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There and Back Again

Today marks the release of the final Adventure Pack for LotR LCG, and I’d be remiss in not acknowledging and commemorating this moment. It would be hard for me to overstate the importance of this game to me. So many of the friends I’ve made, the projects I’ve undertaken, the roads I’ve walked over the past 8 years or so have been as a result of this humble little card game. It is not an exaggeration to say that it fundamentally changed my life, and all for the better.

It’s been no secret that for the past couple of years, I’ve had to put the blog on an effective hiatus as I work on other projects and pursuits, but it’s always close to my heart. Tales from the Cards is really what launched me as a content producer and designer, and I’ve greatly appreciated everyone’s readership and positive words about the blog over the years.

I’ll wrap up by saying that while the final cycle may be coming to a close, the story is not over. There’s a special scenario pack arriving soon, which looks amazing, and most importantly, I know the players for this game are so passionate that the community isn’t going to disappear anytime soon.

Thanks all, and special thanks to all those who have made this game what it is, from the designers to the artists to the countless other people behind the scenes who made the magic happen.

There are still many roads to walk. I’ll see you on the next adventure!


Of Orcs: Part 2 – A Day in the Life

** Guest Writer Vardaen brings us another fantastic piece of lore investigation, shedding light on an important element of the card game and the legendarium**

‘I’d like to try somewhere where there’s none of ’em. But the war’s on now, and when that’s over things may be easier.’

‘It’s going well, they say.’

‘They would.’ grunted Gorbag. ‘We’ll see. But anyway, if it does go well, there should be a lot more room. What d’you say? – if we get a chance, you and me’ll slip off and set up somewhere on our own with a few trusty lads, somewhere where there’s good loot nice and handy, and no big bosses.’

‘Ah!’ said Shagrat. ‘Like old times.’

‘Yes,’ said Gorbag. ‘But don’t count on it. I’m not easy in my mind. As I said, the Big Bosses, ay,’ his voice sank almost to a whisper, ‘ay, even the Biggest, can make mistakes. Something nearly slipped you say. I say, something has slipped. And we’ve got to look out. Always the poor Uruks to put slips right, and small thanks. But don’t forget: the enemies don’t love us any more than they love Him, and if they get topsides on Him, we’re done too. But see here: when were you ordered out?’ — The Two Towers, LoTR Book 4, Ch 10, The Choices of Master Samwise

Shagrat and Gorbag – Alan Lee

Note: You can Find “Of Orcs: Part 1 – Origins” on Master of Lore’s page here:

Of Orcs: Part 2 – A Day in the Life

Understanding a bit of where orcs come from we do not however understand how they live. We only ever interact with them through Tolkien’s writing during war, as soldiers and enemies. The same is true for our interaction with them in the card game. We have dozens of orcish foes ranging in titles from things like Horse Thieves, Drummer, Horn Blower, Raiders, Arbalesters, Rabble, Scramblers, Ravager, Skirmisher, Snaga, Hunter, War Party, Grunts, Chieftain, and on and on and on. These do lead us to wonder about orc society, and what do they do when they aren’t at war with the Free People? Are there orcish marching bands that our Dummer and Horn Blower are part of? Do they hold elections for their Chieftains? What do they do with those horses they capture? It seems unlikely that if we were able to dig deeper into their society that we would find much more than a might makes right society always on the brink of war with one another if no common foe presented itself.
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Dungeons of Cirith Gurat: Allies, Attachments, and Events Review

When you are ready to embark upon a daring mission to save innocent lives from a dark dungeon, Folco Boffin might not be the first name that escapes from your lips in terms of a friend that you might want to bring along. However, he is indeed the hero of this Adventure Pack, and last time around we looked at all the ways in which he can be helpful. This time around, the rest of the player cards in this pack are up for review. Will they serve as a light in the darkness? Or are they better off left in the deepest, dankest cell you can find? Read on to find out!

