Thursday, March 17, 2011

The origin of 5 Stone

I know its a bit silly but I named my company for a fictional game called 5 Stones not the real life version related to knucklebones . 5 stone was inspired by Go, Gorean Chess and by the game Shent played by the Elf Analog Sithi in Tad Williams Memory Sorrow and Thorn Trilogy .

Shent of course was probably inspired by Go in some strange circular fashion although TV Tropes Wiki suggests its closer to Calvinball or Fizbin.

My version of 5 Stone of course has no set rules as while I guess I am gamde designer of sorts I am not that good. In game I typically call for a skill check and put it under profession or in older versions, where appropriate Intelligence or wisdom check.

I imagine playing 5 Stone involves placing a series of stones on a board and making patterns and captures. The winner then has the highest score.

A game of 5 stone takes twelve turns, each of which can take up to 2 hours . Each of those turns represents a month and a sign of the zodiac and this influences how patterns are scored.

After twelve turns if the game is tied, eleven single placements plays, each based on one of the sun sign cusps are performed and the points are tallied. Ties are very rare

A 5 stone set has a 40 by 40 board and sets of stones , each with 73 stones and an extra unmarked starting stone called a fate stone.

Each stone is numbered, 1 for each day of the year and divided into 5 different elements marked with various signs.

Five stone sets are also for divination but thats a separate thing entire and is somewhat like a cross between runic divination and tarotmancy ...

Confusingly in my campaign there are two other games sometimes called 5 Stones, one is played with small stones and is quite similar to knucklebones , its sometimes called "Tossing the Elements" or "Little Fives" and another game played with 25 pieces (5 groups of 5 each) called "Mage Stones" or "5 by 5"

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