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A Gnome's Ponderings

I'm a gamer. I love me some games and I like to ramble about games and gaming. So, more than anything else, this blog is a place for me to keep track of my ramblings. If anyone finds this helpful or even (good heavens) insightful, so much the better.

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If you like chugging gasoline, have I got a game for you!

Lowell Kempf
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A Flask Full of Gasoline is one part genius, two parts machismo and eight parts unbridled lunacy. If you ever wanted the perfect RPG based on movies like Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels or Snatch with a chance at folks ending up in the hospital, this is your game. On the surface, it's a really funny spoof of RPGs. However, beneath that is some interesting design choices.

Before you play, you're going to need to get a bunch of shot glasses, some matches, a bottle of 190 proof grain liquor, a pile of bullets and a hip flask full of gasoline. Character sheets consist of writing down five things that make your character a badass hard case.

Dealer sits everyone down at the table in any order they choose. Sitting farther away from the dealer is a disadvantage so this is blatant favoritism time. Everyone gets a shot of grain liquor and sets a bullet face up in front of them.

Here's the mechanics. If you want to do something or you don't like a decision the dealer made, you flick your bullet at the dealer's bullet. You make it, cool. You get your way. Miss, lose one of your badass traits, which are also your hit points.

Don't want to lose a trait? Fine. Take a hit from the flask of gasoline to show you really are that tough. In case you didn't know it, ask any idiot who tried to syphon their neighbor's gas tank and is now at the hospital, this is a REALLY dumb idea. Put you in the ER or the grave dumb idea.

PVP is handled by flicking your bullet into the other guy's shot glass. Miss, you drink your shot. Make it, you get your way and they have to drink their shot, bullet and all. Beats chugging gasoline but not by that much.

Dealer hands out match sticks for doing awesome cool stuff. End of the game, whoever has the most matches gets to burn down whatever they feel like. Whoever has the least has to burn down whatever the group votes on. Better hope it's not your ma's caravan with her in it.

A Flask Full of Gasoline consists of three little pamphlets. Main book, dealer's guide (which is mostly how to play head games and mess with people but does include NPC rules), and a sample adventure. Taken as a whole, it's a hysterical read and amazingly over the top madness crammed into 24 little pages.

However, The last page of the adventure includes alternate rules to make the game something you could play without people dying. And that turns the whole thing on its head.

Fill the flask with grain liquor. Fill the shot glasses with vodka. Swap out the bullets with candy. Boom. Instead of a parody that could kill someone, you have a functional game based on pub games.

Yeah, I'm actually looking at a Flask Full of Gasoline as playable game. Deal with it.

Here's the thing. Over the years, I've played a decent number of games of Dread, the one with the Jenga tower. Swapping out dice or cards for dexterity games does work and it adds a completely kind of tension and excitement to a game.

Don't get me wrong, even with the alternate rules, we're looking at a fast and silly game where everyone is going to get hammered. Seriously, how good do you think your candy flicking skills really are?

At the very least, A Flask Full of Gasoline is definitely worth a read. You could stand up on the stage and just read the rules and have everyone rolling in the aisles. However, with the alternate rules, I can see the right crew of people having a lot of fun with it. It would be a light, silly, sloppy game that would require designated drivers but people would have fun.

http://www.thefreerpgblog.com

http://www.1km1kt.net/rpg/a-flask-full-of-gasoline

Originally posted on www.gnomepondering.com
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Mon May 16, 2016 7:04 pm
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Though it has some rule gaps, Heist Aces has some neat ideas

Lowell Kempf
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Heist Aces is not only a card-driven roleplaying game where the players are a team of crooks planning out an Ocean's 11 style heist, it's one where the players help the GM design the adventure.

It also happens to be the winner of the 2013 Harder Than Granite contest at the Free RPG Blog. And, I can see why. It is a well-designed game that has also has a solid layout. While I do have a few questions about some of the rules, it's a pretty impressive job for an eight-page pamphlet.

The core of the game is built around a deck of regular playing cards, with each suit reflecting a different plot element. Spades represent sneakiness, diamonds represent braininess, clubs represent skills and hearts represent force. Each character gets one plot device for each suit, plus another random one from a random draw.

The game is broken down into two parts, planning and the job.

The GM draws random card and that is going to be the job. The rules don't actually state that the suit of the card determines the nature of the job but I'm taking that as a given. The GM writes down the nature of the job on a Post-it note and sticks it on the card.

