Are we eternalizing Dungeons & Dragons?

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®.

I wasn't particularly excited when i read this piece of news yesterday.
We already have a beautiful game set in Middle earth which was published by the same company.
Countless gamers out there already tried the so-called "porting" (as this term is used in the software field): that is, trying to adapt Tolkien to D&D mechanics or vice versa.

I am not saying that Cubicle 7 won't be able to do that: quite the opposite. I feel they are likely to publish a decent game, considering how well they did with their entire line.

But this is not the point of my rumbling today. 
 thiInk - quite simply- that Tolkien fans and people who want to play in a Tolkien environment should stick to "The One ring" RPG or for what that matters, to MERP (Middle Earth Role Playing game) by ICE. Or "Tiers Age". (link here).

But please, stop try to tweak D&D to anything. This is the same old blind attempt. As far as i am concerned, this is tantamount to believing that only D&D exists- without taking into account that other games serve the scope in a far better way, without admitting that there are rule sets devised specifically to convey a certain flavour to your game sessions.

And this is, again, one of the reasons why in the past D&D "clones" or other fantasy games published by other companies never really hit the market. They provided other flavour to the game sessions, but people instead tried to correct and make amendments to Dungeons & dragons when they realized that its rules were not fit and that there were "holes".

When D&D isn't enough, that prods us to see things right. And maybe to change our game of choice.
We are compelled to use another system, not to tweak D&D instead.
If we hanker to have a Tolkien-like experience, we should use TOR by Cubicle 7, not D&D.
But it seems that we always grudgingly recognize that D&D may not suffice.


Anonymous said...

I'm choosing to see this as the Peter Jackson equivalent to TOR. It probably won't be quite right in terms of tone and atmosphere, but it'll rake in money and be reasonably popular, and if Cubicle 7 use the profits they will undoubtedly get from this product to subsidise The One Ring game line (and bring it to the attention of those wanting a more thoughtful, less action-oriented take on the material) so much the better.

People enjoying the Peter Jackson movies doesn't take away my enjoyment of the books; people enjoying this won't take away my enjoyment of TOR.

Fabio Milito Pagliara said...

it's strange that you find MERP an ok game to play in middle earth and then you have problems with an adaption of D&D....

Balkhmog said...

I agree with the comment stating that, apart raking in monkey, D&D-zing TOR will bring the game and its excellent atmosphere to a larger audience that otherwise would have ignored it.

That said, while being a [Classic/Old/1stEd.] D&D fan, I don't really see the necessity "per se" of applying D&D rules to other systems, especially those based on a more realistic, less epic, approach to Hit Points and the survivability of dramatis personae.

D&D, unless heavily altered with home rules, is great to portray steep advancement curves of characters that start off as the blacksmith's son and end up wearing a crown and leading armies, but, really, TOR, with its portrayal of "lesser" characters in a world already populated by unapproachable epic heroes, is surely best served by the uncommon but intriguing rules that its original creator intended for it.

Catacomb librarian said...

@Fabio: you are totally right. I know that MERP wasn't a good system to play Tolkien sessions, but i cited it in a most extensive and inclusive manner, taking into account its (IMHO) unparalleled geographical and historical modules which details in extreme details the inhabitants, flora, fauna and history of each region of middle earth.(and, by the way, i am pretty sure that at Cubicle 7 headquarters they EXTENSIVELY read and studied them.........)

Matt Celis said...

Why is it strange? I quite agree MERP is pretty good and D&D is not suitable.

Matt Celis said...

Why is it strange? I quite agree MERP is pretty good and D&D is not suitable.

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