by Hans ten Cate
Sunday, 22 September 1996



1.0 Game Play
2.0 Game Set-Up
3.0 Order of Play
4.0 Cards
5.0 Joining the Round Table
6.0 Movement
7.0 Resolving Disputes
8.0 Castles
9.0 Villages
10.0 Pages
11.0 Items
12.0 Write Yer Own™ Cards
13.0 Timing
14.0 Avalon
15.0 Ending the Game
16.0 Optional Rules
Frequently Asked Questions

Monty Python and the Holy Grail, The Collectible Card Game (CCG). Design Copyright © 1996 Kenzer & Co. All rights reserved; Monty Python and the Holy Grail is a trademark of Python (Monty) Pictures, Limited.


7.1 Disputes. Disputes occur when characters enter an area containing an adversary or peril (any knight or persona that refuses to join a player's Round Table is also an adversary). There are two ways to deal with adversaries in MPHG: Combat and Wits.

7.2 Combat. When combat occurs, both players draw a grail number and add it to the lead character's or adversary's combat value. The resulting totals are then compared. The highest total wins and the loser is slain and placed in the dead cart. If the numbers are equal, it's a draw and the battle continues next turn.

Example 7.1: Arthur, Lancelot and Brave Sir Robin move into a new area of England. The card is turned over to reveal Sir Gawain. Arthur first attempts to convince Gawain to join the Round Table. A Round Table draw is made and Gawain refuses to join. Not wanting to retreat, Arthur orders Lancelot to do battle with Gawain (thus Lancelot is the "lead knight"). Lancelot (combat 8) draws a 3 grail number. His total is 11. Gawain (combat 4) draws a 6, for a total of 10. Since Lancelot's total is higher, Gawain is slain and placed in the dead cart. Had their numbers been equal, the combat would continue during the player's next turn.

7.3 Knight-assist Bonus. If knights are combating a peril, the lead knight may add a +1 to his combat value for each other knight in his Round Table. If the knights lose, the lead knight is slain.

Example 7.2: Arthur, Lancelot and Bedevere move into a new area of England. The card is turned over to reveal the Vicious Chicken of Bristol, combat 3. Arthur orders the knights to attack the Chicken, with Lancelot as the "lead knight." Lancelot (combat 8) draws a 3 grail number. His total is 11. But now he can also add a +1 each for Arthur and Bedevere who assist him against the vicious beast. So Lancelot's total is 13. The Chicken draws a 2, for a total of 5; Lancelot, Arthur and Bedevere easily dispatch the feathered menace and the Lands are safe once more. Note that if the Chicken had exceeded Lancelot's total, only Lancelot would have been killed, even though Arthur and Bedevere assisted.

7.4 Have Wits. If the adversary has a Wits ability score, it can be defeated through a Battle of Wits. A Battle of Wits follows the same procedure as combat, however, the Wits ability is used for the battlers. The higher number outwits the opponent. If the knights win, they remain unaffected by the adversary and may enter the space occupied by the adversary, but the adversary remains. If the adversary wins, the knights are subject to the special effects listed on the adversary's card, or, if none, may not enter the space this turn. Ties indicate a draw, just as in combat.

7.5 Multi-talented Adversaries. When an adversary that has both wits and combat is first encountered, the knights choose what method of dispute resolution to use. An adversary with both a combat ability and wits ability may only be outwitted once, thereafter it must be combated.

7.6 Running away. In order to run away, the player must stand and say: "Run Away! Run Away!" There are no limits to the number of times knights may run away and the knights may run away at any time prior to drawing a grail number to resolve a dispute. However, they must always run away towards the Round Table Area (down) or back to the area from whence they came (opponent's choice if they are different). The Round Table may not voluntarily run away to an unexplored area of England (an area with its original face-down card). If a player can only run away down to unexplored or impassable areas, her opponent chooses to where she retreats from among the unexplored areas or any adjacent area in the case of impassable areas. Knights (and their Round Table) may run away to an area occupied by an adversary, but are subject to dispute with the adversary. Exception: once in Avalon, the knights may run away to either the last area they came from or to one of the top two areas of England.


8.1 The Castle Icon. Characters can only occupy a castle if they have a castle icon or are a member of a Round Table.

Why enter a castle? To pass them?

8.1 The Castle Table. Castles containing knights or adversaries with both Combat and Wits abilities may not be passed without first consulting the card's castle table. To consult the castle chart, subtract the castle inhabitant's Wits from the Wits of any one member of the player's Round Table (this will sometimes result in a negative value). The advancing player then adds two grail numbers. The total is compared to the chart on the castle card and the results are followed. The castle table may not be consulted after that castle has been assaulted (see below), unless there is a new adversary in the castle.

Castles only have knights, adversaries, or personas in them when the castle cards say they do. Typically, your opponent will be asked to search through his or her deck for an appropriate knight, adversary, or persona to put into the castle.

