The party at is in full swing, and though I haven’t seen quite as many questions and answers as I would have expected, it seems the atmosphere is staying true to the theme; a party.

The Decipher team has been sociable, conversational and fun loving from everything I’ve observed. They’ve loosened their ties and gone at it, trivia, jokes and general conversation over this massive, constantly expanding message board. At times it can get a bit hectic, having to refresh every ten seconds and noticing five new posts at the top of the page, and twenty more added to previous threads.

The trivia has been the biggest hit, engaging the party goer’s minds with true Middle-Earth trivia. The questions have been geared towards everyone, from simple facts, “Where did Frodo meet Aragorn?” to brain benders such as, “What road is the Ivy Bush on?”

Everyone’s a winner, whether your there to ask a question, let your thoughts be known, or even to conquer the trivia challenges and find yourself the recipient of prize merchandize.

Kyle Heuer (Marketing) has been around for the long haul today, delivering trivia and answers to sporadically up and down the numerous message threads.

There are many ways to heal a Companion:

1) play a copy of that companion from hand during Fellowship phase
2) game text on a card that removes a wound from a Companion
3) starting your Fellowship phase at a Sanctuary

I’m sure there are more, but that is the quick and dirty.

Tim Ellington (Taskmaster and Design) stepped in to deliver his services to the fans questions, and participate in the trivia mayhem.

How much contact have you had with the Tolkien Estate?

We did not have design interaction with the estate. I (and others) have worked with New Line Cinema in New York and Los Angeles, Tolkien Enterprises in Berkeley, and we have had some contact with Mr. Jackson’s group in New Zealand.

It has all been wonderful!

When doing the design and fields of the cards do you consider artistic rules concerning the proportions?

I’m not in the art department, which does all of the template designs… but I would guess they do. One element I know that was very important on some of the cards was to retain as much of the aspect ratio to the movie frames as possible to keep the “cinematic feel.”

Are there multiples of each character, and is there a variation in their rarity?

There are two versions of each Fellowship member from the story. One rare of each, and the others are uncommon, common and/or fixed.

Chuck, among others among the Decipher team, has been busy on the boards as well.

For example, there’s a version of Frodo with the Gandalf signet, and a version of Frodo with the Aragorn signet. I think.

Anyway, you’ll find game text (like the Gandalf we showed) that lets them work together.

Like in JK, each companion card will only have one signet (if any…many don’t have any at all).

UNLIKE in JK, the signets are not any kind of deckbuilding restriction. You can mix and match your companions with signets however you like.

It’s just another “layer of texture,” like cultures, which you can use when you’re building your deck. It’s also a readily identifiable icon that helps players new to TCG’s build decks.

And they look pretty cool, too. Like wax seals. Very nice.

I don’t claim to know everything their talking about, not being an avid RPG card slinger myself, but to those who are well versed in this medium of entertainment, I hope you’ve learned something.

Remember, the party lasts till 9 PM Eastern time, so if you haven’t participated, go Here and procrastinate no longer!