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Paleontologists: Snowman Edition
Paleontologists: Snowman Edition
by (Web published) (2020)
Player Count
1 to 100

Player Ages

Playing Time
15 minutes to 20 minutes
  • Dice
  • Print & Play
  • Designers
  • Joe Hout
  • Mechanisms
  • Paper-and-Pencil
  • Dice Rolling
  • Artists
  • Joe Hout
  • Family
  • Holidays: Christmas
  • Archaeology
  • Roll-and-write
  • Rating: 8.13/10 from 2 users


    Do you want to build a Snowman? Dig in the snow to find the items to build your very own snowman.

    Based on the Roll-and-Write, Paleontologists, with a Winter theme.

    Items needed: 2 six-sided dice

    The game is played over 20 rounds, with players playing simultaneously, trying to earn the most points by digging up items in the snow. All players will use the same dice pool for each roll, using the dice however each player determines.

    Gameplay: Each Round you will roll 2 dice and then use those dice to draw a shape with a certain dig type on the snow map. You dig up an item when it is completely surrounded (orthogonally) by shapes you have drawn.

    - Roll 2 dice - Roll the 2 dice. Write the numbers in the top right corner on the current round’s track. This is just used as a helpful reference. Of the two dice rolled, one will be used to determine which shape and the other die will be used to determine the type of dig.

    - Use dice to choose a shape and a dig type

    Choosing the shape: Using one of the dice, choose one of the pentomino shapes coordinated with that number. There are twelve shapes, with a choice of two shapes with each die-face number.

    Choosing the dig type: Using the other die, determine the dig type. There are three dig types.

    Example: You roll a 2 and a 5. You can choose one shape, and can choose from four shapes; the two shapes next to the 2 and the two shapes next to the 5. You also have a choice between two dig types; the V from the 2 that was rolled or the diagonal lines from the 5 that was rolled. You decide the best play for your current dig site is to choose the L shape with the 5 die and then use the V dig type with the 2 die.

    - Draw shape and fill that shape in with the Dig type
    Shapes can be mirrored, turned, and flipped, as long as they are still the same shape.
    Shapes can only be placed in open, non-item spaces. You can place shapes over the bonus snowflake. If you do, choose and circle one of the bonuses to gain (you can use bonuses in future rounds).

    - Check to see if you dig up an Item(s) - Once n item is completely surrounded orthogonally (up, down, left, right. Not diagonally) then you score that item! Circle the number in a lower scoring area that corresponds to the item you dug up. If you use all of the same dig type for an item, you earn bonus points.

    Repeat these steps each round (rolling 2 dice and placing a shape with a dig type) until 20 rounds have been completed.

    - Earning Bonus points for using the same Dig Type - if you were able to use the same dig type for an item, you also gain the scoring bonus. Circle the extra smaller circle with the +number. If there is more than one dig type used for an item, you cannot gain the bonus.

    - Bonus Snowflakes - when you place a shape over a bonus snowflake, you gain a bonus! Choose one of the four bonuses at the top-left of the page. The four types of bonuses are One Square Anywhere, Switch Shape, Switch Dig Type, and +1 Point. Each bonus can be gained up to four times in one game.

    One Square Anywhere - At any time, place a 1x1 square on any empty square that does not contain a bonus snowflake. Fill in the square (as the dig type). You cannot get the dig type bonus score when a filled-in square is used to dig up that item.

    Switch Shape - Choose any shape for this round (replacing the one that you would have used)

    Switch Dig Type - Choose any dig type for this round (replacing the one that you would have used)

    + 1 Point - Worth one point at the end of the game.

    End of Game: After you have completed the 20th roll/round, total your points earned from each item dug up, adding in bonuses from items dug up with the same dig type, and finally adding points if circled from bonus snowflakes. The player with the most points is the winner!

    Build your Snowman: Take the items you dug up and place them however you would like on the blank snowman. Name your snowman and have a happy holiday!

    —description from the designer

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