Thursday, December 8, 2011

Advanced Rock Paper Scissors

While designing Zodica, I had an idea to use a rock-paper-scissors mechanic in the game.  Well, it didn't work out in Zodica, but I thought that I might be able to use it in another game.  Part of the reason it didn't work out in Zodica is because people could keep straight what beat what.  So I thought I would keep it as straight forward as possible and literally use Rock, Paper and Scissor.  From the start I knew this would have to be a light, slightly humorous game.  So I tacked of the word "Advanced" to give it that "I take myself too seriously" kind of humor.

I started out thinking of a game not too removed from Zodica.  Each card had a rank and a suit (rock, paper or scissors).  It's a trick taking game, but you have to play in structures that are all within the same suit and of the suit that beats the previously played suit.  I went through several variations of this and nothing quite seemed to work.  So I had to venture a little further away and I think I've come up with an idea that may work.  It's still a trick taking card game with three suits, Rock Paper and Scissors, but the traditional ranks are gone and replaced with several attributes.

There are 60 cards, 20 each of Rock, Paper and Scissors.  Each card has 3 attributes on it.  I'm still working on what those attributes are, but I want them to be in the "silly" category.  But for the sake of explanation, I'll use easy to remember, mundane attributes:  A letter A-D, a number 1-5 and a Color (Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Purple, White, Black, Grey,  Brown).  What's important to note is that one attribute has 4 possible values, one has 5 possible values and one has 10 possible values.

The entire deck is dealt out.  I'm going to use the same card passing rules that I used in Zodica, then a player starts (I have yet to decide how that player is chosen).  The first player must lay down a single card, the suit doesn't matter.  The next players may choose to play or pass.  Whenever a player plays on a hand in a trick they must play a "Train" of cards that is 1 larger than the previous hand and of the appropriate suit (e.g. rock on scissors, scissors on paper or parer on rock). 

So what's a Train?  A Train is a list of cards of the same suit where each consecutive pair of cards has an attribute in common and no attribute value is used more than once in the train. 

For example:
[1 A Red][1 B Green][2 B Orange][3 C Orange][3 B Grey] etc.

But I could NOT do:
[1 A Red][1 B Green][2 B Orange][3 C Orange][3 B Grey][4 B Brown]
because the last card is linked to the card before it with the "B" but that attribute value was used earlier in the train to link cards 2 and 3.

If all players pass on a trick, the player who played the last hand in the trick wins the trick and puts the cards face down in front of them and leads off again. 

Scoring is very simple.  You score one point for every card you take.  There is a bonus (say, 10 points) for going out first and a penalty (again, say, 10 points) for going out last.  You keep playing until someone gets to 100...  maybe 200.

That's it!  Pretty simple.

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