The One Ring RPG: New LOTR RPG

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ThrorII
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Re: The One Ring RPG: New LOTR RPG

Post by ThrorII »

OK, I bought the pdf.

I haven't read it in detail yet, but I've read parts and skimmed most of it.

It seems awful complex for a 3-stat system....a lot of 'status levels' to track (weariness, endurance, hope, etc).
The die mechanic acutally seems ok.
It does capture the feel of the Hobbit or Lord of the Rings.

It is low magic, bordering on 'non-magic'. Elves and Dwarves can get a Virtue that allows them to cast up to three rather minimal spells (dwarves can cast 'opening or shutting' and hidden door [the Hollin gate];Elves of Mirkwood can make magical fires and a sleep spell [a la the Hobbit]. I found no mechanic to emulate the Beorn-bear transformation for Beornings.

There is are no stats for Beorn, Bard, or Radagast, despite these three being mentioned throughout the book. They are assumed to be 'plot devices' or 'patrons'. I was disappointed that you can't even really run Radagast as an NPC leader/guide/helper (like Gandalf did for the Hobbit and Dwarves), as there are no stats for him, and no explanation of any spell abilities.

There is a lot of 'handwave' for aquiring 'magical weapons or gear'. Basically, when you 'level up' you get the option to choose specialty bonuses to weapons or armor, and you then have to narratively explain where they came from (for example, you can say they are a gift from a patron, or that after killing the Great Goblin your sword is now a 'fell weapon').

There are no rules for your character to create a wonderous item (be it a walking stick with the gift of finding and returning, or an elven rope).

I'll read it through completely, but I'm not thinking this is my cup of tea...

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Skywalker
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Re: The One Ring RPG: New LOTR RPG

Post by Skywalker »

ThrorII wrote:It seems awful complex for a 3-stat system....a lot of 'status levels' to track (weariness, endurance, hope, etc).
There are only really two made up of three parts, both of which work the same way.. The value - Endurance and Hope, the opposing factor - Fatigue and Shadow, and the resulting condition - Weary or Miserable.
ThrorII wrote:It is low magic, bordering on 'non-magic'. Elves and Dwarves can get a Virtue that allows them to cast up to three rather minimal spells (dwarves can cast 'opening or shutting' and hidden door [the Hollin gate];Elves of Mirkwood can make magical fires and a sleep spell [a la the Hobbit]. I found no mechanic to emulate the Beorn-bear transformation for Beornings.
Beornings, Bardings, Hobbits and Woodmen all have almost magic like effects. For example, Beornings have Night-goer which allows them to turn into an animal spirit whilst dreaming.

Beornings can't emulate Beorns skin changing abilities as I thought it was canonical that Beorn's abilities were unique to him and his direct descendants, all of which are accounted for in this time period.. Admittedly I could be wrong. The Beornings do have many Virtues that create similar yet lesser effects to their Chieftain's abilities.
ThrorII wrote:There is are no stats for Beorn, Bard, or Radagast, despite these three being mentioned throughout the book. They are assumed to be 'plot devices' or 'patrons'. I was disappointed that you can't even really run Radagast as an NPC leader/guide/helper (like Gandalf did for the Hobbit and Dwarves), as there are no stats for him, and no explanation of any spell abilities.
Beorn in bear form is statted on page 114 of the Loremasters book.

Personally, I am glad that Radagast as a potential Maiar isn't stated :) Not sure that prevents a GM running him like a Gandalf if desired but agree there is support for that.
ThrorII wrote:There is a lot of 'handwave' for aquiring 'magical weapons or gear'. Basically, when you 'level up' you get the option to choose specialty bonuses to weapons or armor, and you then have to narratively explain where they came from (for example, you can say they are a gift from a patron, or that after killing the Great Goblin your sword is now a 'fell weapon').
The rules are clear but the narrative for them is left to the players and GM. Not sure this is really a lot of hand wave compared to many RPGs out there.

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Omote
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Re: The One Ring RPG: New LOTR RPG

Post by Omote »

TOR is all about the adventure, the characters, and the fellowship (your company). Magic items and the like are plot devices, not important gear for characters.

The system is complex for 3 stats (Body, Heart, Wits). But there are also 18 skills, different types of ability scores (wisdom, valour, etc) as well as combat abilites (damage, parry, armor).

The dice mechanic is pretty ingenious, and surprisingly new for RPG. You roll a d12 (which is really a d10 + 2 symbols which represent automatic success and auto failure... awesome. You roll a number of d6's that represent your various skill levels (one d6 per "level" of skill). Depending on how weary you are, 1-3s are negated on the d6s. It's just very neat.

Clearly, you can see some boardgame type influences to the mechanics of this game, as in the d6s mentioned above and initiative is determined (in part) by how you position your character at the beginning of combat - another really neat new RPG mechanic, as far as I am aware of).

