Game Rules

For those interested I have included a PDF of the Rules. The rules were designed as part of the game deck. The intent from the start was to have everything in a single BIG deck of cards to help streamline the experience.

Below the actual instructions deck here I have started to compile a Rules FAQ with many frequently asked questions regarding gameplay.

Card Notes & Updates

9/28/20 – Card #22 – Zombie Ferret
Correction – it states – If Hildegard is in your Active Party- Zombie Ferret is no longer available. Zombie Ferret was removed from the game. What this means is that Hildegard can no longer perform her Death Move: Elect. Thematically it no longer makes sense, but this was the intent of the punishment. Sadly, this one slipped by.

9/24/20 – Card #79 Foul Brown
If you roll 5-8 the reward is “Both Allies gain Surge for 1 turn, start of the encounter. Now, this supersedes the Mirror Man’s Special Rule: Immune to All Status Effects. With Surge for the Mirror Man encounter both Allies would have Surge to do an extra 1 tier attack on a SINGLE Mirror.

8/18/20 – Millicent Ally Card / Action Bar 1 / Backstitch is listed correctly in terms of 6-7 doing 3 HP DMG, and 8 doing 3 HP DMG.
Millicent got a last minute nerf, and a Kickback was removed from rolling a 8 on Backstitch. At that time I should have moved 8 over so it was listed as 6-8, 3 HP DMG, But I missed it. The good news is there is no error in terms of gameplay. The information on the card is still correct.

Nothing on this card in terms of rules has changed, this is just a clarification that the rules for card #79, trump card #107 in this one instance.

Components List

109 Story Cards • 12 Instruction Cards • 7 Ally Cards
24 Action Cards • 3 Eight Sided Dice (1 Red, 2 Black)
4 Custom Six Sided Dice (2 red, 2 Black)
115 Acrylic Cubes (5o Red, 50 Black, 9 Clear, 6 Yellow)

Rules FAQ

Do I shuffle and reset the Action Cards between encounters?
YES. After an action card is played, place it in an action card/discard pile. When the encounter has concluded- put all the action cards together again reshuffle and reset for the next encounter.

On the off chance all the action cards are used during an encounter- reshuffle the deck and continue with a fresh deck.

Does my Ally’s Health and Armor reset between encounters?
YES.

Are Status Effects still in effect after encounters?
NO.

If I have a Negative and Positive Status Effect on an Ally which happens first?
Negative then Positive. If this does not make sense or conflicts in a specific case, the answer should always be, which way benefits the enemy? That is the answer. If neither of these work out, it’s up to you to decide which way it goes.

Can Allies switch their turn order?
YES, switching the turn order is allowed.

Can Allies trade loot?
YES, BUT not during encounters. There is one item in the game that cannot be traded, but the details for that item are on that card.

When I Pull a story card how do I know what card to go to after that?
If the card does not give you any direction you go back to the previous story deck card you came from and proceed from there with the next instructions (usually in red).

When an Ally dies during an Ally’s turn does the replacement character get a turn immediately?
NO, they cannot perform an action in until after the enemy’s turn.

When an Ally dies and another Ally comes into play can that character receive the death move status effect?
YES. But it won’t take effect until their turn (next round) or the enemy’s turn depending on the status effect.

When it isn’t specified which Ally takes damage or dies in an event outside of an encounter (combat), do I get to choose who gets it?
NO. You always use a Selection Roll to decide. Come on now, you don’t get to choose who dies!.

When an enemy spawns does it immediately get a turn?
NO, unless stated otherwise (Mega Glob is an example of one that attacks as soon as it’s spawned). A spawned enemy cannot perform any actions till the following turn.

Can enemies spawn more than once?
NO, an enemy can only spawn once in the current game. If they die there is no coming back.

Can I split up damage on enemies?
NO, damage cannot be split up.

Can I split up Recoup, Rest or Kickbacks?
NO, you cannot split them up.

Can Recoup, Rest or Kickbacks go to another Ally?
YES, this is a divisive rule, but there are good reasons for this, Kickbacks are one of them. Consider this, Cedany was designed to Rebuild Armor for her teammates. She is one of the only resources to build a shield wall. That is the purpose of her Kickback’s. That being said, if you take issue with this thematically, feel free to decide an Ally cannot give HP or AP to another Ally.

