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The Music Game Thingy

  1. Items Needed

    The following items are required to play The Music Game ThingyTM:

    Two or more players are also required, with three to five recommended.

  2. Aim of the Game

    The victory conditions are chosen before the game begins, and are usually to be the Record Label who finishes the game with the most:

    In fact, almost any victory condition could be chosen, but the most common game is based on finishing with the most money.

  3. Starting a Game

    Each game begins as follows:

  4. Keeping Track of Time

    The Month cards and Year card are used to keep track of time. The game starts in January, and each game turn is a new month. After December, the year marker is decremented, and the Month pack restored to January.

    Some of the months have special rules concerning them written on the appropriate Month card.

  5. Game Turns

    One game turn is carried out as follows:

  6. Ending the Game

    The game ends after December of the last year. At this point, instead of following the end of year steps described above, the following should take place:

    Once this has been done, final totals are revealed in reverse Financial order (that is, Poor Bastard declares first).

  7. General Rules

    1. Bidding for Artists

      Bidding occurs at the start of the game, and at the beginning of each year, should a player wish or need to bid for more Artists. The bidding process works as follows:

      • An Artist card is selected by a player and a die thrown to determine the starting Fame. Two is added to the die to get a Fame range of 3 to 8. The number is marked in the Fame box on the Artist card.
      • The player must then either select one more Artist card and repeat the above, or make a bid, or withdraw from the bidding (this does not prevent you from bidding on other people's turns).
      • When the player has decided which Artist card to bid for (they may bid for either of the two they have looked at, or any that are currently in the pool of Artists with a known Fame), they must declare the Artist name, length of proposed contract and the amount bid e.g. Dire Haircuts, 5 years, 85,000.
      • Any player who wishes to bid against this initial bid does so in the same manner, regardless of whether they have already signed artists or chosen to withdraw from the bidding.
      • A bid is higher if the amount of money being offered is higher. However, a proposed contract for less time but the same amount of money is worth more than the original bid. So, Dire Haircuts, 1 year, 85,000 would beat a previous bid of Dire Haircuts, 5 years, 85,000.
      • The minimum bid for any Artist is calculated as follows:
        5,000 x Fame of Artist x Length of Contract
        So if Dire Haircuts had a starting Fame of 5 they would cost a minimum of 25,000 per year.
      • Once bidding is completed (i.e. no further bids are made) the card is given to the highest bidder and they pay the price they stated.
      • After a bidding attempt (whether successful or otherwise), play turns to the next player. They select bands, roll for Fame and bid, as above.
      • This continues until everyone has passed up their right to bid in their turn. A player who does not start bidding in their turn may not select other bands and roll their Fame. They are free, however, to bid against other players' bids, if they wish.
      • Once a band has been brought under Contract, they are moved in front of the player who purchased them, and a Contract marker is placed at the appropriate number on the card.

      At the start of the game, bidding begins with right of the banker, and proceeds in a counter-clockwise fashion. After each year, bidding is carried out in Financial order.

    2. Resolving Singles, Albums and Concerts

      At the end of each Month, the Revenue from Singles, Albums and Concerts is determined. All such cards have either a Sales instruction or a Venue size, measured in a number of dice (e.g. 1d represents one dice, 2d represents two dice etc.). Singles and Albums all have sales of 1d under most circumstances.

      All Revenue producing cards also have an Income instruction, written as a number of pounds per unit. This is the amount each point rolled on the dice is worth. Certain cards give bonuses either to each die or to totals in certain situations. This bonus is added on before determining how much money is earned.

      For example, Kate the Bitch is playing the Town & Country Club. It is a 2d Venue which nets 5,000 per unit. She rolls 8, worth 40,000. However, Kate has a Fame of 12 (worth +1 per die), a Road Crew (+1 to totals at Concerts) and Stage Lights (+1 to each die at Concerts) and so gets a bonus of +5 (two sets of +1 on both of the two dice = +4, plus a +1 to the total for +5). Her roll of 8 is modified to 13, getting her 65,000 (25,000 more than the base roll).
    3. Fame from Singles and Albums

      The Artists who release the highest selling Single and Album in a month receive an increase to their Fame. The increase in Fame is:

      • 1 point for the highest selling Single OR
      • 2 points if the highest selling Single is an EP.
      • 4 points for an Album OR
      • 6 points if the highest selling Album is a Double album.

