Boss Monster is the fast-paced card game of strategic dungeon building! As a Boss Monster, your goal is to lure hapless adventurers into your dungeon and consume their souls.

But beware! Your dungeon must be as deadly as it is enticing, or the puny heroes can actually survive long enough to wound you. More importantly, you have competition.

Adventurers are a hot commodity, and other Boss Monsters are all trying to outdo you with more precious treasures and more nefarious traps. Are you a bad enough dude to become the ultimate Boss Monster?


Components

  • 8 Boss (player) cards
  • 75 Room cards
  • 31 Spell cards
  • 25 Hero cards
  • 16 Epic Hero cards
  • Rulebook

Object of the Game

The goal of Boss Monster is to lure Heroes into your dungeon and kill them. Heroes who die in your dungeon are turned face down and count as "Souls". Heroes who survive give you "Wounds".

  • A player wins if he ends a turn with 10 Souls.

  • A player loses if he ends a turn with 5 Wounds.

A turn is not complete until all players have had a chance to act. In the case of a tie, the Boss with the lowest XP value wins.



Setup

When you begin a new game of Boss Monster, take the following steps.

Prepare the decks

To play, you will just need the cards included with this game:

  • 75 Room Cards
  • 25 Spell Cards
  • 8 Boss Cards
  • 20-40 Hero Cards

The number of players determines the number of Hero cards that should be used in a game:

  • Two Players: 12 Ordinary Heroes, 8 Epic Heroes
  • Three Players: 16 Ordinary Heroes, 12 Epic Heroes
  • Four Players: 24 Ordinary Heroes, 16 Epic Heroes

If you are playing a two-player game, remove all cards with the "Three Player" or "Four Player" icons. If you are playing a three-player game, just remove the "Four Player" Heroes. Then shuffle all decks thoroughly.

Prepare the Play Area

Shuffle the 8 Boss cards and randomly deal one Boss card to each player. Players reveal their Boss cards, and the player whose Boss has the highest XP value goes first. (Play proceeds clockwise around the table).

All players place their Boss cards on the table. (All Room cards will be placed to the left of the Boss card, while acquired Souls and Wounds will be placed to the right).

Set up the Hero, Epic Hero, Dungeon and Spell decks as shown on the following page ("Play Area").

Starting Hand

Each player draw 5 Room cards and 2 Spell cards, then chooses and discards 2 cards. Players make these choices simultaneously, and keep the discarded cards face-down until all players have discarded.

Build your First Room

Before the first turn begins, each player can build one Room.

To "build" a Room card, place it face-down on the table to the left of your Boss card. Once all players have placed their cards, simultaneously reveal the newly built rooms. If a Room has a "when you build this" effect, it takes effect immediately. In case of a conflict, the Boss with the highest XP value goes first.

At this point, Set Up is complete and the first turn begins.

Play Area



Game Play

After setting up the game, players participate in a series of turns. Each turn consists of five phases.

  • Beginning of Turn: Reveal Heroes (one per player), then each player draws a card from the Room Deck.

  • Build Phase: Each player may build one Room. Players take turns placing their room cards face down. At the end of the Build phase, newly built rooms are revealed.

  • Bait Phase: Heroes move to the entrance of the dungeon with the highest corresponding Treasure value. (No spells or abilities may be played).

  • Adventure Phase: Heroes travel through dungeons, ~ and players acquire Souls or Wounds.

  • End of Turn: The turn ends and a new turn begins.

The following pages describe the card types, provide set up instructions, and detail each of these phases.



Card Types

Heroes

Heroes are the key resource of Boss Monster. Heroes appear "in Town" every turn, waiting for adventures.


A Treasure Icon: The type of treasure that lures this Hero.

B Health: The amount of damage this Hero can resist before dying.

C Wound: If an ordinary Hero survives your dungeon, it remains face-up and counts as one Wound.

D Player Icon: This indicates whether the card should be used in a two-, three- or four player game.

E Soul: When an ordinary Hero dies in your dungeon, turn it face- down. It counts as one Soul.


Epic Heroes

Epic Heroes bring twice the risk and twice the reward! Epic Heroes come into play after all ordinary Heroes are claimed.

A Treasure Icon: The type of treasure that lures this Hero.

B Health: The amount of damage this Hero can resist before dying.

C Wound: If an Epic Hero survives your dungeon, it remains face-up and counts as two Wounds.

D Player Icon: This indicates whether the card should be used in a two-, three- or four player game.

E Soul: When an epic Hero dies in your dungeon, turn it face-down. It counts as two Souls.



Rooms

Your dungeon consists of Rooms, which lure and damage hapless Heroes. Each turn, you can build a new room in your dungeon.


A Monster Icon: This icon indicates that this is a Monster Room.

B Ability: The rules text of the card is active as long as it is in play.

C Damage: Each time a Hero enters a room, it takes the listed damage. When the damage exceeds its Health, that Hero dies.

D Treasure: The Treasure icons indicate what kind of Heroes this room can lure. When players compare treasure totals, every visible treasure icon counts.



Advanced Rooms

Advanced Rooms can only be built on existing rooms with which they share at least one Treasure type. They have powerful abilities and are marked with black outer borders.


A Trap Icon: This icon indicates that this is a Trap Room.

B Ability: The rules text of the card. This text is an example of an activated ability, which a player can trigger by paying a cost.

C Damage: Each time a Hero enters a room, it takes the listed damage. Advanced Rooms usually have higher damage values.

D Treasure: The Treasure icons indicate what kind of Heroes this room can lure.



Spells

Spells reflect the power of your Boss Monster to affect what happens in your dungeon... and beyond. There is no limit to the number of Spells you can play in a turn. Once you have played a Spell, place it in the discard pile.



