I am a fortunate bear; living in a city with a thriving board game and card game scene has definite advantages. The Austin Lord of the Rings LCG group was able to participate in two separate Fellowship events, one yesterday and another from which I have just returned. Caleb and Matt are only improving in their scenario design skills. Murder at the Prancing Pony is one of the best scenarios in the game, certainly among the best of the Gen Con and Fellowship decks.
Some players expressed skepticism about a murder-mystery themed quest set in Middle-earth. It’s one bear’s humble opinion, but after playing the scenario a few times I think that it fits the theme of Tolkien’s writings just fine. Bill Ferny features fairly prominently in the quest, especially depending on the which Hideout the Suspect ends up using, so its not as if the cast of characters are solely FFG creations. It is plain to see the inspiration that this quest takes from the Bree-based chapters in The Fellowship of the Ring, and this connection is appreciated.
What really makes this quest shine is the dynamic nature of the 5 different suspects, 5 hideouts, and the way that they interact with the rest of the encounter cards. Like all of the best quests, Murder at the Prancing Pony is a devilishly intricate puzzle. It rewards clever use of location control effects Thror’s Map, Distant Stars and West Road Traveler. Likewise, engagement effects like ally Mablung, Westfold Outrider and Tactics Aragorn can all be instrumental in dealing with the wily brigands and other ne’er-do-wells hanging about Bree.
As great as this quest is, availability of Fellowship events is limited by their very nature. Some areas don’t have big enough LCG scenes to support Fellowship events. In other cases, stores with excellent sales of Lord of the Rings: The Card Game simply choose not to run a Fellowship event. I’m not sure if it’s because of the cooperative nature or the game, the fact that many play the game solo, or simply because stores put more focus on high profile games like Magic and Netrunner. In any case, there are less Fellowship events than the popularity of the game actually warrants.
With that in mind, we at the Hall of Beorn are always looking for ways that we can give back to the community. I am happy to find myself with an extra copy of the quest, including an exclusive play mat and alternate art Legolas. It is time for another contest, with the winner receiving these highly desirable items.
The rules of this contest are simple. Design a custom card related to this quest. Hall of Beorn Card Search has full spoilers for those who aren’t yet familiar with this scenario, but the card that you design does not have to directly reference these cards. What I’m looking for is something that fits in with the theme of heroes helping Barliman Butterbur by unraveling the mystery of the Murder at the Prancing Pony. Entrants are encouraged to use Strange Eons to design their cards and they can either link to those images directly in the comments or email them to me and I will post them here myself. The last day for entries will be midnight on Monday, November 30th. The winner will get their free copy of the quest, the alternate art card, and the play mat – via special Eagle delivery anywhere in the world.
Best of luck, and happy investigating!