A strategy dice game for 2-4 players, by Simon Edward Jepps.
Hitherto my good peacekeepers and sacred guardians of all cronospace, prepare ye selves for righteous battle!
The game of Time Lords is not purely a game, but an adventure in time and space. To undertake this quest, you will need a heart of gold, an undying determined spirit and a very special fondness for all that is wondrous and infinite.
You will also need the following equipment.
- Four 20 sided dice.
- A multi coloured pen.
- A pad of paper.
- A calculator.
- A table clock.
Different coloured individual pens may be used instead, these are to distinguish each player’s markings on the board.
The board can easily be drawn onto a piece of paper. Thus, these here listed items are all your necessary equipment.
You will require one RED, one GREEN, one BLACK and one WHITE twenty sided die.
To begin, the game is at its core, very similar to Yahtzee, whereby each player is granted three rolls of the dice, thence holding some and re-rolling others, in order to achieve the best hand in any turn.
Players take turns accumulating points according to their hands, whilst at the same time investing in Space Time and commanding its continuum.
The eventual objective being to a) gain the highest score and b) acquire the command to end play.
There are thence many more features of the game, so to get started I will first list the different core bonus hands.
A straight sequential run = Double hand score.
Doubles (2 identical dice) = 12 extra points.
Triples (3 identical dice) = 18 extra points.
Quadruples (4 identical dice) = 24 extra points.
As the basics, this is how the game is played.
However, there is much more under the cloak…
Players may also invest in Space Time, in fact they will, for this is the beating heart of the game and the fireworks of its strategical appeal.
This is partaken during a regular turn of hand. Here a player may hold dice which allow him to claim Space Time, even though their active face value is actually quite low.
It is a strategy of investment ~ re-roll for a higher hand, or claim Space Time for an eventual grande bonus.
The Space Time playing board is a 24hr clockface, segmented into 12 segments with the inner circle hours reversed.
Each segment of the board awards a percentage bonus of a player’s final score, determined by its chronological location on the clockface.
For example, the segment “1” awards a 1% bonus, whilst the segment “24” awards a 24% bonus.
Players may “claim” a segment of Space Time, by signing their initials in the box, thus hoping to increase their expected grande score bonus at the end of the game.
To make such a claim a player must roll the correct combination of dice.
The outer ring of segments is controlled by the Black & White dice, whilst the inner ring of segments is controlled by the Red & Green dice.
A player must roll a double with the appropriate controlling pair in order to claim the respective segment.
For example, to claim segment “1” both the Black & White dice must be rolled as “1’s” ~ a double one.
Or for example, to claim segment “18” both the Red & Green die must be rolled as “7’s” (since it is the hour of seven) ~ a double seven.
The inner circle is worth much more and increases in value as it progresses anticlockwise towards One O’Clock.
Yet a player may not claim an inner circle segment until he has first claimed its outer circle counterpart.
Strategically then, the lowest value segments actually seal a greater eventual bonus.
Furthermore, since you need to roll a double in order to claim Space Time, you will thence be awarded a bonus 12 points for the hand, regardless of the segment claimed.
Space Time percentages are accumulated throughout the game and only totalled at the end of play.
As mentioned, the inner circle hours are displayed in reverse. So for example, beneath “12” we have “13” and beneath “1” we have “24”.
This is done not merely because Time Lords can travel anywhere in the universe at any moment, but because strategically it makes claiming the lower value segments much more appealing!
For example, whilst segment “1” only offers a 1% bonus on your final score, by claiming this segment you have granted yourself the right to later claim segment “24” and thus, a 24% bonus.
Whereas, whilst claiming segment “6” grants a greater bonus, its counterpart segment “19” only grants a 19% bonus.
Granted, all segment pairs when added together equal 25, but in the course of a game there is no guarantee you will have an opportunity to claim them all. Thus if a “double one” is rolled by chance, it may be wise to grab it.
Indeed beware, whilst you are waisting your time trying to roll double highs, your opponent is grabbing up all these lower value segments and gaining early access to the inner circle.
Now, as will be explained later, there are many extra abilities, tactics and twists to come which only add to the fun!
So in summary, whilst claiming Space Time will reduce your active hand score, since segment die values only reach “12”, in the long run the eventual score horizon is augmented more and more with each claim.
You have to decide whether you feel an optional claim to be a worthwhile investment, or if you should re-roll those low value dice for a higher scoring active hand.
Keep in mind that most Space Time segments are relatively low value “rolls” in comparison to the higher scoring hands available from these 20 sided dice.
What you are “claiming” is thence a strategic calculation, expected to positively improve your overall final grande score.
Yes you can create Worm Holes!
These are created when a player manages to join two opposite sides of the clockface, through the central point, with four consecutive segments, straight from point A to point B.
For example, both segments “1” and both segments “7”, if claimed by the same player, would form a direct Worm Hole.
They must however be “opposites”. For example, “1” & “7” are opposites, but “1” and “9” are not.
Each segment of a Worm Hole scores double its standard percentage value.
Should you roll a quadruplet of four identical numbers, then providing they match an hour station and providing both the hour’s segments are vacant… you may claim BOTH the outer and inner segments of that hour.
However, as per the following rules on placing items, you may only place ONE item into ONE of the segments in the turn.
Items & Abilities
Each player has one of each the following in his/her inventory:
These items are employable during the game whereby they may be “placed” into certain Space Time segments as “influencers” of the segment’s value.
