Heroic Adventures Await: An Epic Review of The One Ring Starter Set
Prepare thyself, brave adventurer! In a time ripe with peril and filled with daring tales of glory, you are invited to embark on Lord of the Rings adventures filled with magical creatures, powerful artifacts, far away lands of Middle-earth and heroic feats. This is the epic journey of Lord of the Rings. The One Ring Starter Set‘ RPG from Free League Publishing – a game system full of rich stories and strategic battles that draw you into the realm of J.R.R Tolkien’s Middle Earth. Whether your story be one of heroism or villainy in this land steeped in ancient lore, Free League Publishing has crafted an inviting experience for veteran players as well as those new to table top RPGs alike!
What players can expect
The One Ring Starter Set by Free League Publishing is a pen and paper system that allows players to experience the epic journey of Hobbits. It comes with a lot, and I mean A LOT of goodies, making it a must-have for fans of The One Ring.
From their website the box includes:
- A 24-page volume of Rules.
- A 52-page volume describing The Shire.
- A 31-page volume containing The Adventures.
- Eight double-sided pre-generated character sheets.
- Two large maps showing the Shire and Eriador.
- 30 Wargear Cards that can also be used with The One Ring core rules.
- Six double-sided Journey Role and Combat Stance Cards that can also be used with The One Ring core rules.
- Two D12 Feat Dice.
- Six D6 Success Dice.
Free League Publishing
The only things you’ll need that aren’t included are a pencil and some paper (oh and pizza..oh donuts…okay, pencil, paper, pizza, donuts, and some tea. Hmm…are taquitos still banned in canada? I digress).
I have had a lot of RPG starter sets before, but this beginner box is complete. It’s like if the Red Box came with dice and the white crayons with pre-gens, a ton of art, and maps. That’s the level of excitement opening this box.
Box fullness rating:(5 / 5)
Differences between The One Ring RPG and other popular game systems
The One Ring Starter Set RPG is a tabletop role-playing game system based on the world of J.R.R. Tolkien’s Middle-earth. The One Ring roleplaying game system is designed to allow players to experience the story of Lord of the Rings firsthand, making choices and facing challenges that determine how the story progresses.
It is also, as I have found by experience, one of the most customizable games I’ve played in a very long time. Yes, it’s weird that a kid who grew up with Red Box and AD&D says that The One Ring set of pre-gen goodies from Free League Publishing is the most customizable in recent adventures. Let me explain 🙂
The Pre-Gens and rule systems can be adapted to your imagination.
I teach various humanities, English, ESL, sociology, business, and ‘kitchen sink’ at the college level. Roleplaying is a great way to engage students into scenarios or just to explore new worlds and engage in language production. This box has appeared in my classes in ESL, literature, business management, philosophy, and even gender studies. Heck, I’ve even used it in faculty in-service training. That’s how customizable and adaptable the attributes of this game can be.
The brilliance of The One Ring game is the lore, the art, and the ‘all in one’ aspect. Pre-generated characters mean we can explain and map attributes to what a person already knows in the world. Even the students not familiar with Lord of the Rings, still understood the concepts by quick mapping to their existing knowledge. Not only are the characters pre-gen but also weapons/armor item cards are included. My favorite thing to do here is to give a player a pick from the deck, cards down, and have a random piece of equipment. Then I make a secret roll and see if that card is cursed or blessed. Do I tell the student this? Of course not…not until they use it to often hysterical consequences.
The dice and maps are there. A little wipeable white board goes a long way here (get one cheap at Amazon or Staples or Walmart, etc).
The rest is your imagination. This really is a great ‘pick up game’ feel.
Of course, it works amazingly well as a stand-alone campaign system, too. I mean, it’s Free League Publishing. Name one of their games that aren’t fun, easy to get into, and instant hits like The One Ring. I’ll wait…
Adaptability rating:(5 / 5)
The One Ring Playing Tips as we wait 🙂
Playing in a The One Ring campaign can be an unforgettable adventure. Here are some tips to make the most out of your game:
To Pre-Gen or Not Pre-Gen, that is the question
This box, the One Ring Starter Set, is everything you need to start an awesome adventure. If this is your first time venturing into the land of The One Ring, you might want to try the pregenerated characters route. Once you get your feet wet, you can start creating your own hobbits — but — from experience, I can say that we all became attached to our pre-gen characters. They have a backstory that you can tweak and the art work is superb.
