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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

  • How many players do you need?
    Castaways is a great scalable game, and while we do believe that it plays best at 6-8 (ideally 8), you are able to play a mega game from 10-18 players.
  • What ages can play Castaways?
    While the box says '14yrs+', that is just for international safety legislations as our game contains a dice and small plastic sliders which could be harmful if swallowed. Additional testing is needed to be done which would take time and an additional expense which we just don't believe is necessary. So the box says 14yrs however we feel that it is possible for 10yrs+ (if they are able to grasp the concepts of social strategy), but it should definitely be playable for 12yrs+.
  • How many Castaways may you pick?
    The number of Castaways that are picked by each Player is determined by the player count. If playing with... 5-6 – Each Player will choose 3 Castaways from the face down line up. 7-8 – Each Player will choose 2 Castaways from the face down line up. 10-18 – Each Player will choose 1 Castaway from the face down line up.
  • What is the difference between Players & Castaways?
    When reading any rule or instruction always remember that the Players are the real people playing the game while the Castaways are the characters on the cards (that you are playing as).
  • Are Camp Life cards transferrable?
    Players are free to give or trade cards to any other player in the game. The terms of your deal is completely up to you... and whether you honour that deal is also up to you ;) But just remember to ask yourself 'how will the Outcast Panel see such a move - good game play or simply dishonourable and cheating?'. However, no cards may be transferred from one team to another once the losing team is at Outcast Tribunal. Cards may be transferred between players from the same team though.
  • How does card trading work?
    In Castaways you are free to trade or gift Camp Life cards in your possession to any other Player in the game. You are not required to state that you are doing so in any way. The terms of your trade are entirely up to the Players involved. And whether you honour those terms are up to you. If you are gifting, you could do so out of the goodwill of your heart, but perhaps hoping that this generous act will be repaid at a later stage, or work in your favour when it comes time to make your case at the Final Outcast Tribunal as to why you should receive that Players vote. At the end of the day, trading cards can be a super powerful move but it all comes down to the Players themselves and how they choose to do this. Your creativity will be key here.
  • What is the function of the dice?
    The dice is a fringe component that is sometimes called into action. The dice is rolled to start the game to see which team will take ownership of the Team Leader card. Some challenges will require the dice to complete Some Daily Mail cards will require the dice to resolve it's effect Some Tribunal Twists will require the dice to resolve it's effect In some circumstances in the game, if a stale mate has been reached, the dice will serve as the ultimate tie-breaker, and the rule is always 'highest value wins/is safe'.
  • How are the playing teams decided?
    The Players (i.e. those playing the game) can arrange themselves into teams however they see fit. It could be quite fun to theme your game, i.e. Brain vs Brawn, Blood vs Water, OG's vs Young Guns, etc
  • How are Castaway cards picked?
    To find out which Castaways (i.e. the character cards in the game) you will have ownership of, and play as in the game... Split the 3 archetypes into their respective piles of 6 Castaways each, face down. Divide each stack into 2 piles. Do this for each of the 3 archetype stacks and group them into a single stack so that each team has a 3 Physical + 3 Mental + 3 Social characters. Each team must then deal their stack face down onto the table in front of them. Depending on head count, the Players will select their Castaways. Be sure to keep the identity secret so that no one knows each others characters, but take note of who you are playing as. You could even take a photo with your phone. All players in the team return their Castaways to the table, face down, then group the cards, shuffle and now deal them face up in their team lineup. Finally, you may now place the plastic slider clip on all Castaways health gauges, at 10, as it is the start fo the game and therefore all Castaways have a full health gauge.
  • How should the Players be seated at the table?
    As the game begins with the two teams competing against each other, the two teams should sit on either side of the table, alongside each other. This will mimic the way the two Castaway team lineups are arranged on the table. Once down to 10 Castaways the teams will merge. You are now free to sit wherever you wish.
  • How are Castaways arranged in their team lineups?
