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Tips & Strategies (7)

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Stone of the Sun
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Novice Advisor
40 of 41 gamers found this helpful
“Follow in their footsteps!”

In this game you must be very careful when choosing encounters. It is best to stick with green encounters until they are either gone or most players have stepped up to yellow encounters. Let your fellow players take on a yellow one first, for many times I have seen certain doom for a player going to soon to tougher encounters.

So watch and wait! You need a lot of money and good equipment to win the game, so a setback (dying or being severely wounded) can cost you the game. When you notice green encounters are becoming pushovers, do move on, of course!

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Novice Advisor
The Gold Heart
Pick a Favorite LGS
40 of 41 gamers found this helpful
“D&D-Style Progressive XP Table”

One thing that I found odd in Runebound was the fact that you needed the same amount of experience to level up the first time as it did the tenth time.

During the beginning of the game you are generally getting only 1 XP from a challenge, meaning it could take you up to five of them to level up. Later, closer to the end of the game, you could possibly level up after each challenge.

To help even out the time spent at each level and difficulty (green, yellow, blue, and red), I use the following chart:

The first time you level up, i.e. go to level 2, you need to spend 3 XP. The easiest way to know what level you are currently at is to count all your experience counters plus your hero card. So, if you have 3 experience counters with your hero, you are at level 4, and it would cost 5 experience points to level up to level 5.

For games with 3 or more players you should reduce the XP required by 1.

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Stone of the Sun
40 of 41 gamers found this helpful
“ Variant: Card Game Variant”

Runebound 2nd Edition is a fantasy adventure board game where the players move around the board, fighting monsters, acquiring items/allies and competing to defeat High Lord Margath or collect three dragon runes.

A major criticism of the game is that play is drawn out, with characters gaining power slowly. Movement around the board also becomes laborious when there are a smaller number of players and competition for hexes is low. Particularly aggressive players can also make life tough. If one or more players gets a lead, it can be hard for the other players to catch them.

Presented here is a variant of Runebound that does away with the board and movement dice, turning Runebound into a card game. The play time is fast and it supports the same number of players as the base game. Interactivity has been removed but for competing on buying items and the rules assist losing players to help them stay in the game.


1. Remove the game board, character miniatures, encounter tokens and movement dice. These are not used.

2. Remove the event and encounter cards from the adventure decks. Many of these cards affect movement or specific cities on the board. Remove the equipment cards Wings of Regiroth and Teleport as they only affect movement.

3. Divide the equipment deck into four stacks, containing all items of cost 1-4, 5-7, 8-10 and 11+ respectively. These stacks will be referred to as the green, yellow, purple and red equipment decks, corresponding to the adventure decks of the same colour.

4. To start the game, draw 3 + X cards from the green equipment deck, where X is the number of players, and place the cards in the middle of the play area. These cards form the market.


Each player takes their turn as follows.

1. Draw a card from one of the encounter decks and resolve it as normal.

2. Buy any equipment from the market.
Once the player has finished buying, the market is refreshed back to its original size. The colour of the equipment deck to draw from corresponds to the highest colour adventure card that was drawn during all players’ last turn.

Rule Changes

Players may no longer heal at a city.

Cards that mention “before moving” are now “before drawing an adventure card”.

Any card that affects movement is to be ignored. Some of these cards will be unbalanced as they are now weaker, consider removing them from the game.

Overall, the core game remain unchanged. The players still race to gain power and eventually fight enemies from the red adventure deck. The combat balance is largely retained, but player interactivity is lost. The variant plays fast, plays well solo and is also portable, as only the decks of cards are required.

Design Notes

Market access at the end of each player’s turn increases the availability of items and allies. No healing at a city increases ally attrition and the need for healing items, which is balanced by the easier availability. Splitting the equipment deck ensures players do not access the more powerful items earlier in the game, which can disrupt balance.

The market refresh rules are designed to give slower players access to better items, to help catch the leader(s).

It is not necessary to remove all event and encounter cards, but it is not worth keeping the entire mechanic just to include a few extra cards.

Solo play is identical to normal play with the victory condition being winning within a target number of turns.

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39 of 41 gamers found this helpful
“To keep your game on the shorter side...”

I like this game, but it frequently drags out WAAAY too long. Here are a few tips to keep it moving.

1) I really would never play with more than 4 players. I think 3 is the sweet spot.

2) ALWAYS choose the “faster leveling” exp variant.

3) Moving can sometimes take as long as your action. After you’ve moved and are fighting or in town, hand the dice to the next person so they can move while you play the rest of your turn.

4) A bit of a house rule, but I soften the death penalties. Instead of losing all your gold, only lose half of it. This doesn’t punish risk-takers quite so extremely.

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Stone of the Sun
40 of 43 gamers found this helpful
“Player Interaction”

Don’t be discouraged by the seemingly lack of interaction. One criticism or boon depending on how you may view it is that Runebound can in very broad terms be viewed as a solo game that you play with other people at the same time. There are a few variants on BGG where-in people have come up with a full co-op version and other variants to amp up the player interaction if that’s your thing.

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My First Heart
40 of 43 gamers found this helpful
“Go hard or go home from the beginning...”

Put everything into leveling even if you make a run at a level 2 off the start. A jump on the opponents in this game will propel you to the lead quickly. If you are real evil, nab the 2’s first and scoop 1’s to level. Excess is wasted anyways and it keeps the others from progressing.

Save your spoils too, there are awesome things to purchase in the market phase of this game.

If at all possible, don’t bother with Ronan of the Wild, he’s terrible and I think he’s fed to a dragon for being so terrible in the macro version of this game “Rune Wars”!

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41 of 45 gamers found this helpful
“A more realistic market”

I always thought that being able to see the cards in every market at any time was silly. If you’re 20 miles from town how would you know they have an amazing sword for sale? so we changed the way the market works in our home. It also made no sense that markets only stocked up if you were in town, they should constantly be buying and selling things you’re not the only people in the world after all.

– At the start of the game deal 2 cards face down on each city’s market.

– Market cards are always placed face down.

– At the start of each players turn they may place a card into any available market stack of their choice (this does not count as the card normally placed for being in town during the market phase).

– If you are in town during the market phase you may look at the cards in that towns market; additionally you may pay 1 gold to look at a pile of cards from any other market. You may do this as many times as you like on your turn (once for each town for example).

IF you want an active market you could also implement a method of removing items from markets, we had two variations we used.

– First was to roll a 1dX before your market phase while in town, if you roll a 1(or whatever value you like) remove a card at random from the market deck then add a card per the core rules (implying someone beat you to the market and purchased something).

– Alternatively each player could roll a d20 each turn and on a 1(or whatever value you like) remove a random card from a market of your choice (must have at least one card in market currently).

The main issues with implementing these rules are remembering them. We use to put a market card into the towns in order starting at the top and going down, but we would forget which town was last stocked or we’d forget to stock all together so we changed it to random.

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