March 05, 2018

Wakening Lair Card Types (and How to Read Them)

There are several different types of cards in Wakening Lair: Hero, Room, Monster, and Treasure cards. Each of them serve a distinct purpose, but share some common symbology that will help you strategize


All 9 hero types can be played as either male or female. The hero abilities are the same, regardless of gender. Each hero has an archetype, indicated by color, and two Attack type strengths, indicted by the two symbols on the left side of the card. Matching the color and symbols to Weapons, Rooms, and Monsters will give you different advantages in combat.

Each hero has 5 damage boxes down the center of the card. When a Monster attacks your hero, it must roll equal or higher to these numbers in the order they appear, top to bottom, to damage your hero. Cover damaged boxes with red cubes as you take the damage to track your health.

Once all 5 boxes are covered, that hero has died and must be resurrected through special treasure cards (see Treasure below) or the game is over. All heroes must survive for gameplay to continue.


Room cards create the “game board” by being placed in a single vertical row at the center of the table. This is the Lair. All Room cards start the game face down, except Room 1 (the Lair entrance). Rooms are “awakened” at the beginning of each player’s turn by rolling 2D6, combining the total roll, and counting back from the Lair entrance.

Turn over the appropriate card to reveal the room type (the symbols will match some hero’s attack types) and a number. The number indicates how many monsters were waiting in that room; add them to the right of the room from monster pile. If a hero is in a room with a symbol that matches one of their hero attack symbols, they will get a +1 bonus to EACH dice they roll in combat while in that room!

If you roll a number for a room that has already been awakened, simply add 1 more monster to that room, up to a maximum of 3 monsters per room.


Monster cards are added to rooms at the beginning of each player’s turn when rooms are awakened (see Rooms above). Players must defeat monsters using Attack Actions. Defeating monsters is how heroes obtain Treasure (see Treasure below).

The Monster cards show you which specific Monster you are fighting, that Monster’s Attack Type weakness (indicated by the symbol on the left), and the combat roll numbers required to cause damage to that monster.

To damage the monster your attack roll must be equal to or higher than the leftmost uncovered damage box on the monster card. If you roll multiple D6 (with the aid of a weapon) you start with your highest roll and work through all the dice you rolled individually to see how many hits you landed. It is possible to hit a Monster multiple times on a multi-dice roll.

You may Press the Attack (see Rules p. 6) against a monster whose weakness symbol matches your hero attack symbol. This means if you land a hit on your roll, you may reroll to try to hit again on the same attack action.


Treasure cards are gained when a monster is defeated. Each card is divided in half and shows a Weapon on the left and a Magic Item on the right. Heroes will “equip” these items by choosing EITHER the weapon OR the magic item and sliding them under their hero card to display the item they chose to equip/use.

Heroes may equip several weapons and magic items, but each hero can only have one of each specific item (e.g. only on set of Beads of the Four Winds). You will want your weapons to match your hero archetype (indicated by color) and hero Attack types (indicted by symbols) as closely as possible. This determines whether you get extra dice to roll in combat.

There are two additional treasure card types – Scrolls of Resurrection and Traps. Scrolls can be used to bring a hero back to life that has taken too much damage to survive. Remember: ALL heroes must survive in order the win the game. Traps are surprises and can wreak havoc on your party. When a trap is drawn, follow the instructions on the card.

For information on how a combat works, check out our article: Combatting Monsters in Wakening Lair.

Download a copy of the Rules for Wakening Lair.

March 05, 2018

Combating Monsters in Wakening Lair

Wakening Lair is a cooperative dungeon crawl experience designed for 2-6 players that borrows the narrative style of traditional RPGs (Role Playing Games) and presents many of the aspects of that genre in an introductory, accessible way. You can play the equivalent of a full campaign in less than an hour, leveling your character and defeating a wide array of monsters with a concise combat structure.

