This work widens the horizons of The One Ring RPG, opening up eastern Eriador and Rivendell for exploration. It's assmumed that the company will have already embarked upon, if not concluded, The Darkening of Mirkwood campaign, so the material here is set around 2951 or later - but if you prefer to start earlier it's possible. Elf-touched lands don't change as fast and what is said of 2951 holds good for earlier times for the most part.
We start with Imladris, the almost-hidden valley where Elrond himself lives... and where the company might find a welcome if they can but find their way there. It serves as a refuge for the High Elves of Eregion. The house of Rivendell is described in detail along with notable characters who might be found there. It's a pleasant place to stay, and several specific Fellowship Phase activities are provided for companies who stop here for a while. It's a good place to research lore, whilst more creative characters might want to write a song. This introduces rules to cover the writing and singing of songs, and the benefits of singing whilst adventuring.
Next comes A History of Eriador. This provides a lot of background about the whole region and leads on to The Regions of Eastern Eriador, a chapter which gives even more detail of the geography, wildlife and inhabitants. This includes both notable individuals and locations to be found in each region. Visit the Trollshaws, the Coldfells, the Ettenmoors and other spots if you dare. Small maps of each region are supplied. Plenty of suggestions for hazards peculiar to these places are provided, there are also ideas for Adventuring and Fellowship Phase activities.
This is followed by a chapter on New Monsters, some of which have been mentioned earlier as resident in one or more region. There's a discussion on designing powerful monsters, with a range of enhancements that will strike terror into any character's heart, as well as stat-blocks and notes on a range of monsters to be found in these areas. There are some wonderfully atmospheric illustrations too, although it will be rather difficult to show them to the players as 'This is what you see...' without revealing stat blocks and other identifying information.
In perhaps more pleasant vein, next is a chapter on Magical Treasures, wonderous items that were made in times past and have been lost through the ages... but which are just waiting to be found by some enterprising company and put to good use. Rules for finding them are included, along with ones for determining what you have got, and how to track what each individual companion has in possession. They should not be commonplace. Then there are 'precious objects' that have value but are not of such significance. Armed with these notes and rules, the Loremaster can devise, place and use all manner of fabulous things in the course of the campaign. Several example Magical Treasure Indices are provided: they can serve as examples or even be put straight to use... especially as amongst them is one aimed at The Darkening of Mirkwood and another at adventures set in Eriador itself.
The next chapter is The Eye of Mordor. As evil reawakens the characters run the risk of catching its notice by their actions. Here a mechanic to quantify this process is presented. It's an interesting concept if rather mechanical, and does require some book keeping.
Finally, there are some Heroic Cultures should anyone wish to play a High Elf of Rivendell or one of the Dúnedain (Rangers of the North). These may come over a bit high-powered compared to the others previously introduced in the core rulebook - neither classes as a 'first-time adventurer'. Now, perhaps you have an experienced company and either a new player or one who wishes to take on a new character might have one of these - of particular use if the company has just arrived in Rivendell and are in need of a local guide. Whatever your needs, here you will find all the details you require to create and play such characters.
This is an interesting expansion to the game, and one to be welcomed. Have fun exploring a bit further afield!
Return to Rivendell page.
Reviewed: 7 March 2016