Munchkin Glossary

Please remember: Follow the rules unless the card says otherwise. Then follow the card.
Note: This list does not Include every ability of every type of Character Enhancer. You can find a
list specifically for that here: Munchkin Thingies


  • Armor – Items of this type require a player to have an open Armor slot to equip.

  • Bad Stuff – Monster cards have a section that details what happens to the players when they lose in combat with a monster and then fail to Run Away.

  • Big Item – A type of Item that cannot be stolen. May be of any type of Equipment. A player may only have one Big Item at a time – either Equipped or Carried.

  • Card – When a card mentions “card,” it will generally refer to a specific type of card and/or a location that card must come from. If it does not, the card in question can be any card a player owns, either from their hand or in play.

  • Carried – Any Item that is in play is carried. There is no limit to the number of Small Items you may carry.

  • Charity – At the end of each player’s turn, if they have more than five cards in their hand, they must either play the excess (if possible) or give them to the player with the lowest Level. If there is a tie for lowest Level, distribute the cards as evenly as possible. If the player whose turn it is has the lowest Level, they may discard cards until they only have five left in hand.

  • Combat – Also known as a Fight, combat takes place when a player Kicks Open the Door and finds a monster or when they play a monster from their hand during the Looking For Trouble step. The Combat Strength of the monster is compared to the player, and after a reasonable amount of time is given to the other players to interfere or to offer Help, the combat is concluded. If the monster’s Combat Strength is higher or tied with the player’s, the monster wins and the player must attempt to Run Away. If they fail, they suffer the Bad Stuff. If the player’s Combat Strength is higher, they win. They go up one level per monster in the combat (unless the monster card offers more than one level) and draw as many Treasures as are indicated on the monster(s) cards and any other cards played into the combat. If the player defeated the monster(s) alone, they draw the Treasure cards face down. If the player had Help, the Treasure cards are drawn face up and any deals made for Help must be honored.

  • Combat Bonus – Many cards provide a numerical increase to a player’s Combat Strength. These bonuses can last for just a single combat, like from a potion or One-Shot, or as long as they are equipped, like from Armor or 1-Handed Items.

  • Combat Strength – This is how powerful a munchkin or a monster is in a fight. For munchkins, this is the total of a player’s Level plus all the Combat Bonuses provided by their equipment or other cards. For monsters, it is the total of their Level plus any enhancers played on them.

  • Curse – A Door card that usually has negative effects for the player that draws it face up or has it played on them. These can often affect other players as well.

  • Discard – Moving a card from a player’s hand or “in play” to a discard pile. Many cards that require a discard to occur will specify details such as location of the card or type of card. All discarded cards must be placed in the appropriate discard pile.

  • Discard Pile – An area, generally next to each specific deck, reserved for cards removed from play. Each unique deck type will have its own pile. Discarded cards are face up.

  • Door – A Door card has a stylized door on the back, and is, for the most part, where monsters, curses, and character enhancers can be found.

  • Draw – Take a card from the appropriate pile in the appropriate orientation.
    • Face up – A card drawn face up is visible to all players. Curses drawn this way affect the player who draws them.
    • Face down – A card drawn face down is private to the player who draws it. Any cards drawn this way are placed in the hand.

  • Enhancer
    • Character – A type of card played in front of a player that allows them extra abilities. Each player may have only one of each type of Character Enhancer at a time. Types: Accent, Ally, Army, Birthright, Class, Faction, Loyalty, Mojo, Origin, Race.
    • Class – A Class Enhancer is played on a Class card to give it additional abilities.
    • Item – An Item Enhancer is played on an Item and usually increases its combat strength.
    • Monster – A Monster Enhancer is played on a monster in combat and affects its combat strength.
    • Race – A Race Enhancer is played on a Race card to give it additional abilities.

  • Equipped – An Item that is in play and actively providing a bonus. Most Items that can be Equipped take up a type of slot, e.g. Armor, Headgear, Hand, Footgear . . .

  • Fire/Flame – An attribute that can be found on some Items, which some monsters take more damage from or are immune to.

  • Footgear – Items of this type require a player to have an open Footgear slot to equip.

  • Gold Pieces – Most Items have a Gold Piece value. Some cards refer to this number for effects. Players, on their turn, may trade 1,000 Gold Pieces worth of Items for a level. Every increment of 1,000 is worth a level, and a player may trade for multiple levels at a time. The winning level may not be gained in this way.

  • Hand – This refers to the cards held, out of play, in a player’s actual hand (or area designated as the Hand).

  • Hand Item – Items of this type require a player to have at least one open Hand slot to equip.

  • Headgear – Items of this type require a player to have an open Headgear slot to equip.

