Reforge the Wolfbiter

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Indur Dawndeath
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Reforge the Wolfbiter

Post by Indur Dawndeath » Wed Sep 13, 2017 12:46 pm

Hello guys,
My players just finished collecting the 5 pieces of Wolfbiter Axe and now they will need to reforge it!
It is an artifact with 3 properties that can be unlocked by the bearer like any other magical weapon.
My plan is for the players to seek a smith cabable of performing the task of repairing a magical weapon and let the woodman in the group spend a combination of Treasure, XP and Shadow during a fellowship phase to get the weapon.

Any suggestions how that fellowship phase should look?
And any suggestions how the weapon should be statted?
- I'm definitly thinking that there is a curse on the weapon, something that makes the bearer a friend-slayer if he gets a Bout of Madness.

Looking forward to hearing your thoughts
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Otaku-sempai
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Re: Reforge the Wolfbiter

Post by Otaku-sempai » Wed Sep 13, 2017 3:11 pm

Rivendell, populated with many Elves formerly of Eregion, would seem to be a likely destination. The smiths there were (will be?) able to reforge the Dwarf-crafted Narsil, after all. That said, there would probably be a Master-smith or two of Erebor (either in the Mountain or set up in Dale or Lake-town) who would be up to the challenge.

The name Wolfbiter suggests a Bane weapon, though that need not be the case. The axe is an heirloom of the Woodmen, but was probably a product of Dwarven or Elven craftmanship. Not that a weapon of Westernesse couldn't have found its way to the Woodmen. Personally, I would favor Wolfbiter being Dwarf-crafted, maybe even forged in Khazad-dûm, Nogrod or Belegost. The length of the haft might be determined by whom the axe is intended for. Here is one possible version:

Wolfbiter
Type: Long-hafted Axe
Craftmanship: Dwarven
Banes: Wargs
Qualities:
1. Foe-slaying - 2. Grievous - 3. Keen

One could certainly make it more fearsome.

Wolfbiter
Type: Great Axe
Craftmanship: Dwarven (Nogrod)
Banes: Wargs
Qualities:
1. Foe-slaying - 2. Cleaving - 3. Piercing
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Indur Dawndeath
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Re: Reforge the Wolfbiter

Post by Indur Dawndeath » Wed Sep 13, 2017 8:22 pm

Otaku-sempai wrote:
Wed Sep 13, 2017 3:11 pm

Wolfbiter
Type: Long-hafted Axe
Craftmanship: Dwarven
Banes: Wargs
Qualities:
1. Foe-slaying - 2. Grievous - 3. Keen

One could certainly make it more fearsome.

Wolfbiter
Type: Great Axe
Craftmanship: Dwarven (Nogrod)
Banes: Wargs
Qualities:
1. Foe-slaying - 2. Cleaving - 3. Piercing
I definitly agree with foe-slaying and griveous but I was also thinking about an ability to scare enemies like Gleam of terror.

The fellowship phase could look like this, but I dont know if it is too tough. But then again, this is a magic weapon gained without the normal requirement of luck and XP.

Find a Smith and persuade him to help. Persuade TN16: 10 Treasures on a faliure, 6 T on a success, 2 T on a great and 0 treasures on an Extraordinary success.
Achieve 5 craft points in one fellowship phase.
Roll craft for the Smith. One Craft point Per success, add a craft point per 3XP, and 1 Craft point for a permanent Shadow.
Only if a Shadow point is accepted, the Axe will get the Gleam of Terror.

How does that Sound?
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Re: Reforge the Wolfbiter

Post by Otaku-sempai » Wed Sep 13, 2017 9:04 pm

The Enchanted Quality Gleam of Terror could certainly work; I had considered including it myself. A weapon forged in Nogrod should have three Qualities, all of which may be Enchanted Qualities. It could have been brought to Khazad-dûm early in the Second Age after the drowning and ruin of Nogrod and Belegost. By contrast, "Famous Weapons and Armour from Khazad-dûm should have at least two Qualities, and can have a third Quality, but only two of their Qualities can be Enchanted Qualities." Famous Weapons and Armour from Erebor can have as many as three Qualities, but only one may be an Enchanted Quality.

