5

I am wondering on what modifications could we make to Munchkin for a better overall gameplay when adapting it to be played with 7-12 players.

I am currently worried with the following issues:

  • Number of cards (the quantity of cards available is limited, and more players means more consumption)
  • Cards turnover (it will probably result in a more frequent used cards pile recycling, leveraging repeated cards usage)
  • Time (it will last more to finish a full round, and consequently a full game)
  • Balancing interferences (when it's in my turn it might have from 6 up to 11 allies or enemies, very likely to leverage the number of interferences, which could lead to be almost impossible to win a game - almost always there will be someone that can disturb you from winning, turning it into an endless game)

But feel free to also address any additional aspect I haven't covered.

  • 1
    Adding additional versions of Munchkin to the base set should take care of limited cards and frequency of recycling. However, I agree on your points about the time extension and potential endless game. – SocioMatt May 9 '16 at 18:54
  • 3
    I have played such a large game. Time to complete each round was the biggest issue. Not an experience I expect to repeat. Just break out a 2nd game & split the crowd, or better yet find a game that scales better. – tjd May 9 '16 at 19:03
  • 4
    12 player Munchkin?? I think there is a quote from War Games that might be applicable here... – bwarner May 9 '16 at 19:35
  • 2
    My experience with multi player munchkin, is that you have to time your winning move. With 12 players there should be enough power to stop 2 to 3 persons from making the winning move. So it is wise to be the 3rd or 4th. So you can make your move if all defenses are depleted. – Toon Krijthe May 11 '16 at 5:33
  • Oh my god, this sounds miserable! The amount of time between each player doing anything, and the discrepancy between getting lucky and unlucky draws... As others say, better to split the group! – Samthere May 31 '16 at 9:51
4

In addition to getting more cards for the deck, have more people go at the same time.

This concept works for games of 8, 9, 10, and 12 players. Games of 7 and 11 present a prime problem.

Plan. Have two or three players kick open the door at the same time. Each takes a card off the top of the Door pile, but keeps it face down in front of them. Then, they kick it open simultaneously, and commence the fighting.

The active players should be equally separated around the table. In their seating positions, 1 through X, the bolded seats are active. As an example, consider 8 and 9:
8: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 divisible by 2
9: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 divisible by 3

A game of 10 players would be similar to one by 8, while 12 could follow either.

An additional level of complexity could be added by limiting the range a player has. For a game with 2 active players, an active player and those sitting right next to him can't hamper or aid the other active player. In a game with 3 active players, the non-active players can only target the active player immediately to their left and right, but not the far player.

  • Interesting variation - I think this might address the "Balancing interferences" issue. – falsarella May 10 '16 at 16:29
  • +1 I might just institute the limited range of influence option in all of my Munchkin games from now on. – SocioMatt May 10 '16 at 18:25
  • @SocioMatt I'd caution against that. Munchkin is balanced-ish for up to 6 players. If the intent is to prevent the cascading delay of game, because of the number of people trying to stop a player from winning, consider only limiting the range of those trying to Hamper. – Drunk Cynic May 10 '16 at 19:16
  • @DrunkCynic That's a good point. My issue with the game has always been that annoying period where everyone is around level 9 and the person that wins is the one that happens to get lucky and survive everyone else's onslaught. – SocioMatt May 10 '16 at 20:24
3

First advice: get more cards.

Fortunately, there are many expansions of Munchkin. I find it easier to combine 2 or more decks when playing with more than 4 players. Also, the "Cheat with both hands" expansion addresses the fact, that many sets have different added rules and classes/races are not compatible.

In large playgroup, inadvertently factions arise, and play tends to get longer. As with many multiplayer games, there is no easy solution for that. It's more fun with more people, until you reach certain number of players, when it isn't fun anymore.

In my experience, it gets better with time, when the group gets to know each other better.

3

There's not much you can do about the time. It's Munchkin. it's a 30 minute game that extends to two hours with the regular number of players. More players means more piling on. Munchkin takes so long because you win not by defeating enemies but by out lasting the counter blows from your other players. More people mean you have to be even stronger to break through. The best you can do to address that is to start the pile-ons sooner.


Suggestions

1. Change the goal from 10 levels to 5.

Muchkin is a 2 hour game with four people. More people means more time. With level 10 as the goal people wait till you hit level 8 or so before attacking you. With 10 players that's going to take forever so set the goal to five. The beginning will be odd but people will push those attacks faster and you can begin the end game war of attrition a lot sooner.