  • Hireling – A Hireling card is played in front of the player and allows a player to equip an additional Item. Hirelings go by many names, based on the set being played. Some of the Hireling cards also have races or classes of their own, which provide benefits and drawbacks as if the player was also that class. In some specific rule sets, Hirelings can be sacrificed during combat for an automatic escape.

  • Item – Generally, Treasure cards with Gold Piece values are Items. Most will take up an Equipment slot.

  • Kick Open The Door – A part of each player’s turn in which the top card of the Door deck is drawn face up. If it is a monster, the player must fight it. If it is a Curse, it affects the player; if it is anything else, the player places the card in their Hand.

  • Level – This is a measure of how strong a munchkin or monster is before any bonuses or penalties are applied. When the rules or cards refer to your “Level” (capitalized), they mean this number. To win the game, you must reach Level 10 before the other players.

  • level – You gain or lose levels when a card says you do. You may also trade Items for levels. If a level is not a part of a player’s or monster’s strength rating, it will be lowercase “level.”

  • Look For Trouble – A conditional part of each player’s turn. If a monster is not found during the Kick Open The Door phase, a player may choose to play a monster from their hand to fight.

  • Loot The Room – A conditional part of each player’s turn. If a monster is not found during the Kick Open The Door phase, a player may choose to draw the top Door card face down.

  • Monster – Found in the Door deck, monsters are the primary adversaries of the player. The card will list any bonuses or penalties the monster receives based on their opponent (e.g. +3 against Elves, -2 against Cleric . . . ), the Level of the monster, the amount of Treasure that defeating the monster is worth, and the number of levels gained from defeating the monster. The default number of levels is one; the card will only list number of levels gained if it is more than one. It also details the Bad Stuff that happens when the monster wins and the player fails to Run Away.

  • One-Shot – A type of Item that provides a temporary Combat Bonus during a single combat and is then discarded.

  • Power – A type of Character Enhancer that has a Ranking of 1, 2, or 3. In order to play a Power, a player must be at least the Level of the Ranking, and the total Ranking of Power the player has cannot exceed the Level of the player.

  • Run Away – When a player loses a combat, they must attempt to Run Away. To do this, the player rolls a six-sided die. The player successfully escapes from the monster and the Bad Stuff on a 5 or 6. Anything else results in a failure and the player suffers the Bad Stuff. There are cards that can modify the results of the roll and the number required to escape.

  • Ships – This is a type of card played in front of the player. Each player may only have one Ship. Ships count as Big Items for purposes of Curses and Stealing, but not against the player’s Big Item count. They have a Combat Bonus, have a different Run Away bonus or penalty that replaces the players’, and often have additional abilities.

  • Slot – Each player has five slots in which Items of specific types can be equipped. The slots are Armor, Footgear, 2 Hands, and Headgear. The Hand slots can be taken up by two 1-Handed Items or by one 2-Handed Item.

  • Small Item – Any Item that is not designated as Big is a Small Item. Most Items and cards do not refer to Small Items, but when they do, follow the rule above.

  • Stacking – Some monsters are labeled with a type. Whenever a monster of one type is in combat, other monsters of the same type may be played into that combat without a Wandering Monster card. Not every type acts exactly the same, so check the rules when playing with different types. The types (so far) are: " . . . In Black", "Goth" - from Cthulhu, Bat, Beagle, Chaos, Clown, Death-Eater, Demon, Dragon, Geister, Goblin, Hong Kong, Parasite, Santa, Shark, Swarm, Undead.

  • Steal – Many cards direct you to take a card from another player. The card will usually dictate which player and from where you are taking the card. The Thief Character Enhancer card also gives players the ability to try to take a Small Item from another player. The Thief ability is based on a die roll and has consequences. Cards that mention Stealing are not the same as the Thief ability.

  • Steed – This is a type of card played in front of the player. Each player may only have one Steed. Steeds generally count as Big Items, have a Combat Bonus, have a different Run Away bonus or penalty that replaces the players, and often have additional abilities. Steeds can also be fought as monsters when drawn face up. See Munchkin 4: The Need for Steed for more information.

  • Trap – Traps perform the same function as Curses in sets that are more technologically inclined.

  • Treasure – Treasure cards are where Items and other generally beneficial cards are found. They are usually acquired by defeating monsters.

  • Turn – A player’s Turn consists of a variable number of phases. Kick Open The Door, then Combat or Look For Trouble, and then Combat or Loot the Room. The last phase is Charity.

  • Vehicle – Vehicles follow the Ship rules.

  • Winning Level – A player wins the game by getting to Level 10 first. This Level can only be reached by killing a monster, or by playing a card that states it can be used for the Winning Level.
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