top of page

This is exactly what it means. You are no longer constrained by your environment! You can play games with The Adventure Deck System wherever and whenever you want.

The Adventure Deck System uses a diceless randomization system built right into the Cards, so you don’t even need a table to roll on, nor do you need a table to lay your Cards on! Every single Card and game mechanic uses instant resolution mechanics, so that you can even play standing up. You can play on the train, in the park, while camping, or even standing in line at your local beareaucratic institution. 
Play with friends or play solo, or play against your friends! The world of the Adventure Deck System is built on conflict and adventure, with artifacts of play that you collect throughout your adventures. 
To create a character, you build a deck of Cards, including 52 Cards for your Combat Deck, which is part of your Character Deck which includes your fantasy Race, Class, and more. Everything you need to describe your Character is in your combined Character Deck. Even your wealth and experience is in a Card based system.
To learn more, read on...

Ignore Distances on the Cards. All Distances are valid at all times.

One Dimensional
“Move” comes into play. 
Most combat outdoors start in “Ranged” Distance. 
Most combat indoors start in “Throwing” Distance. 
When you Move, you change or Distance from your Target by ONE category, such as Ranged to Thrown, or Thrown to Melee. Moving is an Action.

Two Dimensional
Typically used with a map. 
Can be used with miniatures.
Point of entry and positioning on a map is important to determine Distance.
Cover and concealment can be used for 2 Dimensional play, dependent on what is on the map. Moving from one type of Distance to another is the same as in One Dimensional Play.

If you see “You” it can refer to you as a Player, or you as your Character.
Specifically, you as the Player, not as your Character

Your Character, specifically, and not you as a Player

Anyone who is on your team (for the time being at least), or anyone who is helping you in that moment. Even monsters and enemies can be an Ally if you are working with them in that moment.

Anyone who is actively opposing you. Opponents can be the room full of Goblins you and your party suddenly burst in on, or it can be your Ally that you are Dueling with, over who gets to take the Magic Item in a treasure hoard. 

Specifically this refers to NPCs (Non-Player Characters), typically found on Foe Cards, which have statistics and actions listed on their Foe Cards. Everything from lowly Goblins to terrifying Dragons, and more!
The Player, Opponent, or Foe that is specifically targeted by an Action or Reaction. 

Up/Down, or ^v, or
Refers to the randomization system found in the Adventure Deck System. Up or ^ is the Black Up/Spade/Club icon found on Adventure Deck System Cards, and Down or v is the Down/Heart/Diamond icon found on many of the Adventure Deck System Cards. You can even draw from a regular deck of playing cards to facilitate the Up/Down system used in the Adventure Deck System! More information can be found in “The Up/Down Randomization” Card.

“R” is the short term for “Round”, or “Round Number”, seen on the Combat Rondel above. For example, if you see “Do R Damage on Round R”, then you do 1 Damage on Round 1, 2 Damage on Round 2, 3 Damage on Round 3, etc. More information can be found in “What is “R”?”.

R/2 (or anything similar to it)
This means that you do some simple math, and divide the Round by 2, always rounding down and always with a minimum of 1. For example, you may see “Play R/2 Intellect Cards to Play this Spell Card on Round R”. So, to play this Card on Round 3, you divide 3 by 2 (3/2), and round it down to 1. This means that you play 1 Intellect Card to Play this Card on Round 3, 2 Intellect Cards to Play this Card on Round 4, etc. If you see something like “R/2+1”, then you divide by 2 (rounding down, minimum of 1), THEN add 1. So if a Card says you do R/2+1 Damage, then on Round 5 you would do 5/2+1 Damage, meaning you divide 5 by 2, round that down to 2, then add one for a total of 3. On Round 6 you would do a total of 4 Damage (6/2+1). More information can be found in “What is “R”?”

Draw vs draw
If you see “Draw” with a uppercase “D” then it means that You the Player Draw from a Deck. If you see “draw” with a lowercase “d” then it typically means that your Character draws a weapon.
Persistent Effect
Anything that lasts longer than the current Turn (such as the Sneak Card).
To help you keep track of a Persistent Effect, you can do one of two things:
Play the Card, then flip it around in your Hand so that it faces other Players. It no longer counts against your Hand maximum, and you can Draw another Card. You are just holding it now, and it can’t be played again. You Discard the Card when its Effect is over (such as when you have finished Sneaking).
If you are playing on a table, you can put the Card face up on the table. You Discard the Card when its Effect is over.

Normal Action
This is the type of Action you take when it is your Turn in a Round, such as swinging a Sword or casting a Spell.
This is an Action that You or a Foe/Opponent takes as a response to someone else taking an Action, such as using a Shield when someone swings their Sword at you.
Boost Action
This Action can be played to Boost an Action you have taken during your Turn, or will take on your Turn. You can usually play a Normal Action plus a Boost Action on your Turn. You are limited to one Boost Action per Normal Action and one Boost Action per Reaction.
Special Action
This is an Action that is normally outside of the usual rules for Actions, Boost Actions, and Reactions.

Your Character Deck consists of the following;

Non-Playable Information Cards (unlimited amount of Cards, dependent on how the Character is created and modified during leveling)

Combat Deck (Maximum of 52 Cards)

Story Cards (unlimited amount of Cards, dependent on the amount of rewards received)

Non-Playable Information Card (unlimited amount of Cards, dependent on how the Character is created and modified during leveling)

Specialized Class (cannot have a Hybrid Class)
Hybrid Class (cannot have a Specialized Class)

Story Cards (unlimited amount of Cards, dependent on the amount of rewards received) include:
Experience Cards
Used to track the amount of Experience your Character has
Gold Cards
Used to track the amount of Gold your Character has
Treasure Cards
Used to track the amount of miscellaneous Treasure your Character has.
Treasure Cards have a Gold value equivalent noted on them.
Miscellaneous Story Cards
Story Cards can show events of note on your character such as;
Titles earned

Your Combat Deck
During Combat you only use the Cards in your Combat Deck. The Combat Deck represents the actions that you can take during Combat. Your Combat Deck must contain 52 Cards. All other Cards are set aside and not in use during Combat.

Combat Deck 
(52 Cards)

Magic Items
Pets and Pet Actions
Hirelings and Hireling Actions
and more!

Cards for Combat Decks are easy to spot because they almost always have a Rondel (also known as the Combat Rondel) in the upper left-hand corner of the Card.

Combat Rondel
The Combat Rondel (also referred to as the Rondel) represents the Rounds during Play. If a Round number on a Card is light grey on a white background, you cannot Play that Card during that Round. For example, using the Rondel below, White Round numbers on a black background show that You can Play a Card with this Rondel during Rounds 1 and 2, but not Rounds 3 through 6.

However, you will see that many Cards, particularly Weapon, Armor, and Shield Cards, have different color backgrounds and different color numbers. The color of the Round number and its background correspond to Actions, Damage numbers, Defense numbers, and more. 
White numbers on a black background are always the Primary Rounds for its associated Card. For example, a Longsword’s Primary Rounds are 2, 3, 4, and 5, doing 5 Damage during its Primary Rounds. Black numbers on a white background tell us that the Longsword does 3 Damage during its Secondary Rounds (Rounds 1 and 6),  whereas a Crossbow’s Primary Rounds are only 5 and 6, doing 7 Damage during its Primary Rounds, and doing 2 Damage during its Secondary Rounds (Rounds 1, 2, 3, and 4).

Combat Rondel
Action Type, Round, and Damage/Defense

Damage, Defense, or Skill Type
The Ethereal Fire icon behind the Combat Rondel or behind the Damage/Defense icon shows that this is an Etheral Damage, Defense, or Skill. If there is no Ethereal icon then it is a Physical Damage, Defense, or Skill. This particular example Card is an Ethereal Damage Card.

Action Type
The Icon and Name of the Action show for example, whether this is a Normal Action, a Reaction, an Enhance Action, etc., or any combination of two or more Action Types. This Card can be played as a Normal Action.

