The One Ring or TOR is a table top RPG set in the Middle-earth, the world of J.R.R. Tolkien's Lord of the Rings and Hobbit books. This particular version; the 2nd edition is produced by Free League Publishing.
TOR makes use of its own bespoke set of rules designed to evoke the 'feel' of the books as much as possible. It's a curious mix of simple rules and fairly elaborate sub-systems.
The core rule involves rolling a bunch of six sided dice and 1 twelve sider, the results of which can be read several ways depending on the context. Potentially resulting in several levels of success or maybe falling into despair with failure. That's the simple part.
Player characters have 3 primary attributes, 18 skills and a load of secondary attributes. They also have valour and wisdom with provide virtues and reward. The game also has rules for 'The Fellowship phase' which is a detailed downtime phase that occurs after every adventure. Travelling across Middle-earth was a big deal in the books and it's no different here with enough rules for journeying to practically make it its own mini-game where characters take on different responsibilities during a trip.
During combat, attacks are resolved with a single roll which determines damage and whether a critical hit occurs. However, there's also a system for taking stances which affects how easy it is to hit enemies and how easy it is for them to hit back, it also affects initiative and opens up specific special moves and attacks.
None of this is particularly complex but it's quite a lot to remember. To its benefit though, its unique mechanics make for a unique game.
This is the 2nd edition and previously I have played the 1st. The 2nd edition makes some changes but from what I can tell, the fundamentals are the same.
TOR Starter Set
This is a starter box that has been produced for TOR 2nd edition.
It comes with 3 booklets. An adventures booklet with 5 mini scenarios, each of which generally takes about 1, perhaps 2 hours to complete and can form a single story of adventure in The Shire. A rules booklet with extremely cut down rules and explanations on how to use them. A Shire sourcebook that details numerous towns and locations throughout The Shire. It also provides encounter tables and some potential plot hooks for further adventures. It's a pretty good resource but really could have done with an index and table of contents.
A map comes with starter set, it's large and double-sided, showing Arnor and The Shire. It's printed on quality paper and is very well illustrated. A set of cards contains information on equipment weapons. This is very useful as none of this information is provided in the rules booklet. There are also a set of pre-generated characters to use with the adventures. The character sheets are slightly different and simplified from the full game. There's a set of the mis-printed dice here too. Finally; there's a set of what look like coasters which contain info on the different combat stances and journey roles, none of which are explained in the rules. I guess if players are tempted to play the full game, they'll be useful.
All of this comes packaged in satisfyingly sturdy box, which has a rules summary printed on the inside of the lid and another map on the inside of the box.
Minor quibbles aside, this is a nice starter set.
The Conspiracy of The Red Book
This is a 5 part mini-campaign of sorts that comes in the starter box.