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Scrabble variation with diphthongs and consonant clusters

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acgoldis
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Joined: 11/01/2008

Hi! I'm thinking of adopting Scrabble (different board perhaps) to use a few tiles with multiple letters on them and some additional rules derived from tournaments (I was a low-level tournament player for a while).

1. Blanks make seven tile words easier and tournament players inevitably hold on to them to make seven tile words...so the bonus of 50 goes down by 15 points for each blank (minimum 20). Playing a seven-letter word which does not use all your tiles does not get the bonus.

2. A blank may represent any single letter, diphthong, or consonant cluster (all of the same type: e.g. Y, STR, or OU), even if it is not in the set. It scores N-1 where N is the number of letters in the cluster. This is backwards compatible with traditional Scrabble (N = 1). Y counts as a vowel.

3. One must know a word's definition to be able to play it. This must be supplied on a challenge. Most tournament players use words without knowing what they mean -- which will make the game educational too.

4. The board uses a normal Scrabble board and the tile back "empties out" after 100 tiles are drawn. You do not use all the tiles and have no idea which tiles will be drawn. In this case since there are never seven tiles left in the bag you can trade in at any time. Note that it is now longer possible to track for certainty. You can get 4 S's in a game or none.

5. The 200 tile set would be an expansion to be used on an ordinary board. It can also be used in its entirety on a Super Scrabble board. The game would come with the standard 100 tile set as well.

6. If a Super Scrabble board is used, the triple word scores close to each other on the new sections of the board compound to 4x (if the two separated by one square are used on the same turn) and 5x (if the two separated by three squares are used on the same turn). Trade-ins are forbidden with seven or fewer tiles remaining.

7. Under tournament rules a player has to play all his moves in 30 minutes on a chess clock. Tournaments normally use 25 but the multiple letter tiles make it harder.

8. There is no standard dictionary to cram for beforehand. A tournament will publicize which dictionary is used beforehand (or possibly announce it the day of the event).

Here is the 200 tile list.
Score Distribution Letter(s)
N-1 4 blank for N letters, all consonants or all vowels
1 16 a
13 1 ai
3 2 b
6 1 bl
13 1 br
3 2 c
4 2 ch
10 1 ck
13 1 cl
8 1 cr
6 1 ct
2 4 d
14 1 dr
1 21 e
5 2 ea
11 1 ee
4 2 f
2 3 g
14 1 gl
9 1 gr
4 2 h
1 16 i
5 2 ie
3 3 io
8 1 j
5 1 k
1 4 l
4 2 ll
4 2 ly
3 2 m
12 1 mp
1 6 n
7 1 nc
5 2 nd
2 4 ng
3 3 nt
1 14 o
16 1 oa
14 1 oi
10 1 oo
5 2 ou
3 2 p
4 2 ph
10 1 pl
6 1 pr
10 1 q
1 6 r
12 1 rc
13 1 rd
10 1 rm
9 1 rt
1 4 s
9 1 sc
7 1 sh
14 1 sm
8 1 sp
5 2 ss
2 4 st
1 8 t
5 2 th
3 2 tr
15 1 tt
1 8 u
4 2 v
4 2 w
8 1 x
4 2 y
10 1 z

Jay103
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Joined: 01/23/2018
I feel like those scores are

I feel like those scores are very high for the diphthongs, making them way overpowered. Putting a Z on a triple is hard, but putting an "OA" doesn't seem like it would be. Or CL-O-CK. Etc.

Have you played Quiddler? Card-based spelling game that has some diphthongs, but nothing overwhelming. CK, QU, ER, with decent values but not in the QZXJ range. For example Q is 15 but QU is 9.

I'd play your game just to get two blanks and an E to play STRENGTHS :) (my favorite one-syllable word)

acgoldis
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Joined: 11/01/2008
The scores are based on a

The scores are based on a website I saw which counted the number of words in English with certain letter combiations. OA isn't as common as one might think according to this list. Here's the rest of the sheet sorted by number of words on this particular site (which is likely not all but it was probably five or six figures).

