22Jul/14Off

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Cubicle 7 and Sophisticated Games are pleased to announce that pre-orders are now open for Rivendell, the latest supplement for The One Ring Roleplaying Game. It's available in PDF now and in print later this year.

This setting supplement will take your adventures west across the Misty Mountains to the Last Homely House, expanding play into eastern Eriador, covering not only Rivendell itself, but Angmar, Fornost, Mount Gram, Tharbad and everywhere in between.

There are also rules for creating your own Magical Treasure; playing Rangers of the North and High Elves of Rivendell; turning the baleful Eye of Mordor on your company; and facing more powerful adversaries than ever before.

Rivendell is written by Francesco Nepitello, with additional contributions from Amado Angulo, Shane Ivey, Andrew Kenrick, Marco Maggi, Thomas Morwinsky and James M. Spahn. It is lavishly illustrated by Jon Hodgson, Jan Pospíšil and Jeremy McHugh, with fantastic maps of Eastern Eriador created by Paul Bourne.

This hardcover, 144-page, full-colour supplement includes:

  • Background for the Last Homely House, the sanctuary of Rivendell itself.
  • Write-ups of the characters that might be encountered in Imladris, from Elrond and Arwen to Glorfindel and the White Council.
  • New Fellowship undertakings, including rules for composing your own songs.
  • A history of Arnor, Angmar and the Dúnedain.
  • A region guide to Eastern Eriador, including the Barrow-downs, the Trollshaws and Angmar.
  • New adversaries to face, including Ettins, Hill-men of Rhudaur and the toughest Troll of them all, the Queen of Castle Hill.
  • A bestiary of different types of undead creatures, from Bog Soldiers and Barrow-wights to the Lord of the Nazgûl himself, the Witch-king of Angmar.
  • Rules for powerful adversaries, allowing you to customise any monster to provide a challenge for even the most heroic of adventurers.
  • A set of optional rules, the Eye of Mordor, to track how much attention the Enemy reserves for the company.
  • Rules for adding Magical Treasure to your campaign, including dozens of ready-made artefacts, some famous, others less so.
  • Two new playable Heroic Cultures: the Rangers of the North and the High Elves of Rivendell.

All pre-orders of Rivendell come with a complimentary copy of the PDF, due June 2014. Pre-orders via participating retail stores come with a voucher for a PDF from the Bits and Mortar programme.

If you just want the PDF version of Rivendell it is available right now here.

To find out more about Rivendell, check out our series of previews here.

21Jul/14Off

We’ll be starting the pre-order for Rivendell, the latest supplement for The One Ring Roleplaying Game, tomorrow. In the meantime, we’ll be taking a much closer look at the various aspects of the supplement. In this preview we showcase the rules for Magical Treasure.

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We started out by asking the designer of The One Ring, Francesco Nepitello, to explain how magic items fit into Tolkien’s works:

Magical items are among the fundamental elements of the works of Tolkien… just think about the title – and subject – of The Lord of the Rings! So, it was a natural step to find a way to introduce them into the game. But they constitute a tricky subject matter, as prone to abuse in games as they are in fantasy books: you can’t rely on magical items too much, or they quickly become clichéd. That’s why we took our time in developing game mechanics that were appropriate to the gameplay style of The One Ring.”

While The One Ring Roleplaying Game includes rules for treasure, up until now it has been treasure of the decidedly mundane variety. Well, no more, for Rivendell includes a whole chapter on introducing Magical Treasure into your campaigns, from Elven swords and Mithril armour to magic rings…

Magical Treasure in The One Ring takes the form of one of three types: Precious Objects, which are jewels and gems of extraordinary quality (and value); Wondrous Artefacts, which are objects enchanted so as to enhance the use of a particular skill in a magical way; and Famous Weapons and Armour, which are potent artefacts from a bygone age.

Precious Objects are items of such rare craftsmanship or magical beauty that they are worth far more than regular treasure, offering the finder a greatly enhanced Treasure rating. Often they are items of sentimental value to the cultures of Middle-earth too, granting them double the value when used as part of the Raise Standing undertaking.

Wondrous Artefacts are indisputably magical in nature, from cloaks that can hide their wearers from sight to war-horns capable of setting fear into the hearts of enemies and joy in the hearts of friends. Each Wondrous Artefact is possessed by one or more Blessings, each affecting a specific skill. When the bearer uses that skill, he adds his Wisdom to the roll. In addition, the bearer can spend a point of Hope to turn a success into a magical success, allowing the player to narrate the outcome beyond even the limits for a great or extraordinary success.

