Get An Advance Look Into the World of Middle-earth on November 5th
When The Lord of the Rings Trading Card Game Begins
A New Chapter with The Return of the King

Newest Base Set to Hit Stores Worldwide Weeks Before the Stunning Final Installment of the Epic Lord of the Rings Film Trilogy Unfolds on December 17th

(Norfolk, VA-September 16, 2003)-It all began with The Fellowship of the Ring as Frodo Baggins and his Hobbit friends embarked on a journey unlike anything they could have ever imagined. The journey then continued with The Two Towers as the Fellowship of Nine disbanded in various forms, each encountering adventures that would bring them closer to the evil lurking within Middle-earth. Now, J.R.R. Tolkien fans around the world anxiously await New Line Cinema’s theatrical release of The Return of the King, the final chapter that is sure to be the most highly anticipated film of Peter Jackson’s epic dramatic trilogy.

Decipher is proud to bring this electrifying chapter of the trilogy to life with the latest base set for The Lord of the Rings Trading Card Game: The Return of the King. Available worldwide on November 5th, The Return of the King will tell the tale of Aragorn – revealed as the hidden heir to the Kings of the West – as he joins with the forces of Gondor to take down the armies of Sauron, while Frodo races to destroy the One Ring at Mount Doom. With breathtaking new images from the film featured on 365 new cards for new characters, sites, and themes, this set is sure to be a must-have for fans of J.R.R. Tolkien, Peter Jackson’s trilogy, and TCG players alike.

The Return of the King also introduces exciting, new gameplay mechanics that represent the increasing threat of the shadow of Sauron. “Threats” are a new mechanic that presents players with an activated effect using wounds that threaten every Fellowship companion when just one dies. “Initiative” is an innovative new mechanic that activates powerful cards that key off of the cards a player has in hand. This will discourage the Fellowship player from playing every card possible to survive and will also add new discarding strategies for the Shadow player in order to win initiative.

“The Lord of the Rings trilogy has given us an opportunity to take an exceptional storyline and bring it to life in a format that can convey all of the dramatic twists and turns that are inherent to the plot,” said Decipher Senior Game Designer Tom Lischke. “Although The Return of the King is the final chapter in the film trilogy, this base set is the beginning of yet another enlivening block for the trading card game – which introduces even more new characters and mechanics. And, unlike the film, it won’t end here. We have plans for new expansions for The Lord of the Rings TCG for years to come.”

Players will be able to participate in release day events on November 5th. Retail locations worldwide will participate in these tournaments where prizes will be awarded to the top finishers. In addition, a special Release Day card will be presented to all competitors.

This 365-card base set contains: 121 rare cards; 121 uncommon cards; 121 common cards; and two starter-only premium cards.

The Return of the King will be available in the following product configurations:

*63-card Starter Decks: Starter decks will be available in two versions, Éomer and Aragorn. Each deck has three random rare cards, 2 premium cards, and a rulebook. MSRP: US $10.99

*Booster Packs: 11-card packs will include 1 rare plus a mixture of common and uncommon cards. Foil cards will be found in approximately one out of six booster packs. MSRP: US $3.29

As with previous The Lord of the Rings TCG cards, all cards in The Return of the King will receive a foil treatment in a parallel set.

The Lord of the Rings TCG: The Return of the King set continues the mission introduced with The Fellowship of the Ring, which introduced the top award-winning trading card game of 2001 and 2002. Players try to win the game by advancing their Ring-bearer to the end of the adventure path; killing the opponent’s Ring-bearer; or corrupting the opponent’s Ring-bearer.

Just in time for New Line Cinema’s December 17, 2003 theatrical release of the third and final
installment, The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, look for the new base set of The Lord of the Rings TCG in November when The Return of the King releases in stores worldwide!

Release Dates:

Siege of Gondor – March 2004

Mount Doom – July 2004

Shadows – November 2004

Black Rider – March 2005

Bloodlines – July 2005

The Hunters – November 2005

Rise of Saruman – March 2006

Treachery and Deceit – July 2006

The Great Eye – November 2006

Shelob’s Lair – March 2007

Age’s End – July 2007