Thursday, February 16, 2017

Manahearts: A Mage Knight Scenario

Requires Mage Knight & Mage Knight: The Lost Legion
3 Chapter mostly competitive Scenario (best with 4)
At the end of each chapter, each player scored themselves per normal rules plus scenario specific bonus.  At the end of the third chapter, whoever has the highest score over all 3 chapters wins, even if they lost or were eliminated from previous chapters.

The cards required for this scenario can be FOUND HERE. They are intentionally made with light print and small size because it makes it possible to keep what's written on them secret, even when printed on normal printer paper. Sorry for the poor layout. I have no real excuse.

General Scenario Rules

  • Mage Knights can go over the Fame limit on the fame track.  If the Mage Knight would reach maximum Fame, they put their shield marker back to second from the bottom row (80), with an additional shield on top to note the second time around.
    • Each time the Mage Knight would gain a skill and advanced ability, that works as normal.
    • Each time the Mage Knight would gain additional armor, increased draw limit and unit token, instead the Mage Knight only gains 1 additional armor.

Chapter 1 - Forging the Manahearts

Story

in this chapter, the mage knights have to try to find illusive Manahearts.  However, it is known they appear to be normal mana crystals but must be forged into a Manaheart, but not any mana crystal will work.

Setup

Map shape is up to the players to decide. However, because this scenario is best played with 4 players, it is recommended to play with a wedge shape and use all available map tiles, stacking country tiles on top of the core tiles, as normal.
All skill tokens are used, competitive and cooperative. Players have full opportunity to work together and battle one another throughout this campaign.

Testing a Crystal

Only one crystal can be tested each round and takes the player’s encounter for that turn.  Anytime a player wants to test a crystal they must take it to a magical grove.  If tested, the player rolls 2 mana dice.  If both dice show the same color as the crystal being tested, an unforged Manaheart for that color has been found.  That player takes the Unforged Manaheart card of the appropriate color. Gold and Black can not be used to substitute for a color for this roll.  There can only be 1 Manaheart (unforged or forged) for each base color: Red, White, Blue, Green.  

Forging a Manaheart

Once an appropriate crystal is found that can be forged into a Manaheart, the player must take that crystal to a place to be forged into a functional Manaheart.  Depending on how many Manahearts have been forged, the players must go to different locations.  The first Manaheart must be forged at a Village.  The second Manaheart must be forged at a Monastery.  The third Manaheart must be forged at a Mage Tower.  The fourth Manaheart must be forged at a city.  In this scenario, monasteries can be attacked for an artifact, but they monastery is not destroyed in the process.  The player still marks the monastery with a shield to show that the artifact has been stolen and that that player is no longer allowed to use the services of that monastery. Only one artifact can be stolen from each monastery.
To forge at a mage tower or city still requires defeating the tower or city to gain initial access.
The people of that location can forge the crystal into a Manaheart.  However it takes time.  The process is complete at the end of the round.  The player leaves the crystal at the location.  At the start of the next round, the Manaheart has been forged and the player who dropped it off can go pick it up without a fight.  However, another player can attack the location to steal the Manaheart if they get there first. Once the forged Manaheart is acquired, discard the Unforged Manaheart card and take the Manaheart card instead.
If attacking a village, draw 1 gray token to fight.  If attacking a Monastery, draw 1 purple token.  If attacking a mage tower, draw 1 purple and 1 gray.  If attacking a city, draw the first half of the token present on the dial, rounded up.

Manaheart Abilities

Owning a Manaheart provides many bonuses.
  • Once per turn, it can be used to change a die in the source to the color of that Manaheart.
  • Once per round, can be used to take a card of that color from your discard and shuffle it back into your deed deck.
  • If every die in the source is the same color as the Manaheart, that Manaheart becomes empowered until the source is no longer all that color.
    • While empowered, players do not reroll dice back into the source after using them.  Die used from the source are placed to the side of the board until the last die is used, at which point all the dice are rolled back into the source which will likely cause the Manaheart to no longer be empowered. Cards that force a die in the source to be rerolled do not function correctly and play as though they rolled or chose the color of the empowered Manaheart.
    • The player with an empowered Manaheart can play a card sideways to add +2 to the trait listed in the following table, instead of +1. Cards gain +3 if that card is the same color as the Manaheart.
    • The listed effect is also gained.
COLOR
EFFECT
ABILITY
Red
Attack
All attacks become Coldfire Siege
White
Influence
Refresh all units at the start of each of your turns.
Blue
Defense
You have +3 armor and Resistance to all attacks.
Green
Move
All terrain costs are 1/2.


If a player attacks another player and defeats them, the winning player may steal their Manaheart.  No Mage knight may hold more than one Manaheart at a time.  
If a player would do some action so they would be holding more than 1 manaheart, they can only hold one and must choose.  Place a mana crystal of the appropriate color in their hex to indicate the dropped Manaheart. Any player may pick it up by moving into that hex. A player standing the same hex as a manaheart can use the non-empowered abilities of the manaheart.

Goal

The goal of this scenario is the players to find all 4 Manahearts.  Once they have all been forged, this Chapter ends.  

Scoring

5 per manaheart found
10 per manaheart forged
20 per manaheart held or in the same hex at end of chapter

Chapter 2 - Pure Manaheart

Story

In this scenario the Volkaire has shown up on the scene and he has discovered a Black Manaheart. While he carries the Black Manaheart, Volkaire can not be hurt. The Mage knights must work together to forge a Gold Manaheart to overcome his defenses and defeat Volkaire.

