CROSS-COUNTRY CRIME SPREE!
Let's face it, the pressures of modern society can be just too much to
bear sometimes. Sometimes you just have to break away from your boring life
and do something spontaneous.
All right, it's time for a crime spree.
This game is for 2-4 players. The idea is simple. Each player controls
a PC (Player Criminal), going from state to state trying to rack up a
criminal record without being caught. The winner is the one who finishes
with the best list of atrocities to his-or-her name.
The players will need a map of the U.S. that has state outlines with the
states labelled, to serve as a game board. Each player should have some
scrap paper to write notes on, a writing utensil to make those notes with, a
six-sided die and a twenty-sided die. Colored pencils or pens might make
things easier, as well.
For simplicity's sake, this map
should suffice. The states aren't labeled, but you can do that yourself. Or don't.
It's not like I'm coming to your house and checking whether or not your game map
is labeled or not. Unless you live in Denver. And only if I can get there by bus.
THE FELONY TABLE
You'll find out what this is for when you read the rules.
- Convenience Store
- Mother of Three
- High-ranking Government Official
- Shot Up
- Brutally Slain
ORDER OF PLAY
Each player rolls his or her six-sided die. The highest roller wins.
Players tied for highest roll against each other until one winner is
established. That player goes first. Play continues in a clockwise fashion
around the game board. Simple.
And now, at last...
Each player should start in an opposite corner of the U.S. For instance, if
there are two players, one might start in Florida and the other in
Washington. If there are three, one could be in Washington, one in Maine,
and one in Texas. You get the idea.
Play is broken up into rounds. Each round is divided into turns. Each
player gets one turn per round. Each player's turn is divided like this:
- Start crime spree (only at the beginning of the game)
- Roll on Felony Table or design crime OR change state
- Johnny Law roll
- Player is either tossed in jail or collects points for the crime
- Next player's turn
To begin the game, each player, in turn, rolls on the Felony Table to get
their crime spree started. To roll on the Felony Table, roll a six-sided
die once for "Who?" and once for "What?". This tells you what kind of crime
you committed in a splashy headline-style format. (All right, "Shot Up"
doesn't make its way into too many headlines, but I like the way it sounded.
So there.) The first crime in your state is a freebie, there are no legal
repercussions yet. Once everyone has had their first crime and is off to a
good start, the REAL fun begins.
Each player can either roll on the Felony Table or design his-or-her own
crime. Random crimes are less risky, but bring less reward. Planned crimes
can score the PC more points, but there is a big risk of getting caught by
the law. Each random crime that the PC gets away with gives the PC a number
of points equal to their listing on the Felony Table. For instance, Dog
Assaulted gives the PC three points while Mother of Three Shot Up gives the
PC eight points. For a planned crime, take the base number of points for
the crime and add two. Now Dog Assaulted is worth five points while Mother
of Three Shot Up nets ten. Pattern crimes also make things a bit harder for
the PC. Those will be explained later.
Some of you may now be asking just how it's possible to brutally slay a bank
or a convenience store. It takes a lot of bullets. It just does, okay.
And don't even talk to me about how hard it is to kidnap a bank.
Where was I? Oh yeah...
Of course, the authorities aren't going to just sit around scarfing down
breakfast pastries while someone goes around kidnapping nuns and brutally
slaying convenience stores. For that we have the Johnny Law roll. For the
Johnny Law roll, the player whose turn is next rolls his-or-her
twenty-sided die against each crime carried out by the current player's PC.
If the roll is less than the number of points the crime is worth, then the
authorities have caught up to the PC and ended their reign of terror. If the
roll is more than the number of points the crime is worth, then the PC gets
away scot-free. If the roll is equal, the PC still gets away, but only
after a really exciting chase that leaves at least three police cruisers
overturned on the freeway.
There are some exceptions to the Johnny Law roll. The first one is the PC's
first crime, which is free. The second is when the PC goes into a new
state. For the first crime in a new state, the Johnny Law roll is halved,
rounding down. The state police have heard of you, but really don't expect
you to be foolish enough to enter their jurisdiction. At least, not until
their favorite bank gets kidnaped. Then the kid gloves come off and are
replaced with more grown-up gloves. Probably leather ones. Another
exception is with pattern crimes. A pattern crime means the PC has
committed the same crime three times or more in a row. A pattern crime
increases the Johnny Law roll by one point. It's also an extra point for
the player whose PC gets away with it.
The last exception is when a PC
tries a crime in a state where another PC has already committed two or more
crimes and left. When that happens, the difficulty of the roll is still
equal to the base points of the crime, but the player only gets half the
number of points for committing it as he or she normally would. (The law is
starting to pay attention to all these hoodlums racing across the U.S.
inconveniencing their mothers of three and cracks down. Plus it's just not
as fun when your victims have seen it all before.).
Now let's say that a player thinks the heat is coming down a little too
heavy and wants to hightail it out of there to another state. Simple. For
that player's turn, instead of committing a crime, that player announces a
change of state. After a really exciting chase where at least three police
cruisers have been left overturned on the freeway, the player then moves
his-or-her PC into a neighboring state and the player's turn is over.
When two or more PC's are in a state at the same time, nothing special
happens. There is plenty of honor amongst thieves, kidnappers, brutal
slayers, etc. If more than one player commits the same crime in a round,
they just happen to meet up at the same location, have a nice informal chat,
then split up after an exciting chase where at least three police cruisers
are left overturned on the freeway. If some PC's leave the state and some
remain, give the remaining PC's half points for their crimes as explained
When a PC is finally caught by Johnny Law, the PC's player tallies up
his-or-her points and does nothing for the rest of the game until all the players'
PC's have been caught.
When that happens, the winner is determined by which player has the most
Instead of trying for points, you could try reaching another goal instead.
Here are a couple of examples.
- Go for the longest rap sheet (most crimes committed). It's quantity,
- Last man standing (last player remaining wins). For this one, you
might want to make up some way for the PC's to fight against each other.
- The winner is the PC who leaves the most overturned police cruisers on
the freeway. Perhaps using a random dice roll or basing it on the points
gathered by state to get an actual count.
This is my first game design write-up. I apologize for any disorientation
you may experience from trying to make sense of these rules. I never
playtested this either. I love you. I'm really interested in your feedback
and comments. I'm especially interested in how it came out for anyone who
tries to play this game. Feel free to e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org, preferably
after an exciting chase which leaves at least police cruisers left
overturned on the freeway. Thanks for your time!
having a wonderful time, wish you were here