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Quite_ Indubitably

VIEWS: 6 PAGES: 16

									           Quite,
         Indubitably

Which is a lithograph containing instructions
 for well-mannered amusement for as few as
    three and as many as six participants




                 Alpha Test
Dearest sir or madam,

This manual of instruction that you now hold is in part, an illumination, as well as a
proposed solution for the ghastly state of your nation’s inappropriately titled “popular”
media culture and its related mediums of recreation. To be certain, the vapid imaginings
spewing forth from you modern artistes and authors are quite below par, inasmuch as
they seem to lack in any sense of civility and higher learning. The amusements, if they
may be called such, that arise from such base mentality have been transforming the
minds of your adolescents, to say nothing of their elders, into a substance not unlike
treacle. I would, in fact, dare say that even treacle, its peculiar textures notwithstanding,
would have many qualities that may be highly praised when compared to such vulgarities
as reality contest programmes and extreme athletic endeavors.

To prevent your nation’s further decline into the depths of depravity and base savagery,
I would present to you this humble exercise, in a form of a wholesome divertissement.
This creation shall henceforth be referred to as “Quite, Indubitably.” Much like a
wordsmith of yore, it will be your responsibility to present the authentic personality
and mannerisms of an esteemed gentleman or lady of good standing who had gathered
together with their companions for an evening’s entertainment or a discussion of
personal import. You shall, in your duties, craft for your persona a history and desires,
that will more than likely reveal themselves throughout the exercise, brought to light by
the tales you will tell, and through your fictional exploits, skillful repartee, and cutting
insults, one may hope that you shall emerge victorious in your endeavors despite your
opposition.

It is, fundamentally, a distillation and infusion of several laudable elements from a
bygone era of higher culture, erudition, and literacy. Perhaps it may be best described as
a friendly, competitive activity between acquaintances, much like a playful combination
of games of chance, proper sport, and amateur theatrics. While the proficiency of self-
expression is lacking in this day and age, and many would halt before applying language
to which they are unfamiliar, such can be alleviated by reserving the event of such an
activity to the holidays, during which the spirits flow more freely, in more than one
sense of the meaning. Indeed, if it should come to pass that you might perhaps go too
far in the jesting insults and jibes that characterize such play, surely the festive season
will soften the inevitable consequences.

It is important to be glib of tongue and quite fluent in the use of her Majesty’s English,
for without such talent, one will not progress any great distance in this game of verbal
one-upmanship. Indeed, some skill in verbosity and the clever twisting of meaning will
be useful to any participant, lest they sound boorish or, dare I say, Australian. May you
keep your wits sharp and your vocabulary sharply honed.

Yours truly,

Lord Anonymous
                                             1
Introduction
“Quite, Indubitably” is a friendly and somewhat hybridized role-playing game of
imaginative dexterity and excessive competitive verbosity – that is to say, a game
where you will need to be able to out-talk your fellow players, while being able to bring
into play a variety of vocabulary that don’t enter usage much anymore. Think of it
as a strange mix between “The Extraordinary Adventures of Baron Munchausen,”
“Munchkin,” and “Apples to Apples.”
It is intended to play much in the style of the light-hearted dialogue found in stories
of Victorian humor, Oscar Wilde’s “The Importance of Being Earnest” as a prime
example, or perhaps the more modern “Jeeves and Wooster” from P.G. Wodehouse. The
players portray members of English high society, sitting around entertaining themselves
with tales of their misadventures, or perhaps trying to win the affection of a young lady
while convincing her aunt that her virtues would not be compromised by their dubious
actions. Hopefully, through much repartee and complex tales that may or may not be
true, one of the players will come out ahead and win the day.
For the sake of readers and myself, the rest of this text will NOT be done in a faux
Victorian literary style. It takes far too long to use the thesaurus to reference terms that
would be suitable for describing modern games, and would be a pain to read as well.


