Mario Kart Grand Prix & Bullet Bill Rules
Mario Kart Grand Prix Rules
I put the following rules together in order to create a series of linked races in which participants accrue Points and where an overall champion is crowned.
You may set the number of races in the Grand Prix at any number you like, but I suggest 5 to 7. This not only creates a gaming campaign of 1 to 2 months (assuming you play once a week), but it is also a sweet spot if you incorporate the Coins (explained below).
Track layouts should vary in design. Curvy tracks will favor Lightweight karts with better Handling while wide tracks with gradual curves may favor Heavyweight Karts that can take advantage of their higher Gears. Having the variation will help ensure one weight class doesn’t dominate the Grand Prix.
Coins are placed on the play space and can be collected by the players by running over them. They are worth Points and can be used for Kart upgrades.
Placement: Each race will have 3 Coins per kart involved. Each driver gets to place 3 coins, beginning with that last driver to place their kart and sequentially to the first driver to place, who will place 2 coins, and then back down to list, and so on. At least half of the Coins should be off the track. No coins may be placed a distance of less than a Long Range template from a kart’s starting location.
Kart Upgrades: Every 10 Coins collected can be redeemed for a kart upgrade. These come in two flavors:
Increase Handling by 1 (to a max of 4)
Increase Max Gear by 1 (to a max of 6)
Points are awarded at the end of each race for placement, gates cleared (in the proper order), and Coins collected. The racer with the most Points at the end of the series of races wins the Grand Prix.
1st Place: 8 Points
2nd Place: 6 Points
3rd Place: 4 Points
4th Place: 2 Points
Each gate cleared in the correct order awards 1 Point.
Each Coin collected is worth 1 Point. Additionally, once 10 Coins are collected, they can be used for a kart upgrade.
Bullet Bill Rules
Bullet Bill adds more chaos to the game. It consists of a Tube Launcher, Bullet Bills(s), and Pressure Plates.
The Tube Launcher is black PVC fittings. If you search specifically for PVC for making furniture, you can find the black PVC (get 1.5″), which means no painting required. It also has the benefit of no unsightly part and serial numbers printed on them.
The Bullet Bills are yet again candy tins I have repurposed.
The size works very well with the 1.5″ PVC pipe fittings.
The pressure plates are made for the boardgame Gloomhaven. There are several 3D printers making different types, so you have some choice when it comes to style. Do a Google search for “Pressure Plate miniatures” or the like and you’ll be set.
When a kart drives over a pressure plate, Bullet Bill will appear at the tubes at the end of the kart’s turn. At the end of the next kart’s turn, Bullet Bill will move forward in a straight line using a Medium template. At the end of each subsequent kart’s turn, Bullet Bill will move another Medium template. The template should be placed flush with Bullet Bill’s flat end and then Bill is moved forward until his back end is flush with the edge of the template (as pictured).
If Bullet Bill’s path crosses a kart, it performs a Smash Attack. Use the normal Attack chart on my reference chart (available in Downloads). Bullet Bill is a Heavyweight and is considered moving at Gear 2. If the kart has 6 Hazards, this trips an automatic Wipeout Step. Bullet Bill does not stop moving forward when it hits a kart or any other destructible obstacle, however, other than the Smash Attack, it does not alter the kart’s trajectory or facing. You may remove Bullet Bill once it is clear its movement is not going to affect any karts or when it hits an indestructible object.
I use the width of Bullet Bill’s main body mass as his swath of destruction, but if you are particularly sadistic, you can include the width of his arms, too.
I ran a race with 4 karts–2 Middleweights, 1 Heavyweight, and 1 Lightweight–to see how things would unfold.
Donkey Kong scooped up the first Coin a couple turns into the game.
3 karts got into some serious paint swapping.
Dry Bones took an early lead, but then miscalculated a turn…
Toad activated Bullet Bill, nearly taking himself out with it.
Everyone starts veering and swerving trying to get out of the way of Bullet Bill. Donkey Kong figures he’ll just scoop up a Coin while he’s at it.
Next, Donkey Kong activates the pressure plate…
Which is bad news for Black Yoshi!
Toad takes a lead and drop a banana to slow down his opponents.
Forgoing a Coin, Toad looks to stretch out his lead and drops another banana.
Black Yoshi kicks it into high gear and closes the gap.
Black Yoshi ends up taking First!
Then Dry Bones launches a shell at Toad and wipes him out! DK, meanwhile, knowing he is going to be in last, decides to grab as many Coins as possible.
Dry Bones does some fancy maneuvering to end up taking second. Toad took third. The race ended after Toad crossed the finish line since it was known DK would be fourth. This also prevented him from just running around collecting Coins and causing a Delay of Race.
Here were the results:
Black Yoshi came in first, which earned him 8 Points. He passed through all 3 gates, adding 3 more Points. He only managed to pick up 1 Coin as he was really focused on winning the race–so just 1 Point for Coins. Total Points= 12.
Dry Bones got second for 6 Points. He passed all 3 gates for another 3 Points and he collected 3 Coins. Total Points=12.
Toad placed third for 4 Points and received 3 points for gates cleared. He also collected 3 Coins. Total Points=10.
Donkey Kong finished fourth for 2 Points. He only passed two gates and skipped the third as he went after coins instead. He did collect 5 Coins though and is already half way to a kart upgrade! Total Points=9.
As you can see, the Point totals are pretty close. I personally like this as it keeps everyone interested in the races. There is nothing more demoralizing than knowing you have no chance of winning the Grand Prix but you still have a couple races to go. But feel free to change the Point array to suit your individual taste.
I’ve updated all the character kart cards. They now include what kart they are driving. Since the same character is available in different karts, it gave me the chance to have the same character in different weightclasses.
There’s also a ton more cards now, too. Currently, I am only missing a handful of karts that are “first appearances” in track sets. I am confident these will be made available separately. Once they are, I’ll make cards for those, too.
All the cards, reference sheets, etc, are available on my downloads section of this site. Have at it! Feel free to tweak rules as you see fit.