Don’t Drop the Ghost!

Don't Drop The Ghost banner.
Release Date: 
Sunday, March 1, 2015
Play Duration (experienced): 

by

Goal

Be the last player in the game by paying close attention and counting quickly.

You Need

a d20

Setup

Have everyone sit in a circle. Put the d20 in the middle of the circle where everyone can reach it. Pick someone to go first.

Play

On your turn:

  • Roll the die, call out the number you rolled, point to your left or right, and chant, “Thumping, knocking, rattling the post. You can run, you can hide, but don’t drop the ghost!” The player that many seats in the direction you’re pointing is the “Ghost Catcher.”
  • If you’re the Ghost Catcher, you have to catch the ghost by putting your hands on your head and saying “Gotcha!” before the roller finishes chanting. If you don’t catch the ghost before the roller finishes chanting, you’re out of the game.
  • If you’re not the Ghost Catcher and you try to catch the ghost, you’re out of the game.
  • If the Ghost Catcher catches the ghost, the roller’s turn ends and it’s the Ghost Catcher’s turn.
  • If the Ghost Catcher drops the ghost, pass the die to the left of the roller. It’s that player’s turn.
  • SPECIAL: If you roll and realize you’re the Ghost Catcher, you have to interrupt yourself, put your hands on your head, and say, “Gotcha!”

 

Ending the Game and Winning

If there’s only three people left in the game, those players win. Woot!

Variants

The Long Game
The game ends when there’s only one player left in the game.

Secret Ghost
Alternate SPECIAL rule: If you roll and realize you’re the Ghost Catcher, throw your hands in the air (like you just don’t care) and call out “I’m the ghost with the most, baby!” If you do this, you win the game.

All In
Instead of just the roller chanting, everybody says the chant together.

Pass the Present
If you realize you’re the Ghost Catcher, you can pass the ghost instead of catching it. to do this, put one finger on your nose, point left or right with your other hand, and start the chant again. The Ghost Catcher you’re pointing at must catch the ghost; he or she may not pass it.

Origin & Credits

On February 27th, Marcelo Figueroa asked his Facebook friends to make a game for him to share with a class of third-graders (ages 8-9) that uses just a d20 and with rules that would fit on 1/2 of a sheet of paper. An hour later, I’d thought of two games. Don’t Drop the Ghost is one of those games.

Minimum number of players: 
Maximum number of players: 
Play Duration (new players): 
Minimum Age: 
6
Game Type/Context: