1000 Blank White Questions

Release Date: 
Friday, August 15, 2003
Setup Time: 
Play Duration (experienced): 

by Ben Gibbs and Jonathan Leistiko

Object

End the game with the most points by accurately answering trivia questions made up by your friends.

You Need

  • A black-and-white or color 1,000 Blank White Questions board.
  • A pawn for each player (included with the board).
  • Lots of blank index cards.
  • A pen for each player.
  • A six-sided die.

Setting Up

Before your first game, trim the pawns off the board. Fold them in half so they stand up.

Give each player a stack of blank cards and a pen. Let each player pick a pawn which corresponds to one of the board shapes.

Before the game begins, each player makes up at least 12 trivia cards (20 or more is ideal.), bearing a question and an answer on one side. Leave the other side blank. You can make up any question you want, from factual trivia, to math or chemistry questions, to questions about your opinions or personal life. You can even create cards with false answers, but you’ll suffer for it in the game. Avoid multiple-choice questions; remember that yes/no questions are lame multiple-choice questions.

Place all pawns off the board, next to the corner marked “START.”

All players start with 5 points.

Once all players have finished writing questions, choose a player to go first.

Play

On your turn, roll the die and move that many spaces. The first space is the space that contains a circle, next to the “START.” Movement proceeds clockwise, spiraling toward the center of the board. You may share a space with other players. What happens next depends on the shape in the space you land on:

  • If it’s your shape, then roll again and continue moving from that space.
  • If it’s another player’s shape, then that player asks you the top question from his or her deck of cards.
  • If the shape is not claimed, then randomly select a player to ask you a question.
  • If it is one of the center spaces with two shapes, then both players must ask you a question, starting with the player closest to your left. If one of those shapes is yours, then the other player gets to ask you two questions. Answering both questions correctly ends the game; answering just one correctly does not give you any points and ends your turn.

Questions and Answers:

  • If you answer a question correctly, you can add three points to your score and end your turn, or you can add one point to your score and take another turn.
  • If you answer a question incorrectly, then the other players (except the one who made the question) each get one guess, starting with the player to your left and proceeding clockwise. If one of them answers it correctly, then he or she gets one point and your turn ends. If none of them answers it correctly, then the player who made the question loses two points and you get to take another turn.
  • When you’re asking questions, do not choose which question you ask. Choose it at random from your stack of questions.

When you’re not asking or answering a question, feel free to make up more questions, especially if you have only a few unasked questions left.

Winning

If you answer both questions correctly on one of the three center spaces, then add 3 points to your score and end the game. Tally all scores. The player with the highest score wins.

Variants

There And Back Again

Once you reach one of the center squares, you must follow the path back out. The game ends when a player leaves the board.

Origin and Credits

On July 20, 2003, Ben, Sharon, Toshi, and I were eating brunch at Trudy’s after rock climbing. Ben mentioned that he had an idea for a game: A cross between 1,000 Blank White Cards and Trivial Pursuit®. I thought that was a really keen idea. I was interested in creating a boardless game, but Ben pointed out that you have to surround a trivia game with the trappings of a board game, or it becomes too much like a test.

On July 23rd, I had to send my iBook in for hard-drive repair. Without it here to amuse me, I created an early version of the game board. I was still unclear about how to make a rule that prevented players from making their questions too hard, while not rewarding them for making the questions too easy. That afternoon, as I drifted into a little nap, I came up with the general “punishment / reward system” for answering questions.

1,000 Blank Questions was first played on July 28th, 2003, at the Monday Night Gaming Group. Thanks to Dave, Frank, Kori, Michelle, and Sharon for playtesting. Thanks to Sharon for editing.

Minimum number of players: 
Maximum number of players: 
Play Duration (new players): 
Minimum Age: 
13
Game Type/Context: 
Price: 
$0(USD)