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The First Age Cometh

by on April 12, 2013

silmarillion

It’s been a relatively slow week in TftC terms, which happens when that pesky old thing, work, interrupts my flow. Never fear though, there’s always plenty of articles brewing, and next week should see a brand new Card Spotlight focusing on Keeping Count, the latest edition of the Encounter Card Set Review, and more. For today though, I wanted to announce my latest custom project. Creating Into Fangorn was a thoroughly enjoyable process, if grueling, and I’m fairly happy with the result, although there are certainly things I would change if I did it all over again. Since then, I’ve been plotting and planning, and have decided to take on a long-term project that will require incredible amounts of work, but should be highly rewarding to create and hopefully to play.

I’d like to share with you my tentatively titled project, First Age, which will allow players to undertake adventures in Middle-Earth when legendary figures such as Feanor, Beren, Luthien, Finrod, and Earendil walked the land. Of course, mighty heroes require worthy adversaries, meaning that Glaurung, father of dragons, Gothmog, captain of the Balrogs, and Carcaroth, the great wolf, will all make an appearance. Gameplay will be essentially the same as with the normal game, but there will be new scenarios, new encounter sets, and new player cards. There will be some added mechanics, however, to represent the different world of the First Age. For example, one of the central themes of this time period was the constant attempts by Morgoth to spread lies and turn allies against each other. Thus, a corruption mechanic will be present in all the First Age scenarios, threatening your heroes and allies not just with death but with the possiblity that they may turn to evil purposes.

Obviously, this is a massive undertaking, and it will be quite awhile before the final product sees the light of day. However, with the likelihood that official scenarios set in this time period will never be realized (because of licensing issues), custom productions such as this one will be the only game in town. If anyone is interested in collaborating on this project, let me know! I’ll also need tons of play-testers later on. Until then, enjoy your weekend!

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17 Comments
  1. Count me in! Children of Hurin is one of my favorites of all of Tolkien’s writing and I would love to see the epic tales of the First Age brought to life. Just thinking about the awesome battle between the eagles and the dragons, or Fingolfin’s tragic last stand against Morgoth, makes me really excited to see this happen.

    • TalesfromtheCards permalink

      Awesome! I had a feeling you’d be game. Are you interested in design, play testing, or both?

  2. wlk permalink

    I’m in ! 🙂

    • TalesfromtheCards permalink

      Nice! Would you like to help with design, play testing, or both?

  3. Glaurung permalink

    Sounds cool. See Glaurung card will be very interesting……

  4. Brilliant! This should be epic! I think it was Episode 36 of Cardboard of the Rings (http://cardboardoftherings.com/2012/11/20/e36-spoiler-alert/) where they recapped their chat with Caleb about the design process. One of the first steps was just scouring the source material for characters, locations, and phrases that would become the card titles. Needless to say, that aspect of the production makes me pretty excited. I’ll eagerly anticipate what you turn up!

    • TalesfromtheCards permalink

      That’s definitely the fun part: looking back through the books and finding good quotes and card ideas. Designing the cards is enjoyable too. It’s the little fiddly stuff that is annoying sometimes (formatting, balancing cards, etc.)

      • Scwont permalink

        I don’t know much about the lore, but the project sounds interesting and I don’t mind the “fiddly stuff” at all.

  5. This sounds like fun. I’ll be eager to hear updates.

  6. OnkelZorni permalink

    Voluntary play tester!!! Designing is not my thing due too lack of creativity and missing skills with photoshop and other stuff…and at least my bad english…

  7. Thaddeus permalink

    I dabble in game design, but I’m ashamed to admit that my familiarity with the First Age of Middle-Earth is a touch weak. I’d be happy to help playtest at least.

  8. legolas18 permalink

    I’m with Thaddeus. This project, if it comes to life, will be so indescribably epic. But, I’ve tried and tried to read the Silmarillion and such. Maybe one day I’ll make it past the first chapter! And, my OCTGN skills (I’m assuming that’s what you’re going to be using) are a little lacking, still trying to get used to the system. But if you could use another play-tester, I’d love to help!

    • TalesfromtheCards permalink

      There are such amazing stories in the Silmarillion, but it can be hard to get past the first couple of chapters and the world-creation stuff (as well as a later chapter entirely about the geography of Beleriand, which had my eyes glazing). It’s well worth it for the epic moments and characters though.

  9. TalesfromtheCards permalink

    For all those who volunteered their help with playtesting, thanks! That’ll definitely be one of the most important parts of the process to make sure everything is well-balanced, which will be a challenge with so much new material.

  10. Vladimir permalink

    I may help with playtesting, if you are interested. If it weights something, I have only about a half of available cards.

    Sadly, my Silmarillion knowledge is quite limited, so I can’t help you with design.

  11. sweetnesswhachacha permalink

    Sounds really cool!

    I think a lot of people are hoping for a chance to play officially or unofficially the first age!

    The only thematic drawback being you’d have characters present who were not alive in that time period.

    Good luck!

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