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Piece bc event card.png

In the Core Game, the Invaders are perfectly predictable, save for what lands they will next be interested in. But in truth, all living things - the Invaders, the Dahan, and Beasts of the wild - sometimes act in unanticipated ways. To represent this, each Invader Phase, after any Blighted Island effect and before resolving any Earned Fear Cards, draw and resolve one Event Card. (See Sequence of Events for the full Turn Order.)

If you have trouble remembering to apply a Blighted Island effect first, put a Blight Blighticon.png from the box atop the Event Deck as a reminder.

Event: An unforeseen development (on an Event Card), resolved before Earned Fear Cards each Invader Phase after the first turn.

Event Card: A card from the Event Deck with an Event. Some have choices (see Choice Event), but usually have

  • One primary Event with two possibilities depending on game state (Healthy/Blighted Island, Terror Level I-II-II, Invader Stage I-II-III)
  • Two potentially good Events: Tokens ({{{width}}}px, Diseaseicon.png, Strifeicon.png) and Dahan.

Event Deck: The deck of Event Cards drawn from to resolve Events.

Choice Event: Some Events offer a choice between something bad and something less bad (or even good); often this has a cost of Energy. The Energy cost can be paid by any player(s). Energy costs can sometimes by reduced by being Aided By an Element.

Aided By (Element): A Choice Event's Energy cost can sometimes be reduced by Power Cards with the required Element. The following can be done any number of times:

+1 For each Element in play (any source)
+2 Discard a Power Card (from hand to discard)
+4 Forget a Power Card (from hand, play, or discard)


Most cards show two possible primary Events, both bad (see examples, below). Which you perform will depend on either:

  1. The Health of the Island (Healthy/Blighted, as shown on the Blight Card);
  2. The Terror Level (I, II, III); or
  3. The Stage of Invasion (I, II, or III). The current Stage is shown by the top card of the Invader Deck.
    • Exception: If playing against Brandenburg-Prussia Level 2+, treat the early Stage III Card as if it were Stage II.

Most Event Cards also have two potentially good Events:

  1. Token Event: References Beasts Beastsicon.png, Disease Diseaseicon.png, or Strife Strifeicon.png.
  2. Dahan Event: Dahan take action or tend to their community.

Explain bc event.png

Just like with other effects, when resolving Events, unless otherwise specified:

  • Perform as much of the card’s instructions as you can, moving from top to bottom and skipping anything inapplicable or impossible.
  • Effects which don’t change pieces on the board last only until the end of the current turn.
  • Pieces only affect their own land unless explicitly specified. I.e., if a token or Dahan causes Fear/Damage/Destruction, it does so in the land that it’s in.

Players make any necessary decisions. When an Event says, “On Each Board: (do this OR that)”, you may select differently on each board. You are permitted to read the entire Event Card before making any decisions, but you don’t have to if your playgroup would rather think about one thing at a time.

Like other effects, when Events deal Damage unless otherwise specified, the Damage is done only to Invaders. Some Events modify Invader Damage, or do Damage to the Dahan (see Health and Damage, page 16). Events are only considered Spirit Effects (for, e.g., Heart of the Wildfire) if the Spirits pay a cost to make something happen (see Choice Events, below).

Choice Events

As seen below, some cards are Choice Events. These describe a situation and give the Spirits two courses of action to take with differing consequences. Usually, the choice is a joint decision, and players must reach consensus over which path to take. If no consensus can be reached, the first listed option is always the default.

Often, one choice has a cost: usually some amount of Energy per player in the game. The cost is paid jointly however the Spirits like; it does not need to be evenly divided. It could be paid entirely by one player.

Aided By (Element)

If a cost says it is “Aided by a particular Element” it means that Spirits:

  • May Forget one or more Power Cards (from hand, play, or discard) with that Element to count +4 Energy towards the cost per Forgotten card.
  • May discard one or more Power Cards (from hand to discard) with that Element to count +2 Energy towards the cost per discarded card.
  • Count +1 Energy towards the cost for each of that Element they have in play (from Power Cards, Presence Tracks, or other effects).

