LORD OF THE RINGS Board Game by Reiner Knizia.
[Menu] [Rule Summary] [Full 2nd Edition Rules] [Expanded Rules] [Design Notes] [Friends & Foes Rules]

The One Ring...  
Expanded
  Rules

 
Expanded Rule Set by Chris Lawson
version 0.62

The following is a rewrite of the existing rule book. It is not yet complete but the sections included explain the rules in more detail than the existing set provided with the game. The following has been checked and approved by Reiner Knizia.

My thanks to Chris Bowyer and Reiner Knizia for help in checking and correcting the contents and to the citizens of the rec.games.board newsgroup.


The Master Board
The Master Board
The master board shows three locations (Bag End, Rivendell and Lothlórien) and four scenarios (Moria, Helm's Deep, Shelob's Lair and Mordor).

Bag End
The game starts at Bag End. On the Master board, place the marker on Bag End and perform the following actions:

Gandalf
After all the Hobbit cards are shuffled, deal each player six cards.

Preparations (Optional Rule)
The Ring-bearer can decide to make additional preparations for the journey. If so, he rolls the die and accepts the consequences that occur. Once this has been completed, turn four cards face up from the Hobbit card deck. Everyone may discuss how to distribute these cards between the players but the final decision is down to the Active player (i.e. the Ring-bearer), who may even keep them all.

Nazgûl Appears
One player must discard two Hiding symbols. As usual a Joker symbol can be used as an alternate. If no player can or wants to pay the Event cost then Sauron moves one step towards the Hobbits on the Corruption line.
[Example: Frodo discards a white Friendship card (Frodo's special skill allows him to use a white Hobbit card as if a Joker) and a grey Hiding card.]

Rivendell
The Fellowship now reaches Rivendell, which is a safe haven. On the Master board, place the marker on Rivendell and perform the following actions:

Elrond
Take the 12 Rivendell Feature cards and shuffle them. Deal them face down to each player. In a two-player game, both receive four cards. Put the remaining four cards back into the game box without revealing them. In a three-player game, each player gets four cards, and with four players each get three. If five are playing, the Ring-bearer and the person to their left both receive three cards, and the others receive two each. Add these cards to your hand.

Council
The Ring-bearer selects a card from hand and passes it to the player on the left, who adds it to their hand. This player then selects a card from hand and passes it to the player on the left. This continues until everyone has received and passed on one card. You may select and pass on any card from your hand (even a feature card or the card that was just passed on to you).
[Comment: In practice, there is little point in passing a Yellow Feature card at this point. It's advisable to ensure that each player has Friendship and Hiding cards (or Jokers) ready to discard in the coming steps: Fellowship, Watcher in the Water.]

Fellowship
Each player in turn (starting with the Active player, i.e. the Ring- bearer, and proceeding clockwise) must discard a Friendship (or Joker) symbol face up on the discard pile or roll the die. If a player is unable (or doesn't wish) to discard then he must roll the die and accept the consequences that occur before the next player makes his discard. If more than one player fails to meet the discard cost then each of them must roll the die.
[Example: Frodo discards a white Fighting Hobbit card (Frodo's special skill allows him to use a white Hobbit card as if a Joker), Pippin discards a Joker and Sam discards a Friendship card.]

Lothlórien
The Fellowship now reaches Lothlórien, which is a safe haven similar to Rivendell. On the Master board, place the marker on Lothlórien and perform the following actions:

Galadriel
Take the 12 Lothlórien Feature cards and shuffle them. Deal them face down to each player. In a two-player game, both receive four cards. Put the remaining four cards back into the game box without revealing them. In a three-player game, each player gets four cards, and with four players each get three. If five are playing, the Ring-bearer and the person to their left both receive three cards, and the others receive two each. Add these cards to your hand.
[Comment: If a player has already been eliminated then the cards are still distributed as above, i.e. in a four-player game each of the remaining players will receive three cards, the remainder are discarded.]

Recovery
Each player in turn (starting with the Active player, i.e. the Ring- bearer, and proceeding clockwise) has the option of discarding two shields to either draw two Hobbit cards from the face down deck or move their Hobbit on the Corruption line backwards by one step, towards the light. The players may perform this action only once each during Recovery and must use their own Shields to pay the cost.

Test of Galadriel
Each player in turn (starting with the Active player, i.e. the Ring- bearer, and proceeding clockwise) must discard a Joker (star) symbol face up on the discard pile or roll the die. If a player is unable (or doesn't wish) to discard then he must roll the die and accept the consequences that occur before the next player makes his discard. If more than one player fails to meet the discard cost then each of them must roll the die.

The Scenario Boards
At the start of each Scenario shuffle all the Event tiles and place them face down beside the Scenario board.

Moria
Moria
Speak Friend and Enter
The group must discard one Friendship symbol and one Joker (star) symbol. Alternatively, two Joker symbols can be used to pay for the Event cost, either on one card (such as Glamdring) or on two cards. If the group fails to do this, Sauron moves one step towards the Hobbits on the Corruption line.
[Example: One player volunteers to discard Aragorn (a double Joker card) to pay for the Event cost but the group decides that it would be better if the Frodo player discards a white Hiding Hobbit card (Frodo's special skill allows him to use a white Hobbit card as if a Joker) and another player discards a Friendship card.]

