This is a two-player combat game, but more can play with similar rules.
Each player must have a deck of 78 Tarot cards. The terminology in this description is based on a fortune telling deck called "The Witches Tarot", but any 78-card Tarot deck could be used. Each player uses 56 suited cards (in the Witches Tarot the suits are called Chalices, Wands, Swords, and Pentacles) and 6 of the 22 trump cards to create a deck consisting of 62 cards. Each Type (suit) represents an element; Chalice represents Water, Wand represents Air, Swords represents Fire, and Pentacles represent Earth.
The cards and their abilities:
Guardians: Princess, Prince, Queen, King of (Suit) represent Guardian Spirits that help you with spell casting, their bonus numbers rank as follows: Princess +1, Prince +2, Queen +3, King +4. You are allowed to have up to two Guardians in play at a given time.
*Guardian Cards cannot apply their bonus unless a Spell Affliction card is played. These cards cost no Mana to play.
Spell Affliction: Numbers 4-10 of (Suit) represent spells ,of power equal to their number, called Afflictions performed by you and modified by a Guardian Card and Requisite Card.
*You do not need a Guardian or Requisite Card to play an Affliction. These cards cost an amount of Mana equal to their power divided by 10, rounded down.
Requisite: Requisites are the items, incantations, circles, and other magical things that increase the potency of your magic. They are represented in power by the cards numbered 2-3. they may not be powerful cards, but they do give a decent boost.
*These can not be played unless a Spell Affliction is played. These cards cost no Mana to play.
Spell Conjuration: These are represented by the 22 Trump cards in a tarot deck. A maximum 6 Trump cards must be placed into your deck to represent spirits and creatures you summon to help overtake your opponent, they are played by moving one card from your hand to the discard pile.
*These are only played during the Strike Phase. (these will be covered more in detail later). These cards require no Mana to play.
Spell Smite: These are represented by the Aces of the deck. Each ace is capable of destroying one card on the field (save Conjurations) of its same suit. So an Ace of Pentacles can only destroy a Pentacle suited card, even other aces played ahead in turn.
*These are only played during the Strike Phase. These cards cost 6 Mana to play.
During any one turn, a player is not allowed to play more than one Guardian, one Spell, one Requisite, and one Conjuration of any type.
The aim of the players is to reduce their opponent's draw piles to zero. This is achieved by casting spells and trying to inflict damage to the opponent and thus, forcing him/her to discard cards. The first to reach zero cards loses.
Each of the players shuffles their own deck of 62 cards, and after allowing the other player to cut their deck, players deal themselves 6 cards from their own deck. The remaining cards form the player's draw pile. Each player determines who goes first by what ever means they see fit. And the starting player places the top two cards from his or her draw pile and places it into their Mana Pile (Mana is the energy used to play spells). In the first turn, the Striking player is unable to attack.
*note that there are 4 different piles in this game. The draw pile, where you draw your cards. The Mana Pile, where you place cards to form the energy needed to cast spells. A Cycle pile, where used Mana is placed to later be recycled into the bottom of the draw pile. And a Discard Pile, where cards are placed when they are lost during the duel. Cards placed here cannot be placed back into the Draw Pile unless by a Conjuration card.
Phases of the game
Each player's turn consists of three phases:
- Draw Phase: many things happen during this phase. First, the player places any cards from his or her Cycle pile at the bottom of his or her draw pile. Then, he/she draws their hand back up to 6 cards and places one card from the top of their deck into their Mana pile. The player then decides whether or not to discard any cards to their Mana pile. The Striking player also decides which Guardian Spirit will be Offensive or Defensive.
- Strike Phase: During this Phase the Striking player can initiate combat by paying for and assigning Spell Afflictions to his Offensive guardian and comparing it to the opponents Defensive score.
- Cycle Phase: Cards used as Mana are placed into the cycle pile and all other cards except
- Guardian/Shield cards are moved to the Mana Pile.
If the Striking Player is finished, the next player starts his/her turn. (For more than two players, the play goes counter-clockwise, to the right.)
Draw back up to a six card hand from the top of your draw pile. Place one Guardian Spirit on the board to fill a slot or replace an old Guardian by discarding it and replacing it with the new one. Only two Guardian cards are allowed to be in play at any one time, One for offensive magic (set right side up to represent offensive) and one for defensive magic (set on its side to represent defensive), and at the start of your turn you are able to re-decide which Guardian does what action. Place one card from the top of your deck into your Mana Pile to pay for Spells, and you may choose to discard any amount of cards from your hand to add to your Mana Pile.
After an Offensive and Defensive Spirit has been designated, or no spirit is available at all, you may play one Spell Affliction card from your hand by paying an amount of Mana equal to half the Afflictions score, rounded down. for example, to play an affliction with a score of 4, you would need to pay 2 Mana, but to play an affliction with a score of 9, you would need to pay 4 Mana (9 / 2 rounded down is 4). You may also play a Requisite card from your hand as well as a Spell Conjuration or Smite card from your hand. All cards involved are placed face down (except Guardians). Once all cards able to be played have been played, players compare their card totals by flipping all cards face down, face up. Should the Offensive player win, their affliction effects the opponent and the opponent subtracts the Defensive total from the Offensive total, and divides this total by two (rounded up). The Defensive player then discards an amount of cards equal to the total determined this way from the top of their draw pile. Should the Defensive player win, the Offensive players Affliction was successfully countered or resisted, and the Offensive player discards their Guardian card or 1 card from the top of their draw pile if no guardian/shield is available.
