29 September 2015 | Runebound

Customize Your Hero

Preview the Skills and Assets of Runebound


The realm of Terrinoth is filled with adventure and powerful foes for you to battle and test your strength against. You can seek the wisdom of an aged mentor high in the mountains. You can walk through the markets of Dawnsmoor in search of new gear. You can battle a Death Knight sworn to Vorakesh the Corpse King. In Runebound, you choose your path and determine your destiny!

Our first preview of Runebound examined the adventures you can undertake and how your hero can move across the board, explore locations, and take other actions during your quests. We also took a closer look at a hero’s starting stats and how you begin your adventures. Today, we turn our attention to the potential for every player to customize his hero with dozens of skills and assets!

Hone Your Skills

Every hero in Runebound starts with some baseline stats, abilities, and combat tokens, as we explored in our last preview. Though your starting abilities have been earned over a lifetime of adventuring, they alone will not be enough for you to destroy the nemesis of Terrinoth and win everlasting renown. To increase your power and customize your hero into the archetype that you wish to play, you must gain new skills and assets to supplement your starting abilities.

Skill cards are readily available to every hero through training. At the beginning of the game, each hero draws a number of skill cards equal to his maximum hand size. By spending an action to train at any point during the game, a hero can refill his hand of skill cards by drawing a number of new skill cards equal to his maximum hand size. 

You can learn new skills at any point on your turn by spending the trophies that you receive when you complete adventures. Each skill card has a number of orbs in the upper left-hand corner that represent the cost to learn that skill. For example, the Unpredictable skill card—which allows you draw a skill card once per turn—has three grey orbs, meaning that you can learn this skill by spending any three trophies. 

Some skill cards feature different orbs that require specific trophy types in order to learn the skill. The Guiding Light skill, for instance, requires an exploration trophy and two other trophies of any type, and it rewards you by allowing you to spend an action to move to any shrine on the map. 

You can’t simply learn every skill you want to, however. Every skill card has a symbol in the lower left-hand corner that corresponds to one of a hero’s three attributes: body, mind, or spirit. These attributes govern how many skills you can have of the matching type: Elder Mok has a body value of two, a mind value of one, and a spirit value of two, so he can possess up to two body skills, one mind skill, and two spirit skills. Naturally, some skill cards, such as Bulked Up or Well of Power , increase your hero’s attributes and you can always replace your existing skills with new skills.

Of course, not all skill cards are suitable to your hero. You may have a body attribute of zero, but you’ll still draw body skill cards from the deck. Fortunately, skill cards are useful for far more than just enhancing and customizing your hero. At many points throughout the game, you’ll have the option to push your own limits by exerting. When you’re moving or exploring, for example, you can always exert to reroll one of your terrain dice. Similarly, skill cards like Puppet Master require you to exert to receive a powerful effect. To exert, you simply discard a skill card from your hand—the only limit to how many times you can exert is the number of skill cards in your hand. 

Elder Mok wants to travel to Tamalir, but needs to exert to reroll one of his terrain dice.

Perhaps you’re attempting to move towards the Free City of Tamalir, but you need two water results to both cross the river and move through Blackwing Swamp. On your turn, you only roll one water result, but you may exert to reroll one of your terrain dice by discarding a skill card like Defensive Stance that you wouldn’t have used anyways. You discard Defensive Stance and reroll a die, receiving a wild result that will enable you to move into Tamalir this turn!

Visit the Marketplace

If skills are one half of forging your hero into the savior of Terrinoth, assets are the other piece. The four Free Cities of Terrinoth are constantly stocked with all manner of weapons, gear, and equipment for adventurers across the realm. Each Free City has a corresponding marketplace on the edge of the board, where three asset cards are displayed. When you enter a Free City and spend an action to shop, you draw one new asset card from the top of the deck and add it to the three cards already in your city. Then, you may either buy one of the cards by paying its gold cost or discard a card, putting it beyond the reach of other heroes!

The marketplace at Tamalir, stocked with asset cards.

There are five distinct types of assets that you can acquire in Runebound: weapon, clothing, equipment, movement, and goods. You can only carry one asset of each type at any given time, and each type of asset offers a different advantage. Movement assets like the Winged Boots commonly increase your speed, helping you move and explore faster. Weapons like the Truesteel Axe  offer beneficial abilities as well as additional combat tokens for you to cast in battle, as shown below. We’ll explore combat in much greater depth in our next preview.

Clothing and equipment can offer any number of powerful abilities: the Truelight Lantern helps you explore, while Mana Armor is cripplingly expensive, but gives you a powerful combat token, increased spirit, and increased health. The final type of asset that you may purchase is goods, such as Artifacts or Supplies . Transporting goods is one of the fastest ways to earn more gold on your adventures. For instance, you can purchase Supplies in a Free City for zero gold, then travel to any town on the map and spend an action to trade the goods in for two gold! Whether you’re saving up for Mana Armor or trying to purchase the Lightning Rune , a few stops to deliver goods along your adventures can quickly increase your wealth.

Choose Your Path

Skills and assets are more than just a way to increase your hero’s power. They truly make every game of Runebound unique and invite you to customize your hero in different ways. In one game, you could outfit Elder Mok with Mana Armor, a Truesteel Axe, and skills like Bulked Up and Interrogation to make him a deadly melee combatant. In the next adventure, you could forge him into a deadly magician with Battle Robes , the Lightning Rune, and the Battle Sorcery skill. In Runebound, only you choose your path and only you can decide the fate of Terrinoth!

In our next preview, we’ll explore combat tokens and battles in Runebound! For now, head to your local retailer and pre-order Runebound today.

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