Watcher in the Water
Each player in turn (starting with the Active player and proceeding clockwise) must discard a Hiding (or Joker) symbol face up on the discard pile or roll the die. If a player is unable (or doesn't wish) to discard, then he must roll the die and accept the consequences that occur before the next player makes his discard. If more than one player fails to meet the discard cost then each of them must roll the die.

Stone in the Well
Reveal the top card from the Hobbit deck; the Active player must now discard two matching symbols (or Jokers) to receive the Pipe Feature card. If the Active player is unable (or doesn't wish) to meet the Event cost then Sauron moves one step towards the Hobbits on the Corruption line and the next Event takes place. The card revealed is now discarded.
[Comment: If the Event cost is not paid then the next Event, Trapped, takes place immediately after Sauron is moved, without the usual Event tile being turned over.]
[Example: The card revealed is a Fighting card, the Active player must discard two Fighting symbols, two Joker symbols or one of each. The symbols can be on either one or two cards.]
[Example: The card revealed is a Joker card, the Active player must discard two Joker symbols on either one or two cards. Note: if a Joker is revealed then only Joker symbols can be discarded).]

Trapped?
If the Travelling and Hiding Activity lines have not been completed (i.e. the markers on either line has not reached the last space) then Sauron moves two steps towards the Hobbits on the Corruption line and the Ring-bearer must roll the die.

Orcs Attack
The group must discard five Fighting symbols between them; Jokers may be used instead of Fighting symbols. Double symbol feature cards (such as Boromir, double Fighting, and Aragorn, double Joker) count as two symbols. If the group is unable (or doesn't wish) to meet the Event cost then Sauron moves two steps towards the Hobbits on the Corruption line.

Fly You Fools!
Any one player must advance his Hobbit three steps into the Darkness on the Corruption line otherwise each player (starting with the Active player and proceeding clockwise) must roll the die and accept the consequences. If an agreement cannot be reached or no one volunteers then all the players must roll the die.
[Example: After discussion it's decided that Sam will move forward three spaces to help the Fellowship. Sam's special power does not help in this situation, as the die is not rolled.]
[Dutch Edition: Shows three black squares, it should be three black circles.]

Helm's Deep
Helm's Deep
Wormtongue Unmasked
Any one player must discard one Friendship symbol and one Fighting symbol. Joker symbols may be used in place of either or both symbols. A double symbol Joker card may not be used to pay for the entire Event cost (as such cards can only be used to represent one Activity). If the Event cost is not paid then the Riders of Rohan Feature card is discarded along with any yet unclaimed Feature cards on the Friendship Activity line (Théoden, Shadowfax and Éomer).
[Comment: Note the difference between this event and Speak Friend and Enter over the use of a double symbol Joker card to pay for the entire Event cost.]

Riders of Rohan
If the Friendship Activity line has been completed (the marker must be on the last space) the Active player receives the Riders of Rohan Feature card. If not, Sauron moves one step towards the Hobbits on the Corruption line and the Ring-bearer must roll the die. If the Riders of Rohan Feature card had been discarded due to the previous Event (Wormtongue Unmasked) then the Activity line must still be completed to avoid the consequences, but the Riders of Rohan Feature card is not awarded.

Orcs Attack the Gate
If the first part of the Travelling Activity line has been completed (the marker has advanced at least five spaces and is on the Shield space labelled 'Complete' or beyond) then each player (starting with the Active player and proceeding clockwise) receives one Hobbit card. If the first part of Travelling has not been completed then Sauron moves two steps towards the Hobbits on the Corruption line.

Fire of Orthanc
Reveal the top card from the Hobbit deck; the Active player must now discard two matching symbols (or Jokers). If the Active player is unable (or doesn't wish) to meet the Event cost then each player (starting with the Active player and proceeding clockwise) must roll the die and accept the consequences. The card revealed is now discarded.
[Example: The card revealed is a Hiding card, the Active player must discard two Hiding symbols, two Joker symbols or one of each. The symbols can be on either one or two cards.]
[Example: The card revealed is a Joker card, the Active player must discard two Joker symbols on either one or two cards. Note: if a Joker is revealed then only Joker symbols can be discarded.]

Orcs Storm Forward
The group must discard one each of the three Life tokens (Heart, Sun, Ring). If the group is unable (or doesn't wish) to meet the Event cost then Sauron moves two steps towards the Hobbits on the Corruption line.
[Example: After discussion it's decided that Sam will discard a Heart and a Ring Life token and Pippin discards a Sun Life token. Since the three different Life tokens have been discarded Sauron does not advance.]
[Comment: Merry's special power does not help to avoid paying for the Event cost, nor does the Athelas Yellow Feature. Joker cards may not be used to substitute for Life Tokens.]
[Dutch Edition: Shows a Joker symbol, it should be a Ring symbol (Life token).]

Orcs Conquer Helm's Deep
Sauron moves two steps towards the Hobbits on the Corruption line. In addition, if the second part of the Travelling Activity line has not been completed (i.e. the marker is not on the last space) the Ring- bearer must roll the die twice as well.
[Dutch Edition: The first sentence is missing.]

