Wednesday 31 March 2021

Broken Dice Games of Bastion

These games rely heavily on luck, bluffing, pushing luck, and other things that work well in a bar or alleyway. 

The most popular ones are often the least fair.

Of course Bastion has far too many of this type of game to document, so the following are merely a selection.

You need some six sided dice and maybe a scrap of paper or a good memory. 

The Boar Game AKA The Dog Game / Spurs / Trough / Sleighride

Has its origins around the ancient tradition of Boar Racing, now a rarity in Bastion. 

One player rolls five dice. These are the boars, and the boar with the highest score is leading the race. 

A round of betting occurs, where players can place up to one coin on a single boar. 

One player rerolls each die, adding the new score to the previous score. If the roll is a 6 their total score is unchanged.

If this takes the boar above 6 they have "Snouted Out" and are out of the race. 

If there is ever just one Boar in the race then they immediately win. Otherwise, a second round of betting occurs, then each die is rolled one more time and added to the boars running score, with 6s still leaving them unchanged.

The race ends after this third set of rolls. 

The highest remaining boar wins the race. 

If there is a draw, or all of the boars snouted out, then the pot rolls over to the next round. 

If there is a winning boar then the pot is split proportionally based on each player's stake on the winner. Remainders are rolled over into the pot.

This game has a habit of rolling the pot over and producing inconclusive results. When the game ends, any remaining pot is traditionally spent on shared food.

Egg AKA Big Stones / Messy Facey / Mister Facey / Scratch

Take three dice, designating one as the Egg. Commonly white. 

All players must keep their hands behind the edge of the table until all dice have hit the table. 

One player rolls all three dice. 

If the Egg is not the highest or joint highest die they add its value to their total score and pass play to their left. 

If the Egg is the highest, or joint highest, then the first player to grab the egg gets that many points and play continues with them. 

If all dice show the same result the first player to touch the thrower's face takes the dice and adds the value of all three to their total.

First player to reach 24 points wins. 

This game has a reputation for causing eye injuries and pub brawls. Some versions eschew the face-touching rule, but enthusiasts say that something is lost. 

Thirty Sticks AKA Country Snooker / Green Rider / Horsebox

Take three dice. Play is based around forfeits, often taking a drink.

The first player rolls three dice and freezes one of them in the centre of the table, then passes to any other player of their choice. If at least two dice match they can choose to pass without freezing a die.

When only two dice remain, players continue with the same process, again they can always choose to pass without freezing a die if the two dice match, and passes 

When only one die remains the active player must roll the single die and score a value equal or between the two values frozen in the centre of the table. If they fail they must pay the forfeit. If they succeed, both adjacent players pay the forfeit. 

If the player succeeds on this final roll when the two frozen dice show the same value then all other players must pay the forfeit, traditionally the active player hitting them all with a stick. 

Honest Judge AKA Guillotine / Hot Pickle / Pastor's Dice

Each player takes two dice and rolls them, revealing one and keeping the other secret.

The first player states their bid, between 2-12. Play moves to the left, with each player announcing a higher bid. 

Any player can shout GUILTY to doubt another player's bid. If they do this, that player reveals their dice.

If their total on both dice equals or beats their bid, the player calling GUILTY is eliminated from the game and scorned for lack of trust. 

If their total on both dice is lower than their bid they are eliminated from the game and scorned for lying. 

Instead of bidding, a player may reveal both of their dice. They do not bid any further in this round. 

If only one player remains in the round they choose one player to eliminate from the game.

There are so many more interesting, strategic lying dice games than this, but Bastiards apparently get a real kick out of loudly scorning each other while pretending to be completely honest, so this is one of the more popular.

Cut the Tail Off AKA Anchovies / Cannery / Lunch Line 

Players take turns being the Cutter. The other players are the Crowd.

The Cutter takes six dice and rolls them all. They choose one to keep aside, then roll the remaining five dice and repeat this sequence until they have have one die of each number 1-6.

There are three special actions they can perform once each per attempt. 

"Cut the Tail Off" to reduce a die by 1.

"Pull the Stomach Out" to reduce a die by 2.

"Put a Hat on It" to increase a die by 3. 

Immediately after the third die has been set aside, players in the Crowd must decide whether or not to place their support on the Cutter succeeding.

If the Cutter succeeds, all of the Crowd that failed to support them face a forfeit.

If the Cutter fails, they and all of the Crowd that  supported them face a forfeit.


  1. lol succeeding at Cut The Tail Off is definitely too easy, tried a couple of times and managed every time... maybe that's the point tho?

    1. oh fuck, if you're a cutter then you're gonna wanna play as suboptimally as possible for the first three turns to get the crowd betting against you so you can (hopefully) pull it off and split the pot with as few people as possible... GAME THEORY WOW

    2. Yeahhh... totally intended game design there...

    3. Shhhhh they'll never know if you don't tell!

  2. Creating playable games that are played inside the game and whose rules also serve to paint a setting... this is sick, you know it, right?

    1. Slowly working toward nesting all of my games within each other in a giant stack.