The team now does the legwork, investigating the job. You do that by drawing a card and adding an element to the job based on the suit. Write it down on a Post-it and add it to the job card. There is a time limit to this, though. For every 15 minutes of real time that the team is investigating, the GM gets to draw a card that they can use as an obstacle against the team.

Players start out with no cards in their hand. You get to draw cards by using your aspects or plot devices during the job. I'm pretty sure that you get draw cards for using aspects of the job that was developed in the planning stage. The rules don't explicitly mention that but it makes sense as a way of rewarding the players for developing the job and penalizing them for taking too long.

The GM puts obstacles in the teams way by discarding a card and using that suit to define the obstacle. If a player can discard a card matching that suit, they completely handled the obstacle. If they discard a card that doesn't match the suit that matches the color, they get a yes but result. Something still goes wrong and the GM gets to draw a card. If you can't even do that, the whole job falls apart.

You can also resolve the obstacle by discarding your entire hand. Of course, that's not only going to leave you in a bad state but it's going to make you work harder on building up your hand. But every time you have to reshuffle the deck, the GM gets draw a card for every player.

There is a lot that I like about Heist Aces. I really like all the players work together to put together the adventure. That means that you can just sit down and play because the set up is an active part of the game. I also like how the narration and the mechanics or so tightly tied together. The players have to actively create a story in order to get cards to handle their problems.

However, there are some gaping holes in the rules. I know that part of that is because the contest restricted the layout to an eight-page pamphlet and 24 hours to design the whole thing. Still, I had to make some assumptions on how some elements worked, as you probably noticed.

One of the biggest holes is what kind of hand does the GM start out with? Do they get a starting hand, like one card per player? Do they start out with an empty hand and build it using aspects of the job? The rules do describe how they get bonus cards but they need some kind of hand in order to get the obstacles rolling.

The list of obstacles also look like they're supposed to relate to specific suits, which I assume they do. However it was not explicitly clear, although me being colorblind might not of helped. (Like, were they in black and red?)

That being said, these gaps in the rules can be addressed with some fairly simple fixes. The structure of the game is clear enough that it just requires a few Band-Aids, as opposed to a major overhaul or heavy house rules.

And I do think that the structure of the game is sound. More than that, I really like how everyone gets to design the adventure and how tightly the role-playing is tied to the mechanics.

Heist Aces has a lot of potential in one tiny little pamphlet. I've already recommended it to the number of my old gaming buddies back east.

http://www.thefreerpgblog.com

http://www.1km1kt.net/rpg/heist_aces

Originally posted at www.gnomepondering.com
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Fri May 13, 2016 4:28 am
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House of Unusual Size, powered by spooky theme

Lowell Kempf
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The House of Unusual Size is not my favorite entry in the Free RPG's Harder Than Granite contest from back in 2013. (That's a toss up between Keeton's Journey and A Flask Full of Gasoline) It is, however, the game I think I'm most likely to play.

The game is set in the ancient mansion of Ezra Keeton that was built atop a mountain and undoubtably built into the mountain. In a twist that feels like it's straight out of Lovecraft's Lurking Fear, the Keeton family vanished long ago, perhaps into the mansion.

The players wake up alone and without any memory in the mansion. As the game progresses, they must explore not only the mansion but who they really are. In the end, they must find each other and escape from the tangled labyrinth that is the mansion of Ezra Keeton.

The players start off with a blank character sheet. As the game progresses, the story will let them define a positive quality, a flaw and their connection to the Keeton family.

The House of Unusual Size is a GM-Free system, something that I have come to really enjoy. The player to the left of the active player serves as the GM for that player. They flip a coin, with heads being a positive scene and tails being a negative scene. The scenes can include self-discovery and challenges and fantastic encounters. The other players help fill in details and play other characters or creatures who might be in the scene. You just flip a coin if you have to figure out if a character fails or not at doing something.

After everyone is figured out who they are and what they have to do with the Keeton family, there will be a climactic scene where everyone escapes from the mansion together. There is really no mechanic for everyone dying or catastrophic failure but, if the group wants to play a game like this, they should have no problem filling in those details.

Oh, make no mistake. The House of Unusual Size is far from a perfect system. The rules and the structure are so vague that I don't think it's new player friendly at all. I think it would would only work with a crew of players who are experienced with narrative games.

Frankly, the rules being so vague and requiring interpretation would normally be a game breaker for me. However, the sheer ease of pick-up-and-play and the degree that the theme lends itself to easy story telling makes the game appealing to me anyway.

