The Rules of Westeros
Introducing The A Game of Thrones: The Card Game FAQ
The A Game of Thrones: The Card Game FAQ is a new rules document meant to supplement the Learn to Play and Rules Reference documents, as well as provide the legality of particular cards in official tournaments. While this is the first version of the document, we will be updating it in the future as new cards are released and new clarifications become necessary.
Note: After receiving questions on a few points, we have updated the FAQ to v1.01 in order to clarify the specific sections.
A Word From Senior LCG Designer, Nate French
Hello A Game of Thrones Players,
A number of you are long-time LCG players and are quite familiar with the concept of the “FAQ.” Happily, there are also many new players in our audience who are starting up with the new edition of the game, and this may be your first experience with an LCG FAQ document. If so, you might be asking yourselves, “What is an FAQ?” With that in mind, I wanted to share a brief introduction to the FAQ, discussing what it is, why it exists, and how it will be used moving forward.
The letters “FAQ” stand for “Frequently Asked Questions,” and that is a part of the function the document serves. In the past, our LCG communities have tended to latch on to that aspect of the document’s title, and refer to the entire thing as “The FAQ,” but its full title is “Notes, Errata, and Frequently Asked Questions.” Admittedly, that’s a mouthful, so when you hear someone talking about “The FAQ,” chances are they’re referring to the entire document—and I’ll do the same from here on out. Old habits die hard.
So why do we need a FAQ? Basically, the foundational idea of a Living Card Game is that of a game that grows, changes, and evolves over time. The card pool expands, the metagame continually shifts, new concepts are introduced, and other concepts go away. The FAQ allows us—and you—to keep up with the game’s evolution. If a novel interaction is discovered, we can formalize how that interaction should be interpreted under the game’s rules. If a problematic error crops up—I promise I’ll try my best to avoid them, but I am after all only human—we can use the FAQ to remedy the situation. If one of our “mad scientist” players discovers a deck or combination that warps the enjoyment of the metagame, there are tools in the FAQ that can be used to nudge the game into a better place. In short, the FAQ is our acknowledgement that we are working with a constantly evolving and changing game, that this evolution is a part of the game’s inherent excitement, and in order to maximize the enjoyment of this evolution, we require the use of a living rules document that can itself adapt to handle the needs of the game at any given time.
In the FAQ, you will find a number of different sections, each of which is introduced briefly, below.
The text field on the cover page indicates the version number and date, and in subsequent versions, any new or updated sections will be indicated in this space. As this is the first version of the FAQ, all the content is new, and therefore nothing is flagged here.
Within the document, the first section is “Notes and Errata.” This section is typically used to correct errors that have been discovered in the cards or rules material in the form of “errata,” which changes the functional text of a component, or in the form of a note, that clarifies an ambiguity that applies to a single card. Occasionally, a card may receive an errata to correct a game balance concern. We strive to keep the number of entries in this section to a minimum, but occasionally it becomes necessary to maintain an enjoyable game experience.
The “Definitions and Terms” section is a place where we can define useful new vocabulary (such as “Terminal Condition”) for discussing the game, or reinforce terms that are already defined in the existing rules documents (such as the entry on the word “Choose”).
The following section, “Rulings and Clarifications,” is essentially an expansion of the Rules Reference, presenting a number of general rulings that apply to specific topics or situations that may emerge in a game.
The “Card Legality” section establishes the legal card pool for Organized Play tournaments, and also introduces the concepts of the Restricted List and the Banned List. At this time, there are no restricted or banned cards. Each of these lists is seen as a tool that can be used to adjust the metagame when and if it becomes necessary.
Restriction means that a player may run one card from the restricted list, up to that card’s maximum number of playable copies, and no other cards from the list in any given deck. Banning means that a card is no longer tournament legal and is an exceedingly rare solution of last resort. When and if we do make use of these tools, it is because there is something about the metagame that is detracting from many players’ enjoyment of the game, and our goal is always to maximize the enjoyment that players are having with the game. We understand that having too many restricted cards at any given time is undesirable and will strive to be as surgical as possible while making use of these tools.
“Frequently Asked Questions,” the section from which “The FAQ” derives its name, is a series of direct questions with detailed answers. A number of common questions come my way through our website rules link and through conversations I have with players and tournament organizers. In this section, we aim to provide answers to these questions, as well as some of the reasoning as to why those answers are the case. I believe that it is often just as important for players to know why a particular ruling was made as it is to know the answer itself, and this section often seeks to provide some of that rationale.
The final section is a “Quick Reference” player aid, that presents some important information that can be gleaned from multiple areas of the Rules Reference in a fast, easy to comprehend manner. There is nothing completely new in this section, it is merely a more accessible presentation of material that was already present in the rules, but may have been previously overlooked or mis-understood.
I hope that you find this document helpful as you master the rules of this game. We will continue to update its content throughout the course of each year, to ensure that the game’s rules and restrictions are able to keep up with its ever changing card pool and metagame.
Until next time!
Download the A Game of Thrones: The Card Game FAQ now to read all that it contains. Don’t forget to check it regularly! We will be updating it as new products are released and as necessary in the future.
As always, game rules, tournament regulations, and other support materials for A Game of Thrones: The Card Game can be found on our A Game of Thrones: The Card Game page.