Sacrifice Roulette, An Official Stonehenge Gambling Game by Jason Bulmahn
"The first time I saw the Stonehenge board, I made the offhand comment that it looked like a roulette wheel. Fever dreams plagued me for weeks -- dreams that included long bearded men pushing a boulder around an immense track, dotted with pits full of willing sacrifices. Occasionally, the boulder would fall into one of the pits dotting the inside of the ring and crush the poor sacrifice that waited within. Although disturbing, it seemed to me to be a gory good time."
Number of players: 2–5
Object of the game: You are a druid, vying to become the high druid until the next equinox. Your goal is to crush all of the other druid's sacrifices, while keeping as many of yours alive as possible. The others are trying to do the same to you. The winner gets carried home on the shoulders of his followers, while the losers carry home a bucket.
Equipment: Sacrifice Roulette uses a figure for each player, the neutral (grey) figure, the deck, the board, and ten disks of each player's color.
Setup: Shuffle the deck and deal ten cards to each player. Each player puts one of his or her disks ("sacrifices") in the inner ring space ("pit") corresponding to each card. Any player dealt trilithon cards may place a disk in any unoccupied inner ring space after all the other disks have been placed. If more than one player has a trilithon card, the disks are played in the following order: white, blue, green, yellow, and finally red.
If playing a two-player game, draw ten cards and place the disks from an unused color in the corresponding pits. These are neutral sacrifices. Discard and redraw any trilithon cards for these neutral disks.
Draw one card from the deck and place the neutral figure ("boulder") on that outer ring space ("track").
Each player places his or her figure ("druid") on the table as a reminder of his or her color.
Reshuffle the deck and deal five cards to each player. These cards form the player's hand. As the game progresses, a player's hand size could increase due to a sacrifice (see Sacrifice). Randomly determine who goes first.
Playing the Game
The board is treated as a roulette wheel, with the boulder moving around it and occasionally falling into a pit to crush the sacrifices within. The boulder can move very rapidly around the board since it moves from color to color, and it can even change direction.
On a player's turn, that player plays one or more cards of the same color from his or her hand and moves the boulder along the track in a clockwise direction. The cards played can have any of the following effects.
- If the player plays a single card, the boulder rolls along the track to the next space matching the color of the card played.
- If more than one card of the same color is played, the boulder may be moved to the next space on the track of the same color, one for each card played. Alternately, the player may play an additional card of the same color to have the boulder fall (see Sacrifice below). Once the player resolves which sacrifice(s) die, the player's turn ends.
- If at any point the card's number matches the number of the space on the track to which the boulder moves, the boulder rolls to that space and falls (see Sacrifice below). Once the player resolves which sacrifice(s) die, the player's turn ends.
A player may combine these rules in the same turn. For example, a player might play three red cards, causing the boulder to move three red spaces along the path or the player might decide to have the boulder move two red spaces along the path before stopping and falling into one of the pits.
At the end of a player's turn, he or she draws back up to five cards (or more, see Sacrifice below). All cards played are discarded. Play continues in a clockwise direction. Reshuffle the discard pile to form a new deck when the deck is depleted.
Reversal: A player may play a trilithon card along with any other group of cards (regardless of the trilithon's color). The trilithon card causes the boulder to roll in the opposite direction until another trilithon card is played. Place the trilithon card next to the discard pile to indicate that the boulder is rolling in a counter-clockwise direction. When a second trilithon card is played, discard them both. A player may play two trilithon cards in one turn, causing them both to be discarded with no effect on the other cards played.
Sacrifice: Whenever a boulder falls into a pit, the player must determine which of the two pits the boulder falls into. Draw a single card from the deck. The boulder falls into the night or day pit corresponding to the symbol on the card. If a trilithon card is drawn, the boulder bounces and lands in both pits. Any sacrifices in these pits are removed from play and placed in a scoring pile next to the druid of the active player.
The boulder then returns to the track (not in either pit) and play continues.
If a player crushes any of his or her own sacrifices, that player's hand size increases by one for each such sacrifice. To help keep track of hand size beyond five cards, the player can place these disks next to his or her druid in a separate pile. Each disk indicates that the player needs to draw an extra card beyond the five-card hand size.
Ending the Game
The game ends when the deck is depleted for the second time (or third time in a five-player game). Players should tally up their total points to determine the winner. Each player scores 2 points for every sacrifice of his or her color left on the board. Each player also scores 1 point for each sacrifice in his or her scoring pile (regardless of color, including neutral sacrifices in a two-player game). The player with the most points is the winner. If two or more players tie for the highest total score, the player with the most sacrifices left on the board is the winner.
Jason Bulmahn is the Managing Editor of Dragon and the Brand Manager of the GameMastery Product Line for Paizo Publishing. This is the first board game he has allowed out of his crazed workshop, where loud hammering, classical music, and muffled cries for help can be heard late into the night.
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