Saturday, January 4, 2014

The One Ring

In honor of it being J.R.R. Tolkien's birthday, I figure tonight I will create a character from the most recent (I think) game based on his works, The One Ring. It's a game published by Cubicle 7 Entertainment, a company that also publishes the RPG Doctor Who: Adventures in Time and Space, among others. The One Ring is basically a game about groups of adventurers in Middle-Earth, traveling the lands, delving dungeons, and fighting monsters in the span between The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings. It has some really interesting mechanics, and I'd love to go into them, but this is just an exercise in character-building, so I'd advise anyone who finds the character creation system interesting to look into the game further.

For character creation in The One Ring, there are two main categories, with a number of choices in each. The first category is selecting a heroic culture. Your choices as a player here are Bardings (from the rebuilt city of Dale), Beornings (followers of Beorn the skin-changer), Dwarves of the Lonely Mountain (speaks for itself), Elves of the Mirkwood (ditto), Hobbits of the Shire (and again), and Woodmen of the Wilderland (frontiersmen of the North, friends of Radagast the Brown).. I'll go with a Beorning for now. Now, I record the Cultural Blessing of the Beorning (Furious: when a Beorning is wounded in battle, he ignores the effects of being Weary and Miserable for the duration of combat)) and the skill list. It's a fair list, and I don't make any choices here, so I'll hold it for the summary at the end. I do choose one of two weapon skillsets: either Axes 2, Spear 1, Dagger 1 or Great-spear 2, Axe 1, Dagger 1. I'll go with the former, because I like axes.

Next, I select two Specialties from this list: Anduin-lore, Beast-lore, Cooking, Fishing, Mountaineer, and Storytelling. I'll go with Beast-lore and Storytelling; he likes to hunt and tell stories about it. Then a choose a Background; I have six options - Child of Two Folks (father from the mountains, mother from Mirkwood), Errand-rider (messenger for the Beornings), Head of the Family (new head of your family after your father disappeared), Light-foot (you are light on your feet and a good spy), Keeper of Tales (family tradition as a skald and storyteller), and Voice from the Past (you love the ancient tales and songs). I like the idea of the Voice from the Past, so I'll choose that; it means my basic attributes will be Body 7, Heart 4, Wits 3, my Favoured Skill is Song, and I choose two Distinctive Features from this list: Generous, Grim, Proud, Robust, Steadfast, Tall, Vengeful, and Wrathful.I'll go with Generous and Steadfast.

Next, I enter the Customize My Hero category. First, I choose my character's Favoured Attributes. For this, I add 3 to one attribute, 2 to another, and 1 to a third. I'll add 3 to Heart, 2 to Body, and 1 to Wits, giving me 9 Body, 7 Heart, and 4 Wits. Next, I use 10 experience to improve various skills, like the ones I got as a Beorning. I'll add 1 to Riddles for 2 points, raise Song to 2 for 3 points, raise Inspire from 1 to 2, and Battle from 0 to 2 for the last 5 points. Then I choose a calling - kind of a career. My choices are Scholar, Slayer, Treasure Hunter, Wanderer, and Warden. I like the idea of a roaming story-gatherer, so I'll pick Wanderer; I can choose two skills from either the Custom (Courtesy, Song, Riddle) or Survival (Explore, Healing, Hunting) groups as favoured; I'll go with Hunting and Riddle. I also get the Trait Folk-lore, and the Shadow Weakness Wandering-madness (wanderers travel without ever really settling down, but also run the risk of never finding anything to live for - what if the road goes ever on and on forever?).

Then I generate my Endurance (physical well-being) and Hope (spiritual health) scores; based on my Heart score, my Endurance is 31, and Hope is 15. Then I prioritize Valour and Wisdom - either Valour 2 and Wisdom 1, or Wisdom 2 and Valour 1. I'll go with Valour 2, Wisdom 1; this gives me a Reward. As a Beorning, my choices are Giant-slaying Spear, Noble Armour, and a Splitting Axe; since I like Axes, I'll choose that. Finally, I choose Gear and Fatigue. my travelling gear depends on the season. My Splitting Axe is Encumbrance 4, my spear is Encumbrance 2, and my Dagger Encumbrance 0; for armor, I'll take a mail shirt (Encumbrance 12) and an iron and leather cap (Encumbrance 2), for a total Encumbrance of 20. This means that, if during play my Endurance goes below 20, my character becomes Weary, meaning it is harder to roll successes. So, I will name my character Bodvar, and then head to the summary.

Bodvar, son of Hrolf
Experience: 10
Valour 2, Wisdom 1
Cultural Blessing: Furious
Calling: Wanderer
Shadow Weakness: Wandering-madness

Specialties: Beast-lore, Storytelling, Folk-lore
Distinctive Features: Generous, Steadfast

Body 9, Heart 7, Wits 4
Common Skills
Awe 3, Athletics 2, Awareness 2, Explore 0, Song 2, Craft 1, Inspire 2, Travel 0, Insight 3, Healing 1, Courtesy 0, Battle 2, Persuade 0, Stealth 0, Search 1, Hunting 3, Riddle 2, Lore 0

Weapon Skills
(Axes) 2, Spear 1, Dagger 1

Splitting Axe

Mail shirt
Cap of iron and leather

Now, in a regular game, a Fellowship would also be created, but that would require several other characters, so I'll leave you with that tantalizing bit of information in the hopes that more people will show interest in this fascinating game.

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