I have been wanting to make this article for a while now, as a follow up to my Collectables article. But with the recent update to that one, and with my own items for this year coming along nicely, I finally pulled the trigger and started writing this article. What is this article exactly? Well, it lists the many different parts of the community that you can support financially and get something in return for. Not all resources on this list provide a benefit, but your support to them will be appreciated regardless. This community is not getting a lot of love from the publisher, so the fans have to build and maintain the community itself. Your support helps resources like card search engines and online deckbuilders to keep the lights on, and upgrade their systems. It also allows blogs and podcasts to continue their efforts on covering the game with frequent posts and episodes.
In this article, I will go through the resources that I could find online for this game that offer the opportunity to support them financially. With each resource, I will also list some of the rewards you get on a yearly basis (swag). So even if you are not in a position to support the community, you can still read about the rewards that have been made for the supporters in the past 10 years. The resources will be listed in alphabetical order, so as to not prioritize any over the others. Feel free to support whoever you think deserves a little extra, and I am sure that it is appreciated.
Cardboard of the Rings: https://www.patreon.com/cardboardoftherings
First on the list doesn’t really need an introduction, as Cardboard of the Rings has been around for almost 10 years now and has produced over 170 episodes since then. They are also known for their annual Special Listener event where they present their special swag that the Patreon supporters helped funding. Supporting COTR helps to keep the show running and to fund the yearly swag and shipping. The podcast does have a cut-off date each year for when people must have subscribed at at least the $5 tier in order to get the swag. Unfortunately, that cut-off date is usually in February, so I fear that you are no longer eligable to receive the loot for this year. However, subscribing to the show can earn you other rewards, which includes getting Seastan to build a deck for you. You can also record your own intro and get kept in touch with newsletters and polls. This is one of the best funded creators for the game, so you will join many people in making sure that this podcast keeps the lights on.
For a complete overview of the swag up to 2020, see this link. There are only a handful of people with all of the items, so a slideshow like this helps with getting a complete picture of their items. They range from shotglasses to playmats. This year they will even be making 3 different items that will be useful to players in their games. Items are also often joined with stickers or magnets when handed out or shipped. Like I mentioned, they usually have a cut-off date for the swag in February, so due to schedulling issues, you can no longer earn the swag from them after reading this article, but there is a small chance that you can win the swag in raffles at Con of the Rings or during give-aways on the podcast. The swag will not be sold by the team, so the only way to secure a set for yourself is to pledge at least $5 per month for at least 6 months before the release of the items.
Card Talk: https://www.patreon.com/cardtalk2018
Card Talk is another podcast that every player of this game should know by now. They have been producing episodes detailing specific cards in depth for over 3 years now, and always have an interesting episode in the works. They also livestream a lot of playthroughs on their Youtube channel if that is more your style. Supporting them through Patreon allows you to keep the show running and improve the equipment of the hosts. At higher levels you also qualify for their yearly loot, and can recommend show topics. So if you want them to discuss a particular card you (dis)like, subscribing to them is a good idea. They are also always happy to have you on the show to speak your mind about the card with them. There are plenty of great interviews with designers, content creators, and community members on their podcast.
The loot has slowly been improving over the years, and this year sounds like they will be making a big step with their loot. This does come with a cut-off date in May 2021, so be sure to subscribe before then to ensure they will send you the loot. In past years, the team has produced a first-player poker chip, and a nice stand for your quest cards last year. There is no news yet for the new loot, but it sounds like it will be amazing!
Con of the Rings: https://conoftheringsmn.com/
While you cannot support Con of the Rings on a monthly basis, you can still support them by attending the convention! The convention started in 2018 and will hopefully have its third event this year. Not only is this event a great place to hang out and play the game with physical cards, but you can also get a lot of items during this convention. Content creators like myself are attending the event and will hand out or sell items at the convention. There are also raffles being held every 2 hours on all days of the event, giving you a fair chance at winning special items like alt arts, full artwork, Nightmare packs, and many other things.
The convention also has special swag made for each event. You can select whether or not you want a special shirt for the convention, but all tickets also come with one special item that will dealt out to all attendees. In 2018, this was a token box with wooden progress, resource, and damage tokens. In 2019, the loot was 2 wooden deckboxes with amazing artwork. There is no way to get these items outside of the convention, so attending them will be very much worth your money (even if you do not live near Minneapolis, trust me. I have an 8 hour flight to the convention each year and wouldn’t want to miss it for the world).
