WHAT ARE THESE RULES?
These rules for the SPELLFIREÆ card game are very similar to those for the latest edition of SPELLFIRE (4th Edition). These rules make special modifications for specific types of tournaments and serves as a more expanded commentary on the game (since we weren’t limited to a certain number of panels like in the published game).
SPELLFIRE is a collectible card game for two or more players. The idea is that each player builds his own unique deck of cards from all the cards he owns. Most cards have strange powers that break or change the general rules of the game. In all cases, the special power on the card takes precedence over the rules presented here.
These rules are slightly different than those presented in 4th Edition. In all cases, these rules supersede any other published rules. The major changes include:
• When a player runs out of cards, he reshuffles his discard pile to form a new draw pile at the end of the current turn.
• Ancient Kalidnay, along with the Caravan event, cannot be used until the last player to go in the first “turn cycle” has started his turn (or has had his turn skipped). The last player to go in the first “turn cycle” may use both of these freely after he has started his first turn.
• Everyone is allowed to include a “free” avatar in his deck; that is, its level doesn’t count. It still counts as a single card for purposes of deck construction, however.
• The blueline rules presented in the two Reference Guides are legal and in play in tournaments. The online version takes precedent and includes all of the blueline rules included in the reference guides.
• Rules clarifications now exist for running out of cards, champions who have the ability to play “all or any” of a particular card type, copying the special powers of other cards, the Removed from Game area, and borrowing cards. Refer to the specific rules section for more information.
• Events, when played, are sent to the Void (removed from game area). Events that are discarded before having been played are sent to the Abyss.
In addition, your fellow SPELLFIRE players have subjected these rules to intense scrutiny. Where possible, clarifications and examples have been provided to make the rules easier to understand. Since space isn’t an issue in this version of the rules, we’ve spent more time discussing some of the more complicated rules.
There’s no such thing as an ante or sideboard in sanctioned tournaments (refer to variants under the tournament structure for exceptions). Players are encouraged to build as challenging a deck as they can while at the same time being aware of strategies that may work against their creation. Players are not allowed to change decks or add cards once the tournament has begun unless special rules exist for a particular tournament. The only exception to this rule is that a player may replace a card destroyed by the Enter Darkness Together event at the end of the current round, unless the player replaces the destroyed card with the same card. Then the player may do so at the end of the current game.
Likewise, “touch rules” don’t exist in tournaments. If a champion casts an offensive spell at a champion who is immune to offensive spells, he’s allowed to re-target the spell in most circumstances (the exception being that if he casts into a pool at a hidden champion who happens to be immune, the spell is wasted). Likewise, if a player unknowingly sends his champion into an instant-defeat (like attacking with a monster when the Lovely Colleen is in the defender’s pool), he’s allowed to take back his attack, except in the case of a hidden pool. Remember that everyone’s supposed to be having fun.
WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT?
The idea of the game is to build an empire. Players take turns drawing and laying down cards from their individual decks. In a collectible card game, each player has his own deck. Cards from one player’s deck are never mixed in with cards from another player’s deck.
As each player builds his empire, other players try to destroy it. The players use fantasy champions (clerics, heroes, monsters, wizards, and others) to attack and defend their empires. Spells, magical items, artifacts, events, allies, and other special cards aid these champions. If the attack is successful, part of the defender’s empire is razed or a defending champion is defeated. “Razed realm” is a term that pops up continuously in these rules.
In any game, the idea is to have fun. Don’t get hung up on rules technicalities or play “touch rules.” No one has fun in a game with a rules lawyer. Play fair and honestly. Be willing to replay a few cards if a player didn’t understand what was going on. Remember that it’s just a game.
Each card has a similar look and layout. Take a moment to place down a few of the cards. The horizontal cards mostly have map pictures; they are the realms that make up an empire. The rest of the cards are laid out vertically. In the upper left-hand corner is an icon that identifies the type of card. The wizard champion icon and wizard spell icon have the same shape, but different colors. The same is true for the cleric champion icon and the cleric spell icon, the psionicist champion icon and the psionicist power icon, etc. Spell and power icons are pale yellow.
Seven of these icons belong to a single card type: champion. Clerics, heroes, monsters, wizards, psionicists, thieves, and regents are all champions. Rules that discuss champions apply to all of these cards. There are some rules unique to individual types of champions.
Some of the icons have a number. Most champions have a number for a level. The number is the level of the card. The higher the level, the more powerful the card. Most cards have levels ranging from 0 to 9, though a few cards, notably the avatars and select “Gib” champions, have much higher levels of power.
Some champions and allies have a “?” for a level. This means that there base level won’t be known until the conditions on the card have been performed that grant it a level or icon bonus.
At the bottom of the card is a marble box that contains four elements, the most obvious of which is a world logo. The logos are ADVANCED DUNGEONS & DRAGONSÆ, BIRTHRIGHTÆ, DARK SUNÆ, DRAGONLANCEÆ, FORGOTTEN REALMSÆ, GREYHAWKÆ, and RAVENLOFTÆ. Only champions, artifacts, realms, and holdings have world-specific logos, and these logos typically dictate how cards work together. For example, an AD&DÆ champion can use only an AD&D artifact. AD&D realms can have only AD&D holdings attached to them.
The marble box at the bottom of a SPELLFIRE card contains its special power. This power is an ability or function that falls outside the normal rules of the game.
Racial and movement characteristics are not considered to be part of a card’s special powers. An elf always remains an elf, a flyer always remains a flyer, and an undead champion always remains an undead champion. Cards that strip away a card’s special powers never strip away these characteristics. Card powers that specifically strip away a champion’s ability (such as flying, being undead, or other characteristic) work normally.
The Reference Guides also list clarifications that are not printed on the cards themselves. This grants characteristics to some champions, making them flyers, swimmers, undead, etc. These are called the blueline rules, and they are not optional in SPELLFIRE tournaments—they are part of the rules.
A standard SPELLFIRE deck contains a mixture of realms, holdings, champions, allies, events, spells, magical items, artifacts, and other cards. The precise mix depends on the deck and the player. Each type of card has its own purpose and value in the game.
No individual card can appear more than once in a deck, unless that card states that multiples are allowed in the same deck (such as the Shaqat Beetles (329/3rd) or War Party (54/3rd)). A card is considered the same if it has both the same icon and the same name. There are three different sizes of decks used in SPELLFIRE tournaments, and each deck is limited by the number of specific cards it can include.
55-Card Deck (Standard)
Rule cards 0–3
Magical items 0–12
Allies any number
Blood abilities any number
Cleric spells any number
Psionic powers any number
Thief abilities any number
Unarmed combat any number
Wizard spells any number
Total cards 55
*The champions in a deck may not total to more than 90 levels. Use the number appearing in the icon on the card to determine a champion’s level. If there is more than one number in the icon, use the first one. Note that each player can include one avatar in his deck for free; its levels don’t count toward the 90-level maximum (but it still counts as a single champion).
These decks are used frequently for tournaments offering rules variants like the Barbarian’s Game or where a 10-realm victory condition is set.
Rule cards 0–4
Magical items 0–15
Allies any number
Blood abilities any number
Cleric spells any number
Psionic powers any number
Thief abilities any number
Unarmed combat any number
Wizard spells any number
Total cards 75
*The champions in a deck may not total to more than 125 levels. Use the number appearing in the icon on the card to determine a champion’s level. If there is more than one number in the icon, use the first one. Note that each player can include one avatar in his deck for free; its levels don’t count toward the 125-level maximum (but it still counts as a single champion).
This is the largest deck that is sanctioned in a SPELLFIRE tournament. These massive decks are normally quite strategy-oriented, since the chance of specific cards being drawn is half that of a standard deck. The Campaign Classic tournament frequently uses 110-card decks.
Rule cards 0–5
Magical items 0–20
Allies any number
Blood abilities any number
Cleric spells any number
Psionic powers any number
Thief abilities any number
Unarmed combat any number
Wizard spells any number
Total cards 110
*The champions in a deck may not total to more than 180 levels. Use the number appearing in the icon on the card to determine a champion’s level. If there is more than one number in the icon, use the first one. Note that each player can include two avatars in his deck; their levels don’t count toward the 180-level maximum (but they still counts as two champions—and each may have limitations that prevent both of them from being in play at the same time).
Tournaments should always post what optional rules variants and victory conditions are being used so as to allow players to create decks that match the intent of the tournament. If no variants are listed, it assumes a standard, 6-realm game is being played. If a specific type of tournament is listed, players should refer to the rules under that tournament type before constructing their decks.
Tournament players cannot choose what optional rules they’re going to use during their game, even if everyone at the table agrees to them. The tournament coordinator always decides optional rules.
These special cards are considered a free card in deck construction; they don’t count as part of a deck, thereby creating actual deck sizes of 56, 76, or 111 cards. Originally introduced in the Dungeons! booster, dungeon cards grant a player special advantages. These advantages range anywhere from enacting normally optional rules to shielding your draw pile from inspection.
Unless otherwise noted in the event description, all tournaments allow the use of dungeon cards. Note that some optional rules are already in use in tournaments, so make sure to build decks with that fact in mind.
How Dungeon Cards Work
Players don’t shuffle their dungeon card into the deck like they do a normal rule card. At the start of the game, each player gets to put his dungeon card into play.
There are only three ways to remove a dungeon card. The first is by casting a Wish spell. If the Wish is successfully cast, both the Wish spell and the caster are removed from the game. The dungeon card is also removed from the game. See the notes below about the “Removed From the Game” area of the game.
Gib Kcir (16/RR Chase) has a special power that allows her to place another non-realm card in the Abyss. This also removes the dungeon card from the game, but Gib Kcir remains in the Abyss (so there is a possibility that she can be recovered later).
The final way to remove a dungeon card is by attacking the Dungeon Card itself. This is performed in phase 4 in lieu of attacking an opponent’s realm. In order for a dungeon card to be attacked, however, the owner of the card must have a formation (at least one realm in play, razed or not).
If the attack is successful and the dungeon card is “razed,” the victorious champion is removed from the game. Cards that were attached to the champion are sent to the discard pile. The attacker then gets a dungeon spoils. If a defender defeats an attacker, the defender gets a dungeon spoils, and no further rounds of combat can be waged this turn over the dungeon card.
A dungeon spoils is a special kind of spoils of victory. The victor draws a card, showing it to all the players. If the card drawn is a realm, the dungeon spoils is sent to the Abyss and the victor gets the opportunity to shuffle his discard pile into his draw pile. If the card drawn is any other type of card, he gets to play it like a normal spoils (or place it in his hand).
Once a dungeon card is removed from the game, it can’t be put back into the game by any means. The only time you can play a dungeon card is at the beginning of the game.
