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A new genre of card game - fast, interactive, and fun!

Varia is a card & dice-based fighting game that is all about timing your odds. Each turn, you decide what cards to use against your opponent. At the same time, your opponent decides what cards they will use against you. In the end, you both roll the dice to determine whose cards come out on top.

A sound strategy minimizes the damage you take and maximizes the hurt you put on your opponent. Poor planning leaves your head spinning as you shuffle up for round two.
In this game, there are no minions to summon or walls to hide behind. Instead, you raise your shield against an onslaught of arrows. You cast the spell that launches balls of fire at your opponent’s face. You bring your equipped hammer down on your unsuspecting foe.
With careful planning and a little luck, victory will be yours!
May the dice always fall in your favor.

— The Varia Design Team

  • Winning & Losing
    If at any point a player’s Health Points reach zero (0), they lose the game. The last player with any Health Points remaining wins the game.
  • What You Will Need
    To play Varia, each player will need the following: • A single Class Deck. • A way to track Health Points and Action Points.
  • The Play Area
    The Play Area has five (5) Zones where cards can go. 1. Deck: A player’s shuffled deck of Action Cards goes here, face-down. 2. Character: All Asset Cards and any Stacks applied to a player go here, face-up. 3. Timeline: This is where Action Cards are Planned during a turn. 4. Discard: Discarded cards and resolved Action Cards go here face-up. Players may look at any cards in any Discard Pile. 5. Forgotten: Forgotten cards and Replaced Action Cards go here face-down. Players cannot look at any cards in any Forgotten Pile.
  • Reading A Varia Card
    1. Card Name: The Name of the card. • The above card’s Name is “Decapitate”. 2. Power: The amount of damage a card can deal or prevent. Power can be read as the number inside the square plus a six (6) sided die. • “Decapitate’s” Power is 10+1d6. 3. Focus: The number used to determine if an Attack Hits or Misses. Focus can be read as the number inside the triangle plus a four (4) sided die. • “Decapitate’s” Focus is 5+1d4. 4. Cost: What a player must pay in order to perform the Action. • “Decapitate” Costs nine (9) Action Points to perform. 5. Text Box: Any additional rules that the card has will be written here. Italicized words at the bottom of the text box are called flavor text and have no effect on the game itself. • “Decapitate’s” rule says that on a maximum roll for one or more Focus dice, its Power will become infinite. • “Decapitate’s” flavor text pokes fun at the fact that Magnius (the character in the art) is using a hammer to perform this Action. 6. Supertypes: These card Types are used to reference core game rules. • “Decapitate’s” Supertype is Physical Attack. 7. Subtypes: These card Types are used to reference individual card rules, and not core game rules. • “Decapitate’s” Subtype is Strength. 8. Attribute: This is used in deck Construction prior to playing, see the Constructed section for more information. • “Decapitate’s” Attribute is seven (7) Aggression
  • Type of Cards - Action
    Varia has four (4) different Types of cards, each with their own frame style to help players tell them apart. The card Types are: Actions, Assets, Stacks, and Tokens. Actions are the primary way in which a player will interact with their opponent. These cards represent the different spells and combat maneuvers used in battle. Actions make up a player’s deck and can be any combination of four (4) different Supertypes. Physical: These Actions have a frame treatment that is silver and red. Magical: These Actions have a frame treatment that is gold and purple. Attack: These Actions will have a ( ) inside of the d6 symbol. Block: These Actions will have a ( ) inside of the d6 symbol.
