Since April 2011, Lord of the Rings: The Card Game has immersed thousands of players worldwide in J.R.R. Tolkien's legendarium in a unique format--co-operative card play. At Gen Con 2017, four Minnesota players (@Fishbaugh, @Loophole, @McDog3, and @PeaceandThought from the community Discord server, now known collectively as the Free Men of the North, hatched a plan: to host a fan-driven convention for our beloved card game at the site where it became a reality, the Fantasy Flight Games Center in Roseville, MN. Con of the Rings will take place October 12-14, 2018.
The convention is a three-day extravaganza devoted exclusively to Lord of the Rings: The Card Game.
- Location: The Fantasy Flight Games Center in Roseville, MN, is the premiere place to game in the upper Midwest. The Center features a full kitchen, craft beer on tap, an extensive game library, and most importantly, a spacious back room that has been reserved for 80 Lord of the Rings players.
- Schedule: The convention will begin at noon on Friday, October 12 and end at 6 p.m. on Sunday, October 14, 2018.
Travel and Accommodations: Since this is a fan-driven effort, you will need to make your own travel and accommodation arrangements. However, the convention is located in a suburb of Minneapolis/St. Paul, only 20 miles from MSP International Airport. The area has dozens of moderately-priced hotels, and some local players may be willing to serve as your host. Check the #con-of-the-rings channel on the community Discord server for more info, or contact us at email@example.com with any questions.
By backing at the $15 Ally level, you will receive a single day pass. By backing at the $35 Hero level, you will receive a 3-day pass. Every backer who attends the event will be entered into drawings to win Fantasy Flight Games Center gift cards, which will be in increments of $25 and be given out at 2 p.m. each day of the convention (note that these gift cards can be used to purchase anything that is sold at the center, including food and drink). Hero level backers who attend will also receive super secret, exclusive Con of the Rings swag!
Signature Event: Group Saga Extravaganza!
Have you ever wanted to take the One Ring to Mordor, but didn’t know the way? Join the fellowship and we shall carry the burden together!
Over the course of Con of the Rings 2018, all attendees are encouraged to work together to complete the entire Lord of the Rings: The Card Game saga campaign (20 quests in all). Teams will strive to complete quests that the larger fellowship has not yet defeated in order to chip away at this monumental task. Do not fret--you can come and go from the fellowship as you please throughout the weekend.
Teams will not be working in isolation since a central board will track the defeat of each quest. All attendees may gaze into the Palantir and know how the greater campaign is faring. There will be specific times throughout the weekend where all interested attendees will work together to overcome some of the most perilous moments in the campaign, including The Breaking of the Fellowship (Friday evening), Helm’s Deep (Saturday afternoon), The Battle of Pelennor Fields (Sunday morning), and the final destruction of the One Ring (Sunday afternoon).
While the ultimate goal is to free Middle Earth from Sauron’s clutches, our children will tell campfire tales that fondly remember those that escaped from the Nazgul fastest and the brave souls that best hunted down the Uruk-hai to save their friends. Groups that succeed in fighting back the forces of Sauron throughout the quests and accomplish specific achievements shall be rewarded with a bard song and, more importantly, additional entries into the daily drawings.
Organized Play Events
The weekend will include other organized events that everyone is welcome to join (note some events will require further signup--forthcoming once the convention is funded):
- The Bear Draft: In 2015 community blogger Beorn introduced rules for a limited format, simply called the "Bear Draft". In essence, a specific pool of cards is split into small, random "booster packs" (listed here) and the players will draft heroes and player cards from these "packs". After everyone has finalized their deck the players as a group will try their mettle against various quests. The draft event will be held twice: Friday afternoon and Sunday morning.
Competitive Mode: Announced for GenCon 2018, The Wizard's Quest introduces the opportunity to build a custom encounter deck. Become Sauron himself as your group creates a treacherous adventure for unsuspecting heroes. Two groups will challenge each other to play a game against the other's encounter deck. Can your group survive the devious machinations dreamed up by other players? Find out as there will be copies of The Wizard's Quest on-hand for players to attempt this new format!
- Live Trivia and Game Show with Special Guests: Saturday afternoon will feature a live trivia and game show, hosted by community member Chad G (@theChad), and will include audience participation and special guests!
- Off-Site Party: There will be space reserved at a local establishment on Saturday evening for everyone to enjoy a night out with food, drink, and party games late into the night!
- Game Center Library : If a break from Lord of the Rings is needed, feel free to peruse the game center's vast collection of 400+ games and choose one to play with other attendees!
- YOUR EVENTS: Got an idea for an event you'd like to run during the convention? Please contact us via email with a proposal and we'll do our best to assist you!
STRECH GOAL: $2,000 = BALANCE THE CHICKEN WING LEDGER
For years, Matt Newman (former co-designer, Lord of the Rings: the Card Game, now lead designer, Arkham Horror) has run a chicken wing deficit. He has been mocked and ridiculed by his co-workers...but no longer. If we raise $2,000, on Friday, October 12, Matt Newman will receive a large plate of free chicken wings courtesy of the Free Men of the North, thereby making him Dark Lord of the Poultry Appendages forever more. Help us right this historic wrong and deliver to Matt the succulent wings he so richly deserves. Please listen to this podcast episode for more details on this travesty (29 minutes).
For any questions, comments, concerns, or snarky remarks, send a message to firstname.lastname@example.org. The Free Men of the North can also be reached through the community Discord server. Please use the #con-of-the-rings channel, or message us directly (@PeaceAndThought, @Fishbaugh, @Loophole, @McDog3).
Risks and challenges
Con of the Rings is a four-person endeavor with some help from family and friends. It is possible that there would be some hiccups with space reservation, event preparation, and swag availability.
Note that nearly all monies raised will go to room rental, drawings, and swag, with a modest amount of overhead for nametags, signage, etc. This is truly a labor of love, and the Free Men of the North want to pour all monies raised right back into the event for the best experience possible.
We have deliberately kept the scope of this project small to reduce the chance of difficulties, and, if successful, would like to make this an annual event.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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