STARTING THE GAME
To find out who goes first in a game, each player randomly draws (or cuts to) one card, noting the last digit of the card number. The player with the highest number goes first. In case of a tie, the players who tied draw again until one of them draws a higher card. Each player then shuffles his deck thoroughly and places it face down on the table. The player to his right is entitled to cut the deck before the owning player can draw any cards. Each player has his own draw pile and never draws cards from any other draw pile.
The size of deck being played determines the number of cards drawn and a player’s maximum hand size. These are detailed below. All players always draw the indicated cards during their first turn, regardless of any card that limits the number of cards an opponent can draw. For example, if Player A plays the Taxation rule card before his first turn, all players still draw three cards for their first turn. After the first turn, normal rules apply (so everyone would follow the rule card after their first turn).
55-Card Game Drawing & Hand Size
Each player draws five cards to form his starting hand. At the start of a player’s turn, he draws three cards. Play proceeds clockwise around the table.
At the end of a player’s turn, he can have only eight cards in his hand; extras must be discarded. Events that are discarded are sent to the Abyss; all other cards go to the discard pile.
75-Card Game Drawing & Hand Size
Each player draws six cards to form his starting hand. At the start of a player’s turn, he draws four cards. Play proceeds clockwise around the table.
At the end of a player’s turn, he can have only 10 cards in his hand; extras must be discarded. Events that are discarded are sent to the Abyss; all other cards go to the discard pile.
110-Card Game Drawing & Hand Size
Each player draws seven cards to form his starting hand. At the start of a player’s turn, he draws five cards. Play proceeds clockwise around the table.
At the end of a player’s turn, he can have only 12 cards in his hand; extras must be discarded. Discarded events are sent to the Abyss; all other cards go to the discard pile.
If a player has not played a realm and does not have a realm in his hand that he could play by the end of his second turn, stop the game and start over. No one wins or loses. The player calling for a mulligan must have played any helpful event cards that might give him a chance to get a realm, such as Good Fortune, and he must reveal his hand to prove he has no realms. It is possible for a player to draw a realm, but then be forced to discard it through card play. If, however, the player chooses to discard a realm of his own volition, he may not call a mulligan. The player can call for a mulligan as long as he never got the chance to play a realm card onto the table. If a player has realms in his hand, but other players have them all in play, he can still declare a mulligan.
A mulligan can only be declared by the same player twice in a row. On the third game, that player is forced to continue play with the cards he draws. When starting a new game as a result of a mulligan, players need to determine again who goes first.
A SPELLFIRE game ends when the victory conditions are met. The standard victory conditions for 55- and 75-card decks are when one player has six unrazed realms in his formation. The first player to do this wins.
Decks composed of 110 cards end when one player has 10 unrazed realms in his formation. Certain 75-card variants also require 10 realms to win, but these are clearly stated in the tournament guidelines.
Every player must follow this turn sequence. Phases 1, 5, and 6 must be performed. Phases 0, 2, 3, and 4 are optional.
PHASE 0: PLAY A RULE CARD
Perform any other actions that must happen at the beginning of a player’s turn. For example, Marco Volo allows a player to look at an opponent’s top card at the beginning of his turn (phase 0).
PHASE 1: DRAW THREE CARDS FROM THE DRAW PILE
Some cards allow a player to draw additional cards each turn. Unless another phase is specified, all cards that grant extra cards do so during this phase.
PHASE 2: PLAY A REALM AND/OR HOLDING
Only one of each can be played in a turn, even if you have more in your hand. Steps A & B can be performed in any order.
A) PLAY, REBUILD, OR REPLACE ONE REALM
You may do only one of the three options. If a realm is played, the player cannot rebuild another realm in the same turn. For more details on rebuilding and replacing realms, see Razed Realms.
B) PLAY ONE HOLDING
Holdings must be attached to realms from the same world. Once attached they cannot be rearranged.
PHASE 3: PLAY CARDS INTO THE POOL AND USE SPELLS, PSIONICS, BLOOD ABILITIES, OR THIEF SKILLS
You are not required to perform steps A & B of this phase in a set order; you can bounce back and forth between them. Only the player whose turn it is can perform actions during this step.
A) PLACE ANY NUMBER OF CHAMPIONS, ARTIFACTS, AND MAGICAL ITEMS INTO THE POOL
Artifacts and magical items must be attached to champions. Once attached, they may not be rearranged. A single artifact can be placed on a champion from the same world; any number of magical items can be attached to any champion. You can continue placing magical items and artifacts on your champions during this phase.
B) USE ANY PHASE 3 SPELL, PSIONIC POWER, BLOOD ABILITY, OR THIEF SKILL
There must be a champion in the pool able to use the spell, power, ability, or skill. Other players may use cards to negate the cards you’re trying to play. You can only play Phase 3 cards during this time.
PHASE 4: ATTACK ONE REALM OF ANOTHER PLAYER
Once the realm is chosen, the attacker cannot switch the attack to a different realm, even if he uses different champions. Champions for the attack can come from the player’s hand or from his pool. For more details on attacking realms, see the Combat section.
PHASE 5: USE PHASE 5 CARDS AND ADJUST THE HAND SIZE
At this point in the turn, it’s no longer possible to place champions in your pool, attach magical items, or perform other actions typically done during phase 3 unless obtained as a spoils of victory.
A) USE ANY CARD ALLOWED TO BE PLAYED IN PHASE 5
There must be a champion in the pool able to use the card. Only the player whose turn it is can play cards in phase 5.
B) DISCARD CARDS FROM THE HAND UNTIL YOU’VE REACHED YOUR MAXIMUM HAND SIZE
Some card powers may allow you to keep more cards in your hand. Other cards may limit the number of cards you can keep in your hand.
PHASE 6) RAP ON THE TABLE TO END YOUR TURN
The player to the left may now take his turn.
RULE OF THE COSMOS
Only one of each champion, artifact, realm, and holding card can be in play at once. While one player has a specific champion, artifact, realm, or holding in play, no other player can have that card in play. For example, if a player has Elminster in his pool or in combat, no other Elminster card can be brought into play.
If the card name and icon are identical, the Rule of the Cosmos prevents them from being played. Razed realms are considered to be in play and prevent another player from playing that same realm into his formation.
Champions in Limbo are not considered to be in play. For the effects of playing champions into your pool while another player’s version is stuck in Limbo, refer to the Limbo section.
Realms represent places that are loyal to the player. They are the focus for attacks and defenses. Each realm is a kingdom, nation, city-state, or empire found in one of TSR’s AD&D role-playing worlds.
During phase 2, a player can play one new realm. This new realm is played into the foremost empty space in the formation or on top of a razed realm; it can’t replace an active (face-up)realm. A razed realm is discarded if a new realm is played over the top of it.
Empty places in the formation must be filled in a certain order. The tip of the pyramid (card A) must have a card, even if it is razed, before playing one in the middle (cards B and C) or last row (cards D, E, and F). The middle row must have cards in both of its positions before a card can be played in the last row. It doesn’t matter which card in a particular row is played first.
If a player has no realms on the table, razed or unrazed, all champions in his pool are discarded at the end of the current turn. A player who has earned spoils of victory (see below) and draws a realm can save his champions from being discarded as long as he plays the realm into his formation.
As realms are played, they form a triangle with its base toward the player. The first realm played is the top point of the triangle. The second row must be filled before any realms may be played in the third row.
If cardplay forces a realm to be discarded, it is possible to have an empty spot in the lead position when there are realms in the second row, or an empty spot in the second row when there are realms in the third row. In those cases, new realms must be played into the empty spots first.
For example, if realms A through E are filled, but A and B have been discarded by events, the player must lay down his next realm into position A. He cannot lay it down into position B or F.
Each realm protects the realms behind it by shielding them from attack. A realm cannot be attacked if it is behind another unrazed realm, unless the attacking champion possesses a special power to allow him to attack there.. A razed realm offers no protection. Realms that are exposed by a razed realm can be attacked normally.
A razed realm is turned face down. It is not removed from its position in the formation or discarded. If a holding is attached to that realm, it is discarded when the realm is razed. During phase 2, a player can replace a razed realm with a new one. The razed realm is then discarded.
Once a realm has been razed, any special power the realm provided is eliminated. It is not considered to be a realm from any particular world, and it has no special powers (unless the special power activates as a result of the realm being razed). A razed realm can be rebuilt (flipped up) if the player discards three cards from his hand during phase 2. The player can only rebuild one realm each turn, and by doing so forfeits play of a new realm. When the rebuilt realm is flipped back over, its special power is reactivated.
In the set-up diagram, realm A protects realms B and C. If A is razed, B and C can be attacked. If A and B are razed, C and D can be attacked. Realms E and F are still protected. A realm retains its position in the formation even if other realms are discarded. For example, if realms A, B, and C are all discarded, realms D, E, and F do not move up to fill the empty spots.
The pool is just a place on the right side of the formation. In phase 3 of his turn, a player can put any number of champions into the pool from his hand. He can attach artifacts and magical items to these champions. These cards are considered to be in play but don’t count against the player’s hand size limit. The cards in the pool stay there until they are used in battle or until cardplay forces them to be discarded. If a champion is sent to the discard pile, Limbo, or the Abyss, all of his attached cards are placed in the discard pile.
A card is considered “in play” when the card is either in the pool, in the formation, or involved in a battle. Rule cards that are on the table, and events with a stated duration, are also cards considered to be “in play.” A card that is removed from play is typically sent to the discard pile, unless a card’s power specifically sends it somewhere else, such as to Limbo or to the Abyss. A card that is not “in play”, no longer has any effect on the game. Recall that when an event is discarded, it is placed in the Abyss.
Limbo is a special place that cards are sometimes sent to, either as a result of losing combat or through the power of some realms, events, and other cards. While a variety of cards can be sent to Limbo, only champions can typically emerge; all other attached cards are discarded. The exception to this is that if a champion is sent to Limbo outside of combat, all of his attachments return with him.
Limbo is typically a place to the left of the player’s formation. All cards in Limbo are considered not in play. If another player brings an identical champion into his pool, the champion in Limbo is sent to the discard pile when he leaves Limbo. Players can never choose to leave their champions in Limbo to avoid being discarded.
Unless otherwise specified, any champion sent to Limbo remains there until the end of his owner’s next turn.
If a player is allowed to draw cards from his discard pile, or shuffle cards back into his draw pile, cards in Limbo are not included.
The Abyss is a place where events are placed if they have been discarded without having been played. In addition, some spells, realms, holdings, and other cards can place a card in the Abyss. Once any card is sent to the Abyss, it cannot be brought back into the current game except by cards that state they can retrieve cards from the Abyss, such as the Gatekeeper or Karlott the Shaman.
REMOVED FROM THE GAME (THE VOID)
Some cards specify that a card is to be removed from the game. Commonly referred to as the Void, this is a special area outside the game from which cards can never return. It might be the box that you normally hold your SPELLFIRE cards in; just make sure that they don’t get mixed up with your discard pile, Abyss, Limbo, or draw pile. Currently, there are very few means by which a card is permanently removed from the game. A dungeon card removed from play is permanently removed from the game. A champion who razes a dungeon card is removed from the game. If a champion casts Wish to remove a dungeon card, both the champion and the Wish spell are removed from the game. Finally, the ally Bottomless Horror (54/DU) has the ability to transfer cards out of the game from the Abyss. Once a card is sent to the Void, it can never be brought back into that game.
During phase 4 of a turn, the acting player can attack one realm of another player. All attacks against a single realm are known as a battle; each champion that comes forward during the battle constitutes a single round of combat. An attack follows this sequence:
A) THE ATTACKER INDICATES WHICH REALM IS BEING ATTACKED
It must be a realm he is able to attack, either because it is exposed (in position A, for example) or because he has some special movement power allowing him to attack it. A player can choose to attack any other player’s realm except his own.
B) THE ATTACKER SELECTS A CHAMPION FROM HIS HAND OR POOL AND PRESENTS IT AS THE ATTACKING CARD
The player may not add any artifacts, magical items, or other cards to the champion at this time. However, if the attacking champion came from the player’s pool, he may already have some attached cards. If that champion is attacking a realm from the same world, he adds 3 to his adjusted level (see World Bonuses, below). An attacker may be involved in only one round of combat (unless her special power states otherwise), either as attacker, defender, or ally.
C) THE DEFENDER SELECTS A CHAMPION FROM HIS HAND OR POOL AND PRESENTS IT AS THE DEFENDING CARD
The player may not add any cards to the defending champion at this time. However, if the defender came from the player’s pool, he may already have some attached cards. If there is no defense, the realm is razed. If the defending champion is from the same world as the attacked realm, he adds 3 to his adjusted level (see World Bonuses, below). A champion may be involved in only one round of battle (unless her special power states otherwise), either as attacker, defender, or ally.
D) THE ATTACKER’S SPECIAL POWER AND ATTACHED CARDS ACTIVATE FIRST, FOLLOWED BY THE DEFENDER’S SPECIAL POWER AND ATTACHED CARDS
Refer to the Order of Activation section for the precise order that cards activate. If an attacker wins the round of battle through use of his special power (before the defender gets to activate his special power), the defender is discarded and that round is over.
E) COMPARE THE TOTAL LEVELS OF EACH SIDE
Take into account any realm, holding, magical items, artifacts, events, spells, etc. that affect the combat. The side with the largest total is winning. A tie means the defender is winning.
F) THE PLAYER THAT IS LOSING CAN PLAY ONE CARD
Compare the total levels again. The losing player keeps playing cards one at a time until he is winning. The winning player can play only events or “play-at-any-time” cards. Cardplay goes back and forth like this until the player that is losing either cannot or refuses to play another card. This round of combat is over. The winner does not have the option to play any more cards, no matter how badly he may want to.
G) THE PLAYER WITH THE HIGHEST ADJUSTED LEVEL WINS THAT ROUND
The defender always wins ties.
H) THE WINNER PLACES HIS CHAMPION, WITH ALL OF ITS ATTACHED CARDS, INTO HIS POOL
He discards all allies, spells, and other non-permanent cards used in the combat; magical items and artifacts are typically all that remain. The loser discards all the cards he used in the combat, including his champion and all its attached cards.
I) THE PLAYERS HAVE NOW COMPLETED ONE ROUND OF BATTLE
If the attacker won the round, but the realm he attacked was not razed, he may select another champion and attack again unless otherwise stated. He may not use the same champion to attack more than once in his turn. He must attack the same realm; he cannot switch the attack to a different realm. The defending player likewise must choose a new defender (but is never required to defend).
If the attacker lost or the defending realm was razed or discarded, the battle is over. The attacker may not continue to attack new realms, even if he has champions left who have not participated in battle this turn.
J) AFTER THE BATTLE IS OVER, ONE OF THE PLAYERS MAY BE ELIGIBLE TO DRAW SPOILS OF VICTORY
Spoils of victory is one card from the player’s draw pile. The attacker draws spoils of victory if the realm he was attacking was razed or discarded. The defender draws spoils of victory if an attacking champion was defeated in combat and discarded (sent to Limbo, the Abyss, or the Void).
When a champion attacks or defends a realm from the same world, that champion’s adjusted level is increased by 3.
Order of Activation
When the combat round begins, cards activate in a particular order. Most of the time, all of the attacker’s cards activating in the order that they are attached doesn’t cause any questions to arise. Sometimes, however, the precise order that cards activate can be important.
The list below details the precise order that cards activate. Note that you should only use this listing to resolve disputes. Most of the time, the attacking champion and all attached cards activate first and there is no problem.
1) RULE CARD
2) DUNGEON CARD
3) REALM POWER
4) HOLDING POWER
5) SPELLS, PSIONIC POWERS, AND OTHER CARDS IN PLAY BEFORE BATTLE (IN THE ORDER PLAYED)
6) POWERS THAT ACTIVATE “BEFORE COMBAT”
7) ATTACKING CHAMPION’S SPECIAL POWER AND ANY ATTACHED:
c.) Magical items*
d.) Blood abilities*
e.) Thief skills*
f.) Unarmed combat cards*
g.) Psionic power cards*
8) DEFENDING CHAMPION’S SPECIAL POWER AND:
Attached cards (same order as attacker)
*Multiple same-type cards activate first by highest bonus modifier and then alphabetically (starting with the first letter of the card name). When determining bonus, use only the number in the card’s icon. In the case of same-name cards with no bonuses, lowest card number goes first.
Champion powers (and attached cards) activate fully when moved into combat. This includes all cards that adjust the level of the attacking or defending champion (such as the Triumvirate realms or magical items like the Banner of the One-Eyed God (103/3rd)). Cards whose special powers actually bring another card to the battle (like Gib Aklem (23/NS Chase), who can use another champion as an ally), can only activate those powers when it is legal for the player to play a card into the battle.
Some cards allow other cards to be played immediately outside of the realm of the Order of Activation. These card supercede this rule.
Ending the Battle
The battle ends if the defender’s realm is razed or discarded, or if one of the attacker’s champion is defeated or discarded. However, there are some special circumstances. All possible results for a round of combat are listed below (see also Wall Spells).
• If the defender defeats an attacking champion during a round of combat, the battle is over. The attacker may not put forward another champion to continue the attack. The defender earns spoils of victory if the attacking champion was discarded (not sent back to his pool).
• If the attacker wins a round by defeating the defending champion, he can continue the attack. The victorious champion returns to the attacker’s pool and the player can bring forth a different champion that has not already been used in this battle and start another round of combat against the same realm.
• If the defender ever declines to defend the realm, the realm is razed and the battle is over. The attacker earns spoils of victory.
• If the attacker ever declines to put forward a champion, the battle is over. Neither side has won, and neither player gets spoils of victory. The attacker is never required to continue an attack.
• If cardplay causes the attacked realm to be razed or discarded (such as by a Cataclysm! event) during combat, the battle is over. The attacking player gets spoils of victory and both attacker and defender return to their respective pools. Both champions must be selected (and their special powers must have activated) before combat is considered to have started.
• If cardplay causes both champions to be discarded (both champions being monsters and treasure being played). The battle ends without a winner or loser.
• If cardplay causes an attacking champion to be discarded, the battle is over. The defending player gets spoils of victory. An example would be playing the Treasure event while defending your realm against a monster champion.
Note that some cards actually cause an opponent to be discarded after combat and have no effect on altering a successful attack or defense. Examples include Iuz the Evil (167/1st) and the Aurak Draconians (50/DL). Some cards even discard a successful attacking champion, but these effects occur outside of the battle and don’t alter spoils of victory or the ability of the attacker to attack again with a new champion.
Most cards have some sort of special ability that is bestowed upon them by their particular icon. Wizards, for instance, gain the ability to cast wizard spells, psionicists gain the ability to use psionic power cards, regents can use blood abilities, and so on. Any card that removes a champion’s special power does not negate the champion’s icon ability. Any card that changes the champion type of the champion, actually changes the icon ability of the champion, and they lose the power of their former class.
All spells are either offensive (meaning that they directly affect the opposing card) or defensive (only affect the casting champion or other friendly cards). While some champions are immune to offensive spells, very few are immune to defensive spells.
Spells can be cast only in the phases listed on the card during your turn, unless otherwise specified on the card. In addition, all spells must have a target. For example, you can’t have your champion cast Dispel Magic if there is no spell or effect he is negating by casting it.
If cardplay prevents an attacking champion from continuing to fight, that champion is defeated but returns to its pool and the battle is over. Since the champion was not discarded, the defender does not get spoils of victory. Examples include the Wall of Fire, Wall of Iron, Wall of Stone, Wall of Force, and Wall of Thorns spells.
It’s worth noting that a flying or earthwalking champion can be defeated by using any of the above spells, since he’s essentially trapped behind the wall where his nonflying allies can’t reach him. An attacking champion always has the opportunity to play a single card that will enable him to continue the battle (regardless of current combat totals), such as the Fly spell.
If cardplay prevents a defending champion from continuing to fight, that round of combat is over. The defending champion returns to the player’s pool. The attacking player may select a different champion that has not already been used in this battle and start another round of combat against the same realm.
Dispel Magic, Spell Turning, and Reflection
These spells can be cast at any time in response to the casting of another spell. Spell Turning and Reflection work only on offensive spells; Dispel Magic is effective against offensive or defensive spells. The special power of Reflection, where it continues to reflect all spells back at the caster, works only if it is cast in phase 4 (otherwise it works exactly like a Spell Turning).
The Wish spell is the most powerful spell in the game. It ignores all cards that state they are immune or otherwise unaffected by spells unless they state an immunity to the Wish spell. Regardless of a champion’s immunities or special powers, Wish can discard them.
Once cast, the spellcaster is incapable of being used in any way, including the casting of further spells and use of any attachments (unless they are continuous effect items like ones that provide immunity). Thus, if the Wish spell is turned back on its caster, another champion capable of casting spells needs to cast another Spell Turning or Dispel Magic to save the original caster.
Certain cards in the SPELLFIRE game instantly defeat other cards of a specific type. Examples include the Lovely Colleen’s ability to kill monsters, the Living Scroll’s ability to defeat heroes and clerics automatically, and others.
Any time an instant-win due to champion powers is indicated during combat (phase 4), the player about to suffer the defeat gains the opportunity to play a single card in an effort to avoid defeat. It makes no difference who is winning or losing. Cards like the Chest of Many Things (which allows the player to change his champion into a different champion type) can thus turn the tide of battle.
The card played must change the condition of defeat (such as changing a champion from a monster to a hero). Cards can’t be played to go after the cause of the defeat (like playing the Heartwood Spear to destroy the Living Scroll).
The special powers of allies, artifacts, and magical items don’t count for the instant-defeat rule. Thus, a level 8 champion who is facing an attacker with the Wand of Orcus is defeated, a champion of base level 5 or less is always discarded by an Intellect Devourer, and the Loup-Garou always defeats a champion who can’t play a magical item. Only events that remove the source of the instant defeat can help in situations like these (such as Airship for ally-related powers, Fast Talking to remove magical items and artifacts).
A champion whose special ability grants him an immunity to any card is immune only to the offensive powers of that particular card unless a defensive immunity is noted. For most cards, this is a simple matter of glancing at the card’s notation (Off/Def) and making the necessary adjustment to the battle.
Artifacts (and some magical items and other cards) complicate matters by granting their attached champion an immunity or special movement power in addition to the card’s other special powers. In these instances, any level bonus gained from the item is lost, but the special movement power and immunity remains. In short, if the power or ability only affects the attached champion, it is not negated by an opposing champion’s immunity.
A champion’s immunities are always active, regardless of the order in which cards activate (detailed above). This applies to all cards that are in play, but not to cards that are in Limbo, the Abyss, or the hand. A champion immune to offensive magical items is always immune to such items, regardless of whether attacking, defending, or sitting in his pool.
Some champions (as well as other cards) have the special power to borrow cards from other players. Borrowed cards are always returned to the original source at the end of the round of combat that they are borrowed. The only exceptions to this are if the card specifically states what happens to the borrowed card, or if the borrowed card is discarded during the combat.
When copying the special power of another card, the exact text on the card is copied. The special power of any card marked as an Avatar cannot be copied. If the blueline rules are in effect, blueline powers are gained as well, as are any racial characteristics. The ability to copy happens immediately after the card is played.
Whenever a card states that it can copy another card’s special power, the owner chooses a new card to copy each turn during phase 3, unless otherwise stated on the card. The copied card lasts for the stated duration of the card, or until phase 3 of the owning player’s next turn, whichever is shorter.
USING “ALL” OR “ANY” CARDS
Some champions and allies grant the ability to use cards of a particular type. The ability to use a particular card type permits the champion to use all types of cards, even those that have additional restrictions (such as “only usable by heroes”). For instance, a hero who has the ability to “cast any spell” can cast the Dragon’s Calm spell, which normally can be cast only by dragons.
ORDER OF PLAY
In intense games, it can sometimes feel like it’s a race to play cards down first before someone else can play a card to stop you. Whenever you put a card into play, all players have a chance to respond to your action. This doesn’t necessitate a “play-pause” but it does mean that playing cards quickly isn’t the solution.
If you’ve just put a card into play, all players get a chance to respond. After that, you can continue. For example, if you play Gib Kcir (16/RR Chase) into your pool, you must give other players a chance to respond. If no one does, then you can activate her power and send another card to the Abyss.
A player who is activating a card already in play on his turn gets priority over other players. The card has been in play, so its activation should come as a surprise to no one. If there’s any question as to who played a card first, then the acting player gets to resolve his card before other players.
RUNNING OUT OF CARDS
When a player’s draw pile is depleted, the discard pile is reshuffled to form a new draw pile at the end of the current turn. Cards which are supposed to be drawn during a time when the player doesn’t have any cards are lost.
SPOILS OF VICTORY
If the realm being attacked is razed or discarded during combat, the attacker gets to draw one card from his draw pile. This is true even if cardplay other than combat causes the realm to be razed or discarded. This card can then be played immediately, held in the hand, or returned to the top of the draw pile. The ability to play a spoils allows the player to play a card that normally can’t be played (such as casting a Disintegrate spell as spoils, placing a champion into the pool, or playing a realm, for example). The only restriction with playing a spoils of victory applies to playing avatar into the pool. While the avatar can be played as spoils, the cost associated with bringing the card into play must be met.
If the attacker is defeated and discarded during combat, the defender gets to draw one card from his draw pile. Once again, this is true even if the defense itself did not cause the champion to be discarded, but some other cardplay.
In the event that rule cards, champion powers, or events allow more than one card to be drawn as a spoils of victory, only the first card drawn can be immediately put into play. The remaining cards must either be held in the hand or left on top of the draw pile.
A spoils of victory card can be played, kept in the hand, or returned to the top of the draw pile as chosen by the player.
BRINGING AVATARS INTO PLAY
A player may only bring an Avatar into play during phase 3 of his own turn. As of this writing, only two exceptions to this exist because the cards indicate such: Great Mother (479/4th) and Gib Drawesmaj (22/NS Chase). Furthermore, all conditions that are required to bring out an avatar (as written on each individual card) must be followed each and every time the avatar is brought into play. The only exceptions to this are the event Titans Walk the Earth (158/4th), the rule card Avatar’s Edict (20/PO Chase), and the cleric Nenioc (284/4th).
FLYERS, SWIMMERS, AND EARTHWALKERS
A flying champion can attack any realm, regardless of its position. If it attacks a protected realm (such as a realm in position B when the realm in position A is still unrazed), all allies of that champion must be flyers, swimmers, or earthwalkers in order to reach it. A champion’s ability to fly, swim, or earthwalk is not automatically conferred to its allies.
A swimming champion is able to attack any realm that shows a coastline, even if it is protected. Realms that do not show coastlines can only be attacked by swimmers if they are exposed (such as in the A position or behind razed realms). Rivers and ponds don’t count for coastline; a complete list of realms with coastlines are in the SPELLFIRE Reference Guides.
An earthwalking champion can move underground to reach realms that are otherwise protected. Earthwalking is a special power that allows that champion to attack any realm that doesn’t have special movement requirements or is limited by champion type (such as a power that “only clerics can attack” or “only swimmers/flyers/monsters can attack”).
A flyer cannot choose to not fly. A swimmer cannot choose to not swim. An earthwalker cannot choose to not earthwalk. If a realm cannot be attacked by a flyer, a champion designated as a flyer cannot attack it, even if the realm is exposed and he need not fly to get to it. The same is true for swimmers, earthwalkers, or any other champion of this type. Any type of champion and ally can defend against flyers, swimmers, and earthwalkers.
Most event cards can be played at any time, even during another player’s turn. Those that cannot state specifically when they can be played. In general, events take effect in the order they are played. If another player is drawing a card from his hand to play, it is considered rude to quickly whip out an event before he can finish playing his card.
Event cards are either harmful or helpful. A harmful event can be ignored by a player if he plays the Calm event or discards Delsenora from his pool. An ignored event still works against other players, however. Any event can be negated completely by casting a Limited Wish or Intercession, by casting Dragon’s Calm, or by discarding Helm from his pool. A Wish can only negate an event that has a duration stated on the card (such as cards that state “Until the end of this player’s next turn”).
Helpful events only affect the player who played them and can only be negated by other players through use of Limited Wish, Intercession, or by discarding Helm from the pool. While allowing another player to have an extra turn through use of the Caravan event might be undesirable, it’s not considered harmful.
Event cards are placed in the Removed from Game area after being played; they can never be returned to a player’s hand. Events that are discarded from the hand before having a chance to be played (such as from a Transformation event) are sent to the Abyss, where cards like Karlott the Shaman have a chance to recover them. Some cards, such as Myrmidons, allow a player to reshuffle his discard pile into his draw pile. Since event cards are in the Abyss or the Removed from Game area, the Myrmidons have no effect on them.
No player can play the Caravan event or activate the special power of the realm Ancient Kalidnay, until the end of the first “turn cycle”. Once this has happened, the Caravan event can be played normally and Ancient Kalidnay can be razed to gain an extra turn.
The “Event Pause”
The moment an event is played, the event-player gives other players a chance to do one of the following actions:
• NEGATE THE EVENT* (LIMITED WISH, HELM, ENTER DARKNESS TOGETHER)
• DUPLICATE THE EVENT** (BELL OF MIGHT)
• CALM THE EVENT* (CALM, DELSENORA)
• DEFLECT THE EVENT (DEFLECTION; HIJACKING)
*The decision to Calm or negate an event begins clockwise from the event-player. Once the player has been passed, he can’t choose later to Calm or negate an event.
**An event that has been negated cannot be duplicated by use of Onad the Weasel, the Bell of Might, or similar cards.
Once an event has been played, the first action a player does must apply to the event or the event occurs normally. For example, a player with the Bell of Might in his pool is the subject of a Cataclysm! event. The player can either choose to Calm or negate the event, thereby nullifying it, or choose to duplicate the event against someone else. He can’t do both; he’s only entitled to a single action.
A player who attempts to negate an event can still choose to Calm the event if his method for negation fails. Likewise, a player who has both a Limited Wish and an Intercession in his hand can make two attempts to negate the event (since if another player dispels his Limited Wish, he still hasn’t performed his action against the event; his spell never occurred). Even if all methods for negation fail, the player is still allowed to Calm or duplicate an event (actions performed by a player to stop an event that are themselves stopped don’t count as an action against events).
Events and Calm
An event that is Calmed still exists for other players. For example, if player A Calms the Bronze Dragons event, then the Bronze Dragons have no effect on him. The Bronze Dragons still prevent other players from attacking, though.
The Wish Spell
The Wish spell is not a counter-effect spell like Limited Wish; it can’t be used to negate most events. It can only be used to negate an event with a stated duration (like events that last “until the player’s next turn”). It can’t be used to stop events like Caravan or Cataclysm! since those cards’ effects are instantaneous.
SPECIAL POWERS & CONFLICTS
Many realms, champions, and allies have special combat powers. These take effect only when that card is involved in a round of battle, unless the card states otherwise. Realm and holding powers take effect when that realm is the target of attack.
Occasionally there is a direct conflict of powers, where one ability completely contradicts the other. In most cases, careful thought by the players can figure out what the results should be. If no solution presents itself, the first card played gets to use the power first. In the case of champions in combat, the attacker gets first use, since he is pushed forward into combat first. The same is true of the attached magical items and artifacts that are brought into combat from the player’s pool.
For example, a player attacks a realm with the Lovely Colleen. The defender puts forward the Living Scroll. Colleen’s power immediately destroys any monster champion. The Living Scroll’s power immediately defeats any hero. However, since Colleen was put into play first, the attacking player gets first use of his power. In this case, Colleen would defeat the Living Scroll and return to her pool victorious. For more information, refer to the Order of Activation section.