Shelob's Lair
Shelob's Lair
Gollum
If the group discards shields with a total value of seven, then the Active player receives the Gollum Feature card and all the other players (starting with the player to the left of the Active player and proceeding clockwise) draw two Hobbit cards each from the face down deck. If the group is unable (or doesn't wish) to meet the Event cost then the Gollum card is removed from the game.
[Example: After discussion it's decided to pay the Event cost of seven shields. Frodo discards the three shields he has, Pippin has seven shields and discards two of them (allowing him to call Gandalf if needed with his five remaining shields), Merry has six shields so discards one (also keeping five), Sam (the Active player) has four shields and discards one to complete the required total of seven shields. As a result of this, Sam claims Gollum, and the other players draws two Hobbit cards each. As Sam is the Active player, he expects to be able to pick up two or more shields during his turn to allow him to end his turn with a total of five. Holding five shields is helpful at this point, not only to allow a player to call Gandalf but to pay for Event costs (such as The Forbidden Pool). As usual when using Shields, you may make change (i.e. if you are required to discard shields with a value of '2', then you may discard a '3' Shield and receive a '1' Shield in return).]

Faces of the Dead
Each player in turn (starting with the Active player and proceeding clockwise) must discard either a Joker (star) symbol face up on the discard pile or shields with a total value of three. If a player is unable (or doesn't wish) to meet the cost then his Hobbit is eliminated immediately. If the Active player is eliminated in this way then he doesn't complete his turn and the player to his left becomes the new Active player and continues by turning over the next Event tile (but only after all the other players have paid for the Event cost).

The Forbidden Pool
If one player discards shields with a total value of five, then all the players (starting with the Active player and proceeding clockwise) draw one Hobbit card from the face down deck. If no player is able (or doesn't wish) to meet the Event cost then Sauron moves two steps towards the Hobbits on the Corruption line. If an agreement cannot be reached or no one volunteers then Sauron moves forward.

The Lord of the Nazgûl Searches for the Ring
Reveal the top card from the Hobbit deck, if the Ring-bearer can discard three matching symbols (or Jokers) then he moves his Hobbit on the Corruption line backwards by one step, towards the light. If the Ring-bearer is unable (or doesn't wish) to meet the Event cost then each player (starting with the Active player and proceeding clockwise) must roll the die and accept the consequences. The revealed card is now discarded.
[Example: The card revealed is a Fighting card, the Active player must discard three Fighting symbols, three Joker symbols or a mix of Fighting and Joker symbols. The symbols can be on one, two or three cards.]
[Example: Frodo is currently the Ring-bearer, and the card revealed is a Joker card. The player discards a White Travelling card, a White Hiding card and a Grey Joker card. This is possible since Frodo's special skill is to be able to use any white Hobbit card as a Joker card (for any other player, if a Joker is revealed then only Joker symbols can be discarded).]
[Dutch Edition: Shows a white square, it should be a white circle.]

Shelob Appears
The Active player must roll the die twice and accept the consequences otherwise Sauron moves two steps towards the Hobbits on the Corruption line.
[Example: After discussion it's decided that the Active player rolls the die twice as this is better than allowing Sauron move towards everyone by two steps. As usual, cards can be played against the die roll, which may help negate the effects.]

Shelob Attacks
The group must discard seven Fighting symbols between them; Jokers may be used instead of Fighting symbols. Double symbol feature cards (such as Boromir, double Fighting, and Aragorn, double Joker) count as two symbols. If the group is unable (or doesn't wish) to meet the Event cost then Sauron moves three steps towards the Hobbits on the Corruption line.
[Example: After discussion it's discovered that even if the players discard all their Fighting symbols between them, they still do not have enough. The player who holds Gollum volunteers to discard it as a triple Fighting card (since Joker symbols may be used) but in the end it's decided that a player will spend five Shields to call Gandalf. The Active player then selects Magic to ignore the Event; this finishes the scenario and play proceeds with End of a Scenario activities.]

Mordor
Mordor
Sam Saves Frodo
Each player in turn (starting with the Active player and proceeding clockwise) has the option of discarding three shields to either draw two Hobbit cards from the face down deck or move their Hobbit on the Corruption line backwards by one step, towards the light. The players may perform this action only once each during the event and must use their own Shields to pay the cost.
[Dutch Edition: Shows a white square, it should be a white circle.]

Lord of the Nazgûl Attacks
If a player discards the Éowyn Feature card, then all the players (starting with the Active player and proceeding clockwise) draw one Hobbit card from the face down deck. If the Éowyn card has not yet been picked up or the player who holds the card does not wish to discard it, then each player (starting with the Active player and proceeding clockwise) must roll the die and accept the consequences.
[Comment: A Joker card may not be used to substitute for Éowyn.]

Battle of Pelennor Fields
Each player in turn (starting with the Active player and proceeding clockwise) must discard a Heart Token. If a player is unable (or doesn't wish) to discard the appropriate Life Token then he must roll the die and accept the consequences and then discard two cards from his hand. This happens before the next player makes his discard. If more than one player fails to meet the discard cost of a Life Token then each of them must roll the die and discard.

Mouth of Sauron
Each player in turn (starting with the Active player and proceeding clockwise) must discard a Sun Token. If a player is unable (or doesn't wish) to discard the appropriate Life Token then he must roll the die and accept the consequences and then discard two cards from his hand. This happens before the next player makes his discard. If more than one player fails to meet the discard cost of a Life Token then each of them must roll the die and discard.

Surrounded by Dark Forces
The group must discard seven cards between them. If the group is unable (or doesn't wish) to meet the Event cost then Sauron moves three steps towards the Hobbits on the Corruption line.

The Ring is Mine
The game is over with the Fellowship losing. The score corresponds to the position of the marker on the main Activity line.
[Comment: It is not possible to use Magic to avoid this event but it may be possible to avoid if the Scenario can be completed by use of the Ring and/or Guidance.]