Now it's possible that many of the OA words are small. We may want to tweak that down.

st 24221
ng 23941
io 19503
nt 17067
tr 14662
ph 13852
ly 12088
ll 12053
ch 11658
ss 10854
th 10608
nd 10029
ea 9726
ou 9637
ie 9553
pr 8810
ct 8254
bl 7791
nc 7631
sh 6686
cr 6367
sp 6031
sc 5832
gr 5608
rt 5414
ck 5159
pl 5103
rm 4879
oo 4822
ee 4383
mp 4201
rc 4012
ai 3975
rd 3899
cl 3835
br 3808
dr 3604
sm 3554
oi 3529
gl 3494
tt 3418
oa 3189

rr 3048
au 3040
fl 2992
rp 2879
pt 2706
ei 2574
mb 2376
rb 2225
pp 2187
mm 2156
gh 2134
rn 2128
sl 2107
ht 2034
eu 1998
ff 1919
rg 1899
nn 1722
oe 1711
fr 1638
gn 1634
rl 1597
cc 1443
ld 1417
gg 1414
sn 1385
rk 1383
lf 1379
nk 1366
tc 1339
rh 1159
rf 1066
bb 1030
rv 1008

Many of the other rules are designed to mess with tournaments (no waiting for certain letters to pop up as they may not even appear, holding onto blanks for bingo plays, not knowing the definition is commonplace, SATIRE syndrome with half of the consonants not on the list, cramming for a dictionary, etc.)

acgoldis
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Joined: 11/01/2008
Another difference from

Another difference from Quiddler is the fact that since you're making a crossword several letters tend to block either the start or end of words but not both. For instance, there are lots of word at start with CL but none that end with it. SH shows up anywhere, and there are lots of words that end with NG but none that start with it.

Jay103
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Joined: 01/23/2018
I guess my point is that

I guess my point is that you're increasing the variance of the tile values, which gives more opportunities to stick a high-value tile on a high-value square. Maybe that's good, but it feels to me easier to get a high-scoring word with less ability.. (and maybe that's as intended)

acgoldis
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Joined: 11/01/2008
The scale factor for the new

The scale factor for the new letters is still a bit unclear. Would reducing them all by a factor of maybe 25% (so the maximum is 12) work out? How about a factor of 2? The scale is calibrated by what Q, Z, X, and J would be like to still be their appropriate point value -- and they're WILDLY off. Q would be something like 15 on this scale and Z would be 4!

evansmind244
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Joined: 04/09/2015
Adopting Scrabble

Will you be trying to license this to Hasbro? They are definitely open to outside innovation, and have a pretty simple process to submit a game. My concern would be infringement on Scrabble's IP by creating this game.

IDEAS

-Allow tile stacking. So if I lay down FROSTED you could change that to FROSTING by stacking tiles. Perhaps stacking would have a bonus, or decrease points.
-Allow multiple words like FROSTEDCUP or CAKEFROSTING.
-Allow a blank tile or a "wild" tile to give a player the option of starting a new location of play that is not connected to the original formation of words.
-Allow names or proper nouns. I think this would make the game accessible for much younger players.
-Allow straights in the alphabet ABCDE or WXYZ.
-Create a word smasher tile where you can remove a word or series of letters.
-Gain bonuses for creating sentences with your words. Create a complete sentence and get a bonus at the end of the game.
-Go 3D with it and use 6d tiles so that words can be built from the bottom up.
-Burn a tile to check your phone for 30 seconds......

Anyway!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

acgoldis
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Joined: 11/01/2008
I can see how the diphthongs

I can see how the diphthongs are probably too risky for high scores because there are 20 consonants you can stick after them to make a two letter word (hooks). Maybe I'll reduce them by a factor of 4 or so.

acgoldis
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Joined: 11/01/2008
Tile scores with diphthongs

Tile scores with diphthongs reduced and the scaling factor changed. This makes more sense.

1 4 st
1 4 ng
2 3 io
2 3 nt
2 2 tr
2 2 ph
2 2 ly
2 2 ll
3 2 ch
3 2 ss
3 2 th
3 2 nd
3 2 ea
1 2 ou
1 2 ie
3 1 pr
4 1 ct
4 1 bl
4 1 nc
4 1 sh
5 1 cr
5 1 sp
5 1 sc
5 1 gr
6 1 rt
6 1 ck
6 1 pl
6 1 rm
2 1 oo
2 1 ee
7 1 mp
7 1 rc
2 1 ai
8 1 rd
8 1 cl
8 1 br
8 1 dr
8 1 sm
2 1 oi
9 1 gl
9 1 tt
3 1 oa

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