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Tales from the Twilight of the Third Age

 
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Old Oct 1 '18, 4:32am
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Tales from the Twilight of the Third Age

Tales From the Twilight of the Third Age - Forum
The One Ring



'Beorn indeed became a great chief afterwards in those regions and ruled a wide land between the mountains and the wood; and it is said that for many generations the men of his line had the power of taking bear's shape, and some were grim men and bad, but most were in heart like Beorn, if less in size and strength. In their day the last goblins were hunted from the Misty Mountains and a new peace came over the edge of the wild.'

J. R. R. Tolkien, The Hobbit, Chapter 14: The Return Journey

The Setting


‘It's a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don't keep your feet, there's no knowing where you might be swept off to.’

J. R. R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Fellowship of the Ring


It is the year 2948 of the Third Age. Smaug has been defeated and the battle of the Five Armies has been won. It is the dawn of a time of prosperity and hope. The dwarven kingdom of Erebor has been reclaimed; the descendants of Durin the Deathless are wealthier than ever before. Dale and lake-town have been rebuilt. Agents of King Bard are now roaming the Wilderland, eager to lead Men into a golden age. In the forests, the elves of the woodland realm can again venture deep into what once was Greenwood the Great, while the Woodmen see their holdings expand for the first time in centuries. To the west, Beorn the Skinchanger has abandoned his solitude, and now leads all sorts of brave, stout-hearted folk to patrol the Misty Mountains. Further to the west, the remarkable stories of Bilbo have spread throughout the Shire, inspiring many young hobbits. This is a time for trade, exploration, travelling and all sorts of adventure.

Yet the Shadow, although defeated, has not been truly vanquished. It still lingers in places where no elf or mortal dares set foot. The Enemy awaits in hiding, scheming his return… for if the Free Folks do not unite to hold back the Darkness, the Shadow is certain to grow stronger and envelop the whole of Wilderland.

The Campaign


'As their eyes became used to the dimness they could see a little way to either side in a sort of darkened green glimmer. Occasionally a slender beam of sun that had the luck to slip in through some opening in the leaves far above, and still more luck in not being caught in the tangled boughs and matted twigs beneath, stabbed down thin and bright before them. But this was seldom, and it soon ceased altogether.'

J. R. R. Tolkien, The Hobbit, Chapter 14: Queer Lodgings


At the end of The Hobbit, the Necromancer is driven out of his stronghold in Dol Guldur, Smaug the golden is slain and the orcs are defeated and much diminished. Thus it seems that a new age of hope and prosperity has dawned for the free folk of Wilderland. Unfortunately, this will not last: in the coming decades, Sauron's power will grow again, and he will declare in Mordor, and darkness will return once again to the forest of Mirkwood. These events will eventually lead to the War of the Ring and the end of the Third Age.

This campaign tells the tale of the return of the darkness to Mirkwood and Wilderland, and the rise of Sauron. The protagonists will not be able to turn the tide, but their actions can help to hold back the darkness for a few more years, and they can try to save their folk, their loved ones, and whatever else they hold dear, against the return of all-encroaching darkness. Though currently in the game we are still in the prosperous and hopeful years after the Battle of the Five Armies, later on the tale will become much more grim and gritty, though there will always be some hope.

In practical terms, we are running pre-published adventures from Tales from Wilderland and The Darkening of Mirkwood, and may in the future include adventures from other resources such as Oaths of the Riddermark and upcoming releases. Each year (in in-game time) includes one adventure, which is played out in detail over the forums, and a fellowship phase, which provides downtime and opportunities for characters to develop and to pursue individual goals. In this way, the campaign will last many years, and during it the protagonists will grow older, gain renown, and (if they are lucky) eventually retire.

The next adventure is from 'Tales from Wilderland' and is called 'Kinstrife and Dark Tidings'. It takes place in the lands of Beorn, who has become a chieftain of Men, and involves a task to be undertaken at his behest.

The SystemThe One Ring (click for link).

TOR is a dice pool-based system that uses a d12 and d6s to resolve actions. The core mechanic is very simple. When you need to roll, you use a 'feat die' (d12) plus a number of 'success dice' (d6s) equal to your skill rank. The higher you roll, the better, though the typical number to meet or beat (target Number, or TN) is 14. An 11 on the feat die is an 'eye of Sauron'-potential failure, and / or something bad happens. A 12 on the feat die is a 'Gandalf'-automatic success. 6s on the d6 rolls may enable critical successes.

