How many adventures/fellowship phases?

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/
lucacherstich
Posts: 18
Joined: Wed Mar 09, 2016 2:02 pm

How many adventures/fellowship phases?

Post by lucacherstich » Sat Sep 30, 2017 11:18 am

Sorry if I've already asked this in the past (not sure about it) but how many fellowship phases you all do per year?

I try with the "1 year : 1 Fellowship / 1 Adventure"
But I've heard people say that if you do like that it is maybe better to allow players 2 undertakings per fellowship phase.

What is the official view on the matter?

User avatar
Rich H
Posts: 3741
Joined: Wed May 08, 2013 8:19 pm
Location: Sheffield, UK

Re: How many adventures/fellowship phases?

Post by Rich H » Sat Sep 30, 2017 11:45 am

Your sequence should more accurately be:

1 Adventure and then 1 Fellowship Phase. That makes the Fellowship Phase a year end one which also means that there are two undertakings associated with it for each character.

The above is pretty much how (officially) the game sets itself up - ie, one adventure and a year end phase per year. However... Even the published adventure books sometimes break this model and its completely fine to do so if it fits the campaign needs - ie, what's happening from a plot perspective, how quickly you want the characters to gain experience, etc.

I've run two or even three adventures per year, sometimes with fellowship phases between them and sometimes without phase between them; it depends on the situation. Some of the Fellowship Phases have allowed for one undertaking per player whereas in some I just allow the players to spend APs and XPs. I always try to keep the year end fellowship phase to be the only one that allows two undertakings, as well as characters receiving news from further afield, etc. Also bear in mind that some undertakings can only be selected at year end as well.
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

Otaku-sempai
Posts: 2820
Joined: Sun May 12, 2013 2:45 am
Location: Lackawanna, NY

Re: How many adventures/fellowship phases?

Post by Otaku-sempai » Sat Sep 30, 2017 2:37 pm

If one Adventure phase takes up most of the year or it just doesn't make sense to include a short Fellowship phase and a second adventure before year's end then by all means follow up with a year's end Fellowship phase.

If you want to work in two or more Adventure phases into a single year, there is nothing wrong with that. Each Adventure phase should be followed by a Fellowship phase of one or more weeks in length with the final one being the long, year's end Fellowship phase which generally covers the Winter season. It is at the year's end Fellowship phase where you can allow the Heroes to take two undertakings due to its length.

The stay of the Company of Thorin in Lake-town is a good example of a shorter Fellowship phase (though technically it happens in mid-adventure. The company rested and recovered in Esgaroth for about two and a half weeks. Similarly, the company has a lot of downtime (about three weeks to a month) between the demise of Smaug and the siege of Erebor. Bilbo's year's end Fellowship phase would be represented by his and Gandalf's stay at Beorn's house during the winter.
Last edited by Otaku-sempai on Sat Sep 30, 2017 5:24 pm, edited 2 times in total.
"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."

lucacherstich
Posts: 18
Joined: Wed Mar 09, 2016 2:02 pm

Re: How many adventures/fellowship phases?

Post by lucacherstich » Sat Sep 30, 2017 3:46 pm

So, year end 2 undertakings...but i was not able to find that in any page of the core rules ...although it makes sense.

The rest is a bit chaotic for me (I was more used to the more regular Pendragon winter phase system).
Another problem is what to do with PC which miss an adventure.

In Pendragon there are quick, solo scenarios, but nothing similar in one ring!

Dunkelbrink
Posts: 221
Joined: Fri Aug 16, 2013 9:18 am
Location: Stockholm, Sweden

Re: How many adventures/fellowship phases?

Post by Dunkelbrink » Sat Sep 30, 2017 4:00 pm

Page 197: "Normally, a player is allowed to choose one single activity
for his character to undertake. A longer Fellowship
phase, like for example the one reserved for a year’s end
(see Year’s End, on page 200) might allow for up to two
undertakings instead. If the Loremaster agrees, in the case
of a longer pause a player can choose up to two different
Fellowship phase undertakings (the player cannot choose
to repeat the same activity twice)."

Rich's way is how I do it as well. Normally I run two adventures a year, one with a shorter Fellowship phase afterwards (one undertaking) and the other with Year's end afterwards (two undertakings). The players are more or less creative though, for some of them this feels like too few undertaking possibilities while others struggle with finding something to do. So I guess you have to modify the system to fit your campaign and your players.

Otaku-sempai
Posts: 2820
Joined: Sun May 12, 2013 2:45 am
Location: Lackawanna, NY

Re: How many adventures/fellowship phases?

