As you are playing Savage Planet: The Fate of Fantos, you will come across various Trials sent by Zodraz to test the Citadels of Fantos. At least one Trial card must be drawn per round (by Player One), but usually at least 3-4 will appear during any given round, depending on Harvest choices and results. A maximum of three Trials may be in play at any one time, and they must be drawn and played one at a time. If a new Trial needs to be drawn when three are already in play, one must be removed before drawing (by either the active Citadel or the reigning Tribute, if there is one).
There are two main types of Trials: Diplomacy and Cosmic. The majority are Cosmic Trials (including Zodraz himself). These include specific instructions on how to handle them, and either remain in play or are removed immediately after taking effect. Diplomacy Trials force a voting situation among all Citadels and will always feature the Diplomacy artwork. These will either take effect and remain in play, or be removed immediately, depending on the result of the vote.
TIERS: Each Trial card has a key of bright blue dots at the bottom right corner of the art, which specifies its tier. When you are setting up the Trials Deck for your very first game, it is best to follow this tiered system. First, shuffle the five Tier 4 Trials together (including Zodraz) and place them face down at the bottom of the deck, then shuffle the three Tier 3 Trials together and place them face down on top of the Tier 4 Trials, etc, continuing up to Tier 1 on the top of the deck. Building the deck this way will help beginners learn to play without being overly tested by the Trials right off the bat. Then, as you master the game play, you can choose to adjust the difficulty level by shuffling Tiers 1&2 together, then Tiers 1-3 together, etc. You can also lengthen or shorten the game depending on how you set up the Trials Deck; lengthen by placing Zodraz with in the last 3 Trials (instead of 5) – or even just save him for dead last – and shorten by removing some Trials.
Here’s a closer look at each of the Trials:
Sometimes Citadels need a little extra help…but will they get it? If it is voted into play, the Stimulus Diplomacy Trial will allow extra Labor to be taken into a Citadel’s hand (for a fee, of course!) for as long as it remains in play. Keep in mind that it doesn’t alter the draw-up limit of 5 in any other way; if you have 5 or more Labor in your hand at the beginning of your turn, you may not draw more, unless this Trial is still in play and you are willing to pay 1 Shard for each extra Labor drawn. (There is also a max amount of extra cards that can be drawn; update on that coming soon!)
Over harvesting has caused you to momentarily forget your greed! Iridium Dementia is a Cosmic Trial that stays in play unless it is removed when space needs to be cleared for more Trials. And, yes, if more than 2 Citadels are tied for the least Shards in their reserves, the one with the most still must give each of them 1 Shard!
Will the Citadels of Fantos vote to allow overtime during Harvest? If the Overtime Trial is voted into play, each Citadel will have a chance to add a little to their Harvest totals for as long as it remains in play…but the extra roll requires an extra Trial to be drawn in return, so be careful! Also of note: the extra roll does not apply to each harvesting Legacy, only to the harvest itself.
Sometimes the best hires are made sight unseen! If you are displeased with the choices offered up for hire in the Legacy Pool, the Dark Unions Trial, if voted into play, will allow you to take your chances with the top card of the Legacy Deck instead, for as long as it remains in play.
Chaos descends onto Fantos with this Cosmic Trial! While Riot is in play, any hired, untasked Legacy may challenge any other Legacy to a Duel during each Secondary Action Phase. The chance to Duel comes in “resolution order,” as with other Secondary Actions: the active Citadel has the first chance to declare a Duel if it wishes(and has an untasked Legacy with which to declare), then the Citadel to its left has a chance, continuing around the table until all Citadels have completed any Secondary Actions they wish to take.
The Black Tongue marks the mouths of the Iridium hoarders! This Cosmic Trial takes immediate effect when drawn, but is removed from play when completed. However, if your Citadel has the most Shards in its reserve, your Legacies will suffer…and if you have any Legacies with only 1 Shard, they will perish from the disease!
A terrible flu plagues the citizens of Fantos! While the Cosmic Trial is in play, the Iridium Fever will target your hardest working Legacies. Be careful about who you task to actions while the fever rages, as any tasked Legacies that only possess 1 Shard will perish at the end of your turn!
Et tu, Zodraz? The Ides of Zodraz is a Cosmic Trial that forces a “special” Tribute action. This means that, first, the Legacy that is acting as the current Reigning Tribute (if there is one) is relieved of its powers and disabled (more information about what “disabling” means will be in the final rulebook). Then, each Citadel is forced to choose one of their Legacies to participate in a forced Tribute action. It is “special” because you MAY choose a previously tasked Legacy to nominate. If you choose to participate with one of your Legacies that has previously been tasked to something else, it simply remains tasked; if it is currently untasked, it must now be tasked to the Tribute action. After a new Tribute is chosen, the Trial is removed from play.
The best laid plans go up in flames! A Cosmic Trial that takes effect immediately and then is removed from play, Scorching Rain can definitely ruin your day on Fantos. It resets all Labor and can change the course of the game, depending on which Citadel draws it and when!
Are you hoping to get revenge on the Citadel to your right because its Legacies keep attacking you? Well, now’s your chance! If the Bad Blood Diplomacy Trial is voted into play, the War action is now directed at Citadels to the right (instead of the usual left), for as long as it remains in play.
The riots and plagues have wreaked havoc on hired Legacies! Vote the Reinforcements Trial into play to help Citadels that have lost Legacies and need to hire more to keep themselves competitive. This will allow any Citadel with less than 2 Legacies an extra hire during their Hiring Phases, for as long as this Trial remains in play.
Many Shubs and Zulls will be roasted this day! If you have been hoarding Iridium, the Slores will find out and consume your excess. A Cosmic Trial that stays in play unless removed to make space for a new Trial in the future, the Slore Frenzy may help to even the playing field…depending on how long it stays in play!
An ancient galactic evil has infested the Iridium Trove of Fantos, and it demands blood sacrifice! A Cosmic Trial that stays in play unless removed to make space for another Trial in the future, the Maloroid is not to be taken lightly…consider your harvests carefully when it has set up residence in the Trove!
It is time for a culling, and the Kytu are ready! The hired Legacy possessing the most Shards (regardless of the Legacy’s starting value), must be surrendered to the Kytu when this Cosmic Trial is drawn. If one Citadel possesses two or more Legacies tied for the most Shards, the Citadel chooses which to discard. Luckily, this Trial is removed from play after it’s completed!
Your harvesting will be the death of you! A potentially devastating Cosmic Trial, the Astral Blight affects the Citadels who have chosen to hire Legacies with the highest Harvest stats, for as long as it stays in play.
The Star Witch has arrived on Fantos and demands war! This is a Cosmic Trial that remains in play for one round; it is removed from play after the Citadel that drew it completes its Fantos Action Phase, unless a Citadel or Tribute chooses to remove it before then to make space for a new Trial.
The Cosmic Warden approaches! As the ultimate Cosmic Trial, the appearance of Zodraz signals the final round of play. No new Trials may be drawn (even by Player One), but those that are currently in play will still take effect, as applicable. Consider your final moves carefully, because after the Citadel that drew Zodraz completes its final Fantos action, Shard counts will be tallied and the new Ward of Fantos will be chosen by Zodraz!