Setup

The game is set up the same as Volkaire’s Quest. The Race Level is up to the players.  However it is highly recommended to play on a Fair Race level and Heroic or Legendary Combat level, because the Mage Knights have already gained some levels. The players keep everything they had from the previous chapter, but the map is reset.
During setup, go through all of the map tiles and find each tile with an Ancient Runes and make sure they are included in whichever map setup the players choose. Additionally, go through the Ancient Runes tiles and find the Altar for each of the base mana colors. Add enough other random altar tiles so there are enough for each Ancient Runes. Return the rest to the box and shuffle the tiles for use during the game.

Forging the Gold Manaheart

The Mage Knights must take their Manahearts and forge them together to create the Gold Manaheart.

Infusing the Manahearts

To do this, the players must find every mana alter and infuse that Manaheart with power from a different source.  The player must spend the mana as normal, have the same colored Manaheart and power the Manaheart with something, depending on the color of the Manaheart.
Red is powered by pain and the player must take 4 wound cards into their hand
White is powered by alliance and the player must have at least 10 levels of followers
Blue is powered by protection and the player must take no wounds from a Coldfire Attack 10. This attack can not be put onto units.
Green is powered by nature and the player must have visited a magic grove, a mana mine and any other underground locations (monster den, spawning ground, labryrinth, dungeon, etc) during this round.

Combining the Manaheart Shards

As each Manaheart is infused, that Manaheart is broken into a shard, rendering it useless. Discard the Manaheart card and take the Manaheart Shard card instead. However, once all the Manaheart shards are brought together they fuse into a Gold Manaheart.  Each player maintains control of their manaheart shard, and multiple shards can be carried by one mage knight.  Once a single player holds all four shards, the gold manaheart is created.


Volkaire can only be hurt by the one holding the Gold Manaheart.
A mage knight with the Gold Manaheart can pass to to a mage knight in an adjacent hex by spending 2 Move and 1 Influence.
Mage Knights may combat each other for control of the Gold Manaheart. A victorious player gains the Gold Manaheart after combat.

Gold Manaheart Abilities

Whomever has the Gold Manaheart gains the following abilities.
  • The mage knight holding the gold manaheart can play any card sideways for +2 instead of +1.
  • The player may spend a mana of any base color to turn the Gold Manaheart into that color temporarily. Place the appropriate Manaheart card next to the Gold Manaheart card to indicate which color is currently active.

Goal

If the players defeat Volkaire, they use the Gold Manaheart to shatter the Black Manaheart. They win the Chapter and continue to the next chapter with no penalty.
If Volkaire makes it to the portal, the Black Manaheart shatters upon contact with the portal and the imbalance of power causes the Gold Manaheart to shatter as well.  The players lose this Chapter and suffer penalties in the next Chapter.

Scoring

30 for defeating Volkaire
20 for holding Gold manaheart at the end of the chapter

Chapter 3 - Collapse

Story

With the Manahearts shattered, the world has lost its foundation and begins to crumble on itself.
Players keep everything they had in the previous chapter and the map does not change.


When the pure manahearts shattered, shards of both flew everywhere and the mage knights have a chance to grab a Gold or Black shard.  Grabbing both causes them to disintegrate each other.  The world is literally falling apart and only one pure manaheart shard can be brought back.  If a Gold shard is brought back, a time of peace and serenity will come.  If a black manaheart shard is brought back, corruption and villainy will reign.

Setup

At the start of the chapter, each player is given a Gold Manaheart Shard card and a Black Manaheart Shard card. At the end of the game, only one team can win, but all Mage Knights could be on the same team. Each player, going in any order, discards one of the Shard cards facedown and explains which card they are choosing to keep. Bluffing is allowed. The discarded cards are shuffled and revealed. If each Mage Knight discarded the same color, they are all working together to survive the collapsing world. If they did not all choose the same color Shard to keep, then they are not all working together, but they do not know who is on which side.


Go through the Country and Core cards and build a deck of 2 copies of each card whose tile is present on the map. Shuffle the deck and place it to the side. This is the Collapse Deck.


Additionally, every rampaging location is filled with an appropriate monster token.

Collapsing the World

At the end of each turn rotation, each player secretly draws 2 cards from the Collapse Deck and secretly chooses one and discards the other facedown. The chosen cards are piled together and is shuffled and displayed to all players.  For each tile number on the revealed cards, that tile is damaged.  Any mage knights on that tile take a 2 wounds into their hand.  Also put a marker on the tile to show it is collapsing.  If a collapsing tile is damaged again, the tile is destroyed.  Any mage knights on the tile are killed and removed from the game.  That player is eliminated and sits the remainder of the game.

Continuing the Story

If the players lost Chapter 2 and Volkaire escaped, the players draw twice as many collapse cards as there are Mage Knights, damaging (potentially destroying) those tiles before the game starts.

Gameplay

Players can not make use of villages, mage towers, monasteries and keeps during this chapter.  The residents of those locations have all fled.

Goal

Mage knights are racing back to the portal of the world before the world swallows them.  Whichever color shard gets to the portal first is the winner, sealing the losing team away in a collapsing world.

Scoring

35 for being the first player out
15 for being on winning team
-50 for being eliminated

Monday, January 16, 2017

I have a Patreon Page!

It's been a long time since I've posted anything on this blog, but that doesn't mean I haven't been working. In fact I'm probably more involved with gaming than I've been in a long time. To the point that, I've set up a Patreon page so you can support me in this and get neat rewards along the way.

