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.
At the beginning of the Dungeons Deep and Caverns Dimscenario, players are instructed to create a "riddle area" with stage 2A of the quest deck. Both quest cards are in play simultaneously as explained below.
Stage 1A instructs players to create a riddle area. The riddle area is a play area, separate from the staging area, that represents Bilbo's riddling contest against Gollum. The riddle area consists of stage 2 of the quest deck, Riddles in the Dark, as well as the Gollum enemy card and the Bilbo's Magic Ring objective card. Bilbo Baggins is also placed in the riddle area when setting up this scenario.
Cards in the riddle area (including Bilbo Baggins) are immune to player card effects and cannot leave the riddle area except through specific quest card effects. While Gollum is in the riddle area, he does not contribute his threat during the quest phase and cannot be engaged by the players. While Bilbo Baggins is in the riddle area, the first player still controls him; however, he cannot quest, attack, take damage from cards other than Gollum, have attachments played on him by the players, or defend (except against Gollum).
Tom has committed his heroes to the quest Out of the Frying Pan. The first encounter card he reveals is Wild Wargs which has a riddle effect. Tom is the first player so he has to choose between adding Wild Wargs to the staging area or answering the riddle on the card. He chooses to answer the riddle which reads: "Riddle: The first player names a card type, shuffles his deck, and discards the top 2 cards. For each of those cards that matches, place 1 progress on stage 2."
Tom names the ally card type, shuffles his deck, and discards 2 cards from the top of his deck. He discards the cards: Sneak Attack (event) and Cram (attachment). Since he did not discard an ally card, he does not have any matches. This would trigger Gollum's game text which reads:"Forced: After the first player answers a riddle and fails to find at least 1 match, Gollum attacks Bilbo Baggins." However, Tom decides to use the text on Bilbo's Magic Ring, which reads: "Action: When attempting to answer a riddle, spend 1 resource to discard an additional card."
Bilbo Baggins has 2 resources in his resource pool, so Tom spends 1 to discard an additional card from his deck, which is A Test of Will (event). Tom still has not met the requirements of the riddle, so he spends the last resource from Bilbo Baggins' resource pool to discard yet another card from his deck, which is Erebor Hammersmith (ally). Now Tom has 1 match, so he places 1 progress token on Riddles in the Dark. After answering the riddle, Tom places the Wild Wargs card in the encounter discard pile. Since Tom did find a match, Gollum does not attack Bilbo Baggins at this time.
"Riddle" is a new game effect featured on some encounter cards. When an encounter card with a riddle effect is revealed from the encounter deck, the first player must choose between resolving that card normally or answering the riddle on that card. The first player can only choose to answer a riddle if it is revealed from the encounter deck. If a card with riddle is dealt as a shadow card, the first player cannot choose to answer it at that time.
To answer a riddle,the first player must follow the directions printed on the riddle, in the following steps:
Step 1- Each riddle effect begins with the text, "The first player names a ___." The first player makes a guess based on the item(s) he is instructed (by the riddle) to name: card type, sphere, or cost. Card types that can be named are ally, event, attachment, or treasure. The spheres that can be named are leadership, spirit, lore, tactics, and Baggins. Cost can be any number.
Step 2- The second part of a riddle is presented by the text, "shuffles his deck and discards the top X cards of his deck." The first player shuffles his deck and then discards X cards from the top of his deck, as determined by the riddle.
Step 3- The final part of a riddle effect is presented by the text, "For each of those cards that matches, place 1 progress on stage 2."The first player places 1 progress on stage 2 for each card discarded by the riddle effect that matches the named card type / sphere / cost from step 1. When instructed to name multiple items, a "match" is defined by a card that features each of the named items.
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.