Best Selling RPGs - Available Now @ DriveThruRPG.com

Voros

Doomed Investigator
Joined
Sep 23, 2017
Messages
10,423
Reaction score
18,118
My quick search turned up a number of Tolkien themed threads (some started by me and I don't even count myself that big of a fan!) but surprisingly we don't have a dedicated thread so I thought I'd start one to share this amusing tweet from the excellent sf writer and academic Adam Roberts.


Roberts no doubt received this email because of his excellent book on The Hobbit and riddles in Tolkien, highly recommended!

9781137373632.jpg


Btw Roberts is also the author of the parodic Sellamillion.

9780575076112.jpg

If you're interested at all in his own novels these three are my top picks.

JACK-GLASS-revised2-676x1024.jpg 9da7506bcf6342db80d60c19492ed481.jpg 6056346.jpg
 

Séadna

Legendary Member
Joined
Sep 3, 2018
Messages
5,798
Reaction score
11,582
Beyond Lord of the Rings I really love Tolkien's more expansive essays on his world that are collected in "The History of Middle Earth" volumes. The more cosmological and somewhat less mythic rewrite of prehistory*, the more explicit connections to Christianity, the possibility of aliens, elves and humans being the same biological race and so on.

Of course there's also the languages which are meant to be a statement on beauty in language. Something I'd like to understand more.

*Or rather prehistory from the point of view of the Maia, rather than the human myth of the Silmarillon.
 

TristramEvans

The Right Hand of Doom
Moderator
Joined
Apr 24, 2017
Messages
22,592
Reaction score
56,334
Farmer Giles of Ham and Smith of Wotton Major are actually my favourite works by Tolkien, and I say that as a devoted fan of Middle Earth from a very early age. The illustrations by Pauline Baynes perfectly complement the tales, and I ended up liking her faux-medieval style so much I spent a long time (and no small amount of money) hunting down one of the few other books she illustrated, A Dictionary of Chivalry.
 

Stevethulhu

Studiously Indifferent
Joined
Aug 16, 2017
Messages
3,483
Reaction score
5,205
Beyond Lord of the Rings I really love Tolkien's more expansive essays on his world that are collected in "The History of Middle Earth" volumes. The more cosmological and somewhat less mythic rewrite of prehistory*, the more explicit connections to Christianity, the possibility of aliens, elves and humans being the same biological race and so on.

Of course there's also the languages which are meant to be a statement on beauty in language. Something I'd like to understand more.

*Or rather prehistory from the point of view of the Maia, rather than the human myth of the Silmarillon.
I never read any of that stuff. It always seemed like a combination of a deep dive and a cash in on the old man's desk draws to me.

Where is a good place to start?
 

TristramEvans

The Right Hand of Doom
Moderator
Joined
Apr 24, 2017
Messages
22,592
Reaction score
56,334
I'm almost surprised that no one has yet attempted to finish the unfished LOTR sequel in volume 13, People's of Middle-Earth...

I've always wanted to run a game based on the premise as laid out...Orc Cults and the like, the Return of the Shadow....could almost give a Lovecraftan vibe to Middle Earth
 

UnplayedRanger

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 11, 2020
Messages
112
Reaction score
202
I'm almost surprised that no one has yet attempted to finish the unfished LOTR sequel in volume 13, People's of Middle-Earth...

I've always wanted to run a game based on the premise as laid out...Orc Cults and the like, the Return of the Shadow....could almost give a Lovecraftan vibe to Middle Earth
Honestly it would be a fun campaign concept for The One Ring rpg.
 

Simon Hogwood

Puritan Bearbearian
Joined
Aug 20, 2017
Messages
904
Reaction score
1,848
I'm almost surprised that no one has yet attempted to finish the unfished LOTR sequel in volume 13, People's of Middle-Earth...
Beyond Lord of the Rings I really love Tolkien's more expansive essays on his world that are collected in "The History of Middle Earth" volumes. The more cosmological and somewhat less mythic rewrite of prehistory*, the more explicit connections to Christianity, the possibility of aliens, elves and humans being the same biological race and so on.
At the risk of being pedantic, The Peoples of Middle-earth is volume twelve of the set. That said, if you haven't heard there's supposed to be an unofficial* thirteenth volume called The Nature of Middle-Earth coming out this summer.

