Tuesday, April 21, 2015

FissureVerse: The Rules v2.0

Here are the new rules for FissureVerse, missing pictures and examples, but otherwise decently complete.  I've been waiting on posting them until the placeholder art is complete and a full set of cards is available for download, but that's coming so slow I'd rather just post the rules as is so I can perhaps get a little bit of feedback from any readers.  Even without diagrams as a guide, it's useful to know where the language is tricky and things are confusing.

A Customizable Card Game for 2-4 Players


The races of the universe have argued for billions of years.  Composed intellectuals deduced the Infinite; they understand the logic of the cosmos.  Believers of the Noise are loud like their gods, and will prove to you what the afterlife holds with their swords.  The monarchs, movers, and shakers of galaxies reign under Solidity, and convert through fear and fire and authority.  The peaceful, zen-tribes of Emptiness are lately awakening to defend their sects and their right to exist and live in peace.  It is time for the four bickering factions of the universe to end their petty squabbles, and declare a crusade.  Who do you support?

1 Book of Instructions
48 Location cards
24 Rogation cards
24 Frenzy cards
24 Blue Crusader cards
24 Green Crusader cards
24 Red Crusader cards
24 Yellow Crusader cards
96 Tokens (1 Sheet)


The goal of the game is to Convert or Kill all other Player's Crusaders.  The last Player to have Crusaders in their Deck, Hand, and/or Field of Play is the victor.

HOUSE RULE - TIMED GAMES: Set a timer for how long you would like the game to last, either by setting a certain number of minutes or hours to play, or a specified number of turns.  When time runs out, play stops after the current Round is complete.  Then, each Player counts up the number of Crusaders in their Deck and Fearful Pile that they have Converted from other Players.  Players receive one point for each Convert.  Players also receive one point for each Killed Crusader of another color in the Vortex.  So in three- and four-player games, multiple players will receive points for the same killed Crusader.  For instance, Red, Green, and Yellow would each get a point for a killed Blue Crusader, regardless of who did the killing.


Each Player has their own Draw Pile, Discard Pile, and Fearful Pile.

The Location Cards are placed face-down in the Location Draw Pile, and as each is revealed it gets discarded face-up in the Location Discard Pile.

There is also a Vortex pile for killed Crusaders, though the pile is empty at the start of the game.

Make a pile of Tokens that are easily accessible to all Players.  Each Player will gain and return Tokens throughout the game.  If the pile of Tokens runs out, use any replacement such as coins.  Tokens are infinite and cannot be depeleted.

Be sure there is plenty of room for the Field of Play, where all players place Crusaders, Frenzies, and Rogation cards throughout the game.  Make sure all players can reach and view the Field of Play.

Lay out all cards and piles as you feel is easiest to manage.  So many piles can seem confusing at first, so consider spreading things out as much as you can to avoid confusion.


Construct your deck using a combination of Rogations, Frenzies, and Crusaders.  You must abide by the following rules of deck construction:

1. You must have at least one Crusader in your Deck.
2. Only one color of Crusader may be used in a your Deck.
3. Competing Players may not use decks of the same color of Crusader.
4. You may have any number of Frenzies and Rogations in your deck, including none at all.
5. Each card in your deck must be unique; there may be no duplicate cards.

BEGINNER SUGGESTION:  To get started right away without constructing a customized Deck, simply choose a color to play, then use the 24 cards of that color from this Starter Set.  Next, randomly deal yourself 12 Frenzies and 12 Rogations from this Starter Set.  Shuffle them all together, and you've got your Deck ready to play!


Shuffle the Location Cards and place them facedown into the Location Draw Pile.

Each player chooses what color they wish to play as.  Since two players cannot be the same color, it is useful for advanced Players who construct their own Decks to have multiple sets, so they can play as any color if the need arises.

Each Player shuffles their Deck of combined Crusaders, Frenzies, and/or Rogations, then places it facedown.  These facedown piles are the players' Draw Piles.

Each player draws seven cards from their Draw Pile.  When each player is ready, the game begins.


Each Round consists of two Phases: the Location Phase, and the Action Phase.  After all Players have taken their Turn during the Action Phase, a new Round begins.


"The universe is unstable, but it is predictable.  When the Vortex sweeps you off your world, it may set you down on favorable soil.  We use this to our advantage.  Knowledge is the greatest tool for all goals."
    ~ Servants of the Infinite

Flip over a new Location card and place it in the Location Discard Pile. The revealed Location card tells the Players the turn order for the Action Phase, as well as supplies any additional rules that are in play during that round.  Special Rules on Location Cards take precedence over all other rules, even if they contradict rules on other cards or in these instructions.

SUGGESTION FOR BEGINNERS: Ignore the special rules on Location Cards during play.  When all players feel comfortable with the basic rules of the game, start a new game and play with the additional Location card rules.

