# Scrummy

A card and dice game by Ron Hale-Evans

Version 0.1, 2006-03-31

3-8 players

?? minutes

Equipment needed: Sticheln deck, standard 20-sided die

## Introduction

Scrummy is a Rummy-like game that uses Sticheln, a six-suited German deck that has three suits with cards from 0-18 and three suits with cards from 0-20. The game combines card play with dice play; it uses a 20-sided die (d20), and links rolling a 1-20 on the die with the numbers on the cards to make certain kinds of card play possible.

The object of the game is to have the fewest points when someone "maxes out" by receiving 200 points and ending the game.

## Basic Rules

1. At the beginning of the game, players agree on a forfeit. At the end of the game, the winner of the game will receive the forfeit either from the player who maxed out (the Big Loser), or from all the other players. An example of a forfeit that might be given by the Big Loser is a back rub; an example of a forfeit that might be given by all the other players is allowing the winner to choose the next game.
2. Each player is initially dealt 7 cards. Players then take turns following the Turn Phases below.
3. When melding or laying off cards, a player must lay cards directly in front of another player, never in front of herself.
4. In Scrummy, no one ends the game by going out when his hand is empty, as in Rummy; he just replenishes his hand up to 7 cards.
5. Melding means taking a combination of cards from your hand and placing them in front of someone else, forming either a set or a run.
6. If you roll a 7 on the d20, you may meld a set of sevens (such as 7, 7, 7) or a run that begins or ends with 7 (such as 4, 5, 6, or 8, 9, 10), assuming you have these cards.
7. New kinds of melds are also possible; for example, if you roll a 3, you might play the digits of pi (3, 14, 15, 9...), and if you roll a 2, you might play the sequence 2, 4, 6, 8 ...
8. For scoring, the point value of each card is the number on that card; for example, a 13 is worth 13 points.
9. A 0 card cannot be rolled on the d20. However, it can still be played in melds. For example, if you roll an 8, you might play a backwards run of even numbers (8, 6, 4, 2, 0).
10. Laying off means taking a card or cards from your hand and inserting them into the meld in front of another player, following the pre-existing definition of that meld, such as "all sevens" or "the digits of pi".
11. Valid sets and runs are determined by so-called "Ron Rules": if you can convince all other players but the one the meld is in front of that it's a valid meld, then it is.
12. Some groups will play more strictly, some more loosely. Have fun!

## Turn Phases

1. Roll d20.
2. Take a card from the draw or discard pile.
3. Meld (optional).
4. Lay off (optional).
6. Has someone reached 200 points? If so, the player with the fewest points wins and collects the forfeit.

## Credits

This game was originally sketched as a creativity exercise in my book Mind Performance Hacks, for Hack #22, "Scamper for Ideas".

I stole the mechanic of allowing melds based on the number rolled on the dice from Dice Deck Rummy, a game in the Dice Deck game system.

Basic Rummy rules: http://www.pagat.com/rummy/rummy.html

Dice Deck: http://www.boardgamegeek.com/game/4474

Mind Performance Hacks: http://oreilly.com/catalog/9780596101534/

Ron Rules: http://www.ludism.org/gameframe/RonRules

## Notes from EGGS game design group, 2006-04-02

• Good sequences are extensible.
• Someone called it a "mathematician's party game".
• Some people thought it was funny.
• One person commented that it's "fun with the right people".
• You can move toward either a funnier or a more serious game.
• "Fun but not a game". -- Gorm. (I disagree.) Mark, Gorm, Ron, and Eric enjoyed it. Dave and Emily did not.
• Dave suggested a sequence must include 0 somewhere.
• Gorm suggested players either meld or lay off on a turn, not both.
• Mark suggested using a timer.
• Eric suggested majority vote instead of unanimous except for the target.
• Mark suggested that (asymmetrically) sets could not be vetoed but sequences could.
• Alex looked on and said that it's always in the interest of someone to veto a meld.
• Emily said she would have liked it better if I had clarified at the beginning it was a silly game.
• Dave said that every meld is like a Mensa entrance exam every turn: "What's the rule for this sequence again?"