If this blog isn't evidence enough, I'm very passionate about games and I love designing and building them. I'm working on some original games now and could use some supplies and playtesters and people with skills that I don't have. I am far from being a professional. I'm just one guy who loves games but I would love to be able to get enough foundation to get one of my designs crowdfunded on Kickstarter into a real published game. That's the dream for me. But it could become reality with your help.

My main focus right now is a card drafting, sorta worker placement game where the players take the role of a monster terrorizing a nearby town and each monster grows and evolves through the game through drafting. But because each monster has a unique deck with unique abilities, you might pick up some abilities from your opponents. Become the fire-breathing, brain-eating, blood-sucking ghost ogre you've always dreamed of!

Thanks, friends!

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Dino Riot! (v 1.1)

(Updated 5 March 2015)
A fully cooperative Sentinels: Tactics scenario for 3 to 5 players.
Requires Sentinels: Tactics - The Flame of Freedom and Sentinels: Tactics - Uprising.
CRASH!! CRACK!! KA-CHOOOOMM!  A sudden explosion rocks all of Megalopolis with a massive earthquake causing an entire section of the city to fall into the chasm. Where those city blocks stood is now a mountain ridge. Before anyone has time to react, ancient dinosaurs start pouring over the ridge. As if that wasn't enough, gangsters and thugs have taken the opportunity to riot within the city, taking anything they can and attacking anyone who gets too close. The citizens of Megalopolis are trying to find refuge within Freedom Tower or the hospital. But will they be able to survive the perilous journey across the broken city?

COMPONENTS
Typical gameplay components as well as:

8x Environment tiles (Megalopois / Insula Primilis)
10?(all) Human tokens (Civilian / Thug)
4x Velociraptor tokens
1x Tyrannosaurus Rex token
2x Scenario Markers

SET UP
Tiles 3 and 6 are Insula Primilis
Remaining tiles are Megalopolis

Get all of the human tokens (Civilian/Thug). Create a pile using all of the human tokens, alternating between Thug and Civilian, starting with Thug there should never be more Civilians in the pile than there are Thugs.

The Elevation 2 and Elevation 3 mountain hexes of Tiles 2 and 8 can never be hazard spaces from Hero abilities (Blazing Tornado, Turret Bot, etc). This includes the entire ridge of those tiles.

Hex Grid Diagram
Several mechanics in this scenario require being able to designate a specific hex on a tile. Spawning humans requires this. These rules will use a method like 4:3:4 to show which hex. The first number shows which tile is being referred to. The second number (Blue text) shows which column on the tile to use. The last number (Red text) shows how far down the column to go, coming back if need be.



Place Extraction Points
Place a marker on (8:4:4) and (2:4:2). These are the points the Civilians are attempting to get towards.

Placing Heroes
Heroes start on Tile 8, in the 2 rows on the lower right, from (8:3:4) to (8:6:3)

Spawning Dinosaurs
The Dinosaurs start on the Tiles 3 and 6.  The Velociraptors spawn on any of the Elevation 3 spots on those tiles.  That's (3:5:1)(6:3:1)(6:4:1)(6:4:2), and (6:5:1) .  The T-Rex starts spanning Tile 3 and Tile 6. Going on hexes (3:5:4) and (6:2:2).
Dinosaurs spawned do get to take a turn on the turn they are spawned.

Spawning Humans
Create a pile using all of the remaining human tokens, alternating between Thug and Civilian, starting with Thug (there should never be more Civilians being placed than Thugs). Take the top token, as it is, and use the following to determine its placement.

Roll 3 dice: 1 White, 1 Blue and 1 Red.

White die determines which tile the human appears:  1 > Tile 5
  2 > Tile 7
  3 > Tile 1
  4 > Tile 2
  5 > Tile 4
  6 > Tile 8

Blue determines which column the human appears on. Orienting the tile with the tile number at the top, count across the top row of hexes, starting with 2. 4 is the peak of the tile, with the tile number. 2 and 5 are the other corners and 3 and 5 are the spots between. Reroll a 1.

Red determines how far down in that column to place the human. Counting the first hex as 1, count down and and back, if needed. If that spot is occupied, place the human is the last available space that was counting during the Red roll. If need be, reroll Blue. If need be, reroll White as well.

If any Civilians would be placed on Tiles 2 or 8, flip the token to be a Thug instead.

Humans do not get a turn the turn they are spawned.

Gameplay
Phase Order: Respawn Dinosaurs, T-Rex, Velociraptors, Heroes, Thugs, Civilians, Respawn Humans

Respawn Dinosaurs
Dinosaurs respawn at the start of the round and each dinosaur killed will respawn.  There should always be 4 Raptors and 1 T-Rex on the board at the end of the Respawn Dinosaurs phase.

T-Rex
The T-Rex will attempt to move towards the target with the highest Health, even if there is a closer target.  However, if the T-Rex moves over or adjacent to a non-environment target at any point during its movement, the T-Rex attacks that target.  The T-Rex will only attack each target once per movement.  If a T-Rex approaches a group of targets, it will attack all adjacent non-dinosaur targets at the end of its movement.

Velociraptors
Velociraptors which are not hunting will move towards the closest non-environment target they can see.
As soon a Hero damages a Raptor, that player takes the Raptor scenario card in front of them.  The Raptors are now hunting that player. Each turn all Raptors will move up to their Move Value as to get as close to that player as possible, moving past other targets to get closer to their pray.  If another player hurts any Raptor, that player takes the Raptor card and becomes the Raptor's pray. If the Raptor's pray becomes incapacitated, the Raptor card is returned to aside the board and the Raptors are not hunting any target.

