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Arcane Guardian – Rulebook

The Arcane Guardian is a solo game. One game is about 10 minutes long.

The player controls a mage who wanders in an enchanted dungeon, opens treasure chests, fights monsters, collects ancient masks and other objects. The game is made up of steps that are to be carried out in a set order.

The goal of the game is to escape the dungeon. If the player’s healthHealthgoes below 1, and cannot heal than the game is over and the player loses. The game is also lost if the player cannot make a move while still in the dungeon.

The player places the Mage Card at the center of the playing surface, then puts a standard six-sided die on it. The player turns the die to 3 and puts it on the Level 1 square. After this, the player prepares another six-sided die and places it next to the playing surface, then places the four SpellSpellcards in front of the player.

The player thoroughly shuffles the playing cards (all except the Mage, the SpellsSpelland the EndingsEnding) then forms 3 separate, equal decks of them and places them face down around the Mage card, to its right, its left and above it. The player turns the top cards face up.

How to set the game

After this, the player selects three EndingEndingcards, turns them face down and then shuffles them without seeing the illustrations of the cards.

Ending Cards

The player removes the bottom five cards of the three decks previously formed around the Mage card. Still, without turning any card face up, the player shuffles an EndingEndingcard into all three of the previously remover lower five cards then places these cards back to their original deck. The player must do this without revealing any cards.

How to form a deck

After all this, the game begins! The player makes the first step.

The player carries out steps until the Mage escapes the dungeon, the healthHealthgoes below 1, or there are no longer any valid steps to make.


I. Interaction

The player selects an available deck next to the Mage card and interacts with the upper card. The player can only choose a deck that has a playing card on top of it (revealed or unrevealed), not and EndingEndingcard. The only exception to this rule is if there is such an EndingEndingcard on top of a deck that the player may interact with.

Possible Interaction

If the chosen card was not revealed, i.e. not face up, then the player must reveal it and instantly interact with it.

Interacting with unrevealed deck

After this, the player acts according to the text and the type of the card then the player may collect it or discard it into the discard pile.

What to do with a revealed card?

II. Reveal

After an interaction’s end, the player reveals all cards that are unrevealed (face down) on top of a deck except the top card of that deck where the prior card was that the player interacted with.

Reveal cards after interaction

If the player has less than 1 ManaMana(the player turned all SpellSpellcards sideways) then the player cannot reveal at all!

I. Mage and Health

The Mage card represents the player who marks the HealthHealthand the level on it with the help of a die. On this card, you can find the maximum HealthHealthvalue of a level. The player begins the game with 3 HealthHealthand at level 1, and after this, the player rotates the die according to the current HealthHealthand moves it to mark the current level.

How to handle the die

The player’s HealthHealthmay never be more than the maximum defined by the current level and possibly by other cards. If the player’s maximum HealthHealthchanges, then the player loses all the excess HealthHealththat are above the new maximum. The player may not have more HealthHealththan 6 since more could not be marked with a single die. Even if a card contradicts it, the HealthHealthcannot be more than that!

II. Spell and Mana

The SpellSpellcards are the abilities of the Mage and are also used to mark the player’s ManaMana.The player always has that much ManaManaas many SpellSpellcards are in an unturned position. If the player loses ManaManathen the player has to mark it by turning 90 degrees sideways as many freely chosen SpellSpellcards as the amount of the loss. If the player gains ManaManathen the player turns back as many freely chosen already turned SpellSpellcards as the amount of the gained ManaMana. The player may not have more than 4 or less than 0 ManaMana, only as many as can be marked with the SpellSpellcards. Values above or below it always are lost.

The player may freely use any or all SpellSpellcards anytime. Even in case the HealthHealthhas been reduced below 1 if the player can save the Mage from dying and losing the game. When using a SpellSpellcard, the player acts according to the written text then turns the card sideways 90 degrees to mark it being unavailable. These SpellSpellcards cannot be used until the player turns them back to their original position by gaining ManaMana.

Used spell

III. Enemy

The EnemyEnemycards represent various monsters and opponents. To interact with EnemiesEnemymeans fighting. EnemiesEnemycan be overcome in multiple ways. The player may choose between the options present on the said card, which usually means suffering some amount of damage and losing HealthHealth, discarding CollectibleCollectibleitems or casting one or more SpellsSpell. After this, the player discards the EnemyEnemycard.

Every EnemyEnemycard can be defeated by casting two, freely chosen SpellSpellcards.

Furthermore, EnemyEnemycards can be defeated by SpellsSpellthat specially target them. For example, to defeat a Fire Elemental card the player needs to cast two SpellsSpellbut by casting the Frostball, the player can defeat it with only one SpellSpell.

How to defeat an enemy

IV. Trap

During an interaction with a TrapTrap, the player has to roll a die, then act according to the result of the roll.

V. Collectible and Useable Items

There are numerous CollectibleCollectibleitems (Masks, Potions, Torches) in the game. These cards are collected in front of the player during the interaction with them. CollectibleCollectiblecards work according to their written description. They either have a constant effect, a one-time-only usable effect or possibly both.

UseableUseablecards have a one-time-only effect when used then the player discards them. During their usage the player has to act according to the written text on the cards. The player may freely use any or all UsableUseablecards anytime in the player’s possession. Even in case the HealthHealthhas been reduced below 1 if the player can save the Mage from dying and losing the game.

It may occur that the player has to discard a CollectibleCollectibleand/or UsableUseablecard. In that case, the player places the card into the discard pile without using it, so without it having any effect. The discarded card’s constant effects cease to exist immediately.

The difference between use and discard

VI. Chest

During an interaction with a ChestChest, the player may decide to either roll a die and act according to the rolled result, or in case the player’s level meets or exceeds the level required by the ChestChestthan the player may open it without rolling a die and receive the rewards written on it. The player does not have to open a ChestChesteven if the required level is met. After the interaction, the player discards the ChestChest.

VII. Curse

During an interaction with a CurseCursecard, the player must collect the card that will continue to have a negative effect until it is discarded. The effect may be positive in the presence of certain card combinations or in special cases. A CurseCursecan only be discarded during a Level UpLevel Upexcept if the card itself allows it tied to some condition. The Curse’sCurseeffect ceases as soon as the card is discarded.

VIII. Level Up and Level Down

When Leveling UpLevel Upthe player instantly moves the die up to mark the new level, then changes the HealthHealthto the new maximum.

Level up

When Leveling UpLevel Up, the player gets 4 ManaMana, so the player turns back all the SpellSpellcards to their original position.

Regaining Mana

When the player Levels UpLevel Upthe player may discard one freely chosen CurseCurse, however, it is not mandatory.

Discarding a Curse

If the player reaches the maximum level (Level 4) there are no further levels and during Level UpLevel Uponly the HealthHealthgets filled back to the maximum and the SpellsSpellturned back to their original position. A CurseCursemay be discarded in this case too.


If the player Levels DownLevel Down, then the player moves the die down and from now on the player is considered to be of a lower level and the maximum Health is reduced.

Losing a level

If the player is on the lowest level (Level 1), then a Level DownLevel Downhas no effect.

IX. Ending

The EndingEndingcards are special cards that mark the end of a deck and allow the player to win the game.

The player must interact with the EndingEndingcards when they are revealed and follow the written instructions. The only exception is when there are conditions to meet on them.

The EndingEndingcards may never be discarded. This is true even if the player performs a conditional and not an immediate interaction with an EndingEndingcard.

If the game does not end by revealing an EndingEndingcard, for example, the victory is bound to matching a certain condition, or the player receives some other reward instead of winning, then the player is not required to fulfill this condition immediately and may interact with this card later if the player is able to meet the conditions then.

By revealing an EndingEndingcard, the deck ends and any remaining cards under it will have no further role, the player may not reveal them. There is an exception to this rule: if the player reveals such an EndingEndingcard that isCollectibleCollectible, the player has to collect that card and then any remaining cards below it will continue to function as a normal deck. Until the player has not discarded all these remaining cards, then the player may reveal and interact with them.

EndingEndingcards with a KeyKeyallows a special end game option. The Dungeon Gate EndingEndingcard only means victory if the player has the KeyKey. To acquire it, the player has to interact with such an EndingEndingcard that either instantly or conditionally gives the KeyKeyto the player. After such a successful interaction, the player has the KeyKey, and if interacts with the Dungeon Gate then wins the game. Ending. Endingcards that provide the KeyKeyremain at their original place even after a successful interaction with them.

EndingEnding> CurseCurse> CollectibleCollectible> SpellSpell> All Other Cards > Rulebook

There is a hierarchy between the different cards and the rulebook. The higher-ranked cards override the instruction of all things below them.

The only exception to the hierarchy is the rule that the HealthHealthcannot be more than 6, because it cannot be marked with one single die.








Level UpLevel Up

Level DownLevel Down





Have fun playing!

Márton Orbán
Marzo Projects