Set Up A trick-taking card game for 3-8 players, Ages 8+ Skip the Rules! Watch the Video! Watch a live tutorial and learn to play the game without reading the rules by visiting www.level99games.com/games/anansi Ken Maher Artist 3* 4** 5 Remaining Cards 12 11 11 2 3 1 6 7 8 Remaining Cards 9 8 7 2 - Summary of Play Stephanie Johnson Development Team D. Brad Talton Jr., Joshua Van Laningham, Christopher Smith, Mike Robles, Sam Tapper, Reagan McClellan, JR Honeycutt, Chad Hantak Playtesters Ty Arnold, Kier Arnold, Matthew Fournier, and others on the Level 99 Games Forum Components • 9 Role Cards • 56 Animal Cards • 10 Trait Cards • 12 Fool Cards • 8 Off-Suit Abilities Variant Reference Cards Object “A story, a story; let it come, let it go.” Once, all the stories belonged to someone else but now they belong to Anansi, the Trickster (which is a story unto itself!). Everyone knows that the best stories happen when you play someone else for the fool. But sometimes even the best of tricks can backfire, and who plays the fool then? In Anansi and the Box of Stories the players take on the roles of archetypal animals in a trick taking game where you can use your animal cunning and abilities to turn the tricks in your favor. During each Trick, every player plays one card they feel will trump everyone else’s. The player who wins the most tricks without being made a fool will prove their wisdom and be made the winner. The cards The Role Cards display each Character’s image, score multiplier, and an explanation of their unique ability on the front. The Animal Cards consist of both a suit (Strength, Bravery, Arrogance, Jealousy, Friendliness or Craftiness) an Animal (one of the nine Characters) and a Value (from 1-9). In addition, there are two Wild Animal Cards that have a value but no suit. These are wild and may be used during any trick, and can even win a trick (they count as the Lead suit). They also count the same as any of the other Anansi cards in the deck for determining the fool. Animal Card # of Hand Players Dealt # of Hand players Dealt Player 1 Hand Player 3 Hand Player 2 Hand Player 4 Hand Scoring All players score points according to the role they chose for the Round. Score is printed on the front of the respective Role Cards. This number is the value of each Trick won during the Round. The number in the upper right corner shows how many points this player will receive for each trick they capture in the round. The mouse player will get four points per trick captured. * For a 3 player game remove any two suits from the deck before beginning. ** For a 4 Player game remove one of the suits. Designer Role Card Separate the 9 Role Cards and the 56 Animal Cards (including Wilds). Spread out the Role Cards in the center of the table. Shuffle the Animal Cards and deal out a starting hand to each of the players according to the following table. Any remaining cards are put to the side. They will not be used this round. After a round ends, you will find the Fool and then score points for the Round. After this you will start the next round. For the next round, shuffle up the animal cards and deal new hands to players. Since players keep one card from the previous round, they will receive one less from round 2 onward. The following is an example of a 4 player game on the last two Tricks. Wild Card The game is played over a series of rounds in which players choose their roles, play cards, find the fool, and score points. The game ends as soon as one player has collected 3 Fool Cards or after 5 Rounds have been played. A finished trick. Since the Lead card at the bottom of the stack is Arrogance, the player who played the 8 of Arrogance would win this Trick. Choosing Roles When choosing roles, randomly set out animal cards equal to the number of players plus one in the middle of the table for all players to see and select from. Set aside the rest for possible use in later rounds. For the first round, the smallest player gets to choose the first role. In future rounds, the player named the Fool in the previous round is first to choose their role in the following round (if none, determine who chooses first randomly). The right to choose a role then moves to the player’s left. The nine roles are: Anansi the Spider, the Hornet, the Chameleon, the Mouse, the Hare, the Turtle, the Snake, the Monkey and the Leopard. Each role has its own unique abilities and its own score multiplier which is fully explained in the “Scoring” section of this rulebook.. Any roles not chosen by players are set aside for the round. At the beginning of each round, randomly set out a new set of animal cards. Card Play Once the hands are dealt, roles are assigned, the Leopard has named the Trump suit for the Round, and the Monkey has traded for their desired card, play begins with the first Trick (set of cards played). The Hare goes first. If the Hare is not in play, randomly choose who goes first. The first player can play any card from their hand. This is called the “Lead”. The next player must play a card of the same suit as the Lead (wild cards count as the Lead suit). If a player has no cards of the Lead suit, then they can play a card of any other suit. This is called playing “off-suit”. If a you have not played a trump card in a Trick, you cannot play a trump until you have no cards of the Lead suit in hand. This is called “breaking the Trump”. After everyone has played one card, the Trick ends. The winner of the trick is the player who played: 1) The highest-numbered trump card; or if no trumps were played, 2) the highest-numbered card of the lead suit. In the case of a tie (through using special abilities or the two wild Anansi cards) the Trick goes to the next highest-numbered lead card played. If it is still tied, no one wins the trick. The winner of the trick gets all of the cards played (these are the “captured Tricks”) and puts these cards in front of them in a pile facedown, taking care to keep each captured trick in a separate pile. That player then leads the next Trick, play