Each player chooses a Guard. One monster from each level is selected at random, and the first monster is revealed. Every round, all players roll their dice, then each player in turn selects one of their dice and follows the corresponding action on their Guard cards. Next, if the monster’s Health has reached zero, it is defeated and replaced with the next monster. Otherwise, the monster attacks the players whose actions had the highest Peril. The players have a limited number of rounds before the monster Breaches their defenses, and they win by defeating the final monster before then.
A player’s Guard is like their specialty within the team, and every combination of Guards can be successful. Learn about each Guard in the Guard Classes section.
Guard cards determine a player’s possible actions and attributes. Each card shows a Guard’s title, a level, a Level Up Cost (Green Arrow), and an attribute: Health (Red Heart), Armor (Blue Shield), or Experience Reward (Green Diamond).
Additionally, each card shows two actions, each consisting of a name, instructions to follow when taking the action, a die roll needed to select that action, and a Peril (Yellow Triangle) number that indicates how dangerous the action is.
Monster cards are organized by level, with higher levels representing stronger monsters. Each monster card shows the monster’s name, level, Health (Red Heart) and Attack (Yellow Sword) showing how much the monster hurts the players, and a unique ability.
Every monster has a unique ability, and some might even override the regular rules. Take a close look when a new monster arrives!
Rules of Play
Play is divided into rounds, in which all players take one turn, then the monster takes its turn.
Player's Turn Summary
- -Each player rolls their dice (unless Incapacitated)
- -Each player selects a die and follows its action’s instructions
- -If you rolled a 6, may also select it as an action before or after your main action
- -Rolling triples allows ANY two actions
Beginning of the Round
At the beginning of each round, all players roll their three dice. Starting with the player who has the first turn token and moving clockwise, each player takes their turn.
Player's Turn: Rolling
On each player’s turn, the player selects one of their rolled dice, follows the instructions of the action with that die on their Guard cards, and places the selected die on the Peril Track according to the action’s Peril (Yellow Triangle).
The player may select one 6 result in addition to their selected die. If so, they follow the instructions of both dice in either order, but their Peril (Yellow Traingle) remains that of their normally-selected action.
If a player’s three dice all roll the same number, the player follows the instructions of any two actions (or the same action twice) instead. Their Peril (Yellow Triangle) is whichever they choose from those two actions.
Level-4 Guard cards allow rerolling dice. Once per round, each player with at least one level-4 Guard card may spend one Experience (Green Diamond) to reroll one of their dice.
Player's Turn: Actions
Many player actions and monster abilities refer to someone taking Damage (Yellow X). When a monster takes Damage, its Health (Red Heart) decreases by that amount, moving the monster tracker’s tokens accordingly. When a player takes Damage, they gain Wounds (Red Heart with X) equal to that Damage minus their Armor (Blue Shield) (shown on the 3-4 Guard cards); Armor reduces the amount of Damage a player takes and may even reduce it to zero.
A player’s Health (Red Heart) (shown on the 1-2 Guard cards) indicates how many Wounds (Red Heart with X) they can have while still fighting. At the beginning of a round, if a player has Wounds greater than or equal to their Health, they are Incapacitated for that round. Incapacitated players do not roll their dice. Instead, they must follow their 3 action’s instructions on their turn and cannot place a die on the Peril (Yellow Triangle) board (they have no Peril). Incapacitation lasts an entire round, even if you lose enough Wounds before your turn. Similarly, gaining Wounds during the round can’t Incapacitate you until the next round.
Some actions and events give players Experience (Green Diamond) which can be spent to level up, or improve, player attributes and actions. At any time, a player may spend Experience equal to the Level Up Cost (Green Triangle) on one of their Guard cards. That card is flipped or swapped with the card beneath it to reveal the card with the same dice and one level higher.
Once all players have taken their turns, the monster takes its turn.
Monster's Turn Summary
- -If Monster's Health (Red Heart) is 0, players get Experience (Green Diamond) and next monster is revealed.
- -If not, player with a dice on the highest level of the Peril Track (Yellow Triangle) receives the Monsters Attack (Yellow Sword); multiple players with highest Peril (Yellow Triangle) divide the Damage evenly.
