Go back to the beginning with new tweaks on old embellishments.
Might. Craft. Lore. Faith.
These embellishments are at the core of every game of Norsaga. Each has its own strengths and weaknesses; Faith might power out blunt card advantage, while Craft relies on finesse and even switching in and out of other colors opportunistically. Every player has the opportunity to "opt in" to every color at will, based on their cards and their current story.
The colors are definitely not equal; each has strengths and weaknesses. We've learned over dozens of Norsaga demos that new players don't always realize this. Crucially, because some colors are better than others at getting cards on the table, a player who doesn't switch colors enough can often find themselves losing the game in a matter of minutes.
While we don't want every color to be the same, we have revisited the rules with an eye towards giving every color its own unique way of catching up. Now when you have a hand full of Craft heroes, you can still go toe-to-toe with your opponent's Faith. Might embellishments now help you a little more and hurt your opponents a little less (but they do still hurt!).
The result is the 2nd Edition rules included with Odds and Endings. You can swap them in to change how the basic embellishments work. They're not "better" or "more fair" than the original rules, but they do shuffle the balance around in ways that are friendlier to new or less cutthroat players. We encourage you to try them out when teaching the game, or if you just want a change of pace. You can also ignore them entirely; after all, learning how to deal with the drastically different strengths and weakness of the original colors is where much of the game's depth and strategy lies.
The choice, as in all good stories, is left up to you!!
New or updated abilities are marked with an asterisk (*)
*Adapt (1st generation) - Dismiss 1 of your 1st- or 2nd-generation heroes and place a card from your hand in that spot.
*Duel (2nd generation) - Choose another player. They dismiss one of their heroes. You play a card to that spot, then play the dismissed hero.
*Tyrannize (3rd generation) - Pick 2 heroes from the same family tree and swap their positions.
Plunder (1st generation) - Look at another player's hand. You may swap a card from your hand with one from theirs.
*Turncoat (2nd generation) - Take back a hero from your family tree. If you do, play a card. Then if you have no 3rd generation heroes, play another card.
*Backstab (3rd generation) - Choose up to 2 players. They each discard a card. Then you may play 1 of the discarded cards that you did not discard.
Augur (1st generation) - Draw a card, then discard a card.
Offering (2nd generation) - Discard a card. If you do, you may play a card of the same color as the discarded card.
Possess (3rd generation) - Pick a hero from another player's family tree and swap it with one from yours.
*Chant (1st generation) - Discard until you have 1 card, then draw 2 cards.
*Prayer (2nd generation) - Pick a spot on your family tree. Play the top card of the hero deck into that spot.
*Martyr (3rd generation) - Each player chooses a hero on their family tree. Draw 3 cards and play 1 to each of those spots. Discard any extras.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Q: If I Duel someone who has no heroes on their family tree, what happens?
Q: If I Duel someone while I have no cards in my hand, what happens?
A: They still dismiss a hero, but you don't place a card into that spot on their tree. You still get to play the hero card they dismissed.
Q: If I Duel someone and they dismiss a skald, do I get to embellish when I play it?
A: Yes, assuming you play it onto your family tree!
Q: If I Duel someone and they dismiss a ghost or fae, do I have to play it onto my own family tree?
A: Not at all! You can play the dismissed hero anywhere that it would normally be legal to do so. If the dismissed hero is a ghost or fae, you can play it onto anyone's tree, including your own or even the person you Dueled (that'll teach them)!
Q: Can I Tyrannize myself?
Q: If I Tyrannize someone who has only one hero on their tree, what happens?
Q: When I Turncoat, how do I know if I get to play a second card?
A: Easy! Complete the first two steps of Turncoat (take back a hero, play a card). Then check to see if you have any 3rd generation heroes. If the answer is no, then you get to play a second card.
Q: If I Turncoat and play a skald as my first card, do I get to embellish before playing a second card?
A: No. You must always finish the current embellishment before you begin the next one. Embellishments "queue up" in turn order and wait to take effect.
If you Turncoat and play a skald, but you still have no 3rd generation heroes, you get to play a second card before beginning to embellish for the skald. Note that the second card might also be a skald! If that's the case, queue up both embellishments; carry out the first completely, then carry out the second.
Q: Can I Backstab myself?
A: Yes. You can be 1 of the players chosen when choosing up to 2 players.
Q: When I Backstab, do I have to play one of the cards?
A: No. You can play at most 1 of them, and it cannot be a card that you yourself discarded, but you aren't required to play any of them. You can decide after you see the cards that are discarded.
Q: What happens if I Backstab and none of the chosen players have any cards in hand?
A: Nothing. No one discards anything, and you don't get the opportunity to play anything.
Q: Why were none of the Lore embellishments updated?
A: Because they already fit together perfectly! Lore is the most well-rounded of the original 4 colors. It has the ability to get better cards, to play a few extra cards, and to mess with opponents without horribly punishing them.
Q: If I Chant with one or no cards in hand, what happens?
A: You won't discard any cards. You'll still draw 2 cards.
Q: If I Pray and draw a ghost or fae, can I play it onto another player's family tree?
A: No. You must choose the spot where the card is going before you see the card. The spot you choose must be on your own family tree.
Q: If I Martyr and there are fewer than 3 players, what happens?
A: You'll still draw 3 cards and you'll still play 1 card onto each player's chosen spot. The extra cards are then discarded.
Q: If I Martyr and there are more than 3 players, what happens?
A: You only draw 3 cards, so you won't get to play one onto every player's tree. Each player (including you) still chooses one of their own heroes before you draw. You'll then get to choose which players you play a card onto, and which players you spare. For the players you spare, their family trees will remain unchanged.