Dime-Coated Gun Rules

See rules template from http://s3.amazonaws.com/www.thegamecrafter.com/templates/document.pdf

Dime-Coated Gun

A deduction game

Listen up, detectives! Another murder victim's body has been found. You all know the drill - you need to deduce the elements of the crime: who committed the crime, how, and why. Build the case so we can put the villain away!


Be the first player to correctly deduce the three "answer" cards (suspect, cause of death, and motive) randomly selected at setup for the game.


  • 63 cards
    • 16 Suspect cards (2 each of 8 suspects)
    • 16 Cause of Death cards (2 each of 8 causes of death)
    • 16 Motive cards (2 each of 8 motives)
    • 15 Examine the Database cards
  • 8 "Reference Grid" (a.k.a. "Database") placards, lettered A-H (with corresponding colors; see below)
  • 6 Player "Notebooks"
  • X Notebook markers
    • Y red x markers ("No")
    • Z green checkmark markers ("Yes")
  • 1 Token

(insert letter/color code table)


1. Give each player a "Notebook" and markers

Each player gets a "notebook" for keeping track of deductions and answers. The notebook is folded in half (like a laptop) to use for shielding the deductions from other players eyes.

The notebooks provide spaces for applying the markers that indicate what the player has eliminated (Red X) or deduced to be an answer card (Green Checkmark).

Each player should have no more than 3 "Yes" (Green Checkmark) markers and 39 "No" (Red X) markers. Use of these markers is described later.

2. Pick the "answer" cards

  1. Separate the cards into groups based on their type (Suspect, Cause of Death, Motive, or Examine the Database; each type has a different background color).
  2. Set the Examine the Database cards aside for now.
  3. Shuffle each group of the three remaining types (Suspect, Cause of Death, Motive).
  4. Randomly select one "answer" card, face-down, from each group. Nobody should see what each of the selected cards is - the game is to deduce these "answer" cards.
  5. Keep the answer cards face-down and aside during game play, until a player is ready to check his/her answer.

3. Pick the Database

Randomly pick one of the "Reference Grid" placards and place it face-down in the middle of the table (Note: the "face" of the placard is the side with the grids on it. The "back" will only have the large letter on it). This will be the "Database" for this game.

4. Shuffle the cards & deal the initial cards

  1. Shuffle all of the cards (excluding the "answer" cards) together into one deck.
  2. Deal cards to each player. The number of cards dealt to each player depends on the number of players in the game, according to the chart below.
    • NOTE: Keep this chart handy throughout the game. Each round of turns begins with reshuffling and re-dealing the cards. Also, if players are removed from the game for guessing the wrong answer, the number of players remaining is used for determining how many cards to deal.
# of players # of cards dealt to each player
2 20
3 13
4 10
5 8
6 7

5. Pick the first player to go

Use whatever fair method (e.g. coin-flip, rolling dice, rock-paper-scissors, etc.) your group agrees on to determine the player to go first. Give that player the token indicating the "first player of the round."


Describe your table setup instructions here. If there are decks, tell the user to shuffle the decks and where to place them on the table. If there's a game board describe where to place it. Where do they put dice, chips, tokens, pawns, etc?

Now describe what needs to happen to get each player set up. Do they need money? A pawn? Some cards?

NOTE: It's often useful to show an image of what the table should look like after it's set up. As the saying goes, a picture is worth 1000 words.

While describing setup you may also want to set up some definitions. For example give a name for the discard pile and the deck and the game board, and consistently use those names through out the instructions. Also define that a “turn” is a single player's chance to play, while a “round” is everyone around the table having a turn.

Then describe how to select a starting player. Here are some ideas:

The player who owns this game goes first, then play continues clockwise around the table.

The player who had their birthday most recently goes first, then play continues clockwise around the table.

Each player should roll a six-sided die. The player who rolled highest goes first, then play continues clockwise around the table.

All players should close their eyes. Each should say what time they think it is right now. Now open your eyes and check the time. The one closest without going over starts the game, then play continues clockwise around the table.

Unless you have something marking it on the table, do not make the play order anything other than clockwise around the table. This will only confuse your players.

Starting The Game

Here describe the first round of game play. It's useful to describe in excruciating detail.

The Second Turn And Beyond

Describe the way the game changes after the first round. Also tell the players how to begin a new round of play.

Winning And Losing The Game

Describe the conditions that have to happen to end the game. Perhaps it's after a certain number of rounds, or when some card is drawn, or when one player has a certain amount of points, money, tokens, etc.

Additional Instructions

Often it's not a good idea to put a lot of detail in the primary rules. Instead refer to other sections, like “See The Big Boom for details.”

The Big Boom

When X happens then you should do Y.

Rule Clarification 2

When Z happens, player A is out of the game.

Alternate Rules

If you like the basic game, you can spice up the game by adding these advanced rules. Put the advanced rules here.

An Example Of Play

Include an example round of play to give your players a feel for the order of operations. Rules are great for instruction and reference, but having everything spelled out in an example will allow you to convey nuance and will help settle disputes amongst the players.

Round 1

Fred: Does this and this. Then hands the dice to Wilma.
Wilma: Does this and this. Then scorns Fred for his terrible play, and hands the dice to Barney.
Barney: Does the same thing as Fred and Wilma. But also makes Betty skip her turn.
Betty: Goes to get a drink since her turn is skipped.

Round 2

Fred: Reshuffles the deck and sets the dice aside.

Hopefully by now you get the point. So fill in the rest.


The following people made this game possible.
Game Concept & Design: Jess Odum
Artwork: Jane Artist
Play Testers: Sally Tester, Dave Naysayer, Carl Rulemonger, Kerri Picky, Mike Likeseverything


Dime-Coated Gun is ©2012 Jess Odum. All rights reserved.

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