I'm not sure how much it complicates matters that the axe-head is in more than one piece. Are we assuming that the original Qualities remain intact? Or is this essentially a brand-new item? That would change things considerably if this was an ancient weapon from a kingdom that no longer exists.
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Indur Dawndeath
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Re: Reforge the Wolfbiter

Post by Indur Dawndeath » Wed Sep 13, 2017 9:20 pm

Regarding the history of the Wolfbiter Axe, then I was thinking that it is a very old and powerful Famous weapon made by the dwarves to combat the Werewolf of Mirkwood when he was first hunting the free people in Greenwood the great.
But the woodmen were not successful, because no matter how many times they defeated the dreaded foe. Somehow it reappeared.
So dwarves made it at least in khazad dum, or even Begost / Nogrod, but would they be inclined to give such a weapon to Woodsmen that far away??

Would the dwarves in Erebor be able to reforge such a weapon?

I think the abilities should be at least similar to the original, but perhaps downgreaded depending on the Smith or the success in remaking it.
Ancient grievous could become only grievous on a normal success in craft...
Perhaps it could retain a number of enchanted qualities equal to the number of success. Failure=0, success=1 and so on...
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Re: Reforge the Wolfbiter

Post by Otaku-sempai » Wed Sep 13, 2017 9:36 pm

Indur Dawndeath wrote:
Wed Sep 13, 2017 9:20 pm
So dwarves made it at least in khazad dum, or even Begost / Nogrod, but would they be inclined to give such a weapon to Woodsmen that far away??
Well, remember that Nogrod and Belegost were inundated at the end of the First Age at the end of the War of Wrath. Those who relocated to Khazad-dûm did so in the fortieth year of the Second Age and their descendants remained there until Durin's Bane was awakened and drove them out.
Would the dwarves in Erebor be able to reforge such a weapon?
Now that's a good question! You might be better off bringing it to Rivendell.
I think the abilities should be at least similar to the original, but perhaps downgreaded depending on the Smith or the success in remaking it.
Ancient grievous could become only grievous on a normal success in craft...
Perhaps it could retain a number of enchanted qualities equal to the number of success. Failure=0, success=1 and so on...
That is one way to go, and it might make the most sense if the weapon cannot be restored to its full, original potency.
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Indur Dawndeath
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Re: Reforge the Wolfbiter

Post by Indur Dawndeath » Wed Sep 13, 2017 9:48 pm

Great feedback OS. Thanks!
It'll be up to the players to decide where to go. Rivendel is the obvious choice, but perhaps Elrond will be reluctant to reforge such a dangerous weapon (considering the friend-slaying curse).
Rivendell could add an automatic success to the craft test...
And what about the cost for the player in a Fellowship phase?
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Re: Reforge the Wolfbiter

Post by Otaku-sempai » Thu Sep 14, 2017 12:37 am

Is the curse definite or merely hypothetical? If it is real then perhaps it can be neutralized (maybe by using the axe to save a friend's life?).

The cost would be in spent Experience or the gain of Shadow as in the Elven-smithing rules as presented in Rivendell, page 132. If that seems insufficient then Elrond could require a service from the Hero (that the rest of the company could assist with).
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Indur Dawndeath
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Re: Reforge the Wolfbiter

Post by Indur Dawndeath » Thu Sep 14, 2017 10:08 am

My story for the Wolfbiter Axe is that the Hermit, presented in ToW is an heir of Balti.
He left on a scouting mission from Woodmen-town shortly after the fall of Smaug, to Dol Guldur with a group of Woodmen.
As they approached the naked hill, a shade of great evil, who had just emerged from hiding in the deep dungeons, was watching them and planning a terrible revenge on the free people of middle earth. (Gibbet King)
With subtle magic and perhaps the Chain of Melkor as a focus, he turned the mind of young Baltison and drove him up the stairs of the Necromancer, where his friends tried to stop him. But the madness made him blind, and he slew all his friends on those stairs.
The Gibbet King was satisfied and crebt away.
As Baltison regained his senses, he realised what he had done and broke the Axe, cursing it as a friend-slayer.
He took the pieces and wandered through Mirkwood throwing a piece in the most dangerous places he could find:
Parlament of spiders
Werewolf den
Stairs of the Necromancer in Dol Guldur
A hollow tree on the east side of Black Tarn
One he kept

So the Axe is cursed, by Baltison, and perhaps only by curing him from insanity will it be lifted
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