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Games Using the Cards

Here are the rules for three games that we tried out at the November 2014, and four untested games.

GROUP WORKS Games — established and tested

A: The Best Fit Game (best for 4-8 players; easy for beginners) 

  1. Deal out 6 cards to each person.  
  2. Have someone start by offering a prompt, such as a method (along with a short explanation of the method if others are not familiar with it) or a dilemma they have faced in a meeting or group event.  
  3. Each listener picks out one card from their hand that they think is most relevant and offers it in response.  
  4. The prompter reviews the cards—this is most fun when accompanied by lobbying from each participant as to why their card is the most relevant.  
  5. The prompter selects one card as the best fit, and whoever's card was chosen receives one point.  
  6. Discard all the cards that weren't chosen, and deal out a new card to each person so everyone once again has 6 cards.  
  7. Take turns in a circle until each person has had a turn being the prompter, or until you run out of new cards. Inspiration: Apples to Apples

B: The Act It Out Game (best for 4-8 players; moderately easy for beginners)

  1. Appoint one player as timekeeper. Have the timekeeper lay out 12 cards dealt at random so that all players can see them. 
  2. Youngest person starts and turn passes to the left. Each turn lasts one minute.
  3. On their turn, each player begins to 'act out' one of the 12 displayed patterns  i.e. behaving & talking in a way that exemplifies 1 of the 12 displayed patterns. They cannot say any of the words in the title of the pattern in doing so (if they do, their turn immediately ends). The 'acting' has to be authentic as if you were in a real-life facilitation setting. So if you’re acting out ‘circle’ you might say “let’s arrange all the chairs so everyone can see everyone else”, but you can’t say “a round shape is a…”
  4.  The remaining players attempt to identify which pattern is being exemplified. 
  5. If someone guesses incorrectly, the actor continues without responding and the person guessing incorrectly cannot guess again on that turn. 
  6. When someone guesses correctly, the actor stops, acknowledges the correct guess and both the actor and correct guesser receive a point (timekeeper keeps score). 
  7. The actor can then immediately start acting out a pattern exemplifying or contradicting another of the 12 displayed patterns to get more points until the timekeeper signals that their minute is up. You can switch to a different pattern if you're struggling.
  8. Once the minute is up, the timekeeper removes the card(s) correctly guessed and replaces them with fresh cards, 
  9. Turn passes to the left. NB: On the timekeeper's turn to act, the player to their left acts as timekeeper.
  10. After each player has had 3 turns, game ends & player with the most points wins. 
  11. Any actor who gets 8 or more points on their turn has to act charades-style (i.e. speaking no words) on their next turn to act. If they get 8 or more points again, on their next turn they have to draw the patterns, Pictionary-style. Inspiration: Cranium, Pictionary, Charades

C: The It’s All Related Game (best for 2-6 players; easy for beginners)

  1. Select a card from the Intention category (red leaf, arrow logo) at random and place it in the centre of the table as the starting card.
  2. Dealer deals out cards to each player (2 players — 7 cards each; 3 players - 6 cards each; 4 players - 5 cards each; 5-6 players - 4 cards each). 
  3. As s/he does so, s/he sets the context for the game by imagining and saying out loud the Who, Where and Why of the meeting (e.g. "Religious group meeting in the church to discuss how to deal with falling attendance at services".) 
  4. S/he also says something about how the starting card relates to that meeting (e.g. if the starting card is “Invitation”, “All church members, especially those who no longer regularly attend services, are invited”.)
  5. Moving to the left, each player in turn adds, from their hand, a card related to any of the cards played to date. 
  6. It is related if it is listed on the player's card as related, or listed as related on the card on the table. 
  7. The card can be played to the right, left, above or below the card to which it is related. 
  8. Once four related cards have been played related to a card, it is out of play, and players must play beside one of the other cards on the table.
  9. As each card is played, the player imagines and says out loud a specific detail that conveys the presence or invocation of that pattern in the context of the story the dealer has introduced. For example, if the card played was Aesthetics of Space in the context of the religious meeting the dealer introduced, the player might say "The meeting was held on the church dais, with the sun streaming in through the stained glass windows, instead of the usual church basement meeting room." If the next player played the Circle card beside Aesthetics of Space they might say “…and the chairs were arranged in a circle rather than using the linear arrangement of the pews". To help those unfamiliar with the patterns, more experienced players are encouraged to help the inexperienced player craft their addition to the story.
  10. If at any time a player is unable to play any of the cards in their hand, they must instead draw a new card from the top of the unused card deck. If that card can be played, they can immediately play it. Otherwise they say "pass" and play moves to the person to their left.
  11. Each card played scores one point for the person playing it. If it is related to more than one adjacent card, they score 2, 3 or 4 points respectively.
  12. Once a player has played their last card on the table, the game ends. Each player subtracts the number of cards left in their hand from their point total, and person with the most points wins. Inspiration: Dominoes

GROUP WORKS Games — under development (untested)