If I am going to have a role-playing game that I can print out on one page, fold up, and put my pocket, I wanted to be one that can be pulled out and played at the drop of a hat. A House of Unusual Size pulls off the trick.

After all, all you need are the rules, a coin, and a way to write things down. Spooky houses are a genre that is easy to run with. Heck, in a pinch, you could use rock paper scissors instead of the coin and memory if you don't have anything to write things down with.

I can see it being an easy game to play during a road trip, at a cafe, or Skype. I can even see playing it via conference call, although probably just to prove that you can. It would be easy to hack to make shorter, like having every scene add an element to the character sheet with the last round of play being the escape.

The House of Unusual Size definitely needs a group that's prepared for a strong narrative focus and one that can handle minimal rules. Despite that, I can see myself packing this tiny little RPG in my convention bag, just in case. It makes a great use of its theme, strong enough to carry the minimal rules.

http://www.1km1kt.net/rpg/house-of-unusual-size

http://www.thefreerpgblog.com

Originally posted at www.gnomepondering.com
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Wed May 11, 2016 11:42 pm
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An RPG run on what you can't say - Alpha UNIX

Lowell Kempf
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Alpha UNIX is a tiny little RPG with rules that are so simple they are barely even there. And it has a very strong theme that not just justifies those simple rules but uses them to elevate the theme.

Alpha UNIX was an entry in the Free RPG Blog's 2013 24 Hour contest. One of the requirements was that the designers couldn't include numbers in their game. Alpha UNIX takes that to a whole new level.

Take the Matrix and mix in a healthy amount of Groundhog Day. Then season to taste with Paranoia. Everyone is now inside the machine, the all powerful computer, forced to relive the day the computer was turned on over and over again. The players are rebels, trying to escape from the machine. They do that by introducing uncertain and doubt.

There are no random number generators in the game like dice or cards. After all, numbers are the province of computers. Instead, players can do anything they want to, as long as they say it in an uncertain manner.

If they say anything as a certainty, they reaffirm the reality that the computer is creating. They give power back to the computer and the computer can use that power to punish or delete them.

Basically, Alpha UNIX is an advanced version of the party game where you're not allowed to say the word 'I' or 'the'.

I'd be interested in trying Alpha UNIX to see how well this approach to minimal mechanics works. I have played systems that were this light but not like this. If it works, I can see it being a handy game for car trips or playing via Skype.

I'm sure it won't work for some groups and, frankly, I don't know how well it would work in general. But I do think it's a brave design that is cleverly linked to its theme.

http://www.thefreerpgblog.com

http://www.1km1kt.net/rpg/alpha-unix

Originally posted at www.gnomepondering.com
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Wed May 11, 2016 11:33 pm
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Make the King turns auctions into role playing

Lowell Kempf
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The kingdom is at war and the king lies dying. A power struggle has begun between the rightful prince, the supreme general and the the resourceful bastard son of the king. One of them will rise to the throne but war might destroy the kingdom before them.

Make the King is a tiny RPG designed to be played with exactly three-players. It was part of the Free RPG Blog's 2013 24 Hour contest. What makes it interesting for me is that the mechanics use blind bidding and a variant on the prisoners' dilemma.

Each player starts off with two mugs, one full of black chips and the other full of white chips. Two empty mugs sit in the middle of the table, one for each color.

The players will take turns playing the king, calling the other two characters to the king's deathbed. The king will ask questions, asking the two of them of the wars going.

After they give their versions of the situation, which will probably be completely conflicting with each other, the two players bid on who's version of the truth is real.

Each player can bid up to half of either their remaining white or black chips. If they both been wanting to, the larger bid wins. The winner gets the losers bid and their bid goes into the mug on the table designated for white chips. Black chips always beat white chips and both bids going to the mugs on the table. If both players good with black chips, the higher bid wins with both bids going into the mugs on the table.

Well there are rules to make sure that everyone gets to play the king twice, the game ends when one of the mugs on the table is full. If the white mug is full, whoever has the most white chips left in their personal stock, they become the new king and describe how they win the war. But if the black mug is the one that is full, the kingdom has lost the war and been conquered. Everyone loses but whoever has the most white chips is the scapegoat.

On the one hand, the board gamer in me likes the simple but tight auction mechanic with the twist with the end. It's simple but it works from a mechanical standpoint. It reminds me a lot of games like Terra and High Society. It isn't a proper prisoners' dilemma but it reminds me of it.

