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The Last Ringbearer

Posted: Sat May 12, 2018 9:53 am
by Big Mac
A friend on Facebook, called Paul, just told me about a Russian novel called The Last Ringbearer by Kirill Eskov that is an alternative account of, and an informal sequel to, the events of J.R.R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings.

The Wikipedia article gets into spoilers, but here is the setup of the novel, mentioned in the first paragraph of the Plot section of the article:
The Last Ringbearer at Wikipedia wrote:The novel is based on the premise that the Tolkien account is a "history written by the victors". In Eskov's version of the story, Mordor is described as a peaceful country on the verge of an industrial revolution, that is a threat to the war-mongering and imperialistic faction represented by Gandalf (whose attitude has been described by Saruman as "crafting the Final Solution to the Mordorian problem") and the elves.
Here are a couple of online articles, that explain more about The Last Ringbearer: It looks like the book itself has had quite a bit of criticism.

I know that people in D&D circles have spoken about running all evil campaigns (and Fast Forward Entertainment had a campaign setting called Green Races based on PCs being races like orcs) but I've not heard of anyone doing anything like this with Middle-earth yet.

Do you think a Last Ringbearer campaign could work?

Is Kirill Eskov's premise good enough by itself, or would you suggest any other changes to optimise this to your favourite Middle-earth roleplaying rules?

Does anyone know of anyone out there already running a game with the Last Ringbearer theme?

Re: The Last Ringbearer

Posted: Sat May 12, 2018 12:43 pm
by Havard
Very interesting. I didn't know this book existed. I am sure it could be an interesting read. Definitely an interesting thought experiment.

I am not sure I would be keen on running an RPG based on this premise. I think part of the appeal of RPGs is to experience fantasy worlds that I love. This sort of reversal will likely work better with people who aren't fans of Tolkien.

OTOH, if the setting was a bit more removed from Middle Earth, but keeping the premise of a nation kept down by greater, imperialist kingdoms surrounding it could be interesting. Not a big fan of "elves being evil" and similar tropes, but I am open to the idea of Orcs being the good guys. We have seen the concept of Orcs being changed through World of Warcraft and even back in Mystara's Orcs of Thar.

-Havard