Thugs can not become hunted by Raptors, but Raptors will still attack Thugs. Velociraptors will not attack the T-Rex nor other Velociraptors .

Any Raptor within range 2 of any other Raptor is in a pack with that Raptor and all Raptors within range 2 of that Raptor.  So two Raptors could be 4 hexes from each other and still in a pack with each other if there is another Raptor within range 2 of both of them.

Raptors not in a pack move first.  If Raptors can not see any non-environment targets and are not in a pack, they will move towards each other into a pack. 
If Raptors can not see any non-environment target and are in a pack with at least 1 other Raptor, all Raptors in the pack (even if one member has already moved this turn) will Sprint towards the closest scenario marker, even if they can't see it.  

Raptors generate hazard spaces, which work as normal for Sentinels: Tactics.  However, Raptors also trigger their hazard space attack if another target enters the Raptor's range as a result of the Raptor's movement.  So a Raptor will attack a target it approaches or a target it passes during its movement. If a Raptor approaches a group of targets, it will attack all adjacent targets at the end of its movement.

If a Raptor kills any target, that Raptor and all Raptors within the same pack, if any, get another turn.

In any case without specific ruling, the players get to choose in which order the Velociraptors take their turns.

Heroes
The Heroes get to take their turns during this phase.

If the Heroes kill the T-Rex, each Hero gets to take either an Attack +1 or a Defense +1 token.

If a Hero is incapacitated, they move back to Freedom Tower and their movement roll becomes “Roll 2, take the lower” for their next turn.

Thugs
On their turn, Thugs will attempt to move towards the target with the lowest Health, even if there is a closer target. They will not avoid any hazard spaces. Thugs will attack any non-Thug target. 

If a Thug can not see any target, they will remain in their spot.

Thugs stop moving as soon as they can attack a target and will not move away if there is already a target within reach at the start of their turn.

Like Raptors, Thugs generate hazard spaces. However Thugs do not trigger their hazard space attack if they move past a target.  They only use their attack at the end of their own movement and when a hazard attack would normally trigger. If a Thug approaches a group of targets, it will attack all adjacent targets at the end of its movement.

If the Thugs kill the T-Rex or a Hero, after the current turn, Spawn all available human tokens as Thugs then the Thugs all get an additional turn.

The players get to choose in which order the Thugs take their turns.

Civilians
Civilians will move towards the closer extraction marker, regardless of line of sight. They will move in such a way that they are numerically the closest they can get to that marker, taking the path of least resistance. In case of ties, the players get to choose. They will not avoid any hazard spaces.

Heroes can use an action to move an adjacent Civilian up to that Civilian’s Move Value in any way that Hero chooses.

Civilians can not enter an extraction point if it is occupied by a Villain token. Civilians can enter an extraction point if occupied by a Hero or Civilian.

Respawn Human
Humans respawn at the end of the round and each human token removed from the board for any reason will respawn.  There should always be every human token on the board at the end of the Respawn Humans phase.

Scoring
Every time a Civilian is killed, the Villain team gets a point.  Remove the Civilian from the board and place it in the pile to be repawned at the end of the round.

Every time a Civilian ends its turn on an extraction marker, after resolving any attacks made on it and surviving, the Hero team gets a point.  Remove the Civilian from the board and place it in the pile to be repawned at the end of the round.

Play continues to the first team to reach 12 points.

For Added Challenge
Add one or more of these small changes to ramp up the difficulty if you are finding this scenario too easy.  The following rules are roughly ordered least game changing to most.

- T-rex increases hex elevation (like Omnitron-V does)
- When a Hero becomes incapacitated, all Civilians on the board flip to Thugs.
- T-rex's Move Value increases to 5.
- Thugs have 2 Health.
- A Thug that kills any target gets +1 Attack and +1 Defense permanently and cumulatively.
- The Villains only need 8 points to win.
- Raptors gain Mobility and 4 Move Value.
- Civilians can not enter a scenario marker if there is a Hero or another Civilian on that marker.
- Remove the scenario marker from the hospital.

Designer Notes
Until there is enough playtesting to find a good balance for scaling the scenario based on number of Heroes, having more Heroes only makes the scenario easier.

I had success with using 20 sided dice to keep score.  Placing one such die on the Thug scenario card to track the Villain score and another die on the Civilian scenario card to track Hero score.

Suggested Tactics
The Heroes need to divide their attention between keeping the dinosaurs contained, killing thugs and helping move civilians along. If the dinosaurs get into the city, they can cause massive casualties. Keeping them within their area is extremely important.  At worst, keep a hero hunted by the Raptors to keep them away from the Civilians.

Thugs and Civilians can appear anywhere, so it’s important the Heroes spread out to maintain a presence everywhere. Because Thugs go before the Civilians, it is important the Heroes do their best to be the closest targets for the Thugs.

Because of the elevation of Freedom Tower and that Civilians only have 3 move value, they can not enter Freedom Tower from the top and they must walk all the way around from the base of the tower, which causes a bottle necking. Heroes should consider using their actions to help move the Civilians along. Also, when using this action, the Hero gets to choose how the Civilian moves, the Hero can move the Civilian closer to the Hospital, which is easier to enter and can help maintain a better flow towards their safety.

A Thug which appears near an extraction point needs to be dealt with immediately. Civilians will continue running to their death at the hands of the Thug until he is killed.

