Players have a number of choices they can make before the game actually begins. These choices can be bewildering to players who don’t even know what the game is about yet. We give recommendations that you should follow when setting up the game for people who are new to Cerebria.

Emotions are the manifestations of the Spirits’ actions in Cerebria. They are represented by cards drawn from the Emotion decks. Each player has their own deck.

When building your Emotion decks, one player on each team should play with cards marked with a symbol in the upper right corner. This helps identify the deck the Emotion belongs to, which is relevant when the Emotion is discarded, and makes the setup and tear‑down easier.

Emotion Card, above, from top to bottom: Vibe; essence spaces; intensity values; related strong emotion; frame color indicates this emotion belongs to Bliss; emotion power

POWERS: Emotion powers are explained in detail on the Emotion sheets. Unless otherwise stated, you can use an Emotion power only if the Emotion belongs to your team and only during your own turn.

BASIC GAME: In the first few basic games, teams should play two of the starter decks listed here, 16 cards for each teammate. These decks only include Emotions with straightforward powers, but once you are familiar with the basic game, feel free to try the Spirit-specific starter decks, or your own Emotion combinations.

BLISS STARTER DECK (one per teammate): 2x Courage, 2x Sociability, 2x Cheerfulness, 2x Excitement, 2x Kindness, 2x Desire, 2x Optimism, 2x Self-Esteem

GLOOM STARTER DECK (one per teammate): 2x Anger, 2x Jealousy, 2x Pessimism, 2x Bitterness, 2x Dislike, 2x Mistrust, 2x Embarrassment, 2x Loneliness


BASIC GAME: Since the Empower Action is not part of the basic game, the Strong Emotions won’t be needed.

Cards with this symbol on the back / are Strong Emotions. They are not used when building your deck. Your deck will have only Mild Emotions. They can grow into Strong Emotions during play. For now, set your team’s Strong Emotions aside. You do not need to shuffle this deck. In fact, it will speed up play if you keep it in alphabetical order.

DECKBUILDING RULES: If you construct your own deck, follow these rules:
• Use exactly 16 Mild Emotion cards.
• Use no more than 2 copies of each card.

For preconstructed deck lists for each Spirit, refer to the Appendix.

THE EMOTION DECK: Shuffle your Emotion deck at the start of the game. Place it on the space near you on the corner of the Main board. Draw 2 cards for your starting hand, then turn the top card of the Emotion deck face up.

NOTE: The top card of your Emotion deck should always be face up.

EMOTION VIBES: Every Emotion in your deck has a Vibe, represented by an icon of a certain color. Bliss and Gloom have the same 4 colors, but different icons. Only the colors have gameplay effect. The icons symbolize that two opposing Emotions with the same Vibe see it from opposite sides.

Red Vibes, Yellow Vibes, Green Vibes, and Blue Vibes (above)

STARTING EMOTIONS: Bleakness and Brightness are the simple Emotions that shape the early development of Cerebria. They are not put into a deck. They are placed on the Main board as the players prepare to start playing.