Runes of Zun Rules

© 2021 Gobico LLC, All Rights Reserved



Play as a Runecaster in the battle-scarred realm of Zun! Magic runes from a long-forgotten war fill the land. You are one of few with the gift to control them. With skill and a little luck, you may turn the tide of battle.


Runes of Zun is a card-dueling game of magic and mayhem for 2-4 players. It’s easy to learn and draws inspiration from collectible card games and deck builders but without all the fuss of collecting.


Defeat all opponents by reducing their HP to 0 before they do the same to you!


The base game contains

  • Rune Cards (60)
  • HP Tracker Cards and Cubes (4)
  • Reference Cards (4)

Rune Cards

Rune Cards are the cards that you use to play the game.

See all the Rune Cards

HP Tracker Cards

The HP Tracker has a card and a small wooden cube. Place the wooden cube on a number to mark your current HP. Flip the card over if you’re Defeated.

Reference Cards

Each Reference Card has Turn Order on the front and important Reminders on the back.

Player Count

Runes of Zun games can have up to 8 players! We recommend you have enough cards to have a fun game. In all cases, we recommend having the base Deck of 60 cards, then add expansions or promo cards to fill our your game Deck.

2-4 Players

You can play 2-4 players with the base game.

Player Count Game Type Minimum Deck Size
2 Duel 60 cards
3 Free-for-all 60 cards
4 Free-for-all or Teams of 2 60 cards

5-8 Players

Add cards from expansions or promo card sets to increase the number of players in your game.

Player Count Game Type Minimum Deck Size
5 Free-for-all 78 cards
6 Teams of 2 or 3 96 cards
7 Free-for-all 120 cards
8 Teams of 4 120 cards

For larger teams, we recommend using two identical Decks, one for each team. This keeps the card distribution more stable.

Build your Deck how you like. Experiment! Since everyone is playing with the same cards, you won’t have to worry much about balance between players. Have fun with it!


  1. Shuffle all the Rune cards and stack them face-down in the middle of the table as the Deck
    • you may add or remove Rune cards to change the flavor of your game
    • after the game starts, you may not modify the Deck
  2. Give each player
    • 1 HP Tracker Card and cube
    • 1 Player Reference card
  3. Each player must
    • place their HP Tracker Card in front of them with the number side up
    • set their HP Tracker cube on 12 HP
  4. Deal Rune cards
    • give 5 to each player, face-down
    • players take the cards into their Hand
    • players may only see the cards in their own Hand
  5. Decide who goes first; we suggest the player who
    • was first Defeated in the last game
    • has exercised most recently


  • Each player takes their turn in clockwise order starting with the first player
  • Play continues until Victory is achieved
  • Each Rune card explains how to use it
  • There are a few Game Rules you must follow

On Your Turn

Each turn has 4 phases

  1. Start of Turn Phase
  2. Action Phase
  3. Recovery Phase
  4. End of Turn Phase

Start of Turn Phase

  1. Check for any Ongoing card effects affecting you with “at the start of your next turn” in their text
    • check the card text for instructions
    • if you have more than one card affecting you, decide the order that you want to play their effects
  2. If you have no Action cards in your hand, you may “mulligan”
    • reveal and discard your hand
    • draw 3 new cards

Action Phase

  1. Choose an Action card to play from your hand OR skip to step 8
  2. Play the Action card by placing it on the table
  3. If you want, play Modifier cards from your hand to enhance the Action
    • check the Action card to see which are allowed
    • place them next to the Action card you want to modify
    • you may play more than one modifier type
    • you may play more than one of each type
  4. Declare target(s)
    • if you have more than one target, declare the order you will be acting on them
    • a target is usually a player
    • you may target yourself
  5. Resolve the Action for each Target
    • one at a time
    • in the order you declared
    • players may play a Reaction card if they are targeted by an Action
    • completely follow any chain Reaction that might happen (eg. Redirect)
  6. For now, leave all the cards you play on the table face-up
  7. Repeat steps 1-6 if you wish
  8. Declare that your Action Phase is done

Recovery Phase

  1. You may choose any number of cards from your hand and discard them
  2. If your hand has less than 5 cards, you must Draw until you have 5

End of Turn Phase

  1. Check for any Ongoing card effects affecting you with “at the end of your turn” in their text
    • check the card text for instructions
    • if you have more than one card affecting you, decide the order that you want to play their effects
  2. Take any cards you played Reserve with (but not the Reserve card itself)
  3. Discard all remaining cards that were played on your turn unless they state otherwise (such as Ongoing cards)

When your turn is over, the next player starts their turn.


