The Rookie Guess Game is also
named in short the "Rookie Game" or just "Rookie" ("Let's play a Rookie"). This
easy to play and at the same time very enjoyable game is nothing more than a
quiz about different things like animals, plants persons etc. It is played
throughout Santharia and in parts
Northern Sarvonia as well. All
social levels seem to enjoy it and the only restriction which has to be
observed is that the participants should be of similar educational level.
History. This game might have existed already for ages within the Brownie society, but obviously it never passed the racial boundaries. However, when Rookie Brownbark, a young Llaoihrr woman from the Skydiver Clan came to New-Santhala to work in the Great Library, the game started its triumphal procession through Santharia and beyond. Rookie had introduced it to her fellow Compendiumists who got addicted to it and played it for some time in every free minute, calling it simply "Rookie" and - to the sage's concern - one of the most often heard question during this time was not: "Could you please help me write down this history part?" but must have been: "What about playing a Rookie?"
As luck would have it, the royal twins visited the library for educational reason and were immediately introduced to this game which they played with great enthusiasm, for it gave them the opportunity to show off their knowledge. It only took two weeks until the game had found its way from the royal children's rooms to the royal kitchen and the nearby yards harbouring the children of the craftsmen and other lower classes. The quizzes posed and the questions asked were certainly not as sophisticated as in the royal children's rooms, but the fun must have been the same. These kids of the lower classes were well aware, that they played the same game as the young princes.
Now you might have gotten a notion that this was a game for poorer people mostly. Far from it! As all the royal children, not just the wild twins took to it, it became fashionable among the noble families to enjoy Rookie. For a long time the stitching and embroidering circles of the young women from noble or rich families were inconceivable without this game. What were formerly often boring gatherings, devoted to gossip and chit-chat, became now a place were you could show, that you were well educated and had a good knowledge of Santharia and the whole of Caelereth. Suddenly young ladies who had previously led the life of a wallflower found themselves in the centre of attention and not only during the Only-Girls-Meetings, but at the next ball as well.
From New-Santhala it spread quickly to the other big cities and from there to the villages and hamlets. Now, a year after its introduction it has already found its way to Northern Sarvonia into the Kuglimz Lands and it will not last long till the first ship will reach the Nybelmarian coasts and spread it there.
Equipment. Make sure to have your brains with you and a friend or two, and that's it.
This simple game is so genial, for you need nothing than your wit and at least
one other player, no equipment, no diagram, no dices, nothing. Only if cheating
is feared something to write on (paper, chalkboard, flat piece of ground) is
required. The number of people who can play it at one time is theoretically
high, though if there are more than ten it might not be enjoyable anymore for
you have to wait too long until it is your turn or, in variation two, for those
who are too slow to get a chance to say something. - The game-leader is called
"Rookie" as well.
Rules. In general this game is about finding out which animal, plant, mineral, person, place or other "item" the one who is currently the Rookie is thinking of by asking questions which will narrow down the possible variety of the chosen subject until there is no choice left and the name of the animal or plant is called out.
The following rules have to be folllowed:
The youngest player has the right to pose the first quiz.
The one sitting to his or her left side may ask the first question to narrow down the choice.
The Rookie may answer these questions only with "No" or "Yes". If the question cannot be answered palpably then he has to decide what is more correct than the other.
If the answer is yes, the one who asked this question may continue, if no, then it is the turn of the next player to the left.
This goes on till the answer is found.
The one who calls out the name of the item looked for is allowed to pose next quiz.
There is not really an end to this game, no defined winner or looser, just the reward of becoming the Rookie more often than others.
Variations to the game are as follows:
Everyone may ask just one question, regardless if a "No" or "Yes" was the answer. This makes the game more interesting in case there is someone whose guesses are too often accurate.
Everybody may pose his/her question at the same time and the Rookie has to try to answer them in the correct progression. This is not always as chaotic as one might anticipate, especially not when it comes to the end and the right questions are hard to find.
To illustrate the rules let us look at
The youngest player has the right to pose the first question. He or she will just say e.g.: "I'm thinking of an animal." Let us assume, it is the kev'lor horse. - Now following questions can be posed which will narrow down the choice:
Does this animal live in Sarvonia (Yes)
Does this animal live in Santharia (No)
Does this animal have four legs (Yes)
Does this animal have fur? (Yes)
Does this animal weigh less than one heb? (No)
Is this animal used by men? (Yes)
Does this animal live in the Northern parts of Northern Sarvonia? (No)
Is it used by the Kuglimz tribes? (Yes)
Is it a horse? (Yes)
By now it is clear, that it can only be the Kev'lor Warhorse and the next question would be.
Is it the kev'lor warhorse? (Yes)
And the one who has posed this question will
be the next Rookie.
Great Library Variation. Not as widespread as the common Rookie, one of the Compendiumists invented a more complicated version - a history quiz. So not a plant, an animal or a person is asked for, but a historical event. This is not necessarily played when sitting together, but a special board is placed in the cha'a and recreation room where the quiz is posted and the questions following it as well. So every player gets the chance to look something up, this gets interesting, when the event is narrowed down to a few years. However, as the communication is not so direct as in the common Rookie, is not as much liked either.
Importance. The value of this game as an educational tool cannot be overestimated. In which game are you able to learn something about where which plants grow, animals roam or when famous persons lived and what they did? In which game is knowledge as rewarded as much as here? It is reported, that the attention of children who are fortunate enough to be able to visit one of the royal schools has risen considerably and that the teachers use the Rookie to motivate their pupils. Other children (be it of a lower social class or of higher educational level) ask their parents if they wouldn't know a strange animal living at any foreign place so they have something to ask their comrades might not find out next time.
But educational benefits are not the only convenience this game offers. It is just entertaining, as the Lady Ella's Quiz Circle proves, which was created to allow the male part of New-Santhala's nobles to join in the game without having to devout themselves to cross stitches. But there sprang other clubs into life as well, located more in taverns and pubs than in the bowers, visited by craftsmen and merchants. The most famous example is probably the Corbie's Tavern in Ravenport. These people spent their past time now not only with a good beer, but gave the Rookie a new twist, not asking about animals and plants, but more searching for words from the miscellaneous section like "bung", "R'unorian Brandy" or, well, female body parts.
Though the social value of the last example might be disputable, none will deny that there is no better means to entertain a group of people on a journey. What is easier to play to keep especially children at bay when they have to sit for hours as the Rookie? Where do you need no cards, dices or any other items which won't stay on the table on a rough sea voyage? But not only the boredom of a long journey can be mitigated, but that of boring work as well. So it became fashionable to play the Rookie in noble circles while doing the finest embroidery, it is valuable as a distraction while spinning, weaving and doing other such labouring work which lets the mind search for an additional occupation. Not everybody can sing so well, that it will be enjoyed by others - a Rookie does not hurt any ears.
As a last thought it can well be stated, that the Rookie raised the level of contentment throughout the whole kingdom.