So last Saturday I was at Rezzed. Amongst playing games at the show and going to the pub, I spent an hour making a card game, then was abruptly yanked on stage to show it to hundreds of people. Which was a bit terrifying, it turns out.
So here how the game is played:
There are three types of cards : attack, defence and surprise cards. Each player is dealt 2 Attack cards, 2 Defence cards and 1 Surprise card. Each player also has 10 tokens.
The attack cards can be a machete or a shotgun. The defence cards can be a bulletproof vest (to ward off shotgun blasts) or a pan lid (to defend against machetes). The surprise cards can be either nothing, or a Resurrection card (of which there is only one).
The aim of the game is for all the players who don't have a resurrection card to kill the one player who does.
To attack, you place down an attack card, with a number of tokens on it, and attack someone. That player can either defend by placing the right defence card down with the same number of tokens on it, or counter attack by placing down an attack card and placing the same number of tokens plus some extra on it. If they do this, the original attack now has to defend against the extra tokens worth of attack (by defending or counter attacking yet more). The defender then picks the next player to go (including themselves).
If you can't defend or counter-attack, you die, and the attacker takes all your tokens. If you defend successfully (and just added this rule, it was not in place on stage) then you get all the attack tokens plus your defence tokens.
If you're dead, and you have the resurrection card, you can suddenly declare yourself alive again at any time. You get 10 more tokens, and you're back int he game.
The game ends when no-one can move, or all by one player is dead. If the player with the resurrection card is alive then, they win, if they're not, everyone else wins.
To be played by more than 3 players.
I'm not sure whether the game works -- I think the economy is pretty much fucked, and stalemates (running out of attack cards) are pretty common. But I still love the idea of winning by springing back to life with a hidden card after it seems like you're dead. I also like games where the turns are decided by players, and not in a fixed order -- it suddenly adds this element of capriciousness and unfairness and negotiation to the most basic question of "Who's next?" (this is inspired by So Long Sucker, which I've been thinking about remaking recently). The game never stirred up the Werewolf style questioning of player's attributes and motives it feels it needs -- there was never enough negotiation taking place. I'm not sure how to encourage that directly, except making the necessity for it more obvious. And maybe slowing the game down some.
One reason i chose to do a jam game that was made out of bits of paper was that I spend about 10/15 minutes at the start coming up with the ideas and starting making it. From then on, I was pretty much constantly in this immensely pleasurable playtest scenario. You play the game, and you propose rule changes, constantly. Anyone can suggest a fix, and trying each one out is usually instant, and at worst takes as long as it takes to write the new cards, or count out the counters.
The downside is there's nothing to download for people who come after, and it's a huge pain to demo on stage.
Anyway! If you play the game, don't take the rules as set! Try to fix them, and tell me how you did it. I'd love to play your version.
11 July 2012