Custom Card Ideas: The Necrophillic Amulet
Death is a terrible thing in Munchkin. Although not permanent, you lose your turn, all of your items, and your entire hand. You get to keep your levels. race/class cards, and whatever Curses stuck on you while everyone else divides your belongings. However, death (in my opinion) is far too infrequent for any game (aside from Munchkin Cthulu). This gives more incentive.
What does this Card do?
When you play with a group of friends enough like I have, everybody gets pretty good at the game. Death becomes the ultimate insult to a player when there are more than a handful of cards in almost any deck to help one cheat death. And of course, no one really wants to assist in killing another player due to the low reward but high risk of that player's wrath. Well, I aimed to change that with this card.
The Necrophillic Amulet is an Equippable Treasure Card initially worth a +3 Bonus that doesn't fill up a slot. Pretty solid on its own, but that's only the hook to cause a player to equip it! The description of the card reads as so, "When this item is equipped, anytime any player dies for any reason (whether by Curse, Bad Stuff, etc.), the Necrophillic Amulet gets a +3 Bonus. This card bonus carries over if lost. This card is not lost if owner dies. Thus, if you die, you not only keep the +3, but you gain another +3 as well!
That's not the limit of the card, of course. If the owner of the Necrophillic Amulet has a card that can tip the balance in a fight, potentially killing another player, they now have more reasons to do so. Even better, if two other players die at once, you get that +6 Bonus, not including whatever you get from Looting the Body (takes place after a player dies).
My absolutely, postively favorite combination with this custom card comes from one of the aimless (and numberless) booster decks (I think it's Munchkin Reloaded), Rocks Fall, Everyone Dies. This card is played when the User loses a battle where everyone loses a level, unless the User dies. If the User dies, everyone dies, hence the title of the card. If you're playing with six people and somebody, anybody plays this card when they die, everything hits the fan...except you, your amulet, and the +18 Bonus you just racked up. Of course, you'll have to be careful around individuals with thieving abilities.
In the little mini-series of cards I've created for my own personal use, death is a bit more common. Using the Ritual Knife (I'll talk about it later) to kill yourself, gives you a level and an additional +3 Bonus. Not only that, but you flush out all the cards you don't want for a handful of new ones!
By itself, the Necrophillic Amulet is no game changer, but it's a subtle suggestion to switch up the way a player might engage the game, seeing at one moments his fellow players are at their most vulnerable.
The Necrophillic Amulet, although strange and oddly named, is easily adapted into any thematic Munchkin deck. It may fit the theme of Munchkin Zombies or Munchkin Bites better, as well as Munchkin Cthulu. Speaking of Cthulu, I've found it to be one of the most unforgiving decks and I find many of my friends (as well as myself) dying at least once during a game (in fact, there's a dungeon that allows you to die and gain a level without losing anything). The Necrophillic Amulet might become especially notorious in Munchkin Cthulu.
However, this card will rarely be used by 'over-saturated' decks. That's to say certain decks that have far too many expansions that make killing monsters easy with so many safety nets available. Be leery if you have 2 or more expansions because the extra incentive by this card may be ignored in game.