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The One Ring - Journeys and Maps
by William H. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/13/2016 19:07:49

The product is, primarily about the maps. The maps, however, are at 1/8th the usual-for-Cubicle7 linear resolution, making half the product of VERY limited utility. The pixelation was noticeable at 100% view in acrobat, unlike other products in the line. Worse, this was an intentional crippling by the company, so as "to prevent competition" with the hardcopy product... (according to Jon Hodgeson, of C7.) In short, the text isn't worth $14.95 even dead tree, and the maps are almost worthless at the included resolution. Being a PDF-Only purchaser, my advice to others like me: Don't. You can find better resolution unofficial maps done by fans already online. (Comparing the 200% view with other products in the line, I had to hit 1600% to get similar pixelation.)



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Publisher Reply:
From the product description: \"These PDF maps are intended for reference on your computer or e-reading device of choice. They are not intended for home printing - these maps are available in print as part of the Journeys and Map print edition.\" Here is the response to your complaint about the maps resolution from our forums: \"The resolution of the maps in the PDF edition of Journeys and Maps was a deliberate decision, and we flag it up on the Drivethru/RPGnow page. Which of course you may not have read if you got the PDFs free as part of a pre-order. Where maps appear as supporting material in other supplements - take for example Rivendell - we have endeavoured to make them as high resolution as we can. Supplying those at pretty much any size won\'t compete with sales of the physical supplement. Because the maps in Journeys and Maps form a majority component of the supplement, we have scaled the PDF versions for on-screen usage. And they work very well for that purpose. However they aren\'t suited to commercial third-party printing. We\'ll be completely transparent - we want you to buy the physical maps from us, rather than us providing material that copy shops can profit from. If there is a demonstrable problem using screen-resolution maps as part of the PDF product we\'ll certainly look into addressing it.\" If the maps included in this set don\'t meet suitable standards for on-screen use we will happily replace the files with larger versions.
The One Ring - Journeys and Maps
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 04/06/2016 11:37:37

Whilst in many games, travelling to a place forms part of the adventure, in The One Ring the journey often IS the adventure, so this is a timely and useful addition to the game line. Anyway, I love maps!


So, let's start with the maps. They're glorious. And big - looking at the PDF version, on a large-screen PC, I'm not even getting 50% of them full-screen. There are four maps in total: Rohan & Gondor, Mordor, Wilderland and Eridor... but each comes in two forms, one for players and one for the Loremaster. The Loremaster version has loads of locations and other details, whilst the player version is the sort of thing a local cartographer might have made and sold to the Company when they were planning their next trip. A real delight to the eye, and practical for the game as well. The paper ones will no doubt look nice on your wall or enhance your tabletop when playing.


The set also contains a 32-page book which explains that Journeys and Maps is all about the adventures a company can have on their travels - chance encounters, hazards, natural events and more. The first chapter looks at travel by road, with plenty of ideas for things that might happen to the company arranged by region, making it easy to select the most appropriate event for them. Unfriendly locals, opportunistic thieves, or darkness lurking in a ruined farmhouse and more await... or they might just get lost! There are also suggestions about tailoring Hazards to specific regions, with a wealth of examples to get you started. Any can prove a momentary distraction, many have the potential to be developed into far more.


The next chapter deals with Boats and Ships. This provides just about everything you might want to know about travelling on the water rather than the land, with both river and sea journeys being discussed. There are notes on planning journeys, the types of vessel available... and of course hazards specific to the water.


The next section looks at things apart from hazards that can be used to enliven journeys. Here are interesting things to see, places to spend the night, fascinating people to talk to... not every encounter or event need be a bad one despite the abundance of hazards provided earlier.


The last chapter, Bones of the Earth, discusses ruins and explains how to design your own. Start by deciding who built it and what it was originally used for, then think about its present appearance and what it is being used for now. A whole bunch of ideas here. Finally, there is an Index of Locations covering everything that's been published to date, telling you both the book and the page number you'll need to consult to find out more.


