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Game Design Showdown April 2005 Challenge - Little People

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Brykovian's picture
Joined: 07/21/2008

(Note: this challenge has been completed)

Game Design Showdown
April 2005 Challenge - "Thanks to the Little People"

(The full title was too long to fit in the thread subject line.)

Theme: The game's central theme must revolve around at least 1 race of mythical/mystical small people ... sprites, fairies, gnomes, imps, Menehune, nisse, or whatever you prefer. It can include more than 1 type, if you wish.

Genre: Set Collection

Mechanics Limitations:

  • Cards must be used for something
  • There must be a hidden information mechanic (but, players having their own "hand" of cards does not count)
  • There should not be a central board (by this, I'm trying to avoid the big central board used by all players to move things around and interact as the main focus of the game ... individual player boards, scoring tracks, and other items used mainly for organization and accounting are fine)
Start Date: 14-April-2005, AM CST
End Date: 21-April-2005, Noon CST (approximately)
Voting: 21-April-2005 through 28-April-2005

More discussion, questions and "clarifications" regarding this challenge can be found on this thread:


This challenge has been completed!

The list of challenge entries, including their designers, are listed in the following posts ... the results of voting are given in the final post of this thread.

A thread for critiquing the entries can be found here:

Brykovian's picture
Joined: 07/21/2008
Game Design Showdown April 2005 Challenge - Little People

Entry #1 -- Secret Garden
by Kreitler

Secret Garden
In Secret Garden, players try to earn the most points by planting desirable flowers in their gardens and keeping undesirable ones out. Each player assumes the role of a magical gardener -- Elf, Sprite, Pixie, Gnome, Brownie, or Faerie. He plants and harvests "good" flowers in his garden, and tries to plant less desirable ones in the gardens of other players.

Quick Rules Summary
Number of players: 2-6
Object: collect sets to get the highest score.
"Little People" cards (1 each of Elf, Sprite, Pixie, Gnome, Brownie, Faerie)
"Garden Board" (6)
"flower cards" (72, in 6 suits (lily, rose, etc), each suit contains 3 cards of value 1, 3 of value 2, 3 of value 3, and 3 of value 4).

Players select a "little people" card and keep it hidden until the end of the game.

Players take a "garden board" and place it before them.

Players take turns playing "flower cards" onto the garden boards. In his turn, a player first replenishes his hand from either the draw pile or his garden board, then plays cards onto his or other players' garden boards. Hand limit is 4 for 2 players, 5 for 3 or 4 players, and 6 for 5 or 6 players.

If any of his plays results in a set of three like flowers on any board, the board's owner immediately scores the set. If two or three of the flower card values match, the set is worth that much (example: 1, 1, 4 = 1 point) . If no values match, the set is worth the middle value (example: 2, 3, 4 = 3 points). Once scored, sets are removed from the garden boards and placed next to the owning player.

Play continues until a player takes the last flower card from the draw pile and completes his turn.

At the end of the game, all players reveal their hidden "little people" cards and tally their final scores. Each race of little person (Sprite, Pixie, Gnome, Elf, Brownie, and Faerie) prefers one suit and dislikes one suit. Sets of the preferred suit count double. Sets of the disliked suit count negative. All other suits add at face value.

--------- That's it, you're done, unless you're really interested in rules details ---------

Game Setup:

    Each player draws a "Little People" card to determine his race. Players keep these hidden until game end.
    Each player grabs a "Garden Board", with space for 6 cards.
    One player shuffles the "flower card" deck and deals a full hand (4 cards for two players, 5 cards for three or four, or 6 cards for five or six) to the other players.

Game Play

    The dealer starts, and play proceeds clockwise.
    On his turn, a player first replenishes his hand from the draw pile, cards in his garden, or both.
    After replenishing, a player can play as many cards as he likes, one at a time, up to the hand limit. He may play them into his or any other garden (a garden holds at most 6 cards).
    If, after any played card, a garden holds three flowers cards of the same suit, the player who owns the garden must claim the "set" (i.e., remove it from his garden and score it).
    Play continues in this fashion until the player who empties the draw pile ends his turn.


    Players score sets as they are formed.
    A group of 3 like flower cards comprises a set.
    Each flower card has a value, 1-4.
    If two or three of the values match, the set takes that value (ex: 1,1,4 = 1 and 3, 3, 3 = 3).
    If none of the values match, the set takes the middle value (ex: 1, 2, 3 = 2).

Final Scoring

    At the end of the game, players reveal their "little people" cards and compute their final scores.
    Each gardner has his favorite and least favorite types of flower.
    Sets of the "favorite" group are worth double value.
    Sets of the "least favorite" group score negative points.
    Add all of a player's set values to arrive at his final score.

Flower preferences

    Elves like orchids and dislike lillies
    Gnomes like violets and dislike sunflowers
    Sprites like roses and dislike tulips
    Pixies like sunflowers and dislike roses
    Brownies like lillies and dislike violets.
    Faeries like tulips and dislike orchids.

Brykovian's picture
Joined: 07/21/2008
Game Design Showdown April 2005 Challenge - Little People

Entry #2 -- Snatch a Fairy!
by ShiftyPickles

Snatch a Fairy! (3-4 players)
Gain favor with your general and win the battle by being the first player to amass 5 full battalions for your army of Fairy creatures.

Play pieces: 125 card deck containing:
20 Brownie cards, 20 Dwarf Cards, 20 elf cards, 20 pixie cards, 20 goblin cards, 20 leprechaun cards, 5 troll Cards

The table in front of each player is their “field of battle”, the cards in the players hands are reserves. Only the cards on the field of battle are available for play. At any point in the game a player will always have 3 cards in reserve and 1 secret weapon card in the field of battle.
Shuffle the deck and deal each player 4 cards, the remaining cards are placed face down in the center of the table and become the draw pile.
Each player chooses one card from their hand to lay face down in front of them on their field of battle. This card becomes their secret weapon. (Strategy for selecting this card will become clear as the rules of the game are explained)

Playing the Game:
Play commences with the player to the left of the dealer. On their turn a player must draw 2 cards from the draw pile, lay one (and only one) card down on their field of battle and discard one card.

Building your army:
Build your army by collecting cards and laying them on your battlefield arranged in rows of like type. A complete army contains 5 battalions of like fairy creatures

The following rules apply to cards on the battlefield
•Single cards are unprotected and are vulnerable to being snatched during a raid
•Pairs of cards (i,e. two brownies) are protected and not vulnerable to raids
•Three of a kind are strong enough to go on raids to snatch fairies from other players
•4 of a kind is a complete battalion, no additional cards may be added to this group. A full battalion is too large to go on raids.

Staging a Raid:

Once a player has a team of cards eligible for raiding (3 of a kind) they may choose to stage a raid during their turn. To stage a raid a player draws their cards from the draw pile, adds a card to the field of battle and then before discarding they choose 1 player with a vulnerable card on their field of battle that they would like to snatch. They announce a raid by giving a war cry of their own choosing and then saying “I am going to snatch (chosen card) from (chosen player)”. The player who is under attack must either foil the raid by protecting their card (see The Secret Weapon) or they must allow the unprotected card to be snatched by the raiders. If a raid is successful the snatched card is added to the field of battle of the raider and the raider then discards to end their turn. If the raid is foiled the raider must turn over 1 of the raiding cards to the player that they attacked, they then discard to end their turn.

