The WhoopA Network
Buddies: Game Rules
Main page Card list EBOh

Last revision: 3/19/2004

  1. Game Basics
  2. Cards
  3. How to Play
  4. Other rules
  5. Glossary

Game Basics

Requirements to play

  • Gotta have the cards, of course. A deck must have between 40 and 60 cards. A deck may not have more than four copies of any one card, and only one copy of each Unique card. There is no limit on Generic cards.
  • A number of counters. Multiple colors are preferred, but not required.
  • One or more six-sided dice.

Winning and Losing

There is only one condition: Don't run out of cards! Your deck serves as your life and if it's depleted you are out of the game.

The last player standing is the winner.


All cards have these basic elements.

  • Name: At the top of the card. This is the name of the various Buddies, items and skills in the game.
  • Element: This designate's a card's alignment in the grand scheme of things. There are seven elemental symbols - for more information, see Elements.
  • Image: This is a representation of the card - what it looks like, what it does.
  • Card type: Buddy, Item, Skill, Power or Event. Unique cards will have "Unique" before the card type.
  • Card cost: You must provide one Energy for each symbol in the card cost. The design of the Cost symbol designates the card set.
  • Description: What the card does. This section also has a Buddy's vital statistics. Any costs to activate the card (other than a basic Energy cost) will be listed here.
  • Flavor text: Insights on the world of the Buddies, and has no bearing on the game.
  • Illustrator / Photographer: The person responsible for the artwork or photo in the Image section. It's placed in the lower left corner of the card.
  • Copyright: Placed in the lower right corner of the card.

Buddies are all the various characters that make up the world. Only one Buddy of each name may be in play at any time, excluding generic Buddies. (i.e. all players may have multiple Fobbies in play, but only one player may play Ffish). A player may have up to four Buddies in play on his side, and these are referred to as his party. Buddies have these special statistics:

  • HP - Hit Points: A measure of the long-term endurance of a Buddy. Attacks that cut through Defense damage HP, and if a Buddy runs out they are "knocked out", flipped over and may not act during the Buddies phase.
  • DF - Defense: The Buddy's short-term stamina. This is how much damage a Buddy can take in a single turn before attacks start damaging HP.
  • WK - Weakness: A Buddy's elemental weakness. An attack with this element damages HP directly without affecting remainig Defense.
  • Abilities: All the things a Buddy can do - a Buddy may use one of their abilities per turn during the Buddies phase.
  • Attacks: Attacks are specialized Abilities that deal damage to a specific target, and are denoted by a number followed by an elemental symbol. The number is the amount of damage that ability does; the symbol denotes the element of the attack.

These come in two flavors: normal items and equippable ones (these will say Equip in the description text). A buddy may be equipped with a single item at any given time, and one item may be played per turn during the Player's phase. If a Buddy is equipped with an item and you equip them with a new one, the old item is discarded. Oh, and you can only equip your own Buddies.

These may be played during your Player's phase. Skills do various things such as affecting Buddies in play, dealing damage, changing statistics and more. Abilities that a Buddy can use are considered Skills.

These may be played at any time, even during your opponent's turn. Like Skills, most Powers have a cost to use and they can be used to do nearly anything, including counteracting the effect of Skills and other Powers.

These cards detail happenings in the game world and can literally change the rules of the game while it's being played. Each player may have only one Event in play at a time - if a player plays a new one, the old is discarded.

How to play

Each player shuffles their deck and draws seven cards. If a player has no Buddies in his hand, he must show his hand to his opponents and can re-shuffle and re-draw his hand - and all the other players get to draw a card!

Each player then rolls a die. The player with the highest roll gets to choose who goes first. Each player, in turn, takes one Buddy from their hand and places it face-up into play. Then the game begins!

The playing field

Each player has their own section of the table to call their own, and this area is broken up into different areas.

  • Your hand: You usually don't put this out into view of the other players. Rather, keep it in your hands where it can't be seen.
  • The Draw pile: At the start of the game, this is where all your cards are. This is also where you draw cards from at the start of your turn - hence the name.
  • The Trash: Any card you discard from your hand, as well as spent Skills and Items go here. Any player may look through it, as long as the card order is kept intact.
  • Your Party: These are your active, ready-to-battle Buddies. You can have up to four in this area at any given time.
  • Your Active Event: This is your currently active Event card.

