Monday, July 2, 2012

Battle For Souls - Rules Take 1

Here is the first draft of the Battle For Souls rules!


Welcome to Battle For Souls, a card game pitting the 7 archangels of heaven vs. the 7 princes of hell in a fight for the eternal souls of humankind!
Components
7 Angel Cards
7 Devil Cards
21 Soul Cards
10 Reap Cards
45 Temptation Cards
45 Virtue Cards
20 Victory Point Cards
10 Sin Cards
10 Intercession Cards
10 Holy Relic Cards
10 Unholy Relic Cards
25 Marker Cubes
4 Player Mats
4 Reference Cards
1 Rulebook

Set Up
Each player should decide whether they will play the side of light, or the side of darkness and place a corresponding player mat in front of them. The player(s) on the side of light should shuffle the archangel cards and randomly select one, the player(s) on the side of darkness should do the same with the prince of hell cards. Players should then place the card they have drawn on the designated area of their player mat. In a four player game, players should alternate light/darkness/light/darkness. Three player games are not recommended. 
Each side should then create a deck of 50 cards containing all 45 virtue (light) or temptation (darkness) cards (do not include victory point cards) and 5 reap cards. This deck should be shuffled and placed on the designated area of their player board. In four player games only the player going first on each side will place the deck on their player board.
Create the following areas on the table by placing the cards listed:
Earth
1. Soul cards (face down in a stack)
2. Three soul cards (face up in a row) 
3. Place a marker on the middle gray box on the soul card’s scoring track

The Side of Darkness
1. Princes of hell cards (face down in a stack) 
2. Victory point temptation cards (face up in a stack) 
3. Sin cards (face down in a stack)
4. Unholy relic cards (face down in a stack)
The Side of Light
1. Archangel cards (face down in a stack)
2. Victory point virtue cards (face up in a stack)
3. Intercession cards (face down in a stack)
4. Holy relic cards (face down in a stack)
Heaven
All cards used or gained by the side of light that are removed from play and have a victory point value are placed here. Note: A card has a victory point value if it contains a number in a gold shield in the top right corner of the card
Hell
All cards used or gained by the side of darkness that are removed from play and have a victory point value are placed here.
Purgatory
This is where reaped souls go that have not earned the minimum amount of holy or unholy points to make it to heaven or hell.
The Void
This is where cards go that are taken permanently out of the game for any reason.
Victory Points
Soul cards are worth 3 victory points each
Archangel and prince of hell cards are worth 3 victory points each
Holy/unholy relic cards are worth 2 victory points each
Victory point cards are worth 1 victory point each
Some sin and intercession cards are worth 1 victory point each
Costs
The currency used in Battle For Souls are holy and unholy points
Holy and unholy points are tracked on soul cards in play using the heavenly virtue/mortal weakness track on the left side of the cards
To use holy currency a soul must have 1 or more holy points
To use unholy currency a soul must have 1 or more unholy points
Holy and unholy points can be used to buy victory point, sin/intercession and holy/unholy relic cards
Intercession/sin cards cost 2 holy or unholy points (or free with card combo)
Holy/unholy relic cards cost 3 holy or unholy points (or free with card combo)
Victory point cards cost 1 holy or unholy point each (or free with card combo) - when purchased a victory point card must be placed in the buyer’s discard pile
New archangel and prince of hell cards are gained by maxing out a soul’s holy or unholy points
Turn Order
In Battle For Souls all steps of the turn order are optional except for step 8, and the turn order must be followed. 
See the Backtracking section of this rulebook for rules on missed steps.
  1. Use  one archangel or prince of hell card that you have in play
  2. Purchase card(s) by subtracting holy or unholy points from souls in play to pay their cost
  3. Play a set of virtue/temptation cards, [include sin/intercession cards if applicable, color only] See “Hand Rewards”

    Or

    Discard any number of cards in your hand
  4. Use one intercession or sin card ability
  5. Use one holy or unholy relic ability
  6. Play a reap card 
  7. Draw back up until you have five virtue/temptation cards in your hand for the next turn
  8. End your turn
See the Play! section of this rulebook for details on each of the turn order steps.

