by Jonathan Leistiko
Gather resources to purchase FX to help your workers create Constructs. The player with the most Constructs at the end of the game wins.
A Special Powers deck.
An FX deck.
A Creation Tracker.
A Poker deck (jokers removed). This is the Resource Deck.
About 5 six-sided dice per player. These dice are Workers.
A unique pawn for each player.
About 30 tokens (loose change works well).
You can get the Special Powers deck, FX deck, and Creation tracker here.
Shuffle each deck separately. Set them face-down where everyone can reach them.
Claim a pawn and two dice for yourself. Put your pawn at the start of the Creation tracker (at the edge near “1”).
Pick a player to deal the first hand.
This game is played in three phases: Resource, Trading, and Creation. During the resource game, you’re playing a simple trick-taking game to gather cards. The cards are resources. Your goal is to gather homogenous clusters of suits or ranks. During the trading game, you can purchase special FX with your resources. During creation, you can purchase actions with your resources to hire workers and attempt to build Creations.
The Resource game
+ You can put your Special Power in play at any time during a trick if no other Special Power has entered play this trick. Put your Special Power face-up in front of you and let everyone know what it does. Remove any other Special Powers in play.
+ If your Special Power is removed from play, put it on the bottom of the Special Powers deck.
+ If you do not have a Special Power, you can draw a new one when you take a trick. Put it face-up so everyone can see it.
The Trading Game
At the end of the resource game, you’ll have a pile of semi-homogenous cards. Now you get to trade them and purchase FX with them. Trading goes in turns.
Deal out 10 FX cards face-up at the start of the trading game. Sort them into piles by type (in bold print in the upper right corner). Put 5 “price tokens” on top of each pile. Pick a player to go first. Give the totem to that player.
On your Trading turn you can do one of the following:
Each trading round starts with the player with the Totem and ends when it gets back to that player. At the end of a round, the totem moves one player to the right and the FX prices adjust. Remove a price token from each FX that was not purchased during that round.
Trading ends when a round passes where no trades occur and one or fewer players make purchases. Remove any un-purchased FX and all counters from the playing area.
The Creation Game
Now you have FX (and possibly some left over resources). It’s time to build stuff.
You get one action token.
Cash in all leftover resource cards you have. You get additional action tokens as follows:
Starting with the player with the totem, each player may spend an action token or pass. If all players pass when play gets back to the totem, the Creation round ends. If the round does not end, the totem passes one player to the right and play continues normally.
You may play one FX card at any time during your turn. Played FX cards resolve, then go to the FX deck.
When you spend an action token, you can do one of the following:
The game ends if any player has five or more creations at the end of a Creation round.
If you have the most Creations at the end of the game, you win.
With Great Power Comes… Taxation? – If you have not used your Special Power by the end of the Resource game, you must give three resource cards to one other player.
Get On With It – Instead of playing the resource game (round one), just shuffle and distribute the resource cards evenly among the players.
Vendors – Divide a standard piece of paper into four equal sections. Label the sections spades, hearts, clubs, and diamonds. Each section is a Vendor. At the start of round 2, do not sort the FX cards by type. Instead, deal out four face-down piles, each containing three FX cards. Put one pile in each Vendor. Turn the top card of each pile face-up and put 5 price tokens on it. A vendor only accepts resources of the suit it is labeled with. When the top card of a pile is purchased, turn the next card face-up.
While driving in the car today (August 22, 2006), I was struck with an urge to make a game where each player had a special power, but that power was not in effect at the start. Furthermore, I wanted to have a disincentive for players to use their special power, and an equally strong incentive to use it. I also wanted to make a game where basic market pressures encouraged players to purchase powers with resources. This game attempts to fuse these two mechanics into one whole. I hope to test it tonight at Monday Night Games Night.
Thanks to Ben G. for discussing game ideas with me.
Thanks to J.P. R. and Frank S. for play testing.