Spookcheesi is an adaptation of the board game Parcheesi "The Royal Game of India." In addition to the basic rules, I used the traditional roots of Parcheesi as an inspiration while creating this board game. First and foremost are the instructions to Spookcheesi. Since this game is indeed ingrained in the culture of India, I chose not to include the basic instructions with the game. However, I will explain them here. Two to four players can play. Each player chooses a color and takes the four pawns of the appropriate color. The pawns are kept in the nest area until a "5" is rolled by that player. At that point, the player can move one pawn out of the nest and onto the track. The pawn follows the track around the game board until it reaches the appropriately colored path towards the center of the board (the home). The first player with all four pawns in the home wins. However, there are two types of interactions that can take place on the board. Firstly, say a red pawn lands on the same square as a green pawn. The green pawn is "eaten" by the red pawn and must be returned to the nest. Secondly if, for example, two orange pawns are on the same square, no other pawns can cross that square. The orange player has created a "blockade."
Now, for my spin on the game. When I played this game over and over again, I loved using the interactions between pawns, but I craved more strategy within these actions. Thus, I created a system in which the "eating" rules have been modified with "battling" rules. Each player now owns a unique team of four pawns. These pawns can aid an ally pawn to contest its being "eaten" but only if it is within seven spaces of the battle (ie. if the player rolled a seven, the pawn could reach the battle space). Since each pawn varies in strength and invincibility, the battle aspect draws in more strategy. For instance, say the zombie lands on the ghost's space. If the grim reaper is within seven spaces, he brings 3 points to the battle field. However, if the zombie has the wolf and vampire within seven spaces, they add 6 points to the battle field, overcoming the ghost who then returns to the nest. Each team interaction is written on a team card for that player. Additionally, each team has a leader pawn. The three other pawns have immunities to a certain other pawn. For example, the werewolf is immune to the black cat. So if the two were involved in a battle, the black cat's points could not be contributed. The leaders do not have immunities and their points always count. They are also the strongest member of the team. Otherwise, they act like a normal pawn. Thus, I have added strategy into deciding which team to pick and when to move each pawn. Below are pictures of the testers of the game.
Here are all the pawns and die, which I created. The process started with me brainstorming teams. I chose mythological creatures because they are ancient, like the game Parcheesi, and have similarities. I grouped the creatures together based off similarities and came up with immunities and points based off of their myths. For example, vampire tales are closely related to those of werewolves and zombies, making their allied point total very high. Also, zombies like to eat brains and mummies have their brains removed during mummification. Thus, the mummy is immune to the zombie's points. Then I sculpted each pawn out of sculpey. After baking them, I coated them with a spray epoxy, which made them very plasticlike and much less brittle. After that step, I painted pieces the appropriate colors and tada!
The teams are as follows:
Team Aqua, nested in the Infested Waters:
Other pawns: Swamp Thing, Ghost Pirate, Kitsune (a Japanese myth of a fox spirit who looks like a man until he touches water, upon which he turns into a fox)
Team Eternity, nested in the Afterlife:
Leader: The Grim Reaper
Other pawns: Demon, Ghost, Mummy
Team Magic, nested in the Enchanted Forest:
Other pawns: Elf, Black Cat (but is painted green), Fairy
Team Hungry, nested in Dracula's Castle:
Other pawns: Werewolf, Zombie, Chupacabra
Here is the game board. The older parcheesi boards that I saw online were made out of cloth. I followed suit and took a pillow case, charred the edges (to make it look old) and painted the board game. The track is the the yellow spaces (sometimes gold, red, orange, green and blue).
These are my journal pages. I wanted them to look like the sides of a box cover--cheesy and family fun oriented. I took the first picture from flickr and photoshopped it with downloaded brushes.
And that's my board game-Spookcheesi!