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How to Play
To play the game, the cards must first be arranged into three stacks: The Genre stack, the Archetype stack, and the Key stack. The cards are facing down.
First, each player must pick one card each from the Genre Stack. That card will determine what genre the player’s story has to be. Next, each player must take two cards each from the Archetype Stack. One card will be their main protagonist, and the other card will be their main antagonist. Next, the players must pick six cards each from the Key Stack.
If the player picks a Keyword, the player must integrate that as a major factor or important item in the story, which the player will create at the end of the game. If it is a Plotline, the plot of the player’s story must follow it. If a player picks more than one Plotline, the player must decide which Plotline will be used as a main plot of the story, and which will be used as subplots. If it is an instruction that tells the player to pick, the player must follow it and pick a card from either the Genre Stack (the player’s story now has more than one genre, i.e. Romantic Fantasy) or the Archetype Stack (the player is now required to add another character). If the player picks an instruction that tells him to swap, the player is given the opportunity to discard one of his cards (any of the three types: Genre, Archetype, or Key) and pick a new card of the same type.
The players will then have five minutes to create their stories, and then take turns telling their created stories.
For Example, if I have the following cards:
My story can go something like:
A Lady, very popular in society (Siren) approaches a Captain of a Ship (Haunted Hero). She wants to hire him and his crew to go on a quest to find this magical lake on an island somewhere in the Pacific. She had recently acquired a book containing a map to the said island from her deceased grandfather. The Captain refused at first because he had lost his wife on a Treasure hunt (his haunted past, thus Haunted Hero), but due to financial need, and for the sake of his young daughter, the Captain agrees. The Lady takes with her her bodyguard (Vigilante). The way is filled with disappointments, and the Lady and the Captain can't help but think someone or something is against them. The bodyguard seems indifferent. He doesn't believe in all that magic lake nonsense. After a while, the Captain realizes that this was no pleasure trip on the Lady's part. She has an incurable disease, and she was dying. On the way to the island, they find and take aboard their ship a good-humored wanderer (Lovable Rogue) and his cat. The cat seems to be a very lucky cat and helps them find the island. The wanderer turns out to be a deity, helping them find the lake. The bodyguard tuns out to be another deity, trying to prevent them from finding the lake. There is a battle, the Lady and her side wins, and she is cured of her sickness. But the lake will never again be accessed by man. The end.
It is not a requirement to appoint a winner when playing Talecraft. Since the aim of the game is to make stories, and the basis of a good story often depends on the judges's personal taste, Talecraft is often played without declaring winners. Should a winner be required, however, here is how it is done:
Each player will have a cup before him. After the player tells his story, all the other players will drop coins in the storyteller’s cup, depending on its impact on them. If a player thinks the storyteller’s story was not well made (like if there are a lot of loose ends, or if the events of the story are too scattered), the player does not drop any coin into the storyteller’s cup. If the player thinks the story is acceptable but has little impact on him, he drops a coin in the cup. If the story manages to amuse the player, he drops two coins. And if the story awes him, he drops three coins. At the end of the game, or rounds of game, the players tally the scores. The player with the most coins wins.
Another way to decide a winner for Talecraft is to appoint a non-player as a judge who would decide who the winner is to be.
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