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The One Ring: Loremaster's Screen and Lake-town Guide

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The One Ring: Loremaster\'s Screen and Lake-town Guide
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The One Ring: Loremaster's Screen and Lake-town Guide
Publisher: Cubicle 7 Entertainment Ltd.
by Dylan P. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 01/10/2020 22:43:44

The guide to Laketown is really fun to read. I love the new options and the extra lore about this place which was rather important in the Hobbit story.

The Loremaster screen is also extremely useful. I just printed it out to keep in a display folder, so there is still a bit of flipping back and forth, but I find some of these rules hard to remember so it's great.

I did get this pretty cheap as part of a deal, so I'm not entirely it's worth paying full price for this digital-only version, but the Laketown guide is still extremely valuable.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
The One Ring: Loremaster's Screen and Lake-town Guide
Publisher: Cubicle 7 Entertainment Ltd.
by Michael A. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 10/12/2013 23:01:48

This PDF supplement is consists of a 32 page sourcebook on Laketown, from The Hobbit novel, and the sheets of a Loremaster reference screen. This review focuses on the Laketown book.

Following the events of The Hobbit, particularly slaying Smaug, Laketown has become something of a cultural center of the region, housing not just the native humans but dwarven smiths, and elven envoys, making it a perfect local for any fellowship.

The 32 pages covering Laketown paint a detailed picture, giving players and Loremasters a plethora of ideas. From a setting standpoint there's history of the town, an extensive map with corresponding area descriptions, mercantile information, and even description of a town festival celebrating the death of Smaug. This is all handled quite well.

The setting material also extends outside Laketown, covering the Long Marshes. There isn't much description of the terrain, certainly nothing visceral, and the first sentence seems to indicate that Loremasters should look to the The Marsh-bell adventure for extra information. This section lists a few additional herbs found in the marshes, as well as three adversaries - Hobgoblins, Marsh-hags, and Marsh Ogres.

Finally, for players there is a new culture - Men of the Lake. Unsurprisingly, these characters show a proclivity for bows, as well as shield fighting and savvy trading. The culture is well balanced with respect to its Boxed Set counterparts, but unfortunately the Backgrounds are a tad dull. Compared to the generic Backgrounds introduced in the base game, one would hope the supplements would be a bit more creative. However, best of all, the example character of the Men of the Lake culture is a woman - Frida, a tenacious wanderer inspired by King Bard's deeds to learn archery.

The Laketown Sourcebook and Loremaster screen is great, but I'd be careful about buying it in PDF. $15 doesn't seem worth it for a 32 page book and a few reference sheets - this may be a better product to get in print.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
The One Ring: Loremaster's Screen and Lake-town Guide
Publisher: Cubicle 7 Entertainment Ltd.
by Alexander L. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 07/30/2013 09:37:23

Originally posted at: http://diehardgamefan.com/2013/07/30/tabletop-review-the-one-ring-loremasters-screen-and-lake-town-guide/

This is a review of the PDF version of the Screen and Lake-Town source booklet from Cubicle 7 for their Tolkien RPG, The One Ring. I will add some comments about the actual physical, rather than the electronic, product at the end.

The One Ring product release schedule hasn’t lived up to expectations and, although a Loremaster’s’ Screen will always have been on it, I am guessing it appeared reasonably quickly to appease the fans of the system in their personal quest for a Middle-Earth “fix.” That said though, the production value on the PDF is high. The art matches that which can be found in the Core set and subsequent releases, and the writing is of a high standard.

First: The “main” part of this is, obviously, the screen. The “exterior” artwork shows Lake-Town itself in all its glory. It looks good and has a smallish “The One Ring” logo in a lower right corner on one of the four panels. On the Loremaster’s side there are a stack of tables, all individually referenced, which is a good idea. There is very little space for fluff and, other than the obligatory copyright notices, a single and very apt quote from Thorin Oakenshield : “There is nothing like looking, if you want to find something.” Now, obviously, you need to print this out and mount it to make proper use of it as a screen, and this is where it falls down a bit. The reality is that it makes a great set of pages containing charts but, unless you have something like the Savage Worlds System Screen, which is, in effect, a plastic folder you can put loose sheets in, it becomes a lot more problematic. One option is to mount it on cardboard but, simply put, it isn’t great like that.

