Well, my brave servants. I clearly COMMANDED you to kidnap the Princess and bring her to me. Did you carry out your mission? Did you? What do you mean, “no?” Explain yourselves before I hang you out to dry!
Count your blessings every day for the ineptitude of evil, routinely foiled by the hero, the everyman, or just plain dumb luck. Count those blessings a second time that you aren't one of those hapless minions left explaining to an evil mastermind why their plans failed, why Good still reigns supreme, and why Evil has been forced again to slink back into the shadows and create a new plan for world domination. After the monsters and minions have returned to their lairs, it's time to lay the blame. After all, the Dark Overlord's plans are always foolproof, leaving the minions to explain what went wrong this time, lest they face their master's wrath!
In Aye, Dark Overlord!, you and three to six friends gather around the table to pass the buck and explain the most recent failure to your unforgiving Dark Overlord, coming up with creative excuses in the hope that he will spare you and aim his withering look at another peon. Build and demolish alliances with your fellow Servants as needed to save your own skin in this fun fantasy party game.
Now, for the first time, you’ll be able to choose between two distinct versions of Aye, Dark Overlord!, or even mix them together to maximize the hilarity. The classic 2005 version of the game is re-released in Aye, Dark Overlord! The Red Box, faithfully reproducing all the buck-passing and backstabbing of the original game. That’s not the end, though, because you can tell completely new stories of your mishaps with Aye, Dark Overlord! The Green Box, which includes new actions and an entirely new set of Hint cards featuring the hilarious and stunning artwork of Italian comic artist Riccardo Crosa, such as Occult Hunters, The Beast from the Labyrinth, The Jar with a Thousand Demons, and Impossible Math Calculations!
Grovel as Servants
When the boss comes calling, it's every minion, orc, and goblin for themselves! Each Servant player is expected to do their best to convince the player posing as the Dark Overlord that this week's failure wasn't their fault. In addition to your cunning wit, you will have access to Hint cards and Action cards to help you escape Withering Looks from your master.
Hint cards are the narrative cues a Servant builds his or her story around and they come in six different types—Person, Object, Place, Monster, Event, and Wild. Players can draw inspiration from the description on the card, the title, or the art—whatever makes their story work. Craft a tale from your Hint cards to explain why the world hasn't fallen to its knees before your Dark Overlord, and if it's good enough, you just might be spared.
For instance, you might say…
My L-l-lord, it's not my fault the Princess is still in her castle! The squamous Old Squid Lord of Clan Thel left a trail of terrible slime just outside the Door to the Dark Tower, and the first goblin out the door slipped and fell. Then the next goblin slipped and fell, and the next goblin too, and, and—you can see where this is going—by the time I reached the door, all of the expendable troops we had available were in a pile of bodies, crying about sprained ankles and slipped discs. They couldn't even stand, let alone march on the Princess's castle!
If the Dark Overlord is not satisfied by your performance, though, you may be the minion who pays the price for them all.
Scheme and Sabotage
A Servant doesn't necessarily need to tell the best tale in order to survive the wrath of the Dark Overlord, and Action cards let you sabotage the competition to save your skin. Shift the blame to another player before your story peters off, cast doubt on another Servant's excuses, or force them to think on their feet by switching hands at the last minute.
Action cards are played in combination with a Hint card to perform one of four actions. Contained in both boxes are the Pass the Buck and Freeze actions, which former Aye, Dark Overlord! players will be familiar with. Completely new to the The Green Box are two additional actions: Back of the Line and No Way!
Pass the Buck is played with a Hint card at the end of your story, forcing another player to start their turn immediately and allowing you to escape the Withering Stare of the Dark Overlord.
Freeze lets a Servant interrupt another player's story with a Hint card.
Back of the Line switches your hand with another Servant's to catch them off-guard (only in The Green Box).
No Way! forces another Servant to discard their hand and draw just one Action card, hoping it can save them (only in The Green Box).
Even the best tale might not withstand another player's Freeze card—could you explain why another Servant saw you meeting with The Other Dark Overlord or plotting with The Traitor? Imagine the havoc a well-placed Back of the Line will cause for a Servant who has been slowly crafting a story that connects their Hint cards. Tell your tallest tales, and be sure no one else can top yours.
Reign as the Dark Overlord
The Servants need someone to explain themselves to and to cower in front of. One player in each game will take the role of the Dark Overlord, serving as judge, jury, and the eventual executioner of the Servant who is deemed responsible for this week's failure.
As the Dark Overlord, everyone must serve you. You are not bound by Hint cards the way a Servant is; expand the story and interject with your own explanations as you see fit. Feel free to put a Servant on the spot and interrupt them to demand further explanation. You might suggest, “And just what was the Old Squid Lord doing so far from the Demonic Pyramid of Clan Thel in the first place, minion?” When a Servant fails you, they discover the power of the Dark Overlord in one card: the Withering Look.
Withering Looks are special cards that are handed out to Servants who have earned the disapproval of the Dark Overlord. Dark Lords typically dispense Withering Looks to Servants for:
An unacceptable use of a Hint card.
Having no Hint cards left to tell a story.
Having no Pass the Buck card to shift the blame.
Being distracting to another Servant trying to appease the Dark Overlord.
Making up boring excuses.
Or pretty much anything else you don’t like.
As supreme ruler of all things dark and evil, you are not bound by the laws of man or rulebook and must decide for yourself what infractions deserve a Withering Look. It's possible and entirely understandable for loudly munching on snacks to be the most grievous offense in your kingdom. Hand out Withering Looks at your whim, but remember, a Servant who has received three Withering Looks has earned the scorn of the Dark Overlord and will be blamed for the latest failure, ending the game, and causing a new player to be appointed Dark Overlord…
Beware the Withering Look!
Gather your minions for a night of fantasy fun and storytelling with Aye, Dark Overlord! Be sure to give everyone a chance at playing the dictatorial Rigor Mortis (or their fantasy villain of choice) so everyone knows what it feels like to give out one final withering look to those who fail you. Get started with The Red Box or The Green Box—if you're feeling adventurous, pick up both for a night of storytelling fun!
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Aye, Dark Overlord! The Green Box
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