Munchkin 4: The Need for Steed Rules

This set emphasizes two special types of cards:

• Hirelings (you’ve seen a few, but this has more)

• Steeds (a new card type!)

It is intended to be used with the original Munchkin and (probably) one or more of the previous expansions. If you don’t use any other expansions, you’ll see an awful lot of Hirelings and Steeds. But that’s not a bad thing, for they are all very, very munchkiny.


Hirelings, Sidekicks, Monks, Minions, Comrades, and Allies are all the same for the purposes of these rules.

Hirelings are found in Door decks in some sets, Treasures in others. (In this set, they’re Doors.) You can play a Hireling at any time, even in combat, as long as you have only one Hireling in play at a time. If you draw a face-up Hireling, you may put it in your hand if you cannot (or don’t want to) put it in play. You may discard a Hireling at any time.

A Hireling is not an Item unless it has a price on it. You may only trade Hirelings that have a Gold Piece value.

A Hireling can sacrifice himself for you. If you lose a fight, then instead of rolling to run away, you may discard one Hireling and anything he is carrying. You automatically escape from all monsters in the fight, even if a monster card says escape is impossible. If someone was helping you in the fight, YOU decide whether that person automatically escapes as well, or must roll to escape.

Some Hirelings give you extra Hands, or let you carry an extra Big or Complex item. In this case, the Hireling does not actually have any Items . . . he merely increases your own abilities. If something happens to the Hireling, your Items are not affected.

Other Hirelings, like the Elf Hireling from this set, can specifically carry and use an Item themselves; in some cases, a Hireling can use an Item you cannot use for yourself. The Items a Hireling carries count for you and are affected by Traps, Curses, and Bad Stuff as though you were carrying them yourself.

• If your Hireling sacrifices himself to save you, any Items he was carrying are lost.

• If your Hireling is killed, you loot the body yourself and keep the Items.

• If your Hireling is taken away by a Trap/Curse, by Bad Stuff, or by a change in loyalty, the Items go with him!

Hirelings and Monster Bonuses

If (for instance) you have the Dwarf Hireling and you face a monster that gets a bonus against Dwarves, it gets the bonus against you unless you discard the Hireling. A monster that has a penalty against Dwarves has that penalty against any munchkin with a Dwarf Hireling. The same is true for any monster that has a bonus or penalty against any race, class, or sex

Bad Stuff does not affect Hirelings unless it specifically mentions them. Ignore your Hireling’s race, class, and sex when determining what a monster does to you.

Hirelings and Sex

No, don’t even GO there.

The sex of a hireling does not matter except with monster reactions (above) or unless you want to give it an item that is male-only or female-only. In that case, the Hireling is of the sex, if any, shown on its card. It should be pretty obvious, even to your munchkin players, which are male, which are female, and which have no sex at all.

Robots never have a gender, even if their card text uses masculine pronouns. Ralph the Wonder Dog used to be male, but we took him to the vet.

If you ever want to change the sex of a Hireling, you need the Sex Change Potion

Hirelings and Cheating

A Cheat! card can be used to give you an extra Hireling, or to let a Hireling carry an item he normally could not (but why not just use the card on yourself?). No power on heaven or earth will let the Budget Hireling carry anything.


Dear to a munchkin’s heart (as of now) is his mighty Steed. Because, of course, it gives bonuses. Steeds are found in the Door deck.

No player can have more than one Steed except by using a Cheat! card.

Steeds are Items, and follow normal Item rules. Anything that affects an Item can affect a Steed.

Steeds carry themselves. A Steed is “Big,” but it does not count against the number of Big items you can carry (in fact, some let you carry more Big things). The “Big” designation on Steeds is to control what Traps and Curses affect them, and to keep Thieves from pocketing them and walking off.

There are a few Items that specifically enhance Steeds. Steeds cannot use Items unless the Item card specifically says so, and Item Enhancers don’t affect Steed-enhancing Items

If a Steed has a bonus or penalty to Run Away, that replaces the bonus of the rider. An Elf normally has a bonus to Run Away, but he has a penalty if he is riding the Turtle Steed! If your Steed gives you a penalty to Run Away, you may discard the Steed before you roll to flee. You don’t suffer the penalty, but the card goes to the discard pile.

Treating Steeds as Monsters

A player who draws a face-up Steed may choose to treat it as a monster instead. In that case, its Level is equal to twice the combat bonus at the top of the card, and defeating it is good for one Treasure and one level. Monster Enhancers may be played on Steeds being fought as monsters, and have their normal effects. The Bad Stuff for any Steed attacked as a monster is “Lose a level.”


Some cards are Item Enhancers. These must be played on an Item you already have in play; they cannot be played by themselves. They add to the combat bonus of the Item or give the Item new abilities. You cannot move an Item Enhancer to a new Item once you have played it.


Game Design by Steve Jackson • Illustrated by John Kovalic Guest Art by Shaenon K. Garrity • Development by Giles Schildt President/Editor-in-Chief: Steve Jackson • Chief Executive Officer: Philip Reed Chief Operating Officer : Susan Bueno • Chief Creative Officer: Sam Mitschke Munchkin Line Editor: Andrew Hackard Production Manager: Sabrina Gonzalez • Production Artists: Alex Fernandez, Sabrina Gonzalez, and Ben Williams Project Manager: Darryll Silva • Operations Manager: Randy Scheunemann Director of Sales: Ross Jepson Playtesters: Fox Barrett, Jimmie Bragdon, Richard Dodson, Jan Hendriks (who also suggested the title), Birger Krämer, Wil Upchurch, Thomas Weigel, Loren Wiseman, and Erik Zane. Thanks for card suggestions: Drew Beharelle, Drew Folta, Cory Haeffner, Herb, Andrew Koehn, Patrick Konshak, J. Aaron McComb, Bobby Myers, Jacob Nelson, and Burr Settles. Munchkin, The Need for Steed, the Munchkin characters, Warehouse 23, the pyramid logo, and the names of all products published by Steve Jackson Games Incorporated are trademarks or registered trademarks of Steve Jackson Games Incorporated, or used under license. Dork Tower characters are copyright © John Kovalic. Munchkin 4 – The Need for Steed is copyright © 2006, 2010, 2011, 2013 by Steve Jackson Games Incorporated. All rights reserved. Rules version 1.6 (January 2013).