Second : The Lake-Town Sourcebook. This consists of thirty-two pages and is full colour, like the core rules. The art is, as always, superb, and it also contains a full isometric map of the town at the middle of the book, supported with a small overhead view. Looking at the contents, the first chapter is obviously the “Introduction,” which summarizes the background in the form of an excerpt of a letter. The second chapter is strangely called “The Map of Lake-Town.” For myself, “Gazetter” would have fit better, but that said, it takes each area of the settlement and covers it adequately, while leaving enough for Loremaster’s to add in their own meat to make the town their own. Next comes “Things to do while in Lake-Town.” This is a section of three new fellowship phase actions unique to the environ, supplemented with two-thirds of a page concerning money and trade. Then there is “Dragontide,” a chapter covering a festival in honour of the death of Smaug. The ideas presented work quite well and could provide a few sessions play for an adventuring group. Moving on, there is “Secrets of the Long Marches,” which deals with the area immediately surrounding the town, including the flora and fauna, with a reasonable bestiary of the not-so-pleasant inhabitants. Following on from that, there is a new playable culture: “Men of the Lake,” which fits in superbly with the original character generation rules presented in the core rules. This is topped of by a proper “Index,” which is a great touch, and one missed off many such supplements by other companies. Oh, and in the end cover, there is a dedicated “Men of the Lake” blank Character Sheet.

So, to sum up: As a Screen, it really does fail to hit the mark, but as a PDF but for reference sheets and the actual source material, it is a winner, and that is what saves it overall. The price isn’t great all round but what you do get is worthwhile.

(Additional Comment : I have the actual physical product as well as the PDF, and the quality of the screen and Source book is excellent. This is one of the best quality screens I have seen, and matches Cubicle 7’s other such releases for Victoriana and Dr Who. )



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
The One Ring: Loremaster's Screen and Lake-town Guide
Publisher: Cubicle 7 Entertainment Ltd.
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 06/05/2013 04:08:37

The cardstock screen is a robust heavy-duty one, a full four panels. The 'player side' has a beautiful painting of Lake-Town spreading across all four panels with a couple of marauding seagulls that look about ready to fly out around your ears! The 'loremaster side' is jam-packed with useful tables and vital page references to the core rules, with evidence of thought having gone in to the selection and arrangement of tables - should come in handy when running a game.

The sourcebook contains heaps of information about Lake-Town and should also prove useful should the characters visit there - which, as it's a major settlement (at least as far as Men are concerned) in the region of Middle Earth in which the game is initially set, should be quite a frequent event. Now you'll have the resources to cope with their visits.

Opening with an exerpt from a letter written by no less than Glóin son of Gróin which paints a vivid picture of a burgeoning township teeming with trade, it begins with a rundown of the various districts and what is to be found there. This is followed by some ideas of things to do when visiting, built around the Fellowship Phase concept from the rules. There's a note about money, relating the more abstract concept of Treasure as given in the core rules to actual coinage for those who prefer a more tangible wealth. A extensive discourse on the main annual festival, Dragontide, which includes a prestigious archery contest (for which the rules are given) follows: if any of your characters fancies his skill with the longbow, encourage them to participate at least once.

The centrefold of the book is devoted to a detailed image/plan of Lake-Town with many important features labelled: this is a visual treat as well as very informative for those who want to know their way around.

The next section looks at the flora and fauna of the surrounding marshland. Plants are described realistically, and many are worth collecting as they have in-game effects. Going botanising is one of the activities suggested for a Fellowship Phase spent here. The fauna, however, are hostile monsters in the main, and if the characters meet them they are likely to be in for a brawl. It might have been interesting to include a few mundane plants and animals, the ones of interest when preparing food perhaps, as this can make a place really come alive.

Finally, should you really be taken with the place, you are provided with the resources you need to create local characters, the Men of the Lake heroic culture. There's an example (who despite being a Man of the Lake is actually a lady, and very handy with her bow!) complete with description, illustration and character sheet; and there's a blank character sheet for anyone fancying a character from here.

Overall, this is a useful addition to knowledge of the area as well as a handy play-aid.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
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