The Cards
 
Character Cards
Character Card back Character cards give each player special skills which they keep throughout the game. During the game set-up, the appropriate character cards are shuffled face down and then dealt out, one to each player. The players keep their Character card face up in front of them. They do not count towards the number of cards held at any time.
2-player game: Frodo and Sam
3-player game: Frodo, Sam and Pippin
4-player game: Frodo, Sam, Pippin and Merry
5-player game: Frodo, Sam, Pippin, Merry and Fatty

Frodo
Frodo can use any white Hobbit card (not Feature card, i.e. one with no centre icon on the card back) as a Joker card.
[Comments: Remember that only white Hobbit cards can be used by Frodo as Joker cards, a Feature card may not be used for this. Frodo may use his special skill when paying for an Event cost.]
[Example: During his turn, Frodo plays a white Friendship Hobbit card and Boromir, a grey double Fighting Feature card. The player moves the marker on the Fighting Activity line forward three spaces. Due to his special skill, Frodo can use the white Hobbit card (Hobbit cards only have one Activity symbol) as a Joker.]
[Example: The Event cost at Speak Friend and Enter requires the players to discard a Friendship and Joker symbol. Frodo volunteers since he can discard any two white Hobbit cards to pay for the cost.]

Sam
Blank Blank No damage
the Eye Sauron Sauron moves one step
Single dot Single dot Sam moves one step
Double dot Double dot Sam moves one step
Triple dot Triple dot Sam moves one step
Two cards Two cards Discard one card
Sam can only ever suffer one point of damage when rolling the die, which means he only moves one step on the Corruption line, and needs only give up one card.
[Comment: Sam can only use his special skill when applying damage from a die roll. It may not be used in cases where an Event cost is to discard two cards (such as Battle of Pelennor Fields) or move forward on the Corruption line (such as Fly You Fools!).]

Pippin
Pippin is not bound by the White-Grey rule when playing cards and is allowed to play two cards of the same colour during his turn.

Merry
At the end of the Scenario in Moria, Helm's Deep and Shelob's Lair, Merry, unlike the other characters, only needs two different Life tokens at the end of each Scenario, instead of three.
[Comment: If Merry is missing two Life tokens, he moves one step forward, if he is missing all three then he moves two steps forward.]

Fatty
At the end of the Scenario in Moria, Helm's Deep and Shelob's Lair, Fatty may draw two additional Hobbit cards from the deck.

Gandalf Cards
Gandalf 
Card back At any time during the game, any one player can call Gandalf for help by discarding shields with a total value of five (the five shields must all come from the same player). The Active player then decides which of the Gandalf cards to use and how to apply it.
Each Gandalf card can be used only once and then it is discarded. Gandalf cards are never part of a player's hand; they are applied immediately and then discarded from the game. They do not count towards the two-card maximum a person may play during their turn.
[Comment: While the rules state that Gandalf cards can be used at any time, there are specific points during play when they are applied. For more details see the Game Flow description as to when Gandalf can be called and the cards used.]
[Comment: A Gandalf card may not be used as a card discard, i.e. if a player is required to discard cards due to an Event cost or die roll, then a Gandalf card may not be used for this purpose.]

Foresight
One Player may look at the top three Event tiles and rearrange them before putting them back on top of the face down stack.
[Comment: The Active player decides who looks and rearranges the Event tiles. The chosen player should not show the tiles but may discuss the contents and order of the three tiles (in a friendly game there is no reason why the three tiles should not be shown to all the players) Only the top three Event tiles may be inspected and they must be returned face down to the top of the Event tiles.]

Guidance
The Active player uses this card as a double Joker. The Joker symbols may be used to help pay for an Event cost, or to move a marker on an Activity line. If used to move on an Activity line, then the effects apply straight away interrupting the current turn of the Active player. Once completed, play returns to the point where it was interrupted and the Active player continues with his turn. The only exception to this is when Guidance is used immediately after an Event tile is turned over, in this case it may be possible to complete the Scenario (by reaching the end of the Main Activity line) without having to start the Event. Just like use of the Ring there are only four instances when it may be used, before Steps 1b, 2a, 2b or 3. For details see the Game Flow description.
[Comment: There are two different ways Guidance may be used. If an Event cost involves Activity symbols to be discarded (i.e. Shelob Attacks) then Guidance may be used to pay for the Event cost, but if the Event cost involves cards to be discarded (i.e. Surrounded by Dark Forces) then Guidance may not be used. The second way Guidance may be used is to advance a marker on an Activity line. In this case it is used as an interrupt to the current play but it may only be used to do this at specific times as mentioned above. Both the Ring and Guidance can be used in the same way to interrupt play and possibly end the Scenario.]

Healing
One Player moves their Hobbit backwards two steps on the Corruption line, towards the light, if this is possible.
[Example: A player rolls the die and obtains the 'triple dot' result, he has to now move his Hobbit three spaces towards Sauron on the Corruption line. As his Hobbit is only two spaces away, then the result means that his Hobbit is eliminated. Before this happens a player calls Gandalf and the Active player selects Healing to be applied to the Hobbit. The Hobbit now moves two steps back and then three steps forward ending one space away from Sauron.]

