Leaf and Land
"But I say: let a ploughman plough, but choose an otter for swimming, and for running light over grass and leaf or over snow – an Elf."
Virtues are special gifts and talents, usually associated with a particular culture. All members of a Mannish culture start with a single virtue: choose one from the list related to your character's Culture, or from the list of Open Virtues, which are available to every Culture. Elves, Dwarves, and Hobbits do not receive a starting Virtue.
All player characters may choose to gain a Virtue instead of improving their ability scores at 4th, 8th, 12th, 16th, and 19th levels.
Open Virtues are virtues that can be taken by any culture.
Prerequisite: 4th level or higher
Your efforts on behalf of your people have not gone unnoticed – you are gifted an item of your choice from the list of your people's Cultural Heirlooms (see the Equipment wiki). If lost or broken, heirlooms can be replaced at Sanctuaries.
Prerequisite: 8th level or higher
When you throw a weapon or bend your bow, your hand is steady and your aim is sure.
Raise the damage of all of your successful ranged attacks by half your proficiency bonus, rounded up.
You have practiced a skill until it has become as natural as breathing.
Choose a skill you are proficient in. Double your proficiency bonus on skill checks made with the chosen skill.
Prerequisite: 8th level or higher
You have learned to put all your strength into your blows in hand-to-hand battle.
Raise the damage of all of your successful melee attacks by half your proficiency bonus, rounded up.
You descend from a hardy line and recover far more quickly than most others.
You may re-roll Hit Dice spent during short rests and take the higher result.
Barding Cultural Virtues
Before the coming of the Dragon, there were noble houses in Dale, with famed lords who were bold and famously hard to kill. You are a direct descendant of one of the ancient illustrious households that were powerful in the city of Dale of old. You receive a + 1 bonus on all Dexterity saving throws. If you are reduced to 0 hit points, but not killed outright, you are considered to have already successfully passed 1 death saving throw.
You have learned to bend your bow so fiercely that you hear its string crack like a whip when it sends its arrows flying.
Roll your damage die twice and keep the better result.
The former glory of the proud hosts of Dale has been restored by King Bard, and so the martial discipline that once made the city powerful is again imparted to all young men and women alike, lest the city be caught unprepared by assailants. You have sworn to protect the city and its king with your life, and in return you are regularly trained by the most expert swordsmen and bowmen of the realm.
Choose two weapons from the following list: broadswords, long swords, spears, and great bows. You gain proficiency in your two chosen weapons and a + 1 bonus to attack rolls made with them.
A skilled warrior can use their sword to deflect blows that would have otherwise hit their mark. You have learned to fight defensively using your weapon to full advantage.
When fighting with either a broadsword or a long sword, add your proficiency bonus to your AC.
Many citizens of ancient Dale found themselves blessed – or cursed – by a sort of foresight following Smaug's destruction of the city. As a descendant of one of these bloodlines, you share this gift.
Sometimes, you feel a sense of foreboding that warns you of impending catastrophe and other gloomy events. But the future is always uncertain, and sometimes what you foresee never materializes.
Raise your Wisdom score by 1 point. Additionally, once every Adventuring phase, you may invoke your power of Woeful Foresight. When this happens, the Loremaster should give you a relevant piece of information regarding adverse events likely to occur during your current adventure.
If no such information is available – or the Loremaster prefers not to divulge it – once, before the current Adventuring phase is over, you may choose to automatically succeed at either an attack roll, a saving throw, or an ability check (your foresight led to a sudden bout of insight or deeper understanding that helped you at a key moment).
Your foresight manifests in many forms: it can be a hazy vision, a recurring and enigmatic dream, or a cryptic message borne by a talking bird.
Beorning Cultural Virtues
Brothers to Bears
Beorn has taught you to heed the call of an ancient animal heritage. When the moon is high in the sky and the world is fully revealed in an argentine glow, no sound escapes your ears, as the night speaks to you in the language of the Wild.
From now on your sight and hearing are greatly enhanced at night, and let you see and hear better than under the light of the sun, and at a greater distance. At night, you have advantage on all Wisdom (Perception) ability checks, you are considered proficient in the Perception skill, and you add double your proficiency bonus to Wisdom (Perception) checks, instead of your normal proficiency bonus.
Increase your Strength score by 1. As long as you can move freely while fighting, you may profit from your great strength and nimbleness.
