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Old 04-25-2015, 07:29 PM   #1
ABadMnky
 
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Default Question and Feedback on Hireling Spyke

Last night I was fortunate enough to be out with my girlfriend and spot the Original (out of print) Spyke Munchkin Vinyl Figure. He comes with a special card that reads:

Hireling Spyke
Place Spyke on the table. At the start of your turn you may rotate Spyke to face any opponent. This opponent may not play any cards that affect you while Spyke has his Eyes on Them.

Obviously the one Hireling in play at a time rule would apply but I can't fight the instinct that there should be something special for this figure/card (and the figure's owner) considering the owner spent the money to obtain it just like anyone who receives a boon from the iOS/Android App.

However there are specific sidebars in the Munchkin rules that stipulate that use of those Level Counter Apps is not cheating... its using the rules.

Given that the investment for a Level Counter app is about $5 and the investment for any of the Vinyls currently in print is $20 is feels like Spyke (and any other figure) should be the sole property of the person who invested in him... a true hireling in a sense.

I've combed every rules pdf (Spyke did not come with his own rules) and the errata and found nothing to suggest Spyke should be treated any differently than any other hireling but like I said it feels counter intuitive for me to have spent the money on him to in turn see him used by an opponent fortunate enough to have drawn my card from the door pile.

I have seen one suggestion that you treat Spyke like a promo and his owner can replace one door in his hand with the Spyke Door Card on the initial deal of the cards.

The logical point is that many Munchkin accessories come with cards, but that doesn't mean the purchaser is entitled to hoard those cards only because they bought them. Plus, having a card as powerful as Hireling Spyke at the beginning of the game as a guarantee, especially in games with few players, would be pretty unbalanced.

That said... Munchkin has never been about balance. Its has, in my experience been about getting away with what you can get away with (like masking more than 5 cards in your hand to avoid charity). I'd like to see something that provides at least a minimal benefit to the owner of the figure like:

Until Hireling Spyke is put into play by the use of his card, the original owner of the figure may use Hireling Spyke once to run away and sacrifice him to avoid bad stuff automatically. This action cannot be chosen after a run away dice roll has been cast.

Just looking for thoughts or guidance here and some sort of official ruling. I can't be the only one who sees a figure going totally unused (most of the time) in the event that several expansions are in play due to their being a single card for Spyke in the deck along with the limited frustration of investing $20 to have your buddy use your figure against you. No one thinks you should have to put the temporary tattoos in a pile and draw for them.
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Old 04-25-2015, 08:21 PM   #2
Andrew Hackard
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Default Re: Question and Feedback on Hireling Spyke

The Spyke figure is not out of print. It should still be widely available anywhere Funko toys are sold. If your store doesn't have it, see if they can order it from their toy distributor.

The intent is that the person who bought the figure would start the game with the bonus card in play. That is something we probably should have made more clear, but your intuition is accurate.
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Old 04-25-2015, 08:34 PM   #3
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Default Re: Question and Feedback on Hireling Spyke

Thanks Andrew!

Especially for the quick reply. The only reason I said "Out of Print" is because the SJ Games pages says it is.

That said this just made my purchase 1000% more fun (for me, not my friends). Thank you so much for the clarification.
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Old 04-25-2015, 09:09 PM   #4
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Default Re: Question and Feedback on Hireling Spyke

Hmm. We'll have to look into that. Maybe I'm wrong and it really is gone.
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Old 04-26-2015, 09:57 AM   #5
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Default Re: Question and Feedback on Hireling Spyke

Quote:
Originally Posted by ABadMnky View Post
That said... Munchkin has never been about balance. Its has, in my experience been about getting away with what you can get away with (like masking more than 5 cards in your hand to avoid charity).
Munchkin does not allow such blatant cheating. The number of cards you have at the end of your turn is public knowledge.
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Old 04-26-2015, 11:23 AM   #6
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Default Re: Question and Feedback on Hireling Spyke

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brf View Post
Munchkin does not allow such blatant cheating. The number of cards you have at the end of your turn is public knowledge.
in tournament play... yes.

However no where in the basic rules does it say you must disclose your total number of cards to the other players at the conclusion of your turn. Tho we always do when asked just like if someone asks what our current level is. It is up to your fellow players to pay attention to your level and in turn how many cards are in your hand. In a game where cards that allow outright cheating exist it is very much in the spirit of having fun to see what you can get away with. This is not unlike the dozens of my DnD Players who have undoubtedly gotten away with the quick and fudged dice roll on occasion.