Free-for-all play

Defeat all other players to win.


Defeat all other teams to win. A team is defeated when all players in that team are defeated.

Game Rules

Rule Priority

Sometimes card effects and other rules clash. In that case, here are the levels of priority to decide which is more important. If you have two conflicting cards with the same priority level, the most recently played card wins out.

  1. HP Bar Rules
  2. Overdraw
  3. Underdraw
  4. “Ignore” in the card text
  5. “Forced” in the card text
  6. Other card text
  7. Other rule text
Example: you have Defend and the Overdraw Rule affecting you. The HP reduction from the Overdraw Rule will still happen even though Defend would otherwise prevent HP loss. This is because Overdraw is a higher priority than the card text for Defend.

Drawing cards

  • Draw only from the top of the Deck
  • When a player needs to draw a card but no cards remain in the deck
    1. shuffle the discard pile
    2. set the shuffled cards face-down as a new deck
    3. continue drawing cards as needed
  • Cards in the deck may not be viewed
  • Keep in mind the Overdraw rule

Playing cards

Action cards

Action cards affect players (even yourself). They’re what powers the game!

  • You may play as many Actions as you want from your hand
  • You may only play Actions on your turn
  • You must resolve each Action before playing the next

See all the Rune Cards

Reaction cards

  • You may only play a Reaction card when an Action targets you
  • You may play a Reaction to an Action that you played on yourself

See all the Rune Cards

Modifier cards

Modifier cards are used to enhance card effects.

  • You may only modify an Action or Reaction card
  • You may play multiple modifiers on a card
  • Check each Modifier card to see if it has special instructions
  • Check the Action or Reaction card you want to modify and see if it has the modifier’s rune on the left side before you play it

See all the Rune Cards

Discarding cards

  • When you Discard a card, its effects are canceled and end immediately
  • Discard cards into a face-up Discard Pile
  • If there is no Discard Pile, make one
  • Any player may look at the Discard Pile
    • at any time
    • after viewing, return discarded cards face-up into the Discard Pile


When you have 10 cards in your hand, you must reduce your HP by 1 for each additional card you place into your hand.

Example: you have 10 cards in your hand but you Steal 1 from another player. You would lose 1 HP to pay the cost of having an extra card in hand.


When you are required to produce a card you don’t have in your hand, you must reduce your HP by 1 for each card you lack.

Example: someone resolves a Steal against you but you’re out of cards. You must lose 1 HP to pay the cost of not having a card that the game required.

Changing your HP

  • You may increase or reduce HP based on card effects played in the game
  • Use an HP Tracker Card and cube to keep track of your HP
    • Your HP Tracker has 3 bars (1-4, 5-8, 9-12)
    • You may only move your HP Tracker cube left, right, or down — never up unless a card tells you otherwise
  • If your HP reaches 0 then you’re Defeated (oh no!)
Example: you have 3 HP and play a Revive on yourself. You will only gain 1 HP instead of 2 because your HP is in the 1-4 bar.

If you’re Defeated

  1. Discard
    • your hand
    • all the cards you played this turn
    • all cards affecting you without resolving them
  2. Flip your HP Tracker Card over to show you’re Defeated
  3. Hope that someone plays Revive to bring you back


All Players
Means that: 1) all players are affected; 2) no player is targeted; 3) no player may play a Reaction card because they aren’t being targeted
A Rune card that does something to one or more players
A stack of Rune cards placed face-down on the table which players may Draw from during play
When a player reaches 0 HP they’re out of the game (unless someone plays Revive to bring them back)
Remove a card from play and place it face-up in the Discard Pile
Discard Pile
A stack of face-up cards that have been discarded
Place a card from the top of the Deck into your hand
No Reaction cards may be played in response to this card
Card effects take priority over whatever it tells you to ignore, including other cards with “ignore” in their text
Card effects ignore other card effects that might otherwise prevent it from resolving
A Rune card that enhances an Action or Reaction card
Card effects last beyond the turn it was played
A Rune card that you may play when an Action targets you
Complete an Action to make its effects happen
Place a card into your hand but not from the Deck (eg. when you Steal a card from another player)


Join our Discord server or email our support team to ask rule questions or to voluteer your time to help others in the community, test future content, or contribute to the game’s development.


A game like this takes a lot of time and effort from dedicated people. As the game grows, so will this list.

  • Dave Balmer — Original design, development, art, rules, testing
  • Alex Inoue — Design, development, rules, testing
  • Eric Trimble — Development, testing

Special thanks to our Testers, Backers, and Fans. Without you, none of this would be possible!