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Glossary —
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Devotion - Recruiting power
Deceit - Hosting power
Insight - Visiting power
Tribute cost - Paid with devotion
Sacrifice cost - Paid with collected sacrifices

Add, Double, and Set - Change one or more of a Primordial’s
devotion, insight, or deceit values for the rest of the turn.

Banish - Remove a card from the game.

Captivate - Set a Primordial’s
insight and deceit values to zero for the rest of the turn.

Move - Physically change a card's zone into a new zone, where it will act precisely as cards in that zone normally act.

Recruit - Pay the tribute cost using your visitors’ devotion to move a card from the central court to your Discard zone.

Repopulate - Put cards from the top of the Pawn Deck and Royal Deck into the central court until there are once again seven faceup pawn cards and seven faceup royal cards.

Sacrifice - Move a Primordial card to your Sacrifice zone. (The visiting player chooses what card from their visiting party to lose.)

Shuffle - Turn the cards in your Discard zone face down and combine them with the cards in your Deck zone, then randomize the card order of this new deck.

Silence - Set a Primordial‘s
devotion value to zero and prevent its effects from triggering for the rest of the turn.

Steal a Secret - Choose an Intent card from a player’s Secrets zone and move it to your Intent Discard zone.

Round Structure —

 

  1. Plotting Phase (hidden, simultaneous)
    Draw 6 cards, set 3 as
    Visitors, and 3 as Hosts. Set any card from the Intent deck as Visiting Intent.
     

  2. Visiting Phase (resolve each visit in turn) Use Visiting Intent to determine which player is the hosting player. 

    Compare visitors’ total Insight to hosts‘ total Deceit  :

     

  • If Insight > Deceit by 4 or more: steal a secret from the hosting player

  • Deceit > Insight by any amount: sacrifice a visitor
     

Use surviving visitors’ Devotion to recruit cards from the center court by paying their Cost

Victory —
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  • Steal 6 secrets

  • Or collect 6 sacrifices

  • Or have most total secrets, sacrifices, and royals when the last royal is recruited

 


Components

 

Deckbuilding Game Golden Rule:

Decks and Discard Piles Primordial cards you acquire through any means go to your Discard. At the

end of each round, all Primordial cards you played that round will also go to your Discard. Whenever you need to draw, move,

or reveal a card from your Deck but that Deck has no cards left, flip your Discard facedown, shuffle, and that becomes your Deck. You then continue drawing the remaining cards from this new Deck.


Card Game Golden Rule:

Contradictions to the Rulebook Many cards will have text that contradicts the rules in this rulebook. If card text ever contradicts
Many cards will have text that contradicts the rules in this rulebook. If card text ever contradicts the rules, follow the card text instead.

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Cards


Primordials —

 

Each player’s Deck consists entirely of Primordial cards. Starting with only basic white-framed Pawns, you will recruit the more powerful blue- and gray-framed Pawns and eventually (with luck) a few black-framed Royals. Once acquired, all Primordials act the same - drawn six at a time from your Deck at the start of the round, placed into your Visiting Party or Hosting Party, then discarded at the end of the round to eventually be shuffled back into your Deck and drawn again.

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Effect

Some Primordials have effects that trigger at a certain time during a visit

 

  • Most effects state the exact timing of when they must be resolved - these effects start with a “before”, “ when”, or “after” and specify visiting or hosting

  • Effects that begin with “while” are active during the entire visit and don’t trigger at a particular time, but may alter another effect or rule as stated on the card.

  • With a few Royal exceptions, a Primordial’s effect only triggers during the resolution of a visit in which they are a visitor or host, or at the time they are recruited

  • You must trigger all of your cards’ effects if possible.

     


Intents & Secrets —

 

Intent cards indicate who, if anyone, you plan to visit during the Visiting Phase. Sometimes they have additional effects, such as modifying some of your stat totals during the round or even forcing a player to visit you. Once obtained, the dark-framed Secret Intent cards operate the same as the basic white-framed Intent cards that you start with.
 

