by Sharon Cichelli and Jonathan Leistiko
Wisely spend your Creative Reserves to accomplish nifty challenges and end the game with the most points in your Success pile.
2d6 and a deck of Renaissance Man cards.
Print the Creative Reserves (CR) cards (first four pages) on a different color stock than the Challenge cards (last four pages). It’ll make them easier to keep separate.
Shuffle the CR deck and the Challenge deck separately. Deal 3 CR cards to each player. Deal Challenge cards face up to the center of the table equal to the number of players. Keep the decks separate and put them face-down where everyone can reach them. The player who most recently had a birthday goes first.
On your turn, you my draw a CR card or a Challenge card. If you draw a CR card, put it in your hand and end your turn. If the CR deck runs out of cards, shuffle the discards and make a new CR deck.
If you draw a Challenge, play it face-up to the center of the table. You may attempt any face-up Challenge that’s not in a Success pile. You need to roll a 7 or better on 2d6. Add 1 to your roll if it’s the card you turned face-up this turn.
Challenges list their required Creative Reserves: C for Cooking, F for Friend, G for Gamer, M for Musician, and W for Writer. Subtract 2 from your roll for every requirement you don’t match with a CR card. (Matching is optional; you can choose to take the disadvantage.) Add 1 to your roll for every extra matching CR card you play. If you lose, take your CR cards back. If you win, discard all CR cards you used and move the Challenge to your Success pile. Either way, your turn is done.
If the card you turn face up is an Event (a special Challenge card), each player, starting with you, may play any number of CR cards (including 0) that match that event. Once all players have played cards, you each roll 2d6 and add one to your total for each CR card you played. (If you’re the player who turned the card over, add 1 to your roll for that, too.) If you have the highest total, put the Event in your Success pile; you get to use the special benefits on it. Otherwise, take your CR cards back.
If any player has 10 points or more and it’s the end of your turn, you may declare that your next turn is your last turn. The game ends at the end of your next turn. If you have the most points at the end of the game, you win!
Sharon and I made this game up for Ben’s birthday. We brainstormed it over a sunrise breakfast on July 2, 2006. I laid it out and wrote the rules July 2nd and 3rd. We play tested it at Games Night with JP and Markus (thanks, guys!) on July 4th, ’06. I did more layout and rewrote the rules on July 5th, ’06.
Thanks to Sharon for editing. The game is based on five adjectives that describe Ben well: Chef, Gamer, Musician, Writer, and—most of all—a gosh-darn great Friend. Happy Birthday, Ben!