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.
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:
Arcana cards are played during your turn to advance your goals.
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.
Dark Deeds are goals that will earn you points at the end of the game. Each one has:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
The game is played over 5 rounds. Each round has the following phases, which are explained further below:
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.
Take up to three actions, in any order. Each action can be taken a maximum of twice per round.
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.
Do the following:
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.
Some effects will have the following icons:
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
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.
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.
Draw an Arcana Card from the deck.
Draw three Dark Deeds and keep one of them. Put the rest on the bottom of the Dark Deed deck.
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,
Return all but the top card of your discard pile to the center discard pile.
Skip this phase during the final round.
Skip this phase during the final round.
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.
When it is your turn to enlist a Hireling, do the following:
At the end of the fifth round the game is over. Count up your scores and determine the winner!
To complete a Dark Deed, you must have a number of cards on it equal to or higher than its Cards Needed.
You may complete a Dark Deed only at the following times:
Do the following in order:
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.
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.
To find your total score:
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.
The max hand size is 7. If you go beyond that limit, you must discard cards to the center until you have 7.
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.
No. You can only complete Dark Deeds when you finish resolving a card, or after resolving a Prophecy Verse.
No. Completing Dark Deeds is optional. It can sometimes be beneficial to wait to complete a Dark Deed.
No. Hirelings are discarded each round. There is only ever one Hireling in play.
No. You can discard any card to level up any Grimoire.
The following icons were used during development and prototyping.