The wonderful thing about International Tabletop Day is that it’s a day for gamers of all sorts. Whether you’re planning to attend an all day event at your local game shop, or if you’re more interested in playing at home and connecting with friends online, ITTD is for everyone, and that includes gamers with a flair for the dramatic.
If you’re of the thematic sort with no shame in your Tolkien game, throwing a Tabletop Day shindig revolved around this particular fandom could be right up your alley. In the case of The Lord of the Rings, there are plenty of gaming and entertainment factors to fulfill your party planning dreams.
Commencing with the theme of Tolkien’s Middle-earth, invite your guests to arrive in their best Lord of the Rings cosplay. You’ll need only the bravest of hobbits, men, elves, and dwarves to make it through the day ahead, so having a few latex elf ears prepared for those without a costume might be wise.
With the dress code in order, be sure to set the soundtracks to Peter Jackson’s films on repeat to immerse the players in the world as much as possible. If it wouldn’t be too distracting to game play, a marathon of the movies would work too.
The sheer number of Middle-earth based tabletop games is enough to fulfill multiple ITTD events. It simply depends on the preference of your players. The 2004 favorite of tabletop gamers (LOTR fans or not), War of the Ring is a great option if you’re looking for a true adventure. Though a two player game, some do play War of the Ring with four people, and either way it works well for Tabletop Day as it takes almost three hours to complete and is incredibly immersive.
The beastly board, characters, and design of War of the Ring really pull you into the story as you play in the roles of either the Free Peoples or the Shadow Armies to earn control over The One Ring. Or, presumed control, as we all know no one person can truly control it, besides the Dark Lord. This game allows the players to tell their own version of Tolkien’s classic, rather than following the story of the books precisely.
The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game is another example of a Tolkien-themed game initially designed for two players that can be expanded to three or four. Different from War of the Ring, The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game is the base experience of a living card game, with added adventures released in expansion packs regularly.
This game plays wonderfully for an event like Tabletop Day, as every play through is completely different from the last, with endless combinations of adventures, encounters, and objectives. With multiple sets of the core game, you can actually add more players, making The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game entirely appropriate for a party setting.
The menu of Middle-earth is just as vast as the races that inhabit the world, making the possibilities endless when it comes to a Lord of the Rings themed event. It’s best to concentrate on items that wouldn’t interrupt game play, keeping easily accessible snacks in mind.
First of all, what would a Lord of the Rings party be without po-tay-toes? Decorate your serving tray of fries or tots with a sign quoting Sam’s love for all things starch.
Going into International Table Top Day requires a good deal of commitment, and if you’re going to make it through hours and hours of play, you’ll need the appropriate nourishment. The Fellowship was sure to stock up on lembas, an Elvish bread meant to keep the stomach full and the body energized for long periods of time, and fans have been trying to perfect the recipe for years. This recipe looks particularly promising, and simple to prepare and serve.
Take a note out of the Rivendell cookbook with a comforting mulled wine filled with spices, and with a hint of brandy. Or, if you prefer, a quality pint of your favorite brew will do just fine. Just be sure to sing a round in Merry-and-Pippin style before you enjoy.
Gathering together to conquer, or save, the lands of Middle-earth sure sounds like a quality way to spend this year’s International Tabletop Day. Or, any day, for that matter. Especially when you’re prepared for the quest with the proper snacks, entertainment, and company.
Featured Image Credit: New Line Cinema