Magic
After moving the event marker onto the next Event box, the players ignore the Event and play continues with the Active player turning over the next Event tile. If it was the final Event in a Scenario, the Scenario still ends without the Active player completing his turn (play proceeds with End of a Scenario activities). However, this card may not be selected to prevent the final Event in Mordor to take place, the game is over and the Fellowship has lost, Sauron takes the Ring.
[Comment: This card may only be selected if a Sundial Event tile has just been turned over (this includes the Event tiles with a Sundial and three items).]

Persistence
One Player draws four Hobbit cards from the face down Hobbit deck.
[Example: A player rolls the die and obtains the 'discard two cards' result. Since the player has only one card in his hand it would mean that his Hobbit is eliminated and the player is out of the game. Before this happens a player calls Gandalf and the Active player selects Persistence to be applied to the Hobbit. The player now draws four cards which allows him to discard two cards without being eliminated.]

Hobbit Cards
Hobbit 
Card back Hobbit cards show a single Activity symbol (Fighting, Friendship, Hiding, Travelling) or a star (a Joker card). Some Hobbit cards are white, others are grey. At the start of the game, the 60 Hobbit cards are shuffled and placed face down to form the Hobbit deck.
SymbolWhiteGrey
Fighting75
Friendship75
Hiding75
Travelling75
Joker12 
When the Hobbit deck is exhausted, remove all the Feature cards and Gandalf cards from the discard pile and remove them from the game. Reshuffle the remaining Hobbit cards to form a new Hobbit card deck. Only Hobbit cards can be part of the face down Hobbit deck, it should not contain any Yellow Feature cards, Feature cards or Gandalf cards. To help sort out the Hobbit cards from the other cards, they have different designs on the backs. Feature cards and Gandalf cards have an icon in the centre of the card back, the Hobbit cards are plain.

Feature Cards
Feature 
Card back There are 35 Feature cards assigned to locations on the Master Board or on the Scenarios. Feature cards show one or more Activity symbols and are on either White or Grey cards; there are also Yellow Feature cards (described later). Feature cards are part of a player's hand and count towards the hand size, they can be used only once and are then discarded.
WhiteGreyYellow
11168

Gollum
Gollum
Card This is a triple Joker symbol card, if the Joker symbols are used for any reason (such as moving on an Activity line or paying for an Event cost) then the die must be rolled by the person who played the card. If the card is discarded (without the Joker symbols being used) then the die is not rolled. In Summary:

If Gollum is used for the following reasons then the die is rolled
Movement on an Activity Line.
As part of the Event costs at Faces of the Dead, The Lord of the Nazgûl Searches for the Ring, or Shelob Attacks.
If Gollum is discarded for the following reasons then the die is not rolled
As part of the Event costs at Battle of Pelennor Fields, Mouth of Sauron, or Surrounded by Dark Forces.
Rolling the die and having to discard two cards.
Sundial Event tile where three cards may be discarded.
Sundial Event tile where a card, Life Token and Shields may be discarded.
Throwing away unwanted cards without using them.
[Comment: Belt may be played to avoid rolling the die but apart from this exception a player may not avoid rolling the die once the card has been played. The action of using the card and rolling the die may not be interrupted or split, and this applies to the Ring-bearer placing on the Ring or if Gandalf is called.]
[Comment: If used to move on an Activity line, then after movement is finished the die is rolled. If such movement included instruction to roll the die (such as on space 53 of the Mordor Scenario board), then this is done last after movement is completed, the outstanding die rolls are then performed sequentially the appropriate number of times by the Active player. If due to movement on the Main Activity line, the Scenario has been completed, the die roll must take place before play proceeds with End of a Scenario activities (or Game conclusion if at Mordor).]

Yellow Feature Cards
Feature 
Card back If a player holds Yellow Feature cards in their hand, then they may be played at any time (note, a number of these cards can only be played at specific times, see the card descriptions as to these limitations). The person who plays the card decides how the card is applied. Yellow Feature cards do not count towards the two-card maximum a person may play during their turn, and may be played during other players' turns. Yellow Feature cards are part of a player's hand and count towards the hand size, they can be used only once and are then discarded.
[Comment: While the rules state that Yellow Feature cards can be used at any time, there are specific points during play when they are applied. For more details see the Game Flow description as to when they can be used.]
[Comment: A Yellow Feature card may be used as a card discard, i.e. if a player is required to discard cards due to an Event cost or die roll, then a Yellow Feature card may be used for this purpose just like any other card could be.]

Athelas
Prevents one Player moving their Hobbit on the Corruption line as a consequence of missing some Life tokens.
[Comment: This card can be played on any Player during End of a Scenario activities or in the corresponding Events in Mordor (Battle of Pelennor Fields, Mouth of Sauron). It is not applicable in Helm's Deep during the Orcs Storm Forward Event.]

Belt
Any one Player avoids having to roll the die once.
[Comment: This card is played on any player who has just been instructed to take one die roll, it must be played before the die is rolled.]
[Comment: If the Ring-bearer puts on the Ring, then this may not be used to avoid the die being rolled. This is the only circumstance the card may not be used before a die roll.]
[Example: The Fellowship has reached Mt. Doom and Pippin (the Active player) is about to see if the Ring can be hurled into the volcano. At that point Sam plays Belt, which means the die is not rolled. The Ring is therefore destroyed and the Fellowship has been successful in their quest.]

