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.
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.
When a player reveals an encounter card with the Peril keyword, he must resolve the staging of that card on his own without conferring with the other players. The other players cannot take any actions or trigger any responses during the resolution of that card's staging.
Tom and Kris are playing the scenario "Into Ithilien," and two copies of Southron Mercenaries are in play. Southron Mercenaries has the keyword archery X, where X is the number of players in the game. This gives a cumulative archery value of 4. At the beginning of the combat phase, the players decide to deal 2 damage to Kris' ally Gandalf, and 2 damage to Tom's hero Denethor.
While a card with the archery keyword is in play, players must deal damage to character cards in play equal to the specified archery value at the beginning of each combat phase. This damage can be dealt to characters under any player's control, and it can be divided among the players as they see fit. If there is disagreement as to where to assign archery damage, the first player makes the final decision. If multiple cards with the archery keyword are in play, the effects are cumulative. Remember that does not block archery damage.
An enemy with the toughness keyword reduces the amount of damage it takes by X each time it is assigned any amount of damage.
Defense is a keyword that represents the army of Saruman laying siege to Helm's Deep and their efforts to capture the fortress. While the current quest has the defense keyword, players cannot place progress on the quest (or active location) by questing successfully. Instead, the encounter deck tries to place progress on the current quest. If the encounter deck defeats stage 4B, the army of Saruman captures Helm's Deep, and the players lose the game.
During quest resolution, if the total in the staging area is greater than the total of characters committed to the quest, players do not raise their threat by the difference. Instead, the first player places progress on the current quest equal to the difference.
The active location still acts as a buffer to the quest, so progress made by the encounter deck or encounter card effect must be placed on the active location first before it is placed on the quest (unless a card effect bypasses the active location). When a quest has progress equal to its quest points, that stage is defeated and the players should advance to the next stage as usual.
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.