Build your deck and face the Dark Forces of Sauron in The Lord of the Rings: Living Card Game! Lead your own fellowship of heroes through quests that will test your leadership, tactics, lore, and spirit. Ready your weapons, gather your heroes, and create your own story.
All Reviews:
No user reviews
Release Date:
Q2 2018

Sign in to add this item to your wishlist, follow it, or mark it as not interested

Early Access Game

Get instant access and start playing; get involved with this game as it develops.

Note: This Early Access game is not complete and may or may not change further. If you are not excited to play this game in its current state, then you should wait to see if the game progresses further in development. Learn more

What the developers have to say:

Why Early Access?

“Fantasy Flight Interactive is a brand-new studio. We’re learning things as we go, and we want to build the Living Card Game model into something we feel is currently missing in the digital card game market. We don’t carry the Fantasy Flight name lightly. We know it means a certain level of polish and innovation. We want to work with you to live up to that name. As a result, we’re listening to community feedback. We felt the best way to open this two-way channel of communication was through an open beta on Early Access.”

Approximately how long will this game be in Early Access?

“We’re estimating roughly 3 to 5 months. If that changes, we’ll let you know.”

How is the full version planned to differ from the Early Access version?

“We’re in it for the long haul. We have content planned post-launch and we want to support this game well into the future, both with additional playable content and with new gameplay features. Of course, that’s only possible with your support. If there’s something you feel is missing, please let us know, either on our website, social media channels, or right here on Steam.

The full version release will include the following changes:
  • Cooperative Play for 2 players
  • Balance Changes to all heroes and cards
  • New features requested by players during the Early Access period
  • The Oath, the first Quest of the all new Shadows of Mirkwood Campaign.

In addition, upon full release, players may purchase in the store or earn during play the following new content:
  • 44 Additional Valor Cards (each may be purchased or earned twice)
  • 12 Additional Hero Packs (each featuring a new hero and four additional Player Cards)
  • 4 Additional Quests from the Shadows of Mirkwood Campaign.

After full release, we plan to continue updating the game with new campaigns and cards.”

What is the current state of the Early Access version?

“The game is close to its final build. The initial Early Access release will be limited to Single Player functionality. We will be adding a cooperative mode at some point in the Early Access, and this will become a full feature in the final release. We’re mostly implementing new features during our Early Access period.

With the Early Access version of the game, all players will receive the following items included:

  • Four Heroes to adventure with and build Decks around: Aragorn, Arwen, Frodo, and Gimli
  • 42 Player Cards (2 x 21 unique cards) to create your starting player decks.
  • 2 Unique Card Backs (Classic and Digital)
  • 2 Sauron Card Backs (Classic and Digital)
  • 4 Default Avatars
  • 1 Player Tag and 1 Avatar Frame
  • Players will be able to adventure through the first two quests of the Campaign, Adventures in Wilderland.

Players may additionally purchase in the store, or via play the following additional items:
  • Three additional quests to round out the Campaign, Adventures in Wilderland
  • 21 additional individual Valor Cards (each card may be purchased or earned twice)
  • 4 Hero Card Packs, each including a new Hero and 4 player cards.

During Early Access, there will still be bugs, so please report them if you find them.”

Will the game be priced differently during and after Early Access?

“During Early Access, the game is available through three tiers of Founder’s Packs that include some additional exclusive content. We felt that this was the simplest way to put out the game and build a solid community for the Beta while still rewarding players who jumped in early. The details of each Founder’s Pack will be made available in the DLC section on this page, but they all include cosmetics as well as in-game currency that can be used to unlock new cards and Quests.

Once the Early Access period is over, the base game will be free-to-play. Please note, the Founder’s Packs will still be available for purchase post-launch, though the cosmetics will change slightly to make sure early adopters are recognized. While there’s always the possibility of unforeseen issues, we have no plans to ever reset your account after full launch.”

How are you planning on involving the Community in your development process?

“Whether it’s notes on the general “feel” of the game or balance issues with specific cards or quests, we’re always looking for ways to improve. What kind of game modes would you like to see? What characters do you think should be represented? Is there a mechanic that feels too powerful? Expect tweaks and tunes as we listen to your feedback.

We’re active on social media and we’re always watching the forums. Please try to keep your feedback respectful and constructive. And, as always, please be respectful of others in the game’s community.”
Read more

Available: Q2 2018


Recent updates View all (10)

March 15

The Lord of the Rings: Living Card Game scheduled for release in Q2

Since we announced The Lord of the Rings: Living Card Game back in December, we’ve been thrilled by the reception. We’ve received great preview coverage from outlets like PC Gamer, PCGamesN, VentureBeat, and Polygon, and we’ve received a lot of feedback from interested fans and players.

Most important to us, however, is that we’ve built a community of game players who have joined us both here on the Steam forums and on our biweekly streams. Fantasy Flight Interactive was always built with a community-first mission in mind—we believe that transparency in development is an essential part of producing a game for an informed audience. Our transparency, through the developer streams and the articles here on Steam, has given us room to experiment and build The Lord of the Rings: Living Card Game into something great.

