Thursday, November 16, 2017

Gorgon Archer - The One Ring - Character Creation Analysis

Character Creation and the Gorgon Archer

As with the Legend of Five Rings character, this is going to be a gorgon in terms of a title, insult, or epitaph. As such we're going to be having a woman that lives on the edges of the wild and is an outsider for some reason or another. I only have the core book and Rivendell for character options. The Rivendell book has the Dunadan and Noldor options.

At about this time in Middle Earth, the Noldor are few and far between and most feel the burden of the various evils their people had inflicted upon the world. Within Lord of the Rings, the only Noldor you encounter are Glorfindel and Galadriel, both of whom are humble as compared to their immediate kin and were part of the groups of Noldor that mostly avoided the horrific atrocities inflicted by those serving Feanor and his sons. As a further note, dark emotions might impact the manner in which a Noldor appears. One who in the past might have been part of Feanor or Feanor's army may have spent thousands of years doing terrible things before turning away and going into retreat to deal with their guilt.

That said, Noldor and Dunadan have an impact on the advancement and creation of a character. Most especially, they advance slower as costs are higher. To give a better look at the character creation, I am going to assume a Woodman or Woman of Dale for the gorgon and simply assume that they are a pariah of some sort. 

The first thing you do in One Ring character creation is to choose a heroic culture. Once this is done, you record your culture's Cultural Blessing and a skill list including the common skills and some weapon skills. Then you choose two specialties and a background. The background can be rolled for if you want. You also get your basic Attributes, determined by your background, and a second Favoured Skill and two Distinctive Features.

Specialties and Distinctive Features, collectively called Traits, represent knacks and special characteristics that heroes have. They don't have any specific mechanics themselves but instead have a small description of circumstances and skill sorts that a character would have an advantage with. When things along those lines show up or when the player acts according to these traits, then they might get information or opportunities that are not available to others without the Trait. Traits can allow you to automatically get an ordinary success (not extraordinary) success with a common skill or allow you a die roll when you normally wouldn't be allowed one. They can also be noted to grant you an Advancement point, but more on that later.

One you have dealt with your heroic culture you move on to customizing the character. You choose Favoured Attributes at this point, which represent the value that will be added to your rolls when you spend Hope on a Favoured Skill. You then use some "previous experience", a total of 10 points, to purchase increased skill levels representing the experience they've had prior to the campaign start. Each successive skill level costs more experience to increase.

You then choose a Calling, which is analogous to a class but much less defined along with some more favoured skills. The Calling also comes with a Shadow Weakness, which represents how you might most easily be tempted by corruption and what shape that corruption will take. Finally, you choose a priority of Valor or Wisdom, which sets a starting Reward or Virtue and note down your derived characteristics including Endurance and Hope. Rewards and Virtues are items of great value or great skills. Some of them are culture specific while others are available to all cultures. This includes famous weapons, great armor, skill with healing arts, great reputations, and other such things. Wisdom is used to resist temptation and Corruption while Valor is used to resist unnatural terror and despair.

The common skills in The One Ring are organized in two ways. In one way they are organized by which of the three Attributes they are connected to: Body, Heart, and Wits. On the other hand, they are organized by one of six families: Personality, Movement, Perception, Survival, Custom, and Vocation. Each dot in a skill allows you to roll one additional die on top of the basic die everybody gets for a test. Attributes are added to rolls in certain situations, usually after spending Hope which can be hard to recover.

Update: Gear is such an important part of the game and can become such signature parts of the character, that I have decided to go ahead and complete the starting gear. Also note that a lot of the gear is abstracted. For example, traveling gear includes both appropriate clothing and survival gear but also food. They have encumbrance, but it is mostly considered for when the players are undertaking Journeys. Though if your Endurance drops to the level of your Fatigue (equal to the total Encumbrance you're carrying) then you start to suffer issues. As you can see, the leather gear I got for this character mean she can't stand to suffer many injuries before fatigue starts to be an issue due to her gear.

Regarding bows. There are only two kinds of bows in The One Ring: bows and great bows. Some might be surprised that there are no crossbows, but if you look toward the novels you notice that there are no crossbows in the setting. Bows are the common short bows and hunters' bows while great bows are massive warbows and long bows. Going with the stealthy impression we've been using for the various incarnations of this character concept, we'll be using a bow.

Another thing I missed were Damage and Parry ratings which are inherent to the character and in addition to the Damage of whatever weapons they carry. Damage is based on your basic Body score and Parry is based on your basic Wits score. Save that this archer's cultural blessing means she uses her Favored Wits for Parry when fighting in the woods.

Gorgon Archer

Culture: Woodman 
Cultural Blessing: Woodcrafty - when you fight in the woods, you use your Favoured Wits score for your basic Parry rating.
Background: Fairy Heritage
Calling: Slayer
Shadow Weakness: Curse of Vengeance - As corruption builds the character will become more spiteful and murderous.

Body: 4(5), Heart: 4(7), Wits: 6(8)

Endurance: 24
Hope: 14

Standing: 0
Standard of Living: Frugal

Damage Bonus 4 - Basic Body
Parry 6 - Parry with Buckler 7
Parry in Forests - 8 - Parry with Buckler in Forests 9

Encumbrance: 15(16 Autumn/Winter) - Fatigue: 15(16 Autumn/Winter)

Valor: 2
Wisdom: 1

Reward: Shepherd's Bow - When you strike with an extraordinary success with this bow, you deal extra damage equal to your Heart.

Personality: Awe: 2, Inspire: 1, Persuade: 0
Movement: Athletics 2, Travel: 0, Stealth: 3
Perception: Awareness: 2, Insight: 0, Search: 0
Survival: Explore: 3, Healing: 3, Hunting: 2
Custom: Song 1, Courtesy: 0, Riddle: 1
Vocation: Craft: 1, Battle: 1, Lore: 1

Weapon Skills: (Bows): 3, Long-hafted Axe: 1, Dagger: 1

Specialties: Mirkwood-Lore, Beast-Lore, Enemy-Lore: Spiders
Distinctive Features: Reckless, Just

Bow - Shepherd's Bow - Encumbrance 1 - Damage 5, Edge 10, Injury 14
Short Range 14, Medium Range 24, Long Range 34

Dagger - Damage 3 - Edge G - Injury 12 - Encumbrance 0
Leather Corslet - Encumbrance 8 - Protection 2d
Cap of Iron and Leather - Encumbrance 2 - Protection +1
Buckler - Encumbrance 1 - Parry +1
Traveling Gear - Encumbrance 2 in Summer/Spring - Encumbrance 3 in Autumn/Winter
Lyre - Encumbrance 1

Character Advancement
Character Creation and the Gorgon Archer

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