again proceeds to the left. If a role card affects your card play (Snake, Chameleon, Hornet), they use that ability at the moment they play their card during a trick. The Mouse can only use his or her ability at the moment a trick is captured. Remember, you can only use the special ability once per round! You can turn your character card sideways to mark that you have used one of these abilities. Play Tricks until each player has one card left. This final card of each hand (including the final round) is kept in the player’s hand secretly to be used in the next round. The kept cards do not count toward scoring this round, nor toward finding the fool. This final card is added to the player’s next hand. Consider carefully what you will carry over between rounds! Player 1 Hand Player 3 Hand Player 2 Hand Player 4 Hand In this Trick the Lead card is of the Friendliness Suit. Since there is no other Friendliness card in the Trick, the played who played the Lead card wins the Trick. Since this is the last Trick of the Round, the last card in all player’s hands will be kept for next round. Finding the Fool At the end of the Round, when all but the last card in each players’ hand has been played, each player will add up the value of all the Anansi Cards they have collected in their captured tricks. The player with the highest total of Anansi Animal Cards takes a Fool Card and places it in front of them to show their folly. If there is a tie, the Player with the single highest-numbered Anansi card wins. If no one has Anansi cards, no one is the Fool for that round. Fool Cards also subtract 5 points from a player’s score at the end of the game (see Game End section). If a Player receives a third Fool Card, the game ends (scoring still occurs) and they automatically lose the game. FOOL A PLAYER WITH FOOL CARDS GETS THE FOLLOWING AT THE END OF THE -5 -10 GAME: POINTS FOR ONE, FOR TWO, AND LOSES THE GAME FOR THREE (IMMEDIATELY). 9 7 The round ends, and the left player has one Anansi card with a value of 9. The right player has two Anansi cards with a total value of 7. Thus, the left player is the Fool and gets a Fool card. The Leopard, Monkey , Chameleon, Hornet and the Turtle earn 3 points for each Trick. The Hare, Mouse and Snake earn 4 points for each Trick. Anansi scores 5 points for each Trick. Keep track of the scores on a sheet of paper. Once the Fool is found and the scores recorded, place all Role Cards back in the center of the table, shuffle all the Animal Cards and deal them out again adding the left-over card from each player’s hand of the previous Round. Starting with the player who was just named the fool choose your new roles (all 9 are available) and begin another Round. TRICK 1 ROLE TRICK 2 TRICK 3 This role gives three points a Trick. Since this player won three Tricks they get 9 points. Game End The game ends one of two ways: immediately when one player receives a third Fool card, or after 5 Rounds have passed. If any player gets a third Fool Card, they also automatically lose the game, no matter their score. Among all remaining players, tally up the score for each player. Subtract 5 points from a player’s score for each Fool Card they have. Score totals can be negative. The winner of the game is the player with the most points. If there is a tie, the highest scoring Player with the least number of Fool cards wins. If there is still a tie, then both players win. Special Abilities THE LEOPARD is feared by the other animals for its great power. The player choosing the Leopard gets to name the Trump Suit for that Round (after looking at their dealt hand). Trump cards played automatically beat the highest numbered card of any other suit. They may choose any one of the six suits (Strength, Bravery, Arrogance, Jealousy, Friendliness, or Craftiness) as trump. All cards of that suit will beat any card of the others. The player announces trump by saying “This is a story about ... (Bravery).” The Leopard may choose to have no trump for the Round. In this case the highest card of the suit led will win each Trick.“This is a story about nothing.” If no one chooses the role of the Leopard, trump for the Round is defaulted to Cleverness (all Cleverness Cards are Trump). THE MONKEY is a thief. The player choosing the Monkey may call for any one card of a suit and value. The player who has that card must trade it with the player who chose the Monkey. The player who chose the Monkey chooses the card to return in the trade. If no one has the requested card, the Monkey is out of luck. THE SNAKE is strong. Once per Round the Snake may change the value of one of his cards by adding or subtracting 2 to its face value. He declares this as it is played. This effect ends after the Trick is taken. If this causes a tie for who wins the Trick, the Snake wins. THE HARE is fast. The player choosing the Hare may jump in and lead the first Trick in a Round, whether it was their turn to do so or not. He may use this ability only two times per round. This option must be declared by the player after a Trick is won, but before any other player has led a card to the new Trick. THE MOUSE is sneaky. Once per Round he may decide to prevent ONE Trick from scoring. The player who claimed it may still lead the next Trick, but may not score the Trick for points. Set the chosen Trick aside face up to show that it won’t score any points. The Anansi cards in this Trick also do not apply for determining this Round’s totals! THE CHAMELEON is subtle. Once per Round the chameleon may change the suit of one of its cards. This may be used to change a card into a trump suit. The chameleon cannot use this ability to change the animal on the card. THE HORNET acts as a swarm. The player choosing the Hornet may play any two cards of the same animal to count as one combined value in one of the suits of the cards added together. This effect ends after the Trick is taken. You may not use this if you only have two cards in your hand. This also means that this player will be short one card for the