Wednesday, June 25, 2014

The One Ring Official Updates

As some of you may know, several months ago Cubicle 7 announced that they were printing a revised version of the core rulebook for The One Ring.  Well, pre-orders are now open and the PDF is available right now as well.  Whereas the original printing was a boxed set with two softcover books (an Adventurer's Book and a Loremaster's Book), the new core book is a single hardback volume.  It's not quite a second edition, as it's been mostly re-organized so that the two books are now combined into one, and individual topics are not split up and difficult to find anymore.  Considering that the book's organization and index were the biggest criticisms of the system when it was released, this is a huge improvement.  If anyone has been on the fence about getting into TOR, now is the time to jump on board.

Even if it's not a second edition, there have been some errata incorporated into the new printing.  A few specific player options have been re-balanced (i.e. the notoriously underpowered Beorning Cultural Blessing has been given a boost, and the even more notoriously overpowered King's Blade has been hit with the nerf bat, bringing it down to parity with other Rewards and eliminating the "Hobbit uber-swordman" issue).  Preliminary rolls have been simplified into a unified mechanic between the three heroic ventures (Journeys, Combat, and Encounters), which was admittedly a houserule that the game's designer, Francesco Nepitello, had posted on his blog for a while.  Now it's official.  Favored skills are cheaper to upgrade, Fatigue from traveling gear has been increased, and the effects of the Intimidate Foe and Rally Comrades actions have been given a boost, making them more competitive options in combat.  Hazards have been re-worked, as they now trigger when an Eye is rolled on any Fatigue test (succeed or fail), and the consequences have been streamlined into a table that you can then narrate (instead of having dozens of narrative examples scattered everywhere with sometimes similar effects).

All in all, it polishes up what is one of the most well-designed licensed RPGs I've seen.  If you already have the original boxed set and don't plan on purchasing the new core book, never fear!  All of the updates have been posted as a free PDF.

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