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.
Capture is a keyword that represents locations or enemies that guard one or more captured cards. When an encounter card or quest card with the capture X keyword enters play, before resolving that card's "when revealed" effects, each player takes the top X cards of his or her captured deck and captures them by placing them facedown underneath that card. (If the players are at different stages of the quest, only the players at that stage perform this act.)
When setting up Escape from Mount Gram, stage 1A instructs each player to prepare a separate captured deck. A captured deck represents the allies, heroes and equipment taken from each player's party that he or she must find and recover before they can be played.
To prepare a captured deck, remove all allies, Item attachments, Mount attachments, and Artifact attachments from the player deck, and shuffle them together. This pile is now referred to as your captured deck. A captured deck does not have its own discard pile; any cards that are discarded from a captured deck are placed in its owner's discard pile.
After preparing his or her captured deck, each player chooses only 1 hero to be his or her starting hero. Then, each player randomly sets aside 1 of his or her other heroes, facedown. Shuffle any remaining heroes into their owner's captured decks, then place each facedown set aside hero on top of its owner's captured deck.
When cards are captured facedown underneath an encounter card, those cards are called "captured cards," and are considered to be out of play, under no player's control. This can occur from the capture X keyword, or from encounter card effects that instruct a player to capture 1 or more cards underneath a specified card. If a card is captured from play, all tokens on that card and attachments on that card are discarded.
When an encounter card or quest card with 1 or more captured cards underneath it leaves play, all of the captured cards underneath it are "rescued" by their owners. Rescued cards are placed in their owners' hands. If a hero card is rescued, immediately put it into play under its owner's control.
When each player is instructed to "create his own staging area, " each player sets aside an area in front of himself to serve as his own private staging area. Only players that share a common staging area can interact with each other in any way. Players continue to resolve each phase of the game in turn order, starting with the First Player (which continues to move), but t he resolution of each phase occurs as if only the player or players that share any given staging area are currently in the game.
On stage 2B players are instructed to "join another player" if there are no captured cards underneath it. Joining another player happens at the beginning of the travel phase. The joining player(s) must add any encounter cards in his own staging area to the staging area of the player(s) he is joining with, keeping any enemies engaged with him and discarding any active location in the staging area being left. If multiple players have no captured cards underneath stage 2B during the same phase, they join quests starting with the First Player and proceeding clockwise around the table. If there is no player to join, then players must continue to stage 3.
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.