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An Action is a concept that, while technically introduced in the base game, was formalized in Jagged Earth. Actions are not intended to change how anything in the base game or Branch & Claw works.[1]


From Jagged Earth's Rulebook, pg. 24
A group of game instructions performed as a unit - e.g., one use of a Power, or a single land's Ravage.

All Actions belong to a category, such as Spirit Actions or Invader Actions. Those categories, along with effects in that category, are listed below.

Spirit Actions

  • Using one Growth icon[2][3]
  • Gaining the Energy specified on your Presence Track
  • Playing all your Power Cards for the turn
  • Using a special Presence Track icon (except for static Elements or bonuses, which are always available)
  • Using a Power. (If the Power is Repeated by any means, each Repeat is a separate Action.)
  • A Special Rule which specifies "After X, do Y"
  • Spirit Rituals (Rituals of Terror, Rituals of the Destroying Flame)[4]

Invader Actions

  • One Ravage, Build, or Explore in one land

Blight Card Actions

  • The effects of a Blight Card[5]

Fear Actions

  • Everything one Fear Card does[5]

Event Actions

  • Everything a Main Event does[5]
  • Everything a Token Event does[5]
  • Everything a Dahan Event does[5]

Adversary Actions

  • An Adversary's Escalation effects[5] (except England, as it explicitly invokes a Build)
  • Instructions on an Adversary to perform some effect. (Does not include those which just change how Invader Actions work.)

Scenario Actions

  • Actions written on a Scenario panel.[5] (Does not include Spirit Rituals, which are Spirit Actions.)

Not everything is an Action; some game effects are just ongoing rules (e.g., "Town have +1 Health").

Action Types

Basic Action

Any Action that is not a triggered Action. The majority of Actions are Basic Actions.

Initial/Base Action

Any Action that begins an Action Tree. (Nested Actions are never Initial Actions.)

Nested Action

Any Action that happens in the middle of other Actions. (Blight Cards with immediate effects are the most common example.)

Triggered Action

Actions that happen when certain conditions are met. Triggered Actions (usually[6]) use the phrasing, "After X, do Y", which means "After each Action/Effect that does X at least once, do Y exactly once." The Triggered Action is associated with whatever set it up (so if Bringer of Dreams and Nightmares sets up a Triggered Action that deals Damage, its Special Rule applies normally.)

Triggers can fire more than once in a turn (unless they explicitly say otherwise), but to avoid infinite loops, Triggered Actions cannot trigger themselves - either directly (via itself) or indirectly (via Actions they trigger).

Action Trees

Action Tree

An Initial Action and all of its immediate consequences (Nested/Triggered Actions), both direct and indirect.

Action Tree Example 1.png
Explorer Check back later for a walkthrough explanation of this Action Tree! Explorer

Action Modifiers

Some things modify Actions, changing how they work. Modifiers usually uses the phrase "When X, then Y" or "When X, instead do Y". Unlike triggers, modifications are applied immediately.

  • Things like "Skip all Invader Actions" are also a form of modification - a shorthand for "When Invaders would act in target land, instead they don't."
  • If you have multiple modifiers with no clear order, you get to pick which happens first.

The following are the different kinds of Action modifiers in Spirit Island, in priority order of when they are applied to Actions.

1) Quantity Modifier

Changes to how many times an Action happens.

Quantity Modifier Example: Pour Time Sideways: "During the Invader Phase, Resolve Invader and "Each board/Each land..." Actions one fewer time."

2) Cancellation/Replacement Modifier

Anything that cancels or completely replaces an action/effect.

Cancellation Modifier Example: A Year of Perfect Stillness: "Invaders skip all Actions in target land this turn."
Replacement Modifier Example: Flowing and Silent Forms Dart By: "When Presence in target land would be Destroyed, its owner may, if possible, instead Push that Presence."

3) Alter/Additional Modifier

Anything that changes the details of what an Action/effect does.

Alter Modifier Example: Words of Warning: "During Ravage, Dahan in target land deal Damage simultaneously with Invaders."
Additional Modifier Example: Volcano Looming High's Special Rule, Collapse in a Blast of Lava and Steam: "When your Presence is destroyed, in that land, deal 1 Damage per destroyed Presence to both Invaders and to Dahan."

In addition to the prioritized modifiers above, certain classifications of modifiers exist solely for further clarification on what kind of modifier that modifier is.

Internal Modifier

Any effect that modifies the Power it is written on.
Powers that are only Internal Modifiers cannot be used.[7]
Setting up a trigger that can only be triggered by the current action (e.g., the start of Lure's Innate Power, "Forsake Society to Chase After Dreams") is considered an Internal Modifier.

Internal Modifier Example: Thunderspeaker's Innate thresholds: "This Power may be Fasticon.png."


  1. Vengeance of the Dead was affected out of necessity; it can no longer trigger itself.
  2. For Ocean's Hungry Grasp, its Growth Icons that mention "EACH Ocean" is one Action per Presence Gathered into or Pushed from those Oceans.
  3. For Fractured Days Split the Sky, the final Growth icon in its second Growth Option (x2: Gain 1 Time or +2 Card Plays) is two Actions, and the final Growth icon in its third Growth Option (x3: Gain 1 Time or Gain 2 Energy) is three Actions.
  4. Reference:!.7w4gec2
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 5.5 5.6 Whenever you're told to do something for Each Board, Each Player, Each Spirit, or Each Land, what you do for each board, player, Spirit, or land is its own separate Action. This does not apply for "each piece", instead it is one Action per land with that piece. If an "each" has a condition, first determine which things are eligible, then resolve them in an order of your choice.
  6. Some do not use the word "after" :!what-items-are-triggered-actions
  7. This is relevant when the Power Card "Scream Disease Into the Wind", or any other Power that cares about a Power targeting a land, is used; Powers that only consist of Internal Modifiers cannot target lands.