When it says, “Increase Ally Armor Thresholds by 1” what does that mean?
It means that ALL allies Armor Thresholds increase by 1. This is a group increase, not just for the current active party. It persists for the entire game.

After an encounter, if my threshold increases do I automaticaly reset it at that new amount?
YES, It is reset at the new max threshold at the time of the increase.

If an Ally had a HP Threshold of 4 and you were rewarded with a +1 HP Threshold, you would immediately reset that Ally’s HP to 5. Same thing would happen for AP.


How do I Rest?
If you are low on Hit Points you might want to Rest instead of Attack to get an Ally some additional HP. You can do this three times in a row with an increased bonus of +1 HP (turn 1), +2 HP (turn 2), +3 HP (turn 3) added to your Recoup Roll.

To Rest you have to give up your Action (Red Bars). Instead, you will go directly to your Recoup roll (Heal only).

If your result is between 2-8 you will add +1 to the result. For example, if you were to roll a 4. You would get +1 HP for Healing and +1 HP for Resting. 

Please Note: If you roll a 1, Rest fails and you get nothing. Shucks.

Now, if you successfully Rest, mark that with 1 cube marker on your Rest Meter.

Now, if you decide you would like to Rest again on your next turn, follow the same steps. For example, if you were to roll a 4. You would get +1 HP for Healing and +2 HP for Resting a second time. 

Now, if you successfully Rest, mark that with a 2nd cube marker on your Rest Meter.

You can Rest three times in a row, and if successful the 3rd time, add +3 HP. After 3 times the Rest Meter is cleared. You may Rest again, but you would start back at the beginning with a Rest bonus of +1 HP.

Please Note: You cannot Rest, then Attack the next turn, the Rest again for a +2 bonus. Once you Attack on a turn your Rest Meter is cleared and you will need to start over again.

HP from Rest can be placed on either Ally regardless of who actually rolled for Rest. It may seem thematically odd, but look at heal as “bandage” or “first aid.” Now if you were to Rest, that Ally is able to perform better- hence the bonus in HP that can be given to either Ally.


Can Resting fail?
Yes, if the Ally Resting rolls a 1, Rest fails. The Rest Meter is then reset.

If I roll an 8 and my Rest Meter is full how many Hit Points do I get?
You would get 3 for the Recoup Roll and 3 for Resting- a total of 6. The Rest Meter is then reset.

Can Rest be used for the secondary Recoup rolls, such as Cleanse, Rebuild, Chant or Highjinks?
NO, Rest can only be used to Heal.

Can an Ally choose to sacrifice themself?
YES! There may be times you want to do an action that costs 4 HP and you only have 4 HP. Take one for the team!

If I sacrifice an Ally by spending all their HP on an Action can a Kickback save them?
Sadly, NO they have already died before the Kickback could occur. What a hero. The Kickback in this case would be canceled and could not be given to any Ally.

Where should I put the cube markers when a character gets a Status Effect?
It’s recommended that you place them directly on top of the Character Card. One for each turn the effect lasts. If a character gets an additional Status Effect start a new pile on the card with a different color cube marker.

When should I use the Status Effects Tracker Card?
You may never need to use it. It’s provided for those tense moments when there are too many Status Effects in play.

When BUBBLE is triggered how does that work?
When Bubble is triggered place 3 cubes on the Ally you want to receive it regardless of the armor threshold. During the next enemies turn, that Ally has 3 additional armor points. As soon as the enemies turn is over any of those 3 armor points remaining are removed.

When CHANT is triggered how does that work?
When Chant is triggered – during the enemies next turn, the Ally that is given Chant cannot be damaged.

When SURGE is triggered how does that work?
Surge is a free Action Bar 1 Attack. When say, Millicent rolls an 8, she does 1 DMG, and gets to do Needle Dart again immediately. It pays to roll 8.

In Chapter 4, the Globs have an action called Globsplosion. The rule for this action states “Globsplosions only damage Allies. After Globsplosion Discard Glob.” Does that mean the Glob that did the Globsplosion dies?
YES it dies. The Globsplosion does not damage other enemies, only Allies. Sadly for the Glob, it kills itself in the process.

