Art Crash:  Iocaine Powder? (the card game)


Now I'll admit I've got a lot of side projects that I keep forgetting to get done.  These include the tarot deck, a mini-comic for a friend, and any number of paintings.  Last October, a group of 50+ people (all K.O.L. players) got together and somehow tricked me into agreeing to do a picture of them all together.  I sat on the project for about a month, not really that excited about it.  I couldn't NOT do it...but I wasn't looking forward to it.  Then on November 17th I was sitting on the subway when the muse hit me:  I'd just make them into a card game.  When I got home I started and one day later the whole mess was finished.  So this Art Crash lasted 23 hours and produced this psychotic 70-card game. 

What you're about to see is the prototype/1st draft of the Iocaine Powder card game.  I'll post the rules after the Art, since that's what most of you are here to see.  Enjoy the strangeness.

The Characters:

(OOPS:  "To Max Size" should be "To Normal Size")

(OOPS:  Ignore the "5 is still the final maximum" because that doesn't make sense.)

Don't be too mad at me for making the mistakes on those cards.  When you're painting the cards as you design the game, stuff like that's bound to happen.

The following cards are either special or, well, very late in their arrival.


The Shorebots:

The "Iocaine Duel" cards:

(each deck has two of each)


Want to know how to play?  If not click HERE (loser).


Well, that's the game.  Since it's only been played about twenty times since I made it, I'm sure the rules will need to be changed.  For better or for worse, here's how to play:

Easy Rules (because the complete rules don't sound fun):

Each person has a hand size of 4.  The purpose is to keep 4 characters in your party for 1 round.  You can place up to 4 characters in your party each time it's your turn.  The characters with the stars on them have abilities that work if they're in your party, the ones with ! on them are "instants" that can be played in your hand (they have no ability if they're in your party).  ShoreBots (evil robots) are played as attacks against the other players and act like "hot potatoes" that get passed about if you discard cards equal to their level. Iocaine Powder duels (described below) are used as last-ditch efforts to keep someone from winning.  So the game's all about killing your friends and staying alive.  Neat, right?


Goal of the game:  Be the first to keep 4 characters in your party for an entire round. 

Setting up:

Shuffle the deck.  The deck should include all the Shorebot cards as well as all the character cards.   Each player fills their hands (in this game that means 4 cards).  The oldest player always goes first, with the next oldest going first in subsequent games...this continues until there is no one younger and the cycle repeats itself.

Order of Gameplay (or, "What to do on your Turn"):

1.  Draw cards.

 If you do not have 4 cards in your hand, you MUST fill up your hand.  There is no maximum number of cards in your hand, but do not draw new cards at your turns start if you have card equal to or more than 4.

2.  Place Any Number of Characters in your Party. 

The space in front of each player is where they place their "party."  You place your characters in a row before you.  You may never have more than 4 characters in your party when you take this action.  4 is not the maximum number of characters you can have in a party, but 4 is the maximum number you can have without the help of special cards.

While not ALWAYS a wise move, you can also place characters in ANOTHER player's party. 

3.  Play a "Shorebot" card. (Optional action, once per turn)

There are 10 Shorebot cards shuffled into the deck with the characters.  They represent evil robots that exist only to kill player's characters.  How do they work in-game?  Remember the game "Hot Potato" from when you were in Kindergarten?  They work just like that.

Each Shorebot has a level.  The level of the 'bot is equal to the number of cards to have to discard to redirect the attack/take control of the Shorebot.  When you play a Shorebot against someone, you declare what character it is attacking.  The most recent aggressor always chooses the target.  For example: 

"Bill plays an "Angry Toaster" against Susan's character, Stoop.  Susan discards one card to redirect the Toaster back at Bill's character, Sarcastica.  Bill discards his last card to redirect the attack back as Susan's character.  Susan redirects the attack by discarding her last card.  Bill has no more cards so, unless another player redirects it for him, the Toaster will kill Sarcastica."

Any player can discard their cards to redirect a Shorebot, even if they are not attacking or defending said Shorebot.  And yes, you can play Shorebots against yourself. 

If a Shorebot ever appears in your Party (and yes it can happen), it is immediately placed in your hand.

4.  Iocaine Powder Duel (very optional action)

At the end of your turn, you may challenge another character to an Iocaine Powder Duel.  The challenger must declare which of his characters is challenger the character of another player.  This ends your turn.  (Special:  If someone is about to win and your turn has been skipped thanks to the Aprocalypse card, this is the ONLY action you can take.)

There are two pairs of "Iocaine Duel" cards.  One means the character dies, the other means the character lives (red = stop, green = go).  Each player involved in a duel chooses one card secretly.  The Challenger shuffles the two together and the defender draws one card, with the remaining card going to the challenger.  Any player who drew a "red" skull card loses their character.  Duels are most often used as a last-ditch effort to prevent someone from winning.

(And yes, this is a Princess Bride-induced game mechanic.  "You might think that the Iocaine Powder is in this goblet!"  What a great movie.)

Character Symbols and abilities: 

Characters with the [star] symbol next to their text have abilities that are activated when they are in your party.   To use their ability, they must be in your party.

Characters with the ! symbol next to their text have abilities that can only be used if the character is in your hand.  After using the ! ability of a character, place them in the discard pile.  You may play ! cards at any time, even on another player's turn.

TO MAGIC THE GATHERING PLAYERS:  There is no "before you do that I do this" in this game.  If a player plays a card, the effect of that card takes effect immediately and must be resolved before you can play any cards in response.  The exception to this  Suzika's card which is used to negate any ! (instant) ability.

Other rules:

If a card says something like "destroy 2 characters," you MUST destroy 2 characters.  The text on a card is never optional, even if it means you have to destroy your own characters to do as it says.

In the case of a tie (in all cases), things are settled with an Iocaine Duel.

Cards that are "Stolen" go to the same place they came from.  Stolen characters that were in play go to your party, cards stolen from a hand go to your hand.

Winning the game:  If you can keep 4 characters in your party for an entire round (a round consists of every player getting a turn) then you've won the game.  They do NOT have to be the same 4 characters.  You CANNOT win the game in the first round...every player must be allowed a turn first.

If the deck has no more cards in it, play continues as normal but the draw phase is skipped.  The winner is the player with the most characters in their party after one round of play (starting with the 1st player who does NOT get to draw any cards). 

Party Combinations: It's not ready yet, but feel free to make up your own house rules for special "party" combinations.  For example, if you only have "robot" characters in your party, then all Shorebots are -1 level for the purposes of redirecting.  If you have only "zombie" characters in your party, you can discard a card to place a character that's just been removed to your hand.  These are all just ideas for adding more craziness, and I haven't made a complete list of all the combinations.  Point is this adds another dynamic to the game.  I don't know if that's a good thing.

The most important rule:  Have fun and ignore/change whatever rules you want.  Seriously.


I have to say, this whole Iocaine Powder Art Crash thing has really made me realize I have issues with too much creative energy.  Gah.

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Copyright 2005 jared von hindman.  So there.?