The Hand of Destiny is a hand management solitaire-only game, inspired by Palm Island and Set A Watch. It is the published version of the PnP game Griphold Tower. In this game, you battle against dark forces with a traditional RPG hero in a high Fantasy setting. The Kickstarter campaign will launch on October 26. (Edit: postponed to November 9).
Your goal in the game is to go through four waves of monsters, each ending with a boss, in order to claim victory and become a legend. Before starting to play, you pick a character out of four, each with their own specific set of abilities. Some of these abilities are passive and permanent, others require you to activate them at a cost. In each wave you start by constructing the deck: monsters are first, then the boss, and finally, turned sideways, your strength cards, with their top value showing on the right of the deck. You also have a character card that you will need to refer to, to use your abilities.
The combat can then begin. You will encounter each monster sequentially. To defeat a monster, you can either use strength cards (by turning them upright so they are no longer available or protruding from the deck), or abilities. If you beat the monster HP value with strength cards, you “slot” this monster, meaning you put it with your other strength cards sideways, and it becomes a strength card with its health giving you the value of that card. To activate an ability, you must either exhaust it (by marking it as exhausted), or use a strength card (turning it upright as if attacking with it). However, if this ability contributes to the damage dealt to the monster, you cannot slot the monster as a new strength card. If you do not defeat the monster, that monster inflicts you a number of hits equal to its damage value, and you must exhaust as many abilities. If you cannot do so because they are already exhausted, you die.
In each case, the encounter is considered resolved and you move on to the next monster or the boss, if all monsters have been encountered. When facing the boss, the same rules apply, except that you may rely on “critical hits” to deal more damage. Critical hits require you to take damage and use strength cards to be activated, but they deal a greater amount of damage. If you fail to defeat the boss, you suffer a penalty, usually more severe than simply taking damage. Monsters and bosses provide good loot in the form of gold. At the end of the wave, provided you survived it, you can spend that gold at the merchant. You may buy potions, weapons that add a strength modifier to all fights, or purchase healing to recover your abilities.
If you survive the ultimate wave, you win the game! You can then try again with a different character class, or against another of the three available bosses.