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<   No. 2320   2009-06-03   >

Comic #2320

1 Adam: Okay, the ring you're wearing is The One Ring that lets the evil overlord control all the other Rings of Power.
1 Jamie: Cool!
2 Adam: Uh, no. You're now corrupted and he uses you as a vessel to gain complete dominion over the world, laying waste to civilisation.
3 Adam: The land and its people are subjected to infernal torments and ruined as if by ever vaster explosions!
4 Jamie: This gives me an idea for what we can do for a living when we graduate.

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This is the main reason why The Lord of the Rings would make a poor roleplaying game. Any player would drool over the idea of getting their hands on the Ring. Can you just imagine a whole party of Gollums?

2022-07-09 Rerun commentary: Of course, there are several roleplaying games based on The Lord of the Rings:

  1. Middle-earth Role Playing (1984) by Iron Crown Enterprises. The grand-daddy of them all, or perhaps the one system to rule them all, this was based on Iron Crown's complex Rolemaster rules system.
  2. Lord of the Rings Adventure Game (1991) by Iron Crown Enterprises. This was a simplified roleplaying rules system designed as a stepping stone to the full Middle-earth Role Playing experience.
  3. The Lord of the Rings Roleplaying Game (2002) by Decipher Inc. Iron Crown lost the licence to produce Middle-earth based material in 1999, the licence going to Decipher. This game uses the same rules system core as their successful Star Trek Roleplaying Game.
  4. The One Ring Roleplaying Game (2011) by Cubicle 7. Decipher also decided to let their licence lapse, and it was picked up by Cubicle 7, which published this new iteration, with a new unique rules system. The default setting is Eriador, the region west of the Misty Mountains, which encompasses The Shire.
  5. Adventures in Middle-earth (2016) by Cubicle 7. This version uses the Open Game Licence 5th Edition rules (the core rules of the 5th Edition of Dungeons & Dragons) and concentrates on the area east of the Misty Mountains, including Mirkwood, Rohan, Gondor, and Mordor.

In 2019, Cubicle 7 also released the licence because of "contractual issues". Free League Publishing acquired it in 2020, and have since published a new printing of The One Ring Roleplaying Game. This may just be the latest iteration in a long line of obviously doomed attempts.

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