Overall, this is a well-nigh essential aid for the Loremaster, and the maps are beautiful!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The One Ring Revised Edition Clarifications and Amendments
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 03/15/2016 08:12:26

If you have the original 2-volumes-in-a-slipcase version of the core rules - The One Ring: Adventures over the Edge of the Wild - you may be wondering about whether or not you want to buy the one volume The One Ring Roleplaying Game that came out in the summer of 2014. If you are not a mad completist, this PDF contains all the actual rules changes that have been made so you can have a look at make up your own mind.


Starting with the Adventurer's Book, there are detailed, fully page referenced lists of the changes made, all clearly highlighted in red text. The Loremaster's Book gets a similar treatment.


Of course, if you are only now coming to this great game, you'll want to purchase The One Ring Roleplaying Game, but if you have spent your hard-earned cash on the original game you may not want to splash out on the new version. With this you don't need to, although you might want to spend some time annotating or pasting things in to your books - easier of course if you have them in hard copy, but it's possible even in PDF... that's what I've done as I don't have The One Ring Roleplaying Game yet!


What is particularly good is that Cubicle 7 Entertainments have seen fit to put this out, rather than expecting everyone to rush out and buy the new version. It's the sort of thing that builds up brand loyalty and indeed makes one more inclined to keep buying their product!



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The One Ring Revised Edition Clarifications and Amendments
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The One Ring - Horse-lords of Rohan
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 03/14/2016 09:36:34

Rolling grass plains far to the south of Wilderland are home to the horse-clans, the Rohirrim (or Eorlingas in their own tongue). They call their lands the Riddermark and here they ride and reign, a culture rich and strange. It was always one of the areas I found most exciting in The Lord of the Rings, so it's good at last to be able to visit, even if only in my game.


The first two sections describe the Riddermark itself and the lands surrounding it, covering history and geography from the contested West-march and the Gap of Rohan in the west to the Great River in the east; from the Wold in the north to the White Mountains in the south. As well as the lay of the land, there are details of local wildlife, the people who live there and notable individuals and locations that might feature in your adventures. Ideas for Fellowship Phase activities, not to mention hazards and other encounters, are scattered throughout to aid you as the companions travel here.


The third section covers the Forest of Fangorn. Now if you thought Mirkwood was strange you really need to visit here... and maybe meet an Ent, one of the legendary shepherds of the trees. Moving on, the forth section deals with the Folk of the Fells, lumped together by the Rohirrim (who do not get on with them at all) as the Dunlendings, although there are many different tribes and societies.


Next the fifth section speaks of Isengard, the Tower of Orthanc, home to Saruman the White. There's plenty more plot resources here for those who wish to have dealings with Saruman, even Fellowship Phase activities. This is followed by a collection of Monsters of Rohan including dangerous animals and more sentient foes such as the Uruk-Hai.


Finally, the last two sections take a look at horsemanship within the game (including, of course, combat) and at new Heroic Cultures for those players who'd like characters who come from here, rather than who will visit. There are also two splendid maps (endpapers in the hard copy, a separate PDF if you are downloading), which let you see where everything is as you read through the book.


This work does an excellent job at setting the scene for the Riddermark and surrounding lands, and a companion book of adventures is said to be in the works. It is assumed to be 2960 here, although it's relatively simple to move the timeline to whatever suits your needs using the information provided. It explains how visitors from other lands are received by the Rohirrim, and there some ideas provided for how a company from the Wilderlands might travel this far from home... and there is a note about hobbits. They've not been seen here for so long that most Rohirrim think them the stuff of legend. If there is a hobbit in your company they could be in for an interesting time!



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The One Ring - Ruins of the North
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 03/10/2016 08:49:30

This is a collection of six ready-to-run adventures which you can use whenever your company is in eastern Eriador. They can be stand-alone or linked into a loose series as best suits your needs, and are assumed to take place sometime after 2954 - but not wedded to that date, if your requirements are different. If you have the supplement Rivendell, there's lots of useful material there to help you flesh out locations and the general environment.