Example 8.1: Arthur, Ector and Galahad ride up to castle Tintagel in England accompanied by 4 pages. The castle is occupied by Bors (wits 4). Arthur attempts to parley and gain access to the castle. Player A (whose turn it is) draws two grail numbers: 4 and 2. Player A then adds Arthur's wits (Arthur is the lead knight here) of 5 to the total and then subtracts Bors' wits (of 4) for a total of 7 (4+2+5-4). The castle chart shows that a 7 does not allow passage. Arthur and his Round Table may either wait until next turn and again consult the chart, immediately assault the castle or run away.

8.2 Adversaries With No Combat Ability. Castles occupied by personas or adversaries who do not have a combat ability may be freely entered without consulting the castle table. The adversary may still need to be defeated, however. Knights may not pass a castle containing adversaries or personas with no combat value without first entering the castle and encountering the adversary (they entice the knights to enter the castle).

8.3 Assaulting Castles. Castles may be assaulted only after consulting the castle table at least once. Castles are assaulted as follows: the attacking player assigns a lead knight and adds a +1 combat value to that knight for each additional knight in the Round Table. The defenders add the defense value of the castle (printed on the card) to their combat value. Both players draw a grail number and add it to their totals, highest number wins, just as in combat. If the knights lose, the lead knight is slain. If the defenders lose, the attackers have breached the castle and are inside. The attacking knights gain any bonus or effects (such as drawing of extra cards or defense bonus against adversaries not inside the castle) of being inside the castle. The defenders must still be dealt with during the following turn using normal combat or wits.

Example 8.2: Assume Arthur (in Example 8.1 above) decides to assault the castle. Player A chooses Arthur as his champion (combat 5). He adds +2, +1 each for Ector and Galahad, for a total of seven. Player O adds Bors' combat of 4 to the castle defense bonus of 4, for a total of 8. Both players draw a grail number and add it to their total. If Bors' total exceeds Arthur's, Arthur is slain (but not Galahad or Ector). If there is a tie, the assault continues next turn. If Arthur's total exceeds Bors' total, the knights have breached the castle and are inside.

Example 8.3: Assume Arthur's total in Example 8.2 exceeded Bors' total. The next turn, Player A can take advantage of Arthur's being inside the castle by drawing the extra cards. However, Arthur may not advance unless Bors is either outwitted or defeated through combat. Bors no longer receives the castle bonus and Arthur (or any other champion Player A now chooses) may no longer receive the knight assist bonus from allied knights.

8.4 Not-to-enter-the-castle. You may avoid castle effects by stating that your knights will remain outside of the castle.


9.1 The Village Table. If the knights enter an area that contains a village, the controlling player must immediately draw a grail number and consult the Village Table.

10.0 PAGES

10.1 Sweet Chauncey?!? Pages may carry one item and support one knight (unless stated otherwise on the card). Pages may not move (except to run away) or serve any other purpose. Pages must serve the knight they are assigned until either the page or the knight dies.

11.0 ITEMS

11.1 Bring Up the Extra Coconuts. Items must be put into play by assigning a page to carry it. The following turn a knight or persona may use the item or its properties. Thus, the effects of an item can never be used immediately from a player's hand, they must spend one turn being "assigned" to a page.


12.1 Customize! Write Yer Own™ cards make MPHG the only truly customizable card game. In order to use one for anything other than the secondary ability, you must permanently write the abilities of the card in the spaces provided. The abilities should be comparable to other MPHG cards of that type (e.g., a Write Yer Own™ item card should be similar in power to other item cards). Grail numbers over seven are not allowed. Although not necessary for play, we strongly suggest that you also draw a picture of the card on the blank space provided. Send us your creations and who knows, you may influence a new card in a future MPHG set!


13.1 Grail Numbers. Unless stated otherwise on the card, all card effects that affect anything requiring the use of grail numbers (such as resolving disputes or castle tables) must be played before the grail numbers are drawn. All players must give their opponents a chance to play as many cards as they would like before grail numbers are drawn.

13.2 Tag-backs Are O.K. Players may decide to play one or more cards after their opponent plays a card.

13.3 No Retractions. Once announced as being in play, a card may not be retracted.

13.4 Precedence. In general, the last card played takes precedence when determining which of two contradictory effects take place. For example, a player might play a card that ensures a knight will automatically join his Round Table when invited. However, his opponent might immediately counter with a card that stops any knights from joining the Round Table for 1 turn. The second card played takes precedence and both cards are placed in the dead cart.


14.1 Moving to Avalon. Once the knights have reached one of the top two areas in England, they may move to any area in Avalon whether or not it is adjacent to the area in England they are leaving. Likewise, once in Avalon, the knights may move to any other area in Avalon regardless of whether they are adjacent. If, at any time while in Avalon, a player has no knights in play during his draw phase that player immediately loses the game.


15.1 Finding the Grail. After a player has defeated all the adversaries in any area of Avalon, she may have her knights search for the Grail. To do this, the player draws a grail number, if it is six or greater she wins. Each area of Avalon may only be searched once, i.e., both players cannot search the same area of Avalon. For each area of Avalon unsuccessfully searched by any player, a cumulative bonus of +1 is added to the grail number of the next search by any player. Note that it is possible for all areas of Avalon to be searched and the Grail not to be found. In this case, the game is a draw and the players must play again each adding a new card to the existing ante.

