Welcome to Richard Garfield's KeyForge, the realm of unprecedented opportunities and countless encounters! Right in the middle of it all, there is a world made up of fragments from every other world: the Crucible. Because of this there is still much undiscovered and unexplored. That is where your story begins!
You are an Archon equipped with a unique set of skills, allies and artifacts. As you uncover the mysteries of this realm, you come across the legends of hidden vaults on the Crucible. When you find a safe you realize that it is impenetrable unless you have three keys. Fortunately, you come across a method to forge these keys with Æmber, but it seems that you are not alone in this endeavour.
You must be quick and collect Æmber, while fending off allies from competing Archons, to forge keys and open the safe. Unimaginable knowledge comes to those who first open the safe! Knowledge is power, and if you don't get it, someone else will. Quickly! Grab your Starter Set and embark on this grand mission in the world of KeyForge!
What makes KeyForge's game one-of-a-kind is that it is a 'Unique Deck Game', a concept devised by the famous game designer Richard Garfield (known from the creation of Magic: the Gathering). Each card game has its own unique name, design on the back and combination of cards.
That is why it is estimated that there are more than 104,000,000,000,000,000 possible unique decks with this first set of 'Call of the Archons'. That is more than 13,000,000 per person on earth.
This is a new type of game that turns the familiar formula of collecting cards and drafting boosters to build a card game upside down; it offers something new and exciting because it offers new benefits and new types of challenges. You don't have to buy separate cards and more boosters to improve your deck because others do too.
In essence, the deck that you get is immediately ready to play, exactly as it is out of the box. It is a complete and ready-to-play deck; you can immediately start playing. However, every single ready-to-play deck that exists is different from every other deck. Every card game that you find comes with new discoveries and experiences.
Because each deck is played in its original form, you soon notice the advantage that you can play against any other deck, because they all have approximately the same strength.
Some setups may ultimately be more favorable for one of the two competing decks; for that a very inventive mechanism has been introduced in this game. In KeyForge you keep 'chains' that determine what level of handicap you have in the number of cards that you can draw each turn. If certain decks do not seem to be in balance with each other, the number of chains can compensate for this difference. The player with a stronger deck then starts with more 'chains'. For each level of chains you reach, your maximum number of cards in your hand decreases.
It all comes down to how you play the game instead of who has bought more powerful cards or who is the better deck builder. The choices you make, the tactics you use and the interactions with your opponent will be the determining factor in who will emerge as the victor.
Each KeyForge deck has one Archon, which is represented as a single card. The other 36 cards are equally divided between three houses. There are a total of nine houses with different characteristics. Each turn you can choose one of the three houses in your deck. You may play all cards from your hand that turn if they are related to that house. The same applies to cards that you want to throw away and the cards in the game that you want to use.
Each of the nine houses has its own culture, background and technology.
The Brobnar are a proud, noisy people who especially value strength. The physically strongest fighter among them is the leader. They get excited by a good fight. Every fighter is only entitled to what they can take and protect.
The exceptional Mars empire has had little or no influence since the move to the Crucible. The Mars House is ruled by the elders. Their biological experiments make great progress in creating the ideal monster. They are known for their use of laser weapons during combat and the use of flying saucers to ensure that their culture survives.
The priority of the Knights and Crusaders of Sanctum, with their angelic appearance floating on wings of gold, is to keep their home clean and safe. This is rare on the Crucible. They fight to protect the innocent, defend those who are too weak and destroy all who dare to threaten their home.
The scholars of Logos would like to call themselves the intellectuals of the Crucible. They use technology to improve parts of their body. There are people who call the Logotarian experiments insane; if only they could understand that ultimate knowledge is worth more than any life.
The beings of the House of Dis are demonic, unparalleled in their cruel ruthlessness. Deep below the surface of the Crucible, they melt Æmber together with their subjects. This army of Æmber followers is gathering more and more of the precious material and collecting more and more victims to help their mission.
Shadows consists of a colorful collection of villains, thieves, scammers, murderers and the average misfits. They are notorious because they are fast, agile and inventive. Whatever they encounter from other houses, they acquire it and use it to survive the Crucible.
These changeable monstrous animals and creatures from the House of the Untamed are being rejected by society. They are attracted by the wild jungles of the Crucible. The empire extends over large areas in different biomes and they all live true to their nature, whatever that may be.
The Saurians, with their origins from the dinosaurs, are impressive creatures. Led by the wise Saurus Rex, they stand out in philosophical debates thanks to the Philophosaurus and are proud of their technology that is so advanced that it is often thought of as magic.
During their reconnaissance mission the SAV Quantum was transported with crew and all through an energy field to the Crucible. Since their crash, the composite crew has been able to survive thanks to their advanced jetpacks, jet guns and omni-present wrist modules linked to the central Quantum computer.
First place your unique Archon card front of you and then shuffle your deck. During the game you collect Æmber tokens that you can place on this Archon card. You have 3 keys that have not been forged at the start of the game (unforged). Both you and your opponent share a stock of unused Æmber tokens, damage counters, 'stun' and 'power' status cards.
During the game you keep track of how many 'chains' you have, which influences the number of cards that you can draw each turn.
An example of what the game progress can look like.
Each turn consists of five steps:
An example of cards from each of the houses that you can find in your deck. A deck of cards contains three of these houses.
This is just a short summary to give you an impression. There are many more nice details and strategic nuances that you will discover! You can find the English QuickStart Guide to play KeyForge here or the English Instructions to play KeyForge here.
Your adventures on the Crucible start with a KeyForge Starter Set. This complete package contains everything that two players need to begin their journey of discovery through the realm of KeyForge. You will find Æmber tokens, damage counters, keys, chains, powerups, stuns and two Archon Decks that are your first opportunity to explore the Crucible as an Archon.
A Starter Set contains:
Note: The contents of a Starter Set of newer KeyForge sets may vary from the above-mentioned initial composition.
Once you have mastered the KeyForge Starter Set, the next step is to expand your collection of unique Archon Decks. Each new deck offers a completely new playing experience, complete with a separate name and an Archon design.
Your deck also has a unique QR scan code with which you can use to follow your deck in the KeyForge app and website. Here you can follow both your decks and those of other players, where you find your place in relation to the rest. You can also easily find tournaments and follow organized play of the game to bring you closer to your fellow players, as diverse as the Crucible itself!
A deck contains:
A deluxe Archon deck contains:
Each set can be played separately from the other sets; you can start with any deck! Grab a Call of the Archons deck and play against a Worlds Collide deck, then alternate and play with an Age of Ascension or Mass Mutation deck; everything is possible! Each deck is unique, so the more decks you have the more fun you'll have playing! You will never come across an identical game situation. Every game is different! What are you waiting for? Leave for the Crucible and be the first to get the keys!
The first set is called Call of the Archons and introduces the Crucible with its first seven 'houses' to us. You arrive at the Crucible and your wonderful journey of discovery through the realm of KeyForge has begun. Use your Archon Deck to explore the Crucible as an Archon. Each deck is ready to play and you can play against decks of Call of the Archons or other sets.
Dive deeper into the world of KeyForge with the stand-alone set: Age of Ascension. The second set of KeyForge adds 204 new cards to the rich world of KeyForge. Together with 166 carefully selected cards from the first edition of KeyForge, countless new decks are created in Age of Ascension to discover, learn and master. Each deck is ready to play and you can play against decks of Call of the Archons or other sets.
The third stand-alone set from KeyForge is called Worlds Collide! This set will shake up the Crucible with a large range of new cards for each house, innovative abilities and no fewer than two new houses will be introduced: the Saurian Republic and the Grand Star Alliance. Mars and Sanctum have to make way for these two new houses but it will not be the last time you have seen them. The Worlds Collide stand-alone set consists of 408 cards, 284 of which are brand new and the other cards are old acquaintances. This combination of new and old provides a fantastic new KeyForge experience. Each deck is ready to play and you can play against decks of Worlds Collide or other sets.