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The One Ring™: Adventures over the Edge of the Wild 2011 Edition
 
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The One Ring™: Adventures over the Edge of the Wild 2011 Edition
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The One Ring™: Adventures over the Edge of the Wild 2011 Edition
Publisher: Cubicle 7 Entertainment Ltd.
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.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The One Ring™: Adventures over the Edge of the Wild 2011 Edition
Publisher: Cubicle 7 Entertainment Ltd.
by Roger L. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 03/24/2014 03:52:29

http://www.teilzeithelden.de/2014/03/24/zurueck-in-mittelerde-der-eine-ring-eine-einfuehrung/

Wer wollte nicht selbst einmal Geheimnisse Düsterwaldes ergründen und die Feuer des Einsamen Berges erblicken? Mittelerde ist für viele Fantasy-Freunde eine imaginäre Heimat geworden und nun – pünktlich zu Peter Jacksons Hobbit-Filmtrilogie – wieder spielbar. Waldläufer Dirk hat seinen Bogen umgeschnallt und gibt einen Einblick in das neueste Produkt der so vertrauten Spielwelt.

Zurück in Mittelerde: Der Eine Ring, eine Einführung

J.R.R. Tolkiens Mittelerde, beschrieben in seinen Werken Der Herr der Ringe, Der Hobbit und Das Silmarillion, ist wohl mit Abstand die bekannteste Fantasywelt. Auch im Rollenspiel wurde das Land von Aragorn, Gandalf und Sauron bereits mehrmals zum Spielhintergrund.

Schon 1984 erschien mit Mittelerde-Rollenspiel (kurz MERS oder englisch MERP) von Iron Crown Entertainment die erste Umsetzung für das Pen&Paper-Hobby. Basierend auf einer angepassten Fassung des Rolemaster-Systems konnten Charakterklassen wie Waldläufer, Dieb und Barde mit Völkern wie Elben oder Orks kombiniert werden um einen persönlichen Helden zu erschaffen. Gespielt wurde aber 1400 Jahre vor den Ereignissen des Ringkrieges um Frodo und die Gefährten, wobei einige Spielinhalte und Mechaniken (etwa die Darstellung von Magie) von Tolkiens Vorlage abwichen. Übersetzt in 13 Sprachen und über 2,5 Millionen Mal verkauft war MERS eines der erfolgreichsten Rollenspiele weltweit und hat bis heute eine lebhafte Fangemeinde.

1997 verlor Iron Crown Entertainment die Mittelerde-Lizenz an Decipher. Dort wurde ab 1999 das Der Herr der Ringe Rollenspiel produziert, das das eigene CODA-Regelsystem benutzte und sich sehr auf die Filmtrilogie von Peter Jackson stützte, samt Setfotos als Illustrationen. Gespielt wurde auf der Seite der Freien Völker (Menschen, Elben, Zwerge, Hobbits) kurz vor und zur Zeit des Ringkrieges. Auf Deutsch von Pegasus Spiele veröffentlicht, erhielt das Rollenspiel 2002 den Origins-Award, fand aber kaum eine Fangemeinde und wurde 2005 eingestellt. Das Problem: Die ausufernde Welt Mittelerde überforderte viele Spielleiter und bot neben dem festen Metaplot um Frodo, Aragorn und den Ring kaum konkrete Abenteuerangebote.

Es sollte weitere sechs Jahre dauern, bis 2011 mit Der Eine Ring: Abenteuer am Rande der Wildnis das dritte Mittelerde-Rollenspiel von Autor Francesco Nepitello bei Cubicle 7 erschien. Eine deutsche Version wird seit 2012 vom Uhrwerk-Verlag übersetzt. Die Idee: Statt den Weiten Mittelerdes sollte ein enger Rahmen auf den Nordosten der Welt um Düsterwald und Seestadt interessante Plotmöglichkeiten schaffen und vor allem die Schauplätze der neuen Filmreihe Der Hobbit (2009) bespielbar machen. Als Zeit wurden die kaum beschriebenen Jahre zwischen den Ereignissen des Hobbits und dem Herrn der Ringe gewählt. Ob diese Rechnung aufging? Auf jeden Fall!

Erscheinungsbild – Von Fans für Fans

Anders als Der Herr der Ringe Rollenspiel verwendet Der Eine Ring keine Fotografien der Filme des Hobbits, sondern durchgehend farbiges Artwork. Bereits im Grundregelwerk Abenteuer am Rande der Wildnis verstehen es die Illustratoren John Howe, Jon Hodgson und Tomas Jedruszek meisterlich, die Welt Mittelerdes einzufangen. Ganzseitige Kapitel-Illustrationen, Landschaftsbilder, Kampfszenen und detaillierte Charakterbilder auf Hochglanzpapier sind liebevoll gezeichnet und helfen dem Spiel, sich von dem Visuellen der Peter-Jackson-Filme abzuheben. Auch der Einband der Regelwerke in stilisierter Buchoptik mit zwergischen Runen wirkt edel und steht anderen grafisch aufwendigen Produktionen wie Legend of the Five Rings oder Shadows of Esteren in nichts nach. Dazu lassen zahlreiche Zitate aus Tolkiens Werken keinen Zweifel daran, dass hier eingeschworene Fans und Kenner des Hintergrundmaterials am Werk waren. Im englischen wird das Grundregelwerk in zwei getrennten Büchern als Loremaster’s Book (Spielleiterhandbuch) und Adventurer’s Book (Spielerhandbuch) samt Schuber, Würfeln und ausfaltbarer Karte geliefert. In der deutschen Ausgabe und Übersetzung des Uhrwerk Verlages sind beide Bücher in einem Hardcover zusammengefasst.

