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A simple dice and card game

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Lukeocracy's picture
Joined: 11/13/2010

I can tell i will get some good and honest feedback from this forum so i'm posting the aspects of this game i created. This includes the mechanics the theme and the rules of course.
The Name of this game is
Shepherd's Crook
The original idea i concieved this game with is a quick and simple betting game. Since it is the most developed variation I will descibe it's rule set and the mechanics related to it. This game is shepherd/sheep themed and i have named the certian componants in line with that theme
This game includes 25 cards, twelve of which are red(1-12), twelve of which are black(1-12) and one special card called the Wolf.
it also consists of two, twelve sided dice that are designed as follows:
D-1: Even numbers Black, odd numbers Red
D-2: Even numbers Red; odd numbers Black
The color mechanic:
When numbers on are of the same color, they are added together.
When numbers on are of different colors, they subtract from eachother
this mechanic applies to both cards and dice
If they are different colors the lowest number always subrtacts from the highest. See following examples
Red 8 + Red 3 = 11
Black 4 + Black 12= 16
Red 9 + Black 2 = 7
Black 12 + Red 10 = 2
Red 10 + Black 10 = 0
and so forth.
Each player is dealt One card which we will call the "Flock" card
Betting rules are based of of poker betting rules, though i eliminated "check"
so each player posts an ante(#not sure whether to go with blinds or a straight ante#)
After the ante the dice are rolled. The sum of the dice we will call the "Count"
A Table card is then played in the center which we will call the "Dog" card.
All the players then combine their "Flock" card with the "Dog" card to get their total.
The Goal is to have your total be closest to the count then any other player.
Once the dog card is played the betting begins left of the dealer.
A player can then bet, call, raise, or fold
There is only one round of betting when betting is through the players remaining reveal their totals starting left of the dealer. the person closest wins the pot.
Special rules:

The Wolf: Once the revealing stage begins, if a player reveals they have the "Wolf" a new "Count" is rolled resulting in a different goal for the players. There is no extra betting the resulting count is final and the player closest to it wins the pot.

The Duel: In the event that two players are equadistant to the count, a duel takes effect. The duel is played by each player recieveing a new flock card and a new count is rolled. the dog card remains the same. Players cannot view their cards till after the count is rolled. In the event a player recieves the wolf as a flock card it is considered an automatic win.

Wolf Hound: in the event that the wolf card is played as the Dog card, each player recieves a second flock card face up and they use that second flock card to calculate their total instead of a Dog card.

I think thats the gist of it. I designed it to be quick, simple, and fun. I have play tested it a little and i have been getting good feedback, as well as feedback claiming it was confusing. I was surprised at this becasue i have taken steps to make it very simple. Eliminating rules and such. But i appriciate all feed back. I have been working on a non-betting for fun version of this game incorporating the dice, because i love the idea so much I don't want to ignore the non-betting type people out there. That one i will post as well, once i decide on some major workings of the game. I'd like to get this produced and if i did i would like your opinion on the idea of offerening 3 differnt levels for packaging this game. (i realize packaging isn't somthing i sould be too concerned about, but i figured why not ask)
Bottom level: Just the dice and rules (since the game can be adapted to a standard deck of playing cards)
MIddle level: Dice, cards, and rules
upper level: Cards, dice, Coins, rules
Ok i think thats it for now. i look forward to hearing from you!

Joined: 11/16/2010
Its Good

Just cause I clarify lots, the goal is to get the 'Flock'+'Dog' as close to the 'Count' as possible?
An interesting concept, I think it would be fast, and fun. I think, just to go with the 'sheep/shepherd' idea it would be fun to have the coins, or betting (for those who don't like betting) replaced with farm stock, like sheep, for example. Of course, this would probably come later in the design, and i'm jumping the gun, but, yeah.
The nice addition of the D12, both with opposing colours, is I think a good mechanic, adds a good random count, and having the coloured mechanic works well, making it potentially difficult to achieve the Count.
Also, if some people overlook what they have (as is sometimes the case in black jack with Aces (well for me anyway Oo)) there maybe some confusion. But there again... that's not the fault of the rules and there is probably no way to child proof that, lol. Just something to think about.