Personally, my favorite of that series (although I've yet to read them all) is currently Sauron Defeated, less for the LotR drafts as for the incomplete Notion Club Papers (which, incidentally, touch on the idea from that first tweet that Middle-earth is our world in the deep past).
I never read any of that stuff. It always seemed like a combination of a deep dive and a cash in on the old man's desk draws to me.
Well, yes, although I've never had the impression that Christopher Tolkien was motivated by money, as much as by wanting as much of J.R.R.'s creation to be available to the public.
Where is a good place to start?
You might find Unfinished Tales of Númenor and Middle-Earth a bit easier to get into than the History series proper.

*Unofficial in the sense that it's not actually being marketed as Volume 13 of The History of MIddle-earth, not in the sense that it's not more stuff from Tolkien's desk drawers. I'm honestly shocked there's still stuff to find in there. :shock:
 

TristramEvans

The Right Hand of Doom
Moderator
Joined
Apr 24, 2017
Messages
22,592
Reaction score
56,334
At the risk of being pedantic, The Peoples of Middle-earth is volume twelve of the set.

Huh, I checked and you're correct, but I honestly kinda feel like I'm having a Mandela Effect moment...
 

Brock Savage

Cosmic Barbarian
Joined
Jun 17, 2019
Messages
2,935
Reaction score
6,813
I've always wanted to run a game based on the premise as laid out...Orc Cults and the like, the Return of the Shadow....could almost give a Lovecraftan vibe to Middle Earth
I played in one, it was pretty tight. The GM really knew his Tolkien. He had a generational system going for mortals to keep up with the elf and dwarf it was ingenious and cool.
 

TristramEvans

The Right Hand of Doom
Moderator
Joined
Apr 24, 2017
Messages
22,592
Reaction score
56,334
I played in one, it was pretty tight. The GM really knew his Tolkien. He had a generational system going for mortals to keep up with the elf and dwarf it was ingenious and cool.


What system?
 

Brock Savage

Cosmic Barbarian
Joined
Jun 17, 2019
Messages
2,935
Reaction score
6,813
Aw jeeze a quick Google Image search doesn't show me but it was a Middle Earth specific system; if someone showed me the cover I could tell you. Brown hardbound book with nice art on cover. If I recall correctly system was kinda like d20 with 2d6.

Edit: Found it.
 

TristramEvans

The Right Hand of Doom
Moderator
Joined
Apr 24, 2017
Messages
22,592
Reaction score
56,334
Aw jeeze a quick Google Image search doesn't show me but it was a Middle Earth specific system; if someone showed me the cover I could tell you. Brown hardbound book with nice art on cover. If I recall correctly system was kinda like d20 with 2d6.


Yeah, the Decipher game

51DVTBCQ4WL._SX354_BO1,204,203,200_.jpg
 

Brock Savage

Cosmic Barbarian
Joined
Jun 17, 2019
Messages
2,935
Reaction score
6,813
If I recall correctly our party had an elf related to Feanor, a dwarf (I forget the details), and two humans of Numenorean lineage (I started play as a prince). After Tracy's Numenorean died heroically she played a Maiar in mortal form sent from the West to combat the growing threat (it sounds cheesy but it in practice it was awesome and none of us knew IC what she was). I want to say it was a few centuries into the 4th Age after fall of Sauron but I honestly don't remember other than that the campaign started in a time of peace and restoration. DM made our characters which actually really worked for the campaign because all of us had gamed for years together and he knew what we liked.
 

Gringnr

Part-Time Booty Goon
Joined
Jan 9, 2019
Messages
3,191
Reaction score
5,850
My quick search turned up a number of Tolkien themed threads (some started by me and I don't even count myself that big of a fan!) but surprisingly we don't have a dedicated thread so I thought I'd start one to share this amusing tweet from the excellent sf writer and academic Adam Roberts.


Roberts no doubt received this email because of his excellent book on The Hobbit and riddles in Tolkien, highly recommended!

View attachment 25945


Btw Roberts is also the author of the parodic Sellamillion.

View attachment 25946

If you're interested at all in his own novels these three are my top picks.

View attachment 25947 View attachment 25948 View attachment 25949


Adam Roberts sock account spotted
 

Brock Savage

Cosmic Barbarian
Joined
Jun 17, 2019
Messages
2,935
Reaction score
6,813

TristramEvans

The Right Hand of Doom
Moderator
Joined
Apr 24, 2017
Messages
22,592
Reaction score
56,334
Never heard of it can you give a quick rundown?


