The One Ring: Adventures Over the Edge of the Wild

Anyone here familiar with The One Ring: Adventures Over the Edge of the Wild from Cublicle 7? Briefly, it’s an RPG in Middle-earth, set in the time between The Hobbit and The Fellowship of the Ring. The two (light) rulebooks and two maps are available as PDFs here:

I’d like to get an online game of this going, using IM or IRC, and a website I’ve thrown up (draft here: The game’s mechanics are quite simple and very heavy on narrative - which is why I’m trying to find some players here instead of traditional RPG sites. I think it’s quite possible to play this game, in character, without combat maps and tomes of manuals. There are no rules for distance (except close, near and far) but quite a few rules for the more ‘spiritual’ side of Middle-earth mythology. The game mechanics should easily allow for a deep narrative-based game where we describe the encounters not with miniatures moving x number of hexes per turn but rather how a writer would describe the combat.

I think we can easily structure encounters like the scene in The Hobbit where Bilbo is fleeing Gollum as he leaves the tunnels under the Misty Mountains. That could take a good hour to play out on battle mats with most RPGs, but can probably be done with minimal dice rolls and more imaginative descriptions that create a narrative more than a series of hit points to deduct. Although there are character sheets, the emphasis with the game is narrative.

Anyway, I’m envisioning a twice-per-month gaming session where I’ll create the story and we’ll play through the session - just like a typical RPG session. But we’ll also rotate players who will chronicle the event as a brief story. This is probably more experimental than anything, and so different from most RPGs focus on rules and dice, I’m posting here instead of strict RPG sites. Not Inform interactive fiction but interactive fiction nonetheless.

If you’re interested let me know in the thread and I’ll get back to you. I’m in the Mountain Time Zone in the U.S., GMT -7 hours. A Friday or Saturday would be best for me.

In fairness, the overwhelming majority of RPG rules require no combat maps, and whether or not there are “tomes of manuals” depends on what that phrase might possibly mean, but most RPGs have just one rulebook, and at least several hundred RPGs have and need no rules for distance …

It looks like a nice game, though, and Cubicle 7 did fine work on their Doctor Who game (which also had very breezy, story-friendly mechanics).

There are plenty of people in IF who are interested in narrative-oriented RPG, but you might need to work on your pitch a bit.

“Just like Lord of the Rings” is… not very compelling. There are a kajillion games like that. A lot of people who are into more story-oriented RPGs are there because they’re bored with complicated fighting rules, but a lot of them are there because they’re not all that interested in stories that are mostly about fighting, or in straightforward good-vs-evil plots, or in post-Tolkienian genre fantasy. Most full-blown narrative-driven RPGs either avoid Tolkienian fantasy entirely, or aggressively reframe the point of it (like Polaris, where it’s an inescapable fact that the noble good guys are going to fail in their struggle against the dark, and the interesting bit is about how). So if you’re trying to draw that sort of player, you need to give them a reason to be excited about Tolkien again. What would you want to focus on?

The sort of games you seem to be interested in – games that are narrative-driven, but still involve fairly strong GM authority, some expectation of heroic PCs and a fair amount of combat – are pretty popular among the ifMUD crowd, where I’ve had some excellent role-playing experiences. You might try pitching it there.

Not sure what you’re asking here - I didn’t use the phrase “Just like Lord of the Rings”. Nothing can be like reading that series for the first time, at least for some … Game settings and rules adapted from books tend, in my experience, to fare about as well as film adaptations - a facsimile, at best.

Good question. When I’ve run RPGs I plan for the next game session but not after that - queues from the player like “That was cool” or “I didn’t get that” are what I use to assess what makes the session for the players. As the GM that’s my reward. The focus initially will be the sample adventure contained in the box. I understand Cubicle 7 is releasing a set of adventures that follow the original. Based upon the group’s interest we could run those or go in the direction the player’s found rewarding.

I’ve played a lot of different tabletop RPGs, including this one. It’s a lot less clunky/rules heavy than a lot of similar fantasy games, and is a solid choice if you like character driven Tolkien fantasy. It’s not my favourite genre but the Circle 7 focus on Fellowship makes for interesting game-stories. I’d certainly be interested in hearing more details.

