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     " That's right, now you can finally play Pippin in a game "

      Title: Lord of the Rings RPG Adventure by Decipher

      Format: Fantasy Tabletop Roleplaying Game

      Reviewing Monkey: Chimpan-A

      The Hype: We all saw the movie about short people saving the world. We all read the book of the same name (and if you didn't that's why you complained about where the movie cut off). Now you can take on the roles of the stories main characters, complete with pretty pictures from the movie. Prepare for the greatest adventure in getting things off the high shelf, ever.

      What This Monkey Thought...

      Playability: Decipher uses their own system for the game, it's a 2D6 system. The system isn't all that complicated, but it is different from most of the popular Roleplaying systems out there today. Apparently what you get in the adventure box is a simplified version of the Lord of the Rings Roleplaying game. This means that you're rather limited in what the players can do. It runs basically like any other RPG otherwise. A gamemaster runs the action while players run through the gauntlet prepared for them. The main difference is that your players will probably know what's coming. The game in the box takes place in the Mines of Moria (starting from the lake critter, going through the escape on the other side of the bridge). The characters are all the main characters from the movie. All the characters are pre-generated with stats and equipment (that's right, now you can finally play Pippin in a game). The game is so intent on telling you what to do that it even tells you your combat options. It tells you what you can do in combat, like "Attack with sword" or "Fire Arrow". This makes it really accessible to new players, but is kind of an insult to the more hard core of us. Once you get into it's fun enough, but it may not go over very well among your friends who regularly play Roleplaying games. 3.5 out of 5

      Layout and Presentation: There are about forty little card figures to be cut out. Goblins for the most part, of course the characters and the troll (and no, your players aren't allowed to play the troll). The Balrog is underwhelming, but useable. The box comes with a map of the land, a few maps to play on, showing the rooms in the mines of Moria, a rulebook, and a book that explains the world of Middle Earth. It's fairly neat for those who don't know much about the world, or just need a refresher. The box contains pretty much everything you need to get a game going. It all looks pretty good. 4 out of 5

      Value vs. Cost: Everything you need to play is right here. The box even comes with dice, although if you're a gamer without two six siders then you've just been mugged at gunpoint (By some kind of nerd robber, no less). Once you've played through the mission once though, you'll probably not pick it up again. All the characters will know exactly what's going on, and nobody will really feel like trying to make it through with a better score. Though the little cutouts do make good monster markers for other games. 3 out of 5

      The Verdict:

       If you're trying to get a group of friends into the idea of roleplaying games, this is a pretty good place to start. If you've going pretty heavy on a game and want a nice light break, this also works fairly well. Otherwise, it's not really going to fulfill either your desire to play the characters in the movie or your desire to play a Middle Earth based roleplaying game.

      The Good: Play the characters from the movie…

      The Bad: In a cookie cutter mission that doesn't really allow for the freedom of a real RPG.

      The Overall Ugly: Good for the newbies, not so much for the old timers.

      What it's Worth: $20

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