How To Play: Runebound (Third Edition) – Setup, rule summary and strategy

Welcome to 'How To Play Runebound (Third Edition)'—the definitive guide for aspiring champions. Master the essential strategies from character selection to quest completion, wield your actions wisely, and navigate the rise and fall of every challenge. Your Runebound journey to victory starts here!


Embarking on a journey through the magical realm of Terrinoth, Runebound players must harness their wit, might, and strategic prowess. This guide is not just about laying out the key scroll of ‘How To Play Runebound (Third Edition)’, but also an arsenal of triumphant strategies. Inside, you’ll find a distilled essence of game rules paired with a battle-tested plan for claiming victory amidst the rolling dice and unfolding adventure.

What’s in the box

  • 1 Game board
  • 6 Character cards
  • 6 Plastic hero figures
  • 60 Adventure cards
  • 24 Asset cards
  • 18 Class cards
  • 6 Scenario cards
  • 4 Reference cards
  • 96 Skill cards
  • 40 Combat tokens
  • 54 Gold tokens
  • 20 Story tokens
  • 30 Life tokens
  • 8 Miscast tokens
  • 12 Stun tokens
  • 20 Success tokens
  • 1 First player token
  • 5 Ten-sided dice
  • 10 Player marker cubes
  • 4 Playmats

How To Play Runebound (Third Edition): Rules Summary

Runebound is an adventure strategy board game where players take on the roles of heroes striving to prevent an impending doom. To do this, they traverse a fantasy map, encountering foes, forging alliances, and acquiring artifacts. Here’s how you submerge into this expansive game:


  1. Lay out the game board and separate all of the tokens and cards.
  2. Each player selects a hero character and takes the corresponding skill cards, tokens and figure.
  3. Randomly place the adventure gems across the landscape.
  4. Determine the scenario and place the story cards accordingly.


  1. Gameplay consists of taking turns in which players can move, train abilities, adventure, socialize, or rest.
  2. During your turn, choose between a careful or risky mode of movement.
  3. Attempt to resolve adventure cards by engaging in challenging tests against enemies, or by fabricating powerful gear.


  1. The path to victory varies depending on the chosen scenario.
  2. Typically, players win by defeating the main villain of a scenario or by collecting a successful combination of quest objectives.
  3. Monitor the progress of other players, and adjust your strategies to race to victory.

Special Rules & Conditions

  1. If a player gets incapacitated, they suffer setbacks but can come back to continue their quest.
  2. Magic, abilities, enemies, and allies have unique abilities that add depth and variability to each session.
  3. Scenarios can introduce specific rules, adjusting the core rules of gameplay to fit the narrative and challenge of that particular story.

Strategize and diversify your tactics in order to reign supreme. Let havoc unleash myths, spells, and battles that twist and write new endings every playthrough of Runebound!

Best Runebound Third Edition Strategies

Mastering Runebound: Choosing Your Champion

Character selection is a crucial decision in ‘How To Play Runebound (Third Edition)’ since it shapes your strategy and playstyle. Initially, assess each character’s attributes and special abilities.

Consider Your Playstyle

  1. Match a character to your preferred method, whether it’s combat, diplomacy, or using magic.

Analyze Starting Equipment

  1. Some characters begin with advantageous items that give a head start in specific challenges.

Review Special Abilities

  1. Special abilities can define your entire game, offering boosts exactly when you need them.

Masterful Maneuvering of Actions

How To Play Runebound (Third Edition) and win often hinges on efficient action management. Here’s the way my friends and I tackle this aspect:

Optimizing Movement

  1. Move strategically, aiming for encounters that align with your strengths. Conserve actions when possible to capitalize on future turns.

Economical Asset Management

  1. Invest in assets smartly—only if they bolster your current strategy. Always consider the cost-to-benefit ratio before purchasing.
  2. Regularly trim your inventory, keeping only what provides a distinct advantage.

Smart Skill Utilization

  1. Use your skills at optimal moments. For example, deploy combat abilities when they turn the tides, not just when they’re available.

Mastering Quests and Combats in Runebound

Navigating quests balancing risk with their potential rewards. Likewise, combats are not just about rolling dice; they are about using your resources and abilities at the most opportune times. Learning the nuances of these aspects can elevate your Runebound gameplay.

Selective Questing

  1. Prioritize quests that complement your character’s strengths.
  2. Assess rewards versus time and role risk.

Strategic Combat Engagement

  1. Know your enemy’s weaknesses and prepare accordingly.
  2. Save powerful skills for pivotal moments.
  3. Consider retreat if odds are unfavorable.

Continuous Character Progression

Equal attention to quests and combat enrichens your character, providing necessary tools and experience for the decisive moments. And remember, even a setback is a setup for a comeback; always learn and adapt!

Mastering the Adventure

As we’ve journeyed through the intricacies of ‘How To Play Runebound (Third Edition)’, remember that success emerges from understanding the core mechanics and creatively adapting to the unfolding tale of Terrinoth. Whether through astute character selection, judicious action management, or dynamic questing and combat—your path to victory weaves through the decisions you make both on and off the board. Keep experimenting with strategies, revel in the challenges, and above all, enjoy the boundless adventures that Runebound offers. Now, gather your friends, set forth on your quests, and claim your destiny as the realm’s greatest hero.

Want to know what we think of Runebound (Third Edition)? Read our detailed review of Runebound (Third Edition) here

Jamie in his proper element: With all of his board games
Jamie Hopkins

With years of dice-rolling, card-flipping, and strategic planning under my belt, I've transformed my passion into expertise. I thrive on dissecting the mechanics and social dynamics of board games, sharing insights from countless game nights with friends. I dive deep into gameplay mechanics, while emphasizing the social joys of gaming. While I appreciate themes and visuals, it's the strategy and camaraderie that truly capture my heart.