I Bury the Gods is a tabletop game designed for solo play. It takes inspiration from media such as Hand of Fate, Ironsworn and Warhammer Age of Sigmar. To play the game, you'll need some miniatures, a couple of ten-sided dice and the rules on this website.

Introduction

You hail from the Lakelands, once one of the Swaryag Dominion's farthest colonies.

The Swaryags would use criminals to trap the Lakelander gods. Once a god has had time to settle into its host, the criminal would be executed, bringing an end to the resident spirit.

You were one such host. A nameless nature spirit shared your body and lent you its power.

Days before your execution, the governor of Lakelands received a missive from the Hundred-Blood Empress: every one of her legionnaires were to return to the capital.

The legionnaires left. The governor fled. Neither would come back.

Your people proclaimed the land a republic and began the delicate process of decolonisation. Your condition helped you secure an official position with the new state.

Strengthen your homeland, Lakelander. Protect it from its enemies—the sentient darkness of the forest, the traitors who would welcome a return to the Swaryag Dominion, the evil that consumed the Empire and will soon send its tendrils across the mountains.

Things you will need to play

  • A miniature to represent the Scoundrel
  • A handful of miniatures to represent the fatelings
  • Two ten-sided dice
  • Asset cards (see Downloads)
  • Wound cards (see Downloads)
  • Encounter sheet (see Downloads)
  • Fateling sheet (see Downloads)

Terminology

Dice. Whenever the game refers to dice, it will mean one or more ten-sided dice.

Fate. Fate is your opponent. As I Bury the Gods is a solo game, Fate will be controlled by the rules of the game.

Fateling. Fatelings are Fate's minions, men and monsters who seek to stop you.

In combat. If the Scoundrel is within 2 inches of a fateling, she is in combat.

Line-of-sight. If the Scoundrel can see the fateling, she will have line-of-sight to it, and vice versa.

The Scoundrel. The Scoundrel is the character that you control and the protagonist of your story.

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The Scoundrel

This section will walk you through the steps to create the game's protagonist, the Scoundrel. Here you will find abilities, assets and meta traits—the three aspects that describe the Scoundrel in-game.

Abilities

Abilities represent the Scoundrel's innate physical and mental traits. The Scoundrel has four abilities:

  • Aim
  • Dodge
  • Strength
  • Wits

To create the Scoundrel, allocate the following scores to the four abilities:

  • 2
  • 1
  • 1
  • 0

Assets

Assets refer to special actions the Scoundrel is capable of. For example, the Rain Fire asset allows you to re-roll one or more dice when shooting an enemy.

To create the Scoundrel, you will need to build your asset deck. You can find all available asset cards in Downloads.

Choose twenty cards to form your asset deck.

Meta traits

Meta traits serve to flesh out the Scoundrel as an individual. They do not have an effect on the gameplay.

Background

Choose one of the six paths below to describe the Scoundrel’s background.

  • Apprentice. Little satisfied you more than using your own hands to transform raw stuff into something of value. When your schooling finished, you sought out a master artisan and began your apprenticeship.

  • Drifter. You cast aside the stable life; instead, you chose to follow a road away from the comforts of home. You made your mark along the way by plying less common trades; if exhaustion or hunger ever threatened to halt your journey, you did small jobs in return for shelter and food.

  • Guard. You sought your fortune with a weapon in hand: as a caravan guard bound for the faraway markets, as a lookout peering into the wilderness from a battered watchtower—every experience taught you more than just a knack for violence.

  • Merchant. Your aptitude for business gave you a chance to seal your first deal soon after completing your schooling. You made a modest profit, and, as your network began to grow, built a livelihood on trade and negotiation.

  • Outlaw. You seldom did what others expected of you. Laws and customs felt as little more than hurdles in your path. You fell in with a group of troublemakers and resolved to carve you place in the lawless shadows of this world.

  • Scholar. Your hunger for knowledge did not falter once you completed your schooling. You pursued deeper and broader understanding of the world around you by gaining admission to a university or finding a sage willing to take you on as a pupil.

