As mentioned previously, our TOR campaign has been playing through the adventures in Tales from Wilderland and we’ve enjoyed the variety of them so far. However, the writer and designer in me is eager to script my own series of adventures and we’ve begun the first of those the other weekend. I wanted to explore the potential return of the Witch-king of Angmar and that means shifting the company’s attentions towards the northern reaches of the Wilderlands.
Luckily, my group has been eager to perform the Open Sanctuary undertaking whenever events allow and, after completing the adventure “Of Leaves and Stewed Hobbits,” they established the Easterly Inn as a sanctuary, befriending the hobbit proprietors and making their official base of operations in the Anduin Vale. This gave me the first opportunity to homebrew some new material for The One Ring. The following is the result of opportunity, a new Fellowship undertaking for the Easterly Inn. I present it here for your review and potential use.
New Fellowship Phase Undertaking
Carouse at the Easterly Inn
The Easterly Inn is a place where travelers from all parts of Wilderland and beyond pause from their journeying to take advantage of its hospitality. A person who spends a great deal of time in the Inn’s common room can learn a lot about current events, foreign cultures, legends, unknown songs, and etiquette.
A companion who chooses this Fellowship may make a Courtesy, Lore, Song, or Riddle test (player’s choice) at the end of the Fellowship Phase. Consult the following to determine the results of the test:
- Failure: The companion’s carousing with the travelers fails to edify him in any way. He gains no benefit from the Fellowship Phase.
- Normal Success: The companion gains a new Specialty for the following Adventure Phase. Possible specialties include Beast-lore, Elven-lore, Folk-lore, Minstrelsy, Old lore, Region-lore (Anduin- or Mirkwood-lore), Storytelling, or Trading. Only one Specialty is gained.
- Great Success: The companion gains a Specialty as above and begins the Adventuring Phase with 1 Advancement point in the skill rolled.
- Extraordinary Success: As above, but the companion begins the Adventuring Phase with 2 Advancement points in the skill rolled.
- Gandalf rune and at least one Tengwar: As with an extraordinary success, but the companion gains two temporary Specialties from the above list during the subsequent Adventuring Phase.
- Failure and an Eye: The companion spends far too much money carousing. Roll a Success die and divide the result by 2, rounding down. The companion loses that much treasure.
We had the opportunity to playtest the new undertaking during our last session when the majority of the company decided to spend their Year End fellowship phase holed up in the Inn as the snow piled up in the river valley. They passed the winter months talking with the proprietors, drinking with the Beornings, and questioning the rare wintertime visitor about some of the goings-on in and around the Anduin Vale. Brand the Barding picked up some knowledge about the increased trade and trade routes in the Wilderlands in the wake of the Battle of the Five Armies (gaining the Trading specialty for the next Adventure Phase). Milo Puddifoot listened to folktales native to the region, gaining a fair amount of knowledge of the Great River (and now has Anduin-Lore for the upcoming Adventuring Phase). The Silent, intrigued about an old, unfamiliar name for a landmark they’ve recently come to believe might lead them to a hoard of treasure smuggled out of Angmar during its final days, questioned some of the eldest Beorning visitors and has accumulated a bit of Old Lore for the upcoming Adventure Phase.
The undertaking seems to work well and I believe its benefits are equivalent to some similar undertakings presented in The Darkening of Mirkwood (which served as a guide for my first stab at material crafting for TOR). If it has a fault, it might be a bit too broad and a narrowing of focus is probably in order. I’m thinking that perhaps I should reduce the number of Specialties a character can acquire or limit the common skills one can test to acquire the temporary Specialty. If anyone uses this undertaking, please let me know how it works for you.