Lord of the Rings Tales of Middle Earth -MTG comes home

(The set releases on 6/23, but preorders are open now and can be picked up at local game stores starting 6/16 when the prereleases begin.)

Lotr Basic landThe Lord of the Rings: Tales of Middle-earth is a new expansion set for Magic: The Gathering it brings the iconic world of J.R.R. Tolkien’s Middle-earth to life, letting you follow the paths of favorite (or favorite villainous) characters from the Third Age.  Whether you choose to reenact your favorite moments from the series or turn the tales of Middle-earth on their head is entirely up to you​2.

Events (Release and Prerelease) 

For the Love of Hobbits and Rings:There and Back Again Saga
The set was clearly designed by people who knew and loved Tolkien’s world.  The flavor and mechanics of the cards are joyfully amazing.  For example, more often then not, hobbits in the set create food tokens (yes, there is a Second Breakfast card), and there is a saga that not only creates Smaug as a 6/6 flying dragon token, but when it dies, it creates 12 treasure tokens!  There are various versions of main characters that match their different transformations in the journey, such as 4 versions of Frodo, from peaceful hobbit to Sauron’s Bane, or Gandalf as the fireworks laden Friend of the Shire, to the White Rider, swooping down in the light of the dawn sun, with the riders of Rohan at his back.  I’ve been playing the Draftsim practice drafts/sealed simulators just to get a chance to get familiar with the cards, and the kid who fell in love with LOTR is beyond excited to get a chance to play. 

Gandalf Lord of the ShireMasters Set that you don’t need to be a Master to enjoy
This is supposed to be a Universes Away/Masters set, but it feels much more like coming home than going into a new world.  Kind of makes sense since MTG was inspired by D&D, which came from (drumroll….) Tolkien.  (if you don’t believe me…check out the early changes to D&D based on hobbit lawyers.)  Even though the set is in the higher cost Masters slot ($50/55 instead of $30/35 for sealed), don’t take that to mean that the set isn’t friendly for all levels of players.  In fact, the thing that will make the set most fun is how much you like Lord of the Rings. The Balrog

This set is shaping up to be a fantastic journey through the realms of Middle-earth, filled with nostalgia, surprises, and a sprinkle of that unique MTG magic. Whether you’re a fan of the fantasy epic, a dedicated MTG player, or both, this set promises to offer a thrilling new way to experience Tolkien’s world. Can’t wait for the set’s release? Neither can we!



Alternate Art Fun…

There are some amazing alternate versions of the cards, including some that piece together to create full scenes on their own.  There are a bunch  of cool art treatments to collect. More info here.

Alt art connected Lord of the Rings Magic cards

New Mechanics

The Ring

The Ring (front)

The biggest new mechanic has to do with The Ring, and what happens when it tempts you. I know that tempt sounds like a bad thing, but in this case it is some of the very good stuff.  When the ring tempts you, you attach the ring card to one (and only one at a time) of your creatures.  Every time the ring tempts again it adds another ability to that card. If your ring bearer dies, the ring falls off and you start from the beginning.

Amass Orcs

We’ve seen this mechanic before in building up hordes of zombies.  Basically, you create an “army” that is a token with whatever number of counters that the Amass tells you to add.  Every subsequent Amass just makes the one army token bigger. (It doesn’t create lots of them.)



































March of the Machines-Release events–Plus Bonus Sunday Special event

This weekend we will have part two of the prerelease/release for March of the machines, and I can report that the set is hella fun!  (We actually had a near full house on last Friday).

Plus I’m gonna do something on Saturday at 2ish that is spectacularly stupid.*

Aside from pretty epic story-telling, the last couple of Magic sets see to be getting more and more fun to play, and March of the Machines looks to keep that trend going .  (If you wanna check out the set in a fun way, do some practices drafts/sealed using Draftsim.)  Remember to get tix in advance to save the extra $5…$35 day of event, $30 in advance, so get tix at store or online early)


*So about being purposefully stupid:

About 4 months ago, Wizards did an epically stupid thing in creating the $1000 30th Anniversary Edition with “reprints” of most of the important cards they promised they would never reprint.  About a month ago they sent us the copy they promised each of the local game stores.

What:  On Saturday I’m gonna take them and do something on camera that I’ve banned from the store.  We’re gonna play Rip it or Flip it.

Why!!!: I’m not actually being that “flip” about this.  With each pack we rip, I’m going to publicly call out Wizards for some things they are doing that are as bad to LGS’s as the Open License debacle was for D&D developers.  I’m hoping if this gets enough attention, it might spark some changes here as well.















Holiday Events/Sales

This is gonna be our bulletin board for updating sales and events for the holidays.  But before I do that and smile and remind you that us local businesses need you guys big time to stay alive, I’m gonna get on my usual soapbox about Black Friday Sales.

