Star MunchkinKill the Monsters * Steal the Treasure * Stab Your Buddy
Munchkin, Star Munchkin, and the all-seeing pyramid are registered trademarks or trademarks of Steve Jackson Games Incorporated. Copyright © 2001-2003 by Steve Jackson Games Incorporated. Version 1.2 (May 2003)
Game design by Steve Jackson • Illustrated by John Kovalic
Development help and print buying: Monica Stephens • Graphic design and art direction: Phil Reed • Coloring: Wayne Barrett
Playtesting: Wayne Barrett, Steve Brinich, Carl Campbell, Monique Chapman, Andy Dawson, Jessie Foster, Drew Happli, Brian Nisbet, William Toporek, Alex Yeager, and the international conspiracy of Munchkins In Black. Thanks to Tom Wham for the Awful Green Thing!
The Munchkins have left the dungeon . . . they’re in orbit, rampaging through the Space Station, killing the monsters and taking their stuff! Star Munchkin is based on the original Munchkin and can be combined with it (see the last page).
This game includes 168 cards, these rules, and one die.
Setup3 to 6 can play. You will need 10 tokens (coins, poker chips, whatever – or any gadget that counts to 10) for each player. Divide the cards into the Station deck (with a door on the back) and the Treasure deck (with a pile of loot on the back). Shuffle both decks. Deal two cards from each deck to each player.
Keep separate face-up discard piles for the two decks. When a deck runs out, reshuffle its discards. If a deck runs out and there are no discards, nobody can draw any of that kind of card! Your Hand: Cards in your hand are not in play. They don’t help you, but they can’t be taken away except by cards that specifically affect “your hand” rather than the items you are carrying. At the end of your turn, you may have no more than five cards in your hand.
Treasure cards can be played in front of you to become “carried items.” See Items, below.
When Cards Can Be Played: Each type of card can be played at a specified time (see below).
Cards in play may not be returned to your hand – they must be discarded or traded if you want to get rid of them.
Everyone starts as a Level 1 human with no class. (Heh, heh.)
Look at your starting cards. If you have any Race cards (Cyborg, Mutant, Feline) or Class cards (Psychic, Bounty Hunter, Trader, Gadgeteer), you may (if you like) play one of each type by placing it in front of you. If you have any Item or Sidekick cards, you may play them as well. If you have any doubt about whether you should play a card, you could read below, or just charge ahead and do it.
Starting and Finishing the Game
Decide who goes first in any agreeable manner. Heh, heh. Play proceeds in turns, each with several phases (see below). When the first player finishes, the player to his left goes, and so on.
The first player to reach 10th level wins . . . but you must reach 10th level by killing a monster. If two players kill a monster together and reach 10th level at the same time, they both win.
(1) Open A Door: Draw one card from the Station deck and turn it face up. If it’s a monster, you must fight it. See Combat. Resolve the combat completely before you go on. If you kill it, go up a level (or, for a big monster, two levels – it will say so on the card).
If the card is a trap – see Traps, below – it applies to you immediately (if it can) and is discarded.
If you draw any other card, you may either put it in your hand or play it immediately.
(2) Look For Trouble: If you did NOT encounter a monster when you first opened the door, you now have the option of playing a monster (if you have one) from your hand and fighting it, as described above. Don’t play a monster you can’t handle, unless you’re sure you can count on getting help!
(3) Loot The Room: If you killed a monster, take the number of Treasures shown on the monster card. Draw them face down if you killed the monster alone, or face up if you had help. If you met a monster but ran away, you get no treasure! If you did not meet a monster (or met one who was friendly to you), search the room. Draw a second card from the Station deck, face down, and put it in your hand. (Felines have the option of opening a second door, instead.)
(4) Charity: If you have more than five cards, give the excess to the player with the lowest level. If players are tied for lowest, divide them as evenly as possible. You choose who gets the bigger half. If YOU are lowest or tied for lowest, just discard the excess. It is now the next player’s turn.
To fight a monster, check the Level at the top of its card. If your own Level, plus the Bonus from any items you are carrying, totals more than the monster’s Level, you kill it. Some monster cards have special powers which affect combat – a bonus against one race or class, for instance. Be sure to check these before resolving combat.
You may also use one-shot cards, such as grenades, from your hand during combat. A card is a one-shot if it says Usable Once Only, or if it gives a level increase.
If other monsters (a Wandering Monster or a Clone) join the fight, you must defeat their combined levels. If you have the right cards, you can eliminate one monster from the combat and fight the other normally, but you cannot choose to fight one and run from the other(s). If you eliminate one with a card but then run from the other(s), you don’t get any treasure.
