Hello, please test these multiplayer rules


We’re trying to wrangle the rules into better shape to let us word cards better, and multiplayer is a big part of doing that as it isn’t really touched on in the rulebook. The result is a lot of questions about targets and costs and effects and so on and so forth. In an effort to avoid these issues, we’re working on expanding multiplayer rules (and clarifying formats, and providing some options), so we’d love you to go and do some testing and let us know how it works out.

Don’t try out these draft rules they’re the first draft.

Please try out these iterated draft rules instead.


Recommendation: Check for total control before checking for elimination. Point tracking is mentally taxing, it it creates a fell bad moment if you’ve manged to hang on by the skin of your teeth, only to find out that some other player not managing to hang on lost, giving a point or two back to the person you barely survived, and causing you to be knocked out. (E.G. it cascades.).

Alternative recommendation: In the sundown sequence before either checks add a “total control and influence step”. Once the totals have been counted, lock in the values for the purposes of the comparisons.


Recommendation II: Add a variation prohibiting players from joining posses with other players dudes. You have no idea (well, you do now) how many rules headaches that solves.

You’ll be playing either the elimination format or the total control format, not both.

I’ll add an optional buddy system restriction (although you can just not buddy up).

By The Book

Cheatin’ Resolutions can be played by anyone, even if they’re not involved in a shootout. If a player reveals a cheatin’ hand, all players may use the Resolution window to play Cheatin’ Resolutions (although only one can be played against each cheatin’ hand).

This means that a player not involved in a shootout can conceivably hit both sides with Cheatin’ Resolutions, and may be able to beat an involved player to the punch.

The way this is worded, does that mean that I can play Cheatin’ Resolutions printed on Goods and stuff even if they aren’t in the shootout? Additionally, it sounds like if I’m a secondary player, I’m allowed to play a Cheatin’ Resolution against the hand for a posse that I have dudes in. Is that correct?

You can only make plays during a shootout-
-if you have a dude in that shootout
-if that play would bring your dude into that shootout.

Invitations are talked about during the “forming posses” parts (i.e. you can only join a posse if a player has invited you to join), but it’s a bit unclear with shootout plays. Do you need an invitation to bring your dude into a shootout via a shootout play?

For that matter, is my timing for plays that would bring a dude into shootouts dependent on the typical turn order of starting at the Winner and moving clockwise?

Also, say that a shootout is happening at a deed I control, but I don’t have any dudes in either posse. Am I allowed to use Shootout abilities on that deed (e.g. Old Washoe Club)?

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No, you can only use cards in the shootout or from your hand- that’s the way the standard rulebook works.
Nothing overrides the restriction on not playing cheatin’ cards on yourself, but I’ll make that explicit.

Under invitations, it explicitly states that If a player declines, their dudes don’t join now and can’t join later.

Play timing in shootouts will depend on your choice to either alternate between posses (Turnabout) or use clockwise from the Winner (Sequential).

If you didn’t accept an invite, you get no Shootout plays. If you did accept an invite, you’ll need a dude in the shootout to use an ability (unless that ability brings one of your dudes into the shootout).

My 2 cents on three topics:

Getting Eliminated
When a deed is eliminated, and the non-eliminated dudes on it go home unbooted, is this before or after the Sundown phase unboots them?

This is a huge question to me. Depending on how the rules answer this will dictate the extent to which the game incentivizes interaction - and specifically in three-player, cooperative chess shenanigans.

Why the strange double-circular-priority-assigned order? I would recommend sticking to simply passing left of the Winner. (But, see my next proposal).

Three player games are going to be complicated enough without creating this opportunity for the lovely intersection between misunderstanding and disagreement!

Dog in the Fight
(Proposed third alternative under Cheatin’ and Interferrin’)
If you want to make Shootout and Resolution plays, you have to have a dude in the fight. This includes plays that bring dudes into fight.

Again from an environment perspective, knowing that anyone from anywhere can snipe a Cheatin’ Resolution into a fight they are not at all involved in will double or treble the pressure to not cheat. This is unfun to me because it undermines a fundamental dynamic in the game that holds the mechanics and incentives in balance.

My proposed mechanic creates a situation where there is at least the foreshadow of that additional pressure coming - sending an expendable dude third-party into a fight not because he will contribute to the poker but because he may contribute to the plays - also reinforces a fundamental axiom of the game that risk is never unhinged from reward.

By the way I love that these are finally happening! The option between The Quick and the Dead (Elimination) and Deadwood (Total Control) is especially awesome, and sets a precedent for third or fourth variants in the future. Well done team.

There is your positive and negative (constructive) feedback. Cheers.


@jordan_caldwell I thought of your “getting eliminated” point when these rules came out. :slight_smile:

My emphasis on the timing steps below. I think this works well to encourage interaction. Appreciated getting thoughts from you and others on this at GenCon 2018. :thumbsup:

“Section 5.4 Multiplayer Sundown.
Once the High Noon phase is over, the Sundown Phase immediately begins.
Any traits or effects that apply continuously during Sundown start.
Now check and see if anybody’s eliminated.
If your total influence is lower than any other player’s total control points, you are eliminated.
If only one player remains, they win!
Now check and see if anybody’s won.
If a player has more total control points than each other individual player has total influence, they win!
Any effects that require a check or game state change during Sundown are then resolved.
All players may choose to discard one card from their play hand, with the Winner choosing first.
All players then discard down or refill their play hand to their maximum hand size (normally 5 cards).
Unboot all cards, and then turn and phase effects end in the following order:
-the active window for Sundown effects now ends.
-effects that apply “during Sundown” end.
-effects that apply until the end of the turn end.
Abilities refresh, meaning they can be used again.
Finally, the day ends, and a new day begins.”

