I'm hoping to take a prototype of this newly conceptualized game to a local kink (not tickling) play party next weekend to try it out, so the first thing I decided to do was work on the ruleset. Please let me know if you have any ideas, questions, concerns, or if anything isn't clear about the rules. I'll be working on a prototype cardset next.

Ruleset v0.9 below




Concept:

For fetishists, tickling is generally a private and often sexual matter, making the possibility of developing any real semblance of in-person community nigh impossible – at least for those of us unfortunate enough to not be in the vicinity of New York City. Even if you are lucky enough to be within close proximity to another fetishist, the odds of being "perfectly compatible" from a tickling perspective are minuscule. Many people seem to take a hard line when it comes to compatibility, and this is primarily due to the extent of sexualization, so never mind perfect compatibility - the odds of being "compatible at all" are also greatly reduced.

As a result, many tickling fetishists eschew the community as a whole while seeking an ideal match or otherwise indulging in their fetish (clips, images, stories, chats, etc.). If sexualization is what wedges the community apart, what would happen if this sexualization were decoupled?

Enter: Tickling is Magic (TKiM) - a group card & activity game designed to reduce the fetish to its lowest common denominator, to provide a fun experience regardless of whether you are a ‘lee, a ‘ler, a switch, or completely new to the tickling, and to allow tickling enthusiasts who would otherwise be disinclined to meetup to partake in a fun activity based on their common interest. As part of an organized fetish event, TKiM could be used as an icebreaker or general group activity. TKiM is best suited for groups of 4-8 where ideally at least ½ the players combined are ‘lees and switches.

Name: TKiM is named after a similar group card game known as Drinking is Magic.


Preparation:

As a call-back to elementary school gym class, it’s shoes and socks off! If your feet are dirty, please take a moment to go and wash and dry them as a courtesy to other players. If you have various tickling tools available (according to personal preferences), it is advisable to bring some for yourself and others, because using them will allow you to extend your reach and tickle others in instances where your fingers alone would make it difficult to reach. Additionally, this game requires 2 d6 dice and means of tracking points (tokens, whiteboard, or paper, etc.).

Prior to the start of play, all players identify themselves to the group as lers, lees, and switches (which is also the default for anyone who is unsure). Lers start the game with 2 ler points (lerps), Lees start the game with 2 lee points (leeps). Switches start the game with 1 lerp and 1 leep. Players then arrange themselves into a circle on the floor, sitting in very close proximity, ideally arranged such that lers and lees are distributed within the group (not sitting right next to each other when possible).

Each player rolls 2 d6 dice. The player with the highest combined roll goes first (with a roll-off in the event of a tie). The initial direction of play is clockwise.


Goal:

Players compete for one of two victory conditions by accruing lerps and/or leeps. At the end of the round (once all cards have been played), the player with the most lerps wins a Tickler Victory. The player with the most leeps wins the Ticklee Victory. The Tickler Victor then directs the group in a short, relatively informal gang tickling session of the Ticklee Victor. The rules ensure that only those players seeking a Ticklee Victory will be eligible for winning, thus preventing a possible gang tickling of someone who doesn’t want it. (It should be obvious then, that at least some number of lees and switches will be necessary in order to play this game!)


Rules:

Players take turns drawing cards from a game deck and generally performing the actions described on the cards. Successfully completing an action will result in a net gain of leeps or lerps as indicated on the card. Many cards will also involve targeting other players, and thus may also result in a change of leeps/lerps for those who have been targeted.

A player may choose not to complete an action, at any time, for any reason. This includes both the current player in the rotation, as well as any targeted players. In most instances, targeted players will know in advance when they have been targeted. However, due to the nature of the game, there are some instances where informing a target is not possible in advance, and so, the presence of one or more leeps is taken as consent to being tickled. That is, if you do not consent to being tickled by surprise, you should state yourself as a ler and forfeit or trade any leeps that you collect.

Some cards will have multiple conditional effects and actions. A player who is unwilling to complete all actions depending on the conditions that arise should pass that card before it goes into play.


Passing:

A player or target who passes on an action, who has at least 1 one leep or lerp, must pay 1 leep or lerp to pass on an action.

If the current player passes, the card is said to be open, and any other player may take control of the card and perform the action for double the number of leep/lerp rewards (does not affect awards to any targets). If multiple players wish to take control of the card, they must roll 1d6 against each other, with the highest roll taking control. If the card specifies any targets, the player taking control is allowed to pick new targets.

