The Extraordinary Adventures of Baron Munchausen is a game of weaving tales of the most noble and extraordinary nature. Of course, we all know such stories often exaggerate the details to make them sound more grandiose than they truly are, but isn’t that what makes them so entertaining? The true story of how my nose was broken four years ago is dull indeed, but when I tell curious inquirers that it happened when I was fending off twenty-four ninjas while rescuing a basket of kittens atop a burning school bus that was about to plummet off a cliff, well… the look on their faces was far more amusing to me.
How to play
This new, third edition of The Extraordinary Adventures of Baron Munchausen by Fantasy Flight Games is somewhat of an expansion on the previous two games, offering twelve new variations. The rules are relatively minimal. The first player prompts the player on their left to regale them with a story of their choosing. This could be anything such as, “Tell us about the time you fended off that invading Mongolian horde with a banana” or “How precisely did you woo Catherine the Great and bring about the age of Russian Enlightenment?” From there, the challenged player begins telling the story with as much detail as possible. The other players may attempt to interrupt, distract, and prove the story false by wagering tokens. “But how could that be true if Genghis Khan had already seized all the bananas in eastern Asia?” The storyteller must then counter the argument with their own token, offering an explanation as to why their story is completely true or an excuse as to why that detail does not fit. Players can argue back and forth until one concedes. Once each player has told their story, all the players use their tokens to select their favorite tale.
There an element of roleplaying, but it’s up to the players as to how far they want to go with it. Players can design their own characters by creating fictitious titles, names, and backgrounds. The richer the background, the better.
The Extraordinary Adventures of Baron Munchausen is an excellent choice for people who enjoy games that require them to think on their feet and pay attention to detail. It’s also a great exercise for improvisational actors and writers. Even if you’re none of the above, you’re still going to enjoy the challenge and laughter that comes from telling ridiculous tales of heroism. Perhaps someday you will honor us with the story of how you rescued Sherlock Holmes from the clutches of Cthulhu and slayed the terrible beast in a duel.
Normally I’d advise you to go to Fantasy Flight Games’ The Extraordinary Adventures of Baron Munchausen page for more information, but what you will actually find there, much to my chagrin upon researching for this article, is a rather amusing description of the game from the Baron’s personal point of you view. And you can imagine how that is going to read.
Have you played The Extraordinary Adventures of Baron Munchausen before? Share your favorite stories with us in the comments!
Image credits: Fantasy Flight Games