current version v1.01  

Update 03/15/10

The New Hither-lands Forum...

We are pleased to annouce the new Hither-lands forum, new forum software and Hither-lands community.

Point your brower to Hither-lands Forum


Update 01/26/10

The One Ring is revealed...

From Cubicle

20 January 2010 - Cubicle 7 Entertainment and Sophisticated Games announce that they are developing The One Ring: The Lord of the Rings® Role-playing Game.

Cubicle 7 Entertainment and Sophisticated Games are proud to announce that they are jointly developing The OneRing: The Lord of the Rings® Role-playing Game.

“We’re tremendously excited about The One Ring,” said Dominic McDowall-Thomas, Cubicle 7 Director. “Our aim is to give our audience an authentic Middle-earth gaming experience, one that really captures the feel of Tolkien’s world.”

The designer and lead writer of this project, Francesco Nepitello, is a games industry veteran, best known for the hugely successful and critically acclaimed War of the Ring strategy board game, which he designed with The One Ring co-designer Marco Maggi and Roberto di Meglio. A recipient of the International Gamers Award, War of the Ring is recognised by many ‘Lord of the Rings’ enthusiasts and hobby gamers alike as one of the most engaging recreations of the world-renowned fantasy saga by J.R.R. Tolkien. Francesco and Marco are the designers of other immersive board game titles like Marvel Super Heroes and Age of Conan, but started their game-designing careers creating Lex Arcana, the most successful and popular fantasy role-playing game published in Italy.

Francesco has designed the new LOTR RPG game system to make sure that players are completely immersed in Middle-earth from the moment they begin creating their characters. As an experienced designer of games based on JRR Tolkien, as well as being a lifelong devotee of the Tolkien works, Francesco brings a dimension -and a depth- to this RPG which has probably never been seen before in a LOTR game.

Robert Hyde, head of Cambridge (UK) based Sophisticated Games said, “When we first acquired the rights from Tolkien Enterprises to publish this RPG - as part of our wider LOTR book based board game license- we had no hesitation in approaching Francesco to conceive a completely fresh LOTR and The Hobbit RPG, and for him to be the writer. We knew that he possessed both these skills and that the game would be in very safe hands. His presentation of Middle-earth, along with stunning artwork from John Howe and others, brings this incredibly evocative and exciting world to life.”



Update 12/20/09

The grey rain-curtain of this world rolls back, and all turns to silver glass... 

We have a wider ambition, here at Hither-lands. Not only do we dream of making a Middle-earth Roleplaying Game of our own, but also we want this site to be a gathering place for others gamers and other games of Tolkien's world. We will be creating a list of essential links, and eventually hope to have an overview and discussion of all Middle-earth games. We want to make the very best game we can, but we also want to share other's dreams and other's visions.


Update 12/20/09

Please feel free to visit our forums, and add your thoughts, ideas and wishes. You may follow the link above, or click here.

Hither-Lands is reborn, and it needs all the help it can get.


Update 12/20/09

And We Are Back...

Welcome to the greatest fantasy epic of all time

Come live the legend of Hither Lands: 
Roleplaying in Middle-earth. Inside this book you will find everything you need to play in the beloved realm of J.R.R. Tolkien. Now is your chance to take on the role of any hero you can imagine. Unite with your friends to face the dark might of the Shadow and defeat it. Hither Lands comes complete with the TABA SYSTEM rules allowing for quick. Exciting play. A wealth of setting material for extended campaigning is also presented. With this game all you have to do is decide is what
to do with the time that you have been given. 

Remember every adventure starts  with just one step. And so  this journey begins... 


Critical Update 09/22/06

Mae Govannen. I would like to welcome all those who have come to visit here. Though it has been quiet for some time, things are beginning to stir once again. On the anniversary of both Bilbo and Frodo Baggins I would like to mark this special time by making an announcement: I'm back!

There are some positives that do occur when you step away from a project that allow for a wealth of ideas and opinions to set in. So with that said you will come to find that over the course of the next three months a number of revisions on Hither Lands will take place. The end result is to produce a complete roleplaying game for adventuring in Middle-earth.

Keep both eyes on news of forthcoming updates and information.


Critical Update 06/25/04

It is done!
You can grab the teaser character generation chapter from Hither Lands here (2.0 MB pdf).

Please discuss the teaser pdf in the Hither Lands Message Boards.


Update 06/24/04

Long time no update, folks ... but we have been busy!

I have sent the current release candidate for the character generation teaser chapter to Val and I'm currently waiting for his approval. As soon as I have it, the .pdf will go online - most probably tomorrow.

It is a 19 page fully-layouted .pdf and comprises the complete first chapter of Hither Lands (even though the .pdf says "Chapter Two" - this is a typo I have caught just now:). The size is roughly 2 MB. As soon as it goes online, I will announce it here:)

Speaking of the full version of Hither Lands, the book is currently 109 pages long (including the title page); however the last 30 pages (history & geography section) contain just a single piece of artwork at the moment (I`m waiting for some more text before I begin placing artwork into the section for real) - so that section will increase dramatically in size shortly.

Chapter two, Archetypes, is in its infancy - the templates are currently written up while I'm figuring out the layout for that chapter. Addionally, chapters eleven and twelve (Allies & Enemies) are also unfinished - in the end I expect the finished product to have no less than 150 pages ...

