22 September 2015 | Runebound

New Heroes Rise

Preview the Heroes of Runebound


The realm has need of your skills, adventurer! As one of the land’s bravest heroes, you are one of the only ones who possess the abilities to oppose a terrifying threat. From your first steps on the open road, your adventures and actions will determine not only your fate, but the fate of all Terrinoth. Take up your blade and let your greatest adventure begin in Runebound!

In our last preview of Runebound, we explored the adventure that you will undertake and the actions you can perform as you traverse the ancient forests and lonely wastes of Terrinoth. Today, however, we turn our attention to the heroes themselves—the noble warriors and mages that you can play in every game of Runebound.

First Steps

Six unique heroes are included in Runebound, and each one offers a very different starting point for your adventures. Some heroes are naturally pre-disposed towards physical might, some are fast and agile, and others already boast well-developed skills as spellcasters. Your choice of hero offers you a good foundation for building your hero into a legendary warrior who can protect Terrinoth from the nemesis rising against it. 

At the beginning of the game, you select one of the six heroes to play. When you choose a hero, you also take the corresponding hero card—all hero cards are double-sided, and the first side displays setup instruction for that hero. 

To begin, you must take gold equal to your starting gold and draw skill cards equal to your maximum hand size. For example, if you are playing as Laurel of Bloodwood, you will take two gold and draw four skill cards from the skill deck. These resources offer you a starting point for improving and customizing your hero. Gold is predominantly spent in the Free Cities of Terrinoth to purchase assets, and skills can be learned after you’ve completed enough adventures.  We’ll take a closer look at skills and assets in a future preview.

Next, every hero card shows the hero’s starting location in the lower right-hand corner—either a shrine, a stronghold, or a town. Shrines, strongholds, and towns are scattered across Terrinoth, and during setup you can place your hero in any location that matches the symbol shown for the starting location. Laurel of Bloodwood can be placed in any town on the map during the game setup. 

Finally, you can resolve your hero-specific setup instructions. As Laurel of Bloodwood, you can roll two terrain dice and spend the results to move, giving you a head start on the race to adventure. You’ll also claim your hero’s combat tokens at this time. Each hero has three unique combat tokens that he starts the game with. Laurel of Bloodwood’s combat tokens feature a strong balance across the distinct aspects of combat, offering a mix of physical damage, agility, defense, and surges. We’ll take a closer look at battles and combat tokens when we look at combat in a later preview!

Become a Hero

After setup is completed, you can flip your hero card over to display the gameplay side. This side offers an array of additional information. First, along the right-hand border of the card, you will find three values. The uppermost value is your hero’s speed, which determines how many terrain dice you roll when you move or explore. Improving your hero’s speed with assets or skills makes it much easier to travel across Terrinoth in the limited time you have available. 

Underneath your speed is your hero’s health. Battling monsters or embarking on arduous adventures can cause your hero to take damage. If your hero suffers damage equal to his health, he is defeated, and you must rest to recover from your injuries. Finally, below your health, your maximum hand size is shown again. When you choose to train during the game, you draw a number of skill cards equal to your maximum hand size, then discard down to your maximum hand size again, allowing you to replenish your hand with new and useful skill cards.

Each hero card also shows a number of special abilities unique to that hero, which can give you an edge in the race to become the greatest hero that Terrinoth has ever seen. Laurel of Bloodwood has the Pathfinding ability, which invites you to reroll all of your terrain dice once per turn. Pathfinding can prove extremely useful, whether you’re using it to find the perfect path through the wilderness or to thoroughly explore a puzzling location.

In combat, Laurel of Bloodwood can use the skills she learned among her people to move faster than her opponents. For one surge, you can trigger Speed of Di’zon, which allows you to recast one of your spent combat tokens, including the surge you just spent! With the Speed of Di’zon, Laurel of Bloodwood gets double use out of your best combat token, making her an effective combatant in any situation. 

Each hero card features three attributes. From left to right: body, mind, and spirit.

Finally, below the hero’s abilities, three attributes are shown: body, mind, and spirit. Laurel of Bloodwood has a body value of two, a mind value of two, and a spirit value of one. At certain points in the game, you may be called upon to test an attribute. When you perform an attribute test, you reveal a number of skill cards equal to your attribute from the deck. If any of those cards has the success symbol, you pass the test!

Of course, the hero that you choose at the beginning of the game doesn’t lock you into a certain path. Your starting abilities, combat tokens, and attributes provide a solid foundation for building your character, but from those first building blocks, you can take your character in any direction you want.

In one game, you may play Laurel of Bloodwood as a deadly warrior, equipped with the best weapons, armor, and combat skills. In the next, you may customize her to be a powerful sorcerer, using spells and magical damage to fell her foes. The skills and assets that you choose for your hero offer countless options and give you the chance to expand your hero’s strengths in any direction during a game of Runebound!

Become a Legend

The hero that you choose sets you on the road to legend in Runebound, but it’s just the beginning of your quest. Choose your hero and prepare to battle the nemeses of Terrinoth in every game of Runebound!

Join us next time for a preview of the assets and skills that you can use to customize your hero. For now, pre-order Runebound at your local retailer today!

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