You will need:

  • A pad of tracing paper and some tape (optional).
  • Blue, black, and red pens.
  • A pencil and eraser.
  • Some small colored beads in three colors.
  • A token to represent the adventurers.
  • An assortment of dice: d4, d6, d8, d10, d12, d20.

This game uses polyhedral dice (abbreviated d#, where # is the number of sides). A d6 is a regular six-sided die. A d10 has 10 sides. You can get these dice at any hobby or game store.

If you don’t have any tracing paper, you can play the game on a single sheet of regular paper. It works just fine. You can also play the game on a PC with any drawing program and a little effort.


Here’s how we measure things in this game:

  • 1 thumb is the width of your thumb.
  • 1 bead is a circle or polygon big enough to surround one of your glass beads, but not much bigger.
  • 1 finger is the length of your pointer finger, and a half finger is the distance from the point to the middle knuckle.

Usually you will draw with the black pen. Alternately, you can use a different color pen for each civilization or monster group.

A group is a collection of affiliated creatures. A civilization is a group, as are monster tribes and colonies. A single alpha monster, like an ogre, is also a group.

Most actions in the game use two colors of beads. We’ll use this symbol (Black-round-md) for one color, this symbol (White-round-md) for the other.

Order of PlayEdit

The game is played in successive ages, each of which has special rules. To begin play, proceed to the Primordial Age section and follow the rules written there. Play usually proceeds in the following order:

Some special rules may alter this order.

The Historical RecordEdit

Set aside a blank page to serve as the historical record of events. Each year, write down notable events and the year number in a historical record.


As you play, you will add pages, or strata. Anything you can see on previous strata is still there; it’s simply forgotten, empty, choked with debris and vermin, or otherwise fallow. A new group can move into it, in which case you redraw it, maybe altering its shape a bit to suit the new owners.


You will do some drawing in this game. Draw things in a way that makes sense to you and makes the game fun.