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How to Play Root Board Game – Vagabond Root Rules

This How to Play Root Board Game section outlines the rules, gameplay and game actions involving the faction Vagabond.

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Root Vagabond Gameplay Rules

Overview of Vagabond Faction

Relationship with other factions matters
Vagabond plays all sides of the conflict while going on quests to increase his own influence throughout the wood. Vagabond scores points by improving the relationship with another faction or removing a warrior belonging to a faction hostile towards the Vagabond.
Score points through quests
Vagabond can also complete QUESTs to score points.
Item management is important
To move and act effectively, Vagabond must manage and expand their pack of ITEMS.
Vagabond can do this by exploring forest ruins and helping other factions.

Vagabond Abilities


You spend Root 28 to craft. All of Root 28 match the suit of the Vagabond’s current clearing. If you craft an item, you may immediately take it, face up.

Lone Wanderer

There is only 1 Vagabond pawn which cannot rule a clearing or stop another player from ruling one. Your pawn cannot be removed from the map. Whenever opponents use
an effect that says it removes all enemy pieces from a clearing with the Vagabond, the Vagabond damages three items.


Vagabond has the NIMBLE special ability and can move regardless of who owns the clearing.


If the Vagabond has no undamaged

Root - Vagabond Gameplay 1

they become defenseless and the attacker will deal an extra hit.


Vagabond’s capabilities depend on the items he gets. Items are face up or face down.

When Vagabond exhausts an item, it is flipped face-down  and actions are then taken

  • When items are gained, they are placed on matching tracks. Each track can hold 3 matching items
  • When gained, other items are placed in Vagabond’s satchel
  • Vagabond can freely move face-up undamaged items  between track and Satchel
    Root 28
  • Vagabond exhausts hammers to craft. All hammers match the suit of his current clearing. If the item is crafted, Vagabond takes it immediately, face-up

Maximum Rolled Hits

In battle, Vagabond’s maximum rolled hits of equal undamaged sword items (face up or face down) in the Satchel

Taking Hits

Root 30

Damage undamaged items when taking hits. When Vagabond takes a hit, he must damage 1 undamaged item and move it to damaged box.
If no undamaged items are left, ignore remaining hits

Dominance Cards and Coalitions

Root 31

 In 4 or more player game, Vagabond can activate dominance card to form a coalition with the player with fewest victory points.

Player places score marker on player’s faction board. If tie for fewest, Vagabond chooses a tied player. If the chosen player wins, Vagabond also wins.

Vagabond no longer scores victory points and cannot form a coalition with a player who has already activated dominance card


  • Improve relationship with a non-hostile faction by taking Aid action
    • Aid non-hostile faction the number of times listed between current Allied space and next Allied space during the turn
    • Advance faction’s relationship marker 1 space right on the track
  • If factions’ relationship marker reaches final space on Allied track, you are now trusted by the faction warriors and is now as ALLIED
    • Each time you aid an Allied faction, score 2 points
    • When moving during Daylight phase, you may move warriors from 1 Allied faction with you. Allied warriors follow normal movement rules of their faction and do not gain from NIMBLE special ability
    • When initiating battle, Allied warriors in the clearing of battle treated as yours. Maximum hits you can roll equals number of Allied warriors plus total undamaged swords. If Ally is a defender, you cannot treat Allied warriors as yours
    • When treating Allied warriors as yours, you can take hits by removing Allied warriors. If you take more hits than by damaging items during the same battle, the Allied faction becomes HOSTILE
    • If you cause OUTRAGE by moving or battling with Allied warriors, you give the matching card
Root 32

HOSTILE status. When non-hostile faction warrior is removed, the relationship market immediately moves to Hostile box.

  • When removing a piece of Hostile faction, earn 1 victory point. You do not score a point for removing warrior that made faction hostile
  • Exhaust extra boot item when moving into clearing with warriors of any Hostile factions
Root 33
  • You cannot move the relationship marker out of Hostile box by using Aid. You can still aid hostile faction to take crafted items
  • You can form a coalition with a hostile faction. Move the relationship market to Indifferent space

Vagabond Gameplay

How to play root - vagabond gameplay

These steps outline how to play as Vagabond faction in the Root Board Game.


Refresh your items and then Slip.
Flip two spent items face up for each Tea item face up on the Refresh track at the start of your Birdsong. Then flip up three more spent items.
You may move into an adjacent clearing or forest without spending any Boot items, even for moving into a Hostile clearing. This move ignores all effects that prevent movement out of a clearing (such as the Corvids’ snare).


Spend items to take actions. When spending coin stacks, tea and bags, move them from track to Satchel.
Actions available:
Spend 1 Boot to move, plus 1 boot if the destination clearing has any Hostile warriors. You cannot move into a forest. If in a forest, you may only move into an adjacent clearing.
Spend 1 sword item to battle.
Exhaust 1 torch to take one item under a ruin in your clearing, reveal it, and place it face up in your Satchel or on its matching track. If you take an item, score one victory point. If you remove the last item from a ruin, remove the ruin.
Spend any one item, and give one of your cards matching your clearing to any player with faction pieces there (even Hostile). Then, you may take one item, if any, from that player’s Crafted Items box, and place it face up in your Satchel or on its matching track. (Check your relationship with that player’s faction.)
Choose a quest whose suit matches your clearing, and exhaust the two items listed on the quest to complete it. Place the quest in your play area, and then draw a new quest and place it near the map. You may score one victory point per quest of matching suit you have completed, including this one, or draw two cards from the deck.
Spend 1 Crossbow to remove an enemy warrior from your clearing. If that enemy has no warriors there, you may instead remove one of their other faction pieces there. (Check your relationship with that player’s faction.)
Spend one hammer item to move damaged item to the Satchel or to its matching track (if face up coin, tea, sack item), keeping the item on its current side
Play a card from your hand, and spend Hammer item of listed suit to craft it. All of your Hammers match the suit of your clearing. If a card requires multiple of
one suit to craft, you must spend the listed number of Hammers. If you craft an item, you may place it face up in your Satchel or on the matching track.
Special Action.
Spend one Torch item to take the action listed on your character card.


You take the following steps in order: Rest, Draw Cards, Discard Cards, Check item capacity.

If you are in a forest, move all items in your Damaged box to your Satchel or their matching track, and flip them face up.

Draw cards
Draw one card, plus one card per coin face up on the matching track.

Discard cards
If you have more than five cards in your hand, discard cards of your choice until
you have five.

Check Item Capacity
If you have more items total in your Satchel and Damaged box than your item limit—six plus two per Bag items face up on the matching track—remove items from your Satchel and Damaged box until you have items equal to your item limit, and remove them from the game permanently.

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