Marriage Material

Welcome to the Dating Pool, where the single life is care-free and full of selfish bliss…that is unless Mother has anything to say about it.

Though for some, marriage can be a wonderful and fulfilling experience, for others it is seen as a burden to be feared and avoided. In Marriage Material, you are this kind of person. To you, marriage signals the end of all things fun. it means dinner parties, snot nosed children, and in-laws. However, there is still hope. The path to marriage is a complex one, filled with vast Commitments that prove to your significant other that you are indeed “The Marrying Type”. Do too many of these Commitments and you may quickly find yourself…


The Card Types

commitment card


Commitments: These are the horrific duties that focus that attention on you that size you up for what kind of spouse you might make.

The Point Value, located in the lower left hand corner, shows how important your mother believes this commitment to be. Collecting 30 of these points shows that you are marked as “the marrying type” and forever tainted. In other words you lose.



Excuses: These are the only bastion of sanity standing between you and the abyss known as Marriage. You will try every sorry story, pathetic claim, and lame excuse to avoid being dragged down that marriage isle.

The Point Value, located in the lower left hand corner, determines the effectiveness of your plea for mercy. If the total point value of your excuses is equal to or greater than the Commitment Point Value, then you will be spared for now.



Influence: Even when you are trying your best to avoid Commitments, your Mom always manages to help you out at the wrong time. Influence cards are used against opponents to make it more difficult for them to excuse themselves from a Commitment.

The Point Value located in the lower left hand corner is the level of praise that Mother has so graciously imparted onto you. The Influence Point Value is added to the Point Value of the Commitment, making it more difficult.



These are the cosmic forces that randomly wreak havoc throughout the the dating world. Things such as relative’s weddings…Catastrophic Breakups …Unexpected news, all have unpredictable effects on life.

If one of these cards is drawn, quietly lay it down, read the card and follow its instructions. Try to keep weeping to a minimum.


Game Play


Separate the cards into two piles.

1) The Honey-Do pile, consisting of the Commitment and the Event cards.

2) The Cop-out pile, consisting of the Excuse and the Influence cards.

Shuffle each deck and deal out 5 Cop-out cards to each player.

Decide which player starts by ballroom dancing contests, competitive yoga, cow chip tossing, pillow fight, spinning the turn marker or whatever works best for you. The winner gains initial control over the Turn Marker, making them special.

Turn Sequence:

Take control of the turn marker to let everyone know it’s your turn and you’re more special than they are.

[Draw 2 cards from the Cop-out Pile. There is no limit to your hand size. If you are able to hoard Excuses, more power to you and good luck…you may need it.

Turn over a card from the Honey-Do Pile.

1. If it is a Commitment, weep internally, and then try to excuse yourself out of it. This is done by playing one or more Excuse cards so that their total point value either equals or exceeds the Commitment point value.

  • If you cannot excuse yourself from the Commitment, smile, take your lumps, and accept it. Remember, it takes 30 points to be Marriage Material.
  • If you are able to excuse yourself from the Commitment, it passes to the next person. You are not required to excuse yourself out of a Commitment. If you just want to add it to your life’s experiences, simply take it and the turn marker passes on to the next player.
  • At anytime someone is trying to excuse himself/herself out of a Commitment, Influence cards may be played by other players to make it more difficult to avoid the Commitment. The Influence Point Value(s) is (are) temporarily added to the Commitment Point Value.
  • After you have attempted to excuse yourself from a Commitment, and nobody has played an Influence card within a few seconds, the Commitment passes to the next player. All Excuse cards and Influence cards are put in the discard pile so that only the Commitment passes and not all the excess baggage with it.

2. If the card turned over is an Event, read the card and follow the instructions. Once completed, draw another Honey-Do card.

Once the Commitment is completed it becomes one of your life’s experiences that make you look like the potential marrying type and sits in front of you counting in your point pool. The Turn Marker is then passed on, and the next person begins a new round.

If the completed Commitment puts your point pool at 30 or more, you are out of the game. You may now sit and pout. Play continues until only one cunning weasel has managed to remain delightfully single, and unbranded as Marriage Material.

