You are an artist.
And you have your eyes set on one goal: playing a successful show at The Ultiplex, the greatest concert venue in the land. Every turn, you gain inspiration points, the currency of an artist. This inspiration can be used for all sorts of actions: from writing songs and recruiting bandmates to practicing songs or boosting the egos of your band (or sabotaging the egos of your opponent!). Each artist has an inspiration score, and for every bandmate you have, you add one to it.
You gain three actions. Those actions can be used to write songs, practice songs, recruit bandmates, boost or sabotage bandmate egos, draw lifestyle cards, chill, or play a gig.
To win the game, you’ve got three gigs to play successfully: the dive bar Midnightly, the hipster cafe The Artful Baboon, and The Ultiplex. But before you play a gig, you’re going to need…
Songs are your arsenal, they’re your weapons. Each song has a “Good” Score and a “Sick” Score. To play a song, you roll a 12-sided die and factor any bonuses you may have to determine your Song Score. If the result is in the “Good” range, you played it good (sorry grammar fans). If the result is in the “Sick” range, you played it even better. Venues require a certain number of “Sick” and “Good” songs to be played successfully. To increase your odds, you can spend inspiration points to practice, placing +1 inspiration counters on your songs and adding to your rolls. To write a song, you need to spend the inspiration to add it to your set. To play it, you need to be able to play its instruments. There are three instruments: guitar, keyboard, and drums. Most artists can play one instrument, but to play the game’s harder songs, you’ll need…
Every Crosby needs a Stills, Nash, and (sometimes) Young. Bandmates give you the instruments to play harder songs, the inspiration to drive through the hardest crowds, and often some bonuses, too. But the chemistry of a band is a fragile thing. Your bandmates have Ego Scores, the higher they are, the more likely your bandmates are to leave you. After you play a successful gig, you perform Ego Checks, rolling the 12-sided die for each bandmate. Rolling under the Ego Score results in your bandmate leaving to start a solo career. If you’re charismatic, you can use an action to Boost Egos, placing inspiration counters on bandmates to add +1 to your rolls (like practicing). But devilish opponents may sabotage you, placing their tokens on your bandmates to try to incite them to join their band instead.
The game starts with each player selecting an artist. There are eight different types of songs, for each instrument combination. Each type has its own slot on the board, with the available top cards facing up. Bandmate cards go on the bandmate deck slot, with two bandmates flipped face up and put in the Active Zone. Every time a player recruits a bandmate, a new bandmate is first activated. Finally, Lifestyle Cards go in the Lifestyle Deck slot, with each player dealt one to start the game. Lifestyle cards offer players a variety of positive effects, from boosting the egos of bandmates to heckling opponents.