If you are using the variant encumbrance rules, treat your encumbrance as one step lower. For example, if you would be heavily encumbered, you would only count as encumbered.
At night you can choose to slip into a dream-like state, and leave your body in spirit form to swiftly travel along the tracks made by animals across the length and breadth of Wilderland.
In this state, you can swiftly explore an area within three days of travel, until sunrise wakes you. While this will not give you every detail, you will have a very good idea of the surrounding terrain and where danger may lurk.
Your spirit form takes the appearance of a full-grown bear. It is visible to onlookers, and leaves tracks on the ground. While you are outside your body, any action you attempt is resolved using ability checks as usual, but any strenuous activity that causes a loss of hit points wakes you up.
Any harm suffered while travelling in spirit form is transferred to your body at the moment of awakening. Once you've used this ability, it cannot be used again until you finish a long rest.
Tales say that a warrior's own courage will turn steel and iron better than the smith's hammer-work.
So long as you wear no armor of any kind, you have resistance to non-magical piercing damage.
Twice-Baked Honey Cakes
The honey-cakes of the Beornings are legendary among travellers. You can march far by eating just a little of them, and they are much more pleasant than cram, the waybread that Dale-men make for journeys in the wild. You have been shown the secret of baking such cakes, and can prepare them for the consumption of all members of your company.
When you are on a journey, you and your fellow travelers may remove the first level of exhaustion you acquire.
Dúnedain Cultural Virtues
You have been raised in a land dotted with desolate ruins and burial mounds. You have heard the dead whisper with cold voices out of lonely barrows, while ghostly lights dance on haunted hills. There are few among mortal Men who know more about evil spirits or fear them less than you do…
When you first select this virtue you learn how to See the Unseen. You may later reinforce your spirit with Strength of Will by learning it as your undertaking during a Fellowship phase. Finally, you reach the stature of a true Wrait Bane by training as a new undertaking during a later Fellowship phase.
See the Unseen
It is said that the Elven-wise can perceive shades and wraiths that are otherwise invisible to the eyes of Mortals. You have been taught to recognize the signs that betray the haunting of a restless spirit. You are automatically aware of the presence or proximity of ghosts, shades, and wraiths of any kind. A successful DC 15 Intelligence (Lore) ability check yields additional information on the nature of the haunting.
Strength of Will
In moments of fear, your will can strengthen your heart, so that you can withstand the great terror awakened in all Mortals by the denizens of the Unseen world.
When an Undead creature forces you to make a Wisdom saving throw against Corruption or any effect that may cause the Frightened condition, you may add your proficiency bonus to the check. If you roll either a 19 or 20 to pass the check, you can allow a number of companions equal to your Wisdom modifier to pass their own checks automatically.
In long centuries of secret strife, the things that hide among the ruins of Arnor have learned to fear the fell Dúnedain. All of your attacks cause + 2 damage to Undead creatures that can be affected by your weapons.
Endurance of the Dúnedain
The Dúnedain have long endured war against Mordor and the forces of the Great Enemy. They are slow to weary and endure burdens stoically. In battle they are fearsome foes, often able to fight on against overwhelming odds and in spite of grievous wounds.
When a blow reduces you to 0 hit points, but does not kill you outright, you may spend Inspiration to regain 1 hit point, remain conscious, and continue to take actions.
Foresight of Their Kindred
The Dúnedain still have in a measure the powerful foresight their ancestors possessed in full before their race was diminished. Some Dúnedain perceive the future in dreams, others catch sudden glimpses of what is to be with their waking eyes.
Raise your Wisdom score by 1 point.
Additionally, once every Adventuring phase, you may invoke your power of Foresight by spending Inspiration. When this happens, the Loremaster should give you a relevant piece of information regarding important events likely to occur during your current adventure. You can seldom foresee exactly what is to befall, but you may gain clear images of where you should go, places to be wary of, a wanderer you can trust, and so forth.
If no such information is available – or the Loremaster prefers not to divulge it – once, before the current Adventuring phase is over, you may choose to automatically succeed at either an attack roll, a saving throw, or an ability check (your Foresight led to a sudden bout of insight or deeper understanding that helped you at a key moment).
Northern Dúnedain only.
The Rangers of the North belong to a bloodline of Kings, but they have learned to hide from their enemies in the twilight years of their kingdom. Should you choose to reveal your heritage, your noble bearing will cause your enemies to pause, and your allies to cast away their doubts.
