15 September 2015 | Runebound

Quest Throughout the Realm

Preview the Adventures and Gameplay of Runebound


Enter the world of Terrinoth and become a living legend in Runebound, a board game of thrilling adventure and high fantasy for two to four players! In every game, a terrible fate threatens the realm with utter destruction, and you must race your rival heroes to be the first hero to defeat this evil threat. Of course, defeating this impending doom is not the only quest you will undertake in your travels. In Terrinoth, adventure lies around every bend of the dusty road and stretches from the highest mountain peaks, to the depths of an enchanted lake, to ruins untouched in living memory.

Today, we begin our series of previews by diving into the heart of Runebound: the adventures that you undertake as you wander the realm and grow in power!

Countless Adventures Await

At the beginning of a game of Runebound, the realm is seeded with adventures of every kind by placing adventure gems in predetermined locations around the game board. These adventure gems represent the countless possible encounters that may occur as you travel across Terrinoth, and they are divided into three categories. Orange adventure gems allow you to draw combat encounters, green gems correspond to exploration adventure cards, and purple gems invite you to experience social adventures.

Adventure gems correspond to adventure cards of the matching color. These cards are divided into three types: combat, exploration, and social.

Each type of adventure gem offers very different experiences and choices. Social adventure cards are commonly events that force you to make a choice between two effects. When you draw the Smuggling adventure card, for instance, a smuggler asks you to deliver some weapons to his contact in Burrow Town. You may choose to take him up on the job, keeping the adventure card and spending an action after traveling to Burrow Town to gain some valuable gold and a trophy. Alternatively, if Burrow Town is too far out of your way, you might decide to turn the smuggler into the authorities for a chance to earn some quick gold!

Exploration adventure cards commonly set a quest before you. Quest cards generally ask you to travel to some part of Terrinoth and explore the area to see if you can find the object of your search. For example, if you draw the Swamp Tales quest, you have the chance to travel to Blackwing Swamp to investigate the strange lights that shine beneath the swamp. Once you’ve reached the swamp, you can spend an action to explore and roll a number of terrain dice equal to your hero’s speed. For this quest, if you only obtain a single water result, you accomplish nothing but ruining your favorite boots—though you still get to claim this card as a trophy. If you can roll a water and a wild, you find an ancient chest, which grants you three gold in addition to the trophy. Finally, if you’re lucky enough to roll two waters and a plains, you can visit the city below Blackwing Swamp, becoming delayed to learn any skill in your hand for free!

Lord Hawthorne has undertaken the Swamp Tales quest, and he now spends an action to explore Blackwing Swamp. He may use his results to discover an ancient chest, or he may take another action to roll again and try for a better result!

The last type of adventure card you may encounter is focused on combat. Most combat adventure cards are enemies that you must face in battle! You may draw the Razorwing enemy and be forced to fight this aerial menace before you can continue on your adventures. Each possible enemy has unique abilities as well as unique rewards for defeating it. During a battle, you and the player controlling the monster toss your combat tokens and take turns spending the tokens to cast spells, damage your foe, use surge abilities, or dodge oncoming attacks. We’ll explore combat tokens and battles in much greater detail in a future preview!

Across Hill and Dale

Of course, to reach these adventure gems and test your might against the monsters and dangers of Terrinoth, you must first traverse the realm. Every hero has three actions to spend on his turn, which he can use to move, adventure, rest, train, or shop in a city. 

For a single action, you can choose to move across the realm, and every move offers a variety of options. If you only have a short way to go, you can simply move to an adjacent space as your move action, but if you want to travel further, you’ll need to roll the terrain dice. When you choose to move beyond an adjacent hex, you roll a number of terrain dice equal to your hero’s speed and spend the results to move across the various types of terrain that you may encounter. Many dice show more than one type of terrain, meaning they can be spent to move across either of the terrain pictured. Wild results can also be spent to move across any type of terrain. For example, if you roll two plains results and a forest result, you may move across two plains hexes and one forest hex in any order, as shown in the diagram below.

Lord Hawthorne spends an action and rolls three terrain dice to move. He uses the wild result to cross the river from Hunter's Circle, the forest result to move to the second hex in the Hedge, and the hills result to enter Castle Thelys.

Although you may travel quicker by cutting across the open country of Terrinoth, traveling along established roads is much more reliable. If you’re on a road, you may use any die result to move one hex further along the road, allowing you to travel quickly and reliably—so long as the road is headed in the direction you intend to travel!

Once you get to an adventure gem, it takes two actions to take on the adventure that you find there. When you choose to adventure, you first flip the adventure gem, then draw an adventure card from the matching deck, resolving the adventure as described above. Adventure cards are the principal way that you will gain trophies and gold, which help your hero to increase in power before confronting the nemesis of Terrinoth in a climactic battle. After an adventure gem has been exhausted, no hero can undertake another adventure there until the gem is refreshed, which happens at set points throughout the game.

There’s far more to do in a game of Runebound than simply travel and adventure, however. In the Free Cities of Terrinoth, you have the chance to spend your hard-earned gold to purchase new assets, including new weapons, armor, magical artifacts, and goods that you can bring to other towns for a profit. Alternatively, you can spend an action anywhere in Terrinoth to train, drawing more skill cards to aid you. We’ll take a closer look at both assets and skills in a later preview as we explore how you can customize your hero and make a different character in every game of Runebound!

Lord Hawthorne uses his first action to move, using any die results to move along the road to Forge. He now has two actions remaining that he may use to shop for assets or rest from his travels.

Your final option for actions on your turn is to rest. Your adventures are certain to take their toll, whether you’re battling monsters or climbing the heights of Mennara’s Teeth. The rest action is the principal way for you to recover health, and it can make the difference between continued adventures and ignominious defeat.

The World Lies Before You

Endless adventures await your arrival in the realm of Terrinoth. Whether you’re battling dread dragons, buying a legendary sword, or exploring the darkest depths of the Hanging Woods, Runebound invites you to enter a realm of high fantasy and dangerous quests. In our next preview, we’ll take a closer look at the heroes that you can control during your games of Runebound.

For now, pre-order your copy of Runebound at your local retailer today!

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