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Sir Ironside
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Re: The One Ring RPG: New LOTR RPG

Post by Sir Ironside »

Omote wrote:The dice mechanic is pretty ingenious, and surprisingly new for RPG. You roll a d12 (which is really a d10 + 2 symbols which represent automatic success and auto failure... awesome. You roll a number of d6's that represent your various skill levels (one d6 per "level" of skill). Depending on how weary you are, 1-3s are negated on the d6s. It's just very neat.
I wouldn't call it new, just a combination, that to my knowledge, hasn't been done. Rolling a single die (dice) with auto success and failures has been around a long time and as far as die per skill level, it is pretty much the same as The Story Teller system used by any White Wolf game.
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Skywalker
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Re: The One Ring RPG: New LOTR RPG

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Omote wrote:The system is complex for 3 stats (Body, Heart, Wits). But there are also 18 skills, different types of ability scores (wisdom, valour, etc) as well as combat abilites (damage, parry, armor).
I see people calling this a 3 stat system and I don't think that's quite right. The three stats referred too are actually what govern the "drama point" system rather than innate attributes like what most people are used to.

I would personally prioritise the system elements as follows:

1. Traits - you have 5 and they are both the most powerful and most defining element of your PC
2. Skills - you have 18 + Weapon Skills that apply to most rolls
3. Attributes - you have 6 (including 3 favoured) and these govern bonuses from spending Hope

It sort of defies conventional prioritisation which is why calling it a 3 stat system is sort of misleading in terms of complexity.

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Skywalker
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Re: The One Ring RPG: New LOTR RPG

Post by Skywalker »

Sir Ironside wrote:I wouldn't call it new, just a combination, that to my knowledge, hasn't been done. Rolling a single die (dice) with auto success and failures has been around a long time and as far as die per skill level, it is pretty much the same as The Story Teller system used by any White Wolf game.
I agree its not new. What is these days?

Still the combination of elements show a certain refreshingly new approach to many of the mechanics. Nothing seems done simply because that was how it was done before.

I personally like how much they have removed the need for modifers, instead embedding things in the dice or using auto successes.

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Re: The One Ring RPG: New LOTR RPG

Post by Piperdog »

I got to play next to my bud Omote for the Gencon game of TOR, and I have to say I am very impressed with how the mechanics work. I was doubtful at best going in, but it does feel rather ingenius in play. Not only did I enjoy the mechanics, but our gm did a fantanstic job of running the adventure; he made sure to take pains to paint a picture of middle earth, not a stereotypical fantasy setting. In fact, we began our adventure in a village in the wilderlands (Rhovenfel, something like that anyway) and had just spent the winter there. Our gm then took us on an immersive deer hunt, a yearly celebratory event that sent several hunting parties into the forest. We actually tracked, shot, and bagged some deer......no thanks to my dwarf, Beli, and his crashing through the wood. Of course we got ambushed by orcs...not D&D orcs....Middle Earth orcs.....and the gm did a fantastic job of making them feel like abominations we couldn't wait to kill. This was just the intro to a longer tale....more on that later if you wish. In the end, I am very glad I gave it a chance, and am ordering mine from amazon on payday. (60 bucks at the con, 38 on amazon with free shipping...)

I may agree with Omote on the campaign length probably being short in length. I could be wrong. I will have to see the adventure supplements that come out first I think.

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Skywalker
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Re: The One Ring RPG: New LOTR RPG

Post by Skywalker »

Piperdog wrote:This was just the intro to a longer tale....more on that later if you wish.
Hell yes. :)
Piperdog wrote:I will have to see the adventure supplements that come out first I think.
The first supplement after the GM Screen is said to be the Darkening of Mirkwood Campaign Guide. This spans a 25 year time period.

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Piperdog
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Re: The One Ring RPG: New LOTR RPG

Post by Piperdog »

Ok. A bit more of the tale.

I was very much into roleplaying my character, so I was shouting things like "I won't be outdone by a Northman!" as I charged my dwarf into the fray. After the initial ambush, we heard hunting horns calling out in distress from the other hunting parties, and they were suddenly silenced. We rushed into the wood to their aid, and saw some of the npcs we had met earlier either dead or dying at the hand of more orcs. We waded into battle and defeated the rest of the orcs (not without spending a bit of hope!) We noticed they were well armored mountain orcs....but why so far out from their home territory? We knew we had to take an injured pc to Radaghast the Brown, who lived nearbye. Once there, Rhadagast healed the npc and told us they were searching for the Lamp of Bolthi, an elven artifact of the 1st age. A large guilded lantern containing a blue light, that seemed to grant visions to those who stared into its depths, sometimes allowing one to locate the exact location of any object they desire....(geez, I wonder why Sauron would want that?) So, while Rhadagast went to relay this to the elven king in Mirkwood, we were sent to the Tomb of Bolthi to safeguard it until his return. Of course, once we got there, we had to defend it against a hell of an assault....this time the orcs had a big ol warchief and an attercop!
That was a major fight right there. The gm did a fantastic job. I wrote his name down somewhere...it was Clinton something.
Anyway, it was a blast, and I enjoyed the system immensely. Time to start shelling out more cash I guess.

