Additional Rules for Sanctum

By: Dennis B. B. Taylor

Sanctum Extra Guidelines

Hey there! I want to tell you about the added rules for Sanctum. It’s all about making it even more exciting and safe for everyone. So, let’s get right into it!

1. Buddy System

First off, we have the Buddy System. It’s all about sticking together and keeping each other safe. When you enter Sanctum, find a buddy to explore with. That way, you can look out for each other and have double the fun!

2. Symbol Recognition

Symbol Recognition is super important! The symbols you see in Sanctum actually mean something. They tell you what lies ahead. Take some time to learn the symbols, and it will be like having a secret code to unravel!

3. Limited Resources

Now, here’s a challenging one – Limited Resources. You’ll have to watch your supplies in Sanctum. Be careful not to use them all up too quickly. Plan ahead and make wise choices. Who knows? Maybe there are hidden resources waiting to be discovered!

4. Guardians

Guardians are powerful beings in Sanctum, and they are not to be taken lightly. If you come across a Guardian, don’t try to fight it head-on. Instead, try to find a way around or distract it. Remember, sometimes the trickiest path leads to the greatest rewards.

5. Teamwork Challenges

Sanctum is all about teamwork! You’ll come across challenges that require the whole group to work together. So, communicate, share ideas, and support each other. Teamwork makes the dream work, and it’s what makes Sanctum truly special!

When you encounter card effects, you have a choice to make. You can either pay the penalty or take the indicated number of wounds. Let me explain what these penalties are.

  • Lose 1 stamina: If you have a token in your pool, you need to discard it. If your pool is empty, you will be wounded.
  • Lose 1 focus: It’s the same as losing stamina. If you have a focus token, you have to discard it. If your pool is empty, you’ll be wounded.
  • Lose 1 blessing: When you lose a blessing, you still use it, but you ignore its effect.
  • Corrupt 1 ability space: This means putting a hit marker in one of your empty ability spaces. Once you corrupt a space, it becomes unusable. No action can remove the marker. If you have a two-space ability, you can corrupt the second space even if the first is already corrupted.

I’m here to explain how corruption works in the game. When you encounter corruption, it can have different effects on your abilities. Each corruption effect is represented by a blue ability space. If you don’t have an empty blue ability space, you’ll get wounded. To avoid this, you need to make sure you have at least one empty blue ability space before encountering corruption.

Corruption can also affect your fights. One of the effects is that you have to roll one less die in your next fight. This penalty only applies to one fight, so it’s not a permanent disadvantage. To keep track of this penalty, set one of your dice aside. Don’t worry, it won’t activate your rage.

In addition to rolling fewer dice, corruption also makes you face two additional damage in your next fight. This applies even if you have defeated all the cards. To mitigate this damage, you can block it just like you would with any other damage.

So, remember, when dealing with corruption in the game, make sure you have empty blue ability spaces to avoid getting wounded. Keep in mind that corruption can also reduce the number of dice you roll in a fight and increase the damage you face. Stay vigilant and plan your strategy accordingly.

  • Speed up your path to recovery. Mark the spots where you die and the first space on your health track. If you get hit again, mark the two lowest-numbered empty spaces instead. Keep in mind that reaching a marked spot means game over, but it won’t affect your score. However, if you die with positive points, the victory goes to those who survived, even if they have fewer points than you.
  • Restore 1 health. Move your health counter one space forward. In the unlikely event that your health counter is already at 10, move it to the space above.
  • Drink a potion to replenish your stamina or focus, but you’ll lose the progress you’ve made. Remember, it’s not the same as throwing away a potion. By discarding a token from an ability space, you might be able to use that ability again. However, if you don’t have any potions left or if you don’t have any tokens that can be regenerated by the potions you have left, you’ll get wounded.
  • Fury Card Effects

    Just like Demon Lord cards, Fury cards have mechanics of their own, but their effects only apply to the player who’s fighting them. When you defeat the card that came before a Fury card, its effect kicks in immediately, even if you have no dice left.

    • Corrupt and lose work the same way on Fury cards as they do on Demon Lord cards.
    • Pay for 1 ability space without using its effect. Take a token from one of your pools and place it in an empty space that matches the token’s type. You can choose a two-space ability even if one of the spaces is already occupied.
    • Reroll all twos, if any. Look at all your dice that haven’t been assigned. If any of them show a two, roll them again. Keep rerolling until none of your unassigned dice show a two. If you don’t have any unassigned twos, you can still choose this penalty and avoid taking any wounds. Yes, it’s true.
    • Activate your rage with no effect. If your rage is not currently active, you will take a wound.
    • Lose one unassigned die for this fight. The die will not trigger your rage. However, you will get it back at the end of the fight. If you don’t have any unassigned dice, you will take a wound instead.

    When I’m battling with modified dice, I can only place those dice on this card. It’s important to note that if I use an effect to change a two into another two, that still counts as modifying the die. So only dice that have been changed can go on this card.

    Now let’s talk about blessings. Each blessing can only be used one time. Once you use a blessing, you have to turn it face down, and you can’t use it again.

    In the Final Battle, you can use blessings that give you stamina or focus whenever you want, even while dealing with a card’s effect. To add a token to the specified pool, simply turn the tile face down.


    When I play, I get to use the other blessings during my Attack or Block step. They have the same effect as the matching ability. It’s kind of like a special power! When I use the effect, I have to turn the tile face down.

    Moves That Can Be Undone

    I’ve been playing Sanctum and I have to say, the puzzles in this game are really intriguing. As you progress through the acts, the puzzles get more complex and sometimes you have to go back and change your decisions.

    For example, let’s say you assigned a die as a hit to a demon, but then you realize you need that die for something else. It’s totally fine to take back the assigned die and use it in a different way. This flexibility is one of the things I love about the game.

    However, there are some limitations. You can’t go back and reverse decisions you made before receiving new information. Once you make a decision before a roll, you can’t change it afterwards. And in the Final Battle, any decisions made before revealing the most recent fury card are final.

    When it comes to modifying dice in games, experienced players often recommend making those changes mentally instead of physically altering the dice themselves. For instance, you can mentally “set” a six to a three by imagining the six above the icon of the three you want to roll, while keeping the actual six face up as a reminder of what you rolled.

    Doing it this way makes it easier to undo your decisions, although some players may find it confusing, especially when using the Dancer’s Double Strike skill.

    Playing at a Good Pace

    Most of the game allows for simultaneous play. It’s entertaining to observe other players’ moves, but once your neighbor on the right finishes their blocking step, you should start your turn. There’s no need to wait while they contemplate their skill table. And when a player declares a rest action, you can move on to the next player right away.

    When it comes to the rules, it’s important to note that turns don’t overlap. This means you can’t steal someone’s Equip Mastery achievement by finishing your Rest action before them. Similarly, you can’t equip an item from a treasure chest that was opened after you announced your Rest.

    However, Demon Lord card effects and Final Battle Fights can usually be resolved simultaneously.

    When introducing the game to new players, it’s a good idea to let them observe each action from start to finish. This will help ensure they understand the concepts. Once they’ve seen each action a few times, they’ll likely be ready for simultaneous play as well.

    Having Enough Components

    Under normal circumstances, you should not run out of components. Only in extreme situations, like playing a 4-player game on the Inferno difficulty level, would you risk running out.

      If you run out of Demon Lord cards, gather up all the Demon Lord cards you’ve already defeated and mix them together to create a new deck.

      If you run out of hit markers in the Final Battle, you can try using the ones you’ve already used on defeated cards. If that’s not enough, you can use spare change as a substitute.

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