Spielwelt: Die Freiheit des Dazwischen

Der Eine Ring spielt ab dem Jahr 2946, fünf Jahre nach der Schlacht der fünf Heere am Einsamen Berg am Ende des Hobbits und 72 Jahre vor den Ereignissen des Herrn der Ringe. Der Drache Smaug ist tot, der Erebor in der Hand der Zwerge, der wiedergefundene Ring der Macht im fernen Auenland n den Händen des Meisterdiebes Bilbo Beutlin. Saurons Geist wurde aus Dol Guldur im Düsterwald nach Mordor vertrieben. Vor diesem Hintergrund erzählt das Rollenspiel die Ereignisse im Nordwesten der Welt im sogenannten Wilderland zwischen dem Großen Strom und den Eisenbergen im fernen Osten. Wie im sich anbahnenden Ringkrieg sind es auch hier die Menschen, Zwerge, Hobbits und Elben, die die Geschichte forttragen. Doch liegt das Augenmerk in Der Eine Ring auf kleineren Helden und persönlichen Geschichten, nicht auf der Rettung der Welt. Gerade die Verortung des Settings zwischen den großen Ereignissen Mittelerdes lässt Spielern und Spielleitern viel Freiheit in einer ansonsten stark ausgearbeiteten Welt. Was ist in diesen siebzig Jahren im Nordosten passiert? Wie veränderte sich die Politik nach der Eroberung des Einsamen Berges? Was wurde aus dem Zauberer Radagast und Beorns Bienenvölkern? Welche Schrecken ließ Sauron im Düsterwald zurück? Diese Fragen bieten spannenden Plot in liebgewonnen-vertrauter Umgebung. Gerade Spielleiter können es kaum angenehmer haben: Orte wie Seestadt, Erebor oder Beorns Haus haben bereits einen festen Platz in der Phantasie der Spieler und benötigen kaum Erklärungen; der Soundtrack der Peter Jackson Filme liefert die perfekte Untermalung.

Spielercharaktere: Von Elben und Beorningern

Auch Spieler dürften sich sofort in Der Eine Ring heimisch fühlen. Bereits im Grundbuch dürfen sie sich aus vier Völkern und sechs Kulturen den Hintergrund aussuchen:

  • Bardinger sind tapfere Menschen, die sich dem Drachentöter Bard angeschlossen haben und nun mit ihm die von Smaug zerstörte Stadt Thal wiedererrichten.
  • Beorninger sind wildniserfahrene Menschen, die Beorn dem Hautwechsler folgen und gemeinsam die Pässe des Westens um den Carrock-Felsen freihalten.
  • Waldmenschen sind ein zähes Menschenvolk am Fuß des Nebelgebirges, das vom Zauberer Radagast dem Braunen geleitet wird.
  • Zwerge vom Einsamen Berg dienen nach Thorin Eichenschilds Tod dem neuen König unter dem Berg, Dáin Eisenfuß. Sie lassen die Hallen Erebors in neuer Pracht erstrahlen, schürfen Reichtümer und stellen begehrte Handwerkswaren her.
  • Elben des Düsterwaldes dienen noch immer dem Waldlandkönig Thranduil in seinen unterirdischen Hallen. Sie versuchen den Düsterwald vom dunklen Einfluss des Schattens zu befreien.
  • Hobbits des Auenlandes sind wagemutige Wanderer aus dem fernen Westen auf den Spuren Bilbo Beutlins. Sie sind ein seltener aber willkommener Anblick in Wilderland.

Alle sechs Kulturen wirken überzeugend und sind geschickt mit Helden und Ereignissen aus J.R.R. Tolkiens Hobbit verknüpft. Jede Kultur erhält dabei bestimmte allgemeine Fertigkeiten, Spezialisierungen und eine kulturelle Gabe. Die Attribute ergeben sich dann aus der Wahl eines zusätzlichen kulturellen Hintergrundes – ein schlankes, stimmungsvolles und effektives Baukastensystem. Als „letzten Schliff“ wird eine Berufung hinzugefügt, quasi die Klasse von Gelehrter bis Schatzsucher. Durch kleinere Auswahlmöglichkeiten innerhalb der einzelnen Bausteine sind die Charaktere auch ohne freie Punktevergabe persönlich, da jede Auswahl mit die Vergangenheit des Charakters beschreibt. Diese Art des Einstiegs hilft vor allem entscheidungsschwachen Spielern beim Einstieg; eine Charaktererstellung ist in unter einer halben Stunde abgeschlossen.

