During the fall of the Trinity, heroes and villains began working together to rebuild their land. Wanting to take this opportunity to rule the realms Rumplestilskin finds that two specific people hold the key to help him gain tremendous power. Knowing that they live within the neighboring town, he summons clones and shape-shifts into mundane townsfolk during the day; at night they sneak out and murder one villager at a time in their sleep. Rumplestiltskin believes that by thinning out the crowd, he will mentally break the two that he seeks and give them no other option but to follow him.

After several victims begin surfacing, rumor spreads that Rumplestiltskin is hiding amongst them. Will the townsfolk be able to keep their wits (and their heads) to find out which one of them should be burned at the stake? Or will the frailty of trust end up tearing them apart from within?

Rumplestiltskin is an 8+ player game that takes about a half hour. There is no board, so it’s perfect for a large party setting. The basic concept is that you are one of the villagers and because you all know Rumplestiltskin and his clones are hiding within your ranks, a daily town meeting is held where everyone agrees to vote on whom is suspect to be Rumplestiltskin. And like in Salem, the accused is burned justly at the stake. Meanwhile, every “night” Rumplestiltskin and his clones meet and pick a villager to kill; the villagers learn about it in the morning.

Some of the townsfolk have abilities that may help in discovering who the imp is, or may be the only way to prove your own innocence. But because of a grave issue in trust, villagers disguise themselves and do not reveal who they are unless they die. The game ends when there is only Rumplestiltskin and his clones and two remaining townsfolk (the ones that he seeks). The problem is that nobody knows who is truly Rumplestiltskin, his clones, or the villagers. All will try to show that they’re innocent, making this game intriguing every time.

Set Up

One player is called the Magic Mirror and acts as the moderator. That person does not play in the game, but is the narrator and the person guiding each player. After the Magic Mirror is chosen, they will shuffle the cards carefully so that no one has any hint which cards are which. Give each person a card, being very careful that no one sees what anyone else gets. If someone sees, collect the cards, reshuffle and re-deal, it’s important that it remains secret.

Explain that the player with the Rumplestiltskin cards are Rumplestiltskin and his clones. There are other characters that have abilities. Make sure you explain what each character’s ability does so that all players have an understanding as to what to expect.

General Rules

It’s important that no one reveal their cards until they are dead. Dead people are allowed to open their eyes at night but must not participate in the game in any other way (they know who Rumplestiltskin is and could easily ruin the game). Have people keep their cards face down in front of them and dramatically flip them up when they die (either defiantly or sheepishly as the case may be).

First Day

For the first day, go around and have everyone introduce himself or herself. Everyone must give an alias as the villagers do not trust each other since Rumplestiltskin can very well be any one of them. (Example: Hi, I’m but a lowly peasant. I’m new in town and I make bread.”) Once this is done, it becomes night time.

The Night

At night, the Magic Mirror tells all the players:

“Close your eyes.”

Everyone begins slapping their knees (or table) to cover up any noises of the night. The Magic Mirror says:

“Rumplestiltskins, open your eyes.”

Rumplestiltskin and his clones do so, and look around to recognize each other. The Magic Mirror should also note who they are. The Magic Mirror says:

“Rumplestiltskins, pick someone to kill.”

Rumplestiltskin and his clones silently agree on one villager (It’s critical that they remain silent). The other players are sitting there with their eyes closed, and the Rumplestiltskins don’t want to give themselves away. Sign language is appropriate, or just pointing, nodding, raising eyebrows, and so on. When the Rumplestiltskins have agreed on a victim, and the Magic Mirror understands who they picked, the Magic Mirror says:

“Rumplestiltskin and your clones, close your eyes.”

During this time Little Mary can try to open her eyes and peek at who Rumplestiltskin and his clones are. She doesn’t have to, but it’s a great opportunity to get a glimpse if only one of them. But, if Rumplestiltskin or his clones catch her, she will be captured. If she isn’t noticed, she can try to convince the villagers during the day time, though a Rumplestitskin can try to pretend they are Little Mary and discredit the real one. If Little Mary is caught, at the end of the night, the Magic Mirror will say,

“Little Mary went missing in the night, but her lamb was sure to stay.”

The Magic Mirror awakens the Mad Hatter and says,

“Hatter, who would you like to assassinate?”

The Mad Hatter selects someone they’d like to kill (which could even be himself!) The person chosen is noted by the Magic Mirror and when it is Daytime, the Magic Mirror will let the village know at the beginning of the day by saying:

“Someone has died, but the body was never found”

Hatter’s victim leaves the game, but their role/identity is never revealed, not even to the Hatter. Note, Hatter can only use this ability once in the game.

Now, the Magic Mirror awakens the Prince Charming and says,

“Charming, who will you protect tonight?”