Backtracking
If you miss step in the turn order you are not allowed to backtrack without the formal permission of your opponent(s).

If you wish to backtrack to a missed step, you must do the following:
  1. Make your opponent(s) aware that you have missed a step and that you wish to backtrack to complete the step
  2. Make a plea on why you should be allowed to backtrack 
  3. When your plea is complete your opponents shall approve or deny your request with a thumbs up or a thumbs down. In a four player game you must receive two thumbs up to backtrack, or your request is denied.

    The approval or denial by your opponent is final. Your only recourse is how you decide to treat your opponent(s) when a backtrack request comes your way.
  4. If permission is granted you must undo all steps you have taken back to the missed step one at a time, and your opponent must approve each step along the way.
  5. If at any point during the backtracking there is any debate, permission can be revoked. In this case, redo any steps backtracked and continue with the turn order as normal.

Hand Rewards
Pair: Allows a player to take a victory point card, the victory point card purchased must be placed in the player’s discard pile
Two Pair: Allows a player to take a sin/intercession card, draw up to a full hand and play another hand (Limit of once per turn)
Set of 3 different colors:  Allows the player to add 1 holy/unholy point to a single soul with a spiritual strength/mortal weakness of the same color as any one of the cards played
Set of 4 different colors: Allows the player to add 2 holy/unholy points to a single soul with a spiritual strength/mortal weakness of the same color as any one of the cards played
Set of 5 different colors: Allows the player to add 3 holy/unholy points to a single soul with a spiritual strength/mortal weakness of the same color as any one of the cards played
3 of a kind: Allows the player to add 3 holy/unholy points to a single soul with a spiritual strength/mortal weakness of the same color
Full house (3 of a kind and 1 pair): Allows the player to add 3 holy/unholy points to a single soul with a spiritual strength/mortal weakness of either color AND gain a free holy/unholy relic
4 of a kind:  Allows the player to add 4 holy/unholy points to a single soul with a spiritual strength/mortal weakness of the same color AND gain a free holy/unholy relic
5 of a kind: Allows the player to add 5 holy/unholy points to a single soul with a spiritual strength/mortal weakness of the same color, AND/OR gain a free holy/unholy relic card
If you have a sin/intercession card with a victory point shield in the top right corner you can use it as if it were a card in your hand. Sin/intercession cards with a victory point shield must be used on your current turn. When your turn ends they should be placed in heaven or hell for end of game scoring.
If you are playing a team game you can use any two cards your partner has discarded on his/her last turn as if you held them yourself.
Play!
In Battle For Souls players choose the side of light or darkness and work to win the game by scoring the most victory points.  This is done by playing hands of cards to gain holy or unholy points on the soul cards in play.
For a two player game one player will choose the side of light and one player will choose the side of darkness. For a four player game two players will play as a team on the side of light and two on the side of darkness. For solo play, please see the Solo Play section of this rulebook.
  1. Set up the game according to the Set Up section of this rulebook
  2. Decide the starting side by using Rock, Paper, Scissors or some other random method. Play passes clockwise.
  3. On your turn follow the Turn Order, below are details of each step in the turn order.
1. Use an archangel or prince of hell card
Each archangel and prince of hell card has a color in the top left hand corner, this color represents a heavenly virtue or a mortal weakness. If there is a soul in play that has a heavenly virtue which matches that of an archangel card you have in play AND the soul does not have any unholy points, you may add one holy point to that soul. Conversely, if there is a soul in play that has a mortal weakness which matches that of a prince of hell card you have in play AND the soul does not have any holy points, you may add one unholy point to that soul.