Some cards have special powers that work only if a certain condition is fulfilled. For example, the Raze spell (BR/59) requires the caster to be discarded for the spell to work, and The Blamblower (DL/56) requires that it be discarded if its power is used. In all cases these conditions must be followed, otherwise the power will not work. For example, Falx the Silver Dragon (31/RR) has a power such that magical items attached to him can not be removed by any means. However, If Falx wants an attached Blamblower to function, the Blamblower must be discarded. In this case the magic item can be used properly.
Any champion, magical item, or artifact that is voluntarily taken out of play, then brought back into play during the same turn, loses its “voluntary” special power until the end of the current turn. Immunities, race classifications, and other special abilities remain in effect.
The standard rule for the SPELLFIRE game is that the effects of cards played take place in the order they are played. In other words, when a card is played, all of its powers and effects are dealt with before the next card can be played.
There is one notable exception to this rule. Some cards, such as Calm, are specifically designed to be counter-effect cards. When a counter-effect card is played, it negates the effects of a card that was played before it. In all cases, it must be the next card played by the affected player. For example, if a player lays down a Cataclysm! event, the realm he chooses is discarded. However, the Calm event negates the Cataclysm! If the player plays any other card before he reacts with a Calm or similar card, the Cataclysm! is not negated.
Certain cards have abilities that can be used “once per turn.” In most cases, this means that a player can use that particular power once during phase 3 of his turn. He can then use the power again during phase 3 of his next turn.
Some cards have to wait for another action before their powers can activate. For example, the Bell of Might can be used “once per turn” to duplicate the effects of an event. In instances like these, the item can be used once between phase 3 of your turn and phase 3 of your next turn. Remember that turns gained from playing the Caravan event or by razing Ancient Kalidnay don’t count.
Items that duplicate the powers or abilities of another champion or card must be selected during phase 3 of the current turn or immediately when played (such as during phase 4 of a battle when the item is played from the hand). A player can’t wait for a battle to begin, push a champion forward, and then decide on whose power/ability to use.
DUPLICATED EVENTS AND SPELLS
Spells and events that are duplicates of just-played cards are treated like normal spells and events and carry the full benefits and drawbacks of the original spell or event. They can be dispelled, spell-turned, Calmed, and negated as usual. Treat each effect as a separate card for the purposes of counter-effect cards.
A few cards and rulings have caused some confusion in determining how they work. While the 4th Edition decks don’t include these cards, long-time players may still be using them in their decks. These rulings supersede the text written on the card.
Cards No Longer “In Play”
Cards that have been taken out of the “in play” area, no longer have any effect (long or short term) on the game.
This spell is now castable at any time to negate a just-played thief skill (Defensive). It can be cast in phase 4 on an opposing champion to prevent that champion from playing any more thief skills during this round of combat
Ancient Kalidnay (92/Artifacts)
This card allows a player to take another turn by razing this realm during phase 5 of his turn. When first played, Ancient Kalidnay is placed vertically in the formation. Once its special power to grant an extra turn has been activated, it is placed horizontally in the formation, just like other razed realms. If rebuilt, it is played horizontally and retains only its special power of being considered a RAVENLOFT realm. Ancient Kalidnay can provide only one additional turn per player per game.
When Avanil is discarded to get five extra cards, it is sent to the Abyss instead of the discard pile. This special rule applies only to tournaments.
Control Wind (74/Powers)
This psionic power card makes the player and his champions immune to the effects of defensive spells, helpful events, and beneficial champion powers in addition to shielding him from such cards from other players. So, while the player of the Control Wind power has nothing to fear from a harmful event, he is likewise prevented from playing such helpful events as Good Fortune and Caravan for the duration of the power. A Wish spell can go through the protection of Control Wind, however.
Poor Oriental Lord (20/DU Chase)
The Poor Oriental Lord’s power applies to cards labeled “First Edition” on the back of the card. Cards without an edition label are not affected by the Poor Oriental Lord’s power.
GLOSSARY OF TERMS
It can sometimes be a bit confusing when you try and determine what a particular phrase really means. The following glossary of terms is designed to help eliminate the confusion. Bold-faced entries indicate that the term used is defined elsewhere in the glossary.
Abyss: This is a place where cards are sent when they are struck by spells such as Estate Transference (437/3rd), Takhisis’ Abyssal Gateway (13/DL Chase), or Mindkiller (56/UD). Events that were discarded but never used are sent to the Abyss as well. Cards can be recovered from the Abyss through cards like the Gatekeeper (422/3rd) or Karlott the Shaman (63/3rd). A champion with a once-per-turn power recovered from the Abyss still must wait a full turn before using his power (unless he’s already been out of play for more than a full turn since he was sent to the Abyss).
Adjusted Level: This is the current level of a champion (his or her base (printed) level plus bonuses for attached cards). If a card does not specify a card’s base or adjusted level, it is considered to be referring to adjusted level.
Adventurers: This is a card type that gains powers based on other adventurers being in the pool. An adventurer who enters combat retains powers as if he was in the pool.
Allies: These cards are added to a champion (normally during phase 4; combat) to increase its adjusted level. They are not considered to be a specific type of champion (hero, wizard, monster, etc.) even if the picture looks like they should be. Some allies are considered to be undead, dragons, flyers, earthwalkers, or to possess some other classification related to movement or race.
Artifacts: These powerful items can be attached only to a champion from the same world as the artifact. Each champion can have only one artifact attached to him at a time, though the Ego Coin (419/2nd) can allow a single champion to own artifacts from any world. A few artifacts can also be attached to realms of the same world (during phase 3; or during phase 4 if the realm is defending itself). Artifacts are not considered to be magical items.
Attached Cards: Magical items and artifacts are typically attached to champions (and rarely realms) during phase 3 or 4 of a player’s turn. Other cards (such as spells, blood abilities, thief abilities, unarmed combat cards, and others) can also be attached to a champion (normally during phase 4; combat). Magical items and artifacts normally return from battle with the victorious champion; other attached cards are normally discarded at the end of a round of battle. During combat, an attached card is one that normally stays in the combat until the end. It does not include cards that just “happen” and go away.
Attachments: Sometimes, a card’s power will refer to an opposing card’s “attachments.” Most of the time, this means all of the cards currently attached to the opposing champion. It can sometimes mean only magical items and artifacts.
Avatars: These cards represent the gods of the SPELLFIRE card game. Each normally requires other cards to be sacrificed (discarded) in order to bring them into play. Nenioc (187/3rd) can be sacrificed to bring any avatar into play.
Base Level: This is the level printed on the card. In some cases, a card’s base level can change due to time of day or other circumstances. Raistlin Majere (31/DL) is one example of a card whose base level can change.
It’s also possible that another card can affect a champion’s base level, such as Orcus (44/NS). Such adjustments are always applied to a champion’s base level on a permanent basis (outside of Order of Activation). In other words, the champion’s adjusted base level becomes his new permanent base level as long as the cards granting the adjustment remain in play.
Battle: This term refers to an attack upon a single realm during phase 4 of the current player’s turn. A battle may last several rounds, with each new round having a new attacker and defender. A battle ends when the attacking player razes or discards the realm, when the defender discards (defeats) an attacker, or when the attacking champion doesn’t win a round of battle. The battle can also be ended voluntarily between rounds by the attacking player. Most of the time, when a card mentions “battle,” it is referring to the round of battle in which it is involved.
Blood Abilities: This card type can be used by regent champions as a part of their icon abilities. All blood abilities are either offensive or defensive in nature, just like spells.
Bluelines: This is a rules addendum that fixes card classifications, such as making a particular champion undead or granting flying to a champion because the picture on the card shows wings. Bluelines are always legal in tournament play, and are used by most playing groups.
Calm: This term refers to ignoring the effects of a harmful event for a particular player. The event still effects other players in the game, but the player who Calms the event continues to play as if the event wasn’t there.
Cancel: This term refers to a method for removing a particular type of card from play or canceling its special power. For example, Limited Wish cancels an event card, removing it from play and sending it to the Void before its effects occur. Some cards are immune to cancellation, such as the Genie Bottle.
Caster: The champion responsible for casting a given wizard or cleric spell. Sometimes referred to as a spellcaster.
Champion: A card with a wizard, hero, cleric, psionicist, regent, thief, or monster icon in the upper left-hand corner of the card.
Clerics: These champions can cast cleric spells as a part of their icon abilities. Clerics are immune to the Fear of Undead rule.
Coast: This is a designation for realms that have an ocean or sea somewhere in the illustration. Coastal realms can be attacked by swimming champions and allies, regardless of the realm’s position in the formation. Some realms (like Doc’s Island (5/RR)) have pictures that depict water, but are still considered to be coastal realms.
Combat: See Battle.
Combat Round: This is one round of a battle, the time at which an attacker faces a defender.
Defeated: A champion is considered to be defeated if he is forced to be discarded from battle through cardplay, or his adjusted level is lower than his opponent’s and the owner either cannot or will not play cards to increase his level. Unless a champion’s power states otherwise, defeated champions are normally sent to the discard pile. If a card states that the defeated champion is discarded, then the champion goes to the discard pile regardless of special powers.
Defensive: This designator means that the card has a power that effects only itself (not an opposing champion). For example, the Mirror Image spell (386/4th) doubles the casting champion’s level. Unless specifically noted, a champion is never immune to defensive cards.
Discarded: Spellfire cards are discarded as a result of being defeated in battle, or by another card’s special powers during other phases of the game, such as spells cast into an opponent’s pool. Unless otherwise stated, cards that are discarded go to a player’s discard pile. Discarded cards are always sent to their owner’s discard pile even if they were being used by another player via a card’s special powers. Other phrases in the game that mean the same as discarded are killed, swallowed, devoured, or slain. Remember that being discarded causes a defeat, but being defeated doesn’t always cause a discard.
Discard Pile: When a card is discarded as a result of combat or another card’s special powers, it is placed in that player’s discard pile. Several cards in the game can cause a discard pile to be reshuffled into a player’s draw pile, or allow a card to be drawn from here during the course of the game. Discard piles are always kept separated from other areas (the Abyss, Limbo, the Void, and the draw pile).
Dispel: This normally means casting Dispel Magic or Dispel on a spell card. Champions whose spells cannot be affected by the Dispel Magic spell can’t have their spells dispelled in this manner.
Dragons: Champions and allies designated as dragons gain bonuses or penalties based on other card’s special powers. Many dragons are monster champions, though they can be of any type.
Draw Pile: This is the stack of cards from which a player draws his three cards at the beginning of his turn. When a player picks the last card from his draw deck, he is not entitled to any more cards until he creates a new draw pile. At the end of the turn in which he runs out of cards, he reshuffles his discard pile and that becomes his new draw pile.
