Someone has already made a Middle-earth map for Imperator: Rome

Using Imperator: Rome's powerful map editor, someone has already created the setting for The Lord of the Rings.

Imperator: Rome has only been out for a few days, and fans are already turning it into something else entirely. Using the built-in map editor, someone has already created a rough approximation of J.R.R. Tolkien’s Middle-earth, or at least the bit of it where The Lord of the Rings takes place.

Redditor MattTheLegoman uploaded an image of his map to the Imperator: Rome subreddit. While it lacks labels and towns, you can see the realms of Mordor, Gondor, and Eriador. I’m not completely sure on the cartography, but it’s clear that Imperator’s map editor is a pretty handy tool for modders.

“Here’s a rough map I created of Middle-earth in Imperator: Rome with the nifty map editor,” MattTheLegoman writes. “I understand how it works and it is very powerful.”

And while there’s nothing to really do with his Middle-earth map just yet, it’s likely that we’ll be seeing full-fledged total conversion mods for Imperator: Rome before long. The game is built using a new version of Paradox’s venerable Clausewitz engine, with a new layer of tools that will make modding a much more user-friendly experience.

The Imperator: Rome map editor isn’t right in the foreground. If you’re interested in trying your hand at it, there are two ways to open it up. The first way is to open the game normally, start a new game with any country, and then open the console with the ‘~’ key. Then type ‘map_editor’ (without the inverted commas). The other method is to right-click on the Imperator: Rome title in your library, click Properties, and then Set Launch Options. Add ‘-mapeditor,’ save your preferences, and then load the game.

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It’ll be fun to see which historic and/or fantasy worlds modders decide to bring into Imperator: Rome. Crusader Kings 2, of course, was the perfect canvas for the character-driven political drama of George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series, and it’s not hard to see how the military aspects of Tolkien’s magnum opus might map over the mechanics of Imperator.

Personally, I’d love to see someone make a Dune conversion, with all its houses and powers represented. Or maybe something post-apocalyptic. I’m sure there are modders out there with some big ideas, and it’s likely we’ll be seeing them in the Steam Workshop before too long.