If the last Location card is drawn and discarded, then at the end of the Round, pick up the Location Discard Pile, shuffle it, and place it facedown to create a new Location Draw Pile, and resume the game.


During the Action Phase, Players perform actions according to the Turn Order indicated on the Location card.  During the Action phase, you may pick one of four actions to perform: Reinforce, Frenzy, Crusade, or Refill.

Action a.) REINFORCE

"I fight well with a sword.  We fight better with two."
    ~ Servants of the Noise

Reinforcing is like moving troops into position:  you decide which troops to send to the battlefield and which to send home.  If you decide to Reinforce on your Turn, you may either Directly Reinforce, or Withdraw Enforcements.

Reinforce i.) Direct Reinforcement

You may place one or two Crusaders from your hand faceup onto the Field of Play.  You may have a maximum of four Crusaders in the Field of Play at one time, so if you have four Crusaders in the Field of Play, you cannot add more with Direct Reinforcement.

If you have no Crusaders in the Field of Play at the beginning of your Turn, you MUST Directly Reinforce, and may not perform another Action.  If you have no Crusaders in hand to Directly Reinforce with, you MUST discard your current hand, and continue to draw from your Draw Pile until you draw a Crusader.  When you do, you Directly Reinforce with that Crusader, and discard the rest of the cards you drew.  If you draw through your entire Draw Pile without finding a Crusader, you must shuffle your Discard Pile, place it facedown to turn it into your new Draw Pile, and continue to draw until a Crusader is found.  If, after all this, no Crusader is found, you have lost the game, and cannot continue to play.

At the beginning of the game, all players MUST Directly Reinforce on their first turn, as they have no cards in play.

When you Reinforce Directly, you gain one Token.

Reinforce ii.) Withdraw Enforcements

You may remove one Crusader out of the Field of Play, and put it into your Discard Pile, along with any attached Frenzies.  You may ONLY take cards out of the Field of Play if you have the maximum number of Crusader already in the Field of Play (normally four).  You may NOT take another player's cards from the Field of Play.

Action b.) FRENZY

"Peace and docility is the natural way to live.  Rebellion and piracy is the exception.  We live in exceptional times."
    ~ Servants of Emptiness

Frenzying allows you to take your Crusaders in your Field of Play and alter their attributes.  While the Crusader itself is always faceup, your Frenzy Card is placed facedown, so the altered attributes are hidden from other players.  If you choose to Frenzy during your Turn, you may Directly Frenzy, Refrenzy, or Unfrenzy.

Frenzy i.) Direct Frenzy

You may place one Frenzy from your hand facedown near one of your Devotees in the Field of Play.  The Frenzied Devotee becomes a Zealot.  You can Bluff by placing a Rogation or Crusader card facedown near a Devotee instead of a Frenzy.  Bluffs have no effect on a Zealot, other than being called a Zealot instead of a Devotee.  A Zealot may only have one Frenzy attached at a time.

When you Frenzy Directly, you gain one Token.

Frenzy ii.) Refrenzy

You may replace an unrevealed (facedown) Frenzy from the Field of Play with another in your hand.  The Frenzy you replaced may go back into your hand, or may be Discarded.  You may not Refrenzy a revealed (faceup) Frenzy.

When you Refrenzy, you gain one Token.

Frenzy iii.) Unfrenzy

You may discard a revealed Frenzy from the Field of Play.

Additional Frenzy Rules

Any Crusader with a Frenzy or bluff near it, whether revealed or unrevealed, is always considered a Zealot, and not a Devotee.

When a Zealot is Converted or Killed, attached Frenzy cards go back in the original Player's Discard Pile.

Action c.) CRUSADE

"We do not crusade because we are right.  We crusade because you are wrong."
    ~ Servants of Solidity

Crusading is the heart of the game, and the primary means of interaction with other players.

You may attempt to Convert or Kill an Opponent's Crusader, if you have enough Tokens.

To Crusade, you become the Offensive Player (the player who is performing the Crusade).  You use one of your Crusaders in the Field of Play to encounter any Opponent's Crusader in the Field of Play.  You declare which of your own Crusaders you will use, which Opponents' Crusader you are Crusading against, and whether you will attempt to Convert by Reason or Fire, or attempt to Kill your Opponent's Crusader.  After the declaration, any unrevealed Frenzy cards on all of the engaged cards are revealed and remain in Play.

The number of Tokens you must pay is equal to the value of the attribute you are using.  If the Crusader you are using is a Devotee, you pay only what the Crusader attribute says (and any Special Rules on the Crusader itself).  If the Crusader is a Zealot, you must add the value of the Crusader with the value of the Frenzy, and pay that amount.  If the total value is zero or a negative number, you must pay exactly one Token.  Other cards which alter attributes, such as Location Cards or Rogation Cards with Special Rules, or other Crusaders in the Field of Play, do not count toward the total payment.

