Magical F:AThelete

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Magical F:Athelete (a PnP board game)


Magical F:AThelete

F:AT is having a race!

(Based on Takashi Ishida's Magical Athelete)

What you need to play:

• 25 characters, which I will publish here over the next couple of weeks
• 1 playing board, which I will also create
• 42 markers. These can be coins, buttons or if a spreadsheet gamer is nearby, poker chips
• 1 die
• 4 or 5 players
• 60 to 90 minutes

Game preparation:

Place the game board in the middle of the table, within easy grasping range of all players. The game cannot commence until this is accomplished. Remove beverages and munchies from the table and order all players to wash their hands.

5 characters are randomly removed from the game. Don't look at these, it would spoil part of the fun.

Shuffle the remaining 20 characters and form a pile. (Out of the characters, not the players.)

Every player receives markers, even Steve Avery. With 4 players everybody gets 8 markers, with 5 everybody gets 6.

The starting player has to be determined using the following procedure: Number the players in rotation starting with 0. Have each player stick out some number of fingers on a count of three. Add up the fingers and get the modulo of the total number of fingers by the number of players (remainder after division). The player with that number is the start player. Exception: If you feel this method is biased towards the #0 player, only then you may roll the die instead.


The game begins with the players drafting the characters. The players take turns drawing one new character and deciding whether to buy one. The starting player begins, unlike in every other game.

A newly drawn character is always placed in the field numbered 4. If a field already contains another character, move the occupying character to the next lower numbered field.

After this the player may buy one character, unless the field numbered 0 is occupied, in which case a character must be bought. A character costs markers equal to the number of the field it occupies.

Players may only participate in the draft until they formed a complete team. A complete teams consists of 4 characters with 5 players, or of 5 characters with 4 players. Draft ends when every player has got a complete team.

Leftover markers are returned. Yes, I deliberatly did not mention this rule any sooner.


After the draft a number of races are held. 5 players stage 4 races, 4 players stage 5. For every race the players secretly choose one of their characters. Although this is theoretically impossible, at least try to reveal the characters simultaneously.

For the first race the player who drafted the last character will now be the starting player. For the remaining races the starting player is the poor sod who took last place in the previous race.

The players take turns rolling the die and moving their character down the track according to what they have rolled. Yes, you have just read many words and bad jokes only to find out that this is a very simple "Roll and Move" game. Some characters possess a special ability they may use instead of moving. The decision whether to use the ability has to be made before rolling the die.

A race ends when two characters reach the finish line. The winning character may no longer use its ability in this race, i.e. the first player to cross the finish line may not interfere with the rest of the race, although distraction of the other players by boasting is allowed. Victory points are awarded according to the following table (use the markers):

Race 1 1st: 3 VP, 2nd: 1 VP
Race 2 1st: 4 VP, 2nd: 2 VP
Race 3 1st: 4 VP, 2nd: 2 VP
Race 4 1st: 5 VP, 2nd: 3 VP
Race 5 1st: 5 VP, 2nd: 3 VP

The game ends after the last race and the player with the most VP wins. Everybody else may lament over the stupidity of this game for an amount of time equal to their VP in minutes.

Simon is the Fortress: Ameritrash staff cartoonist. You can see more of his cartoons here.
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