In my previous article Free Parking; Gazing Into the Abyss, I stressed the importance of never passing out money when a player lands on the Free Parking space in the game of Monopoly. If you don’t understand why such a fun-loving guy as myself can be such a buzzkill on a house-rule/side-game in Monopoly, please, click on the link. It’s my hope that page makes the world a nicer place to live in. Just a little.
A friend of mine wasn’t happy with me when I first published that page. I was taking something fun away from the game of Monopoly, but not giving anything back. Fine. Let’s give back to Monopoly. Let’s give Monopoly a whole extra board.
Double Monopoly is a rules variant of Monopoly that uses two separate Monopoly boards. One board is the ‘real world’ and one is an ‘alternate reality’. I’m quite sure citizens of both worlds assume that they are the real world, but I can assure you that the alternate reality is the one where people have more facial hair. If Rich Uncle Pennybags is sporting a goatee, you got it in one.
“But John-Michael,” you say “I thought the reason why you wrote an article about the evils of abusing the Free Parking space was to speed up the gameplay, and thus increase enjoyment of the game! Also, I’ve been looking around the internet, and I found that other people have made rules about adding extra boards to Monopoly. The one at NeedCoffee.com seems especially succinct.”
First of all, stop talking to your computer. It’s not going to answer you, and the rest of the people in the library think you’re a goon. Second, unlike a lot of rules variants for multiple Monopoly boards, which are built on the premise that more equals better, these rules assume that you still want to play a one hour game of Monopoly… just one that’s a bit crazier. It’s my hope that, when you play with these rules, the game may end up faster than a normal game of Monopoly. It may, however, not be as fast as a normal game of Monopoly that includes lottery money when a person lands on Free Parking. Those games normally end at the thirty minute mark with someone flipping the board over and threats of death, screaming for Mom and/or more beer.
by John-Michael Gariepy
Who among your fellow alternate reality sliders are your friends and who are your enemies from another world? You can never be certain, so it’s best to kill them all through the shame of bankruptcy. Live the American dream of being the only person with money in the world.
Take one Monopoly board and set it on the table. Then take another Monopoly board and set it on the table so that the “GO” spaces overlap each other, but the boards are facing two different directions. Figure the rest out yourself. I’m not going to bother telling you to organize those properties if you’re going to be that way about it.
Fight desperately to determine who will be the banker. The banker then hands out $1,500 to each player. (Note!: That’s the amount of money passed out in a normal Monopoly game. We aren’t doubling the money because there are two boards. We’re not messing with Monopoly’s sense of balance and we definitely are not passing out twice the money because there are two boards. The economy sucks. Deal with it.)
Each player rolls the dice to see who goes first. The person who goes last chooses a token to represent themselves and puts it on ‘GO’. Then the person who came in second to last chooses their token, etc.. The person who goes first must take the iron, because that’s what they get, the lucky curmudgeon. If there is no iron, the thimble will do.
The first player rolls the dice, then determines which board they would like to move onto. That player must always move clockwise around either board (or, in other words, from Mediterranean Ave to Board Walk). Whenever a player passes ‘GO’, they may decide which of two realities (boards) they would like to continue through. (Note!: Many variations on two-board-Monopoly make the player determine which board they want to go on before they roll the dice and pass ‘GO’. This seems like a tedious exercise to me. Are you going to make a person decide which board they will go to if they might roll a 12 when they are standing on Marvin Gardens? What if they are standing on Pacific Avenue, don’t think about it, and roll box cars? Stop being a henpecker, and let your players decide after they roll.)
After player one takes their turn, player two rolls the dice and decides which of two mind-numbing realities their precious mind is more ready to handle. (Note!: The choice of boards in the early game helps ease one of the most unfair aspects of Monopoly. The person who goes first has a tendency to win because they have a greater chance of hitting each property before every other player. Monopoly doesn’t really have any come back from behind mechanics, so… that sucks, huh?)
Whenever a player is directed to go to a location, they go to the same (approximate) location in the alternate reality (well, alternate to this one). Whenever a player lands on a railroad, they resolve their business at that railroad and ride it like a pac-man warp tunnel to the approximate location of the railroad in the alternate reality. They do not then proceed to resolve business at the alternate reality railroad. I mean, seriously. What kind of shady railway service would charge you to get on a train, then charge you again to get off of it? Granted, I’m impressed by the fact that the train I was on turned into a Tie Fighter, but I’m not paying you extra for it.
