Pay the Prize

26 May


Everyone knows that it takes money to make money. The more you pay the better your chance of scoring big … or of having your opponents clean you out. Will you play it safe or are you willing to Pay the Prize?

Ages: 7+

Players: 2 – 6

Interesting Features: being willing to pay out more of your chips gives you better chances of claiming other chips, but can you recoup your losses or are you just giving your money away?

Extras Needed: a deck of playing cards, coins or poker chips (in three distinct denominations/colours)  … a marker or pawn for each player.

DOWNLOAD: Pay the Prize

Printing Suggestions: Everything prints onto a standard Letter size piece of paper. Couldn’t be easier.

Designer’s Notes: Much like Barnyard Brawl, this idea had been kicking around in my wastepaper basket … filing system … for a looooonnngg time. It has also gone through three or twelve different minor tweaks where I basically changed everything about the game except that it was played with cards and chips and pawns (although I think this even got thrown out … filed … at one point or another!) The breakthrough came when I stumbled upon the idea of limiting the way in which the chips had to be payed onto the board, and then expanding the idea of the chips to include different denominations, thus making for some unpleasant decisions. A little bit of pain makes for a whole lot better of a game … especially when that pain is your opponent’s! Oh yeah, and I finally got to use the word “Mooch” in a game … sweet!

–  –  –

Designer’s Challenge: What variations can YOU come up with? Post them here in the comments … let’s see how many we can create!  Just remember to give it a snappy name … or I will.  All the variations I receive I will then format into a second “printing” of the rules – complete with full recognition for each person submitting (and a free copy emailed directly to their inbox for printing!) This very rich prize pool is made possible by the fact that in play testing I didn’t realize that when playing with real money my wife wouldn’t give it back after she won it from me. (I want my two dollars!)

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3 Responses to “Pay the Prize”

  1. willoworld June 22, 2011 at 10:21 am #

    Great blog! Nice games!! :))

  2. Michael; August 17, 2011 at 12:07 pm #

    Can we get rules clarification here, since there’s no page for this game on BGG?

    Here’s my question and if it’s irrelevant, we can delete it.

    The rules say when Paying Chips: “Pay out on as many cards as your chips and the cards allow.” Which wins out: the chips or the board?

    If I play a 5, and I have a 5 chip, 2 twos, and 5 ones, and there are 5 cards lower value than 5:
    Must I pay 1 chip on each of the 5 eligible cards?
    Or could I play just the 5 chip on a single card, or any other combination?
    We played that the board won out, so you had to cover every eligible card, as long as you had enough chips. What’s your ruling.

    Because the rules state “If you only have chips of a higher denomination than what is required to pay, you must still pay them,” I assumed there was no making change from the bank at any time. But I figured in the case of a mooch, we could access the bank to make an even split happen.

    Did I interpret this correctly?

  3. kenmaher August 18, 2011 at 2:55 pm #

    Michael,
    Thanks for the reminder to post this on BGG! I had forgotten. Thanks also for the great questions!

    I can see where I left this somewhat ambiguous in my wording. My intention was that as long as you have a choice of chips by which you can pay the cost you are free to do so. (see second sentence under paying chips)

    I think that by playing with the board ruling your choice of pay-out you still have a decent game, but one that is slightly less cut-throat. There are several times where the board will dictate what must be paid (and how), so why not give players as much choice as you can?

    Try it both ways and tell me which you think works better. I’d love to hear your thoughts
    on it!

    As for the second thought, regarding the bank you are correct. Banks don’t do anyone any favours. No change. Ever. And in the case of the Mooch it allows up to half (half if you can get it, less if you can’t).

    Again, though, I’d be interested to hear how it works if you do allow transactions at the bank. (Since there already is a variation that allows for loans) Perhaps with a charge for each transaction (eg 1 Chip)? That could be fun too!

    Thanks again for the questions, and I hope you keep having fun with it!

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