If you kill a monster, you go up a level (2 levels for some very dangerous monsters). If you were fighting multiple monster cards – see Interfering – you go up a level for each monster killed! But if you defeat a monster without killing it, you NEVER go up a level.
Discard the monster card(s) and draw treasure (see below). But note: someone may play a hostile card on you, or use a special power, just as you think you have won. When you kill or otherwise defeat a monster, you must wait a reasonable time, defined as about 2.6 seconds, for anyone else to speak up. After that, you have really won, and if you killed it you really go up a level and get the treasure, though they can still whine. If you cannot defeat the monster, you have two choices: ask for help or run away.
Asking For Help
You may ask any other player to help you. If he refuses, you may ask another player, and so on, until they all turn you down or someone helps. Only one player can help you. You can bribe someone to help. In fact, you’ll probably have to, unless there’s a Bounty Hunter around. You may offer him any Item(s) you are currently carrying, or any number of the Treasure cards the monster has. If you offer him part of the treasure, you must agree whether he picks first, or you pick first, or what.
When someone helps you, add his Level and Bonuses to yours.
The special abilities or vulnerabilities of the monster also apply to your helper, and vice versa. For instance, if you are not a Feline yourself, and a Feline helps you against a Starfish, the monster is -5 against you. But if you are facing the Fanged Fuzzball and a Feline helps you, the monster’s level is increased by 2.
If someone successfully helps you, the monster is slain. Discard it, draw treasure (see below), and follow any special instructions on the monster card. You still go up a level for each slain monster. Your helper does not go up a level. If nobody will help you . . . or if somebody tries to help, and your fellow party members hurt you or help the monster so the two of you still cannot defeat it . . . you must run away.
If you run away, you don’t get any levels or treasure. You don’t even get to loot the room (that is, draw a face-down Station card). And you don’t always escape . . .
Roll the die. You only escape on a 5 or better. Felines get a bonus to run away. Some items make it easier to run away. And some monsters are fast, and give you a penalty to your roll.
If you escape, discard the monster. You get no treasure. There are usually no bad effects . . . but read the card. Some monsters hurt you even if you get away from them!
If the monster catches you, it does Bad Stuff to you, as described on its card. This may vary from losing an item, to losing one or more levels, to Death.
If two players are cooperating and still can’t defeat the monster(s), they must both flee. They roll separately. The monster(s) CAN catch them both.
If you are fleeing from multiple monsters, you roll separately to escape each one, in any order you choose, and suffer Bad Stuff from each one that catches you.
If you die, you lose all your stuff. You keep your class(es), race(s) and level – your new character will look just like your old one.
Looting The Body: Lay out your hand beside the cards you had in play. Starting with the one with the highest level, each other player chooses one card . . . in case of ties in level, roll a die. If your corpse runs out of cards, tough. After everyone gets one card, the rest are discarded.
Your new character appears immediately and can help others in combat on the next turn . . . but you have no cards. On your next turn, start by drawing two from each deck, facedown, and playing any Race, Class, or Item cards you want to, just as when you started the game.
When you kill a monster, you get its treasure. Each monster has a Treasure number on the bottom of its card. Draw that many treasures. Draw face-down if you killed the monster alone. Draw faceup, so the whole party can see what you got, if someone helped you. Treasure cards can be played as soon as you get them. Item cards can be placed in front of you. “Go Up A Level” cards can be used instantly.
Each character is basically a collection of weapons, armor, and gadgets, with three stats: Level, Race, and Class. For instance, you might describe your character as “a 9th-level Feline Bounty Hunter with Battle Armor, Diamondoid Teeth, and a Laser-Maser-Dazer.” Your character’s sex starts off the same as your own.
Level: This is a measure of how generally buff and studly you are. (Monsters have levels, too.) Keep track of your level by placing tokens in front of you. Level ranges from 1 to 10. You will gain and lose levels constantly during play.
You gain a level when you kill a monster, or when a card says that you do. You can also sell items to buy levels (see Items). You lose a level when a card says that you do. Your level can never go below 1. However, your effective level in a combat can be negative, if enough bad cards are played on you.
Race: Characters may be human, Mutant, Feline, or Cyborg. If you have no Race card in front of you, you are human. Humans have no special abilities. Each other race has different special abilities or penalties (see the cards). You gain the abilities of a race the moment you play its card in front of you, and lose them as soon as you discard that card. You can discard a race card at any time, even in combat: “I don’t wanna be a Mutant any more.” When you discard a race card, you become human again.
Some race (and class) abilities are powered by discards. You may discard any card, in play or in your hand, to power a special ability. Note that if you have NO cards in your hand, you cannot “discard your whole hand.”
You may not belong to more than one race at once unless you play the Half-Breed card.