In Chapter 4 does Mega Glob’s – Mega Globsplosion hurt The Lurker if it’s still alive?
NO, the main rules state that attacks with the star icon only affect opposing targets in play. One could argue that the Mega Glob and the Lurker are clearly not friends and are opposing targets, but what the rule is distinguishing is Allies or Bad Guys. If an ally performs an attack that hurts all opposing targets, it hurts all the bad guys. Same goes for them.

Why are there yellow and clear cube markers included?
There may be times when a character has more than 2 Status Effects at the same time. You might want to add an additional color besides red and black to keep better track of the craziness.

Why are there unlabeled meters on the Status Effects Tracker Card?
I included 2 additional unlabeled meters in case you want to count/track something unlisted.

Do items with counters – like Twins’ Mask/Do-Over (Card #22) reset after an encounter?
Nope, it has 3 shots- and it’s done.

How do the Key Dice work to open the doors?
At the 3 doors, you roll one die for each Key that you have. You may open Door 1 or Door 2, if any of your symbols match any listed on the doors. It’s not about getting the combinations, you just need to match one. For Door 3 you need to match 2 different symbols listed on the card.

If you have even 1 Key, you can open a door. The idea here isn’t to make it difficult to open the doors, but to make it so you may not be able to choose from all of them.

Wait, I have 6 Keys- I should be able to roll 6 Key Dice but the game only came with 4?
First off, congrats. I have never got all 6 keys before, very impressive. In this case roll the 4 key dice you do have. Chances are you can open any of the 3 doors. If you can’t, roll 2 of them again.

A little insight on the Key Dice. Since the Dice were a stretch goal, they were never intended to play a large role in terms of gameplay. If you are looking for more places to use the Keys to unlock things it will only happen on two instances. It’s more of fun add-on, although they may have another important use somewhere in there…That being said, to provide 6 custom dice for a few instances in the game seemed miss-leading and a bit of overkill.

Why are there cube marker spots for Keys and Coins on the Ally Threshold Counter Card?
Keys and Coins are hidden throughout the game. This is an extra place to keep track of them for fun. It’s there to scratch that itch if you are a completionist and want to feel special for tracking them down.

During the Mirror Man encounter in Chapter 6, how does DMG effect the Action Cards?
Each Action Card is a Mirror” that is treated like a singular enemy. If you hit it for 6 DMG and “break” it (since it takes 4 damage to do so), the extra 2 damage DOES NOT spill over to the next “Mirror” Action Card. Sorry guys, it’s not that easy!

Is there a particular ending that is better than all the rest, or a “I have won the game ending?”
That this is up for interpretation. The short answer is you don’t want to know. Turn away now and move on to the next question!

If you demand an answer, for me there are two endings that fall into that idea. The intent from the beginning was to provide an additional sliver of the story as each ending is revealed. This way it isn’t about getting a main ending, but uncovering all the paths that can creep up along the way.

All this being said, there is an ending that is hardest to get too. I suppose you could consider that the winning ending. Good luck getting there…

Is there a Hard Mode? Any rule varients to try out?
YES, at the start of the game shuffle the Ally Deck and remove 2 Allies randomly from the game. Good luck, off you go.

If you’re still slaying it, remove 3 Allies. Let me know if you make it to a chapter 6 ending.

Is there a 3 Player Mode?
YES, I wish I could have put 1-3 players on the box, but I felt like it was kind of a cheat considering the 3rd player is more of a narrator/dice roller without agency or active choices of their own.

For 3 Player games Player 1 controls Ally 1, Player 2 controls Ally 2, and the 3rd Player takes on the role of the “card revealer and narrator of the game.” The 3rd Player also carries the burden of being the Enemy Roller. It’s important to note that they DO NOT get to choose the enemies attacks. The attacks are selected by the Action Cards or as directed on their particular cards. But they selct action cards, roll or do whatever is instructed. Curse your friend that just rolled an 8 with Mega Glob. That dude sucks.

Rangitaki has double attacks for all her actions. For the Mushroom Man Encounter- are you saying if either of her action rolls miss another Mushroom Man spawns? If so, that isn’t awesome.
Sorry man, that is correct. If either roll misses – out comes another Mushroom Man. If both rolls miss – out come two Mushroom Men! Not all Allies are created equal. But she isn’t bad once all of them are spawned. She is one of the few characters that can hit all enemies in play with her zero tier action: Babalu.

