A popular strategy-based card game originating in Melior that's enjoyed even beyond the rifts.
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OverviewGauntlet is a two player strategy-based card game enjoyed by folks in every known realm thanks to its popularization among traders who took it overseas and through the rifts. The game consists of 48 cards divided evenly between four personalities (suits). This deck is contained in a leather pouch along with a separate pouch of wooden tokens (or coins) and the two pouches are wrapped up neatly in the leather game mat known as the playingfield. Gauntlet is enjoyed by folks as young as 10 or as old as time itself; many adults enjoy playing longer games with higher prize stakes, often using coins rather than wooden tokens as damage indicators that can be won... or lost.
Historical OriginsThe game is believed to have originated from somewhere within the Melopian Commonwealth but nobody is sure exactly which country has the rightful claim to its conception.
Everyone proudly boasts that their homeland was the one who invented the game and each origin story is more bizarre than the next!
Now, I disagree. See, I reckon that gauntlet clearly comes from The Jolundrian Empire went and spread it around everywhere they went.because it was used generations ago in a military training exercise for new recruits - and then when it became a card game the armies of Though nobody truly knows the country of origin for gauntlet, the story that is most well-known about the game says that it was inspired by a form of rural punishment used by folks who didn't have access to a courthouse or fair trial. When small settlements were in disagreement due to conflicting evidence over a committed crime, they would pick notable members of the community (all from different professions and walks of life) to form two lines facing each other. The accused would stand before them and slowly walk through the middle (known as the gauntlet) and receive either a vote of support or a punishment of choice from each member of the community in the lineup. If the accused was still standing at the end of the gauntlet, their punishment was deemed as complete. If they took no punishments at all then they were completely pardoned of the crime. The card game evolved into having two teams (or communities) face off against each other, with folks in the lineup defending their own accused (now called a runner) and attacking the opposing team.
Issuing a ChallengeTo challenge someone to a game of gauntlet, you point your bundled up game of gauntlet towards a person's chest and proclaim your challenge to them, by name, before firmly throwing the bundle (your game of gauntlet) down upon the table. This is the believed origin of the phrase "throw down the gauntlet" to mean "to issue a challenge".
Najé Lanta, I do challenge you to a game of gauntlet - first to three wins, loser does all of the cleaning this week!To accept the challenge, the opponent must declare that they accept - and pick up the game of gauntlet and begin to unravel it ready to play. Important Etiquette:
- Challenges may be always be declined without any reason given and this decision should always be respected.
- Any challenge issued without a name or proper degree of respect is deeply frowned upon.
- Slapping an opponent across the face with a gauntlet playingfield is considered an offense.
PrizesBefore a game begins a prize may be agreed upon. Players should also decide if they want to play with wooden tokens as damage point indicators, or coins that can be won (...or lost).
PlayingfieldThe leather playingfield has a main central area consisting of one lineup of four cards for each player. At the start of the lineup is a space for one runner, which needs to move into its ready position before being able to proceed. Between these two lineups of cards facing each other is the gauntlet - this is the gap that a runner will need to travel through and survive to pass through the end of it. Successful cards are placed in the player's victories to their side of the lineup, and cards that get knocked out go into the losses pile.
CardsThere are 48 cards in a deck that are evenly devided between four personalities (suits):
Supportive, Defensive, Evasive, and Aggressive. Each card has an action and its type indicates the direction it can be used in.
These are: Direct, Lateral, and Ranged.
SupportiveSupportive cards (red hearts) have 3 HP. For their action they can heal 1 damage from other cards, or have a chance to heal 2 damage from themselves. They are great for keeping the runner from being knocked out as it tries to run the gauntlet.
Heal 1 damage from the card in front of you OR flip a coin to self heal 2 damage on success.
Heal 1 damage from BOTH cards either side of you OR flip a coin to self heal 2 damage on success.
Heal 1 damage from any card diagonally or in front of you OR flip a coin to self heal 2 damage on success.
DefensiveDefensive cards (black shields) have 4 HP and use their action to block damage, or have a chance to deal 1 damage. They make strong contenders for running the gauntlet thanks to their resilience.
Passive: Block all damage done to you from directly adjacent cards. Flip a coin to deal 1 damage to the card in front of you on success.
Passive: Protect each card directly to the side of you from all damage. Flip a coin to deal 1 damage to a card to the side of you on success.
Passive: Block all damage done to you by ranged actions. Flip a coin to deal 1 damage to any card diagonally or in front of you.
EvasiveEvasive cards (black circles) have 2 HP and use their action to move cards around the playingfield, or have a chance to deal 1 damage. They are fantastic for strategic manipulation of cards.
Passive: Dodge all damage done to you from directly adjacent cards. Flip a coin to deal 1 damage to the card in front of you on success.
Swap places with a directly adjacent card in your lineup OR flip a coin to deal 1 damage to a card to the side of you on success.
Make any card diagonally or in front of you move by one space OR flip coin to deal 1 damage to any card diagonally or in front of you.
AggressiveAggressive cards (red diamonds) have 3 HP and use their action to deal 1 damage, or 2 damage on a successful coin flip. They are excellent for knocking out runners before they can finish the gauntlet.
Deal 1 damage to the card directly in front of you OR flip a coin to deal 2 damage to the card in front of you on success.
Deal 1 damage to a card either side of you OR flip a coin to deal 2 damage to BOTH cards either side of you on success.
Deal 1 damage to any card diagonally or in front of you OR flip a coin to deal 2 damage to any card diagonally or in front of you.
Deck variantsThe card personalities are not representative of their societal roles - many people collect and trade cards, as other decks might have (for example) a butcher who plays a supportive role or an aggressive therapist. Some folks use decks that depict sports teams or their players, local heroes, political figures, or even the Ordained. Other popular designs include types of birds or different breeds of dogs.
- Each player may only have one runner at a time, regardless of if they are in the gauntlet or not.
- For each turn, the movement must be taken first, then action.
- In the event of a tie, the person with the greatest number of coins (or tokens) or the fewest losses wins.
- When a card is knocked out, the damage tokens that were on it are returned to player(s) who placed them.
- If card is knocked out from lineup, you have to wait your turn before moving the cards along as this counts as a movement.
- If there's more than one gap in the lineup, all of the cards shuffle along and remaining gaps are filled from the draw pile.
- At the end of the game, the victor keeps all healed damage tokens.
- You can heal an enemy card if you want to remove the coin/token from it.
- Ranged actions need a clear line of sight to their target.
- If there's a gap in the lineup it has to be filled first.
- You can choose to skip a movement and/or action.
- You keep the coins/tokens that your runner has when they complete the gauntlet.
- For movements and movement based actions, you can only swap cards that are next to each other.
- If a player runs out of coins to use as damage tokens, they should make use of the wooden counters instead.
Modify a 52-card deck:You can play gauntlet with your own standard 52-card deck using the following adjustments! First, remove the 2s and any Jokers from the deck. Next, swap out the suits:
- Hearts become Supportive.
- Spades become Defensive.
- Clubs become Evasive.
- Diamonds become Aggressive.
- All of the multiples of 3 and Queens are Ranged. (3, 6, 9, Q)
- Remaining even numbers and Kings are Direct. (4, 8, 10, K)
- Remaining odd numbers and Jacks are Lateral. (A, 5, 7, J)