    This is completely up to your team as to where to place each Castaway in their respective team lineup. It should be noted though that the performance of your team at challenges will greatly determine the outcome of the result as certain archetypes are best placed at certain spots depending on the type of challenge it is.
  • Where are the Outcast Tribunal parchments?
    Essentially the parchment is just a strip of paper, so you can easily make your own batch of parchments by cutting a sheet of paper into multiple strips big enough to write a name on. A standard A4 sheet should get you a good bunch. A size of 1cm x 4cm should do nicely. Or you can just download a template pdf here with guide cutting lines added.
  • Why can't you vote out all Social archetypes in pre-merge?
    The Social archetypes are the only archetype with a chance of safety in that both teams must have at least 1 Social Castaway in their team during the pre-merge stage of the game. If a team has only 1 Social Castaway left and a Camp Life card is played, e.g. Medical Evacuation, then the Social Castaway is safe and not taken into consideration. The same rule applies for any Advantage Card played at Outcast Tribunal, i.e the sole remaining Social Archetype is already safe and therefore not taken into consideration for any Advantage Card's effect. There must always be 1 Social Castaway up until the teams have merged.
  • What happens in pre-merge if the last remaining Social archetype castaway has to be removed due to 'Medical Evacuation' or 'Quitter' Camp Life card?
    This is a very unique scenario BUT resolve it as below... 1. If the castaway headcount is at 11 (and therefore you are due to go to merge after this Medical Evacuation) then the social castaway can be eliminated and teams will immediately merge. 2. But if there are 12+ castaways in the game and still more pre-merge rounds to go to reach the merge then the social castaway is safe from this elimination card, and the next most appropriate castaway is out.
  • At what point do the two teams merge?
    Once 8 Castaways have been removed (whether votes, medical evacuation or quitting) and we are down to the final 10. At this point the teams will merge and become one team immediately. Be sure to make the necessary changes to the cards... Remove Daily Mail (All players now receive 1 Camp Life card per round) Add the merge Camp Life cards to the existing Camp Life pile and shuffle well Swap out the current Challenge pile for the new merge Challenge cards.
  • What happens if we have a Double Vote Out at 11?
    If the Double Vote Out happens at 11 Castaways, then simply allow the double vote out to happen at the Outcast Tribunal, and then merge will happen with 9 Castaways, instead of 10.
  • What happens if the Castaway's health gauge reaches 0?
    If a Castaway's health gauge hits 0, whether at Camp or in a Challenge, they are not out of the game... just yet. You do have to ensure that at least 1 health point is received, otherwise, if still 0 at the same stage of the next round – that Castaway will be medically evacuated from the game. Note: A Castaway's health hits 0 during a challenge They must receive +1 health before the next round's challenge. They survive through Outcast Tribunal and head back to camp. The Castaway receives+1 health from a Camp Life card that is played - THEY ARE SAFE. Another player immediately plays a Camp Life cards that deals -1 health to all The Castaway's health returns to 0 Essentially the castaway has reset their health lock and this is a 'new' 0 and must therefore receive health before the Camp Life stage of the next round or be medically evacuated.
  • What if a fellow Player claims to be playing with my Castaway?
    Not very nice, but it could happen. This is why we suggest taking a quick photo of your Castaway(s) with your phone once you've made your selection at the start of the game, as this can prove ownership.
  • Who reads the Daily Mail?
    The player holding the Team Leader card is responsible for reading and making all decisions as listed on the card.
  • What happens if you run out of Camp Life cards?
    Take all the cards on the discarded pile, shuffle well and place in the Camp Life draw pile area.
  • What happens to an eliminated Player's cards?
    Any cards in the possession of the eliminated Player will be returned to the bottom of the Camp Life draw pile. Do not shuffle as these will be shuffled once merge is reached. NOTE: The eliminated Player may not choose to give their cards to a fellow Player once eliminated, or even once the reading of the votes has begun.