Das System: Ungewöhnliche Ansätze

Die Autoren Francesco Nepitello und Marco Maggi gaben dem Rollenspiel ein eigenes und einzigartiges System bei. Dieses ist leicht zu erlernen, betont in vielen Mechanismen das Zusammenspiel der Gruppe als Gemeinschaft und versucht, den Plot zu strukturieren. So wird das Spiel grundsätzlich in mehrere Phasen unterteilt:

  • Gefährtenphase: Die Ruhezeit zwischen zwei Abenteuern, in denen Charaktere sich in eine Zuflucht zurückziehen oder kurzzeitig trennen, um eigene Ziele zu verfolgen. In dieser können auch Abenteuerpunkte ausgegeben und Ansehen gewonnen werden. Im Spiel angedacht ist es, dass pro Jahr ein Abenteuer stattfindet und die Gefährtenphase mit einer zusammenfassenden Erzählung das Jahr beendet.
  • Abenteuerphase: Die Handlungszeit der Charaktere, in der Mittelerde entdeckt, Feinde bezwungen und Herausforderungen gemeistert werden. Besonders dem Reisen kommt hier ein großer Anteil zu, hält Der Eine Ring doch eine spezielle Reisekarte mit Hexfeldern, Reiseschwierigkeiten und Begegnungs-Möglichkeiten bereit.

Kommt es zu einem Konflikt, wird gewürfelt. Dabei besteht das System aus einer Mischung mehrerer W6 Würfel (Erfolgswurf in höhe einer passenden Fertigkeit) und einem W12 (dem Heldenwürfel), die zusammen mit weiteren Boni addiert und gegen einen Schwierigkeitswert verrechnet werden. Dabei wird die Zahl sechs als Tengwar-Rune interpretiert, die in Anzahl den Erfolgsgrad einer Handlung angibt, ohne eine sechs gilt die Handlung nur als knapp geschafft. Diese Mechanik ist zu Beginn etwas verwirrend, geht aber in der Praxis schnell von der Hand.

Eine Besonderheit des Systems sind Werte für „Hoffnung“ und „Schatten“. Beide erinnern an die Mechaniken aus Herr der Ringe Online und beschreiben den Einfluss des Guten beziehungsweise Saurons Verderbnis auf die Charaktere. Hoffnungspunkte können so für Verbesserungen einzelner Tests durch Attributsboni ausgegeben werden, während Schatten die Korruption des Helden beschreibt, welche ihm durch Schicksalsschläge aber auch Kontakt mit finsteren Orten oder Monstern widerfährt. Durch Schattenpunkte erhält ein Held negative Eigenschaften (von verbittert bis intrigant) und kann sogar das Spiel verlieren. Dem können Charaktere sich in Gefährtenphasen widersetzen, indem sie je nach Volkszugehörigkeit musizieren, Handwerkserfolge vorweisen oder Fertigkeiten abschwächen. Diese Mechanik gibt dem Rollenspiel einen melancholisch-düsteren Ton bei, deutet auf die Ereignisse des Ringkrieges voraus und hilft dabei, Mittelerde von anderen Fantasywelten abzuheben. Eine weitere Eigenart zeigt Der Eine Ring im Bereich Kampf. Hier wird nicht mit Zonen gearbeitet, sondern mit einem taktischen Aufbau aus verschiedenen Kampfhaltungen (Angriff, Bereitschaft, Verteidigung, Hinten). Diese ermöglichen bestimmte Vorteile und legen die Reihenfolge der Handlung fest. Durch Manöver können Feinden oder den Helden einzelne Kampfhaltungen versagt bleiben, etwa, wenn eine Gruppe umzingelt wird. Die taktische Komponente macht Kämpfe durchaus interessant und fordernd, ohne auf Bodenpläne zurückgreifen zu müssen.

Abentueuer, Schatten und Schergen

Schatten-Mechanik und Kampfhaltungen deuten es an: In Wilderland herrscht in Der Eine Ring nicht gerade friedliche Feierstimmung. Tatsächlich ist Saurons sich wieder ausbreitender Einfluss die größte Gefahr. Die Schergen des dunklen Herrschers sind zahlreich und detailliert beschrieben, von Orks über Waldspinnen bis zu Wargen. Trotz exotischer Einträge, wie Vampire oder Sumpflinge, wirkt die Liste allein kaum umfassend; eine detaillierte Beschreibung der Motive der einzelnen Kreaturen, ihrer Behausungen oder Versammlungsstätten fehlt im Grundregelwerk. Dies entschädigt aber die mitgelieferte Kampagne, die Jahr für Jahr die großen Ereignisse in Wilderland erzählt und besonders auf die Ankunft der Ringgeister in Dol Guldur eingeht. Diese sollen die Festung zurückerobern und dürften für Abenteuer die nötigen Antagonisten im Hintergrund darstellen. Das mitgelieferte und gut geschriebene Einführungsabenteuer Die Glocke im Sumpf gibt dabei einen Einblick ins Spiel und die melancholische, teils düstere Stimmung von Mittelerde. Wer mehr Abenteuer, Feinde oder Orte braucht, sollte einen Blick auf die bisher erschienenen Erweiterungsbände werfen.

  • Spielleiterschirm & Seestadt Quellenbuch: Der hübsche und robuste Sichtschirm zeigt Seestadt nicht zufällig. Beiliegend finden Spieler ein 32-seitiges vollfarbiges Quellenbuch über die Handelsmetropole südlich von Thal, samt großer Karte der Stadt. Die Geschichte von Seestadt wird ebenso behandelt, wie die einheimische Kultur und die umliegenden Sumpflande als Schauplatz für Abenteuer. Interessant sind drei neue Feindtypen: Hobgoblins, Sumpfhexen und Sumpfoger, sowie der neue Kulturhintergrund für Spieler: Menschen des Sees. Eine solide Erweiterung, aber kein Muss.

