House Rules.   Posted by Loremaster.Group: 0
 GM, 6 posts
 AC:30, HP: 100, M: 10/10
Sun 14 Jan 2018
at 21:18
House Rules
Here is where I will place the House Rules that reflect the changes from Adventures in Middle Earth Players Hand Book. and the things that I do to keep the flow going on RPOL.

 Sourcing:  The main sourcing comes from J.R.R Tolkien himself.  I have also taken inspiration from MERP, The One Ring RPG, Jackson's Movie's, LOTR Online and LOTR Strategy Battle for some of the House Rules and campaign ideas.

 1st House Rule:  I DO NOT CHASE PLAYERS DOWN.  If you don't want to play or you have lost interest just send me a note-plenty of people on RPOL that want to play.  If real life gets in the way just send me a note.

 2nd House Rule: To support the 1st House Rule-If you are absent longer than 15 days and have not notified me, your character and its Intellectual Property belong to me and the game.  This will usually result in a less than Heroic death that ties to the overall plot of the game.  This will be done sometime after Day 15 without any notification to the player.  (Who will also be dropped from the game)

This message was last edited by the GM at 22:20, Sun 14 Jan 2018.

 GM, 7 posts
 AC:30, HP: 100, M: 10/10
Sun 14 Jan 2018
at 21:20
Skill stacking
I allow skill and other ability stacking as part of normal character development.

-A skill/ tool can only be selected for 'Expertise' once.
-Selecting a skill past the first time is a +1 each time
-Some abilities stack between culture and class

A skill example is
1.  Stealth as a Hobbit Culture Proficiency (Proficiency at LVL)
2.  Chooses Stealth as a Treasure Hunter Class Feature (+1 Bonus)
3.  Chooses Stealth from Hunted by Shadow Background (+1 Bonus)
4.  Chooses Stealth as one of the 'Expertise' skills (Doubles Bonus)
5.  At LVL 1 this hobbit would have a +8 to Stealth.

Another example is:
1.  Dwarf trait-Night Vision:  See 60 feet in Dim Light as if it was bright light.
2.  Treasure Hunter gains Night Vision as well.
3.  I would give this character 90 feet in Dim Light as if it was bright light

Two examples that I have come across playing.  I'm sure that their are more that I am missing, if you come across something like this feel free to PM me and we can discuss.

This message was last edited by the GM at 16:49, Mon 05 Feb 2018.

 GM, 8 posts
 AC:30, HP: 100, M: 10/10
Sun 14 Jan 2018
at 22:18
Combat and other Dice Rolls
Again I run a rules light system designed to speed up the game.  This system will Favor the party.  I don't post battle maps on RPOL.

1.  Unless specified all players can get into combat.  Melee can find another Melee target and archers are assumed to have a 'clear' field of fire.

   a.  I break the combat into FRONT rank and BACK rank for the party and adversaries. (Borrowed from The One Ring RPG)
   b.  As long as a side has more(not equal) FRONT rank members than BACK rank members, the other side can not get melee attacks against the BACK rank.
   c. Example: A party of 5 against 10 goblins.
       -3 party members choose FRONT rank and 2 select BACK.
       -All the goblins choose FRONT and charge the party.
       -Only the front 3 party members are subject to attacks from the goblins.
       -The 2 BACK rank party members are free to make missile or 'reach' attacks
       -If during combat one of the FRONT 3 is knocked unconscious the goblins can now reach the BACK rank
   d.  FRONT rank has to be actively involved in combat and visible.  Example a character sneaking can't be counted toward the FRONT rank.
   e.  Missile attacks with adversaries in melee is at Disadvantage per PHB.
   f.  Will make sense once we do our first combat.

2.  I roll one initiative for the adversaries.  Party members either go before or after that roll depending on individual initiative. In critical fights with a major advisory I might break out initiative in a more traditional way.  It then goes by 'POST' order not INIT order for the party depending on whether you are a before or after order.

3.  For the majority of fights I will post the adversaries AC and HPs so that you can assist me with removing them from the Battlefield in a colorful way.  So if you attack a Goblin and hit it and then kill it, describe it in your post.  This allows you the opportunity to have fun describing something.  Same thing if you miss-describe it.  This also assists the rest of the party in knowing what is going on.  When you don't see AC or HPs, watch out.....