A player's turn

The steps of a player's turn are broken into phases - draw, prepare, main, Buddies, and end. The phases progress in this order:

  • Draw phase - Draw a card.
  • Prepare phase - Perform any actions a card might tell you to do during this phase.
  • Player phase - Do any of the following:
    • Play one Buddy, as long as you can pay the cost and you have less than four Buddies in play.
    • Withdraw Buddies.
    • Play one item, either by using it normally or equipping it to a Buddy.
    • Play any number of Skills or Powers, as long as you can pay the cost for each one.
  • Buddies phase - You can do this once with each Buddy you control.
    • Select a Buddy and the ability they will use.
    • If the ability notes a target, choose that target.
    • Resolve the ability.
  • End phase - If your hand has more than seven cards, discard enough cards to bring your hand back down to seven. Then tell the other player's you're done.

Each player takes their turns in this order until there's just one left. That player... is the winner!

During the Prepare, Player and Buddies phases, players may Burn cards from the top of their deck to gather Energy and play Powers. Any energy gathered fizzles away and is unavailable at the end of the turn, so burn cards only when you need the energy!

Draw phase
At the start of your turn, draw a card. If you can't, you're kaput. And no, you can't reshuffle your deck in the middle of the game unless you play a card that gives you the option!

Prepare phase
Normally (at the start of the game) this is just a blank placeholder phase, but there are cards that, when in play, allow you (or force you, if it's not benificial) to take special actions. If you don't have one of these cards in play, well, tough luck.

Player phase

Playing Buddies
You may play one Buddy per turn, as long as:

  1. You can pay its energy cost. The more powerful the buddy, the more expensive the cost.
  2. There's no other Buddy with the same name in play or it's a generic Buddy. All players may have as many Fobbies as they want in play, but only one player may have a reidman.
  3. You have no more than four Buddies in play.

Finally, whenever you play a Buddy they are considered to be "entering the field" and may not attack or use Abilities until the next turn. This is also known as "summoning sickness".

Withdrawing Buddies
During your turn, you may Withdraw Buddies and send them and their equipment to the Trash pile. This frees up space for you to play new Buddies from your hand

Playing items
Each player can play one item per turn. You can play it in one of two ways depending on the item:

  • Use it directly. Any effects it has immediately take effect, and the item is discarded afterward unless otherwise stated on the card.
  • Equip it to a Buddy. Each Buddy can have one item equipped at any given time. Equipping a new item replaces the old one (which is sent to the Trash pile).

Playing skills and powers
Playing skills and powers is much like playing items, only you can play as many as you want as long as you can pay the cost for each one. Pay its energy cost, and dish out the effects of the card.

Buddies phase
After a player takes his turn, his Buddies take theirs. Each Buddy who was not brought into play this turn can act in this phase.

Choose a Buddy and the ability they will use.
Your Buddies can act in any order, and each one can act once per turn. If you just played a Buddy, they take their turn to "enter the field" and you can't do anything with them just yet. If they're not entering the field, and they're able to attack, choose an ability for them to use. They can use any ability listed on their card (provided you can pay the cost).
If you don't want a Buddy to attack, they may also Defend. Turn the card on its side and declare that they're Defending - they cannot be damaged this way and contribute their defense to that of the Deck.

Choose a target for the ability.
After you've announced the ability you're using, announce the ability's target. If a card does not specify a specific type of card to target, then the target is either another Buddy or a specific player's Deck.

Resolve the ability.
Pay any costs for the ability and cut loose! For abilities that have specific instructions, follow the instructions. For attacks that target Buddies, follow these instructions:

  1. Check the element against the target's Weakness; if they match, then subtract the entire damae value from the target's HP.
  2. If they don't match, subtract the damage from the target's remaining Defense.
  3. If the target's Defense was dropped below zero, any extra damage is dealt to HP. (An attack that does 30 damage to a Buddy with 20 defense left destroys all his remaining defense and deals 10 damage to HP.)