A Power Card may only be used for one of these bonuses. If you discard a Power Card, you cannot also Forget it. Also, a Power Card Forgotten from play no longer provides any Elements. The “Aided by” Energy is only for the purposes of paying the cost - you cannot get real Energy out of it!

Explain bc choice event.png

Meaningless Choices. If you are playing with the Scenario “Blitz”, the Choice Event “Outpaced” is guaranteed to be irrelevant, as there is no Slow Phase. If this happens - or if future Adversaries/Scenarios make a particular Event irrelevant or senseless - discard that Event Card and draw a replacement.

Game Setup

Follow Branch and Claw setup changes for Events:

  • Add the extension to the Invader Board (see below)
  • Put the Beasts {{{width}}}px, Wilds Wildsicon.png, Disease Diseaseicon.png, and Strife Strifeicon.png tokens in the corresponding areas on the Invader Board extension.
  • Shuffle the Event Deck and put it on the Events space on the Invader Board extension. Playing with a Blight Card is now required rather than optional. (The Event Deck depends on using one.)
  • During Setup, put one {{{width}}}px and one Diseaseicon.png on each Island Board. The {{{width}}}px goes in the lowest-numbered land with no printed Setup icons; the Diseaseicon.png goes in land #2 (with the City).

Thematic Boards: Instead of placing a single Diseaseicon.png and {{{width}}}px on each board, place tokens as indicated by the Setup icons in each land.

Short on Space? If your table doesn't have space for the Invader Board extension, put the Event Deck near the Earned Fear stack, so you remember to do it first.

Invader Board Extension:

Piece bc invader board extension.png

Invader Phase

After Blighted Island and before Earned Fear Cards:

Draw and resolve one Event Card.

List of Event Cards




Q) When does Brandenburg-Prussia Level 2's early Stage III card count as Stage III and when does it count as Stage II?

A) It only counts as Stage II for "What Invader Stage is the game in?" (Eg, for Events, or the rules for playing with Beasts tokens but no Events.) It's still a Stage III card for anything that cares about the Stage of a specific card (e.g., the rules for Combining Two Adversaries, or Fractured Days' unique power The Past Returns Again). This is the only specially-placed Invader card that acts differently; other cards act like their printed Stage in all circumstances.

Tags: Combining Adversaries, Events, Playing Without Events, Kingdom of Brandenburg-Prussia, 1 more...
Q) On the "Slave Rebellion" Event card, what does it mean to "return this card to the Event Deck as per Setup"?

"A)' If you draw this card when not playing against France at Level 2 or higher, you should not have this card in the deck--discard it and draw another. If you are playing against France, then there are instructions on the Kingdom of France Adversary card; follow those.

(Discussion elsewhere) Tags: Events, Slave Rebellion, Kingdom of Brandenburg-Prussia


Q) When does destroying a Town or City cause Fear?

A) Always, regardless of how it's destroyed: directly via a Power that says to destroy one, from damage done by a Power, from damage done by Dahan counterattacking, due to a Spirit's special rules, from a Fear or Event card, etc. [p. 18] Fear from destruction is independent of any explicit Fear the Power does - e.g., Lightning's Shatter Homesteads reads "1 Fear. Destroy 1 Town." It will usually generate 2 Fear: 1 explicitly, and 1 for destroying a Town. Note that when you remove or replace a Town or City, it does NOT cause any automatic Fear. Removing Invaders happens most frequently via Fear Cards, and usually represents the Invaders fleeing, which doesn't make them any more afraid. Replacing an Invader represents some sort of transformation or change; if it's a scary change, the effect will explicitly specify how much Fear to do.

(Discussion elsewhere) Tags: Destroy, Fear, Dahan, Ravage, 10 more...

Event Cards

Q) For the event New Cash Crops Take Hold, do you get the benefit of the Canny Defense event on the same card?

A) No, the Events on a card are executed in order, so the extra Ravage takes place before you get the benefit of Canny Defense. Likewise for A Strange Madness Among the Beasts, the Beasts deal damage after the first part of the card (in which some of them may be removed).

