Once you are familiar with Red November, you can try one or more of the following optional rules. Just make sure that all players agree on which optional rules (if any) will be used before the game begins.
To make the game more challenging, instead of placing the "Respite" Event Cards in the discard pile when drawn, remove them from play. The second time through, the Event Deck will be even more disaster-packed.
To make the game even more challenging, draw and resolve a number of Event Cards equal to the number of players before the first turn.
Less Deadly Dying
Players who don't care for player elimination in their games can use the following optional rule:
When a gnome dies, remove the player's gnome from the board, but do not remove the Ghost Time Keeper or the player's Time Keeper from the Time Track.
The player whose gnome perished discards all of his Item Cards and returns his Gnome Card to the sober side. Then, the player rolls the die to determine a random room.
A new gnome, sober but itemless, stumbles out of his hiding place there to take the place of our brave, fallen sailor. The game then continues as normal.
Players who want even more carnage in their game of Red November, or a means of stopping a comrade from abandoning ship, can use the following "Crazed Gnomes" optional rule:
Throughout the game, the paranoid gnomes keep all of their Item Cards secret from the other gnomes. If the active gnome plays a Crowbar and his gnome is in the same room as another gnome, he may take the Attack Gnome action, which costs one minute to perform, plus two additional minutes if the room is flooded.
When an attack is declared, the defending player may play a Crowbar in response to defend himself, even though it is not his turn. If he fails to do so, the defending gnome is immediately slain.
If the defending player does play a Crowbar, each of the two players rolls the die and subtracts his current intoxication level. The high roller's gnome slays the low roller's gnome, with ties going to the attacker.
The winner of the fight takes the loser's Item Cards. Gnome death is resolved normally (as modified by Less Deadly Dying, if that optional rule is being used).
When playing the game with two players, each player controls two gnomes. Each gnome keeps his items separate from the other gnomes and must trade items as per the rules. The "Abandon Comrades" action is ignored.
When playing the game solo, the player must control at least three gnomes (for a greater challenge, the player may opt to control more gnomes).
Each gnome keeps his items separate from the other gnomes and must trade items as per the rules. The "Abandon Comrades" action is ignored.