Runes of Zun Rules

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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 up to 8 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 (4)
  • Reference Cards (4)

Rune Cards

Rune cards are the cards that you use to play the game. They are what goes into the main deck, discard, and your hand.

See all the Rune Cards

HP Tracker Cards

The HP Tracker uses the HP Tracker Card and a tracker of your choice (such as a coin or a token). Place the tracker 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 4 players. But with more HP Tracker Cards, you can play with up to 8 players or more! No matter how many players you choose, we recommend you have the right number of cards for a balanced game. You may want to start with the original 60 cards in the base game, then you can add or swap out cards from there using expansion cards.

You can play 2-4 players with the base game of 60 cards comfortably, or you can scale the number of cards to the number of players. About 40 + 10 cards per player should do the trick.

Players Suggested Game Type Suggested Deck Size
2 Duel 60-80 cards
3 Free-for-all 60-80 cards
4 Free-for-all or Teams of 2 60-80 cards
5 Free-for-all 90-120 cards
6 Teams of 2 or 3 90-120 cards
7 Free-for-all 90-120 cards
8 Teams of 4 90-120 cards

With more players, you may want to start with more cards than just the original 60 cards. Combining 2 base games may help, or you can add HP Tracker Card and expansions!

For larger teams, you may also want to use two identical decks, one for each team. This keeps the card distribution more stable.

Before you start a game, you can 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. Choose the cards you wish to use

  2. Choose a game mode (such as teams or free-for-all)

  3. Choose team members and turn order

    • For example, the player who exercised most recently or lost the last game gets to go first
    • Then, you might choose to go clockwise from that player
  4. Shuffle the chosen rune cards together into a rune card deck

  5. Place HP Tracker Cards in front of each player with HP marked to 12 with a tracker of your choice

  6. Have each player draw 5 cards in the chosen turn order

  7. Begin the game with the first player chosen at their Start of Turn Phase (this is the start of their turn and the game)


  • Each player takes their turn in a chosen order
  • Play continues until Victory is achieved
  • Each rune card explains how to use it
  • Keep in mind the detailed game rules

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 trigger their effects
  2. If you have no Action cards in your hand, you may “mulligan” once per turn
    • 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 multiple different modifiers
    • you may play multiples of the same modifier cards as well
  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
    • you may not declare two targets to be the same player at this point (you may not use just a Share alone to target the same player twice)
  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 as many may be cleaned up at the End of Turn
  7. Repeat steps 1-6 to play additional Actions 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 card effects with “at the end of your turn” in their text
    • check the card text for instructions
    • if you have more than one card with this text, decide the order that you want to trigger their effects
    • if you modified cards with Reserve, this is when you would take them back into your hand (but not any Reserve cards themselves)
  2. Discard all remaining cards that were played on your turn unless they state otherwise (such as [Ongoing] cards)

Your turn is over and the next player may now begin 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.

Detailed 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.

  1. Overdraw & Underdraw
  2. Cards with “[Ignore]” in their text or (immune) as a keyword
  3. HP Tracker Card & HP Tier rules
  4. Normal card text with preference to preventative effects or effects that call out other card effects
  5. Everything else
Example: you have Defend and the Overdraw Rule triggers for you. The HP reduction from the Overdraw Rule will still happen even though Defend would otherwise prevent your HP from being reduced. This is because Overdraw is a higher priority than the card text for Defend. However, Defend will always prevent normal HP reductions due to its text explicitly stating that it prevents HP reductions.

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, one at a time
  • You may only play Actions from your hand during your turn
  • You must resolve an Action before playing another

See all the Rune Cards

Reaction cards

  • You may only play a Reaction card when an Action targets you
    • this includes when a Redirect changed the previous target of an Action and made you the new target
  • 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 (also called “charm” or legal modifiers)

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 play Channel when someone plays Expose on you, but you still have 9 cards in your hand. When you draw 2, the 2nd cards makes your hand have 11, so you must reduce your HP by 1 for going over 10 cards by 1 card


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 plays a Steal on you but your hand is empty. You must reduce your HP by 1 for failing to produce 1 card from your hand

Changing your HP

  • You may increase or reduce HP based on card effects played in the game
  • Use an HP Tracker Card and a token of your choice (such as a coin) to keep track of your HP
    • Your HP Tracker Card has 3 tiers in colored bars (1-4, 5-8, 9-12)
    • You may only move your tracker to the 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 HP (red-colored) tier.

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. You may come back if someone plays a 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 a hand, the deck, or the table 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. This is now covered by the (immune) keyword, but means the exact same as (immune). Occurs only after the card succesfully resolves. Newer cards always win out over previously played “ignore” cards
Previously referred to as the text “This card ignores other card effects.” Means the exact same thing as such previously used “ignore” text. Reffers to when card effects ignore other card effects which may prevent their effect. Occurs only after the card succesfully resolves. Newer cards always win out over previously played (immune) cards
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
Activate an Action to make its effects happen or start to happen in the case of lasting cards that use the (ongoing) keyword or “until the end of the turn” text
Place a card into your hand but not from the Deck (eg. when you Steal a card from another player)


The game is designed to be fun and playable even if you misunderstand a few things. But if you’re stuck and need help resolving specific questions, try these:

Expansion Rules


Thank you to everyone involved in making this game and its growing content!


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