It’s pretty rare for a gaming company to have the opportunity to bring a symbol of pure evil into this world, but Wizards of the Coast ran the numbers and said, “oh, hell yeah.” And there were high fives all around.
They’ve been experimenting for awhile with making fancy versions of cards for collectors in Magic the Gathering. Foils that are random and one per pack. Masterpieces that are super rare and come like 1 per 6 booster boxes. And so on. With Brother’s War they started the idea of extremely limited print runs of cards with serialized, unique numbers on them. They’re going to be printing 300 special edition “Elven” Sol Rings, 700 “Dwarven” ones, and 900 for humans. And exactly 1, 1/1 super shiny The One Ring with fancy text in some other language. (There will be other versions of the card that us plebeians can get, so don’t worry. This won’t ruin Vintage or something). But rough estimates are already in the $50-100k range for the first person who publicly acquires and sells the thing, a life changing amount of money for most people.
That’s if you sell it.
Every person that comes into possession of this real-life, ridiculous artifact of a game piece has a decision to make:
A) Keep it, and let people know. Perhaps even using to play! I could see a rich person who might already hire body guards doing this, like Post Malone or something
B) Keep it and hide it. Just let it accrue value and bring it back into the world before Magic or Lord of the Rings disappear from the public consciousness.
C) Sell it. This leads to someone else being faced with this same choice.
D) Destroy it, keeping that fact a secret.
E) Destroy it, letting people know.
Plan A seems like the douchiest thing to do. I could see someone like Elon Musk getting his hands on it and not realizing that he’s casting himself as Gollum.
Both it and Plan B seem to make yourself into a theft target, or to assume that whatever vault you put it in is safe enough. The grossest thing about Plan B is that it looks like keeping it secret will increase the value. So WotC could go super-Sauron and just not even print it, making us all look like fools while we look for it.
Plan C is what I’d like to call the Boromir or Galadriel plan. You are attempting to use the ring to do so something noble. Maybe you auction it for charity or send your kids to college. But then A or B happens, and some rich person gets to flaunt it or watch it accrue even more value.
Plan D appears to be the most noble, except it unintentionally raises the value of all existing unopened collector’s packs. If the ring is still presumably out there people will keep opening packs, hoping in vain.
If you really want to strike at Sauron, you destroy the ring and announce to the world that it has happened. I saved this option for last, because it is in fact the best.
I don’t think it’ll actually happen for me, but this is what I plan to do.
I recently traded in a Force of Will for store credit at my FLGS. It’s enough store credit for one collector booster and then some. While trading the card in (a great card that’s used in formats I don’t play or so
powerful that I don’t enjoy playing it), I thought to myself, “I don’t need to have this object to have power,” the “power” here referring to my own force of will.
I will close my eyes in June and pick one pack randomly, while thinking about my own control over my destiny. And open it.
If I get the card, which is by some estimates comparable to massive state lotteries and significantly less likely than being struck by lightning, I’ll send a text to 8 of my close friends:
“Just pulled the One Ring. Road trip to Mt. St. Helens. U in?”
I’ll simultaneously get a wide ruled journal and some pencils, and download TikTok. We’ll pile into 1 RV or two smaller cars. Go cross country. Climb the volcano. And record myself tossing that fucker in, probably saying something lame like, “NOT TODAY, SAURON!” And give a big stupid grin.
I’ve heard that your first couple TikToks are more likely to go viral. I’d wait for my invites to all my favorite podcasts and maybe even a late night or local news appearance. I’d use that fame to either start my own content creation channel or raise awareness for causes.
While having this daydream, I thought, “wouldn’t it even be more epic to wait until you climb the mountain to open the pack? Surely if there are infinite universes, there has to be one where your called pack gambit works and you have a truly amazing moment on camera!” But in aggregate it seems untenable. If everyone follows my advice we’d create quite the littering problem up there. It’s surely a bit too risky, even for me at the height of my delusions of grandeur.
Then I took it one step further. Why should I rest my hopes and dreams on this thing at all? What’s stopping me from just calling up my friends and trying to do rad shit in the mean time, without needing some cardboard ex machina to come save me from the doldrums of life?