HOW TO PLAY
OBJECT OF THE GAME
Each player is a Hobbit who is attempting to gather the experience, equipment, and information that will enable him to defeat (outwit) the Dragon at Carn Dûm. A player wins when he defeats the Dragon.
Note: In this game, fighting and defeating a creature usually means outwitting or
out-manoeuvring it. In The Hobbit, Bilbo "fought and defeated" Gollum and Smaug.
Note: For readability purposes, these rules use standard English grammar when referring to persons of uncertain gender: i.e., masculine pronouns. In such cases, these pronouns are intended to convey the meanings: she/he, his/her, etc.
1) The Playing Pieces: Each Hobbit miniature represents one of the 4 players.
2) Dice: The five dice include: one special blue movement die, three special red combat dice, and one green die (a normal six-sided die, referred to as 1D6).
3) Yellow Money Markers: Each small yellow marker represents one gold piece; each large yellow marker represents 5 gold pieces. Gold pieces (GPs) are used to purchase equipment and talismans during play. If the pool of available GPs is exhausted, use other markers to represent GPs (e.g., pennies, paper clips, etc.).
4) Black Life Markers: Each small black marker represents one
"life point" (LP) of one of the Hobbits; each large black marker represents five
Each Hobbit starts the game with 12 LPs, and no Hobbit may ever have more than 12 LPs. However, due to combat, travel, and adventures, a Hobbit's LPs will often be less than 12. If a Hobbit ever loses all of his life points (reaches zero LPs), he is out of the game. When a player leaves the game: all cards held are returned to their appropriate decks, all gold pieces held are returned to the general pool, and his playing piece and talismans held are removed from play.
A player can recover LPs by drinking potions (denoted by cards) or by visiting Lorien or Rivendell.
5) Talismans: Each talisman is a round disk with a hole in the middle.
There are 4 blue, 4 red, 4 green, and 4 yellow. Each player may collect at most one of
each colour talisman.
The talismans make defeating the Dragon easier. Each talisman represents a type of magic or enchantment that gives its bearer a +1 bonus when "fighting" the Dragon.
The blue (Sinda magic) and green (Noldo magic) talismans may be purchased only at Elven places and cost 5 GPs each. A red (Sauronic magic) talisman can be acquired by defeating a creature at Dol Guldur. A yellow (Melkoric magic) talisman can be acquired by defeating a creature at Moria.
6) The Game Board: This is a map of north-western Middle-earth. The
orange-coloured roads connect a variety of places (also called sites or spaces). Each
place has a different shape (and label) that indicates what can happen when a player stops
on that place:
[star] (Elves, Wizard) - Stars mark the five Havens, places of safety and magic (the Grey Havens, Rivendell, L6rien, Thranduil, and Rhosgobel).
[circle] (Adventure) - Circles mark places for exploration and adventures (potentially dangerous).
[diamond] (Peril) - Diamonds mark dangerous places where treasures can be found.
[hexagon] (Danger) - Hexagons mark dangerous places where talismans can be obtained.
[arch] (Carn Dûm) -The arch-shaped symbol marks the lair of the great Dragon that must be defeated to win the game.
[pentagon] (Hobbits, Dwarves, or Men) - Pentagons mark Villages: settlements, towns, and holds. Each place is keyed to its primary inhabitants (Hobbits, Dwarves, or Men).
7) The Cards: 142 cards are divided into 8 decks. Each deck should be
placed as indicated on the game board.
· Magic [star] cards may be acquired from the Grey Havens or Thranduil.
· Equipment [pentagon] cards may be purchased at Village places.
· Adventure [circle] cards are encountered at Adventure places.
· Peril [diamond] cards are encountered at Peril places.
· Danger [hexagon] cards are encountered at Danger places.
· Riddle [?] cards are acquired at Village places.
· Money [bag] cards are used to determine how many gold pieces are in each treasure.
· Rest [triangle] cards may be acquired when a player decides to rest on his turn rather than move.
There are special "creature" (or "monster") cards in the Adventure, Danger, Peril, and Rest decks. Whenever a player draws a creature card, he must fight it. If he wins, he gets gold pieces (GPs); if he loses, he loses life points (LPs).
BEGINNING THE GAME
1. Sort the cards into the 8 decks. Then, shuffle each deck and place it face down on the appropriate place on the board.