Don’t let big retail (or even me) force you to give up time with yer loved ones, or a rare and well deserved sleep in, just to get out in a crowd, or stuck to a screen to buy stuff!  We will have sales, but they will last into the week after, so you can come in at your leisure.  We will be open extra hours and running extra events during thanksgiving, so feel free to come in.  We’re just not gonna stand outside your door, screaming for attention.

Speaking of the events and stuff…here is the first installment on what is going on:


A couple of special things this week
  1.  Magic Brother’s War Release weekend events all weekend, including Two Headed Giants Sat and Sun-using prerelease kits for extra fun
  2. D&D…special Events For experienced (16+) D&D players on Mon, Tues and Friday.  Get a chance to play at the high levels (finally) for Turkmageddon!  Limited number of players and long (5-6 hour) sessions.
  3. Event sign ups here
Lot’s of sales/deals and new stuff coming in this week—rather than just give you a few now here are a couple of places to look to see where the new stuff is updated
Also, we will start taking a bunch of pics of the new stuff as it comes out, as well as special sales on our Instagram account, d20gamesalameda.
About the D&D Event

3 Days of advanced D&D*
Mon 11/21 6pm to 11–10th Level
Tues 11/22 10am-3pm–15th Level
Friday 11/25 10am-3pm–20th Level
$45 in advance/$50 at the door
*For experienced players age 16+
Limited to 8 players per table.

D20 Games is Proud to announce our first Event Campaign: Turkemageddon! Join us for three separate chapters in this holiday themed mini-campaign! Each chapter will be a concise adventure for high level characters with a contiguous story that will weave through and connect each chapter. While it is a campaign Turkemageddon is structured with a drop-in approach allowing players to decide which adventures they would like to take part in. For those who wish to play a character through all three events there will be an in-game gap of five years between each installment to allow for leveling and verisimilitude.

Monday November 21st: Vengeance Most Fowl
We will begin our story on Monday November 21st with Vengeance Most Fowl, an adventure designed for a
party of level 10 characters who find themselves caught between the machinations of a prideful tyrant and the
vengeance of an Eldritch god.

  1. Level 10 characters built with the standard array ability scores (15, 14, 13, 12, 10, 8).
  2. Characters may be built with any official WotC 5th edition books. No homebrew or playtest material.
  3. A list of level appropriate magic Items will be made available before we begin play.

Tuesday November 22nd: Attack on Gourmand
On November 22nd the next adventure, Attack on Gourmand, is designed for a party of level 15 characters
captured by a colossal chef who intends to use them in his piece de resistance.

  • Characters should be leveled up to or built at 15th level with the standard array ability scores (15,14, 13, 12, 10, 8).
  • Characters may be built with any official WotC 5th edition books. No homebrew or playtest material.
  • A list of level appropriate magic Items will be made available before we begin play. Magic items
  • acquired in the previous session will not count against new magic items for this session.

Friday November 25th: Turkemageddon
In the third and final installment of the campaign on November 25th, the party, now composed of 20th level
characters, must face their most treacherous foe yet in the titular Turkemageddon.

  •  Characters should be leveled up to or built at 20th level with the standard array ability scores (15,
  • 14, 13, 12, 10, 8).
  •  Characters may be built with any official WotC 5th edition books. No homebrew or playtest material.
  •  A list of level appropriate magic Items will be made available before we begin play. Magic items
  • acquired in the previous sessions will not count against new magic items for this session.








Return of Drafting @ D20

Hey folks….

A few event updates of significance..

  • Return of drafts for FNM
  • Two Headed Giant on Sat moves from 3pm to 4pm start time.
  • D&D is coming back…


Return of Drafting for FNM:Starting 10/22 we will experimenting with doing drafts again for Friday Night Magic.  We’ll be pulling out the plastic tablecloths (the ones we used for birthdays) so we can sanitize them in between rounds, and we will have everyone sanitize hands before they start drafting (and have a no drinks or anything that will get hands next to a mouth during the drafting process).  If I think this is going well, this is what we will do from now on.

We have also raised the price of the drafts to $20. (The packs have gotten more expensive and we have a much more limited number of players we can have for the events so we really need every dollar we can to start to clime out of the joy and fun of last year).  But I’m going to do this. For all of our old players, if you also were pushed to the limit from last year or just can’t afford the price increase, tell us at the counter and we’ll let you keep doing the old $15 for at least the next few months.

Two Headed Giants moving from 3-4 on Saturdays:

We’re shifting the time for the two headed giants back to the old time of 4pm, so it returns it to being more of a date night, evening fun activity. This really is one of our favorite events and we will be doing it consistantly to get it back up and running.  (Still have to have the 12+ age limit, but as soon as the vaccination for the younger folks comes in, we’ll happily open the doors to let them back).

