Legends of Norrath: Beginner’s Concepts

Posted: August 21, 2007 by Kendricke in Guides, Legends of Norrath

There’s some great guides out there for Legends of Norrath.  In fact, I’m sure we’ll see some pretty incredible guides coming out in the coming months and years which will be the end-all, be-all of great guides.  I’m sure you’ll see card lists and strategy guides and all sorts of other guides that will pinpoint all the various combinations of killer cards which can be used to DOMINATE your opponents. 

This guide is not those guides.  This guide is not anything close to those guides.  This guide assumes you have never played a CCG before and have no idea what you’re supposed to do in Legends of Norrath. 

Welcome to LON1101.  Please take your seats…

What’s a CCG?

Let’s talk about the idea of a CCG to begin with.  The abbreviation CCG stands for Collectible Card Game.  If you’ve ever heard of “Magic: The Gathering” or other types of games like that, this is similar.  Unlike traditional card games like Poker or Rummy or Bridge, all players bring their own deck – and no two decks are identical. 

The basic idea behind a CCG is that you build a deck of cards out of all the possible cards that are available for the game, and that this deck will be designed to help your particular style of play.  In other words, you build a “collection” of cards which can number into the hundreds or even thousands of cards and from this variety of cards you have access to, you build a deck.  Having a larger collection won’t necessarily allow you to have a larger deck – but it will give you more options to choose from when selecting the cards you’re going to place into your deck.

What’s the point of Legends of Norrath?

The point of Legends of Norrath is to win against an opponent.  There are two ways to win:  by either completing four quests or reducing your opponent’s avatar’s health to 0.  We’ll get into more detail on those in a bit, but first let’s talk about the general concept behind the game itself. 

Legends of Norrath is essentially a game in which you take on two roles.  You’re both the player (an Avatar) and the gamemaster.  In terms of Everquest or Everquest 2, you’re both a Character and some Monsters all at the same time. 

It’s a bit confusing, but stay with me here. 

What’s an Avatar?

Whenever you build a deck, you choose an “avatar”.  These word avatar used here is basically a different word for character.  These avatars aren’t the servants of the gods you’ll find in Everquest or Everquest 2.  There are four basic types of Avatars:  Fighter, Mage, Scout, and Priest.  Each of the four types of avatars corresponds to a wide range of classes available to you in both Everquest and Everquest 2.  For example, Fighter covers all the “tank” style classes while a Priest covers all the “healers”.  This avatar represents your character.  Meanwhile, your opponent chooses an avatar that represents a different character. 

These avatars are how you play as a character. On your playmat (the virtual area you play cards online), your avatar will be directly in front of you at the bottom center of your screen and your opponent’s avatar will be at the top center. 


It wouldn’t be an Everquest game without questing, now would it?  Every player is required to have four different quests present within his or her deck.  You’ll play these quests starting with the easiest quest and moving up to the hardest quest during gameplay.  Don’t worry about the details on how you complete the quests right now, we’ll get to that in a later lesson.

One of the ways you win a game is by completing four quests.  You don’t have to complete only your own quests.  You can complete any combination of four quests coming from either your quests OR your opponent’s. 

Now, just because you and your opponent each have four quests to play does not mean you see eight quests out at once.  You each only play the quests one at a time, which means that at most, you’ll only ever see two quests in play at one time. 

Online, these quests will be at the far left center and far right center of your playmat.  Your quests will be at your right.  Your opponent places to your left.

Again, it doesn’t matter who placed the quests.  Either you or your opponent can attempt any quest in play.  Just because you placed the quest doesn’t mean you “own” it, and vice versa for your opponent and his or her quests. 

Don’t worry about how you run quest right now.  Just accept the basic concepts that:

  • Completing four quests is one way to win the game
  • Both players place quests into play
  • Either player can attempt any quest in play. 

So how do I play as Monsters?

Your deck will also have a collection of monsters available to you.  You’ll play these monsters as assigned to one of the quests in play – either yours or your opponent’s. 

These monsters represent the monsters that you normally would encounter while running quests in Everquest or Everquest 2.  Don’t worry about whether or not the monsters make sense to be protecting this or that quest.  The basic idea is that monsters are involved with quests – don’t get tied up in details as to whether or not ice giants would be protecting a quest you know to be in Lavastorm.  From the card game’s perspective, all you need to know is there are monsters assigned to that quest.

Now, these monsters can be used in different ways. 

You might use monsters to defend a quest from your opponent.  This means that your opponent is trying to attempt a specific quest, but because you’ve assigned monsters there, they’re going to react to this attempt by attacking your opponent’s avatar.  Think of these as triggered monsters in Everquest or Everquest 2.

You might just skip the whole defense idea and just attack your opponent’s avatar directly with the monsters.  In the card game, this is called a “raid”.  You might want to think of the concept instead as “KOS” or “aggro”.  Basically, the monsters see your opponent’s avatar and decide to attack proactively. 

In this way, you’re not only playing your character (your avatar), but you’re also playing as the gamemaster (your monsters). 

With me so far?

Killing Avatars

In addition to questing, the other way to win is by simply reducing an opponent’s health rating to zero. 

Now, you can do this by “raiding” – attacking with monsters proactively. 

You can also do this by attacking another avatar directly with your own avatar.  In other words, think of this as PVP.  Your character sees another character and decides to attack. 

There are other special ways to kill your opponent’s avatar, mostly dealing with special cards and abilities, but in general, you’re as a general rule, you’re looking at either taking him or her out with your monsters or your own avatar. 

Got it?

Good.  We’ll continue the lesson in tomorrow’s our next class when we cover gear, abilities, and some of the special rules. 

NOTE:  I’m holding on the rest of this guide till I receive back approval to use some screenshots from Beta.  Eventually, we’ll be including a full step-by-step guide on running (and winning) a Legends of Norrath game from both sides.

  1. Cordanim says:

    Great intro Kendricke! I’m sooooo looking forward to the release of this – didn’t get in the beta, so I’m just drooling at the shots and reviews by those like you that are 🙂

  2. ogrebears says:

    That a great write up for people who have never played a ccg

  3. cyanbane says:

    Great write up. I linked it in on our news, hope to see more advanced ones from ya…

  4. kendricke says:

    Working on them, and was hoping to get Part II up today.

    I’m trying to build some guides that are a bit more logically built. Most of the guides I’ve seen online presume (1) you’ve got some knowledge of CCG’s already and (2) explain the types of cards and the UI before they’ve even explained what it is you’re going to do in a game.

    I’m certainly looking for feedback, and I’m working on permission to post beta screenshots.

  5. cyanbane says:

    I saw some over at TTH, didn’t know what the official policy was on SS:


    I posted some quick thoughts on our forums earlier, and we will probably discuss on the podcast some. If you want to also create an audio walkthrough/guide using your guides, I would be happy to insert it into one of our podcasts or just post it on our podcast feed as a resource, it will hit a few thousand ears that way.

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