Although you can acquire multiple archangel or prince of hell cards during a game, you are only allowed to use one of them during step 1 of the turn order. If more than one soul applies, you must choose one.

2. Purchase card(s) by subtracting holy or unholy points from souls in play to pay their cost
Once you or your team has one or more holy or unholy points on a soul in play you may spend these points to gain a victory point card, a sin/intercession card or a holy/unholy relic card. For each holy or unholy point spent you must move the marker on the soul card toward the middle one tick. You can only move a marker until it reaches the grey neutral space on the soul card.

You may only do this once on your turn and may only spend points from a single soul in play. Combining points from different souls is not allowed.

So for example, if you want to buy a holy relic card there must be a soul in play that has at least three holy points to spend.

See the Costs section of this rulebook for more information

3. Play a set of Virtue/Temptation cards or discard any number of cards in your hand
During this step you can either choose to play a hand for some benefit, or discard any number of cards in your hand.
In team games, if you choose to discard instead of playing a hand during this step, fan your discards on the table in front of you. Your partner can then choose to use up to two of your discards on his or her turn (this includes reap cards). Move any remaining discards to your discard pile when your partner finishes their turn.

See the Hand Rewards section of this rulebook for details on the hands you can play and the benefits each provides

In the four player team game, if you choose to discard during this step, place  your discards face up in front of you. Your partner will then have an opportunity to use your discards when he/she plays their hand, but only on their next turn.

If you play a hand you cannot discard, and vice versa.

4. Use one intercession or sin card ability 
If you have purchased or won a sin/intercession card you can use its special ability during this step. These cards all have text that will explain what the special ability is. If the sin/intercession card has a victory point shield you must play the ability on the same turn in which you gained the card. If you cannot play it you receive no benefit except for counting the victory point at the end of the game. If you have a grey sin/intercession card without a victory point shield you can play it in front of you and use the special ability at anytime during the remainder of the game. 
You can gain a sin/intercession card by paying for one in step 2 of the turn order, or earn one in step 3 if you play two pair.
5. Use one holy or unholy relic ability
If you have purchased or won a relic card you can use its special ability during this step.  Each relic card includes text that explains what the special ability is.
6. Play a reap card
During this step you may play a reap card if one of the following conditions is true:
a.) At least one soul in play has at least four holy or unholy points
b.) All three souls in play have at least one holy point
c.) All three souls in play have at least one unholy point
If none of these conditions are true a reap card cannot be played.

When a reap card is played all souls must be resolved in the following manner.

a.) If the soul has 4 or more holy points the soul goes to heaven and will be scored for the side of light.
b.) If the soul has 4 or more unholy points the soul goes to hell and will be scored for the side of darkness.
c.) If the soul does not have at least 4 holy or 4 unholy points it goes to purgatory where it will score no points for either side.
After a reap card is played and the souls in play are resolved, deal three new soul cards face up and place a marker on the middle gray box on the soul card’s scoring track.

7. Draw
Draw back up until you have five virtue (light) or five temptation (darkness) cards in your hand for the next turn. You should do this whether you played cards or discarded. You cannot draw past 5 cards unless you use a sin/intercession or relic that specifically allows you to do so. If there are not enough cards remaining in your deck, shuffle your discard pile, create a new draw pile, and continue drawing from this new pile until you have five cards.


8. End your turn
When you finish your turn play passes clockwise (pass the remaining virtue/temptation deck to your partner in four player games)


The game ends when all souls have been reaped. The player/team that has earned the most victory points wins.

4 comments:

  1. Awesome. How's further playtesting coming? Coming closer to Kickstarting it?

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  2. I am thinking October maybe the time for Kickstarting.... Working on graphic design and still play testing. The balance is still great with most games being very close (within 1 to 6 points)

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  3. Very cool. And like I said earlier, if you're interested in sending out a few demo copies at some point, I'm happy to amateur playtest a bit and provide feedback.

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  4. Yep. You're on the list for sure!

    ReplyDelete

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