On the other hand, what I don't like is that the role playing isn't really tied to the mechanics. It doesn't matter what you do in your interviews with the king or what kind of story you create. This is a game with a real winner and loser and that is solely determined by how well someone works the auctions. That really isn't a winning point for a role playing game for me.

I've seen mechanics that make more sense in board games used in RPGs before. Mars Colony and Dread come to mind. But in those cases, they were married to the story and helped drive it.

Still, to be fair, Make the King is an entry in 24 hour contest. It had some interesting ideas. I don't see myself every playing it but I did have fun reading it.

http://www.thefreerpgblog.com

http://www.1km1kt.net/rpg/make-the-king

Original posted at www.gnomepondering.com
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Tue May 10, 2016 6:18 pm
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Discovering the Free RPG Blog

Lowell Kempf
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I recently stumbled across www.thefreerpgblog.com. Honestly, being someone who is interested in quirky RPGs, it's amazing it took me this long. And the first post I really poured over were the entries for the 2013 Harder Than Granite 24-Hour RPG competition.

Rob Lang, who writes the blog, set some pretty tough additional requirements. The games had to not include numbers and they had to fit in pocketmods. For them that don't know, a pocketmod is folding and cutting a regular sheet of paper into a little eight-page pamphlet.

No numbers was an interesting idea, since that meant so many basic RPG concepts get ruled out. Pocketmod seemed a bit more odd to me, since PDFs and ebooks and mobile devices have made me stop caring about the size of rule books

Oh, and he also wanted designers to include an NPC named after the guy who runs one thousand monkeys one thousand typewriters since 1KM1KT is the biggest online collection of free RPGs.

The contest gave me nineteen tiny, odd little RPGs to read through and I did that in over the course of twenty-four hours. Not that impressive when you remember that that was just reading nineteen single-sided sheets of paper.

I found that some of them were really just conflict resolution systems, which honestly didn't interest me that much. Some of those were really interesting ideas for mechanics but they didn't give me a game I wanted to play.

But others had much tighter focuses. They gave me settings and told me what kind of story I was going to get out of the game. They had serious structures. Which is actually really impressive for such a small space. They also usually had actually simpler rule sets but I'm cool with that.

You see, if I'm going to carry around a RPG in my pocket, I want to be able to play it at the drop of my hat with five minutes or less of teaching. Simplicity married to a structure/story is what I want.

Truth to tell, I came away with five or so games I think would be fun to play, a couple more than I want revisit and examine and one that is the product of an insane mind that I had to share with a bunch of friends. (The core rules of A Flask Full of Gasoline will put you in the emergency room.)

I am really happy that I found the Free RPG Blog and the 2013 contest was such a fun introduction.

http://www.thefreerpgblog.com
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Tue May 10, 2016 4:38 pm
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Our two-year-old can play this by the rules

Lowell Kempf
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Years ago, I picked up a keychain version of Don't Spill the Beans on a road trip. Technically, it was fully playable but the tiny size made that impossible. (Connect 4 is the only game I've found that still works when shrunk down that small, unless you count playing Yahtzee with teeny dice) So it just became a curio in my junk drawer.

But when our toddler found that keychain, he became obsessed with getting the real game. Since I didn't grow up with Don't Spill the Beans, I wasn't that interested until my wife pointed out that this was a game that a two-year-old would be able handle playing by the rules.

So we picked it up.

For those of you who were like me and had a deprived childhood without any idea that this game existed (I've never played Hi Ho Cherrio either but I'm sure that will change), Don't Spill the Beans consists of a plastic kettle on two pivot arms. Players take turns dropping a bean on the top heavy kettle. When it inevitably tips over, whoever caused the spill gets all the beans. Whoever gets rid of all their beans first wins.

In other words, we're talking about a very simple game. Being a dexterity game, there isn't any reading or math that you have to worry about. And, for a dexterity game, the physical skill requirements are very low.

Which makes it perfect for a two-year-old, who still working on his hand eye coordination. It is a game that he can handle the playing requirements and understand what's going on.

The lesson that I was really hoping that he would take out of Don't Spill the Beans was taking turns. Personally, I've come to the conclusion that that is one of the first important things that the child needs to learn about gaming and one of the first valuable life lessons that gaming can teach a child. Good sportsmanship is a close second, of course. Other rules like this pawn belongs to you, counting spaces, don't over bid in auctions and never start a land war is Asia will follow.

