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Poultrygeist
"Monster" redirects here. For the Mad Scientists minion, see The Monster.

Monsters were introduced in the Smash Up: Munchkin set. They typically come into play when certain bases are put into play that have a monster number, such as "2 Monsters". Monsters typically add to the breakpoint of the base instead of contributing power toward breaking it. Monsters have no owner or faction, and typically have no controller.

Monsters are a common way to gain treasures.

Cards Edit

Monsters
Monster back

The back of the monster cards

The monster deck has 20 cards, 10 of which are undead. All the monsters are minions. The 10 undead monsters and the other 10 monsters resemble the counts and power distributions of a typical Smash Up faction without any action cards. In this way, the monster deck can be thought of as a deck built out of the 10 "normal monsters" faction and the 10 "undead monsters" faction shuffled together. But remember that monsters officially have no faction.

Minions Edit

1x Plutonium Dragon - power 5 - 3 Treasures - Ongoing: At the end of each player's turn, destroy all minions here with power 2 or less.

2x Bigfoot - power 4 - 2 Treasures - Ongoing: If this is the only monster here, it has +3 power.

3x HippoGriff - power 3 - 1 Treasure - Ongoing: Before this base scores, destroy a random non-monster minion here of power 3 or less.

4x Web Troll - power 1 - 0 Treasure - Play another monster here.

1x Knight of the Living Dead - power 5 - 2 Treasures - Undead. Ongoing: This monster has +1 power for each other monster here.

2x King Tut - power 4 - 2 Treasures - Undead. Ongoing: After this base scores, the winner discards a card.

3x Ghoul - power 3 - 1 Treasure - Undead. Ongoing: If this monster is destroyed, place it on top of the monster deck.

4x Poultrygeist - power 2 - 1 Treasure - Undead. Ongoing: This monster has +1 power for each other undead monster here.

Rules Edit

Main article: Rules

Setup Edit

Prepare the Monster Deck Edit

Gather all the monster cards together to form the monster deck. There are twenty monster cards in total. Shuffle them and set this deck face-down to the side within easy reach.

The deck has a discard pile with shuffle-on-demand rules similar to the base deck.

Draw the Bases Edit

During setup, when a Munchkin base is drawn, the first player draws as many monsters from the monster deck as the monster number shown on the new base and plays them there.

Playing Monsters Edit

Monsters are only played:

  • After a Munchkin base comes into play.
  • When a card tells you to play a monster.

When a Munchkin base comes into play, the current player (or the first player during setup) draws as many monsters from the monster deck as the monster number shown on the new base and plays them there. BUT that player doesn't get credit for playing the monsters in this way. For example, it won't trigger the abilities of Treasure Bath, Treehouse, Dimension Doors, Control Minion, etc. Note that a Web Troll's on-play ability activates when it's played that way and the extra monsters do not count toward the monster number.

When a minion or action tells you to play a monster, you do get credit for playing the monster and trigger the abilities of cards as if you had played a "normal" minion. Note that a Web Troll's on-play ability activates when it's played that way as well

When a monster is played because of The Gauntlet's ability, you don't get credit for playing the monster. This is also the only case where a Web Troll's ability doesn't activate!

Monsters are considered as minions and play exactly like minions, with the following exceptions:

  • They don't have any owners. So they can't be targeted by cards that mention an "owner". E.g. Beam Up would do nothing to a monster, since there is no "owner's hand" for the monster to be returned to. Likewise Complete the Ritual would leave monsters alone, and the monsters would end up on the new base.
  • They aren't a faction. So when a card tells you to name a faction, you can't say "monsters".
  • They are not controlled by the player who plays them and so they don't face any particular direction when they are in play.
  • They don't count as extra minions for cards like Eliza. So when you play a card that tells you to play a monster, it doesn't use your minions plays.
  • If a monster card ever leaves play, it goes to the monster discard pile, not to any other discard pile, hand, or deck. For example, if a monster is destroyed on Tar Pits, it is discarded, not placed under the monster deck. Only the cards that explicitly designates monsters are the exceptions. Those cards are the Ghouls and Whack-A-Ghoul.

Uncontrolled Monsters Edit

Unlike playing "normal" minions, a player does not gain control of a monster by playing it. Rather, after playing a monster on a base, the monster has no controller.

Uncontrolled monsters:

  • add their power to the base's breakpoint instead of contributing power toward breaking it.
  • aren't any player's minion, so they can't be targeted by cards that target "other players' minions", a specific player's minion, or similar wording.
  • can still be targeted by cards that only mention "a minion" or "all minions". You can even play "play on a minion" actions on them. (e.g. Invasion can move an uncontrolled monster, but Dinghy and Shanghai cannot.)
  • consider all players as "other players" for certain abilities, like The Pits, or Neutral Space.