15.2 Losing the Game. Any player who runs out of cards in his deck for any reason automatically loses the game. Certain cards (e.g., Slaying of the Historian) may also cause a player's game to end early.

15.3 Winning the Ante. The ante is won only if a player finds the Holy Grail. If a player's opponent is defeated before the player finds the Grail, the player may continue to search for the Grail until she runs out of cards, unsuccessfully searches all areas of Avalon, gives up in despair, calls it a draw or finds the Holy Grail. To resolve conflict when there are no other players left, the player must first draw a grail number for any adversaries and then a grail number for herself.


16.1 Sick of the Quotes. If all players agree before the game begins, you may disregard any of the rules.

16.2 Double the Ante. We recommend doubling the ante like the doubling cube in Backgammon. For those of you who do not know how this works, read on. Any player may announce that he is doubling the ante after his turn is over. His opponent must then either agree to double the ante or concede the game. Once a particular player has doubled the ante, he may not double it again until all other players have also doubled the ante, and so on. Example: Player 1 announces that he wishes to double the ante and Player 2 agrees. Both players then place a second ante card from the top of their respective decks into their ante pile. There are now four cards total in the ante pile (note that Player 1 may not double the ante again, until after Player 2 first doubles the ante). A few turns later Player 2 now gains the upper hand (perhaps with some nasty taunts) and decides to double the ante. Player 1 must either concede the game or agree. If Player 1 agrees, both players place four cards in the ante (2 doubled is four) for a total of 16 cards in the ante, 8 from each player!

16.3 Games With More Than Two Players. MPHG is easily adaptable for more than two players. For games of three or more players, each player lays out one card in Avalon. The player who goes first then lays out an additional card in Avalon. The player on the left of the player whose turn it is always draws grail numbers for adversaries, et. al. We recommend the use of many Get on with it! cards in large multi-player games.


Question 1. When I turn a card face-up in England or Avalon, can my opponent choose for the secondary property to take effect? No, your opponent chooses whether or not you will be affected by the primary property only, unless the card is a page (not played by your opponent) in which case the secondary property automatically takes effect.

Question 2. If you run away to a space occupied by an adversary and are subject to dispute with the adversary, when does this take place? The dispute takes place as soon as the player's knights enter the space that the adversary or peril is occupying.

Question 3. Can there ever be an empty space in England or Avalon? Yes, this would represent open land which is not named or claimed by anyone.

Question 4. If a knight is killed or trapped does his page get killed or trapped? No, the page remains with the rest of the Round Table even if his knight is killed or eliminated; he is just an extra member of the group.

Question 5. Can you trade possessions between pages? Yes, subject to the maximum carrying restrictions.

Question 6. Can I play a card, such as an adversary, directly on a space occupied by my opponent? No, once your opponent controls a space you may not play an adversary on it until he leaves. You may play other cards such as villages, lands or castles in that space.

Question 7. Can I run away from a village? No, you must be facing an adversary in order to run away.

Question 8. What happens if a card is turned up in my England that is a duplicate of another card in my England? The most recent card turned up should be placed in the dead cart and replaced if there is no other permanent card occupying that space.

Question 9. Can I occupy the same space as my opponent? No.

Question 10. Can I move into my opponent's England? No.


Game design: Brian Jelke, Steven Johansson, David Kenzer, Adam Niepomnik, Mark Schultz

Card design & layout: Gerda Hansen, Brian Jelke, Steven Johansson, David Kenzer, Jennifer Kenzer, Rebecca Tudor, Mark Tudor

Play-testers: Timothy Anton, David Applegate, David Berent, Dan Brown, James Colletti, Deborah Daigle, Curt Duval, Keith Golbach, Paul Herkes, Lauren Jackson, Ernest Kemnetz, Earl J. Llama, Jim Moy, Mark Mueller, Richard Rhyan, Mike Selk.


Monty Python and the Holy Grail CCG is a card game conceived, produced and manufactured by Kenzer & Company, the exclusive holder of the worldwide card game license from Python (Monty) Pictures, Ltd.

Rulebook and card content and design © Copyright 1996 Kenzer & Company, All Rights Reserved. Movie stills © NFTC Ltd.

Kenzer & Company, the Kenzer & Company logo, the various icons and "Write Yer Own" are trademarks of Kenzer and Company. Manufactured in the United States of America.


The designers of the game hired to correct any mistakes the original creators made before being sacked, wish it to be known that they have just been sacked. The following [undoubtedly incomplete] errata list has been completed in an entirely different style at great expense and at the last minute.

The following cards: Humphrey the Page, the 'generic' Page and Patsy have icons in which the sword is off-center and difficult to see. It's definitely there though! We are aware that Arthur is the Sovereign and not the mere Ruler of all England. Sorry for the demotion old boy. On Excalibur, "whose" is mistakenly spelled "who's". The proofreader responsible for this gaffe has been demoted to a page. "Sacrifice" is a very early beta test version way of saying "place in the dead cart". How'd that get in there? I have the brain of a duck you know.