[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/
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zedturtle
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Re: [Adventure] Building The Heart of Winter

Post by zedturtle » Sat Aug 13, 2016 9:00 pm

Alright, we also need to know a little bit more about the Vigludings. Of course, the heroes might (if they went to the North Ford and were lucky there) be travelling with them. Or they might walk into an already established situation (which is what has happened in playtests and is fun in and of itself).
  • Viglar - The son of Viglund, who favours drink and deceit over bravery. But his father (see Viglund's Plan, page XX) has convinced him that this plan is for the best and he is trying to present himself as a suitor for Godelina's hand. He's not doing very well, and if it weren't for Trahearn, he'd probably fail abjectly. But he has his own plan for ensuring Black Tom's cooperation (see Part* 8: The Patrol for more information).

    Trahearn - An older man with grey hair and beard, he serves as an advisor to Viglar. He is crafty, and trying to accommodate both Viglar's plan and Viglund's plan. But he also has his own plan, one that might see his standing with all increase. Trahearn remains aloof, and rarely speaks to anyone other than Viglar or Black Tom.

    Guthwin - The captain of Viglar's personal guard, he is but a few years older than the men he commands. He puts up with Viglar's drunken antics and has no love for Trahearn (or for Saviga, though the Goblin slave was left far behind at Viglund's house). He knows of both Viglund's plan and Viglar's plan and he can often be found at the young man's house (Area C), looking into the distance despite the storms.

    Alchred - One of Viglar's thralls and his personal cupbearer for this time. Unless Alchred has personal animosity towards the player-heroes (see Alcred and the Heroes, page XX), he is an excellent source for both Viglar's and Viglund's plans. He does not know of Trahearn's plan, and is more scared of the old man than anyone else... after all, Viglar can only kill him; it's said that Trahearn can make him suffer forever.

    [Inset - Viglund's Plan]

    Viglund has long tried to intimidate Black Tom into joining the Viglundings, but the old man has proven stubborn and the Steading, protected by trolls, is a hard nut to crack. But when word came out that Godelina was finally seeking suitors, Viglund apprehended a more peaceful plan... he'd marry into the family if he couldn't claim them by force. Viglar's position as first-born (and his bride-gift, see below) would bring great honour... how could Black Tom refuse?

    [/Inset]

    [Inset - Viglar's Bride-gift]

    The nature of Viglar's bride-gift depends on whether or not the heroes have played through Theft of the Moon. If they have, and prevented the Sickle from being stolen by Viglund's men, then Viglar's gift is a chest of dwarf-gold, recovered from one of the destroyed holds in the Grey Mountain Narrows. If they haven't played the previous adventure, or failed to recover the Sickle, then it is this gift that Viglar presents.

    The Sickle of the Full Moon once belonged to Beorn, and was shared among his people according to custom. It is an ancient artefact, and any fields harvested by the Sickle seem to be forever fertile and abundant. But accepting it (and Viglar) will mean that Black Tom and his family have forever allied themselves against the Beornings.

    It might be, if the heroes were particularly clever in Theft of the Moon, that things may not be what they seem. A clever smith in at least one play of the beginning adventure produced a counterfeit Sickle. So the Sickle that Viglar offers Godelina might not be the actual artefact. It's up to the Loremaster who knows of the counterfeit, if anyone.
    [/inset]
Okay, there's that chunk. At least it explains a bit about the situation at Black Tom's... now we just need to have everyone interact with it.

— • —

* I've been calling them chapters but I was recently looking at another fan project and realised I should be calling them parts.
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Falenthal
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Re: [Adventure] Building The Heart of Winter

Post by Falenthal » Sun Aug 14, 2016 10:07 am

Trahearn's role seems perfect for Saviga!!

I like that goblin.

He could be always hidden somewhere (a wagon outside the farm?), so that the players (and the people at Tom's farmstead) don't know about him. But Viglar enters that wagon every night. There he speaks to someone (and drinks a lot) and comes out next morning with new ideas and plans.

He could work as if he was a witch/fortune-teller inside a carnivale wagon.
Saviga could also be interested in contacting the Trolls at night, and maybe offering them something in exchange for a swap of loyalties to Viglund...or to himself.

Discovering that Viglar is heeding to the plans of a goblin could be an interesting turn of events.

