Runika: Part 2 – Asking for Help

“What is this place?” Runika asked, looking around at the massive chamber filled with books. Light radiated out from high above her – sunlight striking a large crystal suspended in the middle of the dome-like roof. It reflected and refracted throughout the room, directed into smaller and smaller gemstones until the entire chamber glistened with sunlight and sparkling dust motes.

“This is the library,” Professor Ekamu said, placing a large hand over her shoulder to draw her away. She had been about to poke one of the stone golems that were shuffling through the room, sorting books back into shelves. “This is where most of your time will be spent,” he said, giving her a glance that spoke volumes. “… I hope.”

His eyes sparkled with laughter, making him a perfect mirror to the room around. The library. His domain. I wonder what the other classrooms look like, she thought.

The world of Runika is filled with bright students (that’s you!) and guiding professors. These professors are always willing to help you along on your studies, but you have to prove yourself to them first.

In this week’s preview of Runika and the Six-sided Spellbooks, we’re looking at the Professor cards. Four professors always begin the game in the middle of the table, and can be convinced to help you … for a price.

This green ‘air’ dice is being added to build up the spell grid.

If you recall from last week’s preview, you use stored dice on your turn to build up your spell grid.

But dice showing one of the four elemental symbols (as the one on the right is) can also be used to recruit help from the Professors.

Asking for Help

Instead of placing a dice showing one of the four elemental symbols onto your grid, you can place them onto a Professor card. Each Professor has space for only one dice per round however, which means only one player may take advantage of their bonus power, and only once.

The Air Professor, Simza, has the power to move dice around on your grid. To use her ability, you must place a green Air dice showing the elemental symbol of Air (the feathers) onto the slot on the left-hand side of her card.

Each of the professors in Runika has their own specialty, and will grant you a different ability.

Simza, as you’ve seen above, grants the ability to push any of the dice on your grid into an adjacent space. This can push other dice around – or even off your grid. Use this ability when you need to position a dice in just the right place. This ability isn’t very useful in the opening turns of the game, but towards the end it can be one of the most valuable.

Ko’bataar handles the creative powers of water. When you activate his ability, you get to draw two random dice from the bag. You must roll these dice and you must use them. This is arguably the most useful ability at the beginning of the game, when filling your grid is desirable. But at the end, when space on your grid is tight and precision is key, it can be a risky move.

Ekamu offers you control over where dice are added to your grid. If you recall from last week, dice can only be added to your grid from specific sides. The colour of the dice must be added from the matching side on your rotating elemental disk. Ekamu’s ability enables you to rotate your elemental disk to any direction (including not at all). This can be invaluable for some of the trickier runes, which require you to add matching colours from every side.

Ainfean embraces fire’s ability to burn and extinguish. Using Ainfean’s ability allows you to pick a single dice on your grid and return it to the bag. If the dice you chose showed a Points symbol, you may claim 1 Point token. This ability is most useful when used opportunistically. However, since some runes require that certain spaces be empty, Ainfean’s ability can also be used in the late game to clear out a troublesome dice you otherwise couldn’t get rid of easily.

Gaining Merit Awards

The Professors will also reward you for seeking their help.

Each time you use a Professor, if you do not yet have ‘influence’ with them, you may add one of your influence tokens onto them. (If you already have influence with them, you may still access their powers by paying the appropriate dice. You just don’t add another token to them.)

Once you have an influence token on all four Professors, you may take your tokens back, in exchange for a Merit Award. These cards grant an additional 2 to 4 Points and can mean the difference between winning and losing.

That’s it for this week’s preview!

Runika and the Six-sided Spellbooks is an upcoming game by designer Shannon Kelly (creator of Lucidity: Six-sided Nightmares) and Fox Tale Games, coming to Kickstarter on April 30th, 2019.