Saturday, 9 May 2009

The Shapeless Moment.

We've been having a bit of a clearout here at the brutal tearooms, to make room for the new piano that's arriving on Wednesday. During this process My Lady Friend discovered... a document.

It's obviously my work, and obviously some sort of joke, but despite the fact that I dimly remember writing it, I'm not sure what the joke was.

The document is offered bellow without commentary or amendment, although in one instance my OCR has rendered 'Thrice-Cursed Cards of Death' as "Trice-Corset Carts of Peat" or "Tree-Cwrset Gams of Deza" and I couldn't bring myself to correct either.

The Family Game of Groats. ..and Stoats!

1) Players take turns to roll a six-sided dice (hereafter referred to as the 'stoatcube') and to move the number of squares displayed on its uppermost face, as modified by any stoat/groat related effects discussed below.

2) The winner of the game is the first to reach the final square — "The Land That Stoats Forgot' There's none of that 'must have the exact number' stuff.

3) Should both players reach "The Land that Stoats Forgot' simultaneously, then the 'turn-taking' principle outlined in Rule One has been ignored and the game is declared to have been invalid and must be replayed from the start.

3a) At higher levels of play then the 'turn-taking' principle is re-enforced by the optional 'Exchange of Wishes' rule.

3b) If the 'Exchange of Wishes' rule is in play then a player formally signifies the end of his turn by saying, "I wish you stoats!" to his opponent as he passes the stoatcube. The player receiving the stoatcube then responds "I wish me groats!", formally signifying the start of his turn.

3C) For however many seconds elapse inbetween the previously active player saying "I wish you stoats!" and the next player replying "I wish me groats!" then the game is suspended in a state where it is nobody's turn. This brief state is referred to as 'The Shapeless Moment'.

3d) On the very first turn in a game where the 'Exchange of Wishes' rule is in play then a player obviously may not begin that particular turn by responding "I wish me groats!" to the other player's "I wish you stoats!" as the other player has not said "I wish you stoats!". What happens here is that the player begins the turn by instead saying "I wish me groats!" The inflection is different, do you see?

4) Certain squares will contain an instruction. The player who lands on such a square is to follow this instruction immediately, with no messing about.

5) Certain squares instruct you to draw a card from either the "BUREAU OF MYSTERIES" pile, the "Ubi, Obi, Ibi" pile or the "Trice-Corset Carts of Peat" pile. The player who lands on such a square is to draw the appropriate card immediately with no messing about and then follow the instruction on the card immediately with no messing about.

6) When all instructions written on the squares and cards have been completed, messing about is permitted. Messing about is also permitted at the start of a player's turn before rolling the Stoatcube. The exact forms of messing about permissible are discussed later.

7) The exact sequence of play is therefore...

  • Start of a Player's turn. (Signified, if the 'Exchange of Wishes' rule is in play by saying, "I wish me groats!' unless it is the opening turn of the game in which case it is signified by saying "I wish me groats!")
  • Primary Messing about phase (optional)
  • Rolling of Stoatcube
  • Moving the appropriate number of squares.
  • Obeying any instructions written on the square, or written on a card the square has directed you to draw.
  • Secondary Messing about phase(optional)
  • Concluding your turn by passing the stoatcube to the next player (and, if the 'Exchange of Wishes' rule is in play, saying "I wish you stoats!')

8) You begin the game with two stoats and two groats. Use them wisely.

9) Most squares or cards will cause you to either gain or loose a quantity of either stoats, groats or even both! To ensure honesty and lack of confusion, tokens should be used to represent each player's stock of stoats and groats. The tokens used to represent stoats should differ from those used to represent groats.

9a) At international championship level it is expected that real groats and stoats be used.

10)The number of stoats you posses modifies the number displayed on the upper face of the stoatcube. Subtract one from it for each stoat you possess.

11) For example, should you own three stoats and roll a five, the number of squares you must move is in fact two. Or should you own one stoat and roll a six, the number of squares you must move is five. This rule is key to the game. Perhaps the best way to understand it is to visualize the horrid little things physically dragging you to a halt as you struggle to crawl forward — the more stoats, the slower your progress.

12) Becoming stoatbound: A player cannot posses more than six stoats. A player who has six stoats is said to be 'stoatbound'.

13) Entering `negative stoatage' : A player enters Negative Stoatage when the number of stoats they possess is fewer than zero. For example, if a player has three stoats and is instructed by a card to loose five stoats, the number of stoats in their possession will be -2. A player in negative stoatage adds to their stoatcube roll the number of stoats by which they are below zero. So a player with -4 stoats who rolls a 3 must advance 7 spaces. There is no limit to the extent by which a player may be in negative stoatage. Neither is there a helpful way to visualize the condition, although you may wish to try and picture the player being dragged forwards by some kind of ghostly conceptual anti-stoat.

14) Groats may be spent during the primary and secondary Messing About phases of your turn and at no other time.

15) During the Primary Messing About Phase (prior to rolling the stoatcube) then groats can be spent to increase the number you are about to roll. Spend a number of groats, roll the stoatcube and then add to the number shown the number of groats spent. Don't forget to also adjust for stoats before moving!

Example: I have three groats and two stoats. I spend all three groats to increase my dice roll. I roll a four. To this I add the three extra I gained from my groat-spending then subtract two due to the two stoats with which I am afflicted. I move forward five spaces.

16) During either the Primary or Secondary Messing About Phases then groats can be spend to remove stoats. Remove one stoat from yourself for each groat spent in this way. A PLAYER IS NOT PERMITTED TO ENTER `NEGATIVE STOATAGE' BY THESE MEANS.

17) During either the Primary or Secondary Messing About Phases then groats can be spent to transfer stoats from yourself to your opponent. Transfer one stoat from your stock to your opponent's for every two groats spent in this way. A PLAYER IS NOT PERMITTED TO ENTER `NEGATIVE STOATAGE' BY THESE MEANS.

18) Many cards will instruct you to save them and deploy them at the moment of your choosing. This can be in either the primary or secondary Messing About phase of your turn, or the primary or secondary Messing About phase of your opponent's turn.

19) The only permissible forms of messing about are therefore:

  • Spending groats to increase your stoatcube roll.
  • Spending groats to remove stoats.
  • Spending groats to transfer stoats
  • Deploying cards you've earlier acquired.

20) Congratulations! You now know all there is to know about Stoatbound!... except of course for what lurks within the "BUREAU OF MYSTERIES", the "Ubi, Obi, Ibi" cards and the "Tree-Cwrset Gams of Deza"- Have fun finding out!

We wish you groats!

1 comment:

  1. I'm SO playing this with the Missus after she finally wakes up.