To set up a game of Trismegistus, follow the steps below in order.
Introductory Game Setup
If this is your first time playing Trismegistus, we recommend the following Introductory Game Setup.
First, locate the following Laboratory boards: Claude Duval, Isaac Newton, Heinrich Cornelius Agrippa, and Roger Bacon. Alchemist components can be identified by depictions of their faces, as seen in points 1-4 below.
Determine the starting player randomly (or by choosing the most experienced player at the table) and give them the Duval Laboratory board, along with the Starting Experiment card, the Masterpiece Experiment card, the Publication card, and the Starting Artifact below.
That player places one of their larger discs on the 1st position of the Current Round Order track.
The second player should receive the Newton Laboratory board, as well as the following cards and Artifact. That player places one of their larger discs on the 2nd position of the Current Round Order track and gains 1 Ethereal die token.
The third player (if present) should receive the Agrippa Laboratory board, as well as the cards and the Artifact marked below. That player places one of their larger discs on the 3rd position of the Current Round Order track and gains 2 Ethereal die tokens.
The fourth player (if present) should receive the Bacon Laboratory board, as well as the cards and the Artifact below. That player places one of their larger discs on the 4th position of the Current Round Order track and gains 2 Ethereal die tokens and an additional material.
Each player should now place their Starting Artifact face up in the artifact space located on the right-most space at the bottom of their player boards.
Return any unused Laboratory boards, Starting Experiments, Masterpiece Experiments, and Starting Artifacts to the game box. Proceed with General Setup normally, ignoring any steps related to determining the player order, receiving or returning Experiments, Artifacts, or Publications.
1 Unfold the main game board and place it in the middle of the table. 2 Divide all cards into separate decks: Starting Experiments, Masterpiece Experiments, Level 1 Experiments, Level 2 Experiments, Level 3 Experiments, and Publications. 3 Remove all cards which are only used with higher player counts. Example: In a 2-player game, remove all "3+" and "4+" cards. In a 3-player game, remove all "4+" cards. 4 Shuffle each deck separately. Place all decks face down near the game board. 5 Place the Level 1 Experiment deck on the current Experiment deck space on the board and fill each of the experiment spaces with one face-up Experiment card. 6 Place the Publications deck on its dedicated space on the board. 7 Divide all Artifact tiles into stacks according to their level: Starting, Level 1, Level 2, and Level 3. 8 Shuffle each stack separately. Place all stacks face down near the board. 9 Place the Level 1 Artifact stack on the current Artifact stack space on the board, and fill each of the six spaces of the Artifact market with one face-up Artifact. 10 Randomly place 1 Dominant Essence face-up token on each of the top spaces of the Mastery tracks. This step in optional, you can skip this completely and simply use the printed setup on the game board. 11 Shuffle all Bonus Tokens and then randomly place Bonus Tokens on the Bonus Spaces of each Mastery track. Each bonus space should hold one face-up token. Return the unused Bonus Tokens to the game box. 12 Place the Essence tokens, Ethereal die tokens, Chameleon tokens, material cubes, and Reaction markers in their provided spaces on the main game board.
Based on the number of players, remove the following dice from the game (returning them to the game box):
- With 4 players, do not remove any dice.
- With 3 players, remove 1 black die.
- With 2 Players, remove 1 red, and 1 black die.
Place all remaining dice next to the main game board.
Rolling Dice And Filling Bowls
In order to fill in the Alchemical Bowls on the main game board, follow these steps:
13 Roll all the dice (preferably off-board), and place each in the Alchemical Bowl with the corresponding symbol. 15 Continue repeating the above step until there are no bowls with more than 5 dice.
16 Each player chooses a color and takes all discs in the chosen color. 17 The player who has last performed an alchemical transmutation (or a player chosen at random) becomes the starting player and places one of their larger discs on the 1st space of the Current Round Order track on the main game board. Skip this step if using the Introductory Game Setup. 18 The other players (in clockwise order) each place 27 one of their larger discs on the leftmost empty space of the Current Round Order track. Skip 28 this step if using the Introductory Game Setup. 19 Starting with the last player and continuing counter-clockwise, each player now chooses 1 Laboratory Board. Skip this step if using the Introductory Game Setup. 20 Each player receives 2 Reaction tokens. Place them on the ready (face-up) side. 21 Additionally, the second player receives an Ethereal Die, the third player (if present) receives two Ethereal Dice, and the fourth player (if present) receives two Ethereal Dice and an additional material. Skip this step if using the Introductory Game Setup. 22 Each player places a small disc on the "0" space of each of the 4 Mastery tracks and one of their larger discs on the "0" space of the Victory Point track. You can keep the last large disc in front of you as a player color marker. 23 Each player places 1 material cube into the raw (round) section of the following materials on their Laboratory board: and . Additionally, each player takes 1 of each essence type (do not take another ) 24 Each player takes all 8 Formula tiles corresponding to the Alchemist printed on the Laboratory Board and randomly places 1 of their Formulas, face up, onto each of the 8 Formula spaces in their Experiment columns (2 per column). 25 Each player receives 2 Starting Experiments, 2 Masterpiece Experiments, 2 Publications, and 2 Starting Artifacts. Each of these should be dealt face down. Skip this step if using the Introductory Game Setup. 26 Each player secretly chooses 1 of each (Starting Experiment, Masterpiece Experiment, Publication, Starting Artifact), and reveals the Artifact, as well as the Starting Experiment.
Then, each player places the chosen Artifact in one of the 6 Artifact Slots on their Laboratory board (player's choice which one). The chosen Publication and the Masterpiece Experiment should be kept secret.
Return the unselected Masterpieces, Starting Experiments and Starting Artifacts to the game box. Skip this step if using the Introductory Game Setup.
27 Unselected Publications are shuffled face down and placed at the bottom of the publication deck. 28 You are now ready to follow the footsteps of Trismegistus in the search of the Ultimate Formula!
Important: Each player should look at the dice available on the main game board and choose their Starting Experiment, Masterpiece Experiment, Publication, and Artifact at the same time.
However, any player may request that (after all players have made their choices) Artifacts are placed on Laboratory boards in player order.