“Blessed be Providence which has given to each his toy: the doll to the child, the child to the woman, the woman to the man, the man to the devil!”
The Thornhill Mansion holds many secrets. Just before the turn into the 20th century Irwin Biddle purchased the house and turned it into what he called an orphanage care facility. But his severe governorship of the orphanage made the home for lost children anything but a haven. A fire in 1939 nearly destroyed the Thornhill Mansion. All but 13 children escaped the blaze. It wasn't until 1956 that Arthur Holland, a mining tycoon, purchased the Thornhill and footed the bill for a full renovation. However, it became clear within weeks of moving his family into the Thornhill that the Victorian mansion was far from settled. Holland's personal account of his family's stay in the Thornhill tells of unexplained children's voices, the sounds of little feet running through the night, of moaning heard inside the walls, even of parts of the house shifting. After leaving the Thornhill, Holland declared, "The place is a house of the dead. No sane person can live well within its walls."
13 ghosts live in the Thornhill, victims of the devastating fire that happened so long ago. As a ghost hunter, you welcome the chance to stay in the ghostly orphanage. Will you be the one to finally put the children to rest? Or will the malevolent child spirits drive you insane?
In Children, a 3 Headed Giant game from Quirky Engine Entertainment for 2 to 4 players, you spend a night in the haunted Thornhill Mansion. Your goal: trap as many of the 13 child ghosts as possible by finding their toys and confronting them. To win, be the ghost hunter to trap the most child ghosts.
Players lay out the Thornhill Mansion by placing room cards face up on the table. As players move throughout the rooms, they pick up and leave items, including toys, bewitched objects, and traps. The rooms of the mansion shift as players work their way around the house. Ghosts move along the spectral vortex, marked in ghostly arrows through the rooms. When you encounter a child ghost, pray that you have his or her beloved toy. Otherwise, the results can be … well … petrifying.
Children comes with the following components:
- 68 Children Cards
- 13 Ghost Cards
- 13 Toy Cards
- 18 Mansion Cards
- 4 Player Pawns
- 12 Skull Tokens
- 1 Kitty Kitty Token
In Children the game, you wander around the Thornhill Mansion trying to trap ghosts.
At the beginning of the game, you deal the 13 Ghosts deck face down off to the side on the table. You then deal the 13 Toys cards face up over the 13 Ghosts cards, creating 13 2-card stacks. Each player gets 5 cards (the hand limit at the beginning of the game) from the Children deck.
Players collectively build the Thornhill Mansion during their turns by placing room cards face up on the table in a grid pattern. The mansion is built in 4 levels--basement, 1st floor, 2nd floor, and 3rd floor. Each room card indicates on which floor it must be placed.
You search for toys and helpful devices by moving your pawn from room to room throughout the mansion. Each time you enter a room, you draw a card and add it to your hand. With a 5-card hand limit, players are forced to leave cards in rooms by placing them facedown beneath room cards. Players may also leave traps beneath room cards. You look at left-behind cards when you enter rooms. Left-behind traps spring immediately. You may add other left-behind cards to your hand.
You place ghost cards into the mansion when they appear at the top of the draw pile. Ghost cards are placed face up beneath room cards so players can read ghosts' names and see the toy icons on the tops of the cards.
To trap ghosts you must have toy cards. Each ghost card is marked with a toy icon. If you are in a room with a ghost and you have its corresponding toy in your hand, you immediately trap the ghost and put it, along with the toy card, in front of you to keep score.
When you trap a ghost, you must see if another ghost in the house becomes enraged. To do this, flip over the 2-card stack you made at the beginning of the game that corresponds with the toy you used to trap the ghost. If the revealed ghost is in the mansion, flip its card over to its enraged side. Every enraged ghost in the house reduces the hand limit by 1 card. If the hand limit reaches 0 cards, no players win. The ghosts take the game.
Each Mansion card represents 1 room. Place the room card face up on the table on its designated floor (written on the room card). When possible, you must place new room cards adjacent to already in-play room cards, such as playing a 2nd story room next to an already in-play second story room or below an already in-play 3rd story room.
Each ghost card is marked with a child's photograph, the child's name, and the toy required to trap the child. The 13 Ghosts cards are dealt facedown on the table at the beginning of the game.
