Renowned Mediums are competing to guess a Secret Object, with help from mysterious Spirits giving Clues from the World Beyond!
These instructions are for 4 players, but you can add more players.
There are 2 teams, each with 1 Medium and 1 Spirit. There is a Secret Object that both Spirits know. Each Spirit wants their Medium to guess the Object first. Mediums take turns giving their Spirit secret Question Cards to answer about the Object. The Spirit writes an answer (Clue) slowly, letter by letter until interrupted by their Medium. The first Medium to guess the Object wins for their team!
Teams take turns. The Sun team goes first. On a team’s turn, rotate the Pad to face that team. That team’s Medium decides either to ASK A QUESTION or GUESS THE OBJECT, then follows these steps:
(to receive a clue)
(to try to win)
There’s no penalty for making an incorrect Guess, except that you waste a turn when you could have been getting a Clue.
Mediums: Say “Silencio” as soon as you can. It’s better to say “Silencio” early so the other team doesn’t get too much info.
Spirits: Choose a Clue that will be clear to your Medium after only a few letters. Write slowly; give them time to say “Silencio.”
Otherwise, Spirits use whatever Clue they like—dictionary words, proper nouns, and made up words are all okay! You can even use multiple-word phrases, but careful: they often give away too much.
When your team starts a turn at a space with an Eye icon, your team’s Medium asks to see the next letter of any Clue on the Pad (from either team). The Spirit who wrote that Clue adds the next letter to the Clue. Then your team continues your turn as normal.
Avery, a Medium, hands 2 Question Cards to Jordan, her team’s Spirit. Jordan chooses the card “What is it made of,” shows it to Avery, and discards the other card. The Object is “Calendar,” so Jordan decides to respond “Paper.” Jordan writes ‘P A P’ in the empty space, pausing after each letter. Avery thinks the Clue is “Paper,” and says “Silencio” to hide the rest of the answer from the other team.
How do I play with more than 4 players?
Add more Mediums to each team. Mediums on a team share their hand of cards, work together, and can whisper and pass secret notes. Any of them can call “Silencio.”
What happens if the Medium doesn’t say “Silencio”?
If the Spirit writes the last letter of a Clue without the Medium calling “Silencio,” they add a period to the end of the Clue to show the word is complete. If the Spirit finishes the word but the Medium calls “Silencio” before the Spirit writes a period, the Spirit doesn’t need to add the period. Keep the other team guessing about whether the word is finished!
What if I don’t like any of my Question Cards?
Once per game, each team’s Medium may discard their Question Cards face up and draw 7 new ones.
What if all the spaces on the Pad are full?
If neither team correctly GUESSES THE OBJECT in 8 rounds, both teams lose.
Can I look up how to spell things?
Phantom Ink isn’t a spelling game. Anyone can look up how to spell specific words. Spirits can also look up facts if they want. Mediums shouldn’t look up facts, and should be especially careful not to try to figure out Clues by putting the first few letters into a search engine.
Spirits can’t give any additional guidance. Be careful to avoid saying things like “this Clue is going to be hard.”
What if the Spirits can’t decide on the Object to use for the game?
If the Spirits don’t agree on which Object to us, randomly choose an object (for example, you can roll dice)
Are these questions grammatically correct?
Certain Question Cards in Phantom Ink end in a preposition, which some guidelines say is incorrect grammar. We think the questions are clearer this way, even if they’re a bit more casual.
Do I have to use an Eye space if I don’t want to?
Yes. It’s rarely a problem to ask for another letter on an opponent’s clue. Doing so almost always helps you more than it helps the other team.
Do I have to GUESS THE OBJECT if it’s my 8th turn?
No, but you should.
Can a Spirit look at the other team’s Question cards?
If your group is very competitive, Spirits shouldn’t peek at each others’ questions. But if everyone agrees that it’s more fun to let the Spirits peek, go ahead.
Why do the Question Cards have their categories printed both directions?
So you can lift one side to peek at the category, like in Blackjack!
What happens if a Medium misspells the Object when GUESSING THE OBJECT?
Be charitable. If it’s clear that the player knows what the Object is, but just forgot how to spell it, we recommend letting it count. Remember: Mediums can look up how to spell words if they wish.