Finally, for attacks that target the Deck:
  • The deck is considered to have a Defense equal to the combined values of all the Buddies that are defending that deck. If no Buddies are defending that deck, the deck has no Defense.
  • The deck has no elemental weakness.
  • For every 10 damage a deck takes, one card is lost off the top of the deck and sent to the Trash pile.

Lather, rinse, repeat.
Repeat the steps above with all your Buddies in play. Unless, of course, if one of your Buddies can't attack... then all they can do is sit there and twiddle their thumbs.

End phase
When one player is done, all effects that end "at end of turn" are discarded. If the player has more than seven cards in his hand, he must discard cards from his hand to bring it down to seven cards. The Defense of all Buddies in play returns to full, and play then passes to the player on the left.

Other rules

All cards have an element symbol in the corner. Buddies are attuned to this element and draw most of their power and energy - and their weaknesses - from this element.
Light is the element of creation. It permeates every corner, driving back the shadows.
Shadow is the element of secrecy. It is resilient, and is not affected by any wind.
Wind is the element of freedom. It slowly erodes the earth revealing metal exposed within.
Metal is the element of stability. Electricity has no effect as it grounds and contains the sparks.
Electricity is the element of power, and scatters in all directions through water affecting all within.
Water is the element of movement. The tides douse any fire with minimal struggle.
Fire is the element of life, and controls light by bringing it into being or forcing it back.

There are also nonelemental attacks - these are not attuned to a specific element and never ignore Defense.


Buddy: Card type. Buddies are the backbone of the game - hence the name, Buddies.

Burn: The process of gathering energy. Take one card from the top of your deck and place it in the Trash pile - this generates one unit of Energy.

Cost: What must be paid in order for a Skill, Power or Ability to take effect. Costs other than that to bring a card into play will be specified in the card or ability text.

Defend: An action a Buddy may take on their turn. Defending Buddies may not be attacked and contribute their defense to that of the deck.

DF: Defense. This recovers each turn - attacks first damage Defense, then HP when Defense is reduced to zero.

Dmg: Damage rating. If an attack is successful, then the attack does this much damage to the defending Buddy.

Elec./ Electric: Electricity element, represented by the symbol .

Energy: A universal power source for the world of the Buddies. Energy is gathered by Burning cards off the top of your deck, and fizzles away at the end of the turn.

Event: A type of card. Some of the most powerful cards in the game, as they change game rules when they are in play.

Equip: A possible action with Item cards. Equip effects are only active if the item is Equipped on a Buddy.

Fire: Fire element, represented by the symbol .

Generic: Deck construction limitation, or lack thereof. You may have as many Generic cards in your deck as you like.

HP: A Buddy's health. If this drops to 0, the Buddy is "knocked out", flipped over and may not act.

Item: Card type. Items have effects when they're used (items go to the Trash pile when they're used) and when they're equipped.

Knocked Out: A Buddy whose HP has been reduced to zero.

Light: Light and holy element, represented by the symbol .

Metal: Metal and earth element, represented by the symbol .

Power: Card type. Powers are Skills that can be played at any time.

Roll: The result of a die roll. A die must land on a number equal to or less than the number after Land in order to for the effect to activate (Ex: If a card's text says Roll of 5:, the effect that follows only takes place if a die lands between 1 and 5.).

Shad. / Shadow: Darkenss and shadow element, represented by the symbol .

Skill: Card type. Skills may be played on your turn during the Player phase.

Target: The Buddy, skill or ability that a skill is affecting. If a skill requires you to select a target, you must select the target before resolving the skill. A targeted skill will have "target" in the skill descripion.

Trash Pile: Your main discard pile. Cards that are Trashed are sent here, as well as cards spent for energy, withdrawn Buddies and equipment and cards disarded normally.

Unique: Deck construction limitation. You may have only one of each card with the type "Unique" in your deck. Cards are considered the same if they have the same name and type.

Water: Water element, represented by the symbol .

Wind: Wind element, represented by the symbol .

Withdraw: Removing a Buddy and their equipment from play and sending them to the Trash pile. You may Withdraw only your own buddies, and only during your own Player phase.

The WhoopA Network - Design and content ©2001-2006 Dan Sandstrom