14 March 2016

Can Gandalf be a 5th edition D&D magic-user?

Cubicle 7, publishers of The One Ring role-playing game, will be coming out with a series of Middle-earth products for Dungeons & Dragons 5th edition.

Here is the official announcement:
Cubicle 7 Entertainment and Sophisticated Games have announced plans to make a Dungeons & Dragons® compatible roleplaying series for J R R Tolkien’s legendary fantasy world of Middle-earth, the setting for The Lord of the Rings® and The Hobbit®.
Cubicle 7’s CEO Dominic McDowall said, “We’re all very excited to be building on the success of The One Ring Roleplaying Game and bringing Middle-earth to D&D® players. Uniting two things very close to the hearts of gamers, me included, is very cool – I can't wait for the summer.”
The best selling The One Ring Roleplaying Game will continue as a separate and independent line, with some very exciting announcements coming this week. The new series will be based upon Francesco Nepitello’s highly praised work in The One Ring®, with Francesco acting as creative consultant.
Further details will be released in the coming months, with the release set for Summer 2016.
This is exciting news, at least for me, as I played a ton of ICE's Middle-earth Role-playing ('MERP') during the glory days of my gaming youth (from the mid-1980s to the early 1990s). I haven't used Middle-earth  for my gaming in fifteen years, but I still very much like the world, and look forward to seeing what Cubicle 7 produces for it. (I assume that the standard 5e rules will be heavily tweaked, as they are quite inappropriate for Middle-earth as written.)

Do you remember the classic Dragon article: "Gandalf was a 5th level magic-user"? I guess we'll soon find out whether Gandalf can be a 5th edition magic-user...

[Gandalf by Frank Frazetta.]


  1. Thanks to C. Robichaud for alerting me to this!

  2. As a DnD AND The One Ring GM I have to say this is very promising news! Even though I like the TOR rules they're, especially compared to Dnd 5e, a bit clumsy. But I do hope they keep/incorporate the excellent Fellowship phase rules in the DnD version.

    1. I only played TOR a couple of times (as a player, not a GM), and I didn't care for it. But that may be because I did not fully understand the rules. However, I think I'm more comfortable with a 'traditional' RPG approach (like MERP or, hopefully, the forthcoming 5e D&D variant).

    2. It's really quite close to Pendragon in its execution. I agree with Joakim that it's the one ring is a little clumsy mainly the dice rolls the d12 the symbols and the d6s.

  3. Replies
    1. I was surprised to learn some years back that Frazetta did a number of Middle-earth illustrations:

  4. Interesting. I loved MERP back in the day, even though the magic system was not a very good fit for Middle Earth in my opinion. We mostly has warriors and scouts anyway though.
    Thanks for the heads up about the forthcoming adaptation.

    1. MERP was a lot of fun, but the magic system was indeed quite 'off' for Middle-earth. I don't think I could bring myself to use it (at least RAW) today. Many of the supplements remain awesome, however.

  5. What issue of Dragon did that article appear?

  6. Can hardly see how you'd make D&D work for LOTR and still even remotely resemble the awkward beast that is D&D, guess we'll see.


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I'm a Canadian political philosopher who lives primarily in Toronto but teaches in Milwaukee (sometimes in person, sometimes online).