Chrononauts Home

The Game You Are About To Play
A Sample Game of Chrononauts

Instructions: This is the script for a little show you can put on as part of a Chrononauts/Looney Labs demo. You need 3 copies of this script, plus you'll also need to stack a Chrononauts deck as described below. You should begin with a brief explanation of the actual rules, but after that, you can just get 2 volunteers from the audience, give them each a printout of this script, sit them down in front of the carefully staged game, and have them start reading aloud.

Narrator: Hello and welcome to the sample game portion of today's Chrononauts demo. Now that you've heard a quick overview of the rules, we'll show you what it's like to actually play a game. Thanks to the modern miracle of Time Travel, I can zip forward in time 15 minutes and return with a detailed transcript of the game two people are about to sit down and play. I just need two volunteers from the audience, who will play the game over again, this time sharing with us their thoughts on what they are doing and why, simply by reading aloud these scripts, written by their future selves. My own future self will type up the notes from that game and put them onto these sheets, five minutes in the past, so that we'll be ready to start right now. And indeed, here they are. So... who wants to play?

Determine who will be Player 1 (Renee) and who will be Player 2 (Yitzchak) by having the two players try to guess the correct time. Then play through the game as described, with hands, Missions, and Id cards spread out on the table for all to see.

Narrator: Player 1 is dealt Renee, The Great Mysteries, and an initial hand consisting of Rex, 1868', and Rewind. Player 2 is dealt Yitzchak, Mona & the Dinosaur, and an initial hand consisting of Halt Attack, Perform a "Miracle" (Biblical Relics), and Prevent Assassination

------------------------------- Turn #1 ----------------------------------

Narrator: Renee draws Get There First.

Renee: OK, it's the first round and since nothing's happened yet, several of these cards aren't really playable. There's nothing in the discard pile to Rewind, no one has any artifacts to get First, and there are no paradoxes at all to repair. So I'm going back in time 65 million years, to retrieve a dinosaur named Rex. I don't particularly need a dinosaur right now, but hey, it's always cool to have a live dinosaur.

Narrator: Renee plays Rex. Yitzchak Draws Sports Almanac from the Future

Yitzchak: Hey Hey, she's got a Dinosaur! I need a dinosaur! But I don't have any way of stealing it just now. Let's see... I could start flipping linchpins, but I think I'll go ahead and get this Almanac out there. I can use it later on to Perform a Miracle.

Narrator: Yitzchak plays the Sports Almanac.

------------------------------- Turn #2 ----------------------------------

Narrator: Renee draws Prevent Assassination.

Renee: Again, nothing to Get or Rewind, and nothing wrong with 1868... but now I have the power to change history! Since my 1868' Patch will become playable if I prevent the death of Lincoln, I'm using my Prevent Assassination card to stop John Wilkes Booth. I'm flipping over 1865 on the TimeLine, and with it, 1868, creating the game's first Paradox. (1974 remains intact however, since it also depends on 1963, which hasn't changed.)

Narrator: Renee inverts 1865, paradoxing 1868. Yitzchak draws Lost Ark of the Covenant.

Yitzchak: OK, I've drawn the Lost Ark. Like the Almanac, I don't need it for my mission, but since it's a Biblical Relic, it will make my Perform a "Miracle" card really pay off. I'm playing it.

Narrator: Yitzchak plays the Lost Ark.

------------------------------- Turn #3 ----------------------------------

Narrator: Renee draws Avert Disaster.

Renee: Yitzchak's new artifact interests me, but I can't let him know that. I could steal it right now with this Get There First, but that would definitely reveal my interest in it too early. Besides, I've got a Paradox to repair. I'm playing the 1868' Patch, placing it on top of the Paradox I created last turn. Now instead of Andrew Johnson being impeached in 1868, it's Honest Abe who narrowly escapes removal from office. More importantly, I gets a bonus card!

Narrator: Renee patches 1868' and draws Fast Forward. Yitzchak draws Restore History.

Yitzchak: OK, let's see: Renee has already changed and patched the Lincoln timestream. Obviously it's important to her. But she can't win yet, since there's only one thing patched and a player needs two patches on the TimeLine in order to win. Speaking of which, I've got my own TimeLine to consider... what must I do to get home, anyway? I've got a Prevent Assassination, but at the moment, that won't help me set up the Linchpins I need. What would help is a Reverse Fate for 1936 and either a Reverse Fate or a Halt Attack for 1993. Since I do have a Halt Attack, I'm using it to peacefully resolve the Waco siege. This prevents the Oklahoma City Bombing, creating another Paradox where 1995 used to be and setting the stage for me to get home.

Narrator: Yitzchak inverts 1993, paradoxing 1995.

