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The Game of Biff

The game of Biff is played by Discordians and people of much ilk. It was invented by Spiral Lobster during the ninth Wheel of Fortune, with assistance by Cokaigne and Brad. Presented here are the rules and the metarules needed to play. I have used shorthand to maximize the amount individual Discordians will have to customize it to their own preferences. Metarules are presented in square brackets i.e. [metarule] and are explained later.

The Rules

You will need one deck of cards, sans jokers per 2-3 players. All cards that are not royal (Queen, King, Jack) are considered value cards.

Deal 7. Left of dealer starts. Take turns going clockwise.

Turn

Play one card or Biff.

[You must either play or Biff unless you have no remaining value cards. If all you have are Royalties in play, you may exercise the 'Royal Perjorative' and decline to Biff.]

[You cannot Biff or be Biffed until you have a Royalty on the table - and you are out of the game when the last Royalty you have in play is discarded.]

Play

Either Recruit or Improve.
Recruit: Commander, Army or Royal.

[Whichever royalty is played first is the highest value royalty, with the title the player chooses e.g. Empress (Q), Prince Regent (J), King (K) - or anything else you can think of. Highest value is 13, then 12, then 11.]

Improve: Train or Morale.

Biff: One or many stacks.

End of Turn

All players draw up to seven cards. Ignore drawing cards when there are no cards left to draw.

Winners are people who are not Biffed out of the game. Surenders and joint wins are allowable.

All rules are subject to metarule modification.

The Metarules

Biff is supposed to be a Storytelling game as well as a table top battle game. It is up to the players to decide on the paradigm of the game - fantasy, science fiction, politics, cartoon violence - any conflict you care to imagine. According to the paradigm, stacks might represent armies, monsters, ninjas, turtles, sheep - anything, really.

A metarule is a rule agreed by the other players that modifies, fills in or otherwise supplements the rules, either in the way the game is played or what the components of the game mean.

Players should always agree to a metarule that is Dramatically Appropriate.

'Dramatically Appropriate' is defined by the playersí mutual agreement as and when it is required.

Jís and Pís, please try and humour each other - Tís and Fís too. Bugger it - just tolerate each other, alright? Itís a game - itís supposed to be fun!

And now, some example metarules:

[Heroic Sacrifice. A commander with morale cards (Morale of 2 or more) can defend with value of zero - that is, can sacrifice itself in defense.]

[Diamondasaurus! Stacks 6 through 10 (those which have a Commander of value 6, 7, 8, 9 or 10) are not armies butÖ something else.]

[Suicide Squads. Teams of guards (single Royalty cards can Biff as a "sneak attack".]

[Domestic Pressure. This is a standard metarule - it is given in the main rules. But of course, itís open to change. The normal state of affairs is you must Biff, but in variants you might not have to Biff under certain circumstances, i.e. there might be no Domestic Pressure if you have the highest value Army in play.]

[The Lesser Metarule. Metarules can have many names.]

[The Greater Metarule. Metarules can have many names.]

[The Political Metaule. All metarules are rules.]

[The Metarule Hypothesis. We cannot prove a difference between rules and metarules.]

[The Religious Metarule. Rules are better than metarules.]

[The Mystical Metarule. Metarules are better than rules.]

[The Discordian Metarule. There is no difference between the Religious and the Mystical metarule - or the Metarule Hypothesis for that matter.]

[The Discordian Metarule. There is a difference between metarules.]

[The Discordian Metarule. Any questions?]

[The Erisian Metarule. Names have many faces.]

So there you go. There should not quite be enough information here to play the game, forcing you to have to guess, improvise and co-operate with other players to create your own rules.

If you want to ask me about how we played the game, you are more than welcome, but the more variants of this game we come up with between us the more Discordian it could become.

I look forward to playing with your metarules sometime!

Spiral Lobster