Tales from the Wilderlands
Valour and Wisdom
- Valour & Wisdom -
“There is more in you of good than you know,
child of the kindly West. Some courage and
some wisdom, blended in measure.”
The heroic stature of an adventurer can be measured in different ways. The One Ring uses two gauges to show how the character has grown over the course of the game: Wisdom and Valour. These scores increase as heroes overcome difficulties that others do not dare to even challenge; they are profoundly different to the other characteristics, both in what they represent and in their influence on the game.
When a hero is first created, his player assigns values to both Wisdom and Valour, setting one at 1 and the other at 2 as he prefers. Later, players may spend earned Experience to raise the two ranks. Which score they favour has many consequences in the long run, as it will alter a hero’s fundamental abilities and play a big role in determining his identity.
A character’s knowledge of his own capabilities, his selfconfidence and capacity for good judgement changes and improves with struggles and strife. A characteristic with deeply personal implications, a hero’s rank in Wisdom also determines the stature of the hero in the eyes of those that prize these qualities. When Wisdom is chosen over Valour when spending Experience points, it suggests that the hero’s adventures are affecting him subtly but profoundly. Starting as a more or less ingenuous individual with an adventurous spirit, the hero can achieve the maturity and sagacity of the Wise.
Valour is a measure of a character’s courage, as tempered by dangerous deeds. A man of valour is willing to place himself in danger for the safety of others. In a time where new threats arise each day, courage is highly prized, and a valiant adventurer is often esteemed above all other individuals. For this reason, a hero’s rank in Valour also reflects the level of renown he attained as a doer of great deeds.
When a player decides to favour Valour over Wisdom, his hero’s actions, not his judgement, will tend to prove his status in the eyes of others. From the lowliest start as a wandering adventurer, a hero might one day equal the repute and respect earned by a famous champion
How Wisdom and Valour works
Valour and Wisdom are ranked from 1 to 6, reflecting the gradual transformation of a novice adventurer into a veteran hero. The characteristics affects the game in several ways: a character’s Wisdom or Valour might affect social interactions, provide a character with special abilities and superior equipment, and let a hero resist dangerous influences, such as corruption.
A particularly wise or valiant hero is more likely to provoke a positive reaction from others. When adventurers are involved in any form of social interaction, the Loremaster takes into consideration a hero’s rank in either of the two ratings. Usually, the Loremaster considers which score is more important in the eyes of the character the hero is interacting with: a warlike chieftain may favour Valour, for example, while a wizard will almost certainly prize Wisdom.
Starting from rank 2, when a hero gains a new rank in either Wisdom or Valour, he receives a boon, a special ability. The special abilities granted by Wisdom are called Virtues, while those bestowed with ranks of Valour are called Rewards; both are presented in the next chapter. A newly created hero starts the game either with his first Reward or his first Virtue, depending in which of the characteristics he set at level 2 at character creation.
Tests relying on Valour and Wisdom
When facing the challenge of a dangerous fight, a long trek in difficult terrain, or another sort of arduous task, a hero relies upon his Endurance. If this doesn’t prove to be enough, he can draw upon his reserves of Hope. But some threats are more insidious, and these can be opposed only by good judgement or plain courage. When characters are confronted by the temptations of the Shadow, like the thirst for power or gold, they will have to put their Wisdom to the test to avoid becoming corrupt (Corruption tests). If they are set against a menace capable of inspiring blind fear, they will have to prove their Valour (Fear tests). Tests using Valour or Wisdom are very much like any other test, made using the Feat die and a number of Success dice equal to the rating possessed in the relevant characteristic.
Attribute bonus (Heart)
Players may invoke a Heart Attribute bonus to modify their Fear and Corruption test results.