Crusaders with Special Rules on them trump the Rules in these Instructions.  But the Special Rules on Location Cards and Rogations trump Crusader Special Rules.  If two Crusaders are engaged that have conflicting Special Rules, precedence is determined by Turn Order:  the Special Rules on the Crusader of the Player who goes first overrides the other Player's Crusader's Special Rules.

Crusade i.) Convert by Reason

If Converting by Reason, the Players compare the Reason attributes from the selected cards, factoring in changes made by Frenzies or other cards, if applicable.  If the Reason Attribute of one card is higher than the other, but less than 3 higher, the Crusader with the lower value has been Converted, and the winner takes the loser's card and puts it in their Discard Pile.  The winner's new card is a True Convert.  Otherwise, both cards remain in the Field of Play. 

Once shuffled back into a player's Draw Pile, a True Convert can be used as if it were a player's own color Crusader.

Crusaders which have been Truly Converted to another player can be reconverted by the original player, or can be converted by another player.  It absolutely all ways, they simply act as if they were the current player's Crusader.

Crusade ii.) Convert by Fire

If Converting by Fire, the Offense compares its Fire Attribute with the Opponent's Water Attribute.  If the Offense's Fire Attribute is greater than the Defense's Water Attribute, but less than 3 higher, the Offense wins.  The Offense claims the Convert, and the Convert goes into the Offense player's Fearful Pile.  If the Fire Attribute is more than 3 higher than the Water Attribute, the Defensive card is killed, and the Defensive card is sent to the Vortex.  If the Defensive card's Water Attribute is equal to or greater than the Offense's Fire, then the Defense may either immediately draw 2 cards from their Draw Pile, or immediately Directly Reinforce with one card (they may not go beyond the maximum).

Crusade iii.) Kill

If the Player chooses to Kill the Opponent's Crusader, Sword attributes are compared.  If equal, both Crusaders are Killed, and go to the Vortex.  Otherwise, the Crusader with the higher Sword value wins, and loser goes to the Vortex.

Action d.) REFILL

Refill i.) Direct Refill

You may Draw cards from your Draw Pile until you have seven cards in hand.  If you already have seven or more cards in your hand, you may not Directly Refill.

Refill ii.) Discard

You may discard any number of cards from your hand.


At any time between Player Turns (or before the first Player's Turn, or after the last Player's Turn), you may play one Rogation from your hand and follow the rules on the card.  Each Player may only play one Rogation per Round.  To play a Rogation, you must announce that you have a Rogation to play to prevent the next Player from taking their turn early.  If multiple players announce their intention to play Rogations between the same phase, precedence is determined by Turn Order: the Player who goes first in Turn Order plays their Rogation first.  A Player who wants to play a Rogation but is superseded by another Player may decide to not play their Rogation at that time--or might even be prevented from playing theirs!

After use or completion, Rogations are discarded into the appropriate Player's Discard Pile.  Rogations stay in play until their effect is complete.  Leave all Rogations in sight of all players to reference until the Rogation is discarded.

Pay attention to each Rogation's effect! Some Rogations have an immediate effect, such as Rally (Draw 3 Cards), some Rogations are in play until particular conditions are met, such as Psalms (the next time the player defends in a Crusade), and some Rogations last until the end of the round, such as Burial Rites.  Be careful!  A new round doesn't start until a Location is revealed!

Rogations usually require a minimum number of your Crusaders to be in the Field of Play to use.  Sometimes there is a straightforward minimum number, other times you must simply have more or less than each of your opponents (individually).

If two or more Rogations are played that contradict each other, the first played takes precedence.

When Rogations contradict Location cards, Location cards take precedence.  However, you may sacrifice one of your Crusaders in your hand or in the Field of Play to the Vortex to override the Location's rule and allow the contradicting Rogation to take precedence.


Many cards have special rules to follow when playing them.  While most Crusader cards are self-contained, and only affect themselves, there are some Crusaders which can affect other cards or aspects of the game.

Blue's Starving and Seedling have GREEN TEXT.  Green text signifies that the player should pay attention to it when Refilling.

The following cards have RED TEXT: Blue's Respectators and Naomi; Green's Numerologist, Fireflies, Lugubrious, and Flesh; Red's Sewerlife and Lifters; and Yellow's Thunderheads and Irregularity.  Red text signifies that the player should pay attention to its effects during a Crusade, even if that card is not being used during the Crusade.  Red text cards should be taken into account whether the card is part of the Offense or Defense.


Once play ends and a winner in determined, Converted and Killed Crusaders are given back to the appropriate player.


An ACTION is what the player gets to do during his or her Turn.  Crusade, Frenzy, Refill, and Reinforce are types of Actions.

