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Demon Lord Card Effects

Card effects are presented as a choice: either pay the penalty , or take the indicated number of wounds . Penalties are explained below. If you cannot pay the penalty, you must take the wounds.

  • Lose 1 stamina. Discard the token from your pool. If your pool is empty, you get wounded.

  • Lose 1 focus. Same as above.

  • Lose 1 blessing. Use one blessing, but ignore its effect.

  • Corrupt 1 ability space. Put a hit marker in one of your empty ability spaces. That space is now unusable. Nothing can remove the marker . On a two-space ability , you are allowed to corrupt the second space even if the first is already corrupted.

  • Corrupt 1 blue ability space. All corruption effects follow the same rules as above. If you do not have an empty ability space of the specified type, then you get wounded.

  • Roll 1 less die in your next fight. This penalty is only for one Fight. Set one of your dice aside. It will not activate your rage.

  • You face 2 additional damage in your next fight. This applies even if you have defeated all the cards. You can block this damage, as usual.

  • Shorten your health track by 2. Place hit markers on the death space and the 1 space of your health track. Or, if you are affected by this attack for a second time, place hit markers on the two lowest- numbered empty spaces.

    This does not affect your score, but you die if your health counter reaches a marked space. If you die with positive points , you lose to all players who survived , even if they survived with fewer points.

  • Heal 1 wound. Move your health counter up 1 space. If by some miracle your health counter is still at 10, you move it one space above 10.

  • Drink a potion. Lose the stamina/focus you regenerated. This is not the same as throwing away a potion. This allows you to discard a token from an ability space, which might let you use that ability again.

    If you have no potions or if you have no tokens that could be regenerated by your remaining potions, you get wounded.

Fury Card Effects

Fury cards follow the same mechanics as Demon Lord cards, except that their effects apply only to the player who is Fighting them. A Fury card 's effect applies as soon as you defeat the card that came before it, even if you are now out of dice.

  • Corrupt and lose work the same way on these cards as they do on the Demon Lord cards.

  • Pay for 1 ability space. Ignore its effect. Move a token from one of your pools to an empty matching space. You are allowed to choose one of the spaces of a two-space ability, even if the other space is occupied (by stamina, focus, or corruption).

  • Reroll all 2s, if you have any. Look at all your unassigned dice. Any that have a two must be rerolled. Continue rolling until none of your unassigned dice are twos. If you have no unassigned twos, you can still choose this penalty and take no wounds. Yes, really.

  • Use your rage with no effect. If your rage is not active, you get wounded.

  • For this fight, lose one die not yet assigned. The die will not activate your rage. You get it back at the end of the Fight. If you have no unassigned dice, you get wounded.

  • Only modified dice can be placed on this card this fight. If you use an effect to turn a two into a two, that counts as modifying the die.


Each blessing can be used only once. When you use a blessing, turn it face down.

Blessings that grant you stamina or focus can be used any time in the Final Battle, even while resolving a card's effect. Turn the tile face down to add a token to the indicated pool.

The other blessings are used during your Attack or Block step , with an effect identical to that of the matching ability . When you use the effect , turn the tile face down.

Reversible Moves

Sanctum presents interesting puzzles. In later acts, these puzzles become somewhat complex, and you may need to, for example, take back a die you assigned as a hit and assign it to a different demon.

Or perhaps you need to undo an ability use so you can use the die and the ability in a different way. For the most part, this sort of thing is okay.

Of course, you can't reverse decisions you made before you received new information . A decision made before the roll cannot be changed after the roll. In the Final Battle, you can't reverse decisions made before you revealed the most recent fury card.

Many experienced players recommend modifying your dice only in your head and leaving them physically unchanged . For example, you can "set" a six to a three by placing the six above the icon of the three you want to hit, leaving the six face up to remind you what you rolled.

This makes decisions easier to reverse, but some players find it unintuitive, especially when using the Dancer's Double Strike skill.

Pace of Play

Much of the game allows simultaneous play. It's fun to watch other players' Fights, but once your right-hand neighbor has finished their Block step, you should start your turn. There is no need to wait while they ponder their skill table. And when a player announces a Rest action, play can move on to the next player immediately.

From the standpoint of the rules, however, turns do not overlap. So you can't steal an Equip Mastery achievement by finishing your Rest action ahead of the player who Rested before you. And you can't equip the item you get from a treasure chest opened after you announced your Rest.

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

When presenting the game to new players, let them watch each action from beginning to end, and watch their actions to be sure they have understood the concepts. When they have seen each action once or twice, they will probably be ready for simultaneous play, too.

Unlimited Components

You should not run out of components , unless you are doing something extreme, like playing a 4-player game at the Inferno difficulty level.

  • If you run out of Demon Lord cards , take all defeated Demon Lord cards from your battle boards and shuffle them to make a new deck.

  • If you run out of hit markers in the Final Battle , you can probably recycle some from the cards you have already defeated. If that doesn't help, use spare change.

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