¡ version 1.2 (pre-season 2) ¢
™ rules subject to change £

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Quickstart Rules

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Table of Contents

The Basics / How to Win:

In 100 Swords, you and a friend will compete to explore a dungeon, find items, defeat monsters, and get rich. Each turn presents a new puzzle as you navigate the varying cards in your hand, and the ever changing and sometimes hidden cards of the dungeon! Practically everything you find is worth something in gold - and at the end of the game, whoever has the most gold wins! If there's a tie, whoever has the most swords wins! The game ends when the dungeon has less than 5 cards or when the Boss is defeated!


  • 18 Starting Items ¡
    • 12 Crappy Swords
    • 2 Awkward Swords
    • 4 Boots
  • 3 Rental Items R
  • 16 Dungeon Items
  • 13 Monsters £
    • 12 Standard Monsters
    • 1 Boss
  • 3 Obstacles ¢
  • 1 Movement Tracker
  • 1 Reference Card


  1. Set aside the Boss card you wish to use, as well as the movement tracker.
  2. Both players will start with a personal deck consisting of 6 'Crappy Swords,' 1 'Awkward Sword,' and 2 'Boots' cards - all of which are marked with the ¡ icon.
  3. To the right of each player’s personal deck, make room for their discard. Above those, make room for their trophy pile.
  4. Place the 3 rental items (which are easily identified by having green borders and being marked with an R) where both players can reach them.
  5. Shuffle all other cards (items, monsters, obstacles) face down to form the dungeon deck.
  6. Without looking at them, draw 9 cards from the dungeon deck, add the Boss card to them, and shuffle. Place those 10 cards at the bottom of the dungeon deck.
  1. Drawing from the dungeon deck, place 5 face down cards in a row where both players can reach them - this row of 5 cards is called the dungeon. Each card is a room in the dungeon.
  2. To the right of the dungeon deck, make sure there’s room for the vaporized pile.
  3. Then, both players shuffle their decks and draw five cards.
  4. Choose a player to go first.

Item Card Description:

In 100 Swords, not only will you lay the smackdown on some monsters, but you'll be finding and acquiring items as well. As you move through the dungeon, you'll be checking the rooms you end up in - if you check a room and it has an item, you may replace that card in the dungeon face-down (so your opponent doesn’t know what it is) or reveal it.

There are a few types of items in 100 Swords:

When you play an item for movement or strength, if it has an effect, that effect happens immediately. The order of operations are as follows:
  1. Play an item for movement or strength.
  2. Perform that item's effects.
  3. Spend those points to move deeper into the dungeon or defeat a monster.

If an item has you play a card for energy for an effect, it does not count as spending points and does not zero out your movement or strength.
Players may move on or through revealed items in the dungeon.

When you acquire an item, you must show that item to your opponent. Acquired items are not kept secret.

Playing an Item for Energy:

Monster Card Description:

You'll be duking it out with monsters as you explore the dungeon. If you check a room and it contains a monster, that card must be revealed (turned face up).

While moving through the dungeon, you cannot move past a monster that has already been revealed - they're standing vigilant, ready to attack! But if you move to a room with a face-down card and reveal a monster, it is surprised and you may move past it. Once you leave its room, that monster is no longer surprised, and will once again act like a wall.

You may attack a monster the same turn it’s revealed.

You can only attack a revealed monster. If for some reason the monster in your room was hidden after you just revealed it, you cannot attack it.

Card Description:

Lastly, you'll be coming across obstacles! If you check a room in the dungeon and it's an obstacle, it must be revealed. You can move past obstacles unless otherwise stated.

Obstacles are cleared (moved to your trophy pile) by fulfilling the requirements written in their effects. They may be cleared for strength or energy, but some may require revealing a type of card, or moving past them, etc.

Locked cards are marked by the L symbol - instead of paying their cost with energy or strength, you must play a card with the 'Key' attribute (written in its effects) while in the locked card's room.