The first adventure takes the party from the foothills of Gundabad across the Misty Mountains to the former capital city of Angmar and finally to Rivendell itself. The following five adventures are all based out of Rivendell and are set in the various lands surrounding the Vale of Imladris. They gradually get harder, the first five can be undertaken relatively easily, but the final one presents a greater challenge - although none are appropriate for complete novices, play a few other adventures first. Several suggestions are provided for how you can incorporate these adventures into an ongoing campaign or build a campaign around them, even though there is no definite 'plot arc' (or Big Bad to defeat) save the growing of the Shadows, the gathering of evil, in preparation for the War of the Ring that is to come.


In the first adventure, Nightmares of Angmar, some children have been kidnapped by goblins and it falls to the company to track them down and get them back. It's an autumnal quest, suitable for the last adventure of a year. However, you might want to make up your own reason for them being in the Black Hills (where it all begins) in the first place, most of the reasons provided are rather weak. On the other hand there's an impressive array of options to help you weave this adventure into whatever else is going on. Throughout the adventure, support is provided to help you run each encounter and event... although there is little lee-way for handling anyone who doesn't do the expected thing! There is an interesting mechanic of 'Key Points' - places where the characters' actions or words have a positive or negative effect on a certain pivotal NPC. These will determine how that individual acts in the future, but ought not to be revealed to the players, it's just something that the Loremaster should track.


The next adventure, Harder than Stone, is designed for spring, perhaps after the Fellowship Phase following Nightmares of Angmar. It's undertaken at the behest of Elrond of Rivendell which will lead the company a merry dance along the mighty river Hoarwell. A caravan of dwarves has been attacked... and the characters will have to travel deep into the Trollshaws to find out who's behind it all. Yes, these adventures are full of lots of travelling... but as that's central to all the Tolkein stories, that's not very surprising!


This is followed by Concerning Archers, a spring or summer adventure that begins in Rivendell when Bilbo Baggins gets into an argument with a scholar over hobbit participation in a battle - and asks the company to travel to the ruins of Fornost, the city of the Kings, to check things out. Bilbo reckons that a company of hobbit archers were involved in the fall of Fornost, but the elf to whom he is speaking has been dismissive of such a possibility... and they've made a wager about it. Bilbo needs evidence to win! (Why Bilbo, who's described as being in his prime, won't go himself isn't even discussed, you might want to think of something should your players bring it up.)


The fourth adventure is The Company of the Wain and is interesting in that it's quite episodic - you could interleave events from it with other adventures to good effect as it revolves around a group of travelling traders. Perhaps the company just keeps encountering them as they go about other business. Travelling traders are an unusual sight up here, and there's something a bit odd about this lot...


Next comes What Lies Beneath, which comes with a warning that travelling is even more extensive in this adventure than in most, so it's best started early in a year. Hiraval, a Ranger of the North, wants some assistance to reclaim his family's ancient mansion - not just because he thinks it could improve the safety of the region, but also because he is being haunted by an ancestor who is driving him nuts about the place!


Finally, Shadows Over Tyrn Gorthad has Gandalf asking the company to deal with a veritable plague of barrow-wights who are passing far beyond the Barrow-downs and growing bolder all the time. It will take several Adventuring Phases, indeed several years, to play out in full and the danger is immense. They will need to research and study lore about the barrow-wights before thay are in a position to deal with them, and even researching them carries its dangers.


Overall, a fine collection of adventures that are very true to the whole feel of the setting. There's a tendency to assume that the characters will follow the set path through each adventure, and little support if they do not, but provided they do the right things the Loremaster is well supported to run their adventures. Complete these, and there will be songs written about the company, stuff of legends!



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The One Ring - Ruins of the North
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The One Ring - The Heart of the Wild
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 03/08/2016 08:09:37

This sourcebook expands on material in the Loremaster's Guide, providing a wealth of detail about the lands of the River and the Forest - the Vales of Anduin along the banks of the Great River and the trackless forest of Mirkwood to the east. Its main purpose is to serve as a gazetteer, whether you are running a campaign based on The Darkening of Mirkwood or one of your own devising in this part of Middle Earth. If you are using The Darkning of Mirkwood this work will greatly enhance your game and is highly recommended on those grounds alone. Timewise, material herein is set at 2946, but the Loremaster should take into account the passage of time between then and whatever the date is when the company arrives at any given location. Oh, and this is primarily a book for Loremasters. Players have no business reading about places their characters have not visited yet!