Hey Joey. I’ve been interested in developing some stuff involving Dol Goldur and Radagast - so something that is focused on southern Mirkwood would be of interest to me. In the past when I’ve GM’d games (HARP and the various editions of D&D in fantasy) we’ve spent a lot of time developing characters, emphasizing friends and foes and where those people are. I’ve been able to use these for interludes in the game. For example, if a player has to take a break his or her character is off helping a family member. That provides fun hooks I can use as the GM to get people moving about the area and meeting interesting people. You can only begin so many adventures with the party sitting around an inn :wink:

I think Dol Guldur and Radagast provide for some interesting challenges around corruption with some of the more classic Tolkien fun like spiders, woods that are eerily alive, and trails that redraw themselves. This is also in close proximity to Lorien and the Woodmen around the Gladden Fields. Of course that also means Moria isn’t too far, either! Radagast can provide the role of a mentor or advisor, giving out necessary lore and tales that will help guide the party in some literarily-believable adventures. Same thing with elves of Lorien - both of these provide NPCs steeped in the lore of Middle-earth that can help guide adventures about.

I suspect I’ll give each person a foe - something I’ve tried in the past that worked well - because we can’t always choose our enemies. This can make for some fun gaming when the character accidentally bumps into that person and create opportunities to befriend former foes. I had on group where one person had an enemy who was a friend of another player. When both met the NPC one drew a blade and the other reacted to seeing a friend.

I’ve not GM’d or played The One Ring, so the rules are new to me. And try as I might I couldn’t get my former gaming group (we played every two weeks for about two-and-a-half years) to try something in Middle-earth with a more literary bent that wasn’t focused on leveling up and spending skill points. So outside of saying I don’t want that I think the qualities I’m looking for are folks interested in crafting a story that can incorporate what was done in The Hobbit with events that lead up to the War of the Ring. Emphasis on story - I think it would be fun if we wrote up something after playing that incorporate the scenes I create and the action and words the players use while playing.

How is a tabletop RPG played through IM or IRC? I’ve roleplayed on MUDs, including MUDs that strictly enforced being in-character at all times and roleplaying. However, I’ve never played a tabletop RPG, and I can’t really envision what roleplaying would be like without the structure of code.

The main RPI (roleplay intensive) MUD I played on was devoutly based on Tolkien. It even had permission from the Tolkien Estate (or whatever holds the copyright) to operate non-commercially. This MUD was Shadows of Isildur, which sadly is offline, but hopefully will reopen in a few months. I don’t know everything there is to know about Middle Earth, but I’m still somewhat of a Tolkien geek.

I’m sure your IRC/IM game sessions will be great, but I’m too shy to participate. Thanks for announcing here, though.

IRC roleplay isn’t much different from muds. Usually you’ll have some code (either on an IRC bot or a webpage) to roll dice and so on. You don’t usually have coded combat and all the stuff a mud usually has. In place of mud socials and what not you’ll just use IRC emotes (like an RPI emote but without all the fancy substitution basically). Typically you’ll have two IRC channels/windows, one for OOC and one for IC as well.

Probably the biggest difference is that in mud RP you tend to speak and emote as your character, while IRC RP is more like tabletop, where you’ll alternate between acting as your character and just saying what your character does.

Back in the mid-80’s we used to play role-playing games using what sounds like a primitive version of what you’re talking about. Those were the pre-internet days (or at least the days before many people were connected to the internet). Instead, using 300- or 1200-baud modems, we would dial directly into a line connected to the host computer. The DM (or whatever title you want to use) would upload a text-only post setting the stage. Then, each player, independently, would dial in and leave a text-only post, in character, describing his actions. When everybody had a chance to do so, the DM would then post again, describing the outcome of the “turn” and setting the stage for the next piece of action. The only real function of the computers was as means of communication. We had a lot of fun with it, although it depended on everybody being committed to participating and getting in their posts on a timely basis.

Robert Rothman

That’s still a popular form of RP Robert, believe it or not. It usually goes by ‘forum RP’ or something like that. Its predecessor was play-by-email, and I take it you were using a BBS?

Yes, bulletin boards, as we then called them, were used.

Robert Rothman

Definitely still popular. I’ve done that by mail, by BBS (including very slow [days of delay] via FidoNet), by IRC, by assorted chat-programs, and even briefly by SMS :slight_smile: