What with International TableTop Day upon us, we here at Geek & Sundry thought it might be fun to gather up some of the more ridiculous house rules we could find. In the interest of fairness and transparency, I’ll go first:
Once upon a time, the writer of this post resided in a magical, semi-real place called “college.” It was there that, on Friday evenings, he and his roommates hosted an event called “game night.” While the games played often changed, one thing forever remained the same: the four hosts of game night would unwaveringly wear dressing gowns similar to that worn by one Ebenezer Scrooge. Pipes were also to be smoked at all times.
Furthermore, all questions regarding game night were to be answered honestly, except for those regarding the aforementioned pipes and dressing gowns—which were to be totally ignored. These were our house rules, and they lead to quite a few quizzical first-timers. The best part of the experience, however, was the phenomena that followed: once-new game night participants began to show up in dressing gowns of their own, and (in a move straight out of The Emperor’s New Clothes) even those that did not dress up began to ignore questions concerning our uniforms. It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.
(Image: Partida de Cartas, by Roman Ribera)
And now, here’s a few more amazing house rules, delved from the depths of the Internet:
The Consolation Prize: “Loser of the previous game gets to nominate two games for the next game. The rest of the group votes between the two games.” — The_Squiv, via Reddit
No Dictionary Required: “We don’t bother with dictionaries, we’re just allowed to shout out ‘is hoojemaflip a word?’ and come to a really rapid consensus. The fact that we always get a pretty quick consensus.” — Alabaster Crippens, via Shut up & Sit Down
Sneakier Traitors: “In any game with a traitor aspect (BSG, Shadows Over Camelot, etc) when you’re dealt your loyalty card, everyone stares at theirs silently for 30 seconds without looking around.” — dozure, via Reddit
“Hats must be worn” — 000000robot, via Reddit
Player-infecting Pandemic: “We like to increase the difficulty of Pandemic by handicapping the most essential tools at the players’ disposal – their minds and the ability to effectively communicate. So, you know, a shot of bourbon for every outbreak or epidemic.” — Walt Winfrey, via Shut up & Sit Down
Single-Game Alliances: “Things like ‘Help me win this one, and I’ll help you win the next’ are expressly forbidden. Everyone must play the current game as though it’s the last one they will ever play.” — Lareine, via Reddit
(Image credit: Lori Coleman)
Hurricane House Pet: Any changes cats or dogs make to the game board are taken as natural disasters, and are played through whenever possible. “Our cat Toffee has on occasion used her tail to sweep infection cubes across the Pandemic board, effectively bringing plagues (multiple) of biblical proportion to the east Asian areas.” — is_jon, via Shut up & Sit Down
Unknown Horrors: “[When playing Arkham Horror], the person to your left reads your Arkham/Other World encounter cards. If you need to make a choice, you have to make the choice without knowing ahead of time what will happen or what check(s) you might need to make.” — PotatoUtilityVehicle, via Reddit
Curse Your Sudden But Inevitable Betrayal!: “[When playing Firefly], when Yolanda/Saffron/Bridgit switches crews, she steals $1000 when she goes.” — Michael, via Jimsgaming
The Throw Rule: “[When playing The Resistance], if ever a resistance member puts in a fail card on a mission to “be funny” then everybody else at the table gets to throw something at them.” — jackelfrink, via Reddit
And of course, there’s always the ultimate in justifiably-biased house rules:
“Let the Wookie win” — Han Solo
Got an awesome house rule we didn’t cover? Let us know in the comments!