The 13 Toys deck is used to establish which ghosts become enraged during the game. Each 13 Toys card features a photograph of one of the 13 toys that can be found in the Thornhill Mansion. The 13 Toys cards are dealt face up over the facedown 13 Ghosts cards to create 2-card stacks at the beginning of the game. When a ghost is trapped in the Thornhill Mansion, turn over the 2-card stack marked with the toy used to trap the ghost. The revealed ghost becomes enraged.
You will use the deck of 68 Children cards for the bulk of game play. The cards are divided into 5 categories: Ghost Cards, Toy Cards, Device Cards, Trap Cards, and Fate Cards.
The Ghost Deck
13 unrequited child spirits haunt the Thornhill Mansion. Ghost cards in the Children deck represent these spirits. 13 unrequited child spirits haunt the Thornhill Mansion. Ghost cards in the Children deck represent these spirits. Each Ghost card is double-sided. One side represents the ghost's stable temperament. The other side represents its enraged temperament.
Devices can help make your night in the Thornhill Mansion easier. Using a device puts it out of the game. Discard Device cards after using them by placing them in a discard pile next to the Children card draw pile.
Traps make life more difficult for your opponents. You can set traps by leaving trap cards beneath room cards. But be careful, if you enter a room card that has a trap, even if you set it, it will spring on you.
Sometimes fate deals a bitter blow. When you draw a Fate card from the Children card draw pile resolve its effect immediately then draw another card.
Want to know the details of how Children is played? Download the rule book and take a look. Remember that this is a Kickstarter, the actual artwork in the rulebook and the game may change for the game’s final release.
Children was designed by Quirky Engine Entertainment game designer, Craig Nybo. Craig acted as lead designer for CHOPS: The Rock and Roll Board Game, Rites of Cthulhu, and Panic Fire (formerly known as Shoot Your Friends). He also acted on the design teams for Eyeball Boxing, Hoagie, and Trash War, also available from Quirky Engine Entertainment.
Here are a few ways that, with your backer help, we can make this game even better.
*Completed - $2,500 – Mini card versions of the Child Ghost and Toy Cards for the Child/Toy 2-card stacks. These cards will be 1 5/8" x 2 1/2"” This will cause the tabletop to be much more orderly during play.
*Completed - $3,500 – Add a room to the Thornhill Mansion, The Holding Room in the basement. This will be a small room designated by Irwin Biddle as a place to put unruly children until they can behave.
*Completed - $5,000 – Add a room to the Thornhill Mansion, The Spire on the 3rd floor. Madness runs in Irwin Biddle’s family. When his parents died, he was forced to take over care of his savant younger brother, William. William has only 1 passion, his love for playing the piano. Irwin has provided William with an aged, out of tune instrument and gives him enough food to live. But otherwise, William lives out his life alone in the spire of the Mansion.
*Completed - $7,500 – Replace the room cards (2.5” x 3.5”) with reinforced room tiles (4” x 5”). This will convert the card game into a tile-based board game.
*Completed - $9,000 – Replace skull tokens with skull 3-d figurines.
*Completed - $10,000 – Replace Kitty-Kitty token with a 3-D Kitty-Kitty figurine.
*Completed - $11,000 - Official soundtrack. The game will include a digital download of an official soundtrack, 45 minutes of scary, ambient music, enough time to get you through an average game of Children.
NEW! $12,500 - Guided Tour of the Thornhill Mansion. Receive a digital download of a second version of the soundtrack. This version will contain a room-by-room tour of the house, read over the ambient music. You will learn the sordid history behind the mansion. To darken your gaming experience, listen to the guided tour before playing Children for your first time.
Risks and challenges
We don't open a game Kickstarter without having the game complete or nearly complete in its design.
To date every one of our Kickstarters has been funded with the help of you and others like you.
We are just finishing the touches of Rites of Cthulhu and waiting for our brilliant artists to turn out the rest of the amazing artwork that will be featured in this game.
Sometimes we are delayed due to our overseas printing process. We promise to keep you notified on any changes as we discover them.
Some of the actual game art might deviate from art found in this Kickstarter Project.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)