Good constructive feedback, cheers!

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As @Harlath mentions, elimination happens before unbooting, so your dudes will be good to go next turn. Take deeds, knock players out, no lost turns as everyone comes home booted.

Turnabout means posses alternate plays A-B-A-B-A-B.
That avoids, say, A-A-A-B which can shut down an entire shootout for one side.
Primary players get the first plays because it’s their fight.

Shootout and resolution plays already need a dude in the fight under these rules, but the rulebook allows Cheatin’ Resolutions from anywhere - that’s why there’s the By the Book and Mind Yer Own Business cheatin’ options (Mind Yer Own Business- During a shootout, Cheatin’ Resolutions can only be played by players involved in that shootout. (That means primary and secondary players, regardless of whether they have dudes in the posses.))


Getting Eliminated
When a player is eliminated, do the following-
-discard all cards belonging to another player that are attached to the eliminated player’s cards.
-send all dudes at the eliminated player’s deeds (and home) home booted.
-discard all of the eliminated player’s cards (dudes, deeds, goods, spells, conditions, etc).
-discard the eliminated player’s home.
tl;dr (get your Conditions back, send everyone home from the eliminated player’s deeds and home, discard all of their stuff)

Why is it that you get your Conditions back? I’m not seeing that in the steps. Does the fact that you get them back imply that you can still play them in the future, like Cheatin’ Resolutions?

If the player cannot play Cheatin’ Resolutions, it would probably be good to outright say “the eliminated player cannot participate in the game”.

Also, this line

-discard all of the eliminated player’s cards (dudes, deeds, goods, spells, conditions, etc).

should probably clarify that it is “the cards that the eliminated player owns” so that there is no confusion about cards the player controls but does not own (e.g. via Puppet). If desired, you could further clarify “cards the eliminated player controls but does not own have their control reverted to the player that owns them”.

It’s referring to the Conditions of other players, attached to the eliminated player’s cards I think, these get discarded during the first step. From your comment about CRs, I’m not sure whether you’re reading it as referring to the Conditions belonging to the eliminated player, or to the others?

I would think not being able to play CRs is implied as a part of being eliminated.

Good catch with the ownership bit :slight_smile:

That was my point though: the rules on elimination say that all their in-play cards get discarded, but doesn’t actually say anything about their play hand (I was wondering about playing Cheatin’ Resolutions from your play hand). I guess I’d like to see that explicitly stated. Something like:

  • Discard your play hand.
  • The player can no longer participate in any phase of the game.

Glad that the ownership comment was useful, and that I’m contributing something besides just hair-splitting definitions of common-sense words!

Hair-splitting is relevant as well, I think it’s better to ask one too many questions when trying to get rules right than one too few.

While I think the list about what happens when a player gets eliminated is meant to describe the order in which cards are affected, and to make sure everything ends up in the right place, it’s a valid point that seeing a list like this can make players question whether those explicitly stated effects of elimination are the only effects.

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Simple answer for elimination: After discarding your home add “ace every card in your hand/deck/discard pile.”

EDIT: As mentioned by others, I forgot Ivor/Denise exist. Ignore me.

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Thank you for the input everyone. Would love to test some of these out with folks at PAX Unplugged and Twilight Protocol Series!


Maybe a 9-player (or 27-player) Elimination 3-player Tournament (“Event”)?

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Can’t ace them, then they’ll be in boot hill.
I’ll stick a ‘you’re eliminated and not playing in the game anymore’ step into elimination.

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Cards like Denise Brancini, which key off of cards in other players’ Boot Hills, would be more powerful if eliminated players had all their cards aced.

Hello, there’s a new iteration up.


From the version 2.0 rules:

Two Players- Duelling

There is only one L in “Dueling”.

Getting Eliminated
-send all dudes at the eliminated player’s deeds home booted.

I’m guessing this should be “send all dudes at the the eliminated player’s home and deeds home booted”, since otherwise you’ll have dudes stranded there when the outfit is discarded.

There are a number of places that might be changed from “your dude” to “a dude you control”. E.g.

You can only make plays during a shootout-
-if you have a dude in that shootout
-if that play would bring your dude into that shootout.

Not sure if that’s a big concern, as we have that in the regular game too.

Is there a way that we can make this colorblind friendly? Using this colorblind simulator, I see that someone who is green-weak (deuteranomaly, the most common form of colorblindness affecting 6% of males and 0.4% of females) would see the first page like this:

Note in particular that Total Control (Blue) and Sequential Play (Purple) are somewhat difficult to distinguish. For someone who is completely red-blind (protanopia, affecting 1% of males), it’s even worse:

It would be better if this could be formatted in such a way that colorblind players can read it.

Finally, would it be possible to have names for the other variants? I suggest naming them after Western movies. Some ideas:

  • Two Players: High Noon or Duel in the Sun
  • More than two players: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly
  • Elimination: The Quick and the Dead (the current name), Seven Men from Now, or A Million Ways to Die in the West
  • Total Control: Deadwood (the current name) or True Grit
  • Sequential Play: The Professionals
  • Turnabout Play: The Wild Bunch
  • By The Book: Support Your Local Sheriff, The Unforgiven, or Hang ’Em High
  • Mind Yer Own Business: Lonely are the Brave
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