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Summary

Munchkin is a dedicated deck card game by Steve Jackson Games, written by Steve Jackson and illustrated by John Kovalic, that has a humorous take on role-playing games, based on the concept of munchkins (immature role-players, playing only to "win" by having the most powerful character possible). Munchkin won the 2001 Origins Award for Best Traditional Card Game, and is itself a spin-off from The Munchkin's Guide to Powergaming, a gaming humor book that also won an Origins Award in 2000.

After the success of the original Munchkin game several expansion packs and sequels were published. Now available in 15 different languages,Munchkin accounted for more than 70% of the 2007 sales for Steve Jackson Games.

How to Play

In Munchkin, all players start at level 1 with the goal of reaching level 10 (or level 20 in Epic Level games). Players primarily progress by killing monsters, and level up every time they kill a monster. However, players can freely use cards against monsters and other players during play, allowing them to either assist or to sabotage others during their turn. Each person's turn begins when they "kick down the door" by drawing a Door Card face-up, which can be: a Monster Card, which the player must engage by fighting or fleeing; a Curse Card, which applies an effect; or an Item Card, Race Card, or Faction Card, which the player adds to their hand. If the door is kicked down but it is not a monster, the player can either "loot the room" by drawing a face-down door card and adding it to their hand, or "look for trouble" by playing a Monster Card from their hand to fight it.

When fighting a monster, the total level of the player (and any supporting players) is weighed against the total level of the monster(s) to determine the victor: a successful player draws the listed amount of treasure cards and levels up either 1 or 2 levels, but an unsuccessful character must roll the dice to try and flee; players who fail to roll a five or six suffer the monster's negative effects ("Bad Stuff") or die. Should a player die, their turn immediately ends and they discard their hand, retaining their player level but drawing a new hand for equipment.

Due to the highly competitive nature of the game and the presence of rule-breaking cards, players are encouraged to use unfair tactics against others, to act mercenary to further themselves at the expense of others, or to use cheat cards to affect outcomes (such as fixing the roll of the die). Throughout a player's turn, others are free to intervene: they can passively buff or debuff the player or monsters to alter the outcome; play similar enemy types to make the battle more difficult; or offer to assist to increase the total player level, typically in exchange for treasure cards.

A game of Munchkin being played, with coins being used to denote levels.

Other cards that can enter play include Items, which can be used in combat, Treasure Cards, which act as sellable loot and equipment, and Curse Cards, which apply effects. Additionally, players can equip certain cards (such as armor and weapons) to raise their total level and kill stronger monsters, and can use Class Cards and Race Cards to grant extra abilities or advantages at the cost of a balanced weakness; for example, the elf race can level when helping others kill monsters, but will take additional damage from disgusting enemies.

Standard games typically last around an hour, with the game ending once a player reaches the target level and wins the match. Aside from defeating monsters, players can progress though indirect means such as selling cards (with every 1000 Gold on the sum total granting a level) or by playing special leveling cards. Most games disallow victory through indirect methods, meaning only fighting a monster can win the game. There are a few exceptions, however, such as when a player uses cards which specifically state they override rule

