|Delve the Darkest Depths of Khazad-dum
Nightmare Decks Are Now Available for The Lord of the Rings: Khazad-dum
|The Lord of the Rings - Print on Demand | Published 02 June 2014|
“I too once passed the Dimrill Gate,” said Aragorn quietly; “but though I also came out again, the memory is very evil.”
–J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring
Upon the release of the game’s first deluxe expansion, Khazad-dûm, Middle-earth’s heroes first departed the Shadows of Mirkwood and embarked upon a perilous journey through the dark and twisting mines of Moria. Their search for the missing Dwarf, Balin, led them far from the familiar locations and foes of the Core Set into a lightless realm populated by hordes of Orcs, Goblins, and Cave Trolls, along with another presence, darker and more sinister than anything they had previously encountered…
Now, you can experience the novelty and terrors of Khazad-dûm all over again with Khazad-dûm Nightmare Decks, a single set of three twenty-card Nightmare Decks, one for each of its three scenarios: Into the Pit, The Seventh Level, and Flight from Moria.
Nightmare Decks introduce deadly new encounter cards and scenario-specific rules that greatly increase the challenges of the scenarios they enhance, while simultaneously layering subtle plot twists and thematic alterations. The result is that when you play these scenarios in Nightmare Mode, your old strategies may be countered, and if you don’t adapt to the new challenges you face, you may quickly meet your doom.
Developer Matt Newman on Khazad-dûm Nightmare Decks
Dust off your delving picks, and head for the mines of Moria… It’s time for the Khazad-dûm Nightmare Decks!
We’ve been hard at work on these brand new Nightmare Decks, and I am very excited to preview some of the new cards and challenges players will face in these updated Khazad-dûm scenarios. As always, with our Nightmare Decks, each of these sets of twenty cards is designed to amplify an existing scenario, making it more challenging, while simultaneously tweaking its strategies and making it more atmospheric, as well. Let’s dive right in and take a look at the changes that Nightmare Mode brings to these scenarios!
The opening to the Khazad-dûm deluxe expansion introduces players to the Cave Torch (Khazad-dûm, 41), an objective attachment that helps them explore the darkest corners of Moria. Because the Cave Torch offers a powerful benefit and a relatively small drawback, players found themselves relying on its ability every turn… and why not? After all, who would dare to explore Moria without a light to guide them?
The Nightmare version of Into the Pit limits the number of times that players can use the Cave Torch, thus presenting players with difficult decisions and interesting choices. The Nightmare setup card (Into the Pit Nightmare Deck, 1) reads:
“Forced: After Cave Torch exhausts, place 1 damage token on this card. Then, if there are 5 or more damage tokens on this card, remove Cave Torch from the game.”
When players can only use the Cave Torch five times before removing it from the game, they’ll need to think twice before using it. Many of the new locations and enemies in this deck also work alongside this limitation, such as the Patrol Sentry (Into the Pit Nightmare Deck, 3) who can easily spot the heroes’ sources of light, or the Narrow Fissure (Into the Pit Nightmare Deck, 7), which the heroes cannot explore without first using the Cave Torch.
Taken as a whole, this Nightmare version of Into the Pit becomes a race against the clock as the heroes’ light dwindles more and more, and they are forced to make extremely tough decisions. Rely too much on their torch, and they risk being swallowed by the darkness of Moria. Conserve too much light, and they will never find their way out of its twisting passages.
The Seventh Level is a straightforward quest that is meant to be a battle against never-ending swarms of goblins. The Nightmare version pushes this theme to extreme levels, sending wave after wave of goblins at our heroes, and as players will quickly learn, these goblins are all about strength in numbers.
Many of the new cards, such as the Pit Goblin (The Seventh Level Nightmare Deck, 6) and the Deep-Mines, (The Seventh Level Nightmare Deck, 7) place resource tokens on the scenario’s many Goblin enemies. Other cards, like the Orc Taskmaster (The Seventh Level Nightmare Deck, 4) and the Western Hall (The Seventh Level Nightmare Deck, 8) increase the strength of any Goblin with one or more resource tokens. The more Goblins are revealed by the encounter deck, the stronger the synergy between these many cards becomes, and eventually our heroes will find themselves battling against a horde of Goblins with tons of resource tokens!
Finally, in Nightmare Mode, The Seventh Level builds toward an epic battle against a unique enemy commander, Overseer Maurûl (The Seventh Level Nightmare Deck, 2). The final stage becomes much more challenging when players are forced to contend with this powerful taskmaster of Mordor along with the scenario’s many goblins. The result is that in Nightmare Mode, even the tiniest goblin can become a nightmare if left alone.
This unique scenario introduces players to a quest deck with many different Stage 2B options, which are shuffled and placed in a random order. There are only two ways out, and players never quite know where they’re headed next. Luckily for them, they are given the option to bypass any quest they don’t want to travel through, placing it at the bottom of the quest deck. In the original Flight from Moria, players almost always chose to bypass quest stages instead of progressing through the quest and powering up The Nameless Fear (Khazad-dûm, 25) in the meantime.
In Nightmare Mode, players are presented with a much tougher choice between bypassing and exploring, as many of the scenario’s new cards hinder their ability to bypass quests, and the setup card has the following text:
“When a quest card is bypassed, shuffle it into the quest deck instead of placing it on the bottom.”
This means that the only way to truly guarantee never having to see a particular quest again is to explore it fully.
But what’s really most exciting about this Nightmare Deck is the inclusion of three – that’s right, three – new quest cards! These quest cards are easily slotted into the scenario’s existing randomized quest deck, so that players never quite know if they’re running into one of the scenario’s original quests, or one of the three punishing new ones. Players who are familiar with this scenario in Standard Play may be surprised to find their party decimated, here, by blasts of fire, or blocked by the Nameless Fear himself!
I enjoyed revisiting these scenarios to create exciting and challenging new Nightmare Decks that present you with tougher decisions that will truly test your skills. Keep those Cave Torches ready, because you’re going to need them more than ever!
Prepare for a Terrible, New Challenge
"I have never felt such a challenge. The counter-spell was terrible. It nearly broke me."
–Gandalf, The Fellowship of the Ring
The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game shook to its foundations the first time that Middle-earth’s heroes encountered the unique challenges of Khazad-dûm. Now, as you once again approach the gates of this abandoned Dwarven realm – this time in Nightmare Mode – you can feel earth rumbling beneath your feet. What lies beyond the East-gate?
Discover the new terrors of Khazad-dûm with Khazad-dûm Nightmare Decks!
The Lord of the Rings – Print on Demand scenarios are challenging standalone scenarios for The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game that originally ran as special events at Gen Con Indy. They immerse 1-4 players in the thrills and perils of Middle-earth as their heroes undertake daring quests that pit them against some of the deadliest villains in Middle-earth.