For example, say an offensive player has a Queen of Pentacles (+3) along with a Spell Affliction card, the 6 of Swords (+6), and a Requisite Card the 3 of Chalices (+3) for a total of 12. the Defensive Player has a King of Chalices (+4) along with a Spell Affliction Card, the 5 of Wands (+5), and a Requisite Card the 2 of Swords (+2) for a total of 11. Since the offensive player won, the Defensive player subtracts 11 (defense total) from 12 (offense total) for 1, and since one divided by two rounded up is one, the defending player loses one card from the top of their draw pile.
Conjuration cards are played at any time during the Strike Phase, and only during the Strike Phase, except during damage resolution with conjurations cards having their effect resolved first.
During this Phase, all player move any cards involved this combat (except Guardian Cards) to their Mana pile, and any Mana used into the Cycle Pile. The turn begins with the defensive player as the attacker.
- You need not attack each turn.
- In order to attack, you only need a Spell Affliction Card. You cannot attack with only a Guardian Card, or only a Requisite card, however, if you have a Guardian card and Requisite card available, you may play the two without a Spell Affliction.
- In order to defend, you need either a Guardian or a Spell Affliction card. You may use a Requisite, but that only works with a Spell Affliction card or Guardian Card in play. If you choose not to attack, you receive any penalties appropriate for the players turn (I.E. If you are defending, you take the full damage divided in half rounded up, and if you are attacking, you lose the offensive Guardian card or 1 card from the top of your Draw Pile).
- You may see any face up Guardian cards of the opponents as well as the top card of their discard piles, but no other cards, however, as the player turns Spell and Requisite cards face up, it is revealed until the Cycle Phase. Neither player may pick up a card or rewind a turn once everything has paid for and placed on the field.
If more than two players want to play Wizards Grimoire, one may only Strike the player to his/her right (the next player) and defend against Strikes from the left. If anybody is out (draw pile empty), the circle of active players gets smaller until one player remains. However, when somebody is out because he/she cannot draw a card at the start of the turn, that player gets one "revenge turn": I.E. that player can still make one final attack after preparation. Otherwise, it would be considered unfair, since the next player would have a "free" turn, where he/she is not attacked at all.
The Power of the Suits
When ever a player has all cards (except conjurations) taking place in a battle with all the exact same suit, the player is awarded with 5 extra points to their Offensive or Defensive total. For example if a player had a Queen of Swords (+3), a Spell Affliction, The 5 of Swords (+5), and a Requisite, the 3 of Swords(+3) the total would be 11, but since they are all the same suit, the player receives a bonus of 5 making the new total 16.
Trump Cards: the 22 Deadly Conjurations
A player may choose 6 out of the 22 Conjuration cards to add to their deck, each one with a special power that can change the outcome of a battle. Each card's number, as well as power is listed below:
- The Fool - When this card is played, the user selects the top 10 cards from his/her discard pile and places them back at the bottom of his/her draw pile.
- The Magician - When this card is played (usually before the opponent has played any cards), The user may view all the card in the opponents hand.
- The High Priestess - When this card is played, the user may search his/her discard or draw pile for any one Earth or Water Element based Spell affliction or Requisite card and place it into his/her hand.
- The Empress - When this card is played, the user may search his/her discard or draw pile for any one Earth or Water Element based Guardian/Shield card and place it into his/her hand.
- The Emperor - When this card is played, the user may search his/her discard or draw pile for any one Fire or Air Element based Guardian/Shield card and place it into his/her hand.
- The High Priest - When this card is played, the user may search his/her discard or draw pile for any one Fire or Air Element based Spell affliction or Requisite card and place it into his/her hand.
- The Lovers - When this card is played, it prevents you from taking any damage when and if you lose a battle against your opponent.
- The Chariot - When this card is played, it represents any one Spell Affliction card of the exact same value as the last Spell Affliction card played by the opponent last turn, except suit.
- Strength - When this card is played, it represents a Requisite card +4. This card may only be played in place of a Requisite card, but has no suit type.
- The Seeker - When Played, this card takes on the form of any one card (except conjurations) the user wishes it to be, however, it does not represent any suit. (if an Ace is chosen, The Seeker may destroy any card that is the same suit as the acting Guardian/Shield)
- Justice - When this card is played, the battle ends immediately and moves to the Cycle Phase. a Draw Fight is declared.
- Wheel of Fortune - When this card is played, the user discards every card from his or her hand and redraws a new hand containing the same number of cards as the hand that was discarded.
- The Hanged Man - When this card is played, the user may discard one card at random from the opponent's hand.
- Death - When this card is played, the user may spend any amount of Mana. In doing so, every Mana spent forces the opponent to discard an amount of cards from the top of their deck equal to the amount of Mana spent.
- Temperance - When this card is played, the user chooses a card suit (Chalice, Pentacles, Wands, or Swords). Neither player may play any cards with suits matching the chosen type.
- The Horned One / Baphomet - When this card is played, it represents a +5 Guardian/Shield Card with no suit alignment. This card may only be played if there is at least one Guardian/Shield slot available.
- The Tower - When this card is played it multiplies the score of a Requisite or Guardian/Shield card by 2.
- The Stars - When this card is played, the user may use one Spell Affliction card from the opponents discard pile as if it was his/her own this turn.
- The Moon - When this card is played, the user may use one Spell affliction card from his/her own discard pile this turn.
- The Sun - When this card is played, the user may search his/her draw pile for one Spell Affliction card and play it this turn.
- Judgment - When this card is played, it can destroy any one card regardless of suit (except Conjurations)
- The Universe - When this card is played, both players discard their Cycle piles