Munchkin Tutorial

Munchkin Tutorial

Revisions and Expansions

  • Munchkin – The original card game.
  • Munchkin Sketch Edition – All of the text, none of the art!
  • Munchkin Deluxe – The original card game – now with a board!
  • Munchkin Guest Artist Edition – Celebrating 15 years of Munchkin with Ian McGinty.
  • Munchkin Guest Artist Edition – Celebrating 15 years of Munchkin with Edwin Huang.
    • Munchkin 2 – Unnatural Axe – 112 more hilarious cards from the creators of Munchkin!
    • Munchkin 3 – Clerical Errors – Another expansion for your Munchkin deck!
    • Munchkin 3.5 – Clerical Errata – Oops, we weren't supposed to mention that.
    • Munchkin 4 – The Need For Steed – Ride into battle in style!
    • Munchkin 5 – De-Ranged – Out of the dungeon, and into the woods!
    • Munchkin 6 – Demented Dungeons – Now it's really a dungeon crawl!
    • Munchkin 6.5 – Terrible Tombs – These new dungeons will be the death of us . . .
    • Munchkin 7 – More Good Cards – A munchkin can never have enough good cards.
    • Munchkin 7 – Cheat With Both Hands – An expansion pack for use with any of the Munchkin card games – preferably two or more of them!
    • Munchkin 8 – Half Horse, Will Travel – Centaurs and Lizard Guys!
    • Munchkin Conan the Barbarian – The greatest warrior comes to Munchkin!
    • Munchkin The Guild – Bring Codex, Vork, Zaboo, and the rest of the gang into your Munchkin game!
    • Munchkin Skullkickers – Baldy and Shorty and Munchkin – together at last!
    • Munchkin Penny Arcade – The hit webcomic invades the dungeon!
    • Munchkin Kobolds Ate My Baby! – All Hail King Torg with this 15-card booster!
    • Munchkin Fairy Dust – Meet the Sparkly Good Fairy!
    • Munchkin Fairy Dust Dice – Pink! and sparkly! and six-sided!
    • Munchkin Marked for Death – More Munchkin goodness . . . and it's a demo, too!
    • Munchkin Reloaded! – All the great cards from Munchkin Dice – now in color!
    • Munchkin Monster Enhancers – 15 cards to power up your monsters!
    • Munchkin Easter Eggs – Kill the bunnies . . . before they kill you!
    • Munchkin Dragons – If your Munchkin game is draggin' . . . add some dragons!
    • Munchkin Dragon's Trike – Three-wheelin' fun . . . with extra crispy bits!
    • Munchkin Dragons: Four More – Four more dragons! Wooooo!
    • Munchkin Tricky Treats – It's like taking candy from your best friend.
    • Munchkin Halloween Pack – Cards to hand out to trick-or-treaters!
    • Munchkin Undead – 15 spooky cards that'll chill you to the bone!
    • Munchkin Princesses – Princess power! Put the rage in peerage!
    • Munchkin Knights – Knight time, it's the right time!
    • Munchkin Love Shark Baby – 15 new love-themed cards for Munchkin!
    • Munchkin Kittens – Kittens! Cards about kittens! Adorbs!
    • Munchkin Puppies – Who're the good boys? They are! Yes, they are!
    • Munchkin Hipsters – More mainstream cards for Munchkin. Yawn.
    • Munchkinomicon – An evil book of cheesy spells for ANY Munchkin game!
  • Munchkin Christmas Lite – A 112-card stand-alone Munchkin game for the holidays!
    • Munchkin Waiting for Santa – You'd better watch out! Really.
      Munchkinzombie
    • Munchkin: Santa's Revenge – No more Mister Nice Claus . . .
    • Munchkin Reindeer Games – They're playing for keeps.
    • Munchkin Naughty & Nice – Our fourth Munchkin holiday booster!
    • Munchkin Holidazed – 15 holiday-themed cards for Munchkin!
    • Munchkin Holiday Surprise – The best Munchkin Christmas ever!
    • Munchkin Yule Log – A holiday-themed Munchkin board to get fired up about!
    • Munchkin Stocking Stuffers – Five packs of Munchkin cards to give out as stocking stuffers!
  • Moop's Monster Mashup – The marvelous magician Moop and his mashed-up monsters!
  • Star Munchkin – Kill the monsters, steal the treasure, and stab your buddy . . . in space!
