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52 Pick Up

EPISODE 3: Face Off

by Gareth-Michael Skarka
February 22, 2001

Three of Spades

 
This week, I've got a card game for you.  Obviously, for a card game, you'll need cards.  Given the fact that I obviously can't give you pre-produced cards for this game, you're going to have to make your own.   For this game, you'll need 3 decks of standard playing cards (including Jokers), and some Avery Labels that you can stick on the card faces.  You'll be writing the game-specific card information on those labels.

This game is based on one of my favorite sports:  Ice Hockey.  I'm a Rangers fan from way back (given the recent performance of the team, perhaps not as proud a fan as in previous years).  I love the speed, the violence, the adrenaline...I love the feel of the cold coming off the ice when you see a game live...I love the fact that most Americans don't understand the game, or really care about it, giving those of us that do a sense of being in an exclusive club....I just love the game.  There's nothing like it.

The mechanics of this card game are based on play-by-play.  As the game is played out, the cards will create the ongoing story of the game.
 

SET UP:

First, you'll have to set up the cards.  One deck for each player, and one deck to represent the referees.

Affix labels to the cards, leaving the values of the cards still visible.  Write the following entries on each of the players decks:

Spades:
                2   "He takes the puck down the ice..."
                3     "Fires a pass over to the Right Wing..."
                4       "SAVE!"
                5      "He takes the puck down the ice..."
                6     "He shoots...."
                7     "He Scores!"
                8       "SAVE!"
                9    "It's a steal...He's got the puck!"
               10    "Fires a pass over to the Center..."
                J    "He takes the puck down the ice..."
                Q     "He shoots...."
                K    "He's Checked into the Boards!"
                A    "It's a steal...He's got the puck!"

Hearts:
                2    "Fires a pass over to the Right Wing..."
                3    "He takes the puck down the ice..."
                4    "Fires a pass over to the Left Wing..."
                5    "He takes the puck down the ice..."
                6    "It's a steal...He's got the puck!"
                7     "He shoots...."
                8     "SAVE!"
                9    "He takes the puck down the ice..."
               10     "He shoots...."
                J    "He's Checked into the Boards!"
                Q    "He takes the puck down the ice..."
                K   "SAVE!"
                A    "He Scores!"

Clubs:
                2    "Fires a pass over to the Center..."
                3    "Fires a pass over to the Right Wing..."
                4    "He takes the puck down the ice..."
                5     "He shoots...."
                6   "It's a steal...He's got the puck!"
                7    "Fires a pass over to the Left Wing..."
                8    "He takes the puck down the ice..."
                9     "He shoots...."
               10    "SAVE!"
                J    "He Scores!"
                Q    "He's Checked into the Boards!"
                K    "Fires a pass over to the Left Wing..."
                A    "He's Checked into the Boards!"

Diamonds:
                2    "He takes the puck down the ice..."
                3    "Fires a pass over to the Right Wing..."
                4    "He takes the puck down the ice..."
                5    "Fires a pass over to the Left Wing..."
                6     "He shoots...."
                7    "He's Checked into the Boards!"
                8   "It's a steal...He's got the puck!"
                9    "He Scores!"
               10     "He shoots...."
                J    "Fires a pass over to the Center..."
                Q    "He takes the puck down the ice..."
                K    "He's Checked into the Boards!"
                A     "SAVE!"

Jokers:   Wild Card

Then, you fill out the referee deck as follows:

Spades:
                2       Minor Penalty: tripping
                3       Minor Penalty:hooking
                4       Minor Penalty:spearing
                5      Minor Penalty:slashing
                6      Minor Penalty:charging
                7      Major Penalty:  fighting
                8      Major Penalty:  slashing
                9      Major Penalty:  high-sticking
               10      Major Penalty:  cross-checking
                J      Face Off
                Q      Face Off
                K      Face Off
                A    Penalty Shot

Hearts:
                2      Minor Penalty:roughing
                3      Minor Penalty:holding
                4      Minor Penalty: elbowing
                5      Minor Penalty: boarding
                6      Minor Penalty:charging
                7     Major Penalty:  fighting
                8      Major Penalty:  slashing
                9     Major Penalty:  high-sticking
               10     Major Penalty:  cross-checking
                J      Face Off
                Q      Face Off
                K      Face Off
                A    Penalty Shot

Clubs:
                2       Minor Penalty:spearing
                3      Minor Penalty:slashing
                4      Minor Penalty:roughing
                5     Minor Penalty: boarding
                6     Major Penalty:  cross-checking
                7    Major Penalty:  high-sticking
                8    Major Penalty:  slashing
                9    Major Penalty:  fighting
               10      Face Off
                J      Face Off
                Q      Face Off
                K      Face Off
                A    Penalty Shot