That’s why we want to inform you now that we’ve made the decision to delay the game. Though we recently announced that we’d miss the Q1 mark on our Twitch stream, we felt it was important to post this officially to anyone following us on Steam. We are now officially looking at a release during the second quarter.

This wasn’t an easy call for us to make, but we feel it is the right one. While we feel the game we’ve created thus far is strong, we have a few more ideas we want to try out before we take the game public. For that reason, we’re experimenting with some new ideas we think you’ll enjoy behind-the-scenes that we feel will make the game even stronger.

Our original plan had been to use the Early Access period for this type of experimentation with a game that was a bit less finished, but we only get one shot at making our first game public. We want to make sure that we are confident that impression will be a great one. For this reason, we’re going to be a bit later than we originally announced.

However, that delay won’t happen in a vacuum, and we want to keep you up on development. Here’s what we have planned:

The Early Access period for The Lord of the Rings™: Living Card Game™ is going to be more polished than we had originally planned. The game still won’t be feature complete in Early Access, but what is there will be more refined. We’ll also be able to prepare more content than we’d originally planned for rollout during that Early Access period and to a higher level of refinement.

Expect a development roadmap to get posted soon. Since we’re releasing later than we had expected, we want to give players a better idea of what we’ll be adding to the game and what they can expect at release and beyond.

Our video streams will continue. A lot of the experimentation we have planned will be a little too messy to show publicly, but as we continue to develop the game, we want to bring in-progress streams to you at the same rate as before. The streams may include more developer interviews, in-depth discussions, and other related content, as well. Let us know what you’re interested in seeing.

We also want to thank you for being along for the ride so far. We’re very blessed with a fantastic community of potential players. As much as everyone at our offices are excited to get the game in your hands as soon as possible, we need to temper that enthusiasm to make sure that the game is well and truly ready.

We look forward to sharing more with you in the coming weeks.

Fantasy Flight Interactive
25 comments Read more

March 13

Developer's Diary: Card Spotlight—Bilbo's Cloak

Hey everyone! I’m your Community Manager, Luke.

We’ve had a few cards change drastically from their initial inception up until now, and we expect cards to keep changing well into Early Access. But how do we decide when a card needs to change? We wanted to give you some behind the scenes insight into how sometimes decisions are made and the cards evolve.

Bilbo’s Cloak has a particularly interesting development story. The card, part of the Faithful Servant Hero Pack, featuring Sam Gamgee, was created to solve a specific gameplay problem.

We have something called a soft mechanic tied to our two Hobbit heroes in the Core Set. A soft mechanic is an ability or theme that occurs across multiple cards without a keyword tied to it. Soft mechanics are a great way of building unity across a certain characteristic. When players recognize a theme across multiple cards, they’ll search for other similarities or tie-ins. It makes them feel more engaged with the setting and lore and allows us to communicate ideas about the game’s thematic world using the game’s mechanics.

Both Frodo and Sam Gamgee have abilities that hinge on Sauron’s depleted resources. They rise to greater power when Sauron’s attention is elsewhere. Thus, their abilities only trigger if Sauron’s resource count is at 0. This mechanic also communicates the nature of Hobbits as burglars—the little thieves take resources away from The Dark Lord.

But this mechanic didn’t give players a lot of dimensions for control. We found in testing that there were just too few ways for players to interact with Sauron’s resources. As a result, the Hobbit soft mechanic kind of felt more like a slot machine. You were at the mercy of the AI, and Sauron usually was too smart to go down to 0 resources. While the mechanic was thematic, it didn’t create the dynamic play space that we wanted.

Instead of choosing to rework the mechanic completely, we decided to re-contextualize it. We came up with some ideas for cards that could potentially disrupt Sauron’s resources, including a modification to the previously textless Wandering Took and an innocuous-looking attachment called Hobbit Cloak.

The design for Hobbit Cloak was simple, but it served a few valuable purposes: One, it helped trigger Sam and Frodo. Being that it was included in Sam’s Hero Pack and part of Frodo’s sphere, we felt the synergy would be immediately communicated to players. Two, it solidified the identity for Hobbits as burglars. Of course, not all Hobbits are thieves. But we felt that Bilbo’s legacy was strong enough to build into the game mechanically. Furthermore, the idea of a cloak communicates something sneaky, something stealthy, so we thought that tying it into resource control was something of a flavor win regardless.

Finally, it was an attachment that played with some of the dimensions of the game outside of combat. We had plenty of swords and shields within the Core Set design file, but we didn’t have quite as many ways to alter the game outside of fighting. Hobbit Cloak let us experiment with the strength of attachments that didn’t focus on altering combat stats.

Overall, Hobbit Cloak felt like a compelling design. We weren’t immediately sure about its cost or strength relative to other attachments, but we were ready to answer those questions through testing. We put it in the file, loaded it in the game, and moved on to other cards.

This design remained the same for quite some time. In fact, we even first spoiled Hobbit Cloak in its original, untested inception on our video stream. While we didn’t get a chance to play the card on stream, viewers immediately had the same reactions we did: The card looked interesting and cool, but was it costed correctly? And could it be too powerful?