Playable Round
The Combat Rondel illustrates a few things. White numbers on black triangles indicated Primary Rounds. They correspond to Damage or Defense icons (Arrowhead and Shield icons, respectively) with white Damage/Defense numbers on black backgrounds. Black numbers on white triangles indicate Secondary Rounds, and the Damage/Defense that correspond to Secondary Rounds, aso on Arrowhead or Shield icons. Greyed out numbers (light grey) on a white background indicate that the Card is NOT Playable on that corresponding Round. This Card can normally be Played on Rounds 1 and 2.

The icon that is above or below a Combat Rondel typically indicates Damage done to Opponents, Defense that mitigates Damage, or Health that is Healed. An Arrowhead indicates Damage, a Shield indicates Defense, and a Heart indicates Health. In addition, there may be an extra shape (the fiery squiggle) indicating Ethereal Damage or Ethereal Defense. In this Case the fiery shape shows that this is Ethereal Damage, and this Spell Card does R+1 Ethereal Damage, so if this Card was played in Round 2 it would do 3 points of Ethereal Damage. Ethereal Damage typically cannot be blocked or reduced by a Physical Defense Card unless specifically noted on the Card. If a Card does not have this symbol then it typically does not do Damage or Defense, and has other effects.

The Distance icon shows the efffective Distance that this Card is usable at. Distance also functions as a classification of a Card, or even shows the usable Distances on a Map Card. This particular Spell Card shows only the Ranged and Thrown Distance icons (to the left), which means that this Spell Card can only be used at those Distances, and cannot be used when attacking a Target in Melee Distance.

Ranged Distance
This Icon shows that this Spell Card is effective at Ranged Distance, which is long distance (typically as far as an arrow can fly and reliably hit a target).    

Thrown Distance
This Icon shows that this Spell Card is effective at Thrown Distance, which is a medium distance (typically as far as someone can throw an axe reliably and hit a target).

Melee Distance
This Icon shows that this Spell Card is effective at Melee Distance, which is a short distance (typically as far as someone can swing a longsword at someone and do severe damage to them).

Boost Combat Rondel
Offers opportunities to play this Card outside of its normal parameters.

Boost Icon
This icon which overlaps the Combat Rondel in the left middle of the Card shows that this is a Boost mechanic. Requirements to use the boost mechanic are shown to the right of the Boost Icon when it is a Boost of a Normal Action or Reaction Card. If you see this icon on the upper left hand side of the Card (the main Combat Rondel) then the Boost requirements will be in the regular Card description. Remember that you can only Play one Boost Action per Action and one Boost Action per Reaction.


Boost Requirement

This box lists the criteria (if any) that must be met to Play this Card outside of its normal criteria, or to Boost an effect of this Card. This particular Card can be played on Rounds other than 1 and 2, but only if the Player Plays 2 Intellect Cards. For example, the Player must play  2 Intellect Cards if they want to Play Energy Bolt on Round 4, because it is within Rounds 3, 4, 5, and 6.

Boost Round
Shows which Round(s) this Boost can be Played

Boost Damage/Defense (if any)
Shows the Damage or Defense Type (Ethereal or Physical) and the amount of Damage or Defense. This Spell Card will do R+1 Ethereal Damage, so if this Card is Played on Round 4 it will do a total of 5 Damage.

Up/Down or ^v
This is the Up/Down or ^v Symbol. Some Cards use the ^v directly in their mechanics, such as this Card’s Counter Description. For example, an Opponent may partially Counter this Card by Drawing a Card that matches this Card’s Up/Down Symbol.  In addition, you may Draw this Card solely for an Up/Down Check when called upon, in which case this Card isn’t actually Played, it is just used as a method of diceless randomization.  After Drawing this Card from your Draw Deck for an Up/Down Check you put it back into your Draw Deck and Reshuffle the Draw Deck.

Counter Conditions


An Opponent (another Player or Foe) can counter your Card under these conditions. You may attempt to Re-Counter with the Card’s associated Attribute. In this case the associated Attribute of this Spell Card would be Intellect.
Counter Icon
This Icon tells you that this Card is Counterable as a Reaction.
Counter Attribute
This Icon shows the Attribute can be played by your Opponent (Player or Foe) to Counter this Card. If a Counter and Re-Counter become an Escalation then the Opponent can only play Attributes noted as icons or described in the text.


Counter Description


This information box shows special conditions and details for Countering this Card. For example, this Card can be fully Countered by Playing an Agility Card, which can then be Re-Countered by you with an Intellect Card. In addition this particular Counter text says the Opponent can reduce Damage by half by drawing an Up/Down and matching this Card or by Playing an Equipment - Shield Card. For this particular Card you may Re-Counter if an Opponent initially Counters with a Shield or Up/Down, but they cannot Escalate your Re-Counter with an Up/Down. They can only Escalate with an Attribute or another Shield Card.

Dependent on the Round, Level of the Card, and the number of Attribute Cards you Play, you can Recall a Card from the Discard Pile back into your Hand. You Play a Recall as a Normal Action.

Recall Associated Attribute(s)
The Attribute Icons shown here are the Attribute Cards that are required to Recall this Card from the Discard Pile into your Hand. If there are two or more Attributes listed then they can be Played in any combination as long as the Recall Cost is met. For this particular Card the Player must Play Intellect Card(s) to Recall this Card from the Discard Pile.

Recall Icon and Cost
This icon contains a number or formula showing the required number of Attribute Cards that must be Played in order to Recall this Card from the Discard Pile. A Card cannot be recalled on a Round that is lower than its Level, with the exception of Level 7 Cards and above which can only be Recalled on Round 6. For example, because this particular  Card is Level 2, it cannot be Recalled on Round 1, but it can be Recalled from Rounds 2 through 6. Because this Recall Cost is “R/2”, you take the Round number, divide that by 2, and round down (minimum of 1). If you wish to Recall this Card on Round 5, you must Play 2 Intellect Attribute Cards. If you wish to Recall this Card on Round 6, you must Play 3 Intellect Attribute Cards.  


Recall Requirements
The Icon(s) here show what is required to Recall this Card. Typically Cards have Class Requirements, but some have Race Requirements. You only need to meet one of the Requirements to Recall this Card. For example, this particular Card can be Recalled by only by a Mage. Some Cards have Race Requirements independent of Class. For example, a Halfling can Recall Dagger Cards regardless of Class!

Card Attribute
This icon shows the Card’s associated Attribute. Because this Spell Card’s associated Attribute is Intellect, the Player may Play an Intellect Attribute Card to Re-Counter a Counter.
Card Level
This icon shows the Card’s Level. The Card Level is important for many reasons, some of which include; the required Level of the Mage or Priest to Cast a Spell, the required Level of many classes to use a Skill Card, the Level of Foes, and more. 

The check mark in the circle represents the Requirements for Playing a Card. Most often it is a Race or a Class, but it can also be a prerequisite, such as wielding a Shield.

To start: Choose Any 4 Cards from your Combat Deck and place in your Hand. Fortitude Cards cannot be chosen for these initial 4. Show them to other players, then shuffle your deck. Then draw 3 more Cards. This is your Starting Hand, and the remaining Cards are now your Draw Deck. You should now have 7 Cards in your Hand.
Determine who goes first. You can use Up/Down to determine who goes first. 
Optional: Determine the beginning Round (see Starting Round Randomization).
At the beginning of your Turn draw Card(s) until you have 7 Cards in your Hand. If you already have 7 Cards in your Hand, you may Draw 1 (one) Card bringing your Hand to 8 Cards.
Discard Card(s) until you have a maximum of 7 Cards in your hand.
When you Play Cards, you may Draw Cards at the end of Your Turn, or if you Played a Reaction in response to an Opponent or Ally, you may Draw Cards at the end of that Opponent’s or Ally’s Turn to have 7 Cards in Your Hand.

Optional Rule:
Randomized Starting Round
Draw 3 Up/Down Cards to determine what Round you will start Combat in.
Match the Up/Down Symbols shown for the respective Rounds below

This is done in order to ensure that all Weapons, Skills, and Spell types are each given their fair chance to start a Round, regardless ofthe most powerful Round shown on any of these Cards. If you are playing at a table, you can even roll a six sided die to determine the Starting Round.


At the beginning of your Turn, take the following actions: 
Draw Cards
You must Draw enough Cards from your Draw Deck to bring your Hand to 7 Cards. If you have 7 Cards in your Hand when you start your Turn, you must Discard 1 Card and Draw 1 Card from your Draw Deck.
You may Recall a Card from your Discard Deck.

