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Thankfully, the new Lord of the Rings roleplaying game is pretty good. It is pretty good. I think this is a good thing. Decipher choose to make a song and dance about the pictures in the book. The game is chock full with photographs from the movie. The inclusion of photographs is better than I worried about, there are few glossy pictures that look incredibly out of place and in fact most of the images have their borders blurred and faded so to reduce any glaring contrasts between bold colour pictures and text.

I do think there is some struggle to avoid being reduced to a photo gallery though; the full page pictures do look striking but they also suggest to me that this is the roleplaying game based on the movie and not the roleplaying game based on the books.

There are some small pictures that seem to be scenery from the Two Towers or perhaps the Return of the King but all the main photographs, certainly of the key characters, are from the Fellowship of the Rings. This dates the game more than I would like.

Another interesting formatting and layout note is that the text appears in three columns per page rather than the usual two columns. Simply put, There and Back Again is the best section in the entire game; it leans more heavily on original Tolkien than any other chapter can and benefits hugely from this. There and Back Again works around the compass and visits places in each cardinal point in alphabetical order.

Not every single location has records that span back to the First Age and then forwards in time and into the Fourth Age but those with interesting changes or observations to make are described in this detail.

There and Back Again is a great section to get your teeth straight into the world and a good way to brush up on your Middle Earth history. The game begins with neither character generation nor system mechanics but this should only put off those gamers previously limited to cheese fantasy RPGs.

Character generation follows swiftly afterwards though. Throughout the book you can see Decipher trying hard to make the game appealing veteran roleplayers and yet approachable by newbies. The character attributes will entirely familiar to roleplayers; a core set of attributes such as Perception and Strength and then derived secondary attributes such as Willpower and Wisdom.

For example, pick between either Strength or Vitality in order to set your Stamina. Typically, many RPGs leave fame or renown to a background or by-the-way trait. Even in games where characters struggle to gain renown the actual rule system and stat are left until later. It also makes for a better in-game motivation for character actions. Why would a Gondorian warrior take such risks? Not for the experience points — that would make no in-game sense, experience points mean nothing, but Renown is something the characters and NPCs can talk about when describing the same Gondorian warrior.

Ents appear only in a side bar. There will be disappointed fans though. Your character race will influence your attributes.

True to Tolkien again — which is good the bloodline of your particular race also affects your attributes. I like this. It adds an extra element of character history to the PCs. Age is an issue but age is also succinctly addressed in the character generation rules. There are barbarians. Users of other class system will recognise an elite order as something of a prestige class.

Too many games miss out anything naval and yet travelling overseas albeit often in the background appear often in the original Middle Earth books. The role of each Order is explained in terms of their role in the world and their effect on game mechanics.

Different Orders have a different range of skills and special abilities available to them. The skills are fairly generic, especially the Lore system which teeters on the edge of being overloaded. On average, each skill has half a page of help and description for it and they frequently include a small chart of sample Target Numbers required to meet success levels in using the skill. For example, the Appraise skill Wits based suggests that a Simple use TN 5 would be to judge every day market purchases whereas a Virtually Impossible use TN 25 would be to evaluate an unique object such as a fragment of Aiglos.

There is a separate chapter for Edges and Flaws. Lord of the Rings stays mainstream here and makes available a typically neutral collection of Edges and Flaws, extra abilities that can add to your skill roles. As with the skills and the races previously, there is a snippet quote from the books above each Edge or Flaw and these manage to add flavour whilst defending the inclusion of the extra trait. I think this is one the main successes of the book. Magic in Middle Earth is subtle and this is spelt out in crystal clear terms in this chapter.

Gandalf does not throw fireballs at the attacking goblins in the Mines of Moria and neither can your PC magician. In addition to the standard approach of chanting out magical words and making suitable gestures with hands, wizards and magicians have the extra options of casting a spell through a Rune or a Song. The dwarf runes and the elf songs deserved to be put in the core rulebook and not a money-spinning supplement.

Effectively, these two extra styles increase the casting time but increase the duration or the effect of the magic. There is a forth style of magic — sorcery, which is inherently evil.

Taken from the Fellowship of the Ring, Gandalf said to the Balrog;. The orcs stood still and a silence fell. You cannot pass. The dark fire will not avail you, flame of Udun. Go back to the Shadow. You cannot pass! Perhaps more importantly than the spell system and the short list of possible spells magic using PCs can actually use in the game is all the information given over on how magic works within the land of Middle Earth. If two elves proclaim their undying love to one another in a woodland grove then flowers might bloom there.

Decipher tells us that most of their supplements will be set in the late Third Age but before the War of the Ring begins. He is not a foe with whom even the greatest of heroes can grapple. If player characters oppose him directly or are captured and brought before him, they have lost. Decipher managed to win me around slightly and I quite enjoyed reading their offering.

Lord of the Rings is an epic and this version of the roleplaying game addresses that by taking a step back and being generic, by providing simple rules to cover a wide range of things and by leaving the players and Narrator to interpret any details they see worthy of interpretation as they see fit. The opposite way to approach the scale of Middle Earth is to produce highly detailed rules with table after table and rule clause after rule clause.

In the end, Decipher makes the important stages. This Lord of the Rings game feels like a Lord of the Rings game. Middle Earth feels like and reads like the Middle Earth it should be. The game is written so newcomers can play and I think experienced gamers will adapt to it to — but there will be need to adapt. Looking for the comment section? It's just below. Please log in again. The login page will open in a new tab. After logging in you can close it and return to this page.

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FCS 9012 PDF

The Lord of the Rings Roleplaying Game

Thankfully, the new Lord of the Rings roleplaying game is pretty good. It is pretty good. I think this is a good thing. Decipher choose to make a song and dance about the pictures in the book. The game is chock full with photographs from the movie. The inclusion of photographs is better than I worried about, there are few glossy pictures that look incredibly out of place and in fact most of the images have their borders blurred and faded so to reduce any glaring contrasts between bold colour pictures and text.


The Lord of the Rings RPG

Tolkien 's fiction. The game is set in the years between The Hobbit and The Fellowship of the Ring , but may be run at any time from the First to Fourth Age and contains many examples of how to do so. The game is the second licensed role-playing game for the setting, the prior game being Middle-earth Role Playing from Iron Crown Enterprises. A third role-playing game set in Middle-earth is currently being published since by Cubicle 7 under the title The One Ring Roleplaying Game. The character races available in the Lord of the Rings Roleplaying Game are:.


Decipher RPGs*

Although my LOTR Collector Notes site features products based on the Peter Jackson film trilogy of The Lord of the Rings, sometimes background on other sources and systems helps give the context in which these products were released. Decipher, Inc. They issued their first RPG components in their series in and the last one in The last CCG series was released in June For the online version of the CCG, the servers finally shut down in June It was due to be released in the second half of and there seem to be no progress reports available as of early ICE has seen to it that role players have been able to game in the world of J.



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