Turn Breakdown:

  1. Rent
    • Rent any number of rentals by paying their cost.
    • You cannot acquire a rental item once you enter the dungeon.
  2. Move/Defeat/Acquire/Clear (in any order, as many times as you'd like/can)
    • Play one or more cards for their Movement Value and move up to that many rooms from left to right into the dungeon (you can’t move back, you must move from left to right).
      • When you move, you must check the room you moved to.
    • Play cards for their energy or strength (usually to acquire, defeat, or clear a card).
      • You can only acquire, defeat, or clear a card in your room. i.e. in order to acquire an item in the third room of the dungeon, you must move there first.
  3. Discard anything you played that turn and all remaining cards from your hand. Do not discard any rental items, instead place them back in the rental area.
  4. Consolidate the dungeon.
    • Slide cards from the right to left to fill in any empty rooms.
  5. Refill any empty rooms in the dungeon with cards from the Dungeon Deck until there are 5 cards in the dungeon.
  6. If there are no cards in the dungeon deck, and there are less than 5 in the dungeon - or a card with the 'Boss' attribute has been defeated, acquired, or cleared this turn - the game is over.
  7. Draw a new hand of 5 cards from your deck.
  8. The next player starts their turn (starting from the rent phase).

Moving In the Dungeon:

Play as many item cards from your hand as you want for their movement value. You may move up to the sum of the movement of cards played. i.e. if you’ve played two cards for a total of 3 movement points, you may move 1, 2, or 3 rooms into the dungeon. If you have 4 movement points and you only move two rooms, any left over points are reset to zero and don’t carry over to your next movement.

Empty rooms (spaces where cards used to be but were removed for one reason or another) are still considered rooms that must be moved through.

You cannot move backwards, so if you’re in the fifth room of the dungeon and have nothing left you’re able to do, you must end your turn.

You start your turn outside of the dungeon, so you must play at least 1 movement to get to the first room of the dungeon.

Feel free to use the movement tracker to keep track of which room you are in. It’s especially useful in complex or technical turns.

Acquiring Items:

You need to spend energy to acquire items, and you can gain 1 energy for each item you play from your hand horizontally.

If you’re in a room with an item that costs 3 energy, you can play three items for energy to acquire it. Any items played for energy do not trigger their effects unless otherwise stated. Newly acquired cards are drawn into your hand where you may use them that same turn.

Some items have a locked icon instead of an energy cost. A locked item's cost is payed by playing a card with the 'Key' attribute while in its room. When you do, you may acquire the item and draw it into your hand.

If an item card has the trophy icon, when it’s acquired, move it to your trophy pile instead of your hand.

Defeating Monsters:

You can defeat a monster in your current room by playing cards for their strength equal to or greater than the monster’s cost. Defeated monsters are placed in your trophy pile.

Clearing Obstacles:

Obstacles can take a lot of different forms - they might be doors, pitfalls, shrines, or shops. What they have in common is that they're typically cleared in ways that monsters or items aren't. An obstacle will say how it is cleared on the card. Fulfill its demands and you clear it (it moves to your trophy pile).

General Rules:

  • If at any time your personal deck is empty and you need to draw from it (or interact with it in any way), reshuffle your discard pile to replenish your deck.
  • While in the dungeon, you can only interact with the room you’re in (the card you’ve moved to). You can’t attack something further away or acquire a card that was earlier in the dungeon.
  • You will play cards (place on the table from your hand) to gain movement points, strength points, and energy points. If you ever spend any type of point in any amount, all types of points are reset to zero - no points are left over.
  • When you play a card, if it has an effect, you must perform the effect immediately. i.e. If you play a card for 2 movement, and it has an effect, you must do the effect before you move deeper into the dungeon.
  • If you play a card for energy its effects do not trigger unless otherwise stated.
  • You cannot play a single card for multiple types of points, it must be played for movement, strength, or energy.
  • You can only spend points on a single action, you can’t split them between two. i.e. If you use an item that gives you 3 energy, you can’t acquire all three rentals that cost 1 energy each - and if you had 3 energy and rented 1 rental card for 1 energy, you would be back at 0 energy.
  • All cards played during your turn will move to your discard pile at the end of your turn. If you must replenish your deck in the middle of your turn, do not reshuffle any cards you played that turn into your deck - they'll move to your discard at the end of your turn.
  • Cards you acquire from the dungeon during your turn without the trophy icon are drawn straight into your hand where you can immediately use them.
  • If a card has a trophy icon on it, when it’s defeated, acquired, or cleared, it’s moved to your trophy pile instead of your hand.
  • There should always be five cards in the dungeon at the start of a player’s turn. If that’s impossible (there aren’t enough cards in the dungeon deck), the game is over.
  • When you play a card with an attribute like 'Key', you may still spend whatever you played it for (movement or strength).
  • When revealing multiple cards due to the effects of a card, you may reveal any cards in any order, not just from left to right. The order you reveal cards can give you the advantage - think carefully!
  • When a card says to retire or vaporize a card in your deck or discard pile, first choose where you're retiring it from, then look through your selection for a card to retire. Once you've chosen where you're retiring or vaporizing from, you can't change your selection.
  • If a card has you look through your deck to find a card for one reason or another, shuffle it before resuming play.
  • If somehow a starting item ends up in the dungeon, they cost 1 energy to acquire.
  • Rental items cannot be retired or vaporized.
  • If a cards effects ever say "Do X and Y to do Z." You must do X and Y to do Z. An example is the Cursed Sword (Red Dragons Dungeon Item Card 6/19) "You may spend 1 energy and retire a card in your discard or deck to gain 3 strength." You must spend 1 energy and retire a card to gain the strength.
  • Many cards will have text that contradicts these rules. If a card contradicts the rules, follow the text on the card instead.
  • Like all card games, sometimes the cards can get stacked against you (you may have heard of the term 'mana-screwed'). If the dungeon is handing you a ton of tough monsters and expensive items, you may want a mulligan - if both you and your opponent agree the dungeon is unfair, you may do the following:
    1. Take all of the cards from the dungeon and draw 5 off the top of the Dungeon Deck.
    2. Shuffle those 10 cards together.
    3. Deal out a new dungeon face-down from the 10 cards.
    4. Place the remaining five cards on top of the Dungeon Deck.
    5. Reveal the fourth card in the dungeon.
    6. Resume Play.
  • Ending the Game:

    When a turn ends in which the boss was defeated, acquired, or cleared; or there aren’t enough cards in the dungeon deck to replenish the dungeon (i.e. there are less than five cards in the dungeon after it’s refilled) the game is over. Each player then counts up how much gold everything they’ve acquired over the course of the game is worth (their trophy pile, deck, and discard) - anything that was vaporized should not be counted. Whoever has the most gold wins! If there’s a tie, whoever has the most cards with the word “Sword” in their name wins. If that’s a tie, whoever has slain the most monsters wins. If that’s a tie, well, you just tied! Congrats! :D


