How to play MooT

MooT consists of 1008 difficult questions about the semantics, etymology, and grammar of the English language, as well as one 12-sided die and a crib-board-like score-keeping board. Because each question demands prolonged thought and discussion, MooT should be played in teams with team-mates who like to talk. The following describes the two ways that MooT can be played.



A. Collectivist MooT (fewer than 4 players)

1. Everyone is on the same team -- i.e., the collective. Place the red marker on the square labeled RED and the blue marker on BLUE. Using the red marker, the collective plays the left side of the board up to 30 and blue plays the right.

2. A member of the collective rolls the die and selects a question that matches the number rolled (see Card Values below).

3. Without looking at the answer, the member reads the question out loud. For example:

    It perhaps derives from the German "pochen", to brag as a bluff. What game's name is it?

    (The answer is poker)

4. All members now discuss it until an answer is agreed upon.

5. If the answer is correct, move the red marker forward the amount shown on the die. If the answer is incorrect, move the blue marker forward the same amount.

6. Repeat steps 2 to 5 until one of the markers has gone completely around and off its section of the board -- i.e., past 30. If the red marker finishes first, the collective wins.



B. Corporate MooT (4 or more players)

1. Divide the players into two teams. Place the red marker on the square labeled RED and the blue marker on BLUE. Red plays the left side of the board up to 30 and blue plays the right. The team that goes first plays red, the other team plays blue.

2. The red team rolls the die; a member of the blue team then selects a question that matches the roll -- see Card Values below -- and, without looking at the answer, reads the question aloud.

3. The red team discusses the question and arrives at an answer, the player who rolled the die having the final say.

4. If the blue team believes that the red team is incorrect, they can challenge by saying "We're challenging" and then submitting a different answer. However, if they either can't agree upon an answer or believe that the red team is correct, they can waive the challenge.

Note that the only time teams lose points is
if they challenge and are incorrect.


5. A player now reads the answer out loud. If the red team is correct, they move their marker forward the amount shown on the die; if incorrect, their marker is not moved.

6. If the blue team challenged and was correct, they get the points; if incorrect, they lose the points. If they didn't challenge, their position remains the same.

7. Repeat steps 2 to 6 with the blue team rolling the die and the red team challenging.

8. Repeat steps 2 to 7 until one team wins by going completely around and off its section of the board -- i.e., past 30.



Card Values

red = a roll of 1 to 3

green = a roll of 4 to 6

yellow = a roll of 7 to 9

blue = a roll of 10 to 12



Playing Notes

1. If you don't like my rules, make up your own.

2. All interpretations are based upon definitions found in the 9th edition of the Concise Oxford Dictionary.

3. All etymologies are derived from the Oxford English Dictionary, unless otherwise cited.

4. The higher the roll, the more difficult the question.

5. The best length for a MooT game is twice around and then off the board -- i.e., the first team to get more than 60 points wins.



Levels of Difficulty

If you find that your team is winning easily at Collectivist MooT, you can increase the level of difficulty by doubling the points given for incorrect answers.

For example, if you roll a 4 and then get the question right, red moves 4, but if you are wrong, blue moves 8. If you are still easily beating MooT, you can further increase the difficulty by tripling (then quadrupling, etc.) the points given for incorrect answers.



Time Limits

There are no time limits for answering MooT questions. As a rule of thumb, though, if the other team is starting to get angry, your time is nearly up.

If you'd like a really great visual for keeping track of what colours match which die rolls,
click here to display the PDF file, then print it off.



A Picture of a MooT Game


All MooT questions and rules are © Jon Steeves 1990-2013. All rights reserved.