Every turn, players pass one card face down to Renfield. Humans hope to play groups of incantations to cast rituals, while the vampire tries to stop the incantations and play bites.
At the end of each round, Renfield applies the effects of the cards he has been given (Will a Ritual be used? Will a player be bitten? Or perhaps it is just a quiet, uneventful night..)..
If Dawn was revealed on the clock, the person with the Ancestral Stake may use it to try and kill the Vampire. Choose carefully though, because killing the wrong person will end the game in a loss.
- 8 Character Cards
- 49 Library Cards
- 11 Clock Cards
- 5 Ritual Cards
- 1 Ancestral Stake Card
Object of the Game
Hunters: Kill the Vampire or Cast five Rituals
Evil (Renfield and the Vampire): Make one Hunter kill another Hunter or Give five Bites (for five-player games: four Bites)
Players will form two opposing teams: the Good team (composed of vampire Hunters) and the Evil team (the Vampire Nosferatu and his accomplice Renfield). Players take the Vampire and Renfield character cards and enough Hunter cards for each remaining player. For example: 6 players = 1 Vampire + 1 Renfield + 4 Hunters.
One of the players decides to be Renfield. He takes the Renfield card and places it in front of him face up. Renfield then chooses who plays the other characters.
He gives each player a character card face down. The players look secretly at their character cards and put them back face down. This is their character for the entire game.
Renfield should be someone who knows the game well or who has read the rules.
Creating the Library and Clock Piles
Clock - Take as many Night cards as there are players and add the Dawn card. Create a pile and place it face down in front of Renfield. This is the Clock pile.
For example: 6 players = 1 Dawn + 6 Nights.
Library Sections - Make a pile out of the Newspaper, Bite, Incantation, and remaining Night cards (those that are not in the Clock pile). Shuffle well and place face down in the middle of the table.
Lining Up the Ritual Cards
Place the five Ritual cards face up in the middle of the table.
Distributing Cards to Players
With the exception of Renfield, each player draws two cards from the Library. After looking at them secretly, he puts them face down in front of him. This is his Hand.
Choosing Who Plays First
Renfield chooses the player who goes first by putting the Ancestral Stake in front of him. Renfield never carries the Ancestral Stake. The Ancestral Stake is the weapon used to kill the Vampire.
At the end of the round, if the Dawn card is revealed, the player with the Ancestral Stake may choose to kill the person he suspects of being the Vampire.
A. Playing a Round
The holder of the Ancestral Stake goes first; then play continues in a clockwise direction. When a player takes his turn, two things happen:
First: the player takes two cards from the Library and plays
The player (Vampire or Hunter):
Takes two cards from the Library and adds them (without revealing them) to his Hand (if he has one).
Chooses a card from his Hand and passes it face down to Renfield (Renfield may look at it). The player may work with other players but not reveal his cards.
Chooses a second card from his Hand and discards it, placing it face up next to the Library (this card will have no effect).
What card should players give Renfield?
An Incantation? If the other players also play Incantation cards, a Ritual may be cast. Rituals help Hunters identify the Vampire and save time. It is therefore a good idea for players to work together so they all play Incantations at the same time.
A Newspaper? This card has no effect. The Vampire can give Renfield a Newspaper to cancel a Ritual organized by the Hunters.
A Bite? A Hunter should never play a Bite card: after five Bites, the Evil team wins the game.
A Night? A Hunter should never play a Night card because it will be added to the Clock pile. With more Nights, the Dawn card appears less frequently.
After the player has given one card to Renfield and discarded another, his turn is over. Renfield then turns over a card from the Clock pile. When no more cards remain in the Library pile, a new one is created using the shuffled discard pile.
Second: Renfield reveals a Clock card
After each player has completed his turn, Renfield turns over a Clock card. The Clock card indicates whe- ther the round continues or not:
Night Card - The round continues. It is the next player's turn.
Dawn Card - The round ends. Players who have not yet played will not do so in this round.