It's just annotations. A true annotated LoTR has been one of my holy grails for years (I love annotated books), though due to the size and complexity, they'd probably need to break it up into multiple volumes - probably one for each "book" in the books. In the meantime there's been seperately published annotations - I own two, but it's not quite the same.
 

Séadna

Legendary Member
Joined
Sep 3, 2018
Messages
5,798
Reaction score
11,582
And so it was in the Sixth Age of Arda that one of the Noldor Sëadnagolf did see the sons of man lacked in their tongue a word to empathise with their creations. And so taking that Mannish tongue most influenced by the Eldar speach did he craft a word for them:

Ofelmita = Quenya for eläytyminen

Involved a good bit of analysis between Quenya and Finnish but it should be right
 

valgunn

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 6, 2018
Messages
133
Reaction score
154
I’m a big Tolkien fan, though really haven’t spent much time recently with Middle-earth. Quite a while ago I (and many others) worked on an unofficial rpg called Hither Lands. The One Ring was so good, it kind of took the wind out of my sails.
 

TristramEvans

The Right Hand of Doom
Moderator
Joined
Apr 24, 2017
Messages
22,592
Reaction score
56,334
I’m a big Tolkien fan, though really haven’t spent much time recently with Middle-earth. Quite a while ago I (and many others) worked on an unofficial rpg called Hither Lands. The One Ring was so good, it kind of took the wind out of my sails.


I remember The Hither Lands RPG from back in my days at TBP, it garnered quite a bit of excitement at the time
 

Voros

Doomed Investigator
Joined
Sep 23, 2017
Messages
10,423
Reaction score
18,118
Anyone read this? I have it on my Audible list but I fear it may spend too much time playing defense of the Inklings literary reputation and so be too uncritical and apologist.

For instance, the real Lewis was a mixture of the admirable and the distasteful and he could be uneven as a writer, I think he improved as he got older, but most of those who write on him are loathe to discuss those complexities. Similarly Tolkien is too often presented as saintly, which sets off my bullshit detector as his relationship with Lewis suggests he had a more dogmatic mean streak than that image allows.

23526522.jpg
 
Last edited:

TristramEvans

The Right Hand of Doom
Moderator
Joined
Apr 24, 2017
Messages
22,592
Reaction score
56,334
I haven't read that book, but I've read a lot about The Inklings, I think I still own at least one book on them by Humphries.

And I've visited the Eagle and Child Pub when I was visiting Oxford.

At one time I tried to seek out writings by other members, but what I could find tended to be pretty boring. Mostly philosophical stuff, little in the way of fantasy fiction. I think thats why Tolkien and Lewis are the members most commonly recalled, even though there were lots of people formally and informally in the group.

Lewis I have to admit, I don't like, either as a writer, or the impression that I've gotten of him as a person. But I think this is the first time I've heard Tollers described as "saintly", lol. From my understanding he was arrogant, opinionated, and aloof.
 

Black Leaf

This Film's Crap. Let's Slash the Seats.
Moderator
Joined
Aug 20, 2017
Messages
2,991
Reaction score
7,165
I haven't read that book, but I've read a lot about The Inklings, I think I still own at least one book on them by Humphries.

And I've visited the Eagle and Child Pub when I was visiting Oxford.

At one time I tried to seek out writings by other members, but what I could find tended to be pretty boring. Mostly philosophical stuff, little in the way of fantasy fiction. I think thats why Tolkien and Lewis are the members most commonly recalled, even though there were lots of people formally and informally in the group.

Lewis I have to admit, I don't like, either as a writer, or the impression that I've gotten of him as a person. But I think this is the first time I've heard Tollers described as "saintly", lol. From my understanding he was arrogant, opinionated, and aloof.
They were probably less no more or less arrogant, opinionated and aloof than any other Oxford don of the time. It pretty much comes with the role. Had an ex that went to Oxford and some of the stories she told about the professors there...
 

TristramEvans

The Right Hand of Doom
Moderator
Joined
Apr 24, 2017
Messages
22,592
Reaction score
56,334
They were probably less no more or less arrogant, opinionated and aloof than any other Oxford don

Oh I'm sure, but I do chuckle when I read the stories of his falling out with Lewis and can distinctly picture it in my head. Him listening in irritation to Lewis read the first few chapters of the L,W,&tW, and then gruffly going "well this simply won't do"...
 