2. Each player places his Hobbit playing piece in the Hobbiton place on the game board.
3. Each player receives 12 LPs (two large black markers and 2 small black markers) and 10 GPs (2 large yellow markers). The remaining markers are kept in a general pool to use in the course of play.
4. Place the talismans on the board. All 4 red talismans go in Dol Guldur, and all 4 yellow talismans in Moria. Place 1 blue talisman and 1 green talisman in each of the following places: the Grey Havens, Rivendell, Lorien, and Thranduil.
5. Each player rolls the green die (1D6); the player who rolls highest (reroll ties) takes his turn first. Then play proceeds in a clockwise direction.
A player may only keep Equipment [pentagon] cards, Riddle [?] cards, Treasure cards (see the Special Cards section), and cards that say that a player may "hold" them. Some of these cards are returned to the bottom of their decks after one use (Riddle cards, Potion cards, Treasure cards, and cards that say "Hold and discard after one use.").
All other cards must be immediately used when drawn and are then returned to the bottom of their decks.
Only Riddle [?] and Magic [star] cards may be kept face down and secret (i.e., they need not be revealed to the other players when they are drawn). Each player must display, face up, all of his other cards, GPs, and LPs.
A PLAYER'S TURN
To start his turn, a player rolls the blue movement die. Then he may either travel or rest.
If a player travels, he may not end his movement on the place in which he started his turn.
An eagle result on the blue movement die indicates a special trip-the player must move to the Adventure place (i.e., any circle place) of his choice.
If a player rolls a one and decides to travel, he must draw the top Adventure card [circle] and follow its instructions before continuing his turn (if it is a creature/monster card, he must fight it immediately).
A result of one, two, or three on the blue movement die indicates that the player must move his Hobbit playing piece up to that number of places (i.e., either 1, 2, or 3 places). A player moves by following the orange-coloured roads from place to place.
When a player finishes moving, one of following occurs:
· If another player's Hobbit playing piece is in the same place, the moving player may choose to "riddle" the other player instead of taking an action dictated by the place.
· Otherwise, the player takes an action dictated by the type of place he has stopped on (see the section on The Places on the Board).
A player who rests doesn't move; instead he draws and follows the instructions on two Rest cards.
First, he must take the top card from the Rest deck [triangle] and follow its instructions (if it is a creature/monster card, he must fight it).
Then, the player must take a second card from the Rest deck and follow its instructions (or fight it).
Some Rest cards are dangerous while others are very good. A player may keep a card if it says that he may "hold" it.
Hobbits never fight each other. But they love to engage in peaceful "riddling" duels. If a player ends his movement on a place occupied by another player, the moving player may start a riddling duel with the other player.
Riddling Cards - Riddle cards are obtained at Village places. A player may never have more than 4 Riddle cards at a time. Each Riddle card has a riddle on the top of the card and 2 or 3 answers at the bottom of the card (in the green bars). The top answer is the correct answer-the other answers serve as additional solutions to other riddles.
Duelling Procedure - A duel begins with the challenging player displaying one of
his Riddle cards. At this point, all of the players know the riddle and the correct answer
(the correct answer is in the top bar on the Riddle card).
To answer the Riddle card displayed, the challenged player must display one of his own Riddle cards with the correct answer in any of the three green bars. Note that the player doesn't actually solve the riddle; he must have a Riddle card with the correct answer.
If the challenged player displays a Riddle card with the correct answer, the challenged player may end the duel or he may choose to become the challenging player and use a Riddle card of his own.
If the challenged player does not display a Riddle card with the correct answer, the challenging player gets to choose something from the challenged player: an Equipment ( ) card or a talisman (of a colour he doesn't already have) or half of his gold (round down).
In either case, any Riddle cards displayed in this process are returned to the bottom of the Riddle deck.
THE PLACES ON THE BOARD
Moving through a place has no effect on play. Only when a player ends his movement on a place (i.e., a space or site) will something occur. Of course, different things happen at different types of places.
Haven [star] Places
The player may take one of the following actions:
· The player may purchase a talisman (the cost is 5 GPs) if one is on the place.
· The player may restore 2 LPs at Rivendell or Lorien.
· The player may draw a magic card (from the Magic deck) from the Grey Havens, Rhosgobel, or Thranduil.
Adventure [circle] Places
A player who stops on an Adventure place must take the top card from the Adventure deck and follow its instructions (if it is a creature/monster card, he must fight).
