A random concept for Christmas?

The ugly head of Christmas presents reared it's ugly head this weekend. I'm crap at them...'nuff said. I rarely, if ever, buy things for friends, mainly as the friends I have buy themselves everything they could ever need (and I'm looking at everyone here as part of that). Your ideal present is something uniquely tailored to the person, which is nigh impossible. I suspect that everyone here feels very much the same.

So I had a thought. A collaborative present, which would cost very little per head, and might actually be a bit of a laugh. There are a number of simple, core concepts;

1) Find a generic collectible card game set of rules and templates, or (if forced to) make one up. We could even use Top Trumps concepts if need be, though that would limit us to people only, which may be a little tricky.

2) Everyone commits to making x number of card for this, using templates. The cards are based on ourselves, our gaming/PC alter-egos, environments, hobbies, general menatalities etc etc. Depending on the number who get involved you would have to come up with 5-10 cards (more people = less cards each)

3) Have your cards printed off at www.moo.com as business cards, so you have enough copies of each card for everyone involved to get one set. Overall cost = £11

4) We swap sets for christmas. Everyone ends up with a unique set of 50 cards relating to us, with the added bonus it can be played against other people from here (and Fishcon is just after Christmas).

I'd like to think this would be hilarious, and a decent mix of cards could be done by adding simple guidelines to the cards you create, for example, assuming we use a CCG model;
1 - yourself :-)
2 - an action/spell/effect
3 - an environment
4 - an item/equippable
5 + - your choice (so other characters/pets/places/items etc etc).

If you were feeling particularly productive you could even make a unique card for each person, thus tailoring their deck to suit them. To make a card you would simply need to hunt down, or take, a photo for each card, and then make up some rules for it, before adding them to the template.

I've had a look around and there is a system called UFS, but the card template graphic is fairly complex. I was thinking possibly something along the lines of Race For The Galaxy, which has simple iconographs, however you'd need a little bit of tweaking to add in people (have them as planets, and other items are developments?). I think it would be easier to take an existing system, as then there is no discussion needed for categories, and instead its all down to the fun of coming up with your own cards! the added fun is when we finally get to see everyone elses cards, and how workable/unworkable the entire thing is as a game...

1) Does anyone think its a good idea?
2) If the answer to (1) is yes, are you will ing to get in on the act, and commit to coming up with some cards for Christmas?

The Happy, Jolly Christmas Fairy


well i guess the answer for what you want for Christmas is clear, a geek hat bigger than anything previously seen before... I'm in.

Skunty's picture

That sounds like a lot of fun :D
I can see a lot of in jokes coming up already :)

Count me in :)

Evilmatt's picture

I add my vote to those voting yes, would be a good giggle methinks. :)

Nibbles's picture

I've had concepts of RtfG bouncing round me head all morning (apologies for those that have not played it, as I'm about to go off into comparison world. Rest assured it is a very good game).

All you need to do is change the names of the Materials
Brown - Random Junk
Blue - Gadgets
Green - Money
Yellow - something rare and unobtainable
Military = Stubborness

  • Card 1
    Pete - Development
    +1 Stubboness
    Consumes Blue for 1VP
    Allows Production on 1 Windfall Green
  • Card 2
    Yell's IT Department - Settlement
    Windfall Green
  • Card 3
    Matilda the Motorbike - Development
    Consumes Green for 1 card
  • Card 4
    Southwood Gardens (requires 4 Stubborness) - Settlement
    Produces Brown
    Consumes Green for 1VP
  • Card 5
    Northern Rock Mortgage - Development
    Discard to add +3 Stubborness for 1 round

That pretty much sums up my life in 5 easy cards :-)

babychaos's picture

I love the idea. It's brilliant.

Not sure what all the rules mean, might need some explanation there.

The Moocards have two printed sides, so we should create a standard logo everyone uses. That way, they won't look any different when face down. Also, we might want to put together some sort of template people can load into a standard/free paint editor, such as GIMP.

Of course, yo get 50 cards in a pack. So 5 card types means that there are 10 gifts that can be done. Should be doable.

brainwipe's picture

I just thought of this card based on the RftG thing but with more in joke goodness.

Belch While They are Doing Maths - Development
Distract your opponents allowing you to sneak a card down without paying for it.
Discard to place one settlement for zero cost on the next settlement phase.

Evilmatt's picture

I shall try and get some card templates/images sorted next week.

I'm hoping that some decent person has scanned the blank ones from RftG:Gathering Storm, so I can use those . I also need to work out the "optimal size" for Moo business cards, for some reason they don't mention it on their website.

Rules for RtfG are here (PDF)

The various card icons are summarised here
How they appear on cards can be seen in many of the photos on BGG (linky )

Would need to sort out Action cards as well (examples here )

babychaos's picture

Thanks for the headsup. Do you need some help with the graphics?

brainwipe's picture

Probably. I'll put together what I can, and then hand off to you.

If you want something to get started with I'm sure you can come up with a suitably impressive card back!

babychaos's picture

No probs. You got an idea for the name of it? Perhaps build in the name of the year or something?

brainwipe's picture

I was thinking we have a generic name, and then you can have "editions"! So the back would need to be date non-specific.

I shall have a think...if anyone else has a good idea chuck it up...

babychaos's picture

Great idea. I can give out sets to celebrate things. How about generating a nonsense name, like Chom Isis?

Here's a handy tool:

I put in Lack Of Game and got: Sack Of Memi
Then Peter Ganderton gave me: Niter Gansarnas, Petir Gandorsak, Peror Gadmarten

brainwipe's picture

I keep pressing that button and got: Wowet Gellorgon. I think you should change your name to that, Babyc!

brainwipe's picture

I'm struggling to see hwo that is related to my name...no l's or w's :-)

Hmm...the game should be a cliche in and of itself. NARG? (Not a Real Game) Lack-of.cards?

babychaos's picture

We could call it CAKE. Then say it's a lie.

brainwipe's picture

Surely it should be C.A.K.E, and then everyone has to come up with their own bullshit meaning for it

Cards Are Kinda Eccentric?

babychaos's picture

Pete, not sure how Race for the galaxy is played and so am not entirely sure how that translates into moo cards that we will make. Is there a certain number of a type of card we need? What are these action cards, do we need a lot of them? I'm tempted to make 2 decks, you see. £20 to cover chrimbo prezzies for everyone sounds like a deal!

Also, here are the moo sizes with templates:


brainwipe's picture

Have you played Puerto Rico or San Juan?

babychaos's picture

It's been too long to remember.

brainwipe's picture

OK, quick game overview.

Each player has a number of Action Card which are separate from the main cards. These relate to the various game phases;

Explore (draw cards from the main deck, keep some in your hand)
Development (play a development card, pay for it by discarding cards from your hand)
Settle (play a settlement card, pay for it by discarding cards from your hand, or if it is a military settlement have a greater military score than the cost of the planet)
Consume (Take good produced on a settlement and consume it for cards and/or victory points)
Produce (produce goods on settlements capable of producing)

Each player secretly plays one action card each round. The chosen phases are then played through in order, and everyone gets to do them, but anyone who has played that phase's action card gets a bonus;

Explore - either draw and keep 1 extra card, or draw 5 extra cards
Develop - a development is 1 card cheaper
Settle - draw a card after settling a planet
Consume - either get double victory points, or before consumption trade one good for cards
Produce - produce on one windfall settlement (which normally starts with a good, but it does not normally get replaced)

If no player plays an action card for a given phase, then it does not happen that game round. In this way there is a lot of "guessing" what other players actions will be (unless it's Keith, in which case it's Explore), which the designer refers to as "parasitic competition".

Most planets/developments that you play in front of you have a power relating to one of the phases. For example;

Explore power - Draw one more card
Develop power - costs 1 less to develop
Settle power - gives military bonus
Consume (trade) - get one extra card when trading a blue good
Comsume (normal) - consume one card of any colour for 1 Victory Point
Produce - Draw one card when producing any Green goods

The winner is the one with most victory points. You get points for either playing settlements and developments, or by consuming for Victory Points. the game ends when either the Victory Point pool runs out, or if a player gets 12 cards in front of them.

The expansion also offers "settlers-like" goals, such as biggest military, most producing planets, which are worth VP, and can swap hands during the course of the game. There are also 1-off targets, such as first person to earn 5VP, or to settle each of the 4 types of production planet (brown, blue, green, yellow).

So at the moment (and I add that little time-based disclaimer as the second expansion may change what I'm about to say) there is no direct player interaction, as per a normal CCG. You do instead have a fairly flexible ruleset with which to build up ideas. There are rules within the expansion for every player to have their own deck of cards, rather than a communual pool, which is a bit more CCG-like, and offers up the possibility of deck-design :-)

babychaos's picture

So, in order to develop our own flavour of the game, we need
1) Action cards (1 set per person)
2) Playing cards (representing settlements and developments)

As the action cards are effectively static they can be done separately (I'll sort them out). What we should be looking to do communually is the Settlement and Development cards, as these are what make up the game content.

babychaos's picture

maybe something simple for the back of the cards like

Evilmatt's picture

Looks good. Only thing is that need to keep the detail away from the edges for the bleed area.

babychaos's picture

Consume - either get double victory points, or before consumption trade one good for cards

So that'd be covered by the Skunty "Two Pie Challenge" card then.

Skunty's picture

assuming I've done it right the sort of glowy border thing should bleed into the bleed area so that it has the nessecary padding round the edges.

It probably needs a bit of patterning on the background to make it stand out a bit more.

Geek King card a 6 (?)

on production if you produce more Blue (gadgets) than anyone else you gain an extra two cards
coverts 3 blue to 2 victory points

the ? bit : worth 2 victory points for every blue settlement (probably also do the 2 if you have a 4val based geek card and 1 if you have the three which is typically the pattern with these things I'm thinking of the mining brown cards for those who've played the game)

Evilmatt's picture

Nice background, EMW but I am not sure you've chosen the right template. Are we going with the business cards?

brainwipe's picture

I chose the business card template and just flipped it round the image to vertical.

It's a little squished on the site due to the resizing.

Evilmatt's picture


I've done a template for the card layout, however it is in PSP, and it's "save to photoshop" loses loads of the information (little things like all the layers, primarily the vector objects...)

Can Photoshop open .pspimage files?

babychaos's picture

Will check tonight. I imagine so.

brainwipe's picture

I did a tweak to the design a bit to give it more detail

Evilmatt's picture


brainwipe's picture