The first chapter traces the course of the River Anduin all the way from the Misty Mountains to the southern edge of the wild, using the same regions as depicted on the Loremaster's Map in the core rules. For each region, we read about its general geography, interesting flora and fauna to be found there, notes on the inhabitants (if any) then lists of notable individuals and locations that may be encountered there. Sometimes there are ideas for things to do in either the Adventuring or the Fellowship Phase.


The history of this area is one of migration, and that mainly of Men rather than any other race. Much of it is uninhabited, but those who have passed through have left their traces. Even where there are not overt suggestions, just reading through these details spawns plenty of ideas for adventure!


Next, following the same pattern of contents, there's a look at the forest of Mirkwood itself, running from the thickets of Northern Mirkwood to the very gates of Dol Guldur. Mirkwood is indeed an enormous forest - its northern border faces the steep slopes of the Grey Mountains and its southern edge is near the Brown Lands, a distance of more than four hundred miles, whilst it is about two hundred miles wide. The elves were the first to live here, but their time is now long past although some still remain. A few men have wandered here, but generally only on the fringes, while darker souls such as orcs are found within. It's dark in there, and airless... hunting and foraging are a chancy business and not everything you find is fit to eat or drink even once you've got it. And it is very easy to get lost! Tread warily if you must go there at all.


Finally, there's an extensive Bestiary. This covers a lot of critters that you probably don't want to meet, complete with all the information the Loremaster needs to run them when you do... and illustrations, which unfortunately are not arranged in such a way as to facilitate showing them to your players. An appendix provides a detailed overview map to supplement the individual regional ones scattered throughout the text.


Overall, the wealth of detail here really makes the place come to life, and should help you provide the same service to your players as their characters travels take them through these parts. And if anyone wants to come from here, there are a few appropriate Heroic Cultures from which to choose. Highly recommended, especially if you are running The Darkening of Mirkwood campaign arc.



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The One Ring - The Heart of the Wild
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The One Ring - Rivendell
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 03/07/2016 09:18:30

This work widens the horizons of The One Ring RPG, opening up eastern Eriador and Rivendell for exploration. It's assmumed that the company will have already embarked upon, if not concluded, The Darkening of Mirkwood campaign, so the material here is set around 2951 or later - but if you prefer to start earlier it's possible. Elf-touched lands don't change as fast and what is said of 2951 holds good for earlier times for the most part.


We start with Imladris, the almost-hidden valley where Elrond himself lives... and where the company might find a welcome if they can but find their way there. It serves as a refuge for the High Elves of Eregion. The house of Rivendell is described in detail along with notable characters who might be found there. It's a pleasant place to stay, and several specific Fellowship Phase activities are provided for companies who stop here for a while. It's a good place to research lore, whilst more creative characters might want to write a song. This introduces rules to cover the writing and singing of songs, and the benefits of singing whilst adventuring.


Next comes A History of Eriador. This provides a lot of background about the whole region and leads on to The Regions of Eastern Eriador, a chapter which gives even more detail of the geography, wildlife and inhabitants. This includes both notable individuals and locations to be found in each region. Visit the Trollshaws, the Coldfells, the Ettenmoors and other spots if you dare. Small maps of each region are supplied. Plenty of suggestions for hazards peculiar to these places are provided, there are also ideas for Adventuring and Fellowship Phase activities.


This is followed by a chapter on New Monsters, some of which have been mentioned earlier as resident in one or more region. There's a discussion on designing powerful monsters, with a range of enhancements that will strike terror into any character's heart, as well as stat-blocks and notes on a range of monsters to be found in these areas. There are some wonderfully atmospheric illustrations too, although it will be rather difficult to show them to the players as 'This is what you see...' without revealing stat blocks and other identifying information.


