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Subject: Fabula-Dixit Hybrid Variant rss

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Joe Rogers
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I really love the beautiful artwork on Dixit and have enjoyed playing it with various groups of people. When I received Fabula as a gift I figured it would be just as wonderful. Judging from a lot of the reviews here on the Geek, I sort of got the feeling that the game itself needed some work. Reading through the rules, I did not like the arbitrary scoring pattern given to the role of Grimm. Therefore I have attempted to create a Fabula-Dixit hybrid variant which combines the best of both games. Here is what I came up with:

Fabula-Dixit Hybrid Variant

3-8 players
1. Randomly draw one of the setting illustration cards from Fabula and let every player look at it. Place it in the center of the table. This will act as the focal setting of the story during the game.
2. Make a deck of random item cards from Fabula. The number of cards used should = the number of players there are. Shuffle and place face up on the table. This is your items deck.
3. Randomly choose character tokens from Fabula. The number of characters should = the number of players there are. Place next to the item cards.
4. Make a deck of random Dixit cards. The number of cards should = the number of players there are. Shuffle and place face up. This is called your “Plot Thickens” deck.
5. Take a stack of quill tokens and place them near the board.

6. The object of the game is to keep the story going. The person with the least amount of quill tokens is the winner.
7. The first player takes a quill token and begins the story; each player must tell a part of the story using one sentence only and it MUST (at first) include some element of the illustration depicted on the setting card. When the first player finishes his/her sentence, he/she passes the quill token to the person on his/her left. The next player must add to the story with a single sentence that advances the story including some NEW element of the illustration on the setting card not previously used.
Example: beginning with the setting card “The Toad”, player A says “Once upon a time there was a fat toad,” and passes the quill token to player B. Player B says “This fat toad, whose name was Oliver, liked to pass his days rowing down the river,” and passes the quill to player C. Player C says “One day Oliver travelled down a part of the river he had never been before and came upon a giant white building,” and passes the quill to the next player. At some point, players will run out of elements from the setting card and need to include some other thing to keep the story going. When this happens, the player who has run out of elements to use, will keep the quill token then add either one of the character tokens, or draw the top item from the item deck, or add one of the Plot Thickens card. They will then take a new quill token, and continue the story using the same rules as above (one sentence only and must add some element not previously used) and passing the new quill token on to the next player.

8. Character tokens and items added to the story should be placed directly on the illustration board in relation to how they play out in the story (in the above example, if Oliver now has a paint brush, the card should be placed next to Oliver. If a player has Oliver dropping the paint brush into the river, the card should be moved next to the river. This helps players keep track of how the story is unfolding). Plot thicken cards should be placed next to the setting card and are treated as if they were a second setting. As characters, items, and plot thicken elements get added to the game, players must continue to use one sentence only and must include NEW elements to the story not previously used (this can include some part of any illustration not previously used. In addition, new interactions not used between the items, characters, and plot thickens can be used).

9. The game ends when all the characters, items, and plot thicken cards have been used AND when a player can no longer think of any way to continue the story. When this happens, the player who cannot add any other element to the story (since all the cards and characters have been exhausted) and cannot see any other part of the illustrations to include that have not already been included already, that player thinks of some way to bring the plot to an end, says “The End” and keeps the quill token.
10. The player (or players in case of a tie) with the least number of quill tokens is (are) the winner(s).
11. Legal moves:
A. Having a character already in play interact with another character already in play (either in the illustrations on the setting or plot thickens cards or the character tokens) as long as these two have never interacted before. Once two characters have already interacted, they cannot interact again unless some new element is added. Example: in a previous move, a player has placed the fairy character token onto the setting card including her to the story. Player A can use his/her turn to have the fairy interact with Oliver the toad (assuming the player who brought the fairy token into play hasn’t already done so). The fairy and Oliver have now interacted and another interaction between them cannot be used as a legal move again without some new element being added between them (an item, another character, a part of a plot thickens card, etc).
B. Moving items around the setting is allowed as a legal move, but must be done in a way not done before and not using the same characters. For example, Player A has included the paintbrush giving it to Oliver, Player B has Oliver dropping the paintbrush into the river, later in the game another player can have the paintbrush was ashore where the fairy then picks it up.
12. Illegal moves:
A. using any element that has already been used before without placing it into a new context. Example: Player A two rounds ago mentioned the white building Oliver comes across, another player could not simply mention the white building as his/her move since this had already been mentioned.
B. Players cannot repeat a previous move. Example: Player A several rounds ago had Oliver drop the paintbrush into the river, at some point Player B has the paintbrush wash ashore where the fairy picks it up. Player C could NOT have the fairy drop it back into the water where it is picked up by Oliver, nor could the paintbrush get back to Oliver in any way using characters or element already used once before (thus if a player wanted Oliver to retrieve the paintbrush it could not involve the river nor the fairy).
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Joe Rogers
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Played the hybrid variant with 2 others. Still didn't work 100% as there were a lot of ambiguities about what constitutes a "legal" move. It could have also been the late hour that we played, it could have been that the folks I played with aren't "imaginative story" types (although they are the 2 who ADORE Dixit). Or it could just be that Fabula sucks.
 
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