  • Geschichten aus Wilderland ist ein klassischer Abenteuerband, bestehend aus sieben lose miteinander verbundenen Geschichten auf 152 Seiten, die einzeln oder als ganze Kampagne bestritten werden können. Auch die Geheimnisse von Dol Guldur kommen dabei nicht zu kurz (doch mehr sei an dieser Stelle nicht verraten). Dabei werden nicht nur die Abenteuer selbst, sondern auch Vorschläge für die Gefährtenphasen dazwischen gegeben. Von Seestadt über den Düsterwald geht es sogar bis jenseits des Einsamen Berges und bietet vor allem für unerfahrene Spieler und Spielleiter in Mittelerde einen soliden Einstieg. Die während der Abenteuer gewonnenen Verbündeten und Erfahrungen bieten einen guten Ausgangspunkt für eine anschließende epische Kampagne.

  • Im Herzen der Wildnis: Dieser 128-Seiten-Erweiterungsband auf ergänzt das Grundregelwerk um ausführliche Regionsbeschreibungen aller Teile Wilderlands, besonders des Tals des Anduin und den Düsterwald. Dabei werden zahlreiche Zufluchten und gefährliche Orte eingeführt, die Ausgangspunkte für ganze Abenteuer werden können. Besonders die Details und Karten zu den wichtigen Orten Thranduils Halle, Beorns Haus und Dol Guldur dürften Spielleiterherzen höher schlagen lassen. Mit Flusshobbits und Widersässige Elben halten auch zwei neue Kulturhintergrunde ins Spiel Einzug. Obwohl im Buch immer wieder auf The Darkening of Mirkwood verwiesen wird, ist Im Herzen der Wildnis ein herausragendes eigenständiges Produkt und eine klare Kaufempfehlung an jeden Besitzer des Grundregelwerks.

  • The Darkening of Mirkwood (etwa Die Verfinsterung von Düsterwald): Bisher nur auf Englisch erschienen, beschreibt das Buch die Ereignisse im großen Düsterwald und den sich ausbreitenden Schatten. Statt eines engen klassischen Abenteuers mit ausgearbeiteten Details gibt der Band einen roten Faden durch über 30 Jahre Handlung, die den wachsenden Einfluss der Nazgul von Dol Guldur zum Hintergrund hat, des im Grundregelwerk angedeuteten regionalen Metaplots von Wilderland zu dieser Zeit. Für Spielleiter setzt dieser Band das Kapitel „Kampagne“ und die Jahresbeschreibungen des Grundregelwerks fort und ist eine Fundgrube für spannende und zunehmend bedrückendere Plots. Abgerundet wird der Band von einer Beschreibung neuer Antagonisten, voran den Ringgeistern. Dass sich das hier präsentierte Material nahtlos in Tolkiens Universum einfügt und auch ohne Spielanwendung ein Vergnügen zum Lesen ist, beweist einmal mehr die Hingabe der Autoren.

Fazit und Ausblick

Eine klar definierte Region und begrenzter Zeitabschnitt, bekannte Orte, berühmte Charaktere und jede Menge epischer Geschichten: Der Eine Ring schafft mühelos das, woran Deciphers Herr-der-Ringe-Rollenspiel gescheitert ist, nämlich die Spieler in ein lebendiges Mittelerde eintauchen zu lassen, das sich nicht allein aus den populären Filmen speist. Auf jeder Seite des Grundregelwerkes und der Erweiterungen, zwischen Zitaten, Beschreibungen und Illustrationen ist die Hingabe aller beteiligten Autoren und Künstler zu spüren. Das weitgehende Fehlen von Magie in den Händen der Spielercharaktere ist dabei kein Problem, sondern eher ein Vorteil um die Atmosphäre von Tolkiens Mittelerde möglichst authentisch und ohne Fantasy-Kitsch zu erleben. Der Eine Ring ist ein Werk von Fans für Fans und für jede Hobbitseele und jeden Elbenfreund eine dringende Empfehlung. Wer nach dem Ende des Herr der Ringe Rollenspiels aber vorsichtig ist, sich in ein neues Mittelerde-Rollenspiel einzukaufen, dem sei an dieser Stelle eine Entwarnung gegeben: Der Eine Ring erfreut sich derzeit großer Beliebtheit und wird von Cubicle 7 beständig mit Erweiterungsbänden bedacht. Im Sommer soll Rivendell erscheinen, der die Spielwelt jenseits des Nebelgebirges erweitert und die Spieler Elronds Haus besuchen lässt. Im Herbst folgt dann Ruins of the North, ein Abenteuerband in welchem die Spielercharaktere bis in die düsteren Lande von Angmar vordringen. Im Winter soll Horse-lords of Rohan das Reitervolk der Rohirrim und die wilden Dunländern spielbar machen. Die Zukunft von Der Eine Ring ist also gesichert.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The One Ring™: Adventures over the Edge of the Wild 2011 Edition
Publisher: Cubicle 7 Entertainment Ltd.
by Gary I. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 02/07/2014 13:54:33

Yes it's pretty, though I have to say the artwork is not as inspiring as most of the reviews would have you believe. It's atmospheric and has some good system elements, such as the accumulation of Shadow points, the narrative-oriented Fellowship Phase and an easy to use skill system. Encounters are also structured simply, and again lend themselves to good roleplaying opportunity.