And, much to my delight, our son does understand both how the game works and that Mommy and Daddy get a turn before he gets to put another bean on the kettle. While he has played with stacking Animal Upon Animal pieces and made matches with Spot It and Memory, Don't Spill the Beans is the first game he has actually played by the rules.

Yes, sometimes he gets too excited about the beans spilling and forgets that not spilling them is the goal. And eventually, the toy factor wins over and the game ends. We do occasionally get through an entire game before that happens, though.

Still, I think that being able to follow the rules and being able to let other people take turns are really big steps.

Father Geek has recommended weighting for the kettle with coins when kids get older and the balancing becomes more of a legitimate skill activity. The number of coins can even let you create different difficult levels. We've already discussed using real dried beans in different sizes.

Don't Spill the Beans is clearly not one of the greatest games ever made. There will be no mistaking it for Agricola, even though they both have agricultural themes. However, the bean game is going to mean Don't Spill the Beans in our household for a while instead of Bohnanza.


https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Don%27t_Spill_the_Beans

Originally posted on www.gnomepondering.com
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Tue May 3, 2016 4:37 pm
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Discovering the Buddha's nature is a unique and fun experience

Lowell Kempf
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I have played a lot of games over the years with the Looney Pyramids. Hands down, the best game I have played has been Zendo. As far as I am concerned, it is the crowning jewel of the system. I have played it in many different settings with many different groups and it has never failed to be a hit.

I was once teaching it at a meetup group and an observer said 'So it's like Mastermind with Tetris pieces?' and I turned to her and said 'it is EXACTLY like that'

Zendo belongs to the school of deduction games where one person comes up with a code or rule and everyone else has to figure it out. Mastermind is the defining game of the genre but Zendo blows every other game of its type out of the water.

One player will take the role of code maker or master. Everyone else will be their students or code breakers. The master will come up with a rule about the Buddha and then build two dioramas called koans out of the pyramids , one that demonstrates the rule and one that does not.

The rule really can be virtually anything. It can relate to the colors of pyramids, the number of pyramids, the orientation of pyramids, the size of the pyramids or any combinations of them. For instance, a rule could be that a koan has the Buddha nature if it has a large blue pyramid pointing up.

Students take turns building koans of their own and then asking the master either master or mondo. If they ask master, the master simply marks if the koan follows the rule or not. Mondo has all the students guess what the master's answer will be before the master marks the koan. Everyone who guesses right gets a guessing stone.

At the end of a student's turn, they can turn in a guessing stone to guess the Buddha's nature. If they get the rule right, they win. Otherwise, the master will build another koan that demonstrates the student's rule but still does not have the Buddha's nature.

Zendo is an amazing gaming experience, unlike anything else I've played and I've played a lot. While there is a 'winning' condition and it can be seen as competitive, I've always found it turns into a cooperative experience. And unlike cooperative games like Pandemic, it isn't about tension but exploration and discussion.

The master's goal isn't to stump the students. Trust me, that wouldn't be a challenge. The master's goal is to challenge and engage the students. The students are going to inevitably work together, whether they intend to or not since every turn gives new information. In almost every game I've played in, it has become intentional.

Zendo is really about communication. A game of Zendo is a conversation between the master and the students, as well as the students with each other. That gives the entire game a vibe that is unique.

You can play Zendo with just about everything. I've read about people using pocket change to play it or words or even emoticons. However, the pyramids are a very good way to play Zendo. They create a striking visual look. More importantly, they create a distinct language to have the conversation with.

Zendo is an impressive game. Each piece of the game is designed to help people not just explore reasoning but communication. Other deduction games, like Clue or Sleuth, are about find answers. Zendo is about talking to each other.


http://www.looneylabs.com/rules/zendo

Originally posted at www.gnomepondering.com
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Mon May 2, 2016 7:22 pm
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Looking back at Volcano - yup, still an awesome game

Lowell Kempf
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If there is a game that truly embraces the unique nature of the Looney Pyramids, it is Volcano.

There are a lot of abstract strategy games in the Looney Pyramid catalog. A good chunk of the early games, for instance most of the games in Playing with Pyramids, are pure abstract strategy games without any random elements.

Played out on a five by five grid, Volcano is a game about collecting sets of pyramids by strategically causing volcano eruptions. Some years ago, I wrote a fairly detailed review and rules summary : https://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/202091/very-unconventio... Looking back at it, I have to say that Volcano is much easier to demonstrate than to explain.