  • Clarifying the 'Must Play Immediately' rule.
    Camp Life cards with the exclamation mark icon in the top right of the card cannot be kept for later rounds. They must be played at camp during the round in which they were received. But this does not mean that you have to play it first. Card will effect the Castaways differently depending on when they are played within the round, i.e. playing your card before anyone else might be to your benefit, but if you see that playing it will negatively impact your Castaway or team, then simply wait to see if anyone else plays theirs first, and in doing so, might change the scenario for when you play your card. NOTE: Be sure to read the usage rule fully as it might need to be played immediately, but only at the end of the round once all other Players have played their cards, for example.
  • What happens if there is a standoff between Players that HAVE TO play their cards but are waiting for others to play theirs first?
    If this situation arises then we resort to the rule of Forced Play. Forced Play states that the players are forced to play their 'must play' cards starting with the current Team Leader, followed by the next player set to become Team Leader, and so on. NOTE: If Forced Play has been actioned and the Team Leader plays their card, this order must be honored, and no player who is positioned further down the order is then allowed to jump in and play their card just because it now benefits them. Once Forced Play is actioned it must be completed, before any other card is played.
  • Clarifying the Team Swap
    The Team Swap is a rather devisive card and whether you choose to include it in your game is completely up to you. So read the below points to understand the gameplay intentions of the card and whether you and your fellow players feel it will suit your game. It is advised that the card is left out of your first game or two. As Castaways revolves around social and strategic gameplay the first playthrough is often about players fully understanding and familiarising themselves with the game and so this card will only hinder that process. --- The Team Swap causes a 'reset' of sorts of the two teams. If there was a team that was dominating the game then this team swap will allow for a mix up of the characters, and if the two teams were lopsided in terms of numbers, the team swap will level the playing field and allow for as even a head count as possible. But it is also a case where you hope that your castaway(s) end up in the same team as you. The aim is to mirror Survivor’s tribe swap where players in great positions could potentially be ‘swap screwed’ and those who are almost out of the game all of a sudden have a new lease on life. If players do find themselves in a situation where their castaway(s) is now on an opposing team, the intention is that it will encourage networking with other players to keep each other’s castaways safe, but in reality this might not happen and so comes down to pure luck as to whether your castaway makes it through to the merge phase (where you will then be reunited) or not. Ultimately this card could be viewed as somewhat of a ‘break the hourglass’ situation and completely ruining the game. If you do decide to keep it in the game, you now at least understand the possible approach required should it come into play. --- NOTE: The Team Swap card can only be played from round 3 onwards, and has no effect once the merge stage has been reached. If received during the merge then discard and redraw a Camp Life card. If received in round 1 or 2, then simply hold onto the card and play it during round 3. The holder of the card will choose another Player in the game. These two are now team captains and will do a schoolyard pick to decide how the Players are teamed up. Any odd player joins the card holder’s team. The card holder picks first. Group all the Castaways left in the game by archetype, then turn all cards face down. One by one, split each of the 3 archetype groups randomly, but evenly, into two new teams. Any odd castaway joins the card holder’s team.
  • What is the rule for sitting out extra Castaways?
    The competing teams must have equal numbers of Castaways, therefore the teams must decide which Castaway(s) they will sit out to do so. They must do this before seeing the Challenge card. They may not sit out the same Castaway(s) for consecutive challenges.
  • Clarifying 'Competing' wrt challenge punishment
    Some head-to-head Challenge card rules will state that there will be a health penalty for the losing Castaways. What is meant here is, if a penalty is actioned to the losing team then... Any Castaway that sat out due to odd character count then this Castaway will not receive the punishment. Any Castaways that did not have a chance to compete as the head-to-head result had been achieved before their turn arose then this Castaways will not receive the punishment.