You may take a bonus action to reveal yourself in battle, by shouting an ancestral battle-cry or unsheathing a weapon of high lineage, for example, or by showing a device or coat-of-arms during an encounter with someone.
Your allies within 10 feet immediately recover 1d6 + your Charisma modifier in hit points. Your enemies within 10 feet must make a Wisdom saving throw against a DC equal to 15 + your Charisma modifier. Failure means they are Frightened of you for 1 minute. While Frightened in this way, a creature must spend its turns trying to move as far away from you as it can, and it cannot willingly move to a space within 30 feet of you. It also cannot take reactions. For its action, it can use only the Dash action or try to escape from an effect that prevents it from moving. If it has nowhere it can move, the creature can use the Dodge action.
Any enemy Frightened in this manner thereafter gains the Hatred (Dúnedain) Shadow Action and will seek to attack you and your kindred whenever given the opportunity.
In a social encounter, by revealing yourself, if the individual you are speaking with respects anything of the legacy of Númenor or the Dúnedain, you are treated as if you were Favored by whomever you speak with. Additionally, you receive a + 2 bonus to Charisma based proficiency ability checks until the end of the present encounter.
Both versions of this ability can each be used once during each Adventuring phase.
Sterner Than Steel
You resist Shadow corruption better than most, for your spirit is resolute, and your mind is not easily overthrown. Raise your Wisdom score by 1 point. You have advantage on Wisdom saving throws against Corruption.
Dwarves of the Lonely Mountain Cultural Virtues
You have been taught some long-remembered fragments of old spells that retain power to this day. Some require you to cut or engrave a Runic inscription, usually in stone or metal, or sometimes carved into wood. You can learn a total of three such spells: Secrecy, Prohibition and Exclusion, and Opening and Shutting.
You learn one spell when you first select this virtue, and you may learn a new one as your undertaking during later Fellowship phases.
Spells of Opening and Shutting
This fragment must be recited in front of a door or gate, to magically lock it, or recited backwards to open it if locked. The spell has no effect on a door that has been blocked by magic and now requires a particular word to open it. Attempts to break down the door have their DC increased by 10. The spell starts working as soon as you have finished reciting it.
Spells of Prohibition and Exclusion
This Runic inscription is usually placed on gates and on doors, to protect an area from unwanted visitors. You may carve these signs on a rock or on the bark of a tree within the perimeter of your camp, and their power will wake you at the first sign of danger. Carve the runes and go to sleep. You will immediately awaken if any threatening presence approaches within 30 feet of your camp.
Spells of Secrecy
Carve these runes on a concealed door, personal hiding place, or object, and it will be noticed only if someone searches for it with great care. These signs are invisible to the untrained eye as long as the power within them is still working; they can only be seen and read when the spell is spent or broken.
The object concealed by the spell can only be found on a DC 30 Intelligence (Investigation) ability check, unless the searcher is a Dwarf, in which case the DC is 15.
You have been taught how to defend yourself while fighting under the surface of the earth. You know how to exploit corners, darkness, and other natural obstacles to your advantage.
When fighting underground, you gain a + 1 bonus to your AC and Dexterity saving throws.
When you face your kin's most hated enemies you feel the strength of your ancestors, slain by the foul hands of Orcs, flowing impetuously in your veins.
When you are fighting Orcs, Goblins, and their kind using a melee weapon, whenever you roll for damage, you can re-roll your weapon's damage dice and use either total.
Ravens of the Mountain
You have befriended a raven of the ancient breed living around the Lonely Mountain. Long-lived and able to speak the Common Tongue, these birds are often wise companions, bound to your kin by ties of old friendship.
Many times in the past they have provided invaluable help by gathering news or sending messages for your folk. If you are in Wilderland, your raven friend is never far away. You can sound a call and summon him to your presence in a matter of minutes. As soon as he joins you, you may command him.
Usually, the raven is eager to please you, but an unusual or less than reasonable request might put their faithfulness to the test and require a DC 15 Carisma (Persuasion) ability check. The raven does not ask for anything in return, but repeated requests over a short time might sooner or later lead him to feel entitled to compensation (his precise terms are up to the Loremaster, and might lead to interesting story developments).
The time needed for a raven to complete the errand depends on the request, on the distance to be covered, and on the complexity of the assignment. A raven flies at an average speed of 30 miles per hour (enough to cross the whole width of Mirkwood in one day). The following list shows some of the possible errands you can assign to your winged ally, but should in no way limit your inventiveness.
