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The One Ring RPG announces a release date for anticipated second edition

Forget Isengard, they’re taking the Hobbits to retail.

The One Ring RPG will hit the shelves of brick & mortar games stores and online storefronts on March 22nd, according to a press release from publisher Free League. The upcoming tabletop RPG is a second edition of the 2011 title allowing playgroups to explore Middle Earth during the last gasps of the Third Age.

Originally handled by Cubicle 7, the previously planned follow-up to the The One Ring RPG was canceled before landing in the hands of the Swedish publisher known for the suite of tabletop titles powered by the Year Zero engine, along with the Alien RPG and recently announced Blade Runner - The Role Playing Game.

This current iteration is being designed by Francesco Nepitello after leading one of the most successful crowdfunding campaigns for a non-supplement tabletop RPG, earning over £1.4 million/$1.8 million. Players’ journeys will take place during 2965 of the Third Age, which slots it between the events of The Hobbit and those of Peter Jackson’s film trilogy. The Shadow rises again over Middle Earth in its search for that seemingly inconsequential ring, and the dangers stirring in its wake beckons seeks of both thrills and forgotten knowledge.

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Sporting revised rules, a new art style and a pass at almost every part of the original printing, the second edition has shifted its focus away from locations most fans will recognise and onto Eriador, which lies west of the Misty Mountains. That’s not to say it’s completely new, as The Shire, Bree and Rivendell all lie within this region, and the relatively unexplored time period means groups will have a lot of narrative rope to play with.

Free League announced that alongside the core rulebook, players will be able to purchase a boxed starter set that focuses on the Shire and the trevails of those Hobbits who might use their hairy feet for more than simply propping up on tables. It contains a streamlined set of rules and premade characters so that play groups can get directly into a session. The surnames of some of the premade Hobbits - Baggins, Took and Brandybuck - might sounds familiar and also implies that the smallest members of the Fellowship had troublemaking in their family tree.

There will also be a Loremaster’s screen - for The One Ring RPG’s facilitator - bundled alongside The Rivendell Compendium, which will detail the last home of Middle Earth’s elves before their migration to the Gray Havens. Inside is a floorplan of the complex and a map of the valley in which it is hidden. There’s also information on how to use Elrond as a patron, a mechanic that involves the group investing time and resources cementing a bond with an influential named NPCs in order to earn bonuses and advantages.

The One Ring RPG 1E artwork

Free League previously planned to send The One Ring RPG to retain in November 2021, but shipping delays postponed those plans, as it has for many other roleplaying and board games in the last year. While Free League did not specifically mention it, the core rulebook should also include a dedicated solo mode designed in concert with Ironsworn’s Shawn Tomkin and Matt Click, designer of The Mecha Hack.

Those who didn’t back the Kickstarter campaign can still pre-order The One Ring RPG 2nd Edition through Free League’s webstore.

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