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Re: (TFT) TFT: Middle Earth

When the Tolkien estate refused to give Dennis McKiernan permission to publish his sequel to LoTR he changed the hobbits to dwarrow and Middle Earth to Mithgar and published it anyway. Both Leguin and Turtledove have written pastiches in homage to Tolkien; I'm certain without asking permission to do so. And I doubt that Harvard Lampoon had permission from Tolkien's estate to publish 'Bored of the Rings'. As long as you aren't putting out a blatant plagarization or intending to make money off of the adventure I wouldn't even have bothered to ask for permission -- since the estate has already been paid by commercial interests for use of J.R.R.'s creations, they kind of have to say no if asked by anyone else. I doubt anyone not already familiar with Tolkien's work would be interested in the adventure, so I wouldn't worry about players not being led to read his books. I want to see the Middle Earth portion of Cidri because I have already read LoTR, and I think I am safe in guessing that there isn't anyone on this list who hasn't read the trilogy. But I also want to play with an interesting game; I think that that depends on more than setting. In other words, if you really think that what you have is a watered-down generic wilderness trek which relies solely on references to LoTR to make it interesting then it probably won't be much fun to play -- from your enthusiasm for your friend's work, though, I suspect the adventure is strong enough to stand on its own. Change names, extrapolate original encounters, make nudging references only fans will understand, and do it with respect and affection for the trilogy.

   My answer has been to make the adventure generic enough so that it is
merely "Middle Earthesque" and not Middle Earth, but players would still
recognize it as Middle Earth and LoTR and that they would recognize most or
all of the characters, places, and events even with the names changed and
the serial numbers filed off. The bad part is that many players will /not/ recognize it as anything
more than an interesting wilderness adventure, which could possibly keep
them from then discovering and enjoying Tolkien's works.  This is
unfortunate considering the three LoTR movies coming up.
 So instead of a real LoTR
adventure he's instead left with a watered-down generic adventure featuring
an old wizard, an elf, a dwarf, a woodsman, and four "halflings" who need to trek across a continent to destroy an evil magic sword. Doesn't sound quite
as interesting, does it?
   Is this pretty solid, or can you shoot holes in this for our own good?

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