Babalu? Isn’t that a classic tiki cocktail? Indeed it is! Next time you play, whip one up (all her attacks are tiki drinks). Take a sip each time you use that attack! I find it helps defeat just about anything.

Babalu
3/4 oz. frozen concentrated pineapple/ grapefruit juice (I use separate cans of concentrate)1/2 oz. lemon juice2 oz. golden Puerto Rican rum (e.g. Bacardi)1/4 oz. rock candy syrup (Trader Vic lingo for saturated simple syrup. 1:1 simple syrup is fine)1 c shaved ice or crushed iceBlend in a mixer and serve in a highball glass (or vintage Trader Vic Voodoo glass) with cracked ice. Garnish with mint and fruit stick.

What really happens if I peek at cards that didn’t come into play during a session?
I would highly recommend not finding out.

General FAQ

How many Story Cards & Action Cards are included with the game? The Sleeve packs came with more sleeves than I have cards…
There are 128 Story Cards, the Story Card Sleeve pack comes with 130 (2 Extra). There are 24 Action Cards, the Action Card Sleeve pack comes with 25 (1 Extra).

Where is the Mirror Card(s) stretch goal?
Don’t go looking for them, but…they are cards #98 & #99.

Where is the Vista Card(s) stretch goal?
Again, don’t go looking for it and wreck it, but…there are two: #97 and #100.

My game looks like portions of it were printed on a bad color xerox in the 80’s. What’s going on?
The entire game is distorted and beat to different degrees based on, “certain things.” It’s a messy game and made to look as such. A splatter of red here, a streak of gray there, by design. I think it’s best for the gaming experience to leave it at that…stop here if you’re with me.

Tiny spoiler warning…

If you are still reading this and are questioning an odd color bleeding through…maybe some realistic looking anomalies on some card backs, I have listed some of the major contenders here…(but please don’t flip them over unless instructed!). There are reasons these cards are the way they are!

1, 2, 93, 97, 98, 99 and 105

“There is nothing wrong with your television set. Do not attempt to adjust the picture. We are controlling the transmission.”

There is white dust on my cards, what is that?
The dust is “anti set off powder” it’s a fine spay that stops the wet ink on heavily inked sheets from sticking to the sheet above. Rest assured, it can be wiped off.

Is there a Print & Play version?
No, there will never be a Print and Play version of Spire’s End.

You stated on the Kickstarter that you were influenced by cool stuff like Monkey Island. Are you just baiting people, I don’t get it?
I listed influences that I thought about when making this game. I have references to Monkey Island, Planet of the Apes, Land of the Lost and more baked in there (for better or worse). It’s not about the look of the game. It has more to do with themes and moods, things I wanted to evoke.

Are there plans for more chapters that continue this story?
No, not at this time.

How many games were made? Can I buy one, will there ever be anymore?
There were 2750 units made. This version of the game will never be manufactured again. If you have a copy, hold it close, some of those Ally’s will not make it to a 2nd printing, IF there is one.

At this time there are no plans for a reprint of the game.

You can contact me via the contact page about extra copies hanging around. As of 10/21/20 there are less than 75 without a home.

25 thoughts on “Game Rules

  1. A final clarification on the “when missing spawn a” thing: if I have a double attack, does that mean i can potentially spawn two things in one action?

    I had a situation where an ally had both cripple and encourage status effects. What order do they resolve in?

    It is clear that we cannot split damage, so if there’s more than one monster, extra damage is overkill. What about the mirror man? If we do 7 damage, can that be 4 to one action card and 3 to the next, or do we max out at 4 to any given action card and the rest of the damage is “wasted”?

    I’ve played the game through once, and most of the clarification questions I needed were here in the FAQ! Thanks so much for putting this together. And I am loving the game! Only problem is, those black dice seem to like rolling 3 and under a whole lot. You might want to look into that for the sequel. 😉

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    1. You damage is isolated to one target- unless the attack has the circle star icon- but in the case of the mirror man- he is immune to all status effects and double attacks – as stated in his special rules.

      In short the rest of the damage is wasted in regards to the Mirror Man.

      If you had cripple and encourage – I don’t see why they can’t happen at once- 50% damage rounded down- then add +1 DMG.

      All make sense- glad you are having a good time!