Preparations
There are only a few things that are needed to enjoy an evening of “Quite, Indubitably.”
Once everyone is acquainted with the rules, you will need to make duplicates of the
Manner and Diction Cards and cut them out for use, and make sure the players have
one of each. You will also need a standard deck of playing cards, well-shuffled with
the Jokers included, set face down in the middle of the playing surface. An obscene
quantity of four-sided dice will also be required, which should be placed perhaps in a
small bowl near the cards. At least six dice per person will be sufficient, though more
may be handy. Finally, make sure each player has a convenient writing utensil in their
possession.
It might be advantageous to make extra prints of the Manner and Diction card sheets,
and then laminate them before cutting them out, so that dry-erase pens may be used
during the game. Not everyone has easy access to laminations, but it would make the
cards last that much longer, not to mention making them much sturdier.


Understanding the Manner and Diction Cards
The cards that the players receive represent the capabilities and resources of their
personas. Unlike other role-playing games, such abilities do not focus on such mundane
details like unarmed combat, supernatural powers, or monetary wealth, but rather one’s
verbosity and mental prowess. You are, after all, trying to socially outmaneuver your
fellow players, not beat them to a pulp.
The Manner Card contains, along with an image of your gentleman or lady, the four

                                             2
narrative abilities that are your anecdotal strengths: Regale, Recall, Retort, and Refute.
     • Regale involves witty banter, fantastic lies, and daring exploits, all to impress
       the audience.
     • Recall allows the character to add additional details or clarify the events in a
       story, that may have been absent before.
     • Retort is a direct counter to someone’s speech, either as a witty aside, or
       perhaps as an attempt to derail the conversation.
     • Refute is the complete rejection of another character’s tale, claiming them as
       baseless and deceptive.
Each has its own use within the game, which shall be explained in the next section,
but needless to say, they are all equally important, but for their own reasons. Next to
these abilities are spaces, in which you must designate a particular trump suit for each
ability, either Hearts, Diamonds, Clubs, and Spades. You can write the name out fully,
abbreviate it, or draw the symbol itself, if you are so inclined. You cannot, however, have
any duplicate suits.
The oblong Diction Card contains a diverse lexicon, gleaned from a wide variety of
topics and subjects. This card represents, figuratively, the weapons you have in your
arsenal. As play progresses, you will need to pepper your tales with these vocabulary,
crossing them off your list in the process. Doing so provides you with a bonus to
the resolution of the narration, which is also described in detail later. There is no
mechanical penalty for using words or names incorrectly. In fact, intentionally using
words in a manner to which they were not originally intended, for the purpose of
creating a clever double-meaning or veiled insult, would be completely within the spirit
of the game. Of course, egregious errors with the Queen’s English may subject a player
to severe tongue-lashings from his companions afterwards.


Playing the Game
When everyone has found their seat, the Manner and Diction Cards have been
distributed, and the card deck and dice have been placed in the center of the table, play
can begin.
Play proceeds in rounds, with each player receiving at least one turn. A round begins
with one player as the Lead, who draws the top card of the deck, and sets it face up
beside it. The suit and number of the card is the Situation, which is loosely interpreted
through the Lead player’s initial narrative. The higher number the card has, the more
complex and entangled the Situation is, whereas the suit decides its general nature, as
per the following examples:
     ♥ Hearts, which can be tales of romance, camaraderie, loss, and other strong
       emotions.
     ♦ Diamonds, which are events of cunning, academic accomplishment, and
       wealth.
     ♠ Spades, which involve adventure, contests of skill, and the thrill of discover.
     ♣ Clubs, which tell of hardship, warfare, and the shadowy underbelly of society.