Dungeon Cards: These special cards are considered a free card in deck construction; they don’t count as part of a deck, thereby creating actual deck sizes of 56, 76, or 111 cards. Dungeon cards grant a player special advantages. These advantages range anywhere from enacting normally optional rules to shielding your draw pile from inspection.
Dwarf: Champions and allies designated as dwarves gain bonuses or penalties based on other card’s special powers. Cards designated as being duergar are also dwarves.
Earthwalking: A champion with the earthwalking ability can travel under the ground to attack any realm in a player’s formation. Earthwalkers cannot attack realms that specifically state that they are immune to earthwalkers, or that earthwalkers cannot attack. Earthwalkers cannot attack realms that specify that only other types of champions may attack (such as “Can only be attacked by clerics” or “Can only be attacked by flyers or swimmers”). The ability to earthwalk is not granted to allies unless it specifically states so in the earthwalker’s card.
Elf: Champions and allies designated as elves gain bonuses or penalties on other card’s special powers. Elves can be of any champion type. Any cards designated as half-elves are considered to be elves.
Elf (Drow): Elf (Drow) champions and allies are considered to be both elf and elf (drow) for the purposes of cardplay. Champions and allies designated as elf (drow) gain bonuses or penalties on other card’s special powers.
Events: These cards can be played at any time, unless a specific time to play is stated on the card. Each has a special power that takes effect immediately. Once played, an event is placed in the Void and cannot be played again. If it is somehow discarded and not used, it is placed in the Abyss.
Exposed Realm: The foremost realm is the only one a champion can attack if he’s not a flyer, swimmer, or earthwalker, or possesses some other special power. As a player’s realms get razed and flipped over, the ones behind them become exposed and can be attacked. In the pyramid shape of the formation, each realm in the middle row protects two realms in the last row. The center realm in the last row is protected by both realms in the middle row.
Flyers: Champions or allies with the ability to fly can attack any realm, regardless of its position, by flying over intervening realms. If a card does not specify that it’s a flyer, it is not, even if the picture shows wings or the name of the card implies the ability to fly. Flyers cannot attack realms that specifically state that they are immune to flyers or that flyers cannot attack. The ability to fly is not automatically granted to allies unless it specifically states so on the flyer’s card.
Formation: The pattern of realm cards on the table is called the formation. The standard formation is a six-card pyramid with the base facing the owner.
Gnome: Champions and allies designated as gnomes gain bonuses or penalties based on other cards’ special powers.
Halfling: Champions and allies designated as halflings gain bonuses or penalties based on other card’s special powers. Cards designated as Kender are considered halfling.
Hand: This refers to the cards held (but not yet in play) by the player.
Harmful: Harmful is a designation for event cards that have detrimental effects to one or more players in the game. These types of events can be negated through the use of Calm (400/3rd), or any other card whose special power negates harmful events.
Helpful: Helpful is a designation for event cards that have beneficial effects for one or more players in the game. These types of events cannot be negated through the use of Calm, though they can be negated by other cards whose special powers negate helpful events. Helm (255/4th), Intercession (48/RR), and Limited Wish (382/4th) can all stop helpful events.
Heroes: This is a type of champion whose icon gives them the ability to use unarmed combat cards.
Holdings: A holding is attached to a realm during phase 2 of a player’s turn. A holding must be from the same world as the realm, unless otherwise stated by a special power. For example, a DARK SUN holding can only be placed on a DARK SUN realm. It could not be placed on a realm with any other world logo. In most cases, the power of the holding can only by used when the realm it’s attached to is being attacked.
Icon: The icon is the symbol in the upper left-hand corner of a card, designating the type of card. Within the icon is the level or level bonus the card possesses, if any.
Ignore: See immune.
Immunity: Spellfire cards with an immunity cannot be affected by a specific type of card or card effect. This includes levels and powers of such cards. Cards immune to offensive spells are immune to both wizard and cleric spells; cards immune to psionics are immune to offensive psionic power cards, and the offensive psionic special powers of champions, etc. Unless otherwise specified on the card, an immunity never applies to defensive cards.
In Play: This term refers to cards that are on the table, but not those in the players hand, discard pile, limbo, or the Abyss. Cards in the pool, realms, and holdings in formation, and any card being used in a battle is considered in play. Even razed realms are considered in play. Cards with a stated duration of effect are placed on the table and are considered in play.
Kender: See halfling.
Limbo: Cards temporarily removed from play by another card’s special powers, but not discarded or sent to the Abyss or Void, are instead sent to Limbo. Cards in Limbo return to play at the end of their player’s next turn. If an opponent puts a realm or champion into play that is currently in Limbo, the Rule of the Cosmos discards the card in Limbo when it returns to play. A champion sent to Limbo during combat loses all of his attachments. A champion sent to Limbo outside of combat retains his attachments.
Magical Items: These devices have inherent magical powers and are attached to a champion during phase 3 or phase 4 (combat). A champion can carry any number of magical items. Each magical item lists whether it is defensive (only affects the wielder’s side) or offensive (affects opposing side). All of a champion’s magical items can be used when attacking or defending a realm (unless otherwise indicated).
Monsters: Monsters can use magical items and artifacts normally, in addition to whatever other special powers they posses. The red monster icon does not possess an icon power.
Negate: This term refers to a method for removing a particular type of card from play or stripping a card of its special power. Some cards might be immune to negation-related powers. For example, “negating a just-cast spell” would refer to dispelling a spell. Thus, a champion who can’t have his spell dispelled would be immune to the power.
Offensive: This designator means that the card has a power that directly effects another card. For example, the Vorpal Blade (56/FR) instantly defeats an opposing champion if the player draws a “3” or less, making that an offensive item.
Opponent: This normally means the player or champion you are facing in battle. Some special powers can be used against any opponent, while some can be used against only the opposing player or champion.
Phase: The Spellfire game is divided up into phases that divide out the order of play. Phase 1 is when you draw cards, phase 2 is when you play realms, etc. Refer to the Game Play section of the rules for a complete listing.
Player: This refers to the person playing the game; the one who controls the actions for a particular group of champions and other cards. When a card states that it targets the player, it normally refers to his hand of cards.
Played against in combat: This refers to cards played into a combat; cards currently attached don’t count toward activating a special power with this stipulation. For example, the Rod of 7 Parts, Part 7 (27/AR) allows the wielder to ignore one card played against him in combat. Any card entering the combat after the special powers of attacker and defender (and their attached items) have activated can thus be ignored.
Pool: Champions, magical items, and artifacts that have been put in play are kept in the pool. When a champion attacks or defends, it is not considered to be in the pool. Cards in the pool cannot be returned to the player’s hand, except as a result of a cards special power. The cards in the pool do not count against the players hand size limit. A player can place any number of champions in his pool. A player with no realms (including razed ones) must discard his entire pool at the end of the current player’s turn. Cards are typically played into a players pool during phase 3 of their turn or as a result of spoils of victory.
Psionic Attack: This refers to any offensive psionic power or ability. For example, Agis (261/1st) can psionically destroy an opposing monster. Cards with an immunity to offensive psionics (or psionic attack) would be immune to his power.
Psionic Power Cards: These cards are usable by psionicist champions as part of their icon ability (the same way a wizard is able to use wizard spells). Like spells, psionic power cards are either offensive or defensive and can be canceled by other cards’ special powers.
Psionicist: This champion type is able to use psionic power cards as part of their icon ability. Psionicists may also have a special power that is either offensive or defensive (see individual card entries) that can be negated by the special powers of other cards. Psionicists can also use allies, magical items, artifacts of the same world, and other cards (such as spells) depending on their special powers.
Rarity: This is the frequency of the cards in distribution. The four types of rarity are Common, Uncommon, Rare, and Chase. Chase cards are the rarest of all Spellfire cards. If a card’s rarity is referred to as Realm, this indicates that it’s a common card.
Razed Realm: When a champion attacks a realm and the defending player does not put forward a champion to defend it, the realm is razed. The realm card is turned upside down, but remains in the formation (preventing other players from playing the same realm into their formations). The powers of the realm no longer function. Any holdings attached to the realm are discarded. Razed realms are discarded when a new realm is played in that portion of the formation. During phase 2 of a player’s turn he can discard 3 cards from his hand to rebuild a razed realm instead of playing one from his hand.
Realms: Typically a kingdom, nation, or empire, realms are placed in the player’s formation. Unless otherwise stated in the card’s special powers, the powers of a realm can only be used when the realm is being attacked. Realms are placed into the formation facing the opponent so he can read the realm’s special powers.
Regents: This type of champion is able to use blood ability cards as part of the champions icon ability (the same way that a cleric is able to cast cleric spells). Regents can also use magical items, artifacts of the same world, and any other cards allowable by their special powers.
Removed from Game: See Void.
Round: A round is a single combat of champion vs. champion, one the attacker, and one the defender. It may include any number of spells, allies, and magical items. A battle frequently lasts multiple rounds.
Rule Cards: Rule cards are played at the beginning of a player’s turn (phase 0), before he draws his three cards. These cards change the rules of the game in a very specific manner. This change affects all players for as long as the rule card is in play. If another player puts a rule card into play, the previous one is discarded and the power no longer has any effect on play.
Special Powers: Most cards in the Spellfire game have special powers, which can be found in the card’s text box. ‘ Special powers take effect whenever a card is used during the game or is the target of another card’s special powers. When a card’s special powers take effect is based on the cards type (see Order of Activation). Another term for special powers is special abilities.
Spells: Wizards and clerics can cast spells as part of their champion’s icon ability. Wizards cast only wizard spells and clerics cast only cleric spells. Each spell lists whether it is defensive or offensive. It has nothing to do with who is attacking or defending. Offensive spells can be used when attacking or defending a realm, as can defensive spells. Each spell also lists what phase of a player’s turn it can be cast (for example, Off/4). Only the current player can cast spells in phase 3 or 5. The attacker and defender can both cast spells in step 4. There are also spells that can be cast at any time as long as there is a champion in the pool able to cast the spell. Some spells can be cast at any time to counter another spell or event (like Dispel Magic or Limited Wish).
Sword: Certain magical items are designated as being a sword in the cards special power box. Such magical items gain bonuses based on other cards special powers, such as a champion who gets additional levels when using a sword. Magical items that are swords are also weapons.
Swimmers: A swimming champion or ally can attack any realm in an opponent’s formation that shows a coastline in its picture. For example, Raven’s Bluff (11/3rd) shows a coastline in the picture, and thus is vulnerable to swimmers. This also includes realms with pictures instead of maps that depict coasts, such as Doc’s Island (5/RR). The ability to swim is not automatically conferred to other cards, so a champion attacking a protected coastal realm must have a means to get his allies there if he intends to use allies in the round of battle.
