I have wanted 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 deck builders 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 fund. Supporting COTR helps keep the show running and funds the yearly swag and shipping. The podcast does have a cut-off date each year for when people must have subscribed to 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 eligible to receive the loot for this year. However, subscribing to the show can earn you other rewards, which include 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 2021, see this link. There are only a handful of people with all of the items, so a slideshow like this helps get a complete picture of their items. They range from shot glasses 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. As I mentioned, they usually have a cut-off date for the swag in April. So due to scheduling 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 live-stream 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 2022, 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. This gives 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 be 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 deck boxes 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).
During the COVID-19 pandemic, most of us didn’t do much when sitting inside. Not Seastan! He created a browser-based engine that allows you to play LOTR LCG on any device! Check this site for the engine itself: https://dragncards.com/. For more info, you can also check Chris’ intro video through this link. Supporting this project yields you a few rewards, including custom art card backs and the ability to review past played games! This is definitely worth your support to allow this project to grow and bring the OCTGN and TTS community together on one platform.
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 continuously works on it, improving it with better quality images, more search options, and even integration for Discord servers. People might not know 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.
LOTR LCG Quest Companion: http://lotr-lcg-quest-companion.gamersdungeon.net/
Unlike many of the subscription-based support that many of these outlets offer, the LOTR LCG Quest Companion offers people the chance for a one-time pledge to keep the site going. On the main page, there is the option to support the amazing site through a donation via PayPal. There are no rewards for this, but it is worth keeping the lights of this wonderful site on!
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 ensuring 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 gives you the chance! You also get a chance each month to win a custom-painted miniature at higher tiers. 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. It 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.
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 its 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. 2021 saw the beginning of the notebook era, with a playthrough notebook being designed and handed out to all those who wanted one. These were so popular that they were even re-released in January 2022 to celebrate the blog’s fourth anniversary.
For 2022, the plan is to make another custom notebook that people can use to learn how a quest actually plays. This field guide will come with single-page summaries for each quest, along with fun challenges. In order to qualify for this loot, pledge at least at the Guardian tier before the 30th of April 2022 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 are worth 10 times more! Thanks for being an awesome community that is worth making content for.
3 thoughts on “Community support and swag”