Prince Charming selects someone they’d like to protect. The person chosen (which could be Prince Charming himself) will survive if the Rumplestiltskins had chosen to kill them. If someone was killed, and then protected by Prince Charming, the Magic Mirror will let the village know at the beginning of day time by saying:

“Someone was protected by the Prince.”

Next, the Magic Mirror says:

William de Wendenal, open your eyes and pick someone to investigate.”

William opens his eyes and silently points at another player. (Again, it is critical that this be entirely silent — because William doesn’t want to reveal his identity to the Rumplestiltskins.) The Magic Mirror silently signs thumbs-up if William pointed at Rumplestiltskin or his clones, and thumbs-down if William pointed at an innocent villager. The Magic Mirror then says:

“Sheriff, close your eyes.”

Following, the Magic Mirror says :

“Rumplestiltskin and his Clones have vanished within the night, blending in amongst the villagers again. Fairy Godmother please open your eyes”.

The Fairy Godmother opens her eyes and while pointing at anyone who was killed (by Hatter or the Rumplestiltskins) the Magic Mirror asks:

“Do you wish to heal a dying person?”

The Fairy Godmother either nods or shakes her head for no. If she nods for yes, she points to a person who will be dead, then closes her eyes (she can only do this once per game). The Magic Mirror notes who is healed and says,

“As Night Becomes Day, Esmeralda awakens. Esmeralda, open your eyes”.

When the player opens their eyes, the Magic Mirror asks:

“Esmeralda, do you wish to mute a villager?”

Esmeralda can nod yes or shake her head no. If she nods yes, then she will point to a Villager to mute then close her eyes. During the daytime, that person may not say anything though they may gesture and wave their arms frantically. (She can only do this once per game).

Finally, the Magic Mirror says,

“Everybody open your eyes; it’s daytime.”

The Magic Mirror lets the villagers know which players were killed by the Rumplestiltskins and by the Hatter (if the Fairy Godmother healed or Prince Charming protected a person, there will be no mention of who it was since that person is not dying this turn). The named person is immediately dead and out of the game, revealing their role/identity. The Magic Mirror also lets the person who is mute this turn know that they cannot speak.

Note: If a character with an ability dies or uses their ability, you may skip their portion of the above script.

The Following Days

Daytime is very simple; all the living players gather in the village and decide who to execute. The townspeople (including Rumplestiltskin and his clones since nobody knows their identities) have a meeting. The goal of the meeting is to accuse one of the villagers to be burned at the stake, believing that it might be Rumplestiltskin or his clones. As soon as a majority of players vote for a particular player to be executed, the Magic Mirror says,

“Ok, you have been executed (or something alternatively yet creatively grisly)”

Alternative rule: To keep the game moving along, you can put a time limit to how long a day is, and if the village doesn’t chose someone to have burned at the stake, they miss the opportunity. There are no restrictions on speech. Any living player can say anything they want — truth, misdirection, nonsense, or a barefaced lie. Anyone can nominate someone to be burned at the stake. They should give a reason, but the reason doesn’t have to make any sense.

For example, “I nominate Tom because mom always liked him better.” is a perfectly valid nomination (though keeping it within the Fairytale Games theme makes it even more exciting). In the order of their nomination, the nominees are voted on. For example, someone says “All in favor of executing Edward, raise your hand,” counts the votes and moves on to the next person. Everyone who is still alive should vote for someone; no one may vote twice (unless a card or ability allows you to). In the case of a two-way tie, re-vote but leave the third person out. In the case of three-way tie (or a two-way tie when you’ve already removed the third person) just keep voting until someone gets picked. Getting people to agree on someone to execute is all part of the game. Some people refuse to vote. There is no rule against this but may I suggest that you burn such people at the earliest opportunity as they are deserving of horrible sunburn. Again, participating in the game is what the game is about.

Dead players may not speak at all. As soon as a majority vote indicates that a player has been lynched, they are dead. If they want to protest his innocence or reveal some information, they must to do it before the vote goes through. Once a player is executed, night falls and the cycle repeats.

The End Game

The villagers win if they kill all Rumplestiltskins in play. Rumplestiltskin and his clones win if they kill enough villagers so that the numbers are even (Example: Three villagers to Three Rumplestiltstkins) or there are only two villagers left.

Additional Roles

There are also 2 characters with special abilities that do not interrupt the game. The Huntsman has the ability to kill a person if he dies. At night, if he is chosen to die, The Magic Mirror will follow by saying “Huntsman, open your eyes” (note: this is right before daytime). When he does, the Magic Mirror says:

“Huntsman, as you’re about to die, you suspect who killed you and take them with you. Who will die alongside you?”

The Huntsman points to a player. In the daytime when The Magic Mirror states who has died, he will also mention the Huntsman and the player he chose to die as well. Both are revealed to the villagers.