A Text: The rules text of the card describes its effects.

B Phase Icon: This icon indicates the phase when the card can be played. (Hammer = Build, Axe = Adventure, Both = Either)



Bosses

Your Boss card represents the boss monster waiting at the "end" of your dungeon. While it is considered a part of your dungeon, it is not a Room. It cannot deal damage, be deactivated, or be destroyed.


A Boss Icon: This icon indicates that this is a Boss card.

B Boss Ability: Most Boss monsters have "Level Up" abilities, which trigger once per game when your dungeon first reaches five rooms.

C XP: A monster's XP value determines which player goes first, and is used as a tiebreaker when priority is in question.

D Treasure: A Boss card's treasure icon adds to its player's total.




Game Turn

Beginning of Turn

During the Beginning of Turn phase, the following occurs:

  • Heroes Appear In Town: Reveal one Hero card for each active player in the game. In general, all ordinary Heroes must be revealed before an Epic Hero is revealed.

  • Each Player Draws a Card: Each player draws one Room card.

Spell cards, Room cards, and activated abilities cannot be used during the Beginning of Turn phase.

Once each player has drawn a card, the Build phase begins.

Pro Tip: Building Over

Keep an eye on your treasure types as you're building rooms, because they will limit the Advanced rooms you're allowed to play. Multi-treasure rooms (with gold borders) are versatile because multiple Advanced room types can be built over them.

Also keep in mind that ordinary rooms can always be built over any room type, regardless of treasure type!



Build Phase

During the Build Phase, players may build one Room card. To do so, place a card face-down in your dungeon.

A room can be built in one of two locations:

  • To the left of your leftmost card. During Set Up, place your first room to the left of your Boss card. Afterward, build additional new rooms to the left.

  • On top of an existing Room card. Ordinary rooms can be built on top of any room. Advanced rooms can only be built on top of a room that shares at least one Treasure type.

The player with the highest XP value goes first, and then play proceeds clockwise around the table.

During the Build phase, before or after a Room card has been placed face-down (but only while you are the active player), you may play Spells or abilities marked with the Build (hammer) icon.

Once each player has had the chance to build a room, during the "end of Build phase", players simultaneously flip over their Room cards. These Room are now considered "built", and any "when you build this room" abilities take effect. In case of a conflict, the room ability of the Boss with the highest XP value triggers first.


Bait Phase

During the Bait phase, players have the chance to lure Heroes to their dungeons. Take the following steps:

  • Compare Treasure Values: Count the amount of Treasure that corresponds to the Hero is in each dungeon. Add any modifiers from room abilities or Spells.

  • Lure: The dungeon with the highest relevant Treasure value lures the Hero. The Hero moves to its entrance. (Place the Hero beside the leftmost Room in that dungeon).

  • Tie: If no player has Treasure of that Hero's type, or if two or more players are tied, the Hero stays in town until the next turn.


Spell cards cannot be used during the Bait phase.

If multiple Heroes move to a player's dungeon, they arrive in the order that they were revealed from the Hero deck. Once all Heroes are accounted for, the Adventure phase begins.

Pro Tip: Hero Bottleneck

If all players tie for a treasure type, you can end up with a lot of Heroes stuck in town. That just makes things more tense until the tie is finally broken!



Adventure Phase

During the Adventure phase, Heroes "attack" dungeons and players take turns contending with them. Players with Heroes at their dungeons take turns, following these steps:

  • Heroes Enter: Starting with the first Hero to arrive at an entrance to a player's dungeon, that Hero begins to move through that player's dungeon.

  • Rooms Deal Damage: As the Hero enters each Room, the Room deals its Damage.

  • Death: If the Hero takes damage equal to or exceeding its Health, it dies. Move that Hero to your scorekeeping area and place it face-down, adding its Soul value to your total.

  • Survival: If you are not able to sufficiently damage the Hero (or kill it by other means), place it face-up in your scorekeeping area, adding its Wound value to your total.


During the Adventure phase, players may play Spells or abilities marked with the Adventure (axe) icon. The active player's effects are always resolved first.

All Heroes in the scorekeeping area are considered "dead". Once all Heroes are accounted for, the turn ends.



End of Turn Phase

At the end of the turn, any "until end of turn" effects are resolved. Any deactivated rooms are turned upright.

In the event that a Hero takes damage during the Adventure Phase but is returned to town or the entrance of a dungeon by a card ability, damage to that Hero does not carry over to subsequent turns.

Spell cards and activated abilities cannot be used during the End of Turn phase.

Pro Tip: Tracking Heroes

Sometimes, Hero sequence can be important. Heroes obey a "first in, first out" rule. To keep track of this, place each newly revealed Hero to the side of the deck.

The closest to the deck should always be the one that has been in play for longest. Once it heads to a dungeon, slide the newer cards toward the deck to take its place.

Remember, new Heroes continue to arrive in town at the beginning of each turn!


End of the Game

The game does not end until a full turn is complete and every eligible player has had a chance to resolve an Adventure phase. Once every player has had a chance to act, determine the following.

  • If a player ends the turn with 5 or more Wounds, that player loses the game (regardless of Soul count).

  • If a player ends the turn with 10 Souls (and less than 5 Wounds), that player wins the game.

  • If two players meet the victory or loss conditions above, the game ends in a tie.

Now shuffle the cards, deal Boss cards, and play again!

Pro Tip: Multiplayer Ganes

In a game with more than two players, when one player loses, that player's cards are set aside and "removed from the game". They do not go to the discard pile, and no effects can interact with those cards until the game concludes.


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