Bring Tidings: A raven is always well informed about the latest events concerning the Wild, and is eager to report them.
Carry Messages: The raven can deliver messages anywhere in the region, passing its content to others of his kin.
Investigate: The raven can be sent to gather information on a specific subject. It must be something naturally accessible to one of its kind.
Carry Food: A raven might be persuaded to carry some food if able to steal or borrow it from a location within a day's flight.
The Stiff Neck of Dwarves
Dwarves are deemed to be stubborn and unyielding. Their natural inclination to perservere against all odds is strengthened by the taint of the Shadow.
If your current Shadow score is greater than half your Wisdom score, you get a + 1 bonus to all non-combat ability checks not involving Charisma.
Elves of Mirkwood Cultural Virtues
Most members of your kin possess a natural talent for hitting the mark when using their bows. You seem to possess that quality yourself, as your arrows find their target with uncanny precision.
When making ranged attacks with a short bow, you do not suffer disadvantage for long range, nor for attacking within 5 feet.
Dreams of Elder Days
You have learned to recover from your exertions even while engaging in a repetitive task, like walking or rowing in a boat. When engaged in such a task, you may spend hit dice to heal in the same way as a short rest.
Your folk have suffered grievous losses during many wars against the Shadow. Even the passing of centuries cannot quell the bitter hate that your kindred harbour for the Enemy. When you are fighting in melee combat against the servants of the Shadow (including Spiders, Orcs, Trolls, and Evil Men), you have a + 1 bonus to your attack rolls.
You have learned how to engage in simple communication with almost everything, from any living being to grass, stone, and water. This means, for example, that you can hear mutterings from the stones in a path if others have trodden it recently, or sing to soothe an unquiet animal.
To use this gift you must make an appropriate ability check. Which skill you use depends on what you are trying to do and is at the Loremaster's discretion. Here are a few examples: to interpret the grumblings of the stones in a path requires an Intelligence (Investigation) ability check; to soothe a scared horse requires a Charism (Persuasion) ability check; to listen to the voice of a river requires a Wisdom (Insight) ability check.
Most objects are of limited, if any, sentience and can seldom provide exacting details, especially since they seldom pay much attention to things that don't directly concern them. Animals, likewise, have their own priorities, but will convey basic information that they know.
Note that this virtue does not give the Elf an ability to speak the various tongues of animals, merely enough to understand the gist of what they would convey. After using this ability, you must take a short rest before using it again.
You are mastering what mortals might call "Elf-magic." You learn how to fling a Stinging Arrow when you first select this virtue. You may later master the making of Elf-lights as your undertaking during a Fellowship phase; spending a third, and final, Fellowship phase undertaking allows you to discover the secret of Enchanted Sleep.
You can make an arrow flicker as if with a magical fire, making it fly true.
Spend a Hit Die to make an automatic ranged critical hit.
You know how to make a torch or lamp burn with a peculiar flame that attracts all mortals who see it. Spend inspiration to light a torch or a lamp. Any speaking creature who sees its flame must make a DC 15 Wisdom saving throw or try to get near it by any means possible.
You may snuff out the light at will, even from a distance, either to extinguish the flame quickly and quietly, or to cause it to flare suddenly, to blind and confuse your enemies. Enemies must succeed at an additional DC 15 Wisdom saving throw or have disadvantage on all they do for the following round.
Having used an Elf-light to attract an unwary victim, you can enchant him into slumber.
You may snuff out your Elf-light when someone enters the area illuminated by the light. The first living creature with a number of Hit Dice equal to or lower than your own to fail its Wisdom saving throw against the Elf-light drops immediately into an Enchanted Sleep.
A creature that succumbs to an Enchanted Sleep immediately falls unconscious and will remain that way until 10 minutes pass, they take damage, or someone uses an action to shake or slap them awake.
Hobbits of the Shire Cultural Virtues
Art of Disappearing
You have learned to choose exactly the right moment to turn away from the attention of others, sometimes unconsciously anticipating the need to disappear. At the start of an encounter where the location you are in is entered by newcomers, and if the location offers even the smallest opportunity to hide or sneak silently away, you can expend Inspiration to disappear. You could slip into a convenient shadowy corner, a thick patch of undergrowth, a crowded room, a sharp bend in a passage underground, or any other potentially concealing feature – the final decision on whether there is available concealment lies with the Loremaster.
