Keywords are bold, one-word phrases located in the game text of cards. They come in two types, Loaded and Unloaded. Loaded keywords inherently change gameplay based on the attributes of that keyword (for instance, Archer indicates that the Archery Total will be increased simply due to a card having the keyword). Unloaded keywords do not in and of themselves mean anything, but cards are likely to use them as a requirement or a restriction to an effect (for instance, being a Knight does not mean anything special except when a card states it only affects one).
Loaded keywords have three subtypes, item class, numeric and non-numeric. Item Class is reserved for Possessions and Artifacts, and limits how many of that particular class may be used by any one character. Numeric Loaded Keywords are always paired with a nonzero number (e.g. Hunter 2), while Non-Numeric Loaded Keywords naturally do not have a number (e.g. Fierce).
Unloaded keywords likewise have two subtypes, Race for Characters indicating what race a particular Companion, Ally, or Minion is; and general which may apply to any card type.
See the table below for an explanation for each keyword, or see the unloaded and loaded keyword articles for more information.
Each card has one or more keywords that identify it. Most keywords are unloaded keywords, with no special rules (although they may be referenced by other cards). Keywords with rules are called loaded keywords.
Though a word which appears in the title or subtitle of a card may be the same as a keyword that exists in the game, that title or subtitle does not confer the keyword on that card."Úlairë Attëa, The Easterling (2U82) " does not have the keyword "Easterling" in his game text, so he is not an Easterling.
- keyword section
|Numeric||Decipher||Damage + X • Defender + X • Ambush X • Hunter X • Toil X|
|Non-numeric||Decipher||Aid • Archer • Enduring • Fierce • Lurker • Mounted • Muster • Roaming • Sanctuary • Ring-bearer • Unhasty|
|Hobbit Draft Game||Cunning|
|Item Class||Decipher||[Classless] • Support Area • Armor • Brooch • Box • Bracers • Cloak • Gauntlets • Hand Weapon • Helm • Mount • Palantír • Phial • Pipe • Ranged Weapon • Ring • Shield • Staff|
|Race||Decipher||[Raceless] • Balrog • Creature • Dwarf • Elf • Ent • Half-troll • Hobbit • Maia • Man • Nazgûl • Orc • Spider • Tree • Troll • Uruk-hai • Wizard • Wraith|
|Player's Council||Crow • Eagle|
|Hobbit Draft Game||Bird • Dragon • Eagle • Giant • Goblin|
|Decipher||Battleground • Dwelling • Forest • Marsh • Mountain • Plains • River • Underground|
|General||Decipher||Besieger • Corsair • Easterling • Engine • Fellowship • Fortification • Knight • Machine • Pipeweed • Ranger • Ring-bound • Search • Southron • Spell • Stealth • Tale • Tentacle • Tracker • Twilight • [Unbound] • Valiant • Villager • Weather • Warg-rider|
|Hobbit Draft Game||Burglar • Cunning • Wise|