Combating monsters is key to surviving the Wakening Lair. You must defeat monsters to obtain Treasure, which allows you to “level up” your heroes and strengthen your attacks through weapons and magic items.

You have 3 Actions on your turn and can choose to perform any of the following three actions: Move, Attack, or use your Hero Special Ability, in any combination and order. We are going to focus on the Attack Action for this article.

When attacking a monster, you must declare which monster you are attacking, which Hero Attack Type you are using, and, which weapon you are using (if you have equipped a weapon).

Mobius has not equipped any weapons yet. He would roll only 1D6 in combat at this time.

If your hero has no weapons, you roll 1D6 in combat. This is how all heroes start the game.

Mobius is equipped with a weapon that matches his Hero Archetype (blue color) but not his Attack Types. Kata is equipped with a weapon that matches one of her Attack Types (Holy symbol) but not her Hero Archetype. They would each be able to roll 2D6 in combat while using their equipped weapons.

If your hero has a weapon that has a Hero Preference (color) that matches your Hero Archetype (color), you can choose that weapon and roll an additional D6, for 2D6 roll.
If your hero has a weapon that has an Attack type (symbol) that matches one of your Hero Attack type (symbols), you can choose that weapon and roll an additional D6, for 2D6 roll.

Mobius has equipped Northwind Wand which matches his Hero Archetype (blue) AND his Frost Attack Type. He would roll 3D6 in combat using this weapon. 

IF your weapon matches BOTH your Hero Archetype (color) AND your Hero Attack Type (symbol), you can choose that weapon and roll 2 additional D6, for a 3D6 roll.

Roll the appropriate dice count and compare each die individually to the damage box numbers on the monster card for the monster you are attacking, starting with the leftmost damage box on the monster card and your highest die roll. If the roll is equal to or higher than the number on the monster card, you hit the monster! Place a red damage cube over that box, and proceed to your next highest die, and so on, if you rolled more than one.

Kata is currently in a Precision Room which matches her Precision Attack Type. She gets a Room Bonus, which allows her to add +1 to every die she rolls while in that room. 

Room Bonus

If the room your hero is in has a symbol that matches one of your hero’s Attack Type symbols, you get a +1 to each dice you roll! Don’t forget to take advantage of this bonus.

Kata’s Precision Attack Type matches the Golem’s Weakness. If Kata attacks and hits the Golem, she can continue to reroll and attack on the same Attack Action as long as she continues to get hits. This is called Pressing the Attack. 

Press the Attack

If the Hero Attack type (symbol) you are using matches the monster weakness (symbol) displayed on the monster card of the monster you are attacking, AND you hit the monster on your first roll during an Attack Action, you may reroll the dice to try to hit that same monster again as part of the same attack action.

The Orc Marauder has been defeated once all the damage boxes are covered. The hero who defeated it may immediately claim a Treasure card from the deck. 

Getting Treasure

If you completely defeat a monster by hitting all (or the last remaining) damage boxes on the monster’s card during an attack action, you get to remove that monster from the game and draw a card from the Treasure deck.

You may choose to “equip” (apply to your hero) the weapon (left) or magic item (right) by sliding the card beneath your hero card to display the item you chose to equip. That item is now immediately available to you if you have actions remaining.

You may also choose to hold the treasure in reserve for future equipping or to give to another player when you are in the same room as them. This helps you obtain and equip weapons that are best suited to your hero’s archetype and attack types.

Mobius has received the Dwarven HandCannon as Treasure. The weapon does no match any of his bonuses, so he is holding this card in Reserve to equip later (for the Magic Item) or to give to a fellow player that can use the bonuses. 

Remember you are working as a team in Wakening Lair, so you will want to strategize with your fellow heroes to maximize weapons, room bonuses, special abilities, and magic items for the best combat scenarios.

For information on how to read the symbols on the various types of cards, check out our article: Wakening Lair Card Types and How to Read Them.

Download a copy of the Rules for Wakening Lair.