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LOTR RPG vs The One Ring

tangleknot

Explorer
So here's my situation. I've got a very eager wife who wants to run an RPG in Middle earth. On my shelf I've got the the 2002 Lord of the rings RPG which has since been discontinued. I've also got the option of buying the 2012 One Ring RPG.

So which system is better? Should I play with the LOTR RPG, or ebay it and buy the newer One Ring RPG? Let me know your thoughts!
 

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scourger

Explorer
I couldn't grok either one of them. The One Ring (TOR) has current support and gets good reviews. But you have the LOTR RPG on the shelf. Let her read that one and if it doesn't strike her fancy then you can get TOR.
 

TrippyHippy

Adventurer
The 2002 game had it's plaudits, but aside from the 2d6 roll and package based character generation, it carries a lot of mechanical tropes over from D20. There are classes, races and a spell-based magic system. There is no broad theme to the game that differs in anyway to a typical game of D&D, but some of the setting material is nicely written. The art is taken from the LotR movie stills, mostly.

The One Ring has mechanics that are loosely based on the D6 dice-pool system, but uses a D12 as a core 'wild dice' that has positive/negative symbols in place of '1' and '12'. Thematically, it focusses a lot on travel, cultures and fellowship and provides mechanics for these things. Some may find this fiddly at start, but it's more distinct and 'Tolkien' in it's gameplay feel than other games. The geographical area of the core game is a lot narrower, and the intention is to build slowly on this through supplements. These supplements have been released quite slowly to date. That said, the core game is all class in presentation (arguably the strongest art direction of any game released in the last few years). I'd recommend it.
 


Deepfire

First Post
I am currently in a similar situation - *1,5.

I want to introduce some colleagues from work to roleplaying. "Lord of the Rings" and "Hobbit" it is, so I had to choose between the Tolkienesque games on my shelves: MERP, LotR or TOR

And - although I know that most of you will disagree here - i decided to use MERP. I cannot say exactly what pushed me in this direction, but it was the one that felt right. (But: as a Rolemaster player, I have no prejudice against the system, it is a fine, quick and playable rpg).
 

Dioltach

Legend
I actually found a variation on the standard D&D 3.5 rules to work, using the character classes and Channelling system from the Wheel of Time RPG and the vitality points/wound points system from Star Wars d20 (I think it's also in Unearthed Arcana).
 

tangleknot

Explorer
Thanks for your feedback!

Of the two, LOTR and One Ring. Which of them seems to be more "Tolkien like," Which of them is easiest to learn/ has fewer rules but is also less likely to have flaws in the mechanics?
 

TOR is generally accepted to have great Tolkien 'feel' but the rules aren't laid out in a manner to allow for easy reference to them in play, although reading them is fine. The only errata is about two or three items, an unusually low number for a newish game not using existing mechanics.

Get the expanded index from the C7 site to make looking up things easier.

TOR is very much designed around role play and may not appeal to someone who gets tongue-tied when asked to describe/role play how their character is talking to an NPC. The rules heavily stress the perils of journeying in Arda and the combat is abstracted so that combat junkies may not feel at home.
 
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gweinel

Explorer
I am playing as Loremaster with two groups for the The One Ring game i have to say if you can afford it then go for it. I have also the 2002 game and i wouldn't compare these. I consider Cubicle's 7 The One Ring as a very solid game (not without flaws) with excellent Tolkien-atmosphere (actually the writer make the rules for this game), really great artwork and great quality work.

Having played MERP (90s Rolemaster Middle-Earth game), Decipher (2002 game) and The One Ring I would choose the latter.
 

Thanks for your feedback!

Of the two, LOTR and One Ring. Which of them seems to be more "Tolkien like," Which of them is easiest to learn/ has fewer rules but is also less likely to have flaws in the mechanics?

The One Ring captures Tolkien better and is simpler, IMO. Haven't spent enough time with either system to know how they compare in terms of mechanical flaws.

But then, I can run a Tolkien-based game using d20, so I'm a bit odd.
 

fjw70

Explorer
To emulate the movies I would pick 4e D&D and just use martial classes. 4e was greatly influenced by the Peter Jackson movies.

I have both the Decipher and TOR games but have never played them so I can't say much about them.
 



TrippyHippy

Adventurer
Well, you could use pretty much any fantasy rpg system to run Lord of the Rings without too much difficulty on that basis. However, I think the notion that '4e was greatly influenced by the Peter Jackson movies" when it introduced Teiflings, Dragonborn and 'at-will' spells, is as much of a stretch as describing Frodo as a Halfling Warlord...
 


Hammerforge

Explorer
What about either of these for Middle Earth: GURPS or HARP? I actually ran a ME campaign a number of years ago using HARP, and it turned out well.

EDIT: or Basic Roleplaying?
 

gweinel

Explorer
What about either of these for Middle Earth: GURPS or HARP? I actually ran a ME campaign a number of years ago using HARP, and it turned out well.

EDIT: or Basic Roleplaying?

I have not played neither HARP or GURPS, so I cannot judge the systems. However the big plus for The One Ring is that the rules were designed especially for the world of Tolkien, so they manage to capture the atmosphere of the Middle-Earth of the late 3rd Age almost perfectly. You will find many little things in the mechanics that you ll make you smile reminding you the original source of the Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit.
 

MortonStromgal

First Post
If shes played D&D 3.X/PF I'd go with LOTR as its fairly similar with enough Tolkien flair in the magic system to not be overly D&D (Very similar to LOTRO MMO in magic style, maybe too much magic for purists but no fireball slinging a few burning embers with the right components though). MERPs was far too much like Rolemaster IMHO to feel like Middle Earth but the source books are great and the system is deadly. The One Ring is the "right" choice but you have a learning curve you may not want to bother with. GURPS 3e has an excellent web site full of Middle Earth flavor that works really well. Also if you want a more action/movie flair you may look at the Savage Worlds fan creations. So decide how true you want to be to the source material, how much action you want, and if you want to learn a rule set. Once you answer that the choice should become clear.
 


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