Written in the Cards

1 May


Some say life is a matter of playing the cards you were dealt. But is it all determined before you even begin? Do you have the power to change things, or is it all just written in the cards

Ages: 6+

Players: 2 – 6

Interesting Features: Written in the Cards is a story-telling game based around the words you choose and the cards you draw. It is completely open-ended and anything at all can happen … especially if you draw a face card!

Extras Needed: One deck of regular Playing Cards. You can make extra copies of the Story Outline and Tracker found on the back of the page. You will need one for each game you play. Or you can do it without the tracker if you like.

DOWNLOAD: Written In the Cards

Designer’s Notes: Written in the Cards began life as an entry into the 2017 Edition of the 200 Word RPG Challenge. With almost 700 entries you know it is an idea worth exploring. And you really should! There are a lot of really neat ideas worth trying out!

And while 200 words got most of my point across, I wanted to expand my game and its story-telling greatness to A FULL PAGE of awesome complexity! It may take you longer to read the rules now, but I think you will agree … it is more than 200 words … several more. I hope you enjoy a few of them in a story of your own creating.


Triton’s Garden

6 Jan


Ages: 8+

Players: 3 – 6

Interesting Features: King Triton is building a new underwater garden and he needs your help to stock it with all things beautiful. Collect the right kinds of fish to gain his praise, but watch out for those mischievous dolphins!

So many options for scoring! So many options for messing up your opponent’s scoring! And dolphins … because, why not?

Extras Needed: One deck of regular Playing Cards and a pencil & paper for scoring.

DOWNLOAD: Triton’s Garden

Making Your Own Deck: I have a nice aquatic themed deck of cards to go with this game. Send me an email and I can provide you with the link so you can make one for yourself if you like!

Designer’s Notes: The idea and core mechanics for this game, I am very proud to say, came from the very creative mind of my daughter. I’m not sure what she has against dolphins. You will have to ask her. What a pleasure to be able to share with you the work of our collective craziness.

One More Round

23 Dec


Ages: 8+

Players: 3 – 6

Interesting Features: The increased scoring of each round’s particular cards means that everyone is still “in the game” right to the very end … even if your first few rounds really stunk. Consider it valuable practice and buckle down when it really counts!

Extras Needed: One deck of Italian Playing Cards.

DOWNLOAD: One More Round

Making Your Own Deck: You can make your own deck of Italian playing cards by shortening a regular deck. Simply remove all the 8, 9, 10’s. This will leave you with a deck of 40 cards.

Designer’s Notes: The theme of trading tales and buying ales might be enhanced by doing just that. This is a lighthearted game made for socializing and the imbibing your favourite beverage.

Pip & Squeak

28 May

Pip&SqueakOne tiny little game that you can play two different ways!

Ages: 7+

Players: 2 – 4

Interesting Features: It’s dice … and some rules … how is that NOT interesting? Pip & Squeak is the little game you can play two different ways. In Pip you get to blame your lousy friends for losing. In Squeak you get to blame the lousy dice!

Extras Needed: four standard dice per player.

DOWNLOAD: Pip & Squeak

Printing Suggestions: The whole thing prints on one standard Letter size piece of heavy paper front and back. Use the cutting guides to get your individual cards. Don’t cut right off the edge, just up to the mark, and it works like a charm. Put the cards into card sleeves if you like.

Designer’s Notes: Pip is more tense and likely to make you yell at your opponents. Squeak is more chaotic and guaranteed to make you yell at your dice. You decide which one your friendships can handle. 


Classics Cubed!

7 Feb

Classics 3So many dice … so many games!

Ages: 6+          Players: 2

Interesting Features: Smaller boards, faster playing times, and the occasional luck of the roll. These are the classic board games you know, with a new and dicey twist. Actually, Dice-Tac-Toe became a whole lot more of a game than the original!

Extras Needed: two different (and identifiable) sets of standard six-sided dice … plus two. Use two different styles, or colours or sizes.


