Cubicle 7 No Longer Producing The One Ring and Adventures in Middle Earth

Cubicle 7 has announced that it will cease publishing Tolkien-related games, including The One Ring and Adventures in Middle Earth, in early 2020. The One Ring 2E is cancelled.

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‘I am with you at present,’ said Gandalf, ‘but soon I shall not be. I am not coming to the Shire.’


We have some very unfortunate and unexpected news to share. Contractual differences arose recently which we have been unable to resolve, and so we have decided to end our licensing agreement with Sophisticated Games. It is with regret that we have made this very tough decision to withdraw.

This means we will cease publishing The One Ring and Adventures in Middle-earth™ in the first half of 2020. Unfortunately, this doesn’t give us enough time to release the much-anticipated The One Ring – The Lord of the Rings Roleplaying Game second edition. As many of you know, our first edition of The One Ring is eight years old, and we had high hopes of a full product line to support our second edition. Our team have worked incredibly hard on this new edition; with many of the announced titles already written and edited, so being very close to completion makes this decision even harder.

We fully appreciate how invested so many of you are, both in regards to stock and your love of the game. Especially those who have followed our journey from first edition, or have customers who have pre-ordered the second edition or Rohan Region Guide. We sincerely apologise for the inconvenience caused.

We will continue selling our existing stock over the next few months. We will be offering some discounts on our website for consumers as part of our Black Friday sale this week. We will not be reprinting any of these titles, so if you wish to stock up, we would suggest you contact your preferred distributor soon.
 
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Comments

Hurin88

Explorer
I’d read some reviews from people who like the game before taking that too much to heart.

I couldn’t disagree more strongly about subsystems or the journey rules, for instance.
Ok, thanks for the perspective. Can you summarize how the journey rules work? What makes them good or unique?
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
Ok, thanks for the perspective. Can you summarize how the journey rules work? What makes them good or unique?
The main thing is, they make the journey part of the challenge without requiring the party to play out the entire journey.

There are rolls you make before and during the journey, which determine if you must face a hazard, if the journey goes smoothly, and what comes of those hazards you do face. Resources may be expended in the process, and a full rest is only possible in actual safety, so those resources aren’t fully restored by a night of sleep in a camp.
 

CapnZapp

Hero
Resources may be expended in the process, and a full rest is only possible in actual safety, so those resources aren’t fully restored by a night of sleep in a camp.
This. Makes me sad when I think of D&D's inepts system where you keep having adventures where you face a single monster during a day of travel.

And how pointless that is from a game perspective. A game built on resource management that gives you back all resources after a single resource... sigh

I wonder how many more decades we have to endure before D&D finally takes the consequences of its own setup, and introduces proper resource management rules.

That is, rules where the number of short and long rests are controlled by the adventure. (An intense dungeon romp might require ten minute short rests and hour-long long rests; a desert voyage might use a week's short rest and disallow long rests altogether except for the one Oasis)
 
There are 2 kinds of resources in D&D (and there always has been) tactical and strategic. 5E does a very good job of making tactical resource management matter*. It isn't so good on the strategic resource management front, between long rests being too good and money being essentially useless.

*Except, as @CapnZapp says, during travel -- which is why the Journey rules are so useful. Players have to make choices and engage in the subsystem, and that determines what their resource state is upon arrival at the adventure location.
 

CapnZapp

Hero
There are 2 kinds of resources in D&D (and there always has been) tactical and strategic. 5E does a very good job of making tactical resource management matter*. It isn't so good on the strategic resource management front, between long rests being too good and money being essentially useless.

*Except, as @CapnZapp says, during travel -- which is why the Journey rules are so useful. Players have to make choices and engage in the subsystem, and that determines what their resource state is upon arrival at the adventure location.
"which is why the Journey rules would be so useful had they been included in the DMG" you mean :cool:
 
"which is why the Journey rules would be so useful had they been included in the DMG" you mean :cool:
Sadly the Journey rules are not Open Content, so WotC would have to come up with an alternate, probably inferior, system.

I personally think D&D should abandon the strategic resource management mini-game altogether and focus the exploration pillar on discovery rather that drain, but that's probably a discussion for a different thread.
 