D. They Cooked and Ate the Facilitator (best for 4-8 players; advanced)

  1. Remove and read aloud the Guerrilla Facilitator card.     
  2. Place 6 cards  selected at random where all can see them. 
  3. Choose someone to go first (the “Director”). The Director recalls or invents a story or situation where the facilitator has failed or struggled to invoke one of the 6 patterns shown on the cards. The Director sets up the context and answers any questions from the others, so all are clear about the situation.
  4. Create 3 Zones: (1) Facilitator, (2) Challenger, (3) Guerrilla Facilitator. The Director starts in the Facilitator zone. At least one person goes into the Challenger zone. They begin to act out the story/situation.
  5. The remaining players are free to do one of three things: (a) tag and relieve the Facilitator in zone 1 to defuse the situation; (b) enter the Challenger zone 2 and add to the challenge; (c) enter the Guerrilla Facilitator zone 3 and attempt to help resolve the situation from the sidelines.
  6. After 10 minutes, stop. Next player takes over as Director and introduces a new story or situation. 
  7. Continue until everyone has had a turn as Director. The entire group votes for who they thought was the best Facilitator, the best Challenger, and the best Guerrilla Facilitator. Inspiration: Improv

E. Rescue Me (best for 4-8 players; advanced) 

  1. Deal 6 cards to each player. Have one of the players (the “Scenarist”) identify a scenario for a meeting or other facilitated group event (who were the attendees, where, what was the objective).
  2. Player to the left of the Scenarist selects one of their cards and for 30 seconds act out the “anti-pattern” for that card (i.e. behaviour that contravenes the behaviour that the pattern would call for e.g. grumbling “I have absolutely no idea why I’m here” as the anti-pattern for Purpose). You cannot use any of the words in the title of the pattern in your act.
  3. Each of the other players in turn now has 30 seconds to act out one of the patterns on their cards in a way that would address and rescue the misbehaviour of the “anti-pattern” actor. So for example, the first potential rescuer might have the Tend Relationships card and say “Don’t fret, I hear your concern; let me summarize what our objectives for the day are”. The next potential rescuer might have the Story card and might say “Here’s a short history of the background of this issue that might give you a better idea of our purpose” (note that while they cannot use the word “story” they can use the words “purpose” and “history” even though they are words in other pattern titles; this also clues the Scenarist on what patterns the rescuer is not acting out).
  4. Once everyone has acted for 30 seconds, the Scenarist guesses what both the anti-pattern and each of the rescuing patterns acted out were. 
  5. For each correct guess, both the guesser (Scenarist) and the rescuer (or anti-pattern actor) get one point.
  6. Game continues until each player has had a turn as Scenarist. Inspiration: Improv

F. The Circle Game (best for 6-10 players) 

  1. Players sit in a circle. A dealer is selected. Dealer selects a Theme for the round. The theme determines which pattern cards the players will try to amass. Examples of themes might be: (a) patterns each player thinks they best exemplify; (b) patterns each player thinks are their learning edges; (c) patterns that are essential to each player’s favourite facilitation method.
  2. Each player writes on a post-it note the names of 5 patterns they think are appropriate to the current Theme.
  3. Dealer deals 6 cards to each player. As players receive cards that are on their 5-pattern list they put them face down in front of them.
  4. Every few seconds (about 10 seconds, faster for those familiar with the deck; slower for beginner groups) the Dealer says “Pass”, at which point all of the other players pass one of their cards to the left, while the Dealer places a card selected from his/her hand on the bottom of the stack of unused cards, and passes the top card from the stack to the player to his/her left.
  5. The first player to place a third card in front of them announces “3”; the first player to place a fourth card in front of them announces “4”. The first player to place their 5th card in front of them wins the game. If after 10 minutes no one has done that, the player who said “4” (or failing that, the player who said “3”) wins the game. Inspiration: Bingo, Pit

G. Honour Each Person (best for 4-8 players who know each other) — here’s a game based on an exercise Daniel Lindenberger devised. 

  1. Each player takes a turn being the ’Honouree’. On their turn, the Honouree scans the cards and, without indicating their choice, decides on one pattern they personally think they exemplify and another they think is a ‘learning edge’ they need to work on, and writes the two pattern names on a piece of paper. The Honouree then briefly leaves the room. 
  2. Each of the remaining players selects one pattern they think the Honouree exemplifies and a ‘learning edge’ pattern they might wish to see more of from the Honouree. All of the pattern cards selected are shuffled together and laid out in a row face up.
  3. The Honouree returns and attempts to guess which cards were ‘exemplify’ selections and which were ‘learning edge’ selections. They get one point for each correct guess. If one or both of the patterns they wrote on the piece of paper were also selected by one of the other players, they get a 3-point bonus (6 points if both patterns were selected by other players).
  4. Optionally, the Honouree can then select one of their incorrect answers and invite the person who selected that card to explain their rationale for their choice. In this case, the Honouree just listens and replies ‘Thank You’ — there is no discussion or debate. Inspiration: Diana Christian’s Gifting Circles