I have mentioned before the stick:
Here is its origins:
Mike, Dan, TJ, and I were playing a game called Alexandros. None of use were enjoying this completely abstract snoozeathon, so Mike made a proposition. He reached onto a shelf and found this plastic bone and declared that if anyone wants to stop playing he can “shake the stick” (the bone) and if someone else agrees, we quit. A turn or two later, TJ was pondering his move and Dan said, “I don’t know what the hell you’re thinking hard about over there because I’m shaking that fucking stick as soon as it’s my turn.”
Although the phrase “shaking the stick” has entered our regular Tuesday-night gaming parlance, the actual stick itself had not returned…until recently. We had quit games we weren’t enjoying, but hadn’t gone through the Shaking the Stick ritual.
Last week we tried out a fairly new game called The Name of the Rose, based on the novel by Umberto Eco.
If you think of the book, you think of secrets, intrigue, and murder. Turns out this dull game is just a plain old “hidden roles” game. You are secretly one of the six monks and the goal is to simply be the least suspicious at the end of the game. There are plenty of other games that do this, and better, such as Heimlich and Co. And if you’re looking for the theme, Mystery of the Abbey is much better at placing you in the scenario of trying to identify the guilty monk. In short, there’s no reason to play this dull game.
Still, we were trying. And while it was clear that SOME of us weren’t enjoying it much, I urged us to press on, hoping it might reveal itself. I really wanted to like a game based on The Name of the Rose! Sadly, there’s nothing here, and we eventually gave up.
We quit before finishing the game…but the stick had not been shaken yet!
This Tuesday we tried out the game Sutter’s Mill, which already didn’t excite us terribly much based on the bland artwork. But hey, at least we weren’t building churches or pushing cubes around for no reason! After trudging through the absolutely godawful rules, we started up. And man, this was a real stinker. Absolutely nothing compelling about it, nothing interesting, and it seemed like it would take forever to get to the end of. Mike disappeared downstairs and then returned with a familiar action figure holding a familiar bone-shaped object.
“Say, did I ever show you guys this neat action figure?” he said.
“Why, that IS a neat action figure!” someone replied. “Hey, what’s that it’s holding?”
“It appears do be a stick-like object!”
My turn was next, and I grabbed the stick. According to the solemn procedure (that I made up at that point) I held it out, closed my eyes, and counted to three. If I got to three, I would proceed as normal with my turn. I didn’t, though. Mike tagged the stick after “two” (to build suspense!) and that was that. (See, two people have to agree to quit.) We boxed the game up and Mike gifted it to Brian, who was the most interested in actually seeing if there was anything to it. Let me know how that turns out, Brian!
So the stick has now been shaken a second time! Will it ever be needed a third time?