Thieves: This type of champion can use thief skills as part of the champion’s icon ability (the same way a cleric can cast cleric spells). Thieves can also use allies, magical items, artifacts of the same world, and any other cards allowable by their special powers.
Thief Skills: These cards can be used by thief champions as part of the champion’s icon ability. Thief skills are either offensive or defensive and are usable only during a certain phase of a player’s turn (for example Def/4). These cards can also be used by other champions whose special powers designate they can use thief skills.
Trademark: See World.
Unarmed Combat Cards: The champion type that can use this kind of card is designated in the card’s special powers, but are generally heroes, dragons, or undead. These cards are either offensive or defensive and are generally used during phase 4.
Undead: Undead are a special kind of champion or ally, designated in a card’s text box. Unless the card says “undead”, it is not undead, even if the picture or name of the card seems to indicate otherwise.
User: This is the champion (not the player) who uses a psionic power, unarmed combat, thief skill, or blood ability card. Unless otherwise specified, such cards that are turned are sent back to the using champion.
Void: The Void is the name for the ‘out of game’ area. All events played from the hand go here once used (regardless of successful use or failure). Cards are never able to be retrieved from the Void by another card.
Weapon: Certain magical items are designated as being a weapon in either the card’s special powers or in the blueline corrections. Such magical items gain additional bonuses based on other cards’ special powers, such as a champion who gains additional levels when using a weapon.
When Attacking: This activates as soon as the attacker pushed forward to attack. No defender is needed for this to activate. It takes place before the Order of Activation begins.
When Defending: This activates as soon as the defender is pushed forward to defend a realm. It takes place before the Order of Activation begins.
Wizards: These champions can cast wizard spells as part of their icon abilities.
World: This refers to the origin of a realm, holding, champion, or artifact. It is noted by a logo on the card, right beside the card’s name. A logo at the bottom of the card by the card number refers to the publishing set, not the world, and has no affect on determining which cards can be attached. The AD&D logo is a world all its own; it is not a generic world whose artifacts are usable by all other world champions.
WHAT DO I NEED?
To run a SPELLFIRE tournament, all you need are:
• At least 9 players (for a scored tournament)
• A copy of both SPELLFIRE Reference Guides
• A coordinator, who is in charge of interpreting rules during the tournament. Large tournaments might require more than one judge.
There are a variety of different tournaments to choose from that are considered standard. Standard tournaments are detailed below. Most of the tournaments are intermediate-level events, though there are a few advanced tournaments to challenge experienced players.
Additional tournament types are legal as long as the rules for the tournament are clear. If you create a new tournament, please send us your rules and we’ll consider making it a standard tournament. Ways to contact the Design Team are at the end of this document.
Most of these tournaments work well at any deck size, though the Shattered Land tournament takes a lot longer with larger deck sizes. Every tournament is comprised of three players. The first player to win two games advances.
This is the standard SPELLFIRE tournament game. Each player constructs a deck based on the number of cards (55, 75, or 110) and players battle toward the established victory conditions (6 or 10 realms). Note that dungeon cards are not considered part of these deck totals.
Conqueror’s Game (Advanced)
The first player to raze four realms in combat and have three unrazed realms of his own wins the game. Each player brings his own unique markers to identify the realms he has razed.
Realms razed outside of combat (through “vengeful” ally or champion powers or through events) don’t count. A realm is only considered razed if the attacking player’s champion wins the round of combat and causes the realm to be razed.
Each time a realm is razed, the victorious player pushes one of his markers forward. Once a realm is razed, it makes no difference whether the realm is rebuilt or discarded (the player always keeps his marker). Likewise, multiple players can get a marker by razing the same realm (through rebuilding by the owning player), and a player can get an additional marker by razing the same realm in combat at a later time. Any realm that is discarded as a result of combat does not earn a marker, however.
King’s Decree (Intermediate)
All champions get to attack any realm of an opponent, regardless of its position or special powers. Each time a realm is razed in combat, the victorious player gets to draw one card at random from each of his opponents and discard it.
Sealed Deck (Beginner)
This is the best type of tournament to introduce new players to SPELLFIRE. Each player gets one sealed deck of 4th Edition cards to use. Each sealed deck is considered to be tournament legal, allowing the player to use any card in the deck.
Master’s Strategy (Intermediate)
This is a typical sealed deck tournament with a twist. After the first game, players get to take the DRACONOMICON booster from the other side of their sealed deck and fine-tune their decks by removing up to 12 cards and replacing them from those in the booster.
Under this variant, legal decks can’t have cards that have the number X in them (0-9). For example, a No-9s tournament would prevent decks from using cards that have the number 9 anywhere in the card number (cards #9, 39, 192, 95, etc.).
The Grind (Intermediate)
Each player constructs a deck based on the number of cards (55, 75, or 110) and players battle toward the established victory conditions (6 or 10 realms). Note that dungeon cards are not considered part of these deck totals.
However, realms, except those playable at any time (like Menzoberranzan), may not be played during phase 2 of turns granted by cards such as Caravan and Ancient Kalidnay. Realms may be unrazed normally, by discarding three cards during phase 2 or through the powers of another card, on all turns.
Rule Lawyer’s Delight
Every game begins with the rule card Rule Lawyer’s Delight (491/4th) being in play. This rule card can be removed from play by the normal means to remove rule cards, but it effects all players. All other rule cards brought into play are applicable only for the owning player.
Shattered Land (Advanced)
All players create decks that use realms, holdings, artifacts, and champions from the DARK SUNÆ world. The Rule of the Cosmos is doubled, allowing two of any card to be in play at the same time (though decks still must be constructed with one of any card). A player who brings a third realm, holding, artifact, or champion into the game gets to choose which existing card is discarded. That player then gets to play his card normally.
Team Spirit (Intermediate)
This tournament requires three teams of two players each to compete against one another. The first team to have 10 unrazed realms at the start of one of the team member’s turns wins. Normal deck construction rules apply.
Teams are not allowed to sit side-by-side. Seating starts with whoever wins the draw to see who goes first followed by opposing team members. Players always sit: A1, B1, C1, A2, B2, C2. Thus, the second member of the team always goes fourth in turn rotation.
Rule cards, events, and other cards that affect an “opponent” have no effect on a player on the same team. Opponents who play cards that affect a single opponent still affect only a single opponent, not the entire team.
Warrior’s Rule (Intermediate)
A champion victorious in a round of battle against a realm automatically razes that realm, regardless of its special powers or those of the defending champion (if any). Attacking champions who lose a round of combat are sent to the discard pile, regardless of special powers. Defending champions who lose a round of combat are sent to the discard pile, regardless of special powers.
Wizard’s Challenge (Advanced)
All players create decks composed of champions of any world and spells that can be cast in phase 4. Spells that can be cast only in phase 3 are not allowed, though spells able to be cast at any time are legal. Allies, unarmed combat cards, blood abilities, thief skills, and psionic power cards cannot be used.
World War! (Intermediate)
This tournament forces all decks to be constructed using realms, holdings, artifacts, and champions from one specific world (player’s choice). Items that are “generic,” such as an artifact that’s usable by any champion, are not permitted. The world logos must be the same.
The different worlds are: AD&DÆ, BIRTHRIGHTÆ, DARK SUNÆ, DRAGONLANCEÆ, FORGOTTEN REALMSÆ, GREYHAWKÆ, and RAVENLOFTÆ.
These rules add a different twist to the tournament. Make sure that any tournament that is using these optional variants is clearly marked as such.
This variant allows other players to add cards into battles they’re not involved in. Both the attacker and the defender can request aid from other players, but players outside the battle can never force their aid on an unwilling attacker or defender. In addition, a player can aid only one side or the other, never both.
Contributed allies and spells are discarded at the end of the combat; magical items and artifacts are discarded only if the champion they are attached to is defeated. If the allied champion is victorious, the contributed magical items and artifacts are returned to the original player’s hand. Magical items and artifacts can only appear in a single round of battle (they can’t be contributed in each round).
If the winner of the battle is entitled to a spoils of victory, the allies of that player are likewise entitled to a card. This card is not treated as a spoils of victory, however.
Any realms that are sent to the discard pile or the Abyss are instead permanently removed from the game; they can’t be brought back by any means. This only applies to realms that were in play; realms discarded from the hand or draw pile are placed in the discard pile.
Fear of Undead
Undead can be a powerful source of champions and allies in the SPELLFIRE game. Any undead champion or ally of base level 4 or higher automatically frightens away opposing allies of levels 1 or 2 (undead allies are immune to this effect). Clerics and their allies are immune to this effect, and some cards (such as the magical item Banner of the One-Eyed God) can increase the level bonus of allies to allow them to oppose undead champions.
The Dungeon Discard
This rule allows ones Dungeon card to do more than just sit on the table. At any time during the players turn, the player can choose to remove their dungeon card from the game, causing any card of their choice in any players discard pile to the removed from the game also.
Any player who brings a ripe melon to the table causes all other players to draw one card less at the start of each turn. The Melon Rule is not cumulative; only one card can be lost each turn as the result of this rule. The person who brings the melon is not affected, but if two players bring melons, all players (including the two who brought the melons) draw one fewer cards each turn. A minimum of one card is drawn each turn, without exception.
During phase 2 of your turn, you may turn face down a champion in your pool. It must be a champion that is able to attack or defend on that turn, not one impaired by an event or spell. This champion has gone questing and cannot be used to attack or defend until your next turn. Remember that turns gained through Caravan or Ancient Kalidnay don’t count as a real turn.
During phase 2 of your next turn, discard the top card from an opponent’s draw deck. If the card is anything but a champion, the card is discarded and the questing champion returns to his pool. If the card is a champion, the questing champion must face it in one-on-one combat. Neither champion can have cards added to them—including events. Judge the victor strictly by the levels and powers of both cards. Consider the questing champion the attacker and the drawn card the defender (the defender automatically wins ties). The victor of the battle returns to his pool. Note that avatars can be brought into play like this without the required cards being discarded.
Each player can send only one champion questing on his turn, and questing can’t be performed through turns gained by Caravan or Ancient Kalidnay.
This variant grants players a limited pool of cards from which they can change their deck between games. Decks that do not contain 55 cards plus a dungeon card (optional), or sideboards that contain more or fewer than seven cards are not tournament legal. Use of illegal decks and/or sideboards can result in the player being ejected from the tournament. Players who opt not to have a sideboard must inform their opponents before a match begins.
The tournament organizer may require players to register their decks and sideboards upon arrival at a tournament. Registration records the original composition of each deck and sideboard. Once a player’s deck list is received by a tournament official, it may only be altered at the judge’s discretion. The deck and sideboard must each be returned to their original composition before the beginning of a new match. Thus, cards transferred from a player’s deck to his or her sideboard, and vice versa, must be returned before the player begins a new match. Failure to properly register a deck and/or sideboard or return a deck and/or sideboard to its original composition can result in ejection from the tournament.
