The one part of King of Tokyo I don't like is when players have to leave the game because their monster dies. Are there any variants/house rules that keeps players in the game?

  • What are they supposed to do after they lose other than play kingmaker? – Joe W Dec 27 '15 at 14:37
  • @Joew; a variant could include something that says that running out of health doesn't prevent you completely from being able to win. – GendoIkari Dec 28 '15 at 3:55
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    Considering that eliminating other players is a big part of the game that would be a major change. – Joe W Dec 28 '15 at 3:57
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    @GendoIkari This doesn't really make much sense. The game is centered around two resources: victory points and health. If you remove health, you also take away many of the game mechanics, and effectively eliminate two sides of the dice. So now we've eliminated one way to win and 1/3 of the main game mechanic (dice rolling). At this point, it's time to design a new board game. – SocioMatt Dec 28 '15 at 18:37
  • I don't have any specific ideas, which is why I'm not posting an answer, but I can see how you can make just a small change so that while health is still important to your final score, you don't auto lose for having 0 health. For example, count remaining health points as part of your score at the end of the game. – GendoIkari Dec 28 '15 at 22:06

From a game design perspective, adding a house rule that eliminates monster deaths doesn't make much sense.

King of Tokyo is centered around two resources: victory points and health. If you take away the death of monsters, you essentially remove health as a resource from the game. This also eliminates many of the game mechanics, such as monster powers through cards, but most notably two sides of the dice have now become useless (the attack and health symbols).

Now we've eliminated one way to win the game (kill the other monsters) and 1/3 of the main game mechanic (dice rolling), plus a number of monster power cards that deal specifically with attacking and health. At the point were these changes are made, it might be time to find or design a new board game that uses mechanics you enjoy while avoiding those you don't.

As a side note, I understand where the frustration is coming from. If a player gets eliminated because their monsters dies early, having to sit around and watch this game being played while not participating is not much fun. Because of the dice rolling mechanic, this game tends more toward chaos, so you risk playing solitaire for the next hour on your corner of the table if things don't roll your way.

  • I disagree. There's a difference between saying "when you run out of health, you are no longer eliminated from the game" and saying "health no longer exists, and the thus attack side of dice do nothing". – GendoIkari Dec 29 '15 at 16:46
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    "you risk playing solitaire for the next hour". Our games of KoT tend to last about 10 minutes tops - I don't quite understand how you can make it last an hour. – Philip Kendall Dec 29 '15 at 17:55
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    @GendoIkari I think your answer of how to transform the health resource into points makes sense, I just think that the OP may as well find a new game that more appropriately aligns with their gaming preferences. – SocioMatt Dec 29 '15 at 19:30
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    @PhilipKendall Maybe a bit of an exaggeration on my part, but the first person eliminated from our games generally has to sit around for much longer than is desirable before a new game starts. And maybe we're being too strategic for a game about smashing Tokyo... – SocioMatt Dec 29 '15 at 19:32
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    It's also worth noting the card It has a child which allows you to be "reborn" if you are "killed." If the rules were altered to allow players to play post-mortem, It has a child wouldn't mean much. – daviscodesbugs Jan 13 '17 at 4:43

There are a few things you could do, but they would have a significant impact on the way the game works.

There are 2 ways to win King of Tokyo. Get 20 points, or be the last monster alive. Any suggestion that makes it no longer a game of elimination would remove the second way of winning.

The trick is that if losing all your health doesn't eliminate you from the game, you need to decide what it does mean. There are a few options of how you could handle it though:

  • If you have no health, you cannot earn any points or attack. Thus the only thing you can do on your turn is heal. So you are still in the game, but you are slowed down a bunch, making it harder to win.

  • Similar to above; if you have no health, you just skip your turn, and instead automatically heal some given amount of health. This way you aren't relying on continually re-rolling, hoping for health, to get back in. But you are still slowed down as you miss a normal turn.

  • When the game ends, consider your health points to be part of your score. Thus someone who has no health left will not have as many points. He could still win, but it would be harder.

  • When you have 0 health, damage takes away your points instead. In this way, your points act kind of like additional health. Having no health is still really bad, because then you can't win by getting enough points either.

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