2. Reduce monster values

Because the goal is level 10, monsters can be worth 2-3 levels because it generates a fun swing when you gain a few levels and then lose a few levels. With this many people. that swing is what makes the game so long. Instead make every monster count. Each monster is worth 1 level for every say 3 levels out there. If you would normally gain 3 levels.. too bad it's just 1. If you would normally gain 4 levels. Gain two.

3. Buy expansions

Honestly even with 12 people hoarding items card limitations is a very easy problem to fix. First off remind people they can sell items for levels. There's a lot to be gained from selling levels instead of jumping into the firing squad. But if all else fails there are a TON of munchkin expansions that are cheap.

4. Limit Bags

In the rules your bag is unlimited. You can carry whatever you want and are only limited in what you can equip. Instead set a firm rule. Maybe you can carry everything you can wear, one alternative. (so for instance, One head, one arm, one arm, one food, one body, and for an alt a two handed OR an extra foot). And then in terms of everything else no more than say 5 items. This could also encourage people to sell stuff rather than hold on to it. To use those attack rather than to wait for someone to get to level 4.


These limits should get people more invested in attacking, more willing to attack, make attacks more serious, and make them more manageable as people won't be able to hoard 20 levels of monsters until you get to level 9 causing you to lose 4 levels or die. It makes the game harder to keep going. Thus ending it sooner. Card turnover isn't really an issue in my opinion. Cards aren't so powerful that seeing them again and again is really something to be concerned with. With the exception of removing every "Gain a Level" card from my deck (because I DID see those a lot and they're not fun/interesting) I've played many games and never seen a card I would not like to see again. The best I can do to address the balance is to limit the weapons people can have. If everyone blows their wad on you the next guy won't have anyone doing anything. Now people won't have the gear to attack everyone every turn. So hopefully this means that some of them are always gaining gear and some of them are always using it and not everyone at the same time is using it. Ideally on any given turn you won't have 7-10 enemies because there wont' be 7-10 people with that much gear because they'll be using it on people before you.

  • Honestly @falsarella playing a single game of Munchkin with 12 people is a bit questionable. It's a four player game. Heck it'd be a long game splitting into two games of six. I urge you to just buy some more cards split the deck and play two games side by side if possible. – Wolfkin May 9 '16 at 19:29
3

I worked as a board game master in a gaming Cafe for some time, and I have ran Munchkin for quite... different amounts of players, ranging from 2 to... well, I can't remember exactly, but it was around 10 probably, or a bit more.

What you can do...

  1. Get more cards. With experience you will know how much is enough for which amount of players, but getting too many is better than having too few. As it was in a cafe, we had all the expansions that were translated into Russian (I live in Russia).
  2. If you can't get enough cards, don't forget to mix the cards well when you turn the deck over, so you don't have similar sequences of cards as they were played before. Enforce the rule about the amount of cards in your hand very strictly.
  3. Make sure everyone understands the rules, so turns take less time. Appoint someone who will help anyone who is unfamiliar with rules -- I was appointed by the cafe and it was my job, but if you are playing with friends, still do appoint someone.
  4. Use the optional rules that everyone gets a free door card each turn in their hand, so they have more possibilities to act during someone's turn, makes the delay between average person's actions way less.
  5. Don't change too many stats, or you make the game even more broken than it's supposed to be.
  6. Though, feel free to play with the winning level!
  7. If you have limited time, also...
    1. Try to give more door cards (those that you get face down), makes the game waaay faster.
    2. Try to use the rule that when the deck is turned over a second time, you finish your turns for that round normally and the one with the highest level wins (effectively sets an approximate limit on the turns that can be played).
    3. If you are OK with that, get a time limit on your turns.
    4. Try playing another game. Maybe Munchkin just isn't the fit for your group, as it's not famous for being played quickly.

Good luck!

1

You obviously need to get more cards for one, but one solution I have used is to make it so that players have a limited number of lives. the limit is arbitrary, so long as there is a set number. For example: say I am in a game of 12 players and we all get 3 lives. After a while people will start dying and there will be (a lot of) looting going on. After you die 3 times, you lose and anything that was not looted (as can happen once the number of players starts to drop)gets set aside or discarded. You would want to keep items to the side if you want them to still be involved as an undead. This last rule is just to make the losing players feel included, but basically one losing player at a time can mess with a player that is still alive until they are slain. Then that player can loot that player instead of taking treasure. You could apply this rule to all games, but it is most useful in large player games when you want to make sure everyone feels involved. If everyone happens to die, but some are still "undead players" they can come back in to the game. Slain players are still out though because they weren't munchkinly enough. This is just my personal preference for large player games, but you might find it useful.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.