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Subject: Cthulhu Die! A review of Cthulhu Dice. rss

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Tina McDuffie
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The name of this very portable game is a misnomer as it consists of a single, large, beautiful custom 12-sided die with Lovecraftian symbols: Yellow Sign (5 sides), Tentacle (4 sides), Elder Sign (1 side), Cthulhu (1 side) and Eye (1 side). The single die is all you need to play and comes in a variety of luminescent colors: black, green, purple, glow-in-the-dark, and glowing-ink. While the Cthulhu Dice package also contains 18 glass Sanity marbles, any tokens handy, including pennies or peanuts, can be substituted to keep track of each player’s Sanity. Play is quick, 10 to 20 minutes, making this a good filler.

All players start with 3 Sanity marbles (or whatever tokens you have handy). The Goal: be the only player with any Sanity left. Each player chooses a player to "attack," then rolls the die. The die determines the effects of the attack:
* Yellow Sign - Target loses 1 Sanity to Cthulhu (place in middle of table).
* Tentacle - Caster (active player) takes a Sanity token from the Victim (Tentacle). The Tentacle is always bad for the Victim: if the Victim rolls a Tentacle in defense, he still has to give the Caster a Sanity token.
* Cthulhu - Everyone gives 1 Sanity to Cthulhu (middle of table).
* Elder Sign - Gain 1 Sanity from Cthulhu (if he has any).
* Eye - Choose any result above.

The defender (Victim) gets his chance to respond: rolling the same die in the hopes of thwarting the attack with the Caster as his target. Use the same chart to determine the results. This completes the Caster's turn and play passes to the Caster's left.

The Madness Factor
When a player loses all of his marbles, he's gone Mad. A Mad player can still attack on his turn, but cannot be attacked. When a Mad player steals Sanity from another player as the result of an attack, he must give it to Cthulhu. The only way for a player to get his Sanity back is to roll the Elder Sign on his turn.

Game End
The game ends when there is only one sane player at the end of a player's turn. If everyone goes Mad, then Cthulhu wins! Ah, ha, ha, ha!

Observations
Generally play is quick and lively, once players learn the meaning of the symbols. Laughter and groans are to be expected.

Personally, I don't like Cthulhu Dice nearly as much as Zombie Dice for a filler. While the die is pretty, the game itself just doesn't do anything for me. The glowing-ink die looks really cool. Fans of Lovecraft will want a copy of the game just because of the cool, pretty die. I'm sure many other uses could be found for it. Perhaps it could be worked into some other Cthulhu-themed game.

I think the best thing about Cthulhu Dice is the single-die component that makes it extremely portable so you can play it anywhere: while you’re waiting for food at a restaurant (use the sugar packets for Sanity tokens), at the park (a few pebbles with do). Well, you get the picture.

And I still think it should be called Cthulhu Die!

Suggested ages: 10 and up.
Number of players: 2 or more.
Playing time: 10 to 20 minutes.
Retail price: $4.99.
Expected release: April 2010.
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Patrick Riley
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It sounds like LCR a lot, actually. (Insert snarky comment here)
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Freelance Police
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It's pimpfodder for Arkham Horror. Use the die to replace the First Player token. Use the tokens to replace the sliders and Terror Track token. I know BGG'ers are terminally incapable of cross-gaming components, but use a little creativity, folks.
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Philip Reed
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Kyle
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philomars wrote:
sounds like LCR a bit, and that game is fun in a big group of nongamers!


I wish we published LCR. That game sells like crazy.
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Vincent Murphy
United States
Massachusetts
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Played this a couple of times at PAXEast (and apparently, a small shipment of the game was available and sold out instantly) and was amused. This would make a great drinking game if you replaced the sanity counters with shots.

It was a nice simple game, without a lot of complex rules.
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Paul Chapman
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vjmurphy wrote:
This would make a great drinking game if you replaced the sanity counters with shots.


Danger! Danger! Danger!

Cthulhu Dice plays in just a couple minutes. If you're using shots for sanity, you're likely going to do at least 2 shots -- more likely 3-4 -- in just the first game. They won't have time to hit you before the 2nd game starts.

And then you'll be doing 2-4 more shots.

So 4-8 shots over 5-10 minutes . . . man, that's darned close to the "holding onto furniture so you don't fly off into space" stage of drinking. Er . . . so I've heard.

Be safe. Use beer instead of shots.

(This message has not been approved by anyone sane. Follow this advice at your own risk.)
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Paul Chapman
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CJ Winter wrote:
Hey all...
Was wondering if someone could help me with this one. I'm going off the rules provided here, and I'd like to know exactly you "thwart" an attackers roll?


The confusion is likely in the "thwart" idea -- it doesn't exist in Cthulhu Dice. Perhaps you're thinking of "counterattack"?

Each turn the active player attacks another player. That player is designated the defender. After the active player's attack is resolved, the defender counterattacks. Once that attack is resolved, play passes to the next active player.

Abe, Betty, and Charlie are playing. Abe designates Charlie as his target, and rolls the Yellow Sign. Charlie loses a Sanity, and then rolls her counterattack. This roll comes up Cthulhu, so everyone loses a Sanity. It is now Betty's turn.

Hope that helps.
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James Carlton
Australia
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PaulChapman wrote:
vjmurphy wrote:
This would make a great drinking game if you replaced the sanity counters with shots.


Danger! Danger! Danger!

Cthulhu Dice plays in just a couple minutes. If you're using shots for sanity, you're likely going to do at least 2 shots -- more likely 3-4 -- in just the first game. They won't have time to hit you before the 2nd game starts.

And then you'll be doing 2-4 more shots.

So 4-8 shots over 5-10 minutes . . . man, that's darned close to the "holding onto furniture so you don't fly off into space" stage of drinking. Er . . . so I've heard.

Be safe. Use beer instead of shots.

(This message has not been approved by anyone sane. Follow this advice at your own risk.)


I was thinking exactly the same thing.

Put some beers in the centre of the table as Chtulhu. (Extra points if you use Mythos Greek Beer)

At the start of the game everyone pours themselves 3 'drinks' from the beers (what constitutes a 'drink' is up to you). If you lose sanity, you take a drink from your cup. If you gain sanity you pour yourself another measure. Last person to have any beer wins!
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Robert
Kuwait
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PhilReed wrote:
philomars wrote:
sounds like LCR a bit, and that game is fun in a big group of nongamers!


I wish we published LCR. That game sells like crazy.


Well, now you do! Only it's better cause it's got SJGames special touch of Madness added in! arrrh
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Jayson Stevens
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PaulChapman wrote:
vjmurphy wrote:
This would make a great drinking game if you replaced the sanity counters with shots.


Danger! Danger! Danger!

Cthulhu Dice plays in just a couple minutes. If you're using shots for sanity, you're likely going to do at least 2 shots -- more likely 3-4 -- in just the first game. They won't have time to hit you before the 2nd game starts.


A better solution, if you still want shots, is that whoever loses each game takes a shot. Play several games. Works out the same, just not as fast.
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