Four to six players is optimum, but more or less will work as well. More than six gets a little unruly, and less than four does not usually have enough interaction to be fun.
- A stack of white 3"x5" index cards, cut in half.
- A pen for each player.
Initially, you will need to create some cards to seed your deck with. After you have played a few games, you will be able to reuse old cards. See the "Card Creation" section for how to create a card.
Before each game, deal two blank cards to each player. They will create new cards with these.
Some suggestions for how to build the deck:
- For four players, use 30 cards from the previous game, 14 cards from old games, 8 new cards created immediately before the game, and 8 blanks so that players can create new cards during the game.
- For five players, use 40 cards from the previous game, 20 cards from old games, 10 new cards created immediately before the game, and 10 blanks so that players can create new cards during the game.
- For six players, use 45 cards from the previous game, 21 cards from old games, 12 new cards created immediately before the game, and 12 blanks so that players can create new cards during the game.
After the deck is put together, shuffle the cards all together. Then deal 5 cards to each player. Put the deck in the middle of the table, which will now act as the draw pile.
A card has these four parts:
- Point value between -1000 and 1000 (If no point value is given, zero is assumed).
- Optional rules text.
To help make balanced cards, follow these rules as well:
- Cards should not simply make a player win or lose immediately (they usually are not fun).
- Cards should not tally points. In other words, players should not need to keep a written tally of their current point totals.
In addition, these rules can help you clarify cards that are not clear:
- If a card makes you do something in the real world in order to get points and you fail to succeed, discard the card.
- If cards change owners, they stay in the same zone type unless otherwise stated. For example, if you steal a card from someone's hand, it goes to your own hand, not in play.
- Unless it states otherwise, a card's effect happens once when it comes in play, and does not happen every turn.
- Unless it states otherwise, when a card refers to it own value or the value of another card, the current computed value is meant (which is not necessarily the value written on the card).
- "Destroy a card" means put a card that is in play into the discard pile.
- "Discard a card" means put a card from someone's hand into the discard pile.
Each turn, a player draws one card, then plays one card. A card can be played in front of a player or in the center of the table. If it is played on a player, any rules on the card affect only that player. If it is played in the middle, any rules affect all players equally.
If a player draws a blank card, they can create a new card. In order to keep the game going smoothly, though, players should only create new cards on other players' turns.
After the player is done, the player to that person's left takes their turn.
The game ends when a player cannot play a card (usually because their hand is empty and there are no cards to draw). Each player adds up all the points on cards in front of them. The winner is the player with the highest point total.
When the game is over, there is still more to do! Gather up all the cards from the game just played. Deal out two cards for each player face up in the middle of the table. In turn order, each player chooses one card to "save". All saved cards are retained and will be part of the next game. Any cards not saved become part of the old cards pile, which can be reused in future games.
After each player has chosen a card to save, repeat the process until the deck is finished.