Welcome to Terrinoth, adventurer! Runebound is a strategy board game of heroic deeds and high adventure that invites two to four players to brave impossible dangers and experience the thrill of exploration in the fantasy realm of Terrinoth. In every game, you tell an epic tale of your hero’s path from humble beginnings as you fight to defeat an ancient evil, arisen from Terrinoth’s troubled past to plague its future.
In every game of Runebound, you must race against your rival heroes to increase your power and become the hero to save Terrinoth. Adventures are around every bend in the road and behind every hilltop in Terrinoth. You can slay monsters, explore the wild fastnesses, or interact with the denizens of Terrinoth in tense social encounters. Whatever quests you undertake, you must never lose sight of your goal – to destroy the great threat leveled against Terrinoth before another hero can steal your glory.
Tell Your Own Tale
In Runebound, you enter the realm of Terrinoth, a fantasy world first created by the original edition of Runebound. Since then, we've invited players to different parts of Terrinoth through Descent: Journeys in the Dark, BattleLore Second Edition, Rune Age, and Runewars. Now, you can return to the realm with the new version of Runebound, a reimagining of the classic adventure game that first introduced you to Terrinoth.
During the game, you play one of six powerful heroes, roaming throughout the realm and taking what adventures you find. These adventures are represented on the game board as adventure gems in three distinct colors. Each color represents a different type of adventure: combat, exploration, or social. You may battle Beastmen in the forests, seek arcane wisdom among lost ruins and forgotten forests, or attempt to outwit a con artist at her own game. You can focus on a certain kind of adventure or divide your attention among multiple types, but ultimately, you decide which adventures you embark upon, which gives every game of Runebound fresh replayability.
Of course, you won’t find most adventures in the hearts of Terrinoth’s cities. To find true adventure, you’ll need to travel out into the wilds. Movement in Runebound is governed by terrain dice. Players roll a number of dice equal to their speed, and spend the results to move into hexes with matching terrain. Alternatively, your hero can move along a road by spending any terrain results. When speed is required, you’ll be forced to choose between easy travel along the roads or a cross-country shortcut that may become a delay if the terrain dice don’t provide the results you need.
If you challenge your enemies to battle, you’ll engage in fast, tactical combat with the innovative combat token system. Heroes have a number of starting combat tokens and gain more from special weapons or items. Most monsters share the same combat icons, but powerful nemeses have unique combat tokens. When a round of battle begins, both combatants take all of their combat tokens in hand and cast them like dice or flip them like coins. Then, you and your opponent alternate spending combat tokens to deal physical and magical damage, shield incoming damage, flip combat tokens, or stack your tokens to increase their power.
During combat, you’ll also decide how you wish to spend your surges. Every hero and monster features a number of powerful surge abilities – special feats of bravery or strength in arms that you can trigger during combat by spending surges from your combat tokens. Even as you choose how and when to spend your combat tokens, you’ll need to consider exactly which surge abilities you want to trigger, making combat in Runebound an intensely tactical contest of wits.
Stand Firm Against the Darkness
The realm of Terrinoth is filled with adventures – challenges to overcome and fascinating people and locales to visit. But all is not well. Ancient evil from Terrinoth’s dark past is awakening once more, and it threatens to drown the realm in a new tide of darkness. Two unique scenarios in Runebound pit you and the other heroes against the servants of evil.
Margath the Dragonlord, long presumed dead, has returned to Terrinoth to destroy all civilization in a blistering inferno. The necromancer, Vorakesh, has proclaimed himself the Corpse King and raises shambling hordes of undead to do his bidding. In the two scenarios included in Runebound, you’ll take on one of these foes and attempt to stop him before he can destroy Terrinoth.
In addition to the standard adventure cards that represent the encounters you may find at any time throughout Terrinoth, each scenario offers its own unique adventure cards to bring the influence of Margath or Vorakesh even closer to you. If you’re battling the Dragonlord, you’ll face Great Dragons and Dreadbringers, search for ancient dragonlore in the lost places of Terrinoth, and confront the cults that thirst for the return of Margath. When you test your strength against the Corpse King, however, you’ll confront hordes of undead zombies, rally your living companions to aid your cause, or explore a city of the dead in Blackwing Swamp. Alongside new adventure cards, each scenario offers a deck of story cards that provide additional quests that advance the plot and bring you closer to defeating your nemesis. This combination of adventure cards and story cards makes a scenario different every time you play.
Of course, it won’t do much good to slay dragons and zombies if you cannot defeat their dark master. Once you feel your hero has gained sufficient strength and skill, you may venture into the heart of darkness to confront Margath or Vorakesh in a fight to the death. The first player to defeat Margath or Vorakesh becomes the savior of Terrinoth and wins the game, but if a player loses this final fight, he is out of the game. The heroes must not delay too long, however. If too much time passes before Margath or Vorakesh are defeated, they accomplish their dark goals and conquer Terrinoth, forcing all heroes to lose the game!
When the game of Runebound begins, your hero is nowhere near strong enough to defeat Margath or Vorakesh in pitched battle. Before you can confront the nemesis and win the game, you must enhance your hero’s prowess by learning new skills and acquiring powerful assets. As you gain power, these skills and assets give you the chance to customize your hero towards whatever playstyle you prefer. You may train yourself to be a powerful paladin, armed with the best armor and weapons that money can buy. You may become a mage, bristling with spells and magical equipment. You may even focus on your agility, dodging your opponent’s attacks and striking back when he least expects it. With over one-hundred skills and assets, the options are limitless and your hero will feel different every time you play.
You can gain new skills through diligent training and by spending the trophies that you gain from completing adventures. Skills are divided into three types: body, mind, and spirit. These types correspond to your hero’s attributes – if your hero is strong of mind, you can have more mind skills at one time. Skill cards are useful for more than just increasing your own power though. Frequently in your adventures, you’ll need to exert yourself to accomplish your goals. Exerting always requires you to discard a skill card, so maintaining a hand of skill cards through training is crucial to your continued efforts.
Alongside skills, you can improve and customize your hero by purchasing assets from the four Free Cities in this region of Terrinoth. Each of the cities has a market where you can spend your gold on new weapons, clothing, and equipment that grant you new abilities and combat tokens. Those specializing in magic can find books of spells and a spellcaster’s robes, while fighters will find powerful blades, armor, and even more exotic items. You may also acquire goods in the Free Cities. These goods could be artifacts for a shrine or materiel for a stronghold, but no matter its exact nature, people will pay you well if you can carry their goods to the appropriate location.
The Adventure Begins
Evil awakens in Terrinoth once more, threatening to pull a shroud of darkness over the realm. Only you and few other heroes have a chance of stopping this impending doom. Will you become the savior of Terrinoth, or will your name fade away with the other heroes who came too late?
Decide your fate and the fate of Terrinoth in Runebound!
2 – 3 hours
2 – 4 players
The copyrightable portions of Runebound Third Edition are © 2015 Fantasy Flight Publishing, Inc. Runebound is a ® of Fantasy Flight Publishing, Inc.