Farcom (Fantasy Art Commissions): https://www.patreon.com/farcom
This is a relatively new community resource that commissions artwork by artists that have worked on the art for the game before. The commissioned artwork will be used for artwork in community projects like A long-extended Party, but can also be used by you for screensavers and thumbnails for other content. Higher subscriptions help you to request artwork and suggest a particular artist you like. You gain access to the higher resolution images through your subscription to this community effort, and might even be allowed to claim the original physical artwork (if any is offered). This project will require quite some support to hire top-class artists, and as this is a per-project pledge, they are not going to be charging you per month and build up a deposit with that. You are only charged when art is commissioned, so it is well worth your money!
Hall of Beorn: https://www.patreon.com/Beorn
The Hall of Beorn card search engine needs no introduction. It has been one of the most useful resources to the blog and to me as a player. Beorn himself maintains the engine and is continuously working on it, improving it with better quality images, more search options, and even integration for Discord servers. What people also might not know is that Beorn has his own blog in parallel with this engine, so you are supporting 2 resources at the same time! While there are no physical rewards, you can request custom art decks to print out for yourself, which really shake up your physical card pool.
Hall of Gondor: https://www.patreon.com/hallofheroeslcg
This is a newer resource that will sound familiar to people who also play the Marvel or Arkham LCGs. The Hall of Gondor serves as a resource list that lists down everything you might want to know about the game. The Patreon service only has a single tier at $1, making it very easy to back this project. For players of multiple games on this site, it is definitely worth looking into, as you get early access to a newsletter, keeping you up to date on all developments of the site and the games it covers.
RingsDB/OCTGN Plugin: https://www.patreon.com/Seastan
With the pandemic of last year, many players went online to play the game with friends. There is a decent chance that you built a deck in RingsDB and then imported it to OCTGN to play there. Well, both those resources are maintained under this next subscription service. Seastan is in charge of making sure that image packs are loaded properly and new hotkeys can be introduced for the OCTGN plugin of LOTR LCG. The new AleP project (also spearheaded by him) will soon come to both platforms, so if you want to support the two platforms without putting in much work, this is the link for you. You will be sent a small gift each year to thank you for your support, but you also get to use the deck-draw engine on RingsDB that allows you to simulate a few games to check your deck for consistency.
Three is Company: https://www.patreon.com/threeiscompanypodcast
The Three is Company podcast focuses on longer episodes in which Patreon supporters can decide some of the topics. So if you have a burning question that you want these veteran players to discuss, then subscribing to this show gets you the chance! At higher tiers, you also get a chance each month to win a custom painted miniature. This can then be used to pimp out your bookcase or Kallax unit where you store the game and your LOTR books! Supporting this show allows the guys to upgrade their recording equipment and improve the show for all listeners.
Vision of the Palantir: https://www.patreon.com/vision_of_the_palantir
Last but not least, we have this wonderful website. Vision of the Palantir has been producing articles for over 3 years now, and continues to deliver analyses and other articles for players old and new. Recently, we have also started to delve into video content, but I am not super confident that we will maintain that. But the blog still produces 6+ articles per month, which is well worth subscribing for.
The Patreon offers access to a private Discord server, as well as options to suggest articles and give input about the blog. Subscribing at higher tiers gets you the yearly loot, and access to me helping you out with decks and other support. With several tiers, there is always a tier fit for your budget there.
The yearly VotP loot isn’t as grand as some of the other blogs and podcasts, but with growing support over the last years, the blog has been able to up their game and produce some more custom made loot. When the blog first started in 2018, we had custom tokens made out of coconut husk board (the company for which I still work). 2019 saw several custom design patches, and also included stickers. 2020 had custom made, laser engraved, wooden player cards, and custom playmats for higher tier subscribers.
For 2021, the plan is to make a custom notebook in which people can write down their playthroughs and compare statistics with each other. In order to qualify for this loot, pledge at least at the Guardian tier before 30th of April 2021 and maintain that pledge until loot is distributed (usually around October).
With that, the list is complete as far as I know. If you know another active, international content creator who has a support program and who should be on this list, let me know! I wouldn’t want to exclude anyone from this list if they are helping out the wider community. And for those not able to support us financially, know that your words of encouragement on each post or episode is worth 10 times more! Thanks for being an awesome community that is worth making content for.