Sniken: Can You Catch the Prey?
Game Assets (PDFs)
Purpose of Sniken
Sniken is a game that helps children learn the strengths and weaknesses of various animals’ eyesight. In this game, the children will play as Predators sneaking up on their Prey. But they must do so cautiously. If the Prey catches sight of the Predator, it will Spook and run away to safety, causing the Predators to begin again.
Predators are played by Bixis. All rules in this Predator Rules section can be shared with Predators. Light and Dark Guardians may choose to share these rules before the game begins or during the game to help guide Predator players, or both.
The goal of a Predator is to catch the Prey without Spooking it.
Rule 1: To do this, they must navigate the Prey’s Sight Map. Players should never see the Prey’s Sight Map. Only the Prey player should see the Sight Map. (See Prey Rules for an example of a Sight Map). The point is for Predator players to learn about the Prey through trial and error, thus earning the Knowledge of the Prey.
Rule 2: If a Predator player intentionally attempts to view the Sight Map over the Prey’s shoulder or in any other way view the map, this is considered cheating. The judgment of a Light or Dark Guardian will determine whether cheating occurred.
Rule 3: Cheating results in the Prey automatically moving to a safe area and the Predator/s must begin their approach again.
Knowledge of the Prey
When a Predator/s unlocks the Knowledge of the Prey, they are rewarded with the Prey creature type. This symbolizes that they now know how to hunt and acquire that specific Prey.
If Predators that have unlocked a Prey creature are playing with another Predator that has not unlocked the Prey creature, those Predators can guide and instruct the other Predator by playing with them. However, these Predators who have unlocked the Prey creature should never show the other Predator the Sight Map of the creature he or she is trying to unlock.
Predator Actions and Other Rules
Predators have 3 actions they may take:
- Charge: A Predator can charge at full speed toward the Prey according to the Charge speed on their Predator Card.
- Prowl: A Predator may run in any direction a number of spaces equal to their Prowl Speed on their Predator Card.
- Stalk: A Predator may slowly and stealthily approach Prey in an attempt to remain unseen by the Prey. The number of spaces a Predator may Stalk is equal to the Stalk number on their Predator Card.
The final score is a Cooperation Score. This score determines how many other Predators that Predator creature type can play with. All Predators playing the game must be the same creature.
The following Prey rules should never be shared with Predator players, unless otherwise instructed.
Goal of the Prey
The goal of the Prey player is to have:
- Predator players experience the difficulties of conquering the Prey, according to the facilitation of this Grey Tavern game, the Prey player represents.
- Predator players, ultimately, defeat them. Though this should not be through going easy on the players, unless the Light or Dark Guardian perceives that adjustments should be made for their Predator player(s) unique case.
When the Prey player is defeated, they get to reward the Predator player(s) with the unlocked Prey achievement and may now show the Predator players the Sight Map for that Prey creature.
Who Plays the Prey
Whenever one or more Predator player(s) attempts to overcome a Prey creature for the first time, the person who plays the Prey should always be the Light Guardian of the Predator player(s).
If a Prey creature has been unlocked, anyone who has unlocked the Prey may play the Prey for whoever else has unlocked the creature. However, a Bixie:
- Must have the Light Guardian’s permission to do so
- Cannot play a Prey if the Light Guardian is participating or playing
- Cannot play a Prey if any participating Predator player has not unlocked that specific Prey
Sniken is meant to be played as a family, so it is preferred that in every instance where and when possible that the Light Guardian plays the Prey, or is contacted when a Prey role or action is needed.
If participating Predator players have more than one Light Guardian, the Light Guardians select among themselves who should play the Prey.
The Sight Map should never be shown to a Predator player unless they have unlocked that specific Prey creature.
How to Read the Sight Map
The Focus are squares that represent where the Prey’s sight is the strongest. If a Predator takes any of the 3 movement actions through, from, or into a Focus square, that Prey immediately Spooks.
The Alertus represents the area in which a Prey creature can perceive objects, things, and creatures through sight but cannot perceive depth of field. Many grazing animals, for example, have a wide field of view because their eyes are on opposite or nearly opposite sides of their head. But the downside to this is that the right eye only sees things on its right side and the left eye only sees things on its left side. So, there is little way for the creature to distinguish how close an object is to them compared to another. This can only be determined when sight overlaps in the Focus area where the creature can perceive depth of field.
- If a Predator uses the Prowl action in the Alertus, the Prey Spooks and moves to a new area.
- If a Predator uses the Charge action in the Alertus and the Predator does not end its turn on the Prey square, the Prey Spooks and moves to a new area.
- If a Predator uses the Stalk action in the Alertus, the Prey does not Spook and stays put.
- Whenever a Predator moves through an Alertus square, this triggers the Prey’s Caution action.
= High Alertus (Any square that has a blue circle)
The High Alertus represents areas near the Prey in which the Prey can tell by the size of an object that it is a potential danger.