  • Dungeon Deck: The deck of cards that feeds into the dungeon.
  • Dungeon: The set of five cards the players explore each turn.
  • Deck: The personal deck of a player.
  • Discard: A players personal pile of discarded cards.
  • Trophy Pile: A players personal pile of trophies (monsters, items, and obstacles).
  • Draw: To take the top card off of your deck into your hand.
  • Move: After playing one or more cards for their movement value, you may move up to that many rooms into the dungeon thereby changing the room you're interacting with.
  • Check: After moving, if the room you moved to contains a face down card, you must look (check) to see what type of card it is. If it’s a monster or obstacle, reveal it. If it’s an item, you may reveal it or keep it hidden (face-down).
  • Cost: The value on a item, monster, or obstacle that you must pay in order to acquire, defeat, or clear it.
  • Acquire: Pay the cost of an item and move it to your hand - if it has a trophy icon, move it to the trophy pile. You must show an item you acquire to your opponent.
  • Defeat: Pay the cost of a monster and move it to your trophy pile.
  • Clear: Fulfill the requirements of an obstacle and move it to your trophy pile.
  • Rent: Acquire a rental item by paying its cost.
  • Peek: Look at a card in the dungeon and place it back face-down regardless of what type of card it is. Cards do not trigger their effects when peeked at. Do not show your opponent any cards you peek at. You may not reveal them.
  • Reveal: Turn a face-down card in the dungeon face-up.
  • Hide: Turn a face-up card in the dungeon face-down.
  • Retire: Move a card to your trophy pile. This is a great way to get rid of crappy cards and optimize your deck without losing gold!
  • Vaporize: Move a card to the vaporized pile face-up (where it is no longer worth gold for any player).
  • Impassable: Cannot be passed while revealed.
  • Key: Unlock a card in your current room with the locked icon thereby paying its cost and acquiring, defeating, or clearing it.
  • Unlock: The action of paying a cost with the key.
  • Boss: When defeated, acquired, or cleared, the game ends once the turn is over.
  • Stationary: While collapsing the dungeon at the end of your turn, this card remains in it's current room. Move any cards after it, around it. Additionally, stationary cards cannot be rearranged by card effects which would otherwise allow them to be moved.
  • Optional and
    Alternate Rules:

    Playing with a Dungeon Builder Set:

    If you own a Dungeon Builder Set, the easiest way to play with it is to mix a single DBS with a single Dungeon. Dungeon Builder Sets are a great way to add variety to your game and make it last a little longer. There are currently 2 Dungeons and 4 Dungeon Builder Sets available for purchase, which makes for 8 combination dungeons!

    When setting up a Dungeon Builder Set, remove the Boss from the dungeon you’re playing with and choose which Boss you want to use (the original or the one included in the DBS). Then, the only difference is a slight change to step 6 of how the game is setup:

    1. Without looking at them, draw 9 cards from the dungeon deck, add the Boss card you chose to them, and shuffle. Then, draw 5 cards from the dungeon deck and place them below the 10 you just shuffled. Place those 15 cards at the bottom of the dungeon deck.

    Now you’re ready to play! Mix and match Dungeon Builder Sets and Dungeons to change up the game! Or use cards from multiple sets to build your own dungeons!

    Less Memorization:

    Some folks don't like having to remember what went where - if that sounds like you, you'll definitely like this optional rule. Use colored tokens (one color per player) to identify which face down cards you’ve seen. If a card ever has both players' tokens on it, remove the tokens and reveal the card.

    Gold Greed - Solo Rules:

    Set aside room for a new pile of cards, this is your AI opponent's trophy pile. Between the Discard and Consolidate turn phases, reveal the leftmost and rightmost cards. When these cards are revealed, they do not trigger any 'when revealed' or ‘when acquired/defeated/cleared’ effects. Whichever of the two cards is worth more gold moves to the AI opponent's trophy pile; the other revealed card stays where it is. If they are worth equal amounts of gold, you must choose which moves to the AI opponent's trophy pile. Once the end game happens (including if the AI defeats the boss), compare your gold to your opponent’s gold (the worth of their trophy pile), whoever has more gold wins.

    More solo, optional, and alternate rules to come!

    Common Questions and Errata:

    As we get questions from players we'll be posting the answers to common ones here. If you have a question, email us!


    Design & Illustration:
    Sam Strick

    Ed Turner, Alex Guerrero-Randall, Glenn Shambach, Katie Dow, Aislinn Palmer, Kainoa Cambra, Yoni Skolnik, Colette Isabella, Jeremy Rozenhart

    Katie Dow, Caylean Fox
    Additional Design:
    Clayton Grey

    Special Thanks:
    Marla and Wesley Strick, Nick Haas, Glenn Shambach, Richard Hensman, Luis Francisco Baroni Coutinho, Aldo Ghiozzi, Dan Yarrington, Luke Crane

    And an extra special thanks to the 1,713 Kickstarter backers who made this game a reality!
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