Note that when an ability reduces a base's breakpoint (e.g. Overgrowth), it reduces its printed power (or starting power) first, and then the uncontrolled monsters' power on that base add to its modified breakpoint.

When uncontrolled monsters are in play, you can overlap them and place them beneath the base card so that only their powers and abilities are visible. This is useful to save precious table space.

Controlled Monsters Edit

There are a number of ways for players to gain control of monster minions (e.g. Charm, Make Contact, Cat's Paw).

Controlled Monsters:

  • don't add their power to the base's breakpoint while under a player's control.
  • add their power to their controller's total power on their base and contribute toward breaking it.
  • are treated as one of their controller's minions, and so can be targeted by cards that target "other players' minions", a specific player's minion, or similar wording.
  • can still be targeted by cards that only mention "a minion" or "all minions". You can even play "play on a minion" actions on them.
  • consider all players, except for their controller, as "other players" for certain abilities, like Helper's Hollow, The Pits, or Neutral Space.

Awarding Treasures Edit

All monsters have a treasure number printed on them (which might be 0). Whether they are controlled or uncontrolled, monsters award treasures in one of two ways:

  • When they are destroyed.
  • When the base they're on scores.

Destroying Monsters Edit

If a monster is destroyed, then the player who destroyed the monster draws that many treasure cards into their hand from the treasure deck, without revealing them. To determine who destroyed it, take a look at the card that caused the destruction when it was activated (i.e. the one with the word "destroy"). Usually, the card tells its controller to destroy the minion. In that case, its the card's controller who gets credit for the destruction. If the card mentions that a specific player destroys it (e.g. Bear Hug, Ninja Dojo), then it's the designated player who gets credit for the destruction and gets the reward. If the destruction comes from an uncontrolled Plutonium Dragon, then reveal the appropriate number of treasure cards from the top of the treasure deck and discard them.[1]

Drawing treasure cards as a result of destroying a monster is an on-destroy reaction similar to that of Nukebot, Opportunist, and Cave of Shinies, so the current player decides the order of events in case of multiple on-destroy reactions happening simultaneously (however, it probably doesn't matter.).[probably]

Unlike normal minions, any ability that removes a monster from play (whether it's controlled or uncontrolled) sends it to the monster discard pile, nowhere else. E.g. taking control of a monster and then targeting it with Do Over! will send the monster to the monster discard pile, not to anyone's hand. Causing a monster to be discarded is not the same as destroying the monster, and only abilities that destroy the monster can earn the treasure reward.

Scoring a Base with Monsters Edit

After a base scores, add up all the treasure numbers for the monsters there (whether controlled or uncontrolled[2]), and reveal that number of treasure cards from the treasure deck. Every player with a minion at that base takes turns placing 1 of the revealed treasure cards into their hand until all revealed treasures have been taken starting with the winner of the base, then the runner up, etc. If players are tied for winner or any other place, resolve ties clockwise starting with the current player or whichever player is left of the current player. Even a player in fourth place on a base gets to participate in the loot distribution (provided, of course, that there are at least 4 treasures revealed). Note that even if you control a monster when its base scores, its treasures are still to added to the stash and split between the players.

Clarifications Edit

Here are the official clarifications as they appear in the Smash Up: Munchkin rulebook:

Plutonium Dragon: The treasures of any monsters the Dragon destroys are discarded.

Web Troll: Monsters played because of Web Troll do not count towards the base’s monster number.

FAQ Edit

Questions on Plutonium Dragon Edit

Q: If an uncontrolled Plutonium Dragon destroys a monster, who gets the treasures?

A: Noone, or rather you reveal as many treasures as the treasure number of the monster and discard all of them. It doesn't matter if the destroyed minion was controlled or not.

Rule: Do exactly what the card says. Except when the rulebook clearly addresses the issue.

Q: If I take control of a Plutonium Dragon and it destroys another monster while still under my control, do I get the monster's treasures?

A: Yes. Once under your control, the Plutonium Dragon's ability applies from your point of view, so you'll be credited for the destruction and will be able to draw a card. Note that the clarification in the rulebook only applies if Plutonium Dragon guards a base and therefore has no controller.

Rule: "You" on a minion or action means the controller of the card.
Q: If I take control of a Plutonium Dragon, are my power-2-or-less minions protected from it?
A: No. It says to destroy "all minions of power 2 or less", without any other precisions, so it destroys all minions or power 2 or less, including yours.

