GENERAL DISCUSSIONS

Jane Espenson's Tall Card Game

POSTED BY: SOUTHERNMERC
UPDATED: Wednesday, September 22, 2004 03:25
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Friday, January 9, 2004 4:37 PM

SOUTHERNMERC


In the commentary for "Shindig," Jane mentions she invented this card game, "Tall Card," for the episode and even posted it on the site. I was wondering if anyone had ever seen the rules for this game? If so I would love a copy. Thanks.

Jayne: "How big a room?"

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Saturday, January 10, 2004 2:37 AM

IRISANNE


Yes, I just heard this commentary for the first time the other night, and I'd love to know more about this, too.

--------------------
"Hamsters is nice."

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Saturday, January 10, 2004 3:11 AM

TRAGICSTORY


From the 5 seconds that I saw of it, it looks like a cross of Rook and Hearts.

-----------
"Societies are supported by human activity, therefore they are constantly threatened by the human facts of self-intrest and stupidity." --Peter Berger

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Sunday, January 11, 2004 10:44 AM

BILLIE


Seems pretty cool, if anyone finds out anything for sure let me know.

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Sunday, January 11, 2004 11:26 AM

FFYING2


The recently deceased fan extraordinaire Lux Lucre did his best to recreate it. It's sort of poker meets mah-jongg.

Here are the rules he and others generated:

Quote:

Long Pai (Dragon Cards) follows Draw Poker rules unless otherwise stated.

6 suits (Plum, Peach, Orange, Apple, Apricot, Banana) of 12 cards (72 cards).

Ranks:
1-8 spots, Ace can be high or low.
Face Cards: Tortoise, Unicorn, Phoenix, Dragon (The Ssu-ling "Heavenly Beasts" of Chinese myth)

In addition to the 72 regular rectangular cards there are 6 round cards called "Tall cards" one for each of the 6 suits.

The Dealer shuffles the regular cards and the player to the right of the Dealer shuffles the Tall cards.

The Tall card for that hand is revealed after everyone antes up. After the first round of betting, players can discard and draw up to 3 cards OR the face up Tall card can be claimed by a player instead of a discard/draw.

Claiming the Tall card allows the cards in one's hand, that are of the same suit as the Tall card, to become wild in rank. If the option goes around and the Tall is not claimed, the Dealer is forced to claim the Tall.

Another round of betting takes place and surviving players still in the game reveal their hands with the highest ranked hand taking the pot.

=================================================

One interesting thing to note is that "5 of a kind" is a possible hand in Long Pai, since there are more than 4 suits.



Also links to rough drafts of cards he was working on; not sure if he finished:

http://forums.prospero.com/foxfirefly/messages?msg=8422.255

Ying
Firefly Funsite http://fireflyfunsite.home.att.net
Firefly Chinese Pinyinary http://fireflychinese.home.att.net

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Sunday, January 11, 2004 12:04 PM

CHAEL


With all due respect to the dearly departed... I have to wonder why anyone would need to re-create the game by patching together their own rules. Ms. Espensen said she created rules for it, and that the rules once were posted on the Fox website for fans who wanted to play. Is it *that* hard to track down the original rules for the game?


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Sunday, January 11, 2004 1:12 PM

FFYING2


Quote:

Originally posted by chael:
With all due respect to the dearly departed... I have to wonder why anyone would need to re-create the game by patching together their own rules. Ms. Espensen said she created rules for it, and that the rules once were posted on the Fox website for fans who wanted to play. Is it *that* hard to track down the original rules for the game?



I haven't listened to the "Shindig" commentary yet. But I never saw any rules posted on the official Fox site. I looked at every part of that site when it was up, as well as Haken's archive of it. If they were ever there, it was for some "magic moment."

I also seem to recall player Adam Baldwin himself saying on the Fox boards that they pretty much made the game up as they went along.