Example 1: A player draws a card and passes on an action, paying 1 leep. The card is now open. 3 players roll for control of the card. The new controller completes the action is awarded double the number of leeps indicated on the card. Play continues from the player who passed the card.

Example 2: A player with no lerps or leeps draws a card and passes on the action (paying nothing). The card is now open. No one wants to take control of the card. The card is discarded and play continues from the player who passed.
If a targeted player passes, the target is said to be open. Any other candidate targets may choose to become the new target (and roll against each other in the case of multiple willing targets), receiving double the number of lerp/leeps rewarded by the card. In the case of no one claiming the target, the controlling player receives any awards as if they had completed the action, the card is discarded, and play continues.

Example 1: A player draws a card allowing them to target any neighboring player. The player chooses to target the person to their left. The person on the left pays a lerp and passes. The player on the right now has the option to become the target for double the lerp/leep rewards, or decline without penalty.

Example 2: A player draws a card which additionally targets any other player of the controller’s choosing. The controller targets another player, who then decides to pass the target by paying a leep. 2 other players roll against each other for the opportunity to be the target. The winner of the roll becomes the target and receives double the card’s lerp/leep reward after completing the action.

Trading:

Lerps and leeps may be forfeited or traded at any time after the current action has concluded. Most cards may additionally be traded for lerps/leeps and/or other cards before a given card has gone into effect (unless stated otherwise). Players may also negotiate with a card controller to transfer card targeting.

Example 1: You draw a card awarding 3 leeps for the completion of an action. Another player offers to buy control of the card from you for 1 leep. You accept; the player transfers 1 leep to you and then completes the action, gaining 3 leeps (net of +2 leeps). Play continues from your position.

Example 2: A card controller targets another player with a card that rewards 2 leeps to the target. You offer 1 lerp to the controller to become the new target. The controller accepts, taking 1 lerp from you. You gain 2 leeps as a reward from the card.

Example 3: A player draws an instant card and shows it to you, asking if you’d like to buy it. You negotiate a card trade, swapping 2 lerps for the card and taking control of it.

Card categories:

Action Card: A card that is drawn, played immediately, and then discarded. May be traded before play.

Status Card: A card that is drawn, played immediately, and then remains in play until various conditions have been satisfied. May be traded either before going into play or while in play, unless stated otherwise.

Role Card: A card that is drawn, played immediately, and remains in play indefinitely, typically requiring the player to behave in a humorous manner. Role cards may be stacked and may be traded at any time.

Instant Card: A card that is drawn and kept in a player’s hand. A player may use an Instant card at any time once an action has been initiated according to the requirements of the card. Instant cards tend to interrupt action or alter the functions of other cards. Instant cards may be chained in series by one or more players.


End of the Round:

Play continues until all cards have been drawn and all pending actions have been completed.
Any unplayed Instant cards may be used at the player’s discretion.
Any unresolved Status and Action cards are resolved (e.g. if a reward requires waiting until your next turn, you gain the reward now).
Players holding any remaining Instant cards may trade them in at a rate of 2 cards per 1 lerp or leep.
Each Role card rewards 2 lerps or leeps to whoever controls it.
Lerps and leeps may be traded by players who wish to do so, and any unwanted points (especially leeps) may be forfeited at players’ discretion.
The players with the most accumulated lerps and leeps are declared the Tickler and Ticklee Victors.

The group then arranges for a short gang tickling session of the Ticklee Victor, as directed by the Tickler Victor. The length of the session is to be determined by the Ticklee Victor, recommended between 1 and 3 minutes, and may be stopped immediately by using a safe word (recommended: “yellow” and “red”). As this is an informal session, the use of elaborate bondage equipment is probably not necessary, and it is expected that the other players should be willing and able to subdue the Ticklee Victor adequately.

Following this session, a new round may begin at the discretion of the players. The Tickler Victor loses their lerps, the Ticklee Victor loses their leeps, but all other points are retained. Any players who wish the step out may do so, and any additional players may join the game at this point. The new round begins the same way as the previous one, with players declaring themselves ‘lers, ‘lees, switches, etc., are awarded starting points (added to existing points), and rearrange themselves in a new circle, as described in the Preparation section.