  • Clarifying the trait values of obstacle course Challenge cards
    The obstacle challenges have two or three stages, and each stage has a set of traits which the Castaways are required to pass through in order to progress in the obstacle course. If the first stage of an obstacle challenge has a trait requirement of... Strength 7 Speed 6 Balance 7 Then this means that each and every character involved in that particular stage has to meet or exceed that value to pass through without losing a health point. If the Castaway cannot meet that value for Strength, then they lose a point and move on to Speed. If they equal or exceed that value then they move onto Balance. And finally if they meet or exceed that value they move on. In total that Castaway would only have lost 1 health point for failing to meet the Strength trait. The best way to do this is to approach the first trait (Strength), check the value required and test all the Castaways, then move onto the next trait. Check all Castaways. And so on.
  • What to do when you have to remove half of the competing Castaways but there is an odd number?
    In this instance, simply err on the side of good judgment. For instance, if you have 5 Castaways competing and you have to remove half of them, then either remove 2 or 3. This can be decided in discussion by the playing group as to what seems the most reasonable. If, however, you have 7 Castaways in the challenge and need to remove half, and have easily removed the first two 2 Castaways as they had the lowest values, and still have another 2 to remove, but there are 4 Castaways with the same value that is being looked at, then the dice is rolled for each Castaway. The two Castaways with the lowest rolled value are out.
  • What happens in head-to-head challenges if the score is not reached?
    If all competing Castaways have competed and the required score for the win is not achieved, then the team with the highest score wins. If the score is even and all Castaways have competed, simply follow the tiebreaker on the card.
  • What happens in a head-to-head challenge when a single Castaway is achieved but there are still more steps?
    If reaching a final Castaway early in a challenge, then the challenge is simply over and a winner is decided early and receives the Individual Safety Amulet.
  • Clarifying the Coconut Toss challenge
    Unlike other challenges, the Coconut Toss allows you the opportunity to select your 3 strongest Castaways once the challenge card is revealed. However, you still cannot pick any Castaway that was chosen to sit out of the challenge due to uneven team numbers. Select the 3 Castaways with the greatest strength trait as they will be responsible for holding up an increasingly heavy bag of coconuts. Each roll of the dice is equal to that amount of coconuts landing in their bag. The two teams will compete to see which team can knock out all 3 opposing bag holders with the least amount of dice rolls. Each Castaways strength trait is equal to the maximum number of coconuts that they are able to hold, so for them to drop the bag they must have more coconuts in it than they are able to hold. Eg. A Castaway with a strength of 7 will drop their bag once a value of 8 or more has been totalled. When competing 1 team will roll the dice until all 3 players are eliminated. Starting at the first Castaway, knocking them out, then moving onto the next, and again to the final. They will tally their sum total of dice rolls needed to knock out all 3. The turn will now pass to the opposing team, who will be aiming to achieve a lesser amount of throws to eliminate all 3 rival bag holders. If the two teams have rolled an equal amount, then the tiebreaker is to add the Endurance values of each of the 3 bag holders. The team with the highest sum value is the winning team and is safe. If the Endurance values are equal, then we move to the final tie breaker where each team will roll the dice. Highest value wins and is safe.
  • How many votes do Players cast at the Outcast Tribunal?
    Each Player only casts 1 vote per Outcast Tribunal (unless they have gained another vote due to an Advantage card). Even if you have 2 castaways still in the game, YOU as the player still only have 1 vote.
  • How long are Players allowed to strategise at Outcast Tribunal?
    There is no hard rule when it comes to 'allowed time', rather, each game is treated uniquely and the Players can decide what is acceptable.
  • Clarifying the Tribunal Twist Incite card
    It is important to know that when arriving at the Outcast Tribunal, the Tribal Twist Incite card must be played immediately. This card takes precedence over any advantage card. So when arriving at the Outcast Tribunal, play the card, draw the top Vote Twist card from the deck and see whether it must be read before or after the votes. If 'after' then place it to the side and allow any advantage cards to be played. Players will then vote, votes will be read and a Castaway will be voted out. Only now will you read and resolve the Vote Twist card. If the Vote Twist card revealed that it must be read before the vote, then immediately read and resolve the cards effect. Remove all 'safe' Castaways and now begin to play Advantage cards and discussing potential vote outs.