Finally, Famous Weapons and Armour are magical artefacts with a long and proud lineage, destined to be found by the hero. Much like a Cultural Reward might, a Famous Weapon or piece of armour has a number of qualities; unlike a mundane reward, however, these qualities might be enchanted qualities. There are a score of such qualities described, ranging from Runes of Victory (which score an automatic hit on both an Eye and a Gandalf rune) or Sure Shot (which allows the wielder to ignore any negative modifiers to hit) to Flame of Hope (which increases the Endurance gained from the Rally Comrades action) and Luminescence (which causes the weapon to shine with a pale, cold light when a specific creature approaches).

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But, explains Francesco, the discovery of Magical Treasure should be far from random…

Magical treasure must serve a purpose. Their introduction in a game of The One Ring should never be left entirely in the hands of pure chance. ‘I can put it no plainer than by saying that Bilbo was meant to find the Ring…’ says Gandalf.

To maintain this sense of predestination in The One Ring, we developed a system that tackles the issue, yielding a double-sided result: the mechanics leave the discovery of Magical Treasure partly to chance as far as the timing of the discovery is concerned, while at the same time giving the Loremaster the possibility of controlling almost completely what it is that the companions find. The set of rules is extremely customisable, as it’s been designed to conform to the campaign being played. Do you want your characters to be equipped with Beleriand-forged steel, as they will face the wrath of a Dragon? That’s possible. Do you want to keep your magical items to the level of walking staves blessed with spells of ‘finding and returning’? Your campaign, your choice.”

The way this is translated into the game takes the form of two sets of mechanics: Magical Treasure rolls and the Magical Treasure index. The former determines when an item is found; the latter what is found.

A Magical Treasure roll can be made by a player when their hero discovers a Treasure Hoard (which includes most treasure encountered in caverns, lairs and old ruins). They roll the Feat die, and if either a Gandalf rune or Eye of Sauron is rolled they discover a magical object (of course, on the roll of an Eye, the item may be cursed…). If either was rolled, the player can then choose to roll a number of Success die up to the number of unspent Experience points they have and adds up the number of 6s rolled. The type of treasure discovered depends on how many 6s have been rolled, and this also dictates how many of those Experience points it will cost to acquire the item.

Some Hoards are better than others, of course, and so might allow a player to re-roll the Feat dice once or even twice.

The Magical Treasure index is the Loremaster’s custom-made list of magical items that exist in his campaign, tailored for his specific group of players, taking into account the skills they possess and the weapons they use. This way, when a hero finds a magical weapon in the game, the Loremaster has already a suitable weapon in mind that the hero was not only meant to discover, but that they are proficient in the use of. It is the tool by which the Loremaster can control how much magic he introduces into his game, as well as the means by which magical objects remain unique and precious to each hero.

One of the great joys of the Magical Treasure index is making them in the first place. Although Rivendell contains three complete, sample indexes (including one detailing the magical artefacts found by Thorin’s Company in their quest for Erebor), these are meant to be just sources of inspiration for your own indexes.

Finally, we asked Francesco about the burning question on everyone’s lips… can my players acquire the One Ring for themselves…?

They could, if it didn’t rest in the deep pockets of a certain Hobbit, guarded by Wizards and Rangers! Jokes aside, if your game runs well beyond the boundaries of canon and, for example, Bilbo lost the riddle-game with Gollum, then the Ruling Ring could well be inserted in the Magical Treasure index of your campaign. We go as far as to speculate how you might stat it up according to the rules provided in the chapter…”

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Rivendell is a 144-page, hardcover, full-colour supplement written by Francesco Nepitello, with additional contributions from Amado Angulo, Shane Ivey, Andrew Kenrick, Marco Maggi, Thomas Morwinsky and James M. Spahn. It is lavishly illustrated by Jon Hodgson, Jan Pospíšil and Jeremy McHugh, with fantastic maps of Eastern Eriador created by Paul Bourne. Keep an eye on the website tomorrow for more information about the preorder.

Links

Pre-order The One Ring Roleplaying Game here.
Buy The One Ring Roleplaying Game PDF here.
See the rest of the Rivendell preview here.
Find out more about The One Ring Roleplaying Game here.

16Jul/14Off

We’ll be starting the pre-order for Rivendell, the latest supplement for The One Ring Roleplaying Game, in the next couple of weeks. In the intervening weeks, we’ll be taking a much closer look at all aspects of the supplement. In this preview we showcase the two new playable Heroic Cultures: the Rangers of the North and High Elves of Rivendell.

