In case you missed it, the gift I made for Santicore was posted here. I was fulfilling this request:
A game that can be played by the characters in the game world. Could
be dice, cards, or board, as long as it reaches a conclusion quickly. If
Santicore is feeling generous, perhaps he could provide a gambling game
for taverns and flesh-pots, and an abstract board game played by sages
and courtiers. [Some variation on Yahtzee or Mornington Crescent will be totally acceptable]
This was challenging for me because creating a game is, well, hard. You've got chess and checkers and cards and craps, who am I to do better than those. But I thought hard on it for about a week, thinking about it as I fell asleep and as I woke up. I carried around a print out of a checker board for a while thinking I might make some sort of mini-domain strategy game out of it. I played around with a deck of cards. Here were some of my design goals:
As always, I wanted to use items likely to be in any household, cards, dominoes, six sided dice. I tried for several days to make the Millet Trader game work with only dominoes, essentially making dominoes the "cards" and "poker chips." At one point this meant requiring two sets of differently colored dominoes (which is really breaking this design goal in trying to follow it). In the end, it was too complicated and I could never get it to work right so I compromised and figured folks having something like poker chips wasn't too much of a stretch. This goal was contradicted by the next.
I wanted something fresh. I have a book called 180 Ways to Play Solitaire and have read it with interest. People have been playing games for centuries, but I wanted to find some new angle. Sets of funny dice are relatively new, so while Pit Fight, requires something an everyday household might not have, I knew Santicore readers would have them and tried to add the Telecanter simplicity touch to a dice game. Another possible place for something new is our game itself with its sophisticated layers of involvement for a parlour game. I tried to utilize that as a fresh game angle and it coincides with my next goal.
I wanted games that could be a simple "okay, let's roll some dice in the tavern" diversion (Pit Fight) but also am very aware that we are supposed to be playing D&D and not in fact playing cards, or dominoes, or poker, or we could, you know, just call it a poker night. So Braggart and Tryst are games that, while you could play them straight like Pictionary or something, they sacrifice a bit of good gameness for being games that you can roleplay. The intention behind them is to offer opportunities to roleplay while playing them in the game world.
As always, when making something for others I'm never sure what people want or like, so I wanted variety. That includes allowing for different social class of games. Well, and another goal is to give what the requester asked for and he mentioned possible varieties too.
I didn't get to playtest them all. I did play pit fight with a friend and I thought it was fun. I hope there aren't any big flaws lurking under the surface. If you try any of them out let me know how it goes. Also, the name "Millet Trader" is in honor of a comment Black Vulmea made that made me chuckle. A game intentionally named to be dull, hah!