24 October 2022

Secrets of the Golden Throne for Against the Darkmaster

Last month I mentioned that a new campaign setting was in the works for the Against the Darkmaster FRPG (“VsD”): Secrets of the Golden Throne.


Well, the project has been successfully funded on Kickstarter, so the campaign book will indeed be produced. (There’s 13 days to go on the KS campaign in case you’d like to back it.)


As I’ve said a few times before here, as an old MERP fan, VsD is my favourite FRPG to come out in recent years (since Mythras). VsD takes the basic elements of MERP and uses them to build a game that is even better overall. 

[The mysterious island of "Awallon"]

While the small campaign setting included in the core book is impressive, it’s great that a larger setting will be available soon – and one that promises to have an enchanting “Arthurian”/ “Faerie”/ “Lyonesse” flavour as well! (In addition to the campaign setting and adventures, new rules material also will be included: kins, cultures, spells, and monsters.)


If you’re curious about the game and/or setting, some free downloads are available here.


03 October 2022

Forthcoming Mythras loot


The wheels keep turning over at the Design Mechanism. There are some cool things coming out for Mythras later this year or early 2023. Among them:


Mythic Polynesia: the latest addition to the Mythic Earth range, and a comprehensive guide to the peoples of Polynesia, their way of life, myths, unique culture, and dozens of seeds for adventure.

Mythras Factions: a short supplement dealing with factions of all kinds in Mythras. From gangs to guilds, ambitious families to multinational cartels. The supplement includes unique rules for creating your faction, and guidance on how they can achieve their goals.

Mythic Britain: Gwynedd. A supplement for Mythic Britain, this mix of short campaign setting and adventures focuses on Gwynedd and Ynys Mon, a kingdom fraught with strife, and on the edge of implosion as old scores are settled between the sprawling families and clans.

Book of Schemes (expected early 2023): Welcome to Guelden, a city-state ruled by intrigue, guilds, feuding families, and a lust for power. This complete setting is in a similar vein to the popular Fioracitta, and details both Guelden and its immediate surroundings. The city can be dropped into any existing campaign, or used as the foundation for a new one, and is highly compatible with other books in the Mythras range.



Mythras is my favourite new RPG of the current century (as I’ve said many times here before). It’s certainly the one that I’ve played the most over the past dozen years (if its immediate predecessors, Mongoose RuneQuest II and RuneQuest 6 are included). So it’s great news that more interesting material will be available for it in the near future!


Also forthcoming are some items for Lyonesse: a scenario and a supplement focusing on “Rogues, Vagabonds, Thieves, and Miscreants.”


02 October 2022

The Lord of the Rings Roleplaying 5e (Dungeons & Dragons)

I was wondering whether the Free League would be revising and re-releasing Adventures in Middle-earth (AiME), the 5th edition Dungeons and Dragons rules developed by Cubicle 7. In addition to incorporating many elements from The One Ring (TOR) roleplaying game into the 5th edition D&D framework, AiME also radically reworked a number of core elements of 5e to fit Middle-earth (most notably the magic system and classes). I used AiME for my “Spider Cult of Mirkwood” campaign a few years ago and think quite highly of it – in fact, I think it’s better than “core” 5e DnD, at least for “low magic” settings.



Wisely deciding not to leave money on the table, the Free League is coming out with their version of AiME, now called The Lord of the Rings 5e. Here’s their description:

Middle-earth is opening up for new adventurers! The pre-order for the 5E adaptation of the award winning second edition of The One Ring™ RPG, entitled The Lord of the Rings™ Roleplaying, alongside the Shire™ Adventures compendium and a 5E Loremaster's Screen, has been launched today. The pre-order gives immediate access to complete PDFs.


The Lord of the Rings™ Roleplaying is 236-page hardback volume that contains what you need to create 5E adventures set in the world’s most popular fantasy setting: six original heroic cultures from the land of Eriador, six new classes, a host of terrifying adversaries, and comprehensive rules for journeys, councils, wondrous artefacts, and the subtle magic of Middle-earth.


Shire™ Adventures is a 104-page hardback volume that describes the Shire in great detail, as well as five short adventures and seven pre-generated characters, including famous Bagginses, Tooks, and Brandybucks! The contents of Shire™ Adventures are adapted from the Starter Set for The One Ring™ RPG.


The official retail release of all items is planned for early 2023, but the pre-order in the Free League webshop gives immediate access to complete PDFs of The Lord of the Rings™ Roleplaying and Shire™ Adventures. You can even report your feedback on these PDFs on our forums before they go to print!


Note that PDFs of the 5E Loremaster's Screen and Rivendell Compendium will be shared at a later date.

The art is stunning – I would buy this book for the pictures alone!


It can be pre-ordered here.


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