Lord of the Rings Playing Card Game
July 20, 2009 3:07 PM   Subscribe

We're trying to find the rules for a Lord of the Rings themed playing card game, and we can remember about 90% of the rules.

We've searched online to no avail (including Card Games Website). Hopefully someone here knows.

So far, this is what we can remember:
  • You use a regular deck of playing cards. Ace is high, order of suits is spades, hearts, diamonds, and clubs (highest-to-lowest)
  • The objective is to collect an ace, a queen, and a king which will allow you to "visit Mordor" and try to destroy the ring. If the suit of the queen matches the suit of a randomly selected, but hidden (to everyone except the person trying to destroy the ring) Mordor card, then you win
  • There's a small pile in the center, where the players are competing for the top card that's face up, with the basic rules of War. We'll call this the target card.
  • Every player has a small pile of soldier cards, with the top card face up. This is the player's soldier that competes against other soldiers to win the target card. The player with the highest soldier card at the end of the turn gets to take the target card, unless someone plays one of their character cards (described below).
  • Everyone initially starts with 5 cards and you put them into a diamond formation (face down), where each of these character cards serves a specific purpose when played:
    • An archer, which can shoot an opponent's soldier card if it is a higher number than the soldier
    • A hobbit, which can steal the target card if it has a lower number
    • A mage, which forces another player to put their current soldier card at the bottom of their pile, and reveal a new soldier, providing that the suit of the mage is different from the soldier it's attacking
    • A hero, which we forgot the details of, but we think can take out all face-up cards that it is higher than
  • Order of play each turn is determined by the order of the soldier cards, from lowest to highest. So, if there's three players, the one with the lowest soldier card goes first

  • Players can immediately retaliate if their soldier is attacked

  • The round is over once all of the target cards are claimed, and a new round begins
    • To start a new round, all of the players can choose which cards take the roles of archer, hobbit, mage, and hero. The remainder of the cards become the soldier pile (which need to be shuffled).
    • At this point, if anyone has the queen-king-ace combo and wants to go to Mordor, they can test their chances
    • The new target card pile is taken from a central unused deck, and has N cards, where N is the highest number of soldier cards any player has, plus one.

  • Each player has a separate discard pile. All attacked soldiers, target cards acquired, and character cards go here.
Does this sound familiar to anyone? Are there other card games with this name?

A small warning: we tried playing with these rules, but the game seemed unbalanced, and we were filling in the gaps as went along. Any small rule change to the hero's role seemed to have a drastic impact on gameplay.
posted by spiderskull to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (2 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Having never heard of this before, I used some google-fu to find this PDF of the rulebook for the "The Fellowship of the Ring." I know this isn't what you're asking about, but it seemed interestingly related.

there are apparently other versions from the other books, so says wikipedia.
posted by cmchap at 6:00 PM on July 20, 2009

If I were you I'd try BoardGameGeek. They have tons of LOTR-themed games listed and the game you describe is probably just a variation on one of them. If not, you could ask on the forums there. Someone there might know more than MeFi seems to. Best of luck!
posted by shesbookish at 10:07 PM on July 20, 2009

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