A Game of Porcelain Thrones - Player Elimination (pun) Game
Putting the TURD back in SaTURDay! A fun filler game with player elimination (pun).
This project will only be funded if it reaches its goal by Fri, May 17 2019 3:15 AM UTC +00:00.
A Game of Porcelain Thrones
Putting the TURD back in SaTURDay!
I had read an article describing how player elimination games are bad, they're not fun, etc. And yet... player elimination games are the games I grew up with! Sure they can go on for a long time after only one of the players is eliminated (and that isn't fun), but as a short, filler game I don't see anything wrong with them. So I took it as a design challenge!
Then the theme... what would be a good theme for a player elimination? What about the other meaning of the word eliminate? Aha! A game about pooping!
Which reminded me of a phrase from about 30 years ago that was the tagline for the band Brown Ploppy (who sang about exactly what it sounds like they would sing about). Their flyers said "Putting the TURD back in SaTURDay!" I've always loved that phrase and wanted to revive it with something.
Now I just needed at title - something that would sum everything up in one quick catchy phrase.
- It's a game... a game... A Game of Porcelain Thrones!
And now it's your opportunity to help bring this game into printed and published life!
One deck is good for 3 to 5 players. For more players, add in an additional deck.
Play time is 20 to 30 minutes. Players get eliminated fairly quickly once it gets going, so nobody has to wait around too long for the game to finish.
Ages - this game is for "very childish" adults. There's a lot of dirty thoughts in it, so use your discretion with what ages you introduce it to. See the example cards shown below or download the PnP to get a better idea.
Game Design and Constraints
I wanted to create a card game that would fit nicely in a standard playing card tuck box so that it would be portable and self-contained.
I wanted players to get to make a few simple decisions during their turn. So the players actions matter, but the game moves quickly - eliminating more and more players until there is a winner.
After making sure that each player gets to make decisions that have outcomes, the next thing was to make sure that the game ends quickly. Players have to keep putting cards into the "toilet" in the center, but it is rare that players get additional cards. If nothing else eliminates a player, running out of cards will. This makes sure that the game doesn't drag on.
To keep my tendency to overuse color in check, I chose the color palette of a popular candy (one that melts in your mouth, not in your hands). The meanings of the colors Yellow and Brown on the Yellow and Brown cards are obvious. There's also the special cards:
- Green - the card is good for the player
- Blue - the card is good for all the players
- Red - the card is bad for another player
- Brown - the card is bad for all the players
Abraham Lincoln once described my work as:
"People who like this sort of thing, will find this to be the sort of thing that they like."
When I started creating the special cards, it was as if a giant tap was opened and ideas kept flowing out. Hence the 3 variations of the game -- each of which has its own "flavor".
- The Yellow "Let it mellow" Edition
- The Brown "Flush it down" Edition
- The Green "It came from Uranus" Edition
How to Play
THE GAME TURN (overview)
- Decide the 2 cards from your hand that you're going to use this turn. These are your "chosen" cards.
- Pick up and look at the card passed to you by the player on your right.
- Now look at the 3 cards you are now holding and decide how to play them:
- Play one card into the toilet. It must either be a Yellow or Brown card that is greater than the current top-of-the-toilet card OR it must be an applicable special card. If it is a special card, follow the directions on the card. If you can't play a card to the toilet, you are eliminated.
- Pass one card to the player on your left.
- Return the remaining card to your hand.
If you run out of cards, you are eliminated.
SETUP AND HOW TO PLAY (overview)
The dealer shuffles the cards and deals 5 to each player. The unused cards are put in the center of the table and referred to as "the pile." Next to the pile is the place where card will be played, called "the toilet."
The dealer gets the "Whoever smelt it, dealt it" card placed in front of them. This card starts with the Phase 1 side face up.
The dealer doesn't get a card passed to them, so they must make their 2 chosen cards and then draw a card from the pile for their third card.
The dealer's first turn is always considered to be to a fresh toilet, with the toilet in a state referred to as "Yellow 0" (any Yellow or Brown card is enough to go on top of the toilet).
