Cubicle 7 has landed what could be the most coveted license in roleplaying—J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings—quite a coup for this upstart publisher with apparently big ambitions. The company announced Tuesday that it would be developing The One Ring: The Lord of the Rings Role-playing Game jointly with Sophisticated Games. The latter acquired a license for book-based tabletop games from Tolkien Enterprises. The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit have been major inspirations for fantasy roleplaying since there was such a category. And while there have been Middle Earth roleplaying games published before, this will be the first after the release of the blockbuster movies that exposed millions of new people to the legends of Gandalf and Frodo.

Cubicle 7″s announcement named Francesco Nepitello as lead designer for The One Ring. Francesco does have previous experience in roleplaying game design (the Italian game, Lex Arcana), but is better known for his board games, which include War of the Ring, Age of Conan, and Marvel Heroes. It will be interesting to see if the game goes the way of the indie-style games, as Cubicle 7’s previous efforts and acquisitions have, or perhaps the way of Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay (with board game elements), given the designer’s connection to Fantasy Flight Games.

No matter which, my wife insists, “I want to play Tom Bombadil and compose many informative odes.”