Original: http://www.gamepuzzles.com/lemma.htm


The Meta-rules for LEMMA

Players:   2 to 6

Start:  The gameboard rolled out on the play surface. The 48 disks off the board in a common pool available to all. Choose one player to write down rules.

Play:  Agree on order of play, Players take turns. On each turn, a player will state a new rule for the game and show an example of it on the board.

  1. Each turn introduces one new rule. The accompanying action is an example of that rule.
  2. All rules remain in effect for the rest of the game.
  3. No new rule may contradict any previous rule, No action may be against any previous rule.
  4. Only one new rule may be introduced on a turn. Beware of compound rules that seek to sneak in extra conditions.
  5. Only the gameboard and pieces are used as elements in the rules. No outside objects or conditions may be involved.
  6. A player unable to complete both parts of a turn — stating a rule and showing an example of it — is eliminated from the game.
Additional Guidelines
  • Actions on the board may be any the players can think up, such as moving, sliding, jumping, flipping, stacking, switching, etc. Any action other than placing a piece from off the board onto the board needs a rule to introduce it. The definition of the action is provided by the player when the rule is first stated. Placing a new piece is allowed, but it requires a rule about how or where it is done.

  • Write down all the rules as they are being stated. Verify a new rule against the previous ones. If a new rule seems to contradict an existing rule, the other players can challenge it, and the player whose turn it is must reword it until it is acceptable.

  • Since only one new rule may be introduced at a time, any complex combinations must be built out of elements previously introduced.

  • Without actually contradicting, it is possible that new rules may make an old rule so constrained that it can't actually be enacted. That is fair game.

  • In this microcosm of survival dynamics, it is not necessary to play until only one player remains. The players may adjourn at any time, and all survivors are winners.