                                            3
The Lead player begins by taking his Manner Card,
and turning it until the narrative ability they feel
best fits their tale is at the top. He will then be able
to describe his story, based on the Situation and his
narrative. Players will be encouraged to use as many as
three vocabulary from their Diction Card in their tale,
crossing them off in the process. Keep things relatively
brief, however – if a player is speaking for longer than a
minute, they are probably taking too long.
As the Lead speaks, he will be picking dice from the
central pile, and placing them in front of himself, as
per the following guidelines:
     • If the ability is the same suit as the Situation, take three dice.
     • If the ability is only the same color as the Situation (e.g. red for either Hearts
       or Diamonds, black for either Clubs or Spades), take two dice.
     • If the ability matches neither suit nor color, you may take only one die.
     • Take one die for each word used from your Diction Card.
The Lead will then take his collected dice and roll, trying to beat the Situation score
with his total – if it doesn’t, the player is Ignored, and is out for the rest of the round.
His narrative was simply not up to snuff, and no one pays him any attention. Once the
Lead is finished, the turn moves to the player to his left, and the process repeats, until
everyone has had a chance to fill the open air with the sound of their voice.
As the players roll, they will be constantly comparing their totals to each other, to
determine the flow of the narrative. Any player beating the Situation score as well as
rolling higher than another player has captured control of the story – their blustering
and reparte drawing the attention of everyone. The end effect is not determined until
everyone not Ignored has compared all of their totals, however.
     • If you win the roll with Regale, you win the entire round and capture the
       Situation card.
     • If you win with Recall, you immediately draw a new Situation, and place it
       on top of the current one. The round continues, following the new narrative,
       exluding the Ignored players. The player who finally captures the Situation card
       may choose only one (of however many end up together).
     • If you win the roll with a Retort, you may discard the current Situation card,
       replacing it with another. The round continues, following the new narrative,
       exluding those players who are Ignored.
     • If you win with Refute, you pull the curtains on this charade of a discussion,
       discarding the current Situation card and ending the round.
If a round continues without any clear winner, the players remaining continue the
narrative, once again turning their Manner Card as necessary, adding words from their
Diction Card, and rolling dice. Once the round ends and the Situation card has either
been captured or discarded, the next round begins, with the Lead going to the player to
the left of the previous Lead.
                                             4
Rebuttals
The players do have the option, when everyone has had their turn, to offer Rebuttals.
Starting with the Lead player again, and moving to the left, the players can choose
to discard one of their captured Situation cards. This will allow the player, even one
who has been Ignored, to choose a certain number of their dice, and reroll them in the
hopes of getting a higher result. The number of dice that can be rerolled depends on a
comparison of the suits of the two cards.
     • If the discarded Situation card is the same suit as the current Situation, the
       player may reroll three dice.
     • If the discarded Situation card is only the same color as the current Situation,
       the player may reroll two dice.
     • If the discarded Situation card does not match either the suit or color of the
       current Situation, the player may reroll only one die.
Players are only allowed a single Rebuttal each during a round, so they may want to
use this option sparingly. Besides which, their collected Situation cards are essential to
winning the game, and you do not want to use them up too liberally.


Player Bonds
Sometimes, in these speeches and competing tales, one may want to aid a close friend,
giving them the benefit of their perspective, wisdom, or advocacy. Much like Algernon
Moncrieff and Ernest Worthing of “The Importance of Being Earnest,” who would
assist the other’s attempts to gain love and avoid responsibility, so too can players with
close bonds help the other.
Players may decide to assist their fellows in their narration, on the promise of future
benefit. If requested previously, a player on his or her turn may decide to offer their
voice in support of another player, using the same narrative ability. The dice earned
from this (no words from the Diction Card may be used) are then donated to the other
player’s roll. This donating player does not gain the option of Rebuttal, however.
The assisting player should write down on the Diction Card the name of whom he
helped, in the space marked “Bonds.” Afterwards, should this player remain true and
honest, he must provide assistance to his good friend if
asked.
…of course, things being as they are, promises are
broken all the time. If this bond is broken when the
other player requests aid, he may forgive such an insult,
or get revenge. If he does, in fact, choose the path of
vengeance, he may cross the name of his friend off at
any time during the rest of the game, causing them to
be Ignored from that point forward until the next round
begins, even if he hasn’t had his turn yet!



