Friday, April 20, 2012

Things: Rules

Welcome to "Things", a horror-suspense-thriller-action game in a sci-fi environment. The game is based on Carpenter's movie "The Thing" and can be played as such as well as in any other modern setting.

The game has been designed for 3 players but it can be easily converted into a 2-player game. One player will take the role of hero Mac Reedy, the 2nd player the human survivors and the 3d player the role of the Things; a psychopathic alien life-form made of conscious living blood cells.

Mac Reedy and humans have to destroy the Things by killing the Overspawn. The Things try to do the same by killing all human leaders. The approach for doing so will be very different for all sides. Enjoy!

Basic concepts


Models move 6" except for the spawns who have a movement rate of 3". Hatches, doors and windows can be opened by spending 1" of the model's move. Ladders and stairs have no other effect than decreasing their height from the movement.

Line of sight

The game is set at night and in a snowstorm. A model sees 6" far in a 360° arc of vision. The visibility's range is due to the dark and the difficult conditions of the environment.

When models are on the inside of structures greater than 6" wide, they can see all of the inside as long as the lights are on. 


Counters are an important part of the game. At the start of the game, they are all put in a bag. Each turn (in the encounters phase) a new counter will be picked randomly and positioned on the table by the Things player. A counter is deployed out of sight of a human model, within 6" of the colony and more than 6" from another counter.

They are revealed as soon as a human model has them in sight. It is possible for a model to perform a run action and reveal all counters on it's path.

Fleir moves at 6" of a counter and reveals it. It's a blood trace. In later actions, the Things player may ask Fleir to follow the blood trace towards the closest counter

No more than 12 counters can be present on the tabletop at any time.

The only action counters can perform is to move and they may not be discovered doing so. They can not be shot at, not even by a flame thrower or dynamite. In the last case they are revealed and placed outside the template zone. Once revealed, a counter may not be activated any more, except if it's a creature.

There are 3 type of counters: creature, event and gear counters.

: A creature counter may be replaced by the appropriate model by the Things player and may perform its action as a model.
  • Partial (5): Change this counter into a partial model.
  • Changeling (3): Change this counter into a changeling model.
  • Dog imitation (2): Change this counter into a dog imitation model.
  • Spawn (2): Change this counter into a spawn model.
  • Overspawn (1): Change this counter into the overspawn model.
Events: The special rule of the counter is applied once revealed by a human model.
  • Nothing (2): This is a dummy
  • Trace of blood (2): Place the trace counter next to the model. The human player has to spend, if asked by the Things player, 1 action each phase to reveal the closest counter.
  • False evidence (1): The player turn stops, and the Things player may move up to 4 models directly and in the opposite direction of Mac Reedy.
  • Freezing cold (3): This model has 3 turns to get inside or die frozen. Use tokens to indicate this.
  • Last bullet (2): This model will only be able to shoot one last shot. Place the counter next the model to remember.
  • Extinguished lights (1): All the lights go down, this can be repaired by performing a key action in contact of the generator.
  • Strange behavior (1): This model (except Mac Reedy) must make a run action performed by the Things player.
  Gear: Gear has to be picked up by a human model.
  • Flare (2): This model receives a flare. He has to spend a "perform a key action" to use the flare. He has then a loss of 12". One use. 
  • Evidence (3): The human player may ask the Things player to know if one nominated model is imitated. If this is the case, he transforms into a changeling.
  • Flamer (2): Replace this counter by a flamer with 3 shots.
  • Dynamite (2): Replace this counter by 3 dynamite shots.
  • Tactical light (1): This model may perform a move + spot + shoot action with a basic weapon. Place the counter next to the model to indicate this.
  • Investigation lead (1): The human player may turn up to 3 counters and reveal them.
  • Survivor (1): Replace this counter by the survivor model. The model is already observed. The survivor has no weapons.

Counters do normally not re-enter the bag. it will be stated otherwise in the scenario.

Tip: Glue the counters on plastic slotta bases to facilitate their use.

The turn 


In Things, each player has a limited number of actions per turn. The turn is divided in 4 phases. A new turn will then start until one side completes his objectives :

Phase 1 - Encounters:
A new counter is placed by the Things player. It must be deployed out of sight of any human model and at 6" from another counter. It also can't be deployed further than 6" of the colony. If the conditions do not fit, the counter goes back into the bag.

Phase 2 - The "Things":
In this phase, the Things player may spend 2 actions. Only 1 action may be spend on the same model or counter in the same phase.

Phase 3 - Mac-Reedy:
Mac Reedy has one action only. A 2nd action can be taken from the human survivors player (see later).