Diamonds:
                2      Minor Penalty:holding
                3      Minor Penalty:hooking
                4       Minor Penalty: tripping
                5    Minor Penalty: boarding
                6      Minor Penalty:roughing
                7    Major Penalty:  fighting
                8    Major Penalty:  slashing
                9   Major Penalty:  high-sticking
               10   Major Penalty:  cross-checking
                J      Face Off
                Q      Face Off
                K      Face Off
                A     Penalty Shot

Jokers:    Penalty Shot

The game is played on a "rink"...a playing area that is divided into thirds.  One third is each player's zone, and the zone in the center is the neutral zone.

GAME PLAY
Each player deals themselves a hand of 5 cards.  The Referee deck is placed to the side of the playing rink.

Play begins with a face-off in the neutral zone.  The top card of the Referee deck is turned over.  Each player then examines their hand.  The players must play a single card (paying attention only to the value of the card, not the written result) simultaneously.  The player who plays the highest value card, which must also be higher than the Ref card, begins with control of the puck.  If neither player has a card that is high enough, another ref card must be drawn, and the face off continues from there.  If the players tie, they must throw a second card as a tie-breaker.

The player controlling the puck then begins play.

Each player's turn, play goes as follows:   1) draw a card, 2) play a card, if you so choose.  The puck must move from zone to zone...all shots on goal must be played in the opposing player's zone (where the goal is, obviously).   The puck moves by playing a card denoting movement (either "he moves the puck" or "a pass").  The defending player may play a card that interrupts the flow of action (steal, or body check), at which point they become the player in possession of the puck.

Notice that "he shoots" and "He scores" are two separate cards...this allows the defending player a chance at a save (which is the only card that can be played in response).  Be careful, though...sometimes an offensive player might play a "he shoots" card, just to make the defender waste a save, only to follow up with another shot.

After a Save, both players burn another card, for the value.  Highest value has possession.

The Referees are another part of hockey.  Cards from the Referee deck are dealt when a player plays a card, or an uninterrupted succession of cards, that totals more than 10.   You draw the top card from the Ref Deck.  If the card is the same color as the last card played that triggered the referees, then the penalty is against the player who dealt that card.  If it is the other color, it is against the opposing player.  Minor Penalties mean that the penalized player cannot draw a card for the next 2 turns, and the opposing player has the penalty trigger of 10 suspended for those 2 turns.  Major penalties run the same way, but for 4 turns.    Face-offs and Penalty shots are run differently.  Face Offs are run as they would be at the beginning of the game, except in whatever zone the penalty occurred.   Penalty shots are a one-on-one situation.  The penalized player plays a card from his hand, for it's value.  The other player plays one of theirs.  This is done simultaneously. If the penalized player's card is lower, the opposing player scores a goal.

When one player has used all of the cards in their deck, the period is over.  Reshuffle and start again.  A hockey game has 3 periods.  If the score is tied, you go to overtime periods.

Obviously, Wild Cards can be used in the place of any card in the deck.

There ya have it.  Not too complex...this game doesn't really allow for Offsides calls, or individual player misconducts, etc.  But I suspect that some of you might come up with your own rules for that sort of thing....and I'd love to see what you come up with.

3 down, 49 to go.

See ya in 7.

Gareth-Michael Skarka
gms@synistercreative.com

Gareth-Michael Skarka is the Operations Manager for Synister Creative Systems.  He has written and edited for games including Star Trek, Deadlands Hell on Earth, and GURPS.  He is the designer of several RPG systems, including UnderWorld and Hong Kong Action Theatre!. TQo0~^DҒt< ek&Ǿ$\۵ZFȃuwݝIŃU QYir2HR2.u3MFoعq]4#A`pP5(b& )b)ⰾp7(i<[-2gL#5[f g?*rVGf8*)s'+20ϟ̑F}KB<7wSL\gbvm9WiRބYŜvd y0'p2I_Fc2>#o A )VL[Qk?3`)<У[(*W.JH ?tXCt谙 X:@ \0w ~LqĤE-rFkYœj4q 5AQ6[AxG [>w|?( fХθY䝛$c=_qNĦoǸ>O_|&/_Mi7"宥CЧk0dӷLh;TmuCGU-!Ul{ h<\bQX.~"O2*yPcz!ŠGg

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Reshuffled: 52 Pick Up, edited by Chris Czerniak

52 Pick Up original run, by Gareth-Michael Skarka

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