                                             5
Special Cards
The rules above essentially cover every important detail involved with the game, whereas
everything else is provided through the roleplaying of the players themselves. There are
some Situation cards, however, that present special rules. When they are drawn, follow
the instructions as follows:
     • Aces are a true boon for the player who draws them. Take this card and set it
       in front of you, and then draw a new Situation card. In the following rounds,
       this literally becomes an Ace up the player’s sleeve. During his Rebuttal, the
       player can play the Ace instead of a Situation card, and instead of rerolling
       dice, this provides bonus dice to his total roll! Afterwards, the Ace is
       discarded.
     • Jokers are quite the wild card, as should be expected. When a Joker is drawn,
       set it down and draw two more cards. During this round, players may choose
       which of these Situations they will narrate with. If either of these cards is an
       Ace, the Lead player takes it as normal, and there will only be one Situation
       card. However, if both cards are Aces, the Lead player takes both, and the
       round ends.
     • Jacks represent some urgent matter that requires the player’s attention. A
       new card is drawn for the Situation, and the Lead player is automatically
       Ignored.
     • Queens* are a source of irritation, with
       something in the background making it difficult
       for any player to make their views heard. This
       may be a nagging aunt, screaming babies, the
       roar of cheering crowds, or something equally as
       annoying. When the Queen is drawn, set it down
       and draw a new Situation card. This round,
       because the players will not be able to get a word
       in edgewise, they must depend entirely on their
       narrative ability for their dice allotment.
     • Kings* are a situation where exceptional
       eloquence is required, above all else. Maybe you
       are speaking to royalty, or perhaps to the courts. Whatever the case, when the
       King is drawn, set it down and draw a new Situation card. During this round,
       any dice the players receive must be entirely through words from your
       Diction Card. As usual, you may not gain more than three dice in this manner.
*Kings and Queens are mutually exclusive, so if ever one is drawn after the other, treat it as a
Jack.




                                                6
Winning the Game
The rounds may continue for as long as you have cards on the table, words on your
Diction Card, and the will to go on. We would suggest playing at least two rounds per
player, so that everyone has an opportunity for being the Lead. Once the game is over,
though, you will count up the values on the Situation cards you managed to capture
The player with the highest total wins the game, and is considered by all to be the most
eloquent of the day.

A Short Example of Play
Around the coffee table sit Lord Webster, Duke Harper, and Princess Collins, who are
in progress with their game of “Quite, Indubitably.” It is now Webster’s round as Lead
player. Words used from their Diction Cards will be presented in bold letters.
     Lord Webster – Regale ♥, Recall ♠, Retort ♣, Refute ♦
     Duke Roget – Regale ♠, Recall ♦, Retort ♣, Refute ♥
     Princess Collins – Regale ♦, Recall ♣, Retort ♥, Refute ♠
Webster, who draws a Eight of Diamonds for the Situation, turns his Manner Card to Regale:
    “It was only a few months ago, I believe, that the opportunity arose for the purchase
    of a steamship of prodigious size. With nought but a few shillings in my pocket, I
    was able to secure a loan with the Bank of East Umbria, by convincing them that
    I was in possession of a considerable quantity of South American gold, when in
    fact it was a few trinket dubloons! Ha!” collects five dice, and rolls a total of 12
Roget turns his Manner Card to Recall:
    “Ah, but I seem to remember that even then, you only received a pittance, and that
    your name was submitted to Scotland Yard for investigation of fraud. Was not the
    ship purchased then by a Parisian scholar right from under your nose?” also collects
    five dice, and rolls a 16
Collins turns her Manner Card to Regale as well:
      “In fact, that was my lover Marcel Proust, who purchased the ship for me, on the
      eve of our trip to Copenhagen. It was a wonderful voyage, and we had the privilege
      of dining with Rudyard Kipling himself!” collects six dice, but only rolls 13
The turn comes back to Webster, who decides he would like to try a Rebuttal. All he has,
however, are a Ten of Spades and a Five of Clubs. He uses the Five of Clubs to reroll one die,
but ends up with a revised total of only 14. Roget no need to hedge his bets, and Collins decides
she’ll wait to see what the next card brings. Roget therefore succeeds, and draws a new Situation
card to place on top, which turns out to be a Queen of Hearts! He draws again to find the Seven
of Hearts! Oh, what a time to not be able to use his Diction Card.
Webster starts the story again (since the round is continuing), and once more tries to Regale
everyone with his story of romance:
     “It all worked out for me, however, since that was how I met Cecilia, who is truly
     the love of my life. We will wed in the Spring, and it shall be attended by the
     Queen herself.” collects three dice, and rolls a measly 8

                                               7
Roget goes on the offensive with by Refuting Webster’s claims:
    “Truly that cannot be so. The Queen would never lower herself to attending such
    a ceremony, held by rabble like you and your family!” collects three dice, and rolls the
    maximum of 12!
Collins tries to capture the scene once more with Regale:
      “I must agree, for, indeed, she shall be attending my wedding in May. Marcel has
      already received her RSVP.” collects two dice, for a roll of only 5
At this point, Roget is feeling rather sure of himself, and feels assured that he will win the
Round (though the Situations would be discarded). Webster cannot make another Rebuttal, and
Roget declines the opportunity. Collins, however, has an Ace up her sleeve, and plays the Ace
of Hearts! She adds three dice to her roll, for a grand total of 13, and she wins the round and
chooses to collect the Eight of Diamonds for herself, discarding the Seven of Hearts.