The Secret weapon:
A player may choose to bring their secret weapon card into play when they are under attack by a raiding party. The secret weapon can foil a raid if the secret weapon is a card that protects the card under attack.

Ex: Player A has an unprotected brownie card showing, player B stages a raid on the brownie during their turn. Player A turns over their secret weapon card revealing a second brownie that protects the first and the raid is foiled.

A troll card can also be used as a secret weapon. A troll will act to protect any card on the player’s field that is under attack.

Once a fairy secret weapon card is used it remains on the field of battle and the player draws another card and may either use that card or a card from their reserve hand as their new secret weapon. Once a troll card is used it is discarded and a new card is drawn to replace it.

A player may change secret weapons during their turn. After they draw they turn the secret weapon card over and add it to the field of battle, they then choose new secret weapon card from their reserve hand.

Winning the Game:
The game is won by the first player to amass an army of 5 complete battalions. The secret weapon card may be used to complete a battalion to win the game.

Brykovian's picture
Joined: 07/21/2008
Game Design Showdown April 2005 Challenge - Little People

Entry #3 -- Little People in a blender...
by Gogolski

Little People in a blender...

***** The Players:

2 to 4 players

***** Components:

--- Little People Gold Coins (= LPGC).
/=> 40 x 1 LPGC

--- Little People Race Cards (= LPRC).
/=> 1 card of every 6 of the Little People Races. (Faeries, Pixies, Nixies, Imps, Kobolts and Gnomes.)

--- Little People Family Cards (= LPFC).
/=> 3 mommy cards of every 6 of the Little People Races.
/=> 3 daddy cards of every 6 of the Little People Races.
/=> 3 sister cards of every 6 of the Little People Races.
/=> 3 brother cards of every 6 of the Little People Races.

--- Little People Screens (= LPS).

--- Pen and Paper.

***** The Time:

+/- 60 to 90 minutes (Depending on the number of players.)

***** Summary:

Six races of "little people" live together in a rather chaotic harmony. Every race has it's own speciality of 'pranking' and 'joking' and doing really evil things. They steal eachother's money; they swap babys and kidknap people.

They get totally mixed up and nobody knows how to pull them appart!

The players score points by trying to collect the little people of their own secret race and by trying to discover what race the other players are collecting.

***** The Setup:

At the start of the game, the races that play along are chosen.
Fairies always play along.
Pixies never play along when playing with two players.
2 players => 4 races. (Pixies + any race but Faeries are out.)
3 players => 5 races. (Any race but Faeries is out.)
4 players => 6 races.

Put the Little People Race Cards (= LPRC) of the races that play along face down on the table and shove them around a bit. Starting with the shortest player, each player selects a card that will represent his secret race. This is kept secret. The two other LPRCs are put aside without looking at them.

Shuffle the Little People Family Cards (LPFC) of the races that play along. This forms the BLENDER.
Each player is dealt 5 cards. The top two cards of the Blender are put open on the table. Starting with the shortest player, each player in turn selects one open card. The open card is replaced by the topcard from the Blender. Then every player draws a second one. These are the seven cards to start playing with.

Each player is also given 7 Little People Gold Coins (LPGC). The players put those behind their Little People Screens (LPS).

***** The Rules:

The shortest player starts.

I. A player must chose one of the following actions:
--[1]-- Play one LPFC.
--[2]-- Play two LPFCs.
--[3]-- Buy one LPFC for 3 LPGC.
--[4]-- Buy two LPFCs for 5 LPGC.
--[5]-- Buy one LPFC for 4 LPGC and then play one LPFC.
--[6]-- Sell two LPFCs of the same race for extra LPGCs.

Playing Little People Family Cards:

Each race has a speciality, when a card of a certain race is played, you put it face up on the discard-deck.

=> Faeries:
- If you play a Faerie-card, you may choose 5 cards from another player and look at them, then you return the cards to that player.
- If you play two Faerie-cards, you first receive one LPGC, and then you may look at ALL the cards of one player. This counts as playing two cards.

=> Pixies:
- If you play a Pixie-card, you first receive one LPGC, and then choose two other players than yourself. You take two cards from each of them blindly; you look at those four cards and swap one of those two cards from each player.
- If you play two Pixie-cards, you first receive three LPGCs, and then choose two other players than yourself. You take five cards from each of them blindly; you look at those ten cards and swap two of those five cards from each player. This counts as playing two cards.

=> Nixies:
- If you play a Nixie-card, you first receive one LPGC, and then you draw two cards blindly from another player. You look at those cards and take one and give that player a card with another race from yourself in return.
- If you play two Nixie-cards, you first receive three LPGCs, and then you draw five cards blindly from another player. You look at those cards and take two cards and give that player two cards with another race from yourself in return. This counts as playing two cards.

=> Imps:
- You always play Imp-cards two at a time. If you play two Imp-cards, you first receive one LPGC, and then you choose a player and you take four of his cards blindly and you may steal one of those four. The other cards are returned to that player. This counts as playing two cards.

=> Kobolts:
- If you play a Kobolt-card, you choose a player and you take two of his cards blindly and you may steal one of those two. The other card is returned to that player. The attacked player then draws a card from the two open cards next to the Blender.
- If you play two Kobolt-cards, you first receive one LPGC, and then you draw five cards blindly from 1 player and steal two. The attacked player then takes one card from the two open cards next to the Blender, the top card is turned around and that player takes a second card from the two open cards.

=> Gnomes:
- If you play a Gnome-card, you get 4 LPGC of any player you choose. If that player has less than 4 LPGC, he gives all he has. You put the LPGC behind your Little People Screen.
- If you play two Gnome-cards, you first receive one LPGC, and then you choose two players to receive 4 LPGCs from. (...or all they have left, if they have less than four LPGCs.)

Buying Little People Family Cards:

If you choose to buy one LPFC, you pay 3 LPGC and you may select one of the two open cards or the top card of the Blender or the top-card of the Discard-deck.

If you choose to buy two LPFCs, you pay 5 LPGC and you may select two LPFCs from the two open cards or the top card of the Blender or the top-card of the Discard-deck.

If you choose to buy one LPFC and play a card, you pay 4 LPGC and you may select one of the two open cards or the top card of the Blender or the top-card of the Discard-deck. Then you play any of your cards.

Selling Little People Family Cards:

If you choose to sell two LPFCs from the same race (not Gnome-cards), you put them on the Discard-deck and get 7 LPGC in return. You put the LPGC behind your Little People Screen.

If you choose to sell two LPFCs from different races, you put them on the Discard-deck and get 4 LPGC in return. You put the LPGC behind your Little People Screen.

If you choose to sell two Gnome-cards, you put them on the Discard-deck and get 12 LPGC in return. You put the LPGC behind your Little People Screen.

