o, you think you are evil enough to step into the role of Ringmaster? To vanquish those foolish Heroes, you must be merciless, diabolically clever, and willing to sacrifice any friendships you have in order to achieve victory. Once you emerge victorious, there will be no stopping your malevolent power; who knows, maybe you'll even head a major software conglomerate someday. So, if you're ready to plumb the nether depths of your soul, read on!
As Ringmaster, your job is to stop the Heroes from obtaining the Rings within a specified time. To do so, you must strategically place hazards to hinder the Heroes' progress. To win, you must show no mercy! True Ringmasters must be able to witness the grim sights of death by fire, corpses torn apart by monstrous fangs, and whole bodies vanishing into the jaws of eight-legged horrors. If this kind of thing turns you on, you will need to understand the forces at your command:
You control the Rings. For the moment, they belong to you, and you must keep it that way. You control what labyrinths in which the Rings are hidden, you control what monsters guard them, and you control their positions on the game board. Remember that if the Heroes capture a Ring, their ability to travel increases. Guard them well, and hide them as far down the road as you can.
Time is on your side. Your forces can vanquish the Heroes in battle several times, but only the final strike of the clock can silence them forever. Do anything you can to hold the Heroes in one place.
Your territory is vast. There are 23 Castles but only ten Rings. You should fortify your Castles which hide Rings, but keep in mind that if the Heroes perish in a Castle with no Ring, they are forced to attempt another siege while the sands of the Hourglass run down. With no Ring, it is either victory or death for the Heroes. Therefore, you may wish to heavily fortify at least one Castle that contains no Ring.
Know your monsters. The Dragons are excellent killing machines, but they are less mobile than the Nightmares. If a Hero becomes caught in the Shifting Halls, for example, the Dragon may not be able to catch him. Try saving your Shifting Halls and Infernoes for use with Nightmares. Dragons work best with the Dungeons or the Crystal Caverns. But remember, when Heroes are slain by a Dragon, you can move the beast to another Castle to frustrate the Heroes further down the road.
Your most valuable weapon is Possession. Not even the purest mind is immune to evil thoughts, and by expending a Possession token you can enter the mind and commandeer the body of one Hero in the midst of battle. Since you have a limited number of Possessions per game, save them for the end. If the Heroes get dangerously close to completing their Quest, take over one of them and slay the other with your own hands! Remember that Possession is most effective when you take control of a Hero with an offensive capability (the Warrior and Wizard qualify). If the Heroes' team consists of the Phantom and the Changeling, always possess the Changeling. Make yourself invisible and all your monstrous minions will converge on the helpless Phantom, while you bellow with maniacal laughter...
With these lessons well learned, your evil should be unstoppable. Go forth, Ringmaster, and bring pestilence and plague to the world!