Change Log (v 1.1)
- Modified villain movement to give each a unique 'flavor'.
- Added Component section
- Added For Additional Challenge section
- Fixed formatting and sectioning of the rules
- Clarified some rules

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Drunkards of Catan

Settlers of Catan Drinking Game

I wanted a drinking game for Catan that was more than just "drink when you build a road!".
Something a little more involved and integrated while staying simple.  Too many things to remember bog down the drinking!

Enjoy!
Created in image form for easy printing and sharing!

General

  • Build 1 Barrel of Alcohol with 1 Wheat & 1 Wood.
  • Use catan chits or coins to represent each barrel of alcohol.
  • Alcohol can be traded like any other resource.
  • Every 2 barrels of alcohol is 1 VP.

Drinking

  • At any time, any player may spend an alcohol token (return the token to the bank and take a drink) to take a resource card from the bank.
  • At any time, players may gift barrels of alcohol to other players, giving them an alcohol token and forcing them to drink.

Festivals

  • On a production roll showing doubles, all players have a festival and drink half of their alcohol.  All players return half (rounded up) of their alcohol tokens to the bank, taking a drink for each one returned.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Munchkin RPG (v 0.1)

Rules Variant from Munchkin

In the world of Munchkin RPG, you play the role of a haphazard adventurer who doesn't know much about much.  Somehow you got hired by the king to empty out a nearby dungeon of the great evil that lies within.  Your reward?  As much treasure as you can carry out of the dungeon and equal its weight from the royal treasure room.  Maybe also the princess if you're lucky.  Or a prince if you like that instead. You're handed a backpack full of random weapons, armors, potions, spells, traps, monster eggs, and race-altering mixtures and shoved out the door.  Luckily there is a merchant who has made camp right outside the dungeon entrance.  He'll gladly trade with you and your friends.  Wait... friends?  You didn't think you were the only one hired did you?  The king doesn't care who emerges victorious, so long as the dungeon is empty by the time one of you leaves it.  Venture forth, young Munchkin and claim victory and treasure as your own!


GOAL

The goal of Munchkin RPG is simple.  Defeat the horrible dungeon boss.

SET UP

Give yourself stats.  Choose a High stat and a Medium stat and a Low stat.
A player's High stat grants them the High bonus and the Medium bonus.  A player's Medium Stat grants the Medium bonus and a players Low stat incurs the Low penalty.  Each player's High stat also gives them a special ability usable once per life.  If the player dies, they are allowed to use their special ability again.
Additionally, players are allowed to sort through the deck to pick a Race before the game begins.  Players may not pick a Class in this manner.  They will have to find one as normal.


HIGHMEDIUMLOW
Strength+1 For Each Hand Slot Used
Extra Hand Slot
Special: MUNCHKIN RAGE!!!
+1 Minimum Level-1 Maximum Hand Size
Agility2x Grenade effect
2 Extra Belt Slots
Special: Bait n' Switch
Can equip grenades
face down
-1 to Run Away
Intellect+1 AP Per Round
2 Extra Spellbook Slots
Special: Hidden Agenda
Can spend 1000 gold
to go up a level
-1 AP Per Round
*Details for each stat effect are listed in Glossary/Help.

Players should use some sort of marker to indicate their stats, so they can not be forgotten mid-game.  however, players are allowed to change their stats in the middle of the game, so make sure it is something alterable.

Both decks (door and treasure) are shuffled separately.  Then players construct decks out of the available cards.  Decks must contain at least 12 cards minimum from either type of card (door or treasure) and must have exactly 40 cards.  The players do not get to look at the cards before choosing them.  The players choose how many of door and treasure cards they would like, then they receive that many of each at random.  Extra cards will make up the dungeon and the store inventory.  There is still a community door deck which players draw from, but there is no loot the room option.  Players use the door deck to fight monsters or become cursed.

Players each have a draw pile (backpack), a discard pile, equipment slots, a belt (for grenades) and a spellbook (for curses and traps) and a spot for their race and class, as shown below.

Example Player Layout

Take the remaining treasure cards and deal out 6 random treasure cards and place them all face up in a line in the middle of the play area.  This makes up what the store currently has on sale.  The rest of the treasure cards are placed next to the stock for the remainder of the store's inventory.

The top cards of the door deck are revealed until 6 monsters are revealed. These cards are shuffled together and one is placed face down at random. This is the dungeon boss. The 5 remaining monsters are shuffled into the dungeon.

The end result should look something like the image below.

Example Table Layout

Players then draw 6 cards from their backpack.

The first player is determined randomly.  That player's turn marks the start of the first round.  Play passes to the left.  Once each player has taken a turn, the round ends.  At the end of each round, several game effects take place, as listed later.

After setup, players discard down to having maximum 2 cards in their hand.

RULE CHANGES

Beyond the obvious changes made to the game, there are several less noticeable changes which should be pointed out.
  • No Looting the Room
  • No buying a level
  • No playing directly from your hand into combat.
  • Maximum hand size is 2.  
  • Cards discarded at the end of a player's turn are placed on the bottom of the store's inventory instead of given as charity.
  • Anytime a player shuffles their backpack, they should do so under the table to avoid knowing what type of card will be on top while they shuffle.
  • Players can gain levels to go above level 10.  This has no effect other than making the player stronger in combat.
GAMEPLAY

Players get 5 action points per round.  Action points are restored at the beginning of each round and can be used only during their own turn.  The only exception to this is Throwing an Item and Casting a Spell, which can both be done on an opponent's turn.

Players who have reached 4th level gain an extra AP per round.  Players who have reached 8th level gain another extra AP per round.  These Action Points are gain immediately and can be used the turn the player gains that milestone level.

