by Sam Fraser
Ruleset ver. 1.2
If you have any questions, please email them to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Gentlemen Thieves is a simple and hilarious card game about stealing Gold Coins and Loot from booby trapped Buildings. On your turn, you make up stories about how you get through Rooms filled with traps. Defeat the traps by making clever new inventions! You are limited only by your imagination!
You will need at least 30 coins or other tokens to represent Gold Coins.
You will need a pen, markers, or other writing materials to create new cards.
The active player is called the Thief.
Each player has a Building they will defend from other Thieves.
The player whose Building is broken into is called the Defender.
Each Building contains several Rooms that contain traps and obstacles.
On their turn, each Thief will create Plans to defeat the Rooms in a Building.
Each Thief will use Gear cards from their hand and from the Gear pool to create a Plan.
By defeating Rooms, a Thief can get Gold Coins, which are required to win the game.
Each Building also contains Loot cards that are powerful objects which can be used in a Plan after they have been stolen.
A Turn starts at the end of the previous players Turn, and finishes when a player steals Gold Coins from a Building or their Plan fails.
A Round consists of 1 Turn by each player.
Each Building has either a restriction or an obstacle. A restriction prevents the player from taking certain actions in that Building, such as making loud noises or starting fires. An obstacle will add another element to the either the first or the second Room in the Building which the Thief must incorporate into the Plan. The Ivy Academy adds an obstacle that must be faced after the second Room is defeated, but before the player steals the Gold Coins or the Loot card. Yes, the restriction on The Alchemy Lab could mean it blows up before anyone has entered it.
Separate the Gear and Room blanks from the other cards. Deal each player 3 Gear cards to form their hand. Deal 1 Gear card per player face up in the centre to form the Gear pool (ex: 4 players = 4 cards in the Gear pool). Deal 1 Building, 1 Loot, and 1 Room face up in front of each player. Put the remaining Buildings back in the box and put the Gear, Room, and Loot cards into separate decks.
Shuffle one blank Room card into the Room deck, and 2 blank Gear cards into the Gear deck. Put the remaining blanks away.
DECIDING THE FIRST PLAYER
The player in the comfiest chair becomes the first Thief.
The Thief chooses a Room in a Building and creates a Plan to defeat it (see PLANNING). The Plan is put to a vote (see VOTING). If the Plan is successful, the Room is defeated and a new Room is revealed. To reveal a new Room, the Defender discards the old one and then draws 3 Room cards and chooses 1 to play face up, discarding the rest. After the new Room is revealed, the Thief can then end their turn and keep 2 Gold Coins, or choose to try and defeat the second Room and steal the Loot card from the Building (see SCORING). The first and second Rooms are connected: if anything from the first Room could potentially move into the second, it will.
If the Thief chooses to face the second Room and is successful, the Defender reveals a new Room. The Thief then gets 3 Gold Coins and the Defender’s Loot card and ends their turn. Loot cards stolen by a Thief are kept face up on the table but are not part of any Building and cannot be taken back. The Defender draws a new Loot card for their Building. If no Loot cards remain, then the Building receives no new Loot.
If the Thief is defeated at any time, they don’t get any Gold Coins and must end their Turn. To end their turn, the Thief draws back up to 3 Gear cards, the Gear pool is replenished if necessary, and play passes to the left.
The Thief must defeat the Room by using Gear cards from their hand to create a Plan. At least 1 Gear card must be used. They can use 1 card from the Gear pool once during their Turn. If they have a Loot card, they may use it in their Plan. All cards used in the Plan, including Loot cards, are played face up on the table and must be discarded at the end of the Turn. The Thief must describe the Plan to the other players. It can be simple and straightforward, or elaborate and imaginative. The Defender can clarify details about the Room if necessary. The Thief may play new Gear cards to respond to any discussion.
The other players vote Yes or No to say whether they think the Plan succeeds or fails. If the Plan succeeds, the Room is defeated. Otherwise, the Plan fails and the Thief must end their turn. The Thief does not vote. The players should remember any restrictions on the Building as they vote. A tie vote is a fail. Players may vote in any order.
Players score 2 Gold Coins for defeating the first Room and ending their Turn.
Players score 3 Gold Coins and a Loot card for defeating both Rooms.
Until it is discarded, every card retains its own history. What happens in a Room persists until the Room is defeated. What happens to a Gear card persists until it is discarded. For example, if the Portcullis was attacked by a Vial of Acid but not defeated, it will be weakened and more vulnerable when the next Thief tries to defeat it. Similarly, if the Vial of Acid was emptied when used against the Portcullis, it will still be empty if the player faces another Room on their turn.
After 3 Rounds, the player with the most Gold Coins wins. In the case of a tie, the player with the most unused Loot cards wins.
ALTERNATIVE WINNING METHOD
To encourage creative storytelling during the game, an alternative method of determining the winner can be used: after 3 rounds, players vote for the player they felt contributed the most to the game session. This could include having the best break in, creating the best card, or coming up with a clever defense of a room. Players would not use the Gold Coins when using this winning method.
When drawn, blank cards can be used any time to create a new Room card or a new Gear card. The player who plays the blank card can say what the new Gear or Room card is first, but they are then encouraged to write or draw the new Gear or Room directly on the blank card. When a blank card is used, written on or not, it cannot be changed until it has been discarded.
AFTER THE GAME
I hope you enjoyed playing Gentlemen Thieves! Please take the time to record your play on BoardGameGeek, by visiting http://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/132229. Contribute your stories and pictures of the cards you created at www.reddit.com/r/GentlemenThieves. Thank you for playing!