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Re: The One Ring RPG: New LOTR RPG

Post by Piperdog »

One last thing of interest. I heard a lot of rumors that the TOR would be boardgamey. On the contrary, it was very narrative in nature, and guess what? No gameboard to be found. We played with no minis or gamemat of any kind....it was a new game played old school style, where the action actually took place...*gasp*...in our imaginations! Of course you could use minis or game mats if you wanted, just like my C&C games, where sometimes I do and sometimes I don't. I just wanted to mention this because some folks feared this was a game that couldn't be played without collectible cards, game pieces, or board of some kind. Consider those rumors squashed. ;)

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Skywalker
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Re: The One Ring RPG: New LOTR RPG

Post by Skywalker »

Nice, thanks.

So what stopped you from grabbing the Lantern and making a runner with it?

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Re: The One Ring RPG: New LOTR RPG

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I played the TOR on Thursday night at Gen Con, and even with a different GM than Omote and Piperdog, my experience was pretty much the same. Our LK (lorekeeper ;)) ran it very narratively, giving us some control over what skills we wanted to use when adressing the situations (if it made sense). It flowed very well and there was a lot less die rolling than I would have expected from a skill-based game. Some facets of a character, and I can't remember the name - traits, maybe? - are just things your character knows and aren't checked for...you just have that particular knowledge (or not).

The game system was pretty unique. Yes, there have been some similar. Maybe pieces of others squashed together. But this system, whether similar to another or a knockoff of another system is pretty unique and played played great. I bought my set, sight unseen, within the first 10 minutes the Exhibitor's Hall opened to the general public Thursday morning, and I don't regret it for a second. And, I can't wait for the future releases!
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Sir Ironside
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Re: The One Ring RPG: New LOTR RPG

Post by Sir Ironside »

Lord Dynel wrote:Our LK (lorekeeper ;)) ran it very narratively, giving us some control over what skills we wanted to use when adressing the situations (if it made sense). It flowed very well and there was a lot less die rolling than I would have expected from a skill-based game.
Ahhh... maybe a renaissance back (Or, at least a nod) to the golden days of OD&D?
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Skywalker
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Re: The One Ring RPG: New LOTR RPG

Post by Skywalker »

Not quite as old as OD&D, I find the RPGs most like TOR are Prince Valiant (1989) and Pendragon (1985), both of which are also founding fathers for many of the more modern RPG ideas we see prevalent today.

So yeah, definitely some old mixed in with the new.

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Skywalker
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Re: The One Ring RPG: New LOTR RPG

Post by Skywalker »

Not pretty, but here are some Stance Cards that I will be using on which Stance each PC is in and noting some relevant information.

http://dl.dropbox.com/u/14355510/StanceCards.pdf

They are designed to be printed, folded and placed in card protectors or folded as stand ups.

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Re: The One Ring RPG: New LOTR RPG

Post by Piperdog »

Ok. I thought I was not only being frugal, but brilliant, by not buying the One Ring at GenCon, figuring that as soon as I got back home I would order it off of Amazon for a steep discount and free shipping. Unfortunately, there is no definite date in sight at the moment on just when it will be available. Oh, I have the pdf mind you, but man, the hard copy set looks so awesome. And I for one hate pdf's as a general thing, and use them as an emergency fall back when necessary. I really hope the wait isn't much longer on this thing.

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Piperdog
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Re: The One Ring RPG: New LOTR RPG

Post by Piperdog »

Ok. I am feeling really dumb for not buying this at GenCon when I had it in my hands. Lucky if this thing is out by the end of October now.

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Skywalker
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Re: The One Ring RPG: New LOTR RPG

Post by Skywalker »

The first adventure book for The One Ring is out in PDF - Tales from Wilderland: http://www.rpgnow.com/product/101038/Th ... Wilderland.

A quick run down for those interested. Warning some spoilers (I will try and avoid them).

Tales from Widlerland is 7 adventures. They can be run individually but can also form a campaign spanning three years. The overarching storyline generally only comes in in the last three adventures, but its awesome. The big villain is creepy, Tolkien appropriate and his plan is epic. You also get to meet a Cold Drake (man, they are scary).

You could easily put MarshBell on the front and Words from the Wise between chapters 2 and 3.

All the adventures are good. In fact, this is one of the best adventure books I have read. They span a range of activities and stories, and all felt Tolkien in flavour. Highlights include:

Chapter 1: a detailed journey across Mirkwood
Chapter 2: my favourite adventure where Goblins (and players) sing songs in the dark!
Chapter 3: probably the most subtle and human story of the lot
Chapter 4: Eagles! Was that the Necromancer? Dol Goldur!
Chapter 5: creepy mastermind, marsh, magic items and Mountain Hall!
Chapter 6: Awesome large battle sequence.
Chapter 7: Cold drake!

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