Appearance

Describe the Scoundrel’s appearance and mannerisms. The description can be as detailed as you like, but a sentence or two to outline the Scoundrel’s most prominent features will suffice.

Flaws and fears

Take two minutes to describe one flaw and one fear that the Scoundrel will possess.

Name

Finally, give the Scoundrel a name.

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How to play

This section will describe how to play I Bury the Gods.

Tests

Every time a Scoundrel attempts something risky, she will take a test.

First, determine the target number. Each action will have a different target number. For example, the target number for an attack action is the target’s defense score.

The Scoundrel’s abilities modify the target score. Each test specifies which ability will be applicable to it. Subtract the relevant ability score from the target number. For example, if the Scoundrel attacks a fateling in melee combat, you will subtract the Scoundrel’s strength from the target number.

Some conditions may further modify the target number. For example, when shooting a fateling with a bow, if the fateling is in cover, you will add 1 to the target number.

Once you’ve determined the target number, roll 2d10. Compare both dice to the target number:

  • If both results exceed the target number, you will score a strong hit.
  • If one of the results exceeds the target number, you will score a weak hit.
  • If neither result exceeds the target number, you will score a miss.

A strong hit represent the best possible outcome. For example, the Scoundrel’s sword strikes through a break in the enemy’s armour, causing a grievous wound.

A weak hit represents success that falls short of a triumph. The sword strays, leaving a shallow cut along the enemy’s arm.

A miss represents failure to achieve the desired outcome. The enemy raises her shield in time to block the Scoundrel’s attack, avoiding any harm.

Actions

The Scoundrel can perform the following five actions:

  • Move
  • Attack
  • Shoot
  • Prepare

Move

The Scoundrel can spend one action to move up to 4 inches.

Attack

The Scoundrel may attack a fateling within 1 inch of her. To attack, take a strength test against the target’s defense.

On a strong hit, deal two points of damage to the target.

On a weak hit, deal one point of damage to the target.

On a miss, the attack is unsuccessful. The target will not suffer any damage.

Shoot

The Scoundrel may attack a fateling from a distance by shooting. To shoot, take an aim test against the target’s defense.

If the target is outside of the optimal range of the Scoundrel’s weapon, add 1 to the target number.

If the target has the large target aspect, subtract 1 from the target number.

If the target is within 1 inch of an obstacle that partially hides her from the Scoundrel’s view, add 1 to the target number.

On a strong hit, deal two points of damage to the target.

On a weak hit, deal one point of damage to the target.

On a miss, the shot misses its target. The target will not suffer any damage.

Prepare

The Scoundrel takes some time to prepare for the challenge ahead. She takes stock of her inventory, surveys the area or studies her enemy. This allows her to draw a card from the asset deck.

To prepare, take a wits test. The target number is equal to the number of cards in your hand.

On a strong hit, draw two cards from the asset deck. Choose one of the cards and add it to your hand. Return the other card to the asset deck. Shuffle the asset deck.

On a weak hit, draw one card from the asset deck and add it to your hand.

On a miss, choose one of the cards in your hand. Return the card to the asset deck. Shuffle the asset deck.

Rounds and phases

A game of I Bury the Gods is splits into rounds. Each round, both the Scoundrel and all of her rivals will act.

Fate rush phase

Activate all fatelings with the rush aspect.

A fateling cannot be activated more than once per round.

When activated, a fateling will carry out two actions. The type of action she carries out will be based on what she can see, hear and smell. See the section on Fate for details.

The Scoundrel phase

The Scoundrel can now activate.

Fate phase

Any fatelings that didn’t activate in the fate rush phase will now activate. Follow the same steps as the fate rush phase.

Using an asset

During the Scoundrel phase, you may choose to use an asset. The description of the asset will explain when an asset should be used. For example, Precise Strike allows you to re-roll one die when making an attack move. You can only use this asset when making an attack move.

You cannot use more than one asset per Scoundrel phase, unless the asset specifically allows you to do so.