If a player uses all of his action points before his turn, he can only take actions that use no AP.
Players are highly encouraged to use some sort of tokens to indicate how many action points they have in each round.

Available actions

No Action Points
  • Equipping - A player takes an item from his hand and places the card in the appropriate slot on his board (equipment, belt or spellbook).  Items placed as equipment or on the belt must be placed faceup.  Cards places in the spellbook have the option to be placed facedown, but may be placed faceup if the player chooses to have them so (for intimidation purposes, if nothing else).
  • Unequipping - Take an item in play from your equipped items, belt or spellbook and place the card in your hand.
  • Selling an Item - When selling an item players take a card from their hand, reveal it to all players and collect an amount of gold equal to half the card's cost.  This can be represented in any fashion (coins, paper and pencil, tokens, etc).  The sold card is placed on the bottom of the store's inventory. Any card without a cost can be sold for 200 gold. Cards can not be sold to gain a level.
  • Take a Peek - Look at the top card of your backpack. Then put it back.
  • Fighting a Revealed Dungeon Boss - It takes no action points to challenge the dungeon boss if it has already been revealed.
  • Using a Go Up A Level Card - The player reveals a Go Up A Level card, then shuffles it into the store inventory.
  • Stuff an Item - Take any number of cards from your hand and shuffle them into your backpack.
  • Place an Item - Place one card from your hand on top of your backpack.
1 Action Point
  • Throwing an Item/Casting a Spell - The player uses one of the items on his belt or in his spellbook, usually to affect combat one way or another.  The used card is placed in the player's discard pile.  Players can take this action during other player's turns, but only if they have the required action points.
  • Buying an Item - A player may spend his accumulated gold to buy an item from the store.  When an item is purchased, the player has the option to equip the item immediately (if he has a slot available to do so) or to place it on top of his backpack.  The store's empty slot remains empty until the end of the round, when it is replaced with a new card from the top of the store inventory.  Items without a gold cost can be purchased for 400 gold.
  • Frantic Searching - Shuffle your backpack and then draw 1 card from it.  
  • Gift Basket - Pay 300 gold to shuffle the store inventory, then place the top card on top of your backpack, without looking at it.
  • Trapping the Boss - Players may put curses or monster enhancers on an unrevealed dungeon boss. These cards may be placed face down on the boss at the time they are cast. Once the dungeon boss is revealed, these curses affect the one who revealed him, then are discarded as normal. The monster enhancers then attach to the dungeon boss. Once the dungeon boss is revealed, players can still trap it, but must do so by placing the spells face up on the boss. 
2 Action Points
  • Careful Searching - Draw 3 cards from your backpack.  Choose 1 and put it in your hand.  Shuffle the remaining two and the rest of your backpack together.
  • Looking For Trouble - A player can play a monster card from their hand and fight it as normal.
3 Action Points
  • Open a Door - The player draws a card from the dungeon face up, revealing it to all players.  If it is a monster, the player must fight it or run away.  If it is a curse, the player is affected by it.  
  • Reveal/Fight the Dungeon Boss - A level 10 player may reveal or fight the Dungeon Boss.  Details for revealing or fighting the Dungeon Boss are listed below.
4 Action Points
  • Recycle - Shuffle your discard pile into your backpack and draw a card.
6 Action Points
  • Retrain - Choose a new High stat, Medium stat and Low Stat.  The effects of these changes do not take place until the end of the round.
7 Action Points
  • Polymorph the Dungeon Boss - The Dungeon Boss can only by polymorph if it has been revealed.  The player takes the current Dungeon Boss, as well as any monster enhancers and permanent effects on it and shuffles them all into the Dungeon.  Then flips the top cards of the dungeon until a monster card is revealed.  This monster is the new dungeon boss and works as though it had just been revealed as normal, although the current player does not get to fight it when it is revealed.
END OF ROUND

At the end of each round, the store gets new items in stock.  Roll a die and from the side closes to the store inventory, count across, taking the card which is chosen, shuffling it into the inventory and replacing it with the top card. Because the old card is shuffled into the inventory before a new card is chosen, it is possible to pick the same card.  Do this twice at the end of each round.

When getting new inventory, if a card was purchased this turn, roll for new inventory first, rerolling on any sold cards (empty slots) then replace sold inventory after.

Each player goes back to having 5 action points, unless his Intellect or level would force him otherwise.

The player sitting to the left of the player who currently started the round now begins the next round.  Thus the player who went second in the previous round will go first in the upcoming round and the player who went first in the previous round will go last in the upcoming round.

COMBAT

When defeating a monster, players don't get treasure.  They get gold instead.  For each treasure a monster is worth, a player gains 200 gold.  Levels are gained as normal.

Players are able to use the Throw Item and Cast Spell actions during other player's combats.  Typically this is done to make the combat more difficult for the player, but not always.  Players are allowed to ask for help from other players.  This works just like it does in Munchkin proper.  However, with no treasures to pull, players will have to decide how to split the gold, rather than split the treasures.

PLAYER DEATH

Whenever a player dies, the player's 3 most expensive items are placed on top of the store inventory pile. The remaining items are dealt to the remaining, living players. Starting with the player to the dead player's left, each player picks a card from either the dead player's equipment, belt, or spellbook.  Each living player only loots one card from the dead player.

At the end of the round, the dead player shuffles his discard and backpack together then draws 4 new cards, playing whatever he wants to immediately, even if it's not his turn. His next turn is played normally.

Death functions otherwise the same as in normal Munchkin.

