by Jonathan Leistiko
End the game with more points than anyone else.
A jar of change.
Pawns for each player.
Two six-sided dice.
A black-and-white or color 1,000 Blank White Questions board, pawns attached. These rules assume you’re using the black-and-white board and refer to shapes in the board. If you’re using the color board, replace every reference to shapes on the board with colors instead.
Do not trim the pawns off of the the board. If you’ve already done so, print out a new board.
All players start with 20 cents and a pawn.
Place all pawns off the board, next to the corner with the striped border.
The edge of the board with the pawns on it is the Bank. The Bank has six vaults. The edge of the board closest to each pawn is the vault for that particular shape. Place 3 coins in the first, third, and fifth vaults.
Choose a player to go first.
On your turn, roll the dice. Pick one and move that many spaces. The space closest to the striped corner is the first space. Movement on the board proceeds clockwise.
When you land on an unoccupied space, take a look at the Vault for the shape in that space.
When you land on an occupied space, you can stay in that square and take cents from each player in that square equal to the number you rolled, or you can move to the next square. If that square is also occupied, you have the same choices. If that square is unoccupied, treat it as if you had landed on it with your initial roll.
If you land on one of the three spaces in the center with two shapes on it, choose one of the Vaults for a shape on that space, take all of the coins in that Vault, and place your pawn in that Vault. All coins that would normally go to that Vault now go to you instead. You may not choose an occupied Vault if an unoccupied Vault is available to you. If both Vaults are occupied, choose any unoccupied Vault.
Your turn ends once you’ve collected or gathered coins or landed in a Vault. Play passes clockwise.
The game ends when all pawns are in Vaults. If you have the highest value in change, you win!
If you run out of coins, immediately place your piece in an unoccupied Vault. All of the coins in that Vault go back to the coin jar. Any coins that would go to that Vault go to you instead.
If there is a pawn in an adjacent space (front, back, or to the side), you may pay that player three cents before you roll to move, place your piece in that space, and then roll to move normally.
I came up with this variant on August 6, 2003, after finishing the first draft of the one-page rules for 1,000 Blank White Questions and its grayscale board. I was looking at the pawns on the side of the board and wondered what you could use them for if they weren’t trimmed from the board. The idea struck me that they could be used as “registers” that could have markers placed in them to change what their corresponding spaces on the board did, but that’d involve too many additional props (However, this idea didn’t go away and became Slipmax.). I decided to use a simple reward / penalty system instead; taking and giving points. I wrote the first iteration of these rules up that night instead of writing for a freelance project (Yeah, I’m a slacker, but it kept me from going looney.).
Design note: Why does the game start with 3 vaults seeded with 3 coins each? To prevent the first player from having an unfair advantage or disadvantage. If no vaults start with coins, the first player is guaranteed to lose coins on the first turn. If all vaults start with coins, the first player is guaranteed to get coins. Starting half of the vaults with coins gives the first player a 50/50 chance. Seeding each vault with 3 coins errs slightly (by /12 of a coin) on the low side of the average amount a vault should have in it.
Unedited as of 12/22/2007