Tags: Events, New Cash Crops Take Hold, Canny Defense, A Strange Madness Among the Beasts, 0 more...
Q) When an Event says, "On each board: Either destroy 2 presence (total) OR ...", what does "total" mean?

A) That you only need to destroy 2 Presence on that board, not 2 per Spirit. So in a 4-player game, if you choose the "destroy Presence" option for every board, you'll destroy 8 Presence. If a given board doesn't have 2 Presence on it to destroy, you must choose the other option if possible.

(Discussion elsewhere) Tags: Events, Total, On Each Board, Presence, 5 more...
Q) Are the separate parts of an Event Card separate actions for the purpose of victory or defeat?

A) Yes. A single event card usually has three separate events: a main event, a token event (Disease, Beasts, etc), and a Dahan event. They are all separate, applied in order. _(See the Jagged Earth Action rules for more precision on this.)

(Discussion elsewhere) Tags: Events, Effect
Q) In the Beasts Attack Event, how is the damage done and which Beasts get removed?

A) Each Beasts does damage in turn, distributed as you prefer as usual for damage to Invaders, and only Beasts that finish off a Town or City get removed. For instance, in a land with two Towns and two Beasts, the first Beasts could deal 1 damage to each Town, and then the second one could finish off both Towns. Only the second Beasts would get removed.

(Discussion elsewhere) Tags: Beasts, Events, Beasts Attack (Beasts Event)
Q) For the Dahan Event "Retreat", are you being told to (on each board) Push 2 Dahan from a *single* land with a City, or could you Push 1 Dahan from 2 different lands with Cities? What happens if you can't meet the full requirements?

A) You're being told to Push 2 Dahan from a single land with a City to a single land without a City. If that's impossible, but you can Push 1 Dahan following those constraints, do so. Otherwise, do nothing on that board. "On each board" cares about the land the Dahan are currently in; it's fine to Push them onto a different board. Like all instructions that don't involve targeting or "choose a land", if you can obey them, you must - eg, if there's a land with 2 Dahan and a City that happens to be surrounded by Cities, you can't point at it and say "we would Push those, but we can't because there are no legal lands", just as you couldn't subvert "Add 1 Blight to a Sands" by pointing at a Wetland and saying "It's not a Sands, so we don't add Blight".

(Discussion elsewhere) Tags: Dahan, Events, Retreat (Dahan Event)

Fear and Fear Cards

Q) Can the same piece be moved multiple times with the same Event or Fear card?

A) Yes, as long as any restrictions on the card are obeyed. For instance, the same Explorer can move multiple times with the Fear card 'Retreat!', and the same Beast can be moved multiple time with 'A Strange Madness among the Beasts'. If the card says players must make different choices, this must be obeyed.

(Discussion elsewhere) Tags: Events, Fear, Gather, Push, 11 more...

General Play

Q) Is revealing a Fear or Event card part of the Fear / Event action(s), or does it happen first? Eg: with Finder of Paths Unseen, do I have to guess about adjacencies, or can I see the card first?

A) Revealing the card happens before the Fear/Event actions, not as part of it. (It's part of basic game structure.) So you can indeed look at the card prior to making adjacency decisions for Finder of Paths Unseen. Actions are everything the card does - turning it over to read it isn't something the card does. (Also, Event Cards always result in multiple actions, and Fear cards often will as well; including "turn over the card" as part of the first action on the card would make "what's involved in an action?" a little inconsistent.)

Tags: Actions, Events, Fear Cards, Open the Ways (Finder of Paths Unseen), 0 more...

Invader Actions

Q) Can the "next normal" Ravage or Build be on a future turn?

A) Yes. If the Ravage or Build slot is empty, leave the relevant card in that space until the effect is triggered.

(Discussion elsewhere) Tags: Ravage, Build, Events, Heavy Farming, 5 more...
Q) I'm confused - when do restrictions like "there must be Invaders" for Build and "there must be a source of Explorers" for Explore apply?