Class: Characters may be Gadgeteers, Psychics, Traders, or Bounty Hunters, with the appropriate Class card. Each class has different abilities, shown on the cards. You gain the abilities of a class the moment you play its card in front of you, and lose them as soon as you lose or discard that card.
You can discard a Class card at any time, even in combat: “I don’t wanna be a Gadgeteer any more.”
You may not belong to more than one class at once unless you play the Super Munchkin card.
Items: Each Item card has a name, a power, and a value in credits.
An item card in your hand does not count until you play it; at that point, it is “carried.” You may carry any number of items, but you can use only one Complex one. (Any item not designated Complex is considered regular.) Gadgeteers are an exception. They can use any number of Complex items.
Some items have special use restrictions. For instance, the Neuronic Whip can only be wielded by a Mutant. Its bonus only counts for someone who is, at the moment, a Mutant.
You may also use only one headgear, one suit of armor, one set of footgear, and two “hand” items (or one “two hands” item), unless you have cards or special abilities that let you carry more or the other players don’t catch you. If you are carrying two helmets, for instance, only one of them can help you. You should indicate items that can’t help you, or extras not being worn, by turning the cards sideways. You may NOT switch between (for instance) helmets during a combat or while running away. Selling Items: During your turn, you may turn in items worth 1,000 credits and immediately go up one level. If you turn in (for instance) 1,100 credits worth, you don’t get change. But if you can manage 2,000 worth, you can go up two levels at once, and so on. You may turn in items from your hand as well as those you are carrying.
You may not sell, trade, or steal items DURING a fight. Once you expose a monster card, you must finish the fight with the cards you have.
When to Play CardsInstructions on the cards always override the general rules. However, no card can reduce a player or monster to Level 0 or below, and no player can reach Level 10 except by killing a monster.
If drawn face-up, during the “Open A Door” phase, they apply to the person who drew them. They must be fought immediately. If acquired any other way, they may be played during “Looking For Trouble,” or played on another player with the Wandering Monster card.
For rules purposes, each Monster card is a single monster, even if the name on the card is plural. Monster Enhancers
“Radioactive,” “Last Of Its Race,” “Computerized,” and “From Another Dimension” raise the level of monsters (and “Miniaturized” lowers the level). “Wandering Monster” and “Clone” bring another monster to join a battle. They may be played during any combat.
All enhancers add together, and anything that enhances a monster enhances its clone . . . if Radioactive, Computerized, and Clone are played together, in any order, you are facing a radioactive computerized monster and its radioactive computerized clone. However, if there are different monsters already in play due to a Wandering Monster card, the player who plays the enhancer must choose which one it applies to.
Treasures – Playing Them
Most Treasure cards represent items. These may be played to the table as soon as you get it, or at any time during your own turn.
Some Treasure cards are “specials” (like “Go Up A Level”). You may use these at any time, unless the card itself says otherwise. Follow its instructions; then discard it.
Treasures – Using Them
Any one-shot (“usable once only”) card can be played during any combat, whether you have it in your hand or on the table. Other items cannot be used unless they are in play. If it’s your turn, you can play them and use them immediately. If you are helping someone, or fighting out of turn for some reason, you cannot play new items from your hand to the table.
If drawn face-up, during the “Open A Door” phase, they apply to the person who drew them.
If drawn face-down or acquired some other way, they may be played on ANY player at ANY time. Reducing someone’s abilities just as he thinks he has killed a monster is a lot of fun. A trap affects its victim immediately (if it can) and is discarded. Exception: “Chromosome Switch” gives a penalty on your next fight. Keep this card until your next fight.
If a trap can apply to more than one item, the victim decides which item is lost or changed.
If a trap applies to something you don’t have, ignore it. For instance, if you draw “Lose Your Headgear” and you have no headgear, nothing happens; discard the trap.
Classes and Races
These cards may be played to the table as soon as they are acquired, or at any time during your own turn.
Half-Breed and Super Munchkin
These are cards that let you have, respectively, two races and two classes.
You can play Half-Breed any time you have one race in play; you are now half that race and half human. You may add a second race at the same time or later, as long as you still have HalfBreed out; you are now (for instance) half Feline and half Mutant, with the advantages and disadvantages of both. You lose Half-Breed at any time you have no race card in play.
You can play Super Munchkin any time you have one class in play and you have a second class card to add to it. You lose Super Munchkin if you lose either of your class cards.
If you draw a Sidekick, either face up or face down, you may use it immediately or keep it in your hand for later. You may play it at any time, even in combat, as long as you have only one Sidekick in play at a time (two for Traders). You may discard one Sidekick at any time in order to play another. You may not trade Sidekicks.