You may also Move before or after your Action (not needed for Simple Play, can be done in 1 Dimensional or 2 Dimensional Play).

On your Turn, do ONE of the following Actions: 
Pass (do nothing).
Interact with your gear, such as:
Swap to a different Weapon, which can allow the new weapon to be played when you can take another Action.
Equip or drop a Shield
Play a Base Action listed on one of your Non-Playable Core Cards (such as the Fighter’s ability to do Melee Distance Physical Damage, or the Wizard’s Ranged Distance Ethereal Damage).
Play a Normal Action Card
Recall a Card from your Discard Deck.
Grapple (Melee Distance only)
Pick Up Something (Such as a dropped or disarmed weapon)
At the end of a Combat Encounter, you may Draw as many Cards as necessary to bring your Hand back to 7 Cards.

Play a Normal Action Card, which is typically swinging a Weapon, Casting a Spell, or taking any other action listed on a Skill Card.
Spell Cards cannot be cast if both of your hands are occupied, such as when Dual Wielding, or wearing a Sword and a Shield. If you are wielding a Two-Handed Weapon or Item, like a Longbow or a Greatsword, you can remove one hand temporarily to Cast a Spell.
You can also Play a Boost Action Card if it enhances, or “Boosts” the Normal Action Card or Action that you are Playing. You can also Play a Boost Action listed on the Normal Action Card if you meet the requirements for the Boost Action. 

You may do one of the following as a Boost Action, which is an Action that “Boosts” a Normal Action or a Reaction.
Boost Action Cards
You may Play a Boost Action Card to Boost the Normal Action Card or Reaction Card that you are currently Playing. 
Attributes as Boost Action Cards
You may Boost your Normal Action Card or Reaction Card by Playing “R” Attribute Cards to Boost the Damage or Defense of your Card. This means that whatever the number of the Round is equals the maximum amount of Attribute Cards that you are allowed to Play as a Boost. For example, if you play a Longsword Card on Round 3 (normally 5 Damage on Round 3), you can play up to 3 Strength Attribute Cards to Boost your Longsword Damage by 3, for a total of 8 Damage on Round 3!
You can play only a single Boost Action Card per Normal Action Card or per Reaction Card. However, you can Play a Boost Action Card and also Play Attribute Cards as a single Boost Action. It does not matter if you Play a single Attribute Card or multiple Attribute Cards. You are only limited by the Round. You can Play up to R Attribute Cards in a Round, with no minimum. Because R = Round, that means that for example, in Round 3, you cannot play more than 3 of an Attribute to Boost a Card, but can Play as few as 1.

You may Recall a Card from your Discard Deck by paying its Recall Cost, which is on the right side of the Card. The Recall Icon indicates what Classes and Races can Recall the Card, what Attributes can be used to pay for the Recall Cost (the number in the center of the circular arrow), and how much the Recall Cost is. For example, the Recall Icon above the Recall Cost (R/2) shows that the Card in this example can be recalled only by a Warrior. However it can be Recalled using either Strength or Agility Cards, or both, for R/2 Cards, always rounding down. If this Card was Recalled from the Discard Deck on Round 4, you would Play 2 Agility or 2 Strength Cards, or one of each, in order to Recall this particular Card. 
Some Cards can be Recalled by specific Classes or Races, or either. In the example to the right, this Card can be Recalled by a Halfling or a Rogue, but only with Agility Cards.

There are two ways to Recall a Card: 
1) You Recall a Card and immediately Play that Card. This is the Action you take on your Turn.
2) You Recall a Card but do not immediately Play that Card. You cannot Play another Card. This is your Action. If you choose not to Play that Card immediately then you can Play that Card on another Turn or Round.

Sometimes a Character needs to draw upon a reserve of inner strength to accomplish extraordinary things. Sometimes You want to Play a Card that has an extra requirement, such as the “Shield Bash” Skill Card. In order to get the full effect of this Card, which is to do Damage and to deny your Opponent their next Normal Action, you must Discard a Shield Card. What do you do if you really want to Play the full effect of this Card, but don’t have a Shield Card in your Hand to Discard? You can use “Heroic Resolve”, which means that you can search your Draw Deck for the required Card so that you can Play (as a Boost Action) or Discard it according to the main Card’s requirements. However, you must Discard a Card from your Hand, and then reduce your Hand Size by one. The Heroic Resolve mechanic represents the heroic effort of drawing upon your inner strength to accomplish an action that you otherwise would not be able to accomplish.

You disengage from Combat and Flee, but all Opponents get one CURRENT Round of Normal Actions that Target You if they wish (NPC Foes will almost always take this action, so be cautious!) Fleeing allows all Opponents to take an extra Turn this Round against the Player or Foe that Flees. A Fleeing Player or Foe cannot play regular Reaction Cards but may play ^v or Attribute Reaction Cards.
Any attacking Opponents can stop Characters or Foes from Fleeing. If they successfully cause Damage on the Fleeing Character/Foe, they can Declare an Up/Down. If they match the Up/Down then the Fleeing Character/Foe is hampered and cannot Flee this Round. They can attempt to Flee again on their next Turn if they wish.
Closing Distance and Fleeing
If a Character/Foe uses their Turn to get closer by one Distance category, and the next move for their Target is to move away by one Distance category, they are avoiding the aggressor. If this happens twice in a row, the Character or Foe is considered to be Fleeing.


If You or the Foe successfuly Flees (You or they are not hampered) then the one who is Fleeing successfully removes themself from Combat. What this exactly means is dependent on the circumstances of the Combat, the environment, and most importantly, the story. For example, in a wide open area with no coverage like a desert, the one Fleeing simply gets too far ahead to be caught in Melee Distance again. Keep in mind that they will still be in Thrown and Ranged Distance, and still subject to Attacks! If the one who Flees does so in a dense forest, then they disappear into the growth and underbrush, and not even Thrown and Ranged Distance attacks can get at them. The same goes for a dense, bustling city, versus the same city late at night with no one on the wide streets. One will be packed with people and easy to disappear into, and in the other scenario the one who tries to Flee might be exposed to Thrown and Ranged Distance attacks.

Anyone who has Sneak Cards in their Combat Deck (meaning anywhere in the Draw Deck, their Hand, or in the Discard Deck) may Pre-Sneak without playing a Sneak Card when entering a new Room or Combat Zone. You do so by Declaring Up or Down. Your Opponent must Draw and Match your Declared Up/Down in order to see you and cancel your Sneak attempt. If they do not Match your Up/Down then you Sneak successfully (but you MAY NOT search your Deck for a Sneak Attack Card, as you would when actually Playing a Sneak Card).

Intelligent Opponents
If your Opponent (Foe or Player) has Intellect Attribute Cards in their Combat Deck or listed as an Attribute on their Foe Deck, they may Counter your Pre-Sneak with their Intellect Attribute if they fail the Up/Down check. Players may Play the Intellect Attribute Card from their Combat Deck, as noted in “Non-Combat Encounters”, which means they can Play the Intellect Attribute Card from their Hand, or from their Draw Deck with a Fatigue penalty. For Foes, Draw Up/Downs as noted in their Attribute icon on the upper right hand side of the Foe Card. 
Don’t forget that if they attempt to Counter with an Up/Down or the Intellect Attribute, You can Re-Counter, and You or they can Escalate!

As a Normal Action you can attempt to Grapple your Opponent. If they have a Melee Distance Weapon Card to Play (including any Boost Cards to aid their attack), they may play it as a Free Action just before you Grapple with them. Approach with caution! If they have no Melee Distance Cards to play, they may strike you for 1 Base Physical Damage in response to your Grapple attempt. 

What happens in a Grapple:
Spells cannot be Cast unless otherwise noted on the Spell Card.
Weapons cannot be used in a Grapple unless otherwise noted on the Weapon Card.
You cannot move from your space while in a Grapple.
On their own Turn, each Player or Foe in a Grapple can do 1 Base Physical Damage to a single Opponent that is in the Grapple.
Anyone outside of the Grapple who is Attacking a Target inside the Grapple must declare an Up/Down to hit their Target. Grapple Combat is a dynamic affair! If they match the declared Up/Down then they hit their Target. If they do not match the declared Up/Down then they hit their Ally in the Grapple. If there is no Ally in the Grapple then they hit the other participant in the Grapple. 