A) Those apply when resolving Invader Cards - specifically, when making a list of what lands match the Invader Card (JE rulebook p. 27) If an Event tells you to perform a single Build action - eg, "On Each Board: Build in a land with Dahan" - you don't check whether that land has Invaders. But if it tells you to resolve an entire Build Step / Build Card for a particular terrain, it works just like it would if you had a physical card - you're making a list of which lands match, so the normal Build/Explore restrictions apply. The Events "Fortification" and "New Cash Crops Take Hold" work this way (and do not usually build in empty lands), though it's not how they're phrased. (See the Errata in the JE rulebook p. 27)

(Discussion elsewhere) Tags: Build, Explore, Ravage, Events, 2 more...
Q) What happens if one effect modifies "the next normal Ravage" and another effect skips it?

A)' If the next normal Ravage is skipped, then the effect that modifies the Ravage remains in effect until a Ravage actually occurs. This can happen, eg, if the event Farmers Seek the Dahan for Aid (the next normal Ravage becomes a Build) occurs on a turn when there is no card in the Ravage slot, and on the next turn the event Urban Development (during the next normal Ravage, each City does +2 damage) occurs. Because of Farmers Seek the Dahan for Aid, the Ravage is skipped, so Urban Development remains active until the next turn. Note that this only applies if the Ravage is effected globally, and not if the Ravage is modified in only some lands.

(Discussion elsewhere) Tags: Ravage, Skipping Actions, Events, Farmers Seek the Dahan for Aid, 4 more...

Power Cards

Q) When you use a Power outside of its normal phase (eg, during the Invader Phase via the Rouse the Spirits event), if Repeats have been granted to you (eg, from Gift of Strength), can you use them then?

A) Changed answer: No. Unlike Lightning's Boon or Sky Stretches to Shore, you're not actually changing the Power's speed, you're just using it (once) ignoring speed. Repeats can happen in the phase matching the Power's actual speed. The first-pass answer was "yes" based on the idea that these things changed the Power's speed, but that proved the wrong direction. Note that this only applies to granted Repeats, like from Gift of Twinned Days or the like. It does not apply to Powers which have "Repeat this Power" as one of their instructions; those can and must be Repeated immediately as an action triggered by the initial use. (After any other triggered actions.)

(Discussion elsewhere) (Discussion elsewhere) (Discussion elsewhere) Tags: Repeat, Events, Timing, Changed rulings, 8 more...

Spirits and Innate Powers

Q) What does "When an Event or Blight Card directly destroys Presence" mean, for Stone's innate Hold the Island Fast with a Bulwark of Will?

A) It means the Event / Blight card uses the words “Destroy (Presence)” rather than, e.g., adding Blight that then happens to Destroy Presence. This Innate’s effect can be used even if the Presence Destruction was a choice, paying a cost or otherwise optional.

Tags: Events, Hold the Island Fast with a Bulwark of Will (Stone's Unyielding Defiance)
Q) When Ocean's Hungry Grasp is in play against Brandenburg-Prussia, can the extra Towns from the Stage II Escalation be placed in the Ocean (and drowned immediately)?

A)No. The Ocean is only a land for the purpose of Powers and Blight, and not, for instance, for Events, Fear cards, or Stage II escalation effects.

(Discussion elsewhere) Tags: Fear, Events, Ocean's Hungry Grasp, Kingdom of Brandenburg-Prussia, 0 more...
If a Fear or Event effect causes damage, can Bringer of Dreams and Nightmares still use it?

A) Fear and Event cards are not Powers, so the special rule To Dream a Thousand Deaths does not apply. Thus the player who is playing Bringer of Dreams and Nightmares can, for instance, do real damage with the Dahan Raid fear card. Thematically, the Dahan are actually doing a raid in the real world, it is not just a nightmare caused by Bringer. It also doesn't matter if it's a choice Event you pay Energy for: the damage is still real. Similarly, if Bringer uses a Defense power, the Dahan deal real damage during the Ravage phase as normal; it's the Dahan dealing damage, not Bringer.

