Fear and Terror

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Piece core fear deck.png

Generate enough Fear Fear (4 per player) by destroying Invaders (Town: 1, City: 2) and using Powers to earn a Fear Card from the Fear Deck. This Fear Card(s) is flipped and played after Events, before Invader Actions (Ravage, Build, Explore). It is then discarded. When enough Fear Cards are earned a Terror Level divider is revealed on the Fear Deck, increasing the Terror Level and making it easier to win the game. If you earn all Fear Cards, you win (Terror Level: Victory!).

At the start of the game, the Invaders are at Terror Level 1. They’re not afraid of the island and probably aren’t even aware of the Spirits’ existence. To win, you need to completely clear the island of Invaders. As you earn Fear Cards, you will reach new Terror Levels with easier victory conditions.

Fear (Fear): Fright done to Invaders. Advances Fear Markers Fear, earning Fear Cards (after a total of 4 Fear per player).

Fear Card: A card from the Fear Deck, earned by doing Fear Fear to the Invaders. Fear Cards effects very rarely generate more Fear.

Fear Deck: A stack of Fear Cards separated by Terror Level dividers to represent increasing fright done to Invaders. General setup: bottom | 3 Fear Cards | Terror Level 3 divider | 3 Fear Cards | Terror Level 2 divider | 3 Fear Cards

Fear Pool: 4 Fear Markers Fear per player on the Invader Board to keep track of when to earn new Fear Cards.

Terror Level: I, II, or III, representing how frightened the Invaders are. Sets the current Victory Condition.

Terror Level Divider: The physical separator between the Fear Cards inside the Fear Deck. The current Terror Level (1-3) is printed on each one. (Terror Level dividers are not Fear Cards.)

Fear Generated from Destroying Invaders: Explorer Explorer: 0, Town Town: 1, City City: 2


Fear is generated by Spirit Powers with the Fear symbol (Fear) and by destruction (either directly by an effect or by Damage): destroying a Town Town generates 1 Fear and destroying a City City generates 2 Fear. Fear terrifies the Invaders as a whole. For each Fear generated, advance one Fear Marker from the Fear Pool on the Invader board to the Generated Fear area.

Explain core fear invader board.png
  1. When all of the Fear Markers have advanced,
  2. Move the top card of the Fear Deck face-down into the Earned Fear Cards area. If this reveals a Terror Level divider, move it to cover the old Terror Level (which starts at Level I, preprinted on the board).
  3. Move the Fear Markers back to the Fear Pool; if you have leftover Fear after earning a card, move that many Fear Markers to the Generated Fear area.
  4. Cards in the Earned Fear Cards Space are flipped and resolved during the next Invader Phase (see page 9). Like Powers, effects of Fear Cards last for the current turn only, unless they change the board in some way. After each Fear Card is resolved,
  5. Move it to the Fear Discard Space.

    When you reveal a new Terror Level divider, the new Terror Level and victory conditions take effect immediately, so you might instantly win!

Game Setup

To set up the Invader Board:

  1. Place the Invader Board on one side of the play area.
  2. Put 4 Fear Markers Fear per player into the Fear Pool.
  3. Shuffle the Fear Cards and put 9 on the Fear Deck space. Place the "Terror Level 3" divider 3 cards from the bottom and the "Terror Level 2" divider 3 cards above that, so the deck is divided into 3 groups of 3 cards each.
  4. Make the Invader Deck and put it on the Invader Board on the Explore Action Space.
    The Invader Deck is 12 cards:
    • 3 Stage I cards on top, then
    • 4 Stage II cards, then
    • 5 Stage III cards on the bottom
  5. Take a random Blight Card and place it on top of the Blight Space on the board, “Healthy Island” side up, without looking at the back. Place the shown amount of Blight, plus one, onto the card. If you are not using a Blight Card, use the Blight instructions printed on the Invader Board instead.

