The Little Death

The Little Death Rules

You are an apprentice reaper, and you are going to study in a school in order to obtain your diploma. During your apprenticeship, you will follow different characters from their birth to their deathbed. The Little Death is a game for 2 to 4 players aged 14+ and lasts about 20 minutes. Discover the rules of this game and get your diploma!


In a box of the game Little Death, you will find the following items:
-9 scenarios or diplomas
-3 decks of cards: character cards, character cards and reaper cards
-Reaper figurines
-death powa” tokens


  • Choose a scenario among the 9 (it is recommended to choose the April scenario for a first game)
  • Place the scenario in the center of the table
  • Shuffle the character, character and reap card packs separately
  • Place these 3 packs separately in the center of the table
  • Each player takes 5 reap counters of the same color
  • Each player takes 3 character cards, 3 character cards and 2 reap cards
  • Place the “Death Powa” tokens in the center of the table, right next to the scenario
  • The game can now begin

Goal of the game

In Little Death, you must be able to complete all the objectives that are displayed in the scenario. Each time you achieve an objective, place one of your pieces on one of the corresponding squares. When you have successfully placed 4 of your checkers on the scenario, you will graduate and win the game.

How the game unfolds

Little Death is divided into 4 distinct phases:
Phase 1: Life events
Phase 2 : Reaping
Phase 3: The deathbed
Phase 4: Life goes on

Phase 1: Life events

  • Place your 3 character cards on the table, right in front of you (one on top of the other)
  • Choose one character card to keep and offer the other two to your right and left neighbor
    NB: If you are playing with 2 players, offer the two character cards to your opponent.
    At the end, you will still have 3 character cards (one you kept and the other two from your neighbors)
  • Attach one or two character cards to your character cards, depending on your choice

    NB: A character card can be attached with two character cards, but must never exceed the number 3.


– Each time you attach a character card to a character card, this action will cause it to age and assign strengths and/or weaknesses.
– A character without a character card attached is a character that has just been born
Warning! A green icon cancels a red icon.
Example: If a character has a red heart picto and a green heart picto at the same time (he can get a green picto thanks to a character card attached to him for example), he no longer has a weakness for heart disease.

Phase 2: Reaping

  • During this phase, each player will try to reap the characters of his opponents simultaneously (only the characters of the opponents)
  • To do this, each player looks at the pictograms that are displayed on the top right of their reap cards

The circled picto on this image determines their soul points.

  • These pictos determine the conditions required to reap an opponent’s character
    NB: It is perfectly possible to reap several characters at the same time, if the conditions are met
    To reap a character, you must place your reap card to the right of the character
  • You must also place your reap counter on this reap card to mark that you are the reaper
  • After reaping a character, you must discard your reap card and take back your reap counter
  • The character and the character cards attached to it will be split between the owner and the reaper

How do you break the tie after reaping a card?

The reaper takes in his possession half of the cards (the character card and the character cards attached to it) and the other half will be offered to the owner of the reaped character. The reaper chooses which cards to keep.
After the cards have been sorted, each person (the reaper and the reaped) places their cards in their respective graveyard.
NB: The graveyard must be right next to each player’s characters. Place the cards in a column, so that all the information and pictograms are visible.


  • If there are multiple reapers reaping the same character, the cards will be tied fairly.

  • If there are as many cards as there are reapers, then the reaper takes all the cards, shuffles them secretly and deals them out randomly and fairly to the reapers. In this case, the reaper will not have any cards.
  • If there is one card left that has not been split (the number of cards to be split is odd), the reaper will get it.
  • If there are not enough cards to split (three reapers will split one character card and one character card), top up with one or more reaped cards that were used to make the split fair. Too bad for the one who will get the reap card(s), because they will be discarded right after.

What are the “Death Powa” tokens used for?

When a player cannot or does not want to reap a character, i.e. when his reap cards do not have the required conditions to do so, he will have to draw a “Death Powa” token and keep it with him. These tokens will only be used during the next turn.
During the reaping phase, the player who obtained a “Death Powa” token (during the previous turn) can use it. To do so, he places the token on a character he wishes to add a weakness to and this action will allow him to reap the character if the conditions are finally met.

NB: The “Death Powa” tokens can be accumulated.

  • Please note! When you place a “Death Powa” token on a character, be aware that the other players can also benefit from the weaknesses added to this character.
  • Please note! The green icons can also affect the “Death Powa” tokens. Example: If a character has a green suicide icon, you must add two “Death Powa” tokens to the character in order for the suicide weakness to be added.

Note: “Death Powa” tokens will not be taken into account when completing the scenario objectives for weaknesses.

Phase 3: The Deathbed

When you have in your possession a character card attached with 3 character cards, it’s time to say goodbye and accompany him to his deathbed. Collect all the cards of this character (with the 3 character cards) and place them in your graveyard.

  • Be careful! During this phase, there will be no sharing with other players.

Phase 4: Life goes on

  • During this phase, all players must have the same number of cards as at the beginning of the game, i.e. as in Phase 1: Life Event.
  • If a player runs out of cards, he/she must draw from the corresponding deck to obtain 3 character cards, 3 character cards and 2 reap cards.
  • The game continues in this way until one player manages to place all these 4 counters in the scenario first.

End of the game

  • When a player achieves an objective in the scenario, he places a counter in a square corresponding to that objective. Once a player has completed 4 objectives first and placed all 4 checkers, they graduate and win the game.
  • When more than one player has successfully placed their fourth token during the same turn, there is a tie. To break the tie, the player with the most soul points wins the game (count the soul points of the characters in your graveyard).
  • If there is still a tie, the player who has the most characters in his or her graveyard wins the game.
  • If there is still a tie, the youngest player among the finalists wins the game.

Official Rules in PDF

Here is The Little Death rules in PDF.