The Player's Council or PC is an unofficial fan-based continuing committee dedicated to promoting the Lord of the Rings TCG and improving and maintaining the gameplay experience. Taking cues from the Star Wars CCG Players Committee and the Star Trek CCG Continuing Committee (games also created by Decipher), the PC creates and issues new cards in the form of Virtual Sets, issues Errata in the form of both nerfs and buffs alike, maintains the technical infrastructure that GEMP and other tools are hosted on, and runs events in the form of GEMP leagues.
The PC was founded in June 2020 by DoubleHooks, menace64, and ketura during the height of the covid-19 pandemic (and the ensuing surge in popularity that all old hobbies enjoyed during that time).
Goals and Initiatives
The PC aims to improve all aspects of the LOTR-TCG, which covers a wide swathe of programs. These include:
- Maintenance of the metagame through the issuing of errata (both buffs and nerfs) to keep the meta healthy
- Creation of new V-Sets (such as V1, Shadow of the Past) to enrich the game and push the content boundaries
- Development and improvement of the GEMP platform, including visual and interface upgrades, bugfixes, and implementation of PC errata and V-Sets
- Orchestration of leagues, tournaments, and other competitive play events
- Creation of tutorials and other learning material for new and returning players
- Gathering and archival of historical information, both as reference here in the Wiki and distributed in the PC Fileshare
- Support and encouragement of community members and content creators
Sites and Tools
One of the first initiatives of the PC was to develop or acquire control of each of the major websites and utilities which had all previously been maintained by individual dedicated members of the community. Under one umbrella, these tools under the PC's aegis have grown more reliable and fully-featured.
Sites and tools maintained by the PC include:
- GEMP, the online platform for playing the LOTR-TCG online in your browser
- There are also multiple test instances of GEMP used for testing new functionality and occasionally playtesting before general release
- The LOTR-TCG Wiki, which you are currently browsing
- The old wiki, which should hopefully someday be replaced and removed from this list
- The Last Homely House forums, a community established and ran by Kralik from around the time of the game's death that survived until well after the PC was formed
- The CobraCards archive, a snapshot of the old CobraCards forum that was the precursor to TLHH.
- lotrtcgpc.net, the PC's website
- The Community Directory, which gathers groups of local LOTR-TCG playgroups from around the world and also a list of digital community links
- The LOTR-TCG Card Generator, a tool using nanDECK to generate high-quality card images
- Card templates for use with the Card Generator and other tools
- files.lotrtcgpc.net, the PC's fileshare for storing useful historical and modern information, including:
- The Decipher Wayback Archive, a scrape of all known Decipher domains from the Wayback Machine
- The DeckTech Wayback Archive, a scrape of all available decktech.net pages from the Wayback Machine, including over 5,000 LOTR-TCG decks
- Card Data, which stores data related to card information from a variety of sources as CSV and SQL documents
- Digital Play, an archive of the plugins and executables used to play the LOTR-TCG in years past, such as gccg, sDA, Lackey, and of course Lord of the Rings Online TCG
- Card Images, zip archives of all known Decipher-sourced images of cards for each language. Also included are AI-upscaled versions of all English cards which were re-generated using the Card Generator in 2X and 4X scales.
- i.lotrtcgpc.net, the image server which services GEMP and contains each card image individually
- pdf.lotrtcgpc.net, a fork of the SWCCG VKIT, a utility for generating on-demand PDFs for home printing containing only the cards you want
- Loremaster, a Discord bot for auto-linking card images
All PC tools are open source and have their source code stored on the PC GitHub page here. Pull Requests are welcome.
An important factor in enriching the community is reaching out to interested fans so they can be kept informed of developments and improvements to the game and its platforms. The Player's Council is on the following platforms:
- The Player's Council Discord, which is the primary platform the PC uses internally for communication among its members
- The LOTR TCG Player's Council Facebook Page, frequently used to cross-post to the main LOTR-TCG Facebook group and the GEMP Facebook group.
- @playerscouncil Youtube Channel, which contains tutorials, PC meeting recordings, and archival footage recovered from Decipher's website, such as the Radio Free Decipher recordings
- PlayersCouncil Twitch Channel, for streaming LOTR-TCG events
- @LOTRTCGPC Twitter, for announcing events