For example: the holder of the Ancestral Stake has given one card to Renfield and discarded another. Renfield then turns over the Dawn card. The round ends immediately even though only one player has given a card to Renfield.
The round ends:
When the Dawn card has been turned over or when all players (except Renfield) have played once
The Effects of Rituals
Renfield turns over the Character card of a player of his choice. The player keeps playing until the end of the game.
A Night card is discarded from the Clock pile.
The holder of the Ancestral Stake selects a player who may already have been bitten or not (he may choose himself).
The selected player draws a card from the Library and adds it to his Hand but keeps the Bite card(s) in front of him until the end of the game.
A player's Hand can exceed two cards.
The holder of the Ancestral Stake selects a player who must discard all the cards in his Hand (without revealing them).
He replaces them with the same amount of Newspaper cards from the discard pile or the Library if necessary (the Library pile is then shuffled).
If the Vampire is chosen, he must get rid of all the Bite cards in his Hand.
Against the Rules
It is against the rules to look at the discard pile.
It is against the rules to show or describe your Hand or your Character card.
B. The effects of the cards given to Renfield
At the end of the round, Renfield shuffles the cards that the players gave him and looks at them secretly. The cards may include:
1 Bite (or Several)
Renfield places the Bite card(s) in front of the player(s) of his choice (even if they have already been bitten). The Hunters and the Vampire can be bitten, but not Renfield.
Renfield looks at the bitten player's Hand and discards one card without revealing it.
If five Bites have been played, the Evil team wins the game.
1 Newspaper (or Several)
This card has no effect.
The holder of the Ancestral Stake chooses a Ritual from those that have not yet been played. Its effects are applied (see opposite). The used Ritual card is then turned face down.
If five Rituals have been cast, the Hunters win the game.
1 Night (or Several)
The card is added to the Clock pile.
Ineffectual Incantation cards and Newspaper cards are discarded by Renfield face down.
C. Killing The Vampire With The Ancestral Stake
If the round ends with the Dawn card, the holder of the Ancestral Stake may choose to use it to kill the person he suspects of being the Vampire.
If the Dawn card is not revealed, he may not use it to kill.
When playing Nosferatu, atmosphere is essential! Players should discuss their suspicions and make accusations freely.
To kill, the holder of the Ancestral Stake turns over the Character card of the player of his choice. If he turns over:
The Vampire card - the Hunters win the game.
A Hunter card - the Evil team wins the game.
In both situations, the game ends. The Vampire can be given the Ancestral Stake but may not use it to kill.
What happens if the Vampire has the Ancestral Stake and the other players want him to kill someone? He will have to be very wily and persuade the other players that it is not the right time (because he may not use the stake to kill).
D. Choosing A Player To Start The Next Round
The Ancestral Stake is given to another player. This player starts the next round. Who chooses the new holder?
If the previous round ended with the Dawn card: the carrier of the Ancestral Stake gives it to a new player of his choice (but not Renfield).
If the previous round ended with a Night card: Renfield must give the Ancestral Stake to a new player of his choice (but not himself).
At the start of each new round, the Clock cards are shuffled and the pile placed face down.
Advice for Players
Hunters: When you give Renfield an Incantation card, tell the other players. If you do not have any Incantation cards, tell the other players, but never lie!
Vampire: Do not hesitate to lie. You can give Renfield a Bite card but pretend you gave him a Newspaper or an Incantation.
Renfield: Take part in discussions between players and do not hesitate to plant doubts if there are strong suspicions as to the Vampire's identity.
End of the Game
The game ends when one of the three following situations occurs:
A Player Kills A Character With The Ancestral Stake:
- If the Vampire dies, the Hunters win the game.
- If a Hunter dies, the Evil team wins the game.
All five rituals have been cast:
The Hunters win the game.
Five Bite cards have been placed in front of players (including the Vampire):
The Evil team wins the game.
In five-player games, four Bites are enough for the Evil team to win.