To succeed on a Grapple, you must do one of the following:
Play a Strength Card. Your Opponent can Play a Strength or Agility Card to Counter you. You can Re-Counter, and they can Escalate. If they have no Strength or Agility Card to Counter with, you automatically win the Grapple.
You Declare Up or Down. They must draw (from any Deck, even a Deck that is not in Play, or even a regular Deck of playing cards). If they match your Declaration, they win and You do not Grapple. If they do not match your Declaration, You win and they are Grappled. If you Declare Up or Down and they have an Agility or Strength Card to Counter with, you automatically lose the Grapple attempt.
You must Declare Up or Down or Play a Strength Card before your Opponent chooses to reveal whether or not they have a Strength or Agility Card to Play.

As a Normal Action the Grappled Player/Foe can attempt to escape a Grapple by doing one of the following:
Playing an Agility or Strength Card, which can be countered with a Strength Card by the Grappler. If the Grappler does not Play a Strength Card, then the attempt to escape a Grapple is successful. The Counter can be Re-Countered and subsequently Escalated.
Declare Up or Down. If the Grappled Player/Foe wants to escape a Grapple by Declaring an Up/Down, the Grappler must match the Declaration to maintain the Grapple. If the Grappler does not match the Declaration, then the Grappled Player or Foe breaks free. If the Grappled Player/Foe makes a Declaration and the Grappler Plays a Strength Card then the attempt to escape the Grapple automatically fails. 

The Adventure Deck System is not currently concerned with keeping track of how many Weapons you Throw, or how many arrows you fire with your Ranged Distance Weapon. If You Throw a Weapon, then your Character can draw and ready the exact same type of Weapon. If you shoot an arrow or a bolt from a Ranged Distance Weapon, then your character can draw and ready another arrow/bolt to shoot. Keep in mind that you cannot Throw one type of Weapon (for example, a Handaxe) and then draw another type of weapon (for example, a Dagger). To switch between different Weapons, you must use an Action to do so.
Even with a Thrown Weapon or Ranged Distance Weapon, if your Character is disarmed in some manner (a Foe Ability, or an Opponent’s Card), then you must retrieve your Weapon or otherwise follow the Card’s or Ability’s effects as stated before you can Throw a Weapon or fire your Ranged Distance Weapon.

If your Character (You) does not have a Weapon in your hand, you can draw a Weapon and put it in that hand as a Free Action. If you are a Dual Wielder, you can draw Weapons in both hands if both hands are free. If you wish to Swap Weapons (change from one Weapon to another) you must use an Action to do so (noted above). If you are wielding a single Weapon and wish to swap to a Dual Wielding configuration, then you must use an Action to do so. 
Other Free Actions:
You can shout instructions at your comrades, you can hurl in-game insults at your enemies, etc. (but be kind to your fellow Players).
You can read something in your native language on a wall, on a shield, etc. 


If you are Disarmed or drop an item then the item or weapon you were holding cannot be used or Played until you spend a Normal Action to recover the Disarmed/dropped item/weapon. For example, if an Opponent Disarms your Longsword, you cannot Play Your Longsword Card until you spend a Normal Action to recover your Longsword. This also goes for Opponents and Foes. For example, if you Disarm your Opponent’s Medium Shield, then your Opponent or Foe cannot use their Medium Shield as a Reaction until they spend a Normal Action to recover their Shield. Foes will always spend a Normal Action to recover what was Disarmed or dropped, unless it says otherwise on their particular Foe Card.  

If you are Tripped you go Prone, then you cannot attack, and you cannot defend yourself (with the exception of Armor - You can Play an Armor Reaction Card while Tripped or Prone). You must use a Normal Action to stand up. You can also Trip Opponents and Foes. Foes will always use their Normal Action to Stand Up. 
The exception to not being able to attack while Tripped or Prone is when two or more characters are Prone next to each other - one or both may attempt to Grapple. Remember, some weapons may be used in a Grapple, even when Prone!
A Prone Character or Foe may attempt to Grapple a non-Prone Character or Foe that is standing next to them. If the Prone Character or Foe successfully Grapples then both become Prone on the ground. 


You, other Players, or Foes may play Reaction/Counter Cards dependent on your Action or the Actions of others and the Card(s) that are  Played. Typically if a Card has a Counter it will be listed. Reactions and Reaction Cards include but are not limited to: 
Cards with the “Reaction” icon on the Combat Rondel - this shows what Rounds the Reaction Card can be Played, or how effective they are in specific Rounds (such as Shields/Armor).
Cards that are transformed into Reaction/Counter Cards (such as the Priest’s “Divine Inspiration” Spell Card).


Reactions and Reaction Cards include but are not limited to: 
Attribute Cards listed as Counters on the Card you Played.
^v (Up/Down) Reaction (such as to partially Counter or fully Counter a Spell).
Base Actions may grant abilities that can be Played as Reactions/Counters. They will typically be found listed on a Core Card, such as a Rogue’s ability to Dodge 1 Physical or Ethereal Damage, or the Dwarf’s ability to Counter Poison. Base Actions are only allowed to be used once per Round.
Other defensive measures such as using a Shield Card, an Armor Card, a Dodge Card, or a Defensive Spell Card, and more.
Shields are in a special class of their own when defending against Ranged Distance attacks. Normally you can Play one Reaction Card for each Attack you are subjected to. However, depending on the size of the Shield, you can use a single Shield Card to defend against multiple Ranged Distance attack Cards!


You may Re-Counter a Player or Foe using one of the following methods:
Text on the Card that is being Countered lists a method to 
The Card you originally Played has an Attribute listed in the upper right hand corner. You may Re-Counter using an Attribute Card matching the Attribute on the Card you originally Played.
A successful Re-Counter allows the original Card being played to continue its effect as if it was not Countered.
Foes can Counter by utilizing the Up/Down system on their Foe Cards. Use either the appropriate “virtual” Card (Weapon, Armor, Skill, Spell, etc.) or the Attribute Icon on their Foe Card. By default, Foes cannot Re-Counter or Escalate. If a Foe can Re-Counter or Escalate it will be noted on their Foe Card.

A Player can Counter a Re-Counter. If this happens it is referred to as “Escalation”. If the Player successful again, then you can attempt to Re-Counter them again. This process continues until either you or the Player/Foe cannot Re-Counter or Counter again. The outcome of the Escalation determines if the Card(s) originally Played take effect. Most Foes cannot Re-Counter or Escalate. They are only allowed to Counter once. However, there are a small minority of Foes that are allowed to Re-Counter and Escalate. They are typically high level Foes, so be careful who you cross!
Base Actions found on Core Cards cannot be used again for Escalation. Base Actions are only allowed once per Round, regardless of Turn.    

Each Player and Foe has a Turn. Turn order is determined by winning Combat Initiative. Combat Initiative is determined by winning a set of conditions. One way to determine the winner of Combat Initiative is to Draw Up/Downs from your Combat Draw Deck. Declare Ups or Downs, and the Player (or Foe) that draws the most matching Up/Downs wins Combat Initiative. In this method Drawing an Agility Card is an automatic win.
Players and Foes can either play in the order of winning Initiative, or they can Play clockwise with the first to Play being the winner of Initiative. 
Players take a single Action during their Turn. A list of Actions are in “How to Play (Actions)”, and other Rules and Information Cards.
When a Player or Foe has completed their Turn, the next Player or Foe takes a Turn.

Players may play Reaction/Counter Cards on another Player’s or Foe’s Turn or Counter if called for (such as using a Shield Card when attacked by a Weapon or Spell that allows a Shield Card as a Counter, or Drawing an Up/Down if called for).
Re-Counters and Escalation are then resolved.
The number of Turns is limited by the number of Players and Foes.
When every Player and Foe has taken their Turn during a Round, the current Round is over and Play moves onto the next Round. Turns start over again, starting with the Player or Foe who won Initiative.


