2-4 Players take turns playing Loot cards and using Items to kill Monsters in order to gain more Items, Loot cards and sometimes Souls. The first player to gain 4 souls is the winner. Co-operation, bartering and betrayal are all strongly encouraged.
The Monster, Loot and Treasure decks are each shuffled and placed apart on the table.
2 Monster cards are revealed and placed face up next to the Monster deck. These are the current active Monsters. If any non-Monster cards are revealed this way, place them at the bottom of the deck and continue this process until 2 Monster cards are revealed.
2 Treasure Items are revealed and placed face up next to the Treasure deck. These are the current Store Items.
Shuffle the Character deck and deal out one Character card to all players face down. Each player then reveals their Character and gains their Starting Item.
All players start with their Character card deactivated (turned sideways).
Each player starts the game with 3 loot cards and 3¢
Cain always plays first. If Cain is not one of the characters drawn, then the saddest person playing goes first, or just roll a dice, whatever works…
Loot cards are the only cards you draw and keep in your hand. Playing them can instantly change the flow of the game in many interesting ways.
Loot Card Types:
Basic Loot - Basic Loot cards come in the form of coins, bombs, hearts, pills and the like, and are used to gain resources or aid in combat.
Tarot cards - Tarot cards are more advanced Loot cards that can drastically change the course of the game in many neato ways.
Trinkets - These are rare Loot cards. When played, these act like Treasure Items and have passive effects. Place these cards face up on the table next to your Item cards. They count as Items when in play and stay in play till destroyed.
The Monster deck is the meat and potatoes of the game. It’s filled with basic Monsters, Bosses, Treasures, Curses and other surprises.
Basic Monsters - Monsters that are easier to kill and yield Loot, Coins and on rare occasions, Treasures.
Bosses - Difficult-to-kill Monsters with bigger rewards that always yield souls when killed. When a Boss is killed, the player gains that Boss card, this is how you keep track of souls.
Bonus Cards - Uncommon cards that yield rewards... but may also kill you…
Curses - Rare cards that curse a player of the revealers choosing. Curse cards are placed to the left of your Character card and are discarded when the cursed player dies.
Treasure cards are Items that players gain. Treasure cards are put directly into play in front of the player, are visible to everyone and tend to have very strong effects that modify gameplay and interact with other players and Monsters.
Active Items - These Items can be activated in response to any action. These are marked with a gold border and turning arrow symbol (). Once an Item has been activated, it can't be activated again till it’s recharged at the start of that player’s turn. You show an Item has been activated by turning it sideways.
Passive Items - These Items give players special abilities that usually change the rules of the game or modify existing effects. These abilities don't require activation. Passive Items have silver borders.
Paid Items - These Items are used when you pay a specific cost. These are marked with a $ symbol (). Like active Items, paid Items can be used in response to any action, but paid items can be used as many times as they are paid for and aren't turned sideways when used.
Players may declare an attack once during their turn.
If a player decides to attack, they must announce what they are attacking to all players, one of the active Monsters or the topmost card of the Monster deck. If they attack the topmost card of the deck, they have to reveal that Monster card to all players and place it face up over one of the active Monsters.
When a player attacks a Monster card they roll their D6. If the number is equal or greater to that Monster’s dice number and that dice roll “resolves” (no one uses any abilities to modify or reroll the result), the player deals damage equal to their damage number to that Monster. If the player rolls lower than the Monster’s dice number, they miss and take damage equal to that Monster’s damage number. The attacking player continues rolling their D6 until either the Monster or player is killed.
Use the D8 to keep track of the damage done to a Monster during that turn. When a Monster is killed, the active player gains rewards for its death and that Monster card is placed face up on the top of the Monster deck discard pile. If the active Monster is killed and an active Monster slot is empty, reveal the top card of the Monster deck and place it face up in that empty slot.
If a Monster deals lethal damage to a player, that player is killed (see: Death). That player pays a penalty and it ends their turn.
All damage done to players and Monster cards are healed at the end of any player’s turn.
Note - If a non-Monster card is revealed when a player attacks the top card of the Monster deck or is revealed when adding a card to an empty active Monster slot, the active player reads that card to all players and follows the directions on the card. If a non-Monster was revealed when attacking the topmost card of the Monster deck, this will count as your attack for the turn.
Note - If another player kills a monster during another player's turn via items or loot cards, the active player gets any rewards for that monster dying.
When a player takes lethal damage or is killed for any reason, that player suffers “The Death Penalty!”. This means that they must destroy a non-eternal Item they control, discard a Loot card and lose 1¢.
In addition to the penalty, that player also de-activates all their Items and Player card, marking the end of their turn.
