Dark Prophecies


In Dark Prophecies, you play as cultists working to fulfil a dark prophecy. It tells of a dark master, who will surely reward those who served most faithfully.

During the game, you will play Arcana cards to advance your Dark Deeds, consult the prophecy as it is revealed, and grow your occult knowledge.

How to Win

The player with the most points at the end of the game is the winner. You earn points by completing Dark Deed, leveling up your Grimoires, stashing cards, and playing towards random goals of the dark master.


The game contains:

  • 72 Arcana cards
  • 12 Grimoire cards
  • 24 Dark Deed cards
  • 9 Prophecy Verse cards
  • 6 Title cards
  • 11 Hireling cards
  • 4 Reference cards

Arcana Cards

Arcana cards are played during your turn to advance your goals.

Name of the card.
Grimoire Type
Symbol will match one of Blood Magic, Demonology, or Necromancy
Each card is either a Spell, Item, or Creature. They may have additional types.
The effects of playing the card.

Grimoire Cards

Grimoire cards represent your mastery of three different schools of dark arts. Grimoire cards are rotated and flipped to show your current level.

Leveling up your Grimoires will unlock more effects on the Arcana cards you play. You also gain points for leveling up your Grimoires.

Type and name
Each Grimoire has 5 ranks, with the 5th on the back.
Level number and points
Grimoire cards are rotated to show your current level at the top. Each level is worth points at the end of the game.
Grimoire icon
This icon will match with other cards.
Level 1 Grimoire
This Grimoire has been rotated 90 degrees clockwise, to show it is now Level 1.
Level 5 Grimoire
The final level of each Grimoire is on the back of the card.
Manifest Ability
A special ability available at level 5. Each Grimoire's Manifest Ability uses the same steps to draw cards of that Grimoire's type.

Dark Deed Cards

Dark Deeds are goals that will earn you points at the end of the game. Each one has:

Name and Type
The name of the Dark Deed, and its associated Grimoire.
Cards Needed
How many cards must be added to this Dark Deed for you to complete it. See Completing Dark Deeds.
How many points you earn at the end of the game if you complete this Dark Deed.
When Complete
An extra bonus you get when you complete this Dark Deed. This bonus is optional.

Prophecy Verse Cards

The final prophecy is made up of three Verses: a Starting Verse, a Middle Verse, and an Ending Verse.

Each Verse card has a reward you can earn during the Prophecy Phase, if you meet its requirement. In the base game, all Verses have the same reward.

Verse Text
Combines with the other two verses to form a complete prophecy
Condition that, if met, gives rewards.
The bonus you get for completing the requirement. This is only ever "Add to a Dark Deed" in the base game.

Hireling Cards

One Hireling will affect one Verse for one round, starting in round two. Hirelings will either Support or Sabotage a verse.

If a Hireling is supporting a Verse, it will give it an extra reward.

If a Hireling is sabotaging a Verse, it will remove that verse’s reward, and replace it with a negative effect.

Some Hirelings must be redrawn during round 4, as they would have no effect in the final round.

Name of the hireling. Green names will Support, red ones will Sabotage.
Reminder text
What to do if you choose this card. This differs between Sabotage and Support Hirelings.
Extra Reward/Sabotage Effect
The extra bonus or mandatory negative effect this Hireling can attach to a Prophecy Verse for 1 round.
Redraw reminder
Optional. This shows that this hireling must be replaced if drawn in Round 4.
Support Hireling
A support Hireling.

Title Cards

Titles are earned by players at the end of the game. Each Title can only go to one player, and that player will earn extra points.

The name of the title
The player who meets this will win the title.
How many points the player winning this title receives


Prophecy Area Setup

Separate the Prophecy Verses into three piles: Starting Verses, Middle Verses, and Ending Verses.

Place a random Starting Verse face-up in the Prophecy Area.
Place a random Middle Verse face-down to the right of the Starting Verse.
Place a random Ending Verse face-down to the right of the Middle Verse.

Put the remaining Prophecy Verses away, they won’t be used this game.

Titles Setup

Randomly select two Title cards for this game. Place them face-up above the Prophecy Area. Put the remaining Titles away, they won’t be used this game.

Put the Hourglass card to the right of the Titles. Turn it so that the 1 is at the top. This shows you are in Round 1.

Arcana Deck

Shuffle the Arcana deck and place it within easy reach of everyone playing.

Note: If the Arcana Deck is ever empty, shuffle the center discard pile together to form a new deck.