Voros

Doomed Investigator
Joined
Sep 23, 2017
Messages
10,423
Reaction score
18,118
I haven't read that book, but I've read a lot about The Inklings, I think I still own at least one book on them by Humphries.

And I've visited the Eagle and Child Pub when I was visiting Oxford.

At one time I tried to seek out writings by other members, but what I could find tended to be pretty boring. Mostly philosophical stuff, little in the way of fantasy fiction. I think thats why Tolkien and Lewis are the members most commonly recalled, even though there were lots of people formally and informally in the group.

Lewis I have to admit, I don't like, either as a writer, or the impression that I've gotten of him as a person. But I think this is the first time I've heard Tollers described as "saintly", lol. From my understanding he was arrogant, opinionated, and aloof.

Yeah that was my impression from my limited reading on him as well that was based on actual sources.

I read one rather uninspired and short biography that I can barely recall which has made me gunshy of digging into more Tolkien scholarship. I was probably thinking more of the online semi-academic discourse which tends to react to anything critical about Tolkien with outsized rage and umbrage (people still haven't forgiven Moorcock for Epic Pooh haha).

Of the lesser known Inklings Charles Williams wrote what sounds like interesting and odd religious fantasies. His personal life sounds...interesting?

 

TristramEvans

The Right Hand of Doom
Moderator
Joined
Apr 24, 2017
Messages
22,592
Reaction score
56,334
Of the lesser known Inklings Charles Williams wrote what sounds like interesting and off fantasies. His personal life sounds...interesting?


Williams' Place of the Lion I found fascinating, sorta like a Christian old English version of Mythago Wood crossed with Unknown Armies.
 

Simon Hogwood

Puritan Bearbearian
Joined
Aug 20, 2017
Messages
904
Reaction score
1,848
Williams' Place of the Lion I found fascinating, sorta like a Christian old English version of Mythago Wood crossed with Unknown Armies.
Well, that sounds amazing. I really do need to read something of his one of these days.
Anyone read this? I have it on my Audible list but I fear it may spend too much time playing defense of the Inklings literary reputation and so be too uncritical and apologist.

For instance, the real Lewis was a mixture of the admirable and the distasteful and he could be uneven as a writer, I think he improved as he got older, but most of those who write on him are loathe to discuss those complexities. Similarly Tolkien is too often presented as saintly, which sets off my bullshit detector as his relationship with Lewis suggests he had a more dogmatic mean streak than that image allows.

View attachment 26196
I liked it just fine, although I don't particularly recall anything that would let me place it on the critic-to-apologist scale. Mostly I like that it went into more about the other Inklings, especially (as you might guess) Williams and Barfield. It is, as I recall, more interested in how their intellectual ideas influenced each other than their day-to-day life. If that's more your interest, and especially if you're interested in a "warts-and-all" approach, you might take a look at this work, which specifically focuses on Lewis' pre-Christian youth:

43585691.jpg
 

Voros

Doomed Investigator
Joined
Sep 23, 2017
Messages
10,423
Reaction score
18,118
Well, that sounds amazing. I really do need to read something of his one of these days.

I liked it just fine, although I don't particularly recall anything that would let me place it on the critic-to-apologist scale. Mostly I like that it went into more about the other Inklings, especially (as you might guess) Williams and Barfield. It is, as I recall, more interested in how their intellectual ideas influenced each other than their day-to-day life. If that's more your interest, and especially if you're interested in a "warts-and-all" approach, you might take a look at this work, which specifically focuses on Lewis' pre-Christian youth:

View attachment 26198

I like a big of both. I do like something that focuses on the work or thought rather than personal life in general, most writers work is more interesting than their lives I think, with some notable exceptions of course. But a bit of biography is alwags good for context and just interest. I don't usually like the kind of bigraphy of a writer that mentions their work in passing but makes sure you know what they ate for breakfast and when they made a bowel movement. The Lewis book looks interesting thanks.
 

David Johansen

Legendary Member
Joined
May 4, 2017
Messages
3,393
Reaction score
5,281
Roger Lancelyn Green's King Arthur and Robin Hood are passable if a bit dry young adult books. He was a member on the inklings. I think he also did a Greek myth book.
 

Endless Flight

Tea Time
Administrator
Moderator
Joined
Apr 24, 2017
Messages
9,374
Reaction score
22,505
Is Tom supposed to be Tolkien’s version of Gaea?
 
Cthulhu Mythos - Available Now @ DriveThruRPG.com
Top