  • Type of Cards - Assets
    Assets start the game in a player’s Character Zone and represent the things a player brings with them to a fight. Assets can come in a few different forms, and have special frame treatments to help identify how they work and what they do. All Assets come with a Passive Text Box as shown above. Here, a player will find effects that they will always have throughout the game. In some instances, flavor text will be present if the Asset does not offer a Passive effect. Assets with the Weapon or Armor Supertype may also have an Action Text Box as shown above. This allows a player to use this card as an Action Card. Once the Action resolves at the end of the turn, return it to the Character Zone. Note: Whenever an Asset ends up anywhere other than in the Character Zone, the Timeline, or removed from play, return that Asset to the Character Zon
  • Types of Cards - Stacks
    Stacks are mini-cards that Varia uses to track buffs and debuffs over time. Stacks can be Permanent (meaning they will remain in play until they are removed) or they can be Depleting (meaning they “tick down” when a certain condition is met). When a player gains multiple Stacks with the same Name, put them into a single pile on top of each other. Only the top-most Stack will affect the game. Note: When opening a Class Deck, a player will notice that Stacks are printed as a single card. These Stacks are meant to be physically cut apart to create two mini-cards. The player could also use a single Stack Card and a die or counters to keep track of how many versions of a Stack they have. Example: “Enraged” is a Depleting Stack that makes it so that all Actions the player performs have “Start of Moment: Engage your target.” Additionally, any Physical Actions performed will get an extra Power die! At the end of each moment, they will lose one of their “Enraged” Stacks. Using the example above, only the top-most “Enraged” will affect the player’s Actions, the other copies will not. Therefore, even though there are three (3) Stacks of “Enraged”, the player’s Physical Actions will only get one (1) extra Power die, not three (3). When the next End of Moment comes around they will only lose the top Stack, bringing it down to two (2)
  • Types of Cards - Tokens
    Tokens are temporary game pieces that are created by other cards. Token Actions function just like regular Action Cards while they are on the Timeline. If a Token would move to any other Zone other than the Timeline, the Token is removed from the game instead. See Creating a Token section for more information.
  • Getting Set-up
    Each player will do the following: • Set aside their Token and Stack Cards. • Place all their Asset Cards into their Character Zone. • Shuffle their thirty (30) card Action Deck and place it face-down in their Deck Zone. • Set their Health Points to thirty (30). Decide who will be the starting Active Player of the game. We recommend rolling a six-sided die and having the player with the highest value go first. On a tie, simply roll again. The player who rolled the lowest will be known as the Reactive Player.
  • Tracking Distance
    Varia uses Distance to determine where the players are to each other in battle. This unique system allows for players to dodge Attacks or use Range as an advantage. To represent this aspect of the game, we recommend using the full art card or bifold included in each deck and move them either close together to represent being Engaged or far apart to represent being Disengaged.
  • Gameplay
    Varia uses a unique shared turn structure. Each turn, the players will alternate who is considered the Active Player and who is considered the Reactive Player. We recommend using either a coin or other object to track who is the Active Player. Depending on if the player is the Active or Reactive Player, they will participate in different parts of the turn using the following steps.
  • Step One: Start Of Turn
    At the start of each turn, both players draw two (2) cards and regain up to a total of ten (10) Action Points. There is no maximum hand size. Note: If this is the first turn of the game, players draw a starting hand of six (6) cards instead of drawing two (2) cards.
  • Step Two: Movement
    The Active Player decides if they would like to Engage, Disengage, or not Move. Players can use any Attack Action Card to Attack their opponent. However, if they are Disengaged, any Action Card that does not have the keyword Ranged will Miss. See the Missing and On-Hit section for more information.
  • Step Three: Action
    The Active Player may Plan Actions from their hand onto the Timeline. Each Planned Action takes up one (1) Moment on the Timeline. Actions must be Planned sequentially in the order they will occur. Note: Taking an Action Card from your hand, or a Weapon/Armor Card from your Character Zone, and placing it onto the Timeline is referred to as “Planning an Action.” When an Action is Planned, its owner picks a target for that Action. Note: In a 1v1 game, a player’s target will almost always be their opponent. Every turn will resolve, at minimum, one (1) Moment. For each Action Planned beyond the first, an additional Moment will resolve. The number of potential Moments on the Timeline is infinite, but the number that will resolve each turn is determined by the Active Player’s initial Plan. Example: If the Active Player plans three (3) Actions during the Action Step, only three (3) Moments will resolve that turn. The number of Moments that will resolve in a turn is called the Resolution Window. Once set, the size of the Resolution Window cannot be changed by either player.
  • Step Four: Reaction
    The Reactive Player now has a chance to Plan Actions onto the Timeline. Their advantage is that they know exactly what the Active Player is attempting to do. Their disadvantage is that the Reactive Player cannot Plan Actions in Moments outside of the Resolution Window. Example: If the Active Player sets the Resolution Window to a single Moment, then the Reactive Player will only have one (1) Moment to Plan an Action.
