Release Date: 
Monday, May 15, 2006
PDF icon perkygoth cards and rules.pdf2.56 MB
Setup Time: 
Play Duration (new players): 
Play Duration (experienced): 
Minimum number of players: 
Maximum number of players: 
Minimum Age: 

by Jonathan Leistiko


End the game with the highest average Perky and Goth rating and the smallest difference between the two.

You Need

A deck of PerkyGoth cards
About three six-sided dice

Set Up

Shuffle the PerkyGoth cards. Put them face-down in the middle of the table where everyone can reach them, along with the dice. The player who celebrated a birthday most recently goes first.


Before you start your turn, roll a die for each Job you have. Follow the instructions on the Job.

On your turn, you may draw from one to four cards. Play cards from your hand one at a time until you have two cards or less in your hand. Before drawing, you can declare that you’re being Perky or Goth. If you do, show everyone your cards as you draw them; discard cards of the opposite type (they still count as draws).

You may play Perky, Goth, Cool, and Job cards on any player (including yourself). When a Job is played on you, roll a die. If the roll is less than or equal to your Perky or Goth (specified by the job – if none is specified, you pick), you get the Job. Otherwise, each other player (going clockwise) gets to try or pass. If all players fail or pass, discard the Job.

You must play Scene cards in the middle of the table. When you play a scene, you (and all other players) sum up your Perky, Goth, or both, then roll two dice and add them to your sum. If you have the highest total, you get the Scene and its benefits. Ties go to the highest roller.

Discarded cards go face-up in a discard pile. If you run out of cards, shuffle the discards and make a new draw pile.

Ending the Game and Winning

If there are four or more Scenes in play at the end of your turn, you may declare that the PerkyGoth contest is starting at the end of your next turn. At the end of your next turn, the game ends.

You (and all other players) sum your Perky points. Sum your Goth points. Your score is the smaller of your Perky and Goth scores. If you have the highest score, you win the PerkyGoth contest! You can use your Cool points to adjust your Perky and/or Goth up and down to bring them closer to each other before you get your final score.

Origin and Credits

On April 5th, Ben G. sent an email inviting Sharon and me to Natosha’s birthday. I wanted to do something unusual. I figured that making up a game counted. I meant to make a storytelling game. I ended up making a game filled with “tribute cards” to Natosha and the cool stuff she does. That’s neat, though, ‘cause she’s a great person! I finished writing and laying out the game by April 7th, in time to present it to Natosha for her birthday. Happy Birthday, ‘Toshi!

I’m particularly happy with how every card can be good or bad, depending on how many Perky or Goth points a player has. I also like that you can choose how many cards you want to draw. I think there’s not enough disincentive to draw as many cards as possible, but that’s okay because it makes the game go quickly.

FYI: The banner is a picture of the box that Sharon and I made for the cards that we gave to ‘Toshi. I assembled the box and Sharon did the nifty calligraphy in silver Sharpie. Thanks for helping, Sharon!