Munchkin, Party of One


Greetings from my house . . . or as I call it these days, Munchkin FOB. Austin, like many other places, is under shelter in place orders, so I've been making the magic happen from my home office. I'm very fortunate to have a job that I can do at home with very little disruption, but I know many people aren't as lucky, especially with more and more businesses reducing hours, limiting services, or just closing entirely for the duration.

The game industry is far from immune these changes, and our thoughts go out to everyone who's struggling in this already challenging industry: store owners and employees, distributors, publishers, and freelancers. Sadly, I fear that we're going to lose a lot of good businesses in the next few months. (SJ Games won't be one of them, however; read Steve's statement on how COVID-19 is affecting us for more information.)

And, of course, social distancing is making it more difficult to all of us to play our favorite games with our friends. A couple of weeks ago, I wrote some draft rules for playing Munchkin over video chat, and in this post, I'm suggesting some solo rules for the times when your friends aren't available.

  1. Wash your hands! (This isn't actually a rule of the game but it's a very good reminder.)
  2. Pick your favorite Munchkin set. Shuffle both decks and deal yourself the usual starting hand. (You can play this with expansions but I'd try it with just a core game first.) You start at Level 1.
  3. Play your turns normally except for two special combat rules:
    1. If you kill a monster whose Level is lower than yours, do not go up a level but still draw the Treasures. We don't want this to be too easy on you!
    2. If you fail your Run Away roll, just lose a level rather than whatever the printed Bad Stuff is. This is for simplicity.
  4. If you kill a monster and reach Level 10, you win! However, if you fail to Run Away when you are at Level 1, you have died and you lose the game. Losing is bad and we do not recommend it.

That's it! These rules are very much a draft, and we encourage you to give them a try and then give us your feedback over on the forums. We hope these will provide a little amusement while you are self-isolating and staying inside. We look forward to the day when these rules are just a diversion, rather than a necessity.

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