No roll is needed, and you are considered to be present in the area, but unseen to the eyes of the interlopers – all Wisdom (Perception) ability checks to find you will automatically fail.
If the newly arrived individuals knew that you were present, it is as if you actually disappeared into thin air. You can at any moment choose to reveal yourself, simply stepping into the open from your hiding place.
Brave at a Pinch
One of the Wise once said that you have to put a Hobbit in a tight place before you find out what is in them (the problem being that they try their best to avoid tight places…)
You may take an action and spend a Hit Die to martial your spirit for a fight. For the length of the following combat, you are immune to the Frightened condition, and are unaffected by the penalties derived from any exhaustion levels that you may have. You must take a long rest before you can use this ability again.
You have spent a great deal of your time practicing with all sorts of throwing games, and your accuracy is exceptional.
You gain a + 1 bonus to attack rolls made with simple ranged weapons.
You have learned how to gain an advantage in a fight from being smaller than most of your opponents. When you are being attacked in melee combat by a creature bigger than you (very often), you can take a bonus action to step into the same square as your opponent. You have advantage on your attack rolls against that opponent until your opponent chooses to take a step back to attack you (which will provoke an opportunity attack).
Tough in the Fiber
Your small stature belies your toughness. When regaining hit points, you may roll any Hit Die twice and add the results together.
Men of Bree Cultural Virtues
You lived all your life on the edge of the Wild, but the worst news that came to Bree in your time only concerned brigands or packs of hungry wolves. Now that you know something about the Shadow in the East, you are sure you will stand against it should the darkness extend this far west and threaten all that you love.
If you stand alone against an adversary with Hit Dice greater than your level + 3, or are part of a group fighting against a single adversary with Hit Dice greater than your level + 6, you gain a + 1 bonus to your AC. You may consult the Loremaster on when this bonus may be used.
Friendly and Inquisitive
Since you started your adventures, you have realized that your folk's custom of trading with foreigners on a regular basis may help you in your endeavours. You have perfected your ability to inquire about the doings of strangers without letting curiosity get the better of you, providing you with many safe opportunities to learn from those you meet along the way. And the road goes ever on…
You are proficient in Traditions and whenever you make an Intelligence (Traditions) ability check, you add double your proficiency bonus to the check, instead of the normal proficiency bonus. Additionally, the starting attitude of folks from other cultures towards you is adjusted to Friendly when you first interact with them during a social encounter.
Out of Memory and Old Tales
Luckily, very few Bree-men have ‘a memory like a lumberroom’, where things wanted always end up buried. You have found that you rarely forget a face, the details of a story, the particulars of a map, or even the type of tracks that a band of Orcs you already faced leaves behind. You have learned to exploit this insight to outguess your adversaries and those you meet, and to plan your journeys carefully. Once per Adventuring phase, you may re-roll a failed skill check.
The Big and the Little
Men and Hobbits live side by side in Bree, in a peaceful arrangement that is found nowhere else in the world. That’s why you know Hobbits and their ways very well indeed, and you go along with them quite nicely. You have discovered that this friendliness and familiarity, combined with your natural cheerfulness, can be a blessing when travelling with others.
Once per journey, you may return a Hit Die (up to their maximum) to one of your travelling companions. If you are travelling with a Hobbit you may additionally return a Hit Die (up to their maximum) to that companion at the same time.
Your feet become more eager when you turn for home. You have advantage on ability checks made when making a journey to a Sanctuary that you are welcome even if prior events or the Embarkation Roll dictates otherwise.
Men of the Lake Cultural Virtues
Bowman of the Guild
You have demonstrated a talent worthy of admission to the Bowmen’s Guild of Esgaroth, a honourable association uniting the best archers of Lake-town. Now you may train and share secrets of the trade with many old friends of Bard the Bowman himself, all veterans of the Battle of Five Armies.
All of your ranged attacks with bows and great bows have a +1 damage bonus. Additionally, after you make a successful ranged attack with a bow or great bow, you may take a bonus action to re-roll the weapon’s damage dice and use either total. You must take a short rest or a long rest before you can use the damage re-roll ability again.
Your family’s fortune is rising with the reopening of the trading routes that lead to the markets in the South and East. This increased affluence has started to positively affect your adventuring life, as you may choose a servant from those employed in your household and have him join you in your next endeavor.
At the start of an Adventuring phase you may pick one servant to accompany you. These servants are loyal to your house, and have served your family for generations, which is why they are willing to accompany you into danger.
