by Ben Gibbs and Jonathan Leistiko
End the game with the most points by accurately answering trivia questions made up by your friends.
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.
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:
Questions and Answers:
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.
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.
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.
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.