Seize The One Ring With Cubicle 7's Role-Playing Game
  • Seize The One Ring With Cubicle 7's Role-Playing Game


    Enter into a world of adventure that you have encountered before in books and movies with The One Ring from Cubicle 7 Entertainment. Based on the words and worlds of J.R.R Tolkien, the game has you adventure between the stories of The Hobbit and The Lord of The Rings. Play heroes who explore the world of Middle-earth after the great dragon Smaug has fallen, and before the Fellowship of the Ring must rise up.


    ... evil and danger had grown and thriven in the Wild, since the dragons had driven men from the lands, and the Goblins had spread in secret after the battle of the Mines of Moria.

    Unlike other traditional fantasy games that dabble in the worlds of J.R.R. Tolkien, The One Ring is low magic game and instead of character classes your characters are built using a skill based d6 dice pool. A d12 is also rolled which represents the growing power and corruption of the Shadow over Middle-earth. PCs can be corrupted into giving in to their shadow weakness (like greed or rage) through anguish, blighted lands, evil deeds, or taking tainted treasure. The game plays seamlessly through journeys, encounters, and combat. The book is a 332 page full-color hardcover with a starting adventure and example PCs.

    There were many paths that led up into those mountains, and many passes over them. But most of the paths were cheats and deceptions and led nowhere or to bad endsÖ

    As you would expect from a game designed around the stories of J.R.R. Tolkien, the journey is an important part of play in The One Ring. A successful journey requires a number of skill tests from all PCs to determine what shape they are in when they arrive. The PCs have a map of the world of Middle-earth that is inspired by the familiar map from Tolkien's novels, while the GMís map has hexes and varying levels of hazard difficulty overlaid and more detail. Journeys amaze, terrify, and accurately model the novels albeit on a smaller scale. The PCs are not rangers and powerful wizards, so their travels are more local but still dangerous and exciting.

    "Píraps ye sits here and chats with it a bitsy, my preciousss. It like riddles, praps it does, does it?"

    When the adventurers need to demonstrate their intentions to a wary group of NPCs, they handle it through several skill tests. Every PC is involved and use not just interaction skills but also skills like Song and Riddle. The rules work well and can result in the PCs getting everything they asked for, some of it, or more than they bargained for.

    Unfortunately, unknown heroes may meet with kings on their first adventure. In the novels, some heroes are princes or wizards. The PCs are a bit more humble to start. If they could meet only with less powerful leaders and had to work their way up to advisors and finally kings and wizards the game would be improved.

    There was a ring and clatter as the company drew their swords.

    Combat is dangerous and detailed with ambushes, called shots, and even removing a helm during a battle. A variety of creatures and foes threaten the PCs. However, combat is static with different ranks the PCs stand in and attack from. There is none of the flowing movement from the novels like a cavalry charge or a running battle through the woods. The game does a good job in simulating the worlds of J.R.R. Tolkien, while at the same highlighting how differently role-playing games sometimes have to handle things from the concerns of fiction. You can recreate the experiences of Tolkien's writings, but there will be slight differences.

    Play The One Ring if you want to explore Middle-earth or if you want a solid low magic fantasy RPG. The art captures the feel of the world, the maps and adventures are top notch, and Cubicle 7 continues to support the game with quality adventures and rules supplements. If these are qualities that you look for in an RPG, consider this to be a recommendation to get a copy of The One Ring for yourself.
    Comments 12 Comments
    1. Arilyn's Avatar
      Arilyn -
      I love this game. Your comments on combat are a little off though. Yes, you choose a rank, but it's fluid as you can continually change position during combat. I find it quite fluid and tactical.

      My problem with the game is it is too easy to accumulate shadow points, and they are hard to get rid of. I really like the idea, but when we played as written, the points were mounting from sometimes rather trivial sources. All our fellowship phases activities were spent on reducing shadow. Currently working on a way to tweak shadow points.

