Welcome to the Cauldron of Fools!! As witches embarking on the path to become more powerful and accurate in your craft, you’ve decided to engage in a good-hearted duel. There are 4 types of witchcraft so decide which spells you would like to focus on: charms, potions, druid-type, or necromancy! Each of you receives 5 green cards to start with. Your witchsona, or character card, will tell you what your special ability is. But be careful! You can only deploy this special ability once per game!
All witches start their actions at the same time and decide on one action: to draw, trade up, or play their special ability! Spells must be 3-cards long at least and have matching symbols on the bottom left and right side to connect them together.
When you’re ready to play your spell, place the cards you will play face-down in front of you and wait for the other witches to complete their actions. Then, count to 3 and reverse your cards! Remember to say the full name of your spell – the words at the bottom of each card to successfully cast, or else you forfeit this round!
Green cards get 1 point, Orange cards get 2 points, and Purple cards get 4 points. If you play one card from your witch-type, double the point on that card! There are secret, powerful spells that are cast by linking certain cards together, so pay attention to any info on the cards in your hand.
In the center of you lie three different decks of cards: green, orange, and purple decks. Each colour of deck contains cards pertaining to all player’s witching needs, but you won’t know what you’ll get till you draw from the pile!
Your green decks are the least powerful items and will score you the least amount of points, but you can trade up to get stronger cards from the orange and purple decks. When all witches have prepared their spells, you’ll show your cards and speak the enchanting words that form in your mind (and that are written on the bottom of each card that matches up…). See who wins the round by adding up the points for each card, and give yourself double points for 1 of your type of witch-card in your spells.
2-4 witches may play at a time, but there are extra decks in case you want to really spice things up and have a larger duel of wands!
This game is for players ages 10 and up. It’s a party game, so it can be played by families or friends. The game is short and fast-paced, so it’s easy to pick up and play. It’s great for board-game nights, can be played as a quick dessert after supper, and is fantastic for casual get-togethers!
Build decks of cards with witchy elements that combines the quirkiness of party games like Love Letter with the allure of the world of Harry Potter. Cauldron of Fools! is a fast-paced, set-building card game.
Witches have a long history in popular culture and history. Only once a year, on Halloween, folks feel comfortable pretending to be witches, goblins, or things of the fantastical. Halloween and horror-fantasy pick up on the power of donning costumes, roleplaying, and engaging with fear. A game like Cauldron of Fools! welcomes players into a shared fantasy where you contain the macabre with your powers of witchcraft.
As players don their witchsonas, they’ll experiment with a variety of cards from the worlds of charms, potions, necromancy, and the living world of the druid. From toenail clippings, eyeballs, and frog legs to ghouls, ghosts, and werewolves, players will get drawn into an enchanting world. Players focus on their own witch-type items and materials to learn combinations of items to perform spells and with repeated gameplay, can work towards building certain decks of cards to master their type of witchery!
The cards are full of spooky, strange items that appeal to vivid art styles of horror-fantasy that balances the macabre with the playful!
· Cute, spooky card art
· Fun, themed role-playing experience
· Accessible gameplay
· Casual competitive gameplay as opposed to challenge-based or skill-based competitive gameplay
Theme and Story
“There's a little witch in all of us.” (Dianne Wiest as Aunt Jet Owens, Practical Magic, 1998.)
“It’s not about broomsticks or cats. It’s about power.” (Anne Theriault, “The Real Reason Women Love Witches, 2016. < https://theestablishment.co/the-real-reason-women-love-witches-647d48517f66>).
The fantastical world of witches and wizards came about from real events like the witch hysteria in the 1400’s (history.com/history-of-witches), to Salem’s witch trials from 1692-3, to J.K. Rowling’s book series Harry Potter (1997), to films like The Witches (1990), and even to card games like Magic the Gathering (1993). Popular media, especially books and film, have both challenged the idea of the witch as evil and presented us with an opportunity to see ourselves as masters of magic. Part of the allure of witchcraft is that it might not be so far from our own reality – our curiosity about the magical rests just at the edges of our world.
Overview of Skills
In order to really engage players with this sense of the imaginative, the game is a balance between reflexes, tactical choices and some basic management.
