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Variant: RandoMagic
By Steve Cutcliffe
In the interest of making casual Magic even more insane than we all know it can be, I thought I'd share a variant of the game with your readers. A very brief background on the birth of RandoMagic(tm): Fall session at the University, final exams are looming, it's about 2:00 in the morning, and there are only three of us left of the regular playgroup. So we sit down for "just one more game" and take our first turns... then all hell breaks loose.

RandoMagic seems to work best with three players, ensuring that the game is interesting without going on forever. The rules are simple: to win, you must eliminate both of your opponents. Yeah, yeah, I know. "How else am I going to win?" you ask. Stick with me...

You see, in RandoMagic you never know when you or your opponents are going to play. And death is not really the end. RandoMagic starts out the same as any chaos game, with each player taking his or her first turn as normal (though I recommend allowing the first player to draw a card on the first turn). After the first turns are done, things get crazy.

You'll need a portable random number generator (aka one six-sided die) to complete the game. Each player is assigned numbers -- generally 1/2, 3/4 and 5/6. At the end of the third player's first turn (after all effects are finished), he or she rolls the dice. The person whose number is rolled gets to take his/her turn. At the end of that player's turn, the dice is rolled again...

When, eventually, one player is eliminated, the game is not as over as you might expect. That player's number is still considered active; if it gets rolled, he or she shuffles up his or her deck, grabs a hand of seven cards and starts playing again. The only way for you to win is by eliminating both of your opponents before one of them gets rolled back in. A quick administrative note: you should eliminate infinite-turn decks, as the interaction between the rules and the dice could get rather messy. (Editor's note: Actually, it would seem that any spell that says 'take a turn after this one' would really mess things up.)

This is not a speedy variant by any means, simply due to the random factor. RandoMagic is a great way to end off a gaming session, or as a diversion when things get a bit too serious. Enjoy!

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