Bits and Pieces:

Two to five people can play with one deck. If you have more than 5 players, it is recommended that 2 decks be combined. When two of the same decks are combined, it is suggested that a “no duplicates” rule is instituted, since Mom will not accept the same excuse twice on one Commitment at the same time. If the Commitment happens to make it’s way completely around back to you, then you may play the duplicate excuse. After all, you could still have the same issue that you did the first time you got out of the Commitment.

In any game, if either draw pile is depleted before someone wins, simply reshuffle the discards to form new draw piles.


How many times can a project card get passed around a table?

The answer is actually…”A Whole Bunch”. Once a Project hits the table and is played it will go around the table until someone completes it. Because let’s face it…in the real world…Projects never just go away.  They just shuffle around until some poor soul is unfortunate enough to have to complete it. With this in mind, in our own games we’ve seen Projects go around the table three, almost four times. It doesn’t matter that you’ve already Excused yourself out of that specific Project twice before…so has everyone else. So it just keep going and going until someone is either unable to pass it on, or they just decide it’s not worth using so many Excuses to do so anymore. When the Project is finally accepted by someone, the turn ends, the marker moves to the next player and it starts all over again.

Can you use more than one Excuse to get out of a Project?

The answer is simply…Yes, you can. In fact not only are you able to play multiple Excuses in order to get out of a particular project…most of the time you will have no choice BUT to use more than one. If you happen to be the lucky player with a hand full of low point Excuses, you most likely will find yourself stringing your small Excuses together in a wild story of doom and gloom of why you couldn’t possibly do that particular Project. Even if you have to burn most of your hand in order to get out of a particular Project, sometimes it worth it to keep your point total low. When the turn marker comes back around you’ll start to build your hand up again, and you never know, perhaps fate will smile fondly upon you and just give you a small Project to cope with next time.

I have Excused myself for more points than the Project requires, can I bank my Excuse points for the next project that comes?

Unfortunately not, but we’re sure it looked impressive to overkill with the perfect Excuse for the Project at hand. Some people like to play where they deliberately use higher Excuses than are really needed in order to deter Recognition cards being slid their way. However, others find it more useful to play Excuses that only add up to the Project total and then play it by ear for any sneaky Recognition that might slide in. Regardless of the preference, when that Project is passed off to the next player, all points attached to it, be that Excuses or Recognition, are sent to the discard pile.

Do recognition cards get passed with the project card?

No, fear not, you will never have to worry about a Project growing to the point where there just aren’t enough Excuses to get out of it. Whenever someone manages to weasel out of a Project and pass it on to their new found friend next to them, all of the Recognition and Excuse cards played get tossed into the discard pile.

What Makes Management Material fun?

Believe it or not, what makes Management Material the fun game that is the telling of the stories of why they can’t possibly be bothered to do that horrible project they have been tasked with. Anyone can lay down cards, add up the points but the true master of the game is the one that can tie their many excuses together in a story weave that would make their mother’s proud. So go on, tell your stories, weave your tales and make sure that you aren’t the first one to fall into the dreaded grip of Management.

Who is Roy Schneider?

We found Roy wandering the earth searching for purpose to his life back in 2000 and promptly gave it to him by hiring him to do the artwork for our games. At least that’s the story that we’re going to stick with. The one you might hear from him is that his is an up and coming cartoonist with some incredible talent. We were very fortunate to be able to fit into his busy schedule as he strives to see his strips in syndication. The reality of it is, it’s just a matter of time. He has some great ideas and really funny samples of his work on his website. If you need a good giggle, we highly suggest visiting his site. And if you’re working for one of the syndicates…FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THAT IS GOOD…GET THAT MAN SIGNED UP!!!!

Special thanks to the people that helped bring this together and play tested the game in degrees that we never thought were possible…David Lehmann, Gabriella Lehmann, Jeff White, DeAnne White, Ray Keller, Joyce Keller, Jeff Cook, Marcy Manduca, Ted Denis, Tamara Cook, Kirby Eisman, Jeff Sana, Matt Sana, Cara Furino, Kim Fall, Sharon Life-Putnam, Dave Bellew, Sara Spitler, Betsy the Wonder Herring, 47 Ultra Intelligent Laboratory Mice, Some guy named Bob who none of us really knew, 22 Brazilian Jumping Llamas, and everyone else that kept us focused and the dream alive.