What lets it down for me is the combat system: if you want to recreate the combat maneuvres of the films, and to revel in the memories of artful fighting scenes, then this is not the system that will make that happen. Several oddities make it very easy to be knocked out (it's too easy to hit PCs, to be fair), armour makes no difference to that dynamic as it doesn't soak endurance damage, and somehow what should be atmospheric struggles become life threatening in the face of pretty poor opposition.

The background material, gifts of valour or wisdom and many other things are excellent, but combat is bad enough that I'll be melding the TOR material with a better system. Still worth buying if you love roleplaying in Middle Earth (in TA2946...) and for the well-structured (if often a little swift to complete) adventures.

Not the uber-game I was expecting from the gushing reviews, but certainly good. I will no doubt buy all the supplements available (not least because the MERP ones are virtually impossible to get hold of now) but just can't live with the skeletal combat rules.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
The One Ring™: Adventures over the Edge of the Wild 2011 Edition
Publisher: Cubicle 7 Entertainment Ltd.
by Elf C. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 01/18/2014 13:07:18

I came to this game relatively late, but I'm blown away by its quality. I haven't had this much fun reading game rules since '81, when I stayed up all night reading the magic items section of the Dungeon Master's Guide.

The most impressive feat in this game is the way the rules & mechanics fit the narrative style of Tolkien's writings. Combat is rare and scary, you balance Hope against the Shadow growing in your heart, traveling across the wild is the most dangerous part of some adventures, and there are no dual wielding ninja hobbits with Vorpal blades.

I wish there were more than 5 stars to give.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The One Ring™: Adventures over the Edge of the Wild 2011 Edition
Publisher: Cubicle 7 Entertainment Ltd.
by Thomas A. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 07/21/2013 19:54:44

I've been playing role-playing games since 1978, so when I say The One Ring is the finest game, from a physical quality perspective, that I have ever owned, I think that's saying something. I've been poring over the documentation in preparation for a new campaign, and I haven't been so excited about a new project in many, many years.

I do believe they have caught the true feel of the author's work, as well as the undercurrents of philosophy he was communicating. I've been a fan of JRRT since my college days, and not to disparage any efforts that have come before, I believe this will do a great job of having the kind of campaign I've always enjoyed running.

Story-heavy, min-max light. The structure of the game discourages such roll-playing, and doesn't bother the players with maneuvering their miniatures in just the right spot, etc. I think the abstract combat system will be very popular with the players who are into the story, but not into wargame aspects.

I bought every book I could get my hands on before I checked RPGNow. Ouch. So I have also purchased some of the pdfs as well, because I like having physical books for some things, and the pdfs so I can have them available on my laptop. Now, if only I could get a third copy for my kindle!

Do invest your funds and time. I believe you will be richly rewarded.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The One Ring™: Adventures over the Edge of the Wild 2011 Edition
Publisher: Cubicle 7 Entertainment Ltd.
by Christopher H. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 05/05/2012 13:42:31

The One Ring is a lovingly crafted, beautifully executed RPG set in J.R.R. Tolkien’s Middle-Earth. Anyone who is a fan of both Middle-Earth and RPGs should find the game compelling, and it’s a good gateway from one love to the other, especially for Tolkien fans who aren’t already gamers.

The TOR core set comes in two books, the Adventurer’s Book (about 190 pp.) and the Loremaster’s Book (around 145 pp.). The Adventurer’s Book contains all the rules for task resolution and character creation, as well as a small selection of pregenerated characters. Each “Player-Hero” is defined statistically by three attributes—Body, Heart, and Wits—plus ratings in Valour, Wisdom, Endurance, and Hope, as well as levels in a selection of eighteen skills. The skills are cleverly arranged into six skill groups, each containing three skills corresponding to the three attributes. For example, the personality skills group includes Awe (linked to Body), Inspire (linked to Heart), and Persuade (linked to Wits). Some of the skills, such as Riddle, might seem a little “corner-case” at first to role-players with experience in other systems, but they fit the setting very well.

Each Player-Hero comes from a specific culture and follows a specific calling, as befits Middle-Earth. Emphasizing cultures rather than races allows the game to easily model differences between, say, the Men of Dale and the Woodmen of the forest. Cultures provide various blessings and proficiencies at character creation and during character advancement. As Player-Heroes advance, they can improve in Wisdom and Valour, and they gain Rewards or Virtues depending on which of Wisdom and Valour they choose to emphasize.

Since most of my role-playing experience is with “roll plus modifiers” systems, it took me just a little while to adjust to TOR’s action resolution system. Player-Heroes can propose “tasks” and Loremasters can require “tests,” but both are resolved the same way: the player rolls a “feat die” (a special d12) and variable number of success dice, comparing the total to a Target Number. TOR does not use character levels, so there’s just one set of TNs to learn. This bringsus the biggest drawback to buying this TOR in PDF form: the game assumes the use of specially-printed dice. The feat die included with the print version ofthe game is numbered 1–10, with the remaining two faces bearing an symbol representing Sauron’s eye (replacing the 11) and a G (for Gandalf) rune (replacing the 12). A roll of “Sauron” is an automatic failure for Player-Heroes, while a roll of “Gandalf” is an auto-success. The success dice are special d6s, with the numbers 1–3 printed in outline and the 6 face bearing an additional symbol, the Tengwar numeral 1. All of the variations have special meanings in judging an action’s success. Combat (which requires tactical decisions, but notprecise tactical positioning or miniatures/counters) is resolved using the same system; armor and other benefits protect you by affecting the opponents’ target numbers.

