Monopoly: Debt and Equity

Category: Games

Published: 05/24/2014 02:33 p.m.

I love the game monopoly. One of my favorite parts about it is the negotiating and trading. The part I like least is the luck of the dice.

This Re-Thinking the Game article aims to make monopoly more of a modern look at banking, and I am inspired by it to produce my own rule changes.

1. Players may borrow money from the bank

The money must be borrowed in units of $500. The "interest" on this money is 1% per roll, without compounding. This means, if you borrow $1,000 at roll #4, by roll #22 you will owe $1,000 + 18 * $10 = $1,180. The only catch is that the interest on the loan is on the initial amount, so even if you pay off part of the principle, the interest is still 1%/roll. A player can pay off their debt on any of their turns, and from jail if necessary.

As long as the players keep track of what roll they are on, and the banker has a ledger of amounts borrowed and the roll they were borrowed, this should be pretty easy.

2. Debt is capped at 3x owned property face value

As you keep acquiring property, your debt cap increases. This only affects unpaid debts. For monopolies, count the full value even if the monopoly has outside investors.

3. Players may invest in each others monopolies

Terms are negotiable for each monopoly. A player may only sell 49% (~50%) so that they retain control. Players may also use this "stock" in monopolies in trade with another player for owed rent.

4. Knocking someone out gets you their property and debt

When knocking someone out, you get their owned property, their share of other monopolies (which may include your own), as well as their debt. And the interest keeps growing.

5. No mortgaging properties

This will hopefully simplify things. Has anyone every mortgaged a property and ended up winning, anyway?

I have no idea how this would all play out. Is taking on debt a good idea? Is getting investors good even though you forgo future income? Is it all to complicated to keep track of? I don't know, but I'd love to find out some time.