I am going to run a group through the mines of Moria in a The One Ring game and I am unsure how to have all the roles work in such an environment.

Basic plot is that this group was hired by Balin to frequently deliver supplies. On this trip is when Balin has been killed and the goblins have killed the rest of that party. The PC party sees the horde of goblins from a distance and are going to go the opposite way when there is a light coming from behind (yes, the Balrog). So they flee into the passages where they have never been. Now they must escape the mines of Moria before the goblins choose a new king and they unite into a single horde. Until then they are dealing with tribes who's main focus is not intruders they may or may not know about.

The guide role still works as intended as they will be choosing the directions and attempting to leave the mines. No, the guide is not going to know the mines or even have complete maps.

The scout role is giving me issues because their job is to set up camp and break new trails. I can see the setting up camp still (because rest is still needed even if your being hunted by orcs), but they are not going to be making new tunnels. Anyone playing this role might feel left out compared to the importance of the guide.

The huntsman role is also an issue because their role is to find food. In this environment the party shouldn't split up so it would be mostly limited to deciding whatever they come across is safe to eat. Again, how to make they feel included compared to the guide?

The look out man role is as important as the guide. Observing the surroundings in the tunnels for ambush and all that.

What can I do for the huntsman and scout?

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    \$\begingroup\$ Just confirming - this is for the first edition, and not for some playtest rules from the currently-in-production second edition? I'm writing a first-edition answer. \$\endgroup\$
    – Glazius
    Sep 6, 2021 at 21:10
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Glazius Yes, its for 1e. The 2e alpha rules are not being used, but if 2e has a solution I am open to use that solution in place. \$\endgroup\$
    – Fering
    Sep 7, 2021 at 0:59

2 Answers 2


Journey roles are about dealing with problems, and the problems are known.

The duty for a chosen character comes into play when a failed Travel roll triggers a Hazard sequence.

-- "Adventurer's Book" p.154, emphasis mine

(While the spirit is useful, this is actually inaccurate; per the Loremaster's book it's actually a failed Fatigue test. It's possible this is an editing problem since Fatigue tests represent progress during travel.)

All you have to worry about as a Loremaster is describing the overall journey between Fatigue tests. You don't need to focus on each player until someone rolls an Eye of Sauron and fails a Fatigue test, and the rules will let you know what happens; see Hazards on p.35 of the Loremaster's book. Though it can be useful to have a picture of what a role is doing in order to understand how to interpret the Hazard.

Scouts make the small decisions and Guides make the big ones. The Guide cares about overall direction of travel but doesn't really get engaged at every fork in the road; it's the Scout's job to determine promising leads and emergency detours. This is just as true underground; the Guide doesn't worry about where to go at each branch, but the Scout needs to run ahead and combine that with their knowledge of caving to avoid dead-ends and Goblin-inhabited areas. It's going to be more difficult than doing it in the overworld, but that's already handled by how tough you're making the journey rolls already, right? Hostile Goblin territories are shadow/dark lands for sure.

Hunstmen (pardon my Saxon) supplant the party's rations with hunting and scavenging on the trip. There's no reason that needs to change; though the Dwarves are a people given more to trade than agriculture, there's fresh water down in Moria, at least. Where there's water there's fish, and where there's moisture there's mushrooms, and a Hunstman can certainly diverge from the rest of the party in order to follow a stream or visit a cave that's more about food than progress. A meal's going to be a bigger challenge than on the surface but, again, you're running at a high difficulty already.

With all that said, here are the Scout and Huntsman Hazards and how they'd work underground.

  • Huntsman: From Hunter To Prey. All you need here is a non-Goblin underground dweller to dial up if a Huntsman fails the roll. If you don't feel like going full Cave Troll, consider using bats, spiders, or some escaped Goblin wolves.
  • Huntsman: Scanty Provisions. This failed Hunting roll can just mean the Huntsman couldn't scare up enough food in harsh environments, but if you want some flavor to it: the fish you caught were mostly bones, or the mushrooms are a subtle dangerous variant on the delicious ones you were planning on.
  • Scout: No Way Forward. Remember, the Scout's the one making the call at most of the intersections. Don't forget to include some uphill and downhill along with your left and right when you're describing, since you're wandering under the whole earth. A failed Explore roll here means a cave-in or flooded passage or just a dead-end cuts short what seemed like such a long, promising tunnel.
  • Scout: Out of the Frying Pan, Into the Fire. Again, this can just be a failed Explore roll leading to a bad call. Yes, there were Goblin totems down the other passage, but they were warning intruders away from the Goblin camp that's down this passage.

I do not know The One Ring game, but I can imagine Scouts to make ropes and ladders ways over chasms, to climb up-down to another cave and generally to reach otherwise unreachable locations (and maybe let party climb to other level temporally, while orc are running forward and then climb back, as orcs are away so opening way previously blocked by group of orcs)

If there is scarity of food, Huntsman may find eatable mushroom and moss, catch a fishes in under-earth rivers/streams (and find such watters and decide, if it is drinkable, or it there is a chance, that it woud be near, filter it, if there is sand handy ...), catch bats and rats and even make food from killed orcs (yucks!) it it fits your narration. If they are able make traps to catch game, those traps may apply to orcs too - and even if they do not catch/kill them, few boulders and logs may make trap, which slow those orcs and open way for group to escape. (well this may go to scouts as well)

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    \$\begingroup\$ Answers should be written from a place of familiarity with the game in question—otherwise how do we know the answer's even appropriate to the system? Speculation based on what might happen in the narrative doesn't mean the answer will be mechanically appropriate to the system, and not knowing the game in question will mean you're unable to discern if there's clear solution you're missing. \$\endgroup\$ Sep 6, 2021 at 11:33
  • \$\begingroup\$ While you have a lot of good points, I think, that OP mainly asked, how Scouts and Hunters could be made usable in undegroud and my answer was enought generic to point some ways, he may missed. It is OneRing, so we know, that Golum had live there in underground cave with lake and fishes, ocassionally eating small orc too and that there was complex underground mazes, over many levels (also orcs had to eat something too). \$\endgroup\$
    – gilhad
    Sep 6, 2021 at 13:23
  • \$\begingroup\$ About narration/mood - each group had it own limits from "I would rather die than harm living creature" to "kill them all, roast and eat them all" - usually the group is somewhere between - eat fish is ok, bats and rats may be or not (even if those are regularry eaten on Earth) and eating humanoids may be overboard for many groups (even if people did that - even eaten friends or families - when there was dire situation many times in hour own history - seek Holodomor on wiki - even less than 100 years ago in Europe and 300 years after University was there established) so it depends on players \$\endgroup\$
    – gilhad
    Sep 6, 2021 at 13:31
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    \$\begingroup\$ That's the problem. Knowing what's generic enough requires enough system mastery to know that the system doesn't have specific rules for it, which some do, and which isn't obvious from the outside. This can easily lead to answers that are completely useless to anyone with basic knowledge of the system in question - especially the querent - but that look good enough to the layperson for upvotes. That's... not good at all for anyone here. \$\endgroup\$ Sep 7, 2021 at 22:10

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