Such ruin, such destruction, such misery and woe has been visited upon this land. Empires have fallen, kings have deserted their thrones and faith has forsaken the Church. The champions of old have been defeated. Ancient alliances lie in ruins. Now new heroes are rising up, seeking a new path, forging their own destiny. Power is unguarded and is ready to be grasped by those daring enough to seize it.
Ruination is a game of duelling heroes - implacable warriors, cruel sorcerers, devious rogues and other lone champions intent on battling their way across this devastated landscape. Now is the time for action, now it is time to unleash your inner Hero, to find your path to greatness and the glory that awaits you! Oh and don’t forget to visit the shop on your way out...
Ruination - Rules Synopsis
Ruination is a game of duelling heroes: mighty fantasy warriors, sorcerers, rogues, mercenaries and a host of other weird and exotic champions all eager to prove themselves in battle. The rules describe encounters that can be better thought of as duels rather than skirmishes. Games can be fought between two opposing heroes so players only need one figure each to play Ruination. Of course larger battles can be fought when three or four heroes group together and take on similar enemy forces. In Ruination - this is quite a big game - but hardly yet a skirmish!
The main feature of the Ruination rules is the way that dice are used. In fact, this is the key to understanding the rules and playing the game successfully. Players have a wide variety of dice that they can use, and generally they have quite a choice in which dice and how many they can use in each situation. This will greatly affect the outcome of any encounter, so players will need to think carefully about their choices.
In most of the games processes there are two stages, the first when the player rolls dice to see whether they have achieved what they wanted to do, i.e. fire their bow and hit the target. The second stage is where the player determines the outcome of their successful action, i.e. determine the damage that was inflicted by their bow shot. In this example, and in most other sections of the rules, the first die roll will require a low score to be successful, the second die roll (where the effect is determined) will require a high score to achieve a good result. In other words, players will need to roll low to score a hit and roll high to do any damage - and the fun bit is that the same die has to be used in both stages. For example, a figure with a shooting factor of five is firing a bow. This means that a score of one to five will score a hit - easy you think, I’ll roll a d6 and unless I’m unlucky and roll a six - I’m very likely to hit. This is true, except that when a hit does occur the damage will only be 1d6 which is unlikely to trouble anyone especially those wearing armour.
Does this mean that bows are not very good weapons? No, what it means is that a shooting factor of five is not that great but it can still do some damage. If the player thinks that the target is quite tough, they can choose to roll 2d6 instead. This means that a score five or less is still needed, however the player must add the score on both dice together to achieve this. Obviously this greatly reduces the chance of scoring a hit (as the relatively unskilled bowmen tries to find a chink in the opponents armour) but if a hit is scored - the damage will now be 2d6 rather than one. Of course, if players are really desperate they can roll 5d6 to hit, if they manage to score five ones, they can deliver a massive 5d6 damage to the unfortunate target. From this we can see that the greater the skill that each hero has, the more chance there is of success. A figure with a shooting skill of ten can regularly roll two or three dice to hit and have a reasonable expectation of hitting - and causing two or three dice worth of damage!
This example can be used to explain close combat as well. Players need to score their combat factor or less to hit and use the same dice for damage too. It also works the same way when casting spells. Players must roll equal or less than the figures spell factor to cast a spell. If the spell causes damage, the same dice are used to inflict the damage. However, if the spell allows the target a saving throw, the player controlling the target figure must use the same dice to take the saving throw as the dice used to cast the spell. For instance, the spell caster has a factor of nine, the player could play it safe and roll a d6 or d8 and the spell is guaranteed to work. However, the target figure has a saving throw of seven which means that if the d6 is used the target would automatically save and if a d8 was used to cast the spell - the target would be very likely to save. The player attempting the spell can therefore choose a higher dice to make it more difficult for the opponent. A d12 could be rolled, this is still a good chance of success for the spell to work and would be quite difficult to save against with the target figure having to score a seven or less on 1d12. Of course, if the spell caster is desperate, they could roll 3d12, if they got lucky, the target would be very unlikely to save! Unfortunately failing a spell by a wide margin can have serious health implications for the spell-caster!
Players are not able to just choose any dice for their attacks - there are limitations, particularly with weapons. For example, heroes using a two handed sword will roll bigger dice than heroes with daggers. This simply means that larger weapons tend to deal out more damage, but this can also mean that they have less chance of hitting. If a d20 is used with the two handed sword - that can be a lot of damage, but if the warrior is not particularly skilled, it will mean less chance of hitting. Of course, players can up the damage on smaller weapons by rolling more dice. A dagger may be limited to a d8 but players can always roll more than one die if they have a particularly tough opponent. For example, a hero with a combat factor of nine could use 2d8 with their dagger, this would give a fair chance of scoring a hit and would have the potential for some hefty damage (in fact nearly as much as the d20).
So what kind of dice are need to play Ruination? There is no getting away from it, players will need a good selection of dice, but we figured that most fantasy gamers would already have a decent collection. The usual d4, d6, d8, d10, d12 and d20 are most often used - but if players want to use the more “exotic” d16, d24 or even d30 they are more than welcome!
Another important aspect of the game is the ‘hero cards’. At the start of the game each player gets a number of cards that detail their heroes abilities and special skills or attacks. These enhance the performance of each figure and gives the hero there own individual profile. As the heroes start to take damage, these ’hero cards’ are lost - and if all cards are lost, the hero has sadly met their end.
I shall end here before the length of the synopsis risks exceeding the actual rules! Download the rules here, give them a go and we hope you have a lot of fun playing with them!