Hurin88

Explorer
The main thing is, they make the journey part of the challenge without requiring the party to play out the entire journey.

There are rolls you make before and during the journey, which determine if you must face a hazard, if the journey goes smoothly, and what comes of those hazards you do face. Resources may be expended in the process, and a full rest is only possible in actual safety, so those resources aren’t fully restored by a night of sleep in a camp.
Thanks, that helps a lot. That sounds pretty cool. You've convinced me to take a look at TOR now!
 

CapnZapp

Hero
I personally think D&D should abandon the strategic resource management mini-game altogether and focus the exploration pillar on discovery rather that drain, but that's probably a discussion for a different thread.
Thing is, the dichotomy between always-on classes (such as a fighter being able to wave his sword every round all day long) and burst-classes (such as a Wizard being reduced to a feeble dagger when the spells run out) makes for an interesting game.

After all, D&D is not 100% role-play - it is part pretend, play-a-character but it also part game.

If every class worked - and drained - the same, then such a shift would be trivial. But the game would be poorer for it.

As it is, however, you would have to redesign the game to accommodate it.

That said, 5E comes the closest to functioning even without a blaster and a healer, so it's not impossible. The crude solution would work already today - just have every player play the same sort of character. Either an all short-rest party (fighters, rogues, warlocks etc) or an all long-rest party (bards, wizards, clerics etc)

WotC could also offer two versions of each class for 6E: one short-rest Fighter and one long-rest Warrior, say. One short-rest Mage, say, and the long-rest Wizard. And so on.
 

aramis erak

Adventurer
Ok, thanks for the perspective. Can you summarize how the journey rules work? What makes them good or unique?
Step 1: plot the course
Step 2: break it into legs based upon difficulty
Step 3: pick roles for the leg
Step 4: Travel skill rolls to avoid fatigue. Any sauron's (11's) become events.
Step 5: Determine the events. The GM, if they have a specific one in mind, can use it in place of random determination. Note that random process usually triggers a roll for one role to avoid a penalty to the group.
Step 6: resolve the events, in sequence determined by GM (often the order rolled), one at a time. If they are encounters, use the appropriate social or combat elements.
Step 7: go back to 3.

This all ties into the resource management elements of TOR - Fatigue, Hope/Shadow, and Wounds.
It also allows relatively fast resolution of travel issues, while still interacting with the environment mechanically.

Note that D&D 5E has a weaker version in the DMG... but the same principles. And AIME mangles that a bit...

It's not the "2 rolls per day" of D&D, nor the "one and done" of Burning Wheel, but in-between.

As long as one narrates the fatigue gains, and the specific rolls, it's brilliant. If you have a lazy GM, it's going to be a simple mechanical slog... but so will many other parts of the game.
 
Step 1: plot the course
Step 2: break it into legs based upon difficulty
Step 3: pick roles for the leg
Step 4: Travel skill rolls to avoid fatigue. Any sauron's (11's) become events.
Step 5: Determine the events. The GM, if they have a specific one in mind, can use it in place of random determination. Note that random process usually triggers a roll for one role to avoid a penalty to the group.
Step 6: resolve the events, in sequence determined by GM (often the order rolled), one at a time. If they are encounters, use the appropriate social or combat elements.
Step 7: go back to 3.

This all ties into the resource management elements of TOR - Fatigue, Hope/Shadow, and Wounds.
It also allows relatively fast resolution of travel issues, while still interacting with the environment mechanically.

Note that D&D 5E has a weaker version in the DMG... but the same principles. And AIME mangles that a bit...

It's not the "2 rolls per day" of D&D, nor the "one and done" of Burning Wheel, but in-between.

As long as one narrates the fatigue gains, and the specific rolls, it's brilliant. If you have a lazy GM, it's going to be a simple mechanical slog... but so will many other parts of the game.
Also, just to expand a little bit, each Journey should ideally have a custom set of potential events for the specific adventure or location at hand. So you are still creating a "random encounter table" but doing so from the perspective of what supports the particulars of the adventure rather than just a resource drain.

Also note that good rolls result in events that are informative, helpful or otherwise beneficial to the party. D&D has a problem with only failures mattering in relation to skill checks, and this helps balance that a bit.
 

Mistwell

Hero
So have we figured out what happened here yet?

