1-5 Players.
One to four play cooperatively.
An additional player can play as the monsters.

Each Dark Tomb game contains all necessary components to play. Characters are interchangeable between games.


Place all grey-backed cards face up. Each player chooses a character card, then takes the corresponding Action cards and matching colored cubes. Place one unmarked cube on the highest value in the HP track. Health can never go above this maximum.


The adventure features multiple Stages which get progressively more difficult starting at Stage I. A linear narrative flows through the adventure, but any Stage can be played individually at any time. Stage card backs are color-coded and labeled with Roman numerals.

The first time you play, begin your adventure with Stage I. Take all cards of the Stage color and divide them into face down piles of like icons. Shuffle the Monsters, Items and Map Tiles separately. Rotate Map Tiles when shuffling them.

Note that the first printing of Crypts of Aurelian refers to Stages as Chambers as the game takes place entirely within the crypts. Stages and Chambers are fully synonymous. See all updates for the first printing here.

Dark Tomb Gameplay - Card Back Symbols


Read the Stage Intro card . Set up the Map Tiles face down in the configuration shown on the Intro card. Place the Start Tileface up in the space indicated with the dot, and place the marked character cubes on the matching spaces. Always flip Map Tiles from top to bottom when revealing.

Dark Tomb Gameplay - Start Tile


Roll to see which player goes first.
Place the Stage Turn card to the right of that player.
Turn order moves clockwise around the table.
The Stage will take the last turn of each round.


On each turn first move any number of spaces up to your move valueor choose not to move at all.

Then play one of your character's four Actions. A player cannot use the same Action twice in a row. Place the remaining colored cube on your last Action taken to track this.

A player can choose not to take an Action on their turn. In this case they may leave the Action cube in its place or choose to "burn" a different Action that can't be taken on their subsequent turn (example: an attack that is out of range) by moving the cube to that action.


Movement from space to space can be in any direction but not diagonal. Characters can pass through characters but not monsters. Monsters can pass through monsters but not characters. Neither can end their movement on a space occupied by a character or monster.

Any movement, range, or adjaceny in Dark Tomb is always measured space-by-space in any direction, but not diagonal.


You can also take an unlimited number of Free Actions at any time during your turn, including during movement. Free Actions include revealing tiles, getting items, and passing items.


You may reveal a face-down Map Tile when adjacent to it as a Free Action. Flip the tile face up. Place white Item cubes on any Item spaces.

If the tile contains a monster, flip the top monster card face up, set it beside the Map, and put the corresponding black cubeon its space on the Map. Place a blank black cube on the monster's HP track in the space with the number of small dots equal to the number of characters that started the Stage. Example: place cube on the two white dots in a two-player game (even if one of those characters has been defeated).


To get an Item you must be on a space with a white Item cube. Take the top card from the Item pile and remove the Item cube from the map. Use the Item card when indicated.


You may pass or receive Item(s) with another character, and must both be on the same space mid-movement to do so.


If a character has been defeated and has Items in their possession, place a white cube on their last space and place their item cards near it. Any other character can retrieve those Items by passing through (or ending on) that space.


Double Actions: A few actions such as "Shield & Strike" and "Stealth Attack" combine two actions in one. The second action of the pair only takes effect if the attack is taken. The attack does not have to be successful, but the character must be in range of an opponent and must attempt the attack. If a double action is "burned" both actions in the pair become inactive for the round.

Shield: Actions that shield from monsters do so only on the next Stage Turn to occur. Whether or not the shield action is successful it is no longer effective after the Stage Turn. When shield actions are also specified for additional characters, those characters must be on an adjacent spot at the time the action is played.

Stealth: Actions that offer stealth from monsters do so only on the next Stage Turn to occur. Whether or not the stealth action is successful it is no longer effective after the Stage Turn.

Heal: Heal can be used on oneself or on a single character on an adjacent space at the time of use.

Transport: Transport is used in place of movement on any turn. Following the transport an action is taken as per normal rules. The action can be a Dash.

Boards: Boards provide unlimited flotation as long as they are in possession. Having the boards in your possession reduces movement by one space per turn. This only affects standard movement, not Dash.


Some Actions allow characters or monsters to attack. An attack can be made if there is a target within range and attack type. To attack, roll the die and add the Attack Modifier. The attack is successful if the sum is equal to or above the defender's Armor value. Reduce the defender's HP by the amount of damage shown. If a monster or character goes below 1 HP at any time, they are defeated and removed from the Stage.

