- Series: The One Ring Roleplaying Game
- Publisher: Cubicle 7 Entertainment Ltd (September 24, 2014)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0857442449
- ISBN-13: 978-0857442444
- Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 1.1 x 11 inches
- Shipping Weight: 3.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 36 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #312,481 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The One Ring Roleplaying Game Hardcover – September 24, 2014
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The One Ring Roleplaying Game Is Based On J.R.R. Tolkien'S The Hobbit And The Lord Of The Rings, The Most Influential Properties In Fantasy. Chock Full Of Incredible Artwork By Leading Artists, Including John Howe And Jon Hodgson, And With Evocative Rules Designed By Awardwinning Games Designer Francesco Nepitello, There Has Never Been A Lord Of The Rings Game That'S More Evocative Of Tolkien'S Unique Vision. Along With Rich And Detailed Background Information, Rules That Focus On Tolkien'S Themes, Character Types Unique To The World And A Setting That Changes As The Tale Of Years Progresses, When You Play The One Ring Roleplaying Game You Really Feel Like You Are Playing In Middleearth. This New, Revised Edition Of The One Ring Roleplaying Game Is Presented As A Single, Hardback Volume That Contains All The Rules And Background That You Need To Play. This Edition Of The Game Is Completely Compatible With All Existing Supplements, But Rules Clarifications, Additional Rules Options And Advice, And A Brilliant New Front Cover Make It A Mustbuy For Every Fan.
Top customer reviews
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I have been playing RPGs since the very early 1980s, and I have interest in J.R.R. Tolkien's works that extends about as long. I have experimented with other Middle-earth RPGs -- such as Iron Crown Enterprises' MERP in the 1980s -- but none, absolutely none, capture Middle-earth the way that TOR does. Before buying it, I weighed purchasing the bolt-on system ("Adventures in Middle-earth" or "AIME") that was designed to emulate TOR using D&D 5th Edition rules, but I ultimately decided that if I was going to take my players into Middle-earth, I wanted to use a system that had been designed exclusively and from the ground up to run games in Middle-earth. I am so glad that I did.
The experiences that my gaming group and I have already had with the TOR rules is, hands down, the closest that I have ever come to emulating Middle-earth in a way that is not only faithful to Tolkien's works but that is also an awful lot of fun to play. I cannot recommend it enough.
That said, I do have a few caveats for the interested buyer. FIRST, perhaps it goes without saying, but TOR is meant to emulate adventuring in Middle-earth ... and only in Middle-earth. If you are looking for anything else, choose another fantasy RPG system. TOR is laser focused on Middle-earth, and it would not be profitable to try to use this system otherwise. SECOND, the TOR rules are somewhat complex -- although, honestly, I think the better word is "involved," which is to say that you will have to do a pretty thorough reading of the (lengthy) rulebook to grasp it. But it is well worth the effort, and not only because the TOR experience is so good. In addition, the book is generally quite well written and is a pleasure to read. Beyond that -- although this will only become truly clear after playing it a bit -- it is remarkable how well integrated and conceptualized this RPG system is. There appeared to me at first glance to be a number of disparate systems -- such as character creation, task resolution, combat, journeys, and social interaction -- but after you play the game a while, you come to see that they are not as disparate as they first appear: these various pieces come together holistically, as reflected in the highly flavorful and clever character creation system, which is a fun mini-game in its own right. In short, the designers of this game have clearly labored to put together an extremely well-thought out system for playing in Middle-earth. Is it perfect? Of course not, but what RPG system is? So I return to the caveat: while not an excessively heavy game, it is also not a light one. THIRD, although you could play TOR using only the rulebook, the chances are good the Gamesmaster at least will want to pick up some of its sourcebooks -- and for good reason, since they are of high quality, are a joy to read (not to mention the illustrations are wonderful), and enrich the gaming experience. But the caveat here is that they are not inexpensive, and you could easily spend a fair bit of money on this game. Getting into TOR is an investment of both time and money, but if you have always wanted to adventure in Middle-earth, it is an investment well worth making.
Even taking into consideration the above caveats, if you are looking for an RPG to run a campaign in Middle-earth, you need look no further than The One Ring Roleplaying Game.
