The One Ring/Adventures in Middle-earth License Goes to Free League

Swedish company Free League has announced that it has taken over the license for Tolkien-based RPGs The One Ring and Adventures in Middle Earth!

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Up until recently, Cubicle 7 was the publisher of Adventures in Middle Earth and The One Ring. AiME is the D&D-5E based version, while The One Ring is its own system. The press release says they will be doing both.

Free League (Fria Ligan) are ENnie Award winners and the publisher of popular d6 games like Tales from the Loop and Alien. Here's the press release:

Free League Signs Deal to Publish RPGs in Tolkien's Middle-Earth

Free League Publishing today announced a partnership with Sophisticated Games to publish tabletop roleplaying games set in Middle-earth and based on the books by J.R.R. Tolkien. Francesco Nepitello, author of the game series alongside Marco Maggi, will continue as its lead designer.

"We are thrilled to be working with Sophisticated Games and Francesco Nepitello to bring to life a new edition of The One Ring and its 5E iteration. We grew up with J.R.R. Tolkien's iconic works and we're huge fans of the original version of the game. We have a very similar approach to game design as Francesco and we're convinced that we can create something truly special together," Free League’s CEO Tomas Härenstam says.

“Free League shares all our values. Values which are vital in interpreting the most extraordinary fantasy world ever created, one that is of enduring interest throughout the world in every language. Working with Free League’s highly talented team we look forward to continuing the work we began a decade ago, with publication of The One Ring," says Sophisticated Games’s MD Robert Hyde.

The agreement will go into effect from June 1, 2020. Products and release dates will be announced at a later time.

 
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Comments

Ethawyn

Villager
I see their books in my FLGS' all the time.

I really hope that we get The One Ring 2e and not a Year Zero redo of TOR's game engine.
You're in luck, that's already been confirmed (thankfully). To pull the quotes I shared earlier:

A comment from Tomas on the Free League forums (translated by a Swede):
That's correct. We will look at all the material together with Francesco and maybe turn a few dials here and there, but the game will keep Francesco's ruleset.
And here's what Nils from FL had to say on the TOR Discord:
We will use the TOR system, it's Francesco's game and we don't want to fix what is not broken. Regarding Simon Stålenhag, he is a partner/co-owner of the company, we've been fortunate enough to publish him since day one.
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
... most of the rules tend to double down on you can fix things locally, but you're not going to save the world. That is a task for different group of people in the future.
The rules don’t enforce that at all, actually.
Yep, you can definitely run it this way. Some of the One Ring modules have a large streak of whimsy in them.
as they should. The Hobbit and a lot of LOTR are a mix of whimsy and darkness, enduring hope and momentary despair.

Whenever I see someone reading it as a super dark setting where lighthearted is next to impossibly while staying true to the source...I kinda wonder if we read different books.
 

Beleriphon

Totally Awesome Pirate Brain
The rules don’t enforce that at all, actually.
They kind of do, you can't march to Mordor and punch Sauron in the face. The rules are very clear there are somethings the characters can't defeat. They might be able to hold back the darkness, but it isn't their place to put an end to it.
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
They kind of do, you can't march to Mordor and punch Sauron in the face. The rules are very clear there are somethings the characters can't defeat. They might be able to hold back the darkness, but it isn't their place to put an end to it.
Well, no. The rules don’t provide stats for Sauron, and punching him in the face wouldn’t solve anything anyway, and he isn’t returned as Sauron in the time period. So, the narrative prevents “marching into Mordor and punching Sauron in the face [and that solving anything]”, but the actual rules certainly don’t.

However, not only is a campaign only beholden to canon if the groups wants to be, but there is also plenty of room within the canon for them to save the world from something other than Sauron, or to put an end to an attempt by Sauron to rise in the guise of something else, etc.

If ending Sauron for good is your only interpretation of a lasting victory, I can kinda see your point, though I still disagree with it. But there are other evils than Morgoth’s servant, and absolutely no rule in the TOR system anywhere that stops you from facing them and winning. Nor from pushing back the darkness and creating an era of renewed hope.
 
You CAN'T defeat Sauron because Sauron is the personification of lust for power and greed. It make no sense to try. But you can stand still against this force keeping Arda from falling into darkness. Definitely not the american cliche of solving the problem going to the root and stop it with two punch and a kick in the face. You can do epic things and great adventures, but you have to leave behind the idea of solving the problem once and forever.
 

macd21

Explorer
Never heard of them. Or rather don't recall hearing of them anyway.

How is their marketing and distribution power? Am I going to see TOR2E on bookshelves in the US alongside D&D like I do PF, FFG SW, etc?
They’re one of the bigger 2nd Tier RPG companies right now. They tend to produce high quality big full colour hard backs. They usually (but not always) kickstart their core books.

They certainly have marketing and distribution chops, but whether you see LotR in bookstores is more down to interest than anything FL will do. Usually only the top RPG sellers manage that (DnD, PF, SW). The LotR brand might be enough to peak some interest, but I doubt it.
 

