Yes, yes, I know we have a Rules page; this is a little different. Think of the Game Basics as more of a glossary. Some of these definitions may seem to be obvious and needlessly detailed for such a simple game, but if there's one game that attracts heated rules-lawyering, this is it.
This is, as the name suggests, the phase before anything is played. Players take time to turn a certain amount of blanks into playable cards, which are then shuffled into the deck, along with additional blanks. Some game variants skip this part of the phase, but it has its advantages. The Pregame is the one part of 1000 Blank White Cards that is unaffected by the cards themselves; if the game hasn't started, no card can take effect. Though, I'm sure players will find a way somehow.... The shuffling and the subsequent dealing of cards can be considered part of the Pregame.
The Game/Main Phase
The reason you're playing. This phase is defined by players taking turns to play cards, draw cards, and create new cards. This phase usually ends when the deck has been depleted, an I Win Card has been played, or some other invented rule takes effect. A clearer understanding of this phase can be gleaned from reading the Things and Actions part of this article.
Once the Main Phase is over, points are tallied, a winner is declared (if any), and the cards are spread out onto the table. Players can then elect to cull the deck of cards, choosing which should be condemned to the Suck Box. Methods of doing so vary wildly.
The basic unit of 1000 Blank White Cards. All of the following game constructs are composed of them, and are defined about how they affect these pieces of paper. It would be very hard to condense what they can be into this paragraph, so looking at the List Of Card Types and the Blank White Card page would be a better idea.
The Deck is the initial lump of cards that the rest of the game begins from. In the most common version of 1kBWC, play begins with every player drawing five cards. Every turn thereafter, each player draws one more card before/after they play one. As well as serving as the main resource of the game, the deck also provides the most common way of ending the game; when it's no more, so is the game. Naturally, with its paramount importance, the Deck is one of the first things Rule Cards target. Examples include splitting it into two equally valid decks, flipping it over to reveal the card on top, looking at the top X cards in order to gain an advantage, shuffling the deck to remove this advantage... For your next game: add more cards to increase the deck size to a couple of hundred. don't worry if there end up being too many cards for anything shorter than a week-long game. you can always just use a smaller amount of them.
The cards that every player holds in their, well, hands. This determines what the player can do this turn. Hands usually contain five cards, and sometimes adjust themselves so that they have only five at the end of every turn. Hands are also common candidates for modification: different sizes, splitting them into two, playing with all cards facing other players, etc. Certain cards only take effect when in a player's hands, such as dead weight cards or cards that force a player to play them on themselves.
The field, or table, is the surface that the game is being played on. Generally, cards only take effect when placed on the field in some fashion.The Deck and Discard Pile are technically not part of this, despite sitting on it. The Field/Table can be further divided into...
(We need a better name for this part, if you don't mind.) This is the part of the Field directly in front of each player, where the cards that are played on them go. When a Point Card is in a player's Pool, it adds or subtracts to the player's score. When a lasting Effect Card is played on a player, this is where it goes. Likewise, if a player controls a Hero Card or Monster Card, it's placed in the Pool.
The Center is the area of the Field that is in the... well, center. This is where Rule Cards go, along with other cards that affect all players. Despite this also being where the Deck/Discard hang out, they're not part of it.
In 1000 Blank White Cards, a Turn is defined as the amount of time it takes a player to a). draw a card from the deck and b). play a card, or vice versa. More broadly, a turn is the period of time that one player is allowed to act. At least, that's how it's defined at the outset of the game. Turn Manipulation Cards are some of the more common cards, including losing/gaining turns, changing turn order, interfering during other players' turns, or redefining possible actions during a turn. Once their turn is over, the player cannot take back their actions.
A Round is the number of turns necessary to bring play into a full circle, starting and ending with one player. Unlike Turns, a the exact length of a round depends on how many people are playing. While Rounds are hard to modify, they are important for game vocabulary and defining card effects.
The Scoresheet is the official place in which the scores are recorded. It may be part of the Pool in some games, but in most games, it includes a piece of paper and a person holding a calculator.
Picking up the top card from a pile. Doesn't necessarily have to be the deck, but that is by far the most common occurence.
Taking a card from somewhere, and placing it on top of the Discard Pile. This usually has the card stop taking effect, unless stated otherwise somewhere. While this is the main method of preventing cards from taking effect, there are similar actions:
- Remove from game/Exile: pretty much acts like an alternate discard pile. You're not supposed to be able to bring them back, but will anyway.
- Suckboxed: like the above, but more specific, as it goes straight into the Suck Box, that graveyard of awful cards; this one carries a quality valuation along with removal. You could also bring cards back from the Suck Box. If you hate fun.
- Nullify: sometimes this just is just a synonym for "discard," but othertimes it just means the card stops taking effect, while staying where it is.
- Destroy: also sometimes just means "discard," but be careful; it can also mean to physically remove that card from existence.
Taking a card from your hand, and then having the card take effect. Usually, a played card goes into a Pool or the Center, but it can go all sorts of other places too.
Taking a Blank White Card, and turning it into a not blank card. The wishy washy terminology on this one is a fix for the double meaning of the word "draw."