Introducing Taster Cards

A Taste for the King is a push your luck bluffing card game. The game plays by one player (the Taster) showing a hand of cards to their opponents and then deciding what to do with those cards based on their opponents’ feedback known as “Gossip”.

In recent iterations I added a rule that players must say only one thing to the Taster. This was done to cut down on the time spent by players making deals. With 4+ players, deal making was very much a slow process. Players are still free to make deals, however the “One Thing” change means that they cannot discuss or negotiate about the details of said deals. This lead to a speed up with the game, which I like. However, it has caused some slow downs with new players who aren’t quite sure what to say. I have given some definite things you can’t say and examples of what you can in the rules, however it can still be a little daunting and sometimes the game stalls while people think of something creative/unique/fun/helpful/devastating to say. The only definite thing they cannot say (at least with beginners present) is the names of dishes (veteran players can agree to say dish names at the start of the game).

Some examples:

  • You have x dishes in your hand.
  • Your [course name] is poisoned.
  • If you give me the card on the right, I’ll tell you where the poison is in your next hand.

I like to see what creative things people can come up with to say as much or as little as they want within the bounds of the rules and players who choose riddles can be very fun.

To aid new players and add a possible meta game to the bluffing, I have introduced Taster cards. These act as a rules and secrete role card. Some players must bluff, some must speak in riddles, some must always tell the truth OR make deals etc.

The 8 Taster cards. Each has a name, an image, 2-3 bluffing rules and some example statements they can say.

The hope with this is it will give people a structure on which to base their one thing, speeding up the bluffing phase of the turns. It should also have a nice side effect of speeding up on the Taster’s decision making if/when they decide they’ve worked out which personas their opponents are playing. This should be made easier by the fact that each Taster card has a list of all the Tasters and their rules on the back, so players can investigate these at any time.

The list of tasters and their rules.
Beanpole Ben - Lie to players before you, make deals with players following you.
Jumbal Jess - Speak in riddles or always tell the truth.
Pottage Pete - Cast doubt on players before you. Lie. Favour information about Appetisers.
Ginger Greg - Make deals. Favour Desserts.
Beefy Betty - Speak in riddles or always tell lies.
Cormarye Connie - Favour information about Mains.
Amanita Anita - Suggest poisons be given or speak in riddles.
Drunk Dave - Tell the truth. Favour information about Drinks.

I see this very much as an optional part of the game but expect that it will likely be played for the first few games as people ease into the creative process with their bluffing. I’m looking forward to seeing how this affects the game and whether it has the intended effect on the overall play time.

If you would like to test these changes you can always reach out to @DrentsoftGames on Twitter/Facebook/Instagram.

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