The Loremaster’s Book provides everything the Loremaster needs to know about creating and running adventures for TOR, including a small selection of monstrous adversaries (with the predictable and appropriate orcs, wolves, and spiders). The default timeline for the Player-Heroes’ adventures begins five years after the Battle of Five Armies, and the default geography is Wilderland (the northern part of Middle-Earth), giving the Loremaster plenty of time and space to create an imaginative Tale of Years without stepping on the toes of the established timeline of the War of the Ring. The Loremaster’s Book closes with an introductory adventure carefully designed to expose players to all of the key mechanics, introduce the Player-Heroes to some famous personages, and help the players appreciate the ethos of Middle-Earth.

I’ll close this somewhat lengthy review with a comment on that final point about the ethos of Midle-Earth. The One Ring beats in perfect time with the heart of Middle-Earth; it wonderfully instantiates Tolkien’s moral vision for Middle-Earth’s inhabitants. The threat of Shadow and the promise of Hope are ever-present. Upon finishing my first read through the PDFs that I received as review copies, I purchased the printed game—a rare occurrence for me. Buy and play The One Ring. You won’t regret it.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The One Ring™: Adventures over the Edge of the Wild 2011 Edition
Publisher: Cubicle 7 Entertainment Ltd.
by Brian H. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 03/07/2012 20:47:53

I than working on adding magic user like ICE did. May-be I will write to the company abord adding magic user. It is well writen than a good game.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The One Ring™: Adventures over the Edge of the Wild 2011 Edition
Publisher: Cubicle 7 Entertainment Ltd.
by Jesse M. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 03/06/2012 10:31:15

I own both the hard copy and the PDF e-book version of this game... because, in my humble opinion, it is that good.

I have been playing role-playing games for over twenty-five years. I have playing and "game-mastered" over two dozen systems, including Dungeons and Dragons (from the Basic and Expert boxes in the early 1980s through Fourth Edition), Palladium, Talislanta, Arcanum, Legend of the Five Rings, Pathfinder, and many, many non-fantasy RPGs (ex. Star Wars WEG--Saga Edition, FASA's Star Trek, Call of Cthulhu, Top Secret S/I, World of Darkness). I have watched gaming companies and their brands rise and fall. I have seen many rule sets and noted their perks and flaws.

Given my vast experience, I must say that this is probably my favorite system to date.

I really like the process of character creation. It involves a few simple choices by the player. The character's stats come together quickly. But it also has enough diversity to allow, for example, an entire party of Hobbit Farmers to be a diverse group of characters. And you'd be surprised what a single Hobbit Farmer is capable of, let alone a group. Of course, if farming isn't your thing you have a vast array of choices when it comes to Cultures, Backgrounds, and Callings (i.e. the Class and Race of this game, if you prefer).

Keep in mind that this set focuses on The Hobbit and the region of Middle-earth known as Rhovanion, the Wilderland between the Misty Mountains and The Lonely Mountain. Thus you have only a small choice of Cultures to ponder, from the men of Dale to the followers of Beorn or Radagast the Brown, as well as the Dwarves of Lonely Mountain, the Elves of Mirkwood, and the Hobbits from the Shire (which is a long way from here, but occasionally a Hobbit wanders from home seeking adventure). Future sets will focus on events and locations further west into the lands more closely associated with The Lord of the Rings trilogy. However, with a little tweaking, you could invent stats for these Cultures using this core set.

As a Lore Master (i.e. the Game Master), I find the rules very easy to learn. They can be daunting at first, but experience playing the game helps with the learning process. The adventure included with this game helps teach the Lore Master and the players the major rules involved with the game. I recommend it as a starting adventure for any new group. Skill resolution and combat are very slick. You roll a number of success dice equal to your rank (i.e. dots) in a skill, plus a unique Fate die, and total up the result. There is a fixed target number, occasionally modified by the Lore Master. Plus the custom dice included with the game have special runes that modify the success or failure result of the roll. Combat involved a series of stances. If you are turned off by grids of one-inch squares, five-foot steps, and attacks of opportunity (i.e. the combat system of D&D/Pathfinder/D20), this is a refreshing change.

Most importantly, the rules exist to support the story and the role-playing, not dominate it. The Lore Master can decide to change the frequency of required rolls during a game. The focus is really on the story and immersing the group into Tolkien's world. This notion of story over rules seems to be lost in many modern role-playing games, which involve sets of massive tomes of rules just to play. This game is not "rules-lite", just "rules-simple" if you will. If one wished, one could add a set of house rules to add to the complexity of the game. As for myself, as a full-time employee, husband, and father, I appreciate a game that has rules simple enough to play with on the fly yet effective enough to still tell a convincing story through role-playing.