The figure on the left gives a rough idea of how skill ranks translate in this game. More detailed probability analysis can be found here (click).

The Player Characters in TOR do not have classes or levels, and almost everything is based on skills. They also have additional statistics and mechanics such as Hope and Shadow, that introduce many themes from the books into the game in a very direct and impactful manner. Although some options can be better than others during character generation / advancement, TOR is for the most part not min-maxable, and most characters should be viable.

Knowledge or familiarity with the rules is not required. The rules are simple and easy to learn, and I and other players are happy to teach you. You do not need to own any of the books either.

Expectations1. Posting rate: Between 1-2 substantial (i.e. narrative-advancing) posts per week.
2. Communication: Absences should be communicated when possible, as should other issues that can impact the game such as frustrations, boredom, lack of inspiration, real-life busyness etc.
3. Stats and rolls: Players are supposed to make their own rolls and track their own stats.
4. Tone, language and writing quality: Decent spelling, grammar and sentence / paragraph structuring are all good and strongly encouraged. Of course, small mistakes and typos will happen, and they are not a big deal. Players should stay true to the themes, language and style of the novels as best they can, though of course none is expected to write as well as the Professor.
5. Characters: PCs are expected to be proactive and try to follow their goals. Of course, there will also be plenty of things to react to, but motivated characters with compelling goals make for much more interesting stories.

Application process'I am looking for someone to share in an adventure that I am arranging, and it's very difficult to find anyone.'

J. R. R. Tolkien, The Hobbit


I want the application process to be as easy and efficient as possible. I am much more interested in the players and character concepts, and have no interest in finalized character sheets. Therefore, I will be using a questionaire similar to the Same Page Tool (link) to figure out if the playstyles and expectations of the applicants match those of the current group.

Here's the application process:

1. Answer to the questionaire below by copy-pasting it and highlighting your chosen answer (e.g. with bold or underline). You can also provide alternative answers if you want, or elaborate more, but these should be brief. You can post your completed questionaire in this application thread, inside a spoiler tag. Hopefully, this should not take up much of your time.
2. If playstyles and expectations match, I will invite you as a Reader, and we can proceed with character creation there. I can provide some pregens or hooks for you to choose from or implement in your backstory, or you can make your own character by yourself (suggestions and feedback will be provided early on if your concept is difficult or unlikely to work).
3. (Optional) If you wish to see the game forum, let me know and I will provide access by inviting you as a reader before filling in the same page tool.
4. A maximum of 2-3 players will be selected by early-mid November at the latest, or earlier if there are many good players / applications. Player selection will be done by myself and my co-GM Diofant, after also consulting with the current players.

Expected time of starting to play is estimated to be around the beginning of December.


Game Description:


‘It's a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don't keep your feet, there's no knowing where you might be swept off to.’

It is the year 2946 of the Third Age. Smaug has been defeated and the battle of the Five Armies has been won. It is the dawn of a time of prosperity and hope. The dwarven kingdom of Erebor has been reclaimed; the descendants of Durin the Deathless are wealthier than ever before. Dale and lake-town have been rebuilt. Agents of King Bard are now roaming the Wilderland, eager to lead Men into a golden age. In the forests, the elves of the woodland realm can again venture deep into what once was Greenwood the Great, while the Woodmen see their holdings expand for the first time in centuries. To the west, Beorn the Skinchanger has abandoned his solitude, and now leads all sorts of brave, stout-hearted folk to patrol the Misty Mountains. Further to the west, the remarkable stories of Bilbo have spread throughout the Shire, inspiring many young hobbits. This is a time for trade, exploration, travelling and all sorts of adventure.

Yet the Shadow, although defeated, has not been truly vanquished. It still lingers in places where no elf or mortal dares set foot. The Enemy awaits in hiding, scheming his return… for if the Free Folks do not unite to hold back the Darkness, the Shadow is certain to grow stronger and envelop the whole of Wilderland.

@Fenrus: Regarding your answer to Q2, please check above for my answer to Jeeper. If you are ok with such a playstyle, you can proceed with your application. Instructions are provided here: https://www.myth-weavers.com/showthread.php?t=452240

@Vladim

I highly believe that PCs can have internal conflict without it coming to PvP blows or derailing the entire campaign, it's just a matter of maturity on the player's part. I am completely okay with that playstyle and I'll go ahead and continue!







 

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