Page 1

A game of prediction and tribal mayhem for two to four players


Long ago in the village of Mu-ma-tra an elder was displeased. Warmer and warmer years had made the hunting and foraging plentiful. The nomadic tribes of the surrounding lands settled in his village. They would squabble in the streets, sometimes violently. So, he set up a contest; each year on the longest day, the tribes would play their music and one tribe would be allowed to challenge another to fight. Through these contests, the tribes could recruit and increase their rank. The elder hoped a tribe would ascend to unite the village under one totem--- one tribe.

Copyright James Buchanan, 2010. All rights reserved.


Object of the Game

Musical, Magical Tribal Arena is a game for three or four players. (Two players can play with just a couple of rules modifications.) Each player takes the role of a different tribe within the same village. They must compete in musical and combat displays in the arena to attract more people to their side and ultimately take control of the village. The arena has strict rules: three members in a team and only one tool, usually a weapon or instrument, per team. Success in the arena takes cunning, to predict your opponents moves, and a well developed sense of timing. As you compete in the Arena, time marches on. Tools become more sophisticated, shamans become more potent, and eventually civilization kicks in and the village will demand one leader. Will that leader be you?

You want to have more people than all your rivals when the game ends. Depending on the scenario other things may give you points, but the bulk of your points will come from having more people. (In the standard scenario, only the four Wheat cards can give extra points beyond those provided by your people.) The game can end in one of two ways. The game can end when there are no more people in the audience (which represent the undecided people in the village.) Often before that, if anyone discovers Wheat while they are in the lead, they can end and win the game. Components   

  


4 Scenario Cards 72 small People Cards  12 in each tribe  24 in the Audience 54 large Tool Cards  6 for each tribe  18 Age I tools  12 Age II tools Talking Stick Scenario Cards Rulebook

People Cards People cards function as your victory points, allow you to play certain tools, and help you win contests. There are three critical bits of information on the card:



1. The Title and Picture match tool cards that that person allows. For example, Warriors allow you to play a Club (which they prefer when taking prisoners from other villages) while Hunters allow an Axe.


2. The Set-up Icon in the upper-right will indicate whether the person starts in a player's tribe or the audience. 3. The Contest Icon in the lower-right will be a Combat Icon, a Music Icon, or a Support Icon. These help you win the music and combat contests in the arena. Tool Cards Tool cards provide major bonuses in the contests and special powers to help you win the game.



1. The Title of the Card 2. The Set-up Icon indicates whether it's a tool that stays with your tribe the whole game or a one-time-use tool you draw from the deck. 3. This area indicates what person you need on your team to use this tool.


4. Always wins versus Club


4. Here is the Special Power of the tool. The orange circle indicates whether the effect is Before Music, during the Music Contest, during the Combat Contest, or After Combat. 5. Tool contain between zero and five Contest Icons that are added to those from your team during contests. 4

Talking Stick The talking stick indicates the Active Player, who picks a team-member first. The Active Player also uses it to show who he or she will fight in the Combat round.

Lupus --- Leader of Coyotes Invention: Pipe Turn-ons: Song, Flutes Lacklusker in combat skill, Lupus prefers subtler means of gaining power. He keeps the largest cadre of shamans whom he consults with before entering the Arena.

Set-up Choose a Scenario card lay it where everyone can see it. For the first game, Tribal Egalitarianism is recommended. Each player chooses (or is randomly assigned) a tribe. They take all the Tool cards and People cards with their tribal symbol: six tools and twelve people for each player. Each player shuffles their people cards, it is their personal deck. Shuffle the Audience deck (the people cards with a question-mark set-up icon.) Take the top three cards and place them face-up in front of the deck. These will be the choices when you win the music contest. Separate the remaining Tool cards into Age I and Age II. Shuffle these separately. Place the Age II cards face-down under the Age I cards. This is the Tool deck. Someone seizes the Talking Stick becoming the first Active Player, and then play begins.

Age I

Age II


Astra --- Leader of Hawks Invention: Axe Turn-ons: Song, Flutes Brilliant and cunning, Astra is a prolific inventor of tools and master of the axe her greatest invention. She is an excellent hunter and has gained much of her following with gifts of meat. Grok --- Leader of the Bears Invention: Club Turn-ons: Drums, Dance Grok leads his warriors with great resolve. They raid other villages trying hard not to kill or maim any of his victims so they can do plenty of gathering before his next raid. Ug --- Leader of the Frogs Invention: None Turn-ons: Drums, Dance Ug is anomalous is both size and density. Other large individuals follow him instinctively. If you get in their way, they'll throw rocks at you. 5

down. The players always have access to all their tools; there is no deck or hand like with people. However, you can only pick a tool if you have the right person on your team. Each tool will show which team-member you need. Frex, using the Flute requires you to have the melodic talents of a Singer on your team. After all the tools are out facedown, the Active Player will point the Talking Stick at another player, the Targeted Player. Then everyone flips their tools face-up. Tools with Before Music timed powers take effect immediately and simultaneously. See back page for details.

