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[Comments] (15) Godzillopoly: Here's a first stab at my ideal Monopoly game, based on an idea of Kevan's. This version makes a couple small changes, all in the spirit of the existing rules, and evens the game out a little by making the endgame less depressing and hopeless for the players who aren't winning. However it does not inject any additional element of skill into the game, so it's not perfect.

Basically you add Godzilla(tm), or my non-licensed, freely-usable character Freezilla... uh-oh, let's call him Lizardbeast and get rid of the spikes on his back. There, we're perfectly safe! Anyway, as I was saying. you add the loveable and completely original character Lizardbeast as a player in your Monopoly game (tiny metal Lizardbeast tokens sold separately). When the first building is placed he is placed across the board diametrically opposite that building. For instance, if you build a house on New York he is placed on Boardwalk. Subsequently he rolls the dice (actually, the banker rolls for him) and moves as any other player, after the last player has moved. The only differences between him and a human player are:

If Lizardbeast lands on a square that makes you do one of these things, he stays on that square and does not do them. When he passes Go, he does not collect $200.

If Lizardbeast rolls doubles he gets to move again, just like a human. If he rolls three doubles in a row, he does not move the third time, but neither does he go to jail. How is that supposed to work anyway? "Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, the facts are clear. The puppy dog you see before you rolled two threes. Then he rolled two ones. Then, in the presence of numerous witnesses, he rolled two sixes. The state rests." Anyway.

If Lizardbeast should ever land on your property, woe betide you! He will crush one building on your property. If your property has no buildings on it, nothing will happen. You may collect rent as usual while Lizardbeast is on your property.

"I noticed you said 'one building'," you say tenatively. "Does that mean--" Yes! Build a hotel, if you dare, in your hubris! When Lizardbeast checks in, your hotel does not check out! He will stomp it as easily as he would a single house!

Should Lizardbeast succeed in destroying all buildings on the board, he becomes bored (so you don't become bored moving him around all the time when he can't do anything) and leaves until such time as someone once again dares to develop their property. At that point he is reintroduced opposite the first erected building, as before.

Discussion: This variant alleviates some of the rich-get-richer that makes a Monopoly endgame infuriating if you're losing and boring if you're winning. However it does this by simply disrupting the endgame at random and moving you back into the middle game. It doesn't solve the fundamental problem of the endgame where it turns into a stochastic grind and you just want to make the computer finish it, but you're not playing on the computer. My current thinking involves buying Lizardbeast bait to leave on your opponents' properties, but it is as yet unformed.

Crap, I forgot to change the name of the game.

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Posted by Frances at Thu Sep 02 2004 15:53

I wanna be the Lizardbeast! I'm sika being the iron!

Posted by Susie at Thu Sep 02 2004 18:24

I liked your graphic.

Posted by Leonard at Thu Sep 02 2004 19:47

You might like Dinosaur Comics too: http://www.qwantz.com/

Posted by Gary Benson at Thu Sep 02 2004 20:01

The table in my lounge is quite low. One of my cats likes to sneak under it whenever board games are being played during lulls in play she'll pop up and steal the pieces. The first time she did it she demolished some twenty or so houses in order to steal the battleship.

Posted by Brendan at Thu Sep 02 2004 23:40

I want to play a game that has houses and a battleship!

Posted by Kevan at Fri Sep 03 2004 08:10

Aha, I'd forgotten about this. Excellent.

To balance the destruction without adding new game components, perhaps Lizardbeast should always move towards the most heavily built-up street, and only roll 1d6 for movement. (And head for the Electricity Company in the result of a tie.)

All Monopoly really needs is a sudden and definite ending, though, I think - we always used to play it as "whoever has the most money after specific-amount-of-time", to stop it dragging on forever. Perhaps if Lizardbeast only came into play when the first hotel appeared, and caused the game to end when all the buildings had been flattened.

(You'd probably need some way to stop the winning player quickly rebuilding cheap houses to prolong the game, though. Maybe demolished buildings should stay in play, on their sides, and block further development.)

Posted by Brendan at Fri Sep 03 2004 10:10

Maybe you should only be able to build houses for the side of the board where your token currently rests (at the end of your turn). And no building when you're on Free Parking.

Posted by Leonard at Fri Sep 03 2004 10:49

I'd rather punish overdevelopment with vengeful destruction than slow it down with zoning regulations. It's just more fun that way. I like the idea of Lizardbeast showing up later, his destruction being irreversible (tip the houses over to show their destruction) and all destruction ending the game.

This certainly solves the end-of-game problem, but then the game just becomes a race against Lizardbeast. I think at that point *everyone* would feel the frustration of having all your efforts come to naught that the losers feel in a standard Monopoly game. The winning player is the one who has the most money left after Lizardbeast crushes all their hopes and dreams. I am not sure how to solve this problem.

Posted by Mickey Hadick at Fri Sep 03 2004 13:59

After LizardBeast destroys a house, add a superhero (Buzz Lightyear, Dexter, or Ultraman) to combat LizardBeast. Superhero starts opposite LB on the board, and now they split the die and the turn. If SH and LB wind up on the same space, they roll the die to see who wins the battle. Lose the battle and you go in the middle of the board until someone lands on Free Parking to release the beast or the hero once again.

Otherwise, normal play continues.

Posted by Brendan at Fri Sep 03 2004 14:56

The other solution to the Monopoly end-of-game problem is not to play Monopoly, and introduce Lizardbeast into Sorry! instead.

Posted by Factitious at Sat Sep 04 2004 02:46

"The winning player is the one who has the most money left after Lizardbeast crushes all their hopes and dreams."
That's not a problem. That's the best game description I've read all week.

Suggestion for making Lizardbeast overpowered: If he lands on a property with no buildings, its deed is returned to the bank, because Lizardbeast can crush ownership itself.

Posted by Kristi at Sat Sep 04 2004 21:34

ok, so if lizardbeat came out and the point of the game was to knock all the buildings over until zoning laws made no more buildings... I would mortgage my houses as lizardbeast came near and sit on the money, thus the investments of the other members would not be fruitful and I would have the most money.

Posted by Brendan at Sun Sep 05 2004 02:57

Kristi makes a good point, although the money loss involved in selling back houses might suppress that to some degree.

Posted by Brian Danger+Hicks at Sun Sep 05 2004 12:43

But if you don't play until everybody else loses then nobody will have a monopoly and you'll have to change the name of the game.

Also, when the hero and lizardbeast meet they should totally level everything on that property. Those fights get really messy.

Posted by Kevan at Fri Sep 10 2004 04:56

Presumably the player with the most money is able to survive for the longest in the wreckage of London or Atlantic City, and may claim monopoly over radioactive rubble when all others have fled or perished.

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