Put simply, the fantasy adventure genre has always had two modes: The Hobbit/The Lord of the Rings, and then everything else. Dungeons & Dragons, Pathfinder, etc.. those are good, fun fantasy adventure rpgs. But this.. this is The One Ring. And it will be your precious.
Layout of Information - Technical
The best RPG Cores detail everything you need to know to craft a compelling character that sounds and looks enjoyable in the first two chapters. TOR sort of haphazardly scatters some critical tidbits of information around that you will need to frequently hunt for. As I went through and read the book in great detail, I realized that the test character I had created (I always test character creation systems when I get a new core) was going to be, at best, lackluster. At worst, he would be a critical hindrance to any group. I had to completely revamp my hypothetical character at least four times because something small I discovered on later reads completely altered how he operated. There are too many thinly dispersed, literal "game changers" spread throughout the book to make TOR one of the transcendental few that you read a few times and then never have to actually open again because the rules are just that easily accessible in one place.
Sparsity - A Good and Bad Thing?
P&PRPGs are my primary hobby, so I get pretty into them. I also grew up on Tolkien. For some, TOR is going to be just enough. For others like me, TOR just won't be enough. As my best example, its character customization is pretty spare and restrictive, I feel. It locks players into several archetypal characteristics that then mesh together in different ways from your background to your class. But it doesn't feel like a real person when you finish, it feels like you just mixed and matched some weird paper-doll of a humanoid to make your character. It doesn't always feel very authentic, especially if your idea falls out of the realm of their limited selections. Further, content in general for equipment and loot (something most RPG players froth over primarily) is pretty dang thin, too. Weapons and armor are pretty straight forward, but can ultimately all be pretty interchangeable as far as their actual function. Along the same lines of gear, loot is abstracted down to simply "treasure points" which cuts down a lot on book-keeping, but makes finds of any unique or functional worth non-existent. You will never see any detailing on locating actual treasure that the players might want to utilize such as swords and armor. This is replaced by an equally limited rewards system that doesn't jive very well with actually looting a dungeon or lair. You will not find details on how to craft cool arms, armor, and objects for your players to locate (though I hear a $40 supplement can help with that -.- ). The whole game is limited enough that it can be easy to get into but it makes me wonder what real complexity is there that might get long-term players to stay? Treasure points? Please.
Themes - Up Yours, Peter Jackson
The book is VERY CLEARLY based entirely off of Tolkien canon in terms of imagery, equipment, and lore. While there are quite a few elements that are definitely extra-canonical, you won't find a single lick of steampunk Dwarves, Gondorian full-plate, or anything else from the films if that is a quibble. The highest armor goes is heavy chainmail and all the weaponry is very clearly of Norse or western European design. No Elves with katanas or scimitars to be found here. It's a very refreshing look into what the aesthetic of Lord of the Rings would look like if it had not been overwhelmed by Jackson's vision. Not that it's a bad thing, it's just a different viewpoint that suffocates all others because of its popularity.
Dice Mechanic - Simple and Elegant
The dice system is a d6 based system that throws in a single d12 just for funsies. It's very easy to work with and does not contribute to the one less star even though I have become an unrepentant fanboy of the FFG Star Wars RPG's symbolic dice mechanics. For a numerical dice system, yeah, it's really good. Better than the Methusalian d20 based systems that still hobble around. Don't bother with the silly $11 dice set though, regular dice will do just fine unless you're a LOTR/dice geek or you really, REALLY want the supplement that comes with the set.
Well. You can see how many stars I gave it.
In short, it's just too limited for an RPG. A lot of RPGs take the worlds they represent and make a microcosm that is very customizable. TOR does well, but not great. It's a competent, working attempt, perhaps the first of its kind since Lord of the Rings was released, but it's just not quite as genius as a lot of people are making it out to be.
Most recent customer reviews
The One Ring is not only a superb roleplaying game, it is a superb Middle-earth game.Read more
By Jesse Shultz
“Five years ago, in the year 2941 of the Third Age in the reckoning of the Elves and the Men of the West, a fierce battle...Read more