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.
Uncharted locations represent unknown areas of Middle-earth, untouched and unexplored during this age of the world. As such, the players do not know what to expect when traveling to them.
These locations are double-sided. One side is called "Lost Island," and has the Uncharted keyword. Uncharted locations are always added to the staging area with the "Lost Island" side faceup, without looking at the other side of the card. Locations with the Uncharted keyword do not have quest points and cannot be explored by placing progress on them, although progress may still be placed on them (in order to trigger their Action ability).
Each copy of Lost Island has the following text: "Forced: After Lost Island becomes the active location, flip it over." Thus, by traveling to an Uncharted location, the players can discover what kind of location it really is, flipping it over to its other side. Flipping over an Uncharted location removes all progress from it. Once flipped, it functions as a normal location, with the following exceptions: Double-sided locations cannot enter the encounter deck. If a double-sided location would enter the discard pile, it is instead shuffled back into the Uncharted deck, Lost Island side faceup.
Each copy of Lost Island also has the following text: "Action: Remove 4 progress from Lost Island to look at its facedown side." Thus, by placing progress on a Lost Island card in the staging area, the players may look at its facedown side in order to gain information about where to travel.
Many locations on the other side of an Uncharted location have Forced effects that trigger after they are flipped. After flipping an Uncharted location, make sure to check the newly flipped location for any such effects. Note that "looking" at the facedown side of an Uncharted location does not trigger any of these effects.
Note that all copies of Lost Island have the Ruins of Númenor encounter set icon on their Lost Island side, even though some of these cards may actually belong to different encounter sets.
When Uncharted locations are included in a scenario's encounter deck, that scenario's Setup may instruct the players to "prepare the Uncharted deck." This is done by shuffling all of the double-sided locations with the Uncharted keyword into a separate pile. This pile is referred to as the Uncharted deck. When preparing the Uncharted deck, each card in that deck should be Lost Island side faceup, so that players do not know which location is on the facedown side.
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.