Peril [diamond] Places
A player who stops on a Peril place must take the top card from the Peril deck and follow its instructions (if it is a creature/monster card, he must fight).
Danger [hexagon] places
A player who stops on a Danger place must take the top card from the Danger deck and fight the creature/monster (all Danger cards are creature cards). If the player defeats the creature, he may choose to take one of the talismans on the place (i.e., a yellow one at Moria or a red one at Dol Guldur). If the player chooses to take a talisman, he does not get the creature's gold pieces.
The Carn Dûm [arch] Place
Upon arriving on this place, the player must fight (i.e., outwit or out-maneuver) the Dragon. If the player defeats the Dragon, he wins the game. If the player loses, he loses 7 LPs and one of his red or yellow talismans (if he has one) is destroyed and is removed from the game (player's choice of red or yellow).
The Dragon has 16 power points. So to defeat the Dragon, the player will have to get a total of 16 points from the following:
· Normal combat points including: a Combat Dice, Roll, a weapon, a defensive item, a potion, and special cards (see the section on Fighting a Creature/Monster).
· Each of the four talismans (one of each colour) counts for a +1 bonus point (for a maximum of 4 points).
· Some special magic cards provide bonus points versus the Dragon.
Village [pentagon] Places
The player may take all three of the following actions:
· If the player has less than four Riddle cards, he may draw and hold a Riddle (?) card (i.e., he hears and learns a riddle).
· If the player has a Treasure card, he may sell it (see the Special Cards section).
· The player may purchase equipment with his gold pieces (GPs). Another player should shuffle the equipment deck and turn over the top five cards. The player whose turn it is may then buy any or all of these cards that are available at the Village place (see the next paragraph). The price of each piece of equipment is listed on the bottom of the card (each coin symbol represents a cost of 1 GP, each stack of coins represents 5 GPs).
Availability of Equipment - A player may only buy goods (i.e., equipment) that are available in the type (Hobbits, Dwarves, or Men) of village he is on. Hobbit Goods (i.e., a pipe) can only be purchased at a "Hobbits" Village place (i.e., only at Hobbiton). Human Goods (i.e., a sword or a shield) can only be purchased at a "Men" Village place. Dwarven Goods (i.e., mithril shirt (armour) or an axe) can only be purchased at a "Dwarves" Village place. Common Goods (i.e., a potion, a lantern, or a rope) can be purchased at any Village place. For example, a player lands on a Dwarves Village place and chooses to purchase equipment. Two potion cards, a lantern, a pipe, and a sword are turned over. He may buy the lantern and/or the potions. The sword and the pipe are not Dwarf objects and may not be bought.
FIGHTING A CREATURE/MONSTER
To fight (i.e., duel) a creature, a player makes a combat dice roll (see the next section) and adds bonus points for:
· One weapon (usually one point for a sword or an axe). If the player is a master with that weapon (certain cards will have this effect), he receives another +1 bonus point. If the player has dipped his weapon in a special pool (certain cards will have this effect), he receives another +1 bonus point.
· One and only one defensive item: a +1 bonus point for a shield or mithril shirt (armour).
· One potion: +2 bonus points for a potion that costs 2 GPs or +3 bonus points for a potion that costs 3 GPs (after use, the Potion card is returned to its deck). A player must decide whether or not to use a potion before the combat die roll is made (but after the roll for the creature's power points, see below).
· Any special cards (details are on the individual cards). A player must decide whether or not to use a special card before the combat die roll is made (but after the roll for the creature's power points, see below).
If the resulting total (i.e., a combat dice roll plus all applicable bonus points) is greater than or equal to the creature's power points (see below), the player defeats the creature and gets the GPs in the creature's treasure (or a talisman at Moria or Dol Guldur). Otherwise, the player loses the fight and some of his LPs. In either case, the creature card is returned to the bottom of its deck.
Each creature card has a picture of the creature and other information:
· The top left part of the creature card indicates the creature's power points (1D6 + a number). In order to determine a creature's power points a player who is not fighting the creature should roll the green die: The creature's power points are equal to the result of this die roll plus the number indicated on the creature's card. For example, the sample creature card (see right column) has 1D6+3 power points; so if a '4' is rolled on the green die, the creature's power points are '7' (4+3).