Post by Otaku-sempai » Sat Sep 30, 2017 5:17 pm

A prolonged interruption in a journey can become a Fellowship phase. In The Lord of the Rings the period between the Council of Elrond (October 25) and the departure from Rivendell of the Fellowship of the Ring (December 25) was effectively an end-of-year Fellowship phase for Frodo and his companions as the quest to destroy the Ring began at the end of December. The company's stay in Lothlórien (January 17 to February 16, 2019) could be treated as a shorter Fellowship phase.
Another problem is what to do with PC which miss an adventure.
Characters don't level up in TOR in the same manner as they do in many other rpgs, so I'm not sure you have a serious problem there. You could treat the missing player's Hero as a Loremaster character for that period; you could have the Hero delayed for some reason and just have him/her rejoin the company as opportunity allows. You actually could role-play it as a side mission if you really want to do so and have the time to deal with it outside of the regular session.
"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."

Stormcrow
Posts: 1265
Joined: Sat May 18, 2013 2:56 pm
Location: Ronkonkoma, NY
Contact:

Re: How many adventures/fellowship phases?

Post by Stormcrow » Sat Sep 30, 2017 7:09 pm

The idea of what an adventure is differs in some important ways from other role-playing games. This can lead to confusion.

In Dungeons & Dragons, as the representative of most RPGs, the player-characters are assumed to be professional adventurers. You roam around having adventures. Any non-adventuring is just a temporary rest period until you get back to your life.

In The One Ring, the player-characters are assumed NOT to be professional adventurers. They have lives and families at home that don't have anything to do with adventures. The adventure is, itself, the interruption of normal life. When the adventure is over, things go back to normal.

Another difference is that in D&D, when you're not adventuring you're pretty much doing nothing. Oh, you may go shopping and you may have some spell research to do and you may be training some skill, but anything you do off the adventure has to do with getting yourself ready for the next adventure.

In TOR, you actually determine how your character lives his life, doing things not related to adventures. The player gets to dictate this, since there is little die-rolling to stop him. You get to interact with the important people of MIddle-earth, and you get to become one of those people yourself. The Fellowship phase should be a period when every player gets to indulge in a little Middle-earth fan-fiction of his own.

Undertakings are really just a side-note in a Fellowship phase. They're like resting in D&D and getting a little training done in the meanwhile. They're not the main event in TOR.

The first edition of the game didn't even suggest you can perform two undertakings during a Year's End Fellowship phase; this was added due to fan feedback. I don't think it's necessary. It presupposes that the main point of the Fellowship phase is to improve your character's abilities, which it's not. The point is to give the player narrative control of his character's life, a life beyond adventures.

The Fellowship phase can also be used when a party on a long journey takes a substantial break. These sorts of phases are how you get to have multiple Adventuring phases in a single year. But normally, player-characters don't go from one adventure straight into the next; they go home, and adventure finds them.

That's not to say that every character has to go home at the end of every adventure. Some characters might want to make a life for themselves away from home. Make no mistake, though: it's still a non-adventuring life. If you're a hobbit who removes himself to Lake-town for years, you're building a life for yourself there; you're not sitting by the Adventurer's Phone waiting for a call.

Butterfingers
Posts: 40
Joined: Tue May 16, 2017 10:44 am

Re: How many adventures/fellowship phases?

Post by Butterfingers » Mon Oct 02, 2017 8:03 am

Two undertaking is news to me, I am using the slipcase edition! :lol:

HunterGreen
Posts: 18
Joined: Sat Aug 19, 2017 11:35 am

Re: How many adventures/fellowship phases?

Post by HunterGreen » Mon Oct 02, 2017 10:48 am

Ah hah. I also have the slipcase and I was wondering how I'd missed something as big as the two-undertaking rule.

Stormcrow, thanks for that cogent and eloquent summary. I have been unable to get my players to really come up with fellowship phases -- at best, they come up with a sentence about how they came to do the undertaking. And it's not because these are dyed-in-the-wool D&D player types; all but one of my group have been playing free-form and alternative games for more than a decade. I think it's just a combination of three things: 1) I had them make these characters quickly and without much backstory since it was just going to be a one-off, then decided to let them keep them as it became more; 2) I haven't really sold it, or given solid enough examples; and 3) they feel a bit put on the spot and don't have something ready (but I can't ask them to tell us next session because they don't do homework). When we finish Tales from Wilderland we will make new characters for Darkening of Mirkwood, and I'm going to use that new start to address the first two concerns, and hopefully that'll take care of the third.
Join our Discord chat for TOR and AiME: https://discord.me/theonering

Stormcrow
Posts: 1265
Joined: Sat May 18, 2013 2:56 pm
Location: Ronkonkoma, NY
Contact:

Re: How many adventures/fellowship phases?

Post by Stormcrow » Mon Oct 02, 2017 2:39 pm

I don't think characters with shallow backgrounds can't be "rescued." Although a detailed background may provide ready-made characterizations during the Fellowship phase, that's not to say that less developed characters can't BECOME developed through the actions of the players during the Fellowship phase. That really is the point, after all: the player makes the character grow by detailing all the stuff he does when not on adventures. So you don't necessarily have to abandon your current characters. Just use the Fellowship phase as an opportunity to fill in all the blank areas that you didn't fill in before you started.

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Google [Bot], Vuriche and 7 guests