Phase 4 - The Human Survivors:
The player has 2 actions at his disposal. He has only 1 action if the Mac Reedy player took him an action in the previous phase. No model from the Human player may perform more than 1 action in a turn.

The Things player

He plays the monsters and the event counters in the Things phase. He will also use a chart to note secretly who has been observed, who's possibly infected and who's an imitation. In most cases, the Things player objectives is to imitate the humans or absorb the leaders.

Actions that the Things player may perform:

Run: Move the creature + 1D6"

Move counter: Move a counter up to 6"

Place counter: Take a new counter in the bag and place it on the tabletop.

Attack: This is the only way to get in contact with an enemy model. Move the creature and perform an attack in close combat. Both players roll a D6. The highest score wins and pushes the enemy 1" back. Score to absorb a human is 4+. If the human survives the attack, he will be possibly infected (he has been in contact). Mac Reedy can not be infected. The Things player should secretly note this.

 Once a Things creature comes into base contact with a human model, he will be possibly infected

Mutate: For a changeling or dog imitation; change the model into a spawn with 3 wounds.
For an imitation; the human model becomes a changeling. This action may be played at any point during the game turn.

Observe: Note secretly which human is observed by one of your models. This action may also be used as a bluff towards the human player.

Spread infection: Roll a dice. On a roll of 6, a possibly infected and observed human becomes an imitation. You get a +1 for every additional possibly infected and imitated human.

Absorb and make new imitation: Imitation only. If the imitation has line of sight of an already observed human and is not in sight of other humans, the human becomes an imitation (note secretly!). This action may also be used as a bluff towards the human player.

Irons has been observed in the previous turn. No other humans are in sight. Adults (who is an imitation) can now absorb and make an new imitation out of Irons

Terrorize: You may perform a terrorize action on any human model except Mac Reedy. Indicated the model, roll a D6 and check the result:

1. Fear control: the human model may perform a free action immediately
2. Clear: nothing happens
3. Fear: You may move the human model up to 6"
4. Terror: The model is in terror state (place a terror counter)
5. Terror: The model is in terror state and is moved 6" by the Things player (place a terror-counter).
6. Total panic: The model may be moved as a run action and is in terror stat.

Terror-state: Humans can do nothing except getting out of their terror. Creatures get a +2 on their roll when they attack them. Mac Reedy is never in terror-state. Spawns and the overspawn in sight cause a +2 on the terrorize roll. Changelings and dog imitations cause a +1.



Partials are little parts of the overspawn's consciousness that act independently in a primal instinctive manner. Created by the constantly changing deluges of the overspawn's mind, they serve primarly for spreading the disease of the infection.
  • Move: up to 6"
  • 1 Wound
  • Little creature: In attack, partials need a 6 on their dice roll to absorb a human model. Additionally, human models can't use the abilities of their basic weapons (+1 when fired twice on same target or aiming) when firing at them.


When an imitation fails to conserve its infiltrated state it reveals itself as an absurd and twisted copy inspired by the previously absorbed creature. The virus distorts his own living cells and mutates the body in various perturbing forms. It carries the intelligence of the last imitated life form, mixed and disturbed by the overspawn's viral conscience.
  • Move: Up to 6"
  • 1 Wound
  • Viral life preservation: when a changeling is killed, it leaves a partial behind. It does so even if the changeling takes more wounds then he can sustain.
 Fleir kills a changeling just in time. But the creature leaves a living part behind

Dog imitation 


The virus can touch many life forms as long as it sustains blood. When infected blood cells turn into unnatural mutations, the animal transforms into a horrible and disgusting creature with enhanced predatory senses and instincts.
  • Move: Up to 6".
  • 2 wounds
  • Fast: The dog imitation runs up to 12".  


Constantly tortured by overreacting mutating cells, the spawn is comparable to an organic vessel of ever growing flesh, cracking bones and spilled blood.
  • Move: Up to 3".
  • 3 wounds


This is the ultimate "Things" creature. The materialization of all the recently absorbed lifeforms in one mutating towering mass, dominated by a cunning mind and driven by an insatiable hunger towards expansion. It telepathically controls its creations to infect all living blood cells.
  • Move: Up to 3". 
  • Hit and run: Anytime the overspawn is more than 12" from any human, the Things player can take the model from the tabletop. The counter is placed back into the bag.


Through this recently infected body, the overspawn's mind observes intelligent lifeforms to infiltrate and absorb them, creating new imitations. It looks like the man next to you or it even could be you.
The only thing he can do is reveal itself into a changeling, to absorb and imitate.
  • Imitation: You start with one imitation amongst the human ranks. This is noted secretly on your chart at the beginning of the game. The human player activates the model as he is one of his, until you decide to reveal him with a mutate action. As long he's an imitation, the model may only use "observe" or "absorb and make new imitation" as actions.