      If two Artists tie for sales of a Single or Album, both get the full increase in Fame.

      A Single (or EP) must be released by an Artist before they can release an Album (or Double album). When a Single has been played, the card should be kept underneath the Artist card, to show they can now release an Album.

      There are no limits on the amount of Singles that may be played, but every Album must be preceded with a Single. Once a Single has been played, however, no more Singles may be `stored' after play. For example. if three Singles were played, then an Album, another Single would have to be played before a new Album could be released.

    4. Limits on Number of Cards

      The following limits apply to the number of cards in any player's hand:

      • No more than 10 cards in total. This does not include any cards the player has face up.
      • No more than 4 Singles or EPs (not including any kept to show that an Artist is ready to release an Album). This limit is written on all Singles and EPs.
      • No more than 2 Albums or Double albums. This limit is written on all Albums and Double albums.
      • No player can have both the Disaster and the Sabotage card at the same time. If at any time a player exceeds these limits they must immediately give away, trade or discard enough cards to make their hand legal.
    5. Agreements and Trades

      Money, Action cards that haven't been played and Artists under Contract can all be traded freely. Cards that have been played on a particular Artist are NOT TRANSFERABLE.

      All trades and agreements are binding to the letter (but not necessarily the spirit) provided they are made in front of all the players. Deals struck in private are not binding. Whether or not a certain action is a breach of agreement must be decided by the other players. In general, a binding agreement cannot be broken under any circumstances.

      As an example, a player threatens another player with the Sabotage card. The first player makes a binding agreement with the second player that states:

      I will not use the Sabotage card on you and you will give me 10% of all income from any Concerts or Tours your Artists perform.

      This is a binding agreement. It doesn't matter whether or not the first player actually has the Sabotage card, the second player is now forced to give 10% of all his revenue from Concerts to the first player.

    6. Fame

      An Artists Fame is always between 0 and 20. No Artist may have a Fame greater than 20 for any reason. High Fame has advantages:

      • At Fame 10 to 19, the Artist is at +1 on each die.
      • At Fame 20, the Artist is at +2 on each die.

      These adds apply to the die rolls for Singles, EP's, Albums, Double albums, Venues and Tours only.

  8. Optional Rules

    1. Successful Singles

      If the highest selling Single or EP in a Month gets a 6 on the sales die, it will still be selling next Month. If so:

      • Sales are rolled for again next month (although any one use cards will have been lost).
      • If it is once again the highest seller, the Artist gets another increase in Fame.
      • If it is the highest seller and gets another 6, it continues to the next month. This will continue as long as a 6 is rolled for sales.
      • The Artist can do nothing else whilst it's annoyingly catchy tune is still in the charts.

      If the highest selling Single is a tie, and both rolled a 6, then both continue to next Month.

    2. Whistle-blowing

      If a player is caught with the Disaster or the Sabotage card in their hands by someone playing Commercial Spies on them, they are forced to pay a fine of 100,000 to the bank and discard the card in question.

  9. Credits

    The Music Game Thingy is 1989 Chris M. Bateman.
    Produced by Discordia Incorporated. First Printing December 1993. The Music Game ThingyTM is another Mad Chris Production.

    If you have any comments, suggestions, improvements, problems or queries regarding The Music Game Thingy, send them to:
    Spiral Lobster
    Snail Mail Address TBC
    Email: discordia@discordia-inc.co.uk
    A sheet of the latest errata and a catalogue of Discordia Incorporated products can be obtained by sending an SSAE to this address.
    All Hail Discordia!
    Mad Chris, 6 December, 1993
    (latest revision 31 August, 1995).