How is it possible to set the rules for imagination? Where does a fairy tale have it's boundaries? Can you imagine that a knight saves the monster from a wicked princess, while an honorable robber and an ignoble king are best buds; all the while as a devious fairy is tormenting everyone's dreams? Well, pretty much everything is possible in this game — and even more!
But anyway, we need some kind of navigation right? We don't want our players to fight! So. The point of Box of Tales is to tell a story. On each turn the player is to tell a short tale or one episode of a bigger story — it's totally up to the individual.
Landscape Cards are common, but each has his own character. You throw the dice andyour figurine moves to a new spot. The player describes where the character figure is; what he sees; with whom the character meets; what events transpired; and how everything worked out. The turn ends when the player is done or when the time in the hourglass has run out. Then it's the next player's turn. When every player has had a turn, then the round is over.
What the Game Includes:
Magician, King, Stranger, Knight, Joker, Witch, Princess, Dwarf, Fairy, Robber, Troll, Ghost, Robot, Monster, Alien… You are free to pick up a personage you want, name it and give any features and past - but you must remember every detail you describe, because these details will impact the future of your story.
A map of the story is built from Landscape Cards. If you have plenty of time to play, you can use all cards; for shorter games, just a few cards will suffice. Landscape Cards together create the map your characters will be travelling through.
These are things which your character can keep in his "backpack". Because you have to use each Item Token you receive from other players, they may help or hinder your character's storyline. This depends on your luck!
Wheel of Fate
Shows what specifically must happen to your character on any given Landscape Card during your turn
Shows the player where to go
Limits the time of each player's move
Note: You may need a paper and a pen handy to help you keep track of key details in your story.
Starting a Game
You can use the Wheel of Fate to decide which player will go first. All players simply sit in a circle around the Wheel of Fate, and the youngest player spins the arrow. Whomever the arrow lands on will be designated the first player. The first player then spins the Wheel to choose the second player; and the second player spins the arrow to choose the third, and so forth. Then everybody chooses. a Character Figurine in the order of players' turns. Don't worry if the previous player picked up your favourite monster — maybe next time you will be more lucky!
Now it's time to build your Play Map. The Play Map consists of one or more Landscape Cards set adjacently in a single line. Think about how much time you are ready to spend for your game — it's easy to figure this out. Each player will spend about 5 minutes on every location card (+/- 2−3 minutes for counting points and chatting); so if there are 6 players, then 1 Landscape Card will take about one hour to play. If there are only two players, then having only one Landscape Card will be a quick 15 minute exercise. Once you have calculated how many Landscape Cards to use, shuffle the Landscape Cards facedown and choose the desired number of them from the pile. The landscape cards should be placed in a line and then flipped over, thus revealing the landscape of your stories!
Set your character figurines on the newly-created Play Map. Yes, you are free to choose any Landscape Card on your map as a starting point. Don't worry — you will always have some kind of direction to go. For example, if your character is placed on a card to the very right and the dice indicates to move your figurine to the right, then just move your character to the left-most card, as if the cards were arranged in a circle instead of a straight line. Don't bother trying to choose the best point to start, because your story will likely start at a different point anyway — after all, the unexpected is what fables are all about! Now all players should pick randomly from the Token bag — which also contains the character figurines. Each player should have the same amount of Item Tokens as there are players + 1 You can put all your Tokens in a row in front of you to let others see them, or keep them in secret and face down — it's totally up to you!
Next, you will use a notebook or a sheet of paper to draw as many columns as there are players. This is to tally the points for each player during the game. And finally, you have to name your character and introduce his or her or it's little story to the other players. This will be a sort of prologue to your tale. Write the names of each character across the first row of the tally comuns.
The Turn System
Well, the first player moves first (unexpected right?). The player rolls the dice to find out where he's supposed to move. The faces of the dice indicate 6 possibilities:
● 1 Landscape Card left
● 1 Landscape Card right
● 2 Landscape Cards left
● 2 Landscape Cards right
● Stay put
● Move wherever you want
After moving the character figurine to the correct Landscape Card, the player spins the Wheel of Fate to find out what will happen to the character. The player will have to build his story using this event. If a player ignores the event spun from the Wheel of Fate, he will not get any points.
And finally, the player picks another random Item Token from the bag. Then each of the other players gives him one of their own Item Tokens, which might help or complicate the tasks ahead.
Well this is it — the moment you've been waiting for. Now flip the hour glass — you have 5 minutes — and start your tale.
Possible Story Prompts & Examples:
"At the midpoint on the journey of life I found myself…"
"I opened my eyes to see."
How to Win/ A Guide to Scoring
Your purpose is to earn as many points as possible, and you get your points through interaction.
What is an "interaction"? It means that your character found something or somebody (things, events, people) which had some kind of effect on your story, and somehow changed your character. For example, you are telling a story about how you walk through the forest and meet a fox. This is not an interaction. Nothing special happened — this meeting had no effect on you (and on the fox too, luckily!). But if, for example, you asked the fox for directions and
it answered you by saying "straight ahead for two days, then turn left on Thursday," this could be considered a full-fledged interaction (especially when you actually would 'turn left on Thursday,' after this initial interaction).
You can find plenty of details on each of the Landscape Cards — you are welcome to use any such details to build and embellish your story. You get 1 point for each detail used from a Landscape Card.
If you find another player on a card after your move, you can actually interact with him/her/it.
For this kind of interaction you can get either 1 or 10 points.
1. A simple interaction (like with anything from a field-card)= 1 point
2. If the other player's character becomes a full part of your story, and you end up telling adventures featuring both of you= 10 points.
Note: Remember, when you make another player's character into a part of your own story, the other player does not have to devote any of their own time to your story's timeline, unless they want to.
You must also use all Item Tokens by the end of each round (one only from your original set + those which were given to you by other players or picked up from the bag). Sound hard? Sure, sometimes it might be hard to accomplish this feat — especially when you are having a battle in outer space, then handed a mushroom, a feather and kettle by other
players. But believe us — if you were given a space suit and a blaster the story would be not so amusing.
If you were able to use all the stuff in your story, you also get 1 point for each Item Token. But if you are done with your tuen and still have neglected Item Tokens (besides your own stash), then you get a penalty for each, and with 5 points deducted as well.
All used Item Tokens may be re-used throughout the game. While you are telling your story other players should be listening and taking notes on plot details. It's the next player's turn after you run out of time or finish the episode of your story for the round. Points should be tallied at the end of each turn.
The Ending of the Game:
You have as many rounds as there are Landscape Cards making up the Play Map. So If you chose five Landscape Cards, each player will have five moves; telling five stories, or five "chapters" from one big story.
At the very end of all the rounds you may tally all points to identify the winner! And you know what? It's not necessary to follow all the rules — groups of players are free to change them and fix them as they wish. The most important thing about this game is your own imagination!
● Find something for each person to write with, and on
● Determine player order by using the Wheel of Fate
● Choose and set Landscape Cards (& determine the number of rounds)
● Choose character figurines in player order
● Choose random Item Tokens (as many Tokens as there are players, +1), by player order
● Place the characters on the Play Map, name them, and describe short backstories for
the characters (at will) Gameplay For Each Player Per Round
● Roll the dice to move
● Spin the Wheel of Fate to find out what befalls the character
● Choose one Item Token from the bag and receive one Item Token from each of the
● Share a story, using the hourglass to limit time. All Item Tokens given by other players must be used for Token points. The player must also use 1 Item Token from their own "backpack" or stash.
● Tally the points
→ Next turn