Party games should be easy to pick up and fast to play, so the two major skills will revolve around reflexes and tactical choices.
Players use reflexes to:
· Choose actions quickly
· Cast their spell by saying the word that forms when cards are aligned
Players use tactical choices to:
· Analyze the options of the cards in their hand
· Make a decision about whether or not to trade-up to higher power cards
· Decide when to use their special skill
· Play a short-term, low-point game or a long-term high-point game
Players use management the least of these skills, but use it to:
· Decide whether or not to keep certain cards in their hand to build up more powerful spells after a few turns.
Witchcraft in this game is about low-challenge deck building. Players can spend more time digging into card combinations, or they can play casually with available cards.
· Simultaneous Action Selection: players will look over their witchsona player card to see which actions are available and decide what they want to do on their first turn. Players will then perform their action. After all players have decided with action to do, they will put their first spell (or sequence of cards from hand) face down in front of them. All players will then reveal their cards at the same time, speak the spell they are casting, and then score each spell based on their card types.
· Action Point Allowance System: one action of four available actions is permissible for each player on their turn.
· Hand Management: players are rewarded for playing cards in sequences designated by matching symbols in the bottom corner of each card. Card types vary, as do the points per card. There are opportunities for players to exchange their green cards for more powerful orange or purple cards thereby making each round have its own set of optimal outcomes.
Playing the Game and Rules
Objective & Victory Conditions
Mix- and-match at least 3 cards to cast a spell. There are various types of cards that can be used to create powerful spells. Green Cards score 1 point, Orange scores 2, and Purple scores 4. If you use a card pertaining to your witchsona, you can double the points for that card. If your spell contains only cards of your witchsona, double your total score! Play round-by-round until someone finishes their deck.
The first player to clear their deck ends the game. The player who won the most rounds is the winning witch!
Welcome to the Cauldron of Fools! Sit in a circle to begin playing and leave enough space for you to lay out two decks of cards in front of you and an area in the center that’s large enough for you to place cards when you cast spells.
· Players decide which witch they wish to play and pick up the corresponding character card
· Shuffle 30 Green Cards per player (so if 2 people are playing, shuffle 60 green cards)
· Distribute 5 cards from the shuffled green deck to each player
· Place the remaining green cards face down in the center of the play area
· Shuffle 15 Orange Cards per player (so if 2 people are playing, shuffle 30 Orange Cards)
· Place Orange Card deck face down next to the Green Card Deck
· Shuffle 11 Purple Cards per player (so if 2 people are playing, shuffle 22 Purple Cards)
· Place Purple deck face down next to the Orange Deck
· Place cards face down in front of the player’s hand. Players will draw from this deck any time they spend cards for spells
· Don’t play spells until all witches have completed their action-per-turn
· Spells only count if witches remember to say the incantation that is formed by connecting cards correctly
· Cards must be connected by matching symbols in the left and right corners
· One player must keep score of who wins each round to determine the winner at the end
· Players can only carry a maximum of 7 cards in their hand at any time
· Once spells are played, place spell cards face down in the discard pile to the right of the Purple Deck
· Double points per card that corresponds to the player’s witchsona
· Double total points of spell if all cards played correspond to the player’s witchsona
Materials & Components
· 8 character cards or witchsonas (2 Druid-type with different character art, 2 Charm-type with different character art, 2 Necromancy-type with different character art, and 2 Potion-type with different character art)
· 30 Green Cards for Necromancer-Witch
· 30 Green Cards for Charm-Witch
· 30 Green Cards for Druid-Witch
· 30 Green Cards for Potion-Witch
· 15 Orange Cards for Necromancer-Witch
· 15 Orange Cards for Charm-Witch
· 15 Orange Cards for Druid-Witch
· 15 Orange Cards for Potion-Witch
· 11 Purple Cards for Necromancer-Witch
· 11 Purple Cards for Charm-Witch
· 11 Purple Cards for Druid-Witch
· 11 Purple Cards for Potion-Witch
· Score-card and cute witchy-pencil to add up who wins each round
· THE WITCH’S HONOUR CODE