Saturday, 15. January 2011

Munchkin - A game of backstabbing. Literally

As I am not a huge card game goer, I finally got around to playing Munchkin from Steve Jackson Games. Of course, this was at a small party with 6 other people. The you are definitely in it for the long haul with that many for all the rules wrangling you can pull off as well as all of the backstabbing.  All that aside, it was still some pretty good times and I can see why its heavily played.

Essentially for those who don’t know (Which is probably everyone except me but I’ll write this anyways,) it’s basically a cardgame dungeon crawl. You start out classless and raceless and at level one. You can pick those up through play, as well as varying equipment that can and can’t be used depending on your race and class. Elf for instance gives you a bonus to run away and gives you a level when you help someone defeat a monster. They also get completely ripped apart by certain monsters that don’t like them. (Better negotiate for some help with those ones!) The idea is to get up to level 10 and win, via collecting loot, killing monsters and any other of the various insane ways to get levels.

Game flow is basically negotiated help throughout the first part of the game while everyone is trying to level up and can’t beat monsters. By negotiated, you end up giving away a fair amount of loot unless you’ve got a pretty stellar starting hand. After people start getting semi close to winning, the game turns into a vicious circle of backstabbing trying to prevent that from happening. Eventually, someone won’t have the proper cards to stall and a winner will be declared. At least, that’s how our game worked out and I can imagine it would be similar in a lot of other games unless one person is simply dominating the playing field (Unlikely to happen with all the backstabbing.)

We of course, also played with dungeons to modify the rules depending on which one you were in. It can get really stupid when you’ve got 3 across the board modifiers down on the table affecting gameplay in ahem.. unusual fashions. Hopefully the ones that come up aren’t completely randomly chosen as the effects can be pretty brutal such as having get an extra level to win, or just random loot all over the place giving people a nice hand to mess with you. (And the others of course.)

All in all, I would say it’s a riot and probably going to end up picking it up just for a short game to play if nobody feels like running an actual RPG at the time.

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2 Responses to “Munchkin”

  1. christian Says:

    Oh man, I’ve had a lot of fun playing Munchkin. It’s a very neat game.

  2. Grey Says:

    Yeah, I think it might work better with a slightly smaller group, one where there aren’t quite enough cards in play to get continually backhanded.

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