Traits

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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Heimer
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Traits

Post by Heimer » Wed Apr 19, 2017 5:41 am

First off .. new to The One Ring, so still getting a grasp of the rules.

So I have a question about traits ... As I understand it the players end up with 5. The players can invoke them to automatically pass the test.

Some of these traits are quite broad and can apply to alot of things, does it cost hope to use them? otherwise from just reading it, most test(or is it tasks I keep mixing them up :lol: ) will just succeed because of a trait.

Mind you I havent been LM yet, not done with the rules. I tried to use the search but way to many results came up with non relevant stuff, but I am guessing this one has been talked about many times before :) If anyone has a great link to a previous discussion or has some insights please share.

Thank you

SpottedBill
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Re: Traits

Post by SpottedBill » Wed Apr 19, 2017 9:30 am

Heimer wrote:
Wed Apr 19, 2017 5:41 am
First off .. new to The One Ring, so still getting a grasp of the rules.
As someone who owned the original Slipcase Edition for years before having a chance to play it (and then a couple more to run a game of my own), I know it can take a bit to figure everything out! It's a great game.
Heimer wrote:
Wed Apr 19, 2017 5:41 am
So I have a question about traits ... As I understand it the players end up with 5. The players can invoke them to automatically pass the test.

Some of these traits are quite broad and can apply to alot of things, does it cost hope to use them? otherwise from just reading it, most test(or is it tasks I keep mixing them up :lol: ) will just succeed because of a trait.
No spending hope required!

It's important to have the player tell you how having that trait makes it possible for them to succeed at the task/test at hand. It lets the player describe their character in action and makes for a better story! If you (and the other players) think it's a fair use of the trait, let them use it! For the player, the down side of using a trait is that they do not get advancement points, nor can they get a great or extraordinary success when they take an automatic success.

In addition, they can also invoke a trait to be able to make a roll in a situation where they normally would not be able to roll. For example, my Company was at an ancient burial mound and had just fought Wood-wights during the night. In the morning they wanted to know if the wood-wights were gone. My first instinct was to say they would really have no way of knowing, but since a character had Shadow-lore, they invoked the trait and I let their character roll, since it felt appropriate.

Of course there can be players that try to stretch the traits. You just have to say 'no' when something feels too far-fetched. You're the LM, you make the last call.

Stormcrow
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Re: Traits

Post by Stormcrow » Wed Apr 19, 2017 7:09 pm

SpottedBill wrote:
Wed Apr 19, 2017 9:30 am
Of course there can be players that try to stretch the traits. You just have to say 'no' when something feels too far-fetched. You're the LM, you make the last call.
This is an important point. Unlike other games, in which the game master micromanages everything about the game system, in The One Ring the Loremaster merely referees the choices decided upon by the players as a whole. Notice that trait invocations are decided upon by everyone, although the Loremaster retains a veto. As long as players aren't being abusive, the Loremaster can just get out of the way and let them invoke traits however they like.

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Majestic
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Re: Traits

Post by Majestic » Wed Apr 19, 2017 7:43 pm

SpottedBill is spot-on!

Awhile back, the TOR community put together a really helpful document called 'A Guide To Trait Usage'; I'm not sure if the link contained within still works or not, but you can find a thread about it from 'back in the day' that also might give some helpful advice.
Adventure Summaries of our campaign, currently playing through The Darkening of Mirkwood

Heimer
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Re: Traits

Post by Heimer » Thu Apr 20, 2017 4:06 pm

Thank you very much both of you :)

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Falenthal
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Re: Traits

Post by Falenthal » Sat Apr 22, 2017 12:26 pm

I remember once that Francesco said somewhere (old forum? his blog?), when asked about why so many rules (traits, rewarding advancing points, etc.) were a bit vague on the mechanics, that he designed games with the kind of players that are a group of friends wanting to have a good time together in mind, not rules-lawyers or people who want to pervert everything to their profit.

While this is rule-book, and we expect rules from it, Traits are one of those aspects of TOR that can help a lot to improve the fun of the group, or be a stick in the wheel. It all comes down to the kind of players that get together, and how each one understands the concept of "having fun". SpottedBill has it right.

Stormcrow
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Re: Traits

Post by Stormcrow » Sat Apr 22, 2017 3:58 pm

Falenthal wrote:
Sat Apr 22, 2017 12:26 pm
I remember once that Francesco said somewhere (old forum? his blog?), when asked about why so many rules (traits, rewarding advancing points, etc.) were a bit vague on the mechanics, that he designed games with the kind of players that are a group of friends wanting to have a good time together in mind, not rules-lawyers or people who want to pervert everything to their profit.
That's a false dichotomy. Some groups like games with heavy mechanical detail, and their members aren't out for profit or power. They'll discuss rules during the game, and will even point out and argue for rules not in their own favor.

I am amused by his depiction, since The One Ring is itself fairly complicated to play. And the things you (he?) point out as being "vague" aren't vague in the rules—in fact they're extensively detailed. They simply leave judgment of their implementation up to the group or the referee.

An example of a vague rule would be "roll against this ability whenever you want to do things like X, Y, or Z." The One Ring's rules for traits are, "Invoke a trait when the trait would logically come up, and gain one of these benefits: an automatic action, in which you automatically gain an ordinary success on a roll; an unforeseen action, in which you get a roll even when the Loremaster said you couldn't roll; or an advancement point, which is granted on a successful roll for the first of three boxes in a skill group when the character invokes a relevant trait or if the consequences for failure were dire or if the difficulty was very high, for the second box if the above obtains when the hero accomplishes something unusual, and for the third box when the above obtains and the hero accomplishes something extraordinary." (Those are the original rules Francesco designed.)

That's highly specific! The only "vague" parts are deciding whether a given trait applies to a situation and whether something is unusual or extraordinary. But even these are given rules: the entire group votes on the former and the Loremaster judges the latter.

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