I am a long time Lord of the Rings/Hobbit enthusiast, and some might say borderline fanatical. In addition, I have been a D&D player and DM since the early 80’s. So, it would follow that I would love a LOTR RPG. I found and played a LOTR RPG predecessor 20 years or more ago and did not love it. I have been hoping for something to scratch that itch ever since.

“The One Ring” has recently come to my attention, and so I thought I’d check it out. In my experience (depending on the group you play with) RPG’s tend to be weighted heavier toward combat versus role-playing. Role playing is encouraged but tends to be the lead up to action/combat. “The One Ring’ provides avenues to truly encourage role-playing and to allow players to create characters that have many different roles that are not all combat related. The Heroic Cultures align pretty well with what you would expect from Character Classes in other RPG’s – Elves, Dwarves, Hobbits, Men, Rangers, etc. Where you really get to diversify is when you get to choose from 6 Callings – Captain, Champion, Messenger, Scholar, Treasure Hunter, and Warden. Each of those will affect how you approach situations, and your motivations. Each calling gives you certain skills, distinctive features, and a shadow path, as well.

Shadow Path? There is the opportunity, given the shadow’s influence on the world, for you to succumb to that influence. That can have some unhealthy and unwanted repercussions. So, you must be careful what you choose and what you do as the story unfolds.

This game seems to me for those who are willing to learn and embrace the nuances of the game. It is not for the jump in and just give it a whirl type player or GM/Loremaster. The combat system to me is more complicated than other RPG’s I’ve played. In addition, the structure around Journeys, Councils, and the Fellowship Phase require more involvement than what I have been used to. It seems like it could be great fun once you understand and embrace it all, but all must make the commitment.

If I had a group that was interested and committed, I’d love to give it a go.

pick it up at


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