Elessar
Any one Player moves their Hobbit backwards one step on the Corruption line, towards the light, if this is possible.
[Example: A player rolls the die and obtains the 'Eye' result, he has to now move Sauron one step towards the light. As his Hobbit is next to Sauron and currently the Ring-bearer, the result would mean that his Hobbit is eliminated and the game would end in failure. Before this happens a player plays Elessar and applies it to the Hobbit, who now moves one step back. Sauron then moves forward but no longer meets the Ring-bearer. The players hope to finish the Scenario and pass the Ring onto another Hobbit before Sauron moves again.]

Lembas
Any one Player increases their hand to six cards by drawing cards from the face down Hobbit deck.
[Comment: While drawing, a Player may not discard any of his cards.]
[Comment: If a player needs to discard due to Event costs or damage to the die roll, then this card may only be played before the discards takes place (this is because the discard may not be interrupted).]
[Example: A Player has one card left in his hand and is required to pay two cards damage due to a die roll. Lembas is played which allows the player to bring his hand up to six cards (i.e. draw five cards). The player then discards two cards leaving a hand of four cards left. If Lembas had not been played then the player would be eliminated (unless someone had called Gandalf and Persistence played or used Miruvor). Note the sequence, you are not allowed to discard one card, play Lembas to draw six cards, and then discard the second card. Discards must not be split or interrupted in this way.]

Miruvor
Any one Player may pass one card to any other Player.
[Example: A Player is just about to be eliminated (because his Hobbit is about to meet Sauron on the Corruption line). Before this happens, he plays and discards Miruvor and passes one of his Yellow Feature cards to another player. If he did not do this then all the cards in his hand would have been discarded, losing a possibly useful Yellow Feature card. Note that any player could have played Miruvor in this situation.]

Mithril
Any one Player ignores the result of one die roll.
[Comment: This card is played on any player just after the die has been rolled.]
[Example: The Ring-bearer puts on the Ring and rolls the Eye on the die (Sauron moves one step towards the Hobbits on the Corruption line). Mithril is played to avoid Sauron from moving and then an Activity marker is moved forward three spaces.]
[Example: The Fellowship has reached the end of the main Activity line on the Mordor Scenario (space 60). Frodo (the Active player and Ring-bearer) is only two steps away from Sauron on the Corruption line, rolls a triple dot on the die (move forward three steps). This would end the game in failure, as Sauron would meet the Ring-bearer. At this point Mithril is played and so the result of the die roll is ignored. Frodo now places the Ring on Mt. Doom, and the Fellowship continues to see if the Ring can be destroyed.]

Phial
Play this card on the Active player before he reveals the next Event tile. As a consequence the Active player does not reveal any more Event tiles, but continues with their turn as usual (i.e. by skipping to Step 2 of the turn).
[Comment: This card can only be applied at the point when an Event tile is about to be revealed (i.e. before Step 1a). It may not be played in advance, e.g. a player is about to be eliminated during the End of a Scenario activities; he may not play Phial to prevent the next Event tile to be revealed; the player is eliminated and all his cards are discarded.]

Staff
Ignore an Event tile showing a Sundial with three items after it has been revealed. The event marker is not advanced to the next Event, play continues with the Active player turning over the next Event tile.
[Comment: This card can only be applied to a Sundial Event tile that shows either three cards or a card, a Life Token and a Shield. Staff may only be played once such an Event tile is revealed and not before.]

The Game
 
Taking Turns on the Scenario Boards
On your turn you perform the following in order:

***** Step 0. Become the Active Player
Phial and Foresight can be played at this point before the next step. There are no other actions which may be performed since you may as well reveal the tile and then act.
[Comment: This is the only time that Phial may be played and if so used then the player skips to Step 2.]

Step 1a. Reveal an Event Tile
Reveal the top Event tile and place it face up in front of you.

Before the tile is executed, play can be interrupted at this point. It is possible to finish the Scenario (by use of the Ring and Guidance) and avoid Step 1b altogether. In this way it is possible to avoid an Event, the Active player continues with Step 3 (Clear Up) and then play continues with End of a Scenario activities. If Step 1b is avoided in the way then Step 2 is also skipped, the player must go from Step 1a to Step 3.

Step 1b. Execute an Event Tile
An Event tile give one of the following instructions:

Keep revealing Event tiles and carrying out the instructions until a Type 2 Event tile (which shows an Activity symbol) appears, or the Scenario ends.

Step 2a. Play one White/Grey Card
This step can be omitted, performed once or twice (if performed twice then it must be using a white and a grey card, in any order). Each card played is acted on separately, before the next card is played. Select which card to play and in what order.

Note that this step only applies to Hobbit cards or White/Grey Feature cards. Gandalf cards and Yellow Feature cards can be played in addition to the two card limit.

If a card is picked up from a Scenario board then it is added to the player's hand of cards and is available to be played immediately.
[Example: During the Moria Scenario, the Active player uses a white Travelling card to advance the Travelling Activity marker to the first space. He picks up Book and adds it to his hand. He may now play Book as his second card to advance the marker to the second space and in doing so will pick up a Ring Life token. Note that the player would need to play a white card first to be able to play the grey Book Feature card.]

When a card is played and the appropriate Activity marker is moved, then it must be moved the full distance possible. The marker's advancement may stop prematurely if the end of the Activity line is reached but otherwise the full number of spaces must be moved forward. The marker may not be voluntarily moved less spaces than indicated by the card played.

For example, you play a grey Hobbit card with a Hiding symbol, so you move the marker on the Hiding Activity line one space forward. You then play a second card, the white Gimli Feature card which shows two Fighting symbols, the marker on the Fighting Activity line is moved two spaces forward.

