Thanks to the wonders of the internet, we are able to sell our PDF Print & Play of Marrying Mr. Darcy online. This is a good option if you want to spend less money, enjoy DIY craft projects, or MMD is not readily available in your part of the world. While the price is low, there is some labor involved in creating your print & play set. I've gotten a few questions about making Print & Plays, so I'm going to try and document every step in this blog.
1. Buy and download the Print & Play .ZIP files. You can do that here.
2. Unzip the ZIP files. This will give you access to the PDF files inside.
3. Open the PDF files. Most computers already have Adobe software installed that can open and print PDF files. However, if you don't, you can get Adobe Reader for free here.
4. You will see that the game comes with several PDF files. Each of these is a a different component of the game. Let's look at each of these:
4A. Each "card" file is a different deck in the game. For the "Event" deck and "Character" deck the first page of the file is the card back. The other pages of these files are the card fronts. I suggest printing all of the card fronts first, flipping over the paper, and then printing the card backs on the other side.
4B. For the "suitor," "heroine," and "player guide" decks, these files are only 2 pages each. They should be printed double sided, but make sure that with the "heroine" and "player guide" decks that the cards line up properly. For example, in the heroine deck, Elizabeth Bennet should be on the front and back of her individual card when it is cut out.
4C. There are a few files for the Rules depending on how much you want to print or in what format. I would suggest looking at all the rule files and then decide which ones you want to print.
5. Print your cards and rules. On your print settings, be sure to select "Actual size" so the cards don't shrink. If you don't have a printer, you can often find a local copy store or printer (Kinkos, Staples, Office Max, UPS Store, etc.) that can do this for you. I would suggest printing on cardstock or a heavier paper for durability. If you have a store print your copy, they will probably need fairly specific instructions, so be familiar with the files so you can relay instructions.
6. Cut out your cards. The best way to do this is with a cutting mat, exacto knife, and ruler. Set the page down so you are looking at the card fronts. Set your ruler along the guides at the sides of the page and make your cut. I have found it best to stop and start the knife about 1/4 inch from the edge of the paper. This way the ruler guides don't get cut off the paper!
7. Assembly and general craftiness. Find or purchase a 6-sided dice to go with your game and you are ready to play! You might consider purchasing some Eurosize card sleeves if you want to protect the cards and make them a bit easier to shuffle. If you are an extra crafty type, you might make a box to hold your cards, dice and rules in. Here is one made by justinboy24!
Or, if you want a really special box for your print & play, check out this tin available from Customized Girl. It is the perfect size and shape to fit your custom game!
8. Read the rules, get some friends together, make some snacks (optional but highly encouraged) and have a great time playing Marrying Mr. Darcy! If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to contact me! Enjoy!
I just returned home from a long vacation visiting my husband's family and our friends who live in New Hampshire. I managed to bring the completed Alpha test of the Emma expansion along and got in a couple 2 and 4 player testing sessions thanks to my husband Erik Evensen, and friends Matt Talbot and Jen Omand.
Things went ok and we had a fun time, but there were definitely some issues. Matt played as Mr. Woodhouse. His superpower lets him remove cards from the young ladies characters since he doesn't want anyone to get married and leave him to live alone in his old age. (This is a little out of canon character for him, but it was an idea I was running with.) He earns points for every lady who becomes an Old Maid at the end of the game. Mr. Woodhouse is WAY overpowered because he slaughtered everyone both times we played. We even adjusted the scoring rules for the second play through and Mr. W still ended up with a house full of Old Maid companions.
This may have also been due to the fact that there are currently only 4 Suitors in the game. (Mr. Martin, Mr. Elton, Frank Churchill, and Mr. Knightly) and all of them are fairly difficult to get. So the combination of difficult suitors, too few of them, and Mr. W being kind of a jerk basically ruined everyone's chances. So, some significant balance issues to work on.
Moving forward for the next iteration of the Alpha test. I'm planning on adding Anne Taylor as the 6th playable character and changing Mr. Woodhouse to 3 Event cards that occur in the deck, as opposed to being a playable character. I feel like his super power just messed with the mechanics too much, though he might be usable in a 6 player game?? I'll also add Mr. Weston as the 5th suitor- probably easier to get. I also might adjust the rules so that unless an Event card gives you a power to change it, all ladies must roll for suitors in an order from lowest points to highest points. (This would change the order for each lady.) I think this would make the press your luck mechanic more interesting at the end of the game.
Anyway, most of what I wrote above was pretty stream of consciousness and probably didn't make a lot of sense, but hey, what are blogs for? The good news is that I think a LOT of the work is still good, especially the Event cards which took the longest to write. So we're making progress. My goal was to get this to Kickstarter backers by October and I think we are definitely on track to meet that goal.