Their courage is born out of loyalty, not greed – other servants and guards are unlikely to follow you into the wild lands for anything short of a king’s ransom in gold.
Page: A page assists you in all your daily routines, like washing and dressing, and takes care of your clothes and gear. He is at your side during any encounter, making sure that you are properly introduced and providing advice and counsel on all he notices. When you enjoy the help of a page, you have advantage when making any Insight or Traditions checks.
Porter: A porter helps helps you in carrying your gear when you are adventuring. Travelling with a porter allows you to immediately remove the first level of exhaustion you acquire during a journey.
Scrivener: A scrivener is a personal servant who can read and write. He is well-learned and keeps a daily record of your exploits. If you are employing a scrivener you have advantage on all History and Lore rolls.
A servant in a rich trading family is usually a young person, often a minor relative of modest ambitions. Regardless of his duty, your servant is no fighting man, but is considered to be always around and eager to perform his assigned task.
You have learnt to wield a shield like the boatmen of Esgaroth do when they fight to repel enemies trying to board their ships.
If you are fighting in melee with a shield you can use a bonus action to make a melee combat attack with your shield. You add your Strength ability modifier to the attack roll but not to a successful damage roll. Shields cause 1d4 bludgeoning damage, great shields cause 1d8 bludgeoning damage.
Some say that “fair speech may hide a foul heart”, but you have lived among merchants and traders long enough to know that while pleasant words are always received better than harsh ones, sometimes your speech must be as sharp as any blade. You have advantage on all Charisma ability checks when involved in direct negotiation against one other person.
Life on the Lake has taught you how to move appropriately when on board a boat. Now that you have taken up adventuring you can exploit your superior balance to your advantage even when on dry land.
You always have advantage on Dexterity (Acrobatics) ability checks and any saving throws involving keeping your footing, such as when fighting on a boat, a raft or other precarious or risky surfaces (for example, an Elven tree platform, a rope bridge or on an icy lake).
In addition, you can always choose to substitute Dexterity for Strength when making Athletics checks involving swimming.
Men of Minas Tirith
Captain of Gondor
The Men of Minas Tirith have long endured war against Mordor and the forces of the Enemy. In the face of such threats, they esteem a warrior’s qualities above those of men of other crafts, and their captains are tributed the highest honors. For it is upon the wisdom of their choices that the hopes of the city rest.
Once per battle, you may have a nearby ally automatically hit on what was a missed attack.
Onward Into Battle
Your battle cries ring out loud and clear over the clamor of battle. Over the carnage and terror of war, your words inspire your companions to carry on in the face of terrible foes.
If any of your allies within 20 feet of you fails a saving throw against any effect that causes supernatural fear or the Frightened condition, you may spend a Hit Die in order to have them all considered to have succeeded at the saving throw. You cannot use this ability if you failed your own saving throws against whatever caused your allies to be Frightened.
Over Dangerous Leagues
The martial prowess of the Men of Minas Tirith makes them tireless wanderers. From the northern bounds of the realm to its southern reaches, emissaries have trod the roads once laid by the Men of the West.
You may ignore the first level of exhaustion you gain. Afterwards, this ability cannot be used again until you have taken a long rest.
It is said that few can hold fast against the piercing eyes of a Man of Gondor and that under such a gaze, secrets hidden in the hearts of lesser men are often revealed.
The first time you are introduced to another as part of a social encounter, instead of making an ability check using a skill, you may instead fix your opponent with your steely gaze.
Your target must make a Wisdom saving throw against a DC equal to 8 + your proficiency bonus + your Wisdom modifier. If it fails, you gain insight into its reasoning (if any), its emotional state and something that looms large in its thoughts, such as whatever it worries over, loves or hates. If it succeeds, its thoughts are veiled to you.
Whether you succeed or fail, your opponent knows that something is amiss, and feels discomforted by your gaze. Further social ability checks against the target have disadvantage.
What’s more, abusing knowledge gleaned from the thoughts of another may lead to a Misdeed if you use your ‘ill-gotten’ knowledge to hurt or influence the target unjustly.
Piercing Gaze does not work on Dwarves and Elves, for their thoughts are not readily discerned by Men.
Guard of the Tower
You have been sworn into the service of the Lord and Steward of Minas Tirith, as a Guard of the Citadel. When you are in Minas Tirith you wear the black and silver livery of the Tower. This position is held in high esteem in the City, and in the whole land of Gondor.