There is no change in how you buy a property (Note!: But many people don’t realize that if you don’t buy a property, it goes up for auction. See the base Monopoly rules. Normally, that’s not important, since players gobble up whatever property they land on. It’s going to matter a bit more here, however, since there are double the amount of properties and the same amount of money. Good Luck!)
As long as you own all the different approximate property locations in a color, you have a monopoly and may proceed to build houses in that color. For example: If you control Kentucky Ave, Indiana Ave and Illinois Ave, you may start building houses on your red properties… it doesn’t matter if those properties are in different realities. The same is not true if you control Mediterranean Avenue and Mediterranean Avenue from the other reality. You might get some really good pizza out of that deal, but no monopoly. If you control Bambi, Aladdin and the Cardassian, Takaran, you have a monopoly, but not if you own Hey, Jude, Abbey Road and Ganondorf. Got it?
Rent – $25
If two railroads are owned – $50
If three railroads are owned – $100
If four railroads are owned – $200
If five railroads are owned – $300
If six railroads are owned – $500
If seven railroads are owned – $800
If eight railroads are owned – $1,200
Utilities are no longer a poor investment. I should hope not. I would think that buying out the Electric Company in my home town would pay dividends, as opposed to, on average, making me $28 whenever someone decides to visit. Utility cards now read:
If one utility is owned, rent is four times the amount shown on dice.
If two utilities are owned, rent is ten times the amount shown on dice.
If three utilities are owned, rent is twenty times the amount shown on dice.
If four utilities are owned, rent is fifty times the amount shown on dice.
When you land on property owned by another player, the owner collects rent from you in accordance with the list printed on its Title Deed card. Each location in Double Monopoly has its own deed card and is a separate entity from identical locations in its alternate reality. If a person owns Bywater, and you are playing with two copies of Monopoly: Lord of the Rings edition (Wow. Really? Okay…) then a customer owes you money only if they land on your Bywater. The other Bywater can rot for all you care. Bunch of ninnyhammers over there.
Oh. And if you land on someone’s property, you’re obliged to pay them. I know the official rules of Monopoly say the onus is on the person who owns the property to ask for their rent, but lets stop acting like jerks, shall we? I mean, I know some of you need justification to stop doing what the rules say. Here’s your justification: That’s not how it works in Double Monopoly. I assume it was common for business moguls to pull a fast one, clenching onto their top hats and monocles as they bolted past the hotel clerk at the front desk in 1924, but people use credit cards now. You pull that stunt, they’ll just charge you after you left, then charge you for the air conditioner that you ‘damaged’.
Whenever one player goes bankrupt and leaves the game, jail stops becoming a boarding house. When you land in jail, you must pay $50 and move into ‘Just Visiting’. The prison guards got smart and figured out that you are either A.) a really wealthy person who could buy his way out of prison, and the only reason you are not doing so is because you figured out that prison is more comfortable than the real world. So, they figured, they might as well take your bribe and kick you out without asking. Or, B.) You are a minor celebrity, known for being rich, but don’t really have any money, and are trying to mooch off the prison system. They hate those guys more. If you can’t pay the $50 because you are that far behind, you go bankrupt and lose the game.
When two people have left the game, GO stops working. Sorry, Hoss. The government has wisened up, and there will be no more government handouts to struggling businesses.
When three people have left the game, players who pass GO pay the bank $200. It turns out that paying $75 in luxury tax and $200 in property tax isn’t enough for people who own half the city and ride the trains for free. Again, if you don’t have the $200 at your disposal, you receive a fate worth than death. You have to start working for a living as opposed to running around the city in a mad dash to see how many hotels you can sleep in. Also, you’re bankrupt and are no longer playing.
Congratulations! You’ve stolen every last dime from your ‘competitors’, and are well on your way to a life of empirical rule. You run this town. Indeed, this town and its alternate reality sister city with its fine mustachioed inhabitants. While you relax in a quick mink bath, however, one of your former competitors, now turned manservant, confronts you with an urgent telegram. “Are you daft, man!” you bark, “What does it say?”
The wincing manservant opens the sealed envelope, flips it over and reads, “The President has been kidnapped by ninjas. Stop. Are you a bad enough dude to rescue the President? Stop.”
While I’m 95% sure that the rules to Double Monopoly are sound, I haven’t had the chance, yet, to put philosophy to practice. If you do get a chance to play this rules variant, please, leave a comment. I’d love to hear how your play group accepted the challenge, what changes made what differences, and, most important, if people had a good time. I’d also love to do this again with another game, so any suggestions would be welcome. See you in the next article!