      Game really feels like Middle Earth. I love the whole feel and atmosphere. Also, has some of the best supplements I've seen for a game. Beautifully written and useful.
    1. Scarlet.Knight's Avatar
      Scarlet.Knight -
      Love this game! I bought and ran Adventures in Middle Earth (AIME) as well. I was getting a bit jaded with 5th edition but AIME really is great. I really can't decide which one I prefer. I'd say TOR feels more Tolkienesque, can't really explain why.
    1. ChampionoftheTriad -
      Quote Originally Posted by Arilyn View Post
      I love this game. Your comments on combat are a little off though. Yes, you choose a rank, but it's fluid as you can continually change position during combat. I find it quite fluid and tactical.

      My problem with the game is it is too easy to accumulate shadow points, and they are hard to get rid of. I really like the idea, but when we played as written, the points were mounting from sometimes rather trivial sources. All our fellowship phases activities were spent on reducing shadow. Currently working on a way to tweak shadow points.

      Game really feels like Middle Earth. I love the whole feel and atmosphere. Also, has some of the best supplements I've seen for a game. Beautifully written and useful.
      There is a similar issue with the various d20 Star Wars games. As written, the rules for accumulating Dark Side points were problematic. Things like killing a person are cumulative, so that any soldier would automatically be a Dark Side NPC after several sessions. Of course, it's based on heroic stories where the good guys "don't kill undeserving people". Except, they do, we just don't see it on screen. Just fiery explosions...

      We had to judge various "evil" acts in regards to the impact on a character's "soul", relative to previous acts. In other words, does the tenth killing of a sapient being impact as heavily as the first? And what happens if you give the order to destroy a ship? Ships in Star Wars can have tens of thousands on board. Are all ship Captains who have been in war Dark Side NPCs?

      Difficult to RP a slow fall when a single adventure can push a PC over the edge. In fact, by the rules, Anakin would have fallen to the Dark Side after he slaughtered the Sand People...

      Didn't mean to derail your Tolkien discussion with so much Star Wars, it's just the only experience I have with "Shadow".
    1. Olgar Shiverstone's Avatar
      Olgar Shiverstone -
      The books are absolutely beautiful, and the game system captures Tolkien extremely well.

      It's clearly made by people who appreciate Tolkien.
    1. Charles Dunwoody -
      Quote Originally Posted by Arilyn View Post
      I love this game. Your comments on combat are a little off though. Yes, you choose a rank, but it's fluid as you can continually change position during combat. I find it quite fluid and tactical.

      My problem with the game is it is too easy to accumulate shadow points, and they are hard to get rid of. I really like the idea, but when we played as written, the points were mounting from sometimes rather trivial sources. All our fellowship phases activities were spent on reducing shadow. Currently working on a way to tweak shadow points.

      Game really feels like Middle Earth. I love the whole feel and atmosphere. Also, has some of the best supplements I've seen for a game. Beautifully written and useful.
      You have stances but no real movement. We actually used chess pieces to represent combat stances. You could move forward or back basically.

      We did not have a problem with too many shadow points. Certainly the shadow started to fall over the fellowship, but it seemed to drive the adventure rather than interfere with it.
    1. Evenglare's Avatar
      Evenglare -
      Serious question, why is this a topic? I've had TOR since it came out, what.. 5 + years ago? Just advertising or something?
    1. Maggan's Avatar
      Maggan -
      Quote Originally Posted by Evenglare View Post
      Serious question, why is this a topic? I've had TOR since it came out, what.. 5 + years ago? Just advertising or something?
      Thought about that too, then I saw that this is labeled a "review", and that gets on the front page I suppose. If the title had included "review" it would have been a lot more clear.

