posted by a kitten Original SA post

CLAY-O-RAMA A miniatures melodrama for all ages.

The Giant Blue Bowling Ball slowly rolled across the battlefield toward the Neon Orange Thing with the big floppy mouth and writhing mass of tentacles. Desperately, the Neon Orange Thing hurled pellets at the ball as it came relentlessly forward. Then there was a flash, and the Four-Legged Rad Jet plowed into the rear (?) of the bowling ball, cracking the Ball's surface. The Neon Orange Thing, sensing a kill, closed in. Panicked the Bowling Ball whipped around, flattening one of the wings of the Red Jet. The Orange Thing lashed out with its tentacles, grasping the ball firmly. With a mighty heave, the Orange Thing hurled the Bowling Ball into theair. It sailed up and hurled down, splitting into pieces as it hit the ground. Turning from the destruction, the Red Jet grinned as it sighted the Orange Thing, "Feeling lucky today?" it asked--and charged.

Such are the adventures of the denizens of Claydonia as they meet on the battlefield of Clay-O-Rama. Now you, too can recreate their epic struggles, in the all-new, home-use Clay-O-Rama Miniatures Rules - the same you see used every year at the GEN CON Games Fair.

"You have twenty minutes in which to make a creature out of your modeling clay. You may create anything you want, so long it doesn't collapse at the slightest touch. You do not have to use all your clay; any clay you do not use may be shaped into missiles of any size or shape you want. You may not trade clay with another player; use your own clay. When you have finished making your Claydonian, let me know."

Way back in 1987 I picked up a copy of Dragon magazine, tucked away among articles like "The Ecology of the Greenhag: One of a broad family of evil hags" and "Armies From the Ground Up: Taxes, politics, immigrants, and the military in AD&D games" was a four page (well, 3 and half) rule set for a Very Silly Game, written by David "Zeb" Cook.

Yes, it's a miniatures war game that involves making a cool monster out of a can of Play-doh and then fighting that monster to the death against your friend's creations.

I still have those pages, they are wrinkly and yellow, somewhat taped together, and brittle, but still safely tucked away in one of my old sketchbooks.

I'll type up the rest of the rules here in a bit.

e: Because I somehow hit "post" way before I was done writing this.


posted by a kitten Original SA post

Clay-O-Rama 's rules are very simple and very vague; measurement is done in hand-spans, damage per attack is decided based on how large the limb or mouth is.

What is a Clay-O-Rama?
A Clay-O-Rama is many things. It is a chance for friends to meet and have a good time, It can be a serious philosophical discussion on the meaning of modeling clay. It is a means of artistic expression. It is a ritualistic gathering of Claydonians to watch the violent destruction of others of their species. But most of all, it is a silly game involving modeling clay miniatures.

What do I need to have a Clay-ORama?
First you need a group of people willing to be silly and have fun playing with the modeling clay. Next, you need the rules or something like them. Then you need pencils, paper, and numerous six-sided dice for each player. Utterly unscientific testing has shown that Play-doh modeling compound is well suited for use in a Clay-O-Rama. It is easily shaped, comes packaged in the proper amounts, and has pleasing brilliant colors.

You have twenty minutes in which to make a creature out of your modeling clay [...]
After telling your players this, let them go to it. Do not tell them any more about what will happen except that it will be a miniatures game. Encourage creativity. As each player finishes his or her creation you must assign the creation its powers.

How do I assign powers?
There are six categories of powers that must be assigned to each Claydonian: movement, number of attacks, "to hit" number, damage, hit points, and special powers. Each one requires that you make a judgement about the creation of the player. The following are guidelines for assigning the powers; you may alter them as you see fit.

Movement : All movement is measured in spans of the player's outstreched hand (from tip of thumb to tip of little finger). The following table gives the basic movement rates.
     0    	   1 span
    1-2    	   2 spans
    3-4    	   3 spans
     5 or more     4 spans
Note that a "leg" is any type of movement-producing appendage the claydonian might have, even if it is a wheel.

