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Santorini (Acquire-To-Zendo)

🔱 I Ain't Got No Crystal Ball...

2016, 2 players Complexity: light
The island of Santorini is a real place in the Cyclades archipelago in the Aegean Sea. It is known for--among other things--the striking architecture consisting of white cuboid buildings that are occasionally capped with blue domes. Game designer Gordon Hamilton drew inspiration from the architecture of the island to develop an abstract strategy game that he eventually self-published in 2004 (although versions of it have been around for over a decade prior to that), and that was recently re-released by Roxley Games. Let's See It In Action
In Santorini, you and a friend (there are rules to make it playable with 3, but I don't recommend doing so--this is at its heart a 2-player game) will take on the roles of ancient Greek builders. The rules are very simple: on your turn, you move one of your two pieces and then build.

Pieces can move to any adjacent or diagonal square. They can move up one level or down any num…
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Sagrada (Acquire-To-Zendo)

🌈 I'd As Soon Destroy A Stained-Glass Window As An Artist Like Yourself...


2017, 2-4 players Complexity: light/moderate
Skilled artisans have traveled to Barcelona to see who among them can build the most beautiful stained-glass windows for the Sagrada Familia. Draft dice that represent shades of glass while you assemble your masterpiece. Let's See It In Action
In Sagrada, you and up to three players will compete to assemble the most beautiful stained glass windows by collecting dice over the course of ten rounds. At the start of each round, the active player will roll a number of dice equal to twice the number of players plus one (so, five dice in a two-player game).

Dice are available in five colors and each face of the die represents a different shade. Once the dice are rolled, the active player takes a die and adds it to their pane in an attempt to fill out the design that they have selected. Each design has dots on the bottom right corner to indicate how difficult it is, and d…

Semi-Sages Interview

Hey, everybody!
I was interviewed for the podcast Semi-Sages Of The Pages. We talked for a little over an hour about writing, short story markets, characterization, and a whole lot of other stuff. It was a lot of fun and my mike only cuts out arbitrarily a few times.
Thanks to Morrigan and Molly for having me! Check it out here.
Couple of links to things I mentioned:
The Submission Grinder
Ms. Figgle-DeBitt's Home For Wayward AIs by Kurt Pankau
All 9,203 Episodes Of "How I Met Your Broodmother", Ranked by Jenn Reese
I Am Graalnak Of The Vroon Empire, Destroyer Of Worlds, Supreme Overlord Of The Planet Earth. Ask Me Anything. by Laura Pearlman
Some missing context for the Binti/Hackers portion of the talk is that while I have a computer background, I actually know very little about hacking.
And while we talked about taking a shotgun approach to short story submissions, I should have mentioned a couple of posts from Dawn Vogel on Writing Lots and Submitting Lots.
Thanks, ]{p

Private Die (Acquire-To-Zendo)

🕵️ Play It, Sam. You Played It For Her...


2016, 2-6 players Complexity: light
Harvey loosened his tie and wiped the sweat off his bald head. In the chair opposite him was a hard woman--bad luck in a tan dress with playful eyes and a devilish smirk. She lit a cigarette and blew a puff of smoke out the side of her mouth. Harvey glowered. This witness had information and he wanted. It was time to roll the dice.Let's See It In Action
In Private Die, you and up to five friends take on the role of police detectives investigating a murder by interrogating a string of informants or suspects in order to gather clues. Each player has a pool of five dice and a character card that outlines any special powers they have, as well as two clues to start.

At the start of each round, a Witness card comes up. The active player rolls a 10-sided die and adds it to the Witness's number to get the target roll. In turn, each player declares how many dice they want to roll in an attempt to get as close to …

Onitama (Acquire-To-Zendo)

🥋 Everybody Was Kung Fu Fighting...


2014, 2 players Complexity: light/moderate
In Ancient Japan lies the Shrine of Onitama, a sacred place devoted to the spirits of martial arts. Masters will journey there along with their most promising disciples in order to test their strength against each other and determine who has true martial arts superiority.
(And yes, I realize Kung Fu Chinese, not Japanese, but the song reference was too good to pass up) Let's See It In Action
Onitama is an abstract strategy game in which you and a friend will maneuver your pieces around a 5x5 grid using a common pool of moves that are drawn randomly during set-up.

The basic mechanics are similar to chess. You can move any piece on your turn. Any piece can capture any opposing player's piece by landing on a square that is occupied. You cannot capture your own pieces. The big difference is that in chess every type of piece has a pre-defined move set. In Onitama, any piece can make any move as long as the pla…

Mystic Vale (Acquire-To-Zendo)

🧝 Who's That Walking Through These Here Woods...


2016, 2-4 players Complexity: moderate
Let's be clear about one thing up front: Mystic Vale is first and foremost a gimmick. It's built around a "card-crafting" system created by John D. Clair wherein you are acquiring cards through the usual deck-builder means, but instead of adding them to your deck, you sleeve them into individual cards in that are already in your deck. The result is something fairly original: a fixed-deck deck-builder. Let's See It In Action
In Mystic Vale, you and one to three friends are Druidic clans attempting to cleanse the vale of rot and decay.

At the start of the game--and at the end of every subsequent turn--you prep your field. This means you flip cards over and place them in front of you until three red "decay" icons are visible. The third sits on top of your deck, but is not considered in play. On your turn, you can either play what you have or "push", revealing m…

Mysterium (Acquire-To-Zendo)

👻 I Always Fees Like Somebody's Watchin' Me...


2015, 2-7 players Complexity: light/moderate
The old MacDowell house is haunted. Tonight, and tonight alone, the supernatural presence can interact with people. And so a group of talented psychic detectives have been gathered to the spooky old haunted house in order to be brutally murdered one by one solve the mystery of who killed the ghost that haunts Chez MacDowell. At the intersection of Dixit and Clue lies Mysterium. Let's See It In Action
In Mysterium, you and up to six friends will work together to solve the mystery of who killed the ghost that haunts the old MacDowell place. One player is the ghost and will hand out clues to the other players. Over the course of seven rounds, the players will use the clues to try to suss out the identity, location, and weapon of the murder.

The ghost player knows all and can say nothing. They have a killer/location/weapon combination for every player and a hand of abstract cards that they w…