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On every Intent card, you will find one of these two symbols:

 

Pointed Finger indicates that you plan to visit the player it is pointing at. During the Visiting In the phase, you will compare the Primordials in your Visiting Party with the Primordials in that player’s Hosting Party before recruiting Primordials to add to your deck.

 

Wine Glass indicates that you don’t plan to visit anyone. The Primordials placed in your Visiting Party will not be used this round - you won’t compare their stats to any Hosting Party, nor will you be able to use them to recruit Primordials.

 

Some Intent cards also have this symbol:

 

Crooked Finger indicates that you force the player in that direction to visit you this round instead of whomever, they had planned to visit. These invitations don’t force a player to visit twice in the same round, but rather override pointing fingers.

When two or more players invite the same player or if a player has played a wine glass The intent is invited, to refer to the priority numbers within the corresponding direction indicators on the

conflicting Intent cards. Whichever number is higher takes precedence?


Stat Modifiers apply to the player who played the Intent card and are in effect for the whole round even if the directional portion of the Intent card is overridden. Whenever that player is required to total up a stat at any point, add or subtract the modifiers from that total

 


Setup

 

Give each player a player mat and a starting Deck consisting of 7 Messengers, 4 Musicians, and 1 Advisor. Each player should shuffle these personal Decks and place them facedown in the deck zone on their player mat.

 

Give each player a set of5 Starting Intentcards and6 Secret Intentcards with the number below the name that matches the number of players. Put the Starting Intentsinto each player's intent Deckzone and the Secret Intents into their Secrets zone.

 

Remove Royal Primordial cards at random from the Royal Deck so that 5 Royal Cards per player remain and return the rest to the box without looking at them.

 

Remove Pawn Primordial cards with a Tribute Cost of 6 or greater from the Pawn Deck. These will be shuffled back into the Pawn Deck at the end of the 2nd round of the game.

 

Shuffle both the Pawn Deck and the Royal Deck and deal 7 pawn cards and 7 royal cards faceup in The Court. Place 32 Familiars face up in this area as well.

 

Give the First Visitor Token to the most ancient being among you, and get started!

 

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Gameplay

 

Each Round of the game consists of two Phases:

  • The Plotting Phase where everyone secretly sets up their plans for that round.

  • The Visiting Phase is where all those plans play out in turn orde


Plotting Phase —

 

Each player simultaneously does the following actions:

  • Draw six Primordial cards from your Deck into your hand.

  • Choose and place three cards from your hand facedown in front of you into your Hosting Party zone. These will be your hosts during the upcoming Visiting Phase.

  • Choose and place three cards from your hand facedown in front of your row of hosts into your, Visiting Party zone. These will be your visitors

  • Secretly choose any one Intent card from your Intent Deck and put that facedown next to your visitors in your Visiting Intent zone. At the end of the first Plotting Phase each player’s play area should look like this:

     

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Visiting Phase —

 

All visiting Intent cards, visitor cards, and host cards are turned face up, then visits are resolved in clockwise order, starting with

the player with the First Visitor Token.

  •  During the resolution of a visit, only the cards in the visiting player’s Visiting Party and the hosting player’s Hosting Party are referenced or affected, called visitors and hosts, respectively.

  • The resolution of a visit (steps 1-3) and the recruiting that follows it (steps 4-6) is called a turn.
     

Resolve a visit in this order:

1. Refer to your Visiting Intent card to determine which other player, if any, you will be visiting. Remember to check for invitations on other players’ Visiting Intent cards that will change your plans. Refer to the information about Intent cards on page 4 for more details about how this is determined.
 

2. Resolve “before” and “ when” effects on visitors and hosts, in the following order:

  • Resolve any “before visiting” effects on visitors, in any order chosen by the visiting player.

  • Resolve any “before hosting ” effects on hosts, in any order chosen by the hosting player.

