The rules of Ktulu

While writing the last note, I realized that I have to describe the rules of Ktulu here. Even for Polish readers the only thing I could do was link to a document on an external website, which made little sense, as nobody would probably read it anyway. The readers that don't speak Polish were in an even worse situation, because they wouldn't be able to understand anything I've been writing about the game. This made me decide to write a short summary of the rules on this blog.

Before I start the explanation, I'll just mention that there are multiple versions of the rules. The one I'll be describing is the one I am the most familiar with, and I intend to implement it in this project.

Some background

The background to the game is as follows:

A long time ago, in North America, an alien spaceship had crashed. The Indians living there found the alien emitter and took it for a statue depicting their god - Ktulu. The Indians worshipped the statue, which was made of rare and precious metals. Then, the white people came to America, killed a majority of the Indians and took the statue from them. They settled a small city called Bum-bum City where the Indians had lived before. The statue was the city's pride, it attracted many tourists. However, some bandits decided to steal it and succeeded. The game begins on the night when the theft happened.

The basics

The players are divided into 3 or 4 fractions, depending on their number. The basic three are the Citizens, the Bandits and the Indians, the optional fourth is the Aliens. Each of the fractions wants the statue for themselves - the Citizens want to restore it to the city. the Bandits want to sail to Europe with it and sell it there, the Indians want to take it back and kill everyone, and the Aliens want their emitter in order to send a message calling for help to their home planet. Each of the fractions additionaly consists of specific characters, having special abilities. Who is who is a secret, like in Mafia - the identities are only revealed when the players die.

Just like in Mafia, the game goes through a cycle of nights and days. The starting night has number 0, then comes day 1, then night 1 etc. Certain characters work at night, as well as the fractions as a whole (except the Citizens). The Bandits search a person every night, trying to find the statue (if they don't have it). The Indians kill a person or two (if they have the statue). The Aliens can search one person like the Bandits. During the day the players talk, they can duel (every player can call another one out - more below) and at the end of the day a vote takes place - the players choose two persons to be searched, and then optionally hang one of them.

Duels

Every player can call another one out at any point during the day. If the Sheriff is alive, one can refuse to duel. If they don't refuse (either because they don't want to or they can't), the duel takes place.

It looks like this: first, everyone becomes silent, only the duelling players can offer speeches - first the attacker, then the defendant. Then a secret vote is being run and everyone decides who should win. The player that got less votes dies, and if there is a tie, both die.

There is a maximum of 2 duels per day.

The abilities of the characters

The characters of each fraction and their abilities are as follows:

The Citizens

  • Sheriff - he arrests a person every night (on the zeroth night as well). This person cannot be killed, they don't wake up that night either. If they had the statue, the Sheriff takes it, and if he manages to hold it until morning, the Citizens win. Moreover, as long as the Sheriff lives, the players can refuse to duel.
  • Mayor - he can reveal his identity at an arbitrary moment in the game. If he does this during a hanging vote, he can pardon the sentenced player.
  • Prostitute - she chooses a customer on the zeroth night and gets to know his identity. The customer gets to know the Prostitute's identity as well.
  • Pastor - he listens to a confession every night (the zeroth, too) and gets to know which fraction a chosen person belongs to. The confessing person is unaware of the event.
  • Good Gunfighter - wins every duel, regardless of the result of the vote. The exceptions are duels with the Evil Gunfighter (which works like a normal one) and a case when the Judge uses his ability.
  • Drunkard - he can make a chosen person drunk two times during the game. This person won't wake up that night.
  • Bodyguard - chooses a person to protect every night. This person cannot die that night (although they can be stolen from, made drunk etc.). He can't protect himself and must protect a different person every night.
  • Tax Collector - he can get to know who has the statue once during a game. The statue's owner can change until morning, though.
  • Doctor - can ressurect a freshly deceased person once during a game. His identity remains secret.
  • Gambler - once during a game, he can start a game of Russian Roulette. He chooses a person and if they are a Citizen, he dies. Otherwise, the person dies and the Gambler plays again. This continues until he dies or finds the statue.
  • Insurance Agent - he can reveal his identity at any point during the game (the others can only talk - he can prove it).
  • Judge - can reveal himself and change a duel's outcome once (in particular, he can make a Gunfighter die). He cannot rule a tie - one person has to die.
  • Seducer - chooses a person at the beginning of the game. That person learns his identity and can't harm him from that point onward.

The Bandits

  • Boss - possesses the statue on the zeroth night and makes the final decisions regarding the Bandits' searches.
  • Avenger - can kill a person once during a game.
  • Thief - can try to steal the statue from a person once. If the person has the statue, he takes it.
  • Evil Gunfighter - analogous to the Good Gunfighter.
  • Card Shark - can play cards with a chosen person once. That person doesn't wake up that night and gives up the statue to the Card Shark if they had it.
  • Blackmailer - analogous to the Seducer.

The Indians

  • Chief - analogous to the Boss.
  • Witch Doctor - can enter a trance once during a game and get to know the identity of a chosen person.
  • Witch - can poison a chosen person once. That person dies at a random moment during the day and if they had the statue, the Citizens win (as the victim died in public, and so the city takes the statue).
  • Lone Coyote - if he is the only active Indian, he kills an additional person.
  • Warrior - if he is active the night the Indians take the statue, he kills an additional person.
  • Scope Eye - he can get to know who has the statue once (but the knowledge might be outdated the next turn).
  • Silent Foot - if he has the statue, he can slip it to a chosen person. That person doesn't know that they have the statue, but if they die or get searched, the killer / searcher takes it.

The Aliens

  • Great Alien - analogous to the Boss and the Chief.
  • Green Tentacle - can kill a chosen person once.
  • Detector - chooses a person each night. If that person has the statue, he finds it out. Otherwise, he gets to know where on the players' list (between himself and the chosen person) is the statue's current owner.
  • Mind Eater - gets to know the identity of a chosen person each night.

A final word

As you can see, the possibilities in the game are huge. Various players can find out more and more about the state of the game and act accordingly. Information is very precious here - it gives great meaning even to such a small character like the Prostitute, who is one of the few that know anything on the first day. She can often hurt many people, if she discovers someone not from the City, so the Prostitute's customer will often try to impersonate her and confuse the other players.

It's not possible for me to describe everything that can happen in the game - you have to experience that for yourself, which I will hopefully make possible :)