  • Clarify Advantage Cards usage at Outcast Tribunal
    Some of the Advantage Cards have tremendous abilities and powers when played at the Outcast Tribunal. Players must just ensure that the card is valid if there is a character/head count icon on the card, otherwise the card will be useless. If a card is played and it's rule states that a certain Castaway or group of Castaways are safe and cannot be voted for then only the Castaways that are eligible for voting will be taken into account. Once that Castaway is safe, they are no longer eligible to claim advantages. So if another Advantage card is played then they are not taken into account, only those Castaways who are vulnerable can claim the played advantage. NOTE: It could be possible that if multiple Advantage cards are played, they cause a conflict that cannot be resolved. For this reason you will do your best to accommodate all Advantage Cards effects, but they must be done so in order of play. The card that is played late, and causes a conflict, is not valid and returned to its Player's hand.
  • What happens if multiple advantage cards are played at Outcast Tribunal?
    For the most part, you will be able to accommodate multiple cards being played. The rule is to always resolve the cards in the order in which they were played. So sometimes it will work to your benefit to play it early, sometimes not - it all depends of the nature of the card and the Castaways at the Outcast Tribunal. If it turns out that not all cards can be played, perhaps one Advantage cancels out another, then the card that was played first takes effect, and the other is returned to it's owner.
  • What happens if there are no eligible Castaways to vote for?
    If there are no Castaways eligible to be voted for due to Advantage Cards, Safety Amulets, etc. then all of the Castaways are now at risk of elimination as the Tribunal Leader will roll a dice for each of the Castaways at the Outcast Tribunal, and the one with the lowest value is out of the game. If all Players agree before the start of the game to allow for a second round of Advantage Cards to be played, then this can be done, but must be stated at the start of the game as this is not a rule that is part of the 'base game'. This would mean that Advantages are played, no one is eligible for the vote so then instead of going to the dice roll, another round of Advantages can be played. NOTE: If the Leave Tribunal' card was played, then the Castaway that was sent back to camp is still at camp and therefore will remain 'safe'.
  • What happens if there is a tied vote?
    If voting is tied, then revote. However now the Players can only vote for the two Castaways that just received the highest votes. If voting is tied again the these two Castaways are now safe and all the other remaining Castaways attending the Outcast Tribunal are now eligible to be eliminated. The Tribunal Leader will now roll the dice for each of the eligible Castaways. The character with the lowest rolled value is out fo the game.
  • What happens if the Team Leader is in the losing team?
    The Team Leader cannot also oversee the Outcast Tribunal, so they will simply hand the Team Leader card and the duty of adjudicating the tribunal to a player from the opposing team, most likely the Player that would be receiving it next.
  • When does the Final Outcast Tribunal happen?
    Immediately after the 3rd last Player is out fo the game we will have our final 2 Players and then we go straight to the Final Outcast Tribunal. NOTE: It is not necessarily the final 2 Castaways left as it is possible that a Player may have both or all three of their Castaways if playing with 8 or less Players.
  • How is this Final Outcast Tribunal different from the other Tribunals?
    In this Final Outcast Tribunal the last two remaining players will pitch their case to the Outcast Panel as to why they think they played a superior game (citing examples of their game play, strategy, etc) and why they should be crowned the winner. The Outcast Panel will then vote for the final time but this time they will be writing down the name of the Player that they want to win and dropping their paper parchment into the crate.
  • Who makes up the Outcast Panel?
    The Outcast Panel is made up of the highest odd amount of Players that made it to merge. This is done so that a draw is not possible. Example: You started with 8 Players One was eliminated pre-merge Seven Players made it to merge Two are competing at the Final Outcast Tribunal That means that the Outcast Panel will be made up of 5 Players
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