I think B&B is free, fwiw?
I haven't played Torchbearer, so salt to taste, but I do know that it's about resource management in a dungeon crawl. So my guess would be that it isn't Tolkien flavoured at all. Likewise, I never really found Mouseguard to be all that Tolkien inspired either. If I wanted to play hobbits, I'd probably just try to work out a custom 'Hobbit' stock in BW. You can probably get away with selectively using the Human stock and search the trait list for stuff you'd want to use as common traits. So it shouldn't be that much work.The Burning Wheel. I've played one demo of this game which was interesting but seemed like had a lot of complexity to learn. I've had the Revised Edition sitting on my shelf mostly unread for ages, just because it looks good. I've heard that the lifepath character creation system can make very Tolkien-esque characters, so this seems like a good opportunity to learn at least how character creation works.
Mouse Guard. A simplified variant of Burning Wheel, based on comic book about medieval anthropomorphic mice. Since this is about very small creatures defending their community in a very large world, it seems like it would work well to resign it as being about Hobbits defending the Shire. Maybe a bit specialized for Middle-Earth in general, though.
There are other Burning Wheel variants, like Torchbearer. I don't know much about them - do any of them have a particularly Middle-Earth flavour?
Do you know where I can find it? My searches only find reviews, no links to the game itself.There's a game called Balrogs & Bagginses (sp?) that's an OSR B/X thing, sort of.
Huh, that one looks interesting. I don't think the characters I have in mind will work in it, but finding out will be part of the fun!
Woah, that's a lot. Fortunately for my sanity I can barely use any of them.Unofficial games, I’m not sure how many were finished. Here are some more I dug up:
Can't find it, and the references I had said it was unfinished.Song of Arda—if you can find it. Had some similar aspects to Pendragon if I recall.
I have to mail the author to get a zip password to read that, because they admit that large chunks of the game were plagiarized to speed up development. Not willing to do that.Ambarquenta—looked very detailed https://sites.google.com/site/ambarquenta/home/ambarquenta-1
Since you say it's unfinished and the first couple of links I found were to the "old defunct site" I stopped trying to figure out what's going on with this.Hither Lands—there appears to have been a least two versions of the game. A ton of potential, but never fully completed as far as I know.
I think I saw some references to this, and misremembering them is why I thought Mouse Guard had been reskinned for Middle-Earth. I'll take a look at it.Realm Guard: Rangers of the North. This is a hack of Mouse Guard and looks to still be going.
Skipping this one: between AiME and the OSR games, I have enough d20 variants. (That goes for Midnight, too.)Ea RPG—I believe is a d20 version for LOTR/ME.