Constellation Cards
The Principal (Front)
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agenda

You get to create and play a Principal Character (PC), one of the protagonists of the story.

Your job is to narrate your character's actions and reactions. Decide on their agendas, then enact them in interesting ways.

When someone asks "what does your character do, say, or think?", you get to answer.

  • Stay true to your character
  • Share ways for other players to help you have fun
  • Look for opportunities to advance your story
  • Support other players' stories

Whoever plays this card is a principal. Flip for additional rules.

The Principal (Back)
core-rules
agenda

During play, you can speak from one of several agendas.

These agendas can be assigned individually to several people, or all given to a single player ("the Game Master" or "the GM").

The agendas can change hands during the game. You cannot take an agenda away from someone else, but you can ask someone else to give up an agenda.

If you've been assigned a agenda, you are bound to speak from it.

    Whoever plays this card is a principal. Flip for additional rules.

    6 copies of this card are included
    The Facilitator (Front)
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    agenda

    Players in the spotlight are the focus of narration. We're asking them for an action that pushes the scene forward, and shining the spotlight until they make one.

    Your job is to oversee moving the spotlight from player to player in fun and fair ways.

    Move the spotlight:

    • toward a PC who's placed at risk or in danger
    • toward a player who hasn't acted recently
    • toward a player who has an interesting idea for how to move things forward
    • away from a player who just resolved a dramatic or decisive action
    • away from a cliffhanger or moment of tension
    • away from any player who's had it too long

    Whoever plays this card is the facilitator. Flip for additional rules.

    The Facilitator (Back)
    core-rules
    agenda

    During play, you can speak from one of several agendas.

    These agendas can be assigned individually to several people, or all given to a single player ("the Game Master" or "the GM").

    The agendas can change hands during the game. You cannot take an agenda away from someone else, but you can ask someone else to give up an agenda.

    If you've been assigned a agenda, you are bound to speak from it.

      Whoever plays this card is the facilitator. Flip for additional rules.

      The Loremaster (Front)
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      agenda

      Your job is to establish the history, setting, and canon of the world in which the game happens.

      When someone asks, "what do our characters know about X?" and it's not a question for an Ensemble Character (EC) to decide, you get to answer.

      Any player can suggest an answer, but you have the final say on what's true. If a specific PC's heritage, origin, or interests concern the question, consider deferring to them.

      • Who was the greatest Paladin in history?
      • What languages might my character learn to speak?
      • When did the dragons disappear?
      • How does magic work, anyway?
      • Why are orcs monotheistic?

      Whoever plays this card is the loremaster. Flip for additional rules.

      The Loremaster (Back)
      core-rules
      agenda

      During play, you can speak from one of several agendas.

      These agendas can be assigned individually to several people, or all given to a single player ("the Game Master" or "the GM").

      The agendas can change hands during the game. You cannot take an agenda away from someone else, but you can ask someone else to give up an agenda.

      If you've been assigned a agenda, you are bound to speak from it.

        Whoever plays this card is the loremaster. Flip for additional rules.

        The Referee (Front)
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        agenda

        Your job is to adjudicate questions about the rules of the game, and to make changes to the rules with the group's consent. Any player can suggest how to handle a rule, but you have the final say.

        Example rulings:

        • Is a given card applicable to this fictional situation?
        • How should a given card's text be interpreted?
        • Is it time to create a new card?

        Whoever plays this card is the referee. Flip for additional rules.

        The Referee (Back)
        core-rules
        agenda

        During play, you can speak from one of several agendas.

        These agendas can be assigned individually to several people, or all given to a single player ("the Game Master" or "the GM").

        The agendas can change hands during the game. You cannot take an agenda away from someone else, but you can ask someone else to give up an agenda.

        If you've been assigned a agenda, you are bound to speak from it.

          Whoever plays this card is the referee. Flip for additional rules.

          The Storyteller (Front)
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          agenda

          The Principal Characters (PCs) are the focus of the game. The game also has Ensemble Characters (ECs), sometimes called Non-Player Characters (NPCs).