Taking damage

Sooner or later, the Scoundrel will suffer harm from fatelings or elements. When this happens, the rules will tell you to draw a card from the wound deck. You will then place it in front of you, either face up or face down, depending on the rules.

If a wound card is placed face up, the effects it described will apply to the Scoundrel.

If the number of wound cards you have drawn during a game reaches ten or more, the Scoundrel will perish, and you will lose the game immediately.

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Fate

Fate represents the forces that oppose the Scoundrel.

Fatelings

Enemies in I Bury the Gods are referred to as fatelings. They serve Fate who would see the Scoundrel perish.

Each fateling has four scores:

  • Attack
  • Defense
  • Move
  • Wounds

If a fateling suffers a number of wounds equal to or greater than her wounds score, she will perish immediately.

Reactions

Fatelings act by reacting to the Scoundrel’s actions. To determine how a fateling will act, read through the reactions below. The first reaction that matches a fateling’s current condition will determine that fateling’s action.

If none of the conditions listed under Reactions apply, the fateling will move towards her next patrol point. If the fateling doesn’t have a patrol route, she will stand still instead.

The actions a fateling may take are described immediately after the Reactions section.

Fatelings versed in magic, such as witches, don’t have any special reactions to represent their magical abilities. Instead, as long as such a fateling remains in-game, a special event will happen regularly. These events will be described in the Fatelings section.

If, at any point in the game, you believe that a fateling’s reaction should differ from the list below, feel free to have the fateling act as befits the situation.

  1. Condition
    • The Scoundrel is in your line-of-sight and within 1 inch of you.
    Action
    • Attack.
  2. Condition
    • The Scoundrel is in your line-of-sight and within range of your ranged attack.
    Action
    • Shoot.
  3. Condition
    • The Scoundrel is in your line-of-sight.
    Action
    • Move.
  4. Condition
    • The Scoundrel is not in your line-of-sight.
    • The Scoundrel is within 12 inches of you.
    • The Scoundrel is in combat.
    Action
    • Move.

Actions

A Fateling will perform one the following three actions, as dictated by reactions.

Move

The fateling moves its Move value in inches towards the Scoundrel.

Attack

The fateling attacks the Scoundrel. The Scoundrel must take a dodge test. The target number is the fateling's attack score.

On a strong hit, the attack misses and has no effect on the Scoundrel.

On a weak hit, draw a card from the wound deck and place it face down in front of you.

On a miss, draw a card from the wound deck and place it face up in front of you. The effects described on the card will now apply to the Scoundrel.

An attack action will always end a fateling’s activation, even if it is the fateling’s first action.

Shoot

The fateling looses an arrow or shoots some other projectile at the Scoundrel. The Scoundrel must take a dodge test. The target number is the fateling's shoot score.

On a strong hit, the shot misses and has no effect on the Scoundrel.

On a weak hit, draw a card from the wound deck and place it face down in front of you.

On a miss, draw a card from the wound deck and place it face up in front of you. The effects described on the card will now apply to the Scoundrel.

A shoot action will always end a fateling’s activation, even if it is the fateling’s first action.

Only a fateling with a ranged attack aspect can perform this action.

Aspects

Some fatelings have aspects. An aspect represents a special rule that apply to the fateling.

Blind

The line-of-sight of a fateling with blind does not extend past 6 inches.

Ethereal

A fateling with ethereal can move through obstacles. She must finish her move clear of any obstacles, however.

Flight

A fateling with flight can move over obstacles. She must finish her move clear of any obstacles, however.

Large target

It is easier to hit this fateling with a ranged attack.

Onslaught

If this fateling attacks as its first action, it will not end its activation.

Quick shot

If this fateling shoots as its first action, it will not end its activation.

Ranged attack (X)

This fateling can perform a shoot action. Its target must be within X inches of the fateling and in its line-of-sight.

Rush

This fateling will act in the fate rush phase.

Scent hound

If the Scoundrel is within 12 inches of the fateling, she will count as being within line-of-sight of that fateling for the purpose of determining the fateling’s reaction.

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