Criticism of Realm Guard Rangers

The thing I’m not understanding about Realm Guard is the various Natures is that they are not Activities as most are in MG (animals have more Personality Traits, but they only have Nature as a stat, and in that case it makes more sense). How can a Human Ranger for instance Act with Pride, and thus in their Nature, as a Mouse Guard might Forage with their Nature?

I think the Natures need to be modified to mostly Actions rather than Personality Traits, as they seem to be now.

We tried and there was a bunch of brainstorming, but it didn’t really work, so we went with nouns around which Nature relates.

Could someone give some examples of how those nouns would be used then? I don’t see how to apply them in place of skills, as one can do with Nature, nor how to determine if an Action is with or against said Nature.

Caul -
This quote is from when the hack was first being made.

So basically in Realm Guard using your Nature at all in any “adventuring” type way has a chance of Taxing it.

So basically in Realm Guard using your Nature at all in any “adventuring” type way has a chance of Taxing it.


I think caul’s point is that he doesn’t see Grief, Family and Tradition as usable during missions, whereas Hiding, Escaping, Climbing, etc. can be.

The thing is this: Rangers can use their Nature within missions, just not for action style conflicts. Whereas mice use theirs in chases, fights and animal fights, Rangers will use theirs in speeches, negotiations, arguments, etc. So physical vs. mental.

Exactly my point, and I am beginning to see yours. I am also beginning to see that you don’t want to use Nature all the time, and that Tax is good.

Nature must be in conflict with your duty.

A new thought (perhaps for the next version). Shouldn’t Goblins and Orcs suffer a penalty for acting in sunlight. They are not turned to stone, but I remember from the books that Uruks were created to deal with sunlight activity. Perhaps -1D or -2D, being not so bad a Barrow-Wights?

That’s a good idea. The Goblins (Moria Orcs) should definitely have that, though Mordor Orcs were often out in sunlight. They preferred night, but the sun wasn’t a problem for them, as I recall.

This would seem to suggest that all Orcs function poorly in daylight. I would suggest a -3D penalty after all, for consider the attack on Helm’s Deep and Gandalf’s coming, and from the books (sadly not the movies) the arrival of the Rohirrim at Pellanor Fields, and the effect of the sun glinting off of Theoden’s golden shield.

The majority of the forces at the above battles, though of course Uruks were present, were good old fashioned Orcs, and thus the panic and lose of fighting skill at the sight of the sun.

Uruk-hai are of course unaffected.

Yeah, may give Moria Orcs -2D, and Mordor Orcs -1D.

Another idea for tweaking the next version. I don’t see the point of Alchemist if it is mainly used to make poultices for Healers to use, which Healers can make for themselves. I would just remove Scientist altogether, unless you can make Alchemist more a matter poisons and the like (which a Band of Heroes in Arda wouldn’t use anyway…).

Also, I don’t see the point of separating Animal Handler and Herdsman. In MG, I see the difference in Apiarists and Insectrists, mostly in the background of the setting, but I think Animal Handler would handle every need from milking, husbandry, and training, in Middle Earth.

And FYI I love what you’ve done, I’m not bashing, just suggesting…

I’m all for simplification! I’ll take a gander and try to think of scenarios where those skills would need to be split out. If not, I’ll amalgamate.

We followed Luke’s examples at my Gencon sessions. We used:

Tradition to convince a mayor to support our mission, to guilt a drinking Ranger to take it home and not embarrass us, and to rally our team before taking back an ancestral home.

Grief to avenge a fallen Ranger (a couple of different actions), to bury said Ranger, and to get everyone on the same page before continuing the mission.

Family didn’t come up (we were doing a single session and not around any areas the players were from).

Is that useful?

I used Alchemist a lot in the game test at Gencon. To understand the concoction the orcs were using. To create a mechanism to set off barrels of heat inducing tar/pitch. It includes all the mechanisms, potions, breeding programs of Sauron and Sarumon, etc. Loremaster is ‘bookish’ and not directly practical except for the subtle magics of the wise. Alchemy is really useful. Too useful. Delving into the really powerful stuff was mostly done by the enemy. Going there was one of the things that may have contributed to Sarumon’s fall…

This may have some legs. I could see doing this. During our Gencon session, it came up that there might be a need for some sort of movement skill (Athletics?) and some sort of Perception skill.A need for some sort of positioning came up as a maneuver and I wasn’t sure how to determine if players found something in a village (if it was wilderness I’d have them using Pathfinder, etc and put that up as a twist for yes or no).

If you added that, it would keep the skill list about the same size.

Which is why I would suggest leaving it out. You don’t see any of the Wise or Heroes doing this in Middle Earth, lest they become one of the Enemy.

Movement in the immediate sense (climbing a tree rather than forging a path) is Health rather than Pathfinding. Perception as I understand is covered under Scout.

Then I’d leave it out of your game. I see this as one of the challenges of the Fourth Age. Do they use this knowledge they find in the towers? Even Sarumon’s interest was not opposed by the Council of the Wise (just considered dangerous). Who’s going to stop men from accessing this knowledge?

Now, King Elessar may say no and if a Ranger had this it would be story grist. The enemies and likely other men may have a sprinkling of this skill so I say keep it in and tell the players its off limits or will cause complications if the king has spoken about it.

Yeah, I bet you’re right on the movement thing. It was to do a maneuver in combat so my mind blocked a little allowing something other than a skill or Nature. The perception was more investigative in a urban-ish setting. Just didn’t seem to fit well. Scout may not be a bad choice at all if you don’t want to change it.