A Philosopher's Blog

The Fourth King’s Second Game

Posted in Humor, Miscellaneous by Michael LaBossiere on December 5, 2010

My gaming group had our usual Christmas/Hanukkah event. As usual, I made everyone suffer through my 4th King’s Game. This year I added a new element: cards.

The Fourth King’s Second Game

As the story goes, three wise men or kings (not the same thing at all, of course) brought the baby Jesus some gifts. While this served as the theological foundation for the massive commercialization of Christmas, it also gave rise to Three Kings Day, which is celebrated in Puerto Rico. The gist of the holiday is that children put out grass and water for the Kings’ camels and they get small gifts in return. This holiday is on January 6th.

Interestingly, a little research revealed that there was a 4th king, King Bob. Unlike the Three Kings, Bob was not great with directions and ended up arriving at the wrong city, albeit long before the other kings arrived in the proper destination.

Since King Bob could not find the baby Jesus, he decided to give away the gifts via a game, which is now known as King Bob’s game. Alternatively, it can be called The Game of the 4th King.

King Bob later realized that he could make some fat loots (or “phat lewts”) by converting his game into a collectible card game. The following is King Bob’s prototype. It sucks like a Goblin Hooker, so You Have Been Warned.

Here is how the game is played.

What You Will Need

Gifts: At least 1 wrapped gift per player, preferably more. Cheap gifts are best.

Dice: Ideally you should have a D20 and some D6s, but for non gamers six sided dice will do.

Cards: I made cards for the game using images copied from the web. Since I don’t have the right to distribute them, I cannot include the cards.  If time permits, I’ll add an illustration free set to this post.

The Roles

There are two roles in the game: King Bob’s stand in and player. King Bob supervises the game but does not play. He also does not get any gifts. Optionally, King Bob can also play and get gifts, but that is bad theology.

Everyone other than King Bob’s stand in is a player.

Setting Up the Game

King Bob sets up the game by creating a pile of the wrapped gifts and defending them from the greasy hands of the players until the game starts.

Each player should have a die (or dice) and a board or piece of paper is needed to keep track of the order of play. Each player will also have a Bob Mat.

King Bob shuffles the deck of game cards (or not) and deals each player five cards.  Each player can then set up his Bob Mat based on the placement rules for the Bob Mat.

The Bob Mat & Card Types

Each player receives his/her own Bob Mat. The mat is used for card placement. It can also function as a cheap coaster or a rough napkin. The Bob Mat has spaces for four cards.  These cards can be placed face down or face up at the player’s discretion.  Each space only holds one card, so players must choose wisely (or not). There is also a fifth type of card, the Special Card. Special cards are not placed on the mat. Unless a player wants to show off or suffers from card holding fatigue.

Attack: This space holds cards used to attack other players. Well, not literally. After all, a card would not be an effective weapon. Then again, a paper cut can sting a bit. Cards that are Attack Items can be placed in this slot. A player may only have one attack item equipped at a time. Attack cards have a bonus (or sometimes a negative). This is added to the player’s roll as a bonus when s/he attacks.

Defense: This space holds cards used to defend against other players. Well, not literally. After all, flimsy paper won’t stop much (even if you proclaim peace in our time while waving it). Cards that are Defense Items can be placed in this slot. A player may only have one defense item equipped at a time. Defense cards have a bonus (or sometimes a negative). This is added to the player’s roll as a bonus when s/he defends against an attack.

Monster: This space holds cards used to attack and defend against other players.  These cards stand for fierce (or stupid…or even fiercely stupid) monsters. Cards that are Monsters can be placed in this slot. A player may only have one monster active at a time (there are some exceptions to this). Each monster has a bonus (or a negative). This applies to both attack and defense, making monsters very useful (until they betray you).

Threat: This space holds cards that do unusual, but usually bad, things.  A player may only have one threat active at a time (there are some exceptions to this). Threats include traps, poisons, bags of gold and other useful (or useless) items.

Special: These cards are special, but their mother still loves them. They are not placed on the Bob Mat, but are played during the turn. Some special cards can be played at anytime, even when it is not the playing player’s turn.

Placement Rules: A player can only place a card on a space that matches the card type. Cards can initially be placed face up or face down. Players are not (unless the card specifies) required to place any card. However, all cards except the special cards must be placed before they can be used in the game.

Initiative

Gamers will be familiar with this, but non-gamers will not. For the non-gamers, this is how you determine the order in which the players take their turns. To determine this, each player rolls a die (preferably the standard D20). The player with the highest roll goes first, the player with the second highest goes second and so on. In the case of a tie, reroll until it is settled. Play goes clockwise.

Starting the Game

The game starts with the player who has the highest initiative. S/he selects one gift from the pile and DOES NOT open it. Shaking and such is allowed. The second player then has his/her turn and so on for each player until it is back to the first player. After the first player has selected his gift, the other players will have more options and the first player will also have these options on his/her second turn. Play continues in the order of initiative until the game ends (or a special card changes it).

Playing the Game

After the first player has a gift, the second player has his turn and so on until everyone has had a turn. The first player then has his second turn and so on. During play, a player has options. Only ONE option may be taken each turn. A player can take a different option each turn, but is not required to do so. At the start of each turn, the player draws a new card.  The player can place this card on his/her mat and replace another card, which goes back to his/her hand.

