Saturday, 1 December 2012

Alchemy's Wokbench #8: Kill The Monsters. Steal The Treasure. Stab Yourself In The Back?

As I mentioned in an earlier post, I am working on a way of playing the Munchkin card game solo.

This is largely because I am a HUGE fan of the product line (with a sizable collection to boot), but there just isn't the player base where I live, and I have to get my Munchkin kick somehow. Normally this would mean Munchkin Quest, which is a great game, but what about those times when you want to kick in a door, kill a monster, and steal his loot at 3am in the morning or, on a rainy day or, as is most common with our gaming group, when everyone else is on a different shift pattern to you?

It makes getting a game in nigh on impossible but there must be some kind of solution. Right?

Well, I am a firm believer that nearly ANY game can be played solo. You just need to take a good long look at it and then get creative! Munchkin was no exception. I also believe that when creating a solo play version of a game, it should mirror the original in its theme and goals, else what you are actually doing is creating a new game, using the same components.

The first thing I needed to do was concisely breakdown the goal of Munchkin, which I would describe as "Reach level X before your opponent(s) do". So by nature it's a race game essentially, which makes it amazingly simple to convert. It also makes it incredibly easy to tweak once converted to either increase or, decrease the difficulty. Awesome!

So without further ado, I present:

Munchkin: solo
Compatable with all major Munchkin releases.

 Components: Nothing beyond the norm. The solo version of Munchkin has been designed so that you won't need to raid your gaming shelf BUT, it does run on the assumption that you are playing Epic Munchkin (because what true Munchkin wouldn't want to play to level 20!?), so if you are using standard level counters, you may want to retire them in favor of a couple of D20's.

Set-Up: Before dealing yourself your starting hand, deal out six piles of ten Room cards in front of you, and directly below each of these piles, deal a pile of ten Treasure cards (for a grand total of 60 Room cards and 60 Treasure cards across 12 piles).

Flip the top card of every Room pile so that it is visible and, now deal out your starting hand.

Play: Munchkin is played normally with the following exceptions:

  • When you would "Kick Open A Door" you instead choose to encounter the top card visible on any of the Room piles.

  • If you do not encounter a Monster you may "Look For Trouble" as normal or, "Loot The Room". If you do so, the face-up cards on the top each pile are considered face-down for the purposes of looting the room (and for all other reasons during the game, they're flexible like that).

  • If you are forced into "Charity", you simply discard the cards regardless of whom is actually the lowest level player.

  • After the "Charity" phase, your opponent automatically gains a level and, your next turn begins straight away.

  • Curses that would cause your opponent to lose a level still do so and may be played at any time but, curses that have any other effect other than reducing your opponents level, such as "Lose One Small Item", instead prevent your opponent from automatically leveling up at the end of your turn.

  • For the purposes of all cards, you are considered to be alone and unable to ask for help.

Winning: The player wins if they reach level X before their opponent but, as with standard Munchkin, the last level can only be gained by slaying a monster.


  1. Cool! Just got Munchkin for my bday and will have to try this out.

    Know of any two player rules?

  2. Cheers. :0). I've always just gone with what was in the book but, there is always the quick game variant that they include.

    Beyond that, there is a copy of every rules set over at the official site (, as well as forum where such issues may be being discussed. The rules included work pretty well though.

  3. Wiining section mentions the opponent, but if I am playing solo who is the opponent? Should I be playing two or more sets of cards?