DUNGEON BOSS

Once a player reaches level 10, they are able to open the door to the dungeon boss.  The first player wishing to fight the Dungeon Boss is the one to reveal it.  When the Dungeon Boss is revealed, any traps or curses cast on it affect the player who revealed the Dungeon Boss and any monster enhancers affect the Dungeon Boss.  If one of the effects causes the player to no longer be level 10, they are still able to fight the Dungeon Boss, but will have to become level 10 again before they could make another attempt, if required.  The Dungeon boss functions exactly as stated on the card, however the monster becomes level 20 and its "Bad Stuff" becomes the player dies in addition to whatever other Bad Stuff it has.

Once a dungeon boss is revealed, it does not change unless a player polymorphs it.  A dungeon boss can not be persuaded to let players by, can not be poofed away, nor can it be plot deviced or made to go to lunch or anything else to be gotten rid of.  Once a dungeon boss is revealed, no game effect can get rid of it, short of killing it.  Additionally, each time the dungeon boss kills a player, the dungeon boss goes up 2 levels permanently.  If the players successfully run away, the Dungeon Boss does not gain levels.

While the dungeon boss is revealed, players can still fight other monsters by opening other rooms and dealing with the rooms as normal.  Any monster enhancers places on the dungeon boss are not removed after combat.  This has the potential to make the dungeon boss very difficult.  If the players decide the Dungeon Boss has gotten out of hand, they will have to resort to polymorphing it.  However, deciding who has to do the polymorphing can be just as difficult as killing an overpowered Dungeon Boss.

ENDING THE GAME

The game ends when the dungeon boss is defeated.  If a single player defeated the dungeon boss alone, that player wins.  If another player assisted in the combat, those players win.  The victory must be accompanied by a handshake.  Only upon completion of the handshake have both players won the game.  However, if either player shouts "Backstab!" before the handshake is completed, that player wins and the other player loses.  Double However, if both players shout "Backstab!" at the same time, they both stab each other at the same time.  Both players lose.

GLOSSARY / HELP

Action Point / AP - Each action a player wishes to take requires a certain amount of Action Points to be able to perform.  Typically, players have 5 Action Points each round.

Backpack - The pile of cards from which each player draws.  Each player has their own Backpack.

Dungeon Boss - The monster the players must defeat in order for someone to win.  The Dungeon Boss is always base level 20, even if the actual monster card states otherwise.  Any monster enhancers placed on the Dungeon Boss remain even after the combat is over.

Grenade - Any one-time use card which grants a numerical bonus to a die roll.

Monster Enhancer - Any card that modifies the level of the monster. i.e. Ancient, Intelligent, Baby, etc...

Round - A cycle of each player taking a one turn.  Some game effects happen at the end of each round.  The player who takes his turn first in each round moves left each round.

Spell - Any door card that has an effect, i.e. curse, trap, monster enhancer, etc...

Stat - A player's Strength, Agility or Intellect.

Stat Bonuses
High Strength - A player who has a High Strength stat is given bonuses when he uses weapons.  For each hand he uses in combat, he gets a +1 bonus.  For example, if he uses 1 weapon which uses 1 hand, he gets +1.  If he uses 1 weapon that uses 2 hands, he gets +2.  If he uses 2 weapons, each using 1 hand, he gets +2.  Additionally, he is granted an additional hand slot to use for whatever he'd like.  Similar to the Cheat card, he is allowed to use a 2 hand weapon and a 1 hand weapon together.  This would give him +3 from his High Strength.

Medium Strength - A player with Medium Strength begins the game with 1 level more than he would normally have.  Typically, this will start a player with Medium Strength at level 2.  However, for example, a player with Medium Strength who was also a Cyborg from Star Munchkin (whose minimum level is 2), would have a minimum level of 3.

Low Strength - A player with Low Strength has his maximum hand size (how many cards he can hold in his actual hands) reduces by 1.  This has no effect on how many weapons his character can use at any one time.

High Agility - Any grenade a player with High Agility uses has any bonuses granted by it doubled.  Therefore a grenade which grants +4 to either side, instead grants +8 when used by a player with High Agility.  If, for whatever reason, a player does not wish to have double the bonus from his grenades, he can have them function with their normal bonus.  Additionally, a player with High Agility has 2 extra belt slots, which can be used to hold more grenades.

Medium Agility - All players without Medium Agility must place their grenade cards face up when equipping them to their belt.  However, players who do have Medium Agility can equip them face down.  This allowed the player more secrecy in what they are able to throw into the combat.  Additionally, since there'd be no way to prevent it anyway, players with Medium Agility are allowed to place any item card they'd like on their belt, so long as they at least pretend it's a grenade.

Low Agility - A player with Low Agility has a -1 penalty to any attempt to Run Away.

High Intellect - A player with High Intellect is granted an additional Action Point each round, totaling 6 normally at low levels.  Additionally, they are granted 2 extra Spellbook slots to use for any curses, traps or monster enhancers.

Medium Intellect - A player with Medium Intellect can spend 1000 gold at any point when he would be able to buy from the store to go up a level.  He can not use this ability to go to level 10.

Low Intellect - A player with Low Intellect has 1 less Action Point per round, totaling 4 normally, at lower levels.

Special Abilities
MUNCHKIN RAGE!!! - This special ability is activated any time the High Strength Munchkin is in combat for whatever reason.  Activating this ability adds a +30 bonus to the Munchkin's combat score.  However, this tires the Munchkin.  In his next combat, that Munchkin's level is considered to be -5.  Any other modifiers (such as weapons, grenades, etc...) apply normally.