Predators that use the Prowl or Stalk actions to pass through or end on a High Alertus square immediately cause the Prey to Spook and start in a new area.
If a Predator uses the Charge action and ends their movement on a High Alerus square will cause the Prey to Spook. However, the Charge action can pass through a High Alertus square without triggering Spook if the Predator ends their turn on the Prey square.
The Prey marker represents where the Prey player should be throughout the duration of the game unless a Spook is triggered. See the Spook action below to see how the Sight Map works with the Spook action.
A Predator wins when they land on the Prey square without causing the Prey to Spook.
= Unaware Zone
The Unaware Zone are squares in which Predators can use the Charge, Prowl, and Sneak actions as freely as they wish.
Predators moving through the Unaware Zone do not trigger a Prey’s Spook or Caution actions.
Sight Map Difference
Sight Maps differ from Prey to Prey
The Spook action is triggered by Predators using the Charge, Prowl, or Stalk actions in the wrong way or wrong squares. See the “How to Read the Sight Map” section above to see when a Spook action is triggered.
Spooks are always triggered immediately and negate any end result of a Predator’s action, even if the Predator would have landed on the Prey square.
When a Spook action is taken, the Prey moves to a new area outside of the current Sight Maps area. This causes the Sight Map to reset around where the Prey chooses to set themselves up next.
If the play space is too small, the Prey may stay in the same place but have the Predators reset to any square on the outer edge of the Sight Map or further.Caution
A Caution action is triggered whenever a Predator player moves onto or through an Alertus. The Prey should not wait to do their Caution action after all Predator players have gone, but should perform this action each time a Predator triggers this action, but after that Predator’s action has been completed.
When a Caution action is triggered, the Prey roles an 8 sided die. The number indicates which direction the Focus should face in, turning and orienting the Sight Map in that new direction.
The following Competitor Rules should never be shared with Predator players, unless otherwise instructed.
A Competitor’s goal is to:
- Show or model how a Predator player can learn and navigate the Sight Map of Prey. They do not show the Predator players the Sight Map. Instead, the Competitor plays the game with full knowledge of the Sight Map. In this way, the Competitor shows Predator players how to succeed without telling them directly
- Have Predator players learn how to succeed against a Prey creature on their own. Only the Competitor’s actions should give them clues as to how to approach the Prey.
Who Plays the Competitor
Whenever one or more Predator player(s) attempts to overcome a Prey creature for the first time, the person who plays the Competitor should always be the Dark Guardian of the Predator player(s).
If a Prey creature has been unlocked, anyone who has unlocked the Prey may play the Competitor role for whoever else has unlocked the creature. However, a Bixie:
- Must have the Dark Guardian’s permission to do so
- Cannot play a Competitor if the Dark Guardian is participating or playing
- Cannot play a Competitor if any participating Predator player has not unlocked that specific Prey
Sniken is meant to be played as a family, so it is preferred that in every instance where and when possible that the Dark Guardian plays the Competitor, or is contacted when a Competitor role or action is needed.
If participating Predator players have more than one Dark Guardian, the Dark Guardians select among themselves who should play the Competitor.
The Competitor has access to the same knowledge as the Prey. The Competitor can see the Sight Map and knows how the Predator actions trigger Prey actions.
The Competitor has the same actions as the Predator(s).
A Competitor is not always needed to play Predators and Prey, but the role is strongly recommended when Predators are seeking to unlock new Prey.
How to Start
All players may know these rules.
To Start Predators and Prey, the Light Guardian selects the Prey and its associated Sight Map. She then places her marker on the board.
Then the Predator(s) place their markers on the board, but they must be placed on the outer edge of the Prey’s Sight Map (which is smaller than the board) or further away. The order in which Predators place their markers is the same as their turn order. (Next section)
Lastly, the Competitor places his marker on the board with the same guidelines as the Predator players.
The eldest Predator player is the first Bixi to play. Following this player, the second oldest player should go, then the third, and so on until the youngest Bixi plays. Then, the player cycle restarts. Player organization should always follow the players’ ages, even in the case of twins.
The Prey only takes a turn when a Caution or Spook action is triggered.
The Competitor may choose whether he goes before Predator players or after them.
Each player can only take 1 turn or action within a single round, except the Prey who may play anytime their actions are triggered.
For example, if a Predator chooses to Charge, they cannot Prowl or Stalk as well or change their action halfway through an action.
Global Grey Tavern Rule
Due to the structure of Grey Tavern games, Guardians and/or Bixis should NEVER change game rules to make things easier or harder for players unless areas of adjustment are specifically mentioned in a game's rules.
Grey Tavern games not only provide educational material through their games that would be dampened if rules are changed, but would also be unfair to other players. Many, if not all, Grey Tavern games, provide opportunities for unlockable items, creatures, abilities, etc that are cross-compatible with the majority of Grey Tavern games. If rules are made easier or harder this robs ultimately from each player’s achievements and ability to achieve in comparison to other players in the local area.