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I have been disputing with my friends lately about the fact that the creators of Munchkin intended for people to cheat or not. By cheating I mean doing anything the rules say you can't do or that is obviously not allowed, e.g.: using more hands then you're supposed to, stealing cards from the deck when nobody's looking. I believe the game is all about being a jerk and a backstabber in every way. Who agrees that you should be allowed to steal and cheat in Munchkin but have it be punishable however the GM sees fit?

  • What do you mean by cheating? Can you give some examples. – Joe W Mar 4 at 1:38
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    @JoeW just going by the definition of the cheating tag on this site. cheating is "breaking the rules" so anything that the rules say you cant do, like using three hands without the permitting card. Or anything that is just blatantly not allowed, like stealing extra cards while nobody is looking and stuff like that. – Elias Rowan Albatross Mar 4 at 1:48
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    You should edit that into the question but my thoughts are that the answer is no because that makes the game not very fun to play – Joe W Mar 4 at 1:50
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    Munchkin the board game has no GM to police/punish cheating. As a result, the players must follow and enforce the rules as a group – Zags Mar 4 at 14:10
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    If cheating is allowed then wouldn't it kinda by definition not be cheating? My head hurts. – goldPseudo Mar 6 at 0:43
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According to the very old rules from the beginning of munchkin you could cheat if the other players didn't catch you.

Likewise, you may also use only one headgear, one suit of armor, one pair of footgear, and two “hand” items (or one “two hands” item), unless you have a card that lets you cheat or the other players don’t catch you.

That was in an earlier version of the rules and doesn't appear in the newer rules, so probably a no. On the Munchkin FAQ the fifth question under General Questions is

Q. But don't the rules say it's OK to cheat if you don't get caught?

A. Not anymore, and even when they did, it was a joke. If you want a game where cheating is in the spirit and the letter of the rules, try Illuminati.

So again no.

Anyways, cheating is breaking the rules and makes the game not very fun, so I'd say no to cheating.

If you want to read those rules, I accessed them from https://boardgamegeek.com/filepage/3069/rulespdf. You need a boardgamegeek account to download them. To find that specific passage, hit Ctrl+F then write "cheat" in the box that appears.

Also see this old cheat card:

Cheat!: "Player may do one thing that would otherwise be against the rules."

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    Also, scroll down to the bottom here to see the official stance of Steve Jackson Games on cheating - the line in the manual was meant to be a joke, and they do not endorse it. Unfortunately players took the line at face value and hence thought that cheating was encouraged. – ConMan Mar 4 at 3:37
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    Point of fact: you can cheat in any game so long as no one catches you. – L. Scott Johnson Mar 4 at 13:10
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    @L.ScottJohnson Point of fact: if people do catch you cheating, you will stop getting invited to play board games. Risk/benefit analysis is an important life skill – Zags Mar 4 at 14:15
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    @Zags Indeed. Just pointing out the obviousness of the "or the other players don't catch you" being a joke / not endorsed. – L. Scott Johnson Mar 4 at 14:48
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    @Andrew That's the best I can do for now... (please see edited question) – Yout Ried Mar 4 at 16:05

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