Note on discarding: If a card tells you to "discard a card", it goes to your personal discard pile. If you are told to "discard to the center", that card goes next to the Arcana Deck.

Dark Deeds

Shuffle all the Dark Deeds together and place them face-down next to the Arcana Deck.


Shuffle the Hirelings together and place them face-down next to the Dark Deeds deck.


  • Titles
  • Countdown Card
  • Prophecy Verses
  • Hirelings & Discard
  • Arcana Cards and Central Discard
  • Dark Deeds & Discard

Player Setup

Take one of each type of Grimoire: Blood Magic, Demonology, and Necromancy. Place them in a row in front of you. Orient them so that the Level 0 edge is at the top.

Draw two Dark Deeds and put them face-up in a row above your Grimoires.

Take a reference card and place it to the right of your Grimoires.

Draw five cards from the Arcana Deck to form your starting hand.

Your personal discard pile will be to the left of your Grimoires.


You are now ready to start the first round!

Playing the Game

The game is played over 5 rounds. Each round has the following phases, which are explained further below:

  • Action Phase
  • Prophecy Phase
  • Draw Phase*
  • Table Cleanup Phase*
  • Hireling Phase*
  • Skip these phases in the final round.

Player Turns and Simultaneous Play

For your first game, play the game with each player taking turns to play through phases 1, 2, and 3. Once you are comfortable with the game, you can speed up play by having each player play through phases 1-3 at the same time.

Action Phase

Take up to three actions, in any order. Each action can be taken a maximum of twice per round.

Action: Level Up a Grimoire

Discard any card to level up any of your Grimoires. Rotate that Grimoire 90 degrees clockwise to show its new level. To level up to Level 4, flip the Grimoire over.

Leveling up a Grimoire is worth points, and will unlock extra effects on Arcana cards you play.

Action: Play a Card

Do the following:

  1. Play the card face-up in front of you
  2. Resolve the card’s effects from top to bottom (see below)
  3. Check for any completed Dark Deeds (see Completing Dark Deeds)
  4. Lastly, discard the played card (reminder: cards are discarded to your personal discard pile unless state otherwise)

Card Effects

Cards have multiple effects. Each effect is contained in its own box. An effect may also have one or more requirements.

Each effect is optional. You must fully resolve one effect before moving on to the other.

Card Effect Icons

Some effects will have the following icons:

Add to Dark Deed
Add to Dark Deed icon
Add to Dark Deed icon

This icon tells you to add a card to a Dark Deed. To do so, take a card from the top of the Arcana Deck and place it face down on the right side of one of your Dark Deeds. The number tells you how many cards to add this way. Most often this is just 1.

The text next to the icon tells you which of your Dark Deeds you may add to. Examples

  • Any Dark Deed: You may add the card to any of your Dark Deeds.
  • Highest points: You may add to your Dark Deed with the highest point value on it. If any are tied, you choose.
Stash a Card
Stash a card icon
Stash a card icon

Tuck a card under your reference card. Stashed cards are worth 3 points at the end of the game.

The text next to the icon tells you which card to stash.

Effect Requirements

Some effects will have one or more requirements. If you do not meet the requirement, you cannot do this effect. You can still play the card, and may still use the other effects, provided you meet their requirements.

  • Grimoire Level X: You must have at least this level in the associated Grimoire to use this effect.
  • Top Discard: The top card of your discard pile must match this to use this effect.
  • Reveal: You must have matching card in your hand. Reveal it to show you have it, then it goes back into your hand.

Sample Card With 4 Effects

Card effect example
A sample Necromancy card with 4 effects
  1. Requirement: None.
    Effect: Add the top card of the Arcana deck to any of your Dark Deeds face-down. This effect has no requirement.
  2. Requirement: Necromancy Grimoire is level 2 or higher.
    Effect: Add the top card of the Arcana deck to your Dark Deed that is worth the most points. If there is a tie, you choose the Dark Deed.
  3. Requirement: Reveal a Blood Magic card from your hand. Immediately put it back into your hand.
    Effect: Stash a card from your hand underneath your reference card. Stashed cards are worth points.
  4. Requirement: Necromancy Grimoire is level 4 or higher, and the top card of your discard pile is a Creature.
    Effect: Draw an Arcana card.

Action: Draw an Arcana Card

Draw an Arcana Card from the deck.

Action: Draw a Dark Deed

Draw three Dark Deeds and keep one of them. Put the rest on the bottom of the Dark Deed deck.