The phrase "such blatant cheating" gives me the impression that the game is being taken far too seriously. How is it then not cheating to use an iOS Level Counter or even the Spyke figure? Its a matter of having fun. I've never played a casual game of Munchkin where someone was a rules lawyer. Part of the game's charm is that it is making fun of all of the things so many role players take so seriously.

Would I attempt it in a tournament.. no. The Tournament rules explicitly forbid it. Would I and have I and others attempted and gotten away with it at the table over beers blowing off steam? You bet.

There is a great axiom in most Roleplaying core rulebooks. The rules presented here are guidelines. The spirit of that statement is that fun should be able to trump the printed letters on the pages. In this case the letters are not even printed.

However the original rules do contain the phrase "This is very munchkinly. Do It." So we do.
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Old 04-26-2015, 11:27 AM   #7
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Default Re: Question and Feedback on Hireling Spyke

The level counter and spyke figurine have specific rules attached to them, much as the Cheat! card has specific rules. You will never see the developers here condoning such cheating as hiding cards to avoid charity.
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Old 04-26-2015, 11:33 AM   #8
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Default Re: Question and Feedback on Hireling Spyke

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brf View Post
The level counter and spyke figurine have specific rules attached to them, much as the Cheat! card has specific rules. You will never see the developers here condoning such cheating as hiding cards to avoid charity.
1. As is evidenced here... the Spyke Figurine lacks specific enough rules which drove me to seek clarification. It has an ambiguous card that lacks the necessary guidance actually.

2. It is not printed anywhere in the basic rules that you must publicly disclose your total of cards in hand at the conclusion of your turn. So the game does not contain the "specific rule" which you are invoking to make your original point. If your group of players does that... I believe that is called a House Rule.

3. The Line Editor for Munchkin saw my statement and didn't blink in his response to me.

I refer to my previous statement... you are taking it far too seriously. You play how you would like, we will play how we like. Again I believe the term is "house rule"? Or is the creation of those also now against your specific rules that likely work very well for you. I only ask because it seems you have made up one of your own that you wish to apply all here.
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Old 04-26-2015, 12:19 PM   #9
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Default Re: Question and Feedback on Hireling Spyke

Dude,

He didn't make up a house rule. The rules in the guide specifically state that you are to have no more than five cards at the end of your turn. Hiding cards to avoid this *is* cheating, it's in poor taste, and I'm glad the folks I play with don't do this.
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Old 04-26-2015, 12:56 PM   #10
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Default Re: Question and Feedback on Hireling Spyke

Quote:
Originally Posted by UncleBob View Post
The rules in the guide specifically state that you are to have no more than five cards at the end of your turn.
The rules state:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Munchkin Rules PDF
(3) Charity: If you have more than five cards in your hand, you must play enough cards to get you to five or below. If you cannot, or do not want to, you must give the excess cards to the player with the lowest Level. If players are tied for lowest, divide the cards as evenly as possible, but itís up to you who gets the bigger set(s) of leftovers. If YOU are the lowest or tied for lowest, just discard the excess.
The rule in fact infers a choice which my local group of players has determined means also means the ability to not play nice. To us this is no different than forming and breaking alliances or interfering with combat. Again this rule interpretation works for us. If it doesn't work for you that is understandable. Play however you like. I don't understand the drive to make everyone think or be the same or condemn those who chose to a different path than you. I don't see the point of "I'm glad the folks I play with don't do this" like we are lesser or something.

However I am trying to make the point regarding what Brf is saying:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brf
The number of cards you have at the end of your turn is public knowledge.
No where does it say that you must announce or disclose your current card count as a matter of turn procedure. Making such a declaration as a requirement of the game would also be a house rule. It is far more intuitive for us to have the opposing player(s) responsible to request the accurate count of cards in your hand during the charity phase. If your opponents fail to do so and you can get away with it, well that seems very Munchkinly to us... Do It. We are simply placing the burden that Brf has placed on the player ending their turn instead on their opposition.

Its also worth noting that the precious rules also state:
Quote:
Any other disputes should be settled by loud arguments, with the owner of the game having the last word.
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