4.  Once combat starts I run a 48 hour period between turns, unless the entire party has posted.  At the end of 48 hours I move out, and just assume those that didn't post panicked, are fumbling through their gear etc. (Obviously if you've announced your absence I'll play for you.)  Unfortunately those that panic tend to draw the enemy to them the next round.  Its just a nice way to provoke character involvement or remove those that are no longer with us.

5.  I'm not caught up with encumbrance rules, I assume in combat you drop all needless weight.  Intent is to help combat move along and not let it bog down.

6.  Natural 1 ALWAYS Misses:  Roll again
   1     Weapon breaks, 1 round to draw new weapon
   2-10  Weapon falls out of your hands and is thrown/kicked 2 rounds away.
   11-20 Weapon falls at your feet, round to p/up or draw new weapon

7.  Critical per the 5e PHB (page 196).

8.  Mulligan Dice Rolls.
  a.  Players have a number of Mulligans equal to their level at the start of each adventure

  b.  At any time the player may take a Mulligan re-roll.  Keep rolling until you get at least a natural 10.  This is not an extra action-just an opportunity to get around the RPOL Dice Roller during a critical combat.

  c.  Add this to your BIO as M:# and as you use them subtract.  Also put on Character sheet somewhere.

  d.  They will refresh after each ACT or long rest. Unused Mulligans DO NOT STACK.

 9.  Have fun!!!

This message was last edited by the GM at 13:18, Wed 17 June 2020.

 GM, 18 posts
 AC:30, HP: 100, M: 10/10
Sat 3 Feb 2018
at 10:16
Other Miscellaneous things
1.  Magic Items/ Heirlooms:  As the game progresses you may feel you have a good reason to receive something not from your culture.  PM me and we can discuss.

 GM, 24 posts
 AC:30, HP: 100, M: 10/10
Mon 12 Feb 2018
at 02:28
Dwarf and Elf made Items
In order to be able to craft a Dwarf or Elf made item 3 steps:

1.  Smith Tools as a Tool Proficiency
2.  Smith Craft Specialty
3.  'Study with a Dwarf Craftsman' as an undertaking during a Long Fellowship phase.  They can be found in Erebor, Dale, lake Town or the Iron Hills.

4.  'Study with a Elf Craftsman' as an undertaking during a Long Fellowship phase.  They can be found in Thranduils Halls, Lorien or Rivendell.

Dwarf or Elf 'Apprentice Craftsman'
Dwarf or Elf 'Craftsman'
Dwarf or Elf 'Master Craftsman'

***  Any Additional undertaking where you 'Study with a Dwarf or elf  Craftsman' will increase the items value.

Smith Craft Specialty can be acquired through the following Backgrounds (Driven from Home, Doomed to Die or World Weary)

Smith Craft can also be learned as an undertaking during a fellowship phase.

Making an Item takes a 2 day per sp:  Example a Hammer costs 2 SP, so it would take 4 days to craft.  This in addition to the actual cost of the item.

Dwarf made items:  Axe, Great Axe, Long Sword, ShortSword, Broadsword, Hammers. Mattocks,  Corslets of Mail, Scale Hauberks, RingMail and Heavy Mail

Elf Made items: dagger, spear, longsword, Great Spear, Short bow, Great bow, Leather corslet, Corslet of Mail, Scale Hauberk

Apprentice Craftsman (x2 days per sp to make)--------------
Weapons:  +1 to attack and damage
Armor:  All critical hits against the wearer become normal hits

Craftsman (x10 days per sp to make)------------------
Weapons: +2 to attack and damage
Armor:  As above, +1 AC and no disadvantage on stealth rolls

Master Craftsman(x20 days per sp to make)-----------------
Weapons: +3 to attack and damage
Armor:  As above, +2 AC, no disadvantage on stealth rolls, 1/2 weight

This message was last edited by the GM at 17:40, Fri 06 Sept 2019.

 GM, 40 posts
 AC:30, HP: 100, M: 10/10
Sun 4 Mar 2018
at 18:11
Tale of Years (Age and Family)
Age, death and the family will be an important factor in this campaign.

We are utilizing the 'Mirkwood Campaign' as our back drop and it does not expect  that the same character that starts will be at the end.(Except maybe Dwarfs or Elfs)  If you have ever played Pendragon you can tell the authors have drawn heavily on that theme.

The game fully expects that characters will die or retire from adventuring and pass the mantle onto a younger generation: Bilbo to Frodo, Gloin to Gimli, etc, etc.