In perhaps more pleasant vein, next is a chapter on Magical Treasures, wonderous items that were made in times past and have been lost through the ages... but which are just waiting to be found by some enterprising company and put to good use. Rules for finding them are included, along with ones for determining what you have got, and how to track what each individual companion has in possession. They should not be commonplace. Then there are 'precious objects' that have value but are not of such significance. Armed with these notes and rules, the Loremaster can devise, place and use all manner of fabulous things in the course of the campaign. Several example Magical Treasure Indices are provided: they can serve as examples or even be put straight to use... especially as amongst them is one aimed at The Darkening of Mirkwood and another at adventures set in Eriador itself.


The next chapter is The Eye of Mordor. As evil reawakens the characters run the risk of catching its notice by their actions. Here a mechanic to quantify this process is presented. It's an interesting concept if rather mechanical, and does require some book keeping.


Finally, there are some Heroic Cultures should anyone wish to play a High Elf of Rivendell or one of the Dúnedain (Rangers of the North). These may come over a bit high-powered compared to the others previously introduced in the core rulebook - neither classes as a 'first-time adventurer'. Now, perhaps you have an experienced company and either a new player or one who wishes to take on a new character might have one of these - of particular use if the company has just arrived in Rivendell and are in need of a local guide. Whatever your needs, here you will find all the details you require to create and play such characters.


This is an interesting expansion to the game, and one to be welcomed. Have fun exploring a bit further afield!



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The One Ring - Rivendell
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The One Ring - The Darkening of Mirkwood
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 03/04/2016 11:51:37

In the original Loremaster's Book an epic campaign called The Darkening of Mirkwood was outline: here it is presented with a wealth of detail, year by year events to enable you to have a coherent time-line of events running irrespective if you want your campaign plot to interact with them or not - a fine way to ensure that your players feel that their characters exist within a living, breathing, real alternate reality!


The Introduction provides a lot of useful material, including notes on how news travels across Middle Earth (slowly...), and how this timeline has been established to set the scene for the events in The Lord of the Rings - remember, this game is set between events in The Hobbit and those of The Lord of the Rings. The focus here is on how the sweep of events affects those caught up in them, in particular the player-characters and those they care about, putting a human (or hobbit, dwarven, elven...) face on world-shaping events. Yet it may be that the histories are wrong. Maybe things didn't quite happen as it is said that they did. Perhaps some heroes stood up and by their actions changed things. Don't be afraid to alter the course of history as appropriate to the actions of your company of adventurers or indeed the needs of the stories you want to tell. The company are, after all, the heroes of your game, the stars at centre stage whatever else might be going on in the world.


There are rules for establishing and running a holding - something many character might wish to do... and this also provides them a place to defend when darkness comes a-knocking. For those living in the Wilderland, it's a real and present threat that is only going to get worse as time progresses. So encourage the characters to embed themselves in the community, build up networks of friends and relatives, trading partners and associates... all the more will they feel the threat as events unfold.


And then we move on to the tale of years, which is broken down into five phases beginning with the last good years. The timeline runs from the year 2947 for a full thirty years. For each year you get a selection of events, noteworthy things that happen in Mirkwood and the lands immediately surrounding it... or even further away, but which influence life there or at least will have been heard about by those living there. It's up to you whether or not you want to incorporate them into your plotline or use them as side-adventures, or merely leave them as topics to be discussed over a pot of ale.


Next there's a complete sample adventure. As the years progress, it is likely that these adventures will need to be customised, as things your company has done in the past may be already altering the timeline from that published here. There's also information that may influence the course of the year-end Fellowship Phase, although this gets harder to predict as time passes and adventurers' actions affect the timeline, for better or for worse.


The overall idea is that you and your company will build a solid history of your own, one that encompasses the feel of a real life being led, a life that has adventure in it to be sure, but one which is rooted in its surroundings and the ordinary lives led by most of the people who live there. As such this work is an admirable resource and should help you build a lasting campaign that will be fun to play and memorable for years after.



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The One Ring - The Darkening of Mirkwood
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The One Ring™: Adventures over the Edge of the Wild 2011 Edition
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 03/02/2016 13:14:01

This product consist of two books and maps in a slip case (or a slew of PDFs if you purchase it that way). The books are The Adventurer's Book and The Loremaster's Book, and the maps come in Adventurer's and Loremaster's versions as well.