My only complaint is that while the game "requires" custom dice, the dice themselves are not available separately for purchase at this time. Thus my group of five players and myself must share a single set or use a standard D12 plus six D6 dice and remember the special rules of the dice (i.e. the runes). For example, using a standard D12, an 11 is the Eye of Sauron and the 12 is the Rune of Gandalf. While this won't matter to experienced players, those individuals just learning the rules may find it difficult to remember everything. If your group plans to run a campaign of this game, I highly recommend ordering some blank D12s and D6s and making your own custom dice.

This lone complaint would rate this game a 4.5 out of 5. However, given how excellent this game is, I have no issues with rounding up to a 5. This is easily justified with the overall value of the product. For $60 retail, which is a bargain before even considering a discounted price for the e-book, you get an entire set of rules to play and run the game, two poster maps, custom dice, and great artwork throughout the product. The Adventurer's map of the Wilderland is a beautiful art piece. This is a solid RPG that is an excellent addition to any gamer's library. If you love fantasy RPGs or Tolkien's work, this is a must-buy.

Note: Not to take any business away from DriveThruRPG, but do yourself a favor and buy the hard copy IN ADDITION TO the e-book. The art alone is worth the extra money, and I usually don't buy RPG books for their art. The posters are really nice too.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The One Ring™: Adventures over the Edge of the Wild 2011 Edition
Publisher: Cubicle 7 Entertainment Ltd.
by Kyle W. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 03/02/2012 10:10:27

The One Ring lives up to its impressive source works; providing an epic amount of quality and more in a game that is built to work with the feel of Middle Earth.

Everything about this game feels right; the art, the writing, and the mechanics blend together into a marvelous product that feels very much like the original books by Tolkien. The game takes very few liberties with the setting, and feels very much like picking up one of the original stories in terms of how play and characters work; I personally saw a major relationship between The Children of Húrin and this work, at least in terms of how the adventuring bands work, though the same link goes for any of Tolkien's tales.

Anyway, I will say that this is one of the best fantasy games out there, and as a fan of Tolkien I'd throw my support behind it 100% as a top-notch and accurate game which sticks true to the feel of Tolkien's work.

The closest thing to a gripe I have with this is the gimmicky Feat Die, which has a potential to roll a Gandalf or Sauron rune, but it makes the game flow quicker and adds interest, so I'll concede that it's actually good (especially given that you can use a standard d12 and just modify the results slightly).

Quick Summary: Content: 5/5 (A great look at Tolkien's world and making adventures within it; it's built well) Art/Typesetting: 5/5 (I'd say that this is one of the highest quality games I've ever seen in terms of design) Writing: 5/5 (I've never had a gripe with Cubicle 7's quality, so I see no reason to start now) Awesome Factor: 5/5 (I'm biased because I'm a Tolkien fanboy, but this gets it right!) Interest: 4/5 (Not perhaps the most interesting part of Tolkien's sagas, but a good one) Maturity: 10+ (There's not really anything in here I see that warrants a content rating, other than heroic violence) Value: 5/5 (You get a lot in this pack; the Loremaster's and Adventurer's Guides, and two maps [one for each], so the asking price is great)



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The One Ring™: Adventures over the Edge of the Wild 2011 Edition
Publisher: Cubicle 7 Entertainment Ltd.
by Michael W. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 03/01/2012 07:16:06

J.R.R. Tolkien’s fantasy epic “The Lord of the Rings” is undoubtedly one of the most influential novels of the 20th century. It was one of the major inspirations for a lot of the fantasy novels, comics, movies and games that followed, including 1974’s Dungeons & Dragons.

Alas most attempts to bring Tolkien’s saga to the tabletop were not that successful. Both ICE’s Middle Earth Roleplaying Game and the more recent game by Decipher didn’t really capture the mood of the books. So, when Cubicle 7 and Sophisticated Games announced that they were working on a new game using the Lord of the Ring license I was highly skeptical. The fact that they wanted to limit the scope of the first game to the Wilderlands didn’t actually help to get my hopes up either. Basically I actually expected the game to fail.

But boy, was I wrong! Before I go into detail of what the game’s about, let’s have a look at what you get when you buy The One Ring. Instead of one of the currently popular boxed set, you get a sturdy slip case containing two softcover rulebook (one for the GM, one for the players), two 22” x 17” maps and a set of customized The One Ring Dice. Yes, even the dice are included! Even though the rulebooks are softcover only, they are of pretty high quality and in full color. The maps feel pretty sturdy and look just brilliant. The production value of this game is exceptionally high and I am sure even die hard collectors will be more than pleased.

Let’s have a look at the books now. The 192-paged Adventurers Book contains all the rules needed by the players. Aside from an introduction into the scenario, it contains all rules needed to create characters and play the game. The 144-paged Loremaster’s Book contains an introduction into what the Loremaster’s job is, the game mechanics, Corruption rules, a bestiary, details on the campaign and a fully-fledged out introductory adventure. Both books contain an extensive index and are lavishly illustrated.

The One Ring: Adventures over the Edge of the Wild is the first game in a trilogy and focuses on the Wilderlands, only a few years after the Battle of the Five Armies. But even then peace is a fragile thing and the Wilderlands are still in need of heroes to help to maintain peace and fight the growing darkness.

