lunedì 26 settembre 2011

A good read for The One Ring Loremasters

One of the things I will eventually blog about here is my The One Ring game. TOR is a tabletop role-playing game set in Middle-earth, the most famous literary creation of J.R.R. Tolkien, a legendary land known especially through his two masterpieces, The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings (hopefully I will return later to make amends for such a terrible summary!). The One Ring (a two-books plus maps slipcase) is making its way to game stores in the U.S. and Europe, and deals primarily with the region called Wilderland...

The One Ring at Cubicle 7

Now, writing a rpg is a taxing endeavour, and writing one about such a beloved literary work may be daunting. It took me more that three years, and I used every source I could to provide players with a playable environment. Among my many sources, direct and indirect, I found the writings of Michael Martinez to rank amongst the most insightful, provocative and entertaining. Michael is a true Tolkien enthusiast who combines his scholarly knowledge with a strong creative impulse. Over the years he has written many Tolkien-related essays, always succeeding in saying something interesting and fresh about the chosen subject. His work has certainly been useful to me, and I would have loved to have read the linked piece below before I wrapped up the rpg project, as it deals about one of my favourite ME topics: the unknown life and customs of the Woodmen of Mirkwood. Who has seen my game and read the chapters about Wilderland knows that there is a good deal of non-canon material in there, as Tolkien didn't give us too much to work upon. But he left us with many intriguing tidbits, details that can be connected to paint a wider picture. This is what Michael Martinez does in his piece 'Horror in the Woods', a must-read for every TOR Loremaster out there, ripe for the picking to set an adventure in the land of the Woodmen...

Horror in the Woods

6 commenti:

  1. Thank you for the link and the kind words. Gamers may be interested to know that the non-canonical names in the article (of both men and places) are based on Gothic root words, especially words that resemble their Old English cognates.

    I am not a linguist so I don't know how well my compound names compare with true Gothic/Old English names but I think Tolkien could have devised many more names for his Northmen had he wanted to.

  2. Thank you, Michael! I always look forward to read more of your considerations on Middle-earth...
    I wonder if you had a chance to see The One Ring game? I would love to know what you think about it...

  3. I have not seen it (except on Skype, as I think Hawke Robinson has mentioned it to me a few times). I would love to take a look but I don't know when I would be able to find the time. I usually wait until Hawke can introduce me to new gaming materials on those occasions when I visit him. It sounds fascinating (especially if I have any influence on it at all! LOL!).

  4. Great reading. One thing that's easy to miss looking at the Tolkien maps of Wilderland and Bilbo's trek across the Anduin is a sense that there must be Northmen settlements still around the river apart from Beorn's house and the Woodmen in Mirkwood. Mike's "report" does a good job conveying what they might be like.

  5. I'm a big fan of your games. I've spent many hours playing War of the Ring, Age of Conan, and the One Ring. I see you followed the Middle Earth board game with a Middle Earth role-playing game. Any chance of following the Hyborean Age board game with a Hyborean Age role-playing game?

    1. Hi Paul! Sorry I forgot to answer you here... unfortunately, no chances for a Hyborian Age rpg from me! I even have a fully-playtested expansion for AoC the strategy game that won't likely ever see print... unfortunately, Crom is deaf to the lamentations of his followers!