Atmosfear (the Harbingers):  Rules


ATMOSFEAR is a game of skill and strategy. It's rules are outlined in this leaflet and also re-capped in a special presentation on the video tape.
Read the instructions through slowly and carefulle BEFORE viewing the presentation tape.

ATMOSFEAR uses a VHS tape as a 'video clock'. When the tape is over, the game is over. Quite simply, the video tape is a visual timer.

The tape is also used to deliver random, interactive instructions to the players via its Host, The Gatekeeper, hroughout the 60 minutes of actual game playing time.

Many of these instructions offer multiple choices with players selectiong either a prize of being able to impose a penalty on an opponent.

Players have exactly one hour of game playing time to complete all their tasks then STOP the video tape or The Gatekeeper himself wins the game.

Do not insert the tape until you understand the basic rules of the game completely. It is also important to listen carefully to everything The Gatekeeper says and follow all instructions on the game tape immediately. Do not pause the tape during the game.

Finally, spend some time creating the perfect 'ATMOSFEAR' - the bigger your home entertainment system is the better!

Players should be seated on either side of the table, facing one another, providing everybody with ab unobstructed view of the television set.

We also strongly recommend ATMOSFEAR be played at night. Dim the lights and turn the volume up.

Object of the game
The object of ATMOSFEAR is to collect at least one coloured Keystone from each of the six Provinces then return Home and roll a 6 to face your greatest fear. If it is not your greatest fear, STOP the video clock to win.

Setting up Atmosfear

Setting up the game is all part of playing ATMOSFEAR so you should follow these step-by-step instructions while you read.

The game begins with everybody taking turns to roll both dice to determine who will become The Chosen One. If two players toll the same number, they must roll again.

Whoever rolls the highest number is The Chosen One. The Chosen One is the player responsible for setting up the board and adjudicating over any disputes during the game. Once selected The Chosen One must:

  1. Take the siz Provinces of the Other Side and assemble them. Each section of the hexagon board locks down around the Central Hub with coloured sides face-up. The Prvinces can be assembled in any order.
  2. Take the six sets of Duel cards and place them on top of the headstones.
  3. Take the six plying pieces - representing The Harbingers - and place them on top of the duel cards.
  4. Take the six sets of Keystones and position them on the squares provided in each of the Provinces. red Keystones must be placed on red keystone square etc.
  5. Take the Harbinger and Soul Ranger Character cards and place them off to one side of the board in a fan within reach of all players. Then take the Fate cards, shuffle and position them near the Character cards.
  6. Take the six Numb Skulls, shake them in your hand and then give one to each player. Each Numb Skull is marked with a number from 1-6.
  7. Give each player a Slab - corresponding with the number they have drawn. Slabs are used to hold Character cards and Keystones collected during the game.
  8. All players should then place their Numb Skulls in the corresponding numbered grooves in the Central Hub. These grooves are where players start and finish the game from. These are called Home.
  9. Finally, each player must wtite their greatest fear on a slip of paper; roll it up into a ball and give it to The Chosen One to place in the Well of Fear. (The cup which fits inside the Central Hub.)
  10. When all fears are collected, the lid is snapped shut and the well inserted in the Central Hub.


The Harbingers are the six creatures who rul The Other Side and your first task is to 'become' one of them by landing exactly on one of their six Headstones - located in the centre of each Province.

You can move out to any Headstone in any Province - even if it's on the opposite side of the board - by moving around the Ring Road to gain access to that section.

(The Ring Road is the track which runs around the Hub - providing access to any section of the board.)

Some Headstones are harder to reach than others because they belong to the most powerful Harbingers.

When the game tape begins players take it in turns to roll one die and race out from the Central Hub to the Headstone of their choice - using the Ring Road to gain access to any one of the six Provinces.

You can only use the Ring Road while you are playing with a Numb Skull OR if you are returning Home having collected all the six coloured Keystones needed to win.

You can move in any direction but cannot change direction during a turn. You do not have to move.

On your way to a Headstone, ignore all Keystones and symbols on the squares as they are quite meaningless at this point in time.

You ONLY have ten minutes to land exactly on a Headstone and 'become' a Harbinger...

If you land exactly on an unclaimed Headstone you 'become' that Harbinger and must:

  1. Take that Harbinger's Character card and insert it in your Slab with Keystone index facing you. Once you start collecting Keystones you will need to refer to this index throughout the game.
  2. Remove your Numb Skull from the board and place it in the slot provided at the back of your Slab. From now on, you will be playing with your own character's playing piece.
  3. Re-join the game when your turn comes around, moving off your Headstone and journeying through the Provinces on your quest for at least one Keystone from each province.

You can use any tracks on your quest for Keystones EXCEPT the Ring Road. You can only use the Ring Road while you are playing with a Numb Skull OR have collected at least six different Keystones and are returing Home.


To win a Keystone you must land exactly on the square. The Keystone should then be removed and placed in one of the slots on the Slab with the key facing to you.

It's important to hide your Keystones from other opponents, thus protecting any valuable Keystones from being lost in Duels or ugly scenes with other opponents.

Each Keystone gives you a power and the more you collect, the more powerful you become. Different coloured Keystones mean different things to different opponents so it's always important to refer to your character's own Keystone index.

You can collect as many Keystones as you wish, preventing other opponents from gaining various powers but you will still need at least one of each colour before you can return 'Home' and attempt to win ATMOSFEAR.

