Campaign Help Needed!

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Ecorce
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Re: Campaign Help Needed!

Post by Ecorce » Wed Aug 23, 2017 8:10 am

In some games, players just care about their skills and powers, and it's ok because the rules mean that.

In TOR, you're also a part of the world and a part of a story.
Players need their own project, their own quest (the rules need them to make projects). Otherwise, the Fellowship phase is useless, meaningless.

There's the main Quest (the campaign, the scenarios, the Adventure phase), and their own Quest (the Fellowship phase). And the game is about those quests interacting.

The Fellowship of the Ring's main Quest is to destroy the Ring.
But every fellow has his own Quest : Aragorn is in trouble with his past and destiny (becoming King of Men), Boromir cares about his people, Hobbits want to see the Shire again, protect their friends and parents or discover the world...

As a fellowship, they share the main quest and their own quests (Fellowship focus, Fellowship pool).

This game is about interacting with Middle-Earth and its people, not about focusing on skills... to be invested, players have to interact with the world... and find their own quests.
Ecorce French TOR community

Thoughts about The One Ring : Les Carnets d'Imladris / Notes from Imladris

Halbarad
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Re: Campaign Help Needed!

Post by Halbarad » Wed Aug 23, 2017 1:09 pm

You have one character who is a Man of Minas Tirith. This suggests to me that you have the adventurers companion and might have fallen into the trap of allowing your players to choose characters who are less invested in the Wilderland setting.

If you don't mind me asking, who are the other characters? Are any of them from Wilderland native cultures, that is, the cultures from the basic rules?

Halbarad
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Re: Campaign Help Needed!

Post by Halbarad » Wed Aug 23, 2017 1:22 pm

Do you have a warrior in your group who might be suitable as a potential husband for Amaleoda of Black Tarn? I just ignored the picture of her in DoM(quite drab and plain in appearance) and showed the players a picture of Lagertha(from Vikings TV show) in her war gear.
I hinted that this beautiful woman 'might' have been giving one of characters 'the eye' and then complicated matters by making her Mogdred's romantic interest as well. From your first post, it appears that you are well past the Folkmoot at Rhosgobel, but you haven't reached the end of the Black Tarn arc of adventures. There's still time to introduce a similar theme if that might make one if your players more invested in the Wilderland setting.

Edit

You need to be quite careful that you steer the character away from challenging Mogdred outright, unless you are prepared for the character to be killed or to have a new Lord rise up at Amon Bauglir.

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Wbweather
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Re: Campaign Help Needed!

Post by Wbweather » Wed Aug 23, 2017 4:43 pm

All of the above advice is very good. I struggled with this a lot as well since the adventures in DoM are often very sparsely written. I often search the forum for ideas other have used. Here is a very useful tool for that.

http://stuartrjohnson.co.uk/tor/palantir/

Next, if you have Heart of the Wild, read through the section on the region where your adventure takes place. The descriptions in HotW are full of interesting places to visit, characters to meet, and plot hooks. Think of ways to incorporate these into your adventures. Do they meet a strange character along the bank of the Anduin? Could this individual help them in their quest? Could you develop a relationship that helps invest them in this region and be used to your advantage in future adventures. Maybe they discover a ruin that poses its own secrets and dangers (Journeys and Maps has rules for ancient ruins by the way).

Then, think through the adventure as if you were actually going to have to do it yourself. What challenges might you face? What could go wrong? What dangers would you encounter? You can always create a small farmstead or even village to interact with. Bandits might show up to thwart your plans. Creating a good adventure is just about throwing challenges to your players and seeing how they deal with them. Not all hazards need to be the result of an Eye on a fatigue test.

It does get easier, especially as you realize you are building a history along with your players. As they interact with the world, they will help shape it. You can use that to invest them in the setting. Encourage them to establish holdings, and then threaten those holdings. Let them make friends and enemies with the NPCs and then create conflict for them. Do they hear that their friends have been taken captive? Does an NPC have a personal grudge against them? All of this can be a part of your adventures.

And there are some lists of fan made adventures and material. In particular, you might find the 4th link on this page useful thanks to Robin Smallburrows work of compiling much of those materials in a single volume.

viewtopic.php?f=7&t=1162

And finally, ask specifics on this forum. People are very helpful and full of great ideas. Are you stuck and not coming up with anything for a particular adventure? Then create a thread and let us all have a go at it. Something will probably be useful to you.

I hope this helps.

PencilBoy99
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Re: Campaign Help Needed!

