09 Sep 2011 03:28 pm

Game Rules

We firmly believe that our Machine of Death Prediction Card Sets have millions of uses (and double that if you do them all over with your opposite hand). Below are a few of our favorites.

Do you have an idea for an amazing Machine of Death card game? What about a maybe-okay Machine of Death card game? Or, played these games and have thoughts or feedback? Or just want to check out some other rulesets that’re still undergoing testing? For ALL THESE THINGS, check out our new forum!

“Thin Ice” (3 or more players) Added 10/13/11

Thin Ice is a party ice-breaker game, and is a good way to get new players familiar with the Machine of Death Prediction Cards. The best thing about hosting a party on thin ice is that nobody gets the chance to hang around too long. We’re all in this together!


“Psychopath” (4 or more players) Revised rules 3/25/12

Psychopath is a card-connecting game similar to Apples to Apples. It’s a crazy world out there, and as they say, “If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em!”


“Think Tank” (3 or more players) Revised rules 3/25/12

Think Tank is an original alphabet-based literary game. Some folks still remember a time when this city was home to honest, hardworking folks. Sure, there’s still hard work being done, but it ain’t particularly honest. These days, this town’s got all the kindness of a rabid dog, and half the charm. Perfect for a private eye.


“Last Words” (2 or more players) Added 3/25/12

A variant of the game “Last Word” that’s similar to Think Tank, above. (Submitted by Nika on the forum!)


“Hitman on a Budget” (3 or more players) Revised rules 3/25/12

Hitman on a Budget is a dice-based role-playing game in the tradition of Dungeons and Dragons. Times are tough. The economy is down, prices are up, but if you’re in the business of trying to whack people, well, times just got a little easier. The new Machine of Death practically hand-delivers the perfect way to knock off any target. The problem now? Getting the weapons to do it.


“Memento Mori” (3 or more players)

Memento Mori is a group drawing game in the tradition of Telephone or Exquisite Corpse. Lo, the Arts! What nobler profession is there among men? (firefighting) And what more universal muse is there than the ever-looming prospect of death? (sexiness) In the tradition of those most morbid of medieval artists, you must seek to convey a meditation on death to your neighbor, who, in the tradition of all artists, will steal it.


“Tabloid” (3 or more players) Revised rules 9/15/11

Tabloid is a group debating game, similar to the electoral process in the United States. It’s not enough these days for the tabloids just to report on a celebrity death. With the new Machine of Death, the gossip-rags are now expected to predict your favorite stars’ demise! But why pay staff to actually research when you can just wildly speculate? That’s the tabloid way!


“Duelogy” (4 or more players) Revised rules 3/25/12

Duelogy is a fast-talking party-style guessing game, in the tradition of Taboo or Celebrity. Eulogies are awkward things. You don’t want to say too little, but can’t say too much. They’re especially awkward when the funeral director schedules two services in the same time slot! Your task is to convey the grisly details of your imaginary friend’s demise without saying those key words that will set off his/her mother.

18 Responses to “Game Rules”

  1. on 13 Sep 2011 at 6:14 pm 1.Christopher Mathieu said …

    I’d recommend adding double-blind rules to Hitmen on a Budget: No player may see the inventory of the others, and plans (and the likelihood) have to be discussed via notes. The actual implementation can be voiced, naturally.

    This variant may work better via e-mail.

  2. on 13 Sep 2011 at 7:45 pm 2.Anonymous said …

    Interesting idea! I’d be willing to play-test it either way. This could work well for an email or forum based version of the game, as you say. I wonder if it would slow the gameplay too much to do this in person, though?

    Another wrinkle is that no person can buy any item twice — including one that’s already been bought by another player earlier in the game! I suppose the Chief could just tell someone “choose another” in that case.

    I’d be open to trying it both ways and seeing which is more fun for the players! Let us know if you try it out as well.

  3. on 14 Sep 2011 at 12:31 am 3.Alexander Scott said …

    Only allowing each item to exist once may be a bit restrictive, depending on the items used and the deaths drawn. A compromise might be that there is only one of each item available. For instance, if Hitman A wants to use the String to tie the Snake to the Rocket, he’ll have to wait until Hitman B has tried to use it as a Tripwire.

    This could also set up a more directly competitive aspect to the game, if players are allowed to attempt to trade items (for instance, B may have some Cable-Ties he’s willing to swap for a Lawnmower). Of course, in the double-blind version, the Chief would have to tell A that it was B who had the String in order for negotiations to commence.

  4. on 14 Sep 2011 at 12:47 am 4.Anonymous said …

    Good point — but I still lean in favor of “only one of a given item, per game.” It encourages creativity, because if STRING has already been used, you have to buy ROPE or TWINE or GLUE or WIRE instead. There are enough synonyms in the language that I don’t think we have to be worried about gameplay being hampered.

  5. on 14 Sep 2011 at 8:05 pm 5.Neoeo said …

    I agree with malki. Creativity in both tactics and word choice should be rewarded. For example, ASP would be more effective (and economical) than SNAKE in my game—ADDER, MAMBA, COBRA, BEES, ANTS, and WASPS, too.
    If you’re told, “Choose another” after that litany, save up for a PLATYPUS.

  6. on 14 Sep 2011 at 8:15 am 6.Anonymous said …

    P.S. in tonight’s game, the idea of trading came up spontaneously between players. I think it’s a pretty fun mechanic and we’ll incorporate it into the rules!

  7. on 15 Sep 2011 at 4:31 pm 7.Sainath Shenoy said …

    Have you played Dixit? If not check this out: http://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/39856/dixit
    How about a Dixit like MOD game. One player is the storyteller for the turn. He looks at the 6 MOD cards in his hand. From one of these, he makes a drawing that subtly describes the card (without showing the card to the other players).
    The other players select amongst their 6 MOD cards the one that best matches the drawing made up by the storyteller.Then, each of them gives their selected card to the storyteller, without showing it to the others. The storyteller shuffles his card with all the received cards. All MOD cards are shown face up, randomly, and every player has to bet upon what MOD card was the storyteller’s.If nobody or everybody finds the correct card, the storyteller scores 0, and each of the other players scores 2. Otherwise the storyteller and whoever found the correct answer scores 3. Players score 1 point for every vote gotten by their own card.The game ends when the deck is empty or if someone reaches 30 points,so he wins.Otherwise the greatest total wins the game.

  8. on 15 Sep 2011 at 10:01 pm 8.Anonymous said …

    This is a great idea! I’m going to recommend you share it on our new forum:

    https://machineofdeath.net/about/forum#/

    which we’ve set up to keep track of this sort of discussions. Game thoughts and feedback of any sort can migrate over to the forum!

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