- -It's Breach Level (Purple Arrow) goes down by 1.
- -If Breach Level gets below 1, the monster has gotten through, you receive no Experience and the next monster is revealed. If the 5th Monster has Breached, you lose the game.
Monster's Turn Full
First, the players may have reduced the monster’s Health (Red Heart) to 0. If so, the monster has been defeated. The monster’s card is removed from play, and each player receives Experience (Green Diamond) equal to their Experience Reward attribute (shown on the 5-6 Guard cards). The next monster is then revealed, and the monster tracker is updated to reflect the new monster’s Health and Attack (Yellow Sword); the new monster’s Breach (Purple Arrow) begins at 4 (or 5 for the final monster). Finally, the first turn token is moved one player clockwise.
If the monster hasn’t been defeated, then the monster attacks. The players typically take Damage, as determined by the monster’s Attack (Yellow Sword), each player’s Armor (Blue Shield), and each player’s Peril (Yellow Triangle):
- -If one player has a higher Peril than any other player, that player takes Damage equal to the monster’s current Attack. Remember to apply the player’s Armor before gaining Wounds (Red Heart with X).
- -If multiple players share the highest Peril, the monster’s current Attack is divided by that number of players (rounded down). Each of those players takes Wounds (Red Heart with X) equal to that result.
After attacking, the monster will try to get past the players, decreasing its Breach (Purple Arrow) by 1. If its Breach reaches 0, the monster is replaced just as though it were defeated, except the players receive no Experience Reward (Green Diamond); the next monster is revealed, the tracker is updated, and the first turn token is moved.
End of Game
The players win by reducing the final monster’s Health (Red Heart) to 0. The players lose if the final monster's Breach (Purple Arrow) reaches 0.
The Last Stand
The final monster’s Breach (Purple Arrow) begins at 5, not 4. Make that extra turn count!
Two or Three Player Variant
-In a two-player game, each player will get a second Guard to control. The game automatically shows the cards and dice for the current Guard's turn, but you can use the "Toggle Guards" button at the bottom-left to see the other Guard's cards and dice at any time.
-In a three-player game, there will be one Automaton, and the current party leader will decide its actions in a similar manner to the two-player game.
The different Guards that players can select will excel in different scenarios and complement one another. Their different actions and attributes influence how players will contribute, so the following descriptions can help players choose which Guard best fits their play style. These Guards are roughly organized by increasing complexity, though all are strong. New players may wish to begin with Guards earlier in the list, while experienced players may appreciate the added complexity of later ones.
The daring Lancer is eager to dive into any fray and never misses an opportunity to train. Deliver high and consistent Damage to monsters and improve your allies’ capabilities.
The collected Medic lifts any who fall injured in the chaos of battle. Tend to the Wounds of your allies, but don’t underestimate your ability to permanently weaken monsters.
The wizened Sensei finds strength through enlightenment. Gain Experience as you unravel monsters’ strategies, then pass it on to your allies and weave illusions to trick monsters.
The unnatural Blood Mage manipulates the essence of life within all creatures. Use your massive Health to absorb Wounds from your allies, then heal yourself by draining the monsters.
The wild Hunter outmaneuvers and subdues any beast. Enrage monsters to slow their advance and weaken them with snares and venom.
The tormented Death Strider walks the line between life and death, channeling pain into great power. Grow stronger offensively and defensively as you accumulate Wounds, but beware pushing yourself too far.
The stalwart Commander leads the Guards with rallying battle cries and durable armor. Carefully consider the positions of your allies for the greatest effect, then order them to act during your turn.
The mysterious Stargazer draws upon the light of the cosmos to harm and illuminate. Switch between burning Solar (Yellow Sun) Light and soothing Lunar (Purple Moon) Light to overcome any challenge. The Stargazer’s actions change depending on their current Light source. Track your current Light source (beginning with Solar) using the Light token.
The mechanical Automaton follows its directive to protect its allies at any cost. This Guard is greatly simplified compared to others, making it ideal for younger players or those who want an easier time making decisions. It also serves well in games with fewer than four players. However, the Automaton ignores the rules about selecting an extra 6 and rolling the same numbers.