4 May 2010

Moon, Sun, and Skull

A Look at Rituals in Mists of Zanaga

Saka and his hyena companion, Kuto, approached the largest fire pit and sat down next to an elderly mahkim.

“Tarakhe grows stronger,” the mahkim said, weaving his four arms in complex patterns above the raging fire. “He despoils our land, and only the great Jarrar can stop him. The Ritual of Renewal must be completed so Jarrar can hunt Tarakhe and purge the land of his corruption.”

Saka nodded. “Jarrar has blessed me and Kuto. We will bring you the first kill of the hunt.” He and his companion got up to head back into the jungle to find their prey.

“Be careful,” the mahkim warned. But all he got in response was laughter from Kuto.


Mists of Zanaga takes Runebound players into a forgotten land of jungles, swamps, and ancient civilizations. While the wonders of Zanaga attract all sorts of adventurers, the taint of Tarakhe lurks in the very mists that writhe across the land. He is the source of all corruption, and only the primal gods will be able to free the land from his rotting touch. However, the primal gods must first be awakened. The latest big box expansion for Runebound will be arriving this summer, and leading up to that release we will be doing a series of previews to look further into the the new components and mechanics found in Mists of Zanaga. Today we are going to check out the rituals used to awaken the primal gods.

The Ritual decks come in colors that match the adventure decks - green, yellow, blue, and red. The current Ritual deck is determined by the color of the last defeated Challenge. Cards are drawn from the Ritual deck and placed on the top of the original Runebound board on the undefeated challenge track, now called the Ritual Track. Ritual cards have two kinds of effects - triggered and active. Triggered effects are activated when the Ritual card has been completed. The active effects remain in effect the entire time the Ritual card is in play.

Every time a player draws a Challenge card he places a random ritual token on it. That token is later placed on a Ritual card when the Challenge is either defeated or discarded. The token will either have a sun, moon, skull, or wild (used for any of the other three) symbol on it. When placing a ritual token on a Ritual card, the player simply matches the symbol on the token to one of the slots on a Ritual card in play. If the symbol doesn’t match one of the Ritual cards in play, the player draws a new Ritual card until he finds one that matches the symbol on the token.

(Three Ritual cards of each type. Click to enlarge.)

Ritual cards each have one to four slots. When all the slots are filled on a card, the ritual is complete and it is set aside next to the primal god cards. Once three of these rituals are complete, the symbols on the three ritual cards are matched with the ones printed on the primal god cards. The primal god with the matching symbols has been awakened, ready to wreck havoc on Zanaga! Check back next time when we take a look at the terrible power of the primal gods!

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