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Below are the 18 most recent journal entries recorded in Twists on Existing Games' LiveJournal:

Tuesday, August 30th, 2005
12:12 am
fans of catan: is the seafarers expansion worth the cost?
Saturday, April 2nd, 2005
11:05 am
Mutants & Masterminds Skills Design
Starting Premises
  • Mutants & Masterminds is a really good superhero RPG. (I've been invited to take place in a "round-robin" shared world campaign, so I've been doing some investigation.)
  • In the rules as written, skills are overpriced at one character point per rank. This is not much of a bug in traditional four-color superhero games, where Super-Attributes make up the difference. (Reed Richards doesn't need to buy lots of ranks in every science skill; he buys Super-Intelligence and gets a similar effect.) In lower-powered games, or ones closer to street level, it becomes noticeable. And it's hard to build the Batman, or other characters with a diverse array of linked skills.
  • The solution of having one point buy two or three skill ranks is inelegant. I like points to be "atomic", and spending half a point here and there annoys me. Plus, it nerfs feats like Skill Focus.

So, here's my solution. The Super-Skill power remains, for what it's worth, but is supplemented by Super Specialist.Collapse )

What do you think?
Thursday, December 9th, 2004
1:41 pm
Variants: Illuminati Crime Lords
I've been playing this game for over half a year now and have a couple of variants for the opening bidding. Each of these are best if you have players who have played a few times and thus have a decent idea of the rackets and crooks. They can be used individually or together.

1) Buy a Boss. Whoever would go first has the option to pay 10G and go through the deck to grab the person they want for Boss. Each player then has the choice to do so in turn. You only get one shot - bid or pass.

2) Buy a Racket. Same as 1) but with a single Racket of your choice.

Bear in mind that if you use both of these options, come bidding time you will have people potentially ranging from 10Gs to 25Gs (or 30Gs for the Vegas Bunch). This will change the bidding and add a bit of uncertainty.

There's one more option you can use for smaller games: choice of Mob. With 4 or fewer players, deal out two Mob cards to each player; each player has their choice of which mob they take.
Sunday, October 17th, 2004
7:21 pm
Munchkin Madness
Hi there!

Terribly sorry to bother you guys with this, but we just created a community for the card game Munchkin, and since this community has 'munchkin' listed as interest we were hoping you'd be interested in our community as well. That is, if you meant the card game when adding that interest, ha ha.

Basically, we'll be talking about news, strategies, questions regarding rules, tips, and possible meetings to play. We started out with a group of friends who adore the game, but hope to grow and become larger in time.

Would you like to take a look and consider joining munchkin_sjgame? Thank you! :)

Love, Cherry.
Monday, August 9th, 2004
11:32 am
hey! i stumbled across this group and, as a rabid wargamer, thought i would drop in and give my two cents.

we have several house rules for Munchkin, because Munchkin is just to cool of a game not to have house rules. the simplest house rule concerns the supermunchkin and half-breed cards: simply, if you have two supermunckin cards you can have three classes; three supermunchkin cards you can have four classes. the same is true for half-breed. you can very easily become a third-breed or a fourth-breed.
another favorite house rule for Munchkin concerns the wannabe vampire. if a cleric chooses to make the wannabe vampire run away by saying "booga booga" he is required to stand on his chair, extend his arms above his head and say the words in the most haunting manner he can come up with. if the chair is unstable and will not support his standing weight, he is required to stand on the table.

in BANG! the first game you play you are required to say "in heaven there is no beer, that's why we drink it here" whenever you drink a beer to regain health. you are also required to say "i shot the sheriff but i did not shoot the deputy" the first time you shoot the sheriff. However, if you do either of these things more than three times, the other players have the right to glare at you and tell you what an idiot you are.

in another favorite game, Guillotine, (the Revolutionary card game where heads will role and you win by getting a head,) whenever the Bad Nun is turned face up and again when she looses her head, everyone playing the game is required to chant "Bad Nun! Bad Nun! Bad Nun!"

along the same lines, in Circus Maximus, the chariot racing game, whenever someone is trying to take out an opponents horses with his cart, as he is warming up the die roll, the other players (even the one being attacked) are required to chant "Alpo!"

in Vinci, you are required to refer to the little colored chits as "men." politically incorrect jokes about "the white men," "the black men," "the yellow men," or "the red men," are acceptable, but the first person who tries to work in "the blue men," or "the green men," gets a beating.

in Diplomacy you are encourage, though not required, to speak with the accent of the country you rule and to rename your country based on something else historical or personal, as long as it makes sense. this is how we get games of Diplomacy with The Byzantine Empire, The Scottish Realm, Prussia and Those Damn French.

