D&D 5E Lord of the Rings 5E Is Coming Next Month

For those who prefer to adventure in Middle Earth using the D&D 5E ruleset rather than Free League's The One Ring game (which made over $2M on Kickstarter in 2021), the 5E-powered version is coming in May!

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This will be a 236-page hardcover book containing 6 new classes, journey rules, and magic which represents the more low-key magic of Tolkien.

Additionally, Shire Adventures is a 104-page book with 5 short adventures and setting details for The Shire region of Middle Earth.

That's not all though -- there will be a RIvendell compendium, and a Loremaster's Screen too.

These will be landing on May 9th.
 
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mamba

Legend
In any case, the question remains: Pick up Uncharted Journeys when it comes back in hardcover later this year for the journey rules plus lots of juicy tables, or pick it up via the C7d20 Gamemaster's Guide.
I wonder what journey rules they will have in the GM Guide, they cannot be the ones from Uncharted Journeys, at most a condensed version. Esp. since UJ is part of the C7D20 books ("As well as these two corebooks, we are already well into development on three more supplements. These books, along with Uncharted Journeys and Broken Weave, mean that C7d20 will launch with a total of 7 books (fitting for the C7d20 system!)."
 



occam

Adventurer
Also, the Free League version of LoTR caps off at around Level 10 for its classes. I'm not quite sure if there are rules in there for character advancement beyond that.
Beyond 10th level, there's an optional system to acquire a new feature (equivalent to a feat, but those don't exist by that name in either AiME or LotRR) with every 10,000 XP gained. However, the game as a whole is pitched at lower levels. For instance, while AiME has several creature or NPC stat blocks of CR 6, with others going up to CR 9 (olog-hai captain) or even 21 (for an ancient dragon), the highest CR so far in LotRR is 3 (for a barrow-wight), not counting the Nameless Thing pseudo-template. Of course, LotRR only has two books out so far, with one focused on the low-CR environment of the Shire.

As for the Journey rules, they clearly share a common heritage: same Journey roles, similar Journey Event tables, etc. Some differences in LotRR compared to AiME:
  • There are three new skills of specific use on Journeys: Wis (Explore), Wis (Hunting), and Wis (Travel).
    • As an aside, LotRR does not add the Int (Shadow-lore) and Int (Traditions) skills, and has Int (Old Lore) instead of Int (Lore).
  • No terrain types (e.g. Daunting, Severe), but some regions have a Peril Rating. The effects of this are applied during travel through the Perilous Area, rather than to the Journey as a whole as in AiME.
  • No Embarkation check, just Pathfinding checks along the way, typically using Wis (Travel).
  • Checks for Journey Events are determined by who encounters the Events (Wis (Hunting) for Hunters, Wis (Perception) for Look-outs, Wis (Explore) for Scouts) rather than by the nature of the Events.
  • Journey Events seem more negative, on average, than in AiME.
  • Journey Events are simpler to execute, but less interesting, IMO.
    • As an example, I like how The Wonders of Middle-earth event in AiME can be interpreted either negatively or positively by a Player-hero (leading to gaining or recovering exhaustion), representing how the character's mood can impact their reaction to a common experience. The equivalent Joyful Sight event in LotRR sees either everyone in the Company gain inspiration, or have no effect.
  • It doesn't have the multitude of region-specific Journey Event tables that AiME had, at least not yet.
  • No Arrival check. One fatigue saving throw is made at the end of the Journey to see if a level of exhaustion is gained.
 


Laurefindel

Legend
Beyond 10th level, there's an optional system to acquire a new feature (equivalent to a feat, but those don't exist by that name in either AiME or LotRR) with every 10,000 XP gained. However, the game as a whole is pitched at lower levels. For instance, while AiME has several creature or NPC stat blocks of CR 6, with others going up to CR 9 (olog-hai captain) or even 21 (for an ancient dragon), the highest CR so far in LotRR is 3 (for a barrow-wight), not counting the Nameless Thing pseudo-template. Of course, LotRR only has two books out so far, with one focused on the low-CR environment of the Shire.

