(Many good ideas from other people subsumed and now unattributed...) This is a casual format for MagicTheGathering. It's played with normal decks (or would be compatible with any other deckbuilding restriction such as Highlander or even EDH). The difference is that the phases of the turn don't happen in the normal order. Instead, you follow the following system, inspired by PuertoRico:
You choose one player to start off as Governor. Taking turns from the player who is governor, players pick one phase from the following list (without replacement - each can only be picked once before governorship is passed on): untap, upkeep, draw, main, combat, End-Of-Turn. This can be padded out to the number of players by adding extra main phases or prospector phases, see discussion below. Governorship is probably not significant to the "underlying" game of MtG, i.e. it has no effect other than who chooses from what selection of phases with how many doubloons on them.
Immediately after picking, there is a round of instants; some of the kind of things players normally do at end-of-turn will happen here (in response to untap), others in the EOT phase. Then each player, starting with the player who picked it, then has one phase of the appropriate variety; the picker gains some kind of privilege. After each player has picked, phases left over are augmented with doubloons as in PuertoRico before the others are put back, and then governorship passes round table a la PuertoRico.
And I'm glad to see that there's finally a situation in which there's synergy between MTG: Raging Kavu's abilities! Drop him into play in beginning of combat step, and attack! More effective than most hasty creatures, at least. --AC
Note that this means the turn structure may go, for example... A is governor. A chooses Main Phase. A's Main Phase B's Main Phase C's Main Phase B chooses End-of-Turn End-of-Turn for all players (creatures lose summoning sickness) C chooses Combat C's Combat A's Combat B's Combat Then doubloons get placed on all other roles - Draw, Upkeep, and Untap; the players return their roles; and governorship rotates on to B.
The doubloons which get place on unclaimed roles are taken by the player who eventually takes that role in a future governorship. The doubloons are versatile counters which you keep until you use. We played that they could be redeemed at instant speed for 1 life; 1 mana of any color; or half a card-draw. This seemed strong enough; and we thought 2 life might prolong the game too much, but no-one actually used counters for life and they didn't make any difference at the end of the game. (That might have been the result of the 54-power MTG: Megatog, though :-)). It did mean "being tapped out" didn't really happen as such but this didn't seem a bad thing. We decided +1/+1 counters or token creatures would be too strong.
The privileges given to the player who chooses each role...
Untap: difficult to see how to improve this; we decided only untapping some permanents seemed too harsh, and played this without any privileges, which seemed ok (but see below).
Upkeep: the picker can/must nominate a player who doesn't receive an upkeep. Thus, they can deny a good effect to a player, or avoid a bad effect (by nominating themselves).
Draw: picker gets to draw an extra card; this didn't seem too strong when we played.
Combat: the picker's creatures get vigilance. This worked well, encouraging attacking when otherwise people might tend to keep blockers back.
Main: all spells cost 1 (colorless) less to cast, 'coz this is very like Puerto Rico. Since sometimes people found they wanted to cast lots of stuff (if there hadn't been a main phase for a while), this seemed to work well, especially with doubloons as well.
End-of-turn: since combat damage only wears off at end-of-turn (so there are multiple combat phases - perhaps even picks of combat - without an intervening EOT), and other effects obviously, and also summoning sickness wears off, this was quite a tactical choice in itself. "You don't have to discard" seemed a reasonable privilege though.
One thing that did seem odd was for the main phase to involve both playing land and also sorceries/creatures etc. These could be separated, with some different privilege for land playing; but also, it seemed we had plenty of phases as it was (5 players with untap, upkeep, draw, main, combat, eot, prospector) - in particular, plenty of phases in which not much happened. Maybe that's OK :-), but ideas included...
combine untap with draw
rather than having prospector phases, add in extra phases like 'untap lands' or 'untap non-lands' (in addition to normal untap)
the prospector option of 'take a counter' could be used as a bonus/privilege on any other phase (lacking a privilege), e.g. untap
Yes I liked the Puerto-Rico style game with rotating Govenor and it had good balance too. I htink the dubloon counters were great, especially at the start for extra mana and becoming more useful for Life/2 to draw a card at the end. I would even suggest we could try a 1 to draw tho this might be too strong. Even though the game got silly it maintained its excitemnet to the end confirmed by the ppl who stayed just to see the end come! (gibber) Can I a similar thing in Triland? --Los
See MagicTheGathering/SillyGamesRecords for a summary of the inaugural game. People are invited to add their memories :) --AC Now seems like a reasonable time to remind people that AntonyAlongi? is not averse to
Wacky multiplayer formats
Writing about reader-submitted wacky multiplayer formats
Other strategy games (which may include Puerto Rico)
We never did submit Philosopher's Stone Magic, because we could never quite get the rules sorted out and enough people to play it; but this seems like it might be complete enough to send in and see if he likes it. --ChrisHowlett