There are 6 Rounds. Rounds start according to the “Starting Round Randomization” Card, or the 1st Round (your choice). When the 6th Round concludes, the Round resets to the 1st Round.
The Combat Rondel
Cards are Played on the Round denoted on the Combat Rondel, which is typically a white number (1 through 6) on a black triangle.  
Some Cards, such as Weapon and Shield Cards, have two sets of numbers connected to the Round rondel. They have different values depending on what Round they are Played in. For example, the Longsword Weapon Card does 4 Damage in Rounds 2, 3, 4 and 5, as denoted by the white numbers on black triangles and the matching Damage arrowhead graphic above the rondel, but only 2 Damage in Rounds 1 and 6, as denoted by the black numbers on white triangles and the matching Damage arrowhead graphic below the rondel. Light grey numbers on a white triangle means that the Card is unusable in that Round.


Many Normal Action and Reaction Cards have a Boost mechanic which affect either the Rounds a Card can be Played (allowing many Cards to be played outside of their normally listed Rounds), or Boost the effectiveness of the Card during certain Rounds, which allow the following;
Boost may expand the number of Rounds that the Card is Playable, such as Intellect Cards Enhancing the number of Rounds (and the lethality of some Spells) that the Spell Cards can be Played.
Rounds are cyclical, which means that (for example) an effect that is played on the 6th Round that lasts for 4 Rounds finishes on Round 3, because of the order 6-1-2-3 (a total of 4 Rounds). 

A Count contains all 6 Rounds.
A Count starts on the first Turn of the 1st Round, and ends on the last Turn of the 6th Round.
Counts are normally not tracked unless it is relevant to Card effects or descriptions such as;
“This Spell ends at the end of the Count”.
For example, regardless of when the spell was played, (it does not matter if it was played in Round 1 or Round 4), if the language says “This Spell ends at the end of the Count”, the Spell ends at the end of Round 6. 
6 Rounds equal 1 Count. 
This is important if some effect or Spell says that it lasts for a full Count - this means that if it starts on Round 2 of the current Count, it will end at the beginning of Round 2 on the next Count, just before the first Turn is taken on Round 2 .


Here we have an example of Player 1 (P1) and Player 2 (P2) in combat with a Foe (F). Each one has a Turn in a Round (numbers 1 through 6). All 6 Rounds equal 1 Count. After Round 6 the next Round is Round 1. If an effect (such as from a Spell) lasts a full Count or more than 1 Count, the Count begins on the Round that it started, and ends just before that same Round the next Count. 

Damage (DMG) reduces the Opponent’s HP (Hit Points) or Your Character’s HP by the amount specified.
Damage can be negated or reduced by Defense (DEF).
There are two types of Damage and Defense: Physical, and Ethereal.
Physical Damage is Damage caused by things like Swords, Arrows (from Bows) falling objects, etc. 
Physical Defense reduces or negates Physical Damage.
Ethereal Damage is Damage that is usually caused by Mage and Priest Spells, as well as Mental effects, all denoted by the Ethereal Fire icon. Ethereal Defense typically reduces or negates Ethereal and Physical Damage because it is magic-based.

Typically, Physical Defense can only reduce or negate Physical Damage. Many Cards that produce Ethereal Damage cannot be reduced or negated by Physical Defense Cards. This means that a Mage or a Priest can be particularly deadly against a Warrior or a Rogue! Keep in mind though that Rogues and Warriors have many special abilities and defenses that Mages and Priests do not. Some Spell Cards note that they can be partially or fully Countered by Physical Defense Cards such as Shields. Conversely, Ethereal Defense can quite often reduce or negate Physical Damage. This is part of what makes magic (Ethereal effects) so frightening to ordinary mortals. If an Ethereal Defense Card cannot reduce or negate Physical Damage, it will be noted on the Ethereal Defense Card.


Defense Cards are typically played as Reactions - this means you normally play them on someone else’s Turn, usually on the Turn of the Foe or Player who is attacking you!
Defense (DEF) reduces the amount of Damage (DMG) that is dealt to a Target or to yourself.
Some types of Damage can bypass Defense. Typically, Ethereal Damage bypasses Physical Defense, but most Ethereal Defense will reduce Physical and Ethereal Damage.
A Player or a Foe may Defend in any number of ways. Some of them include but are not limited to;
Magical Abilities
Some Defenses are better than others depending on the circumstances. For example, many Shields can block all Damage from Ranged Distance Weapons, but Armor’s effectiveness versus Ranged Distance Weapons is halved.


Death and Close Encounters with Death
Because combat in the Adventure Deck System can be particularly deadly, Players can “Cling to Life” - they can choose to undergo a Level of Exhaustion rather than dying outright. If an attack from a Foe (not a Player), any Effect, or any other Damage from the environment, etc. would reduce a Player to 0 HP or lower, the Player can instead choose a single additional Level of Exhaustion, reducing their Hand by 1 Card, and instead stay alive with 1 HP. A Player may do this multiple times, until their Hand is reduced to 1 Card. If a Player is reduced to or below 0 HP when they have a 1 Hand Maximum, their Character dies. If a Player suffers another Level of Exhaustion when they have a 1 Hand Maximum, their Character dies.

Maximum of 24 Weapon Cards per Combat Deck, without restrictions on how many different kinds of Weapons are in the Combat Deck. Keep in mind though, that swapping to a different Weapon costs an Action!
When a Player first Plays a Weapon Card, the Weapon Card that is Played is assumed to be the Weapon that a Player has armed. Identical Weapon Cards can be Played with no penalty.
If a Player gets a different Weapon Card in their Hand and wishes to play the different Weapon, they must Swap to a new Weapon. Swapping a Weapon uses up a Player’s Action in a Turn. Swapping a Weapon means the prior Weapon is put away, and the new Weapon is armed and ready to be Played. On the next Turn a Player can Play the new Weapon Card. Some Cards negate the delay, such as the Fast Weapon Swap Card which allows a Weapon Card to be Played on the same Round that it is swapped.

The exception to the Weapon Swapping rule is if a Player or Foe is Dual Wielding. If they announce that they are Dual Wielding (such as a Shortsword and a Dagger) in the beginning of Combat, then it is assumed that they have a Weapon in each hand and can play up to two different Weapon Cards (even two of the same Weapon type, such as two Shortswords or two Daggers). If they wish to use a different Weapon then they will have to use their Action to swap to a different Weapon (such as another right or left-handed weapon, or a Ranged Distance Weapon). If they switch back, then they can swap to a Dual Wield configuration again (assume that they have a weapon in each hand), using their Action to do so. The Player has to state that they are swapping back to a Dual Wield configuration.

The Player must state that their Character is Dual Wielding at the beginning of Combat. 
A Dual Wielder can attack with two separate Weapon Cards on the same Round only if both Weapon Cards share the same Primary Damage Round. 
Dual Wielders cannot use Shields. You can Weapon Swap to a Shield but you lose the benefits of Dual Wielding.
Dual Wielders cannot use Two-Handed Weapons.
You can Dual Wield two Medium Weapons or smaller. 
You can only Dual Wield a single Large Weapon. The other Weapon must be Medium or smaller. 
You cannot Dual Wield Extra Large Weapons.


You can throw weapons that have Throw listed in their abilities, at the Distances listed on the Weapon Card.
If you have a free hand your Character can draw and Throw a Weapon as an Action (assuming that you have the Weapon Card in Your Hand).
If you Throw a Weapon your Character can draw the same type of Weapon. This does not mean that you get to search your Deck for the same Weapon Card. Your “ammunition” of Thrown Weapons does not run out - only your Cards can run out. 
For your Character to draw a weapon (which is not Drawing a Card) that does not have the Thrown property you must Declare that you are switching to a different kind of Weapon, and spend an Action to do so when you can use an Action again.


Each Weapon, Spell, Ability, and Skill has a Distance. If it has no Distance listed then the Distance is unlimited or does not matter, such as Abilities, Skills and Spells that only affect the Player or Foe that is using it. 
Spells, Skills, and Abilities also utilize the Melee/Thrown/Ranged Distance method even if they are not using a Physical projectile or object.
There are advantages and disadvantages of each Distance, dependent on the Weapon, Skill, Ability, or Spell.