The biggest concern, of course, came from the idea of having multiple Hobbit Cloaks. In a single-player game, players could easily get two copies of the card in play, attached to two separate characters. That would take away 2 of Sauron’s resources every turn, leaving him with only 1 and effectively grinding his plays almost to a halt. It seemed like a fairly easy way to lock down the game.

What about cooperative play? If, by some chance, both players had 3 or more copies of Hobbit Cloak out on the field at the same time, they would be taking away all of Sauron’s resources, locking him out of the game!

What had started life as a fairly innocuous design had become an oppressive tool of control. In our quest to design an enabler for the Hobbit soft mechanic, we had accidentally stumbled on a way to break the game.

Now, there’s something to be said for leaving in combos and powerful tools for players to discover. But the Hobbit Cloak exploit was just too simple to assemble. It wasn’t a combo that made players feel smart—instead, it was obvious enough that it felt like it punished those who chose not to take advantage of it. Good combos open deckbuilding up. Bad combos make deckbuilding feel narrower. Plus, it limited possible card design space. If we put a powerful combo into the game, we have to make sure our future designs don’t strengthen that combo or make it easier to assemble. If we wanted to create a way for players to search their deck for an attachment, for example, we’d have to think twice about the Hobbit Cloak.

We threw around a few possible solutions, but most of them damaged the purpose of the card. We still wanted to give players a way to mess with Sauron’s resources, and we wanted the card to feel thematic. Changing the cost on the Cloak wasn’t enough, as it didn’t quite limit the card in the way we needed it to.

To recap, we couldn’t change the card’s cost, adjust its numbers, or tinker with its text box. So we approached the problem from a different angle—how about playing with its name?

What if the card was Unique? Then, players could only have one copy of it in play at any time. Sure, in cooperative play, two players could still have one copy each, reducing Sauron’s resources by two every turn, but we were ok with that relative power for that amount of work.

With its new designation as a Unique card, Hobbit Cloak needed a fresh identity, one that made it feel thematically special. Since we were already channeling his spirit in the card’s design, we named it Bilbo’s cloak, imagining it as a sort of old family heirloom passed down to Frodo, a cape that was something of a good-luck-charm, having been on a series of adventures itself.

Since the adjustment, we’ve found that Bilbo’s Cloak is behaving the way it was intended. It’s a nice way to enable both Sam and Frodo, and while it doesn’t affect combat stats, it does affect the board in a tangible, ongoing way. While it may change between now and Early Access or now and full release, Bilbo’s Cloak is proof that quite often in game design, the simplest solution is the right one.

This is just one of the decisions we have to make across the hundreds of cards that will appear in Early Access, but gives you an idea of how testing, play and revision are part of the game design process.

Oh, and the Hobbit Cloak name is gone, but only temporarily. We’ve reworked a new Hobbit Cloak design that will be making its way back into the game in a future expansion— but that’s a story for another day.
7 comments Read more
See all discussions

Report bugs and leave feedback for this game on the discussion boards

About This Game

Build your deck and face the Dark Forces of Sauron!

Battle Uruks, spiders, orcs, and more as you journey through Middle-earth, earning cards and devising new tactics along the way. In The Lord of the Rings: Living Card Game, players lead their own fellowship of heroes through quests that will test their leadership, tactics, lore, and spirit. Ready your weapons, gather your heroes, and create your own story.

Key Features

  • Based on the hit Fantasy Flight LCG® The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game
    The Lord of the Rings Living Card Game adapts the strategic gameplay of Fantasy Flight Games' award-winning Living Card Game to digital platforms.

  • Construct your Deck
    With numerous cards available day one and more on the way, decks in The Lord of the Rings: Living Card Game are fully customizable. Build the perfect deck to topple your foes.

  • Assemble your Heroes
    Lead a team of up to three heroes through five distinct quests, with many more to come.

  • Preset Packs
    The Lord of the Rings: Living Card Game introduces an innovative economy system built around preset card packs. Get the cards you want to play with and enjoy all the depth and customization of card games.

System Requirements

Mac OS X
    • OS: Windows 7 / Windows 8 / Windows 10
    • Processor: Intel Core 2 Duo E6600 (2.4 Ghz) or AMD Athlon 64 X2 5000+ (2.6 Ghz) or better
    • Memory: 2 GB RAM
    • Graphics: Nvidia GeForce 8800 GT (512 MB) or better; ATI Radeon HD 4850 (512 MB) or better; Intel Haswell Iris and HD Graphics
    • Network: Broadband Internet connection
    • Storage: 3 GB available space
    • OS: OSX10.10
    • Processor: Intel Core i3 or better
    • Memory: 2 GB RAM
    • Graphics: Nvidia GeForece GT 650M or better; ATI Radeon HD 5670 or better; Intel Haswell Iris and HD Graphics
    • Storage: 3 GB available space
There are no reviews for this product

You can write your own review for this product to share your experience with the community. Use the area above the purchase buttons on this page to write your review.