If the original post is too complicated/fiddly (which I know I'm prone to--sorry ), my main question is probably #2 -- I've heard that twice baked honey cakes ends up being a little overpowered/one of the best virtues in the game, but would limiting preparation of the cakes (and therefore their bonuses to travel) to APs when the characters have set out from Beorningland be too harsh?
General comments/anecdotes/tips about how you have handled the special rations in fun/creative/Tolkien-y ways would be most appreciated tho.
I was double checking what was written up on cram, and then, out of curiosity, decided to compare all of the different rations we have so far in the various sourcebooks. Ignoring Erestor's miruvor (which players can't just choose to bring at any point), I think we have cram (LT p.12), twice-baked honey cakes (TOR 2E p.106), and lembas (AC p.50).
I'm marvelling that C7 had the presence of mind to make these all a little different (my initial reaction was, wow, they all really ought to be based on a similar mechanic, but on reflection, I think their interpretation makes much more sense, and reflects the differences in the cultures and the rations themselves better).
So we have:
I just had a couple of quick questions. Would you have any reservations in:
- cram being the least effective, and only offering a small bonus to travel rolls
- twice-baked honey cakes offering an improvement to the fellowship rating (essentially 1FP) and an improved bonus to travel rolls
- lembas offering a number of FPs, but only as can be applied to rolls made during journeys
Also--a question re: cram in particular. Does the bonus from cram really only apply to the character who bought it?
- Allowing cram to be bought when in Laketown using regular SoL rules (i.e. I don't think it's particularly rare or expensive), BUT only applied to one journey (vs. (or, I suppose, in addition to) the Market Pool mechanic, which grants the bonus until the Travel skill is upgraded)
- In order to makes things a little more consistent re: the twice baked honey cakes: (a) making the bonus a FP that can only be spent during journeys (like lembas) vs a permanent change to the fellowship rating; (b) limiting preparation to when the character returns to their home culture in the fellowship phase (makes more sense re: access to the honey! and so that they don't get over used).
- Only allowing the bonuses from cram and twice-baked honey cakes to apply as long as the rations last--around one-week according to the main book. This one obviously depends on how up for micro-managing journey supplies etc. you are, but would seem to reinforce part of what C7 seem to have been going for with the lembas in emphasizing their longevity by tieing them to FPs. It's possible that cram and the cakes could last, say, twice as long as regular rations, but not sure whether to go down that road or not.
Thanks in advance for any opinions. Would be interested to hear how others have incorporated these into their games.