------------------------------- Turn #4 ----------------------------------

Narrator: Renee draws 1945C.

Renee: I got a Fast Forward at the end of my last turn, and those are always fun to play, so I'm playing it. This lets me draw two more cards, and then play two more cards.

Narrator: Renee plays Fast Forward and draws 1948' and Sell an Artifact (Dinosaur Bonus).

Renee: OK, now I have two unplayable patches, but one of them, the Berlin World's Fair of 1948, is one that I need! However, I lack the right type of Inverter required to change the Linchpins necessary to play either of these Patches. What I do have is an Avert Disaster, and since I also need to keep the Titanic from hitting the iceberg in order to get home, I'm going to go warn the Captain. This change ripples forward to 1929 (but doesn't change 1933).

Narrator: Renee Inverts 1912, paradoxing 1929.

Renee: I'm still Fast Forwarding, and next I'm going to sell off Rex. That Dinosaur bonus is just too tempting, and besides, I don't really need him. I'm putting Rex in the discard pile and drawing 2 cards.

Narrator: Renee plays Sell an Artifact, discarding Rex. She draws 1917' and Tomorrow's News Today. Yitzchak draws the Mild Recession.

Yitzchak: Now that dinosaur I want is in the trash, but I still don't have a way of getting at it. I should probably wipe out her Lincoln Impeachment with my Restore History, but I think the odds are still on my side for now. I'm going to go ahead and use this Ark.

Narrator: Yitzchak Performs a "Miracle" with the Lost Ark, discarding it and drawing 3 cards: Rewind, Reverse Fate, and It Never Existed.

Yitzchak: OK, now I can't keep any of these, but I get to play two of them. She doesn't have any artifacts right now, so It Never Existed is the obvious one to discard.

Narrator: Yitzchak discards It Never Existed.

Yitzchak: A quick glance through the discard pile reminds me that I want that T-Rex and shows that there's nothing else I really want (well, except that Fast Forward, which I'm not allow to take). So I'm Rewinding the dinosaur.

Narrator: Yitzchak plays Rewind, takes Rex from the discard pile, and places it on the table before him.

Yitzchak: Now I've got this Reverse Fate to play. Time to go for the big guy: assassinating Hitler.

Narrator: Yitzchak plays Reverse Fate, flipping 1936 and paradoxing 1939, 1942, 1945, and 1948.

------------------------------- Turn #5 ----------------------------------

Narrator: Renee draws Shakespeare's Last Play.

Renee: Although I tried not to show it, I was really quite happy to see Yitzchak assassinate Hitler, since a) my TimeLine requires this and b) I already have the Patch I need in my hand. But of course, I don't what Yitzchak to know this, so I'll scold him for making such a big temporal mess for me to clean up as a play the 1948' Patch.

Narrator: Renee patches 1948' and draws 1995'. Yitzchak draws Rongo-Rongo Tablets.

Yitzchak: Sheesh, she's getting way ahead of me on cards! What's she up to, seven? I wish I had a Discontinuity. I'm also getting nervous about the TimeLine... I think it's time I put the Lincoln timestream back the way it belongs.

Narrator: Yitzchak plays Restore History, flips 1865', discards 1868', and closes the 1868 Paradox.

------------------------------- Turn #6 ----------------------------------

Narrator: Renee draws Time Vortex.

Renee: Looking through my numerous options, I have to rule many of them out. I cannot play 1945C, even though there's a Paradox there; since 1945 is a Nexus, the 3 possible Patches that can fill it are all unstable, and the settings aren't right for me to play 1945C. I can't play 1917' either, since that year is intact, and I wouldn't want to if I could, since I needs 1917 the way it is in order to go home. Finally, I don't really want to play 1995', since I'm suspicious that Yitzchak needs it to get home himself. Furthermore, I don't want to play the Time Vortex since I'm way ahead on cards, and I don't need either of the Artifacts in my hand, nor either of those owned by Yitzchak. So I decide to play the Rewind, particularly after looking through the discard pile and finding there a card I need: The Lost Ark.

Narrator: Renee Rewinds the Lost Ark and places it before her. Yitzchak draws Discontinuity.

Yitzchak: All right! Just what I wanted! I'm playing it!

Narrator: Yitzchak plays Discontinuity and the players switch hands.

Yitzchak: Excellent! Look at this! She was sitting on one of the patches I need, and here's Shakespeare's Last Play! And now I've got a hand of 7 cards! Yes!

------------------------------- Turn #7 ----------------------------------

Narrator: Renee draws 1939'.

Renee: I'm really bummed about losing my big hand, but I'm still pleased to receive the Rongo-Rongo Tablets, since I need them. But I'm shrugging casually as I set them out in front of me.