Post by PencilBoy99 » Wed Aug 30, 2017 5:01 pm

Thanks all. I'll go through this and get back to you!

delazar
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Re: Campaign Help Needed!

Post by delazar » Mon Sep 04, 2017 9:22 am

I'm also about to start GMing Darkening of Mirkwood, and I also noticed the Adventuring Phases are a bit "thin".

I was wondering if someone would answer this:

I'm planning to play it very much "by the book" without necessarily adding anything myself, unless the players give some feedback. We're planning to play once a week, 3-hrs sessions. My idea would be to play out one year each session, including Fellowship phase. Do you think what's in the book for each year it's enough for a 3-hrs session?

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Rich H
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Re: Campaign Help Needed!

Post by Rich H » Mon Sep 04, 2017 11:06 am

delazar wrote:
Mon Sep 04, 2017 9:22 am
My idea would be to play out one year each session, including Fellowship phase. Do you think what's in the book for each year it's enough for a 3-hrs session?
Short answer: yes.

Only you know how you gaming group 'plays' but in my experience DoM is a lot like the Great Pendragon Campaign in that respect and between the player and their characters interacting, journeys around Wilderland and all they entail (eg, hazards), the adventure itself and all that includes (eg, encounters, battles, common skill usage, etc), and then the FP afterwards (including the narrative that has, news reaching the PCs, etc) there's more than enough to fill a 3 hour session. For each year you, as LM, may also want to naturally add in extra details/elements as well which will also add to the duration.
TOR resources thread: viewtopic.php?f=7&t=62
TOR miniatures thread: viewtopic.php?t=885

Fellowship of the Free Tale of Years: viewtopic.php?f=7&t=8318

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Winterwolf
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Re: Campaign Help Needed!

Post by Winterwolf » Mon Sep 04, 2017 12:27 pm

I have been running my TOR campaign for about 18 months with about 1 x 3 hr session per month. I started with Zed's Theft of the Moon but continued with DoM plus a few other adventures if it suits.
Just the way I play, and I don't think I have a great imagination or particularly creative compared to many others here, but I find that I just imagine what details I would like to hear and see and fill them in, often in a bit of a panic with only a few hours before I will be running the session.
I try to describe the sights and sounds of important locations to set the mood but still try to push the story along a bit.
However there is NO way I could finish an adventure in one session, let alone with a Fellowship Phase added on.
The Wizard's Man took three sessions by itself!
As Rich said, your players will interact with your descriptions of places and people and the session time will fill up.
The thing is to have events/descriptions prepared a certain distance ahead in game-time and see how it goes.
Nicking ideas that other talented people out there have thought up is very handy for the struggling LM (but it is good to let them you appreciate and are using their work.)
For example, there are a number of descriptions of TOR campaigns on the internet which include The Wizard's Man adventure, which might give you some ideas for that first session or two (assuming that you use it).
If you want a summary of how it ran in my campaign, I can easily send them to you.
This adventure is fairly linear but you don't know what you will have to deal with, as it depends on what your players decide to do. Hopefully they'll try something interesting! :D
I just run through the likely situations and consider what would be a logical reaction of any NPC's involved.
The characters in my campaign carried Beran back on a stretcher towards Rhosgobel, 'escorted' by Dagmar and her warriors for a few days through Mirkwood. The players got nervous about their escorts and were discussing various ways to get Beran away including:
1) replacing Beran with a bundle of straw during the night and hiding him (but thought the dogs would sniff him out)
2) collecting fungi to drug Dagmar and her warriors during their evening meal
3) using the fungi to drug their dogs by 'lacing' their food
4) if they got close to Rhosgobel, getting Beran to run for it whilst they held off Dagmar in a last stand...
However in the end, they didn't do any of those.... :(
I decided that Dagmar would be getting more and more desperate as she realised she couldn't get Beran away without a confrontation, so went to drag him off one morning but it ended in a battle as the characters wouldn't let them take him without a fight. One of Dagmar's men went down and the rest retreated with less than half their Endurance left...Dagmar yelling she would get her revenge as she left...

delazar
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Re: Campaign Help Needed!

Post by delazar » Mon Sep 04, 2017 1:18 pm

Winterwolf wrote:
Mon Sep 04, 2017 12:27 pm
If you want a summary of how it ran in my campaign, I can easily send them to you.
Sure, that'd be great!

PencilBoy99
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Re: Campaign Help Needed!

Post by PencilBoy99 » Mon Sep 04, 2017 5:00 pm

Sweet Thanks all!

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