Temperatures are dropping, the wind is howling, and the cold is sapping your strength through your furs. Runebound: The Frozen Wastes brings about a new in game effect: the icy grip of winter.
Veterans of Runebound have seen the game changing power of event cards. (For those new to the game, event cards put a new rule into effect while they are in play) Now these cards wield even more power, as each also dictates new weather conditions! Located on each event card is a symbol. These symbols dictate which weather track is in effect. Each weather track has numbers regarding each terrain type. These numbers are a dire warning of the low temperatures.
This is important, as the higher the number, the worse your exposure is. Representing this are frost counters. Frost counters in and of themselves are harmless, and can be discarded at the end of your market step, as you warm yourself by the fires in town. Every time you end your movement, you look on the weather track to see how many frost counters you acquire. Even better, your allies gain frost counters as well. Whenever the total number of frost tokens on a hero or ally is equal to or greater than their Life Value, they immediately take a white death token. The they discard a number of frost tokens equal to their life value. White death is equal parts exposure, low body temperature, and magic. The white death tokens count as wounds, yet they may only be removed by certain items or in Onoit villages. If your total wounds and white death tokens equals or beats your life value, you are immediately knocked out. If the total wounds and white death tokens equals or beats your allies Life values, they are killed. White death indeed. If any hero has a wound, exhaustion, or white death counters they may only roll four movement dice, instead of five.
Frost Token White Death
Many challenges feature the term "Forage." These items are treated as normal items, and may be sold in the market, lost, or stolen. Most of these items have effects that mitigate the frost tokens or white death tokens.
To further help battle the cold, you have access to survival gear. These three items are a way to battle the harsh temperatures. The first, luckstones, allow you to reroll one failed skill test. This can keep you from gaining more frost tokens, as many of the encounters will also give you a test to avoid freezing. The second, snowshoes, may be used to let you change one movement die to a side of your choice. The last, flare crystals, may be activated at the end of your turn. At the start of your next movement phase, provided you are still standing on the flare crystal, you are transported to the nearest town, and your turn ends immediately. No market step, but you do remove all frost tokens from you and your allies. Each of these life saving items may be purchased from the market for one gold each. You may only buy one of each survival gear item during a market phase, and they count as normal items once purchased.
Next we dive into the mystery of the princess, her location, legendary artifacts, and those odd symbols on the encounter cards.