D&D in person is starting back up:

This Sunday (10/24) is going to be Dan’s return to DMing events in the store.  The time will be 2-7 and will be limited to 7 players.  This event will be a 4 session run and should be good fun. This is for players with some experience playing, not a first time event. $20 pers session (and if you want to come to all 4, probably best to get tix in advance)

We will be doing a Dungeon  Crawl into an Abandoned Dwarven Keep . Players Should Create a Level 5 Character using Standard array or the pound buy system in the players hand book.  Players will have standard starting equipment as well as any 1 Uncommon Magic item of their choice.  Any Player resources and books printed by Wizards of the Cost will be allowed including unearthed arcana.”

Starting in about a week we will start doing Weds D&D and after that, late night Saturday


Pokémon continues to be in extremely short supply.  We are continuing to let 12 and younger kids buy 1 pack a day at the old 3.99 price so they don’t get totally overrun by the adults who are snapping everything up. I’m sorry for not having preorders for all the higher end stuff, but we don’t know until the last minute what will come in.  If you want Pokémon gifts for the holidays, I really reeaally recommend getting them now. The supply chain is truly messed up and hits this stuff hard.

Hope to see you this week and as always…seriously thanks for shopping local.


P.S.  We will be spreading out sales/offerings over November so we don’t have to get people to waste part of their vacation running around shopping.

Hunt for Innistrad-Look what crept back in the night….

Innistrad is back, so it is time to see what goes bump in the night!

Welcome back to Innistrad, a chilling plane of werewolves, vampires, and other things that go bump in the dark. Wanna read up on all the Innistrads and Outistrads of the plane? You can check out the Planeswalker’s Guide from our first visit right here.

D20 Game Events

Sealed event using the prerelease kits from the latest Magic Release.  Players can get their boxes of 6 packs to open and get to build their decks starting 1 hour before each event.  (we provide the land and stuff, so you don’t need anything more to play.)  We pride ourselves that  no one here will make you feel anything but welcome (we all started from scratch at some point).

D&D Epic One shot, Modern Horizons 2, and return of THG Fat Pack wars!!

Hey folks…

This weekend we have 5 most excellent events that we are gonna hold in as safe a way as possible and with all sorts of bonus goodies for those who attend, including a Special D&D event one shot event on Sunday.:

  • Modern Horizons 2 “Prerelease” (Sealed event using the prerelease kits that we’ve been holding since covid started), $60 in advance, $65 at the door.Friday 8/27 @  6:30
  • Two Headed Giant/Fat Pack Wars returns!!!  Sat 8/28 @ 3pm (We bring out the mystery box, and each team has a player reach in and pick a surprise pack for whatever Fat pack/bundle they get to use to build their decks together.) $30 in advance, $35 at the door
  • D&D Epic One shot, Lair of the Dracolich (up to three parties at different tables come from different places to try and survive to defeat something that will take all of them cooperating.)  $60 in advance, $65 at the door.  Extremely limited seating (only 18 max)


13+ and Vax cards required for all(and masks still)
As we’ve bemoaned earlier, a whole mess of people who’ve been talked into proving they have the freedom to lemming off of a cliff, have put us back to needing to be ultra careful.  To attend events here safely, you must bring proof of vaccine (and still wear masks).  I don’t mess with this stuff at all, so we will be very strict about this.  And I hate it means that the 12 and under kids can’t participate yet.  Really hate it. (probably why I’m extra grumpy about this.)

I know for me, going out to an event felt fairly nerve wracking, in delta land.  So we really will be extra careful.  Therefore, we’re gonna treat snacking like smoking….need to step outside if you need to breath outside a mask.

The good part…Goodies (10th anniversary style)

So everyone who attends events this weekend (and for as long as I feel like it), will get a ton of bonus goodies, from special promo magic cards for the magic folks, to mystery dice sets for the D&D participants.


In person events starting in August with 10th anniversary celebration!

Tenth Anniversary Magic events…We’re gonna do the #$^#ing prereleases that we missed while we where bunkered up last year!  I’m also gonna be cracking out just a ton of promo cards and other giveaways.  The events are gonna be a lot smaller than they used to be, also to keep everyone safe.  Buy Tix here…

Because of the new variant restrictions, we decided to wait till the first week of August  to open up to in person events.     It also means that for the next month we are going to separate the vaccinated (13+), and the can’t be yet (12 and younger).  (And need to bring the vaccination card for confirmation. I know it is being overly cautious, but D20 will be a safe place, whatever we need to do, and hopefully people will figure out how to do the right thing sooner then later. Also mask mandates are back, so crack ’em out, wash ’em out and take ’em out (to us).
















Open(ish), and doing MTG Events!-Real Reopening first Weekend in August.

