Translation by Mike Schloth and Alan R. Moon
Give each player the clay of one color, a pad of paper, a pencil, and three Curse Tokens .
Place all the pawns on the Elf Space with the letters E & K. Place ail the Cones on the space marked 'Start' on the Scoring Track (the track that runs around three sides of the board). Place all the Tokens on space '12' of the Jewel Scale.
If there are tour players, each player must make two objects from his clay. If there are three players, each player must make three objects. All objects are placed in the middle of the board. Players must then write down what their objects are and place these pieces of paper under the board. Each object must be a single word.
Each player rolls the die and the player with the highest roll goes first. Play then proceeds clockwise around the table, each player taking one turn at a time in order.
During his turn, a player may move in one of two possible ways.
There are five different types of spaces on the board.
Whenever you guess an object correctly, you stick an arrow in the object. It you guessed wrong, no action is taken. You may never guess your own objects!
If you are the first player to guess an object, you score 5 points. If you are the second player to guess an object, you score 3 points.
The opponent who made the guessed object also scores points. Count all the arrows in all the objects on the board (including the one just placed). If there are 1-2 arrows, the opponent scores -2 points. If there are 3-4 arrows, he scores -1 point. If there are 5-6 arrows, he scores 1 point. If there are 7-9 arrows, he scores 2 points. If there are 10 arrows, he scores 1 point. It there are 11-12 arrows, he scores -1 point. If there are 13 arrows, he scores -2 points.
Scores are recorded by moving the player's Cones forward or back on the Scoring Track.
Curse tokens allow you to do one of two things. 1) You may spend one to ask a player for a letter (as if you were on an Elf Space. 2) You may guess an object.
You may use Curse Tokens at any time during the game, except when another plaster declares he has finished his first round of questions on a ? space and is about to guess an object during the second round. You may use more than one Curse Token at a time.
The game can end in one of two ways.
The pieces of paper under the board are revealed. If any player has given a false letter or a wrong answer, don't play with him again.
The prinicpal problem the basic game has is that it encourages you to make absolutely unrecognizable sculptures. If anyone screws up and actually makes a recognizable sculpture then you'll get to scoot ahead while they're stumped by your lump. The 13th arrow rule is meant to penalize sculptures that are too difficult or too easy but I have yet to play a game where the 13th arrow became lodged in a sculpture before someone reached Ziel. Even if everyone is equally clueless about the identity of the offered sculptures, eventually the ghost and dragon spaces will put someone on the Ziel space and, mercifully, end the game.
The Blob Rules patch up this hole in the game.
Sculptures must have some semi-recognizable and distinguishing featurs. Spheres, cubes, or other featureless lumps of clay that could be one of hundreds of objects that have these generic shapes are not allowed.
Start a spare blob of clay on the Ziel space. Whoever starts the game is responsible for moving the blob one space backwards along the outside track at the start of each of their turns. When the blob meets or passes the first player token, move each player's token back two spaces for each of their sculptures that has no arrows in it.
This rule more or less implements the game mechanics that the 13th arrow rule attempted. Folks that build wildly obscure sculptures will be pushed back and have a harder time finishing. Folks that build pushover sculpture that actually look like what they're supposed to be have a built in punishment: the other players scoot ahead.
Alan also mentioned that they allow two NO responses before making a guess on a question mark space. This would speed up the game quite a bit but we've never tried it. We enjoy some amount of floundering around trying to guess what the sculptures are.
Beware of sculptures with a built-in cultural bias. During one game my friend, Danfuzz, built a pretty good sculpture of a calzone and it completely stumped me. We didn't have calzone in Texas when I was growing up and I still don't eat them out here. I did guess fried pie, taco, and even pot sticker but calzone never occurred to me.
If you stump the whole crowd then the creeping blob will come for you and rob you of certain victory!
Most players stick to concrete nouns but sculptures that represent more abstract concepts can be fun. I've had reasonable success with a scream and greed, among others. Usually one player will look at them and get it immediately. The other two players spend the rest of the game trying to figure it out and getting stuck on the literal representation. Great fun!
Alan likes to stick to a theme for both of his sculptures. This can be fun and if a player gets one then they have a built-in clue about the other. This is a good way to make sure that you don't get stuck with an empty sculpture without making your sculptures pushovers.
The Game Cabinet - firstname.lastname@example.org - Ken Tidwell