We'll begin with The Adventurer's Book, which opens with an Introduction that covers the usual explanation of what a role-playing game is before talking about the setting of Middle-Earth as depicted in The Hobbit and The Lord of The Rings and assorted other material by J.R.R. Tolkien. Even the what is role-playing bit is interesting, as it takes the standpoint of common knowledge of video games and explaining that role-playing is a bit like that, but without the computer! We then find out that the game is set specifically in the time between The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, a period of some seventy years, and starts off in the Wilderland - this being the lands extending from the Misty Mountains as far as the Running River. A lot of this area is covered by Mirkwood and there are plenty of monsters and other perils to contend with, ideal for adventuring. There's plenty of background here, worth reading however familiar you are with the novels as it extends on that material to bring the wider setting to life.


We then move on to a section called How to Play. In a way this extends the material that describes what role-playing is, as it covers the concept of player-characters as adventurers roaming the land. As you'll have guessed, in this game the Game Master (GM) is called a Loremaster, and his role is also explained. Now it gets interesting. To promote interaction, each adventure is made up of two parts: the Adventuring Phase (the main part) and the Fellowship Phase. The Adventuring Phase is like any adventure, the Loremaster sets the scene and the characters react, but in the Fellowship Phase the characters take the lead, describing what they do after the adventure. In many games, after an adventure you sort out experience points, level up and so on, this is just a means to make it an explicit part of the game rather than stopping play to 'book keep'. You may do this already, but it provides a measured structure for such activities.


This section ends with a note on dice. The One Ring is designed with custom dice in mind but if you don't have access to them you can play with ordinary dice - you'll need d6s and d12s - just remembering that on a d12, the 11 is the Eye of Sauron and the 12 is the Gandalf rune, likewise on the d6, the 6 counts as the tengwar rune. Where these symbols appear in the text, you just use the appropriate number on your dice. Die rolls are quite uncommon, characters are assumed to be reasonably competent, but when they are required you roll a Feat die (a d12) and perhaps Success Dice (d6s) depending on how skilled the character is. Special effects come into play if you roll one of the symbols: basically the Gandalf rune confers automatic success whilst the Eye of Sauron counts as zero and can lead to really bad things happening! To suceed at something, the player needs to roll in excess of a Target Number based on the difficulty of the task being undertaken.


Next, Part 2: Characters explains the process of character creation. Your characters are assumed to be ordinary folk who have, for whatever reason, stepped out of their regular lives to become adventurers. The process begins by deciding which Heroic Culture you come from (and there's a promise that succeeding books will provide more options based on the lands that they describe). Then you define why he's gone adventuring and work out what skills and knowledge he has. The idea is to create a rounded character, rooted in his origins and heritage yet ready to face the unknown. There's a wealth of background material to help you accomplish this here. Once individual characters are ready, the group as a whole should create a Company, a party of adventurers, working out how and why they came together in the first place, and why they have chosen to travel together.


Then Part 3: Fundamental Characteristics puts numbers to the concepts you've been tossing around during the previous chapter. It's a quite masterful effort to separate 'fluff' and 'crunch', empowering players to think about who their characters are as people without needing to worry about game mechanics yet able to slot them in seamlessly to describe the character you have developed in game terms. It also explains how the system works in detail, how to use your skills and other abilities, so it is advisable to study this well. It's all quite straightforward and keeps the number-crunching to a minimum. Here we also read about the weapons and armour that's available, along with their in-game effects.


This is followed by Part 4: Character Development. Here the various ways in which characters - and the group as a whole - grow and develop over time. It's not just mundane things like skills and abilities that increase with your exploits over time - wisdom, valour, virture, rewards and more also feature here, many mixed in with the culture from which that character comes or reflecting how he is regarded by those in whose lands he has travelled. It all tends to the development of rich and varied characters embedded in the lands that surround them - a lot more than totting up your XP and gaining a 'level'! This section also looks at life and death, getting wounded or catching a disease, healing and recovery.