This is the Distance at which you can either reach a Target with your bare hands or with an object, such as a Weapon like a Longsword.

This is the Distance at which you can easily throw an object (such as a Handaxe) at a Target and reliably hit the Target.

This is the Distance at which you would typically need a mechanical means (such as a Bow or Crossbow) of launching a projectile to reliably hit a Target.

Some weapons have more than one Distance listed on them. For example, the Dagger has a Melee and Thrown Distance listed as its Distances. A Weapon that is normally used in Melee Distance (such as a Dagger) can’t Attack at Thrown Distance unless it is Thrown. However, a Thrown Weapon can be Thrown at an Opponent in Melee or Thrown Distance. 


Ranged Distance Weapon such as Shortbows can attack at a longer Distance, but also have limitations. The Shortbow has the Ranged and Thrown Distances listed on the Card, which means that you can Attack at these Distances. However it is missing the Melee Distance icon, which means that wielders of the Shortbow cannot attack Opponents in Melee Distance with a Shortbow. There is an Optional Rule that you can Attack with a Ranged Distance Weapon (such as a Shortbow) if you match a Declared Up/Down. Compare this to a Crossbow, which can attack in all Distances. However, the Crossbow has the limitation that its Primary Damage Rounds are more limited than Shortbows and Longbows.

Simple, One Dimensional, and Two Dimensional Play
Most of the rules are written with Simple Play or One Dimensinoal Play in mind. This assumes that Players and Foes are not concerned with exact Distances on a board, and the combat and encounters are to be played in “theatre of the mind.” 
Dependent on the Player’s choice and physical space available, Players can play in one of the three modes.

In Simple Play Players do not track how close or far they are from each other and Opponents. Every Target, Opponent, and Ally are considered to be in all three Distances at the same time in regards to whether or not an attack or other ability can Target someone.

In One Dimensional Play distance is a factor in a one dimensional line along one axis, similar to a number line in math. This is where the “Move” Action in play can be important. Players and Foes can only move towards or away from each other as an Action in order to close the distance or increase the distance and thereby navigating various Distances. The best visual representation of One Dimensional Play would be a side-scrolling video game.

Two Dimensional Play is seen most often in traditional table-top games played on a grid or a hex. Here, movement and aiming is along two axes, and Distance is an important factor, as well as accounting for area (such as with Spells or Abilities/Skills that affect a whole area.) The best visual representation of Two Dimensional Play would be a classic top-down RPG video game or tabletop game like Chess. In Two Dimensional tabletop play, miniatures can be used.

Which method of Play is right for me?
This depends on you. How do you want to play? What are your constraints for running a game? If you have no table, miniatures, or are short on time, then Simple Play is the recommended mode of Play. If you have a method to track Distance (such as on paper or in your head) but not much else, then One Dimensional Play is recommended. If you have a table, miniatures, more time to play, and prefer complex combat, then Two Dimensional Play is recommended. 


R is shorthand for “Round.” 
R can also mean a multiplier for the Round. If a Card says “you do R Damage” then you would do 1 Damage on Round 1, 3 Damage on Round 3, and so on.
R can also stand in for the requirement of the number of Cards (such as Attribute Cards) that need to be Played. For example, if a Card’s Enhancement Effect says “Play R Intellect Cards to Play this Spell on Round R”, it means that you can play 4 Intellect Cards to Play that particular Spell on Round 4. 


R is a variable. It can be multiplied, divided, added to, and subtracted to or from according to the Card’s language. For example, if a Card says you “Reduce Damage by R+2” you would reduce damage during Round 3 by adding the Round (3) to 2, for a total of 5 Damage Reduction. If a Card says, “Play R/2 Agility Cards to Play this Card in Round R” (and always round the required number of Cards down), you would Play 1 Agility Card to be able to play this Card in Rounds 1, 2, or 3, Play 2 Agility Cards to Play this Card in Rounds 4 or 5, and Play 3 Agility Cards to Play this Card in Round 6. 
More Examples:
Rx2 = The Round Number “R” times 2.
R+2 = The Round Number “R” plus 2.
R -1 = The Round Number “R” minus 1 (always a minimum of 1).
R/2 = The Round Number “R” divided by 2 (round down for DMG and DEF, round up for Attribute Cards).
Play R [Attribute] Cards to Play this Card on Round R.
For example, if you see “Play R Intellect Cards to Play this Card on Round R”, you would play 3 Intellect Cards to be able to Play a Spell Card on Round 3 if the Boost ability on the Spell Card allows it.
Inverse R
The inverse of R on a scale from 1 to 6. For example, If the current round is 1, then use the value of 6 for “Inverse R”. If the current round is 4, then use the value of 3 for “Inverse R”, etc. (note: this is rarely used).


The Up/Down Randomization System
There is a symbol in the lower left hand corner of every Card. This symbol is either a ^ or a v, which is a carat that points up or down. This is referred to as the “Up/Down”, or is referred to in the Card language as ^v. You can typically play ^v as a Reaction/Counter to things like Spells (if the Spell allows it) and hazards such as falling rocks, Traps, etc. 

Whenever you need a randomized decision, you simply Draw a Card from your Combat Draw Deck (also referred to as your “Draw Deck”) or a dedicated Up/Down Deck (your choice, declared at the beginning of the game). If you draw an Up/Down from your Draw Deck, you do not Discard the Card - you put it back into your Draw Deck and reshuffle your Draw Deck. Some conditions which require an Up/Down decision are things such as:
Countering Skills or other Card Effects (dependent on the Counter conditions on the Card),
Countering or halving the effects of Spells (dependent on the Counter conditions on the Card),
Actions such as Picking a lock or forcing a door open, or
Keeping your balance on a rope or slippery ground when you have no Agility Cards in your Hand.


The Up/Down Randomization System
There is a symbol in the lower left hand corner of every Card. This symbol is either a ^ or a v, which is a carat that points up or down. This is referred to as the “Up/Down”, or is referred to in the Card language as ^v. You can typically play ^v as a Reaction/Counter to things like Spells (if the Spell allows it) and hazards such as falling rocks, Traps, etc. 

Whenever you need a randomized decision, you simply Draw a Card from your Combat Draw Deck (also referred to as your “Draw Deck”) or a dedicated Up/Down Deck (your choice, declared at the beginning of the game). If you draw an Up/Down from your Draw Deck, you do not Discard the Card - you put it back into your Draw Deck and reshuffle your Draw Deck. Some conditions which require an Up/Down decision are things such as:
Countering Skills or other Card Effects (dependent on the Counter conditions on the Card),
Countering or halving the effects of Spells (dependent on the Counter conditions on the Card),
Actions such as Picking a lock or forcing a door open, or
Keeping your balance on a rope or slippery ground when you have no Agility Cards in your Hand.


If you do not have very many Cards with which to play ^v, you can substitute regular playing cards. Use red hands (hearts and diamonds) for the v Down arrow, and black hands (clubs and spades)  for the ^ Up arrow. Your Character Cards or even Cards such as Information Cards or Rule Cards can be used for your Up/Down Deck, since every Card in the game has an Up/Down symbol.


First, declare what you are Matching (Up or Down), and how many you are Drawing. Quite often, the amount of Up/Down Cards that you are Drawing is dictated by Card text or Card mechanics. Or, you can determine difficulty yourself if crafting your own story or scenario.

Many Spells that target Opponents have Counters,which are either Attribute Cards or a generic Counter which is usually an ^v (Up/Down). 
If it is a single Up/Down, the Opponent(s) must Draw an Up/Down that matches the Spell’s Up/Down for the Counter to take effect. 
If multiple Up/Downs are required, the caster of the Spell declares which Up/Downs are required (such as 2 Ups or  2 Downs) in any order.
Boosting Spells
Spells are typically Boosted by playing Attribute Cards that are associated with the Spell. The Boost language on the Spell Cards tell you exactly what you need to Boost the Spell.
Some examples of Boost language are below:
Play R Intellect/Piety Cards. 
This means (for example) you Play 5 Intellect Cards to Play a Spell on Round 5 when that Spell would not normally be Played during Round 5. 
+1 R for every Intellect Card Played.
This means (for example) if you have a Spell Card that is usable in Round 4, but want to play it in Round 5, you would play 1 Intellect Card do allow the Spell to be Played in Round 5.


