Alan’s Unofficial (& Totally Biased) Essential The One Ring RPG Guide

My Pendragon guide was very popular. One of my top three blog posts! So I’m doing more for other RPGs I love.

Thus, I present to you, Alan’s Unofficial (& Totally Biased) Essential The One Ring RPG Book Guide!

I adore The One Ring (also called TOR.) My love of Tolkien runs deep and nostalgic, and TOR captures everything I adore about Tolkien into a game that I consider near perfect. Cubicle 7 crushed it. Their team has made an amazing game that I’m always excited to buy and play.

I’ve divided these into categories, start with Must Buy, and getting all the way to Optionals. You can click on the titles or the pictures for links to the purchase site (all of them on Cubicle 7’s website). I’ll primarily focus on The One Ring Edition (not Adventures in Middle-Earth, but AEM is amazing!) because it’s both readily available in PDF and Print and because I’m wildly biased (again, my favorite Tolkien RPG ever).

Note, just because something isn’t “Must Buy” doesn’t mean I think it’s bad or don’t use it. Often the opposite! But if I am coming into the game, or recommending purchasing orders to folks, this is how I would recommend it.

 


MUST BUY

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The Core Rulebook: You have to always start with the corebook! Luckily, this scorebook is a 336 page tome full of gorgeous full-color art, easy to read and learn rules, and everything you need to play!

Bestiary, pregens, a small adventure, storytelling advice. It’s pretty much spot on and perfect!TOR_Dice3

 

The Dice SetWhile the dice set is not officially required, I really like having the official dice for this game. They make play much smoother, it’s easier to teach, and it generally improves the experience.

I consider them a must buy if you’re going to play TOR. You won’t go wrong.

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The Adventurer’s Companion: Us roleplaying fanatics love our options, and The Adventurer’s Guide gives us so many more options. A useful book if you want to expand outside of the core options, this book is a must have at any table.

It also includes some unique Fellowship Phase options, and some extra rules to add a bit more crunch and character development to the very streamlined ruleset.

It also has a catalog of all the Fellowship options up to that point, and it adds Generational Play (a favorite of mine design-wise.) Yes please.


BEST OPTIONS TO BUY FOR MORE AWESOME

If you want to add more awesome to your already awesome The One Ring game nights, these books will serve you nicely. I have all of them and regularly use them all.

JourneysAndMaps600Journeys & MapsI love this product. Big, folded maps that I can lay on the table and teach folks with, or show their travels and journeys? Yeah, this is a win.

With the beautifully thought-out travel rules in the core, I consider this product just below Must Have, and it’s an absolutely valuable resource at my table.

The only real issue is that future & new maps aren’t/won’t be in it. Here’s hoping for a Journeys & Maps II or similar product.

 

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The Loremaster’s Screen: Well, how are you going to go wrong with a Loremaster’s Screen for TOR? The back end of it is fantastic, with tons of useful rules information and guides to playing.

Plus as a bonus, you get the Lake-Town rules (for playing Men of the Lake) and some new Fellowship options.

Unfortunately (kinda?), those are reprinted in The Adventurer’s Companion, so if you aren’t the sort of LM who wants a screen, you might not find full value in this.  It’s still beautiful, and I still consider it useful, but I don’t consider it a must have.

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The Heart of the WildThis book introduces River Hobbits, so it’s pretty much perfect from the get-go!

However, it also adds a lot more detail to the Wilderland (the default locale in the corebook), more enemies, more Cultures, and lots more excellent options, like those above.

However, lots of this book (new cultures, added Fellowship phase options) is repeated in The Adventurer’s Guide, so it’s hard to justify on the table at times (for me.)


MORE AWESOME OPTIONS (BUT LESS ESSENTIAL THAN ABOVE!)

So, this is where it gets weird. These options are pretty great! And I love and use them all, but they’re a bit more…precise in what you might want or need.

The books below expand the core experience out of the Wilderlands (the area around The Lonely Mountain) and add new cultures and locales to the game.

However, if you’re not planning to travel to these locations in the game, nor play a culture from there, they are relatively superfluous in your game.

Instead of going over which is in each of these in particular, I’m going to simply show you what they are, and give you a brief overview of how these are all set up.

  • They generally introduce a new culture or two.
  • They introduce specific rules for that culture (such as Horses for Rohan, Dragons & Dwarven Artifacts for Erebor, etc.)
  • They add a new map and new pregenerated characters.

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ADVENTURES!

The One Ring has oodles of adventures. Just so many. And they’re all great. But if you don’t do premade adventures, they’re less useful.

So, mileage might vary! Most of the adventure books are tied to one of the locale expansions above (Tales from the Wilderland being tied to the Corebook, and The Darkening of Mirkwood being stand alone.)tfw_fc800.jpg

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That art though… *faints*

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Tiny Wastelands is on Kickstarter!

Tiny-Wastelands-Logo---Full-Render-02On Kickstarter today, Tiny Wastelands is the next genre game in the TinyD6 line published by Nocturnal Media!

Based around the minimalist ruleset popularized in bestselling roleplaying game Tiny Frontiers and it’s expansion Tiny Frontiers: Mecha & Monsters, Tiny Wasteland brings the post-apocalyptic wastelands to your tabletop in a small, affordable and easy to learn package!

Play as scavengers, mutants, tyrants, road warriors and more in any of the amazing micro-settings written by contributing authors! With every stretch goal, we add a new micro-setting to the game! These micro-settings are specifically engineered to get you playing quickly, and prompt your game master with awesome ideas that let YOU fill in the details!
So rev up your engines and get ready to scavenge for survival!
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RPG Spotlight: Corporia

This column is part of an ongoing series highlight RPGs that I like and feel are not as well known as they deserve. 

So, I’ve stopped reviewing RPGs on this blog (you can see the post why HERE), but not reviewing RPGs has caused my already sporadic blog output to drop. So, I need to do something else.

I decided to highlight RPGs I love, and try to increase awareness of clever, fun, or interesting RPGs that I wish more people played. It’ll be hard to distinguish why this is different than a review (I won’t give ratings for starters). Consider these less a “review” and more a “recommendation” as if we were talking in person and you asked me to refer a lesser known RPG for you to purchase.

So let’s start with Corporia!


http://www.drivethrurpg.com/product_info.php?products_id=127226&filters=0_0_44825_0_0&manufacturers_id=6049

Cover Image from DriveThruRPG


I love Arthurian RPGs (Pendragon first and foremost and I’m very fond of Keltia), and I love science fiction in it’s many and sundry forms, so that’s pretty great. I reviewed it previously (HERE) and I was pretty positive.

I still am, and I chose this game for my first spotlight for two reasons.

  1. This is a great game that deserves more market penetration. It’s not perfect, but it’s clever, innovative, and different, and I think that’s well worth taking a look at it.
  2. Mark is a talented designer who knows how to put together an useful and stylized product, and I want more Corporia stuff, so if I highlight this and he gets more sales, maybe I’ll get more Corporia stuff!

(Hear that Mark? I want more Corporia. We should talk.)

So what is Corporia? It’s near-future corporate dystopia where you play characters who are supernaturally empowered (or straight reincarnations out of Arthurian myth) attempting to protect the world (a la X-Files, Angel or Torchwood). It’s sort of Shadowrun but less punk, and a bit more mythical, and very well done.

It takes place in a generic city, with lots of cool details, some groan inducing plays on Arthurian mythos (the X-Caliber laser pistol for one), and a lot of potential for fun, dramatic, and cool play.

I’d suggest you take a look. It’s on DriveThuRPG and RPGNow as a Print on Demand product.