FAQ, Rules Clarifications, and Updates

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Base Game 1st Ed. Clarifications

Why Champions Prepare at End of Turn

During your turn, you may use effects to expend your opponent’s champions. You might do this for a couple of reasons: 1) to prevent a guard from protecting an opponent and/or their non-guard champions or 2) to prevent the champion from using its expend abilities on that opponent’s next turn.

If champions were prepared at the start of the turn, they would be able to use their expend abilities as normal (rendering expend effects useless vs non-guard champions).

Expending Cards

Expend abilities () don’t trigger from effects that say “expend” a card, a card “enters play expended”, or a card “becomes expended”. Just turn the card sideways.

Generic Symbols Include Specific Ones

When an effect refers to a generic symbol on another card, it also refers to all variations of that symbol. For example, “Stun all champions with  in their text box” would stun a champion with “: ”.

The Defense Symbol Includes Guards

Some effects refer to the Defense symbol, for example, “Stun the highest champion among all players”. The non-guard defense symbol is used for simplicity, but it refers to both guard () and non-guard champions.

Guards and Non-Targeting Abilities

Prepared Guards protect players from attacks (which are made using combat) and their non-guard champions from attacks and targeting. Some abilities affect champions without “targeting” them. In these cases, guards do not protect against the abilities. For example, if an ability says “Stun the highest champion among all players”, a prepared 3-defense guard would not protect a 4-defense non-guard champion from the effect.

Nothing to Target

If an effect says to target something but there is nothing to target, ignore that part of the effect. For example, the Ranger’s Headshot reads “Stun target minion that isn’t in your area. Draw a card.” If there are no minions in other areas, you can still sacrifice Headshot to draw a card.

Attack Enemies, Heal Friends

You can’t choose to attack yourself, your champions, your friends, or their champions. In the Ruin of Thandar Campaign, you can’t choose to give to your enemies.

Can I acquire cards, activate abilities, or otherwise act while something else is happening?

No. Unless a card tells you otherwise, you may only perform actions such as acquiring cards and activating abilities during your Main Phase while nothing else is happening.

Ruin of Thandar 1st Ed. Updates

These updates apply to the Ruin of Thandar Rulebook and future adventures in the Ruin of Thandar campaign.

Defeated Players

A player is defeated if their hero’s health is reduced to 0. If that player was the active player, finish resolving any Master abilities and flipped cards, then end the turn. The Master abilities and flipped cards do not affect the defeated player, but affect other players as normal. For example, “discard a card” does nothing, but “each player discards a card” still affects the remaining players. Then, empty the Master’s combat pool and prepare its minions in that area.

Regardless of whether that player was the active player, move all minions and hazards from the defeated player’s area to the next player area. The players who were previously seated on the left and right of the defeated player are now “nearby.” If all players are defeated, the Master wins.

When the Market Deck Runs Out

If and when the Market Deck runs out of cards, shuffle all Market cards from the Sacrifice Pile into the Market deck. (Don’t include Fire Gems or other cards that didn’t come from the Market.)

Villainous Attacks and Expended Guards

During the Master Step (see “The Master Step” in the Ruin of Thandar Rulebook), if you have any expended guards, they won’t protect you or your other champions (see “Guard“ in the Hero Reams Base Game rules).

Here’s how it works: When the Master makes a Villainous Attack against your area, it ignores any expended guards you have and spends its combat to stun your prepared guards. After it stuns all of your prepared guards, it continues its Villainous Attack as normal. (It defeats you if it can. Otherwise, it attacks your remaining champions regardless of whether they’re guards, not guards, prepared, or expended.)

Note: This only applies in rare cases when a player has an expended guard(s) during the Master Step. None of the cards in the Ruin of Thandar can cause this to happen, but it may happen in the Lost Village and future adventures.

“Event” Misprint

In the first edition Ruin of Thandar Rulebook, page 12, step 1C, bullet 3 should read “For an action: do what it says, then put it into the Master’s discard pile.”

Master Health Misprints

In the first edition Ruin of Thandar Adventure book, some of the Masters’ starting health values were misprinted. The health values printed on the Master cards themselves are correct.

  • On page 24, Ingarash’s starting health should be 80.
  • On page 26, Slaughterclaw’s starting health should be 70.
  • On page 28, Karakan’s starting health should be 65.

Ruin of Thandar 1st Ed. Clarifications

Giving Health to Other Players

Whenever you gain , as long as you can target a nearby friendly player (while your area is clear of masters and minions), you may give all of that health to that player instead of yourself. However, if an effect says that a specific player(s) gain , they gain it directly and can’t give it to another player.

Examples where health can be given away are:

  • Prayer Beads: “Gain 2 or 5 . If you have two or more champions in play, gain both.” (A player isn’t specified, so you may give the health to a nearby player as long as you can target them.)
  • Kraka, High Priest: “Gain 2 for each champion you have in play.” (If you have three champions, Kraka generates 6 health. You may give all of it to a nearby player as long as you can target them. Note: In this example, Kraka generates a single instance of 6 health, not three separate instances of 2 health.)

Examples where health can’t be given away are:

  • Bless: “Target player gains 3 and their champions gain +1 until the end of your next turn.” (The targeted player gains 3 health and can’t give it to another player.)
  • Hammer of Light: “You and each nearby friendly player gain 1 .” (You and the other players each gain 1 health directly.)