· The top right of the card indicates how many money cards the player draws if he defeats the creature. First, another player shuffles and fans out all of the Money cards. Then, the victorious player draws the number of Money cards shown on the top right hand side of the creature's card. (For example, if a player defeats the sample creature shown to the right, he draws two Money cards.) He then receives GPs equal to the sum of the GPs indicated on each Money card. Finally, he returns the cards to the Money deck. Some creatures have no treasure, and no Money cards are drawn even if the player wins the fight.
· The bottom of the card indicates how many LPs a player loses if he does not defeat the creature. For example, the player loses 3 LPs if he fails to defeat the sample creature shown to the right.
A COMBAT DICE ROLL
Use the three special red Combat Dice to make Combat Dice Rolls. Each of the dice has two types of markings for the values of one, two, and three:
· Three of the six sides have the "digits":   
· Three of the six sides have the "pips": [*] [**] [***]
To make a Combat Dice Roll, follow this procedure:
1) Roll the three red Combat Dice.
2) Add up all "digits" values and separately add up any "pips" values. The result of this "roll" is the difference between these two sums (i.e., subtract the lower sum from the higher sum). If the three values are all digits or all pips, the result is the sum of all three values.
Example: A roll of  [*]  gives a result of 4.
Example: A roll of [*] [*]  gives a result of 1.
Example: A roll of  [***]  gives a result of 0.
Example: A roll of [***] [*] [**] gives a result of 6.
Example: A roll of    gives a result of 9.
3) At this point a player may choose to stop this process. If so, his Combat Dice Roll is the difference between the sum of the digits and the sum of the pips. This is often high enough so that the player defeats the creature he is fighting. However, if the result is not high enough, the player may choose to reroll one, two, or three of the dice (keeping the values on the dice that are not rerolled).
4) After rerolling some or all of the dice, a player may choose to stop this process. If so, his Combat Dice Roll is the difference between the sum of the digits and the sum of the pips. This is often high enough so that the player defeats the creature he is fighting. However, if it is not high enough, the player may choose to reroll one, two, or three of the dice (keeping the values on the dice that are not rerolled).
5) After a player rerolls some or all of the dice a second time, this process stops. His Combat Dice Roll is the difference between the sum of the digits and the sum of the pips.
Companion Cards - A Companion card must be placed face up with its player's equipment cards (it may not be taken as a result of riddling). These cards give bonus points for one or more fights and certain other benefits-follow the instructions on the specific card.
"Chase Away a Monster" Cards - Certain cards (e.g., Thunder of Light and
Adan Wind-horn) allow a player to avoid a fight with a monster. This card must be played
before the roll is made to determine the monster's power points.
The monster is sent to the nearest place occupied by another player, and that player must immediately fight the monster (this player receives the monster's GPs if he wins).
The nearest place is the closest place in terms of normal movement. If two or more players are an equal distance away, the player that used the card to move the monster may choose which player is attacked.
Conjurer/Mage Cards If a player draws an evil Conjurer card, an evil
Mage card or an old angry Mage card, he must immediately fight the
Conjurer/Mage as indicated on the card. The player may not just give up what is
"stated" by the Conjurer/Mage (e.g., the player may not just give the
evil Conjurer a talisman, he may not just give the old angry Mage his weapons).
When facing the evil Mage card, a player loses no GPs for losing any of the first five fights. You must stop fighting after you win once.
Money Cards - Each Money card indicates how many GPs a player receives when that card is drawn. One of the money cards shows a Hobbit with empty pockets-no GPs are received for that card.
Shadow-shield Card - This card allows a player to avoid a fight with a monster. This card must be played before the roll is made to determine the monster's power points. Alternatively, this card allows a player to avoid a "riddling" duel with another player. This card is played after the riddling player has chosen to riddle (i.e., the riddling player does not also take an action dictated by the type of place he has stopped on). Ignore the reference to "even in daylight."
Scroll of Minds Card - This card gives a player a +4 bonus in any fight (except
against the Dragon).
Alternatively, this card allows a player to take something from another player. To use this card in this fashion, the player must be on the same place as the other player. The player of this card then gets to choose something from the other player: an Equipment [pentagon] card or a talisman (of a colour he doesn't already have) or half of his gold (round down). This card can be used in this fashion at any time, even during the other player's turn. The use of this card has no effect on actions normally taken during the player's turn.
