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First Age: Prepare for the Doom Mastered Cycle!

by on September 11, 2014

Crafting and releasing the First Age fan expansion was truly a labor of love. Watching and hearing about people printing the cards, playing through the quests, and having fun with First Age has been an amazing experience, and the positive comments I’ve received about it have truly warmed my heart. Many have asked whether there would be more to come for the First Age and what such expansions would look like, which is a great question to hear for any designer, whether of an official product or a fan made expansion, as it means that people are looking for more. When first embarking on the First Age adventure, I always intended to create expansions, and I always knew exactly what the first ones would cover: the tragic story of Turin Turambar.

The tale of Beren and Luthien fit perfectly into the three scenario structure of a “base set”, which is what First Age was designed to be. On the other hand, the whole epic of Turin encompasses quite a bit more notable eents. With this in mind, I’ve adopted the expansion model used by the main game, which is a six scenario cycle of individual adventures. Therefore, I’m happy to announce today the first cycle of First Age adventures: the Doom Mastered cycle! This cycle will put you in the shoes of one who has been cursed by Morgoth, just as Turin was, as you seek to carve out a heroic life and fight the forces of darkness in one of the darkest times Middle-earth ever experienced. With Morgoth ascendant and the forces of good still reeling from the loss at the Battle of Unnumbered Tears, it is only a matter of time before the last Elven strongholds at Gondolin, Doriath, and Nargothrond are ultimately found and obliterated. Can you hope to stem this tide, all while fighting against the dark and seemingly irrefutable destiny laid upon you by Morgoth himself?

The first scenario in the cycle will be Trial Upon the Marches. As the Orcs of Morgoth harass the marches of Doriath, it is up to you to prove yourself and your skills in a trial of war against them. While the Girdle of Melian protects Menegroth itself, the borderlands are a contested region, and the warriors of Thingol wage unceasing war upon the Orcs there. Fighting against Orcs is nothing new in LOTR LCG, but what is unique to this quest is the need to accomplish several feats in order to prove your worth. In this way, while rescuing endangered settlements and stopping orc raids is the main goal, you also must do so in a way that strikes fear into the hearts of your enemies and sets you on a course for further greatness. Earning Feats will allow you to complete the quest successfully and possibly even earn some powerful boons or avoid nasty burdens.

Cards are still in development and do not necessarily reflect the final product.

Cards are still in development and do not necessarily reflect the final product.

Did I say boons and burdens? Indeed. The Doom Mastered cycle will feature a fully fleshed out Campaign Mode. The introduction of campaign rules has been possibly my favorite addition to the game, and with six scenarios to play with, it felt right and logical to bring a campaign of my own to the First Age. Just as Turin strove throughout his life to master his fate, alternating between moments of great heroism and dark deeds, the Doom Mastered campaign will similarly force you to walk this tightrope. As the campaign develops, players will either gain boons as they master their destiny or suffer burdens as their destiny masters them. One constant will be the Curse of Morgoth, which will be placed on one hero at the beginning of the campaign and follow that hero until the final quest. Not only does this Curse tend to make the attached hero prone to tragic mistakes and moments of madness, it also will interact with encounter cards throughout the cycle. You will need to make good decisions in order to earn the boons and power you will need for the final battle with Glaurung the dragon , one of the most fierce beings to ever walk Middle-earth.

Cards are still in development and do not necessarily reflect the final product.

Cards are still in development and do not necessarily reflect the final product.

As with the scenarios in the First Age cycle, I’m aiming to strike a balance between allowing players to replicate the stories exactly and walk their own path if they so choose. So you could place the Curse of Morgoth on Turin and play out his epic story in that way. Alternatively, you could imagine an alternate history where the Curse of Morgoth is placed on Fingolfin or Haleth, for example. The choice is yours.

Each quest in the cycle will be released individually, complete with a new batch of player cards to add to First Age deck building possibilities. Trial Upon the Marches should be released in late October/early November. As your campaign begins, will you master your doom? Or be by doom mastered?

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From → Custom, News

19 Comments
  1. Cool! Its good to see that you’re getting much love and appreciation! I would love to see more off those three Dwarves, Naír or something. I really found them interesting, and it was a shame to see them die. Alas, they were not really good.. But I like to see this pack and its cards! Keep up the nice work!

    • TalesfromtheCards permalink

      It’s definitely interesting to see how the Dwarves of the First Age differed from the ones we know in the Third Age.

  2. Andrew F permalink

    This looks awesome, my friends and I loved the original set, keep it up!

  3. If you keep this up with interesting, fun, balanced cards, FFG might bring you in to work alongside Matt and Caleb. 🙂

    • TalesfromtheCards permalink

      Haha. Thanks, I take that as a great compliment!

  4. McDog3 permalink

    This sounds so incredible! I just ordered physical copies of cards for your First Age expansion, I can’t wait until they arrive. All of this work is truly impressive, and all I can say is thank you for bringing such great content to the community! 🙂

    • TalesfromtheCards permalink

      Thanks for giving First Age a try and thanks for the kind words!

  5. kidohearts permalink

    Awesome news, keep it up, well done sir.

  6. AleForDwarves permalink

    Sounds awesome! when will it be out?

    • TalesfromtheCards permalink

      I was originally aiming for November, but I’ve been ridiculously busy these past couple of months, so I think I should be getting it out sometime in January instead.

  7. maartend permalink

    Last cards (after the cards with some major text) in the first printable file have gfx errors. The are placed twice.

  8. Kalle permalink

    This looks cool. How is it going, when do you think it will be out?

    • TalesfromtheCards permalink

      I actually just finished the first draft! It’ll move into playtesting and so hopefully it should be out within a month or so.

  9. Dave permalink

    i have just received my printed set of the First Age. I think this is the most excited I’ve been to get any of the expansions and I have them all. it’s about time some attention was given to these characters and their stories. It’s great to see them in their first (as far as I know) game form. I am already eagerly awaiting your new cycle. is there any word on a release date. Once again, thank you for all of your hard work. it is appreciated.

    • TalesfromtheCards permalink

      Wow, thanks! Glad to hear your excitement and I’d love to hear your thoughts after you get a chance to play. I’m wrapping up play-testing of the first expansion over the course of the next couple of weeks, so it should be out around mid-March.

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