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#RPGaDay - 21. Favourite Licensed RPG

The One Ring RPG Dice and matching ARU case

I choose 'The One Ring', by Cubicle 7. It triumphs over Chaosium’s 'Elric!' (reprinted and expanded as 'Stormbringer 5th Edition'), but only just.

'Elric!' is a game that I spent a huge amount of time playing being the fourth iteration of the 'Stormbringer RPG' that had won my heart for its chaotic, power gaming, devil-may-care embrace of Michael Moorcock’s 'Eternal Champion' sequence. I still hold the game engine as one of the best iterations of the BRP d100 system, and some of the supplements were superb (for example the third party 'Corum' book). I spent several Continuum/Convulsions as Loz’s only friend at the Eternal Champion seminar (I exaggerate a bit). I ran an extended campaign with a number of people here on Facebook for some years - Derrick, Duncan, Andrew, Charles, Sarah-Jo to name a few and it was great fun. Two things eventually broke it for me. Firstly, time. One of the scenarios (‘The Fang and the Fountain’ from 'Perils of the Young Kingdoms') had a brutal, power-wielding, conclusion which was truely epic. But the battle took 7 hours. When you get maybe 8 hours of gaming every two months with a group, this took too long. I thought I’d found a solution when I accidentally managed to write a 23,000 word conversion of the game to 'HeroQuest', which was going to be published as a Continuum con book, but then the rights moved to Mongoose and I lost heart. The campaign ended with a whimper… Recently, I’ve started playing with a house 'Wordplay' port, and my old material may appear again. Maybe.

Anyway, 'The One Ring'. Quite simply, this nails the feel of Tolkien’s 'The Lord of the Rings' and 'The Hobbit' and puts you in a position where you can run a campaign without fear of the epic story intimidating or trampling over you. It is evocative, and the system quite simple. The default setting is between 'The Hobbit' and LotR around Mirkwood, and the writing is gorgeous. I mentioned 'Rivendell' back in the 4th entry. The standard of that book resulted in me re-reading the Core Rules (revised), 'The Heart of the Wild', 'Tales from Wildland', 'The Laketown Guide' and 'Words of the Wise'. I only didn’t re-read the superlative 'The Darkening of Mirkwood' because I only just read it only and it was still fresh. I rarely binge on RPG systems like this, and it really gives me an itch to run or play it. Simply superb.