By Garry Williams, Vincent Ducos, Jesse Himmelstein
Description of game
Pirate Partage is a silly cooperative physical game about what happens when people have to give up their primary means of communication. Four pirates sit around a table and have to sort pieces of treasure into different treasure chests. Each one gets instructions on what the other has to do, like “pirate to the left must put two coins into the red chest”. So far so good.
The trick is that each character has their own pirate handicap: One pirate can’t see, one pirate can’t hear, one pirate can’t talk, and one pirate can only use their hook hand! It’s up to the players to find a way to communicate nonetheless.
To spice things up, once in a while special cards will be drawn that makes all the players toast their rum, or even change handicaps.
A bunch of stuff is needed:
- Deck of Pirate Partage cards (4 Character cards, 41 Action cards) available for download at https://drive.google.com/open?id=0BzAb0sfqubOFb3NKWVJiLWNfaTQ
- Hook hand - Kitchen glove with a card or short stick attached to it
- Eye patch (travel mask works well)
- Mouth mask (scarf will also do)
- Closed headphones and music player (smartphone or MP3 player will do)
- 72 coins
- A stopwatch or sand timer
How to Play
The goal is to put in the most coins possible in the allotted time (eg. 3 minutes). To make it competitive, groups can play against each other in consecutive games.
First setup the table:
- Action cards are distributed evenly between the players, so that each player has its own deck.
- The treasure chests are setup in the middle of the table
- The coins are scattered around the chests and in between them
Each player draws a character card, and equips the accessories corresponding to that character (headphones, mask, glove, scarf). Don’t forget to start the music for the player with the headphones.
Given a signal (noise and movement), everyone starts playing at the same time. Each player draws a card and then tries to carry out the action on that card.
There are 3 types of cards:
Each Action card presents :
- a direction (you act with the player in front, at your left, at your right)
- a number of coins to put in the chest (1, 2, or 3)
- a symbol representing the chest to put the coins in (cross, square, circle, triangle)
Change Character cards
Upon drawing this card, you must exchange character with the person seated in front of you .
Upon drawing this card, all the player must stop their actions and pretend to toast their rum above the table.
Ideally the cards should be embossed in a braille-like system so that the blind pirate can read them. We haven’t tried this yet, so we just let the blind pirate peek at their card after drawing it.
The play stops when the timer is up. Count up the number of coins in the chests to get your score. Over 18 is good!
- If a chest falls over, too bad! You can’t put the coins back.
- Pirates must communicate directly. A pirate can’t ask a second pirate to communicate to a third on their behalf. That would be against pirate honor!
Use in Workshops
This game is very silly, and we are obviously not trying to simulate real handicaps. But perhaps it could be a good jumping off point for discussing the power of communication. After all, if a blind pirate can get a deaf pirate to put two coins in the square chest, then there’s no reason that any other two people can’t talk to each other!