in Napoleon in Europe, if you ever have a large army that lacks infantry, cavalry or artillery, the other players are expected to mock you.

in Warhammer, you are expected to mimic what the models are saying if they are moving into a place where they know they will be exposed to enemy fire, or when they are actually being fired upon. this rule does not usually apply if your units are human, but applies doubly if the units in question are goblins or if you are especially good at doing voices.
also in Warhammer, all goblins are named Skragget.

in D&D, especially when all of us are chaotic neutral, if you are not able to attend an adventure, expect your character to be controlled by someone else in a fashion where your character is the one who kicks down all the doors, sets off all the traps, and charges blindly at the foes. also expect your character to take the blame for things like when the high level fighter comes along wondering who took the magical sword from his father's crypt.

finally, on a more serious note, there is the game titan (which i am assuming at least one of you has heard of, seeing as it's on the interests list). because the game is so big, takes so long to teach and so much longer to play, i haven't actually been able to convince many of my gaming buddies that it's worth playing. when we do play, however, we always have balanced starting towers after that disaster of a game where our starting towers turned out to be right next to each other.
with the lack of people willing to play Titan being commonplace, i stumbled across a java version of Titan called Colossus, and it contains numerous variants, a few of which are even worth playing, though the effort to make enough little tiles to play the variant on the board would be too much effort, it is still fun to play.

so that's pretty much all i can think of now. i love gaming, and i think it's great that i found a community where i can post some of my gaming quirks.
Wednesday, May 19th, 2004
10:31 am
This is beyond silly, and PG-13 past the cut. You've been warned.

A friend of mine was talking about Settlers of Catan...Collapse )

Current Mood: geeky
Wednesday, December 31st, 2003
12:50 pm
Another reminder -- Arisia gaming.
If you're interested in running a tabletop game at Arisia 2004 this year -- and possibly get comp'ed for it -- you'll need to follow the instructions in this post. Only a few more days to do so.

Current Mood: busy
Wednesday, June 4th, 2003
10:39 am
Orson Scott Card's Rules for RISK
As posted on http://www.hatrack.com:

The most important rule change is that you are allowed to leave territories empty. This allows you to create buffer zones so an enemy can move into a territory but has to stop, instead of the enemy being able to keep rolling the dice to take over country after country. In short, it eliminates blitzkrieg and incredible lucky streaks. If you are the sole hold of territories in a continent, you collect for that continent and count yourself as owning all the territories on all the continents that you control, not just the ones you occupy with armies.

We also allow an unlimited number of moves at the end of a turn. That is, you can move every single army exactly one territory, but no more.

We also play without the cards.

Those are the key modifications. It's a different game when played this way - far more strategic and far less dependent on chance. It's also slower and talkier and alliances (both kept and broken) become far more important.

Current Mood: awake
Tuesday, June 3rd, 2003
12:46 pm
Illuminati - Hidden Illuminati
One of the fun variants listed in the Deluxe Illuminati rulebook is the Hidden Illuminati variant. Basically, you play with your Illuminati face down. Nobody knows your group or your goal, but they can use an action declaring you to be a certain Illuminati. If they're right, you turn your Illuminati face up.

You can declare your Power or Income to be up to 1 higher than it actually is and you can always elect to make it lower. But you can't use any special Illuminati powers.

Where's the fun in that?

The variant: In addition to the power and money changes listed above, before anybody draws any Illuminati to use, they draw an Illuminati and are able to use that Illuminati's special powers until their real Illuminati is exposed. If they draw Bavaria they can make a privileged attack for 5MB once per turn; if they draw Cthulhu they get +2 to destroy. If they draw the UFOs they can use their power twice *and* have the Secret Goal! However, as soon as the real Illuminati is exposed these special powers are gone and vanished.

Aside from this change, the rest of the rules for Hidden Illuminati apply.
Friday, May 2nd, 2003
7:20 am
Hm... New here.
I've always wanted to play a three-way Yu-Gi-Oh! duel before as well as a tag team match like the Para and Dox vs. Yami and Joey match in episodes 17-19. I like the idea of more cutthroat competition in a game of so many twists and turns.

Current Mood: amused
Saturday, April 5th, 2003
12:15 pm
new Chez Geek profession
The Salesman.

(I came up with this while looking at the toys teddywolf has won as sales incentives.)

On his turn, the Salesman may roll a die to get any item that costs money, except for Booze, Weed, or Shrooms. If the item has a Cost of 3 or less, a roll of 4 or higher will get the item. If the item has a Cost of 4 or more, only a roll of 6 will get the item. This would count as an Activity. The Salesman would have 2 Free Time. The Income is variable; 2/5 depending on the die roll.