We meant to reopen at the beginning of August to coincide with the 10th anniversary of the store.  But they went and released a new magic set that combined Magic and D&D so we snuck open early to be able to run some events.  We are doing events all through the weekend of July 24th.

So here is the scoop with magic events through the end of August:

  • We have missed 6(!!) in person prereleases during covid lockdown…we’re gonna do them all over the next month (and we will do them again till the next set comes out!
  • Starting on the last week in August when we do Core 2021 prerelease events all weekend.
  • Bringing back Two Headed Giant! This is my fav form of magic….great for buddies, couples and parent kid combos)

Keeping things safe. (really)

  • We’re gonna do Sealed instead of Draft for all events including FNM till the end of August. Both because we got all these fun prereleases we didn’t do, and because I want to be overly cautious and not have people passing cards around to each other.
  • Vaccination cards required for everyone 13+ for events in the store. I’m really not kidding about this. I’ve spent the last year an a half making choices to keep people safe, including waiting to open up.  I’m not gonna be a place where variants get a chance to bounce around.  Anyone who disagrees can feel free to email me and I will politely discuss it with them.
  • 12 and under and 13+ events.  Because there is no current way to get kids under 12 vaccinated, the best solution is to separate the events.  Each weekend there will be at least one event that will be set up for the younger crowd.  Adults (parents, etc) are welcome to attend, but will be advised to wear masks and MUST have their vaccination cards with them. PS, I  know there are a ton of kids that have both the skill and temperament to play with the adults…they will get to do so again when things settle down.
  • Smaller (but more) events.  To keep the airflow good and give people much more space between each other, we are going to do much smaller event sizes.  To help with making sure that no one shows up to not be able to play, we will have event tix available online.  (We’re trying a new POS, so this is gonna change in what it looks like, but not what happens.

Adventure in Forgotten Realms Events












Magic Mystery Loot bags

Magic Loot bags for sealed fun!

    • Silver Chaos Loot Bags: $50 (12 random packs—good for 2 person 6 pack sealed, or 3 people 4 pack mini sealed.)  Plus mystery bonus $50-80 value
    • Gold Chaos Loot bag: $100 (A pair of random prerelease kits and a mystery bundle.  Plus a mystery extra magic goody.)  $120-160 in value.
    • Platinum Chaos Loot bag: $200 ( A booster box, fat pack, two prerelease kits, and an extra surprise worth at least $50)$230-270 in value.
    • Diamond Chaos Loot bag: $500 ( A booster box, one of the Analogy sets, Archenemy, 4 prerelease kits, 4 brawl decks and a Conspiracy booster box, and whatever else I decide to toss in.) $550-800 value

As usual, call first to make sure I’m around . We (I) will get ready to bring it for curbside when you get here. Hours are whenever I’m here, so just call.

Sew what can we do to help? Making DIY masks to relieve the pressure….

(I stared this at the beginning of the week before the CDC recommendation for everyone to wear masks….this is a list of the best links for DIY masks I’ve found. PLEASE comment back on which ones are better and send others that you find, I’ll keep the list updated as much as I can.)

We’ve all heard about the mask/materials shortages for hospitals, and its been sticking in my craw that we’re stuck at home with the impulse to help but nothing to do besides trying not to drive each other crazy.  So when I heard about people sewing masks at home to help out, that seemed pretty like a pretty cool use of creativity.  I can’t do it, but I can help figure out what is real, vs. nonsense, and try and spread the word.    The interesting thing is that even masks that are not of medical quality are of value.  Turns out that tea towels are pretty close to fancy medical grad material in terms of catching virus side stuff.  And even if it doesn’t do that, it helps with one of the biggest sources of spread, the almost impossible task of not touching yer damn face/mouth during the day.    What I’ve included is the links to resources that I’ve found, following the contents of a letter that just came to me from a member of a Kaiser task force on what is acceptable designs for them to use to help with their medical professional.  They would like masks for their local Kaiser centers, but obviously, get them to where ever they need to go.  Probably best to wash them, and put them in ziplock bags after extremely carefully cleaning…we don’t wanna pass the virus on in something designed to keep it out…too stupidly ironic.   If you find better information or improved designs, leave a comment or email us at [email protected].   And if you do end up making one, send us a picture and tell us where it went and we’ll share it.  I know it seem like it’s too big for us to do anything about this besides hide in place, but there are a lot of us.  😉

From Kaiser (3/27/2020)
Materials that should be used to make the mask:

        • Reusable/washable
        • Cotton or T-shirt material

Design components:

Cleaning requirements:

        • Must be able to hand or machine wash when soiled or contaminated


        • Regional approval of masks is not needed if volunteers follow instructions and design components provided
        • Masks will be distributed locally (to medical centers)

We are extremely grateful for your willingness to help our organization keep our patients, members, visitors, staff and physicians safe.

Other Resources I’ve found for this…






































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