Monopoly ‘ Lord of the Rings Edition

A few weeks ago Mark Sinker wondered “Are there any board games which are actually IMPROVED or AT ALL CHANGED – as opposed to momentarily coloured – by having their own classic scenarios recast to conform to some TV programme or other?” Monopoly’s LOTR edition has a couple of optional variations from S.O.P. The “1” pip on one, not both, of the dice is replaced by the Eye of Sauron, and there’s an extra marker ‘ the Ring, obviously. Every time the Eye turns up on a roll to move by any player, the Ring moves around the board, but only on the color-coded properties. If a player lands on the property that the Ring is on and it hasn’t been bought yet, the player gets it for free. If it’s owned by another player, rent is doubled. And as soon as the Ring reaches Mount Doom/Park Place, the game is over ‘ the person who rolled last doesn’t even get to finish his or her turn. Everybody add up and determine a winner. This last bit is especially welcome in my household, where we think Monopoly is grebt but four-hour games are rub. Since the Eye started popping up, we’ve had games that lasted from 35 minutes to 2 hours.

No need to spend money on another set ‘ just mark one of the dice on the appropriate face, and find an extra marker to act as the Ring ‘ an unwanted Super Pirato, maybe.