Scott Allen
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My second submission to the 2017 Two-Player Print and Play Game Design Contest


My inspiration for the game was just the word “druthers”. Druthers is a possibly American only, not very common word most often heard in the phrase “If I had my druthers, I would rather…”

After a quick Google search, I learned that druther is actually a slang contraction for “would rather”, d’rather, druther.

So, my idea is to create a fun (hopefully) deck and dice game with a lot of choices. So, if a player would rather do something else, there will usually be another option for them.

At the core, the game is a trick taking card game with the object to win 2 out of 3 hands.

Components:
1 deck of standard playing cards
6 D6 dice



Link to Files (Rules):
https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/0B4GOwLLS7SEbZXF5TzVM...


Approximate Playing Time: 5 - 15 minutes


Categories:
Best Casual/Gateway Game
Best Game with Language Independent Components
Best Deck & Dice Game
Best Game
 
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Scott Allen
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Re: [WIP] Druthers - A Submission to the 2017 2 Player PnP Contest - IDEA Phase
reserved
 
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Andrew J.
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Re: [WIP] Druthers - A Submission to the 2017 2 Player PnP Contest - IDEA Phase
Subscribed, sounds unique!
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JK
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Re: [WIP] Druthers - A Submission to the 2017 2 Player PnP Contest - IDEA Phase
Welcome (again) Scott! Where do you find the time?
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Scott Allen
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Re: [WIP] Druthers - A Submission to the 2017 2 Player PnP Contest - IDEA Phase
JohnKean wrote:
Welcome (again) Scott! Where do you find the time?


Thanks.

I often have 1 hour plus commutes and those times are where a lot of ideas and rules thinking happens. Put some instrumental music on and let my brain wander, ponder, think, etc.
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Re: [WIP] Druthers - A Submission to the 2017 2 Player PnP Contest - IDEA Phase
Link to first draft rules is in original post.

Looking forward to rules and/or game feedback.

Here are the main rules of the game (played with 1 deck of standard playing cards plus 6D6):

Deal 6 piles of 8 cards face down. Place remaining 5 cards face down rotated 90 degrees. This 5 card pile is the Trade pile. Place these 7 stacks in a line to one side of the play area. Place the set aside Joker next to the first pile of 8 cards. This is pile #1.


Reveal top card of each of the 7 piles of cards by flipping them and placing them on the top of their pile. If the revealed card is the Joker, it will count as nothing (lowest fail) in the game - in this case, skip the Utilize Joker step for this game.

Utilize Joker. Either player may decide if the Joker in the deck will count as a wild card (highest trump), or as nothing (lowest fail) for this round. Flip set aside Joker face up to signify that the other Joker is wild. Flip set aside Joker face down to signify the other Joker is nothing. Players can do this in any order, but each can only flip the Joker once.
Use 3D6 to roll your 3 numbers. Choose 1 to determine which pile of cards to select. Pick up that pile to use as your hand for this round. If none of your dice match a remaining pile, you may choose any remaining pile.

Trade hand with the 5 card pile, if desired. Discard originally selected hand face down. It will not be used for the remainder of the game. For the remainder of this hand, you will play short-handed 3 cards, meaning your opponent will win the last 3 tricks of the hand.
Tuck 1 card from hand face down to signify your Druther suit. This suit will get bonus points in the equate step to total your score for the hand.

Head to head trick taking. The first player plays any card. The second player must follow suit if possible. If the second player cannot follow suit, they may play a trump (diamond) card, or any other fail suit. The trick is taken by the player who played the highest trump card, or the highest card of the suit that was led.

Equate (sum) taken tricks and tucked card to total points for the hand (count score). Score:
1 point for each trick taken
2 points for each 10, J, Q, K, A of player’s selected Druther suit
1 point for each remaining 10, J, Q, K, A

Replace hand score with sum of remaining 2 dice if desired. So, if player’s equated hand score is low, they may substitute the sum of their 2 remaining dice as their score for this hand.
Repeat all steps labelled U, T, H, E, R for the second and third rounds.