  • Resolve any “when visiting” effects on visitors, in any order chosen by the visiting player.

  • Resolve any “when hosting” effects on hosts, in any order chosen by the hosting player.
     

3. Compare the total insight of the visitors to the total deceit of the hosts.

 

 

If the visitors’ total insight is greater than the hosts’ total deceit by 4 or more —
the visiting player steals a Secret from the hosting player, looking through the cards in that player’s Secrets zone and choosing any one Secret card among them to move to their own Intent Discard zone. That Secret is usable as an Intent card for the rest of the game and counts toward the victory condition of stealing six Secrets.

If you would steal a Secret from a player who has none left to steal, instead steal a Secret from your own Secrets zone, if possible.

 

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If the visitors’ total insight is less than the hosts’ total deceit by any amount —
the hosting player Sacrifices a visitor of the visiting player’s choice. This Sacrificed card is immediately moved from the Visiting Party to the hosting player’s Sacrifices zone where it stays, counting toward Sacrifice costs on Royals and toward the victory condition of collecting six Sacrifices

 

After determining the outcome of the visit (whether or not any Sacrifices are made or Secrets stolen), the visiting player will have the opportunity to recruit cards from The Court. Finish resolving the turn in this order:

4. Resolve “ after” effects on visitors and hosts, in the following order:

  • Resolve any “after visiting” effects on visitors, in any order chosen by the visiting player.

  • Resolve any “after hosting” effects on hosts, in any order chosen by the hosting player.

 

5. The visiting player may pay tribute to recruit cards in The Court using the total devotion of their remaining visitors, moving any recruited cards to their Discard zone.

  • You may recruit any number of Pawns and/or Royals each turn as long as you can afford their total costs.

  • While Pawns only require tribute to be paid in order to recruit them, Royals have both a tribute cost and a Sacrifice cost. To recruit Royals you must have at least as many cards in your Sacrifices zone as the total Sacrifice costs of all Royals you are recruiting this turn.

  • No Sacrifices or devotion are permanently removed when used on recruiting, just “spent” for that turn.

  • Unspent devotion does not carry over to future rounds.

 

6. Repopulate The Court by putting cards from the top of the Pawn and Royal Decks into The Court until there are once again seven faceup Pawns and seven faceup Royals. If either deck runs out, repopulate The Court as much as possible. That concludes the turn! Move on to the next player’s visit, or if all visits have been resolved, move to the Round End.

 


End of
Round —

 

Three things happen at the end of every round.

  • Pass the First Visitor Token clockwise.

  • Move all Primordial cards from your Visiting and Hosting Parties into your Discard zone, noting that some cards may have triggered an effect that carries over into the next round

  • Move your Visiting Intent card into your Intent Discard zone, unable to be used again until Intents are reset.


Resetting
Intents —

 

End of Every Fourth Round

At the end of every fourth round, you will have one unused Intent remaining in your Intent Deck zone. This is when Intents are reset.

  • Choose any five Intent cards from among all of your Starting Intent cards and any Secret Intent cards you have stolen, and move them into your Intent Deck zone, ready to be used over the next four rounds.

  • All other Intent cards are placed into your Intent Discard zone.

  • Once all players have chosen which Intents to reset, reveal your chosen cards to the other players before the next round’s Plotting Phase begins.

     


Stacking the
Pawn Deck —

 

End of Second Round

During setup, the most expensive Pawns were removed from the Pawn Deck.

  • At the end of the second round of the game, shuffle those expensive Pawns back into the Pawn Deck. This is also when players will be shuffling their Discard zones into their Deck for the first time.

  • Alternatively, you can use the full Pawn Deck the whole game, replacing any Pawns entering The Court that cost 6 or more tribute with a new card from the Pawn Deck during the first two rounds of the game. Shuffle any removed Pawns back into the Pawn Deck at the end of the second round.
     