The thumbnail sketch of Volcano is that you move the volcano caps around to cause eruptions, which are basically the pyramids playing hopscotch. When a pyramid lands on another pyramid the same size, you get to keep that pyramid for scoring. You get extra points collecting a trio of the same color and when someone gets a pyramid in every color, the game ends.

There is definitely a learning curve to Volcano. As I said, actually understanding how the game works mechanically doesn't seem to click until you see the game in action. The next part of the learning curve is figuring out how to set up good moves

Volcano is a game that really requires the stacking nature of the pyramids, as well as three different sizes. It clearly was developed out of the very nature of the pyramids. Plus, there's no denying that, as abstract as it is, the pyramids help it live up to the Volcano name.

Plus, Volcano is a very solid game. Definitely forces you to think in different ways so it is intellectually challenging. At the same time, causing eruptions and collecting colorful pyramids is an off a lot of fun. For such a different game, it's an easy one to get people interested.

I've been playing Volcano for years. Sadly, not regularly enough to get really good at it but I keep coming back to it. I consider it one of the games that really elevated the Looney Pyramid system, a game I'd buy and keep playing even if it was the only game in the system.

http://icehousegames.org/wiki/index.php?title=Volcano

Originally posted at www.gnomepondering.com
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Thu Apr 28, 2016 6:37 pm
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LIE turned out to be a hubabaloo in a tiny box

Lowell Kempf
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Out of all the Pack O Game series, LIE was the one that interested me the least. It just looked like a Liar's Dice variant. Plus, I was primarily interested in the series with an eye for two players and it looked particularly weak for two-players.

However, when I had the chance to play it with more players at the Rincon Fundraiser, I took it. And everyone had a blast.

Short version for anyone who wants to stop reading now, Liar's Dice is a lot of fun which makes variants of it a lot of fun too.

Like every game in the series, LIE consist of thirty skinny little cards. On each end of every card, there is a picture of a six-sided die face with every pip appearing ten times throughout the entire deck. Out of all the games the series, LIE is easily the plainest one artwise, looking pretty drab compared to the very artistic SHH. However, it does the trick.

At the start of the game, everyone is dealt out five cards. Each player then decides what die they'll use on each card. The way the cards are designed, if you hold them fan-style, you'll cover up the dice that you're not using.

Now, if you're even vaguely aware of how Liar's Dice works, you know what comes next.

The starting player makes a bid in the form of a number and pip of dice, like four ones or three sixes. They are betting that there is that number of that pip spread throughout everyone's hands.

The next player has a choice. They can either raise the bid or they can call the last players, saying they are a liar. Everyone's hand is revealed in that case and you find out who was right. Whoever was wrong is dealt one less card in the next hand.

When someone is all out of cards, whoever is left with the most cards is the winner.

In other words, almost exactly like Liar's Dice.

There are a couple of variants that come in the rules, like playing until last man (or woman) standing. The interesting one is having ones be wild UNLESS the opening bid is for ones. For what it's worth, I have seen those variants with regular Liar's Dice as well.

There is no denying that Liar's Dice is a great, fun game. One way or another, it's been around for generations. You can finds versions played all over the globe. It's a classic and it'll be around for generations to come.

And I do think that Liar's Dice is a better game than LIE. Using actual dice creates more interesting odds and situations. Plus, there's no denying that rolling all those dice is exciting and fun. We are taking about a game that started out as a serious gambling game but works great as a party game.

However, what I didn't anticipate is that even though LIE isn't as good as a truly great game has been vindicated by history and played on every continent except Antarctica (and I might be wrong about Antarctica), LIE is still a very good game. Holding it up to a such high standard turned out to make me not realize that LIE could still be good.

LIE's big twist, of course, is that allows for a measure of hand management. In some ways, that mixes up the way that being a deck of dice flattens the odds. With some groups, it might actually flatten the odds even more but it really does open the doors to some mind games. I even know some folks that might think that makes it better than Liar's Dice but I wouldn't go that far.

Now, I do own a good copy of Liar's Dice with color coordinated cups and dice. And if I know that it was going to get played, I'd pack it. But LIE is not just a game that takes up no room, it's part of a set of games that has become my default travel choice. LIE is a game I can easily have on me.

LIE takes Liar's Dice and makes it even more portable. It adds some control, allowing for interesting choices with the bluffing. Most importantly, it's a really fun game. I'm glad I gave it a real chance and found out that it's a strong part of Pack O Games.
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Thu Apr 28, 2016 4:27 pm
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