How Do I Play Digitally?

Welcome to the far-flung future.

Why Digital?

If you're a veteran to the game, you might wonder why you would abandon your carefully-constructed collection that you've built up over a decade or more to play on a cramped screen. If you're a newcomer, you're probably feeling fairly intimidated by the complexity of the interface on top of the complexity of the game itself. Both of you can rest assured--the time invested to adopting the platform is worth it, assuming you enjoy the game itself.

The flexibility of the digital realm is hard to overstate--no ownership issues, no coordination issues of getting you and your friends all under one roof at the same time, no (well, fewer) issues following the rules, even shorter game times (because the computer is moving everything for you). The digital community is international, meaning you can find a game at almost any time of day.

(The Player's Council also actively works on errata and new virtual sets, which are most accessible via digital platforms, so keep an eye on that as well.)

Those of us already online are here to help answer any questions you may have. If the material below does not answer your question, please consider reaching out to the PC on Discord or send an email to


When it comes to modern digital platforms, there's really only one correct choice: GEMP. It is a website application that permits you to play the LotR-TCG in your browser, with all of the cards in the game freely available and the rules enforced by the engine. It is not the most....polished of experiences, but once you have figured out its quirks, it is bar none the best available way to play.

Click here to get started. Register a username and enter the game hall, and you're set! Do not forget your password; Gemp has no password recovery feature. We would highly recommend watching the tutorial video to get a hang of where to go and what to do.

There is an in-depth combination game tutorial and Gemp tutorial by the PC which can be found here:

The first thing you will need to do is create a new deck. At the moment there are no built-in decks (although this is in the works), so click on the "Deck builder" link and put together a deck for your chosen format.

You can also spectate other players by clicking the "Watch game" link on the far right of any active table. This is a great way to acclimate yourself to the interface and is highly recommended to watch a game or two just to find where everything is before diving in yourself.

Don't forget the chat room in the main hall! People will be willing to answer any questions you may have. If no one's responding, also feel free to hop on the Player's Council Discord for help as well.

Tabletop Simulator

Tabletop Simulator is a quirky game available on Steam for about $20 USD. Its name is descriptive: it doesn't aim to emulate any particular game so much as simulate everything you need to emulate any game with the right mods.

This can lead to some annoyances, which is why TTS is only occasionally used for teaching LotR-TCG and is not a popular option otherwise. Using a mouse to click-drag each card you move, without flinging the tokens on it, and without nudging other cards is an exercise in futility at times. Not to mention accidentally flipping the table and scattering everything on the floor, which is an actual mechanic.


To play the LotR-TCG on TTS, you will first need to purchase it, and then install the "LotR TCG - Regions and Starters" mod. This mod sets you down in a room surrounded by tables with a dizzying number of card stacks on them, which is the best way the mod authors could figure out to let anyone build the decks they want. On the right are five Fellowship starter decks pre-made, so use one of those if you're using this for learning.

But please, once you have the basics...move to GEMP. For the love of Arda.


An online platform that actually predates GEMP, mLOTRO is built by morvael and maintained for the Polish community. It was only known within that player base for a long time, but nowadays can be used internationally.

The program (as the name implies) attempts to recreate the now-defunct official Lord of the Rings Online client in look and feel, so any old veterans will feel right at home.

The client can be downloaded here. At the bottom of that page is a link to the Discord server, which will need to be joined to set up your account.