    • Star Munchkin 2 – The Clown Wars – Bring the epic saga of The Clown Wars to life, except with better acting . . .
    • Star Munchkin 3 – Diplomatic Impunity – Ships, loot, and a new Race for Star Munchkin!
    • Star Munchkin: Space Ships – Shiiiiiips in Spaaaaaace!
    • Star Munchkin: Cosmic Demo – A demo – and expansion! – for Star Munchkin!
  • Munchkin Fu – Chop-socky monster-whacking action straight from Hong Kong's worst films!
    • Munchkin Fu 2 – Monky Business – With more mooks, more mayhem, more monsters, more munchkins, more monks – especially more monks!
  • Munchkin Bites! – The Munchkins are now vampires . . . and werewolves . . .
    • Munchkin Bites! 2 – Pants Macabre – Munchkin is about beating up monsters, taking their stuff, and sequels. Munchkin Bites! is no different. Thus were born . . . thePants Macabre.
  • Super Munchkin – Not a bird, definitely not a plane . . .
    • Super Munchkin 2 – The Narrow S Cape – There comes a time in every munchkin's career when he's taken on more than he can handle, bitten off more than he can chew, gotten in over his head. It's time for – the Narrow S Cape.
  • Munchkin Impossible – Now the munchkins are spies, with Double Agents, spy gadgets, and the License to Maim!
  • Munchkin Cthulhu – Munchkins vs. Cthulhu . . . if it has stats, you can kill it.
    • Munchkin Cthulhu 2 – Call of Cowthulhu – Down-home Munchkin craziness, Cthulhu-style!
    • Munchkin Cthulhu 3 – The Unspeakable Vault – More "yum yum" for your game!
    • Munchkin Cthulhu 4 – Crazed Caverns – Explore the caverns where the Elder Gods live!
  • The Good, the Bad, and the Munchkin – The Wild West . . . Munchkin style!
    • The Good, the Bad, and the Munchkin 2 – Beating a Dead Horse – 56 more cards from the Old West! Yeee-haw!
  • Munchkin Booty – Yarrr! The Munchkins are pirates on th' high seas!
    • Munchkin Booty 2 – Jump the Shark – Return to the high seas for more Munchkin Booty action.
    • Munchkin Booty – Fish & Ships – More Sharks! More Ships!
  • Munchkin Zombies – Kill the living! Eat their brains! Braaaaiiinns!
  • Munchkin Zombies Deluxe – Gobble up brains! Now with a board and standies!
    • Munchkin Zombies 2 – Armed and Dangerous – A second serving of BRAAAAAAIIIIIINNNNS!
    • Munchkin Zombies 3 – Hideous Hideouts – More places for your victims to hide! Or as the zombies call it, BUFFETS.
    • Munchkin Zombies 4 – Spare Parts – 56 more cards for Munchkin Zombies!
    • Munchkin Zombies: The Walking Dead – Based on the hit comic book by Robert Kirkman!
  • Munchkin Adventure Time – It's Munchkin meets Adventure Time!
    Munchkinat
    • Munchkin Adventure Time 2 – It's a Dungeon Crawl! – Ooo, let's go underground!
  • Munchkin Axe Cop – The hit webcomic comes to Munchkin!
  • Munchkin Conan – What is best in life? Killing monsters and taking their stuff!
    • Munchkin Conan the Barbarian – The greatest warrior comes to Munchkin!
  • Munchkin Apocalypse – Munchkin plus Armageddon: the perfect combination!
  • Munchkin Apocalypse Guest Artist Edition – Munchkin Apocalypse, illustrated by Len Peralta!
    • Munchkin Apocalypse 2 – Sheep Impact – New monsters, loot, and a new class for Munchkin Apocalypse!
    • Munchkin Apocalypse 2 Guest Artist Edition – Now Len Peralta's vision of the end of the world has a companion!
    • Munchkin Apocalypse: Mars Attacks! – The classic Topps trading cards come to Munchkin Apocalypse!
  • Munchkin Legends – Munchkin at its most mythic!
  • Munchkin Legends Deluxe – Munchkin Legends plus a board and standies!
    • Munchkin Legends 2 – Faun and Games – It's all faun and games until someone loses a level.
    • Munchkin Legends 3 – Myth Prints – 56 more cards for Munchkin Legends!
  • Munchkin Pathfinder – Munchkin meets the Pathfinder RPG!
  • Munchkin Pathfinder Deluxe – Play Munchkin Pathfinder with a board and standies!