  • Pick a Gift: the player selects a gift from the pile but DOES NOT open it. The next player then takes his/her turn.  A player can also play one Special card on his/her turn, provided that it is playable outside of battle. The player draws a replacement card unless otherwise specified.
  • Open a Gift: the player opens one gift that s/he has in his/her possession and opens it. The next player then takes his/her turn. A player can also play one Special card on his/her turn, provided that it is playable outside of battle. The player draws a replacement card unless otherwise specified.
  • Take a Gift: the player attempts to take a gift from another player. The player who is trying to steal the gift is the attacker and the player who has the gift is the defender. The defender has the option of allowing the gift to be taken or resisting. If the defender allows the theft, the attacker gets the gift and adds it to his/her collection. If the defender decides to resist, then the attacker and the defender enter battle (see below). If the attacker wins, s/he gets the gift. If not, the defender keeps the gift. The next player then takes his/her turn. Defending does not count as the defending player’s turn and s/he can defend as often as needed.
  • Inflict a Gift: the player attempts to give a gift to another player. The player who is trying to give the gift is the attacker and the player who has the gift is the defender. The defender has the option of allowing the giving or resisting. If the defender allows the giving, the defender gets the gift and adds it to his/her collection. If the defender decides to resist, then the attacker and the defender enter battle (see below). If the defender matches or exceeds the giver’s roll, then the gift remains with the giver. If not, the defender adds the gift to his/her collection. The next player then takes his/her turn. Defending does not count as the defending player’s turn and s/he can defend as often as needed.

Battle!

Battle occurs when a player attacks another player (in the game, of course). The battle follows the following order:

  1. Attacker’s Special Card Phase: The attacker plays any special card that is playable at the start of combat.
  1. Defender’s Special Card Phase: The attacker plays any special card that is playable at the start of combat.
  1. Attack Card Reveal Phase: The Attacker reveals his/her Attack card (if not already revealed) if s/he wants to use it in combat. The attacker does not have to reveal the card if s/he does not use it. To be used, the card must be revealed.
  1. Defense Card Reveal Phase: The Defender reveals his/her Defense card (if not already revealed) if s/he wants to use it in combat. The defender does not have to reveal the card if s/he does not use it. To be used, the card must be revealed.
  1. Attacking Monster Reveal Phase: The Attacker reveals his/her Monster card (if not already revealed) if s/he wants to use it in combat. The attacker does not have to reveal the card if s/he does not use it. To be used, the card must be revealed.
  1. Defending Monster Reveal Phase: The Defender reveals his/her Defense card (if not already revealed) if s/he wants to use it in combat. The defender does not have to reveal the card if s/he does not use it. To be used, the card must be revealed.
  1. Attacking Monster Reveal Phase: The Attacker reveals his/her Monster card (if not already revealed) if s/he wants to use it in combat. The attacker does not have to reveal the card if s/he does not use it. To be used, the card must be revealed.
  1. Defending Monster Reveal Phase: The Defender reveals his/her Defense card (if not already revealed) if s/he wants to use it in combat. The defender does not have to reveal the card if s/he does not use it. To be used, the card must be revealed.
  1. Attacker’s Threat Reveal Phase: The Attacker reveals his/her Threat card (if not already revealed) if s/he wants to use it in combat. The attacker does not have to reveal the card if s/he does not use it. To be used, the card must be revealed.

10.  Defender’s Threat Reveal Phase: The Defender reveals his/her Threat card (if not already revealed) if s/he wants to use it in combat. The defender does not have to reveal the card if s/he does not use it. To be used, the card must be revealed.

11.  Roll: The Attacker and Defender each roll 2D6 (or 1D10 for gamer nerds). Each player adds his/her modifiers to the roll. The higher roll wins.

12.  Attacker Replacement Phase: The attacker can discard any or all of his revealed cards. The attacker can replace any cards s/he discarded (unless the card specifies otherwise). The attacker can then place cards on his/her Bob Mat.

13.  Defender Replacement Phase: The Defender can discard any or all of his revealed cards. The defender can replace any cards s/he discarded (unless the card specifies otherwise). The defender can then place cards on his/her Bob Mat.

End of Turn

At the end of his/her turn a player can discard any cards and receive replacements. These replacements can be placed on the mat at the start of his/her next turn.

Ending the Game

The game ends as soon as no more gifts remain in the gift pile (that is, the players possess all the gifts). Players must take their gifts with them when the game ends, mainly because the game is often played with the intention of getting rid of bad gifts or items that King Bob no longer wants.

Enhanced by Zemanta
About these ads

2 Responses

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. dynamomelano said, on December 5, 2010 at 5:02 pm

    The Three Kings Day, known as Epiphany in other countries.

  2. Card Games Kings said, on December 18, 2010 at 5:41 am

    [...] The Fourth King's Second Game « A Philosopher's Blog King Bob later realized that he could make some fat loots (or “phat lewts”) by converting his game into a collectible card game The following is King Bob's prototype. It sucks like a Goblin Hooker, so You Have Been Warned. [...]


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,915 other followers

%d bloggers like this: