The Lord of the Rings Roleplaying game for 5e is the latest TTRPG from Free League Publishing that combines elements from Free League’s The One Ring RPG with the 5th edition ruleset of Dungeons & Dragons. The history of Lord of the RIngs and D&D have been intertwined since the tabletop game’s earliest days, and while this isn’t the first time LOTR and D&D have combined, it does mark an easy (and arguably the best) opportunity to incorporate Lord of the Rings characters, items, and lore into a 5e setting.
On its own, The Lord of the RIngs Roleplaying game works well. Anyone already familiar with D&D’s 5e ruleset should be right at home here. Compared to The One Ring RPG 2nd edition, which was released in 2021, The Lord of the Rings Roleplaying 5e rules make certain elements like combat seem more viable. There are still mechanics like Patrons and the Adventurers (like Durin’s Folk, Rangers of the North, Bardings, etc.) that remain fairly unchanged but these are accompanied by new skills and some rule variants for Loremasters (DMs).
Bringing the World of Middle-earth to D&D
At launch, The Lord of the Rings Roleplaying 5e Core Rulebook, Shire Adventures book, and Loremaster’s screen with Rivendell Compendium are all available. Each sports beautiful artwork that feels right at home in J.R.R. Tolkien’s world of Middle-earth. The black-and-white illustrations even have a nice sketchbook aesthetic that captures the feel of the books. Shire Adventures is a supplement that is mostly focused for beginners who want to explore the Shire before facing greater challenges in Eriador, while the Rivendell Compendium that comes with the Loremaster’s screen provides more details and gameplay elements related to the Last Homely House.
The Core Rulebook for The Lord of the Rings Roleplaying 5e also includes a guide on Adventuring Phases, Virtues, and reward recommendations. The structure of Fellowship Phases (recovery, player undertakings between adventuring, etc.) are also outlined and well-instructed. The Lord of the Rings Roleplaying 5e – Shire Adventures provides a great launching point for newcomers, as well as giving seven pre-generated characters and five starting adventures around the Shire. The pre-rolled characters are mostly hobbits, but this lends itself well to the setting. Much of what’s here is pulled from the content in The One RIng RPG Starter Set.
For anyone who skipped The One Ring RPG due to not wanting to learn a new system, The Lord of the Rings Roleplaying 5e is ideal. In-game, the 5e rules work well in the Middle-earth setting and with these characters. And, of course, because it can be incorporated into other 5e content, it’s infinitely cool rolling a hobbit like Bilbo into a Dungeons & Dragons campaign.
The Lord of the Rings Roleplaying for 5e feels more like an update (which, really, it is) rather than a wholly new experience for those who’ve played The One Ring RPG already, but it’s a well-welcomed addition. It instantly has broader appeal by being 5e, and hopefully means even more people can experience the excellent roleplaying from The One Ring 2nd edition. It’s a dream come true for those wanting to blend The Lord of the Rings with D&D 5e.
Copies of The Lord of the Rings Roleplaying 5e, Shire Adventures, and the Rivendell Compenidum were sent to Screen Rant for the purpose of this review.