Rule: Do exactly what the card says.
Q: If a Plutonium Dragon's power is somehow lowered down to 2, does it destroy itself?
A: Yes. If it was under the control of a player, that player gets the treasures. If it was uncontrolled, the treasures are discarded as usual.

Rule: Do exactly what the card says.


Questions on Bigfoot Edit

Q: Does an uncontrolled Bigfoot get +3 power if it is the only uncontrolled monster on its base? Or do we have to include controlled monsters as well?

A: You must include all monsters on its base, controlled or uncontrolled. Bigfoot must be the only monster there to get its bonus.

Rule: Do exactly what the card says.
Q: I have control of a Bigfoot, does it get +3 power if it is the only monster under my control? Or do I have to include uncontrolled monsters on its base? What if another player also has control of a monster there.
A: You must include all monsters on its base, controlled or uncontrolled. Bigfoot must be the only monster there to get its bonus.

Rule: Do exactly what the card says.


Questions on HippoGriff Edit

Q: I have a low-power minion with a before-scoring ability on a base with a Hippogriff. Before the base scores, is the Hippogriff activated first and so there's a chance that I won't be able to use my minion's before-scoring ability?

A: Both your minion's ability and the Hippogriff's ability are triggered by the before-scoring step. As usual, it's the current player who decides in which order they are activated. If they decide to activate the Hippogriff before your minion, then there's indeed a chance for your minion to be destroyed before you can use its ability.

Rule: The current player decides the order of events that are supposed to happen simultaneously.

Q: Its ability is so annoying! We have to take all the power 3 or less minion, making sure to remember which one had power counters and/or actions played on it and who controlled it, then shuffle them, draw a random one (that's the one that's randomly destroyed), then put back all the remaining minions and put the correct actions and number of power counters on them they had before they were picked.

A: Or you can just assign a number to each eligible minion and roll a die or use a randomizer app.

Rule: N/A


Questions on Web Troll Edit

Q: When is its ability activated?

A: When it's among the monsters that appear when a Munchkin base is played, and when a player plays one using one of their cards' abilities that allow them to play monsters. The only other time that a Web Troll can be played is with The Gauntlet's ability, but in that case, it doesn't trigger its ability.

Rule: Do exactly what the card says. Except when the rulebook clearly addresses the issue.

Q: Why isn't its ability activated when it's played because of The Gauntlet's ability?

A: Supposedly, it's to avoid flooding The Gauntlet with monsters through repeated destructions. Officially, the rulebook says that it's because the Web Troll is played by The Gauntlet itself, not by a player.

Rule: Do exactly what the card says. Except when the rulebook clearly addresses the issue.


Questions on Knight of the Living Dead Edit

Q: For an uncontrolled Knight of the Living Dead, do controlled monsters on its base also increase its power?

A: Yes, it says "for each other monster here", without any other precisions, so it includes controlled monsters as well.

Rule: Do exactly what the card says.
Q: I have control of the Knight of the Living Dead, do uncontrolled monsters on its base also increase its power? How about monsters controlled by other players? How about the other monsters I control?
A: Yes, yes and yes, it says "for each other monster here", without any other precisions, so it includes any other monsters on its base, controlled or uncontrolled.

Rule: Do exactly what the card says.


Questions on King Tut Edit

Q: I have control of King Tut when its base scores. If I'm the winner, am I immune to my own King Tut?

A: No. You must resolve its ability as written.

Rule: Do exactly what the card says.


Questions on Ghoul Edit

Q:

A:

Rule:


Questions on Poultrygeist Edit

Q: For an uncontrolled Poultrygeist, do controlled undead monsters on its base also increase its power?

A: Yes, it says "for each other undead monster here", without any other precisions, so it includes controlled undead monsters as well.

Rule: Do exactly what the card says.
Q: I have control of a Poultrygeist, do uncontrolled undead monsters on its base also increase its power? How about undead monsters controlled by other players? How about the other undead monsters I control?
A: Yes, yes and yes, it says "for each other undead monster here", without any other precisions, so it includes any other undead monsters on its base, controlled or uncontrolled.

Rule: Do exactly what the card says.

Trivia Edit

  • The artists are John Kovalic, who is well-known for drawing the art of many boardgames including Munchkin and several of its expansions, and Gong Studios, who also designed the art of many other factions.

References Edit

  1. Smash Up: Munchkin rulebook page 12, section "Plutonium Dragon".
  2. Smash Up: Munchkin rulebook page 12, section "Charm".

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