How to Play Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell in 6 Minutes – Rules Girl

I’m the Rules Girl and this is Jonathan
Strange and Mr. Norrell, an extraordinary
game of English Magic for 2-4 players.
In Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell, players
take on the role of an exceptional magician
while traversing across Europe attending dinner
parties and meeting influential personalities
of the 19th century. Players also learn and
increase the limits of their own magicianship,
in order to defeat the gentleman with the
thistle-down hair, and become the greatest
magician of the age.
You win the game by having the highest magicianship
at the end of the game, earned by completed
feats of magic, books of magic, your pupil,
and any spells granting magicianship.
Players start the game with a hand of cards
and must balance their social engagements
while developing their magic prowess.
Invitation and Introduction cards can be used
on their corresponding location for their
abilities or discarded for elements you’ve
studied or those elements depicted on the
current card of Marseilles.
Invitations represent social events around
Europe and grant extra introduction cards
and feats of magic. Introductions represent
important people of the era and grant players
prestige, which determines player turn order
and unlocks special connections for powerful
passive abilities.
Element tokens are used to complete the requirements
of feats of magic. When doing magic, players
can use books of magic to change specified
elements to a different element, or even duplicate
Completed feats of magic grant magicianship
toward your end-game score, as well as a one-time
use spell.
Each player also has a player board which
shows the six actions they can take as well
as the six connections they can make over
the course of the game, which unlock special
To start a round, move the year token to the
next space. Then, reveal the new card of Marseilles
and move the fairy token forward this many
spaces. This determines the new overall strength
of the fairy.
Finally, discard this book of magic, slide
the other two toward the newly empty space,
and reveal one new book of magic.
Now, players take their turns, starting with
the player furthest on the prestige track.
Players complete these parts of a turn in
this order:
Choose an action or still the waters
Do Magic
Confront the Fairy
Draw invitations and Tidy
There are six actions to choose from. When
you’ve selected an action, place an action
disc onto one of these locations to lock in
your action.
These three actions allow you to study a pair
of the six types of magic, letting you create
additional magic elements than only those
present on the card of Marseilles.
Taking the King’s Roads allows you to move
to any location on the board during Visits.
To acquire a book of magic, take any of the
three available books.
Finally, each magician has a unique ability,
which can be activated here.
Later in the game, these actions will be covered
from previous turns. Instead of taking an
action, you can still the waters, which pulls
all discs back to your action pool.
After choosing an action, it’s time to conduct
You can move your magician pawn to an adjacent
location connected by a path up to two times.
You may turn in up to two invitation or introduction
cards if your pawn is on a location matching
them. Invitations let you draw 2 feats of
magic or 2 introductions, or one of each.
Introductions move your prestige disc up this
many spaces.
If you move past one of these spaces on the
prestige track, you may immediately place
a disc onto one of your six connections.
It’s now time to do magic.
Discard an invitation or introduction matching
one of the elements you’ve studied or one
on the current card of Marseilles. Take that
element and place it immediately onto a matching
space on one of your feats of magic.
If you complete a feat of magic, move it to
the side and draw a spell card. You can cast
this spell to activate its ability, or discard
it for a point of prestige.
If the year is one of these four years, you
may now confront the fairy.
Total your magicianship between your completed
feats of magic, books of magic, pupil, and
played spells that grant magicianship. If
your total is less than the current strength
of the fairy, the game continues. However,
if your total is equal to or greater than,
you defeat the fairy and the game ends immediately.
To end your turn, draw the number of invitations
indicated on the card of Marseilles and discard
down to five cards.
Play proceeds to the next player on the prestige
track who hasn’t taken a turn yet.
After all players have taken turns, start
a new round.
The game continues until either the fairy
is defeated, or at the end of the twelfth
Players total up their magicianship, the same
as if confronting the fairy, and the player
with the highest magicianship wins the game!
Ready to play?
Place the game board in the center of the
Shuffle each deck and place them nearby.
Sort the spell element tokens and place them
Reveal three books of magic, four feats of
magic, and two named connections, and place
them in these locations.
Place the fairy token and year token onto
these locations.
Each player takes a magician board and its
matching pawn and discs. Place six of your
discs here and then create a random stack
of discs, one from each player, placing them
next to the prestige track.
Deal two invitations, two introductions, and
three feats of magic to each player.
The player on top of the prestige stack goes
If you enjoyed Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell,
you might also like London, another title
from Osprey Games.
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