Before a the first game of the match begins, each player must allow his or her opponent(s) to count the number of cards in the sideboard (face down), if requested. Before the beginning of the second or third game in a match, players may change the composition of their decks by swapping cards from their decks with cards in their sideboards. Any card exchanges between decks and sideboards must be one-for-one to ensure that the sideboard remains at exactly seven cards at all times. There are no restrictions on the number of cards a player may exchange as long as one card from the deck is traded for one in the sideboard. Attempts to alter a deck other than through a legal sideboard exchange can result in the player being ejected from the tournament.
There are three different types of victory conditions for a tournament game. Unless otherwise specified, all tournaments are considered to use the Standard conditions.
The first player to have six unrazed realms wins.
The first player to have 10 unrazed realms wins.
A game ends only when a player has six unrazed realms in his formation at the beginning of his turn. Again, a turn gained through Caravan or Ancient Kalidnay doesn’t count; it has to be a “real” turn.
Since space in many convention booklets is rather limited, it’s a good idea to get into the habit of using shorthand forms to identify tournaments using optional rules. The shorthand form is always: SPELLFIREÆ: <Tournament Name> (Variants used in parentheses)—<Victory conditions> [deck size].
SPELLFIREÆ Regional Championship—Barbaric 
This indicates that the regional championship is a 55-card game using Barbaric victory conditions to determine the winner.
SPELLFIREÆ: King’s Decree (Questing)—Enhanced 
This indicates a 75-card King’s Decree tournament using the Questing variant and the enhanced victory condition to achieve victory.
If space is available, try to detail the specific tournament rules used and other relevant information. For example, a typical entry at the GEN CONÆ Game Fair might read:
SPELLFIREÆ World Championship—Standard 
Tournament rules are the Law of the Land! Join the battle to discover who is the best of the best. Tournament scoring system; double points.
RUNNING A TOURNAMENT
There are two types of tournaments you can establish for a convention, scored and unscored. Unscored tournaments are normally small gatherings of players who get together for a day or two of challenging play. To run an unscored tournament, there’s nothing you need to do other than decide what kind of tournament you’re going to run (detailed above).
Scored tournaments are another matter entirely. To run a tournament whose points count toward international rankings, you must:
1.) Have at least 9 players.
2.) Advertise the tournament. A sign at your local SPELLFIRE supplier is sufficient for smaller tournaments, but a half-page ad (or more) should be set aside for advertising a tournament for conventions. If a tournament has a pre-registration book, make sure to include SPELLFIRE events in it.
3.) Run the tournament using the latest rules. This allows all players to know what to expect at the tournament. Also, the only legal tournaments are those using three-player (or more) games of nine people or more. Two-player games or those tournaments with less than 9 participants are not eligible for scoring.
Don’t forget to include advertising as part of your overall plan to promote your tournament. It’s the little things—like making sure you’re involved in a convention early enough in the process so that SPELLFIRE events get included in the pre-registration booklet—that turn small gatherings of SPELLFIRE players into major tournaments. Major tournaments serve to promote the game and give participants more scoring potential.
Making It Official
Once the tournament has been completed, mail copies of the Tournament Scoring forms within 30 days. Make sure to keep a copy for your own records in case your originals are lost in the mail. Send everything to:
SPELLFIRE Tournament Program
ATTN: Greg Kilberger
3214 E Court St
Iowa City, IA 52245
If you prefer to e-mail the results to Greg, you can send them directly to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
We also encourage you to post your results on-line; in the Spellfire forum on the TSR Homepage; in the alt.cardgame.spellfire newsgroup; and on the SPELLFIRE Mailing List. Make sure to post the results at your local supplier of SPELLFIRE cards as well!
Note: Tournament scores not postmarked within 30 days are subject to disqualification. Please submit scoring information as soon as possible.
One of the hardest—and most important—aspects of running a tournament is keeping track of the players and making sure that everyone is advancing at an even pace. Tournament grids are included at the end of this file for a variety of three-player tournaments.
If you’re running an official tournament where points are going to be recorded, make sure that everyone fills out the appropriate lines on the advancement grid. Incomplete or illegible forms will not be accepted. Complete instructions for scoring a tournament are included in the next section.
Since each round of a tournament requires at least three players, it will be necessary at times to have four-player games to balance things out. Players should never be turned away from a tournament because they would create a four-player game by their presence.
If at the end of bracket there are only two players for the next round, the player who has scored the highest ranking thus far in the tournament (excluding those that have already advanced in the round, of course) gets another chance at winning. Normally this will be one of the players who was eliminated in the previous round.
TOURNAMENT SCORING SYSTEM
Since the goal of the SPELLFIRE game is to create realms, the point system is geared toward rewarding players who have successfully constructed realms. Of course, players who win receive more points than those who lose, but everyone who plays receives at least one point.
At the end of the game, each player counts up his unrazed realms in play, recording them on the advancement grid. Once a single player has won two games, that bracket is finished. The victorious player receives 4 points for winning the bracket. The player with the highest number of unrazed realms (excluding the victor) receives 3 points, the next highest 2 points, and if it’s a four-person game that player receives 1 point.
In addition to earning points for winning a bracket, players who advance receive round multipliers. This multiplier is equal to the round number in which that player receives points. Thus, in round 2 the victor receives 8 points for winning, while those who are eliminated from Round 2 receive 6, 4, and 2 points respectively. This serves to reward those players who perform well at the larger tournaments.
The coordinator of a tournament receives one point for every player that participates in the tournament. Additional judges receive one point for every two players. A coordinator or judge who participates in a tournament receives only the number of points he earned by playing the tournament and forfeits any points that he might have earned as coordinator or judge.
SPELLFIRE Scoring System
Winner of bracket 4 points
Second place in bracket 3 points
Third place in bracket 2 points
Fourth place in bracket 1 point
Tournament winner 5 points
Semifinalist 3 points
Tournament coordinator 1 point/player
Judge assistants 1 point/2 players
Example: Mike, Jim, and John are in the championship round (5th bracket) of a tournament. Mike wins the first game, with Jim and John each having four realms. John wins the second game, with Mike having five realms and Jim having three. Jim wins the third game, with Mike and John each having four realms. Mike wins the final game, and Jim and John each have five realms. The scoring would be:
Jim: 4+3+6+5 = 18 unrazed realms
For finishing third, Jim receives 2 points (times the round multiplier—5) = 10 points.
John: 4+6+4+5 = 19 unrazed realms
As runner-up for the tournament, John receives 3 points (times the round multiplier—5) = 15 points
Mike: 5 points (times the round multiplier—5) = 25 points
SPECIAL TOURNAMENT RULES
In some cases where a tournament is held at a large convention, there is a premium on space and time. In these unusual cases, there need to be time limits on matches, so that an event can finish within an allotted time period. So as to make things fair for everyone, when “Time” is called on a round (or match) the current player finishes their turn and then 5 more turns total are played. These can be normal turns, or “fake” turns. But there is a limit to a total of 5 more turns only to be played.
In certain cases, deck lists might be required before you play in a tournament. A deck list is a list of all the cards in your deck by name (and in some cases edition also). It is usually best to list them by groups of card types (events, realms, champions, etc.) to make it easier on a judge to check to see if your deck matches your list.
HOW CAN I FIND MY RANK?
To learn your latest point totals and ranking, send a SASE (Self-Addressed Stamped Envelope) to the same address as scoring materials. If you live in a country other than the United States, make sure to send International Reply Coupons (IRCs) in lieu of stamps. These coupons are available at any post office, regardless of the country in which you reside.
We’ll also post the complete rankings at TSR’s web page (www.wizards.com). Just check under the SPELLFIRE area to learn your current ranking. Tournament coordinators are responsible for posting their results to the Internet and other areas (if they so desire). We won’t publish the results of individual tournaments on the web page, only current rankings.
GETTING US THERE
If you’re running a convention and want a member of the Design Team to attend, please contact us at the address below (or via e-mail) as far in advance as possible. While we’d love to attend every SPELLFIRE gathering, sometimes the fates are not kind. Giving us advance warning will only improve the chances of getting us to your convention.
The most important requirement for a member of the Design Team appearing at your convention is advertising. We want to make sure that the events we are participating in are the very best that they can be—and advertising is an important part of that formula. Publicity photos (or card photos) are available for advertisements promoting our presence at your tournament.
Members of the Design Team will gladly judge tournaments, hold special seminars, and generally perform other duties to promote the game. Since we’re all associated with other TSR product lines, we’ll gladly talk about those products as well.
If your convention is within a few hours’ drive of Seattle, a simple request is all it takes. If your convention is much farther away than that, you’ll need to provide transportation and housing to get us to the convention. We don’t require first-class transportation, but we won’t travel by bus either!
Former members of the Design Team reside in southeastern Wisconsin, Iowa and Northern Virginia, so it’s possible that they might be lured to attend as well. No promises.
Even if your convention is a long way away and you don’t have a budget to bring us there, still let us know in advance. We might be in the area for other TSR duties; we might have family in the area; TSR might decide to pay our way. Anything can happen!
LOOKING FOR PLAYERS? HINTS? STRATEGIES?
The TSR Homepage contains a message board for posting questions, answers, strategies, or pleas to find players in your area. Just log on to www.tsr.com and type to your heart’s content. There are also links to SPELLFIRE web pages created by the fans that contain tons of useful information about the game. You can find those in the Games section.
Another good source for players, rulings, and general knowledge about the game is the SPELLFIRE Mailing List. To join, just send an e-mail to: email@example.com with “subscribe SPELLFIRE-L” in the body and subject line of the message. If you experience difficulties with getting subscribed, send a plea for help to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Finally, you can post questions and such to the alt.cardgame.spellfire newsgroup.
If you have any questions, comments, or suggestions about the SPELLFIRE game, feel free to send us a letter. We’d love to hear from you! Address your letters (and include a SASE if you’d like a written response) to:
The Spellfire Answer OGRE
7053 Skyles Way Apt. T-4
Springfield, VA 22151
You can also send messages to us via e-mail by sending them to: email@example.com. If you have rules questions, you can contact the Answer OGRE at the above e-mail address or send them to the WotC Customer Service Team at: firstname.lastname@example.org. In dire extreme circumstances, you can contact Jim Butler, the Spellfire ORACLE at: email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Æ indicates registered trademarks of TSR, Inc. ô indicates trademarks of TSR, Inc. All TSR characters, character names, and the distinctive likenesses thereof are trademarks owned by TSR, Inc. © 1996 TSR, Inc. All rights reserved.
TSR grants permission to photocopy this information package for personal and tournament use.