Astragals is a
Santharian game, also called "Footbones" or
"Barbardice", often played for money. It quite very popular because it is very
easy to learn, there isn't much equipment required to play it and finally there
is always the prospect of winning some coins.
History. This game’s origin is reflected in one of its alternate names, "Barbadice". It has been played by the Kuglimz tribes since time immemorial, and memorialized in their oral histories which date back to the time of the War of the Chosen. Historically Astragals has been played for money, and to date that has not changed; as a result it is not often played among the upper classes who see it as rather beneath them. Currently, however, a few mages at the Academy of Ximax are making a study of the game with a view towards developing a theory of chance and probability. We are in hopes that this will not ruin the game’s appeal but rather broaden it! It could have significant educational applications in the latter case...
Equipment. In order to play Astragals the following equipment is necessary:
1.) Two sheep’s ankle bones (have six distinct faces and angles), each etched with the numbers 1-6.
2.) A flat surface.
4.) A cup is sometimes used but considered overly refined by most.
5.) In case of the "Divide and Conquer" variant: Pebbles and a map.
Game Set-Up. Players must agree on which of the many variations of dice games they will play, and the size of the bets they are placing.
Rules. Widely varied, depending on the game. Some common ones are listed below.
Three casts made by each player must add up to an odd number. The highest odd number wins that amount of coin. Even throws must add that amount of coin to the "pot".
Players attempt to "collect" a series of numbers, from 2 through 12. Any order is acceptable, and the Astragals’ numbers can be used separately or added together. The first player finished wins, the rest are wiped out (known as "seeing the skull"). Popular with soldiers.
Divide And Conquer
Requires additional equipment - pebbles or similar markers to represent armies, and a simple map. The astragals are used to provide random odds of "attacks" succeeding or failing against other players. This is a particular favorite in taverns, where tables are sometimes carved with rough maps of the local territories so that regulars can enjoy refighting old battles.
Information provided by Bard Judith