Random Jim’s Rules to True American
A drinking game that involves an obstacle course, lava, and chanting; count me in.
True American’s was played on the series “New Girl” and immediately became a trending topic on Twitter and Google searches. They claimed that the game was 50% drinking game, 50% life sized Candy Land. Obviously, it sparked an interest among my friends and I. We wanted to play immediately. At the moment, there is not a lot of information about the game online, except on Wikipedia. Even there, the rules to the game are not that clear. Needless to say, I decided to tweak what was researched and came up with my own version of the game. Feel free to make adjustments at your own discretion.
Before the game can even begin, you need to create an obstacle course, pick a theme, discuss in turn games, and create chants. In this game, the floor is lava, so climbing from space to space without falling off is half the challenge. The more you drink, the more difficult the course becomes. The goal of the game is to negotiate the entire course and then make your way to the castle where you must take a shot of booze to win the game. Click on the tabs above, or continue reading below to learn how we play True Americans.
Setting up the obstacle course (board)
1. Choose a variety of different sized objects that are capable of supporting multiple people. (Chairs, 5 gallon buckets, end tables, stools, welcome mats, all make good spaces.) These objects are going to become spaces that players must advance through during the game. If a player falls off of their space and touches on the floor (lava), they must return to the beginning position of that zone.
2. The obstacle course is arranged as a continuous loop. The space that you start at will also be the space you must reach before attempting to reach the castle (winning location where a shot of your favorite spirit awaits).
a. Split the course into four zones.
b. Number the spaces in each zone. Some spaces can be special spaces.
3. The castle (winning location) must be accessible from all four zones with an equal amount of spaces to get there. Use a different color or label for these spaces so contestants do not get them confused with the obstacle course. We use a long throw rug and make it one large extra space.
4. Place arrows or numbers on each space so contestants do not get confused about what is or is not part of the board.
5. Beer/Wine is to be placed at the beginning space of each zone. Contestants that need to refill, must advance through their zone in reverse to get a beverage and then can return to their previous space. If they cannot access the beverage because of other players occupying a small space, they cannot move forward, but can wait until that player moves from that space. You must have a beverage to move forward.
6. Garbage cans are to be placed in the center of each zone. After consuming a beverage, the can or container must be shot from that space into the can. If you make it in, move two spaces forward. If you miss, move one space back.
Below is a rough diagram of what a Random Jim True American Game Board should resemble.
Picking a Theme and Creating Chants
1. Picking a theme for the game is easy. True American’s can be the theme if you like, but you can be as creative as you like. Let’s pretend the theme is Hollywood Hotties while writing our chants.
2. Every player in the game is going to create a chant based on the theme Hollywood Hotties. A chant consists of two related parts, what the chanter yells and what the listeners respond. The chant and response cannot be more than two words.
a. Ex. Player one chooses “Scarlet Johanson” as the chant and “Ryan Reynolds” as the response. This is acceptable, because they were both linked together at one point.
b. Player two chooses “Stacy Keibler” and “Macho Man Randy Savage” This is not acceptable, because Macho Man Randy Savage is too long. Macho Man would be okay. Both are linked through the WWE. Even though they are not movie stars from Hollywood, they are both considered actors in my book.
c. Player three chooses “Kevin Bacon” and “Derek Jeter” Even though Kevin Bacon is connected to everyone, Derek as far as I know, is not an actor. I believe this chant would be rejected.
3. Contestants can vote on what is an acceptable chant and answer. During game play, once every three turns a player must chant. If they forget, they forfeit their turn. When it’s time to chant, the player chanting yells part of a chant “Stacy Keibler” for example. The other contestants must respond with equal or greater enthusiasm “Macho Man”. The chanter and correct responders get to move one space.
Starting the Game
1. You can either play single or team matches. Choose teams however you want.
2. Each player must start in a zone that contains at least one other player that is on a different team.
3. The game starts with each player doing a shotgun. The player that finishes their shotgun first and makes the shot into the garbage area goes first.
4. That person starts the game with one of the preselected chants.
5. If team play, take turns back and forth, otherwise take turns in a clock wise manner.
6. Fastest shotgun at each zone starting space goes first.
Game Play: Moving Ahead
There are many ways that you can move forward during the game. Finishing a beer, answering a chant, getting lucky during a roll call, not losing a game, or landing on a special space are all ways to advance through the obstacle course.
1. Finishing a Beer: After you finish your beer, you must shoot the can into the garbage area in the center of your zone. If your can misses, you go back 1 space. If it goes in, you move ahead 2 spaces. You can drink as many cans of beer as you want, so the faster you drink, the faster you move. Unless of course you get so drunk you start missing the garbage zone.
2. Answering a Chant: The chanter automatically gets to move 1 space, as long as the contestant remembers to chant. If a contestant is suppose to chant and forgets, they lose their turn. A chant must be done every three turns. Responses must be correct, given in a timely manner, and with as much enthusiasm as the chanter exhibited during the start of the chant. There is a lot of chanting during this game, hilarious.
3. Roll Call: A contestant yells, “Role Call!” and everyone places a number on top of there forehead using up to five fingers on a hand. If no one has the number that the caller put on his forehead, he moves 1 space for each player in the game. For every contestant that had the same number, they move ahead 1 space for every player that had that number and the caller moves backwards that many spaces.
a. Ex. If the caller placed four fingers on his head, and two contestants also had four. Those two contestants would move three spaces forward and the caller would move three spaces back. This is the greatest risk and reward move. It definitely is not how they did it in “New Girl”, but I thought it was better this way instead. Again, feel free to change the rules.
4. Drinking Games: You can incorporate basically any goofy or drinking game you can think of. You have to identify these word games along with how spaces will be awarded before everyone starts.
a. Ex. If playing Peter Gabriel, the person who loses moves back one space and the person who provided the name goes forward one. Everything naturally moves clockwise unless a reverse is played.
b. If playing Eye Spy, have it go around the board one time. The person that guesses what you spy moves one space. If no one guesses what you spy, move ahead one space.
c. If playing Brands, a category is shouted. Players take turns naming brands of that category. If it makes it around everyone twice, the caller moves one space back. If it does make it around twice, the caller moves one space forward.
d. Again, you can make any games you like, just make everyone aware of the rules. You can call a vote. Vote caller can only win with a majority.
5. Special spaces: You should definitely number each space of the obstacle course, but create spaces that influence the game. You can seriously turn this game into other board games like “life” and “Monopoly”.
a. Example: Instead of writing a number on the space, make a sign that says, “Reading Railroad, move two spaces”. I don’t recommend making more than 2 special spaces per zone.
Moving backwards, not moving, choosing not to advance, and lava.
1. Beer can be kept in any location that is convenient, but placing a cooler at the start of each zone is ideal. For this reason, you may go backwards at anytime to retrieve a beer and then return to your original space. You must yell, “Beer Run” when making this move. If you forget, you automatically go back to the beginning of the zone.
2. Multiple people can occupy the same space. If a space is too small for two people, than the player trying to advance must stop. If it is not a one person spot, they can risk sharing a space. If you fall into the lava, you must return to the first space of that zone.
a. Knocking a person from their space results is not allowed. That person remains on their space and the bully goes back to the start of the zone.
3. If you answer a chant incorrectly, you do not move.
4. If a roll call was made and you did not match the caller’s number, you do not move.
5. Losing a game. (games are predetermined beforehand)
6. You are allowed 1 bathroom/personal break during the game. You must yell, “Air Ship” which enables you to run across the lava without going to the start of the zone. 3 minute break max. Any longer, you go back to the start of the zone. If you’re planning on a long game, you may want to change this rule.
7. Missing the garbage can after finishing a beer disqualifies you from moving two spaces forward. Instead, you move one space back.
8. If calling a “roll call” on your turn and others have your number, you move backward for each player that has your number, including yourself.
Winning the Game
1. After completing the obstacle course (or required laps), you can then take the route into the castle (castle entrance). On “New Girl”, they had beer cans surrounding the castle and referred to them as pawns of the secret order, but I did not do that. If you fall into lava on your way to the castle, you go back to the beginning of the previous zone.
2. After you get to the castle, do a shot of whatever booze is there, winning the game.
3. If you are playing with teams, all team members must make it to the castle and do a shot.
1. The same rules apply, except after one team member makes it to the castle, they can still help their teammates. They can answer chants and perform chants to earn space moves. They can then give these space moves to teammates that are still on the board.
2. A finished player can only chant if it’s on a third turn.
3. If a finished player performs a roll call, his team members must also accept backward penalties as well.