The Campaign starts in 2945 four years after the Battle of the Five Armies and could go through Saurons Invasion of the North in 3019.

We will average 1-2 adventures per game year (some years will have no adventures)-so your character will age 'quickly'.  The game will give you many incentives to replace your characters at points:  Age out, die in combat gain responsibility (Lordships and land), or grow weary under the Shadow..  All could be interesting and effective ways to tell your characters story in Middle Earth.

1.  New Players will start at Level 1.

2.  Replacement Characters for existing players have a few options:

   A:  Completely new character with no ties to the old one:  1/4 XP of original character.

   B.  Older Sibling/ Spouse-if you have a sibling or spouse that you have roleplayed (fellowship phases) into the game or is part of your history that character can start at 1/3 the experience of the replaced character.  Depending on the circumstances they may gain the possessions of the late character.

   C:  Child or younger Sibling:  If your character has a child or younger Sibling that character starts at 1/2 Experience:  They gain any possession (Heirlooms included), and possibly bonus Virtues and Proficiencies when they start adventuring.

      C1:  Heroic Death-Your parents/ siblings Heroic Death fighting the Shadow has earned you a bonus Virtue (open or cultural) as you have focused your childhood on avenging them.

      C2:  Retire from Adventuring-Your parent/ sibling retired from adventuring has earned you a bonus Virtue (open or Cultural)and a Bonus Proficiency (includes tools) in a skill your parent had as you have listened to their stories growing up and have long awaited the chance to take up arms like they did.

      C3:  Dies of natural Causes in old age while still adventuring:  Character only gets a Bonus Proficiency (includes tools) in a skill your parent/ sibling had.

2.  Age and its effect:

             Young Adult    Mature    Middle Aged     Old     Venerable
Dwarf           50-75       76-150      151-200      201-250    251-275
Man             16-20       21-40       41-60        61-80      81-100
Hobbit          25-33       34-68       69-79        79-99      100-120
Dunedain        20-44       45-100      101-175      175-225    225-250
Elf             100-200     201-500     501+

-Age effects are not added during character creation if your characters stating age is Young Adult-they take effect the first time a character crosses a category.

-Players who wish to start a younger or older character will use these tables (Young Adults are considered 'Default')

-These Additions can take you above 20 or below 0 (Below 0 means your character dies)

-Once a character crosses into 'Middle Aged' their is an increasing % that they will die of natural causes (To include disease) every year.  This does not include Elves

Child:         -1 STR, -1 WIS, -1 INT +1 CON
Young Adults:  +1 CON
Mature:        +1 STR, +1 WIS
Middle Aged:   -1 STR, -1 CON, +1 WIS and +1 INT
Old:           -2 STR, -2 DEX, -1 CON, +1 WIS and +1 INT
Venerable:     -1 STR, -1 DEX, -1 CON, +2 WIS

Elves have different rules once they cross 501 years to reflect their immortality and growing weariness with Middle Earth:
501-1000:          +1 WIS or INT, +1 CHR and +1 Permanent Shadow point
Every 1000 years:  +1 WIS or INT, +1 CHR and +1 Permanent Shadow point

This message was last edited by the GM at 12:15, Sat 06 June 2020.

 GM, 383 posts
 AC:30, HP: 100, M: 10/10
Sun 12 Jul 2020
at 16:38
Smoke Rings (Game)
Dwarves of the Road play an ancient game of Smoke Rings. They declare what shape they will attempt to blow, and then make their attempt. Each smoker has 3 tries to score as many points as possible. Legend has it that different pipe weeds, and different kinds
of pipe can provide an advantage.

Smoke rings are blown using either an experienced smoking (Wisdom) or naturally gifted smoking (Dexterity) ability check. Of course, those proficient with the pipe benefit from their Proficiency Bonus. The DC depends on the smoke ring attempted:

The Game of Smoke Rings

Series of tiny rings DC 12: 1 point
Small, but perfectly formed, spinning ring DC 13: 2 points
Medium sized ring, through which flies a small ring DC 14: 3 points
The Grower DC 15: 3 points
The Shrinker DC 16: 4 points
The Giantís Ring DC 17:  5 points
The Dragon DC 18: 8 points

Players of the game can choose to huff up a load of deep breaths to lower both the Difficulty by one, and the resulting points for success by one. The Dwarves find this entirely laughable and amateurish behaviour, but will allow it.