The Witches of Black Branch harvest body parts from their victims and imbue them with magic powers. You and your coven are on the hunt. Sever hands and pluck out eyes—collect the most trophies and become the Sickest Witch.
Terms and General Rules
Hit Points (HP): The “life” on an enemy.
Armor Class (AC): The strength of an enemy’s armor.
Roll with Advantage: Player rolls two 20-sided dice and uses the higher number.
Roll with Disadvantage: Player rolls two 20-sided dice and uses the lower number.
Always declare what you are doing before you do it. Example, “I am casting this spell.” Then you roll to see if you are successful. Also tell the group what the spell is doing, especially if the spell is delayed by 1 or 2 turns, “I am delaying my turn by one and it will take effect between this Witch and that Witch.”
You can use 6-sided dice instead of 4 in Sickest Witch. When the player rolls a 5, they reroll. 5 means nothing. When the player rolls a 6, they get to choose which number (1-4) they wish to place on their ability card.
Set Up and Rules
How to Play Competitive Mode Video:
• Choose an equal amount of level 1, 2, 3, and 4 enemy cards, separate them into stacks according to their levels, and shuffle them. You have control over how long the game is. Adjust the length of your game by the number of battles. A battle consists of killing 1 enemy:
Compact Game [works best 2 players]: 8 Battles and a Boss Battle (2 of each level enemy and a Boss)
Short Game [works best with 2/4 players]: 12 Battles and a Boss Battle (3 of each level enemy and a Boss)
Medium Length Game [works best with 3/4 players]: 16 Battles and a Boss Battle (4 of each level enemy and a Boss)
Long Game [works best 4/6 fewer players]: 20 Battles and a Boss Battle (5 of each level enemy and a Boss). Once all the level 2 enemies are killed, the witches rest and find 1 random level 3 body part/spell each.
Epic Game [works best 4/6 fewer players]: 24 Battles and a Boss Battle (6 of each level enemy and a Boss). Once all the level 2 enemies are killed, the witches rest and find 1 random level 3 body part/spell each.
Players who have too few (or no cards) as the game advances might drop out if they cannot mathematically win.
• The enemy deck is placed in the middle of the table for all to see with level 1 enemy card facing up (with the body part/spell concealed underneath it).
• Each player chooses a Witch card (use the level 1 side), a Witch ability card, and a 4-sided die.
• Each player starts with1 random level 1 body part/spell card and 1 random level 2 body part card. These are spells that they can use throughout the game.
• Players roll the 20-sided die to see who goes first, highest number is first. Turns go in clockwise order.
• The first player removes the first enemy card from the stack and places the Hit Point tracker under the enemy's card to show how many Hit Points the enemy has left. Hit Points (HP) and Armor Class (AC) are on each enemy card. This is the enemy that all players will now attack.
• Each player rolls their 4-sided die to see what spells or powers they have to use during battle using their Witch Ability card. These can be used once and then the 4-sided die is set aside. If any player rolls a 1 or 20 during the battle, all Witch's 4-sided dice are refreshed, rolled again, and each Witch now has that ability back. Witches who are unhappy with their previous 4-sided roll can choose to re-roll when a 1 or 20 is rolled if their ability card is active.
• Each Witch also has a number on their Witch card. This number is called the “Witch’s Mark.” When the player rolls this number on their turn, they flip their ability card over (to the Focused side) only if it is already active. If the ability card has been used (inactive), then the Witch simply re-rolls the 4-sided die and refreshes the ability card (unfocused).
• The first Witch attacks the enemy from the top of the deck (level 1 enemy). They choose a melee attack or spell, roll the 20-sided die, and see if they matched or beat the enemy's Armor Class (AC). That Witch can also choose to use their ability card, but then the 4-sided die is set aside as inactive (used).
• The Witch must say what attack they are preforming before they roll the 20-sided die. If they are casting a body part (spell card) and they roll a 1, the spell is a dud and lost for that battle and must be set aside. If the spell succeeds, it is used, put aside, and only refreshed after the battle is over or if a special action is taken. If a 20 is rolled, the attack is successful and the Witch can revive a used spell or revive a dud spell. The spell that was just used cannot be revived.
• First Witch moves the Hit Point marker card under the enemy card if the enemy took damage.
• Clockwise Witch takes their turn, repeating what the first Witch did.
• When the enemy is down to zero Hit Points, the Witch who dealt the killing blow gets that enemy card, flips it over, and keeps the body part (spell). These spell cards also act as victory points.
• Now the next clockwise player attacks the next enemy, this card always taken from the top of the deck.
• Witches will also be on the lookout for their abilities activation number (Witch’s Mark). If the Witch’s ability card has a 3 on it and they roll a 3, then they flip their ability card to activate a more powerful (Focused) ability. This can be used once and then the card is flip back over to the normal ability side and set as inactive (4-sided die off the card). If a Witch's ability card is inactive, rolling their activation number does not activate the focused ability, only the normal ability.
• When the first level 3 enemy appears, all Witches flip witch cards to level 2. All Witches level up at the same time. Level 2 Witches roll the 20-sided die twice: first roll to see if their attack is imbued with Pain, Pestilence, or Poison and second roll to see if the attack beat the enemy's Armor Class. An imbued attack does not increase a spell card’s Pain, Pestilence, or Poison if it matches.