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Ever since we first launched The One Ring, there’s been one question we’ve been asked more than any other: can I play a Ranger? Well, with the upcoming release of Rivendell, players will get their wish, along with the ability to play a High Elf of Rivendell too.

Both these cultures are unique in many ways, for they can be considered more powerful than those presented so far, as Francesco Nepitello, designer of The One Ring, explains:

Rangers and High Elves do not conform to the standards we defined with the core rules, as a hero belonging to either cultures certainly cannot be described as the typical ‘first-time adventurer’. With their definition as ‘unique’, we want to highlight the exception that their inclusion in a company will represent.

We’re quite explicit in the text in this regard, suggesting to Loremasters that they not allow a Ranger or High Elf to join a brand-new company, nor to allow more than one or two such characters in a group. This both preserves the themes and feel presented in The One Ring Roleplaying Game, and stops these characters overshadowing heroes from other Cultures.

Both Heroic Cultures are exceptional in many regards; they possess higher basic attribute levels, as well as a wider spread of Weapon Skills. So too do they receive more points to define their previous experiences, reflecting their greater prowess. On the other hand, it costs considerably more experience points for a Ranger or a High Elf to increase their Valour, Wisdom or Weapon Skills.

We asked Francesco what prompted him to make the new cultures more powerful:

The Rangers are the last members of a bloodline of kings, and the High Elves are members of the Firstborn, among the most powerful beings who ever inhabited Middle-earth. They are amongst the greatest enemies of the Shadow, and are blessed with abilities proportioned to the task. The rules for The One Ring were not made to represent their stature, so we had to adapt them accordingly.”

Both Heroic Cultures have a thematic selection of Virtues and Rewards too, similarly powerful to represent their unique status. As with those found in The One Ring Roleplaying Game, each encapsulates a different aspect of the lore, reinforcing what it is that makes that culture special.

Thus the Rangers’ Virtues and Rewards evoke their ancient bloodline and their long years spent in the Wild. Ways of the Wild, for example, grants a Ranger a free Combat advantage die when fighting in the wilderness, and allows him to fill all vacant travelling roles while on a journey. Royalty Revealed, on the other hand, allows a Ranger to reveal his noble heritage at a dramatic point, allowing him to Intimidate Foe as well as attacking, but at the cost of making all foes Hate him. So too might a Ranger possess the Star of the Dúnedain, granting him not only his veteran status amongst the Dúnedain but also knowledge of the refuges hidden in Arnor, where he might take his companions to find much-needed shelter on an otherwise perilous journey.

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The High Elves’ Virtues and Rewards represent their ancient tradition and superlative prowess. A High Elf of Rivendell might wield a Spear of the Last Alliance, a potent weapon that allows the wielder to attack multiple opponents when he rolls a great or extraordinary success, as he might have done against the servants of Sauron in the Second Age. The Might of the Firstborn Reward allows a High Elf to cancel out an enemy’s special ability, whilst Skill of the Eldar adds a Tengwar rune to any roll of a Gandalf, elevating his level of success. Finally, a High Elf might have learned to invoke the name of Elbereth, the Queen of the Stars, if one of their companions is Wounded or Miserable, adding Success dice not only to the High Elf’s next roll but also to every other Elf or Elf-friend in the company too.

But, as Francesco explains, playing a Ranger or a High Elf might not be for everyone:

Who said ‘with great power comes great responsibility’? Rangers and High Elves are no exception. The Rangers are bound by duty and the Elves suffer badly to see Arda marred, and both limitations have definite gameplay mechanics to enforce them... Not every player will want to play with such strictures, and will thus choose to play a different character type.”

Certainly both Heroic Cultures have a number of limitations, going some way to off-set their potency. The Rangers, for example, are obligated to their ancient bloodline and as a result do not easily share their burden with others; therefore Rangers cannot use the Fellowship pool to restore Hope. Instead they must rely on other means of restoring Hope, such as the new There and Back Again undertaking or the Ranger-specific undertaking, Honouring the Fallen.

High Elves, on the other hand, cannot easily forget the taint of the Shadow upon the world and cannot heal corruption as another character might. Instead they reduce the effects of corruption by distancing themselves from the world, reducing their Shadow but at the cost of ‘marking’ a skill. Whenever they try to use that skill and they are not in a sanctuary, a roll of an Eye of Sauron results in them being overcome by sadness and failing the task automatically.