So stay tuned!


Update 04/22/04

Val asked me to post a preview image of the sample character sheet used in the Character Creation Guide of Hither Lands. And so here she is - Beraenil, Daughter of Herenil and Meiana ...


As you can see, the sheet is slightly different from the posted one; I'm still not completely happy with it yet, but I think it has already improved from the first version.

If you want to take a closer look, you can do so here (PDF, 257 kb).

Another news, for those who haven't already read it in the forum, I have finished the main layout for the next generation pdf, but we are still correcting some sections and expanding others. So while I'm fiddling with the character sheet and hunting the net for additional graphics for Hither Lands, Val together with Malcom, Dave and Neil are busy writing new chapters that will also appear in the pdf (among them the notorious character generation guide and chapters about starting gear and a brief overwiew of Middle-earth).


Update 04/03/04

Val has sent me a new version of the Hither Lands rules containing several label changes; they have been incorporated into the online version. I have also changed the character sheet accordingly. My time during the last month was limited so I have made little progress on the preview .pdf ... it should be finished soon, but I have no ETA when the first version will be downloadable.


Update 03/05/04

A first sign of the new edition of Hither Lands rears its head: the Character Sheet. Grab it here.


Update 03/03/04

The most recent update corrects the spelling of Ardour and changes Lot to Luck; the Shoot skill has also been renamed to Fire. Most notable however, is the inclusion of skill descriptions, a Renown mechanic and a section on Further Perils as well as short Healing rules. More extensive healing rules are slated for a sunday update, so watch this space ;)

Discuss the changes in the Hither Lands Message Boards.


And now for something completely different, the future:

just to let you know what I am currently up to (apart from the recent update of the online version), I have begun work on the new pdf version of Hither Lands. I hope you all like the new look ... Here is a little preview of the current cover for the new Acrobat Version:


And this is how the interior is going to look like:


Discuss the new look in the Hither Lands Message Boards.

  There have been a number of attempts to design a system that allows those to adventure in the wonderful realm J.R.R. Tolkien created, this is but another one. The effort of Hither Lands is to keep that journey as close to the true spirit set in the texts of Middle-earth. A system cannot dominate this place, it must be as transparent as a roleplaying design can be, thus to prevent the rules from overbearing the setting. The motive here is not for profit or personal gain, only to seek out the highest standards for the greatest of all fantasy settings.

It is not the intention, nor the endeavor of Hither Lands to disparage the creative works found in the LotR RPG from Decipher. As an official product that game is bound to legal license and therefore is limited in scope and context. The creative freedom of being an unofficial game is that it does not have to adhere to these restrictions.

Within these pages you will find the basic information required to roleplay in Middle-earth. This is the teaser version of Hither Lands and not the final product. There are still some issues to work out and it is an opportunity for you to make an overall impact on the final version of the system. A few friends, some pens and paper, and at least one twelve-sided (d12) are all that is required to get started.

One fortunate individual is responsible for the overall management of the game. Not an easy task, but certainly rewarding and enjoyable if the effort is put in to run a worthy campaign. A Gamemaster must describe the happenings of the world around the players and control the actions which will occur from encounters with friend or foe. The other players form the Fellowship and join together characters they have created to battle against the forces who oppose them.

  There are those of noble heart who have stood steadfast against the forces of darkness never wavering in the face of such vile wickedness. Middle-earth has always been a place for heroes. It is a land like no other; one that captivates as if magic was truly woven into its elegant prose and verses. These Hither Lands have been a place of awe and wonder to all those who have chosen wander its narrative roads.

Here you will find adventure and drama set against a beautiful backdrop of lilting, evocative songs, poems, and vignettes. A place where moral, heartfelt messages are entwined with storied histories, cultures, and languages that waits to be discovered again and again.

What has made Middle-earth so beloved is the manner in which Tolkien seamlessly crafted a classic struggle between good and evil. An epic work of fantasy fiction, that is at the same time, so believable. It is a place of vivid imagination that is both awe inspiring and often times terrible to behold. It is Light and Shadow. A world where the Children of Ilúvatar – immortal wise Elves, stout stalwart Dwarves, simple amiable Hobbits and the brave moreover passionate Race of Men wage battle against the foul spawn of Dark Lord Melkor – cruel Orcs, massive Trolls, ominous Dragons, and terrible Balrogs.

It is here where you will have the chance to storm into the First Age, with the Wars of Beleriand, and aid the Host of Valinor in the overthrow of Morgoth. Overcome the dark years of the Second Age, and bring glory to Numenor in the Last Alliance of Men and Elves. Answer the call of the Wise to see the One Ring unmade as the Third Age draws to a close in the Great Years. Sail with the light of hope into the Fourth Age to face new dangers and the yet unknown threat of the New Shadow.


Hither Lands is a completely unofficial site and is in no way affiliated with Decipher Inc., New Line Cinema, Tolkien Enterprises or the Estate of J.R.R. Tolkien, whose rights are fully acknowledged. Unless specifically indicated, Hither Lands in no way claims the artwork displayed to be our own. Copyrights and trademarks for the names, items and events from the books, films, articles, and other promotional materials are held by their respective owners and their use is allowed under the fair use clause of the Copyright Law. Hither Lands design and original artwork however are copyrighted under © 2004 Studio XII. Fundamental game design is copyrighted as © 2004 Lucid System.


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