When you play a card with a Joker symbol, you may move any of the Activity markers forward. If the Joker card has more than one star symbol, you may only advance one Activity marker the appropriate number of spaces. It is not possible to play a card with two star symbols and advance the marker on the Hiding Activity line and on the Travelling Activity line.

Cards that have a symbol not shown on the Scenario board have no effect, if played then they are simply discarded. Equally, cards with a symbol for an Activity line whose marker has reached the last space have no effect.
[Comment: Event tiles are different, if a Type 2 Event tile is revealed and either the symbol is not present on the Scenario board or the Activity line has been completed, then the marker of another Activity line must be moved forward.]

Step 2b. Draw Two Cards or Heal
This step may only be performed if Step 2a was omitted. If the Active player decided not to play any white or grey cards, then he may either draw two Hobbit cards from the face down deck or move his Hobbit one step back towards the light on the Corruption line.

Step 3. Clear Up
The Active player concludes his turn by placing any revealed Event tiles face up on an open pile and any used cards face up on the discard pile.

The Die
The Fight Of Good verses Evil
Whenever you encounter the Die icon (either through Events or Activities), you must roll the die. This can have the following results:
Sauron Sauron moves one step towards the Hobbits on the Corruption line.
Single dotDouble dotTriple dot Move your Hobbits 1, 2 or 3 steps into the darkness on the Corruption line.
Two cards Discard any two of your cards onto the face up discard pile.
Blank Nothing happens.

The Power of the Ring
Once during each Scenario the Ring-bearer may put on the Ring, the effects of which are applied straight away interrupting the current turn. The Ring is then placed over the current Ring-bearer's Hobbit on the Master board (to remind players that it has been used this Scenario) and the Ring-bearer rolls the die. Once the result has been acted on, the Ring-bearer must advance the marker of any one Activity line by the full number of spaces, using the following formula:

Die Symbol Movement
Blank Blank 4
the Eye Sauron 3
Single dot Single dot 3
Double dot Double dot 2
Triple dot Triple dot 1
Two cards Two cards 2
Four spaces minus the number of symbols on the die

The die is rolled once and the result is used to determine both the damage and the number of spaces to be moved. The number of spaces moved is not influenced by Character Cards or Yellow Feature cards, which can limit the damage of the die (i.e. while the damage can be reduced by such cards, the numbers of spaces moved will not be effected).
The player ignores any spaces moved over and the space the marker finishes on (the English rules do not make this clear). These spaces are not carried out which means the player does not get to pick up any Shields, Life tokens, Feature cards, move on the Corruption line towards the light, or roll the die.
The marker's advancement may stop prematurely if the end of the Activity line is reached but otherwise the full number of spaces must be moved forward. The marker may not be voluntarily moved less spaces than indicated by the above formula nor may more than one Activity marker be moved.

The effects of the Ring are applied straight away interrupting the current turn of the Active player. Once the action of the Ring has been completed, then play always returns to the point where it was interrupted and the Active player continues with his turn. The only exception to this is when the Ring is used immediately after an Event tile is turned over, in this case it may be possible to complete the Scenario (by reaching the end of the Main Activity line) without having to start the Event.

The Ring remains around the Hobbit figure until the end of that particular Scenario but it has no more effect on the Ring-bearer, any further turns the player has are played as normal.

The Ring-bearer may only put on the Ring after an Event tile has been revealed (i.e. before Step 1b: Execute an Event tile), after an Event has been completed (i.e. before Step 2a: Play one white/grey card or 2b: Draw two cards or Heal) or after the Active Player has played a card (i.e. before Step 2a: Play one white/grey card or Step 3: Clear up). You may not use the Ring during the middle of an Event or during the middle of card play (be it a Hobbit, Feature, Yellow Feature or Gandalf card).
While the rules state that the Ring may be used at any time, there are only four instances when it may be used, before Steps 1b, 2a, 2b or 3. For details see the Game Flow description.

[Comment: A player may not play Belt to prevent the Ring- bearer from rolling the die. Mithril may be played after the die roll to prevent damage, but it will not effect the number of spaces moved (i.e. Mithril will prevent any damage but still allows an Activity marker to be moved in full based on the die roll).]
[Example: Sam, the current Ring-bearer decides to use the Ring. He rolls the Triple dot symbol on the die so first moves forward one space on the Corruption line (due to Sam's special skill) and then decides which Activity marker to move forward one space. If he rolled the Two cards symbol on the die he would have to discard a single card and then move an Activity marker forward two spaces.]
[Example: The Fellowship have reached space 57 of the main Activity line on Mordor and the Active player turns over a Sundial Event tile which triggers The Ring is Mine Event. The Ring-bearer therefore decides to use the Ring to see if the Event can be avoided by completing the Scenario. He must roll the Blank, Eye or Single dot on the die otherwise the game is over with the Fellowship losing on a score of 58 or 59 (depending on the result of the die roll). Use of the Ring and Guidance can be very helpful toward reaching the end of the Mordor Scenario.]

End of a Scenario
The Scenario ends when either: Unless the main Activity line was completed by use of the Ring, all related actions have to be performed and completed once the last space is reached. This includes rolling the die for the use or Gollum, moving onto a space which shows a die symbol (such as on space 60), collecting face down shields on space 20 and 40 and the Ring Life token on space 50.
If the Ring or Guidance was used after an Event tile had been revealed (i.e. before Step 1b: Execute an Event tile), then it is possible to avoid the Event by reaching the last space on the main Activity line.

