Total Sham

Total Sham

Total Sham is a quick, casual card game with a light Irish theme for 2 to 8 players with simple rules and replayability to suit your gaming group. It's great for family gatherings and game nights and is suitable for experienced and casual gamers alike.
$4,180 🎉
of $3,500 (USD) goal
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Welcome to Total Sham! - a relaxing, casual card game with an Irish theme for 2 to 8 players. The game features four beautiful decks of cards inspired by Ireland's nature and culture along with coins to keep track of points. The points you score throughout the game are completely dependent on how many shamrocks you can total on all four decks, which is constantly changing throughout the game. With the right cards in hand and with the right timing, you can make your own luck!


What's in the Box?

Is Total Sham . . . well . . . a total sham? Not at all! Total Sham will provide hours of fun for your gaming group and family! The game has few components, which makes setting up and putting away a breeze. The box includes four main decks, several coins to keep track of points, player aids, and a handful of Triskelion variant cards from which to choose. 

All game components

Each deck features a different animal and season wonderfully crafted by Andrew McKinney. On the backs of each of these cards, you'll come across shamrocks that will vary as cards are drawn or discarded.


Each deck has 56 cards featuring four unique instrumental suits. You'll encounter cards with plain numbers on them, but also four Special cards - the Ship, Serpent, Claddagh (ring), and Triskelion

Ship, Serpent, Claddagh, and Triskelion (from left to right)

These cards have their own abilities that give you a boost. Unlike the other Special cards, the Triskelion does not have a set ability, but you get to choose how this card behaves before the game starts with the Triskelion variant cards. Who knows what's in store behind these variant cards!

To be revealed . . .

Game History

Total Sham began as a happy little accident one St. Patrick's Day 2022. What began as trying out a simple idea turned into full-fledged game. Sometimes family needs a little goading to play a game, and the festive ones might be convinced to play a festive game. With four decks of playing cards with dots drawn on the back with a sharpie, the game was explained. "When you score points, you count all the dots on the cards. However, don't think of these as dots but as shamrocks! So when you score, you total the shamrocks!" (Get it?) Behold, Total Sham was born.

With much encouragement from my friends and family, I ventured forth to bring one of my many projects to life for the first time. Total Sham has gone through rigorous play testing, and through many trials, is a fully functioning family card game. It's toured the play testing halls at GenCon (2023) and featured at Protospiel in Chicago!

My hope is that Total Sham will bring joy to your family and friends!
Play testing at GenCon 2023

Play testing at GenCon 2023

Protospiel Tested (in Chicago)

Shipping and Production

The game is practically complete, but there are still a few things to iron out, especially with manufacturing. The hope is to have Total Sham shipping to your door shortly before St. Patrick's Day 2024, but you will be informed if any changes occur. 

Shipping charges will apply and are not included in the pledge levels. You will have the option to pick the game up locally if you are from the Chicago area. 
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