When a player is eliminated, the deal passes to the player on the dealer's left. The "Whoever smelt it, dealt it" card is flipped over. When this card has Phase 2 side up, the dealer doesn't do any shuffling or dealing -- players continue playing with whatever cards they have remaining in their hand.
Note: This makes it important to watch how you use up cards during a Phase 1 round -- since you'll still need to have some good stuff left for the Phase 2 round. All these forms of "card attrition" help make sure that each player does get to make some decisions, but at the same time players do get eliminated rapidly and thus the game doesn't drag on.
Note: One deck of A Game of Porcelain Thrones has 52 cards and ought to be enough for up to 5 players. If you have more than 5 players, you may want to play with multiple decks combined (the backs have different designs so that it's easy to separate them back to their original tuck boxes) so that the pile doesn't run out in the middle of a round. Or you may want to have multiple decks that that each new Phase 1 deal is done with a different deck to keep up the gameplay variety.
THE FULL RULES
The rules are available online at the AGOPT website. There is also a downloadable pdf version so that you can print the rules out on a sheet of paper (in larger text size).
Here is the rules as they are at the time of the Kickstarter launch. Please see the website link above for the most current rules.
OBJECTIVE: To not get eliminated. The last player still in the game wins.
EACH TURN: The player must eliminate by playing a card greater than the top card in the toilet OR play a special card and follow the directions on that card. If the player can’t play a card or they can’t play a card greater than the toilet, they are eliminated. If the player runs out of cards, they are eliminated.
SETUP: The dealer shuffles all the cards (if playing with multiple decks, all cards are combined together). The dealer deals 5 cards to each player. The rest of the deck is placed in the center of the table face-down and called the pile. Next to the pile is the place where cards are played face-up, called the toilet. Put the “Whoever smelt it, dealt it” card in front of the dealer with it showing Phase 1.
THE CARDS: The cards consist of 13 Yellow cards, 13 Brown cards, and 26 special cards. The higher the number, the better the card. Brown cards are all higher than Yellow cards. The toilet starts in a state of “Yellow 0” which means any Yellow card (or Brown card) is enough. Some special cards set the toilet to “Brown 0” which means any Brown card is enough.
THE FIRST TURN IS DEALER’S TURN: Since the dealer goes first and there is no player giving them a card, they make their 2 chosen cards and then take a card from the pile. On the dealer’s turn, the toilet is considered to be Yellow 0 (any Yellow or Brown card can be played). Otherwise their turn is the same as a regular player turn.
EACH PLAYER TURN: The player chooses 2 cards from their hand and places them face down on the table (these are their chosen cards). They then look at the card passed to them by the player on their right and with their 2 chosen cards they have to play 1 card to the toilet, give 1 card face-down to the player on their left, and return the 3rd card to their hand.
Play then passes to the player on their left.
The card played to the toilet must be of greater value than what is currently on top of the toilet and must work with whatever special cards are next to the toilet, or it must be a special card.
If the player can’t do this, they are eliminated.
WHEN A PLAYER IS ELIMINATED: The player to the left of the dealer becomes the dealer and the “Whoever smelt it dealt it” card is placed in front of them and flipped over to change its phase. After a Phase #1 deal, it becomes a Phase #2 – no new cards are dealt, but the toilet is reset to Yellow 0. After a Phase #2, it becomes a Phase #1 – all the cards are taken off the table (this clears any cards that were next to the toilet) and dealt out 5 per player.
NOTE: It is important to conserve one’s cards during Phase #1 since no new cards are dealt during a Phase #2 deal.
FREE PnP of the Yellow "Let it mellow" Edition
The "I pooped here" Cards in Tuckbox Set
While "researching" for the game, I came across a funny Seinfeld video clip of George talking about locating "Magnificent Facilities" in NYC.
I thought it would be socially responsible for A Game of Porcelain Thrones to create some kind of card that could be given to the operators of such facilities. Something they could carry with pride. A way for the user to let them know of a job-well-done.