Why Characters Start With Level 3 Abilities

When you make a new character to play the Ruin of Thandar, you’ll start with a Level 1 skill card and a Level 3 ability card. Level 3 ability cards are appropriately powered for new characters. Level 1 ability cards are appropriately powered for advanced characters to buy as their second ability card. (See “Upgrading Your Skills and Abilities” in The Ruin of Thandar Rulebook.)

When You Can Change Seating

Players may rearrange how they’re seated before each encounter, as well as before replaying an encounter that was lost.

5-Card Opening Hands

All players draw 5 cards at the start of the game. There is no penalty for the player going first.

Masters “Deal Damage“ Directly

Damage is dealt either by attacking (by spending combat) or directly (when an effect say to “deal damage”). The Master has special rules for assigning attack damage, but it doesn’t have special rules for dealing direct damage. Just resolve those effects normally. For example, an effect that says “Deal 4 damage to you” deals that damage to you and not any of your champions. Guards don’t prevent direct damage.

Examples of Villainous Attacks

Masters make villainous attacks as follows:

  1. The Master always spends combat (from all sources, including minions) to stun your prepared Guards first, starting with the highest defense one that it can stun. (If there’s a tie, you choose.)
  2. Next, the Master defeats you if it has enough combat. If it can’t, it stuns as many of your remaining champions as possible, starting with the highest defense one that it can stun. (If there’s a tie, you choose.)
  3. Finally, the Master spends any remaining combat to damage you.

Here are some examples:

Example 1: You have a 7-defense guard, a 5-defense guard, and a 3-defense guard, all of which are prepared.

  • If the Master has 8 combat, it stuns your 7-defense guard and the remaining 1 combat is lost.
  • If the Master has 6 combat, it stuns your 5-defense guard and the remaining 1 combat is lost.
  • If the Master has 10 combat, it stuns your 7-defense guard and your 3-defense guard.

Example 2: You have a prepared 5-defense guard, a 6-defense non-guard champion, and a 2-defense non-guard champion. You have 50 health.

  • If the Master has 4 combat, it’s all lost. (It can’t get through your 5-defense guard.)
  • If the Master has 10 combat, it stuns your 5-defense guard and your 2-defense non-guard champion, and deals 3 damage to you.

Example 3: You have three 5-defense non-guard champions. You have 10 health.

  • If the Master has 9 combat, it spends 5 to stun one of your champions (you choose which one since they’re tied at 5 defense). The Master spends the remaining 4 combat to damage you.
  • If the Master has 10 combat, it defeats you.

Example 4: You have a prepared 3-defense guard, an expended 5-defense guard, and a 7-defense non-guard champion. You have 12 health.

  • If the Master has 5 Combat, it spends 3 to stun the prepared Guard and 2 to damage you.
  • If the Master has 10 Combat, it spends 3 to stun the prepared Guard and 7 to stun the non-guard champion.
  • If the Master has 15 Combat, it spends 3 to stun the prepared Guard, and 12 to defeat you.

Emptying the Master’s Combat Pool

At the end of the Master Step, any Combat the Master was unable to spend is lost. (See “The Master Step” in the Ruin of Thandar Rulebook.)

Masteries and Leveling Up

When a Master levels up, discard all Mastery cards that are attached to it. Any future Masteries attach to the Master as normal, even if it can’t level up again.

For Masters, Minions ≠ Champions

If a Master or its cards refer to a “champion” or “champions”, it only affects and/or counts players’ champions. It doesn’t affect and/or count the Masters’ minions.

When the Master Flips Multiple Cards

Resolve each Master ability in the order the cards were flipped. Then resolve each card in the order it was flipped.

When the Master Discards Multiple Cards

If an effect causes the Master to discard more than one card at a time, resolve each one separately. For example, if they would discard two cards, look at the top card of the Master deck, you may put it into the Master discard pile, then repeat this one more time.


Whenever you advance to the next encounter, or replay an encounter that was lost, return all cards to their starting locations (personal decks, the Market, etc.) and reset all scores (players’ and Master’s health) before starting the encounter.

Replaying Encounters

You may replay encounters for fun or to earn different rewards. If your character ends up with different Treasure, Abilities, etc., it’s a new “version” of your character. When you play an encounter in the future, pick one version of your character from the previous encounter and setup your Treasure, Abilities, etc., according to that version. Note: You may replay encounters to earn different rewards, but not to gain extra rewards.

Earning Promo Treasures

The Hero Realms Kickstarter campaign included 5 promo class treasures (they have a P in the bottom left corner of the card) – Bag of Holding, Blade of Conquest, Book of Secrets, Starsoul Amulet, and Stone of Seeking.

You may only earn these promos in The Ruin of Thandar. Whenever that adventure instructs you to draw a random class treasure as a reward, you may add your promo class treasure to the random reward pool.

Replaying Chapters

Whenever you complete a campaign chapter, note the number of chapters you have completed, plus all of your current abilities and rewards. Whenever you start or replay a chapter, set up the current chapter using the abilities and rewards from one of the times you completed the previous chapter (if you are playing chapter 1, setup the game from scratch). Note: This means you cannot replay chapters in order to earn extra rewards.


About Rules Editions

Starting with Hero Realms Journeys, we are including version info on our rules inserts and books. This will enable us to communicate corrections separately for each edition. As a result, owners of newer editions will be able to ignore corrections for old editions. For example, we made some small errors in the first English printing of Hero Realms: The Ruin of Thandar. In the second printing, we will correct these errors and include “Second Edition” with the copyright info (on the back cover) of the Rulebook and Adventure Book. Our older rules inserts and books do not include edition labels.