• Spell cards are also victory points. Witches with the most body part cards win. They are the Sickest Witch.
• Games that end in a tie will add one more enemy or boss card to fight to determine the Sickest Witch.
Body Parts / Spell Cards
Each enemy has a body part you can harvest. And Witches imbue them with special magic. With increasing levels, the powers increase.
Spells come in three different types: Pain, Pestilence, and Poison. Some enemies are weak to one of the three types. And some spells can counteract Pain, Pestilence, or Poison, making the next Witch's turn more limited.
What Can I do on my turn?
You must attack. You cannot pass unless you use a special ability. There are a few different ways to attack:
1. Basic attack using your melee weapon or natural spell. This is usually the weakest attack unless you have a body part that boosts this ability. You never run out of this attack. Sometimes this is all you will need to win.
2. Body part / Spell card attack. As you kill enemies, you will acquire more powerful spells. Once a spell card is used, it is set aside until the enemy is killed. All spell cards renew once a new battle begins.
3. Ability card attack. Each Witch has an ability card with 1 4-sided die. You can use this ability in addition to your attack. Once you've used this ability, it cannot be used again until someone (including you) rolls a 1 or 20 with the 20-sided die. This renews all player's ability card. Players who have not spent their abilities can re-roll to see if they can get a higher number (and better ability). Ability cards have two sides: Normal and Focused. A Focused attack can be more powerful than many other attacks.
There are 52 enemy cards in all, each with their own distinct art and body parts/spells. There are 12 level ones, 12 level twos, 12 level threes, and 12 level fours including 4 Boss cards. Enemies have a few different traits.
• Weak to Pain, Pestilence, or Poison spells.
What About a Tie?
If two players have the same amount of enemy/spell cards at the end, choose another boss for those two players to attack. Whoever kills that boss wins the game.
This is optional. Players can trade spell cards at any time during the game in addition to their attack. Terms of the trade are decided by the players. This can allow players with less spell cards to block a player with more spell cards before the killing blow.
Single Player Mode
How to Play Single Player Mode Video:
Player has 1 4-side die and 1 20-sided die as well as 1 Witch card, 1 ability card, and the HP card.
Player starts with 30 HP using the Hit Point card.
Player separates enemy cards levels 1, 2, 3, and 4 into separate shuffled stacks and separates the boss cards.
Each game consists of 3 or more battle.
Player takes 3 random enemies from the bottom of the level 1 stack and lays them out in a row, enemy sides facing up.
Each enemy has one 4-sided die as Hit Points, always starting with 4.
Player attacks each enemy, one at a time, trying to beat their Armor Class. Player can choose which enemy they wish to attack first. Each time the player misses, the enemy counter attacks. This is the only time the enemy attacks. The Player cannot attack the same enemy twice in a roll unless they are the only enemy left.
If player rolls a 20, they do double damage and they regain 1 HP. If player rolls a 1, they do no damage, but they can recharge their Witch Ability card if it has been used or they can re-roll the 4-sided die for a higher number.
If player fails when using a spell, it is still unused for this battle and can be used again. Any spell that is successfully used is set aside as used and is only renewed when the next three enemies appear (the next round).
When an Enemy rolls, 20 does double damage. If enemy rolls a 1, enemy takes 1 damage.
Once an enemy dies, the player gets the body part/spell which can be used once during a battle. A battle consists of the 3 enemies or 1 boss. Once the 3 enemies are dead, the battle is over and 3 more enemies are spawned.
Before battle, Player re-rolls their 4-sided die if their Witch Ability card was used. They can also choose to re-roll for a higher number.
Level 3 and 4 enemies have two 4-sided dice as Hit Points, but there can only be 2 enemies with two 4-sided dice Hit Points during a 3 enemy battle. Enemies roll one 20-sided die to see who gets the higher HP. The lowest roll gets only one 4-sided die Hit Points.
Important single player mode differences from competitive mode:
- In single player mode, spell cards can only be used once per game. When the boss is encountered, the player renews every spell card and they can be used once more as the player unloads on the boss.
- Player only becomes a level 2 Witch during the boss battle.
- Player uses the special ability card for single player mode.
Battle 1 use two level 1 and one level 2 enemies.
Battle 2 use three level 2 enemies.
Battle 3 use one level 2 and two level 3 enemies.
Battle 4 use two level 3 and one level 4 enemies.
Battle 5 use all level 4 enemies.
Boss Battle with 5D4 HP. Bosses always counter attack. *Before Boss battles, the Witch rests and gains 2 HP as well as a Focused Ability Card.
All games consist of five battles plus a boss battle.
- Easy: Enemies hit on 11 or more with D20. Kill 1 boss.
- Medium: Enemies hit on 10 or more with D20. Kill 1 boss.
- Hard: collect Enemies hit on 9 or more with D20. Kill 1 boss.
- Brutal: Enemies hit on 8 or more with D20. Kill 2 boss, back to back for 6th battle.
- Insane: Enemies hit on 7 or more with D20. Kill 2 bosses, back to back for 6th battle. (last Boss must be the Plague Knight).
Rules that apply to 2/6 player game always favor the Player. Example, if a spell card says "Delay Turn", just ignore that part of the card that doesn't favor the Player and use the rest of the card's abilities. Stun abilities stun enemies in single player mode.