      Like

  2. Cripple and Encourage: That’s the order I took it in as well. But consider this example, and it explains why I asked:
    I roll a skill and get a 4 damage. Cripple: Makes it 2. Encourage: Brings it to 3.
    I roll a skill and get a 4 damage. Encourage: Brings it to 5. Cripple: half round down brings it to 2.
    So the results are different depending on order. I think cripple first makes sense. Also the game seems so likely to result in my failure, I don’t mind taking an advantage!

    Mirror Man: Essentially each card is treated as a separate target? I had hoped instead we dealt damage to mirror man, and then distributed it among the cards as we saw fit. But I guess each card being it’s own target and therefore max at 4 damage and rest wasted, is more consistent with the rules. ”

    Thanks for the clarifications!!

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    1. The mirrors are separate targets-there is no splash damage or option to distribute damage anywhere in the game. If you hit a mirror for 6 DMG, that’s it- the other 2 points of damage are wasted.

      Unless rules conflict, negative status effect, followed by positive.

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  3. do the Rest and Boost trackers reset at the end of the encounter along with your HP/AP – I’m assuming so, but can’t find any reference to it, so maybe not? 🙂

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      1. Thank Greg, sorry I missed that. I didn’t recheck previous encounters as I assumed they would only contain encounter-specific rules, I was just checking (and rechecking) the instruction cards 🙂
        Loving it so far, currently at the end of chapter two…

        Like

  4. Hi Greg,
    Can you just explain to me how boost and rest work together?

    Let’s say that on my first turn I decide not to make an action, but instead to rest. I roll 4 and therefore I heal myself by 2HP, but as I have full HP I would put my boost meter to 2.
    Now, let’s say that I am at the second turn and I didn’t lose any HP. I choose to rest again and I roll a 5, so I would heal myself by 3HP. Now, as I am again at full HP, do I move the boost counter for every HP gained? For this example specific I would move the boost meter from 2-> 3 -> 1 -> 2 and I will not get the +1 strength buff because the boost meter is not full. Am I correct?

    Also, in case I would have been healed by 3HP at the second turn I would have the boost meter full and the +1Strenght. Will the buff be removed during Upkeep phase of the same turn? Rules state that I have to remove 1 cube.

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    1. Strength happens on the next turn- any status effect that has the (turn symbol) is on the next turn for the character that gets the effect. The only way that they can happen right then is when no turn symbol is present.

      Like

      1. Thanks!
        Just another quick question:

        If I sacrifice an Ally by spending all their HP on an Action, do the Ally perform the action itself?

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  5. Hi I was fighting the Twins but I didn’t quite understand the rules. The do 2 attacks and thus draw 2 action cards. Is this per twin or rather they fight as a group?
    Do you have anymore Spire’s End available with slip cases?

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    1. No- you never pull to action cards- when the little double sword icon is present- as it is on most of the twins attacks- you roll the dice twice, and they are each an attack on a single target.

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      1. But what about the fact that there is a chance that the action cards match? When does that come in? I thought that the action cards determined the two types of attack they made and then you rolled for severity.

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      2. Each turn the twins attack – just lay the cards down in a row- IF two 5’s or two 6’s happen to come up in a row- pull the card instructed. That’s it

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  6. Just lay down ONE Action card per Twins turn…if the combinations 5/5, or 6/6 show up at any time during the course of the encounter, stop the fight and reveal card 20.

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    1. So basically the action is the same for both Twins just on potentially 2 different Allies since you perform the selection roll twice. OK, thanks! I can’t wait to play again. Those Twins are in for a treat…or maybe not! Great game!

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      1. Example- the twins attack, you pick ONE action card, it’s a 1. Now you do your “selection roll” and see who the target is. Let’s say it’s Ally 1.

        Now, you roll two dice because the tier 1 attack (Twin Punch) has the double sword symbol next to its name.

        5 and 7 are rolled. So Ally 1 takes 1 damage for the 5 rolled, and 1 damage for the 7 rolled.

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  7. Can you use HP on your boost tracker as HP for yourself? We were thinking you could use it as a potion because it had a potion icon but not quite too sure about that one.

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  8. If all the Globs have been spawned, but one or more have been killed, do you spawn the Mega Glob? One could argue they aren’t all “in play” if some have been discarded, but I imagine the intention is that if all three have been spawned, the Mega Glob is next, regardless of how many are still alive.

    Like

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