The One Ring RPG, Second Edition Live on Kickstarter

Free League’s crowdfunding campaign for the second edition of The One Ring tabletop RPG is now live on Kickstarter. The game’s initial goal of roughly $12,000 was hit in 4 minutes, and right now, the campaign is sitting at $649,355, with 20 days still to go. So, if you’re looking for some pen and paper adventuring in the world of J.R.R. Tolkien, you can now at least be sure you’ll be backing a winner here.

Here are some additional details about the game:

“This is the Master-ring, the One Ring to rule them all.”

The One Ring™ is a roleplaying game based on The Hobbit™ and The Lord of the Rings™, two extraordinary works of fiction by the beloved author and respected academic, John Ronald Reuel Tolkien, published in partnership with Sophisticated Games.

First released in 2011, its award-winning design was hailed as the best attempt at bringing Middle-earth to the gaming table to date, thanks to its thematic rules and painstaking attention to detail. For 10 years, players of the game have traveled far and wide across Middle-earth, adventuring for multiple decades of game time.

Today, it is time for the game to enter a new era – this new edition of The One Ring brings players further into the Twilight of the Third Age with a new hardbound volume, presenting:
  • A set of updated and streamlined rules, developed thanks to years of players’ feedback and raising the game to the standards of quality that have made Free League so popular.
  • A new setting to experience – the Lone-lands of Eriador in the year is 2965 of the Third Age. This is a vast land that once saw the glory of the North Kingdom of the Dúnedain.
  • A complete visual redesign of art and graphics, offering a view of Middle-earth that is fresh and familiar at the same time.

The Setting

“The Enemy still lacks one thing to give him strength and knowledge to beat down all resistance, break the last defences, and cover all the lands in a second darkness. He lacks the One Ring.”

The One Ring is set in the Twilight of the Third Age, a time-frame comprising the events narrated in The Hobbit™ and the start of The Lord of the Rings™. Encompassing more than six decades, this period is ushered in when Bilbo the Hobbit finds the Ruling Ring, and culminates with the war fought by the Free Peoples against the Dark Lord Sauron, and the destruction of the Ring.

The year is 2965 of the Third Age, and the players create a Company of heroes, Hobbits, Dwarves, Elves and Men seeking adventure in the Lone-lands of Eriador. It is a desolate country, a vast land that once saw the glory of the North Kingdom of the Dúnedain, the Men of the West. Here, many wars were fought, and countless ruins dot its landscape. Shadows move along its paths, and not all of them belong to the living. It is here that the One Ring lies, a seed of the past that will one day lead the world to open war against the returning Shadow.

This edition of The One Ring moves the focus of the game to the lands of Old Arnor, with a full description of the town of Bree and the surrounding areas, including famous locales like Weathertop, Fornost and Annuminas, providing the players with a new starting point for their adventures.

The Enemy is moving, and smoke issues once more from Mount Doom, in the land of Mordor...

The Rules

“… you have been chosen, and you must therefore use such strength and heart and wits as you have.”

In The One Ring, players create individuals who led an ordinary life until something made them realize that they were simply pretending that shadows weren’t growing nearer and nearer every year. They are not soldiers or mercenaries, nor are they subtle Wizards trying to weave the threads spun by fate: they are adventurous souls representing the various Free Peoples opposing the return of the Shadow.

The core gameplay of The One Ring revolves around two alternate phases — the Adventuring Phase and the Fellowship Phase. This structure follows the deeds of the players not only geographically, as they explore the land in pursuit of their goals, but also chronologically, as time passes and the Twilight of the Third Age enfolds.

The game mechanics have been created from the ground up to match the source material and emulate the action as depicted in The Lord of the Rings™ and The Hobbit™. They feature a set of custom dice, but the game can also be played using a standard set including a 12-sided die and at least six 6-sided dice. The accessibility and elegance of the system fits in perfectly with other games by Free League.

This new edition of the game further reinforces the connection between its mechanics and the stories that inspired them. The rules for things like hero creation or the use of Hope have been tweaked to make the game run smoothly without sacrificing their faithfulness to the sources, while those for Journeys and Councils, for example, have been completely redesigned. New rules, like those for Magical die results, have been added to evoke elements that are vital to the theme of the game, like the subtle magic of Middle-earth.

The new edition will be compatible with modules for the first edition, requiring only minor tweaking.

The Starter Set

Created for the first time for this edition of the game, the Starter Set contains everything you need to start playing, and more! Focused on the Shire, this set allows for new players to enter the world of Middle-earth from the land of the Hobbits, where all the stories began. A number of pre-generated characters allow players to take the road to adventure in no time. The boxed set, mainly written by seasoned RPG writer James Spahn, includes:
  • Condensed rules, including everything you need to start playing in Middle-earth.
  • An adventure compendium, presenting a number of adventures to be played using the pre-generated characters contained in the box.
  • Pre-generated characters of esteemed Hobbits like Drogo Baggins, Paladin Took, Primula Brandybuck or Lobelia Baggins, and more.
If we exceed our base funding goal, we will add more content to the boxed set as stretch goals. You can read more about these under Stretch Goals, below. A summary:
  • A huge full-color map (format format 720 x 558 mm) of the Shire and Eriador, created by Francesco Mattioli.
  • Six square Stance Cards, used to keep track of the fighting stance of characters in combat
  • A set of engraved custom dice, with six D6 Success Dice and one D12 Feat Die.
  • Approximately 30 Item Cards for weapons, shield and armor, all beautifully illustrated.
  • A full compendium of the Shire, detailing the land of the Hobbits for The One Ring for the first time.
  • And more...