We've had a lot of requests for a PDF-only pre-order option for Adventures in Middle-earth™ Player's Guide and so here it is!
We'll update your DrivethruRPG purchase as soon as the PDF comes out, so you'll be among the first to get your hands on this hotly-anticipated release.
About Adventures in Middle-Earth™
Take your gaming group to Middle-earth™ with this thematic and atmospheric, OGL-compatible setting guide.
Smaug has been defeated, the Battle of Five Armies has been won, and Bilbo has returned to the Shire. But much danger still remains, and from the Orc-holds of the mountains to the dark and corrupt depths of Mirkwood a darkness waits, recovering its strength, laying its plans, and slowly extending its shadow…
In Dale, King Bard sends out a call for brave adventurers to journey to Laketown and assist him in restoring the glory of the North.
Adventurers come from all the Free Peoples of Wilderland and beyond, all heeding the call to adventure. Spurred on by diverse callings – whether it be the lure of the road, the hunger for ancient lore, or the simple urge to defend hearth and kin, adventurers from across Wilderland are preparing to explore Middle-earth and to battle the rising threat of The Shadow wherever it may be found.
The Adventures in Middle-earth Player's Guide
The first release for Adventures in Middle-earth™ is the Player's Guide, which gives you the Middle-earth setting-specific rules and guidance to create your characters and adventure in the world of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings using the OGL 5e ruleset.
Character creation features Cultures and Classes designed for Middle-earth to help you get deep into the setting from the very start of your adventures. New rules add excitement to your journeys and encounters, and chart the corruption of the Shadow in the unwary or unwise.
The quest begins with this lavishly illustrated, hardcover Adventures in Middle-earth Player’s Guide, followed by the equally beautiful and useful Adventures in Middle-earth Loremaster’s Guide. You can start playing right away with this Player’s Guide, and the 5th Edition rules.
Adventures in Middle-earth: Players Guide contains:
• 11 Middle-earth specific playable Cultures
• 6 New and unique Classes
• 13 New Backgrounds custom-made for Middle-earth
• Middle-earth appropriate arms and armour
• Unique Journey rules
• New rules for Corruption
• New Audience rules
• Rules for The Fellowship Phase
• Middle-earth maps for Players and Loremasters
Frequently Asked Questions
What do I need to play?
You'll need Adventures in Middle-earth™ Player's Guide and the 5th Edition rulebooks. That's enough to get started. Games will massively benefit from the forthcoming Loremaster's Guide, but it isn't necessary to begin play.
How does Adventures in Middle-earth relate to 5th Edition?
It uses the OGL.
How does Adventures in Middle-earth relate to The One Ring Roleplaying Game?
Our design goal for AME has been to develop a game that plays like OGL 5e with a setting that feels like Middle-earth. Some TOR concepts like Corruption and Journeys have been reinterpreted for the game, but wherever possible we have used existing OGL mechanics. The two lines will share illustration and setting content. The initial supplements for AME will be conversions of existing TOR material.
What approach to the setting does Adventures in Middle-earth take?
We are presenting Middle-earth as described in The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. All the rules and options we present have been sourced from the texts and are designed to recreate the feel of the books in your games. Saying that, our goal is to give you the tools to play in your vision of Middle-earth, and you can use content from across the range of OGL materials to build in any features that you want.
When is it coming out?
The PDF will be out this September, the print version will be available in the Autumn. We'd love to be more precise, but many production factors are outside of our control.
Where and when is the setting based?
The core setting begins five years after the death of Smaug, in Wilderland. Players can chose from cultures based in the region, as well as some fan-favourite additions (Hobbits, Dunedain, Rohirrim, Men of Minas Tirith, Men of Bree).
Why such a tight focus?
We've found great success in Middle-earth gaming with this approach. It means the party have a reason to be together, and there's a reason for adventurers to be roaming Middle-earth. It gives a core platform to start your Middle-earth gaming journey, and lets us give loads of information on one (albeit huge) region. Wilderland is a brilliant place in which to adventure, and five years after the events of The Hobbit™, but before the events of The Lord of the Rings is a hugely atmospheric time. Players know plenty about it, there's plenty of really exciting locations, but that's balanced by plenty of blank space on the map too.
This focus lets us concentrate both our and your efforts, and do things to a depth we demand. Supplementary material will expand the arena of play.
What else is coming out?
In addition to the Player's Guide we have the Loremaster's Guide in the works, along with a conversion of the epic Tales from Wilderland – a collection of seven linked adventures showcasing the Wilderland region. We'll update with news on further releases as we go.
Does Adventures in Middle-earth use the alignment system?
No – Adventures in Middle-earth assumes players are fighting for good. Alignment is replaced with the Corruption system to track characters’ descent into Shadow.
Does combat change?
No – the OGL combat system is untouched. We want OGL players to be able to play quickly and easily. Familiarity with the system is a key design goal.
What Classes are there?
Adventures in Middle-earth uses its own bespoke, Middle-earth themed classes and backgrounds. These are unique to AME. We'll be making individual updates about Classes, and will update this FAQ with links as they go live. We also have loads of brand new backgrounds.
Are any new rules added?
Yes! We're introducing rules for Journeys, for Corruption and for the Fellowship Phase. We'll have updates on all of these, which will be linked here once they're live.
Are there spell casters with spells like fireball and chain lightning?
Magic in Middle-earth is embedded in the world and reflected in a range of ways both mundane and exceptional. The ability of Hobbits to conceal themselves, the healing songs of the Woodmen and the Dwarven Spells of Secrecy are all examples of the magic inherent in the setting. There’s much debate as to whether or not the more flamboyant magic users should be played in Middle-earth. The beauty of using the OGL for AME is that you can decide that for yourself. All the rules and classes for spell-slingers are out there, and you can bring those into your game to meet your vision of the setting.
Will there be stats for Gandalf, and can I kill him?
No. Gandalf is a patron-level NPC. He doesn't need stats. Though we're sure a fan will give him stats if you really, really can't live without them.
Is there plate armour in Adventures in Middle-earth?
Not as written. We provide an equipment section that closely references The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings. We feel part of evoking the Middle-earth feel is to cleave close to the source material. The beauty of the OGL is if you feel that plate armour belongs in Middle-earth than you can bring it in.
The One Ring Roleplaying Game
Is The One Ring going away?
No. The One Ring will continue as a separate, fully supported line. We will be converting TOR supplements to Adventures in Middle-earth. So even if AME sells a million copies we will still want and need TOR releases. We didn't put all that effort into TOR to abandon it now!
The Adventurer's Companion and Oaths of the Riddermark are both coming along very nicely. Along with some TOR releases we've not even mentioned yet.
TOR and AME have different aims, and we believe there is plenty of space for both game lines to flourish.
Pre-order the PDF here.
Pre-order both the Adventures in Middle-earth Player’s Guide and Adventures in Middle-earth Loremaster’s Guide, with free PDFs here - the Player's Guide PDF is anticipated to be delivered in August, the print edition in the Autumn, the Loremaster PDF and print edition are both anticipated Autumn 2016.