The Slender Card Game
2 to 4 players. Players take the role of investigators looking into the legend of the Slender Man. In the first half of the game, players are using cards to perform their investigation, gaining information and confidence in themselves, tracked with Will Points. But the more you investigate the Slender Man, the more you draw him to you. At some point in the game, the Slender Man card will appear. In this second half of the game, players now must do whatever they can to escape the Slender Man. They are now playing cards to resist his drain of Will Points, or cause the other players to lose theirs.
The game is played with a special deck of 2.5 inch by 5 inch cards, each split into two halves, light and dark. The light half is used to play the first part of the game. After the Slender Man arrives, the cards are turned 180 degrees and the remainder of the game is played using the dark half. When you run out of Will Points, the Slender Man gets you, and you continue playing only to drain the remaining players. The last player left with Will points escapes the Slender Man and wins.
At the start of each game, each player selects a specific themed character deck (6 or more are available, only 4 will be used in each game). These 4 character decks are then shuffled together to make the game deck. Any player may use any character’s card when it is drawn, but if a player uses a card from their own character they will gain some kind of bonus specific to that card. After the Slender Man card appears, the Slender Man deck is shuffled into the remaining game deck, and play continues to the end.
Additional note from Rob:
Hey everyone! Thanks for reading this overview of the Slender Card Game that I pitched on Episode 25 of Building the Game! Since we recorded that episode I’ve been doing more research into the Slender Man, and just before the episode posted I found this article:
You should read it because it is fascinating. But in a nutshell, it’s discussing an independent Slender Man themed computer game that is having legal issues. It’s easy to forget in our modern age of information freely available on the internet that things like this are not simply created out of nowhere. The Slender Man was a character invented by a specific individual. That individual owns that Intellectual Property. Therefore if you use that IP without his permission, you are risking legal action. In general it sounds like the creator of the Slender Man isn’t interested in taking legal action against anyone, which is an honorable thing for him to say. But nevertheless, I don’t want to go anywhere near issues like that. There is too much risk for an independent designer and developer like me.
“But Rob, what about your Frankenstein game?” That’s a great question. Lots of people think that Universal Studios owns Frankenstein. They don’t. The Monster from Mary Shelley’s original Frankenstein novel is in the public domain, as is his creator, Victor Frankenstein. What Universal owns is all of the characters they created for their series of movies, and the design of the Monster that they created. Take a look at this article for more information:
It can be a tricky thing, but Frankenstein is technically safe. Still, the lesson I’ve learned from this is to focus on my own new ideas and new characters for everything I work on in the future. It’s the safer and cleaner route to take.