Creator: Jon Dawes
Exhibition: Haven’t Got a Clue Game Remix
Published: July 2021
Format: Tabletop Simulator workshop, Rules pdf
Content Advisories: Refers to drug use and sex
Description of the Work
Replacement rules for the Clue board game.
You are at a party at Mr. Boddy’s old mansion, hoping to hook up with someone sexy who shares your aesthetic and kink. The sooner you can do this, the better.
My plan for this game jam, like the last one, was just to make a set of rules that would fit on a double-sided rules sheet that could be slipped into the original game (in this case, Clue) and used with all the original components instead of the existing rules. My second plan was to make it romance-themed, instead of murder-themed.
The first challenge was to come up with a reason for all the components (Suspects, Weapons, and Rooms) to be involved in the romance plot. The Suspects and Rooms were easy: they were the people who were engaged in the romance and the places where it would take place. But what about the weapons? I came up with two ideas.
Idea one was to make a Victorian marriage romance, where the Weapons represented the industries that the characters might marry into. I ended up going with my second idea, which was a bit earthier: the Weapons were the kinks of people who were hoping to get it on. Then I thought of an acronym that involved college and drugs, and I suddenly had my theme.
When I was at UBC in the late eighties, there were groups of students who would pool their money to rent whole large houses in Kitsilano. Some of these houses became party houses and the parties usually involved drugs, alcohol, and overwrought hormones. I went to a few of these parties and wasn’t particularly successful at hooking up, but certainly plenty of other people were.
At that point, I decided to change what the Room cards meant. We spent a lot of time talking about art at these parties, so I figured that the Room cards could stand for each person’s aesthetic sense. I decided that hooking up with someone who matched your aesthetic or your kink would get you points, which would be totaled at the end of the game to determine the winner. I also decided that you could show one of your hidden cards to a player you were alone with to share a tab of ecstasy, which would give you a way to manipulate the hookup roll. If you both rolled the same number, your conversation went well and you would leave the party with them. Whether the choice was actually a good one wouldn’t be revealed until scoring was done at the end of the game.
It didn’t seem fair to have players who didn’t manage to meet someone compatible to get zero points, so I gave some points for other things, too. I also decided that Mr. Boddy, who dies in the original game, was the house’s owner and would come home once there were only two or fewer unattached people left. This let me get some use out of the Confidential Envelope. The remaining players would have the opportunity to go home with each other or with Mr. Boddy, or just leave the party. In any case, that would be the end of the game and time to see who scored highest.
I want to thank Chris and Kay Slater, Lisa Smedman, Louise Chow, and Jesse Joudrey for playtesting my initial version on Steam’s Tabletop Simulator. A huge shout-out goes to Pauline White for turning my text file of rules into a cool looking PDF and for putting up with all the changes I kept requesting.
- Link to Campus Life Undergrads on Ecstacy workshop on Tabletop Simulator