Rolling a natural 20 increases the damage done by 1. If the attacker rolls a natural 1, they instead take 1 HP of damage. If a monster rolls 1-5 on an attack, they will flee, moving 4 spaces away to be as far as possible from any characters.


Dark Tomb Gameplay - Example Attack


Attacks require line-of-sight, which is determined by drawing a line from the center of the attacker's space to the center of the target's space. Line-of-sight is not blocked either by characters or monsters. Touching any wall breaks line-of-sight. 45 degree angles at wall corners will succesfully pass as the corners are slightly rounded. Line-of-site rules do not apply to special attacks that turn corners or pass through walls. Attacks with multiple targets hit all possible targets within range.

Distance attacks have a minimum and maximum range. Example: 2-4. In this example, the attacker must be at least two spaces from its target and no more than four spaces from it. Range is measured space-by-space in any direction but not diagonally.

Attacks that can turn corners do not have to turn corners, attacks that can pierce walls do not have pierce walls, and attacks that can hit multiple targets can be made against just one target.

Dark Tomb Gameplay - Attack Types


When the Stage Turn card is reached, first roll for a Seismic Event. If a 19-20 is rolled, all characters take 1 damage. Monsters do not take damage in seismic events.

Then each monster takes a turn in order from left to right, top to bottom. Monsters first move and then attack if able. Monsters do not reveal Map Tiles or get Items.

Dark Tomb Gameplay - Stage Turn Card


Monsters follow the same movement rules as characters. Monsters move the least number of spaces to be able to attack a character and will continue moving further if doing so enables them to multiple characters.

Monsters will move away from a target if it is necessary to get into range (for ranges that have minium distances - ex. 2-4). If a monster is blocked by characters and cannot move enough to reach its minimum attack distance, it may still attack in its standard manner, but subtract 1 from its attack modifier.

If multiple characters are equidistant from a monster, distance ties are broken from left to right, top to bottom. Attack ties are broken in the same way. If there is no possible path that would eventually lead to a character on future turns, the monster will not move.

Monsters do not move to anticipate what characters might do on subsequent turns. If an additional player is controlling the monsters, they can be moved in any way desired within the monster’s allotted movement value.


The Stage is completed when all Map Tiles have been revealed and all Monsters are defeated (the Stage Intro card may specifiy additional requirements). The stage is completed for the entire party, including those that have been defeated. Read the Stage Completion card.

Next time you play, all characters start the new Stage with full health and no items are carried over from the previous Stage. Characters can be switched between Stages if desired. If you have completed the final Stage, congratulations!

If all characters are defeated, the Stage is incomplete. To reattempt a Stage, restore all characters to full health and reshuffle all Items, Monsters and Map Tiles.


Dark Tomb Ship Rules
Utilized in Dark Tomb - Bloodthorn Island.
The ship covers a 2x3 space rectangle.

Ship movement on river: On each character turn, move the ship up to 3 spaces in any direction but not diagonal. The ship then advances 2 spaces downstream. Then, if any part of the ship is on a Rapid, the ship continues moving downstream until it is no longer on a Rapid.

Dash moves the ship 1 space in any direction during the action portion of a players turn. The ship does not rotate and always faces downstream.

Characters cannot get off the ship in the river or move within the ship. When attacking from the ship, characters can choose to add +1 to range for any standard (non-Item) attack.

River monsters swim with full movementand cannot board the ship. If the ship moves into a space occupied by a monster, the monster passes under it and moves to the opposite side. Monsters movement is unaffected by Rapids.

Tiles are revealed when adjacent to the ship. Items are retrieved by the character whose turn it is when any part of the ship, including the bow, is over an Item. All collected items are shared within the ship and can be used by any character on their turn.


 GROUND: Stone, Dirt, Grass. Normal movement and attacks.

 WALLS: Block movement and line-of-sight attacks.

 OBSTACLES: Block movement. Do not block attacks.

 WATER: Characters cannot pass through water without aid. Monsters can. Attacks can occur on and over water.

 GATES: Passage and attacks can only occur when open. Gates can be unlocked with keys and remain open once unlocked.

Note that the most current version of rules is featured here. Players can always choose to adopt any updates or continue with the original printed ruleset that accompanies their game.

Dowloand Printable PDF of Rules