Gremlins, Inc.

Gremlins, Inc.

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Qfasa  [developer] Nov 22, 2017 @ 4:40am

Gremlins are the microscopic creatures that live inside various mechanisms. If a watch or a telescope malfunctions, it’s probably due to gremlins who took residence there. These immortal, genderless creatures, more than anything in life, value prestige: prestige that one can claim after completing some sort of a grandiose engineering project. Aside from working on their own projects, gremlins mostly spend their time preventing other gremlins from building something even more grandiose.

This game allows you to play the role of a selfish corrupt gremlin to pursue prestige at any cost – in the tradition of real-life capitalism!

Gremlins, Inc. is a game of strategy and malice. Half the time you’ll be completing your own projects, and the other half – disrupting the projects of other players.

The official Discord server of Gremlins, Inc.:

The official forum of Gremlins, Inc.:

The goal of the game is to earn prestige points (also known as “score”; here and on the cards, we use :vrmadhatter: to mean prestige points/score) by completing projects. You can play for score value (e.g. “we play until someone reaches 20 :vrmadhatter: first”) or for deck reshuffles (e.g. “we play until the deck runs out after 3 reshuffles”) – feel free to experiment!

Note that the game ends at the end of the last round, when the last player has had their turn, so that every player had the same number of turns in the session.

Players can compete with each other, or play in teams (2 vs 2, 3 vs 3, 2 vs 2 vs 2, or even 2 vs 3). When playing in teams, players keep recording their individual scores as usual – while the winning team is determined by the sum of :vrmadhatter: of all the members of each team.

2-4 players:
  • play until 10 :vrmadhatter: for a quick game;
  • play until 20 :vrmadhatter: for a longer game;
  • play until 30 :vrmadhatter: for a proper game among players who are already familiar with the deck and make their moves fast.
4-6 players:
  • play until 20 :vrmadhatter: for a proper game;
  • play until 30 :vrmadhatter: per team when playing in teams.
The biggest challenge to anyone new to this game is understanding (a) the relative value (b) the exact mechanics of each card. Is this card valuable – or there are better options? Is this blueprint easy to complete, or it’s one of the hardest in the game? Questions like these will be quite common as you begin to explore the deck.
  1. Please read the description of the terms used on the cards (such as “assign”, “project”, “resource”, and so on) at the end of this manual.
  2. We recommend that you play the first few sessions as 1 vs 1 with just 1 another player before jumping into larger player groups, especially if others already played this game and you are the new player in the group.
To keep the score of the game (measured in :vrmadhatter:), you’ll need either a pen and paper – or some handy tokens (coins, matches, gold rings, diamonds and similar). Included in this Print & Play edition are the gremlin banknotes that are one of the options of keeping the score.

Important note: no matter the situation, player’s :vrmadhatter: cannot be reduced below 0. When a player with 1 :vrmadhatter: score loses 2 :vrmadhatter:, the result is 0 :vrmadhatter:, and never -1:vrmadhatter:.

The shuffled deck is placed face down, while the space right next to the deck is reserved for the discard pile. Discarded cards are placed in the discard pile face up. When the deck runs out, reshuffle the whole discard pile – and turn it face down to deal again.

At the beginning of the game, deal 6 cards to each player. If everyone is already familiar with the game, then immediately after this initial draw, each player may discard any number of cards (once) and replenish from the deck; this allows for a more aggressive start of the game.

The game starts with the player who is agreed by everyone to be the least malicious around the table, then turns pass clockwise. You can also throw dice to determine the starting player, or use any other way as long as it’s agreed by everyone in the group.

A player’s turn consists of 2 actions. At the end of each player’s turn, every player (starting with the one who just finished the turn) replenishes their hand until everyone has 6 cards in their hand again. If any player has an extra turn, then everyone replenishes before that extra turn begins. In other words, at the start of each turn, every player must already have 6 cards on their hand.

Cards in the game can be used for immediate action (only action cards), to start a project (all types of cards: action cards, blueprint cards and blueprint-permanent cards) – or as a resource assigned to the already existing projects (all types of cards: action cards, blueprint cards and blueprint-permanent cards). Here and on the cards, we use :cardback: to mean “a resource” when we describe the rules.

There are three types of resources in the game, each represented by a series of 5 symbols on the top of each card:

:GoldenG: (‘gold’, the most common type),

:malice: (‘malice’, a less common type; it is required for projects that cause harm to other players),

:score: (‘industry’, a rare type, used only for projects and never for action cards).

Keep in mind that cards become resources (:cardback:) only when they are assigned to a project. So if you have a card with :malice: on your hand, this does not mean that you have 1:malice: as a resource. To turn such card into the resource, you will need first to assign it to one of your projects on the table. Note that despite the fact that there are 5 symbols on the card, each card only count as 1 resource.

Place any card face-down next to you on the table to start a project. This can be an action card, a blueprint card, or a blueprint-permanent card. At any given time, each player may have up to 3 projects. All projects are started face down (unless a blueprint card specifically allows to start it face up).

Only blueprint and blueprint-permanent cards can be completed to earn score points (:vrmadhatter:). Action cards can be used as ‘fake’ projects to collect resources on them or to distract opponents, but you won't be able to complete them.