When a player makes an action (activating an item, interacting with a deck, attacking a monster, playing a loot card, rolling a dice, etc.) any other player can respond to this action by activating one of their items, or using their Character card to play a loot card in response.
When multiple effects like this trigger at once, you wait to see if everyone is done responding to the action. Then each effect plays out in reverse order, so the last effect resolves first and 2nd to last goes next until each effect is resolved ending with the initial player’s action. Example 1: Player 1 decides to attack an active Monster that needs a 4 or higher dice roll to deal damage. Player 1 rolls their dice to see if a hit lands and they roll a 3. In response to this roll, Player 2 offers to raise the roll by 1 with their Book of Belial in exchange for 2¢. Player 1 agrees, pays them and Player 2 activates the Book of Belial to raise the roll to a 4. Out of nowhere, Player 3 decides to activate their D6 in response, forcing Player 1 to reroll the dice! No one else has any response to this, so each effect now plays out in reverse. Player 3 rerolls the dice, and rolls a 1, Player 2 adds +1 to that dice making it a 2, then the dice resolves, making Player 1 miss, seeing as they needed a 4+ in order to land that attack.
Example 2: Player 1 activates their Tarot Deck Item to Loot 1. In response, Player 2 uses their Sleight of Hand Item to look at the top 3 cards of the Loot deck and put them back in any order. No other effects are played. Player 2 looks at the top 3 cards, rearranges them so a single penny card is placed on the top. Then Player 1’s Loot 1 effect goes off, drawing them a single penny… :(.
Stacking effects is where advanced strategy really shines, so make sure you read your Loot cards and Item effects carefully. Most are designed specifically to be used in many different ways.
Once players have a better understanding of the game’s mechanics, you are encouraged to add the Bonus Souls (the Soul of Guppy, the Soul of Greed and the Soul of Gluttony) to your games. These bonus cards aren’t added to any deck but Instead lay face up on the table next to the game decks in view of all the players.
The first player to gain 25¢ or more instantly gains the Soul of Greed. The first player to have 10 or more Loot cards in their hand instantly gains the Soul of Gluttony The first player to have 2 or more Guppy Items in their possession, instantly gains the Soul of Guppy.
Each soul can only be gained once per game.
Stacking effects and item interaction:
Q: If i use a card that has more than one effect on it to choose from and someone responds to my card activation, can i choose a different option when my effect resolves?
A: No, once you choose an effect that effect is locked into place and cant be changed.
Q: can i respond to an item or loot card that deactivates my item by activating it?
Q: What happens if 2 passive items go off at the same time?
A: If 2 passive items go off at the same time they go off in player turn order, then resolve backward just like all other stacking effects. If 1 player controls multiple passive items that go off at once, they choose the order the effects go off.
Q: can i respond to something forcing me to discard a loot card by activating my player card and playing that card first?
A: yes, you can respond to any action with your player card and active items. So technically if someone forces you to discard a card, in response you can activate your player card and play the loot card.
Q: Can i respond to a dice roll that would have killed me by using an item or loot card that simply kills the monster im fighting?
A: Yes, if a monster is killed during an attack via an outside source all attack rolls on said monster would technically be cancelled since the monster no longer exists in play.
Q: What happens if a player kills a monster or boss during another player's turn?
A: if another player somehow kills an active monster during another player's turn, the active player gains the rewards of that monster being killed, if it was a boss they also gain the soul.
Q: some monster cards say “roll: gain x or loot x” what does this mean?
A: it means when this monster is killed you roll, then gain loot or c equal to the number rolled.
Q: What happens if a monster im attacking takes lethal damage at the same exact time i do?
A: in these rare cases you both die at the same time, resolve the monster’s death first, then the player’s.
Q: if i decide to attack the top of the monster deck and someone responds by rearranging the top cards of that deck, can i take back my attack on the deck?
A: no, once a player has declared what they are attacking they MUST attack that way regardless of what others players may do.
Q: if im attacking a monster that does an action on a specific roll, and i also have an item that does something when that roll happens, how does the ordering go?
A: Monster actions always go off first, then all other actions stack on top of it. The effects all then resolve in reverse order like all other stacking effects.
Q: if i'm attacking a monster that has an ability that deals damage to me on a roll of 6 and im at 1HP and roll a 6 that would kill the monster, who dies first?
A: the monster’s effect for rolling a 6 would go off first and resolve before you would deal the final damage to kill it… so you would die before the attack resolves.
Q: What happens if i die during a turn and then take more damage?
A: if someone dies during a turn they can no longer take damage. Once any turn ends all dead players are healed to full and can be killed again.
