Tom, the master of the steading is approaching sixty winters and more of his course black hair has turned grey than he'd like to admit. He is strong and confident, the sort of man who listens well and then speaks just a few words that nevertheless show great insight.

    Gothwina - The wife of Black Tom and mistress of the Steading. While Tom is the master of the fields and the mill, Gothwina is in charge of both garden and livestock. She is kind, but has severe words for any who shirk their duties.

    Godelina - The only living child of Tomas and Gothwina, her twin brother Turstan died when they were children. She is reclusive and reluctant to talk to strangers. She accepts her father's wisdom that she must marry for the future of the family's holdings but has found little to appeal to her in the current crop of suitors.

    Turbert - The foreman of Black Tom's farmhands and the only one who has stayed the winter in the Steading. Joining him is his wife Britheva, and their sons Theabul and Theobold.

    Britheva - She often assists Gothwina with the livestock, but she was once a sword-maiden and renowned for her valour. For this reason, Black Tom may ask for her counsel if the steading comes under attack.

    Theabul and Theobold - Theabul, seven-years-old, and Theobold, nine-years-old, often serve as messengers and porters at the farmstead. Theabul, despite his father's warnings, has formed a friendship with Edwin and Edgar.

    Edwin and Edgar - These are two trolls, brothers, who were caught several seasons ago by Black Tom. Their primary job is to turn the millstone and thus they are often resting after a wearying amount of work recently. Edwin is more wise than Edgar, and more happy with his situation... he sometimes thinks about eating Theabul, but the boy is nice and needs fattening up anyways. Edgar is more likely to do something rash, but right now the troll-grog and the coldness outside the barn (Area Y) where they live have kept him in check.

    Iorwerth - This trader of the Sceadudene has been here all winter; he's the last of Godelina's suitors, and the only one who has not given up on her yet (except for Viglar, who is a recent arrival). His bride-gift to her is spectacular, and is on display in the Children's Hall (Area M).
Of course, if the heroes did not come with Viglar, then Viglar, Trahearn, Guthwin, and Alchred are here as well. So that will be four or more people to keep track of. At least it's simpler... got rid of a couple folks.
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Zulgolra
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Re: [Adventure] Building The Heart of Winter

Post by Zulgolra » Sat Aug 13, 2016 4:22 pm

I was really hoping you would go back to work on this adventure! I liked it very much so far (like your "Theft of the Moon") and see a lot of potential in this one. If you get done, writing it all up "The heart of the Winter" will be an awesome "mid-range" adventure (meaning for chars and players who played one or two "beginner-adventures"), that does not have to fear beeing judged in comparison to the "offical" adventures!

So i just wanted to say: great work you have done so far and go on further!

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zedturtle
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Re: [Adventure] Building The Heart of Winter

Post by zedturtle » Sat Aug 13, 2016 6:52 pm

Zulgolra wrote:I was really hoping you would go back to work on this adventure! I liked it very much so far (like your "Theft of the Moon") and see a lot of potential in this one. If you get done, writing it all up "The heart of the Winter" will be an awesome "mid-range" adventure (meaning for chars and players who played one or two "beginner-adventures"), that does not have to fear beeing judged in comparison to the "offical" adventures!

So i just wanted to say: great work you have done so far and go on further!
Thanks!

Circumstances mean that I'm getting this done a lot later than I wanted, but it will get done.
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