Naked GibbonAnother card game of merciless cheating (Gibbon family) for 2 - 6 players.
- 2016 - 2021
- Updated on
- 29 Dec 2021
- Version history
- Naked Gibbon(2016 - 2017)
2 - 6 players. (See the end for 2-player-game.)
A normal deck of 52 playing cards + 3 jokers. (2 jokers is fine, too.)
Simple bookkeeping equipment.
A few sorcerer gibbons (with sorcerer cloaks) are gathered together around a campfire to play an ancient fire game.
- Each gibbon is dealt 4 spell cards, and they start casting spells onto the fire in clockwise order.
- On his/her turn the gibbon must either 1. pick up and play a hand card face down declaring it to be a number, or 2. doubt a previously played card.
- Each spell in the fire must be the same number or higher than the previous one, and thus the flames gradually grow higher. The tension builds up until someone makes a doubt:
- The winner always collects the doubted card as a doubt bonus.
- If the doubt was correct (= the player had cheated), the fire burns a card slot from the cheater: who must start a new fire without first picking up a new card.
- Otherwise (= on false accusation), the fire burns the loser's cloak (= puts all hand cards face up on the table), and the flames drop to the height of the last face up card. The doubter must then pick up and play onto the lowered flames.
- When a gibbon loses all 4 card slots, he/she is out of the round. The round ends when there are only 2 gibbons left.
- Face cards and aces are the highest numbers (J = 11, Q = 12, K = 13, A = 14), and thus the best kind of cards to have.
- Upon playing a joker is always the same number as the previous card. However, if there is no previous card (= when starting a new fire) or when a face up joker is used as a flame reference, jokers are number 1 (so any card is acceptable on it).
LAYOUT, DECK & START UP
All the cards are shuffled into the deck and each player dealt 4 hand cards.
- The deck is put into the center of the table, leaving space for the fire next to it. If the deck runs out, it's reshuffled from the discarded cards.
- Each player has: 1. hand cards, 2. space for table cards, 3. space for bonus stack (collected face down and sideways next to the table cards).
The player on the dealer's left starts the first fire.
PICK UP & PLAY
The basic playing option is to pick up a new hand card from the deck and play one hand or table card onto the fire.
- FACE DOWN: Hand cards are played face down and promised to be a number (same or higher than previous).
- FACE UP: Table cards are always played face up, and not allowed to be played if lower number.
- When playing face up, the card is placed sideways to the fire pile. The number of the topmost face up card should always be visible.
- Whenever a new fire is started, it's started by playing face up - even if it was a hand card. (Typically the old fire is just left below.)
A doubt is made by turning the doubted card in the fire face up.
- Only the face down cards above the last face up card in the fire can be doubted, and only the latest one by each player (excluding self-doubt). The player chooses which one to doubt (can only doubt once per turn).
- When doubting the previous card, it must be the number that was promised. When doubting a card further back, it must be the same or higher number than the last face up card in the fire.
Each doubt carries a reward and punishment as well as a change on the fire:
- DOUBT BONUS: The winner collects the doubted card as a doubt bonus: puts it face down and sideways into his/her bonus stack.
- CHEATER'S LOSS: If the doubt was correct, the fire burns a card slot from the cheater, who must start a new fire without first picking up a new card.
- FALSE ACCUSATION: If a gibbon was falsely accused:
- The fire burns the cloak of the doubter (= becomes naked): he/she must put all hand cards face up on the table.
- The flames drop to the level of the last face up card: it's raised on top of the pile.
- The doubter must then continue by picking up and playing a card onto the lowered flames.
- Note. The naked table cards are just like hand cards, except they must be played face up and thus cannot be cheated. The only way to get rid of them is be able to play them away.
ENDING, SCORING & AFTER THE ROUND
ENDING & SCORING
The round ends when there are only 2 gibbons left. The points are then counted for all gibbons:
- Each doubt bonus (face down & sideways) is worth 5 points.
- Each remaining card slot is worth 10 points.
The points are added to each player's cumulative score. When one or more gibbons reach (at least) 200 points, the game ends.