It is important to understand the value of bluffing at this stage: you may start a project with an action card, which can never be completed; or with a blueprint card that is so expensive that you have no intention of completing it; everything works when the goal is to fool the opponents.

Place any card face up behind one of your current projects, leaving only its resource indicator visible (see illustration). A card assigned as a resource becomes just that: a resource, until it is used or discarded.

You may show your opponents what card you use as the resource, if you wish – or you may keep this information private. There are no restrictions on how many resources can be assigned to a project in total, or what type they might be.

It is important to keep in mind that you can assign a resource to a project even if this specific project does not require this type of resource. For example, a malicious blueprint may require :malice: and :GoldenG: to be completed, but since other players may attack you if you start with :malice: (showing everyone right off the start that this is a dangerous project), you may choose to bluff and start by adding :GoldenG: there at first, and maybe even some :score: – to fool them.

When a project is completed, all resources that are assigned to it are discarded, whether they were used to pay for the project or not.

Pay the card’s cost by discarding the required type and number of :cardback: already assigned to any of your current projects (unless this action card can be played for free), then place this card face up on the table to show it to other players, and follow its instructions. Once instructions are fulfilled, discard the card.

If one of your projects is a blueprint with the required number and type of :cardback: already assigned to it, then you can complete it by revealing it to other players (if it hasn’t been revealed before).

Get the number of :vrmadhatter: indicated on the blueprint and follow the blueprint’s instructions (if any). Afterwards, discard the card and its resources (unless it’s a blueprint-permanent card: then discard only the resources, but keep the card, which becomes active). Active blueprint-permanent cards start to affect the game starting from the next action onwards.

Discard one of your projects and all of :cardback: assigned to it (if any were assigned). You get no :vrmadhatter: from this action, but free up one space for a possible new project.

Carry out only one action instead of two – or none at all, if you so desire.

Since a player’s turn consists of 2 actions, this can be, for example, these actions:

1) Assign a card as a resource; then
2) Complete a project.


1) Play an action card; then
2) Assign a card as a resource.


1) Start a project.
2) Start a project.


1) Assign a card as a resource.
2) Assign a card as a resource.

…and so on.

  • Active blueprint-permanent card“ – a previously completed blueprint-permanent card that currently remains active, and is displayed face up on the table next to its owner.
  • Any player” – any player, including the player who currently plays the card.
  • Any opponent” – any player except the current player (in team games – any player from the other team(s), but not from the team of the current player).
  • Everyone except you” - every player (including your teammates in team games), except you.
  • Assign” – add a card from your hand as a resource (:cardback:) to a current project.
  • Discard” – move a card to the discard pile.
  • Draw” – pick up the top card from the deck (several, if required).
  • Get :vrmadhatter:” – receive prestige points / score points.
  • Move resource” - take a :cardback: from one project and move it to another project (you cannot move :cardback: to your hand or to the discard pile). Also notice, that is isn't an action – you cannot freely move resources between your projects – only by using card effects.
  • Pay” – all payments are always done by discarding resources that are already assigned to a current project. Players cannot pay by discarding cards directly from their hands.
  • Steal” – take another player’s property (:cardback:, :vrmadhatter:, project) without giving anything in return. When stealing a project, you move the project card with all the resources assigned to it.
  • A project” – any card that has been placed on the table as a project (a player can have up to 3 current projects at any given time).
  • Hidden project” – a current project that sits face down on the table.
  • Revealed project” – a current project that sits face up on the table.
  • Hide a project” – turn a revealed project face down (you can also hide a project that has been already hidden, it simply stays face down).
  • Reveal a project” – turn a hidden project face up (you can also reveal a project that has been already revealed, it simply stays face up).
    Resource (:cardback:) – a card that has already been assigned as a resource to one of the current projects.
  • Player with the highest ...” (:vrmadhatter:, :malice:, etc.) or “Owner of the project with the most ...” (:cardback:, :malice:, etc.) – when several players have equal amounts, it is the player who currently plays the card who chooses the target.
  • Plural/singular use of words: please pay attention to singular and plural forms of terms. If the rules say “project”, this means “one project”. If the rules say “player”, this means “one player”.
These cards can be played during your turn for immediate action (provided you pay their cost). The cost of each action card is reflected on the left side of the card. Some action cards have no cost indication: these can be played for free. You can use action cards to start a project, but please note that you cannot complete such a project; however, you can still do this to bluff your opponents, to assign resources to such projects, and to spread the risks when under attack.

Cards that have a blue :vrmadhatter: icon with score value on the left side of the card. To earn these prestige points, you must use this blueprint card for a project and successfully complete it. The cost of completing blueprint as a project is shown in the lower left corner.

Cards that have a blue :vrmadhatter: icon with score value on the left side of the card, plus clasps on both sides. Once completed as a project, blueprint-permanent card remains open on the table and continues to influence the game. Please note that active blueprint-permanent cards are no longer considered to be “projects”, thus you can have, for example, 3 current projects and any other number of active blueprint-permanent cards in addition to those.

If you have any further questions about the rules of this game or about specific cards (“The Auction”, etc.), please stop by on this official forum:

Or join the official Discord server:
Last edited by Qfasa; Nov 22, 2017 @ 7:38am
Date Posted: Nov 22, 2017 @ 4:40am
Posts: 0