Next comes Part 5: Adventuring Mechanics. This gets down to the bare bones of task resolution, drawing on the material already covered and bringing it all together. It takes you through the process from deciding what you want to do, then determining the appropriate skills etc. to bring to bear, assigning a difficulty and, once the dice have rolled, working out what actually happened. It all sounds a bit laborious, but if you think about it, this is how any game works... it's just been spelled out in detail here. It becomes instinctive with practice so don't be off-put by the clunky feel. Given the nature of the game, one of exploration and travel, the role of maps is important. Even more civilised areas are not well-mapped and most folk do not travel far from home, so adventurers may well find that the only maps they have are those that they make themselves as they travel. Not only travel is covered here, but combat - pretty deadly and not to be engaged in lightly.


Finally, Part 6: Fellowship Phase looks at what you can do once the adventure is done. A party is assumed to undertake one adventure a year, and then to rest for a season or so, often returning home to gather once more when they are ready to venture forth once more. There are opportunities for characters to develop themselves, make stuff and carry out all manner of non-adventuring activities. They can also catch up with the news and events within the known world whilst they've been off adventuring. It makes for a civilised and balanced approach, a more realistic way of viewing the life of an adventurer than occurs in many role-playing games. As an Appendix, some pre-generated characters are provided, as examples or if you are eager to get going.


The Loremaster's Book begins with Part 1: The Role of the Loremaster, which defines what the person taking that part has let themselves in for. It then, in Part 2: Game Mechanics, goes into considerable detail about how to make the game work at the rules level, including such matters as running Loremaster characters, awarding advancement points and so on.


Part 3: The Shadow looks at adversaries, from the nebulous 'corruption' to actual physical monsters that beset the land. Then Part 4: The Campaign helps you devise and structure one, using the sweep of years across the setting as your guide, embedding your game solidly into Middle Earth, and in particular Mirkwood and the surrounding area. There's a wealth of detail here.


Finally in Part 5 there's an introductory adventure, The Marsh Bell. Treat it as an example or use it to kickstart your own campaign. You should have plenty of ideas by now as to the sort of things that you can do.


Overall, this game has captured the flavour of Tolkien's tales well, with a gentle and measured approach that is quite distinctive yet very appropriate. Epic tales can be told, but it is the complexity and richness of the setting and game working hand in hand that really appeals.



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The One Ring - Horse-lords of Rohan
by matthew p. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 02/27/2016 00:21:28

Not much to say here, its virtually perfect. One of the best additions to and already great RPG, I cant wait for the hardcopy to bo on my shelf!



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The One Ring - Horse-lords of Rohan
by Bryan B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 02/26/2016 13:20:07

Another solid title for TOR. This book has everything as promised and more. Rules for horsemanship, new cultures, and even a look at cultures and locations outside of Rohan proper (Isengard, Fangorn, Dunland). Beautifully illustrated with top notch content.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The One Ring - Horse-lords of Rohan
by Andrew A. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 02/20/2016 20:19:40

I so totally love these Cubicle 7 TOR things. I am not sure I will ever get to play this, but the pleasure of reading these is worth every penny. And the art is beautiful. Years ago I played MERP using the Pendragon rules - I was trying to get the mythopoiec feel to the thing. But it never quite worked as well as I wanted. This system however is pretty much perfect.


This one is even better than the two more recent ones (Rivendell and Ruins of the North) and has the advantage of being less constrained by the "cannon". Its just great, and has good hooks to the earlier modules.


I literally cannot wait for the companion volume!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Doctor Who: Adventures in Time and Space - Arrowdown
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 02/03/2016 10:30:27

Intended as an introductory scenario - and released as a free download - this is a fast-paced adventure that can be run in a single session designed to give 'screen time' to as many different character concepts as possible, yet give a true flavour of what the universe inhabited by the Doctor is really like. Incidentally, if you have the original Doctor Who: Adventures in Time and Space box set (the one with the Tenth Doctor played by David Tennant on the cover), this is one of the adventures that came with it, also released in one of the scenarios in the Tenth Doctor Adventure Book.