Thanks.
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Scott Allen
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Here is a photo of the initial set up of the game:



Joker face up signifies that for this round, if the other Joker is picked up into a player's hand (it's mixed in with all the other cards) it acts as the top trump card. If the Joker is flipped face down, then the other Joker in the piles is worthless (lowest fail).

Top card flipped to show 1 card you get if you select that pile, but it is no guarantee of what else is in the pile. The first pile with the trump showing (Q of Diamonds) had no other trump. One of the other piles had 4 trump.

The last pile that is sideways is the Trade pile. If you pick a pile and don't like the cards, you can trade it for this pile, BUT, this pile has only 5 cards in it, not 8, so you will play this round short handed. But, it's another choice the players have.

Enjoy.

 
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Scott Allen
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Another game set up and ready to go:


Some decent cards have been revealed. Joker is face up which means if either player gets the other joker in their hand this round, it counts as the highest trump.

Next, each player rolls 3D6. The numbers rolled are the piles that player can select from for this round.


Top player would probably choose pile #3. This does a few things:
1) Gives them an Ace, which is powerful
2) If the near player takes pile 5 with the Queen of Hearts, both know that the far player can beat that Queen with the Ace, and
3)Saves the 4 + 6 = 10 dice as a decent safety valve. If the player scores less than 10 points this round, they can sub in the dice sum (10) for their score this round.

To be honest, I added these 3 dice per player because I had to to qualify for the "Deck & Dice" category, but they really do add a couple additional elements to the game.

Looking forward to some playtester feedback to let me know what I need to fix.

Thanks.
 
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C. L.
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Just quickly, the post above makes it clear that both players roll dice, but the rules PDF leaves this out.

Also, in setup it would help to emphasize that one joker stays in the deck -- the game is played with two jokers. And as obvious as it is, it helps to specify that the deck is then shuffled.

For Repeat -- don't you need to shuffle the deck and deal again?

Looking forward to giving it a go.

Edit -- just thought of something -- players rolling dice simultaneously is quite different information for the first player than players taking turns rolling. ... a thought ...
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Scott Allen
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Thanks C.L. for your constant feedback on my and everyone else's WIP designs. It is very much appreciated.

And thanks for giving the rules a read through.

I'll work on clarifications.

No, the deck doesn't get shuffled and dealt again. The entire game is played with one run through of the deck. The six 8-card piles are what are used for the 3 rounds of the game. I'll try to clarify that.

Thanks.

EDIT: Druthers rules version 0.3 now online.
 
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C. L.
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Thanks, but it's fun!
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Scott Allen
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I just updated the rules with a 3 player option. It works very well, just had to adjust a few things.

3 Player Variant
Changes from base game:
- Play with entire 54 card deck (both Jokers shuffled in with the deck).
- Deal 9 piles of 6 cards each.
- Skip Utilize Joker step since both Jokers are in the deck.
- Use 3D6 to roll 3 numbers and use 1 die or any combination of die to select a pile of cards to use. For example, if a player rolls: 1, 3, 5, they can select any one of the following piles of cards: 1, 3, 4 (1+3), 5, 6 (1+5), or 8 (3+5). The remaining die or dice are summed together for their Replace value.
- Skip the Trade step, since there is no trade pile.

Winner is the player with the highest sum of scores from the 3 rounds (not the winner of 2 out of 3 rounds).

Enjoy!

 
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JK
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PLAYTESTER SPOT PRIZES

This game is eligible for a playtester spot prize for the next week!

See this post for more details.

 
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Erik B
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Narrow Gate Games wrote:
3 Player Variant
Changes from base game:
- Skip Utilize Joker step since both Jokers are in the deck.


I can't access the instructions from work, so this may be addressed already. If both Jokers are played, which one wins?
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Scott Allen
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Good catch.

Hmmmm, I guess there would be two choices:
1) First Joker played wins - in which case it would be very rare for the other player to play their Joker that turn, or
2) Second Joker cancels out first Joker, so the 3rd player (the one without the Joker) would win that trick. That might be fun.


It should be a relatively rare occurrence, but I should still have it in the rules. I would say, #2, 2nd Joker cancels the 1st.

Thanks.
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Erik B
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Narrow Gate Games wrote:
Good catch.