For example, an item placed into a segment of the player’s will increase its value.
Whereas, an item placed into a segment of the opponent’s will decrease its value.
The influencing powers of these items are as follows, whereby “%” represents the increase or decrease value of the respective segment.
- Crystal = 2%
- Amulet = 4%
- Spectre = 6%
- Tardis = 8%
For example, if a Crystal is placed into segment “1”, the value of that space is increased by 2% unto “3%”.
Or for example, if a Spectre is placed into segment “24”, the value of that space is increased by 6% unto “30%”.
If placed into an opponent’s segment, the relative Space Time value is instead decreased respectively.
To place an item, mark the segment with either “C”, “A”, “S” or “T”, respectively.
As I will now explain, items give you the abilities of not only increased investment, but of defensive tactics and offensive strategies.
Deployment & Employment
* You must already own a segment of Space Time in order to begin placing items.
* You may only place an item when actually claiming Space Time.
* You may only place one item in a turn.
Thus, you MAY ONLY place an item in an opponent’s segment whence claiming a segment for yourself. In this instance you would forfeit the right to also place an item in your own segment.
* You may only place one item in a segment.
Thus, you MAY NOT place an item in an opponent’s segment if the opponent has already placed an item there himself. In this instance the segment is GUARDED.
* You may only employ one of each item per game.
* Once an item has been placed it cannot be moved elsewhere or placed again.
Advantageous is a word, but the strategic abilities found within your inventory are incredibly cunning.
For example, I have already claimed segment “1” but have not given it an item and my opponent is desperately looking to weaken my score.
So, I now claim segment “18” and at the same time place my Sceptre in segment “1”, increasing its value to “7%” and defending it from devaluation.
Here my Sceptre GUARDS the segment from attack and thus safeguards it from becoming a negative value.
A couple of turns later, after letting my opponent play for high rolls, I finally claim segment “24”, creating a Worm Hole through “1,24,18,7” AND place my Tardis right inside “24”, increasing its value to “32%”!
The double percentage bonus generated by the Worm Hole boosts segment “24” even further up to “64%”! The other three segments similarly receive a double value… and so I mean, you do the math.
I still have my Amulet & Crystal, so perhaps I might use them to damage my opponent. Indeed these three items could seriously inflict a blow, particularly if employed on both the opponent’s high & low segments.
Beware of minus values!
Whence attacking the opponent’s domain, you may find you have been able to reduce the percentage value of his space into negative digits.
For example, if your opponent owns segment “1” and you attack it by placing your Amulet there, this item will REDUCE the segment’s value by “4%”.
Thus in actual fact, this segment will now be worth “-3%” ~ a final penalty rather than a bonus! Whilst this is good news for you, it is important to beware of this strategy being employed against your own self.
So watch out!
It is possible to Pause Time and prevent your opponents taking a turn. When you Pause Time you are granting yourself repeated turns until time restarts again.
You do this by rolling a Black & Red 13.
Once the Black & Red 13 have been deployed and incorporated into the hand’s score, they are then placed aside whilst you take another and another turn, with only two dice, until you roll a Green & White 13.
Once the Green & White 13 have been deployed and incorporated into the hand’s score, you must now finalise your turn and then pass the dice along, allowing play to continue.
The Green & White 13 MUST BOTH BE HELD and acknowledged.
Real Time is another bonus event and my favourite of all events in this game.
At any time when a player rolls his/her dice, if any of those dice show the correct present real time position of their Clock’s minute hand, then those dice score double their standard value.
The “minute hand” position is measured by increments of 5 minutes. For example, the first 5 minutes after “12” count as segment “1”. The last 5 minutes before “12” thence count as segment “12”.
A digital clock may be used instead if desired.
You may have already noticed that the initial marking letters of each item spell the word “CAST”.
This is no coincidence and is a vital function of the game.
Any player who successfully manages to deploy all four items may then CAST a spell to stop time and bring the game to an end.
This is different to “pausing” time. When you CAST you actually bring the whole game to its finish.
In order to cast the Space Time spell, the advanced player must roll a hand consisting of “3-1-19-20”.
These four numbers represent the relative initials of each item as they are found in the alphabet.
It is only through the casting of this spell, or else whence all Space Time has been claimed, doth the game finally come to an end.
Once the game has been brought to an end, either through CAST or because all Space Time has been claimed, the following formula is calculated.
First, count up a player’s Space Time interest and total this percentage value.
Second, find that percentage value of the player’s final hand score.
Third, add that percentage value to the player’s final hand score.
This will be the player’s final Grande Score.
Do this for all players, rounding up any decimal points, to determine the actual winner of the game.
Be aware, if the game is lengthy, players will most likely rack up percentages above 100%. This is perfectly normal and they should be calculated in exactly the same manner.
So scoop up those points!
I have always loved dice.
The element of chance is a most wonderful thing whence incorporated into strategic gameplay.
I have always loved adventure.
The feeling of adventure is also a most fascinating thing and it has always been in my heart to employ this somehow into a good game.
I have always loved Time Lords.
Not just Time Lords mind you, but all they bring unto adventure. Their quirky personalities, their sense of determination, their clothes, gadgets and wizardry.
Of a Crystal, an Amulet, a Sceptre and a Tardis… where we’re going… a great man once said… we don’t need roads…
Time Lords © Simon Jepps