remainder of the Round. They therefore have to not play in one Trick of their choosing before the Round’s end if they use this effect. THE TURTLE is wise. The player choosing the Turtle may not be named the fool for this Round. If the Turtle has claimed the most Anansi points for the Round the title of Fool is given to the player with the next highest total. ANANSI is crafty. He is neither feared nor admired by anyone, but they do all watch him closely, for they all know he has something up one of his eight sleeves. The player choosing Anansi receives no special abilities. Partnership (Variant) Off Suit Abilities (Variant) The smartest animals work together, whether to C1 prove their wisdom or their cunning. Playing with B1 D1 partnerships lets you team up to score. The partnership variant allows for play with 4, 6, A1 A2 or 8 players working in teams of 2. Teams sit around the table spaced equally among the teams. A four D2 B2 C2 team (8-player) game this would look like this. Normal rules apply with the following exceptions: • A player cannot modify their partner’s cards with the Snake, Chameleon, or Hornet ability. • Tricks captured and fool cards are shared between both partners. Use the lower score multiplier from among the two roles the partnership selected. • The Anansi role has the ability “Your partnership’s captured tricks are worth 1 additional point.” • The first partnership to collect three Fool Cards loses the game as normal. This triggers the end of the game with the scoring as normal. Especially clever players may wish to introduce more trickery into the game. Playing with off-suit abilities makes every card play a chance to use your cunning. Off-suit abilities are special abilities that trigger when you play a card that is neither a trump nor a lead card (note that you can only play off-suit when you do not have any cards that match the lead card). Whenever you play a card off-suit, look at the animal on the card, and activate the ability that matches that animal. THE LEOPARD can remove an Anansi card from one your captured tricks. The removed card is set aside for the rest of the round. Character Traits (variant) Animals are more than just their physical traits–character plays a part in deciding how they act and what they will do. In this variant, you have access to select special character traits, which offer additional scoring opportunities. Normal rules apply with the following exceptions: • Pair a character trait randomly with each role, then choose roles as normal • Character Traits take effect during scoring, and give you some additional points. • Any unused Character Trait Cards are set aside for the Round, but will be available again next Round, like Role Cards. • In combination with the Partnership Variant, scoring effects from Traits are applied only to the player who chose the Trait, not to their partner. Once the individual scores are tallied, they are added together for the partner’s final score for the Round. THE MONKEY takes a card from the current trick (except the card that is currently ‘winning’ the trick) and puts it into your hand. Then put a card from your Hand into the current trick face down. This card is considered blank until scoring ends and does not count for anything (finding the Fool, Leopard’s off-suit ability, scoring, etc.). THE SNAKE allows no more off-suit abilities to be used for the rest of this Trick. THE HARE allows the player who played it to lead the next trick. If multiple Hares are played off-suit, the player that played the most recent one leads. THE MOUSE allows the player who played it to break order and play last during the next Trick. If multiple Mice are played off-suit, the player that played the most recent one goes last. Common Questions Q: What happens if it is the end of round 5 AND a Player receives a third Fool card? A: The Player that received the third Fool Card would lose the game, then proceed to final scoring and the end of the game as normal. Q: I have the Hornet role and am playing with off suit abilities variant. If I use the Hornet’s ability to play two cards of the same animal, do I get the off suit effect twice? A: No, you are playing them as if it were one card, so you only get the effect once. You would choose which one of the effects to use. Q: Can I play with multiple variants at the same time? A: Yes! All the variants are designed to be mixed and matched, so you can play with as many or as few as you want! Terminology Trick: A set of cards being played once by each player. At the end of this the player with the highest card or highest Trump card played wins all cards played. Captured Trick: The cards gained from winning a Trick. These are face-up. Round: A full set of tricks played, with one card left over in each player’s hand. At the end of this, scoring occurs. Game: A full set of 5 rounds played (or when one player gets 3 Fool Cards). Suit: Strength, Bravery, Arrogance, Jealousy, Friendliness, or Craftiness. These are present on all Animal Cards. Value: The number in the corners of every animal card. Off-Suit: A card that is not of the current Lead suit or Trump suit. Trump: A card of the suit that is declared trump by the Leopard, or a Cleverness card, if there is no Leopard. Trump cards played automatically beat the highest numbered card of any other suit. and more You can visit www.level99games.com to stay updated on all of our new releases! Follow the QR code below to get there! THE CHAMELEON changes to the current Lead suit when played. THE HORNET gives the winner of its Trick one negative point. Mark this on your score sheet. Scores can go below 0 during scoring. THE TURTLE gives the player who played it 1 point. Mark this immediately. ANANSI has no additional effect for this variant. This player has two Bravery cards in their winning Trick(s) at the end of the round. With the Brave Trait they would score an additional 2 points, for a total of 5 points (1 Trick+2 bonus points). Thanks for Playing!
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