Current Mood: geeky
Wednesday, February 26th, 2003
11:48 am
Munchkin variant
In chaiya's journal, krasota commented:

When my friends and I play Munchkin, we all *pick* a gender each time we play the game(and sadly, in Munchkin, it has be male or female). It doesn't matter what's in our pants and what's in our heads the rest of the time. It's what we want to *be* for one game. ;)

I thought that was pretty nifty, myself.

Current Mood: playful
Sunday, February 23rd, 2003
10:33 am
Carcassonne Hunters and Gatherers variant
Here's a variant I've been playing with for Carcassonne Hunters and Gatherers. The aurochses and mushrooms are worth 6 points each instead of 2. The idea is to make them a bit more special, instead of just "Whoopee, I got a special tile, and all I got was this stupid mushroom." 4 is not enough, 10 is too much, and 6 seems to work very well.
Wednesday, February 5th, 2003
4:00 pm
Illuminati Variants
Do you enjoy the game? Find yourself outclassed because somebody else is always going first and the good groups never come out on your turn?

Here are two variants, meant to be completely independant of each other, that you can use to maybe flatten the field a little.

1) Random starting control. Each player on their first turn has the option of spending both actions and 5 MB to draw an extra card, which would be under their control. If it's a group, it is put on the power structure. If it's a special card, it's yours to keep and use later (perhaps for a privileged attack). It's random but allows something.

2) Chosen starting control. Each player on their first turn has the option of searching the entire deck (then reshuffling) to take over a group of their choice. It's not cheap. The group will cost 1MB per each point of Power, Transferrable Power, Resistance and Income. Doing this takes both actions. Shuffle the deck afterwards. The Income of the IRS would be based on the number of players at the table; the Post Office's negative income does reduce their cost.

Optional for each: each player has to write down if they will take advantage of the first turn special action or not and shows their choice on their turn.
8:15 am
Carcassonne river variant
I was playing standard Carcasonne with the river last night, and someone mentioned how the person putting down the last river piece doesn't have any choice of how to put the piece, and frequently can't put a guy on the board, either. His house variant is that if the player doesn't put a guy on the last river piece, the player can take a (second) tile from the regular tiles, and place that as well.

Wednesday, January 15th, 2003
8:55 am
A lot of the people I play Boggle with tend to default to a 5-letter minimum using the Big Boggle board.
So far, no one I know has tried playing any sort of wraparound Boggle variants.

House rule at Pheromone's: "deets" is not a word (no matter how much Queue says it is).
Tuesday, January 14th, 2003
2:37 pm
Jotto variants
For those that don't know, Jotto is a deductive word game. The best short explanation is "Mastermind with five-letter words." Here are some variants that I have played:

  • Twisted Jotto - This is the first variant I came up with. In it, each guess you make must be able to be the secret word given the scores from the previous guesses. For example, if candy scored 2 and ankle scored 1, aphid would be a legal guess, but scant would not. After playing this for a while, I recognized that this was getting words faster than other methods. So, the people I play with generally stick to the rules of Twisted Jotto, even when not playing Twisted Jotto. There are times, however, when it's advantageous to deviate from this, as when you know 4 letters and are trying to discover the 5th.
  • Count Rugen - mattlistener came up with this name for Jotto with six-letter words. Count Rugen is the six-fingered man in The Princess Bride.
  • JottoZendo - This variant is based on a dream I had. I see it as a cross between Jotto and Zendo. In JottoZendo, you pick a secret word, but you also pick a secret rule. The rule is of the form "Score x (some letter in the secret word) only if y (any letter, not necessarily one in the secret word) is also in the word." So, if the secret word were cable and the secret rule were "Score e only if t", then laces would score 3 (instead of 4 as in normal Jotto), but table would score 4. I have only played this against a program I wrote. In it, I restricted the "enabler" letter to the 13 most common letters of the alphabet. Variations on this could include allowing other letters to be the "enabler" and allowing other types of rules besides "Score x only if y."
  • X-Jotto - magid came up with the idea for this Jotto variant. The secret word is of an unknown length, from 3 to 8 letters. This is a lot more interesting, as it allows for more variety in words to guess and provides a lot of challenge for people seeking more complexity than normal Jotto.
12:23 pm
Monopoly: Taxi!
Want a new twist for an old game?

Here's the Taxi variant: if it's your turn and your first roll of the dice and you roll doubles, you can either take the roll of the dice or you can pay $200 to move to any space on the board. You may not roll the dice again and you don't get $200 for passing Go.

It's a good way to add a new strategy to an old favorite. It can be unbalancing if you also have the Free Parking jackpot, so it's not recommended you play with both.
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