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

LuisCarlos17f

Adventurer
Why not to write an etsarz or spiritual successor? Maybe this is the best option because Middle-Earth is a master work, but "one-shot" to be used for TTRPG.
 

aramis erak

Adventurer
There is a role for a tolkienian fantasy engine on a world not constrained to the professor's views...

in essence, that was Gygax's major contribution to D&D.... at least if one ignores or detests the "gygaxian spew" writing/editing style.... and that the tolkeinian influence is probably one fo the more important elements in D&D's initial, and continuing, success.

By the same token, MERP (ICE) was a very nice game, with wonderful setting work, but they didn't mate well together, IMO, and a good number agree that it wasn't a good system for Middle Earth.

But some of us like the mechanics more than we do the Professor's world itself...
 
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zedturtle

Explorer
TOR is a proper Tolkien game.

AiME is just lightly skinned Dungeons & Dragons, with fireballs and levels.

Nuff said
That's dreadfully inaccurate, and I know you know better.

Adventures in Middle-earth has custom Cultures (because a Man of Bree and a Man of Minas Tirith are very different) and custom Classes designed from the ground-up to play in Middle-earth. There are no casters by default, and while there is a list of spells in the Loremaster's Guide that you might fit into the setting, fireball ain't one of them.

Sure, we did build on the core of 5e for familiarity's sake, and that does mean that a 3rd level hero fits more comfortably into a lot of Middle-earth adventure ideas than a 17th level one but there are always options. Plus, with additional rules like Shadow corruption and expanded use of Exhaustion, Hit Dice and Inspiration there are plenty of ways to make the game feel different than standard 5e.
 

CapnZapp

Hero
With respect, I have never felt levels be appropriate for a Middle-Earth feeling at all.

That went for ICE's LOTR game, it goes for AIME.

Basically, I am convinced D&D is intrinsically and fundamentally incompatible with any down-to-earth narrative. And despite Peter Jackson's heinous efforts (stairs-skating elves, rabbit-sleighing Wizards, barrel-rafting dwarves... :cautious: ), Tolkien's trilogy - which I love dearly - remains down-to-earth for me.

Tl;dr: Do. Not. Use. D&D. For. Tolkien.

Sorry for being blunt, Zed. I tried to gloss it over, but you did call me out on it.

To end on a positive note, I heartily recommend y'all to try The One Ring. (y) Just don't listen to anyone trying to pretend you can have a proper Tolkien experience using D&D. Sure you can play Rangers bashing goblin heads, but that's not what Lord of the Rings is about, for me.
 

CubicsRube

Explorer
I have to second that I love AiME, and what was done with the 5e chassis was very inventive and a gold standard of 5e adaptations as far as I'm concerned.

With shadow rules, journey and exploration phases, and the simple fact of limiting long rests to sanctuaries, I feel they've done a great job of bringing the feel into the system.
 

aramis erak

Adventurer
@CubicsRube , @doctorbadwolf
AIME's value is highly debatable... for some, it's great, for others, it's proof that C7 lost it's talent...

I find that the layout of AIME Player's was poor enough as to make it not readily useable. Like many others, I find the idea of Class & Level pretty mediocre and a poor fit to tolkien's world, and the only advantage to a 5E base is the ease of converting players of 5E, but AIME wasn't written well enough to get that happening.
And a few test tries of the journey system resulted in my reaction being "not as good as stock 5E, nor as good as TOR"...

I'll say that people have used D&D for Tolkien since 1973... doesn't mean it's a generally good fit, and in the case of AIME, it's not an improvement over stock 5E from what I've read (which is just the AIME player's book). Hell, there's an article in an early Dragon issue pointing out that Gandalf was only exhibiting 5th level abilities.

I've tried using D&D for Middle earth, under AD&D 1E, didn't feel right, even when I had no experience with any other RPGs besides D&D... I've tried under MERP, actually felt less like Tolkien than did D&D. I never got past char gen for Decipher's LOTR. I will say that, when I finally tried to read the Shanara series, it felt like a MERP campaign... (and yes, I know it predates MERP.)

I have found one that, while it doesn't quite feel Tolkien, is close enough to enjoy as a tolkienian knockoff... The Fantasy Trip 1E. And while not quite right, it's much closer than D&D of any edition.

I've only found one ruleset that felt really like tolkien to me... TOR. Part of that is that the rules enforce the genre in play, part of it is that the character generation highlights the types of characters, but allows a wide spectrum, much as Tolkien's characters are a spectrum, not neat and tidy types. (Especially in The Hobbit). A huge part is the journey system and combat system.

Another part of that is that we really see growth of skill only in a few characters - Merry, Pip, Sam. Bilbo might have, but it's unclear if he really learned the blade while out and about, or had skill with it prior that wasn't mentioned... TFT 1E advances rather slowly, and TOR advances smoothly but in diminishing returns for increasing costs. (most tasks succeed with level 3 skills.... levels 4+ are just to push for more 6's.)