Ying
Firefly Funsite http://fireflyfunsite.home.att.net
Firefly Chinese Pinyinary http://fireflychinese.home.att.net

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Sunday, January 11, 2004 1:22 PM

LUNATIKAT


I'm sorry. I must have missed this. Lux Lucre deceased? What happened?

lunatikat- you can run but you can't hopscotch

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Sunday, January 11, 2004 1:29 PM

CHAEL


Hmm.. That is odd. Listen to the Shindig commentary... it leaves one with a very different impression. Such as, Espenson also says that Glass, Maher and Baldwin all asked her to teach them the rules for when they shot that scene. Maybe she was embellishing.



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Sunday, January 11, 2004 1:31 PM

CHAEL

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Sunday, January 11, 2004 1:33 PM

PHLEBOTININ


I doubt Jane was embellishing -- especially if it were being captured on DVD for posterity. I checked her website (or one of her websites?) and could find nothing about Tall Card. I just asked, via email, the website maintainer if they knew anything where Jane may have posted the rules for this game.

Here's the website I have for Jane in case anyone else wishes to check and/or send in a request for further info:

http://www.janeespenson.com/


----------------------------------------------
A muscle cramp? In your...pants?

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Sunday, January 11, 2004 1:37 PM

CHAEL


Well, I didn't mean embellishing in a negative way. I meant simply, maybe she said they asked her to explain the rules, and while on DVD it seems so formal, perhaps in reality it was quite loose and she gave them a very sketchy idea they then ellaborated on.

Or maybe I'm mis-remembering the commentary entirely. I should go back and re-watch.


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Sunday, January 11, 2004 2:44 PM

PHLEBOTININ


Oh, I wasn't thinking you meant "embellishing" in a negative way.....I hope you didn't take offense to my response. Didn't mean any! Anyway, I just listened to the commentary last night and I distinctly remember her saying that she had worked the game out -- with all the rules and such -- and had posted 'em. The question is where? Or maybe she gave the rules to whomever was in charge of the site and they just never made it on?

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Monday, January 12, 2004 7:12 PM

FFYING2


I've now listened to the commentary and can certainly agree with you all about what Jane Espenson said. But I think she was mistaken when she said that the rules were ever posted on the Fox site.

And here's the hearsay of what Adam Baldwin told Lux Lucre:

Quote:


Lux Lucre:
I recently got to talk with Adam Baldwin about the game, and he confirmed that no real rules had been created for it, it was just shown to indicate that gambling was going on.


http://forums.prospero.com/foxfirefly/messages?msg=8422.1

Ying
Firefly Funsite http://fireflyfunsite.home.att.net
Firefly Chinese Pinyinary http://fireflychinese.home.att.net

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Tuesday, September 21, 2004 4:40 PM

FFYING2


I was looking through the spoiler script page scans recently. I think the posting of the "Shindig" pages on the official site is what made Jane Espenson incorrectly think that the rules for Tall Card had been posted on the official site.

This is all we get:

Quote:


INT. SERENITY COMMON AREA / KITCHEN - NIGHT

SIMON, BOOK and Jayne play Chore poker. It looks like five card draw, only instead of chips, they're playing for pieces of paper. Each man has a collection of scraps in front of him -- Simon has the least and Book the most. Simon shuffles.

SIMON
Ante up, gentlemen.
(antes piece of paper)
Dishes.

BOOK
(anteing)
Dishes. Could do with less of them.

JAYNE
(anteing)
Garbage.

Simon completes the deal. The three men study their cards.

BOOK
I'll take two.

JAYNE
(re: his hand)
Speakin' of garbage.
(then)
Gimme three.

SIMON
And one for the dealer.

Simon gives out the cards.

BOOK
What do you s'pose the Captain and Kaylee are doing now?
(betting)
Septic flush.

JAYNE
Eatin' steaks off plates made a' solid money, like as anything. I fold.

SIMON
Me too.

JAYNE
Take it, Shepherd.