Invader Phase

After Events, and before Invader Actions (Ravage, Build, Explore):

If any Fear Card have been earned, pick up the whole facedown stack, flip it over and resolve the cards one at a time in the order they were earned. Then discard them to the Fear Discard Space on the board. Use only the effect listed next to the current Terror Level. This could be higher than when the card was earned. Fear effects last only for the current turn.

Fear Earned Through Fear Effects

Most Fear effects do not cause more Fear. They Remove Invaders rather than Damaging or Destroying them. However, there are exceptions. If you do earn a new Fear Card this way, put it at the bottom of the stack of cards you’re currently resolving.

Each Player

Many Fear effects tell “each player” to do something. Players are restricted only by the card’s instructions in which lands they affect; the effect represents activity by the Invaders or Dahan, not the Spirits. First one player follows the instructions fully, then the next player does, etc.

List of Fear Cards

This is a list of Fear Cards grouped by the boxes they're available in and then ordered alphabetically. These cards are also separated by Card Status, which indicates whether a card is still actively used in Spirit Island games today, or if that card has been removed from the game, with or without a replacement card.

There are 50 Active Fear Card(s), 0 Retired Fear Card(s), and 0 Replaced Fear Card(s).

Active Fear Cards

Box Art Card Name
Spirit Island box.png Horizons of Spirit Island box.png
Avoid the Dahan
Spirit Island box.png Horizons of Spirit Island box.png
Belief Takes Root
Spirit Island box.png Horizons of Spirit Island box.png
Dahan Enheartened
Spirit Island box.png Horizons of Spirit Island box.png
Dahan on their Guard
Spirit Island box.png Horizons of Spirit Island box.png
Dahan Raid
Spirit Island box.png Horizons of Spirit Island box.png
Emigration Accelerates
Spirit Island box.png Horizons of Spirit Island box.png
Fear of the Unseen
Spirit Island box.png Horizons of Spirit Island box.png
Spirit Island box.png Horizons of Spirit Island box.png
Overseas Trade Seems Safer
Spirit Island box.png Horizons of Spirit Island box.png
Spirit Island box.png Horizons of Spirit Island box.png
Spirit Island box.png Horizons of Spirit Island box.png
Seek Safety
Spirit Island box.png Horizons of Spirit Island box.png
Tall Tales of Savagery
Spirit Island box.png Horizons of Spirit Island box.png
Trade Suffers
Spirit Island box.png Horizons of Spirit Island box.png
Wary of the Interior
Branch and Claw box.png
Dahan Attack
Branch and Claw box.png
Dahan Threaten
Branch and Claw box.png
Branch and Claw box.png
Depart the Dangerous Land
Branch and Claw box.png
Branch and Claw box.png
Explorers are Reluctant
Branch and Claw box.png
Flee the Pestilent Land
Branch and Claw box.png
Immigration Slows
Branch and Claw box.png
Branch and Claw box.png
Panicked by Wild Beasts
Branch and Claw box.png
Plan for Departure
Branch and Claw box.png
Branch and Claw box.png
Too Many Monsters
Branch and Claw box.png
Tread Carefully
Branch and Claw box.png
Jagged Earth box.png
Beset by Many Troubles
Jagged Earth box.png
Dahan Reclaim Fishing Grounds
Jagged Earth box.png
Flee from Dangerous Lands
Jagged Earth box.png
Nerves Fray
Jagged Earth box.png
Sense of Dread
Jagged Earth box.png
Theological Strife
Promo Pack 2 box.png Feather and Flame box.png
Angry Mobs
Promo Pack 2 box.png Feather and Flame box.png
Communities in Disarray
Promo Pack 2 box.png Feather and Flame box.png
Promo Pack 2 box.png Feather and Flame box.png
Mimic the Dahan
Promo Pack 2 box.png Feather and Flame box.png
Spreading Timidity
Nature Incarnate box.png
Civil Unrest
Nature Incarnate box.png
Dahan Gain the Edge
Nature Incarnate box.png
Daunted by the Dahan
Nature Incarnate box.png
Distracted by Local Troubles
Nature Incarnate box.png
Nature Incarnate box.png
Seek Company
Nature Incarnate box.png
Struggles over Farmland
Nature Incarnate box.png
Supply Chains Abandoned
Nature Incarnate box.png

Retired Fear Cards

There are no Retired Fear cards.

