Differences between Zarcana and Gnostica

Suit differences:

Zarcana Gnostica
Cups used only when standing up, and they grow or clone your piece Cups used in any orientation, and they only create a small piece
Discs create new territory Discs grow pieces larger or grow territory larger
All new territory comes from the draw pile and is completely random All new territory comes from your hand but can only increase your score by one point
Rods move only one space, and then come in standing upright Rods move one, two, or three spaces depending on the size of the acting piece, and the target pieces comes in any orientation, if it is yours
Swords shrink larger targets by one pip, destroy equal or smaller targets, and destroy empty territory Swords shrink by the number of pips of the acting piece, and they may shrink either target pieces or target territory; they are reverse discs, but more powerful
Swords cannot destroy territory you occupy Just as you can use discs to change territory you own, you can use swords to destroy territory you own.
Only swords can be used to harm an enemy Swords can destroy enemy pieces, rods can push away enemy pieces
May not use a cup or disc in the wasteland No restrictions on the wasteland
Royalty from the hand is wild Royalty is never wild
Except swords, suit actions only affect the piece taking the action All suit actions may affect either the acting piece or the target piece
Major arcana cards have lots of exceptions Major arcana tend to be variations of the four suits, and many extra powers appear on several cards

Play differences:

Zarcana Gnostica
There are eight turn options There are four turn options
You may draw only three cards, with a hand limit of six; if you discard your hand, you may not take any other action that turn When you draw you may discard any of your cards and then draw your hand up to six, even if that means drawing six new cards
You may reorient all your pieces as a turn option Each action allows you to reorient your target piece, if it is yours, so you are not allowed to reorient all your pieces as a turn option, nor should you need to do so
When you have no pieces, you may put a small upright in any territory with two or fewer pieces When you have no pieces, your only turn option is to put a small piece in any orientation in any empty territory or wasteland
You start with three cards, and when bidding the lowest card goes first. Those bid cards are then discarded You start with six cards and the highest bid card goes first. Whoever goes last gets to take the best bid card, and so on backwards around the table before the first player goes.

Scoring differences:

Zarcana Gnostica
Your score is the total of the numbers on all cards, and is often between 30 and 60 You score three points for major arcana, two for royalty, and one for spot cards, and your score is often between 3 and 9
Royalty is all worth 11 points. Some of the best major arcana are worth much less than that. All royalty are just two points, all major arcana are three points.
After the deck is shuffled, anyone can call the last round, and then the game ends Challenging the opponents to win has nothing to do with the deck being shuffled, and only ends the game when the challenger wins
Calling the last round costs your turn Calling the challenge round is done in addition to your normal turn
Ties are rare but possible Ties during the play are common, although ties at the end are impossible

Strategy Differences:

Zarcana Gnostica
Grow your first piece large, then clone it; you should not have any small pieces in the game unless all your large and medium pieces are on the board Since you cannot clone pieces, you will use pieces of all three sizes; you must carefully manage your cup and disc resources so that you grow larger only pieces that need to be larger
Cups are the best suit, and you should always start on them All four suits are important; while you may start on a cup or disc, holding a rod or sword on the board can be very helpful. Rods are particularly important in the end game to prevent someone from winning a challenge round
A winning strategy is to point towards the wasteland and build out, attempting to isolate from other players Since it takes so long to grow the wasteland into high scoring territory, it is usually important to capture, hold, and increase the value of the starting territories
Attacking other players is difficult without several helpful major arcana, and thus should rarely be done Rods and swords are so effective at an attack, and gaining enemy territory such a great incentive, that it should often be done
Counting the current score is a pain Counting the current score is easy
You must often burn cards to reduce your hand so you can draw more cards You only burn cards if you expect to trade away your hand, otherwise you do not need to