News for February 2013
New Knowledge in the Struggle for Middle-earth
The Lord of The Rings FAQ Has Been Updated
The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game | Published 27 February 2013

The struggle against the forces of Sauron continues in The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game! Developer Caleb Grace and the rest of the design team have been hard at work putting together a new FAQ in order to address questions and concerns that have arisen as the quest to save Middle-earth has continued. The new FAQ can be downloaded from the game’s support page, and here’s what Caleb has to say about working on this document:

Greetings, The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game players!

The design team is excited to give you an updated FAQ. Version 1.4 of this living document was created to clarify some existing issues in The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game and preserve its good health. We’re confident that the updated errata, rules clarifications, and Q&A sections will accomplish this goal while simultaneously ensuring future design space.

Adapting to a Growing Game

Let’s start with the errata. As The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game grows, new scenarios continue to open up innovative designs and card interactions. As a result, some cards end up being endowed with abilities they were never intended to have. For example, the player card Narvi’s Belt (Khazad-dûm, 3) allows the attached hero to gain any sphere of influence until the end of the phase. At the time this card was made, those spheres were Leadership, Lore, Spirit, and Tactics. However, with the release of The Hobbit Saga Expansions and the introduction of the Baggins sphere, Narvi’s Belt incidentally allowed the attached hero to gain that icon as well. Since the careful management of Bilbo Baggins’ resources is an important part of those scenarios, the ability to generate those resources on another hero can diminish the experience. This was obviously not the intention for Narvi’s Belt, so the errata is there to clarify what the card was originally meant to do: Action: Exhaust Narvi’s Belt to give attached hero a LEADERSHIP, LORE, TACTICS, or SPIRIT icon until the end of the phase.”

Other errata are intended to fix cards that have proven themselves to be a little over-powered or otherwise problematic. The design team does not make these errata lightly. Each erratum is the result of careful consideration aimed at preserving the long-term vitality of the game. This particular FAQ has ten errata, but that number is by no means a standard that players should expect in the future. Furthermore, the vast majority of these errata are small clarifications that don’t change the function of the card but rather balance it in terms of an ever-expanding game. For example, Feint (Core Set, 34) now reads: Combat Action: Choose an enemy engaged with a player. That enemy cannot attack that player this phase.” The errata merely adds the words “that player” to clarify that Feint’s effect does not prevent the targeted enemy from attacking another player should some game effect cause it to. As a design team, we felt that small distinctions like this are important enough to clarify in order to preserve future design space and keep the game as dynamic as possible.

We also understand that the complexities of different scenarios and player card interactions can lead to some puzzling rules questions, and we have updated our rules clarifications to address things like: what to do if there are two active locations, the correct order for resolving different kinds of effects, and what qualifies as “entering the staging area.” A solid understanding of these rules will help players to experience the fullness of each scenario.

Other rules questions are more specific, however, and need a very particular answer instead of a broad rules clarification. Therefore, we have updated our Q&A section to include the answers to some of our more commonly asked questions.

We reached out to our playtesters and compiled the questions that were sent to us through our webpage in order to create this FAQ and trust that players who use this updated version will find these changes beneficial to their play experience. As a design team, we have been working with these changes in place and we are very excited about the future of The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game.

Thanks, Caleb!

Head to the support page for The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game and download the new FAQ (pdf, 12.8 MB).

On the support page, you’ll also find the optional Race Against the Shadow tournament rules (pdf, 4.8 MB) that are included with the Season One 2013 The Lord of the Rings Game Night Kits.

Download the new FAQ today, and arm yourself with the knowledge needed to save Middle-earth!

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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