          Your job is to narrate the ECs' actions and reactions. Decide on their agendas, then enact them in interesting ways.

          ECs are allies, antagonists, or anyone else involved in the story but not at the heart of it.

          • Give ECs a name and identity
          • Find the essential humanity of every EC
          • Don't steal agency or spotlight from the PCs
          • Initiate actions that prompt a PC response

          Whoever plays this card is the storyteller. Flip for additional rules.

          The Storyteller (Back)
          core-rules
          agenda

          During play, you can speak from one of several agendas.

          These agendas can be assigned individually to several people, or all given to a single player ("the Game Master" or "the GM").

          The agendas can change hands during the game. You cannot take an agenda away from someone else, but you can ask someone else to give up an agenda.

          If you've been assigned a agenda, you are bound to speak from it.

            Whoever plays this card is the storyteller. Flip for additional rules.

            Challenges (Front)
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            Any player may challenge a PC's action if failure is likely and success or failure are both interesting for the story.

            When your PC is challenged, you must generate a hit in order to succeed. Other rules provide ways to generate hits.

            If you fail to meet a challenge, your PC's intentions are thwarted, or complications arise. There's no challenge if this can't happen.

            • You're navigating rough terrain, and might fall or lose equipment
            • You're fighting or fleeing a dangerous monster, and might get hurt
            • You're working with complex magic or technology, and it might malfunction
            • You're confronting an emotionally fraught situation where harm is possible

            Flip for additional rules.

            Challenges (Back)
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            Challenges follow the principle of "say yes or roll the dice".

            Use challenges to increase or decrease the difficulty of a situation. For example, a risky combat scene might pose several challenges in succession. A simple social encounter might pose only one challenge.

            The player posing the challenge should give an idea of what failure looks like. That player, or the Storyteller, might narrate the specifics of failure.

            The same action should not be challenged multiple times unless there are both distinct and interesting ways for it to fail. For example, a demonstration of new magic might go awry by itself, but might also anger a jealous wizard who observes it.

              Flip for additional rules.

              X-Card (Front)
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              Start the game by reading this text aloud:

              "I'd like your help. Your help to make this game fun for everyone. If anything makes anyone uncomfortable in any way, just lift this card up, or simply tap it. You don't have to explain why. It doesn't matter why. When we lift or tap this card, we simply edit out anything X-Carded."

              "And if there is ever an issue, anyone can call for a break and we can talk privately. I know it sounds funny but it will help us play amazing games together and usually I'm the one who uses the X card to protect myself from all of you! Please help make this game fun for everyone. Thank you!"

                Lay this card at the center of the play area

                X-Card (Back)
                core-rules

                Start the game by reading this text aloud:

                "I'd like your help. Your help to make this game fun for everyone. If anything makes anyone uncomfortable in any way, just lift this card up, or simply tap it. You don't have to explain why. It doesn't matter why. When we lift or tap this card, we simply edit out anything X-Carded."

                "And if there is ever an issue, anyone can call for a break and we can talk privately. I know it sounds funny but it will help us play amazing games together and usually I'm the one who uses the X card to protect myself from all of you! Please help make this game fun for everyone. Thank you!"

                  Lay this card at the center of the play area

                  Uncertain Crisis (Front)
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                  crisis

                  Some situations cannot be solved by skill or virtue, but only good fortune.

                  When you encounter such a crisis, decide what it would take to escape it, such as leaving the area successfully.

                  • A chaotic natural disaster, such as flooding
                  • Navigating a complex and ever-shifting maze
                  • Entreating with capricious spirits or divinities

                  Define the scope of the crisis, and flip this card

                  Uncertain Crisis (Back)
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                  crisis

                  You may not flip any cards in front of you (e.g. Character cards) to generate hits.

                  You may flip shared cards (e.g. Plot cards) or draw/pick a new card (e.g. Condition card, Random oracle card).