II. Blocking an action:

Some actions of players can be blocked by the player who is attacked. Pixie-cards and Gnome-cards can not be blocked.

To block an action, a player must discard a card of the same race he is attacked with and pay the attacking player 1 LPGC for every card that was needed for the action.


- A player plays a Nixie-card and chooses a player to swap cards with. That player discards a Nixie-card and pays the player 1 LPGC. The attacking/blocked player puts it behind his LPS.

- A player plays two Kobolt-cards and chooses a player to draw 5 cards from. That player discards a Kobolt-card and pays the attacking player 2 LPGCs. The attacking/blocked player puts them behind his LPS.

III. The player draws a card.

After the selected action is played, the player draws a card from the Blender. You may not choose the open cards or the Discard deck to draw from. This ends the turn of the player.

IV. Ending round one:

If all the cards from the Blender are drawn, round one ends. Each player may now choose to put a family aside (if he has one) or not. A family consists of a Mommy-, Daddy-, Sister- and Brother-card of the same race.
A player puts them face down before his LPS, so other players can see who has put down a family, without knowing which family. The four cards that are put down are safe in round two, they can not be stolen or looked at.

V. Playing and ending round two:

The discard-deck is then shuffled to form a new Blender. If needed, one or two cards are put open next to the Blender to have two open cards. The players continue turns starting with the player after the one that ended round one. . The game ends when all cards of the Blender are drawn again. Now it's time to collect points.

VI. Collecting points:

After round two each player must make a guess which race the other player(s) are collecting. They do this secretly behind their LPS. This may give you extra points if you got it right or may cost you points if you got it wrong. You have to make a guess for each other player. Then every player shows his secret race and his LPGCs. Each player then gets points as follows:

- You get 1 point for every LPFC of your own secret race that you managed to collect.

-You get 2 bonus points for every family of your own secret race that you managed to collect.

- You get 1 bonus-point for every family from another race than your own you collected.

- If you guessed right what race another player was collecting, you get 2 bonus-points plus 1 point for every card of that race you posses, plus a bonus-point if you collected a family of that race.

- If you guessed wrong what race another player was collecting, you get 2 penalty-points plus 1 penalty-point for every card of that race you posses, plus a penalty-point if you collected a family of that race. Penalty-points are substracted from your point total.

- The player with the most LPGCs gets 3 bonus-points.
If there is a tie, the player with the most cards in hand gets the bonus.
If there is still a tie, the player with the most cards of his race gets the bonus.
If there is still a tie, the player with the most families gets the bonus.
If there is still a tie, nobody gets the bonus.

=> The player with the highest score wins. Negative scores are possible!
==> If there is a tie, the player with the most cards of his race wins the game.
===> If there is still a tie, the player with the most cards in his hands wins the game.
====> If there is still a tie, the player with the most LPGC wins the game.
=====> If there is still a tie, the player with the most families wins the game.
======> If there is still a tie, the game is a tie and all tied players win the game

***** Tips & Tricks:

- At the start of the game, faerie cards are near useless. Near the end of round one -look at the Blender to see when it is near- it's a strong move to play Faerie-cards, to see who collected which race.

- Most cards that are played in the first round, will be in the Blender in the second round. All appart from those that are bought from the Discard-deck.

- Keep track of your thoughts of what player plays what race on a piece of paper behind your LPS.

- Combos of two cards from the same race let you look at more cards from other players. You also receive one LPGC for each played combo!

- Don't forget the option to Block actions from another player.

- Gnome cards at the end of the game may give you lots of LPGCs which are nice for the 3 bonus-points.

Have Fun!

Brykovian's picture
Joined: 07/21/2008
Game Design Showdown April 2005 Challenge - Little People

Entry #4 -- Rainbow
by Scurra


It’s a well-known fact* that Leprechauns bury their gold at the end of a rainbow they have created. But it’s perhaps less well-known** that the quality of the rainbow determines how much gold can be found there.
(* ’fact’ is used here in the sense of not true.)
(** probably because it’s also a fact. See above.)

Every one-hundred-and-eleven years* the Leprechauns gather and pool their gold. And there is intense rivalry as the different clans compete to create the finest rainbows that will accommodate the most gold.
(*or three-and-a-half weeks, whichever is more convenient.)
The players represent the various clans as they attempt to conjure up impressive rainbows and stake a claim on the rapidly-dwindling pot of gold, but without cutting too many corners.

The game consists of five rounds. Players trade cards, declare sets of colour cards that form Rainbows and take counters from a central pool according to the set length. Rainbows consist of three or more colour cards that connect in sequence – Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Indigo and Violet. The longer the sequence the more counters are earned. However, waiting too long may result in claiming no counters, and inefficient use of cards will cost counters as well.

10 counters for each player (initially placed in a central pool.) 1 “End of Round” card. 49 colour cards (not an even distribution of each colour – probably something like 5 Red and Violet, 7 Orange and Indigo, 8 Yellow and Blue and 9 Green. Note that the colour cards would also have symbols or numbers on them to avoid colour-blindness issues!)

The first Active player is the player who most recently saw a Rainbow. On subsequent rounds, the first Active player is the player who didn’t declare a Rainbow, or who drew the “End of Round” card.

Each round works the same way:
Collect up all declared Rainbow colour cards (not in the first round!) Separate the “End of Round” card. Shuffle all the colour cards. Count off 9 colour cards (14 with 3 players) and shuffle the “End of Round” card in with them. Put these 10 (15) cards on the bottom of the deck. Deal two cards to each player. Deal out five cards face-up onto the table in a row, and then deal one card face-down onto each face-up card (but do not cover it completely.) Put the remaining cards in a stack to form the draw deck.

On their turn (if they have not declared a Rainbow) the Active player takes the following actions:

1. Put their hand of cards to one side face-down. They cannot look at these cards until they pick them back up again to signify the end of their turn.
2. Take one of the piles of two cards from the table (so they now have 2 cards in hand.)
3. Turn up the top card of the draw deck to fill the gap in the row.
4. Put one of the two cards they are holding face-down onto the newly-revealed card.
5. Offer the other card for trade (see Trading below)

Once they have completed these actions, they may now declare a Rainbow (see Declaring a Rainbow below.) Otherwise they should pick up their set-aside cards, add them to the one card they currently have in hand and indicate that their turn is over.
If there is only one player remaining who hasn’t declared a Rainbow, the round immediately ends.
If the “End of Round” card is revealed during step 3 the round also immediately ends.

End of Round:
If a player did not declare a Rainbow before the round ended, then they may declare a Rainbow from the cards in their hand (and take counters) that is no longer than the shortest currently declared Rainbow (e.g. Ian had declared a 5-card Rainbow and Jodie declared a 4-card Rainbow. Dave may only declare a 4-card Rainbow even though he may have the right cards for a 6-card Rainbow...)
If no-one had declared a Rainbow when the round ended then the longest Rainbow that may be declared is four cards (3 counters.)

