Ultimate Mode is a completely different way to play Simulation Theory, it directly integrates the story and history of the different Realities together with the gameplay. A single reality is used in one session of this mode. Scores are persistent from session to session.
In Ultimate Mode, players need to complete various quests, unique to each Character, to gain treasure and Ascend to the next Reality. As they complete quests, players can discover part of the backstory of their Character and the lore of Simulation Theory. Players can choose to take different paths through the quests to unlock one of four unique outcomes per character.
Ultimate Mode also has Events that take place throughout the game for players to solve together. When an Event is completed, only the player that contributed the most gets a reward, but if an Event is not finished in time, everyone will need to face the consequences. The final Event in each reality is an interactive boss fight against one of several different potential boss encounters per Reality - the choice of which boss depends on player decisions throughout the game.
We are designing Ultimate Mode to be very replayable, due to the different player story choices and outcomes and boss mechanics. This mode will take a much longer amount of time to play than the regular Modes – we estimate around 2 hours for a full game with players that are familiar with the other modes of Simulation Theory
Note: These rules assume players are already familiar with the Challenge Mode and Comepetitive Mode rules – the basics of Simulation Theory are assumed here.
In addition to the regular components, Ultimate Mode uses:
the 4 additional Zero Challenge cards (to make 25 total Challenges),
the Character specific Story cards with life trackers (1 per Character) and Quest cards (7 per Character),
Reality specific Event cards (4 Major and 4 Minor per Reality),
the PDF story manual,
Event and Boss standees, and
additional tokens included with the game.
Choose one reality. Take it's challenge deck. Find and remove the boss card, shuffle the challenge deck. Place the boss card at the center (3,3) position on the 5x5 board and fill out all the other spaces with the challenge cards face-up on the board from top to bottom, starting left to right.
Shuffle both of coordinate decks (column and row)
Reveal the top card of each coordinate deck - showing a pair of coordinates - row and column. Randomize the purple generic tokens face down. Take a purple generic token and place it face down (without looking at it) on that position, on top of the card occupying the card at those coordinates. Then shuffle both coordinate decks face down. Do this eight times.
Each player chooses a character from the present reality.
Setup each player with their story tracker card on the left hand side of their character card. place the life token on "2" position and the book token on the "1" story node position for each character
FIRST TURN POSITIONS
During the first turn of ultimate mode, players each take their standee and choose a challenge card which is not surrounded by 4 cards orthogonically (e.g.: has a card above, below, left and right of it) - this is that player's STARTING POSITION. Each player's standee must be at least 2 spaces (horizontally or vertically) away from the next player. Two standees can be diagonally next to each other. All players must agree on their positions before the game commences. Players cannot choose a starting position with a token or standee on it.
The major events mark the time passing inside that particular reality. When the game starts, reveal the first major event of that reality (ACT1) and follow any instructions listed. Each major event card has a time track to indicate how much time (in turns) is left before the next major event is revealed. Place the time token on the 0 position of the event card when it is first revealed.
At the end of each turn, after all players quest phase has resolved, move the time tracker on the event card to the next position (To the right) when there are no more positions for the time tracker to move at the end of a turn, archive the event card (put it back into the box) and reveal the next event card, place the time counter at its 0 position on its time track and do the same tracking.
When an event card is archived - remove all PURPLE tokens from the board. Each major event may place purple tokens down the same way as initial setup.
There are three parts in each turn, a planning phase, an action phase and a quest phase.
During the planning phase, all players act simultaneously. Each player chooses which action to perform in this phase:
Move the character standee into an adjacent space by specifying coordinates with the dice. The space chosen must be horizontally or vertically next to the standee. A move cannot be made into a diagonal space. Do this by placing the two dice on one of the characters traits on the board (the first to represent a row number and the second to represent a column number.) The character must have a equal or higher trait value to the challenge card in order to move onto it, otherwise they will lose one health. Characters may end up moving onto challenge cards with a token or another standee (e.g.: an npc or another player) on it, if they do, this triggers effects in Action phase.
-REST [recover life]
If a player has 0 life, this is the only action they may perform
The player gains 1 life and may not perform any other actions this turn.
