I brought The One Ring game when it was extremely on sale at Humble Bundle because I and my wife want to find a tabletop RPG we can both play together.

There is only the two of us though. Does one of us have to be the Player Adventurer and one the Lore Master, or can the Lore Master double up and also play another Player Adventurer character at the same time?

According to the manual

In The One Ring Roleplaying Game, the players assume the role of adventurers, bold individuals travelling across Middle-earth. The exception to this is the person who takes the mantle of the Loremaster – the referee and director whose task is presenting the players with interesting challenges, worthy opponents and exciting stories. The One Ring can be played with as few as two people (one player plus the Loremaster), and with as many as six players or more. All that is needed is paper, pencils, imagination, and a love for Tolkien’s imaginary world.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Given context of the linked question and its answer, it's clear it's referring to one-on-one play (one player, one GM, two people in total) so I've updated to clarify. As a result I'm also putting this question on hold so we can figure out where you'd like to go from here. This Q was ostensibly asking for the other to be clarified which has now happened. Is there more you'd like to know or is that all you need (and we'll leave this closed)? Would you like to ask if and how you can play it truly solo, for example? \$\endgroup\$ Aug 31, 2018 at 17:14
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    \$\begingroup\$ Thank you. I need help clarifying this question then -- the root of my question is can the Lore Master also be a Player Adventure. I brought this game, that was extremely on sale at Humble Bundle because I and my wife wanted to find a table top RPG we can both play together. So if we do would one of us be the PA and one the LM or can the LM double up and be a PA. The attached question confused me because IF it was truly solo-able then that would indicate the LM can be a PA just like they are in solo adventures \$\endgroup\$
    – Mike
    Aug 31, 2018 at 17:41
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    \$\begingroup\$ That’s a different enough question, yes! I’ve added your explanation to the question and removed the hold. Cheers! \$\endgroup\$ Aug 31, 2018 at 17:52

1 Answer 1


What you're talking about is often referred to as a GMPC (or DMPC). They can be made to work, but should be used with care.

In particular, there are two issues to be concerned with — spotlight and mental resources.

Spotlight is how much the attention gets to be on you. If your wife is playing one adventurer, and you're playing both another adventurer and the entire rest of the world, it gets really easy for your contribution to push hers out of the way. This is bad because it means that there's a decent chance that she'll end up out of the spotlight, feeling annoyed while you run large chunks of the adventure for yourself.

This is especially likely to go bad if you include any puzzle-solving scenes. Puzzles are always more difficult than they seem to be to the person who wrote them, and the temptation to "solve" the puzzle yourself after your player(s) have been stumbling around it for a while can get significant.

It's also bad because there's a good chance that you'll wind up mentally overworked. As the Lore Master, you have to come up with everything in the world that the party runs into. That's a lot of work to mentally keep track of, on top of all of the various characters that you'll have to play along the way because the player chose to interact with them. Adding in an additional Player Adventurer who can be expected to be on stage full-time is just making that harder.

So... if those possibilities concern you, what else can you do? Well, you could run the game with your wife as a lone adventurer. There are plenty of grand tales focused on lone adventurers. If you don't want that, I would suggest including friendly persistent NPCs only as secondary characters — those who can assist, but wouldn't be expected to solve puzzles, make decisions, or run the social interaction. One excellent one-on-one game I read at one point had the player's mule as an effective GMPC. A bodyguard, apprentice, servant, or whatever might also be appropriate, depending on the Player Adventurer in question. Basically, in combat and for problem-solving, they mostly follow orders, and they're a friendly NPC that the Player Adventurer can talk with at other times.

For more insight on the topic, I encourage you to take a look at other questions on this site in the tag. (The tag is also the link.)


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