Number of Attacks : Look at the creation carefully. How many limbs can it use for attacking? This is the number of attacks it can make each turn. However, this number should never be more than four.

Chance to Hit : A Claydonian's basic chance to hit is 8 or greater on two six-sided dice. If the creature has big limbs or a big mouth, the chance to hit is reduced by one. If the creature has real big limbs or mouth, or uses it's entire body in an attack, reduce the chance to hit by two. You decide just how big is "big" or "real big".

Damage : The base damage done in any attack is one six-sided die's worth of points. If the limbs are large, one or two more dice may be added to this. If the limbs are very large, three more dice may be added to this. If the attack is an absolute killer up to five dice may be added to the base attack die. As usual, you can decide all final attack values. If you're getting the idea that this is not a very exact game, you have the right idea. You're playing with clay monsters, right? Who needs to be exact?

Hit Points : Look at the creature and compare it to the amount of clay kept aside to create missiles. If the entire can of clay was used to form the creature, it has 50 hit points. If half was used for missiles, the creature will have 25 hit points. Assign hit points based on the fraction of clay used to form missiles. If 25% of the clay is used for missiles, knock 25% off of 50 to find the creature's hit points. This is another judgement call on your part as the referee.

You'll probably notice that once you know the rules it seems like everyone should make 4-armed, 5-legged monsters with maybe a couple of missiles, and you'd probably be right-at least from a pure gameplay standpoint. Overall I think the game is a lot more fun when people don't actually know what their getting into and just makes some sort of creature they find amusing.

Cthulhu vs. A Carrot vs. A Rabbit vs. Some Sort of Flower Maybe was a lot more entertaining than 5 Optimal Playdoh Monsters.

Next up: exciting Special Powers!

Special Powers

posted by a kitten Original SA post


Special Powers : Each creation gets one special power. It may be from the list below, or it can be one you make up. If you make it up, it is recommended that you create a power that will affect modeling clay in some harmless way. (That means NO MICROWAVING!!!!!) The following powers may be assigned randomly by rolling dice or may be chosen by you to match the creature in some way. The "to hit" number for all powers that require one is 8.

Now that your excitingly colored blob/monster/ashtray has been created, here's the rules to actually fight.

How do I play the game?
Once all the players have created their Claydonians and have had powers assigned to them, have them gather around the playing area. Have the players space themselves at equal distances from each other. Each player should the roll three six-sided dice to finds his or her initiative number. Ties should be rolled off. Be sure each player notes his initiative number. After this is done, explain the What Do I Do, How Do I Move, How Do I Shoot, How Do I Attack, and How Do I Win rules to the players. Once everyone understands what is going on, begin the game.

What Do I Do?
The Clay-O-Rama is played in turns. A player gets to move his creation once during each turn. At several points during a turn, a player may have the opportunity to attack. Each player takes his move in the order of the initiative rolls, going from highest to lowest. The sequence of a player's move is as follows:
1)Move your creation up to it's full movement.
2)Fire up to three missiles at targets of your choice.
3)Attack any creature to which your Claydonian is adjacent, provided you have attacks left to do so.
4)The other player (or players) may counterattack against your creature, provided they have any attacks left.
Each player follows this sequence in order of initiative, until the player is out of the game or the game is over.

How does my Claydonian move?
To move your creation, use your hand to measure the distance the Claydonian moves, starting from the front of the creature. If there is no discernable fromt, begin measuring in the direction the creature last moved. There is no terrain in the game (although you can add some if you like). Thus, except when turning, a creature will always be able to move up to its full movement.

UNIFORMITY RULE: Note that if some people feel that the hand-span measuring system is unfair or grossly inaccurate, you may then enforce the Uniformity Rule. The Uniformity Rule states that all distances will be measured by the referee's hand. However, this will slow down play of the game and place a great deal of work in the hands of the referee (ahem).

If a part of the creation comes off during movement, the player is allowed to put that piece back on his creation at no penalty. Falling apart is best done under combat conditions.