When you have collected all six different coloured Keystones you can start to make your way Home, leaving the provincs and entering the central ring Road that leads to your own numbered groove. To make it Home you have to land exactly in your own numbered groove.

Once Home, you must wait and try roll a 6. The instant you roll a 6, The Chosen One removes the Well, shakes out a fear and reads it out load. If it is NOT your fear, say NOT! and press STOP on the VCR to win!

BUT! IF it is your fear, the fear must be returned to the Well and you must return to your Headstone and try and make your way home again.

WARNING! IF you lose one of your six Keystones while on the Ring Road or at Home waiting to roll a six, you must also return to your Headstone.


The first Keystone you collect from your own Province allows you to collect your Duel cards from your Headstone. take your Duel cards and place them behind your Slab.

Once you have these cards you can battle with other Harbingers who also have Duel cards. You can also attack any Soul Ranger.

To Duel, you must finish your turn by landing on a Lightning Strike, select one of your cards and instantly deal it face-down in front of the Harbinger you want to battle. Your opponent must respond by dealing one of its cards face-down. Both cards are then turned over.

The highest scoring card wins except in the case of an ACE. An ACE will beat a 7 but NO OTHER CARD.

Without looking, the winner poicks one Keystone from the loser. Both Duel cards are then removed from the game.

You can only Duel your opponent once from the same square. To Duel again, you must leave the square and wither return to it OR go in search of another.


This Keystone gives you the power to fly from one Province to another. To fly you must finish your turn by landing on a Compass symbol - you can then move straight to any other unoccupied Compass symbol on the board.


This Keystone gives you the poser to choose to roll one or two die, greatly increasinhg your speed and movement around the board.


Black Holes are to be avoided at all costs. if you stumble into one or you are "banished" to one by The Gatekeeper, you cannot play unless you have the Keystone which releases you.

If you don't have this Keystone, you have to wait until The Gatekeeper decides to free you.

If you are Banished to a Black Hole, you must still move to the closest one even if you have the Keystone which frees you then resume play on your next turn.


Gates are introduced by The Gatekeeper at various points during the game to block paths.

You cannon pass through any gate unless you have a Keystone which provides you with this power - along with the oppotunity to re-position it somewhere else on the board.

Gates can be placed anywhere on the board except on the Ring Road. If you do not possess the Keystone giving you the power to pass through the Gate, you must wait and try to roll your number before proceeding past the obstacle.


At regular Intervals throughout the game you may be asked by The Gatekeeper to "take a Fate card and read it out load". The instructions on these cards should be instantly obeyed.


The sixth Keystone on your index gives you the power to occupy or steal a square another opponent is on and often handicap them in the process. Each Harbinger can impose a unique penalty and these are outlined on the back of the Character cards.

WARNING! If you lose a Keystone you instantly lose its power


You only have ten minutes to reach a Headstone. If you fail to make it in time, you will be drafted into the ranks of the Soul Rangers - which is nothing to be proud of!

The Soul Rangers are the scourge of The Other Side - miserable scavengers who have failed to 'become' Harbingers. They play by their own set of rules.

The outlaw of the Soul Rangers
If you are unfortunate enough to become a Aoul Ranger, you have some dirty work to do before you can resume play:

  1. Take a Soul Ranger Character card and insert it in your Slab.
  2. Turn any unclaimed Provinces into Sewers by simply flipping over the sections of the board that have not been claimed by opponents. (Return any unclaimed playing pices and Duel cards to the box.)
  3. Re-position all the Keystones on the squares provided in the sewers.
  4. Place you Numb Skull on the square with the matching Skul symbol in the centre of the Sewer.

Resume play when you turn comes around, moving off your stone to search for any Harbingers.

A Soul Ranger still has to collect six different coloured Keystones before it can win the game but it cannot win Keystones by landing on them. Instead it must chase the Harbingers down and try to land on the same square. If it manages to land on the same square, it wins a Keystone from the Harbinger.

You are never safe from a Soul Ranger and they can chase you all the way Home - trying to land on top of you in your own numbered groove.

Soul Rangers have no morals and even chase one another down. If a Soul Ranger lands on the same square as another Ranger, it wins a Keystone. Soul Rangers can also Dice Duel one another.

To Dice Duel another Soul Ranger, you must land on the symbol of the Skull then roll one die. The other Ranger must also roll one die and whoever rolls the highest wins a Keystone from the loser.

Soul Rangers can only prowl the sewers and cannot set foot in the Provinces unless they have a Keystone which frees them OR if released by The Gatekeeper. Soul Rangers also have to return to the sewers if a curfew is omposed unless they have the Keystones which give them the power to release themselves - in which case they can ignore any curfew and continue playing in the provinces.

Soul Rangers can use the Ring Road at any time to gain access from one Province or Sewer to another. Rangers cannot pass through Gates and must wait and try to roll their number before proceeding past theese obstacles.

Soul Rangers cannot be Banished but must still move their playing piece to the closest Black Hole, if dispatched to this void by The Gatekeeper.

WARNING! If more than half of the players fail to 'become' Harbingers in the first ten minutes, the game is immediately forfeited. Tha game tape must be stopped and The Gatekeeper declared the winner.

Home page Home

This site is created and maintained by: Carl-Gustaf Samuelsson