In which we play Munchkin on Tabletop with Steve Jackson

If you've been reading my blog for a few years, you may remember when I played Munchkin with my kids in 2008:

I'm going to speak in geek to people who have played Munchkin: Neither of the kids would help me, and I kept getting the Truly Obnoxious Curse, so I was having a hard time gaining levels. As a result, I was stuck at level 3 forever while they were sitting around level 7. I decided that my goal in the game would be to mess with them as much as possible, and forget trying to gain levels on my own.

Nolan was to my right. He kicked in a door and didn't find a monster, so he looked for trouble, playing a level 3 something from his hand. "Does anyone want to mess with me?" He asked, avoiding looking in my direction.

"It's funny you should ask," I said. "That's an illusion. You're actually fighting a level 18 Squidzilla." I played the appropriate cards.

"Oh, okay." Nolan pulled a card from his hand. "It's now enraged, so it gets an additional treasure." He pulled another card from his hand. "And with this Polymorph Potion, it turns into a parrot and flies away." He paused dramatically. "And I take five treasures."

"OHHH!" Ryan and Michael said.

"Man, that's a really great move," I said. "Too bad I'm playing Annihilation on it."

He was forced to discard the potion, and face the Enraged Squidzilla on his own.

"OHHH!" Ryan and Michael said."

"Okay, then." Nolan said. "I guess I'm running away."

You may also remember the 3872 Intelligent Humongous Orcs Incident of 2006, which caused much laughter and rejoicing.

Munchkin is a polarizing game. People who love it are crazy about it, and people who hate it want to kill it with fire. I fall into the middle; it can be a really fun game if the players get into the spirit of the puns and the backstabbing and don't succumb to the crabs-in-a-barrel mentality that can keep a player at level 9 an hour after the game stopped being fun.

On the most recent Tabletop, Sandeep Parikh, Felicia Day, and the game's creator Steve Jackson played Munchkin with me, and I think we illustrated exactly why this game can be so much fun:


If you can't see the embedded player above, or you want to watch us play in glorious HIGH DEFINITION, here's some linky magic that will give you what you're looking for.  

Munchkin is one of those games that brings out the Rules Lawyers and self-proclaimed experts who spend a lot of time pointing out every time we did something that wasn't optimal, or when we screwed up with the rules, so this is a very good time for me to point something out: The goal of TableTop is to show how much fun it is to play games. It isn't a tutorial on how to win them. We know that we make mistakes (we shot 20 episodes in 10 days on a tiny budget with 60 different players) and we're okay with that.

61 thoughts on “In which we play Munchkin on Tabletop with Steve Jackson”

  1. My husband and I have been watching Tabletop, and eagerly anticipating each new episode. We think it’s a brilliant show. We’ve always really enjoyed boardgames, but this was a great introduction to games we’ve seen around but knew nothing about. We’ve just bought Munchkin and Tsuro, and have a few more on our wishlists now. Thank you!

  2. Well, how often does one get a chance to play a well-loved game with the game’s creator? Not very. So, that’s mighty awesome.
    Well done, Wil! It’s becoming quite the good little show.

  3. OK, I usually never comment on blogs of people I don’t know personally, because I think, “What do they care?” However, this time… I feel the need to congratulate you, Wil, and Felicia Day on this marvelous format!
    Watching other people play boardgames may potentially be as boring as watching them brush their teeth. But you and your team are doing an amazing job!
    The Munchkin ep was the first Tabletop episode I saw, which obviously led to watching all the other ones right after, which led to searching the games online and adding them to my various wishlists, which led to telling the manfriend that we have to go get games and play… I particularly liked your little shoutout to Germany in the Ticket to Ride ep. As it were, I am German, and I indeed have played it a few times back then, and loved it. This “game of the year” award really is a high honor for games and an indicator for high quality.
    It still strikes me: How amazing is it that I can enjoy beautiful things like this show from 6,000 miles away! Keep ’em coming, you’re doing a fantastic job!
    ~ Ann

  4. Well it is definitely working for advertisers. We’re a new store (Feb 1, 2012) and we have been debating carrying certain games and now Munchkins is in…lol

  5. I want to go back to loving Munchkin. I really do. But it’s always turned into a 2 hour game that I just don’t want to play any more. Maybe I’ll try again soon.

  6. I came home from work sick yesterday so finally had time to watch all the episodes. I enjoy playing board games, but am not anything close to a “gamer”. I promptly went to Amazon and bought a set of Zombie Dice, and am planning to get Ticket to Ride, too. I was surprised at how much I enjoyed watching you and your friends play these games. Can’t wait to see what’s next!

  7. I saw this, laughed plenty and was very curious about Munchkin. Made my woman watch, and then we bought Munchkin, Munchkin 2 and two additional expansion packs (Santa and the other Santa thing, i forget) online. Looking forward to our first play next weekend :)

  8. Before I forget, as a game store owner – thank you very much doing these videos. There’s been a definite increase in our sales of these games; especially those that aren’t easily found in Amazon / B&N /Chapters / etc.

  9. Dear Mr Wheaton,
    As I watch the TableTop episode of Munchkin again, (showing it to a friend)I found a calculation error. On the last battle involving Steve Jackson CL 30 vs. The Amazon CL 18. A calculation error was made when Sandeep played the Electric Radioactive Acid Potion (+5 to either side). Steve Jackson went from CL 30 to CL 26 Instead of CL 25. What could have happened then?? A tie? Would Felicia have won? The world may never know.
    P.S. Love the show and thanks for bringing to light some really amazing games!

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