 
 
 
 


Hidden & Public Knowledge

 

Always hidden to all players:

  • Players’ Decks

  • Pawn Deck

  • Royal Deck

  • Royals removed during setup

  • Secret zones

 

Always revealed to all players:

  • The Court

  • Sacrifice zones

  • Players’ Discard and Intent Discard zones are always face up, but only the top card is revealed

     

 

Always hidden to other players:

  • Players’ Intent Decks

  • Players’ hand

 

Hidden during the Plotting Phase, Revealed during the Visiting Phase:

  • Hosting and Visiting Parties

  • Visiting Intent


Game End

 

The game ends at the end of the round in which any one of the following three things happen:

 

A player steals their sixth Secret.

The player who has collected the most Secrets wins. The highest amount of Sacrifices collected breaks ties

 

A player collects their sixth Sacrifice.

The player who has collected the most Sacrifices wins. The highest amount of Secrets collected breaks ties

 

A player recruits the last Royal.

Each Secret, Sacrifice, and Royal collected are worth 1 point each, and the player with the most points wins


Clarifications & Examples

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Moving cards to the next round’s Visiting Party.

If you move a card to your next round’s Visiting Party, move it from wherever it is to a place, faceup, near where you place your visitors.

  • If this card was hosting, and you entertain another visiting player this round, you’ll find yourself short-staffed, as this card is no longer wherever it previously was.

  • Each round, you always draw six Primordial cards and set three into your Visiting Party and three into your Hosting Party, no matter how many times travelers are already waiting in this round’s Visiting Party from the last round.

  • At the end of the next round, the additional visitor will go to your Discard zone with the rest of your visitors, regardless of if you visited anyone or not.


Moving a card to a party mid-visit.

Cards like Herald can add a card to the party mid-visit. If the new card has an effect that would trigger at a point during the visit that isn’t passed yet, you must apply that effect when that time comes as normal. Cards with effects that happen “ before visiting ”, or “ before hosting ” are too late to have an effect when Herald announces their arrival.

“When Recruited”.

effects Cards with “ when recruited ” effects will trigger that effect as soon as they are recruited by paying tribute. These effects will not trigger if you gain the card in any other way, such as directly moving it to your Hosting Party. If a shuffle is part of the resolution of a “ when recruited ” effect, the recruited card is considered already in your Discard zone and will therefore get shuffled as well

 

Duration of effects.

Silence, captivate, and other stat-changing effects only last the duration of one turn, not the entire round, so if you are hosting two different visiting players in one round, a host that got captivated or a host that gained additional deceit during the first visit will have reverted back to their base stats by the time the second visit begins. However, effects that move, banish, or sacrifice cards will remove or add entire cards from the party and will certainly change what that second visit of the round looks like. Note that duration does not matter for Visiting Parties because visitors will never visit twice in the same round ( yet! ). Likewise, you will only have a chance to host more than once per round in three or four-player games.

 

Invitation Intent example.

In a 3-player game, all three players play these Performance Intents in the same round.

 

  • In this example, since Player B is the only player being invited by more than one player, the only priority numbers that need to be compared are those in the inward-pointing indicators on Player A and Player C’s Intent cards. Since Player C’s Intent card has a higher priority, Player B will visit them this round.

  • No one is inviting Player C, so they will visit the player their pointed finger is pointing toward, Player B.

  • One person is inviting Player A, so they will visit the person inviting them, which also happens to be Player B.

     

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Changing a Primordial’s values and the importance of order.

There are three ways to change a Primordial card’s devotion, insight, or deceit value: addition, multiplication, or replacement. This can result in different final values depending on the order in which they are applied


 

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Replacement example.
If a player is savvy enough to combo a Dawn Prophet, a Puppeteer , and an Emissary in a visiting party, using the Puppeteer first to add 3 to the Emissary’s devotion will result in a 7 insight, 7 devotion Emissary after the Dawn Prophet’s replacement effect is applied. That same player could choose to apply the effects in the other order if for some reason they want the Emissary to end up with 7 devotion but only 4 insight.