How The Game Works
A game of No Thank You, Evil! involves a Guide and two to four other players. It’s a group game of make-believe, played in the joint imagination of the players and Guide. The Guide sets the scene, the players create characters and decide what they want their characters to do, and together they determine what happens next.
The Guide’s job is to understand the game, help the players create their characters and follow the rules, and be the storyteller who shapes the gameplay. A Guide may also be the “voice” of creatures and characters in the game. The Guide is usually a grownup, but an older child with a little experience with the game can take on this role as well.
Each player creates a character and then acts as that character. He uses the character’s special skills and equipment, and decides what actions his character will take. Maybe he wants to fight the dragon, win over the mayor, or beat the rabbit in a race.
How Does It Happen?
The Guide starts the story, using an adventure from the game or one she made up. The players take actions as their characters.
Whenever a character wants to take an action, the Guide decides how hard the action is (on a scale of 0 to 8). This is called the Goal.
If an action is something that a regular person can do most of the time, like talk to a friend, take a walk, or have some lunch, then the Goal is 0, and you don’t need to roll the die. You just do the thing you want to do.
If the action is harder, like fighting a creature, climbing a wall, or charming an evil sorceress, then the Goal is somewhere between 1 and 8. In that case, you make a roll to see if your action succeeds or fails.
This basic game mechanism is simple: Roll a die and see if your result equals or beats the Goal. You can make the Goal a bit easier if you Try Harder by spending a point from one of your Pools—but you only have so many points, so use them wisely!
“I want to hit the yawp with my frog slingshot!”
“To hit the yawp, you have to roll a 4 or higher. If you want to Try Harder, it will cost you 1 point from your Tough pool.”
“I want to Try Harder to hit the yawp, so I’m going to use 1 Tough.”
“OK, now you’ll only have to roll a 3 or higher. You rolled a 5! You hit the yawp right in the shoulder with your frog slingshot! The yawp bellows and staggers back.”
You can use your character’s special abilities, companions, and gear to help succeed at your actions, or to find different and creative ways to solve problems.
Depending on whether you succeed or fail, the Guide describes what happens as a result, relying on her imagination and creativity, and the adventure continues forward! It ends when the players reach the adventure’s goal and overcome the obstacles they’ve encountered along the way.