— • —

Chapters remind more of a Story than to a railroaded plan. As this is an open adventure, it feels natural to consider them Chapters. Although, in TOR, they're officially named Parts.

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zedturtle
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Re: [Adventure] Building The Heart of Winter

Post by zedturtle » Tue Aug 16, 2016 1:13 am

Falenthal wrote:Trahearn's role seems perfect for Saviga!!

I like that goblin.

He could be always hidden somewhere (a wagon outside the farm?), so that the players (and the people at Tom's farmstead) don't know about him. But Viglar enters that wagon every night. There he speaks to someone (and drinks a lot) and comes out next morning with new ideas and plans.

He could work as if he was a witch/fortune-teller inside a carnivale wagon.
Saviga could also be interested in contacting the Trolls at night, and maybe offering them something in exchange for a swap of loyalties to Viglund...or to himself.

Discovering that Viglar is heeding to the plans of a goblin could be an interesting turn of events.
Yeah, I like Saviga as well, but he just can't plausibly be present; it just strains disbelief too much. Plus, I think it's interesting that he's managed to set up a double-cross and make sure that he's not anywhere nearby... no chance of him getting throttled by Viglar!
Chapters remind more of a Story than to a railroaded plan. As this is an open adventure, it feels natural to consider them Chapters. Although, in TOR, they're officially named Parts.
Terminology-wise, I imagine the reverse argument could be made as well. I've got a little while (and a bit to write) before I start doing the layout, so I can figure it out then.

Thanks for the great feedback!
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zedturtle
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Re: [Adventure] Building The Heart of Winter

Post by zedturtle » Tue Aug 16, 2016 1:35 am

Okay, I had a draft of this, but apparently it wasn't saved... oh well.

We'll need to figure out a way to present the situation to the heroes, and of course the situation varies depending on how the heroes arrive.
  • From the South:

    If the heroes visit Black Tom's Steading from the Falrock, Mab's House or the River, they may not expect the Viglundings to be present at all. Thus, when they arrive, they will find that Guthwin and his men occupy the Young Men's House (Area C). Theabul and Theobold have delivered food to the guards and are being teased. Guthwin breaks it up, and then demands to know why the heroes have come. Guthwin's first suspicion might be that one or more of the company have come as rivals for the hand of Godelina; heroes that capitalise on this mistake might have an easier time of gaining entrance. The conversation with Guthwin may be run as an Encounter, he prefers Valour and is prejudiced against Beornings. Two or more successes will get the heroes into the Steading, four or more will get them escorted by Guthwin to be presented to Viglar and Black Tom.

    If the heroes are foolish enough to engage the Viglundings in combat, it might turn out very badly for them. Black Tom and his family consider themselves honour-bound to protect their guests. If a fight does break out, Theabul and Theobold will flee to the main house to alert Black Tom and their mother Britheva. Unprovoked attacks against the Viglundings should prompt Corruption Tests at the least; attacks against the Steading folk are worth automatic Shadow.

    From the North:

    If the heroes accompanied Viglar and Guthwin down to the steading, then they will be familiar with these arrangements. You can summarise how Viglar presents himself to Black Tom, offering the Bride-gift to the family, if Godelina chooses him. You can then tell of how Guthwin arranges the guards... several are always manning the gates, especially the main West-gate near the Young Men's house. But he also rotates guards into the rooms that Black Tom has provided in the house, so that everyone might have a chance for a warm fire and comfortable bed... he wants all his warriors ready, when trouble comes.

    From the East:

    If the heroes are fleeing the destruction of the patrol at the hands of the orcs, then Guthwin will recognise them on sight. He'll let them into the compound, but insist that they stay at the Young Men's House and will have Viglar and Traehern come out to them. If the heroes insist on warning Black Tom directly, they will encounter stiff resistance from the Viglunding leaders and might have to resort to trickery (or passing messages via Theabul and Theobold) to get the word out.

    Inside the Main Hall:

    At some point, the heroes will probably have a chance to meet Iorwerth. The trader is friendly enough, but will be especially guarded about where he obtained his bride-gift from. Iorwerth spends every moment he can with Godelina, talking to her in low tones. Often, Viglar is in the room too, but is often engaged in boisterous games with his men (see Arm-wrestling Viglar, below).

