Take the role of the Fates and shape stories of epic battle and grisly mystery. Assume the role of death-driven Thanatos and mete out a miserable existence to the hapless hero, or take the life-affirming role of Eros guide the hero on a journey of self discovery and shiny success.
Two players work side by side to narrate a story of victory or woe, drawing on their unique story decks to deal a hand of fate to the story hero.
A shared pool of fate cards allows the players to weight their attempts to influence the story. You may spend your fate cards to block your opponent’s influence, but that will leave you with less fate power to make your own play.
The game is balanced to last 3-5 rounds, for 6-10 story cards played in total. By the end, the hero will become a tragic cautionary tale, or a righteous example of cosmic justice.
Myth cards are the first card on the table and represent what myth is being played out. Myth cards define the campaign. Examples are “Maze of the Minotaur”; “The Magic Beanstalk”; and “The Forest Witch”.
Myth cards dictate what sets the player story card decks can be drawn from, as well as which hero cards are available. Expansion sets are essentially Myth sets.
To start with, the Myths will be classic fairytales, but the game system could be extended to have Myths set in any universe, with original content or derived stories.
Hero cards are the second card on the table and represent which hero is the subject of the Myth. Examples are “Demigod Hero” for the “Maze of the Minotaur”; “Peasant Boy” for “The Magic Beanstalk”; and “City Guardswoman” for “The Forest Witch”.
Hero cards provide the starting point for the journey. The first story card chains off of the Hero card and the story flows from there. Hero cards have qualities that affect story cards. For example, the “Demigod Hero” may have the “Fitness Nut” quality that allows Eros to have greater influence on story cards that represent feats of strength.
Each Myth can have several different Heros.
During the game, the player has access to their entire customized deck of 20 story cards. There is no card-draw or ‘hand’ mechanic for the story deck. The player needs to customize the deck and build it to the specified deck size, but they can access any card in their deck without needing to draw it first.
Fate cards are numbered with the first 5 prime numbers (1, 3, 5, 7, 11). A shared deck is made up of 5 of each card. Players draw a hand of 5 fate cards at the start of the game.
Story cards have a fate value. When a story card is played, players compete for influence over the story card by attempting to play fate cards from their hand that gets close to the story card’s fate value, but not exceeding it.
The owner of the story card in play must play at least one fate card face up. The opponent may then play any number of fate cards of their own. If the opponent’s fate total exceeds the total of the story card owner, then the story card owner may play additional cards. Once either player declines to play more fate cards, the story card is resolved. Whoever had the highest total without exceeding the story card’s fate value gains influence over the story card. Ties go to the story card owner.
Remember, your fate card total may not exceed the value of the story card in play.
Story cards are either neutral, aligned to Thanatos, or aligned to Eros. Most Conflict and Mighty loot cards are neutral, while Motivations, Conflicts, and Conclusions tend to be Thanatos/Eros aligned. However, if the Thanatos player fails to exert influence of their own Thanatos card, the Eros player can still turn it to their advantage, and vice versa.
There may be sub-alignments, like Magic the Gathering’s colors. There may be different aspects of Thanatos, like if you take the Red aspect you can include red Thanatos aligned cards but not blue, etc. Or the different aspects may grant once-per-game abilities, like one aspect of Thanatos lets you always win fate ties, and another lets you change the value of your fate card to equal the fate value of the story card in play, and another lets you play an additional story card (take an extra turn).
There are several different types of story cards that are played at specific points. For example, the Hero card will have printed on its card borders labels that dictate what story card can chained to it. Likewise, story cards will themselves have labels that dictate what can be chained to them.
The story ends with the Conclusion type.
List of story card types:
Story cards can be influenced such that even an apparently life-affirming Eros card can be twisted to something dark.