The players can choose from six cultures of the North: the Bardings, the Beornings, the Dwarves of the Lonely Mountain, the Elves of Mirkwood, the Hobbits of the Shire and the Woodmen of Wilderland. People who want to play Elves from Lothlórien or Men from Gondor will have to wait for one of the next part of the series. In my opinion even Hobbits seem to be a bit out of place here, but having a Lord of the Rings game without them would be a bit odd.

You also get to choose from several callings that include the Scholar, Slayer, Treasure Hunter, Wanderer,and Warden. You might have noticed that there’s no Wizard calling, and that’s actually a good thing in my book. The world of Middle Earth is full of magic, but it’s not the kind of magic we are used to from games like D&D for example. Most magic comes from the world itself, or is bound to items like magic rings or weapons. In The One Ring magic appears in the form of Cultural Virtues, like the Dwarves rune cutting skills or the magic of the Elves, but it’s not even close to throwing fireballs around.

The rules system is pretty easy to learn, but still has a certain depth. Character creation is pretty fast and straightforward, but still allows for a certain level of customization. What I like about The One Ring a lot is that it should be very easy to teach the game to new players. You don’t need to read the whole book to do character creation and the core mechanic is easy to learn. Task resolution checks involve rolling the 12-sided Feat die plus a number of 6-sided Success dice equal to the rank of the skill used. The results are added together and are compared with a target number determined by the Loremaster. When the feat die comes up with a 12 or 1 (the Gandalf rune and the Eye of Sauron respectively on the custom dice that come with the game) special effects may be triggered.

What I like very much about the game is the way the Shadow affects the heroes. By experiencing distressing events, crossing areas tainted by manifestations of the Shadow, by committing despicable deeds or by taking possession of tainted items, heroes gain Shadow points. When the amount of Shadow exceeds a character’s Hope score, he or she becomes Miserable. A character in this condition may be prone to bouts of madness. And every time that happens heroes acquire Flaws. That mechanic perfectly simulates what has happened to several characters in the book. Just think of Boromir as he tried to take the ring from Frodo.

The other subsystems of the game are also very much in line with what you expect from a game that is set into the world of Middle Earth. Instead of just taking a generic fantasy game and adding some Tolkienesque trappings, the authors really tried to capture the mood of the books.

Another neat aspect of the game is that gameplay is divided into an Adventuring Phase and a Fellowship Phase. While the Adventurer’s Phase is driven by the Loremaster’s storytelling, the Fellowship Phase is fully player-driven. The player characters usually return to a place they have already visited to rest and recuperate. This phase is also used to develop characters, buying new equipment etc. In the default pacing of the game the heroes undertake one adventure per year, then they rest for a full season and return to adventuring in the following year. So a whole campaign may easily span many years, even decades.

I have to admit I haven’t run or played the game yet, but I very much would love to do so. The One Ring is actually the first roleplaying game based on “The Lord of the Rings” that I feel like I could run without Tolkien turning in his grave. The limited scope of the setting makes things much easier, the heroes are not fighting against unbeatable odds and the background information included in the book help you to get into the right mood for the game. The game even gives you some tips on how to handle the canon.

All in all I am very happy with how The One Ring turned out. From the rules to the artwork it just feels right. The presentation is top notch and everything I’ve read was pretty close to the source material. The One Ring is a game I definitely would recommend to my best friend – and that’s what I actually did!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The One Ring™: Adventures over the Edge of the Wild 2011 Edition
Publisher: Cubicle 7 Entertainment Ltd.
by Ralf S. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 02/18/2012 07:24:32

This book is beautifully produced and the rules seem to capture the Middle-earth feel better than any rpg to date. Not played yet, but I'm itching to.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The One Ring™: Adventures over the Edge of the Wild 2011 Edition
Publisher: Cubicle 7 Entertainment Ltd.
by Giuliano L. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 11/26/2011 11:05:26

excellent! this word says it all. the scan is perfect, the pdf seems to be the result of a print of the original rather than a scan of the paper book. the game is terrific, I found it quite complicated but I have no real experience with rpg. so beginners like me will probably love the depth of the game and the wealth of knowledge contained, while experienced player will surely appeciate it fully. would buy it again!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The One Ring™: Adventures over the Edge of the Wild 2011 Edition
Publisher: Cubicle 7 Entertainment Ltd.
by Bryan B. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 10/17/2011 20:51:48

Best Middle Earth RPG to date. Simple and elegant rules that capture the feel of Tolkien's work better than anything that has come before it. Everything about this game is outstanding.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The One Ring™: Adventures over the Edge of the Wild 2011 Edition
Publisher: Cubicle 7 Entertainment Ltd.
by Michael H. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 10/02/2011 01:59:07

The One Ring is an attractive and well-written product that attempts to capture the feel of Tolkien's Middle Earth which is no small feat. I think it does an admirable job - not perfect but certainly excellent and definitely playable. In particular I really like the maps that are included, one for the players detailing the basic lay of the lands and the other for the GM which has a great deal more detail on it. Overall, I think the One Ring meets its original design objectives although for me the sheer weight of the canon and expectations surround Middle Earth do not make it a particularly compelling setting to play within in. For Tolkien fans though this clearly is worth checking out.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
The One Ring™: Adventures over the Edge of the Wild 2011 Edition
Publisher: Cubicle 7 Entertainment Ltd.
by Mark D. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 09/09/2011 12:52:25

Very nice system, set in a previously unexplored time in the Middle Earth history.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
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