- When playing with 6 players the rounds may be quite long sometimes. If time is limited, it might be better to end play for a fixed number of rounds (eg. each deals once) instead of a point limit.
DEALING & BOOKKEEPING TURNS
Traditionally, in the beginning the dealer's and bookkeeper's jobs are given to two different players randomly, and after each round:
- The bookkeeper chooses the next bookkeeper and swaps places with him/her. (The bookkeeping equipment need not move.)
- The dealer's job is given to the first gibbon that dropped out of the round.
The extensions here are tiny rule changes that are mutually compatible. They either make the game a bit more or less cruel.
LESS CLOTHES (crueler)
With 5 or 6 players, the rounds might get long, so it's perhaps best to have only 3 cards (not 4). This makes the game much crueler, however. Consider adding Safety Spell to balance it out.
OUTRAGEOUS LIARS (crueler)
This extensions draws a line between pleasing and outrageous cheating:
- The topmost face up card in the fire defines the line: Any cheat below it is outrageous, if same or above is pleasing.
- Any outrageous lie causes the fire to not only burn one card slot from the cheater but also his/her cloak: the cheater must get naked.
- Note. When doubting gibbons further back, the card is either an outrageous lie or then truthful enough - there are no pleasing lies in the past.
SAFETY SPELL (safer)
This extension gives an extra choice to a disabled gibbon facing a high flame:
- SAFETY SPELL: The gibbon can play one card face up from the deck as a safety try: If it's too low, it's simply discarded away - otherwise, it's accepted as played, and the turn is over.
The option is only available when the fire is high (J, Q, K, A) and the gibbon is disabled: 1. has only one card left, or 2. is fully naked. The option can be used before or after doubting, but only once per turn.
THE DOLL GIBBON (for 2 players)
The 2-player game is played like a 3-player-game but with a dummy: the Doll Gibbon. The variation requires using Safety Spell extension - at least for the dummy player if not for humans.
- The dummy is naked: Instead of 4 hand cards, it gets a row of 3 naked cards.
- The dummy is inflammable: When it loses a card, a new naked card is drawn in it splace, and the flow of turns is reversed (see below).
- The round ends after one of the humans is out, or the dummy has taken 6 burns.
- When the round ends, the dummy's naked cards are merged together and counted as 1 card (= 10 points). (The dummy can also win the game.)
LAYOUT & FLOW OF TURNS
- The 2 humans are positioned opposite to each other, while the dummy is located perpendicularly in the middle, and starts the round.
- The deck is located at either end of the dummy's naked cards (in the beginning on the dealer's side).
- It implies the direction of turns - the player on whose side it is, plays after (1st --> 2nd --> dummy --> 1st --> 2nd --> ...). When the flow is reversed, the deck is moved to the other end of the row.
DUMMY'S ACTION LIST
The dummy has the following priorities when choosing what to do:
- 1a. SAFETY DOUBT: If there is a face card on top (low or high), the dummy uses its safety doubt routine (see below).
- 1b. SAFETY SPELL: Otherwise, if the dummy has right to safety spell (is always naked, so if the flame is high), the dummy uses it.
- 2. LOWEST POSSIBLE: If safety measures did not help (or were not available), the dummy plays the lowest acceptable card.
- If there are many equally low cards, plays the one furthest away from the deck. The jokers are regarded as the highest.
- 3. RANDOM DOWN: Otherwise, the dummy plays a random card face down as a last resort.
To decide what the dummy does about doubtable cards, a random card is drawn face up on top of the fire:
- SAFETY FIRST: If the card is the same number or higher, the dummy plays it instead and its turn is over. (Just like safety spell.)
- BELIEVING: Otherwise the colour of the card is checked before it's discarded (or just turned face down on the pile). If the card is the same colour as the last face up card, the dummy believes it and continues with its action list instead (from step 2 or 3).
- DOUBTING: Otherwise the dummy doubts the card.
... coming soon ...
FOR IDEAS, HELP WITH DEVELOPMENT & PLAYING
Ville Viitala, Rosanna Viitala, Antti Mannila, Tomi Laine and Johan Rautio.