From reading between the lines: 1) The license was not up for renewal, 2) there is no known increase in price for the license, 3) there were creative differences of some sort.

Sophisticated Games had this to say:

"Sophisticated Games commissioned The One Ring RPG from Francesco Nepitello back in 2008. The game that he - with Marco Maggi - created, exceeded our best expectations and has gone on to become one of the best - and successful - Role Playing Games of all time. Francesco and Sophisticated Games have had many other collaborations since then.

We were saddened - and indeed surprised- to learn this week from Cubicle 7, our long term distributor and publishing partner, that they had decided against publishing the 2nd edition of TOR. This came in the middle of some discussions on the dynamics of how Francesco, Sophisticated Games and Cubicle 7 should work together in the future. But at no stage had there been any suggestion that TOR2 would not be published.

Fans of the game should be assured that Sophisticated Games, in conjunction with Francesco and Marco, will do their best to rectify the current uncertainties."

So, it sounds like "we have a process dispute on oversight" but again that's me reading between the lines.

Anyone have anything on this?
 

Paragon Lost

Explorer
So have we figured out what happened here yet?

From reading between the lines: 1) The license was not up for renewal, 2) there is no known increase in price for the license, 3) there were creative differences of some sort.

Sophisticated Games had this to say:

"Sophisticated Games commissioned The One Ring RPG from Francesco Nepitello back in 2008. The game that he - with Marco Maggi - created, exceeded our best expectations and has gone on to become one of the best - and successful - Role Playing Games of all time. Francesco and Sophisticated Games have had many other collaborations since then.

We were saddened - and indeed surprised- to learn this week from Cubicle 7, our long term distributor and publishing partner, that they had decided against publishing the 2nd edition of TOR. This came in the middle of some discussions on the dynamics of how Francesco, Sophisticated Games and Cubicle 7 should work together in the future. But at no stage had there been any suggestion that TOR2 would not be published.

Fans of the game should be assured that Sophisticated Games, in conjunction with Francesco and Marco, will do their best to rectify the current uncertainties."

So, it sounds like "we have a process dispute on oversight" but again that's me reading between the lines.

Anyone have anything on this?
I tend to wonder if it didn't have something to do with Cubicle Seven taking on Warhammer Fantasy.
 

macd21

Explorer
So have we figured out what happened here yet?

From reading between the lines: 1) The license was not up for renewal, 2) there is no known increase in price for the license, 3) there were creative differences of some sort.

Sophisticated Games had this to say:

"Sophisticated Games commissioned The One Ring RPG from Francesco Nepitello back in 2008. The game that he - with Marco Maggi - created, exceeded our best expectations and has gone on to become one of the best - and successful - Role Playing Games of all time. Francesco and Sophisticated Games have had many other collaborations since then.

We were saddened - and indeed surprised- to learn this week from Cubicle 7, our long term distributor and publishing partner, that they had decided against publishing the 2nd edition of TOR. This came in the middle of some discussions on the dynamics of how Francesco, Sophisticated Games and Cubicle 7 should work together in the future. But at no stage had there been any suggestion that TOR2 would not be published.

Fans of the game should be assured that Sophisticated Games, in conjunction with Francesco and Marco, will do their best to rectify the current uncertainties."

So, it sounds like "we have a process dispute on oversight" but again that's me reading between the lines.

Anyone have anything on this?
I wonder if it had something to do with the approvals process - that C7 wanted either less oversight, or a faster turnaround. I get the impression the 2nd edition should have been out by now, in time for the Christmas market. If that delay was due to them waiting on an approval, they’d be pretty irate, especially if it’s a common occurrence.
 
All TOR material had to go for approval to Me-E and was therefore subject to a certain amount of delay. As the AiME material was little more than a slight reworking of the TOR material I presume that approval was quicker for that.
 

jayoungr

Adventurer
I'm a massive Tolkien fan, and have heard good things about both of these systems. Of the two, which would you recommend me picking up, "The One Ring" or "Adventures in Middle Earth"?
I'm also a Tolkien fan and have played both systems. I'd say go with TOR if you want to play regularly. However, AiME will do fine for an occasional game, especially if you have players who are already familiar with D&D 5E.
 

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