Blood Bound is a game of deduction, bluffing, and strategy for six to twelve players. You and your clan of vampires must work together to capture the leader of a rival clan. The catch? You can't be sure who is your ally and who is your enemy.
Treachery abounds, and betrayal is inevitable. Will you employ negotiation, clever maneuvers, and utilize your special ability to determine friend from foe? Or will you resort to betrayal and deceit in order to root out your rivals?
Paranoia will rule as players work to uncover the identities of their teammates and collar their rival clan leader. You may be targeted by your rivals, but you may also be targeted by members of your own team who don’t think you can be trusted. All the while, you’ll need to work through the mistrust and deception to uncover the information you need to capture your rivals’ leader. If you capture the wrong vampire, you will stumble into your enemies’ trap, leading to defeat for you and your clan. This means you must be diligent in determining the allegiance of other players and discovering their rank within their clan.
All told, Blood Bound is filled with tense moments of tough and tactical decision making, and choosing the wrong person to trust could spell disaster for you and your clan.
At the beginning of the game, each player is secretly dealt a card with the identity of a member of either the Beast or Rose clan. Beast and Rose clan identities are equally distributed in each game, so a six player game will have three members of each clan. A game with an odd number of players adds the nefarious Inquisitor, who plays by his own rules. If he wins, both clans lose.
Players keep their identities secret from everyone else, save for the clue icons in the lower right corners of their identity cards. Each player shows his clue icon to the player on his left. The game begins with everyone knowing exactly two pieces of information: his own identity, and one other player’s allegiance.
After players have received their identities, one person is randomly assigned the dagger. During play, the player who possesses the dagger is the active player. On your turn,you must choose to either attack or pass. If you pass, you simply give the dagger to another player, and your turn ends. Choose well. The player receiving the dagger becomes the next active player and can then attack anyone – including you! If you decide to attack, you choose another player, and declare that you will attack.
When you attack, you force your target to suffer a wound. Your target must reveal a piece of information about himself to everyone at the table by taking either one of his affiliation tokens or his rank token. An affiliation token can be a blue beast token, a red rose token, or a gray question mark token, and this hints at the clan with which the player is affiliated.
The rank token indicates your status within your clan. A value of “1” indicates that you’re the Elder, and a “9” makes you the lowest ranked clan member. A wounded player must take one of the tokens listed on his character card, as shown at the right. Each wound a player suffers leaves his identity more fully exposed. After revealing a token, the target becomes the active player and must decide whether to attack or pass.
Through attacking, and forcing others to suffer wounds, you gain more information about your opponents, as well as your own clan members. As more and more information is revealed, you must try to deduce who is the leader of your rival clan, and capture that vampire by forcing him to suffer a total of four wounds.
Meanwhile, you want to avoid being attacked. Suffering wounds forces you to disclose information about yourself, and revealing any information about yourself is dangerous. It can make you a target for your rival clan, or even a member of your own clan who believes you are being deceptive.You may use your turns to pass the dagger, or you may try to convince other players to attack your rivals. Anything works, so long as it deflects attention from you!
In Blood Bound, no two players are alike, and everyone has something to hide. As an example, each player’s identity accords him an ability, unique to his character, and each is only available the moment he reveals his rank token.
Whenever you suffer a wound, you may choose to reveal your rank token and use your ability to either wreak havoc on enemy clan members or to protect and heal your own. Some abilities, like that of the Assassin, allow you to force others to suffer wounds. Others, like the ability of the Guardian, provide protection to a player of the your choice. For the most part,abilities may only be used once per game, so timing is essential. Use your ability too early, and you’re forced to play the remainder of the game with your rank revealed, making you a target for the opposing clan. Wait too long, and you may not have time to use your ability before the game ends.
There are other ways to keep your rivals guessing. When another player is attacked, if you haven’t yet drawn your rank token, you may volunteer to intervene, or take a wound on his behalf. Because intervening requires you to draw your rank token, you could use your ability to protect someone you believe to be a friend, or wound an enemy player.
Revealing your rank token may allow you to use your ability, but it also shows everyone what position you occupy in your clan. Even as a low-ranked clan member, you must be careful not to reveal too much about yourself because your Elder’s ability allows him to make the lowest ranked vampire in your clan the new leader!
Trust No One
In Blood Bound, you can count on your rival vampires–and even your friends–to bluff and betray you throughout the game. Table talk is encouraged as long as everyone can hear it; however, no one is under any obligation to be truthful.
Some identities, like the Harlequin, even have false information built into their character cards. The Harlequin’s clue icon is opposite of his actual affiliation. For example, the Rose clan Harlequin (shown at right) has a Rose clan clue icon. This allows her to masquerade as part of the opposing clan. Other vampires can draw question mark affiliation tokens, making it difficult to ascertain their allegiance.
Even wounding other players doesn’t always yield reliable information. Any player wounded must reveal accurate affiliation tokens, but there are exceptions to this rule, notably the ability of the treacherous Inquisitor, who is added to a game with an odd number of players. The Inquisitor conceals himself somewhere in your midst, loyal to no one but himself. When he suffers a wound, the Inquisitor may draw any affiliation token he likes, making him a particularly insidious opponent.
You need accurate information. Should you and your clan act upon incorrect information and capture the wrong vampire, you will lose the game. How will you get the information you need? Will you lie, bribe, cajole, and threaten? Or will you hide in the shadows, keeping your ears open but your mouth shut?
Blood Bound is particularly well-suited for larger gaming groups and parties. It can support up to twelve players, so gather your friends for this game of secrecy, deduction, bluffing, and betrayal!
15 - 30 minutes
6 - 12 players
The copyrightable portions of Blood Bound are ©2013 Fantasy Flight Publishing, Inc. Licensed by Heidelberger Spieleverlag. © of the German version by Heidelberger Spieleverlag. Blood Bound and Fantasy Flight Supply are trademarks of Fantasy Flight Publishing, Inc. All rights reserved to their respective owners.