The One Ring, the official Lord of the Rings tabletop roleplaying game, is coming to Kickstarter for a second edition.
Publisher Free League plans to open up the Kickstarter campaign on Thursday at 6 am PST / 9 am EST / 2 pm GMT. It may sound odd that something associated with The Lord of the Rings needs crowdfunding to become a reality, but it's a common business model for tabletop RPGs and board games these days: backers get their copies first and often some extra goodies for their support, and everybody else can pick up the standard game in stores later.
While The Lord of the Rings was a massive inspiration for early roleplaying games such as Dungeons & Dragons, its direct adaptations to the medium have been inconsistent. When the first edition of The One Ring arrived in 2011 it was praised for going beyond the typical "let's fight things and equip stuff" fantasy roleplaying rules to better represent the journey itself, as well as the lives of heroes beyond their adventuring escapades. Lead designer Francesco Nepitello, who also worked on the previous edition, says this new version will be refined while remaining compatible with material for the first game.
"We took the chance to polish it more," Nepitello said in a Free League stream last year. "The idea was to keep it as smooth as possible while packing as much theme as before. From a superficial glance, it might seem that a lot has changed, because we lost a few things that people were familiar with, for example favored attributes. People that like to break down the mechanics of a game will see that what we changed in there makes a big difference from the point of view of making the game easier, but what was needed from those mechanics is still there."