Bait n' Switch - This special ability can be used anytime a Munchkin with High Agility is in combat as the main combatant.  This ability can't be used if the Munchkin is helping another player.  The Munchkin (known here as The Jerk) leaves combat (as if he successfully run away) and another Munchkin of his choice (known here as The Sucker) takes his place in the combat.  The Sucker must deal with the monster as if the door had just been opened on him.  Combat continues as normal.  If The Sucker also has High Agility, he can also use Bait n' Switch on another player, but not The Jerk, nor any other player who has used this ability during this combat.  After this combat (but not if The Sucker uses Bait n' Switch to switch with someone else), The Sucker can spring open a door on The Jerk.  At any point during a combat where the Jerk is the main combatant, the Sucker may call revenge.  Combat pauses and the Sucker may flip over cards from the top of the Dungeon deck until he reveals a monster or play one from his hand.  The monster revealed immediately joins combat against the Jerk (as if Wandering Monster had been played).  The Sucker may only do this once.

Hidden Agenda - At any time, a Munchkin with High Intellect (known here as The Illusionist) may play a spell (monster enhancer, curse, trap, etc) face down on a player or monster (as appropriate).  He announces to the affected Munchkin (either the Munchkin being cursed or the Munchkin in combat with the monster being enhanced and known here as The Sap) what his spell's affect is.  The Illusionist is encouraged to lie when announcing his spell's effect.  The Illusionist is not required and is, in fact, not allowed to say the actual name of the spell on the card, only the effect is has.  The Munchkin being affected can either accept his fate and have the spell effect him has The Illusionist claims it does, or The Sap can challenge The Illusionist and flip the card over and takes that effect instead, better or worse.  If The Sap accepts the spell as it was claimed, The Illusionist takes the card cast face down and shuffles it into his discard pile.  The Illusionist can use this ability to cast a spell on himself or any monster with which he is in combat, however any player may challenge the spell being cast.  This ability can not be used while Trapping the Dungeon Boss.

ALTERNATE RULES

Packing Your Bag - For a more intense game, The players are to choose which cards are in their backpacks at the start of the game.  Choose one player randomly to choose first, then go in order, each player choosing 4 cards of either door or treasure or any combination of the two, until each player has 40 cards.

The Real Golden Rule - Once a player has defeated the dungeon boss, all players count their gold and total cost of equipped items, items on their belt and in their hand and counts each spell as 200 gold.  Whoever has the highest total cost wins.  He might not be the one who defeated the dungeon boss, but he's richer than everyone else.  And isn't that what REALLY matters?  In the event of a tie, whoever declares being the winner first, wins the game.

Bigger and Scarier (Probably) - Players begin the set up by specifically choosing the dungeon boss.  This should be agreed upon by all players prior to game start.

Last Man Standing - Once the dungeon boss is defeated, the real victor is the one who tells the king of the great victory.  As soon as the dungeon boss is defeated, the players all turn against each other and begin fighting one another.  A new round begins (shifting the starting player to the left as normal) then each player, on their turn, rather than open a door, can spend 1 AP to attack another player.  Combat begins between those two players as normal.  Other players can jump in on either side to aid one of the combatants.  During this point of the game monster enhancers can be used on players (yourself included) and will remain on that player until they are defeated.  After the combat resolves, the next player alive takes his turn.  This cycle continues as normal until one player survives.


AUTHOR'S NOTES
This hasn't been play tested yet, but I'm hoping to get it out there.  I'll be in an opportunity to test it pretty soon, I think.

The idea here was to give Munchkin a little more structure.  I do enjoy Munchkin a lot for the comedy and general play style, but as anyone who has played Munchkin knows, it's a good way to make enemies out of friends.  In normal Munchkin it was too easy to screw your opponents and steal victory for yourself.  It was basically assumed the first person to reach level 9 wasn't going to win, but the second person who did, had a much better chance, assuming the rest of the players were out of cards to use.

My hope is by limiting the amount of cards players can work with and by limiting the amount of actions they can do each round, it will add a little more balance to the game.  By not allowing players to throw everything they have at each other without limitation, it will require players to think a little more.  On top of that, by requiring players to equip grenades and spells before they can be used, the other players have a bit more of an idea of what they are up against.  This will make the disappointment of losing a battle slightly less so.  Typically, it's not the losing which bothers people, it's the not knowing it was coming.

Additionally, I'm adding a bit of customization to the game.  As I've stated previously, I'm a fan of customization.  It's not a lot, but by giving the players the chance to choose stats, it will make each player less totally reliant on luck-of-the-draw equipment.  

In that same vein, the gold system allows players to stray further away from the luck over skill (which I've also gone over before).  The store allows each player equal opportunity to some of the equipment and everyone has a fair shot at it.  But in not getting rid of luck completely, players are still given a random grab-bag of equipment to start with.  Further, the system wherein the starting player in a round changes each time further pushes a balanced game.

Lastly, the Dungeon Boss idea was something I thought would be interesting.  The main idea came from Munchkin Quest, but with the added level that monster enhancers stay on the Boss, by adding them, you are only making it harder for yourself to win as well.  So the idea of throwing everything you have at the Boss might not be the best tactic.

As I've said, I was really trying to make Munchkin a more balanced game.  Less reliant on chance, which it was solely before.  Munchkin has some great cards, humorous ideas and would be great to play everyday if it wasn't so frustrating to lose.  The hope is that by giving players options, having every player access to the same cards and by limiting how much you can screw over your opponents at any given time, Munchkin will evolve into a much more balanced, friendly game which won't make people want to kill each other (outside of the game, at least).