What the PCs Know

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What the PCs Know

Post by lordpib » Tue Sep 26, 2017 9:24 pm

I have a player of a Lorien elf who's struggling with what exactly his character would know about ME's history, the rings of power, etc. Obviously, some of this depends on his skills, but this got me thinking about possibly typing up a quick summary of what an average member of each culture would know about the world (and perhaps more importantly what they would not know). This could help new players to ground their characters a little more easily and to separate player knowledge from PC knowledge. Does anyone know if anyone else has already done any work on something like this?

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Re: What the PCs Know

Post by Macilion » Tue Sep 26, 2017 11:02 pm

Hi Lordpib! I thought about all this a while ago, but as far as I know, there is no such thing as a complete document that would explain what PCs know depending on their Culture, but also their Skills and Traits. However, I would obviously love to be proven wrong.

When I first thought of it, I imagined that one could draft several guides — either one per Culture, or one per race maybe (Dwarves, Elves, Hobbits and Men) — which would all be divided into up to five/six levels of knowledge.
  • Level one would be what everyone knows about this Culture;
    Level two could be what every member of this Culture knows about the Culture itself;
    Level three could be what curious or interested people of this Culture would have learned about the Culture itself;
    Level four could be what scholars of this Culture know about the Culture itself;
    Level five could be some sort of pieces of ancient, hidden, or lost knowledge of the given Culture;
    Finally, level six could be some sort of knowledge related to the creation of the universe per se ; the Silmarilion, more or less ; maybe only to be accessed by High Elves of Rivendell.
PCs of the same Culture would access the same Guide, but the most-educated PCs would have access to the higher parts of it, so that they still share a common cultural base; the exact level would depend on their Lore Skill and appropriate Traits.

Then, one could imagine that the Lore Skill, as well as Traits such as Ancient Lore, or Folklore, or even Titles, could help you access the guides of Cultures different from yours (although level five and six of each Culture should probably remain hidden to all but the most-educated individuals of the Culture itself).

All that being said, and as much as I would love to see such a complete panel of guides, I gave up the idea because 1) it would have been way too much work for me alone, at that time, and 2) it may not prove that useful, if one can deal with such issues in his/her own game with the PCs on a case by case basis.

What are your thoughts on the issue, guys? DId anyone ever dreamt about, or worked on a similar project?

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Re: What the PCs Know

Post by lordpib » Tue Sep 26, 2017 11:46 pm

That would be amazing, but I'm afraid I also don't have the time to write up something quite so complex. I was thinking more along the lines of a simple bulletpoint list for each culture that just covers the fundamentals.

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Re: What the PCs Know

Post by Otaku-sempai » Wed Sep 27, 2017 12:32 am

Well, only addressing the first part of your question: If your player's Elf of Lórien is relatively young and not strongly connected to Lóthlorien's nobility then the Hero might not know a lot of detail concerning the general history of Middle-earth, Sauron and the Rings of Power. Anything beyond the history of Lórien itself might require a successful Lore check.
"Far, far below the deepest delvings of the Dwarves, the world is gnawed by nameless things. Even Sauron knows them not. They are older than he."

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Re: What the PCs Know

Post by Majestic » Wed Sep 27, 2017 9:38 pm

I find it far easier to just have the character make a Lore role, taking into consideration their age and what parts of Middle-earth (as far as cultures, history, etc.) they've been exposed to. To help with this, I've written down what years each of my PCs was born in, so I can quickly check to see how old they were when certain events happened.
Adventure Summaries of our campaign, currently playing through The Darkening of Mirkwood

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Robin Smallburrow
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Re: What the PCs Know

Post by Robin Smallburrow » Thu Sep 28, 2017 2:29 am

I did this already, see my Handout for new players in my Resources page (link in my sig) to address the very issue given by the OP (what is generally known by PC's)

Hope this helps!

Robin S.
To access all my links for my TOR Resources - please click on this link >> http://bit.ly/1gjXkCo

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