Each player must now return 1 of their scored counters to the pool for each different colour remaining in their hand. (If a player does not have enough counters then they return all they have. If they have no counters they may ignore this requirement.)
example: Ian has 2 red cards and 3 blue cards, so he pays 2 counters. Jodie has one red, one yellow, one green and one blue so she pays 4 counters – perhaps she should have declared that three-length rainbow after all?!

The game ends after five rounds (or after an earlier round if all the counters have been taken.) The winner is the player who collected the most counters. Ties are possible.

The Active player declares what colour the card is that they are offering (they may choose not to tell the truth) and what colour of card they are seeking. Any other player may offer a card of that colour from their hand (and they may also choose not to tell the truth!)
If any player makes an offer, the Active player must accept it. If more than one player makes an offer, the Active player must choose one of those offers. If no-one makes an offer, the Active player must keep the card.

Declaring a Rainbow:
A Rainbow comprises a set of cards of three to seven cards in length. Obviously all the cards must be different, and they must form a connected chain. The colours do not cycle around.
examples: Red-Orange-Yellow-Green is valid. Red-Orange-Green-Blue is not, and nor is Indigo-Red-Orange-Yellow.
The player declaring the Rainbow takes a number of counters according to the length of the Rainbow, in a triangular pattern (three cards:1 counter, four cards: 3, five cards: 6, six cards 10 and seven cards 15.)
If there aren’t enough counters in the pool, the player takes all the remaining ones and the round ends immediately.
The first player to declare a Rainbow in a round may put all the remaining cards in their hand on the bottom of the draw deck.
Once a player has declared a Rainbow, they do not take turns as usual, but they may still offer any remaining cards in their hand for trading.

Brykovian's picture
Joined: 07/21/2008
Game Design Showdown April 2005 Challenge - Little People

Entry #5 -- Little Treasures
by Pt314

Little Treasures

You start out with a deck of about 85 cards. There are 5 main 'suits' of cards, represented by a little item that would be found of worth to little house people (like 'Borrowers') such as buttons, coins, candy, string, bottlecaps, and some wild lint cards.

Every treasure type has 12 cards with 1 of the item on it, 3 cards with 3 of the item on it, and 1 card with 5 of the item on it (except for the wild lint where there are 3 cards with 1 item, and 2 with 2 lints).

The deck is shuffled, then the top half of the deck is removed from play, in order to make the items have different amounts, and thus different values based on their rarety. This is the unknown mechanic for the game, the rarity of the cards are an unknown until the end of the game. The rarity and thus the value must be estimated by the players, by how much they see of them in the game.

Everybody is dealt 5 cards from the deck (after the top half has been taken away). Someone is chosen to go first, and play goes in an agreed order.

At the beginning of a turn a player puts out cards that they are willing to trade. The other players then make their offers with cards they have. Everyone can see the cards up for trade. A player may make as many trades as they want per turn, and other players can increase what they are willing to trade in an auction mechanic, the person trading doesn't have to make a trade if they wish to.

At the end of a players turn they draw a card from the deck (if there are cards left in the deck), and 'bank' a card from their hand. Banked cards are face up so everyone can see it, and can no longer be used for trading.

Once all of the cards are banked the scoring session starts. Each player chooses cards they wish to remove (in order to increase the rarity) from their bank all at once. This is done by the players setting aside a certain amount of their bank facedown, then everyone reveals what is left in their bank.

The more rare an item is (The total amount of that item in the game) the more it is worth, based on a predetermined chart. The wild cards can be chosen to count as any other item during scoring. The total points of all of the players banks are added up, and whoever has the most points wins the game.

#1: Trade less valuble items for more valuble items as the game progresses, estimating the value by the frequency it is seen.

#2: Horde items in your hand not showing them to anybody in order to make the item appear more valuble.

#3: Get as much of a certain item as you can so you can influence its worth at the end of the game the most. (If you have a monopoly you can remove all of them except for a few in order to gain the most points from them.)

*Scoring Chart
(total amount, individual worth, total worth)
(17+, 5, 85-115)
(16, 10, 160)
(15, 20, 300)
(14, 30, 420)
(13, 40, 520)
(12, 50, 600)
(11, 60, 660)
(10, 75, 750)
(9, 100, 900)
(8, 125, 1000)
(7, 170, 1190)
(6, 200, 1200)
(5, 250, 1250)
(4, 300, 1200)
(3, 400, 1200)
(2, 550, 1100)
(1, 1000, 1000)

Brykovian's picture
Joined: 07/21/2008
Game Design Showdown April 2005 Challenge - Little People

Entry #6 -- Fey Folk
by Hamumu

Fey Folk


Players: 3-6
Time: 20-30 minutes

You’re an evil wizard trying to collect the various magical fairy folk. If you catch one of them, they will use their powers for you in exchange for being set free, because they don’t know you’re evil. But they figure it out quickly when you grind a set of them into powder and sell them at the market. So you’ll have to balance your need for greed with your need for vast Fey Powers. Will you grind up the very power you need to beat your opponents?


Deck of Cards (described below)
Gold Coins


Everybody is dealt a hand of 5 cards, and 4 cards are placed facedown, in a 2x2 block in the middle of the table, to begin the Forest. The remaining cards are kept in a face-down draw deck. The littlest person goes first and play proceeds clockwise.


1 – Draw a card. If the draw deck is exhausted, shuffle the discards together into a new one.
2 – Release a Fey Folk into the Forest (optional). If you have not completed a set of that type of Folk yet, then this triggers their Fey Power.
3 – Grind a set of 3 matching Fey Folk to powder for 4 gold (optional). Once you do this, you can no longer use the Fey Power of that type of Folk again.
4 – If holding over 5 cards, one escapes to the discard pile (not the Forest).

Go around the table doing that until somebody has 20 gold, at which point, they win!.

The Cards:

The deck includes an equal number of each of these types of Fey Folk: Fairies, Leprechauns, Pixies, Nymphs, Garden Gnomes, Sylphs, and Imps. In addition to those, there are various numbers of various Bonus Cards, all of which take effect immediately when drawn, and are discarded after (except the Tree):

Black Cat – Oh no, your cat caught one of the Fey Folk from your hand and ate it. Your choice.
Key – A Fey Folk of your choice escaped your hand. Put him in the forest as usual, with no benefit to you.
Spyglass – Look at all the top cards in one entire row or column of the Forest.
Gold Coin – Get 2 gold
Tree – place it in the Forest facedown, anywhere you want.

On your turn, you can use the power of one type of Folk by releasing a card of that Folk from your hand facedown into The Forest. Whenever someone plays a Folk into the Forest, they can put it anywhere they like adjacent to an existing one. Once the forest is up to 4x4 cards in size, new cards played into the forest simply go on top of existing ones (still your choice), the Forest can't grow beyond 4x4. The powers are described on the cards, and are:

Fairy – Sets one Fey Folk of each player other than you free. The other players must release one face-down into the Forest for no benefit.
Leprechaun – Take 1 gold from another player.
Pixie – Draw 2 cards.
Nymph – Take 2 cards from the Forest. You may only take topmost cards.
Sylph – Ask a specific player for a specific card. If they have any, they must give you one. If not, you may draw a card from the Forest.
Garden Gnome – Play him out in front of you face-up instead of into the Forest. He will stand guard there, preventing you from being affected by any other Fey Powers. If someone tries a Fey Power that would affect you, your Gnome runs away to the Forest after blocking it. You may have as many Gnomes as you wish standing guard, and each one will block one Fey Power.
Imp – Burn up all the Garden Gnomes that a single player has defending (discard them), or name one type of Fey Folk and all players must discard one of that type if they have it, including you.

Brykovian's picture
Joined: 07/21/2008
Game Design Showdown April 2005 Challenge - Little People

Entry #7 -- Midsummer Night's Dream
by sedjtroll

Midsummer Night's Dream

In this game you are a playful Satyr, vying for the attention of a Nymph, a Sylph, a Fawn, and a Fairy on a strange and magical Midsummer night. But your opponents are doing the same! Play your cards right and you might score the mythical ladies of your dreams. Plan poorly and you'll go home emptyhanded.

* Deck of Dream cards depicting various mythical creatures such as Fairies, Sylphs, Nymphs, and Fawns.
* 2 six-sided dice

Shuffle the Dream deck and deal 4 cards to each player. You can look at your cards, but don't reveal them! Place the Dream deck within reach of all players and decide who will play first. Give that player the dice.

Card Drawing:
Begin your turn by rolling the dice. If the result is less then the number of cards in your hand, then there is a scoring round. Otherwise (or after scoring), draw cards from the deck equal to the result of the roll. Choose one of those cards and place it face down in front of you in a hidden pile.

Card Distribution:
As long as there are more cards left than the number of players, choose one of those cards and put it in your hand and pass the rest to the player on your left. That player does the same, and so on until the cards get back to you (or are all taken by players). If there are still enough cards to go around, repeat this process. When there are too few cards left tto go around, put the rest face up in the center of the table. Note: each player will have added the same number of cards to their hand during that process.

Card Play:
After the card distribution, you may play any number of cards down to the table, so long as they're all of the same suit. You may not play cards such that you have the same number of cards in a suit as another player. Cards played in front of you are played in piles, or sets, sorted by "suit" (color/type - each type of mythical creature has it's own color).

Scoring Rounds:
A scoring round occurs when the roll result is lower than the number of cards in your hand. All players MAY reveal ALL of their hidden cards and add them to their sets, but turn them sideways to indicate that they were from the hidden pile. The player with the most cards in each suit discards those cards and collects the corresponding cards from the pot. These cards count toward your score at the end of the game. In the case of a tie, the tied player with fewer sideways cards (from the hidden pile) gets the cards from the pot.

Game End:
The game is over when the draw deck is exhausted and a player is required to draw cards from it. At this point, all players immediately count the cards they've won from the pot in each suit. Your final score is your score in the suit in which you've collected the fewest cards. Highest final score wins. In the case of a tie, the tied player with the most cards left in their hidden pile is the winner.

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Joined: 07/21/2008
Game Design Showdown April 2005 Challenge - Little People

Entry #8 -- Catch an Imp!
by Zzzzz

Catch an Imp! (2-4 players, 30 minutes)

Their wicked stench grows stronger ever day. The annoying tricks they play are driving you insane. So insane that you actually think you can catch those nasty little pests. Go ahead, try to Catch an Imp!

A quick light hearted game that challenges players to quickly select cards from a common pile and complete sets of imps to score points.

The game contains a deck of 130 cards. The deck consists of 8 different styles/suits of imps, each style having values 1 to 15 and an additional 10 Instant Imp Catch cards. This deck is shuffled and placed face down in a messy circular draw pile in the center of the table.

Next each player is given a player board and an imp pawn. The player board contains three sections. Section 1 contains a location that the player will use to display their known imp to catch card. Section 2 contains a location to place the players hidden imp card. Section 3 contains a scoring track labeled 0 to 30. Each player will set their imp pawn on the space of the score track labeled 0.

Players will now select one imp card from the card pile and place it face up on section 1 of the player board, this is their known imp to catch.

Finally each player will select another card from the card pile, without looking at the card they will place this imp card face down on section 2 of the player board. This is their hidden imp to catch.

Once players have all selected and placed their two imp to catch cards, each player draws 3 cards from the messy draw pile.

After each player has drawn their initial 3 starting cards, play continues with all players simultaneously selecting cards trying to complete a set of two cards. The goal of the players will be to create three sets that match their known imp card. To match their known imp the set must be valid (see Sets) and must be of the same Imp value or Imp suit as their known imp card. For instance, if your known imp card is style 3 and value 6, you can only collect sets that use cards from style 3 or contain the value of 6.

Each player may only keep 3 cards in their hand at a time. Each time a player selects a card, they must discard one face down to messy draw pile before they can draw again.

As a player completes a valid set, they place it face up in front of them. Once the first player completes three known imp sets the round is over, and all players must stop collecting sets.

During the round a player may attempt to collect 1 bonus imp set for scoring against their unknown imp card. The player simply collects and places any set (see Sets) face up, above the hidden imp section of the player board.

If a player draws an Instant Imp Catch card, they place the card in front of them face up. These will be used for scoring at the end of a round. A player may only collect and play up to 3 imp trick cards.

Set One: A set that contains 2 cards of the same value imp. For instance, imp style 5 value 6 and imp style 10 value 6.

Set Two: A set that contains 2 cards in the same style and are sequentially numbered. For instance, imp style 2, values 5 and 6 or imp style 5, values 2 and 3.

End of Round
Once any player collects 3 valid known imp sets, the round ends. At the end of the round, scores are calculated.

Scoring your known imp sets:
Players receive 2 points for each known imp set they have completed. The player indicates this by moving their imp pawn up one position per point along the scoring track.

Scoring your hidden imp bonus set:
Players score their hidden imp bonus set, if they have one, by turning over their hidden imp card and looking for a valid match. If the set the player assigned to the hidden imp card matches the style or value of the set they played, they receive 4 points. The player indicates these additional points by moving their imp pawn up one position per point along the scoring track.

Scoring Instant Imp Catch cards:
Add one point per Instant Imp Catch card you played. Indicate the point by moving your imp pawn up one location on the scoring track. Again, players may not play for than 3 of the Instant Imp Catch cards. As a penalty, a player that plays more than 3 Instant Imp Catch cards gains no points for Instant Imp Catch cards and loses 4 points since the imps drove them insane this round! The player will indicate the loss by moving their imp pawn down 4 locations on their scoring track. If a player reaches 0 as a result of a loss in points, they stay at 0 (no negatives).

If no player has 20 or more points, play a new round.

Game End
The game is over once any player has scored 20 or more points. If multiple players reach 20 at the same time, the player who has the highest point total wins. If the case of a tie the players share in the victory over the imps!!