Human players

Mac Reedy

You play the hero. You know for sure that one or more of the other survivors are not who they are supposed to be and you can only trust yourself. Your objectives are to survive.
The model is activated in the Mac Reedy phase and has 1 action.  He caries a basic weapon. As a human, Mac Reedy may perform all actions in the list of human actions.
  • The hero: Mac Ready can steal an action from the human survivors once in a turn. The survivor player may chose to agree. If not, both players roll a D6 and the highest score wins. Ties go in favor of the survivor player. If a new leader is named, Mac Reedy loses this ability. He gains the special rule back by performing a "name a new leader" action.

 The Survivors

You play a team of 9 survivors. Your objective in most scenarios will be to survive with 3 "clean" models. To do so you will have only 2 actions per turn to spent. Some of them have a specialization and they are all armed with a basic weapon.
  • Doors - the radio operator: A human model at 2" from the radio operator can give his action to any other human survivor model.
  • Doc Fleir - the medic: He carries a blood-sample testing machine and can take the blood test (see actions).
  • Holmer - the co-pilot: He functions as a pilot in the "Escape" scenario.
  • Blush - potential leader: 3 models are needed as a group to name Blush as the new leader. 
  • Adults - potential leader: 3 models are needed as a group to name Adults as the new leader. 
                - co-pilot : He functions as a pilot in the "Escape" scenario.
  • Irons - the heavy weapon: He carries the heavy machine gun.
  • Cubbings - The technician: He can barricade a door for 1" of his move. He can repair the generator for 1" of his move in the "Generator" scenario.

The actions that human models can perform:

Run: The model may move up to 6" and may then move an additional D6".

Shoot weapon: The model may move up to 6" and fire its weapon during its move.
  • Basic weapon: Roll one die to hit: 4+. A model firing its basic weapon 2 times on the same enemy model, benefits from a + 1 to the 2nd die roll.
  • Heavy machine gun: Roll three dices to hit: 4+
  • Flame thrower: place the template in base contact of the firing figure: every model under the template, is automatically hit: 1D3 wounds per model. 
  • Dynamite: place the center of the template in sight of the firing model. Any model touched by the template takes automatically 1 wound.
Fire at will: the model may not move, but shoots twice (basic weapon only).

Attack: The model may move up to 6" to get in base contact with an enemy model and perform an attack in close combat against it. Both players roll one D6. The highest score wins and pushes the enemy model 1" back. If the score of the die is 5+, the creature loses a wound. Note that with this action the model will be possibly infected.

Move as a group: All models at 2" of each other may move together as a group; they have to stay at 2" of each other at the end of their move. One of the models in the group may perform a shoot or spot action during its move. All models in this group count as having performed their action for the turn.

Move as a group is the best way to stay together

Spot: The model may move up to 6" and spot one counter with an additional D6" to the LoS range.  The player has to declare which counter he will spot before the roll is done.

Spot and shoot: Spot one counter over the 6" LoS. To do so, roll an additional D6" to the range. If the counter's in sight, the model may shoot.

Perform key-action: The model may move up to 6" and perform a key action at the end of its move. A key action can be: performing a search, barricade a door, use an item or take over an item from another friendly model in contact.

Get out of terror state: Costs 1 action.

Blood test: Leader or Medic only. At 2" of blood-sample testing machine, you may test a human at 2" of the leader. Ask the Things player if the model is clean. If he's not, he transforms into a changeling.

Name a new leader: The player needs 4 human models who are forming a group and not in sight of Mac Reedy. To form a group, models have to be at 2" from each other. One of these models may then be nominated as the new leader. There can be only one leader.


  1. This is amazing, love the Thing sculpts and painting - grotesque and horrifying as it should be!

    I'll make sure to post a link to your blog and these rules tomorrow - this really needs to find a broad audience!


    1. Thanks mate ! Really appreciated :)

  2. wow WoW WOW!
    This is just fantastic - and your modelling is simply superb! Well done indeed :-)

  3. Absolutely amazing stuff! Consider yourself followed, thanks to Anatoli who directed me here! :)

  4. Rââââh !!! Enfin il nous la pond la règle de son jeu ! ;p
    Comme d'habitude, figurines et décorp tip-top, mais, euhh ... tu as une version "frenshie" du jeu ... lol ... ????

  5. That is a little bit of awesome.

  6. Aaahhh Chouette enfin les règles de ton jeu ;D

    Un ancien (Fabrice)

  7. Bien venu à bord, Fabrice :)