October 11, 2023: Tabloids Designer's Notes By Steve Jackson
XXX STARLET SEES UNDERGROUND DINOSAUR WORLD
I started working on this game at least 20 years ago. I set it aside because it wasn't quite right, for itself or for the market, even though it playtested well. Like most first drafts, it was too complex, with a scoring system that encouraged too much brow-beating.
Last year I picked it up again, made some changes, and presented it to the gamers at LibertyCon. They liked it! Since then it's been moving forward – we played at PensaCon and Nerdi Gras, got feedback and lots of laughs, and the Kickstarter was a delightful success. (Late pledges are still open. Getting the Kickstarter version now means you'll get all the stretch goals, which of course means more cards!)
But what's it ABOUT, Steve? Glad you asked! It's about creating sensational headlines of the sort you see in supermarket tabloids or clickbait ads. Everybody has a handful of cards and tries to pick the ones to string together for, say
SENATE CANNIBAL SEX SCANDAL
WEREWOLF STOPS NUCLEAR PLANT DISASTER
The group votes on the best one . . . and you do it again! There are two kinds of cards: Shockers (the eye-grabbers like WEREWOLF or CANNIBAL) and Fillers (the ordinary ones that you need to make things work). Most cards have two words on them; you can use either one, but not both. The cards are designed to overlap, so you can combine words – or use only the last few letters of a word – whether it's just to make something plural or to create something completely unexpected.
WIZARDS OF CALIFORNIA UNITE FOR HOLLYWOOD CROP CIRCLE
Each round starts you off with six of each type of card. You absolutely don't have to use all the words you get. Sometimes the punchy headlines are the best!
END OF WORLD WEDNESDAY
A round takes three minutes, though I recommend allowing a lot longer for the first round if you have new players. The game ends after seven winning headlines, which usually takes about a half- hour. There are 328 cards in the basic box.
INTERNET SUSPICIOUS OF NAKED INCEL PROTEST
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