Maximum Spell Cards allowed per Caster (Mage, Priest, etc.) Level in your Combat Deck
The maximum number of duplicate Spell Cards you can have in a Combat Deck is 4. You can have multiple and varying Spells in your Combat Deck. After Level 5, the maximum number of Spell Cards per Level decreases, including duplicates of the same Spell.

What happens when you run out of Cards in your Draw Deck?
During Combat, when you are out of Cards in your Draw Deck you reshuffle your Discard Deck back into your Draw Deck, and then you take Fatigue. For every level of Fatigue you take you diminish your hand by 1 Card. That means that if you reshuffle your Discard Deck into your Draw Deck for the first time, you take one level of Fatigue, and your Hand is now a maximum of 6 Cards, instead of a maximum Hand of 7 Cards. You can keep taking levels of Fatigue until you have a maximum Hand of 1 Card. However, having a Hand maximum of a single Card will be difficult to play, and will simulate the fatigue that an adventurer feels! If you suffer one more level of Fatigue when you have a maximum Hand of 1 Card (such as from an in-game effect or running out of Cards from your Draw Deck) your Character is reduced to zero Hit Points, and is considered dead. 


After or between Combat Encounters during an adventure, Players can choose to have their Characters Rest in the middle of the adventure. This allows the Players to replenish their Decks with Cards from the Discard Deck and Reshuffle their Draw Deck. A Rest in the middle of an adventure, however, comes with some drawbacks. 
Rest Drawbacks
Wandering Foes
Dependent on the Story Deck. The Story Deck will have rules for what can be encountered during a Rest.
Fatigue Loss.
Each Rest causes a Fatigue Loss just like cycling through a Deck does. This means that for each Rest during an adventure you reduce your Card Hand maximum by 1. For example, if you rest once midway through an adventure, your Card Hand size is now a maximum of 6, instead of 7. If you rest twice, your Card Hand size maximum is now 5.

Quite often combat encounters occur in less than ideal situations. Most combat encounters in the game occur with some sort of lighting, such as in a dungeon room, where Foes like Goblins and Characters like Humans can both see. However, Humans can’t see well in areas with no light, whereas Goblins can with Darksight. Conversely, Humans can see well under a sunlit sky, and Goblins cannot, which is a penalty of Darksight. If vision is hampered, such as a Human in a dark room or a Goblin under a sunlit sky, then the Player or Foe must match Up/Down(s) in order to successfully Play any Card or Action/Reaction with a Distance listed on it.

Often, between Combat (sometimes even during Combat!) a Character encounters an obstacle that must or can be solved with something other than swinging a sword or casting a spell at it. Such obstacles or encounters can be things like disarming traps, figuring out puzzles, lifting a heavy iron door, picking locks, etc. To be successful at such obstacles and encounters, Characters and/or Game Masters typically use the Up/Down Randomization System to resolve such encounters and obstacles. The target for Up/Down is always declared before the feat is attempted, such as “It’s a Very Difficult task, so I will Draw 2 Cards, and match 2 Down.”


If the Task is failed, a Character can Play the appropriate Attribute Card from their Hand, then Draw a Card to replace the Played Attribute Card. Some examples are as follows:
Play a Strength Card for lifting the heavy iron door.
Play an Intellect Card for solving a puzzle.
Play an Agility Card for evading a trap or picking a lock.
If the Character fails the task, but has the appropriate Attribute in their Combat Deck, they may immediately Draw and Play that Attribute Card from their Combat Deck, but must suffer 1 Level of Exhaustion, and reduce their Hand by 1. They must Discard a Card of their choice from their Hand in order to reduce their Hand by the appropriate amount due to Exhaustion. This is to represent the sheer will of solving the problem at hand, when otherwise they would not have the resources handy.


Each Map and Room Card that reveals a section of a Map or a Room will show the allowable Distances for Weapons, Spells, Abilities, etc. 
If a Map or Room Card does not have a Distance listed on it, it can be played at any Distance.
If a Player’s or Foe’s Card has a Distance that matches the Distance on the Map or Room Card, it can be Played normally.
If a Player’s or Foe’s Card does not have a Distance that matches the Distance of the Map or Room Card, it can’t be Played, unless using optional rules that allow You to Play the Card with a Penalty.
Penalty - Play the Card normally, but also Draw a Card to match the ^v symbol of the Map or Room Card. If it matches, then the Card’s effects occur normally. If the ^v does not match the Map/Room Card, then the Card being Played fails and it is discarded.
Keep in mind that Melee still can only reach Melee Distance, and Thrown can’t reach Ranged Distance.


The top of this Card shows you what the Card Number and Room Number this is. You can use this alphanumeric number to Navigate from Room to Room without spoiling the adventure. Simply fan out your Map Cards so that you only see the Room Number.

There are usually 2 Cards for each Room, with identical alphanumeric numbers. One Card is the Map Card of the Room, to help you visualize the layout, and possible positioning of Foes. It also has entrances and exits clearly marked with their corresponding Cards and alphanumeric Room Numbers. It also has the usable Distances marked on the left hand side of the Card. In this particular room, all Card Distances are valid and usable. If you are using Two-Dimensional Rules then you can even map out this room on your own grid and play with miniatures!

The other kind of Map Card is the Room Description Card. At the top of the Card is the Foe list for Solo and for Group play. There is also a description of the Room, along with additional tactical rules (such as Pre-Sneaking), and when Foes are in particular Distances for Combat. In addition there are descriptions of entries/exits to other Room Cards, along with Treasure and Loot listed in that Room. You gain the Treasure and/or Loot when you defeat the Foes in that particular Room.


At the bottom of Map & Room Cards, or on Foe Cards, there may be Treasure and/or Loot listed. If the Card is something that is playable (such as a Weapons, Scrolls, or a Potion, etc.), you can immediately put it/them into your Hand, and Remove from the game the appropriate amount of other Cards until your Hand is again at 7. If you do not wish to immediately have the Treasure or Loot in your Hand ready to Play, then you can either put the Treasure and/or Loot Card(s) aside in your Character Deck, or you can put it/them into your Draw Deck, but must remove the same amount of Cards from your Draw Deck. Certain Treasure, like Gold, does not go into your Combat/Draw Deck, and is instead immediately put into your Character Deck for later use.


Instead of having a full separate Combat Deck for each Foe, there is a list of possible actions by Round and by Circumstance in each Foe Card, with only a few extra Cards to help run each Foe. On each Foe Card there are Up/Down or ^v to determine Actions, Reactions, and more, as a “virtual Deck” instead of a physical Deck. The Foe Hand is pre-set with everything you need to run that particular Foe.


Foe Decks contain the following in the Foe Hand;
The Foe Card with a list of possible Actions and Reactions by Round.
Hit Point Cards to help you keep track of their Hit Points (HP), only included as reference.
Not Drawn or Played.
Skill Cards (if applicable)
Only included as reference.
Not Drawn or Played.
Weapon Cards (if applicable)
Only included as reference.
Not Drawn or Played.
Armor Cards (if applicable) 
Only included as reference.
Not Drawn or Played.
Spell Cards (if applicable)
Only included as reference.
Not Drawn or Played.
Gold Cards (if applicable)
Other Loot Cards and Magic Item Cards (if applicable)


How to run NPCs and Foes in Play;
Determine the Turn order in which the Foe goes in relation to the Players.
When the Opponent of the Foe takes an Action:
The Foe has a Reaction which matches the conditions for the Opponent’s (usually the Player’s) Action.
R listed on the Foe’s Reaction matches the current Round.
Draw the required number of Cards for the Up/Down ^v denoted by the “D” number or “Draw” number.
ie. If you see D2 or Draw2, then you Draw 2 Cards for Up/Down symbol matching only. You can match in any order, but you must match the symbols in any order for the Foe to take the appropriate Reaction. If there is no match, then there is no Reaction.


Action (Foe’s Turn)
Consult the Foe Card to see what Actions are possible based on the current Round. Some Actions have conditions, such as whether or not the Foe took damage this Round or last Round, or if the Characters are within striking range of the Foe, etc. 

Once you have determined the correct Round and possible Actions, look at the “Draw command”.

If you see any sort of “Draw” command, such as D2 or Draw2, then you Draw 2 Cards for Up/Down symbol matching only. You can match in any order, but you must match the symbols in order for the Foe to take the appropriate Action. If there is no match, then there is no Action.

For Foe Actions there are typically up to three possible outcomes:
If the Drawn ^v outcome is successful, then the Action listed for the ^v occurs. Many outcome lists will show you the range of Actions which are determined by the ^v.
An alternate ^v outcome is successful, such as in the case of powerful enemy Wizards - they will cast spells nearly every round, but the spell they cast will be determined based on which ^v outcome occurs. 
Failure - If the ^v does not match any of the prescribed outcomes on the list then there are two possibilities that occur:
The Foe does Base Damage (noted in the base damage box of the Foe Card).
The Foe takes an Action specified under the Failure heading.
The Foe does nothing.

Taking Damage / Healing Damage

When the Foe takes Damage, the appropriate amount of HP Cards are removed from the Foe’s Hand.
When the Foe is Healed, the appropriate amount of HP Cards are added to the Foe’s Hand. The total amount of HP in the HP Cards can never exceed the Foe’s starting HP unless there is a Spell or Ability that allows it to do so.


The first three icons illustrate some vital information about each Foe. 
The Scroll icon shows how much Experience (XP) that defeating this Foe grants. Experience is divided among the Players and Allies (including Hirelings) who defeated the Foe - always a minimum of 1 XP, and always rounded down.
The Heart icon shows how much Health (HP) that this particular Foe has.
The Gold Piece icon shows how many Gold Pieces you gain from defeating this Foe, again, divided amongst the Players, Allies, and Hirelings. Keep in mind that not all Foes have Gold Pieces to collect! 
The icons on the lower right of the Foe Card show some more information about the Foe.
The “S” in the bracket says this is a Small Foe.
The “1” in the Scroll shows us that this is a Level 1 Foe.

This is where the action happens! (literally). All 6 Rounds are represented somewhere on the Foe’s Action section, which consists of Normal Actions and Reactions. Above are the Goblin Skirmisher’s Normal Actions. On the Goblin Skirmisher’s Turn, you look at the current Round, and then match the color of the current Round to the color of the Action to the right. For example, on this Foe Card if it is Round 4, then you follow the instruction to Draw 1 Up/Down Randomization Card. If you Draw an Up, the Goblin Skirmisher attacks You for 4 Physical Damage in Melee Range. If you Draw a Down, then the Goblin takes no Action. On Round 5, if you Draw an Up, the Goblin Skirmisher takes no Action, but if you Draw a Down, the Goblin Skirmisher attacks You for 3 Melee Physical Damage.

Even bad guys need to defend themselves. Listed above are the Goblin Skirmisher’s Reactions. You Draw 3 Up/Down Randomization Cards for each Reaction the Goblin Skirmisher takes per Attack on him/her. For example, in Round 4 you Attack the Goblin with your Longsword and your Ally Attacks the Goblin with his Dagger. You Draw 3 Up/Downs per Attack to resolve the effects of each Attack. For Your Attack 3 Ups are Drawn. Because there is an empty circle next to 2 Ups, you only have to match 2 Ups, and the third Up/Down can be either Up or Down. The Longsword does 5 Damage on Round 4, and the Goblin’s Light Armor reduces it by 3, down to 2 Damage. The Goblin is down to 1 HP. Your Ally Attacks with their Dagger (3 Damage), and again you Draw 3 Up/Downs for the Goblin. You match 2 Downs and 1 Up. With their Shield the Goblin blocks 4 Damage from your Ally’s Dagger (R=4), negating all of the Dagger’s Damage.


Some Foes have additional abilities. Because this Goblin has Cowardly Sneak listed under Traits, it will attempt to Sneak on its Turn after it takes Damage.

If it takes Damage (or X Damage), this Foe will attempt to Sneak on its next Turn.

Because there is no Damage number listed next to Cowardly Sneak from Traits, the Goblin will attempt to Sneak on its Turn if it takes ANY Damage.

There may be an Attribute icon in the upper right hand corner of the Foe Card. Next to this icon will be Up/Down icons. You use this Attribute for Counters. Keep in mind that Foes can only Counter once, and cannot enter into an Escalation, unless an exception is made on their Foe Card. 
You use the Up/Down listed next to their Attribute to determine if they can play the Attribute. Because this Goblin Skirmisher has 2 Down icons, you must Draw 2 Up/Downs, and match 2 Downs in order to “Play” an Agility Attribute for this Goblin Skirmisher. Keep in mind that Up/Down icons are randomized throughout the Foe Cards, and that another Goblin Skirmisher might have different Up/Downs to match.

On most Foe Cards are additional instructions on how to run that particular Foe. Goblins are cowardly creatures, and will almost always attempt to run away if they get seriously injured in combat. The text here says that the Goblin will attempt to Flee if reduced to 1 HP. Please read the relevant Rule on Fleeing here in the Rules and Information Card Deck. Goblins also believe in fighting dirty, and strength in numbers. This is why after 6 Rounds (1 Count) all Goblins will focus their attacks on the most wounded Opponent (You or an Ally). They will also attempt to Grapple and use their Shortswords to advantage if there are 3 of them attacking 1 Opponent (typically You or an Ally). Please read the rules on Grappling here in the Rules and Information Card Deck to see how Grappling works. Goblins will also Sneak if they can, as well as Pre-Sneak before a battle.

Foe will FLEE on its turn if it’s reduced to (X) HP.
MERCILESS - (X Count, X Rounds)
After X Count or X Rounds, all Foes of this type will focus their attacks on their most wounded Opponent.
If it takes Damage (or X Damage), this Foe will attempt to Sneak on its next Turn.
This Foe will Pre-Sneak if possible.
If an attacker is within Melee Distance of this Foe, then this Foe will use its Turns to Move to Thrown Distance (if using Thrown Weapons) or to Thrown then Ranged Distance (if using Ranged Distance Weapons).
OVERWHELM (X Foes, X Rounds, Most Wounded, etc.)
If (X Foes) of this type are attacking a single Opponent in Melee after (X Rounds), or after a trigger stated (such as Most Wounded Opponent), they will attempt to Grapple that Opponent.
By default, this Foe will take Offensive Actions against the Opponent that has damaged it the most.
By default, this Foe will take Offensive Actions against the Opponent that has healed last. 
By default, this Foe will take Offensive Actions against the Opponent that has most recently Casted Spells
By default, this Foe will take Offensive Actions against the most recent Opponent that has attacked it.
By default, this Foe will take Offensive Actions against the nearest Opponent.
By default, this Foe will take Offensive Actions against the Opponent with the lowest current HP.
If this Foe or their Ally is below their HP Max, then they will use their Turn to use the Healing Spell listed on this Foe Card.
At the beginning of each Round, this Foe Regenerates (X HP).
Foe will always try to stay out of Melee Distance unless they outnumber Opponents by at least (X) to (Y).
DISEASE (X Minimum DMG, Y Disease Damage, Z Rounds or Counts, Max Damage)
If this Foe causes at least (X) Damage to an Opponent, the Opponent must Draw an Up/Down. If the Opponent does not match the Card of the Foe then the Foe causes a Disease. The Disease lasts for (Z) Rounds or Counts for (Y) Damage, up to a Maximum Damage (if a Maximum Damage is stated). The Disease can be Countered at any point by using a Healing Potion, being Healed by a Priest, or taking a Rest. 
Characters or Opponents with Darksight can see in areas that have no light, almost as good as Humans can see in full light. In areas that have medium light (like a typical dungeon room), Characters and Foes with and without Darksight can see equally well. In brightly lit areas (such as a sunlit field) Characters and Foes with Darksight suffer the same penalties as Humans do in areas that have no light.


Thank you for choosing to adventure with The Adventure Deck System. The Cards in The Adventure Deck System present a myriad of ways to create a Character and adventures that are unique to you and limited only by your imagination. You can play pregenerated adventures, or create your own! You can adventure at any time you want, at your leisure, and anywhere you want. 
For more information, please visit;
or, visit the Discord channel at;

bottom of page