The One Ring Resources

The One Ring was released at Gen Con Indy and many people that were there have their slipcover set, others have received their early bird pre-orders and the rest of us wait with PDFs for our slip-covered sets to arrive. During this time many fans have been busy putting out some excellent fan-created materials for the game. In addition there have been some other gems out there that I felt needed to be consolidated into one place for the moment.

Let’s take a look at some of these gems that are out there!

Cubicle 7 The Video Files

First up is Cubicle 7’s own video series about The One Ring. Likely if you have done any searching for more information about The One Ring you have come across these. But I felt this post would not be complete without some reference to them. These videos include interviews with game designer Francesco Nepitello and art director Jon Hodgson. An excellent series – either for those considering picking up The One Ring or for those waiting for their books!

Jon Hodgson’s Deviant Art Gallery

As mentioned in an earlier post I was very impressed by the artwork in The One Ring books and that was one of the things that drew me into looking at the game closer. Jon Hodgson has been very cool with posting various wallpapers and such to the Cubicle 7 forums. In addition he has a Deviant Art gallery that is well worth checking out if you are looking for inspiration for your Middle-earth game.

Azrapse’s Web Character Builder for The One Ring

One of the more impressive fan created tools for The One Ring is the Web Character Builder written by Azrapse from the Cubicle 7 forums. In a very short period of time he has developed an excellent online character builder TOR characters. The character builder has import and export options, a print option, the ability to export to BBCode for PbP campaigns, a dice roller and he’s recently added an Online Character Server for storing your characters online. In addition he has thus far been very quick at handling feature requests and squashing any bugs. An excellent tool and well worth a look!

Voidstate’s The One Ring Dice Roller

If you are interested in a standalone dice roller for The One Ring, voidstate recently posted just such a thing. It stands to be a great tool if you need to make a quick roll for something. You can choose the type of roll, the number of skill dice, whether you are weary, how to handle the feat dice, whether to spend a Hope point and set the TN if you know it. This is a relatively new creation, but so far voidstate has been updating it to correct for any errors the community has found. Another great tool!

The Rune Generator

This next tool is not specific to The One Ring but one I have already found useful – a rune generator! The rune generator is quite useful for creating handouts and such and can take the text you input and output runes in either Old English runes from The Hobbit or Cirth, Moria Dwarf runes from Lord of the Rings or Elvish Tengwar.

The One Ring Actual Play Post

And the final item I mention is less a resource and more an example of play that might help some people. John Marron over on rpg.net has started an actual play thread of his The One Ring game and includes some of the mechanics behind the action. I found it an interesting read. Be warned though he is running the sample adventure in the game, so there will be spoilers abound. If you might play the adventure it might be best to avoid this last thread to prevent spoiling any fun for you.

The resources highlighted above are just some of the ones that have caught my eye over the past month. Keep an eye on The One Ring Forums at Cubicle 7 and you can find some other fan created resources that might help you with your game as well. Enjoy!

The One Ring at The Iron Tavern

A Look at The One Ring RPG

Like many my initial delve into fantasy worlds began with The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien. Tolkien crafted the wonderful world of Middle-earth and that has allowed many an opportunity to escape into a far away world.

Along the way there have been several role playing systems that have tried to emulate the feel of Middle-earth. Some of the notables include Iron Crown Enterprises (ICE) Middle-earth Role Playing (MERP) which came out around 1984. In 2002 Decipher released The Lord of the Rings Roleplaying Game. And most recently Cubicle 7 released The One Ring – Adventures Over the Edge of the Wild at Gen Con 2011.

The One Ring (TOR) caught some buzz on twitter over the past few weeks and there have been many threads over at rpg.net on the game and a couple surfacing at EN World. Catching wind of some of this from these sources, I became curious and checked the system out.

Before I venture too far into this post, let me state up front this is not an in-depth review. I fully intend to post a more thorough review, but I need to get more experience with how the combat system actually plays out. Consider this post more of a cursory overview of The One Ring.

The One Ring was written by Francesco Nepitello and artwork was done by John Howe, Jon Hodgson and Tomasz Jedruszek and as noted earlier, put out by Cubicle 7 Entertainment. TOR was released as a box set that includes an Adventurer’s Book and Loremaster’s Book along with maps for each and a set of dice to be used with the game.

One of the very first things that drew my attention was the artwork in the book. The feel and style of it really has a Middle-earth feel to it. Yes, that is difficult to describe, but the art within the books seems to have a soft, earthy tone to them in many cases. The characters depicted in the art also have this feel to them, from the dwarves to the elves to the Beornings.

The artwork drew me in with its Middle-earth feel, but how about the game itself? How does it stack up with the feel of Middle-earth? From my initial read it appears to emulate this feel quite well!

The game includes an emphasis on fellowship and includes a mechanic for “fellowship focus”. Basically a character chooses another member of the fellowship as their focus and certain mechanical rewards occur if this person is not wounded or allows them to more easily recover Hope points in certain situations. Hope represents the perseverance of a character. There is a limited amount of hope, but it can be used as a bonus to boost your chance of success at something like a skill check.

On the flip side, there is the ever present threat of The Shadow, a force of corruption. Think of how the One Ring drove people to madness. This element is represented in TOR via shadow points, a method of tracking ones potential move to madness, at times resulting in temporary loss of control for your character. It certainly seems an interesting mechanic.

The One Ring will be a series of releases and expand in the future. For now this release focuses on starting in the year 2946 of the Third Age about five years after the Battle of Five Armies. It also focuses on the Wilderlands region which includes areas such as the Misty Mountains, Mirkwood, the Lonely Mountain and the town of Esgaroth on Long Lake. Future releases will advance the timeline further and increase the geographical area.

Playable characters can choose from one of several cultures. In this initial release you can choose from the Bardings, Beornings, Dwarves of the Lonely Mountain, Elves of Mirkwood, Hobbits of the Shire and Woodemn of Wilderland. These heroic cultures will be expanded as the geography covered by the game expands.

The game is not based on d20 which in some ways is nice for someone like me who plays a lot of d20 based games. Task/Skill resolution is determined through success dice (d6) and a feat die (d12). You roll a number of success dice equal to your skill level and the feat die. Sixes on your success dice improve your success and the feat die is a bit of a wildcard with a Sauron rune and Gandalf rune that also affect your success.

There is much more to the game, but this is simply an initial look at the game. In my full review I will get into more of the mechanics and such and how they fit into the feel of Middle-earth in this game, including a closer look at combat resolution.

At this point I am quite impressed by The One Ring. It really seems to hit the right chords in getting the feel of Middle-earth just right – at least for me. If you haven’t taken a look at the game yet and you hold a fondness for Middle-earth take a look. And keep checking back here for a more The One Ring coverage.

The One Ring at The Iron Tavern