Thursday, September 8, 2016

Loremasters Screen and Lake-town Sourcebook - A Review

Welcome back folks!

Time for another The One Ring product review!   The Loremaster's Screen and Lake-Town Sourcebook is super handy product for all you Loremaster's.  There are two pieces to this resource, first is the screen, a four paneled piece that stands around 11 inches in height.  Its just the right height and should not be in the way of your game, unfortunately you will still have to look at the ugly faces of your players.  The flip side that faces your players has a beautiful painting by Jon Hodgson of Lake-Town in all its glory, if you look closely in the background you can see the bones of the great Smaug, groovy stuff!  Facing the Loremaster is a TON of information, although not everything that I would have liked to have seen makes the cut.  More after the break!

What you get with this product
Here's a rundown as to whats on the Loremaster's side of the screen.  The first panel includes a TN difficulty table, roll results, how to use traits, different conditions and states of health, how to get better (healing), effects of resting, combat onset steps and rules for surprise attacks.  Panel two has an ambush difficulty chart, rules for determining initiative and the effects of it.  The biggest chart includes the special abilities of adversaries like Great Size, Hate Sunlight or my favorite, Thing of Terror.  This is super handy in my opinion, all the bad guy abilities right at your fingertips.  The third panel has combat and encounter information like attack roll modifiers, other sources of damage, tolerance, encounter structure and evaluating the outcomes of an encounter.  The final panel has information on anguish, misdeeds, blighted places, cursed treasure, bouts of madness and invoking flaws.  There is some major stuff missing such as no information on journeys, weapon and armor information and other various bits.  The nice thing is that the chart does list page numbers for many of these missing items making them easier to find.  Adding them all in would have made the chart another four to five panels long so I can understand why they were left out but frequently used information like weapon stats would have been nice.

Behold Lake-town!
The Lake-Town Sourcebook has lots of goodies inside, its full color and runs thirty-four pages long.  The first section is devoted to the map of Lake-Town and describes the various districts and peoples you will find in them.  There are stats for guards, smiths, merchants and various other peoples.  There are two new Fellowship undertakings, Go to the Market-Pool and Collect Marsh Herbs, the latter has a chart to roll on to determine what herbs you find.  There is a side bar that expands on the treasure information provided in the core rule book, it gives a bit more detail like how many gold, silver or copper pieces are equal to one treasure point.  It also has standards of living upkeep, Weregilds for dead under the laws of Dale and average market prices for people more interested in tracking money.  

The next section focuses on Dragontide, the yearly party that celebrates the death of Smaug.  There are rules for running an archery contest, a wand shoot and a ring shoot.  Next up is a chapter called The Secrets of the Long Marshes which provides more information on the areas surrounding Lake-Town.  New plants are detailed and there are updated rules concerning Blighted Places.  There are some new monsters, all of which are found in the marshes.  They are Hobgoblins, Marsh-Hags and Marsh-Ogres.  The final section includes a new culture for players to choose from, The Men of the Lake.  They are considered to be a heroic culture which means that they are a bit more powerful to start off than the basic cultures in the core book.  They have a cultural blessing called Tenacious which allows them to spend hope to gain an experience point when they are wounded or fail at a roll that has serious negative consequences.  There are six new backgrounds and all new cultural rewards and virtues as well.

This is another really great product from Cubicle 7.  The screen alone is worth the price of admission and the source-book is just gravy on top.  Highly recommended!

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