  • Step Five: Fast Action
    From this point forward in the turn, only Actions with the keyword Fast may be Planned by either player. To help further identify an Action as Fast, cards with this keyword have a ( ) in the top right corner of the card’s nameplate. The Active Player may adjust their plan during this step by Planning Fast Actions as either a Combo or a Replacement. Note: Players can also play Fast Actions as a standard Action for Steps 3 and 4. Combo: When a Fast Action is Planned as a Combo, it is placed on top of an Action that is already on the Timeline. For the remainder of the turn, the combined Actions will be treated as a single card that shares a combined Name, Cost, Power, Focus, Rules, Supertypes, Subtypes, and Attributes. Note: Attack Actions and Block Actions cannot be combined. Example: A “Bowie Knife” that is combined with a “Transfusion Dregga” would have a Power of 2+2d6 and a Focus of 2+2d4. The Action’s Name would be both “Bowie Knife and Transfusion Dregga”, would Cost five (5) Action Points to perform, and would have the rules “Fast. You regain Health Points equal to the damage dealt by this Action.” The Combo’s Types would be Physical Magical Attack - Dexterity Vampiric and would have an Attribute of two (2) Subtlety. Replacement: When a Fast Action Replaces an Action on the Timeline, remove the original Action Card played in that Moment from the Timeline and place it into the Forgotten Zone face-down. Note: When an Action is Replaced by a Fast Action, a new target may be selected.
  • Step Six: Fast Reaction
    Once the Active Player is finished Planning any Fast Actions, the Reactive Player will now have a chance to do the same. Step 5 and 6 are repeated until both players pass sequentially. Example: The Active Player plans a Fast Action in Step 5, the Reactive Player passes in Step 6. It now returns to Step 5. The Active Player passes. The turn now skips to Step 7.
  • Step Seven: Resolution
    Each Moment in the Timeline is resolved in order, starting with the first Moment. Actions are paid for and performed one (1) Moment at a time, damage is dealt and prevented one (1) Moment at a time, and all Triggered effects in a Moment are resolved before effects in later Moments will Trigger. Each Moment is treated like a mini-turn, with the following steps: Payment, Start of Moment, Clash, End of Moment. All of these will be explained further in this rulebook.
  • Step Eight: End Of Turn
    Once all Moments in the Resolution Window have resolved, the turn is over. All performed Actions are moved from the Timeline to the Discard Pile. Any Assets on the Timeline are moved back to their Character Zones. Actions that were Pushed outside the Resolution WIndow remain on the Timeline. The Reactive Player becomes the new Active Player. The current Active Player becomes the Reactive Player. Any “until end of turn” effects end. With that, a new turn is ready to begin!
  • Payment
    When resolving a Moment, Action Points ( ) are the primary means by which players pay an Action’s Cost. Once an Action has been payed for, it is considered Performed. If an Action is unable to be paid for, it is not Performed and is Pushed instead. Note: Each player starts the turn with ten (10) Action Points. When an Action is Pushed, it and all Actions following the Pushed Action are moved to the right in the Timeline one (1) Moment. This can cause Actions to be Pushed to a Moment outside of the Resolution Window. When this happens, those Actions will be performed first on the next turn instead. Certain cards may require Health Points ( ) to be spent as part of an Action’s Cost.
  • Start of Moment
    Once an Action Card has been paid for, it will Trigger its Start of Moment effects. These are identified by an hourglass symbol with the top half filled in ( ).
  • Clash
    After Payment has been made and the Start of Moment effect has resolved, the players will now Clash. There are four different types of Clashes in Varia: Defended, Challenged, Unopposed, and Stalemate. Note: Regardless of the type, each player will roll both for Focus and Power. However, if a roll would have no effect on card rules, feel free to skip the roll.
  • Defended Clash
    This is when an Attack Supertype is Clashing against a Block Supertype. First, each player compares their Focus rolls (after adding any modifiers). If the Block result is higher, the Attack Misses. If the Attack is higher, both players then compare their Power rolls (after adding any modifiers). If the Block result is higher, no damage is dealt. If the Attack is higher, damage is dealt to the Blocking Player equal to the difference.
