Cunning Folk

Cunning Folk
A micro-bluffing game for 2-4 players
Rival witch covens have been warring for the souls of Ipswich's townsfolk for years, but the council demands an end to the conflict.

You've been tasked to search home by home to find the witches and end this feud. Will you round up the good coven or the evil one? Can you trust your fellow investigators, or are they harboring townsfolk guilty of witchcraft?

Shuffle the 9 townsfolk cards(2 Good witches, 1 good elder, 2 evil witches, 1 evil elder & 3 villagers) and place them face-down in a 3x3 grid to form a village. Set aside any cards marked with a special symbol for later use.

Players will take turns looking at townsfolk in the village, and choosing whether to announce a character to use its ability. They can bluff about what character they see. The game is won by using the good elder or the evil elder to identify all the oppsing townsfolk. A player also wins when everyone else is ostracized for being wrong too many times.

The owner of the game takes the first turn. For the second and subsequent games, the first turn always passes left.


When playing, it is important to declare which cards are moved or investigated so that blind players have the same amount of information. Each column should be denoted as A, B, or C and each row by 1, 2, or 3.

1. Investigate: choose one of the cards in the village. If it's face-down, pick it up and look at it without showing any other players. Then put it back in the location it came from.

2. Allege (optional) Yu may announce which townsfolk you looked at, to try and use it's ability. Note: You can lie about which character is on the card, and it is often a good idea to do so!

Other players may accuse (optional): If you choose to allege, any other player may challenge your claim:

If no one challenges your claim, take the action associated with that rule.

If anyone challenges, flip the townsfolk you looked at face-up. This card will stay face up until an ability is used to flip it back over.

If you were telling the truth, then you may take the action on the card. The player who challenged you must take a suspected card and place it in front of her or himself. If they already have a suspected card, then the card is flipped to the ostracized side and she or she is out of the game.

If you were bluffing, then you may not take the action, and you must place a suspected card in front of yourself. If you already have a suspected card in front of you, then the card is flipped to the ostracized side and you are out of the game.

The three villagers have no ability. You can declare that you've found a villager if you like, in which case another player can challenge you, but you will take no action regardless.

The two good witches let you take another turn immediately.

The two evil witches let you rearrange two townsfolk. Pick up any two townsfolk from the village without looking at their bottom side, hide them nder the table, trade them between your hands as many times as you like and then put them back in the places you took them from. The end result might be the same or the opposite of how they started. Whenever you swap face-up townsfolk, turn them face-down.

The good and Evil elder can win you the game.

When you take the action of the good elder, try to identify all of the evil townsfolk. One at a time, choose a townsfok. If it's face-down turn it face-up. If it's evil, continue. Otherwise your turn ends immediately and you must take a suspected card, or flip it to the ostracized side if you already have one. If you identify all the evil townsolk - two evil witches and the evil elder, you win the game.

The evil elder has the same ability, but you must identify the townsfolk that oppose him instead- two good witches and the good elder.

The game ends when a player has used an elder ability and sucessfully identified all the townsfolk that oppose that elder. That player is the winner.

The game also ends when only one player remains, the rest having been ostracized for being wrong.

Bonus characters
For extra variety, replace one or more of the villagers with a bonus character before dealing the villagee. They are marked with a special symbol.

The liar has no action for you to take, but his ability does force your hand when you see him. When you choose a townsfolk to look at for your turn and it's the liar, you cannot pass the turn by making no claim, and you cannot declare that you've seen the liar. You MUST claim a role other than the liar.

The cat meows. When you take the cat's action, meow.

The pirate has no action for you to take, but changes the good and evil elder actions: because the pirate opposes everyone, a player taking either elder action must also reveal the pirate when he is present.

The vagrant trades places with other townsfolk. When you take the vagrant's action, move her to the spot occupied by another townsfolk in the village, and move that townsfolk to where the vagrant was. If either of those townsfolk were face-up, turn them face-down. Unlike swapping, when a vagrant trades locations, everyone is certain where they go, at least in the moment.

There's a third good witch. She works just like the other good witches. a player can't win with the evil elder without identifying the good witches(and the good elder) (and the pirate if there is one)

A village full of scoundrels

If you want to try a more chaotic variant, shuffle together the five bonus townsfolk and three villagers. Deal two of them to each player face-down. Choose one of the cards you're dealt and add it secretly to the pile of good and evil townsfolk. Set the other face-down, out of the game. Once everyone has done this, shuffle the cards in the middle and deal the village with them. Each player knows one townsfolk that's in the game, and one that's not.

Since you don't always know how many townsfolk oppose each elder, it's possible to take one of the elder actions, identify 3(or even 4) opposing character and still not have identified all of them. When you think you've identified the opposition, say so. Then each opponent who hasn't been ostracized in turn order starting on your left may reveal one face-down townsfolk. If one of them reveals a townsfolk that opposes the elder you declared, that player wins the game instead of you.

Designer: Jay Treat
Artist: Fabrice Weiss
Technical Writer/editor: Ben Michell-Smith
Copyright 2015 button shy games