Captain Hook has a unique role. As a double agent, he is trying to help Rumplestiltskin and his clones win, though even they do not know. Even if he dies, he will win if Rumplestiltskin can capture the two that he seeks. Apparently, the good captain believes the Rumplestiltskin will uphold his end of the bargain for selling out the villagers by resurrecting him and give him the riches that he seeks.


There are 3 Rumplestiltskin cards in the box. Depending on the number of players there will be 1-3 Rumplestiltkins out at once. Each card has a different ability that they can only do once at night time during the Rumplestiltskin phase.

Murderer – This one can kill an extra person a.

To use this ability, after the Rumplestiltskins have picked who they want to

kill, make a horizontal motion across your neck (like slitting your throat) with one hand to signal the Magic Mirror that you will kill an extra person. Then point to that person. This ability can only be used once.

Trickster – After the choosing who dies, you may make an X with your arms to let the Magic Mirror know that you want to cancel a spell or character ability that a player may use. Once The Magic Mirror sees this, point to who this is. If that player tries to use a spell or an ability before the next nighttime, The Magic Mirror will say:

“You spell/ability was cancelled.” That player’s ability is now considered gone. This ability can only be used once.

Warlock – You may turn a player into a Toad for one day. After the choosing who dies, you may make a circle shape with your hand(s) to signify your will turn a player into a toad. Once The Magic Mirror sees this, point to who will become a toad. During the daytime, after announcing who died during the night, the Magic Mirror points to the chosen player and says:

“A spell has turned you into a toad. You can only act like a toad until the spell wears off at night.” This ability can only be used once.

Bonus Cards

At the beginning of the game, shuffle the Bonus Cards and hand them out to each of the players until everyone received one. You may redraw your card 1 time (by drawing and then reshuffling your old card back into the Bonus Card deck) if you don’t like what you have. These cards will be a mix of Spell Cards, Trait Cards, or Dud Cards. You may choose to play with or without them.

Trait Cards:

These cards are either reactive or require you to act the part during the entire game. You will reveal these cards face up where everyone can see and you must acknowledge it if you are asked what your card says.

The Drunk: During the game, you must slur and speak in gibberish as if you were insanely drunk.

The Hero: You will get 1 extra vote each day. The Sheriff may not have this trait (if you receive this during the draw, draw again.)

The Town Idiot: Burst out laughing for no reason at least once a turn.

The Smooth Talker: You may persuade one person to change their vote once each day.

The Hottie: Make a person forget to vote. You may not target the same person twice.

The Victim: Sacrifice yourself at any time without allowing anyone to know what your role/identity was.

Lovers: Players with Lover Cards keep them hidden in their hand and do not reveal their Trait. During the beginning of the night, before Rumplestiltskin and his clone open their eyes, the Magic Mirror tells any Lovers to open their eyes and choose a player to be their lover (only play with 1 lover card if there are 8-10 players). If either Lovers die, the other one will die as well. Only the original lover and the Magic Mirror will know who this is. The Magic Mirror tells the lovers to close their eyes.

The Third Wheel: (Only play this card if you have 12 or more players). The third wheel player keeps their card hidden within their hand and does not reveal their Trait. After the Lovers close their eyes, the Magic Mirror asks the Third Wheel to open their eyes. When they do, the Magic Mirror will point to each pair lovers in play.  The Third Wheel will point to which of these players will be their crush. If the Third Wheel dies, they will take that crush with them to die.

The Magician: They may redirect a spell targeting them to another player. They can only target a player once per game.

Spell Cards:

These have a one-time use and are hidden in your hand. Once used, it is discarded from the game.

Sleep Spell: Put 1 person to sleep in the day. That person closes their eyes and covers their ears. They may not interact with anyone and does their best not to hear or see what’s going on until the next daytime. Discard this card afterwards.

Resurrection Spell: Play this card before the Magic Mirror states that it is day time and has everyone open their eyes. Normally, you would play this card by holding it up (with you eyes closed) when you after Rumplestiltskin and the Hatter has finished their turn. When the Magic Mirror sees your card, they will tell you to open your eyes, then point to who will die. You will pick who will live, discard your spell then close your eyes.

Deflection Spell: If someone targets you with a spell, you may play this card and point to another person the spell will target instead. Discard this card afterwards.

Love Spell: You may target two players and make them fall in love until the next daytime. If either Lovers die, the other one will die as well. Discard this card afterwards.

Dud Cards:

If you draw a dud card, you do not have any special trait or spell ability to use. But, you must keep it in your hand (making it fun to bluff or intimidate others with a card you say you might have).

One comment on “Rumplestiltskin!

  1. This is a really cool version of the Mafia game! I can’t wait to try it with the cool editions you’ve added!

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