Each Sidekick has certain powers that can help you. They cannot do anything not stated on the card; for instance, they can’t carry things unless the card says they can. A Sidekick is NOT an “item”! Sidekicks don’t affect a Psychic’s bonus for fighting alone. A Sidekick can sacrifice himself for you (indeed, this is the only thing Red Shirts are good for). If you lose a fight, then instead of rolling to run away, you may discard one Sidekick and anything it is carrying. You automatically escape from all monsters in the fight, even if a monster card says escape is impossible. If someone was helping you in the fight, YOU decide whether that person automatically escapes as well, or must roll to escape.
Other Munchkin Stuff
There will be times when it will help you to play a Trap or Monster on yourself, or to “help” another player in a way that costs him treasure. This is very munchkinly. Do it.
You may trade Items (but not other cards) with other players. You may only trade items from the table – not from your hand. You may trade at any time except when you’re in combat – in fact, the best time to trade is when it’s not your turn. Any item you receive in a trade must go to the table; you can’t sell it until it’s your turn.
You may also give items away without a trade, to bribe other players – “I’ll give you this Tailgun if you won’t help Bob fight the Plasmoid!”. You may show your whole hand to other players. Like we could stop you.
Interfering With Combat
You can interfere with others’ combats in several ways:
Use a one-shot card. If you have a grenade, you could help someone by throwing it at his foe. Of course, you can “accidentally” hit your friend with the grenade, and it will count against him.
Play a card to enhance a monster. These are cards that make a monster worse . . . and give it more treasure. You can play these either during your own combats or during someone else’s combat.
Play a wandering monster. This sends a monster from your hand to join any combat.
Trap them, if you have a Trap card.
Laser weapons include any item with a name ending, more or less, in “aser.” Each laser weapon is a 2-handed weapon, but any and all laser barrels can be snapped together to create a single 2- handed weapon with the power of both. For instance, a Laser (+2) and a Dazer (+3) combine to create a Laser-Dazer (+5). Add another Laser and it’s a Laser-Laser-Dazer (+7). And it’s still just a 2-handed weapon.
However, the combined weapon can be broken down a piece at a time if necessary, and counts as one Item for each card making it up.You cannot Annihilate or Antimatter the whole weapon . . . just one card!
All laser weapons are considered “fire” weapons.
Faster PlayWant the game to go even faster? For a quicker game, each player starts with four cards from each deck, and gets four from each deck when he returns from death.
Any time a Race, Class, Half-Breed, or Super Munchkin card is on top of the discard pile, any player may discard a “Go Up A Level” card from his hand and claim it. If multiple players try to claim a card, they roll dice. The winner gets it; the loser keeps his Level card.
Rules Contradictions or Disputes
When the cards disagree with the rules, follow the cards. Any
other disputes should be settled by loud arguments among the
players, with the owner of the game having the last word.
Combining This Game With Munchkin
Go right ahead. Your Mutant Cleric Bounty Hunter and Half-Elf
Half-Feline Wizard can rampage through the Space Dungeon . . .
Shuffle all the Treasure cards from both games together. Shuffle
the Dungeon and Station cards together and treat them as the same
kind of card; any reference to one includes the other.
Use the “fast play” rules (see above).
Traps and Curses are treated as the same kind of card. Any
reference to a Trap also means a Curse and vice
versa. Yes, Gadgeteers can “disarm” Curses.
Likewise, Credits and Gold Pieces are the
same thing and can be combined to
buy levels, pay taxes, and so on.
The Hireling from Munchkin is
considered a Sidekick, and the “Kill
the Hireling” card can be used on any
Big items (from Munchkin) and
Complex items (from Star Munchkin) are
NOT the same thing, and all rules from
both games apply normally. Normal
characters may carry only one Big item
and use only one Complex one.
Combining This Game With MunchkinGo right ahead. Your Mutant Cleric Bounty Hunter and Half-Elf Half-Feline Wizard can rampage through the Space Dungeon . . . Shuffle all the Treasure cards from both games together. Shuffle the Dungeon and Station cards together and treat them as the same kind of card; any reference to one includes the other. Use the “fast play” rules (see above).
Traps and Curses are treated as the same kind of card. Any reference to a Trap also means a Curse and vice versa. Yes, Gadgeteers can “disarm” Curses.
Likewise, Credits and Gold Pieces are the same thing and can be combined to buy levels, pay taxes, and so on.
The Hireling from Munchkin is considered a Sidekick, and the “Kill the Hireling” card can be used on any Sidekick.
Big items (from Munchkin) and Complex items (from Star Munchkin) are NOT the same thing, and all rules from both games apply normally. Normal characters may carry only one Big item and use only one Complex one.