These are a set of roleplaying rules that seek to reproduce the magic and heroism of Tolkien’s Middle Earth in the Third Age. At the end of this age was the War of the Ring, who’s heroes and exploits are well-documented in Tolkien’s epic history – The Lord of the Rings.
This game, however, is set before the end of the Third Age, when things were far less black and white. The evil of Sauron reborn had not yet come to full fruit and the world of men and elves was disunited and tottering upon the very brink of eternal darkness. In that time many heroes died unsung in the fight to reveal Sauron’s byzantine plans, and the One Ring lay still in the hands of Gollum, deep in the Misty Mountains.
The players take on the roles of minor heroes on the side of the Light, struggling to defend the free peoples from an, as yet, nameless evil. They will interact with many of the people who later come to prominence at the end of the age, such as Gandalf, Radagast, Elrond, Thorin Oakenshield, Gwaihir, and a host of others. They will also find themselves in opposition to devious Goblin Kings, savage Trolls, ferocious Warg pack leaders, sinister Wights, the Nine and a horde of their minions. They may even hazard facing the Necromancer at Dol Guldur once they are of sufficient power.
from The Rules:
These are based partly upon Chaosium’s Runequest 2. Although this gives some of the underlying mechanics of the game, I think that you will find that many of the anomalies of those rules have been addressed without adding to their complexity, and that the feel of Tolkien’s work permeates every corner. The KISS principle (Keep It Simple Stupid) has been exercised throughout in these rules.