So, while I'm likely to get the new edition, I'm really not happy they are changing core mechanics. But I'm also absolutely convinced that fans of AIME do not share my values in what makes a good game for Tolkien's world, and not for what makes for good editing, either. But I'm not telling people to ignore the fanboys. And it's not fair to dismiss one or two people's negative opinions of it, either. People should see/hear both ends of the spectrum. If someone wants to buy a lightly read AIME player's book...
 

vilainn6

Villager
Don't insult other members, please.
That's dreadfully inaccurate, and I know you know better.

Adventures in Middle-earth has custom Cultures (because a Man of Bree and a Man of Minas Tirith are very different) and custom Classes designed from the ground-up to play in Middle-earth. There are no casters by default, and while there is a list of spells in the Loremaster's Guide that you might fit into the setting, fireball ain't one of them.

Sure, we did build on the core of 5e for familiarity's sake, and that does mean that a 3rd level hero fits more comfortably into a lot of Middle-earth adventure ideas than a 17th level one but there are always options. Plus, with additional rules like Shadow corruption and expanded use of Exhaustion, Hit Dice and Inspiration there are plenty of ways to make the game feel different than standard 5e.
Sorry Zed but the day you decided to put your name on those pages and accept Cubicle 7 money, you loose the right to say anything. You are just now a spokeman trying to convince us your employer didn't sell their soul just for more money.
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
Sorry Zed but the day you decided to put your name on those pages and accept Cubicle 7 money, you loose the right to say anything. You are just now a spokeman trying to convince us your employer didn't sell their soul just for more money.
🙄

Yeah, man, he’s just like, shilling for the man, man!
 

KentDT

Explorer
Sorry Zed but the day you decided to put your name on those pages and accept Cubicle 7 money, you loose the right to say anything. You are just now a spokeman trying to convince us your employer didn't sell their soul just for more money.
OK, that's pretty . . . harsh.
I own all the TOR books and all the AiME books and enjoy both. For me the level question doesn't bother me or take me out of Tolkien's world. I think AiME works great as an example of how the 5e rules can be stretched to evoke a different feel and would work well as a basis for any other essentially magic-less (well, spell-less) D&D.
The original comment calling out AiME as "just lightly skinned Dungeons & Dragons, with fireballs . . ." was spot on. There are no fireballs (or any other spells) in standard AiME, and even the one page list of appropriate spells in the Loremaster guide for those who really want D&D style spells in their version of Middle-Earth explicitly does NOT include fireball. So, it was very misleading to the point of being antagonistic.
Now, I don't work for Cubicle 7, so do I have a right to my opinion?
 

macd21

Explorer
Yeah, the whole ‘AiME isn’t LotR appropriate’ is just standard edition warring and one-true-wayism. Plenty of people have played it, enjoyed it thoroughly, and found it perfect for LotR - including people who’ve played TOR. Just because it’s not your cup of tea doesn’t mean there’s anything wrong with it.
 

BookBarbarian

Expert Long Rester
I freely admit that I bought AiME because I could easily transition my 5e players without them having to learn a new system.

But I was absolutely still able to play a game were miles were miles and Journeys took a toll on the characters, where cultural prejudices could be overcome to forge alliances against the shadow, were living in a world were you are fighting a losing battle against the shadow takes a toll on your soul, and were choosing to take the easy path takes an even greater one.

Also one were you could eventually become as powerful as Boromir slaying 20 foes in a single encounter before dying, or a Legolas or a Gimli taking out 40+ foes over the course of an adventuring day, Or as poweful as Aragorn able to not take a single injury at the battle of the black gate. Or even as powerful as Hurin slaying dozens of trolls (The Foehammer subclass is a real monster). The only problem is how long those encounters would take broken up into 6 second rounds :)

Or I could not explore do that, since I can dial it in as necessary for the kind of experience we had to have. We could do AiME E6 and still have have loads of fun.

Is TOR better at a purely Tolkien gaming experience? Probably. But AiME was still good enough for our table to do so too.
 

TheSword

Explorer
AIME is great fun. Very good example of a low magic conversion for d&d. Could easily be adapted for other low magic settings -
Game of Thrones etc.

Ignore the few nay-sayers. See how many upvotes each comment has. It may not prove anything, it’s all just opinion, but it shows how many fans the system has.
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
AIME is great fun. Very good example of a low magic conversion for d&d. Could easily be adapted for other low magic settings -
Game of Thrones etc.

Ignore the few nay-sayers. See how many upvotes each comment has. It may not prove anything, it’s all just opinion, but it shows how many fans the system has.
Yeah it’s a fricken fantastic port of low magic high stakes fantasy to dnd mechanics.

Most folks who don’t like it are either LoTR hyper-purists, people who can’t fathom having stories that matter in a world set before the war of the ring, or people who decided before opening any book or pdf that the dnd engine literally cannot do non-epic non-gonzo Fantasy.
 

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