  • Munchkin Pathfinder Guest Artist Edition – Celebrating 15 years of Munchkin with Shane White.
    • Munchkin Pathfinder: Gobsmacked! – You can never have enough goblins!
  • Munchkin Steampunk – Put a gear on it!
  • Munchkin Steampunk Deluxe – Put gears on it with a board and standies!
  • Munchkin Oz – A Munchkin core set based on L. Frank Baum's classic books!
  • Munchkin The Nightmare Before Christmas – This is Halloween! This is Halloween!
  • Munchkin: Marvel Edition – Unleash your super powers with Munchkin: Marvel Edition!
  • Munchkin Blender – An expansion pack for use with any of the Munchkin card games – preferably two or more of them!
  • Munchkin: Go Up A Level – 132 of the most important cards of your life.
  • Exclusive Warehouse 23 Munchkin Booster 2010 – 10 unique cards for all Munchkin fans!
  • Exclusive Warehouse 23 Munchkin Booster 2011 – 17 MORE unique cards for all Munchkin fans!
  • Exclusive Warehouse 23 Munchkin Booster 2012 – 19 MORE unique cards for all Munchkin fans!
  • Exclusive Warehouse 23 Munchkin Booster 2013 – More cards for every Munchkin player!
  • Exclusive Warehouse 23 Munchkin Booster 2014 – 22 MORE unique cards for all Munchkin fans!
  • Munchkin Gets Promoted – Get a Munchkin Promotion.
  • Munchkin Triple Plays – Three mini-expansions in one!
  • Munchkin Rigged Demo – A quick demo to teach your friends the game AND a batch of perversely powerful promo cards!
  • Munchkin Cthulhu Cursed Demo – A quick demo to teach your friends Munchkin Cthulhu, with a bonus batch of perversely powerful promo cards!
  • Sometimes we put special cards in a vending machine!
  • Munchkin Blank Cards: Create your own ridiculous monsters and super-powerful treasures. Available exclusively from Warehouse 23!
  • Munchkin Quest – The Munchkin takes on board games!
    • Munchkin Quest 2 – Looking for Trouble – Trouble is good! Trouble means gold!
    • Munchkin Quest: Portal Kombat – Jump through a Portal to move across the dungeon in a single step!
  • Munchkin Loot Letter – Get all the loot!
  • Munchkin Gloom – Don't get even, get Gloom-y.
  • Munchkin Panic – It's Munchkin meets Castle Panic!
  • Munchkin Smash Up – Munchkin smashes into Smash Up!
  • Munchkin Playing Cards – You have friends who play "traditional" card games, right?
  • Munchkin Stuff – They're not cards, they're not games, but they are Munchkin, and they do have their own rules!
    • Munchkin Miniatures will add that third dimension to your character . . . or use them in an RPG to warn everyone just what they're up against!
    • Munchkin Vinyl Figure – Spyke has never looked so good!
    • Track those level increases in style with the Munchkin Level Counter!
    • Munchkin Dice – Oversized ten-sided dice for tracking your levels, and overpowered expansion cards to match.
    • Munchkin Level Dice – A colorful way to track your level!
    • +6 Bag o' Munchkin Level Counters – Six dials to rule them all . . .
    • +6 Bag o' Munchkin Level Counters Set 2 – Six more dials to rule them all . . .
    • Munchkin Playmats – A gorgeous way to keep your Munchkin game organized!
    • Munchkin Journal Packs – Three journals with Munchkin art!
    • Munchkin Patch – Earn your Munchkin merit badge!
    • Munchkin Plutonium Dragon Patch – Wear the Munchkin Plutonium Dragon Patch to your games and watch your friends go nuclear!
    • Munchkin Icon Patch – A minimalist patch with the classic Munchkin icon!
    • Munchkin 10th Anniversary Shot Glass – Raise a toast to Munchkin!
    • Munchkin Gazebo Shot Glass – What you drink, you must drink alone.
    • Munchkin Plutonium Dragon Shot Glass – 1.5 oz. of dragon-summoning awesomeness!
    • Munchkin Sparkly Good Fairy Shot Glass – See what you're drinking . . . in the dark!
    • Take a slug from the Zombie Shot Glass!
    • Munchkin Water – Quench your thirst and get bonuses in combat!
    • Munchkin Bobblehead – Your nodding, bonus-giving, classic Munchkin buddy, 100% guaranteed to not stab you in the back.
    • Munchkin Christmas Ornament – Munchkin-ize your holiday!
    • Love Chibithulhu? Check out the Plush Chibithulhu toys – they're insanely cute!
    • Munchkin Coin – Not only are they durable and shiny, the rules that govern their use change from month to month!
    • Munchkin Doors and Treasures Sleeves – Mix and match your favorite Munchkin sets with Munchkin Doors and Treasures Card Sleeves!
    • Munchkin Dungeon Sleeves – Protect ALL your Dungeon cards!
    • Munchkin Gameboard – Never lose track of your level again!
    • Munchkin Level Playing Field – Counter your rivals and stomp 'em flat!
    • Munchkin Board of Health – It's a gameboard for Munchkin Cthulhu or Munchkin Zombies!
    • Star Munchkin Accessory Pack – Track your level amongst the stars!
    • Munchkin Imaginary Frenemies – Do you dare to release them?
    • Munchkin Meeples – Who doesn't need a duck meeple?
    • +6 Bag o' Munchkins – Six Munchkin character pawns!
    • +6 Bag o' Munchkin Babes – Six Munchkin character pawns!
    • +8 Bag o' Munchkin Babes & Pawns – Eight more Munchkin pawns!
    • +6 Bag o' Munchkin Legends – Six plastic pawns for Munchkin Legends!
    • +6 Bag o' Munchkin Zombies – Six Munchkin Zombies character pawns!
    • Munchkin Pins – Stick it to your enemies . . . or your friends!
    • Munchkin Metal Pin – A brushed-metal pin in the shape of the Munchkin head!
    • Munchkin Zipper Pulls – Zzzzzzzzzzip!
    • Munchkin Dice Bag – Store all your Munchkin dice – and give yourself a bonus!
    • Munchkin Duck of Doom – The iconic Munchkin card, now in plush!
    • Munchkin Duck of Gloom – The Duck of Doom's mopey twin brother!
    • +6 Bag o' Munchkin d6 – Dice! With Munchkins on them! Yes, please!
    • +6 Bag o' Munchkin Rainbow d6 – Dice! With Munchkins on them! Yes, please!
    • +10 Bag o' Munchkin d6 – All the dice you could ever . . . nah, who are we kidding?
    • Munchkin Fairy Dust Dice – Pink! and sparkly! and six-sided!
    • Munchkin Jolly Jumbo d6 – Gifts for all the good little munchkins!
    • Munchkin Jumbo d6 – Bigger, better, and beautifuller!
    • +6 Bag o' Radioactive Munchkin d6 – Munchkin dice suitable for the end of the world!
    • Munchkin Zombies Decay d6 – Roll them Munchkin bones!
    • Munchkin Steampunk SCIENCE! Dice – Dice . . . powered by SCIENCE!
    • Munchkin Kill-O-Meter – Don't take your eyes off your opponents, not even to add.
    • Munchkin Kill-O-Meter Guest Artist Edition – Fresh art, classic monster killing.
    • Munchkin Apocalypse Kill-O-Meter – Track your post-apocalyptic kills!
    • Munchkin Cthulhu Kill-O-Meter – Why count on your tentacles when you can use this unholy relic?
    • Munchkin Steampunk Kill-O-Meter – Track your steam-powered kills!
    • Munchkin Zombies Kill-O-Meter – Don't straaaain your braaaain.
    • Munchkin Zombies Water Bottle – Eating braaaaiinnns makes you thirsty!
    • Munchkin Boxes of Holding – At last, a way to store your Munchkin collection that gets you in-game bonuses!
    • Munchkin Boxes of Holding Set 2 – Now with 50% more boxiness!
    • Munchkin Cthulhu Crypts of Concealment – Easy storage for all your eldritch secrets – with in-game bonuses!
    • Munchkin Zombies Meat Lockers – Now you can store all your Munchkin Zombies cards. And BRAAAAAIIIINNNNS.
    • Munchkin Bookmark Collection – Ten classic bookmarks and two NEW bookmarks!
    • Munchkin Alphabet Coloring Book – Color outside the lines!
    • Munchkin Quest Gold Piece: A coin for Munchkin Quest!
    • Munchkin Quest Promo Coaster 1: Turns your drink into a potion!
    • Munchkin Quest Promo Set 1: The classic Troll, and the Troll Booth room tile.

Links and References

[1] Official Munchkin Website

[2] BoardGameGeek Review