Share and Share Alike

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Share and Share Alike
Jonathan Leistiko
A Zendo game
A game of shifting loyalties
:Players Players: 4
:Time Length: unknown
:Complexity Complexity: 8 out of 10
Trios per color: 5
Number of colors: 4 (any color or colors)
Pyramid trios:
Monochr. stashes: 4 (any color or colors)
Five-color sets:
- - - - - - Other equipment - - - - - -
A poker deck, a six-sided die, custom board and play tracker sheets, pens for each player
Setup time: five minutes
Playing time:
Strategy depth: 7 out of 10
Random chance: 4 out of 10
Game mechanics: Tower-building, market speculation
Theme: free market
BGG Link: 25026
Status: complete? (v1.0), Year released: 2987

Share & Share Alike
by Jonathan Leistiko
A game of shifting loyalties for 4 players.

To have the most value in shares by the end of the game.

You Need:
4 Icehouse stashes (or lots of other stackable items)
A S&S board
A S&S Share Tracker and a pen for each player.
A 6-sided die.
A poker deck (Jokers removed).

Setting up:

  • Claim an S&S tracker and pen for yourself. Fold it in half so the tracker is concealed from prying eyes. You may not show your tracker or talk about what you've written on your tracker to anyone else until the game is over.
  • Put the S&S board, the Icehouse stashes, and the die in the middle of the table where everyone can reach them. Do not put the stashes on the board.
  • Shuffle the poker deck. Deal five cards to each player. Set the remaining cards where everyone can reach them. This is the Draw Deck. Cards that have been played go to the bottom of the Draw Deck, face down. Cards that are discarded go to the side of the Draw Deck, face-up, creating the Discard Pile. Any player may look at the contents of the Discard Pile at any time.

S&S is played in rounds. At the start of each round, you must select one company to get a share in. Secretly mark the share you selected in the appropriate row of the column for the current round on your share tracker. Once all players have selected a share, the action phase starts.

You start the action phase with three actions. Randomly choose a player to take the first action. When it's your turn, you can spend from zero to three actions. If you spend zero actions on your turn, you may not take further actions during this action phase. When you're done taking actions, play passes to your left. Once all players have spent all actions they wish to spend, the round ends.

The actions you can take are:

  • Play a card.
  • Discard cards.
  • Draw up to 5 cards. (This action takes three actions to perform.)

- Play a card -
Cards have two vectors on them: Rank and Suit. The suit of the card you play determines what its effect is. The rank of the card you play determines how many times you get to apply the effect.

Hearts let you add a piece to a tower. When you add a piece, it must be of the largest size piece available.
Spades let you take a piece from a tower. When you take a piece it must come from the top of the tower.
Clubs let you spy. You may look at that player's hand of cards or that player's share tracker for 30 seconds. You may not write anything down until you've returned the share tracker or cards to their owner.
Diamonds let you tempt Chance. Roll on the Chance Chart and take the effect shown.

  1. Look at another player's hand and take a card from it.
  2. Choose two players to swap hands. You can be one of those players.
  3. Draw two cards.
  4. Take another action right now. This action is free and does not count against your actions for this round. This action may not be used to get another Chance roll.
  5. Nothing happens.
  6. Select another player. That player gets to roll for Chance (ignoring 6es) and take the effect immediately. After this happens, your turn resumes.

Rank affects Hearts, Spades, and Clubs as follows:
If the rank of the card you play is 2 through 9, you get to use that effect one time.
If the rank of the card is 10, J, or Q, you get to use that effect twice. You don't have to choose the same target each time.
If the rank of the card is K or A, you get to use that effect three times. You don't have to choose the same target each time.

Rank affects diamonds (Chance rolls) as follows:
If the rank of the card you play is 2 through 9, you get to use the effect you rolled. If the rank of the card is 10, J, or Q, you may adjust your roll up or down a point before taking the effect.
If the rank of the card is K or A, you may adjust your roll up or down two points before taking the effect.

- Discard cards -
You may discard as many cards as you with to face-up to the Discard Pile.

- Draw up to 5 cards -
If you spend three actions at once, you may draw until you have five cards in your hand. If you already have more than four cards in your hand, you may not take this action. You may draw cards from the Draw Deck or the Discard Pile in any combination (ex: three from the Draw Deck and two from the Discard Pile.). Cards you take from the Draw Deck come off the top one at a time. Cards you take from the Discard Pile can come from anywhere in the Discard Pile.

The game ends at the end of the fifteenth round. Reveal your share tracker to all players. Add up the total number of shares you have in each company. Calculate the total number of shares claimed for each company. Figure out which company came in first, second, third, fourth, and fifth. First place gets 1000 points. Second place gets 800 points. Third place gets 600 points. Fourth place gets 400 points. Fifth place gets 200 points. Divide the number of points for each company by the total number of shares claimed for each company (Refer to the value chart for quantities up to 50 shares.). This is the share value for each share of that company. Take the share value for each company and multiply that by the number of shares you hold in that company. Take these products and add them together to figure your score. The player with the highest score wins.

Loose Lips - You may talk about what you're taking shares in, but you may not show your share-recording sheet.
The Whole Truth - You may talk about what you're taking shares in, and you may show your share-recording sheet.
Open Market - On your turn you may take a Trading action. To take a trading action, spend one action token and play any royal (J, Q, K, A) card. For the next 30 seconds, you may trade (consensually) shares with other players. Trades do not have to be even. Other players can not trade directly with each other, but may trade through you.
Lowball - Instead of randomly choosing a player to start each round, select a first player this way: Pick a card from your hand and place it face-down in front of you. Once all players have done this, reveal the cards. The player who played the highest card (A high, 2 low) goes first. In a tie, hearts beat diamonds, which beat spades, which beat clubs.

Origin and Credits:
I thought of this game while reading Interactive Storytelling by Andrew Glassner. He mentioned that "teams" in stories can shift and change during the course of a tale, while teams in a game typically do not change. I thought it'd be interesting to make a game that breaks this rule. I thought of the basic concept for Share and Share Alike on or about May 19th, 2005. The first draft of these rules was written on May 22, 2005.

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