Wizards of the Coast may have created plenty of reference books and printed adventure books for Dungeons & Dragons fans to choose from, but this is really just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to TTRPG content. This is because fans of all stripes are always creating their own worlds and D&D mechanics, sometimes even sharing them with the whole world. Voice actor and master of critical roles Matt Mercer has made a great contribution to the franchise, for example, the Blood Hunter class, but adaptations of famous IP addresses also deserve praise for expanding the capabilities of D&D. For example, “The Lord of the Rings” will soon make a foray into D&D.
The Free League publishing house recently announced that it is working on “The Lord of the Rings 5e”, a D&D adaptation of its previous TTRPG product The One Ring. Few details have been reported so far, but fans can reportedly add new travel rules, classes and cultures that will appear in the handbook when it comes out next year. “The Lord of the Rings 5e” is exciting on its own, but it’s especially noteworthy when you consider other recent D&D adaptations of major IP. The Free League project may indicate a growing interest in adapting franchises of all kinds for board game evenings.
Surge in TTRPG adaptation
Several game franchises have recently been trying their hand at D&D-inspired TTRPG adaptations, especially RPGs created by FromSoftware. Dark Souls recently dealt a blow to board games, although it came out with some problems that disappointed fans. Fortunately, the Elden Ring TTRPG is also in development, which may give FromSoftware a second chance to gain a foothold in this gaming space. In particular, this happened after Elden Ring fans had already enjoyed the sponsored Critical Role vanshot, which gave fans the opportunity to take a look at what a TTRPG taking place in Lands Between might look and feel like.
FromSoftware’s Soulsborne games aren’t the only ones showing interest in D&D and other TTRPGS. Wizards of the Coast has often adapted their own Magic: The Gathering planes into official D&D add-ons, giving fans the opportunity to explore some of their favorite worlds from the collectible card game. Avatar: The Last Airbender also recently entered the market with Avatar Legends, an Apocalypse-style system that draws heavily on the themes and friendships found in the series. In general, it’s obvious that a lot of different IP addresses are interested in TTRPG, perhaps because of the unprecedented popularity of D&D 5th edition, and that’s a good thing.
The Future of TTRPG Pop Culture
Lord of the Rings 5e is not the first D&D add—on or TTRPG system based on a known IP, and everything indicates that it will not be the last. On the contrary, these adaptations continue to arise. At this rate, it seems like almost any action-IP could end up in the RPG space, whether Nintendo’s The Legend of Zelda gets a D&D book or the Marvel cinematic universe decides to invest in its own superhero TTRPG. If these adaptations continue, then TTRPGS may only become more popular in the next few years. People who haven’t given this genre a chance may be more interested if they can master the basics while playing in one of their favorite fictional universes.
Adaptation is still going quite slowly, but it is likely that the pace will accelerate in the coming years. Dungeons & Dragons has greatly expanded the market by releasing a very affordable 5th edition, and other companies have undoubtedly seen that TTRPGS are already profitable. This will be a victory for both TTRPG veterans and newcomers, as it can provide resources for current campaigns and inspire new ones in previously not considered conditions. The continued impact of D&D 5e remains to be seen, but for now, Lord of the Rings 5e definitely sounds like a worthy addition to this TTRPG trend.
Dungeons & Dragons 5e is already available.