    Eh. this is going to take a lot... I need to figure out a better way of presenting this. I'm going to take a break and get back to it shortly.
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zedturtle
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Re: [Adventure] Building The Heart of Winter

Post by zedturtle » Wed Aug 17, 2016 1:08 am

Okay, so I had a thought... what if I wrote up somewhat pre-scripted scenes for the Loremaster? Sort of "If the heroes don't know the Viglundings are there, read/recreate this scene"... do y'all think that would be too much railroading?

Or is it better just to write-up everyone's motivations and goals and just let the LM loose?
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Lifstan
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Re: [Adventure] Building The Heart of Winter

Post by Lifstan » Wed Aug 17, 2016 11:26 am

zedturtle wrote:Okay, so I had a thought... what if I wrote up somewhat pre-scripted scenes for the Loremaster? Sort of "If the heroes don't know the Viglundings are there, read/recreate this scene"... do y'all think that would be too much railroading?
I like pre-scripted scenes myself, but I suppose it depends of the taste of the GM. ;)

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zedturtle
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Re: [Adventure] Building The Heart of Winter

Post by zedturtle » Wed Aug 17, 2016 4:38 pm

Lifstan wrote:
zedturtle wrote:Okay, so I had a thought... what if I wrote up somewhat pre-scripted scenes for the Loremaster? Sort of "If the heroes don't know the Viglundings are there, read/recreate this scene"... do y'all think that would be too much railroading?
I like pre-scripted scenes myself, but I suppose it depends of the taste of the GM. ;)
Thanks for the feedback! I think I'll work on some scenes and also notes explaining the motivations of those involved.
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Re: [Adventure] Building The Heart of Winter

Post by Dunkelbrink » Wed Aug 17, 2016 8:15 pm

Your adventure is looking better and better! Zed If you're still aiming for beginners maybe a few scripted scenes could be useful, but I would personally prefer a more open approach with locations,people and their motivations. If there is one thing missing in TOR I'd say it is these kinds of adventures, with adventure "zones" and greater freedom. Most of the published stuff is quite linear in structure, with the heroes moving from part to part.

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Re: [Adventure] Building The Heart of Winter

Post by Zulgolra » Wed Aug 17, 2016 11:44 pm

I would't say, that pre-scripted scenes can't transport the informations you need to play an npc more freely and when it comes to LM beginners it is of course the better way to have at least some pre-scripted scenes as guideline...

The more expierenced LM can work with everything, or sometimes nothing ;) he will read all scenes and then improvise anyway according to his players actions.
So I'm thinking pre-scripted scens are better, too. Because the inexpierienced as also the lazy LMs profit more of them.

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zedturtle
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Re: [Adventure] Building The Heart of Winter

Post by zedturtle » Wed Aug 17, 2016 11:59 pm

Dunkelbrink wrote:Your adventure is looking better and better! Zed If you're still aiming for beginners maybe a few scripted scenes could be useful, but I would personally prefer a more open approach with locations,people and their motivations. If there is one thing missing in TOR I'd say it is these kinds of adventures, with adventure "zones" and greater freedom. Most of the published stuff is quite linear in structure, with the heroes moving from part to part.
Thanks!

I do see a way forward, with some example scenes and then suggestions for other scenes based on character motivations. I do want it to be perfectly reasonable that a new LM plays Theft, then immediately runs Winter right afterwards, but I do also want to have a "sandbox-style" adventure, which is a bit more advanced that the more linear style of Theft.
Zulgolra wrote:I would't say, that pre-scripted scenes can't transport the informations you need to play an npc more freely and when it comes to LM beginners it is of course the better way to have at least some pre-scripted scenes as guideline...

The more expierenced LM can work with everything, or sometimes nothing ;) he will read all scenes and then improvise anyway according to his players actions.
So I'm thinking pre-scripted scens are better, too. Because the inexpierienced as also the lazy LMs profit more of them.
Good points.

I am thinking that I sometimes become overwhelmed if given too much information... if you suddenly have to get a feel for a whole village's worth of people then everything can get confusing very easily. Hopefully, I can manage to dole things out sufficiently that LMs will be able to benefit from it.

---

I'll try to (re-)post some of that stuff later on, though I've got a few other obligations to meet first.
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