The goal of Loophole is to die. We all know that life here on Earth is a short, painful stepping-stone on the way to the Lord’s glorious Heaven, so why not try to get to Heaven sooner? Unfortunately, suicide is a sin, so that’s not an option. But, do you know what’s not a sin? Putting yourself into extremely dangerous situations. If you survive, life on Earth becomes more exciting, but if you die, Jesus will be waiting with open arms.
That’s logic. That’s Loophole!
Shuffle the Loophole deck and deal each player 6 cards. The remaining cards are placed face down in the middle of the table. This is the Draw Deck. The person to the left of the dealer goes next and can either play a completed Danger Set (see below) or discard an unwanted card into the Discard Pile and draw a replacement from the Draw Deck. Continue clockwise until someone plays a Danger Set. If the Draw Deck is emptied, reshuffle the Discard Deck and make it the Draw Deck. The winner is the first player who plays a Danger Set, rolls a number equal to or lower than the Chance Number (see below), and is not saved by a Saving Grace attempt (see below). Doing those three things means you have successfully exploited the loophole and will join Jesus in everlasting bliss.
Danger Card Sets
In order to attempt a Danger Activity, the player must collect the 3 Danger cards for that activity. Once collected, the cards can be played by revealing the set to the other players. But, to see if the Danger Activity is successful (meaning: you have a chance of dying), with a pair of six-sided dice, roll a number lower than or equal to the Danger Chance Number for that Danger Activity. For example, Skydiving has a Danger Chance (DC) of 3. So, if you roll a 3 or lower, your Danger Activity was successful. Not likely, but each activity can be paired with a rare but powerful optional Bonus Card to increase your chances of meeting Our Lord on High. But, don’t start practicing your speech to St. Peter yet, because the other players have one round to perform a Saving Grace (see below). If you fail the Danger Roll or are saved by another player’s Saving Grace, add the cards to the discard pile and continue. At the beginning of the next round, replace your used cards from the Draw Deck.
The Danger Cards include: Skydiving (DC:3) with the Faulty Parachute Bonus (+7), SCUBA Diving (DC:4) with the Hungry Shark Bonus (+6), Rock Climbing (DC:5) with the Sweaty Palms Bonus (+5), Black Diamond Skiing (DC:6) with the Stubborn Tree Bonus (+4), and Extreme Caving (DC:7) with the Claustrophobia Panic Bonus (+3).
Saving Grave Cards
In order to attempt a Saving Grace, you must play 2 Saving Grace cards in the same round as another player’s attempted Danger Activity. Any two, but only two, Saving Grace cards can be played. To see if the Saving Grace is successful (meaning: you thwart another player’s Danger Activity), with the pair of dice, roll a number lower than or equal to the combined Saving Grace Chance Numbers. The Saving Grace Cards include CPR (+1), EMT (+2), Emergency Room (+3), Trauma Surgeon (+4), and be on the lookout for the unique and powerful Miracle of Prayer Card (+6). If your Saving Grace is successful, you have achieved Saint Status, which allows you to hold 7 cards in your hand until you attempt a Danger Activity.
The Police Cards
Unlike the other cards, Police Cards can be combined with either a Danger Activity Set or a Saving Grace set. In the game of Loophole, much like real life, having the police present increases the chances that all involved are embraced by Jesus’s loving arms sooner rather than later. But since the police do have some emergency medical training and radio contact to medical professionals, it all balances out for society. Check the card to see by how much your Police Card increases the chances of either a Danger Activity or a Saving Grace. There are three types: Rookie Cop (+3 Danger Activity, +1 Saving Grace), Seasoned Officer (+2 Danger Activity, +2 Saving Grace), and Chief of Police (+1 Danger Activity, +3 Saving Grace). Only one Police Card can be used at a time.
Winning the Game
If your Danger Activity is a success, and there was no Saving Grace, you’ve successfully died. You win!
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