I've been working on the Emma Expansion pretty diligently for the past few weeks. I finally got the files finished last Thursday and got my copies back from the printer today. This is just in time to take them on a trip to New Hampshire where I'll hopefully get the chance to do some play testing with some friends of mine. I just have to pack it up with Marrying Mr. Darcy and we'll be good to go!
After we work out the bigger bugs, I'll rewrite the cards and get the files prepped to send out to Kickstarter backers. I'm not sure how long this will take- probably depends on how well it works and how many changes there are. I'm guessing the play testing won't take nearly as long as the original Marrying Mr. Darcy took (many, many months) since a lot of the basic mechanics are similar as opposed to starting from nothing. Here's hoping!
2. Brain storming
I have a bunch of notes of random ideas for various cards and character powers. This was significantly easier than brainstorming the original game. Since I decided early on that Emma should be an expansion/companion to Marrying Mr. Darcy, several of the mechanics were already in place.
Eventually I started writing cards into my spreadsheet (picture above). I actually started by creating the left hand column which gave me an idea of what event cards were in MMD (like party cards, scandal cards) as a rough guide to what to include in Emma. It is definitely not going to be exactly the same- for example there are not as many scandals in Emma, but there will be much more Meddling. So there are some new mechanics that go along with gossiping, meddling, "helping" your friends, and my favorite - match making. I'm still writing cards for the beta test but as of today I'm about 2/3 of the was done.
4. Making "cards"
I had my husband set up a file that I could transfer my written text into a card size text box in a document that will eventually become the PDF Print and Play. I probably should wait until all the cards are written in the spreadsheet, but seeing it look like an actual card is really motivating. These are about 1/3 complete. We're keeping them very simple and art free until we've got the game play and text finalized.
That's where I am at this point! Once I finish I'll do some in-house alpha testing, make revisions, and then send the files out to Kickstarter backers. I am optimistic that we would be able to eventually Kickstart a print run of the expansion and make it available in stores.
Now that I've finished shipping out 1400 copies of Marrying Mr. Darcy, I'm starting to think about the Emma stretch goal. During my Kickstarter campaign, I set a "stretch goal" that at $40,000 I would release a beta test Emma version of Marrying Mr. Darcy. I've been thinking about what form this might take. My best guess is it will be a substantial expansion pack, maybe around 75 cards- all new Event deck, and all new playable characters and suitors.
I've been thinking about who my playable characters should be. There are a smaller number of single women in Emma looking for husbands, so to make the game playable by 6 players I might need to get creative. Here are my current ideas.
Emma Woodhouse: Emma might be the only Austen heroine in all the novels who really doesn't need to marry. She is completely financially set and has no need to marry what so ever. I was thinking of making Mr. Knightly the only suitor she could marry, but for high points. I think he'd also have to be quite difficult for her to get, having to earn many character points. (The story is about her growth after all...) Additionally, I feel like Emma should be able to interfere with other players somehow, maybe by being able to swap their character points around if she sacrifices a card from her hand?
Harriet Smith: Poor Harriet. She falls in love with everyone and ends up with a broken heart more often than not. I feel like she should get decent marriage points for everyone (like Charlotte) and maybe have a +2 Friendliness bonus at the start of the game. Top suitor is Robert Martin.
Jane Fairfax: The accomplished Jane can marry anyone, though her top points are for Frank Churchill. If she doesn't marry, she automatically becomes a Governess at the end of the game for 8 points. (Or something, I haven't done any math yet.) If this happens, perhaps her reputation points count double at the end of the game.
Augusta Hawkins/Elton: This gets a bit tricky. We don't meet Augusta until she arrives midway through the book married to Mr. Elton, who should start the game as one of the suitors. Perhaps an Event card in the deck could determine whether this marriage takes place before the proposal stage? Perhaps if they marry mid-game, their strategy changes to ensuring Jane becomes a governess or meddling in other's affairs...
Miss Bates: Austen uses Miss Bates as a warning about becoming an Old Maid. I feel like Miss Bates will automatically become an Old Maid at the end of the game, but gets +5 to her old maid roll. Since she can focus on acquiring whatever character points she wants, she should be on a pretty even playing field with the other players. Additionally, since she is financially poor, the other players will have to give her charity in the form of Character cards at certain points in the game.
Mr. Woodhouse: Emma's father does not want Emma to ever marry and leave him by himself. This is his greatest fear. He also tells Emma that she must stop matchmaking as it is very disruptive to his company. I think Mr. Woodhouse gets 5 points for every other player that is NOT married at the end of the game. So perhaps when he is instructed to draw and play a character card he instead removes one from one of the other players. Mr. Woodhouse would probably only be used for 5-6 player games.