CapnZapp

Hero
You CAN'T defeat Sauron because Sauron is the personification of lust for power and greed. It make no sense to try. But you can stand still against this force keeping Arda from falling into darkness. Definitely not the american cliche of solving the problem going to the root and stop it with two punch and a kick in the face. You can do epic things and great adventures, but you have to leave behind the idea of solving the problem once and forever.
I believe he's coming from the D&D mindset.

Just give Sauron a level, so we know how much xp we need to bypass Tolkien's pesky narrative and just go punch him in the face.

It's "if it bleeds we can kill it" all over again, except D&D gamers have never stopped because the monster doesn't bleed...
 

aramis erak

Adventurer
They’re one of the bigger 2nd Tier RPG companies right now. They tend to produce high quality big full colour hard backs. They usually (but not always) kickstart their core books.

They certainly have marketing and distribution chops, but whether you see LotR in bookstores is more down to interest than anything FL will do. Usually only the top RPG sellers manage that (DnD, PF, SW). The LotR brand might be enough to peak some interest, but I doubt it.
C7 managed to get TOR into Barnes and Noble for a while. Actually, B&N had the Revised core out two days before my FLGS...
 

Jaeger

Explorer
In our podcast interview with Dom (CEO of C7), he made it very clear to us that C7 was the one who chose to end the relationship. They didn't 'drop the ball' or 'lose the license' or anything like that.
Ok, so C7 chose to not continue because "reasons".

Still Doesn't Clarify at all what he meant by "All our values"...
 

Morrus

Well, that was fun
Staff member
Ok, so C7 chose to not continue because "reasons".
Dom has class. He’s not going to speak ill of a partner, past or present. That’s just unbecoming and unprofessional.

Still Doesn't Clarify at all what he meant by "All our values"...
I mean, it sounds like some kind of dig. Dunno.
 

BookBarbarian

Expert Long Rester
Woohoo! I've very much enjoyed running AiME, and after having picked up the recent AiME humble bundle I'm well situated to start back up.

Very excited!
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
You CAN'T defeat Sauron because Sauron is the personification of lust for power and greed. It make no sense to try. But you can stand still against this force keeping Arda from falling into darkness. Definitely not the american cliche of solving the problem going to the root and stop it with two punch and a kick in the face. You can do epic things and great adventures, but you have to leave behind the idea of solving the problem once and forever.
Who said anything about stopping Sauron once and for all?
But, since you mentioned it...that’s literally what happens in the books. Sauron isn’t a cosmic constant, he’s evil Gandalf with powerful magic items and an army.
You can’t defeat him because you don’t have the one ring and don’t know how to destroy it even if you found it.
I believe he's coming from the D&D mindset.
No.
 
Who said anything about stopping Sauron once and for all?
But, since you mentioned it...that’s literally what happens in the books. Sauron isn’t a cosmic constant, he’s evil Gandalf with powerful magic items and an army.
You can’t defeat him because you don’t have the one ring and don’t know how to destroy it even if you found it.
Mmmmh I don't know. It is not stated in the book and even if nothing suggest something different, the price Arda pays is the desappearance of the Grace: Elves gone definitely to the West, Gandalf say goodbye and Frodo and the Hobbits loose their innocence forever.

It's a metaphor of the transition from childhood to adulthood (as is for normal people, not us ;) ), ok, but make clear that this kind of battles requires ab unfillable loss forever.
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
Mmmmh I don't know. It is not stated in the book and even if nothing suggest something different, the price Arda pays is the desappearance of the Grace: Elves gone definitely to the West, Gandalf say goodbye and Frodo and the Hobbits loose their innocence forever.

It's a metaphor of the transition from childhood to adulthood (as is for normal people, not us ;) ), ok, but make clear that this kind of battles requires ab unfillable loss forever.
Well, no. That loss was already happening. The War of The Ring determined what Middle Earth was going to be after that loss. Do we come into adulthood in darkness or light?
 

Arilyn

Hero
Well, no. That loss was already happening. The War of The Ring determined what Middle Earth was going to be after that loss. Do we come into adulthood in darkness or light?
The age of elves giving way to the age of man. And yes, I agree. What kind of earth would man inherit was determined in the War of the Ring.
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
The age of elves giving way to the age of man. And yes, I agree. What kind of earth would man inherit was determined in the War of the Ring.
Yeah, the age of elves started ending after the first war against Sauron, IIRC.

But back to the other side topic, there is plenty of room in ME roleplaying, regardless of system, to be Heroes, to bear the light of hope into dark places and drive back the Shadow, to make some part of the world better. YOu just can't take care of what the fellowship of the ring takes care of if you want to stay in canon. Not because the world won't allow it, or because it's unthinkable, or because the rules work against, but literally just because of canon. Sauron doesn't have stats because you'd have to go back to that first war or earlier for him to be a creature that would make sense to give stats to, not because he can't be defeated.

You can't defeat him by punching or stabbing him, but...so far as I can tell the only people who brought up physical violence with regard to Sauron are people responding to my post wherein I made no mention whatsoever of winning a physical fight with Sauron. Maybe someone I ignore, and thus whose posts I don't see, suggested you can go fight Sauron? IDK.
 

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