At the end of the Scenario in Mordor, you progress with the Game Conclusion.

At the end of the Scenario in Moria, Helm's Deep and Shelob's Lair (note that you do not perform any of these activities when you reach the end of the Mordor Scenario) the following happens in this order:

Life Tokens
Each player must have one each of the three Life tokens (Heart, Sun, and Ring). For each token missing, the player must move his Hobbit one step towards the darkness on the Corruption line. Surplus Life tokens have no effect. A player may not keep Life tokens from one Scenario to the next.

[Example: Player A (Sam) has one each of Heart, Sun and Ring tokens, Player B (Frodo) has none, Player C (Pippin) has 2 Heart and 1 Ring tokens, Player D (Merry) has 1 Sun and 1 Ring token.
Sam and Merry are OK (Sam has all three while Merry's special skill means that he only requires two different tokens). Pippin is missing the Sun token so has to move forward one step on the Corruption line (having two Heart tokens doesn't help). Frodo would move three steps but the player who holds Athelas plays it to prevent this from happening.]

Ring-bearer
The player with the most Ring Life tokens becomes the new Ring- bearer. If there is a tie, the Ring goes to the player (involved in the tie) sitting closest to the current Ring-bearer, in a clockwise direction. The current Ring-bearer can only keep the Ring and become the new Ring-bearer if he has more Ring Life tokens than any other player. If none of the players have any Ring tokens, the new Ring-bearer is the player sitting to the left of the current Ring-bearer. A player may not decline to become the new Ring-bearer nor may he discard Ring tokens to allow another player to become the Ring-bearer.

The new Ring-bearer now draws two Hobbit cards from the deck and then places the Ring in front of him.

[Example: Player A (the existing Ring-bearer) has 1 Ring token, Player B has none, Player C has 1 as has Player D. Player C is now the new Ring-bearer, he draws two Hobbit cards and places the Ring in front of himself.]

Fatty
The player with this character draws two Hobbit cards from the deck.

The Journey Continues
At the end of the first three Scenarios, the following now occurs.

If Moria has just been finished, then Lothlórien is first completed before moving onto Helm's Deep. Proceed with the remaining Scenarios in order, Helm's Deep, Shelob's Lair, Mordor. Each new Scenario is started by the Ring-bearer who draws an Event tile.

Elimination From The Game
If your Hobbit encounters Sauron (by being on the same space or beyond on the Corruption line), the dark forces have caught you, and you are eliminated from the game. Discard all your cards and return any Life tokens you may have, but you keep any Shields you have (these Shields may not be used in any way, they are only used if the Fellowship is successful in destroying the Ring, in which case they are added to the score).

If during the course of the game, a player is unable to discard cards or Shields, then he is eliminated. This may happen due to a die roll (i.e. rolling the Two cards symbol) or during an Event (see Faces of the Dead as an example).

If you are eliminated then you do not finish your turn, this may mean that the player no longer has to make any further die rolls.
[Example: During the Moria Scenario, the Active player uses the Gollum Feature card and moves the main Activity marker from space 57 to space 60. Even though the Scenario has now ended, the player needs to roll the die three times in succession (once for use of Gollum and for the 58 and 60 spaces). If the player is eliminated after the first die roll, then the remaining two die rolls are ignored. This is the only circumstance when outstanding die rolls can be ignored.]

Players who have been eliminated may only act in an advisory manner, even if they have Shields they may no longer call Gandalf or help contribute towards paying for Event costs (and of course, Event costs no longer apply to them).

As long as the eliminated player is not the Ring-bearer, the game continues with the other players.

Game Conclusion
The game can conclude for the following reasons. In order to successfully destroy the Ring, the Fellowship - or at least the Ring-bearer - must reach Mordor and then end the main Activity line within the Scenario. The last space on the Travelling Activity line (space 60) shows a die symbol, when the marker reaches here the Active player must roll the die (depending on the circumstances, the Active player may be required to roll the die more than once or if space 60 was reached by use of the Ring, then no die roll is required). If the consequences of the die roll do not end the game, the Mordor Scenario ends and the Fellowship has reached Mt. Doom.

As usual, Belt may be used to avoid having to roll the die for space 60, or Mithril can be used to ignore the results of the die roll. In either case, the Fellowship will reach Mt. Doom.

Reaching Mt. Doom
The Ring is now placed on the volcano shown on the Mordor Scenario. There is now no Ring-bearer. The Fellowship now attempts to destroy the Ring by hurling it into the jaws of Mt. Doom.

The Active player rolls the die.

As usual, Belt may be used to avoid having to roll the die for Mt. Doom, or Mithril can be used to ignore the results of the die roll. In either case it will mean success for the Fellowship.

Scoring
Points are scored depending on the situation at the end of the game.

All the players (even those eliminated from the game) are awarded the same score at the end of the game.

[Example: The Fellowship succeed in destroying the Ring. They have a total of 25 Shields so they all score 85 points (60+25).]
[Example: The Ring-bearer is eliminated. The marker on the main Activity line in Mordor is on space 52. Each player scores 52 points, any Shields collected are ignored.]


[Menu] [Rule Summary] [Full 2nd Edition Rules] [Expanded Rules] [Design Notes] [Friends & Foes Rules]

This page is maintained by Chris Lawson (chris.lawson@virgin.net)
Version 0.62 updated on 4th August 2003