Sej and other fun stuff

Below are some downloads and links for various fun stuff relating to C. J. Cherryh's 
game of 'Sej' as described in the Appendix of her SF novel 'Serpent's Reach'.


from Serpent's Reach, Copyright 1980 by C. J. Cherryh

Pieces: One pair six-sided dice; trio of four-sided wands: first wand face black, second blue with ship symbol; third white; fourth orange with star symbol.

Object: First player to accumulate 100 points wins. To start play: high roll of dice determines starting player. The Starting Player throws the wands, and play proceeds. To score: The players roll dice for possession of the points represented by the wands. The casting of wands proceeds in alternation, one player and the next. The wand-thrower has the option of the first cast of dice; the dice then proceed in alternation during the Hand (this particular casting of the wands). High roll takes the wand or wands in contention, and points are recorded as follows. Value of wands: stars are 12 points each; ships are ten; white and white with black are 5 points for the white pair combined, but the black is played separately and with its own value; white assumes the value of any wand-of-color, always the highest in the Hand . . . and assumes the value of black only if both other wands in the Hand are black; black cancels all points in the possession of whichever player "wins" the black wand, but cancellation of points is limited to the Game itself. Play always proceeds from ships to stars to black: that is, in a Hand, the dice must be rolled first for possession of all ships, then for the stars, and last of all for possession of the black. If a tie occurs in the roll of the dice, the dice are rolled again. If the wands come up doubled or tripled stars or ships or white, the winner of the first of the double or triple set automatically takes the others of that color; for this purpose also, white matches the highest wand of the Hand. Should triple white show, the winner automatically takes the Game. Should triple black show, the winner automatically loses the game.

Passing: In this matter rests the skill of the game, judging when to pass and when to risk play. A Hand containing a single black wand or any number of black wands may be declined by the thrower of wands, thus entirely voiding the Hand. The dice will not be rolled; the wands pass into the hand of the next player, who will cast again, with all privileges of the wand-thrower. Further, a player with the option to throw either wands or dice may voluntarily pass that option to the next player, who is not, however, obliged to accept: the player who has passed will receive the wands or the dice again in alternation. The latter is a matter of courtesy and custom of the game: highest or decisive points are played last.

----- (end of quote form book)

NOTE (by wyrdchao): for the purposes of the program, I did not include any way to pass a dice throw after the wands have been thrown and accepted for further play; for a two person game, there is no difference in the odds or outcome (as far as I can see). After the wands are accepted, the program automatically (and randomly) generates all the dice throws necessary to 'win' all the wands, the scores are tallied, and the player is asked to continue to the next Hand.

If anyone thinks I am interpreting the rules incorrectly and/or can tell from playing against the program that this is so, I would be VERY grateful to know it; my purpose here was both to make the game playable and and the same time faithful to the rules as Herself intended.

Downloads and Links

Download the latest Sej Perl script (ver 4.3) here.
This version has a number of bug fixes from ver 4.0.

    If you don't have Perl (most Linux installs do, Windows usually does not) you can download the latest version of Active Perl here. Skip through the optional 'registration' page and then choose the 'Windows MSI' version of the release on the download page. This will work for any version of Windows after '95. After Perl is installed correctly, simply 'open' the downloaded script and enjoy!

If you would also like to meet other C. J. Cherryh fans on the internet? Try one of these links....

Shejidan Main Page

Shejidan Message Board

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