Q: What happens if a player steals a soul card from me and i only have a monster card worth 2 souls?
A: if a card reads “steal a soul card” and a player only has a soul card that is worth 2 souls, you may take it because it counts as one card. Same goes for discarding a soul card.
Q: What happens to the bonus souls if they are gained, but then discarded later?
A: any discarded bonus souls are placed face down next to the rest on the table, once a bonus soul is gained it cant be gained again even if discarded.
Q: What happens if a player makes me discard or steals a soul card from me when i'm playing as the lost?
A: the soul that is stuck to the losts player card can’t ever be stolen or discarded.
Q: What happens if the monster, loot or treasure decks run out of cards?
A: if a deck runs out of cards simply reshuffle that decks discarded cards and use them as the new deck.
Q: What happens if we run out of coins?
A: if somehow all 100¢ has been hoarded by other players, players simply can no longer gain ¢. This probably won't ever happen though.
Q: what if something forces me to destroy an item, discard a loot card or lose a ¢ and i cant?
A: nothing, if a penalty forces a player to lose something they have none of, no other penalty takes place. If a player is asked to pay more than they have, they just reduce the resource in question down to 0. IE: a card forces a player to discard 2 loot, but they only have 1, that player must discard that 1 card.
Q: if i fail to hit and would die during an attack on a monster, can i use cards like lord of the pit or the bible to cancel my attack to avoid dying?
Q: how do trinkets work? Are they a one turn thing or do they stay in play?
A: once a trinket is played it becomes an item and all rules that apply to items apply to it. Trinkets stay in play till they are destroyed.
Card Specific Questions:
Q: Can i Butter Bean a trinket or the lost soul loot card?
A: Yes, Butter Bean can cancel any loot card being played, trinkets aren't considered items till they hit the table and the same goes for the lost soul.
Q: What if i'm playing as the forgotten and have turned the bone into a soul, can someone steal it or make me discard it?
A: yes, once the item card becomes a soul card, it can be discarded or stolen.
Q: if im playing as eden and i get a card that activates to destroy itself, can i use it?
A: no, eden makes all their starting items eternal and eternal items cant be destroyed, so cards that get destroyed for an effect cant be used.
Q: Counterfeit Penny, Does this give money also when stealing or making a deal with a player?
A: No, it only gains an extra penny when a card specifically says you GAIN x coins.
Alternative play modes:
2 player mini draft: Setup the game as normal, once a player is chosen to go first, that player takes the top 3 cards of the treasure deck and places them faceup on the table so both players can see. Then the player going first chooses one of the 3 items, then the 2nd player chooses one out of the 2 remaining items. The 3rd card is then placed at the bottom of the treasure deck. Repeat this process, alternating who goes first till both players have taken 2 items each in addition to their starting eternal item and play the game as normal.
Activate: an item can be activated if it has a turning arrow symbol on it. Items are shown to be activated by turning them sideways.
Active Player: The player whose turn it is is considered the active player.
Actions: active items and player cards can be activated in response to any action. These actions include, activating an item, attacking a monster, drawing from the loot deck, buying an item, playing a loot card, rolling a dice and a passive item or monster effect going off. Actions can also be made at the start or end of a players turn.
Counters: counters are markers you place on specific cards that ask for them, they can be represented by anything you'd like (stone, dice, coin, booger).
Deactivate: items turned sideways are considered deactivated.
Loot X: when a card says a player loots X (ie, loot 2) that player draws that many loot cards into their hand.
Destroy: when a card is destroyed it’s placed in the appropriate discard pile.
Discard: all loot is discarded after it is played. When a monster in play is discarded and not killed no rewards are given. When an item in the shop is discarded it is replaced with the top card of the treasure deck.
Souls: Souls are the point system used to declare a winner. Each boss in the game has a soul attached to it, when a player kills a boss they gain that boss card and soul attached. Souls should be visible to all players.
Lead Design & Art Direction - Edmund McMillen
Additional Design & Production - Danielle McMillen
Additional Design - Tyler Glaiel
Layout/Background Art & Illustration - @TikaraTheMew
Card Back Design/Box art & Illustration - @KrystalFlamingo
Figure Design & Illustration @Rojen241,
Illustration - @Wormchild and @Tar_Head
Business Development (Studio71) – Javon Frazier and Garima Sharma
Testers - Jackson Moore,Tyler Glaiel, Danielle McMillen, George Fan, Eli Evans, Acacia Evans, Jay Lewis, Graeme Little, Leon Masters, Dan Zaelit, Cole O’Brien, Doug O’Brien, Crystal Evans, Joe Evans, Alex Austin, Caitlyn Yantis, Peach McMillen.