(Discussion elsewhere) Tags: Fear, Events, To Dream a Thousand Deaths (Bringer of Dreams and Nightmares), Bringer of Dreams and Nightmares, 0 more...
Q) If Vengeance as a Burning Plague destroys Presence to prevent a penalty from a Blighted Land Event, does it get Disease from its 'Lingering Pestilence' special rule?

A) Yes. Though Vengeance is making a choice both to destroy Presence and which Presence to destroy, the Event Action is what actually causes the destruction.

Tags: Events, Actions, Vengeance as a Burning Plague

~ Expansions, Promos, and Publishing

Q) What happens if you just add some of the Branch & Claw expansion cards / elements to the game? Do you think you could play with everything from the expansion but the Event Cards?

A) Many expansion elements rely on each other to a greater or lesser extent. Mixing in some without others won't break the game, but may skew it.

Going item-by-item:

Scenarios: Are fine to use. Most of these are in the expansion purely because they use the expansion's Scenario Tokens.

Adversary: France can be used at Level 1 and below without any trouble. Level 2+ will be harder without Strife tokens and the Event Deck. (Though you can fix the latter by just resolving Slave Rebellion every 4 turns.)

Events: Most of them should be usable by skipping the token Event... but this will make the game harder. New Fear Cards: There are about half a dozen fear cards that don't reference tokens. (They're in the expansion because of new rules, or just to keep effect distribution even.) Including just those 6 will slightly skew the effects of the fear deck, but not in any way that you're apt to notice unless you're a very experienced player.

New Blight Cards: The expansion Blight cards don't have a negative ongoing effect, because the Event deck handles that: About 1/3 of the Event cards involve adding Blight / destroying Presence if the island is Blighted. So using the new Blight cards without the Event deck lowers the incentive to keep the Blight Card from flipping early, which in turn slightly lowers difficulty / early-game tension. Doing so also makes the small-pool Blight cards better (especially "Back Against the Wall" / "Aid from Lesser Spirits") because they're less risky.

Spirits: Keeper of the Forbidden Wilds needs Wilds tokens. It may have a slightly harder time of it without the possibility of players gaining Minor/Major Powers that add Wilds, but is probably fine. Sharp Fangs Behind the Leaves needs Beasts tokens to function well, and Beasts need Event Cards to be good; without Events, Sharp Fangs is almost certainly underpowered.

New Power Cards: Adding only a subset of new Power Cards is likely to change the distribution of different types of effects, and near-certain to change the elemental distribution (both how often each element appears, and how often each pair of elements appears). The game will absolutely still work, but some Spirits will be invisibly penalized / rewarded (because Power Card draws will on average be lousier/better for their elements), and it may skew strategy depending on what types of effects get added to the deck. This isn't apt to be a big deal if you're just adding a few cards, but if you're adding half the new cards it could be more pronounced. Also, some Major Powers are in the expansion because they shouldn't be part of a small Major Power deck.

And finally, "Everything except the Event Cards": If you omit the starting Disease from each board, and don't use the "Aid from Lesser Spirits" / "Back Against the Wall" Blight cards, my educated guess is that using everything but the Event Cards wouldn't mess with game difficulty too much - Beast tokens will be much worse (mild difficulty boost), and the Blight Card changes will make things slightly easier. (You could also use Event Cards for token Events only, in which case you're probably making your game easier by 1 or 2 Difficulty?) It's totally untested that way, but if you want to give it a shot, please go for it - and if you have a chance, post to BGG or the >G forums to let me know how it went!


Errata for the "Blight Spreads" Event on the card headed by "Tight-Knit Communities" Branch & Claw - 2nd and 3rd printings

"Add 1 Blight to a land with Blight" should read "Add 1 Blight to a land adjacent to a land with Blight".

The "Blight Spreads" event appears on two Event Cards; the other one (headed by "Well-Prepared Explorers") is correct.

A corrected version is planned for Errata Pack (Core 4th/5th, B&C 3rd).