Rules

From Dvorak - A Blank-Card Game

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

Revision as of 02:12, 17 April 2008

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