About two hours before the end of the convention - just shortly after the pizza dinner and Q&A with Eric Dow ended - Andy Van Zandt, Daniel Morgan, Dan Manfredini, and I got together and made up a game.
Dan M. provided the basic rules and guidance for collaborating to make the game. We spent two rounds making basic rules for play, accepting each prior rule (not saying "no"), then we spent three more rounds fleshing out the rules, then we played the game.
Rounds 1 & 2:
- Jon: Something dies at the end of every turn.
- Andy: Death gives the killer money.
- Daniel: Two things are born every turn.
- Dan: The game takes place on an infiltrated space station.
- Jon: Pawns are owned by all players, but the active player takes credit for the actions of that pawn.
- Andy: Drunk characters can not be killers or be killed.
- Daniel: The game is over when all the alcohol is gone.
- Dan: The player with the most money at the end of the game wins.
Rounds 3, 4, & 5:
- Andy: Infiltrating aliens are trying to get characters drunk to take over the space station?
- Daniel: The game starts with nine pawns in play.
- Dan: When a character dies, the active player collects all money on that character's space and in all adjacent spaces.
- Jon: The Birthing Station is in the center of the board. "Birthed" pawns are placed in spaces adjacent to the Birthing Station.
- Andy: Aliens bring dead characters to the Birthing Station where the two baby aliens are born. (Aliens don't want drunk characters because it messes up their "babies".) By this point, in the process, we'd pretty much set on a "chestburster" kind of alien that kills its host when it is born.
- Daniel: All characters start sober.
- Dan: On your turn you can move up to two pawns two spaces each.
- Jon: If two alien babies are not born at the end of the turn, two human pawns enter play in spaces adjacent to the Birthing Station.
- Andy: Each player has a specific role. Each player is a different alien race, trying to burst (As in "chestburst".) humans for fun and profit. For example, I'm the Groblix and you're the Snarfywolds.
- Daniel: Drunk humans are represented by black pawns.
- Dan: If you move a pawn to a space with a wine bottle in it, that pawn becomes drunk. By this point, we had set up a board made out of a 5x5 grid of standard Piecepack tiles, making a 10x10 grid of squares. The center four squares were a different Piecepack tile, representing the Birthing Station. We'd set up nine glass beads along two adjacent edges of the board in alternating spaces. We'd also found a set of five (six?) little translucent plastic wine bottles and placed them in randomly selected spaces on the board.
- Jon: There are tokens for public money and for private money. Before you move pawns, you "seed" money on the board. When you seed money on the board, you pick one straight row and put one token in every empty space in that row. You can either use money from what you've earned, or you can use money from the public bank. When you claim money from the board, it turns into tokens of your money. At the start of your turn, return all of your money tokens from the board to your earned pile at a 2:1 ratio.
- Andy: At the end of the game, multiply your earned cash by the number of aliens you have in play to calculate your final score.
Other rules that emerged during play:
- Pawns can move diagonally or orthogonally.
- Pawns can not move through spaces occupied by other pawns.
- If all spaces adjacent to the Birthing Station are full, place a pawn in a vacant space in the next-closest ring of spaces.
- All players start with 10 money tokens and a stash of pawns of their color (to represent their alien pieces on the board).
- After a piece gets drunk, spin the bottle to see if it has run dry. If it points at you, it has run dry and is removed from play. If it has not run dry, place it in any space on the board that does not have a pawn in it.
- At the end of your turn, pick a pawn that is not drunk to die. If that piece is human and in the Birthing Station, put two of your alien pawns in spaces adjacent to the Birthing Station – do not claim any money from the board. If that piece was not in the Birthing Station, claim all money in its space and in adjacent spaces and place two human pawns in spaces adjacent to the Birthing Station.
- Drunk pieces stay drunk for the rest of the game.
Behaviors that emerged naturally during play:
- You can choose to kill any non-drunk pawn – human or alien.
- Aliens can get drunk. This protects them from being killed.
It's getting late so I have to wrap this up, even though I'm not done explaining the game or sharing how it played. The long and short of it is that it actually played well, and we made it all the way through a game of it. Before we started playing, but after the rules were roughed out, Daniel christened the game "Terror at 10 Forward." I'll update this thread with more information about the game and (hopefully) with pictures of the board and such that Andy took.