Hmmmm, I guess there would be two choices:
1) First Joker played wins - in which case it would be very rare for the other player to play their Joker that turn, or
2) Second Joker cancels out first Joker, so the 3rd player (the one without the Joker) would win that trick. That might be fun.


It should be a relatively rare occurrence, but I should still have it in the rules. I would say, #2, 2nd Joker cancels the 1st.

Thanks.


Or option 3) Second Joker out-trumps First Joker.
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Scott Allen
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Or, in the spirit of "druthers" = "would rather", maybe before playing, the 3 players decide how to treat this rare case, pick any of the 3 options?

Or, is that the designer (me) taking the easy way out?

Please try it and let me know what you think.

Thanks!
 
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Mark Tuck
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Hi Scott

Finally getting round to playing a few of the games in the contest(s).

I admit I played Druthers against myself but it did give me a feel for the game and a chance to see if the rules make sense.

Rules.
Generally pretty clear and great that there's only 2 pages.

I was initially confused by 'tuck one card from hand face down'.
I assumed it meant 'place one card face down on the table' - 'tuck' generally means slide or hide under or into something else.
I assume you simply wanted a word beginning with 'T'.

Also, under Equate, it says 'sum taken tricks and tucked card' which may be confusing as it suggests the tucked card itself scores in some way.

The use of 'DRUTHER' as a mnemonic for the gameplay steps is clever - but shouldn't it be DRUTHERS with an S, in which case you'd need another final step beginning with S. How about 'Shake Hands'? Alternatively you could simply call the game 'Druther'.

Obviously there is no need for Utilize Joker once it has been played in that round.

I think the keeping of the 2 remaining dice as a back-up score should be mentioned earlier - in the Use (dice rolling) step. Also, if no dice match the piles then you actually have 3 remaining dice in the Replace step, from which you choose the highest two.

Gameplay
I enjoyed the additional choices the dice give, but I imagine it could be a little disheartening for a player to strategically win the majority of 7 tricks only to then be defeated by a single dice roll.

Over the 2 games played the dice outscored the hand score on 7 (out of 12) occasions. In 2 of the 6 rounds it was high enough to reverse the round winner.

Generally I favoured keeping a high dice score unless a court card or high diamond was obtainable.

There is no need for the player with the lower total back-up dice to keep them at all, as the other player will beat them if it comes down to the dice.

Over just 3 rounds I'm not sure to what extent the first player has an advantage. Maybe one player rolls first to have first choice of piles but the other player plays their cards first.

I assumed the trick winner plays the next card?

And that the Druthers suit can also be the trump suit.

I never considered swapping a hand for the Trade pile. It would have to be a pretty poor hand as the 3 trick forfeit is quite a substantial one.

Overall its an enjoyable game with a quick set up and clever use of the standard deck. The dice, whilst adding choice, may be a little too powerful in the scoring - but, as I only played 2 games solo, I may be completely wrong!.



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Scott Allen
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Thanks for playing, and thanks for the feedback. Some good ideas there.

The tucked card - if it's a face card or ace - is an easy 2 points.

I didn't find taking the two dice score as powerful as you mentioned. I'll play more games and see.

Thanks!
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Mark Tuck
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Narrow Gate Games wrote:
]The tucked card - if it's a face card or ace - is an easy 2 points.
Ah! I wasn't sure if it was scored (I didn't) - I always tucked a low card for the Druther.

Quote:
I didn't find taking the two dice score as powerful as you mentioned. I'll play more games and see.

As I said, I only played two 2-handed games so it may have just been the lucky rolls - a 5 with a 6 on several occasions.
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Scott Allen
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Thanks to everyone who played Druthers and voted in the contest. Druthers finished 3rd in the "Deck & Dice" category against some very nice games ("Equal" was my favorite).

I'm currently working on a game for the Solo contest, but when I have time, I think I might change Druthers to just a "deck" game - no dice. The dice requirement felt a little forced for me, and I think the game will play as well, and easier, with just a deck of cards. Any thoughts?

Thanks again all.
 
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Garry Hoddinott
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Just Cards???? Curiouser and Curiouser
 
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