  • Challenged Clash
    This is when both Clashing Actions are the Attack Supertype. Players can not Miss when comparing Focus rolls. Instead, both players compare their Power rolls (after adding any modifiers). Whichever player has the highest result, they deal damage to their opponent equal to the difference.
  • Unopposed Clash
    This is when an Attack Action has no opposing Action Card or an Action Card that is not an Attack or Block. The Attacking Player rolls their Power and adds any modifiers. They then deal damage to their opponent equal to the result.
  • Stalemate Clash
    This is when there are no Attack Actions played. No damage will be dealt. Players simply spend their Action Points, perform any valid card effects, and move onto the next Moment
  • Missing and On-Hit
    Attacks are not guaranteed to Hit. There are two ways an Attack can Miss its target. Miss Due to Focus: During a Defended Clash, if a blocking player’s total Focus is higher than the attacking player’s total Focus, the Attack will Miss. Miss Due to Distance: If the Attacker is Disengaged from their target, their Attack will automatically Miss if it doesn’t have the keyword Ranged. If an Attack Misses, it will not deal damage or Trigger any On-Hit effects. However, an Attack that Misses will still prevent damage. If an Attack Hits, it will Trigger On-Hit effects regardless of dealing damage. Note: Even if a player Misses, if a card effect requires a Power roll to Trigger its effect, the player must roll their Power. Also, the non-Ranged Attacks can be used to prevent damage from Ranged Attacks, so a Power roll is still needed.
  • End of Moment
    Once a Clash has been resolved, any End of Moment effects will Trigger. These are identified by an hourglass symbol with the bottom half filled in ( ).
  • Multiple Triggers
    If both players have a Trigger occur at the same time, the Active Player’s will resolve theirs first, followed by the Reactive Player’s. If one player has multiple Triggers of the same type occur, that player decides the order in which those Triggers occur.
  • Drawing, Discarding, & Forgetting
    Whenever a card, effect, or game rule tells a player to draw a card, they take the top card of their Deck and put it into their Hand. Whenever a card, effect, or game rule tells a player to Discard a card, they take a card from their Hand and place it into their Discard Pile face-up. Whenever a card, effect, or game rule tells a player to Discard a card from a specified Zone, they take a card from that Zone and place it onto their Discard Pile face-up. Whenever a card, effect, or game rule tells a player to Forget a card, they take a card from their Hand and place it into their Forgotten Pile face-down. Whenever a card, effect, or game rule tells a player to Forget a card from a specified Zone, they take a card from that Zone and place it onto their Forgotten Pile face-down. If a player were to draw a card and cannot because their Deck is empty, they shuffle their Discard Pile and Forgotten Pile into a new Deck and draw from those cards, and then gain one (1) Stack of “Fatigue”.
  • Disrupted, Ruined, & Repaired
    When an Action becomes Disrupted, turn it sideways. Treat this Moment as an Unopposed Clash. For the remainder of the turn, the disrupted action’s rules are ignored. When an Asset becomes Ruined, turn it sideways. Treat this Moment as an Unopposed Clash. For the remainder of the game, the ruined item’s rules are ignored. The Asset remains sideways when it is returned to its owner’s Character Zone. From that point forward, it cannot be used to Perform Actions and any card rules it has will no longer be in effect. When a Ruined Asset becomes Repaired, return it to its original orientation.
  • Creating A Token
    Some effects may cause a Token Action to be created. Creating a Token does not count as Planning an Action. When a Token says to create it in the next available Moment, that means that the Token will be created on the Timeline in the following Moment. If that Moment already contains an Action, the player determines whether that Token will form a Combo or a Replacement, unless otherwise directed. Note: Tokens can be created outside of the Resolution Window.
  • Final Rule - The Cards Always Win
    If a core game rule and a card rule ever conflict, the card rule wins.
  • Constructed
    Varia offers a variant format that allows the player to build their own Class Deck. Our recommended Build Restrictions for competitive Constructed play is as follows: • Start with thirty (30) Health Points. • Include Assets with total value of thirty (30) or less. • Create a thirty (30) card Action Deck with a Maximum Level of ten (10). • No more than three (3) copies of any single card across the entire build.