You learn one of the listed abilities for free when you first select this virtue. You may later acquire another ability during a Year’s End Fellowship phase in Minas Tirith: choose this activity as your undertaking for the phase. (You may acquire all three abilities in any order).
As long as there is at least one ally fighting by your side, you may increase the AC bonus from your shield by + 1.
As long as you are fighting with a martial melee weapon that is not light, you add 5 feet to your reach.
You are able to stand against more foes than lesser warriors. During melee combat, you may spend Inspiration as a reaction to being attacked by foes that outnumber you more than two to one. If you do so you may add your proficiency bonus to your Armor Class whenever you are outnumbered, till the end of the combat.
Riders of Rohan Cultural Virtues
Born to the Saddle
All Rohirrim know much about horses, but you’ve spent your life in the saddle, riding over the wide plains of Rohan and fighting the enemies of the Mark.
You have advantage in Wisdom (Animal Handling) ability checks whenever dealing with horses. In addition, you add double your proficiency bonus to the check, instead of your normal proficiency bonus.
A noble family has entrusted you with the raising and training of a young person from their household. They will serve you as your personal esquire, assisting you in all knightly matters. They will travel on their own riding horse and wait at your table; they will make sure that your mount and belongings are ready at the start of a journey, that your weapons are sharpened and your armor mended before a battle, and that you wear your best clothes and bring your most precious drinking cup at a feast. In return, you will provide your esquire with a proper martial education and will care for and protect them at all times.
Having an esquire with you gives you advantage in Wisdom (Insight) and (Perception), and Intelligence (Traditions) ability checks. Additionally, your esquire will promptly recover your mount should you fall from the saddle or be thrown down from it by failing a Dexterity saving throw.
They will bring you a spare shield or weapon should you see it smashed or dropped (he effectively grants a bonus action to allow recovery of such items) and finally they will carry you from the field should you be knocked unconscious by the blows of an enemy, automatically stabilizing you. While you won’t allow your esquire to be directly engaged in combat, they are is considered to be always about and eager to perform their duties.
The Lord of the Mark has granted you a permanent position among the Riders of the King’s own House. While most young lords among the Rohirrim serve in the King’s Guard for at least a few years, it is an honor to be granted to serve among them for life. Whenever you are in Edoras you train with some of the finest warriors of the Mark, and while away you are expected to enforce the King’s will.
You learn one of the three listed abilities of your choice when you first select this virtue. You may later acquire another ability as an undertaking during a Fellowship phase. (You may acquire all three abilities in any order).
You are allowed to use a bow from horseback without drawing disadvantage on your attack roll against foes within 5 feet of you. Additionally, you gain a + 1 bonus to ranged combat attack rolls while mounted on a horse.
When you are using a shield while mounted, your shield increases your Armor Class by + 3.
Sword and Spear
When you are using a broadsword, long sword or a spear while mounted on a horse, you gain a + 2 bonus to damage rolls.
Master of Doom
Many among your folk believe that the destiny of every man is determined already when he comes first unto this world. But some scorn this belief, deeming that by his own strength a man may master his doom. Wise men consider this to be a thought born of vain pride, and dangerous. What you think is that if you cannot conquer your fate, you will fall while trying.
At the start of any Adventuring phase you may choose to temporarily reduce your Wisdom by a number of points up to the total of your Proficiency Bonus. For each point that you reduce your Wisdom you add a number of temporary Hit Points equal to 1d10 + your Constitution modifier to a pool that lasts, unless reduced by damage, till the end of the Adventuring phase. During the following Fellowship phase, anything left in the pool is removed and your Wisdom returns to its normal score.
Note that lowering your Wisdom changes your Wisdom modifier and lowering it beneath the number of Shadow points you presently have will instantly render you subject to the Miserable condition and in danger of a Bout of Madness.
Old Songs and Children's Tales
In these strange days you have learnt that the songs of the old days tell of many things that have been long forgotten, and what is often deemed to be the matter of legends may return to walk under the Sun. There is worth in each word of every rhyme, and wisdom in each dark stave of song that have come down from father to son in the House of Eorl.
Yours is an oral culture and you retain far more knowledge of old lore than most. By drawing on old snippets of lore and fragments of stories you can grant yourself advantage on ability checks using the following skills: History, Insight, Investigation, Lore, Medicine, Nature, Performance, Riddle, Survival and Traditions.
You can do this a number of times during an Adventuring phase equal to your Intelligence modifier, minimum of 1.
This ability covers many strange bits of lore, you may very well know pieces of hidden knowledge about the Shadow, or other seemingly lost tales at the Loremaster’s discretion. It is worth noting that using this ability does not imply that you suddenly burst into song, but rather that you run over snatches of old rhymes from your memory, murmuring a few words or maybe singing softly to yourself.
Woodmen of Wilderland Cultural Virtues
A Hunter's Resolve
You have learned to tap into the inner strength of the indefatigable and relentless hunter.
You may spend Inspiration in order to expend Hit Dice for hit point recovery immediately, including during combat. Once you’ve decided how many Hit Dice to expend, this ability cannot be used again until you’ve taken a short or long rest.
Mirkwood is shunned by many men and beasts, yet its shadowy eaves are still good for the growing of herbs. You are learning the ancient craft of concocting salves and herbal remedies from your village elders and wise-women. You learn to recognize which herbs qualify as Fragrant Weeds when you first select this virtue, and can master the secrets of Poison Remedies as your undertaking during a Fellowship phase.
You have developed the habit of chewing some herbs and roots that are said to bring vigor back into a man’s limbs.
As long as you are in a wild area, you can collect enough herbs for their effect to be noticeable:
You ignore the effects of one level of exhaustion – the level doesn’t go away, but you don’t suffer the penalty. For example, if you have three levels of exhaustion, you are only penalized as if you had two.
You can find the necessary ingredients to concoct a drink that, when ingested, will help a victim shake off the effects of Spider-poison, or to prepare a salve that when applied to a wound or a bruise will neutralize the action of Orc-poison.
Spend Inspiration and make a DC 15 Wisdom (Medicine) ability check to neutralize the effects of a single poison type on all members of your company. The same concoction will grant advantage on all saving throws against poison for the next hour after imbibing.
Hound of Mirkwood
Your folk have always delighted in training great, long-jawed hounds, stronger than wolves. You have chosen a wolfhound of Wilderland to accompany you in your wanderings and the faithfulness of your hound reinforces your spirit.
Raise your Wisdom score by 1 point.
Add your proficiency bonus to the Hound’s AC, attack rolls, damage rolls, saving throws and skills. Its hit points are equal to four times your level. The Hound heals using your Hit Dice. The Hound obeys your commands and stays by your side. On your turn, you may use your action to command the Hound to take an Attack, Dash, Dodge, Disengage or Help action. If you have the Extra Attack feature, you can make one weapon attack yourself while commanding your hound to Attack.
The training of a Hound of Mirkwood is an endeavor in itself; the teachings of Radagast have turned this craft into an art. When you first choose this virtue, your Hound learns to assist you with one skill as described under Support below. You can train him to Support additional skills, as well as to Fight in combat, as a separate undertaking during later Fellowship phases, as follows:
You can train your Hound to assist you in one activity. A dog can be trained to support you when making any one of the following ability checks: Charisma (Intimidation), Intelligence (Investigation) or Wisdom (Perception). It takes a Fellowship phase worth of training to teach your dog to complete an additional task.
When you make ability checks using one of your Hound’s trained skills, you gain advantage, and count as proficient in the skill even if you are not – if you are proficient, you get to double your proficiency bonus.
As a Fellowship phase undertaking, you may train your Hound to Attack, Dash, Disengage, Dodge or Help without requiring a command from you. Each action takes a separate Fellowship phase to train your Hound.
Whether travelling, exploring or even resting, the behavior of animals can communicate much to those who know how to interpret the signs. It could be the sudden silence of a bird, or the distant rustling of a beast in head-long flight.
While in or near (within a few miles) a forest, you have advantage on all Wisdom (Perception) ability checks. You also gain a + 5 bonus to initiative rolls.
Staunching Song of the Woodmen
This song has been taught to the worthiest members of your clan since your people first descended along the banks of the Great River. Its tune echoes Elven songs from a time of war and weapons, and its precious knowledge has been passed with great care from one generation to the next. Singing its words can reduce the loss of a warrior’s life-blood to a trickle, letting it flow back to the heart.
After you finish a short rest, you may sing this song to recover a Hit Die + your Constitution modifier’s worth of damage without expending one of your Hit Dice. By spending Inspiration, you may do the same for all the other members of your company. Your allies roll to recover hit points based on their Hit Dice and Constitution modifier, not yours.