Variant Rules
The Diction Cards are, sad to say, rather brief, and it would be quite difficult to make
individual Diction Cards as I had originally envisioned. However, a solution may
present itself if you happen to possess a certain, other game. By using the many cards
available in “Apples to Apples,” one can create a most amusing atmosphere at the table.
Using this variant, each player receives a hand of five red Apples cards each round.
As they use words to obtain additional dice, they will discard their cards into a central
pile, next to the Situation cards. Of course, this means the players should spend them
wisely, since some rounds may last several turns. At the beginning of the next round, the
players will refresh their hands, drawing up to the five card maximum.
This will, at least, make “Quite, Indubitably” more like the game I had originally
intended, until I can make a Beta version.




                                              8
               Regale _____
Refute _____




                              Recall _____
               Retort _____

               Regale _____
Refute _____




                              Recall _____




               Retort _____
               Regale _____
Refute _____




                              Recall _____
               Retort _____

               Regale _____
Refute _____




                              Recall _____




               Retort _____
•Diction Card•             •Diction Card•
       Coral Sea                Hudson Bay
 Chinese Imperial Palace     Great Wall of China
        Foxglove             Westminster Palace
  Cabernet Sauvignon             Sugarbeet
       Bloodstone           Muscat de Frontignan
  Robert Falcon Scott             Sapphire
Archbishop of Canterbury       PM Robert Peel
       Liverpool                 Worcester
       Aberdeen             Newcastle Upon Tyne
    Henry Cavendish            Daily Telegraph
       Jules Verne              Emily Brontë
  Measure for Measure          Ralph Emerson
       Steamship             Modest Mussorgsky
     Pocket of Rye                Zeppelin
     Morning Toast            Twenty Shillings
      Silver Dagger               Decanter
   Mount Annapurna            Soft-Boiled Egg
 Torre Civica Cathedral       Spanish Dubloons
     Chronophobia               Arabian Sea
     King George I           Augustusburg Castle
      Chelmsford                 Taro Root
     Joseph Conrad              Kleptomania
    Robert Browning              Turquoise
    Anton Chekhov              Stoke-on-Trent
      Cricket Bat             Charles Babbage

   •Bonds•                    •Bonds•
•Diction Card•          •Diction Card•
     Sahara Desert           Yangtze River
  Schönbrunn Palace      Maulbronn Monastery
   Piazza del Duomo           Acrophobia
    Turkish Cobnut            Pinot Blanc
      Campagne              King William IV
      Moonstone                Gloucester
    Queen Victoria            Birmingham
   Ernest Shackleton         Lewis Carroll
     Bournemouth            Emily Dickinson
      Manchester         The Merchant of Venice
       Swansea              Johannes Brahms
    Charles Darwin               Whip
  Fyodor Dostoevsky          Croquet Mallet
     Edward Lear         South American Gold
      Broadsword            Sea of Okhotsk
       Mansion                 Taj Mahal
  Golden Monkey Idol           Diamond
    Feathered Hat           House of Lords
    Caribbean Sea              Brighton
 Mount Kangchenjunga            Norwich
  Thebes Necropolis      Alexander Graham Bell
 Canterbury Cathedral        Thomas Hardy
      Wineberry             Frederic Chopin
        Peridot               Five Pounds
 PM Benjamin Disraeli     The Giant’s Causeway

   •Bonds•                 •Bonds•
     This product is as yet untested and
    experimental, therefore it should be
 considered quite volatile. The author bears
no responsibility in the case of outbreaks of
joviality, uncontrolled outbursts of laughter,
  or the occasional non sequitur. Use with
caution, unless, of course, you hail from one
               of the Colonies.

								
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