Combat and the art of running away
The One Ring Starter Set RPG by Free League Publishing offers an immersive journey into J.R.R. Tolkien’s Middle Earth, complete with engaging gameplay, customizable scenarios, and rich lore. The game set includes extensive volumes of rules, adventures, and character sheets, maps, cards, and dice. It is adaptable to various settings and can be used as a teaching tool in diverse fields. The game’s high replay value, detailed artwork, and potential for endless adventures make it a must-have for both Lord of the Rings fans and newcomers to tabletop RPGs. Jim Phoenix
Get ready to chuck The One Ring dice! It’s a lot of d6 and some d12. This means if you are new to RPG, but you’ve played ‘some’ games before, you might have extra d6 but no d12 laying around. For the most part, the d6s are used so if you do have some lying around, feel free to grab them to make the passing of the dice a little less passy.
Word on The One Ring dice: Yes, they are graphically designed beauties and feel great in your hands.
Love the Lord of the Rings books? Awesome, this game, The One Ring, is for you. The movies? Sure! The cartoon movie? Yup, welcome Gen X’er! The Amazon TV show? Got you covered!
Yes, you can recreate moments from the Lord of the Rings books and films (even the TV show!) in The One Ring, but there are many other possibilities for adventures in Middle-earth. That’s the beauty about Free League Publishing’s games. They are open world concepts. You can zig instead of zag. Players could travel to different parts of Middle-earth and explore its many regions, meeting new people and creatures along the way. They could also join one of the various factions in the war against Sauron, fighting in epic battles against the Dark Lord’s forces. Or they could undertake their own personal quests, seeking out lost treasures or ancient secrets. The possibilities are endless, and it’s up to the players to decide what kind of adventure they want to have.
Replay value:(5 / 5)
Score for The One Ring Starter Set
If you are a Lord of the Rings fan, then The One Ring Starter Set from Free League Publishing is a no-brainer. Free League Publishing has never done me wrong and I don’t think they’re about to start. The One Ring Starter Set is gorgeous and comes with everything you’ll ever need to step forth in Hobbit Land. My score reflects being a fan of the land and lore. I’ve played this with people who didn’t know much about LotR and they seemed to have enjoyed it. This shows that the starter set has something for both fans and non-fans. All in all, a greatly detailed adventure in a box.
So what are you waiting for? Unlock epic roleplaying adventures with the Free League Publishing One Ring Starter Set!
Overall Score:(5 / 5)
Unwell Season Five
Unwell is a midwestern gothic podcast. It says so right in its description. And this year saw its final season. If you’ve listened to the whole series like me, then you know this barely scratches the surface. But here we are, at the end. Let’s see how it goes.
After Rudy’s death last season, no one’s okay. The crew at the boarding house is mourning in their own, strange ways. Chester is mourning as well. But more than that, he’s in a panic. He doesn’t understand why Rudy died.
See, the town was supposed to protect him. The town is supposed to protect everyone. But Mt. Absalom seems to be losing its mind. Strange things are happening. Starting with the boarding house, where rooms have started just floating around at random. And duplicates of living people have started wandering around.
Then there’s the ghosts of the town. Wes is realizing that he’s not exactly what he thought he was. He’s not the ghost of a young man. As he comes face to face with Silas, it becomes clear that they might have more in common than they thought.
Speaking of Silas, he isn’t doing too well. He’s becoming less and less reasonable. More and more unhinged. Whereas before we could only sense the anger and cruelty that lingered just below his surface, we can see it now.
So can the rest of the town.
Unwell had a satisfying ending. It had an ending that made sense. And it was even a happy ending. But it wasn’t an entirely happy ending.
Not everything is okay at the end. Not everyone comes home. Not everyone gets better.
But if everything got better, and everyone came home, the ending wouldn’t have worked. It would have felt fake, and unsatisfying. So even though it’s sad, it’s satisfying.
One thing that made it satisfying was that Lilly got closure about her relationship with Dot. I don’t think it’s ever made sense that Dot would have left her beloved daughter for no good reason. I don’t want to spoil it, but it’s made clear that Dot didn’t have any choice.