To perform a heal action. The player places his dice onto a trait of his choice but with the numbers 6/1
The action phase happens after all players are ready and reveal their dice placements. Each player who chose to move, moves their standees now. Then each player that chose the heal action, increases their health by one position. If their standee was lying down (0 health), they now place them upright.
A character that lands on a challenge card with another player/character on it triggers an attack.
If a character standee moves into a space with a token on it, this triggers an interaction. Interacting with a PURPLE generic token triggers a story event for that player in the QUEST PHASE
-UNLOCK CHARACTER QUEST -
Character Quests can be unlocked when a player moves onto a card which is any one part of a 1-3 card pattern matching a quest unlock pattern that that player has. The player must declare it when it happens when they resolve during the QUEST PHASE
Step 2: Reveal the quest card being unlocked to all players. The player must show to all players the pattern on the board (which can be interpreted forwards and backwards horizontally or vertically) which matches the unlock pattern of the chosen quest card.
Quest cards can be unlocked in any order. Only one quest card can be unlocked per turn.
step 3: Once an unlock is done, place the quest card into the player's score pile and then the player may move their standee onto the targeted card.
During the Quest phase, players resolve any applicable story elements, this is done in turn sequence, starting with the highest to the lowest challenges moved upon
During the quest phase players resolve the story items that are triggered due to the course of their actions.
For PURPLE TOKENS - these tokens are turned number side up. The player then refers to the ultimate mode manual pdf:
step 1 - locate the correct reality - prison/ark/stone/etc
step 2- go to the corresponding "Encounter Events" section of that reality
step 3 - go to the ACT (This is the current MAJOR EVENT) currently revealed.
step 4 - refer to the number of the purple token and go to that encounter number
story narration - each player should read a different character's dialogue with one player playing the role of the narrator whenever any story events take place. It is up to the group of players who reads which portion. A good practice is to take turns playing the role of the narrator in order to prevent one player from getting tired.
for QUESTS: these are the quests that are unlocked and are often narratives from a character's memories/past.
step 1 - locate the correct reality - prison/ark/stone/etc
step 2 - go to the corresponding "Character Quests" section of that reality and then go to that character's section.
step 3 - check the position of the book story tracker token on the character's story card. Go to the same numbered character quest as indicated by the position of the book story tracker.
INJURY AND DEATH IN ULTIMATE MODE
Characters are dealt damage as a consequence of story events or combat. When a character is attacked by another character be it another player character, an npc or a monster/boss with a trait value higher than their own of the same trait (e.g.: A monster attacking with 3 bq attacking a character with 2 bq). That character is then dealt damage.
Whenever a character is dealt damage, move their health that number of positions equal the damage to the left of their life track. If the damage would move a character's life to 0 the zero position, make that character's standee lie down on its current location on the board. Characters are dealt damage AGAIN when their health is at 0 are RESPAWNED
RESPAWNED characters remove all positive and negative trait tokens from their character and archive them (place them back into the box). The player may choose any legal position on the board to move their character standee to. When a character respawns, move all time tracker tokens in the game back by 1
ASCENSION IN ULTIMATE MODE
Ascending from the present reality in ultimate mode is the objective of each session. A player that successfully completes any combination of 7 character quests and events will asend. Failing this, the player that enters the 3/3 position after the final boss of the reality is defeated OR if the final event runs out of time (in ACT 4) will ascend.
THE END OF THE GAME
Each session of ultimate mode is set in one reality. The players play until one player Ascends and then the session is finished and scores are taken.
SCORING IN ULTIMATE MODE
At the end end of each session, each player counts the the following as their score
1. ascension tokens - the player that ascends receives the gold ascension token and has 20 VP
2. treasure - the face value of each treasure card collected counts as VP
3. Quests - each quest card has a VP value
4. EVENTS -each major events card has a VP value
5. HEALTH - every point of health a player has at the end of the session converts to 1VP
6. Trait tokens - take the total number of positive trait tokens minus the number of negative trait tokens a character has, this converts to VP
Each player should record down their scores for an ultimate mode session. The scores should be cumulative into the next session. Until all available realities are completed, the final winner is the player with the highest total score of all sessions