Replaced Fear Cards

There are no Replaced Fear cards.



When does destroying a Town or City cause Fear?

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.

Effect Rules

When you add Fear to the Fear pool mid-game, what exactly happens?

You add the specified number of Fear markers from the box to the top part of the Fear Pool. They behave as normal, so for the rest of the game, it takes more Fear to earn each Fear Card.

Fear and Fear Cards

If the effects of a Fear Card earn you another Fear Card, does the new card resolve during that Invader Phase or the next one?

It's resolved that Invader Phase. Add it to the bottom of the stack of cards you're resolving. (p. 9)

If earning the card causes you to reach a new Terror Level, subsequent Fear Cards immediately start using the new Terror Level.

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

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.

When are earned Fear Cards revealed?

When resolved, during the next Invader Phase. (p. 9)

At that time, you pick up the stack of earned Fear Cards, flip it over (which means you're reading them in the order earned), and resolve them one at a time, without looking ahead. If you earn more Fear Cards while so doing, they go on the bottom of the stack.

When Fear cards say "Each player may..." do the player choices have to happen in a space where they have presence or can they affect any space on the board?

Any space on the board.

Thematically, Fear effects are what the Invaders do as a result of their rising terror. (Or, sometimes, what the Dahan do when enheartened by the Invaders' faltering resolve.) While the players make the decisions, it's not the Spirits actually taking action.

When you resolve a Fear card, do you resolve only the current level?

Yes, you only resolve the effect corresponding to the current Terror Level, not any previous levels. (p. 9)

You resolve it at the current Terror Level, regardless of whether the Terror Level was lower when the card was earned.

General Play

Do you win as soon as you earn the last Fear card and the Victory space is revealed?

Yes. The text on the last Fear card does not matter.

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?

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.)

Power Cards

In which land does the threshold of Sleep and Never Waken generate fear?

The target land. All effects of a land-targeting Power happen in the target land unless otherwise specified somehow.

When a Power generates Fear directly and also destroys a Town or City, do you get Fear both times?

Yes. For instance, on Lightning's Swift Strike's power card Shatter Homesteads, you get 1 Fear directly, then (if you successfully destroyed a Town), get an extra Fear from that. Similarly if you trigger the more powerful effect of Rituals of Destruction (Vital Strength of the Earth).

Spirits and Innate Powers

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)?

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. Ocean's Hungry Grasp

What land does Harbingers of the Lightning generate Fear in?'

The target land.

Thematically, it should be "one land pushed to which has Town/City", but that's not how the card's written. Feel free to play it the thematic way if your playgroup prefers.

If Vengeance uses its 'The Terror of a Slowly Unfolding Plague' special rule to let Invaders Build in a land with multiple Disease, how much Fear does it generate?

1 Fear total. The special rule checks if Disease would prevent a Build, not how much Disease is present.

If a Fear or Event effect causes damage, can Bringer of Dreams and Nightmares still use it?

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.

If Bringer of Dreams and Nightmares uses Mists of Oblivion, do they get the Power Card's bonus fear for destroying Towns/Cities? (Relatedly, can they trigger Vengeance of the Dead?)

No. No Towns/Cities are actually destroyed, so Mists of Oblivion grants no bonus Fear. Similarly for Vengeance of the Dead.

To Dream a Thousand Deaths only changes what happens when Bringer of Dreams and Nightmares would destroy/damage Invaders. It doesn't change what happens if an effect checks whether or not Invaders got destroyed.