The players take on the roles of wizards, witches, and druids and try to brew the most valuable potions to earn victory points. In addition, the players will try to get other things like wolf blood, snake venom, herb juice, and gold. Proper planning and a bit of luck will ensure a player victory!
The game is played over several sets of rounds. For each set of rounds, the players select 5 role cards from 12 available to use in the set. These cards are played, one at a time, with the players vying to be the one who gets to use the full action of the role or choosing to accept merely the favor of the role.
The favor is less valuable, but also less risky. A player trying to claim the full action could have it taken away by another player. So, players must decide when the risk is worth it and when to allow another the full action and to settle for the favor.
The player with the most points at the end is the winner!
- 60 role cards
- 31 potion cards
- 8 spell books
- 60 ingredients
- 1 die-cut sheet with 45 potion vials, gold nuggets
Each player picks a color and takes:
- the 12 role cards of his color (card back shows player color),
- 3 ingredients (1 red, 1 green, and 1 white drop), and
- 2 gold nuggets.
The players place the ingredients and gold nuggets in their play areas (the areas before them on the table). These are visible to all throughout the game. They hold the role cards in their hands.
Setup for 4 players
Place the remaining drops, gold nuggets, and the 45 potion vials in separate supplies in the middle of the table.
Separate the 21 cauldrons into three groups each of 7 copper, silver, and iron cauldrons. Within each gro sort them by value (shown in the glass bulb in the right of the card) with the lowest on top and the highest on the bottom and place each stack face up in the middle of the table.
Also, separate the 10 potion shelves into two groups of 5 according to the symbols at the top of each card: ingredient gold. As with the cauldrons, sort each group by value with lowest on the top and place them face in the middle of the table.
Shuffle the 8 spell books and place them face up near the other sets in the middle of the table.
The players choose a starting player using any method they prefer.
The game is played over several sets. In each set, each player first selects the five role cards he wants to use in the set. The players go through the different roles one at a time attempting to claim the full right to the role's ability, or its secondary favor.
Once all the roles have been played (at least 5 or at most 12), the set ends and the next one begins.
Select Role Cards
Each player, simultaneously, selects 5 of his 12 role cards to use in the set. He keeps the 5 selected cards in his hand (secretly) and places the other 7 face down in a stack in his play area.
Each role card represents two possible actions: the upper part is the full action of the card and the lower part is the favor of the card.
The Potion contest begins
The starting player begins the set by selecting one of his five hand cards and placing it face up in his play area. He then announces what card he has chosen by reading out loud the title of the card, for example, "I am the witch!"
Thus, the player indicates he plans to take the role of the witch this round, and the other players, in clockwise order, must each do one of the following:
If the player does not have the card played in his hand, he does nothing but simply says, "pass".
If the player has the card played in his hand, he must play it face up in his play area and then either: >
He announces that he will take over the action of the card from the previous player who has it by saying out loud the words at the top of the card, for example. "I am the witch!"
The player who had the role card face up in his play area places his card face down on his stack of face down cards. He is done for this round.
Taking the role may come with some risk as players playing later in the round might take it from you.
He says, "So be it!", accepting the previous player's claim to the role. Then he executes the favor described on the lower part of the card
If he is unable or unwilling to execute this action, he merely says so and does not do it. He then places his card face down on his stack of face down cards.
Several players may choose the favor.
The favor is weaker than the full action, but it can be chosen by several players and not be lost to another player.
After all players have taken their turns in the round, the player who still has the role card face up in his play area wins the right to the full action of the card and executes the action described on the upper part of the card.
He then places his card face down on his face down stack and begins a new round by selecting a card from his hand, placing it face up in his play area and announcing, "I am the....!"
Example: Anna begins the round and places her warlock card face up in her play area, saying, I am the warlock!" The player who begins a round may not start with "So be it!"
Barb has the warlock in her hand and must play it face up in her play area. With three more players to play in the round, she decides not to risk losing the role to one of them and says, "So be it!" and takes the favor described on the lower part of the card: she takes one gold nugget from the supply, adding it to her play area and places her warlock card face down on her face down stack of cards.
Carl is next and also has the warlock card in his hand and, therefore, plays it face up in his play area. He decides to take the risk and says, "I am the warlock!"
Anna immediately places her warlock card face down on her face down stack of cards and is done for the round, getting nothing.
Next, Daniel plays his warlock card face up in his play area and also announces, "I am the warlock!" Now Carl must place his warlock card face down on his face down stack of cards and also gets nothing in the round.
Emma is last to play and does not have the warlock card in her hand and passes. As all players have had a turn in the round, Daniel wins the right to the warlock and takes the action described on the upper part of the card: he uses the spell shown on the top-most spell book card.
Subsequently, Daniel begins the next round by playing his alchemist card and announcing, "I am the Alchemist!"
Further Important Rules
The player, who wins the right to the full action, must choose to execute the upper action described on the card. He may not select the lower action.
A player may always choose to abstain from taking the action he is allowed, either because he cannot afford it or chooses not to do it for another reason.
The player, who "won" the right to the full action of the role in the previous round, must begin the new round, even if he chose not to execute the action.
If the player who is to begin the new round has no cards left in his hand, the task of beginning the round passes to his left neighbor (and so on around the table until a player with cards remaining in his hand is found).
If a player plays a role card that was played previously in this set (meaning he "forgot" the play it earlier when required), he must immediately place it face down on his face down stack of cards and play another. There is no further penalty for failing to play a required card.
Players must always hold their cards fanned so the other players will know how many cards they have left in their hands.
The most important rule of all: before his turn in a round, a player is not allowed to suggest or hint whether or not he has a certain role card in his hand.
He must always wait until it is his turn and, only then, take the appropriate action: "Pass", "Iam the ...!", or "So be it!"
The Next Set
A set ends when all players have played all 5 cards in their hands. It can happen that one player plays alone for several turns if he is the only player with cards left in his hand.
When playing alone, the player always wins the full action of the card and may not choose the favor.
The next set begins with each player again selecting 5 cards from his entire set of 12 role cards. He can choose the same 5 as before or different cards - the choice is completely his. The player who "won" the opportunity to take the full action of the last role card in the previous set begins the new set as described above.
End of the Game
The game ends at the end of a set when the players have collected together at least four potion cards with ravens on them in their play areas (there are two ravens in each of the five stacks).
Each player adds the victory points in the glass bulbs of his potion cards to the number of potion vials he has to get his total victory points for the game. The player with the most victory points is the winner!
If players tie with the most victory points, the player among them with the most ingredients and gold nuggets left is the winner. If there is still a tie, those tied rejoice in their shared victory.
Variant (for 3 or 4 players)
Take a set of role cards, which is not used by any player, shuffle them and place them face down in the middle of the table.
At the beginning of each set, turn over the top 2 cards (with 3 players) or the top card (with 4 players), placing them face up on the table. For this set, the players are not allowed to choose these card(s) for the 5 hand cards.
For the next set, 2 (or 1) more cards are turned over and so on. When all 12 cards have been used, shuffle all 12 and continue.