News for November 2010
The Journey Lies Ahead 24
A look at Quests in The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game
The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game | Published 17 November 2010

Enemies are amassing in southern Mirkwood under the watchful eyes of King Thranduil’s scouts. The Necromancer’s legions are growing and Lady Galadriel of Lórien must be warned. King Thranduil entrusts an urgent message to a band of capable heroes. On their journey ahead, these heroes must traverse the spider-infested regions of Mirkwood, make their way down the Anduin River, and face the perils of Dol Guldur itself.

The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game is a cooperative card game of heroes, quests, and epic adventure. Previously we were given a grand overview of the game and some of its mechanics. Today we will start a series of previews that will focus on different elements of The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game. In this first preview, we will take a look at one of the most unique aspects of the game: the scenarios.

Since The Lord of the Rings is a cooperative game, players join together and focus their efforts on completing a scenario. At the start of each game, the players choose a scenario, which consists of two elements: the Quest deck and the Encounter deck. Let’s take a closer look at each of these decks, and how they function in the game.

The Quest deck is a small, fixed sequential deck that provides the backbone and narrative arc of the scenario. During the game, the players attempt to progress from one stage of the quest deck to the next by committing heroes and allies to the Quest. Each quest card has a number of quest points that determines how much progress the players must achieve before advancing to the next stage. Additionally, most Quest cards have some kind of conditional game text that affects what the players can and cannot do while on that stage of the quest. In the easier scenarios, these effects are typically minor, but in some of the more difficult scenarios they can be daunting. For example, the Beorn’s Path card forces players to evade or kill Ungoliant’s Spawn before they can beat the Passage Through Mirkwood Quest.

In addition to progressing from one stage of the Quest to the next, the players will also have to contend with the larger randomized Encounter deck that is a part of each scenario. There are several different subsets of encounter cards in the core set, and each scenario’s quest deck provides the information the players need to build the encounter deck for that scenario. As the players quest, the encounter deck throws random challenges at them in the form of enemy cards that will attempt to harm the party, locations that need to be explored, and treachery cards that represent unexpected events and happenings. For instance, the players might have to fight Chieftan Ufthak, who progressively grows stronger in combat, or they might have to travel to the Enchanted Stream, which prevents them from drawing cards until they have finished exploring the location.

The 3 Quests included in the Core Set are narratively linked, following the heroes as they set out from King Thranduil’s palace in Mirkwood, fight their way down the Anduin River, and attempt to free one of their captured heroes from the dungeons of Dol Guldur. These Quests become increasingly challenging, and, since they are each a chapter of a growing story, can be played sequentially to create an epic adventure.

The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game is a Living Card Game, meaning it can be expanded through monthly expansions called Adventure Packs. Not only do these Adventure Packs include new heroes, allies, events, and attachments, but they also feature new challenges and stories for players. Each Adventure Pack contains a brand new quest for players to experience, letting them follow the tales of their heroes as they continually explore and face the perils of Middle-earth.

Once you experience the Core Set later this winter, the journey will have only just begun...

Check back soon for our next preview of The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game!

The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game is a cooperative card game that puts 1-2 players (or up to four with an additional Core Set) in control of the most powerful characters and artifacts of Middle-earth. Players will select heroes, gather allies, acquire artifacts, and coordinate their efforts to face Middle-earth’s most dangerous fiends. The Living Card Game format allows players to customize their gaming experience with monthly Adventure Pack expansions to the core game.

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Comments (24)

Published: 3/9/2011 5:07:58 PM

Seems like a good system for a D&D card game as well. Create a band of adventurers and with cards representing hazards, creatures and encounters you would find outdoors as well as in dungeons.

Published: 11/27/2010 10:25:34 AM

 I like the idea of monthly packs. Our group of 4 have decided to rotate the buying. So we will have all of the quests, but everyone will have totally different cards.

Published: 11/24/2010 2:08:55 PM

I'm very psyched about this!  I like the idea of linking quest decks together like a huge RPG campaign!


Published: 11/21/2010 7:13:31 PM

 I'm also waiting for video. I love Middle-Earth, and I'm exited for every new game in this world!

Published: 11/21/2010 2:18:50 PM

I'm sure there will be a video once we are closer to release, its still a ways off yet.

Published: 11/21/2010 5:23:11 AM

This game is interesing and I like the fact that this is based on Tolkiens World. but I would like to see a video of how to play like it was with Warhammer:Invasion.

Published: 11/20/2010 8:14:32 AM

 @ CAlexander:

What else do you remember about how the players interact? Can they help each other out in combat in any way? What can a player do when it's the other player's turn?

Published: 11/19/2010 8:22:13 AM

@ Wytefang:

No sense in pouting (I think I counted 4 sad faces amongst your posts) before all has been revealed. I played this at Gen Con and absolutely loved it. I actually really enjoy co-op games, and of all of the games I've played this suffers least from the leader syndrome. The reason, as others have mentioned, is that each player builds his or her own deck, has his own hand of cards, and plays his own 'turn'. Unlike many co-op games, this is not a complete open information game (iirc). Though you could theoretically play hands revealed and have another player walk the others through thier turns, that is not how the game is designed. Think of it more as a TCG where each player is playing more against the game rather than against eachother. While you can certainly form strategies with your partner, this game is far more traditional TCG than traditional co-op game.

Excited that the rumors of an April delay seem to be false!

Published: 11/19/2010 4:28:12 AM

The game looks great so far.

However it seems like monthly expansions would be bigger than with the other LCGs. You need new cards for the players, new quest and new encounters.

The quests in the core set are linked together and the encounters are tied to these quests, so I suppose a monthly pack won't have just a new quest and 10 new encounters, so to speak. I'm not saying I don't like the idea and I surely will buy the game on release but, I certainly will like more information on expansion packs.

Published: 11/18/2010 11:13:15 AM

@ Wytefang: "And actually, there aren't enough competitive games in this universe so it's a massive disappointment that this was a co-op. :( "

By "this universe" do you mean Middle-Earth? If so, aren't majority of them competitive? Middle-Earth CCG, the Decipher one, War of the Ring, Middle-Earth Quest (at least in 2-p), Lord of the Rings with Sauron expansion, the upcoming Hobbit are all competitive.

Published: 11/18/2010 10:12:44 AM

An actual update?!?  Crazy...

Can't wait!

Published: 11/18/2010 9:38:11 AM

From playing DnD and other RPG's I don't see it as being that way, maybe its based on your prior experience but in my groups where we play co-op or groups games its a group decision.

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