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Dungeons of Cirith Gurat: Hero Review

If Fatty Bolger is the Ringo Starr of Frodo’s Shire crew, meaning an underrated contributor to the whole endeavor, if understandably ignored, then Folco Boffin must surely be the Pete Best, long forgotten by most although he did help get the journey started! For those of you who are still with me despite a foray into Beatles lore, I am of course talking about Folco Boffin because he is the hero of The Dungeons of Cirith Gurat, the fifth Adventure Pack in the Haradrim cycle. At this point in the life of the game, it’s not too surprising to see an obscure character like Folco emerge in hero form, but it is surely a shocking experience to read his ability for the first time. Is Folco Boffin worth including on your adventure (or album) or should he be left back in the Shire? Read on to find out!

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Of Dale and Its People

Please enjoy another lore-focused article from guest writer Vardaen! -Ian

Of the Founding of Dale

Dale from the One Ring RPG

With the arrival of our Wilds of Rhovanion box, we have seen a sudden bloom of “Dale Decks” and characters with the Dale trait. While the name of Dale is familiar to anyone who has read the books, what do we really know about Dale and its people?

During the time period of our beloved game, Dale has been rebuilt from rubble after its desolation by Smaug. Located in the north east of the Middle-earth map, Dale is nestled in the arms of the Lonely Mountain. A reader’s first introduction to Dale comes in the Hobbit, during the time of its long destruction.

There the river [Celduin, or River Running], after winding a wide loop over the valley of Dale, turned from the Mountain on its road to the Lake, flowing swift and noisily. Its bank was bare and rocky, tall and steep above the stream; and gazing out from it over the narrow water, foaming and splashing among many boulders, they could see in the wide valley shadowed by the Mountain’s arms the grey ruins of ancient houses, towers, and walls.
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The Black Serpent: Allies, Attachments, and Events Review

Raiding a camp full of enemy Haradrim doesn’t seem like the safest course of action if you’re looking to live a nice, long life. Still, when push comes to shove and innocent lives are at stake, our heroes are left with little choice in The Black Serpent Adventure Pack. But if they’re going to be successful in this daring raid, they’re going to need some reinforcements. Do the player cards in this pack provide the aid that is needed? Or will they leave the heroes of Middle-earth bringing a butter knife to a sword party? Read on to find out!

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Radagast the Brown’s Guide to the Kelvar of Wilderland

Enjoy this new entry by guest writer Vardaen! -Ian

“Radagast is, of course, a worthy Wizard, a master of shapes and changes of hue; and he has much lore of herbs and beasts, and birds are especially his friends.”

LotR, FotR, Book Two, II – The Council of Elrond
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First Age: The Fall of Nargothrond Released!

The time has finally arrived for the release of the fourth scenario in the Doom Mastered cycle! If you are not familiar with what this means, the Doom Mastered cycle is a series of player cards and quests that continues the custom First Age expansion I created based on the characters and events of the Silmarillion. In particular, the Doom Mastered cycle follows the tragic story of Turin Turambar.
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Spotlight Slapdash: Ravenhill Scout!



Well hello there!  You probably don’t know me, but my name is Ravenhill Scout.  Excuse me while I dust myself off.  I have been sitting in the back of your card binder for quite some time.  My neighbors Power in the Earth and Keen-eyed Took make for perfectly cordial conversation partners, but it does get dry chatting with the same people again and again.  Mr. Took has quite a lot to say about playmat texture, although I assure you he has relatively little experience.
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The Black Serpent: Hero Review

When The Black Serpent was first announced, it was teased that the pack would contain a brand new Spirit Rohan hero. This of course prompted a great deal of speculation within the community as to who this hero would be, with guesses ranging from Eometh (one of the FFG-created heroes from Middle-earth Quest) to a reskin of one of the Rohan heroes we already have. Ultimately, the new Rohan hero ended up being Fastred, a character that I did not see mentioned at all during the period of speculation. With good reason, as he is not one of the major characters in the text. However, this game has always thrived off of putting the spotlight on people and things in Middle-earth that were barely mentioned in The Lord of the Rings itself. Is that the case with this new Fastred hero? Or will he ultimately be a disappointment? Read on to find out!

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