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The Magic Bag

A Solitary Confinement game for the piecepack, by Rob LeGood?

Version 0.9, Dec 8, 2003
Copyright (c) 2003 Rob LeGood?
1 player, 15 minutes

Introduction

Your uncle, a man known to be extremely rich and eccentric passed away and now you sit with your only piece of inheritance.. a plain cloth bag. Oddly enough, you feel a strange power emanating from it. Taking it home, you dump out the contents -- a tile-based puzzle, some dice and a few gold coins! As the contents spill out onto your table, you hear your uncle's voice giving you instructions on how you might be able to turn those few small coins into a gigantic sum of wealth. To gain wealth, he warns, you'll need to risk wealth. Can you control your greed long enough to amass as much treasure as possible from the Magic Bag?

Equipment

Setup

Shuffle all 24 tiles face down and deal them out into nine rows face up. The first two rows will only have one tile. The third and fourth will be made up of two tiles. The fifth and sixth will have three tiles each, while the last three rows will each have four tiles. This should use up all 24 piecepack tiles.

Take all four dice (one for each suit) and place the null, one and two coins of the crown suit in the box marked "GOLD COINS" on your reference sheet. Place the rest of the coins inside a (magic) bag.. (one that, preferably, you can't see through!)

Overview

A turn is comprised of rolling the dice three times in an attempt to create the patterns listed in the nine rows you set up at the beginning of the game. If you complete a row, you get to draw a coin from the bag to see which treasure you've won! You only need match the number on the tiles, but if any of your dice match both the suit and the number, you'll win bonus draws from the bag. If your roll does not match anything on the board, you have the option of discarding a treasure to take another turn. If you choose not to do this, the game ends and the score is tabulated.

In Detail

Pick up all four dice and roll them. You may keep any, all or none of the dice and re-roll those that are left over. You must keep whatever you rolled by your third attempt and try to match one of the rows that is still showing. Either you'll there will be a match, or there won't. To get a "match", only the values (not suit) on the dice need match one of the rows still remaining.

Example: The sixth row shows Crown-2, Crown-Null, and Sun-5. After three rolls you have Crown-Null, Sun-2, Arms-5 and Moon-4. Your roll matches the sixth row of the board -- the Moon-4 die was ignored because the sixth row only has three tiles.

You Find a Match!

If your dice match one of the rows on the board, discard that row and draw one coin from the bag, placing it on your playmat. In addition, if any of your dice match both the value and the suit of one of the tiles in the row you've just matched, you get to draw one extra coin for each match.

Example: In the above example, the Crown-Null tile was an exact match. This means that you get to draw one coin for matching the row, and one bonus coin for exactly matching one of the tiles.

The discarded row can now never be used for the rest of the game. If this was the final row removed, the game is over. Count up your score and see how you did!

If you draw the final coin from the bag, the game also ends and your score is tabulated.

You Did Not Find a Match

If, after rolling the dice, you find that the result does not match any row remaining on the board, you now have a difficult choice to make. You may either end the game (in which case, proceed directly to scoring) or you may discard one of your treasure coins.

If you choose to discard a coin you get to continue playing. You also have the option, before taking your next turn, of removing one tile from the game board, which then shortens one of the rows making it easier to complete. The optional tile you remove must match one of the dice exactly from your failed roll and you only get to remove one tile this way. If none of your dice match any of the remaining tiles, then you don't get the option of removing a tile.

Scoring

Once the game has ended, you count up the treasure coins on your reference sheet to determine your final score.

The Crown suit represents gold coins. The value of the coin represents how many points you get. Note that the Crown-Null coin is worth zero points.

The remaining three suits represent pieces of artifacts, which together are worth more than they are separate. Each artifact will be comprised of one or more pieces; some of these pieces will be attached to each other. A piece is attached if it shares an edge with another artifact piece. (Diagonals don't count!) The pieces of an artifact that are attached this way are called a group, and the size of the grouping determines the number of points you get.

Group Size Points
1 10
2 30
3 60
4 100
5 150
6 210

Example: At the end of the game you've been able to collect the 1, 2, 3 and 5 of Arms. This creates two groups; one of size 3 and one of size 1. This means that you get 60 + 10 = 70 points for the Arms artifact.

If there are rows remaining on the Board (due to drawing the last coin from the bag) you score extra bonus points. Sum the value of the remaining tiles and multiply the result by 10.

Example: The game has ended by the drawing of the final coin and there's one row remaining on the table; Sun-Null, Crown-Five and Moon-Two. The final bonus would then be 10 x (0 + 5 + 2) = 70 points.

End of Game

Once you determine how much wealth you've accumulated throughout the game, the Magic Bag disappears forever, leaving no trace of your uncle.

This doesn't mean the fun's over! Simply turn back time, re-shuffle the tiles and try to beat your previous score!

Licensing Information

You may freely distribute this game. The author retains copyright.

Reference Sheet

The Magic Bag

 ARMS            MOONS               SUNS

Arms-N    Moon-N Moon-2 Moon-4    Sun-5 Sun-N
Arms-1    Moon-3 Moon-1           Sun-3 Sun-4
Arms-2    Moon-5                  Sun-1 Sun-2
Arms-3
Arms-4
Arms-5

GOLD COINS (Crowns)