This version of the game is out-of-date. The most up-to-date version is at: http://www.invisible-city.com/play/495/cthul-b-que. We strongly recommend you go there and get that version. If you’d really prefer to have an inferior play experience, feel free to continue with this version of the game.
End the game with the most delectable Mythos-themed dishes in your Serving Area.
Give 7 dice to each player. Put the tokens where everyone has access to them.
Shuffle the Cthulbeque deck and deal 4 cards to each player.
You’re a chef. Chefs have two statistics: Cooking (CKG) and Sanity (SAN). To represent these statistics, your Chef tracker tracks two pools of dice: your Cooking Pool and your Sanity Pool. Mark each statistic with a paper clip so that their sum is seven and neither statistic is less than one (Valid Example: Cooking: 5, Sanity: 2). These are your maximum Cooking and Sanity. Also place a token on each number. These are your current Cooking and Sanity.
During the game, you’ll be making rolls with your dice pools. There are two type of rolls: Tests and Checks.
Tests: To test a statistic, roll all dice equal to that statistic’s current value. Group all dice with identical numbers together. Add any dice that show the same number to each other. The highest single die or sum is your result.
If your maximum Cooking is 6 and your current Cooking is 5, How many dice would you roll for a Test? You’d roll 5 dice. Let’s say that those dice come up 6, 5, 5, 2, 2. What’s your result? Your highest total is the two 5s, so your result would be 10.
If you tie, take the effect of losing, and then take the effect of winning (unless told to do otherwise).
If you’re testing against a Monster’s Threat, the player to your left gets to roll a number of dice equal to the Threat and tally them in the same fashion. The highest total wins. A Monster with cooking or damage counters on it rolls one fewer die for every counter it has on it.
Checks: To check a statistic, roll dice equal to that statistic’s current rating. Compare each die to the target number.
Test your SAN Pool against all other players. The player with the best test result gets to go first. Ties go to the player with the most dice in his or her Sanity Pool.
On your turn, do the following things, in the order listed:
Insanity and The Asylum: When your current Sanity hits zero, you are immediately sent to the Asylum; reduce your maximum Sanity by one.
If you are in the Asylum at the start of your turn, skip steps 2 through 6. Instead:
Wounds and Unconsciousness: When your current Cooking hits zero, you are immediately sent to the Hospital to recover.
If you’re in the Hospital at the start of your turn, skip steps 2 through 6. Instead:
Choose one of the following:
Draw a Card: If you have less than 4 cards, draw until you have four cards. If the deck runs out of cards on your turn, shuffle the discards, create a new draw deck, add a die to your Cooking or Sanity pool, and continue playing normally.
or Recuperate: You can choose to recuperate instead of drawing cards. To recuperate, pick Cooking or Sanity. This is your recovery statistic. Subtract your current from your maximum in your recovery statistic. Roll this many dice. Increase your current rating in your recovery statistic by one for each die that rolls a 4 or better. Your turn ends immediately after you’ve rolled to recuperate.
There are different kinds of cards: Monsters, Special Ingredients and Recipes, Items, Spells, and Assistants. You can play a card on anyone in the game — yourself or someone else. All cards (except Spells) take effect as soon as they enter play. Spells played on you only take effect when you choose to activate them.
If you play a Monster on another player, a Cooking Challenge starts immediately. You can read about this in the section titled, “Cooking Challenge,” below. You should read about how Cooking works before you do that, though.
You can attempt to Cook or Fight a Monster in your kitchen. Fighting is easier than Cooking, but damages the flesh of the non-Euclidian beasties, so you’ll want to avoid fighting them if you want your meals to taste as good as possible.
When your would-be entrée gets out of control, it’s time to put down the tenderizing mallet and pick up the shotgun.
Play a Monster from your hand on another player who is not in the Hospital or the Asylum. The player may attempt to cook that Monster, fight the Monster, or pass the Monster back to you. If your opponent finishes cooking the Monster this turn, that opponent gets a one-star bonus to the Delectability of that Monster OR gets to increase his or her Sanity by one. If your opponent fails to cook or kill the Monster this turn or passes the Monster back to you, you must try to cook the Monster. All tokens your opponent placed on the Monster stay there, but recipes do not. If you finish cooking the Monster this turn, you get a one-star bonus to the Delectability of that Monster, OR you can increase your Sanity by one.
Put a card from your hand onto the discard pile.
At the end of your turn, play passes to the left.
When you have three or more Monsters in your Serving Area at the start of your turn, you can declare that you’re ready to serve your meal. You get one last turn, as does every other player. After every player has taken his or her last turn, count the number of Delectability stars you have in your Serving Area, add your current Sanity, and subtract the number of damage counters on Monsters in your Serving Area. The player with the highest total wins the respect and admiration of his or her peers.
Overloaded: You can switch to Cooking while Fighting and vice versa.
Multi-Tasking: You can split your current Cooking pool to take multiple cooking actions in a turn.
Assistance: There are two Assistant cards in the deck. If you’re not playing with Assistance rules, you can put an Assistant in play to get the benefit listed on the Assistant and you can discard an Assistant from play to re-roll any roll. If you are playing with Assistance rules, the following rules apply:
When you’re taking a Cooking or Fighting action against a Monster, and you haven’t used your Assistant yet this turn, you can have your Assistant do it instead. For example, if you’ve Cooked a Gug down to needing just one more cooking counter to finish it, but you’re too exhausted to go on, you can have your Sushi Chef Assistant take over, rolling her Cooking dice instead of yours. The Assistant must make all rolls in one Cooking sequence – the Sanity roll and the Cooking roll, not just one or the other. Assistants can make rolls for Cooking Challenges, but can not make make not rolls for Kitchen Management or Spells.
Some ways you can use an Assistant are: You can start cooking a Monster, then pass it on to your Assistant. You can start with an Assistant, then take over cooking the Monster yourself if you want to. You can even take a Cooking or Fighting action yourself, and take a completely different Cooking or Fighting action with the Assistant. If a player plays a Monster on you as a Cooking Challenge, you can use your Assistant as if you’d played the Monster yourself during your turn.
The special effect text at the bottom of an Assistant is in effect as long as the Assistant is in your kitchen. Assistants can be sent to the Hospital or the Asylum, just like you can. When they do, they are discarded – they don’t recuperate.
You can play an Item or Weapon that grants a statistic bonus on an Assistant, or attach one you have in play to an Assistant you have in play. To take an Item or Weapon from an Assistant, you must skip the Cooking and Fighting phase of your turn.
Thanks to Ben Gibbs and Malisa DiGiacomo for the idea.
Thanks to Victor L., Jackson Lau, M. Nash, and Brandon W. for playtesting.
Thanks to Kathy, Frank, and Austin for flavor text.
Thanks to Chris Southern for card and rule corrections.
Thanks to J. Scott Jewell for rules questions and corrections.