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Joined: 07/21/2008
Game Design Showdown April 2005 Challenge - Little People

Entry #9 -- Die Wichtelmänner
by Mark Goadrich (ensor) and Brett Myers (disclamer)

Die Wichtelmänner
a card game for 3-5 players


In the Brothers Grimm fairy tale "Die Wichtelmänner" (or The Shoemaker and the Elves), there once was a poor village shoemaker who left materials on his workbench one night. He awoke the next morning to find a beautiful pair of shoes, which could only have been made by elves. This became a pattern of leaving out raw materials and awaking to completed shoes, until he was a rich shoemaker and no longer needed the elves to succeed. (Presumably the elves were tired by then anyway, and they happily resumed their nightly forest party routine.)

For this game, each player is a shoemaker, leaving out materials and having shoes made by elves each round. But we all know elves are only in fairy tales... the real story is that it was the shoemaker's neighbor (also a shoemaker) who sneaked in at night and assembled the materials into shoes. And that neighbor's neighbor sneaked into his house to make shoes, and so on, creating a cycle of "elves" all the way back to the initial shoemaker. Through their secret generosity, all the shoemakers in the village will become successful, and the villagers will finally have shoes to wear.

The game consists of rounds, with players alternately being a Shoemaker (leaving out materials) and being an Elf (making shoes for your neighbor) until no more shoes can be made. Players will score points for both the shoes they make for their neighbor as an Elf and the shoes made for them by their neighbor Elf. Each player also has a hidden preference for one material type, and bonus points are awarded at the end of the game for all of their shoes which include this material.


96 cards, consisting of

    90 Material cards
      15 of each Material type:
        Leather, Wood, Cotton, Nails, Laces, Glue within Material type, 5 each of Quality
          poor = 0, adequate = 1 and fine = 2
    6 Shoemaker Preference cards
      one for each Material type
Initial Setup

Players sit in a circle around a table. Each player will have two roles, Shoemaker and Elf. They will be be the Shoemaker for the Elf on their right, and the Elf for the Shoemaker on their left.

For 5 players, use the full 90 card Material deck. For 4 players, use a 72 card Material deck, by removing one of each card type (Material x Quality). For 3 players, use 54 cards by removing two of each card type (Material x Quality).

Shuffle the Material deck and deal 18 face-down cards to each player. This is each player's initial stock of Material.

Shuffle the 6 Shoemaker Preference cards. Deal one card face-down to each player and place the rest face-down to the side.


There will be at most 5 rounds of the game, where each round consists of a Shoemaker phase followed by an Elf phase.

    Shoemaker Phase

Each player chooses 4 Material cards from their hand; these will be the materials set out that night. All players simultaneously pass these 4 chosen materials to the player on their right (their Elf).

Elf Phase

Using the Materials cards in their hand, plus those just given to them by the player on their left (the Shoemaker), all players must create a Shoe. A Shoe consists of three different types of Material cards. For instance, a player can use 1 Leather card, 1 Nails card and 1 Laces card to create a shoe. The quality of Material is used for scoring, only the Material type itself matters when making a shoe, so all three Material cards could be the same quality as long as they are different Materials. Once all players' shoes are ready, the shoes are revealed simultaneously and placed in-between the player and their left-hand neighbor. Repeat the Shoemaker and Elf phases until one of the two following end-game conditions occurs.

Ending the Game

If either of these conditions are true, the game is over:

1) During an Elf phase, if a player cannot make a shoe with the Materials in their hand, the game is over. They must display their hand to the other players; no shoes will be made by any players this round.

2) During a Shoemaker phase, if a player does not have 4 cards to pass to their right, the game is over. This only should occur after 5 shoes have been made for each Shoemaker. Each player will have 3 cards of leftover Materials, which are now discarded.

Final Scoring

When the game is over, each player scores both for the shoes on their left (made by them as an Elf) and the shoes on their right (made for them by an Elf). Poor material is worth 0 points, adequate is worth 1 point, and fine is worth 2 point. Sum both sets of Material cards to get a player's initial shoe score.

Bonus points are awarded as follows: For each piece of Material in the shoes on a player's left which matches their Shoemaker Preference card, score an additional 3 points, irrespective of the quality. For each piece of Material in shoes on a player's right which matches their Shoemaker Preference card, score an additional 6 points, irrespective of the quality.

The player with the highest total points wins. If there is a tie, the tied player with the highest bonus shoe score wins. If there is still a tie, the tied player with the highest initial shoe score wins. If there is still a tie, all tied players share the win.

Brykovian's picture
Joined: 07/21/2008
Game Design Showdown April 2005 Challenge - Little People

Entry #10 -- GREMLINS
by yogurt


A game for 2 to 4 players.


Players are gremlins looting parts from a World War II bomber in flight.

The plane will crash if the gremlins steal too much, so they must be ready to parachute to safety with whatever scraps they can carry.


Players try to collect sets of airplane parts that match the needs of Gremlin HQ. Players earn points for bringing back the most of a given set.


Determining Gremlin HQ Needs

Turn two Gremlin HQ cards face up.

Each Gremlin HQ card shows a specific set that the gremlin leadership needs. Some sets are simple ("1 rivet") and some are complex ("2 gaskets, 1 wire, 1 fuse").

Each player also draws one Gremlin HQ card and shows it to the player on his left. These secret needs will be made public partway through the game.

The Plane

The sections of the plane are represented by six decks of tiles:
• cockpit
• landing gear
• left engine
• right engine
• left wing
• right wing

Each tile shows a single airplane part, such as gasket.

As tiles are turned face-up, they are arranged in a column above each deck. Start the game with two tiles above each deck.

Most tiles have one or more red arrows. If the arrow points up, the tile is connected to the tile above it. These chains can be any length.

Red arrows have no function unless they're pointing up.


Players take their turns simultaneously.

Phase One: Timekeeping

Each round, the oldest player draws one Crash card and, without looking at it, places it face down beside the plane.

Once there are five Crash cards down, all players reveal their secret Gremlin HQ cards.

Leave the five Crash cards out. They will be used later.

Phase Two: Discovery

The gremlins scurry through the plane!

Players simultaneously choose a plane section (cockpit etc.). For each player who picked a section, add one tile to the column over that section. The tile orientation is random.

If you are the only one to choose a column, you may also tinker with the column. Remove a tile or rotate a tile by 90 degrees.

Phase Three: Action

Players simultanously choose to either:
• yank a chain of parts from the plane
• pack
• scout
• jump.


There are Yank cards for each plane section. For example, "Yank - Landing Gear."

If you are the only player to play that card, then take the chain of tiles at the bottom of that section. (It may only be one tile long.) You must always yank from the bottom of a column, even if there is a chain you would prefer buried deeper in the plane.

If the chain reaches the top of the column and the last tile has a red up-arrow, draw a new tile to add to the end of the chain. If the new tile's arrow also points up, keeping drawing! Who knows how far this chain goes...

Keep the tiles you have taken face up in front of you.

If two or more players pick the same section...

They must blindly bid for the right to yank this turn, using face-up tiles they already own. Whoever bids the most tiles may take the chain in this section as normal. The high bidder gives the tiles he staked to the next highest bidder (and so on down the line, if necessary).

Rules for ties and other exceptions omitted.


Look at any face-down Crash card. You may not show it to anyone, but you may talk (truthfully or not) about what you saw.