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Rivendell is 144-page, hardcover, full-colour supplement written by Francesco Nepitello, with additional contributions from Amado Angulo, Shane Ivey, Andrew Kenrick, Marco Maggi, Thomas Morwinsky and James M. Spahn. It is lavishly illustrated by Jon Hodgson, Jan Pospíšil and Jeremy McHugh, with fantastic maps of Eastern Eriador created by Paul Bourne. Keep an eye on the website for more information and previews over the next week.

Links

Pre-order The One Ring Roleplaying Game here.
Buy The One Ring Roleplaying Game PDF here.
See the rest of the Rivendell preview here.
Find out more about The One Ring Roleplaying Game here.

10Jul/14Off

We’ll be starting the pre-order for Rivendell, the latest supplement for The One Ring Roleplaying Game, in a few weeks. In the intervening weeks, we’ll be taking a much closer look at all aspects of the supplement, starting off with a look at its namesake: the sanctuary of Rivendell itself.

Rivendell

Designer of The One Ring, Francesco Nepitello, starts off by explaining the significance of Rivendell:

Rivendell is the Camelot of Middle-earth, bundled together with Avalon and Shangri-la. It plays a role in the narration of both The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings that can be perfectly replicated in every game of The One Ring. It is a refuge to seek in times of trouble, a place of lore, a last outpost before entering the wilds, it’s impossible to summarise the ways it can be engineered into a campaign.”

In both The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, Rivendell provides the heroes with a sanctuary from the Wild and a haven from where they can plan the next stage of their journey. It is there that Master Elrond heals Frodo, where counsel is sought about what to do with the Ring and where Narsil is reforged.

And so too, will the heroes of your games find similar solace and aid there, as Rivendell introduces a host of new rules for this premier sanctuary. Simply staying at the Last Homely House allows a character to leave his fear and anxiety behind, temporarily removing the burden of the Shadow from him, and allowing him to recover far more swiftly.

There are new Fellowship undertakings too that can only be accomplished in Rivendell; perhaps a hero wants to consult a Lore-master to find out more about the magical blade he found on his last adventure, maybe he desires to relax in the Hall of Fire and compose a song to celebrate his exploits, or it might be that he needs to seek out forgotten lore within Elrond’s libraries.

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A company can also rub shoulders with some of the most powerful heroes of Middle-earth: Elrond, Glorfindel and Erestor can all be found within Imladris, as, sometimes, can the fabled White Council. Your characters can seek aid from them also, perhaps even gaining them as a patron, if your heart is true and your cause just.

We asked Francesco what his favourite part of Rivendell was:

My favourite part of Rivendell might be the description of the valley of Imladris itself, as we worked a lot to make it worth reading even for the most erudite of the Tolkien scholars out there. There’s a lot of playable material in that description, something that will enable players and Loremasters to spend sessions after sessions in the Last Homely House East of the Sea!

As well as the evocative description of Rivendell, Jon Hodgson has drawn a series of beautiful maps, showing not only the interior of the Last Homely House, but also the caverns beneath it and the Valley of Imladris too.

But, before they get to wander the valley, a company’s first challenge will be how to find their way there, for one cannot simply travel there in the Fellowship phase. Imladris is a secret valley, hidden by the power of Elrond and his Elven Ring, Vilya. Unless a company is invited to enter, their guide must first test to find the path; Elves or suitably wise guides may find the way easily enough, but others will find it difficult indeed – a challenge worthy of an adventure, perhaps?

Rivendell is 144-page, hardcover, full-colour supplement written by Francesco Nepitello, with additional contributions from Amado Angulo, Shane Ivey, Andrew Kenrick, Marco Maggi, Thomas Morwinsky and James M. Spahn. It is lavishly illustrated by Jon Hodgson, Jan Pospíšil and Jeremy McHugh, with fantastic maps of Eastern Eriador created by Paul Bourne. Keep an eye on the website for more information and previews over the coming weeks.

Links

Pre-order The One Ring Roleplaying Game here.
Buy The One Ring Roleplaying Game PDF here.
See the rest of the Rivendell preview here.
Find out more about The One Ring Roleplaying Game here.

8Jul/14Off

We’ll be starting the pre-order for Rivendell, the latest supplement for The One Ring Roleplaying Game, in a few weeks. In the intervening weeks, we’ll be taking a much closer look at all aspects of the supplement, starting off with a detailed look at its contents.

