Predator-Prey or The Food Chain
A Game for Phylomon based on The Gr*at D*lm*ti or D*lb*rt Corporate Shuffle. For at least 3 players, best with 5 or more.
0.25) Each player contributes all their creature cards to form one deck in the middle. (Or: Build a deck from everyone's creature cards that follows a certain pattern based on Scale #, with an abundance of small scale creatures and fewer as the scale rises)
0.5) The oldest player is the top of the food chain and the dealer for the first round.
1) Deal out X (10?) cards to each player
1b) If this is the second round or later in this game, the person at the top of the food chain gives two cards to the person at the bottom of the food chain.
2) The person at the bottom of the food chain (to the dealer's left) starts the cycle by playing any number of creatures with the same Scale #. These are the prey.
3) The person to their left must provide at least as many (or, possibly, n-1, minimum 1, based on the fact that as size increases, population decreses) creature cards of a higher scale # than the current prey. These predators become the new prey.
3b) Advanced Game: To successfully predate, the predators must match their food preferences (herbivores, carnivores, etc) to the prey on the table. Omnivores are considered wild for these purposes. (Ex: Two plants and a rat require 2 herbivores and a carnivore, or three omnivores, or one herbivore, one carnivore, and one omnivore)
3c) Expert Game: To successfully predate, the predators must also have a Food Chain # at least 1 number higher than their prey.
3d) Perfectionist Game: To successfully predate, each predator must also match one climate and one terrain type with their prey
3X) Exceptions to rule 3:
Exception A: Decomposers: Any predator that has the "Decomposer" ability counts as a wild card for all parts of Rule 3. Decomposers with a Scale # less than 3 are removed from the prey pile after they are done predating.
Exception B: Virulent/Deadly Micro-organisms: Infectious microorganisms and parasites can be used to kill an entire type of compatible prey with one card once per round. (After that, immunities develop. Ain't life grand?) After killing their target prey, the microorganisms are also removed from the prey pile.
Exception C: Parasites: A compatible parasite may be used as a wild card predator on one creature. Infected creatures cannot be reinfected with a new parasite. (The strain will kill the host.) The infected creature stays as part of the prey pile for the next player, unless the parasite is also a decomposer (3XA) or deadly (3XB).
4) If the current player cannot make a legal play, or chooses not to do so, they must pass. Players that have passed cannot play any other cards this cycle.
5) Continue with (3) and (4) until there is only one player who has not passed. That player starts a new cycle by laying out a new set of starting prey.
6) The first player to run out of cards moves to the top of the food chain, and becomes the dealer for the next game. Each person that goes out afterward seats themselves to the right of the person they follow. To start a new round, shuffle the deck and return to (1).
-Predator-prey relationships and the idea that the top of the food chain is "we haven't found a predator for you, yet".
-Learning about the feeding preferences of creatures (and why omnivorousness has its advantages)
-Appreciation of the deadly effect of viruses and parasites.
-In Advanced and Expert Games, introduction of the concept that biodiversity gets complex fast even when focusing on just one aspect.
-As the players themselves move between rounds, hopefully some awareness of how one's position on the food chain can change rapidly develops.
Suggestions? Improvements? Telling me I'm way off base?
Last edited by Silver Adept on Mon Apr 19, 2010 7:24 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : (Perfectionist Game Rule 3d added))