Store your loot for a quick escape! Turn over some of your face-up tiles to make a pack or add face-up tiles to an existing pack. Packs come with you when you leave the plane, while face up tiles will be lost.

When you return to Gremlin HQ, the pack that contains the most sets of a single type will earn points.

You may create as many packs as you want. However, packs can never be combined, so it's often better to have a few big packs than many small ones.

Each action phase, you may only create one pack or add to one pack. However, you can add as many tiles as you want to that pack.

Once a tile has been placed into a pack, it cannot be removed.


Parachute out of the plane and be confident that all your packs are safe. The game continues without you for now.


When a section of the plane has no tiles in its draw deck or its column, that part of the plane breaks!

If the cockpit breaks, the plane immediately starts to crash (see below).

If both engines or both wings break, the plane immediately starts to crash.

If the landing gear breaks, the plane continues to fly. However, place the +3 "no landing gear!" card beside the five Crash cards.


The plane is going down!

Play continues, but skip Phases One and Two.

Players who Jump now must discard all packs but three. Other packs get lost in the confusion.

At the beginning of each Action phase, turn one of the five Crash cards face up. The Crash cards feature perilous pictures like billowing smoke or a plane windscreen filled with a mountainside. The cards have values of 1 to 5, mostly 2s.

If the total of the visible Crash cards equals 10, the plane is destroyed. A little thing like a plane wreck isn't enough to kill a gremlin, but all gremlins still on board must discard all packs but one.

If the Crash deck total does not equal 10 even when all five cards are face up, then the plane has landed safely! Gremlins still on board may keep all their packs!


The Gremlin HQ cards are scored one by one.

Players simultaneously reveal the pack(s) they want to put forward for the current card. A player may offer more than one pack in hopes of capturing both first and second place, but packs are never combined.

The owner of the pack with the most matching sets inside earns 6 points. Second-most earns 3 points. In case of a tie, divide the points, rounding down.

If the winners were the only gremlins who submitted a pack, they get 2 bonus points.

All offered packs are discarded, and the next Gremlin HQ card is scored. High score wins.



Some rules would be tweaked for the two player version.

Brykovian's picture
Joined: 07/21/2008
Game Design Showdown April 2005 Challenge - Little People

Entry #11 -- Battle Imps: Sins and Smackdowns
by Nando

Battle Imps: Sins and Smackdowns
{Admin Note: these two reference/credit lines were originally included by the designer, but I did not show them on the presentation for voting, in order to retain anonymity}
The Battle Imps idea starts here:
The idea for collecting sins is credited to my friend Jeff Brimley.

The One-Liner
Each player controls a Battle Imp competing to be the most successful at encouraging potential sinners to commit sinful acts.

Setting Up
The Sins and Skills
A deck of cards represents each Battle Imp's skills in enticement and combat. Each card has 3 parts on its face:

    1 of "Seven Deadly Sins" (Pride, Lust, Anger, Sloth, Envy, Greed, and Gluttony). 1 of "Five Battle Imp Traits and Skills" (Guts, Dodgin', Backstabbing, Smackdown, and Magic Mojo).
    1 of Three Point Values (1,2, and 3).
The Sinners
Each imp is exclusively assigned a number of sinners and each sinner has a particular weakness which the imp is required to exploit. The sinners are represented by cards dealt from the deck and that card's Deadly Sin is the sinner's weakness. Battle Traits and Point Value are ignored. These "sinner" cards are kept face-down and unexamined in a stack nearby except for the two topmost sinners. The first top card is the "current sinner" for which exploits (sets) are scored. The second top card is the "next sinner" who is revealed for strategic purposes only. (Might hand-pick these cards to guarantee that all players will score each type of sin. Might just use some sort of sinner tile that has the sins on them. Or might replace it all with a 1d8 as mentioned below. I like the forward planning you can do with the cards and tiles though.)

During each round, the imp tries to "work on" the current sinner by playing "his" Deadly Sin against him.

The Battle Imps
A player's hand represents all the skills of his Battle Imp. At the beginning of each round, the imp "trains" in the various skills. The skills are then used to act against rival imps and assigned sinners.

Players draw cards. Probably a refresh to a hand size limit.

Players play cards face-down to their Working area. Only the cards showing (and played as) the Current Sinner's Deadly Sin will score, and only if those cards remain in the Working area until the end of the round. Cards would probably score by quantity in set with a bonus for bigger sets, so 1 VP for 1, 3 for 2, 5 for 3, etc. Card Point Values would probably be ignored for scoring (but used for satisfying damage in battle).
(Also, to open up scoring a little, probably also want to have an 8-sided die that all players can play off of. The die would have a side for each Deadly Sin and one side for "anything goes" or "one of each". The die would only get rolled at the beginning of the round.)

A successful attack against an imp implies the defending imp takes damage and therefore has less time and energy to devote to his sinner. That situation is represented by removing Work cards. A successful attacker chooses cards to remove, one at a time and unexamined, until the total Point Value of removed cards meets or exceeds the damage due.

Two Battle Traits can also be played as Work: Guts and Backstabbing. Guts is a "double-or-nothing" play, doubling the score if it remains to the end of the round or taking with it all other Work cards at the time of its removal during the round. Backstabbing is used as a "backfire" or sabotage against imps who have successfully attacked another imp.

The active player's imp may attack other players' imps. Doing so requires wagering a Guts card, and may be repeated as long as the Guts hold out. A successful attack yields damage to the defender, but a failed attack yields the loss of the Guts card.

The attacker plays any number of one type of Trait/Skill, either Magic Mojo or Smackdown (and probably Backstabbing, too). The defender may dodge (play Dodge Trait cards), counter (play Traits cards of the same type as the attacker), or Submit (play nothing). The total point values of the cards are compared for each side. More points wins or defender wins in a tie.
(Magic Mojo might have an optional type of damage: stealing Work cards. Maybe to play down immediately as Work for the attacker, or maybe to be taken into the attacker's hand, or maybe both.)

Damage due is calculated as the attacking points minus the defending points. Work cards are removed until the total value of the chosen Work cards meets or exceeds the damage due. If no Work cards are in play, the damage is taken from prior Victory Points (probably recorded on a track).

All attack, defense, and damage cards are discarded.

At the end of the round, players adjust their scores (probably on a track) for qualifying Work cards remaining in play.

The Current Sinner and all Work is discarded after scoring.

The Next Sinner becomes the Current Sinner and a new Next Sinner is revealed. The game ends when the last sinner is discarded. The winner will have the most points after all rounds.

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Joined: 07/21/2008
Game Design Showdown April 2005 Challenge - Little People

Entry #12 -- Dig!
by emxibus


Players 2-4
time: ?


The tunnel to the Gnome King's treasure vault has collapsed. The king wants four tunnel to his new treasure vault built. Four tunnels, you ask? Yes, The king want to be able to get to his vault in the case of another tunnel collapses. Each player is commissioned to build one of four tunnels to his vault. Money is no object to the king, but style and time is. There are four tunnel sections, each with its own requirements. The player who builds the four tunnel sections (with the desired requirements) the quickest will be rewarded with the title of head builder and riches untold.