DOWNLOAD: Chess-Cubed Board

DOWNLOAD: Pits & Pips Board

DOWNLOAD: Dicegammon Board

Printing Suggestions: All of the files print onto one standard Letter size piece of paper. The rules are designed to be printed front and back. The Boards can be used as is, or “fancifed” by printing out each one twice, putting the top one on a sheet of foamboard, and cutting out spaces for the dice. (see the picture above for a sloppy version of this idea … I’m sure you can make your copy look much nicer!) This will keep the dice from moving around on you without your consent. This can all be done much easier if you print the whole page on a full sheet label.

Designer’s Notes: Because it’s been so long since I updated this site I decided to give you not just one game but FOUR full games to remind you of why you hadn’t missed me! You are welcome.

Rules Variants: Have any interesting ideas you would like to add? Leave a comment below!

Chip Off the Block

25 Dec

Chip off the BlockIt’s all crazy luck (and some good old-fashioned begging) in this super-light dice-rolling filler game.

Ages: 4+

Players: 2 – 10

Interesting Features: Got 5 minutes and a die? Well, now you also have a Game to play! Use Chips 2-6 for the 6-sided die, or add in 7-8 and use an 8-sided die (for more players). Roll the die and take chips (chips) from the middle of the table (the Block) … or from other players!

Extras Needed: a single 6 or 8 sided die.

DOWNLOAD: Chip Components and Rules

Printing Suggestions: The whole thing prints  onto one standard Letter size piece of paper. The rules are designed to go on a single playing card, front and back. The tokens can be applied to standard poker chips for something sturdier. (This can all be done much easier if you print the whole page on a full sheet label.)

Designer’s Notes: Just in time for Christmas, a little gift from my house to yours. Its light. Its portable. Its cheesy. And its free. As far as gifts go that’s not too bad (even if its not that good either). We hope you have as much goofy fun with it as we do … Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Rules Variants: Below are some new twists you can add to make the fun even more zany …

Spite and Malice – If you role the same number as a chip you already hold you may do one of two things. If you call out “Spite” everyone who has a chip must put it back in the middle (the Block). If they have more than one they choose. If you call out “Malice” you may take any one chip of lesser value (than the number you rolled) from another player.

The Tiltyard

13 Jun


Will you be the knight who makes his fortune, or might you be the one to lose your fortune or even your life? Its time to step onto the field of glory … It’s time to enter the Tiltyard!

Ages: 7+

Players: 2

Interesting Features: The lance, the axe, the sword.  Three rounds of gruelling passes to prove your skill, best your opponent and win renown. But battles are won or lost just as easily in the courts of royal favour as they are on the field of honour.  Having the King’s ear, or the Queen’s heart may be the boost to your renown that makes all the difference.

Extras Needed: A standard deck of cards (Jokers optional)

DOWNLOAD: THE TILTYARD (New and Improved Rules!)

Printing Suggestions: Pretty straightforward – one piece of paper with the rules printed on both sides.  Fold it in half and you are ready to go!

Designer’s Notes: Sean Ross, over at the Geek (BoardgameGeek) initiated a 2-player card game design contest.  This was my SPECTACULARLY AWESOME ENTRY … that lost …  As I post this the constest is still going on, but since the first round of voting is over and my game didn’t make it through I proudly (???) offer it here for your consideration and enjoyment.  When you have tried this out why not go check out all the other great entries in the contest.  You won’t be sorry (for them I mean … I make no such claims for mine!)

June 2013 UPDATE … Ok, in a word, this game lost because it kind of sucked … the more I looked at it the more I decided that it was more about the game playing you, than you playing it. There just were not enough meaningful choices.  So I went back to the drawing board and what you have is a brand new game with 75% less suckage … Give or take …

What you now have in front of you is a much truer Climbing style game, with some wicked little twists to keep you engaged right to the very end. Not bad for a two player game!  Anyway, to those who played the earlier version I apologize … and offer this up with the hopes that you will give it a try and like it so much that you forget all about the earlier one (earlier one? … what earlier one?)