Basic rules
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This page is about very basic rules of Cooloo from the view of a normal player (not the host).


Game requires several players (usually at least 9) and a host (i.e. Game Master), who is called Mannitou. Game has developed many different rulesets, therefore to avoid problems connected with their existence, here are the two most important rules:

1. Mannitou is always right.
2. Mannitou is also always required to explain you what he believes to be right.

Of course, you can discuss with Mannitou which rules are better, but we encourage you to do that before or after a game. Doing it during one is usually inflammatory and, to be honest, quite unnecesary.

Character and faction

Right on the beginning of the game you are assigned (typically random, or pseudo-random) character by Mannitou. This 'personality' is secret to other players. Typical character has some unusual properties overriding some of the 'normal' game rules. Usually it is some kind of one-use skill, like removing another player from the game (see: death), or some passive ability. There a lot of different character-specific powers, but don't feel overwhelmed - you don't have to memorize them all.

Each character also puts you into a certain faction. All players from one faction are a team working towards a common goal. Only one faction can win, so once it happens, the game ends. Factions usually have some team skills, though there are some who do not. In most cases members of a faction know each other and each other's characters, but again - this is not a rule admitting no exception.

You are not allowed to make others sure about your character (i.e. show a card given to you by Mannitou) by normal means. This may sometimes happen though, if a rule allows or requires it.


Statuette is imaginary object that is always, in game terms, owned by one of the players.
Many factions' goals involve statuette in some way. Also, Mannitou shall always announce when another faction gets hold of it.

"Life and death" of a player

Player may die in the world of the game. At the moment of death player's character is revealed to everyone. Normally, death makes them sure to not get into game again, so they are allowed to observe it all the time for entertainment. However, there are rules extensions introducing player ressurections. Playing with such rules makes dead players unable to watch the secret happenings (the night part) of the game, unless they are unressurectable.
Dead player who was a member of the faction which won the game is still considered to be a winner, as there is nothing like 'solo victory'.

Dead player cannot own the statuette. If the statuette owner is killed during night, the killer takes hold of it. If this happens during day though, the Citizens get it by strip-searching the dead and win the game immediately.

Game flow

Game is split into nights and days. The first phase of the game is the zero night. Then follows the first day, subsequently the first night, repeat ad nauseum.

Gameplay during night

During night Mannitou utilises long text sheet known as sequence to allow (or force) the players/factions to use their skills and other actions. During night players close eyes and hide them in hand in order not to reveal character's identity, as the sequence is organized by characters. This is called 'sleeping'.

Gameplay during day

Day gameplay is unconstrained discussion in which all players make decisions pretending to be citizens. Day may contain duels, and ends with strip-search optionally followed by mistreating.

Duel between two players is basically based on other players voting on death of one of them. Number of duels per day is limited.

Strip-search is based on checking certain number of people as potential statuette owners. Supposing it is owned by one of them, citizens win. Else players may decide to mistreat one of strip-searched players, which means either hanging (killing in effect) or just to examine them and make their character known to public. Usually mistreating is restricted even futher.

Basic factions

Following factions are present in every Cooloo game considered normal.

Citizens Do not know each other. They win if they have the statuette at any point during day.
Bandits Know each other. They win if they have the statuette on the beginning of the day after set number of nights.
Indians Know each other. They win if they will eliminate every other player.

Following factions are relatively popular too.

Aliens Know each other. They win after having the statuette at set moment of the night thrice.
Lucky Luke An outsider. Wins after having the statuette at just beginning of the night.
Janos An outsider. Wins after getting hung.

During first games of Cooloo player is improbable to meet another factions currently.


This are dynamically applied rule changes. Again, these are improbable to happen during your first games.

Basic rule priorities

From the least 'important' ones:

  1. Basic rules
  2. Character rules
  3. Event rules
  4. Selected rule modifications

The end tip

This text is not easiest way to understand the rules. Playing a game with experienced Mannitou or reading a log from a game may help though.

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