Lukeocracy's picture
Joined: 11/13/2010
correct, and remember it's

correct, and remember it's "Closest" to the count the count can be 17 and you have a 5 and everone else has 2,3,4. your still the closest. Thanks For the feedback!

infocorn's picture
Joined: 07/30/2008
I'm glad I came back today :-D

Luke, this looks pretty solid. I might be able to run a playtest with a standard deck and 2d12 of my own if you'd be ok with that and give some results, unbalances, etc.

Looking back over the other thread to your question of tailoring the game to companies' strengths, I think you could do a lot to make it attractive to specific publishers while keeping the engine of the game the same.

In your non-betting version, could a rules-variation allow for accumulating a larger flock over a set number of rounds?

Joined: 10/02/2009
Just making sure...

The 25 cards (Dogs and Wolf) are shuffled and all dealt from a common deck, right?

Of course, this popped into my head right off the bat:

The 'non-betting' approach strikes me as a 'sheep capture' game, where each player starts with, say 10 sheep, and they lose the sheep (instead of money) on the round.

In that approach, you would only have a choice of playing one sheep (to play your hole card)... or put another sheep into play after seeing the roll. Tokens for sheep could be glass beads/stones.

Lukeocracy's picture
Joined: 11/13/2010
yes common deck

all the cards are delt from one deck, the "Dog" is just a name for the common card that every body uses to make their total. Like texas holdem's "River" or "Turn" cards. The wolf is the only special card in the deck.

Lukeocracy's picture
Joined: 11/13/2010
Play test

I would very much appriciate some outside opinions on the game. Especially from people who haven't met me And don't have me sitting in front of them asking "What do you think?". So yes please if you will play test. it it sounds like you understand the game. and don't hesitate to ask any questions so i can clear it up. If you don't have a surplus of d-12's and would rather not mark em' up like i did you can use a full deck of cards. Here's how you would set it up.
Remove the jacks, seperate the deck into two piles with both piles having one red suit and one black suit. use one half of the deck for play, add a joker for the wolf. Use the other half to draw two cards at random, combine the cards and get your randomly generated count. play will continue as normal. This works but isn't as quick and easy or as fun as using the dice. You have to shuffle both decks sepreately after each round. oh yes, kings are worth twelve and queens are worth eleven.
You guys have given me some things to think about for the non betting version of this game.
I know i have to work on how the directions are worded before i can submit this to any agency or company. Do you think a description of the bet, call, raise mechanic is nessisary? anyways thanks for the feed back and i look forward to more.

Joined: 10/02/2009
Lukeocracy wrote:Use the

Lukeocracy wrote:
Use the other half to draw two cards at random, combine the cards and get your randomly generated count. play will continue as normal. This works but isn't as quick and easy or as fun as using the dice. You have to shuffle both decks sepreately after each round.

It's slightly different, using this approach, versus using the d12s, because when someone reveals the Wolf, then the dice are re-rolled... If you're not shuffling the 'dice' deck until the round ends, then that suggests that the original count is no longer in the deck to choose from, where on a set of dice, you could re-roll the same numbers.

The other difference is that by dealing two cards in succession from a common deck, it's possible to get two numbers that would normally be on the same die... Like a Black 2 and a Red 3... that's impossible with your two d12s, but possible with the card deck approach.

Incidentally, for someone wanting to build their own custom deck, you might have better luck with a Phase 10 card set, rather than normal playing cards:

They work great for these kind of games, because they're already pre-numbered from 1-12, and they're in 4 different colors. We use them for all sorts of games.

Lukeocracy's picture
Joined: 11/13/2010
seperate decks

i see your point. makes sence. i would rather use dice :-) i hope to get my own cards printed too. i'll have to take these things into consideration while developing game variations. Thanks a million!

Joined: 11/19/2010
2 questions

2 questions:

Is there an amount of "money" that you're supposed to start with in the game to play it in a certain amount of time?

What are the betting limits?

Lukeocracy's picture
Joined: 11/13/2010
don't have any limits or

don't have any limits or starting amounts, i'll have to work somthing out. seems like a good idea Thanks!

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