A BEGINNER SUGGESTION is a helpful tip for Players who have never played FissureVerse before.  These suggestions simplify parts of the game to make for a smoother and more straightforward experience.

A CRUSADE is a form of Action, where the Player may attempt to Convert or Kill another player's Crusader with one of their own.

A CRUSADER is a Blue, Green, Red, or Yellow card with the word "Crusader" at the bottom.  Crusaders are the backbone of the Player's Deck:  the alien races that subscribe to a set of beliefs, represented by their given color.

A DECK is the set of Crusaders, Frenzies, and/or Rogations that a player has constructed to play with.

A DEVOTEE is a Crusader in the Field of Play that does not have a Frenzy attached.

A DISCARD PILE is a pile that a Player discards cards into, faceup.

A DRAW PILE is a facedown pile where a player draws cards from.  A player's Draw Pile typically contains a mix of Crusaders, Frenzies, and Rogations.  When a player runs out of cards in the Draw Pile, that player's Discard Pile is shuffled and placed facedown to create a new Draw Pile.

A FEARFUL CONVERT is a Crusader that has been placed in any player's Fearful Pile.

A FEARFUL PILE is a designated pile of cards which players add Fearfully Converted Crusaders to throughout the game.

The FIELD OF PLAY is where players place and use their Crusaders and Frenzies in preparation for a Crusade.  Players also place Rogations in the Field of Play when they are used.

A FRENZY Card is a pink and orange card with the word "Frenzy" on the bottom.  Frenzies are placed facedown near a Devotee to alter the way the Devotee plays.  A Devotee with a Frenzy attached is called a Zealot.  Frenzies are typically revealed when a player's card Crusades or is Crusaded against.  FRENZY, as a verb, is also an Action.  A Frenzy Action includes placing a Frenzy Card facedown near a Devotee in the Field of Play, or replacing an unrevealed Frenzy Card on a Zealot, or removing a revealed Frenzy Card from a Zealot.

A HAND is the set of cards a Player physically holds in their hand; the Player keeps these cards hidden from other players.

A HOUSE RULE is an optional rule that Players can decide to use, but are not mandatory (and may contradict other established rules).  Players should discuss which House Rules to follow before play begins.

A LOCATION is a card with special backing that says "Location".  Location Cards determine the turn order for that Round, and sometimes alter a rule for that Round.

The LOCATION DISCARD PILE is a face-up pile where Locations are discarded at the end of a Round.

The LOCATION DRAW PILE is a facedown pile where Locations are drawn from.  New Locations are drawn at the beginning of every Round.

REFILL is an Action.  A Player who Refills either draws cards from their Draw Pile until they have seven cards in hand, or discards any number of cards from their hand into their Discard Pile.

REINFORCEMENT is an Action.  When a Player Reinforces, they either take a Crusader or two from their hand and place them in the Field of Play, or remove a Crusader from the Field of Play.

A ROGATION is a card that is purple on the top, black on the bottom, with the word "Rogation" on the bottom.  Rogations are typically played from a player's hand and sometimes placed in the Field in Play.  Rogations can be played at any time, but certain requirements must usually be met before they have an effect.

A ROUND is a unit of play, beginning when a Location is revealed, and ending when that Location is discarded.

SPECIAL RULES are Rules found on cards, either Rogations, Crusaders, Frenzies, or Locations.  When Special Rules contradict each other, Location Card Special Rules take precedence, followed by Rogations, then Frenzies, the Crusaders, then the basic rules in these Instructions.

A TOKEN is a small round pip, typically gained when Frenzying or Reinforcing, and lost when Crusading.

A TRUE CONVERT is a Crusader that is in another player's Draw Pile or Discard Pile.

A TURN is a single player's Action Phase. TURN ORDER is represented by the colored dots on a Location card.

The VORTEX is a common face-up pile where Killed Crusaders from all players are placed.

A ZEALOT is a Crusader that has had a Frenzy placed near it, which often alters the way the card is played.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Where did I go?!

Sorry, I found myself traveling through time.  It seemed like I was going very fast, but I was only going forward in time at a rate of one second per second.

I've been plugging away at FissureVerse, little by little; but mainly I've been doing other projects not tied to this blog.  Yet I do have some game projects that haven't been posted, partly because I didn't want this blog to get too scattered with so many projects... yet I work on them anyway, and so I don't have enough to post on projects I've already started here.  So I guess what I'll do is introduce another project, and each project will likely go in spurts as I work on them; some months may have lots of FissureVerse, other months lots of Knotwood, etc.

So anyway, I've been working on a tabletop RPG for some time now, and I guess I've got enough of the setting satisfactory that it'd been interesting to post here.  The mechanics still need a lot of work, but I can at least start with the setting, so look forward to that coming up.

All other projects here will continue, and I'll just bounce around between them as I like.  Let's see if I can match up to the name of the blog.