Other possible playable characters include Anne Taylor though the book basically begins with her marriage to Mr. Weston and she has never struck me as all the interesting. Suitors would include Robert Martin, Mr. Elton, Frank Churchill, and Mr. Knightly. (And possibly Mr. Weston) There is also Emma's sister Isabella and Knightly's brother John, though they are married well before the book begins and makes things confusing with more than one Knightly available.
Do you have other ideas? Please comment below! Feedback and ideas are appreciated.
Pride and Prejudice is full of events that progress the plot and character development. The biggest turning point (in my opinion) is when Elizabeth reads a letter from Mr. Darcy after she has rejected his proposal. This is the big turning point in the book where Lizzy’s opinion of Darcy begins to change, but also the point where she discovers that she is quick to judge and these judgements are not always accurate. She later says to Jane something like “I did not know myself.”
I wanted to put this kind of discovery in the game. I ended up making the event card above that basically forces you to change how you have been building your character. If you get this card early in the game, it is more advantageous because you will likely only be discarding one or two cards and gaining four, plus you have time to make adjustments before the end of the game. However, the later you get this card in the game, the more devastating it can potentially be as the strategy you’ve been employing up to that point may need to change. I think this makes sense of the book. Elizabeth can't move forward until she knows this about herself, it is initially devastating. But because she discovers this before she goes to Pemberley she is able to move forward with Darcy. If she hadn't discovered this by the middle of the book, things would have turned out quite differently!
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This is an Event Card from my upcoming Pride and Prejudice Card Game “Marrying Mr. Darcy." It is meant to reflect the time in the book after the Netherfield Ball when Mr. Bingley unexpectedly leaves Meryton for London, mostly due to the influence of his sisters and Mr. Darcy.
How devastating this card is depends on when this card appears in the deck. If it turns up early in the game, chances are good a Party Card will be drawn and Mr. Bingley will return. However, if it appears late in the game, it could be a huge blow to some of the ladies who were hoping to marry him at the end of the game. Of course if the player who draws a Party Card decides it is in their best interests not to invite Mr. Bingley to the party (Caroline) it is possible he might stay in London for the rest of the game.
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Jane Austen refers to “cunning" in Pride and Prejudice and her other works. In my upcoming card game “Marrying Mr. Darcy," how Cunning a character is, and how they use Cunning during the game is a key part of the strategy of the game.
Cunning does not earn you any points at the end of the game. However, it can be used to your advantage in two ways. First, looking at the top of the card, you may blemish another players character by forcing them to discard a card they have played, in this case beauty. This causes the rival character to lose points, but also might affect which Suitors are interested them. If you want a particular Suitor to yourself, this could be a good strategic move.
The other way you can use Cunning is to play it on yourself, facedown. The Character who has acquired the most Cunning points at the end of the Courtship Stage of the game, will be the first character to roll for to see which Suitor proposes in the Proposal stage. This is a huge advantage, since there will be fewer Suitors available as the Proposal stage goes on.
These are some notes that I took scoring a 6-player test of “Marrying Mr. Darcy." For this test, I actually played all 6 Heroines myself. I was checking to see if I had enough cards in the deck, how many points verses cards might be played by the end of the game, and trying out one or two cards that I hadn’t played with before.
The game took a little over an hour (12:06-1:12 at the top of the page). In this game Georgiana managed to win by marrying Mr. Bingley, but what won her the game was that she built up a lot of points improving her character.
Poor Lizzy didn’t do very well. She took a risk and married Mr. Darcy when he appeared with an early surprise proposal (as happens in the book.) She accepted, but for less points than if she had waited to see if he would propose again later in the game. This decision probably cost her the game.
Lydia didn’t do very well either, though she happened to elope with Mr. Wickham, who is one of Lydia’s best Suitors. He was bribed to propose to her (thanks to a high roll of the dice), but alas, Lydia’s character was not high enough to win the game.
And dear Mary. Old Maid Mary. A bad roll of the dice with Mr. Collins and he didn’t propose. But Mary did ok as an Old Maid, adding 8 points to her score.
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There are 8 Heroines available to play as in Marrying Mr. Darcy: Elizabeth, Jane, Mary, Kitty, Lydia, Charlotte, Georgiana, and Caroline. Each Heroine has a different bonus or power, so the experience of playing each one will be a little different!
While Kitty might not be the most powerful player in the deck, I think her player power fits her personality the best. In Pride and Prejudice, Kitty is easily influenced by her sisters, particularly Lydia. She follows Lydia’s lead and is quite the copy-cat!
Instead of drawing an Event Card as usual on her turn, if Kitty likes what the last player just did, she may draw the top discarded Event Card instead.
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Musician, conductor and game designer.