Game Rules

The Road goes ever on and on, Down from the door where it began.
Now far ahead the Road has gone, And I must follow, if I can,
Pursuing it with eager feet, Until it joins some larger way,
Where many paths and errands meet, And whither then? I cannot say.

This section of the wiki pages will describe the new campaign game mechanics, from overland travel and the threat of the Shadow, to meeting with the Wise and powerful and what the brave company does during the long winter months in a Sanctuary.


"They went on again, always on and on with only brief halts."

Long quests and journeys over many leagues are a vital component of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, and so journeys are an important aspect of Adventures in Middle-earth. Where many fantasy adventures may start at the dungeon door, in Middle-earth the journey itself can often be the adventure.

The rules in the Journeys wiki, in concert with the Adventurer’s and Loremaster’s Maps, describe how to plan an expedition across Middle-earth, and give you tools to create the evocative stories that happen along the way. These journey rules are an addition to the standard rules set, designed to reflect the significance of travel in stories set in Middle-earth.


"It is by our own folly that the Enemy will defeat us!" cried Boromir.

Leaf and Land does not use the alignment system. All Player-heroes are assumed to be heroes – perhaps reluctant, perhaps ill-favored and foul-looking, perhaps suspicious or haughty but heroes all the same. Heroes try to do good, but must contend with their own fears and failings. Therefore, all Player-heroes in Adventures in Middle-earth have a Shadow Weakness – a failing in their character that the Shadow seeks to exploit.

A character’s Shadow Weakness is determined by their starting character class. Player-heroes accumulate Shadow Points against their Wisdom ability score. Shadow Points directly represent the heavy burden of the fight against the Great Enemy. They are acquired by witnessing too much sorrow, travelling through blighted areas, claiming tainted treasure, and worst of all, openly embracing the ways of the Shadow by committing Misdeeds.

When a hero’s Shadow Points exceed their Wisdom, they become subject to the Miserable condition and are in danger of falling into madness for a time, which causes the worst aspects of the character, according to their Shadow Weakness, to come out. If they cannot overcome their darker impulses, their Shadow Weakness determines the ruinous path into corruption they take as they fall deeper into shadow.

Corruption and Shadow Weaknesses are discussed in The Shadow wiki. These are new rules designed to heighten the Middle-earth feel of your games.


You will meet many foes, some open, and some disguised; and you will find friends upon your way, when you least look for it.

The Audiences wiki contains rules for encounters with great lords and lesser chance-meetings. In Middle-earth, strangers are often mistrusted, and the various Free Folk are divided by suspicion as well as the long miles between them.

Adventurers are not free to simply come and go as they please, taking whatever they wish, or treating with kings as equals. They may well be treated as outsiders – or worse, brigands – if they arrive unannounced at a king’s hall. So it is that rules are provided to adjudicate such encounters. Audiences are an addition to the standard rule set, and are designed to evoke the structured societies of Middle-earth.

Fellowship Phase

"Well, I’m back," he said.

Most games of Adventures in Middle-earth presume one or two adventures a year – “The Adventuring Phase”. When the adventuring is done, characters are given time between their travels to recover for a while, spending time with loved ones, looking after a business, or pursing their own interests. This time between adventures is referred to as the Fellowship phase, and characters may perform various undertakings during it – learning new abilities, removing Corruption, or establishing powerful patrons as allies.

The Fellowship phase is an addition to the standard rule set, and is designed to evoke the storybook atmosphere of Middle-earth.







Game Rules

Leaf and Land MichaelPerry