Prophecy Phase

Read the revealed Prophecy Verses from left to right. If you meet a Verse’s Requirement, you get its reward(s). If it has been Sabotaged by a Hireling card (explained below), you suffer its effects.

After each Verse, you may complete Dark Deeds (see Completing Dark Deeds).

Skip the following three Phases during the last round. During the final round you do not do the Draw Phase, the Table Cleanup Phase, or the Hireling Phase,

Draw Phase

Choose one:

  • Draw 3 Arcana cards
  • Draw 2 Arcana cards, then draw 3 Dark Deeds and keep 1 of them. Put the other Dark Deeds on the bottom of the deck.

Return all but the top card of your discard pile to the center discard pile.

Skip this phase during the final round.

Table Cleanup Phase

  • Reveal the next Prophecy Verse.
  • Rotate the Hourglass card. If it is already at 4, flip it over instead.
  • If needed, shuffle the center discard pile into the Arcana deck.

Skip this phase during the final round.

Hireling Phase

In the Hireling Phase, one player will enlist a Hireling that will either Support or Sabotage a Prophecy Verse in the next round.

The player who has enlisted a Hireling the fewest times this game will choose a Hireling to enlist. If multiple players are tied for this, choose one randomly.

Skip this phase during the final round.

Enlist a Hireling

When it is your turn to enlist a Hireling, do the following:

  • Discard any Hirelings currently in play
  • Reveal 3 new Hirelings
  • Choose one of the revealed Hirelings to enlist:
    • If you enlist a Sabotage Hireling, choose a Prophecy Verse to Sabotage next round. Place the Hireling on top of that Verse, such that it covers the Verse’s reward.
    • If you choose a Support Hireling, select another player. They choose a Verse to Support next round, and tuck that Hireling underneath a Verse such that it has two rewards.

Ending the Game

At the end of the fifth round the game is over. Count up your scores and determine the winner!

Completing Dark Deeds

To complete a Dark Deed, you must have a number of cards on it equal to or higher than its Cards Needed.

When to Complete Dark Deeds

You may complete a Dark Deed only at the following times:

  • After resolving the effects of a played Arcana card, and before discarding that card
  • After resolving a Prophecy Verse

How to Complete a Dark Deeds

Do the following in order:

  1. Complete the When Completed effect on the Dark Deed. This is optional.
  2. Discard the stored cards from the Dark Deed.
  3. Tuck the completed Dark Deed under your reference card, with the Grimoire icon showing.
  4. Shift your remaining Dark Deeds to the left to fill any gaps.

If you have more than one completed Dark Deed, you choose the order to complete them in.

If you completed a Dark Deed by playing a card, that card will be discarded after you complete these steps.

Determining the Winner

When the game is over, first award Titles to players, then count up your final scores. The player with the highest score is the winner.

Final Score

To find your total score:

  • Add the points on your leveled up Grimoires
  • Add three points for every Stashed card you have
  • Add the points reward of each of your completed Dark Deeds
  • Add any points from Titles you earned

The player with the most points is the winner! The Dark Master will surely reward them greatly.

In case of a tie, the player with the most cards on Dark Deeds in front of them is the winner. If there is still a tie, nobody wins.


Titles requiring Dark Deeds only count completed Dark Deeds.

If multiple players are tied for a Title that requires completed Dark Deeds, the winner will be the player whose counted Dark Deeds required the most total cards to complete. If players are still tied, the Title will go to no one. In case of ties for Titles not involving completed Dark Deeds, the Title will go to no one.

Frequently Asked Questions

How many cards can I have in my hand?

The max hand size is 7. If you go beyond that limit, you must discard cards to the center until you have 7.

How many Dark Deeds can I have at once?

Four. If you draw more Dark Deeds, you can choose to either put them on the bottom of the Dark Deed deck, or replace one of your existing Dark Deeds. When replacing a Dark Deed, it loses any cards on it.

Can I complete a Dark Deed before I finish all the effects of a card?

No. You can only complete Dark Deeds when you finish resolving a card, or after resolving a Prophecy Verse.

Do I have to complete a Dark Deed when it has enough cards?

No. Completing Dark Deeds is optional. It can sometimes be beneficial to wait to complete a Dark Deed.

Do Hirelings stay in play the whole game?

No. Hirelings are discarded each round. There is only ever one Hireling in play.

Do I have to discard a matching card to level up a Grimoire?

No. You can discard any card to level up any Grimoire.

Art Credits

Hireling Art Credits


The following icons were used during development and prototyping.