The Play The game divided into several rounds (or years). Each round can be divided into five parts:  Team Building  Tool Selection (Before Music)  Music Contest  Combat Contest  After Combat Team Building Everyone draws six cards from their personal people deck. If you run out of people in the deck, reshuffle your personal discard to create a new deck. Starting with the Active player and going clockwise. Everyone chooses one person from their deck to be on their team. Place the card face up in front of you and announce who it is. (Frex, “I pick a Shaman.”) Continue until everyone has three team members. Discard the remaining three people in your hand into a personal discard next to your deck. You should only have a hand of people cards during the Team Building phase. Because there are no tools in play, no tool special powers can be used during this time.

Music Contest All players count up their Music Icons from their team-members and their Tool card. Whoever has the most Music Icons, is the Music winner. The Music Music winner chooses one Icon of the three face-up Audience cards and adds it to his or her personal discard. Draw another card from the Audience deck to replace the card just taken. The audience should always have three face-up cards until the deck runs out. If there is a tie in Music Icons, the tied players count their Support Support Icons, and the one who Icon has the more Support

Tool Selection (Before Music) Everyone simultaneously chooses a tool and places it face6

Icons wins. If there is a tie in Support Icons, than the one closer clockwise to the Active player wins. There is always a Music Winner, even if no one has any Music Icons. (Shamans will chant and even warriors can beat on something rhythmically.) Flute and Drum These tools allow you to take a guy from the audience if someone wins with the right tool, that you can harmonize with. If a player wins with the Flute, all players who played a Drum also gets a person from the audience. Conversely, if a Drummer wins, all Flute players will harmonize and get a person. The true winner gets first pick from the audience, any who played the harmonizing tool choose after him or her in clockwise order. Remember to replenish the audience after each choice. In the last round when there is no people deck, it's possible that the audience will run out before everyone get's their guy.

opponent’s team. Put it in your personal discard pile. If there is a tie in Combat Icons, the fighters count their Support Support Icons, and the one who Icon has the more Support Icons wins. If that's tied as well, the active player wins. Axe, Club, and Rock Each of these tools automatically beat another tool in the Combat contest; the number of Combat Icons becomes irrelevant. Frex, the Club will always beat the rock regardless of icons. (Batter up!) These tools have no effect if you are not the Active player or that player's chosen target.

After Combat Many tools have their special powers take effect in this phase. They take effect in order starting with the Active Player and going clockwise. All team-members are discarded to their player's personal discard. Any Age I or Age II tools Combat Contest are discarded having no more Only the Active effect on the game. Meanwhile, player and the Targeted tools with Tribal icons return to Player are considered to be their owners. Pass the Talking fighting. So, only the Stick clockwise and start a new Active Player and the Combat round. Targeted Player count Icon Blue Flower Combat Icons. This tool allows you to draw a The one with the most Combat card from the Tool deck. All Icon wins. Winning combat allows players who played this Tool get a you to take one person from your 7 Tool card; there is no contest.

When Stuff Runs Out If the Tool Deck runs out, then simply ignore all tool drawing powers of tools. If the Audience, including the deck and the three face up cards, runs out, then finish the round. Everyone counts up points. The person with the most points wins. Ties are possible. If a player ever has less than six cards in his or her deck during Team Building, he may draw from the Audience deck until he or she has six. Camouflage and Gossip After the tools are revealed, anyone who played Camouflage can play another tool. They need to fulfill team-member requirements as normal. (Their shaman is not 'used up' by the Camouflage.) Anyone who played Gossip can change the Active players Targeted Player. If Camouflage is played in the same round, change the target after the Camouflaged players choose their tool but before those tools are revealed. (This is the same order as normal Tool selection, just with fewer participants.) In the rare case that two players play Gossip, the combat round is skipped completely there is no target (just a long argument about who the target should be.)

Green Flower If you win with the green flower you get two guys from the audience, replenishing it in between. If you lose with the green flower you get a person as if you harmonized with the winner.

Age I: Axe, Club, and Rock These cards work the same as the ones in the starting hands except they need a Shaman instead of the normal person to work. This allows for some surprise. Red Flower Red Flower allows you to take one guy from the Active player's posse. If you are the active player, this rule doesn't apply. (It's still a strong combat card.) You take the person after the combat winner takes his or hers.

Fire, Pot, and Purple Flower Every player who played these draws two and discards one. Wheat Everyone counts their point. The player who played Wheat must announce his total. Other players only have to show enough to prove they have at least as many points. If one of the players has as many points the one who played Wheat, the game continues; everyone reshuffles their people. Otherwise the player who played Wheat 8 wins.

Musical, Magical Tribal Arena Rules  
Musical, Magical Tribal Arena Rules  

This is the rulebook for a game I'm working on.