The "I pooped here. 100% would poop here again." cards were designed to do this.
"These cards are a must-have for every bathroom connoisseur."
Available in a stylish, convenient, 54-card carrying pack, these cards let the world know that you mean business when you do your business.
Leave something *extra* at your favorite restroom
What's in the Box (boxes)?
There are 3 versions of A Game of Porcelain Thrones. Each version has its own unique 26 special cards.
- The Yellow "Let it mellow" Edition
- The Brown "Flush it down" Edition
- The Green "It came from Uranus" Edition
Each edition of the game comes with a total of 54 cards in a tuck box:
- 13 Yellow cards (numbered 1 through 13)
- 13 Brown cards (numbered 1 through 13)
- 26 special cards (unique to that edition)
- 1 "Whoever smelt it, dealt it" dealer card with 2 sides to show whether the deal is in Phase 1 or Phase 2
- 1 rules card -- the rules are printed kinda tiny to get them to fit - for a larger copy of the rules or a downloadable pdf of the rules to print, see AGOPT.com/rules
Why would you want multiple versions?
One deck of A Game of Porcelain Thrones has 52 cards and ought to be enough for up to 5 players. If you have more than 5 players, you may want to play with multiple decks combined (the backs have different designs so that it's easy to separate them back to their original tuck boxes) so that the pile doesn't run out in the middle of a round.
Even if one deck is enough for your number of players, you may want to have multiple decks that that each new Phase 1 deal is done with a different deck to keep up the gameplay variety. There's lots of different funny sh*t to see!
The good news is that I will be shipping the games myself, right here from my living room, and packing them with care into their mailers and then bringing them to the Post Office and mailing them with the good 'ole USPS.
The not as good news is that this makes shipping to outside the USA crazy expensive and I also have no idea what kind of VAT or other taxation your country might impose on packages from me. (I'm just happy they stopped blaming me for bad weather). So like every other small game publisher, all I can say is that I'm sorry the shipping to your country seems expensive, but I am not in any position to do anything about it -- I can't afford to mail the games at a loss.
If you live in some country that I didn't pre-calculate the shipping, please message me and I'll let you know how much you would need to add to your pledge to cover it.
The term "porcelain throne" goes back a bit. Here's a reference I found online:
Here is a citation that has a GB date of 1952. I haven't verified this
on paper but it is probably accurate.
Cite: Circa 1952, A Cry of Children by John Horne Burns, GB Page 163,
Harper, New York. (Google Books snippet view; Not verified on paper;
Data may be inaccurate; WorldCat agrees with publication date)
Then she would sit a long time on her porcelain throne: she would
groan for half an hour, literally in travail with her bowels.
Sometimes I counted the pops of wind, that sounded like trombones.
Back A Game of Porcelain Thrones today and be the first to get the game all your friends will be playing!
Risks and challenges
This project will be printed with DriveThruCards (the same printer I have used for my previous projects). They are based in the USA and are fantastic at doing custom work at low production quantities. Their turnaround time is extremely fast and the game is already finished, so I expect the printing to be hassle-free.
The minimum print run with DriveThruCards turns out to be just under 100 decks of 54 cards, hence this project is able to have a low funding goal because my minimum printing quantity is so low. That's all it takes to make this game exist and get it to your door!
For fulfillment I will be packing the mailers myself (again something I have done before) and shipping via the USPS.
If demand exceeds my expectations, I have contacts and quotes in place for printing high-volume runs in China the way games are typically printed. This being a card-based game with a standard size and standard card count of 54 cards in a tuck box, printing this with another printer should also go smoothly, although the production time will be slightly longer since that's the nature of longer printing runs and printing in a foreign country.
The title is a parody title, however the term "porcelain thrones" has been around since the 1950's so it is a well-known term that is quite different from thrones without porcelain. And Gloom of Thrones seems to be doing quite well on Kickstarter as a parody that is much more similar to the thing being parodied.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter