I’m about 12K words into the writing of my novel. The next scene I write will introduce a new character who is gambling away some money on a game of Twenty Wizards. I definitely wanted to introduce him playing a game; gaming just goes with the personality of the character. And he’s gambling; he takes risks. Anyway, since my novel takes place in a fantasy world, I didn’t want him to be playing any game that would exist here on Earth, so I invented a pretty simple card game, calling it (for now) Twenty Wizards (of the 120 cards used in the game 20 are wizards, and they are the most powerful cards you can draw). I nerdishly printed out the cards on green construction paper and cut ’em up and somehow managed to get my sister to play so that we could test out different variations on the rules. Winning takes a combination of luck and strategy, but it’s simple enough that once you get used to it, you can play through each round quite quickly. I’ve only tried playing it one-on-one so far; I’d like to try it with three or more players at some point, but I think it will work for the purposes of my book.
My testing version is a card game, but in the novel the game will be played with game pieces, the size of chess pieces, on specialized tables. Should be fun to write. I’ll probably stay away from going into a detailed explanation of the game’s rules in the novel, but the info will exist somewhere for interested readers… if this thing ever gets finished and published.