Narrator: Renee plays Rongo-Rongo Tablets. Yitzchak draws Memo from your Future Self

Yitzchak: Now I have to decide between going after my mission or trying to get home. Should I play the Play, or the 1995' patch? I decide to play the Patch, since it also gives me another card, and I can act like that's the reason I'm playing it.

Narrator: Yitzchak patches 1995' and draws 1969'.

------------------------------- Turn #8 ----------------------------------

Narrator: Renee draws Restore History.

Renee: Aha, I knew it! He needed that 1995' Patch. I'd better get rid of it. I'm playing Restore History, and flipping 1993' back to the True History side, when suddenly...

Yitzchak: Oh no! She's wiping out 1995'! I can let that happen. I'm using that Memo I just got...

Narrator: Yitzchak plays Memo from your Future Self, canceling Renee's Restore History and leaving 1993' and 1995' unchanged.

Renee: Dang.

Narrator: Yitzchak draws Videotape of Day One.

Yitzchak: Whew, that was close. And now of course she knows I care about that year. Plus I'm down a card. Time to focus on something else... like my mission. I'm playing the Play... then all I'll need is a Mona Lisa.

Narrator: Yitzchak plays Shakespeare's Last Play.

------------------------------- Turn #9 ----------------------------------

Narrator: Renee draws Steggy.

Renee: Ooh, Steggy! But I remember how Yitzchak went after that other dinosaur, and I know there's a get-all-the-dinos mission, so I'm just going to hoard him. Instead, I'm playing this 1939' Patch, in order to start building up my hand again.

Narrator: Renee patches 1939' and draws Rewind. Yitzchak draws Avert Disaster.

Yitzchak: OK, things are looking good. I've got one of the years I need patched, another one is ready to be patched, and my True History event is stable and unchanged; meanwhile, I have 2 of the 3 artifacts I need for my mission down on the table, and a Get There First in my hand, just in case she plays a Mona Lisa before me; and I have a lot of cards in my hand. Since there's nothing I can do just now to advance either my mission or my version of reality, I'm going to concentrate on getting a hand of ten cards. I've got 3 patches in my hand, but none of them are playable. Since the only Inverter I have is an Avert Disaster, I'm playing it now to set up 1917 for my patch, by stopping the sinking of the Lusitania in 1915.

Narrator: Yitzchak inverts 1915 and paradoxes 1917 as well as 1933.

------------------------------- Turn #10 ----------------------------------

Narrator: Renee draws Reverse Fate.

Renee: Since Yitzchak used a Memo to preserve 1995', he obviously cares a lot about it. I'm using my Reverse Fate to try again. Hopefully he doesn't have the other Memo.

Narrator: Renee Reverses Fate in 1993, discarding 1995' and restoring 1995. Yitzchak draws 1929'

Yitzchak: Bummer! Well, at least now I can play the Patch I was setting up last time.

Narrator: Yitzchak patches 1917' and draws Your Parents Never Met

------------------------------- Turn #11 ----------------------------------

Narrator: Renee draws the excellent Mona Lisa forgery.

Renee: With nothing obviously better to do and a playable Patch in my hand, I'm patching 1933'.

Narrator: Renee patches 1933' and draws 1942'. Yitzchak draws Reverse Fate.

Yitzchak: OK, I'm up to 8 cards, I just need to patch two more paradoxes and I can get one right now.

Narrator: Yitzchak patches 1929' and draws Quick Trip into the Future.

------------------------------- Turn #12 ----------------------------------

Narrator: Renee draws World War 3.

Renee: I nearly lost my poker face when I saw Yitzchak patch 1929, and now I'm trying to act casual, just in case he's suspicious and just drew the other Memo. With 1948' still on the TimeLine and 1929' now in place, all I need is for 1917 to be set to True History. Unfortunately, it's not; Yitzchak flipped it during Turn #9. But all I need to do is flip 1915 back again, and I can go home. Unfortunately again, the only Inverter I have is a Prevent Assassination, which won't do the job. But I do have a Rewind, with which I can retrieve any card I want from the discard pile. I pull out a Restore History and restores 1915, 1917, and 1933, claiming I'm doing so just to set him back.

Narrator: Renee Rewinds a Restore History, restores 1915, 1917, and 1933.

Renee: Then, just as he's grinning about the fact that he didn't care at all about those years, I'm announcing that I'm going home, instantly wiping his smug look right off his face.

Narrator: Renee now reveals her id card and claims her victory.

Yitzchak: Ack! I was just about to win! I even have a Quick Trip in my hand! Dang. Let's play again!

Stacking the Deck

For the sample game to work, the cards in the deck must appear in the following order (with Rex on top):

* don't give away the impending end of the game by revealing that the stacked cards are almost exhausted

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