BOOK
Thank you, gents. That's a nice pile of things I don't have to do.



fireflyfans.net/firefly/scriptpages/shindig_21.jpg
fireflyfans.net/firefly/scriptpages/shindig_22.jpg

Note that the final filmed version is different:

Quote:


SIMON
(dealing)
Ante up, gentlemen. Dishes.

BOOK
Dishes. Could do with less of them.

JAYNE
Garbage.

SIMON
(turns over a card)
Tall card... plum. Plums are tall.

BOOK
I'll take... two.

SIMON
Two. No tall card claim.

JAYNE
Speaking of garbage, I'll take three.

SIMON
Three. Dealer forced to claim the tall.

In the background, River is muttering over cans of food, getting increasingly more agitated.

BOOK
What do you supposed the Captain and Kaylee are doing now? Septic vat.

JAYNE
Eating steaks off of plates made of solid money, like as anything. I fold.

River is now ripping the labels from several cans of food.

SIMON
Me too. Tall card's around my neck like a weight. Take it Shepherd.

BOOK
That's a nice pile of things I don't have to do.




Ying
Firefly Funsite http://fireflyfunsite.home.att.net
Firefly Chinese Pinyinary http://fireflychinese.home.att.net

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Tuesday, September 21, 2004 6:07 PM

RABIT


Uh, here's what I found on the Firefly Wiki ( http://www.fireflywiki.org/Firefly/TallCard):

Quote:

In [Shindig], Book, Jayne, and Simon are playing a kind of poker-like card game where the stakes are various kinds of household duties, like "garbage", "dishes" and "septic vat".

Simon: Tall card ... plum. Plums are tall.

Book: I'll take ... two.

Simon: Two. No tall card claim.

Jayne takes three and

Simon: Three. Dealer forced to claim the tall.

A moment later he folds and

Simon: Tall card's around my neck like a weight.

So... what's this game they're playing?


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Long Pai (Dragon Cards) follows Draw Poker rules unless otherwise stated.

6 suits (Plum, Peach, Orange, Apple, Apricot, Banana) of 12 cards (72 cards).

Ranks:
1-8 spots, Ace can be high or low.
Face Cards: Tortoise, Unicorn, Phoenix, Dragon (The Ssu-ling "Heavenly Beasts" of Chinese myth)

In addition to the 72 regular rectangular cards there are 6 round cards called "Tall cards" one for each of the 6 suits.

The Dealer shuffles the regular cards and the player to the right of the Dealer shuffles the Tall cards.

The Tall card for that hand is revealed after everyone antes up. After the first round of betting, players can discard and draw up to 3 cards OR the face up Tall card can be claimed by a player instead of a discard/draw.

Claiming the Tall card allows the cards in one's hand, that are of the same suit as the Tall card, to become wild in rank. If the option goes around and the Tall is not claimed, the Dealer is forced to claim the Tall.

Another round of betting takes place and surviving players still in the game reveal their hands with the highest ranked hand taking the pot.

(One interesting thing to note is that "5 of a kind" is a possible hand in Long Pai, since there are more than 4 suits.)

Don't rightly know who created it or where it came from, but my hopes were that it originated with the info Jane had and was embelished from there...

Rabit

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Wednesday, September 22, 2004 2:43 AM

AGEHN


I don't know much about card games, but is there any negative aspect whatsoever to taking the tall card according to these rules? If you like the cards you have, you don't have to change their value, and if the first person takes it even if he doesn't need it, it prevents the other players from taking it to thier advantage.

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Wednesday, September 22, 2004 3:25 AM

RABIT


Quote:

Originally posted by Agehn:
I don't know much about card games, but is there any negative aspect whatsoever to taking the tall card according to these rules? If you like the cards you have, you don't have to change their value, and if the first person takes it even if he doesn't need it, it prevents the other players from taking it to thier advantage.

My understanding is that, since you can either take the tall or draw, the dealer doesn't get to draw when he's stuck with the tall card...

Rabit

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