108 tunnel cards
-Cards are square in shape, and have a tunnel piece and a color background.
-There are 6 colors: Yellow, Blue, Orange, brown, and black (wild)
-There are 5 tunnel pieces:

4 design boards
- Design boards have 9 squares (3x3). They track the progress of you tunnels.

16 design cards
- There are 4 design cards. Players gets one of each.
- During the game players will build tunnel sections that will satisfy their current design card requirements. There are 4 different kinds of requirements.

- Run: 3 different tunnel cards in a row, column, or diagonal.
- Set: 3 of the same tunnel cards in a row, column, or diagonal.
- Required: The required tunnel card must be present in the current tunnel section.
- Color: A color requirement.

Here are the four design cards
1) 1 Run
2) 1 Set with Garden Required
3) Park Required
4) All same color

- In addition to the requirements on the card the tunnel section must
1) have one entrance and one exit. The entrance and exit can be on any edge of the board.
2) no unfinished tunnels.

- Figure 1 shows a bad design
1) To many entrances / exits (As)
2) Unfinished tunnels (Bs)

- Figure 2 shows a good design for either a run (blue) or set (orange)


1) Each player places a design board in front of them.
2) There are 4 different design cards, each player grabs one of each and places them face down in a pile to the left of their design board.
3) Shuffle the tunnel cards and deal 5 cards to each player. The remaining deck (draw deck) is placed so that all players may reach it. As the game progresses there will be two discard piles to the right of the draw deck.
4) Look at your tunnel cards and then pick one of your design cards to work on first. The order in which you play your design cards is up to you, but you must finish one before going on to the next. Place this design card face down to the right of the design board. You may reference it at anytime, but keep it concealed from the other players. This design card will be called your current design.
5) Youngest player goes first, clockwise after that.

Turn order

1) Draw a card from the draw deck or one of the two discard piles.
2) Pick one of the following.

A) Place a tunnel card on your design board.
B) Move and/or rotate a tunnel card on your design board. A tunnel card can be moved one square (not diagonally).
C) Remove one tunnel card from your design board and one from your hand. Discard these two cards.

3) You may only have 5 cards in your hand, discard the excess. You may pick which order and pile to discard.

Completing a design

If at the end of your turn, you have finished your current design let the other players know. Flip over your current design card. Let the other players inspect your design, and if there is no dispute (tunnel section satisfies all design card requirements) then discard all the tunnel cards on your design board. Select a new current design. Game play continues as normal.

Winning the game

The first player to finished all 4 designs is the winner. Second through fourth place is determined by number of designs finished, and completion of current design.


After the core mechanics are nailed down I would like to tinker with the following.

- Have the tunnel card shapes look like there corresponding name.
- Each Design cards will have a perk available to the player once it is completed.
- Tunnel cards text that would give advantages and disadvantages to players.
- Add more Design card, and possibly have them shuffled and dealt.

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Joined: 07/21/2008
Game Design Showdown April 2005 Challenge - Little People

Entry #13 -- A Little War
by btaggart

A Little War

The Fey Folk of the Isles have had it with each other! The Gnomes are obviously stubborn, unreasonable and pigheaded, while the Leprechauns are selfish, egotistical pranksters. Negotiations have failed.

Each race of Fey Folk are constructing a weapon with which to finally rid the Isles of those annoying interlopers. The first group to succeed will, naturally (or unnaturally) win!

Two decks of cards:
• The Gnome Deck contains ten (10) Gnomic Invention (Weapon) cards, 26 Gemstone (Help) cards, and 26 Rockslide (Hinder) cards.
• The Leprechaun Deck contains ten (10) Wish (Weapon) cards, 26 Lucky Charms (Help) cards, and 26 Blarney (Hinder) cards.

Players: 2

One player gets the Gnome deck, the other gets the Leprechaun deck.
Each player does the following:
1. Remove the ten (10) Weapon cards and shuffle the remaining cards (Help and Hinder cards are shuffled together).
2. Deal six cards in a row in front of you, FACE DOWN.
3. Place the remaining cards to the side of the face-down row as the draw pile. As cards are discarded, they will go on the other side of the row.
4. Pick up any two cards from the face-down row. This is your hand.
5. Choose (however you wish) one of the weapon cards. This is your goal. Place it FACE UP in front of your face-down row, so your opponent can see it. Leave room for the other cards that will be placed around it.
6. Your cards should look like this:

Now decide who goes first.

There are three kinds of cards:
1. Weapons. Build a Weapon and finally get rid of the selfish, no-good… Anyway, your Weapon will need various components. Most of them can be found in your Help cards, but some of them are only found in your opponent’s Help cards.
2. Help. Help cards are things that help you (go figure). Many of these are components for your Weapon. But watch out! They are also components for your opponent’s Weapon. The rest of the Help cards can do various nice things like prevent or undo an enemy Hinder card.
3. Hinder. Hinder cards will hurt your enemy. For example, they can steal components from your enemy’s Weapon, or cause her to discard cards from her Weapon or hand.

To win, finish your Weapon. It’s that simple. Get to work!

Each turn follows these steps:
1. Draw one of your four face-down cards.
2. You may now play one (1) of the cards in your hand. This is done by placing the card face up in front of you.
3. If this is a Hinder card, your opponent may have a Help card to use, or vice versa. He’s allowed to do that.
4. If your opponent can’t do anything about it (or chooses not to), follow the instructions on the card. Components will be placed face up around your Weapon.
5. Deal back up to four cards in your face-down row. Remember to deal them face down. If your draw pile is empty, reshuffle the discard pile.

[Unfortunately, I didn't have time to come up with sample cards, but use your imagination, and think of funny things.]

Brykovian's picture
Joined: 07/21/2008
Game Design Showdown April 2005 Challenge - Little People

Challenge Results

First -- a big thanks to everyone who participated, both as participants and as voters. We received 13 very strong entries, and everyone should be proud of their designs.

The voting, too, showed how wide the quality of the entries ran, with most voters making a comment as to a number of entries they would have voted for if they could have voted for more than one. At one point earlier in the week, we had a 4-way tie for first place ... the last half-dozen votes helped to define the final positions.

And, now that my quick ramble is done ... here are the voting results:

First Place (5 votes) -- Gremlins by yogurt (Entry #10) ... this is the second challenge in a row that yogurt has provided the people's favorite design

Second Place (4 votes) -- a tie bewteen...

  • Die Wichtelmänner by Mark Goadrich (ensor) and Brett Myers (disclamer) (Entry #9)
  • Dig! by emxibus (Entry #12)

Honorable Mentions ...

  • Little Treasures by Pt314 (Entry #5 -- 3 votes)
  • Secret Garden by Kreitler (Entry #1 -- 2 votes)
  • Rainbow by Scurra (Entry #4 -- 2 votes)
  • Fey Folk by Hamumu (Entry #6 -- 1 vote)

Thanks again!! Watch for the May challenge to be posted in a couple of weeks.


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