Treasure Cards - There are four "treasure" cards in the Peril deck. Each of these cards has a number of gold pieces indicated at the top (D6x1 GPs or +4 GPs). The "+4 GPs" card must be immediately exchanged for 4 GPs from the general pool. A player may hold a "[die] + [coin] " card until the next time, he moves to a Village place, at which time he may sell the treasure to the general pool. The selling price of the jewellery is equal to 1D6 GPs (a maximum of 6 GPs, a minimum of 1 GP). Roll the green die; if a player accepts the price, take that many GPs from the general pool and return the card to the bottom of its deck. If the player does not accept the price, he may try to sell again on his next visit to a Village place.
Potion Cards - A Potion card is an Equipment [pentagon] card with a picture of a flask with green liquid in it. A Potion card that costs 2 GPs can be used to give a +2 bonus in combat or to heal 2 LPs at any time. Similarly, a Potion card that costs 3 GPs gives a +3 bonus or heals 3 LPs. A Potion can be held until used. When a Potion card is used, it is returned to the equipment deck.
Axe-master Cards - If a player draws an Axe-master card (from the Rest deck), he
may hold it only if he already has an axe (Dwarven Goods Equipment card) and he does not
already have an Axe-master card. Otherwise, he must discard the Axemaster card.
If a player is holding an Axemaster card, he receives a +1 bonus in any fight in which he uses an axe. If the player's axe is lost or taken, he stills holds this card (it represents training), but he only receives the +1 bonus if he obtains and uses another axe.
Sword-master Cards - One of these cards acts just like an Axe-master card, except that using it and initially holding it requires that the player have a sword.
Forced Movement Cards - Certain cards force a player to move to another place. The player's turn should proceed as if the player had just ended his movement on the new place (i.e., any further actions are based upon the new place that the player has been forced to move to).
Special Movement Cards - Certain cards allow a player to move to another place unlimited by normal movement restrictions. The player's turn should proceed as if the player had just ended his movement on the new place (i.e., any further actions are based upon the new place that the player has been forced to move to).
Raging Fire Card - If a player drawing a "Raging Fire" card chooses not to stay on his current place (and lose 2 LPs), he must move back to the place where he began his turn and his turn immediately ends (no further actions take place).
Weapon-smith Cards If a player draws a Weapon-smith card (from the Rest
deck) and he already has a weapon (a sword or an axe), he may choose to roll 1D6 as
outlined on the card. On a result of 1-2, the Weapon-smith card and the weapon card are
returned to their respective decks. On a 3-4, the Weapon-smith card is returned to its
On a result of 5-6, the player may keep the Weapon-smith card and his weapon. He receives a +1 bonus in any fight where he uses this weapon. If the weapon is taken, the Weapon-smith card goes with it (i.e. bonus represents an enchanted weapon).
Game Design: Jean Vanaise, Philippe Janssens.
Cover Art: Angus McBride.
Graphic Design & Board Art: Jo Hartwig.
Card Art: Liz Danforth, Jo Hartwig, Jim Holloway, Paul Jaquays, Denis Loubet, Darrell Midgette, Charles Peale, Stephan Peregrin.
Board & Box Graphics: Derek Carbonneau, Nick Morawitz.
Additional Prepress: Bernd Dietrich, Andre Van Laer, Mike Reynolds, Nick Morawitz, Kurt Fischer, Monica Wilson, Coleman Charlton.
Game Development: Bernd Dietrich, Pete Fenlon, Jean Vanaise, Coleman Charlton.
Playtesters: Deane Begiebing, John D. Curtis, John W. Curtis, Wanda Curtis, Kurt Fischer, Wendy Frazer, Kari Lankford, Olivia Johnston, Heike Kubasch, Amy Morawitz, Linda Morawitz, Nick Morawitz, Bruce Neidlinger, Frank Pfeiffer, Dave Platnik, Mike Reynolds, Fabrice Sarelli, Stuart Templeton, Jerome Vanaise, and the Janssens kids.
Other Contributions: Dave Morris, Daniel Williams.
Special Thanks to Jane Meagher.
Copyright © 1994, 1995 Tolkien Enterprises, a division of The Saul Zaentz Company, Berkeley, CA. The Hobbit Adventure Boardgame, The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, and The Return of the King, and all character and places therein, are trademark properties of Tolkien Enterprises. All characters and places derived from the works of J.R.R. Tolkien are common law trademarks used under license from Grafton Books (Harper Collins), publishing successors to Unwin Hyman, Ltd. and George Allen & Unwin, Ltd., London, UK.
This site is created and maintained by: Carl-Gustaf Samuelsson