                    Flip this card when the crisis is past

                    Gauntlet Crisis (Front)
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                    crisis

                    Some situations are grueling and exhausting, wearing down your reserves faster than you can recover. Sooner or later, something has to give.

                    When you encounter such a crisis, decide what it would take to survive it, such as escaping an enemy or saving a friend.

                    • A furious and violent vehicle chase
                    • Survival in a hostile and dangerous environment
                    • An extended and grueling magical ritual

                    Define the scope of the crisis, and flip this card

                    Gauntlet Crisis (Back)
                    core-rules
                    crisis

                    No card in front of you (e.g. Character cards) may be flipped more than once to generate a hit.

                    You may flip group cards (e.g. Plot cards) or draw/pick a new card (e.g. Condition card, Random oracle card).

                      Flip this card when the crisis is past

                      Overwhelming Crisis (Front)
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                      crisis

                      Some situations will upset a character's mental equilibrium, or present a challenge so daunting that they aren't prepared to handle it immediately. Ultimately, though, the characters may rally and prevail.

                      When you encounter such a crisis, decide what it would take to survive it, such as defeating an enemy or finding shelter.

                      • Final boss fights
                      • Sudden teleportation to a new world
                      • Confrontation with divine forces

                      Define the scope of the crisis, and flip this card

                      Overwhelming Crisis (Back)
                      core-rules
                      crisis

                      Immediately flip all Character cards in front of all players to their back side.

                      Cards may be flipped back and used in the usual way from then on.

                        Flip this card when the crisis is past

                        Character Cards (Front)
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                        Cards with this icon are character cards.

                        To create a new PC, pick three cards from three different categories, e.g. Focus, Role, and Origin. You can choose cards at random, or select them yourself.

                        These cards describe a PC's most important traits, or the traits that you want to see in the spotlight during the game. Just because someone else has the Courage card doesn't mean your character isn't courageous, only that it's not going to be the quality we see most often or most plainly.

                        • Topside: get a hit by flipping the card
                        • Flipside: flip when a prompt is narrated by anyone

                        Character Cards (Back)
                        core-rules

                        Cards with this icon are character cards.

                        To create a new PC, pick three cards from three different categories, e.g. Focus, Role, and Origin. You can choose cards at random, or select them yourself.

                        These cards describe a PC's most important traits, or the traits that you want to see in the spotlight during the game. Just because someone else has the Courage card doesn't mean your character isn't courageous, only that it's not going to be the quality we see most often or most plainly.

                        • Topside: get a hit by flipping the card
                        • Flipside: flip when a prompt is narrated by anyone

                        Condition Cards (Front)
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                        You've been affected by injury, delirium, debts, magical curses, or other problems.

                        You can take a condition to get a hit. Describe how. Players who challenge you can suggest conditions to meet it.

                        The condition is fictionally true and limits your actions. If you narrate an action the condition would interfere with, you must meet the challenge of the condition in addition to any other challenges.

                        You can flip a topside condition to worsen it and get a hit. Describe how.

                        Clearing conditions takes time. Use this time to drive drama, build the world, or explore how you clear the condition.

                        Discard any conditions that no longer apply in the fiction.

                          Flip to see examples

                          Condition Examples (Back)
                          core-rules

                          Conditions are a way to achieve success at a cost. You can use conditions in many ways.

                          • You choose to take Disarmed to score a telling blow on the enemy.
                          • The facilitator or another player thinks touching the idol will leave you Magicked.
                          • A poisonous cloud envelops you. If you want to stay in it, meet the challenge by taking Weakened.
                          • You're already Hurt, but you can worsen it to Wounded to get a hit. You attack, blood gushing from reopened wounds, and strike down your enemy before falling in a faint yourself.
                          • You spend a scene being healed by a priestess to discard Hurt. You wanted to talk to her anyway, about...
                          • You spend a week of downtime doing odd jobs to pay off Indebted. During that time, you listen for new adventure opportunities.

                          Flip to see rules