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Free League Publishing Is The New Home Of Middle-earth RPGs

The Lord of the Rings and the rest of J.R.R. Tolkien’s legendarium have long been a part of the world of tabletop, as both inspiration for many of its tropes and in direct pen-and-paper adaptations (the earliest released in 1984 as Middle-earth Role Playing). The newest chapter in this history began yesterday, when Swedish company Free League Publishing (Tales From The Loop, Forbidden Lands, Alien RPGannounced that it would be the newest publisher of RPGs set in Middle-earth after inking a deal with the company that holds the license, Sophisticated Games.

The original edition of The One Ring was released by Sophisticated Games and Cubicle 7 in 2011

The news marks a surprising shift for The One Ring RPG, who as recently as last GenCon seemed to be staying with now-previous published Cubicle 7, who at the time were gearing up for a new edition of the RPG and planning a slate of new releases. That deal ended in November following “contractual differences”, leaving the Second Edition of The One Ring and its associated sourcebooks, some of which were already written and edited, in limbo. According to Free League’s CEO Tomas Härenstam, they will indeed be releasing a new edition of the RPG and it’s 5E iteration (titled Adventures In Middle Earth, though that name may change under new ownership), but it’s currently unknown whether it will simply be a finished version of Cubicle 7’s 2E or something much newer. It has been confirmed that lead designer Francesco Nepitello will remain on board.

Both companies have stated that the partnership is a natural fit, with Sophisticated Games’s MD Robert Hyde saying “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.”

The new deal will go into effect on June 1st, 2020, with products and release dates announced at that time.

Images via Free League Games and Cubicle 7 

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  • Dan Arndt

    Fiction writer, board game fanatic, DM. Has an MFA and isn't quite sure what to do now. If you have a dog, I'd very much like to pet it. Operating out of Indianapolis.

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