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Paperback Adventures

Want to learn how to play? Click here to watch a how-to-play video!


Here we'll list some rules clarifications in a question/answer format. If you don't see an answer here, check out the Unique Card Interactions in the following section.

What do hexes do exactly? And how do I spend hexes for my items?

Your cards and effects will sometimes have you give hexes to the enemy. Those hexes don't inherently "do" anything by themselves, but your letter cards, items, or McGuffins might interact with the hexes on an enemy. Every character will always have a core card that interacts with the hexes you give an enemy.

When an item or effect tells you to "spend hexes," you spend (remove) those hexes from the enemy tray, not your own. You spend the hexes you gave to the enemy.

How does the Venom Vial work? Can I choose how much HP Loss I do?

You cannot choose how much HP loss you do: the enemy always loses HP equal to the number of hexes on them (as long as you can trigger the item). Here's a couple examples:

  1. Enemy has 7 hexes on them. You have 3 energy. When Venom Vial is used, the enemy loses 7 HP, and you spend 3 energy and 3 hexes (those 3 hexes are removed from the enemy--you gave those hexes to the enemy).
  2. Enemy has 3 hexes on them. You have 1 energy. You want to use Venom Vial to make the enemy lose 3 HP, but you can't use it because you don't have the required 2 energy according to the chart. You cannot choose to make the enemy lose 1-2 HP instead.

Why does the enemy action indicator stay on the first action when the enemy is flipped? Is it because of the stun or a separate rule?

A stun means that the enemy will take no action this turn. A stun, by itself, has no inherent interaction with the enemy action indicator.

By far, the most common reason an enemy is stunned is because they've been flipped to Stage 2. There is a specific rule when flipping the enemy that they always start the next turn on their first action.

So unless the enemy was flipped that turn, you always advance the enemy action indicator, even if the enemy was stunned by a unique card ability.

For the Strategy Guide Boss McGuffin, note that its ability is tied to the use of the enemy vowel card as a top card, which means that: (1) the enemy vowel card will advance the enemy action indicator when the top card ability is activated in the Clash Phase, (2) the enemy is then stunned by the Strategy Guide, and (3) unless the enemy is flipped the enemy action indicator will advance again during cleanup phase at the end of the turn.

Does Enemy Block count as part of its action? Does it remain if the enemy is stunned?

Block does count as part of the enemy action, so an enemy would lose its block after it's stunned. However, if an enemy is stunned in the Clash Phase because of your combined hits, at that point the block has already happened and is not altered retroactively.

But if an item in the Prep Phase made the enemy lose HP and become stunned, they would lose the block before you calculate damage in the Clash Phase.

Can I choose not to play a word for my turn?

Yes, you can choose to not play a word. The enemy still performs its action for that turn.

What happens if I run out of letters in my deck?

Because of the fatigue mechanic your deck slowly but surely runs out of cards. If you have an empty discard pile and your deck is less than your draw amount, just draw as many cards from your deck as you can.

If you have zero cards available to draw, you can keep playing--maybe items or McGuffins can help you finish off an enemy. But you can also end the game (a loss) and start a new run if you don't see any way to win that fight.

Are the card replacements from a reward card or shop purchase mandatory?

Yes. Don't forget that the boss rewards let you add a card instead of replacing.

Do wild cards, letter of your choice cards, penalty cards, and enemy vowels count as "vowels" and "consonants" for other cards that care about the distinction? 

Yes, all of them do.

Umm... do we count Y as a vowel or a consonant?

That's a tricky question even just from an English language standpoint. We recommend counting it as a vowel or as a consonant, whichever is the friendliest option to the player. If you really want to get into the weeds of when Y is a vowel or consonant and play the game accordingly, here's an article from Merriam Webster explaining the complexity:

For Plothook's Crew cards, do the "revived" cards from the fatigue pile actually count as cards in the word? Do they get fatigued?

Yes, the revived Crew cards do count as cards in the word. A revived Crew card can be the top card of a word, which would generally not provide any top card bonus, but would prevent you from fatiguing another card for that turn.

Do enemy vowel cards go to the fatigue pile, and if they do, can I return them to play with the abilities of other cards?

Yes, enemy vowel cards do go into the fatigue pile. Just remember that they do not return to your deck at the end of a battle like the other letter cards do. If another card says you can return or add a card from the fatigue pile to your hand, deck, or discard pile, you may choose the enemy vowel card in the fatigue pile and instead return it back to the zone of play (since it isn't in your hand and can't go in a discard pile or deck).

Can the Damsel's Whirling Blades be used if she is unable to draw a card?

You can always use the Whirling Blades to spend one hex to draw a card. As an additional bonus, you can also make the enemy lose HP (equal to the number of cards in your hand) as long as the deck and discard pile are empty after you perform the first step of the item. You can still use the item for its secondary effect, even if the Damsel is unable to benefit from the first step of drawing a card.

Does the Damsel's Shadowdance Cloak skip the Cleanup Phase?

No. "End your turn" means you skip directly to the Cleanup Phase and take all of the steps you normally would in ending your turn and starting the next. There is no card to fatigue since you skipped the Clash Phase, but you'll discard your cards, draw a new hand, and advance the enemy action indicator as normal. Any "end of your turn" effects would trigger as well.

What's going on with the "Limited Resources" Plot Twist?

This Plot Twist should not have made it into the final iteration of the game as it refers to a rule that did not end up in the final game. We suggest you either ignore it, or reverse the effect (You receive a boon for defeating an enemy) and change the Plot Twist score to -2 instead of 2. 


Errata / Unique Card Interactions

Below you’ll find some unique and uncommon rules. Keep in mind that if any rule written on any type of card directly contradicts a rule in the rulebook, follow the rule on the card instead.

  • Whenever a reward card tells you to choose (a number) to keep, whatever cards you don’t keep are returned to the bottom of the deck they came from (or top if it was a McGuffin).
  • If a card says to retain it or another card, the retained card stays in your hand till next round. You still draw the normal amount of cards.
  • Sometimes an enemy’s special rules might change when it flips to Stage 2: those rule changes take place immediately when the enemy is flipped, before you take or continue any other actions, like applying damage.
  • While you generally only use the ability text of most cards during the Clash phase, specific cards might have an effect during the Prep phase. For example, the Damsel’s cards with the Plot keyword.
  • You can not choose a Penalty card as your replaced card.
  • If any effect would have you fatigue a Wild card or Letter of Your Choice card, ignore that effect instead. If an effect has you choose a card to fatigue, you can not choose a Wild card or Letter of Your Choice card.
  • If there are no more Penalty cards in the Penalty deck when an effect tells you to add a Penalty card, just ignore that effect.
  • When you have both negative and positive draw effects stacking together, add and subtract all those effects from your standard draw to find a total. If that total is negative, you just draw zero.
  • "Gain the letter of your choice" abilities aren't limited by the supply. The "Letter of Your Choice" cards are simply meant to help you plan out your word.
  • The Family Heirloom McGuffin can only trigger if you actually heal HP: if you're at max health already, you aren't healed and it won't trigger.
  • Errata: A Damsel "I" card says "you may remove up to 3 Boons from yourself: gain 3 Hex for each counter removed." It should say "you may remove up to 3 Boons from yourself: give 3 Hex to the enemy for each counter removed."

Game Variants

Two-headed Giant Mode
This cooperative mode has you share a deck with another player while you alternate taking turns. You’ll only need 1 character box.

Setup: Follow all steps of a solo game, except: each player designates an area for their own items and McGuffins, and distribute the starting item and Core cards between the players as you wish.

Battles: Choose a first player, and players alternate taking turns until the enemy is defeated. Players draw at start of turn instead of end of turn. You each draw your hand from the same deck and share the same discard and fatigue pile. You also share the same energy, boons, hexes, and health.

However, you can only use the items and McGuffins in your designated area on your turn. McGuffins will trigger only when a condition is met and only on its owner’s turn. If a McGuffin’s condition is met on the other player’s turn, it instead resolves at the start of its owner’s turn.

Rewards/Shop: Whenever a reward card says to gain a McGuffin or item, both players complete that step separately, and those cards go to the designated area for that player. Other rewards work as normal. Items and McGuffins purchased in the Shop only go to one player.

2v2 Mode
Another cooperative mode that will pit you and another player against 2 enemies at the same time! You’ll need 3 character boxes.

Setup: Follow all steps of a solo game, except for these changes:

  • Each player chooses a different character and completes character setup.
  • Add another Library deck for the second character in the Archive.
  • Add another row of letters in the Shop underneath the first row—one row of letters for each character.
  • Whenever you set up an enemy, set up 2 instead. Use the remaining unused character tray for the other enemy. Both enemies are the same Book and Type.

Battles: Each player chooses one enemy to battle, and only battles against that enemy. Players play simultaneously, but both players must finish the current phase before starting the next phase or turn.

Once per turn, a single player may “buy” a Letter card from the other player’s hand by giving the other player a boon. They can use that letter in any way they would use a card in their hand. Whenever that card leaves their hand, or at the end of the turn if used in a word, return it to the owner’s discard or fatigue pile, depending on how it was used.

Once a player defeats their enemy, they no longer take any actions on their turn except drawing their hand each turn. The player that is still battling can still buy a letter from the player that finished first. If any player dies, both players immediately lose.

Rewards/Shop: Both players choose their rewards separately from their enemy’s Reward card, and both players can visit the Shop, which still refills after each purchase.

Character Box Card Lists

Most of the non-letter cards in each Character box are intended to stay mixed in with their respective Core box decks, so that they can show up in any game you play. (The exception being any cards with the character's unique icon on them.)

But if you want to separate those cards back into the character box for any reason, here's a helpful list!



  • Rats in the Sewer
  • Swamp Troll
  • Drowsy Giant
  • Giant Spider
  • Bandit King
  • Dragon


  • Dashing Boots
  • Ancient Wand
  • Silver Amulet
  • Fiery Blade
  • Grappling Hook


  • Training Sword/Silver Bullets
  • Battle Tactics/Long Lost Lance
  • Cooking Herbs/Walking Staff
  • Spiked Buckler

Core Cards

  • Bandolier
  • Venom Vial
  • Shadowdance Cloak
  • Whirling Blades

Ex Machina


  • Sludge Alien
  • Nameless Agent
  • Titan
  • Sentient AI
  • Alien Queen
  • Mad Scientist


  • Rocket Punch
  • Battery Pack
  • Power Conduit
  • Memory Banks
  • Force Field


  • Rebel Location/Mineral Deposits
  • Coupon Book/Starbase Plans
  • Warp Crystal/Red Shirt
  • Alien Skull

Core Cards

  • Laser Eyes
  • Reboot Switch
  • Repair Panel
  • Turret Mode



  • Shark
  • Buccaneer
  • Sirens
  • Sea Serpent
  • Grand Cannon
  • Kraken


  • Cursed Ring
  • Treasure Map
  • Harpoon
  • Eye Patch
  • Fearsome Banner


  • Hidden Destination/Cracked Geode
  • Mystic Tattoo/Ship's Wheel
  • Sea Shanty/Sailor's Legend
  • Capuchin Monkey

Core Cards

  • Briny Cutlass
  • Plothole the Parrot
  • Captain's Hat
  • Gambling Dice
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