How does my Claydonian shoot?
At the end of movement, each player is allowed to shoot up to three of his missiles. A missile may only be used once. After it is fired, it is removed from play. If a player does not have any missiles, he may not fire any. To fire a missile, the player stands anywhere within 3-4' of his own position at the table. The player may not move to a different area of the battlefield; he must fire his missiles from the point where his creation BEGAN the game. After the player has his position, have him name his target (a specific Claydonian creation on the table). Players cannot attack a group of monsters, only one will do.

Have the player throw his missile, attempting to hit the target. Make it clear to the thrower that how hard the missile is thrown has NO effect on the amount of damage done. It is only the SIZE of the missile that matters. It is a wise idea to have someone stand directly opposite the thrower to catch long shots and bounces. If the thrower manages to hit his declared target, the missile has hit. If the thrower hits a different creature, the shot is a miss, no matter what happens. The attacked player is allowed to reattach any parts of his Claydonian that come off due to the missile's hits, unless a special power dictates otherwise. If the missile missed, the shot is no good.

If a missile hits a target, you must determine the amount of damage done by the missile. The base damage for a missile is one six-sided die for something about the size of a marble. Missiles smaller than this may do less damage. Missiles up to golf ball size do 2 six-sided dice damage, larger do three, and up to five dice damage at most.

How does my Claydonian attack?
Each Claydonian is assigned a number of attacks it can make in one turn, based upon the number of manipulative limbs it has. These attacks can be used as attacks or counterattacks. If a creation has used all its attacks, it may not make any more attacks (or counterattacks) for the rest of the turn.

If your creation is adjacent to an enemy creation, you may decide to attack. "Adjacent" is defined as being within the reach of your creation's arms. You may attack as many times as you have attacks, provided you have not used anyof your attacks to make counterattacks (see below).

To make an attack, you must announce your target and the dice of damage done by the attack (unless all of your attacks do the same amount of damage). Then roll two dice. If the dice roll is equal to or greater than your "to hit" number, you have hit your target with that attack.

After all attacks have been resolved against one target, count the number of dice of damage from all those successful attacks. Roll the dice and add them together to find the total amount of damage caused. The player whose creature was the target of the attack should subtract this amount from his creation's hit points. If the creation's hit points reach zero, the creation is dead (see Honoring a Claydonian Death).

How does my Claydonian counterattack?
A Claydonian may counterattack if it is attacked by another creation during the combat phase. To counterattack, the Claydonian must have a few attacks left and must survive the attacks of its opponent. It may only make counterattacks against the creation that just attacked it. The counterattacks are handled as if they were normal attacks. A Claydonian may use its special power in a counterattack.

What happens when my Claydonian dies?
(Or Honoring a Claydonian Death).
Ah, this particular question has plagued the Claydonian philosophers for centuries. Several scurrilous theories have been presented, including the concepts of drying out or being eaten by small children and dogs. However in watching the deaths of several Claydonians on the field of battle, a common belief has arisen. Most Claydonians feel that when one of their kind dies, a large hand reaches from the heavens and squeezes the Claydonian through it's fingers. This act is always accompanied by a horrible scream that echoes through the heavens. Some Claydonians wish their bodies to be examples for future generations and insist on drying, creating a nice statue to use as a memorial, centerpiece, or clay pigeon.

How do I win?
This depends on why you are playing in the first place. If you are playing to have fun, you win if you get really silly. If you are playing to be competitive and to beat out everyone else, you win if your creation is the last surviving Claydonian on the battlefield. Since only one person can win the second way, it's a lot nicer to play for the first reason.

These are the rules for the Clay-O-Rama. Take them, have fun with them, be inspired to the heights of silliness, or feed them to your dog. Enjoy!

That's it, that's the whole of the rules. Get some playdoh, make a funny monster and fight that sucker to the death in one of the silliest games I've ever played.

Actually, while that was all for a couple of years, later it got an expansion pack of sorts. In the April 1989 issue of Dragon Paul Easton brought us Claydonia Conquers the World! Which gave us: more powers and a leveling system so that you can raise your critter from lowly clay goblin to be an overpowered, unstoppable death machine.

or he dries out, whichever comes first.