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Runebound: Second Edition - Board Game Box Shot

Runebound: Second Edition

The marketplaces are quiet; the streets deserted. The rumors in the taverns and the whispers in the inns all suggest the same – the evil necromancer Vorakesh is raising undead legions to help him bring back Margath, the High Lord of All Dragonkind. If the realm has ever needed heroes, this is the time!

In Runebound, up to six players can adventure in a fantasy realm full of danger and peril. Travel down raging rivers, explore dark and mysterious forests, and fight all manner of heinous beasts intent on stopping you from your goal – destroying the great dragon Margath before he destroys the land!

Runebound Second Edition, the new standard in adventure board games, is all you liked about the original best-selling game and more. A complete revision of the original, Runebound Second Edition has an updated game board, revised rules, new and more challenging monsters, and twelve plastic figures to represent the stalwart heroes of the realm. This epic game of high fantasy is now better than ever!

User Reviews (4)

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Stone of the Sun
144 of 153 gamers found this helpful | Medals x 1
“Time Stands Still (At The Ashen Hill)”

The Necromancer Vorakesh has plagued the lands, raised armies of the dead, caused the houses of men to turn on one another out of fear and paranoia, and laid waste to all in his path. Yet all this pales in comparison to his ultimate goal… You see, for the mad Necromancer seeks to bring back the shadow of the world. An evil long thought to be sealed away in the dark mists of the past. Margath, the High Lord of All Dragonkind. Long thought to be a myth by most of this world, should he return would mean the end of all. In this dire hour, who will answer the call?

Runebound is a fantasy adventure board game for 1-6 players published by Fantasy Flight Games. You and your fellow adventurers take on the roles of Heroes questing across the land in search of adventure. Along the way, you will find magical artifacts and cunning allies to help you in your quest. You will also encounter terrible villains that you must overcome in order to complete your quest, and in doing so gain treasures and experience.  
A turn of Runebound consists of a Refresh Phase, a Movement Phase, an Adventure phase/or Market Phase, Experience Phase. The Refresh Phase consists of “untaping” any “taped” cards or discarding of some specific cards, or resolving any effects that occur before your Movement Phase. The game board is divided by hexagonal spaces, each representing the terrain type or city of the game map. Movement is determined by rolling Movement Dice, these dice have symbols of a specific terrain type.

Scattered across the map are Adventure Counters, or event/encounter markers, each color coded by the level of the encounter. An encounter is resolved by drawing a corresponding card of the level. The cards are typically monsters you must fight but can also be personal events or global events as well. Your reward for slaying the monsters are listed on the card and range from gold to powerful spells and always the Adventure Counters, which are used to keep track of XP and to level up your character’s stats.

Should your character chose to end his or her movement in one of the many cities across the board they may enact the Market Phase. In the Market Phase your character can utilize all the precious gold you gained from your adventuring to buy new items or Allies to aid them along their quest, or heal themselves of both wounds and their exhaustion.

And so the game goes on, adventuring, traveling, upgrading, buying, slaying, and morning. The First player to defeat the High Lord Margath or collect three Dragon Runes is declared the winner.
I did not wish to go so in-dept into the rules, as I feel I can not do the mechanics and rules justice in this piece, and rather encourage you to read through the rulebook for a more in depth understanding of the game. Runebound is in my opinion a wonderful adventure game with just the right amount of balance of luck and strategy that keeps it fresh and accessible to a wind range of players.

But not all is perfect in this foray to Terrinoth. The combat system while not difficult to understand by most gamers may be a big struggle for most unexperienced gamers. Also, while dying is always annoying, in this game it does not have so much of a heavy consequence, which can lead some players to play recklessly because a lack of a real consequence other then not progressing at a faster rate. Finally, the lack of player interaction may turn of many people. A common complaint I have heard from gamers is that Runebound is a solo game you play with other people at the same table. While I can see and understand this complaint, it does not phase me in the slightest.

With these minor flaws, I see Runebound as amazing game with a lot to offer for myself and many other gamers. A great adventure, a fun questing system, a unique combat system, great game play, and for  me a perfect balance of luck and strategy. Next time you’re in the market for a Fantasy Board Game and you want something with a great balance of exploration, combat and flavor, I implore you to consider Runebound.

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132 of 147 gamers found this helpful
“This is the game I have been looking for...(wrong choice FFG)”

After over a year of Ebay and buy/sell forum searches I finally got the game I been longing for since I started this hobby. Runebound 2ed brand new in shrink wrap and under 75 USD.

After 3 gaming sessions I’m deeply in love. This game has it all: questing, character levelling up, skills, allies, items, global events, killing monsters for gold and rewards, high fantasy flavour and nice artwork. Its also easy to setup and to learn.

The downside is that FFG has put this game out of production. So now I’m having a hard time to get the expansions and for a fair price.

I wonder why FFG decided not to continue with this core game of their fantasy universe, where games like Descent, Rune Wars and Battle Lore take place.
I also wonder if FFG took a choice between Talisman or Runebound for their main fantasy adventure game, and I think they took the wrong choice.

Runebound has the same elements as Talisman but does it better. More in-game options, exploring and freedom. And for the expansions that do more than just adding to the original game, they also change it to almost a new gaming experience with new main quest mechanics and new “worlds” to explore.

If I should make an comparison with still available games, I would say its sort of a mix between Talisman, Mage Knight (free movement) and Pathfinder ACG (RPG without a DM).

If you have the chance to buy/test Runebound, DO IT!
It’s a classic adventure board game that deserves not to be forgotten and hopefully a 3ed or revised version in the future. 🙂

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Rated 100 Games
Stone of the Sun
Advanced Reviewer
Novice Advisor
135 of 152 gamers found this helpful
“Roleplaying without the need for a DM!”

If you enjoy roleplaying, but have trouble finding a Dungeon Master (someone to run the game for you) and you are mostly interested in the combats and encounters this is a game for you!

In Runebound you choose between a lot of characters who each have their own special abilities (and sometimes drawbacks). Your hero can excel at ranged attacks, melee attacks and magic attacks (in that order).

Once chosen your hero can travel across the game board by throwing the right kind of dice (forests to travel through forests, roads to travel over roads, etc.). Some areas have encounters with monsters. The color of the encounter indicates how difficult it will be to beat that monster (green for light monsters, yellow for intermediate encounters and red for the dragons, who are really, really hard to beat).

When you have sustained too much wounds or have the money to spare you can visit the towns to heal and buy new stuff. You’ll need good equipment to win the game, so really start with the simplest encounters first! Of course you have to keep track of what your opponents are doing, for only one can win by beating the great dragon!

I really like this game for its theme, execution and all the fun it brings when playing (e.g. the banter between the characters). The only drawback is its length. The game can last for hours, so be prepared for that. However, as a typical roleplaying session might last a day, you might not think this a problem. Have fun playing it!

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My First Heart
103 of 135 gamers found this helpful
“Echoing Diogenes: Roleplaying without the need for a DM!”

This game is also a lot of fun.

I love how they merged the RP element in with a board game.
That’s not easy to do and still keep it moderately casual.

The various characters are all fun. (Save Ronan the Wild).

The premise is simple.
Kill the high dragon or enough of his spawn.

Weapons and allies are interesting and well balancing.

Events can be good, bad, neutral.


Pro’s –
Has good RP essence/elements while still being somewhat casual.
No need for day long sessions, DM, bag of dice, manuals, books, ‘Darn I lost my character sheet and need to roll up another!’
Tiered difficulty with levels is handled masterfully.


Con’s –
I could easily see an Inn event stack to complement to market step.


Overall, a fun game and def. one of my favorites.


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