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Spotlight Slapdash: Spare Hood and Cloak!

by on December 23, 2015

drunken hood and cloak

“Don’t be precise,” said Dwalin, “and don’t worry!  You will have to manage without pocket-handkerchiefs, and a good many other things, before you get to the journey’s end.  As for a hat, I have got a spare hood and cloak in my luggage.”  Dwalin passed his cloak to Bilbo.  “Drink!” exclaimed Bombur, and one by one each of the Dwarves lifted his mug to his lips.  Bilbo, having had a whole half already, lifted his mug last of all, and drank lightly.”  — The Hobbit, J.R.R. Tolkien

At least, that is how I remember it.  Welcome!  I am Piero, and this is my latest mistake.  My job is to mildly damage myself in order to spread joy among you all.  Today I have also succeeded in damaging some of my cohort in the process, as you will see.  In Spotlight Slapdash, I take a card from Ian’s Card Spotlight series, and propel it into unlikely mischief.

Today’s victim is Spare Hood and Cloak, which is a card that you have removed without remorse from several deck lists as you pare it down to 50 cards.  It has the text:

Attach to a character.

Action: Exhaust Spare Hood and Cloak and exhaust attached character to ready another character. Then, attach Spare Hood and Cloak to that character.

And that leads us to alcohol.


“Don’t Hog the Cloak” is a Lord of the Rings LCG drinking game centered on this lonely and forgotten card.  Even the smallest card can change the course of a Friday.  To play this game, you need the following things: Spare Hood and Cloak, delicious beverages, one or more Hobbits or Dwarves to partake in the act with you, tolerance for delicious beverages, a corner to sleep in, a free evening followed by a free morning, and appreciation of delicious beverages.


An example of delicious beverages.

The rules are simple:

  1. Each player must include 3 copies of Spare Hood and Cloak in his deck.
  2. For the purposes of this game, Spare Hood and Cloak is treated as a Neutral attachment.
  3. Each player starts the game with one copy of Spare Hood and Cloak attached to a character he controls.
  4. Every time a Cloak is passed, everyone takes a drink.
  5. If you hogged the Cloak* this round, you must drink one time for every Cloak on the table.

*In a recenIMG_6955t survey of dialectal usage, researchers in the field of linguistics found that the most accepted definition of “hog the Cloak” was to be in control of one or more ready Spare Hoods and Cloaks at the end of the round, without having passed at least one Cloak to another character.


With this setup, your group is set to discover how quickly it can force the player with Ranged characters to finish beverages.  In our recent Don’t Hog the Cloak Night, Bard and Haldir were sore Cloak hogs:


And then you drink many times.

To add variety and incentive, we adopted some extra rules:

  1. Limit 1 Cloak per character.
  2. When a Cloak is discarded, everyone drinks.

For our Cloak Night we had a 5-player variant (more players, more Cloaks, and later on more regret!).  We cruised through Journey Along the Anduin, The Redhorn Gate, and Watcher in the Water.  We became pin cushions in Journey to the Cross-roads and Into Ithilien.  We made very poor detectives in Murder at the Prancing Pony, but confirmed the recently hypothesized Butterbur’s Greater Theorem of Investigation:

“Johnny Goblin-fingers and Bill Ferny’s House are always correct.”


Wild accusations are the preferred method of investigation.

Due to some unforeseen timey-wimey circumstances, we did have two Merries (Merrys?) and Arwens at points in time.  Many passings of Cloaks greatly alleviated the strain that this situation may sometimes induce in the persnickety among us, such as yours truly.

“Don’t Hog the Cloak” is likely to have an impact on your external appearance.  This effect is subtle in some, and less so in others. The following diagram illustrates this phenomenon:

before and after

In addition, one’s understanding of the relationship between oneself and the Cloak may change over time.  The following flow chart is intended to aid in achieving an appreciation of this trend:

flow chart

Finally, some important notes:

  • Motor vehicles are not fit companions for Fellowship members who are Cloak-hoggers. For this reason our playgroup arranged for 5 grown men to have a slumber party:


  • There exist some beverages which may be appropriate for you, contingent upon your level of commitment to theme:

Drink enemies have Threat/Attack/Defense X, where X is % alc/vol 

  •  Kitchens and other living spaces are also impacted by “Don’t Hog the Cloak,” and permission should be obtained from other Hobbits or Dwarves sharing your domicile before an event is scheduled.


And with that I take my leave.  A special thank you to Bilbo Baggins for leaving his hat at home on a certain day, making this event possible.

From → Card Spotlight

  1. As a mead-loving bear, I approve of everything about these house rules. Kudos for being responsible – and planning ahead – to have a slumber party.

  2. pbiddix permalink

    Wow-how many cloaks in did you have to be to choke down the theme brew. I’ve tried three different ones and if have to be 8-9 cloaks in to be talked into those again!

    • Piero permalink

      We didn’t get to the theme brew in our party, but it was left in my fridge for me to try later. Actually I liked that Smaug brew! It was on the heavy side, like Smaug himself, and then those chili peppers were a welcome substitute for being roasted alive by dragonfire.

  3. Have you considered entering an insane asylum?

    • Piero permalink

      They would not let me take my cards in there, so I went out the back door.

  4. Tim Fiscus permalink

    This is madness, but I fully approve.

  5. Steven A permalink

    I’ve always liked Spare Hood and Cloak, but you are correct, I have on many occasions been forced to cut it from decks despite my liking for it. I wonder if your houserule of making it a neutral attachment might let it see a bit more play even in a non-drinking context.
    For the drinking game, alas I think I’ll have to pass on it, as I’m unsure of the viability of a slumber party and 33.3% of my standard playgroup is teetotal anyway (and he’s not even the one who drives, so we can’t use one problem to solve the other).

    • Piero permalink

      We made the Cloak neutral just to allow for regular deck building without forcing everyone onto Spirit. It took awhile to organize the party but it was well worth it! As a substitute for drinking, you may have a member of your Fellowship wear bracelets on either arm, then attach a paper clip or two each time you would be instructed to take a drink. By the end of the night you should have heavy limbs and a nice simulation of the wobbliness that comes with a few too many Cloak passings. Above and beyond all else, you need to develop a healthy respect and fear of the Cloak by the end.

  6. As a participant in this event, I have to say it was quite a blast. One of the other participants brought whiskey just to mix things up, and well, I ended up crashing on Piero’s hammock for the night.

  7. You played 6 games with 5 players?! Did you start at 8 a.m. or something?

    • Piero permalink

      It was certainly a long evening! We probably started playing around 7pm, and turned in at 2 or 3.

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