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:''The rules to Dvorak are also available in [[Pravidlá|Slovak]] and in [[Règles|French]].''
:''An older version of this page is archived [[Rules/Old|here]].''
This is how a game of Dvorak works. You can either start with a deck of cards that somebody else has
made (we've got lots of them [[:Category:Decks|archived]] on this site), or you can start with a pile of blank cards and build a new deck from scratch.
==Basic rules==
Dvorak is played entirely with cards, and there are just two types of card -
'''Things''' and '''Actions'''. When you play a Thing card, it goes onto
the table in front of you and stays there, usually having a useful effect
while it remains in play; when you play an Action card, it does whatever it
does and goes to a discard pile.
<div style="padding:16px 0px">[[Image:Examplecards.gif|800px|center]]</div>
Take the deck of cards, shuffle it, and deal five cards to each player
(which they hold in their hand where other players can't see). The rest
of the cards go in the middle of the table as a face-down draw pile, and whenever
a card is discarded or destroyed, it goes into a face-up discard pile.
Starting with a random player, you take turns in order. A turn consists
* Drawing the top card from the draw pile. (If the draw pile's empty, shuffle the discard pile and turn it over to make a new draw pile.)
* Playing up to two cards from your hand. You can play one Thing and one Action per turn (or just one of those, or no cards at all).
* Checking your hand size; if you have more than five cards, discard down to five.
The game continues until somebody meets whatever victory condition the
deck has. (Some decks have fixed victory conditions, while others have
them written on a card - "when you play this card, you win
the game if...")
==Making a deck==
If you're making a new deck from scratch, you need to prepare an initial
set cards before the game begins. Take your pile of blank cards, and
distribute it amongst the players.
Before you start creating, decide whether you want to have a theme to
the game or not, and whether it needs a fixed victory condition ("if you have five pirates or ninjas in
play, and none of the other type, you win!") or one you can write on
the cards. (Advanced players might like to agree on
thematic rules for the deck to make the final game more coherent; such
as restricting the nature of what Things can and can't represent, or agreeing on
what variables like "number of cards in hand" represent in the game world.)
Players can then start creating cards, writing them up (with or without
a picture) and throwing them into the middle of the table. To get a good sized deck, try to get nine or ten cards from everyone. A useful
design tip is to have two different coloured marker pens, one for Things
and one for Actions, and to underline the card titles appropriately.
Each player has absolute veto power over the cards being created - if
you see something that you don't like, for whatever reason, pick the
card out and see what everyone else thinks. A card only makes it into
the actual game if everyone is happy with it.
When you're done, you've got a deck of cards - you can now play a game
with it, as described above.
==Adding and changing cards==
You can also add new cards to the game while it's being played - again,
just write it up and throw it onto the table. If nobody wants to veto it,
it gets shuffled into the draw pile.
If you want to remove a card from the game or just change the wording of
it (maybe because it's too powerful, or because it clashes ambiguously with
another card), then announce your intention and see what the other players think.
If nobody objects, then you can remove or change the card.
==Advanced rules==
Over the years, the game has developed a few extra, optional rules to cover
the sorts of mechanics that tend to come up a lot. Some of the archived
decks use them, and you're welcome to adopt them yourself.
A lot of the archived Dvorak decks use consistent terminology like "discard" and "destroy" - these are terms which have been adopted by consensus, and which allow cards to be written more concisely. Being able to say "opponent discards a card" instead of "a player other than you discards a card from their hand".
You're encouraged to make up your own jargon, but there's a [[glossary]] of the terms we tend to use on the site.
===Special rules===
"Special rules" are additions to the basic game rules to give the game a
little more depth. Things like "each player starts with twenty hit
points and you're out of the game at zero", so that people can make cards that say "every player loses 5
hit points" or "you gain 10 hit points" without having to define what
hit points are on every single card.
If you want to add a special rule to the game, suggest it in the same
way as a card - if everyone's in favour, it gets added.
===Action abilities===
One of the early Dvorak decks included a Thing that said ''"Each turn, instead of playing an Action card, you may destroy a Thing."'' - the player who controlled it could skip their ability to play an Action, to get a special effect from the Thing.
This became so widely used that a shorthand developed for it. Instead of writing "Each turn, instead of playing an Action card...", a card would just say "Action:" - whatever's after the colon is what you get to do instead of playing an Action.
This is called an "action ability", and still counts as an Action for the purposes any other cards that affect or react to Actions being played.
===Playing cards onto others===
If you like, you can specify that some Thing cards can be played "onto"
other Thing cards to give them some sort of bonus or penalty (like armour,
or equipment, or a brain-sucking alien). A useful rule for these is that
if the Thing it was played onto is destroyed or otherwise leaves play,
the Thing that was played onto it is destroyed.
===Multi-deck Dvorak===
Although it's possible to make a normal Dvorak deck where two different
'sides' are in conflict (as in the [[Day of the Triffids deck]]), such
games either have to be vague (players aren't forced to pick a side, and
can change and mix allegiances as much as they like) or include
redundancy (players are forced to choose a side at the start of the
game, and the other side's cards are useless to them except as
A more effective way to create such a game is to have separate decks,
each deck focusing solely on that side.
Multi-deck Dvorak is played in the same way as normal Dvorak, except
* Each player has their own draw and discard pile.
* When a card is destroyed or discarded, it is sent to the discard
pile of the player whose deck it came from.
If playing creatively, new cards are created as normal, going into the
creator's deck by default. You can still veto other player's cards, but
in this case it might be more useful to resolve disputes by creating a
similar card for your own deck - "if you can have something that destroys
all my aliens, I'm going to have something that makes you discard your
entire hand".
===CCG Dvorak===
The Dvorak framework has been used to make a few fledgling
[[:Category:CCG sets|collectible card games]] - these typically have a lot of
special rules, and involve the group creation of a single, agreed card pool
from which players can build their own custom decks.

Revision as of 02:12, 17 April 2008