  • Determining Your Level
    To determine a Deck’s Level, each player must look at the highest Attribute per card in their deck. Example: If a player includes the card “Healing Hammers” as the first card in their deck, it would be considered a Level 4 Faith Deck. This is because “Healing Hammers” has an Attribute of four (4) Faith. Using the example above, any other cards added to this deck that have an Attribute of four (4) or less Faith will have no impact on the Deck’s Level. The player may add as many “Guided Strike” or “Arms of the Goddess” Action Cards as they like. But what if a player decides to add a card from another Attribute? When adding a card that has an Attribute that is not part of their deck yet, it will count toward their Deck Level. Example: What if “Spellbreaker” was added to the Level 4 Faith Deck used in the last example? “Spellbreaker” has an Attribute of three (3) Aggression. This would change the deck into a Level 4 Faith, Level 3 Aggression Deck, also known as a Level 7 Deck. With the example above, a player can only add Action Cards to their deck that has a Faith Attribute of four (4) or less, and an Aggression Attribute of three (3) or less. Both players should agree on Maximum Level before building their deck. This is very important in maintaining a balanced fight.
  • Determining Value
    Located on the bottom of Asset Cards is a number inside a gold coin. This is its Value. Similar to determining Maximum Level, the players should agree upon a Value Amount. Each player may then select a number of Asset Cards with a total value less than or equal to that determined Value Amount.
  • Terms
    Some cards contain keywords, ability words, and other game terms. • Fast (You may Plan this Action in both the Fast Action and Fast Reaction steps. You may Plan this Action as a Combo or a Replacement.) • Reach (If you began this moment engaged with your target, this action cannot miss due to distance.) • Ranged (This action cannot miss due to distance.) • Engage (Move toward your target and become engaged with them.) • Disengage (Move away from your target and become disengaged from them.) • Move (If you are currently engaged, disengage. If you are currently disengaged, engage.) • Attribute Check (Roll 1d4+X, where X is the total attribute requirement of actions you’ve performed this turn. Your target does the same. The player with the highest total wins the check. You win on a tie.) • Improved (When making a roll for this action, make an additional roll and use the higher result. If an action has both Improved and Impaired, the two keywords cancel each other out.) • Impaired (When making a roll for this action, make an additional roll and use the lower result. If an action has both Improved and Impaired, the two keywords cancel each other out.) • Spellfuse (You may create a Combo with this Action and any other Magical Action in your hand prior to Planning the Combined Action. Treat the Combined Action as a single card when it is Planned.) • Skillfuse (You may create a Combo with this Action and any other Physical Action in your hand prior to Planning the Combined Action. Treat the Combined Action as a single card when it is Planned.) • Holy Symbol (Your build cannot contain more than one holy symbol. Actions with Blessed will gain a benefit from this card.) • Divine Enemy: [Type] (Your build cannot contain [Type] actions. Ex: If your divine enemy is Fire, your build cannot contain cards with the Fire subtype.) • Blessed (Before you pay to perform this action, create a token that is a copy of your holy symbol’s action and combine it with this.) • Amplify [additional cost] (When paying for this action, you may [pay additional] in addition to its cost. If you do, this action is considered amplified until end of turn.) • Dragonrage (When you plan this action, you may create an Inner Dragon token as a combo with this action. If you do, create a Vulnerable token in the following moment as a replacement.) • Momentum (As long as you moved in either this moment or the previous moment, this action will have a bonus effect.) • Physical/Magical Armor: [X] (Prevent [X] damage from any unopposed Physical/Magical actions that damage you during the clash. Armors of the same type cannot overlap.Example: If you have Physical Armor: 2 and Physical Armor: 1, you must choose one to be in effect. You do not have Physical Armor: 3.)



We’ll send you video resources that will help you learn the rules, including a live recorded demo with Anthony, one of the game’s creators! We’ll also help you find an opponent via our Discord server.


We’ll keep you updated with the latest updates, events, and more!


We’ll show you how to download the P&P, as well as where and how you can access Varia for free on digital platforms such as Tabletop Simulator and Tabletopia. 

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