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Firstly, designer of The One Ring, Francesco Nepitello, explains his vision behind Rivendell:

“Rivendell is a true ‘companion’ to the core rules of The One Ring. It contains very important rules, things that can be considered to be outside the scope of the very focused design goal of the original game, but that will certainly be very welcomed by all fans, everywhere… ”

So, with that in mind, let's take a look at what you can expect to find inside Rivendell:

The Last Homely House – As you might have deduced from its title, Rivendell contains a detailed description of the House of Elrond and the famous characters who dwell within it. As well as Imladris itself, there are rules for all many of unique Fellowship undertakings that characters who have discovered Rivendell can attempt. Rivendell makes for a rightly fabled sanctuary, but not one you can just wander into…

The Lands of EriadorRivendell is a setting guide for far more than just the Vale of Imladris, as it also contains a region guide for the whole of Eastern Eriador, from the Midgewater Marshes and the Barrow-downs in the west to the foothills of the Misty Mountains in the east; from Tharbad in the south to Angmar in the north. As with Heart of the Wild, each of the regions is described in-depth, along with a selection of locations and characters to use in your own games. There’s also a detailed look at the history of the region, including the rise and fall of Arnor and Angmar.

A Bestiary of New Monsters – Despite the efforts of the Rangers of the North, the lands of Eriador are home to many dangerous creatures, from the Hobbit-hating Orcs of Mount Gram to the meanest Troll of them all, the Queen of Castle Hill. But monsters of flesh and blood are the least of a company’s worries, for the dead do not rest easily in these lands, and so the Undead are described in more detail than ever before. Finally, for companies who find even these foes no match, a set of rules for Powerful Adversaries are included, to make any monster a deadly threat. And last but not least, rules for the Witch-king himself.

Rules for Magical Treasure – The shining jewel (or glittering crown, perhaps) of the new rules found in Rivendell are those for adding magical treasure to your games, not only including expansive rules that a Loremaster might use to create his own fabled artefacts, but also a selection of ready-made treasures, both famous and new. Some whisper that we have been mad enough to provide rules for the One Ring itself, but surely none would be so bold, or foolish…

Rules for the Eye of Mordor – The Shadow grows long upon these lands, and it said that a baleful eye now looks out from Mordor itself. The troubling attention of the Enemy is represented by a new set of optional rules, allowing the Loremaster to track how much attention a company draws, and the terrible consequences should they be noticed by the Eye itself…

New Heroic Cultures – Last but by no means least, Rivendell also includes rules for two new playable cultures, the Rangers of the North and the High Elves of Rivendell. Both are unique, in their own ways, as they are more powerful than any of those presented in The One Ring so far, and yet present a player with their own set of challenges.

RivendellFinally, we asked Francesco what he thought would excite fans of The One Ring the most:

The rules for Magical Treasure and the Rangers of the North will probably be what will excite them the most. The fans have been very vocal in saying that they want to see official rules for those. The biggest surprise, however, might be the rules for the High Elves of Rivendell. The way we handle them is special, something that will really surprise everyone!”

Rivendell is written by Francesco Nepitello, with additional contributions from Amado Angulo, Shane Ivey, Andrew Kenrick, Marco Maggi, Thomas Morwinsky and James M. Spahn. It is lavishly illustrated by Jon Hodgson, Jan Pospíšil and Jeremy McHugh, with fantastic maps of Eastern Eriador created by Paul Bourne. We’ll be showcasing just some of their art over the coming weeks too.

Links

Pre-order The One Ring Roleplaying Game here.
Buy The One Ring Roleplaying Game PDF here.
Find out more about The One Ring Roleplaying Game here.

24Apr/14Off

After announcing our 2014 line-up of releases for The One Ring a month ago, we thought we’d show off the cover to one of the most anticipated supplements: Rivendell. TOR_Rivendell_cover600 This setting supplement will take your adventures west across the Misty Mountains to the Last Homely House, expanding play into eastern Eriador, covering not only Rivendell itself, but Angmar, Fornost, Mount Gram, Tharbad and everywhere in between. There are also rules for creating your own Magical Treasure; playing Rangers of the North and High Elves of Rivendell; turning the baleful Eye of Sauron on your company; and facing more powerful adversaries than ever before. Rivendell for The One Ring Roleplaying Game is written by Francesco Nepitello, with additional contributions from Amado Angulo, Shane Ivey, Andrew Kenrick, Marco Maggi, Thomas Morwinsky and James M. Spahn, and with cover art by Jon Hodgson. Keep an eye out for more information over the coming weeks.

Links

The One Ring Hobbit Tales