I loved the way that, through the season, Lilly came into her own. When we first met Lilly, she was bitter about caring for her mother and eager to be free of the chore. Now she is the new caretaker, taking over the family business in more ways than one.
Finally, this season of Unwell worked for the same reason all the other seasons worked. Yes, Mt. Absalom is a magical town. But its people are also a little magical. Because it’s a small town full of people who take care of each other. Even when they’re different. Even when they do unconventional things. Mt. Absalom is a town of people who care about each other.
What didn’t work
All that being said, there was one part of the story that didn’t get a satisfying ending. And that is the storyline regarding the star cluster that killed Norah.
I won’t ruin the ending. But I will say that we don’t get any answers regarding this.
And yes, to a point I understand why. Some things don’t have answers. Some things aren’t supposed to be known. But that doesn’t sit well with me. The point of fiction is that we can know. We can understand, because it’s not real life. It just feels like the ball got dropped here.
Unwell season five left some things unanswered, and that’s irritating. But it answered the most important question. What does a magic town do when their magic is gone? When the town that has always taken care of everyone is finally convinced to rest?
They take care of each other.
Goodnight, Mt Absalom.
(5 / 5)
Blood Flower (2022), a Film Review
Blood Flower (2022) is a Malaysian supernatural horror film directed by Dain Said. Originally titled Harum Malam.
Blood Flower (2022) is a Malaysian supernatural horror film directed by Dain Said. Originally titled Harum Malam, the film stars Idan Aedan, Bront Palarae, and Remy Ishak. As of this review, the film is available on Shudder and AMC+ with additional availability for rent or purchase.
After a family tragedy, Iqbal (Idan Aedan) has trouble finding focus as an apprentice healer. His family remains in shambles, and Iqbal struggles to find a purpose in the wake of this change. As his father (Bront Palarae as Norman) finds temporary work helping a family friend, a terrible horror becomes unleashed. Now, Iqbal must overcome his internal turmoil or lose even more.
What I Like in Blood Flower
The horror evoked here has some elements of fabulism with a heavy emphasis on the supernatural component. In general, I like the established world and how this supernatural element connects to the characters’ development.
Throughout Blood Flower, the acting remains consistent and engaging. The relationship between Norman and Iqbal, which provides the heart of the film, remains a particularly well-executed point. Even when the writing falls short, the acting wins me over more often than not.
The film builds up its horror, which elevates the execution and overall effect. I won’t claim that the horror truly haunts the viewer, but it remains unsettling and, even uncomfortable, throughout.
As for the design of the monster, it works. There are points that remain strong, forcing a rather uncomfortable visual or experience that provides an effective execution of Blood Flower’s vision. One especially effective choice is including stop motion in some of the scenes. This visual creates a somewhat jarring feel to the supernatural entity that still lingers in my mind.
Tired Tropes and Trigger Warnings
Blood Flower includes sexual assaults that remain clunkily included in the plot. When dealing with such material, especially when it remains essential to the story, the execution makes or breaks the quality. Unfortunately, the execution feels rushed and more for the shock of the reveal.
Possession-assisted suicide remains an element within the film. While I think the distance between such harm and the context of the film doesn’t rise above confusion, it deserves a mention in this section.
There are general decisions made for the sake of the plot. While this can fall into the dislike section, it’s within a range so as to not completely distract or undermine the viewing experience.
If any of these are deal breakers, then Blood Flower might be a skip.
What I Dislike in Blood Flower
Where this movie falls short is building up some of its elements to their conclusion by the end of the film. The previously mentioned sexual assaults make for a strong example, but another remains the human villain. As they are the reason for the monster, I am surprised by the general lack of attention and presence the character receives.
Iqbal unlocking his power feels underwhelming and lacks any real visuals or style. We have magic and special effects, but his power consists of holding out his hand. The issue lies in the execution, not the actor, as Idan Aedan does everything he can with the given command.
Going into the previous points, a spiritual master helps Iqbal train to become a healer. This person isn’t the one who unlocks their power. I still wonder why so little development on this important point remains in the film.
Blood Flower, or Harum Malam, remains an interesting supernatural horror that drops its execution towards the end. It provides a unique viewing experience with equal parts ingenuity and creativity to provide an effective horror. But it remains a flawed work with some wasted potential. Still, it earns its runtime for those interested in Malaysian horror.
(2.5 / 5)