      /M
    1. Morrus's Avatar
      Morrus -
      Quote Originally Posted by Evenglare View Post
      Serious question, why is this a topic? I've had TOR since it came out, what.. 5 + years ago? Just advertising or something?
      We take a look at lots of older stuff on the front page. Thereís been lots of Cthulhu recently, for example. Itís not just breaking news. Charles has also looked at the 3-yr old Mutant Year Zero, and Shadow of the Demon Lord from 2015. And Chris Helton has recently covered Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles from 1984, and sirlarkins looked at White Wolf's Canite Heresy from 1999! Also BESM 3E, Blue Rose, Paranoia, the classic Avalon Hill James Bond 007, Palladium's Ninjas and Superspies and Heroes Unlimited, TSR's Marvel Super-Heroes ... and loads more. There's plenty of retrospective stuff here.
    1. Ravendesk_Lee's Avatar
      Ravendesk_Lee -
      The One Ring is just so damned fantastic. I am in love with it. They've crafted rules that fit the setting like a glove and the book is beautiful. Travelling across the map over the course of months and years, struggling to keep from becoming weary as you lug your gear; throwing off your helmet in combat to keep from being overwhelmed; skills and traits that encourage interaction with all the Tolkienish features of the setting like cooking etc. Great game.
    1. DerKastellan's Avatar
      DerKastellan -
      This is one of my all time favorite RPGs and I collect everything for it. The art is stunning. And once I got over the bad rules explanation of 1e it actually made a lot of sense. And I think the combat system is a strong mix of just enough realism (glancing blows vs wounding blows) that puts all editions of D&D to shame. And I like D&D, dammit!
    1. Joshua Conyer's Avatar
      Joshua Conyer -
      I plan on getting in to this game in the near future. Any suggestions on the minimum number of books to obtain and the titles?
    1. DerKastellan's Avatar
      DerKastellan -
      Depends.
      All the game rules and the basic classes and cultures of Wilderland are in the core book, which is a very nice and updated hardcover in 2nd edition.
      If you plan on playing outside this area, the Companion is a good investment, since it contains all supplemental classes from all other published supplements. If you want Rangers of the North or High Elves in your company, this is how you get them all in one go.
      If you want to adventure in Wilderland, the setting guide "Heart of the Wild" is heavily recommended. There's an epic and decades-long campaign supplement available called "The Darkening of Mirkwood" if you look for adventure inspiration in this part. Or "Tales of Wilderland" is also a good thing, given it has 8 adventures tied together more loosely.
      ī
      The pattern of setting book ("Heart of the Wild") and adventure module ("Tales of Wilderland") repeats for other published regions:
      Eregion (Weathertop eastwards), Angmar, Tharbad - "Rivendell" and "Ruins of the North" - includes expanded treasure and "The Eye of Morder" rules, expands on Undead
      Rohan, Dunlands, Fangorn, Isengard - "Horse-lords of Rohan" and "Oaths of the Riddermark" - adds rules for horsemanship and mounted combat, expands on Ents and the doings of Saruman before the Ring War

      Other supplements:
      "Bree" - everything east of the Shire till Weathertop, detailed account of the Prancing Pony and the surrounding settlements, contains 3 adventures
      "Erebor" - Dale, the Lonely Mountain, northern wastes - expands on Dragons and the War of Vengeance (Orcs...)
      "Game Master Screen & Laketown" - don't have it
      "Journeys & Maps" - maps tailored for the game, boating rules, expands travel hazards selection

      What's still missing: Gondor, Mordor, Lothlorien, The Shire

      The setting guides are beautiful, just plain gorgeous, and tune into a Middle-Earth that feels a bit less flashy and more earthy than the movies, for example. They also make great reading and source material even without the game! Very meticulous research and strong writing. Each adventure and setting guide also contains information on the timeline where this information makes sense and when adventures ideally fit into the years between The Hobbit and The Lord Of The Rings.

      If you plan on buying in print, many retailers participate in the "bits and mortar" initiative and give you the PDF for free. (Cubicle 7 might do that for you if you show proof of sale, but I did not verify that so better check for yourself, first.) The PDFs for The One Ring are rather pricey (roughly 2/3 of print price, anyway) and buying the books in print gets you a much better deal! Also, merchants participating in the Cubicle 7's pre-order program usually give you the PDF when you pre-order (and pay), so you don't have to wait for the print to come out first. Delay between PDF and print is I guess about three months, looks like they get it on a "slow boat from China."
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