Attack of the Rhythm Dancer


players.png ~3-6
time.png 10 min

Surrounded by improvising Musicians sits The Prize. The Dancer has 2 minutes to reach it and win, but she also has a Weakness that will kill her. Will she make it on time? The Musicians play a Weakness to attack The Dancer, but only one attack is not enough… Explore the mysteries of The Dancer, The Musicians, The Prize, and The Weakness!


Download the game pack HERE.

Find the “Weakness Cheat Sheet & Cards” file.
For the musicians: Print out copies and give one sheet to each musician.
For the dancer: Print out one copy, cut out the weakness rhythm patterns. You should now have 10 ‘Weakness’ cards.
Next, find the ‘Number of Weakness Hit Till Death’ file.
Print out one sheet and cut out the numbers. This will be the second card for the dancer to choose from.


Here is an example of how everything should be set up:

Position a timer somewhere so everyone, especially The Dancer, can see it at all times.

The Musicians should be positioned in somewhat of a circle.
Each Musician receives 1 Weakness Cheat Sheet each and places it somewhere it can easily be seen while playing.
Place The Prize (a lamp, rock, food, etc.) exactly in the middle of the circle.
The Musicians cannot move from their position. Only The Dancer can move around.

About 15 - 20 feet from The Prize set up a table with the two decks of cards turned face down. ‘The Weakness’ Deck and ‘The Number of Weakness Hit Till Death’ Deck. Shuffle the cards. Keep both decks separate.

Gameplay instructions

Start the timer.
The Musicians start improvising ambient music. Try not to get rhythmic, busy, or noisy.

As The Musicians are playing The Dancer randomly picks 1 card from the ‘Weakness’ deck.
Important note to The Dancer #1: Repeat the rhythm in your head a few times. Remember it. This is what you will be listening for the whole time.
Next, The Dancer randomly picks one card from the ‘Number of Weakness Hit Till Death’ deck.
This is how many times a single Musician has to play The Weakness in order to kill The Dancer.
Important note to The Dancer #2: Remember this number well.
Make sure The Musicians don’t see either card.
The Dancer places the cards back on the table face down.

After 3 minutes from the start of the timer The Dancer begins, starting from the card table. The Dancer’s dance movements should be kept consistent, only changing abruptly when being attacked by its Weakness (explained below). Slowly moving towards The Musicians, aiming for The Prize.
The Dancer can move around The Musicians, but always towards The Prize.
The Dancer has three main things to always pay attention to: the clock, The Weakness, how many times The Weakness is played by a single Musician.

By the 2 minute mark The Dancer will reach The Prize, pick it up, and win. The Musicians must try their best to stop this!
If The Dancer touches the prize before the 2-minute mark The Dancer will automatically die!

The Musicians play various Weakness attacks to try and kill The Dancer.
There are 10 Weaknesses, all viewable on the Weakness Cheat Sheet.
Remember The Musicians have to find the specific Weakness and play it a certain amount of times for it to kill The Dancer.
To find The Weakness The Musicians must play through The Weaknesses (in any order) until The Dancer noticeably reacts to it.
Try to keep the attacks musical, connected to the improvised music being played. But, make them stand out enough that The Dancer can recognize them. Don’t play Weaknesses on top of other player’s Weaknesses. Try to physically communicate.
The Musicians shouldn’t embellish or alter The Weakness rhythmic patterns in any way. Play them as clear as possible. For pitched instruments, it’s best to play the weakness rhythms with one note.
If The Weakness is played The Dancer must react in a negative fashion. Ex. Waving arms up in the air.
The closer The Dancer is to The Musician playing The Weakness the more dramatic the reaction. Ex. Wildly waving stretched out arms in the air. But, the further The Dancer is to The Weakness the smaller the reaction. Ex. Small, but noticeable, twitches of the arms.
If one Musician plays The Weakness and is far from The Dancer another Musician closer to The Dancer might have noticed the small reaction from The Dancer, so now this closer Musician can repeat The Weakness and get a bigger reaction. Now maybe all the players have clearly seen the reaction and they now know The Weakness. Time for a full on attack!

Game end

For The Dancer to die one Musician must play it’s Weakness the number of times given. This number can not be divided up among different Musicians. Of course, The Musicians won't know how many times is needed. One must keep attacking until The Dancer dies.

If The Musicians don’t kill The Dancer by 2 minutes The Dancer will reach the goal and The Dancer will win!

If one Musician played the picked Weakness the picked number of times The Witcher will die and The Musicians will win.

Pick a new dancer, and start again!

Gamemaster's notes

A basic understanding of rhythmic notation is required.

It would help to do a quick run through of all The Weakness rhythm patterns before playing the game.

The version here is a stripped down version of the original which is performed with a visual theme.
Th stage set is supposed to be deep in a forest.
The Prize is a baby, the prop used is a life-sized doll with a throbbing battery powered light inside. It sits on a tree stump (made of cardboard).
The Musicians are trees. They wear tree costumes.
The Dancer wears a sorcerer looking robe and face make-up.
The timer is framed to look like the sun.
Also, fog and lighting are used.
Creating a theme for music games is always an extra step. But, it can be well worth it, especially if you have an audience.


Marcus Staniec (notrightmusic)

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