FFG official difficulty rating
Players difficulty rating (4.1)
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When an encounter card with the surge keyword is revealed during the staging step of the quest phase or in setup, reveal 1 additional card from the encounter deck. Resolve the surge keyword immediately after resolving any when revealed effects on the card.
If an encounter card with the doomed keyword is revealed during the staging step of the quest phase or in setup, each player must raise his threat level by the specified value.
The guarded keyword is a reminder on some objective cards to reveal and attach the next card of the encounter deck to the objective when it enters the staging area from the encounter deck, and place them both in the staging area. The objective cannot be claimed as long as any encounter card is attached. Once that encounter is dealt with, the objective remains in the staging area until it is claimed. If another objective card comes up while attaching a card for the guarded keyword, place the second objective in the staging area, and use the next card of the encounter deck to fulfil the original keyword effect. Enemy and location cards attached to guarded objectives do still count their threat while the enemy or location is in the staging area. An encounter card attached to a guarded objective is dealt with in the following method, depending on its card type:
Once all encounter cards attached to a guarded objective are dealt with, the players can claim the objective in the manner specified by its card text.
In this scenario, players are searching for Clue objective cards titled "Signs of Gollum." There are four copies of this card in the encounter deck; players should try to fin d and claim as many copies of this card as they can while playing the scenario. When one of these cards is claimed, its card text transforms it into a Condition attachment, and it is attached to a hero committed to the quest, with text that returns the card to the top of the encounter deck if the attached hero is damaged. Additionally, if the attached hero is destroyed or leaves play for any other reason, the Signs of Gollum objective card is returned to the top of the encounter deck.
While playing this scenario, players might be instructed to "reset the quest deck to stage 2B." To do this, the players take the previously defeated stage 2 quest card, and return it to the quest deck as if they are just beginning that stage. Any progress tokens that were on the current quest are removed before the quest deck resets. Progress tokens that were on the active location, however, remain on that location. All other cards , including those in the staging area, remain unchanged.
To play normal mode, just follow the setup instructions on the quest card.
When you play normal mode (or easy mode of course) and if you're new to the game, you can also play the "Basic Game" defined in the core set rules:
Newer players or players who want a more basic experience can play and enjoy the game by not dealing shadow cards during the combat phase. This eliminates an element of surprise that could make the game too challenging for a beginner. Once players are comfortable with this experience, they can then add the shadow effects to make combat less predictable and more exciting.