Firstly, a section called What's Going On gives the GM the lowdown on what is really happening, then we're off with a Prologue that assumes the characters have met the Doctor and already seen him in action. It also assumes that Amy Pond is there. If your group are not the Doctor's companions (or potential ones) you'll need to devise something of your own although a few guidelines are given for a UNIT party or even people who as yet have not begun to travel in time and space. Then there are lots of notes about the town of Arrowdown itself, complete with a photo of the Eleventh Doctor capering around on a rocky beach called Macross in South Wales - slightly disconcerting as I can think of at least two or three other seaside towns in South Wales that would fit Arrowdown much better - Porthcawl or Penarth, for example. But I digress...


As the party explores the town they will (hopefully) begin to notice that everything's just a little bit off. Incongruities abound. Their investigations will lead them to discover what's going on and suggest a possible solution. Several possible solutions are given, making it easy for you to run with whatever the party comes up with... or make suggestions, should they prove baffled by the whole situation. This makes for a dynamic, fluid feel to the adventure... and one that's great fun to run (I cannot answer as to what's it's like to play!).



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Doctor Who: Adventures in Time and Space - Arrowdown
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Doctor Who:Adventures in Time and Space - The Ravens of Despair
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 02/02/2016 07:54:53

This isn't an adventure. Instead, it introduces an ancient group called the Ravens of Despair who follow, or are drawn to, sorrow, despair and defeat wherever it takes place in the universe. Understanding their origins, nature and capabilities, you can then incorporate them into your own adventures - and to get you started, there are some ideas, some plot seeds, to build upon or draw inspiration from.


The creatures known as the Ravens of Despair were made by an even more ancient bunch called the Alturons, creatures of pure thought who needed to have some physical alter-egos or avatars to interact with the real world. Specifically, they made the Ravens because they found the universe to be a troubled place. Their intention was to make creatures that could absorb sorrow and despair... unfortunately, they botched it and although the Ravens can feed on such feelings, they intensify them for whoever was feeling them in the first place.


We read about their nature and how they function, what they look like and plenty more. There's a character sheet for them and notes on how they can be detected and perhaps even dealt with... maybe. You can also find out which races particularly dislike them, and which ones they tend to avoid (Daleks, for example, as they prefer to destroy rather than causing distress to their opponents!).


Finally there are three adventure outlines and notes for a two-part story arc than involves the Ravens. They are quite ingenious and include a mysterious retreat patronised by celebrities who want to shake off the blues or additions, a far future successor of New York where the annual Founders Day celebration is now a somber Day of Mourning, and a prison ship drifting in space full of panicking prisoners... and finally a rogue Alturon shows up, causing chaos for the Incas and others. Plenty to get to grips with here.


It's an interesting concept with a strange race that could serve as recurring opponents, or just the basis of a single adventure.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Doctor Who:Adventures in Time and Space - The Ravens of Despair
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Doctor Who:Adventures in Time and Space - Medicine Man
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 02/01/2016 07:27:01

Set in the Old West, this adventure is fast-paced and ought to play out in one or at most two sessions. The introduction lays out all the background detail of what actually is going on (just in case the cover picture hasn't given it all away!), enabling the GM to run this as a sandbox investigation: here's a town, here are some problems, go find out what's happening and fix it! The adventure seems ideal for any Doctor and companions - or other exploring time travellers - party (apart from the photos there's no reason to set it in the Eleventh Doctor era!), but would work less well with games involving UNIT or Torchwood.


The adventure opens with the TARDIS arriving in the small township of Prosperity in the early evening, and provides plenty of descriptive material should the party wish to wander around exploring and meeting people. A good range of options are provided, with the relevant outcomes, you might need to suggest one or two to your players if they are not sure of what to do. They do provide plenty of avenues to discover firstly that there's something odd going on and then to find out what that might be and do something about it, and the nice thing is that the order in which things are done does not matter.


Another neat touch is that there are various groups all with their own plans and purposes, who are in the main getting on with them regardless - this is not a static scene awaiting the arrival of player-characters, but a dynamic situation with which they can intereact.


This should provide your group with an exciting adventure, and captures the essence of a Doctor Who adventure well!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Doctor Who:Adventures in Time and Space - Medicine Man
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