As for the Journey rules, they clearly share a common heritage: same Journey roles, similar Journey Event tables, etc. Some differences in LotRR compared to AiME:
  • There are three new skills of specific use on Journeys: Wis (Explore), Wis (Hunting), and Wis (Travel).
    • As an aside, LotRR does not add the Int (Shadow-lore) and Int (Traditions) skills, and has Int (Old Lore) instead of Int (Lore).
  • No terrain types (e.g. Daunting, Severe), but some regions have a Peril Rating. The effects of this are applied during travel through the Perilous Area, rather than to the Journey as a whole as in AiME.
  • No Embarkation check, just Pathfinding checks along the way, typically using Wis (Travel).
  • Checks for Journey Events are determined by who encounters the Events (Wis (Hunting) for Hunters, Wis (Perception) for Look-outs, Wis (Explore) for Scouts) rather than by the nature of the Events.
  • Journey Events seem more negative, on average, than in AiME.
  • Journey Events are simpler to execute, but less interesting, IMO.
    • As an example, I like how The Wonders of Middle-earth event in AiME can be interpreted either negatively or positively by a Player-hero (leading to gaining or recovering exhaustion), representing how the character's mood can impact their reaction to a common experience. The equivalent Joyful Sight event in LotRR sees either everyone in the Company gain inspiration, or have no effect.
  • It doesn't have the multitude of region-specific Journey Event tables that AiME had, at least not yet.
  • No Arrival check. One fatigue saving throw is made at the end of the Journey to see if a level of exhaustion is gained.
How different are the classes/callings between AiME and LotRR (other than level capping)?
 

occam

Adventurer
How different are the classes/callings between AiME and LotRR (other than level capping)?
Three of the classes/callings are nominally the same between the two:
  • Scholar: Pretty similar in concept, and LotRR's traditions (Healing and Lore) line up with AiME's specialities (Master Healer and Master Scholar). Without getting into the details, the AiME scholar has more distinct class abilities, while the LotRR scholar has a bard-like Rhymes of Lore ability that lets them hand out bonus dice.
  • Treasure Hunter: Again, as Middle-earth's rogues they have similar concepts, and the LotRR specialities (Burglar and Spy) are sort of like the AiME archetypes (Burglar and Agent), although Agent and Spy are executed very differently.
  • Warden: They may have the same name, but the classes/callings are quite different between the two games. The AiME warden is essentially a bard, while the LotRR version is more like a ranger, and equivalent to the AiME wanderer. Features include Shadow-lore, Warded Lands, Fighting Style, Rumour of the Earth, and Long Stride, to give you the flavor of it. Warden oaths are Forayer and Hunter, similar in concept to the Hunter of Shadows and Hunter of Beasts wanderer archetypes in AiME.
The three newly named callings in LotRR are:
  • Captain: This is Middle-earth's paladin, and also recalls the spirit of the 4e warlord. Instead of laying on hands, their Leadership feature provides temp hp, and they also get Fighting Style, a bonus to non-proficient saves, Aura of Valour, and Aura of Courage. There's no equivalent in AiME.
  • Champion: This is the fighter, like AiME's warrior. Not a whole lot to say. The champion ways include Sharp-shooter (ranged specialist) and Slayer (essentially a barbarian, as in AiME).
  • Messenger: This is an odd hybrid of rogue, ranger, and bard, and is LotRR's version of AiME's warden, with the messenger paths of Counsellor and Herald matching two of AiME's warden expressions.
 

occam

Adventurer
It occurred to me that what folks might be looking for is guidance on whether to purchase any of the new material, so I'll provide my views on it. First of all, if you don't have the earlier Adventures in Middle-earth (AiME) material and are interested in Middle-earth roleplay using something like the D&D 5e rules, then The Lord of the Rings Roleplaying (LotRR) will fit the bill. The artwork is top-notch, and the rules seem pretty well-considered.

If you already have AiME and are happy with it, then here's what I'd recommend:
  • The Lord of the Rings Roleplaying: This won't give you much you don't already have. Anything that is somewhat new (like the Captain calling, or the Elves of Lindon culture) will require some work to make compatible. Unless you're a rules collector, you could safely skip this.
  • Loremaster's Screen and Rivendell Compendium: If you aren't using these rules, you don't need the screen. And if you have the Rivendell Region Guide, you've already got all the Rivendell lore from this product, and then some.
  • Shire Adventures: If you want a bunch of background lore on the Shire, or would enjoy a series of low-level adventures involving almost completely non-lethal hobbity hijinx suitable for new and younger players where you get to meet Bilbo(!) and Balin(!) and Farmer Maggot and Tom Bombadil and Goldberry and others and maybe get invited to Bilbo's birthdays and get mentioned in the Red Book(!), then you should get this. If you're already in the midst of a Very Serious Quest and have no time for hobbity nonsense, then you could do without.
 


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