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al-dukkān is a dice game for 2 players and takes about 20 minutes to play. In this game, players compete to create various medical treatments using ingredients that are available to them, as dictated by the result of their dice rolls. The game was developed as on off-shoot of the unfinished Saydanah prototype - as testing of the Saydanah prototype progressed at the Museum of the History of Science, it became increasingly apparent that the complexity of the game was too high. As we were testing games with large groups of younger children, we decided to develop a game based around dice-rolling, as this was a mechanic that younger visitors seemed to prefer.

We were keen to continue to base a game on pharmacy from the period, not least because much research in this area had been done whilst developing Saydanah, but also due to the amount of educational content that can be covered by this subject area. Through the game, we hope to engage younger players by giving them an idea of some of the illnesses and treatments that were prevalent during the medieval period, and the fact that many of these illnesses persist today. We also realised that we could focus on many of the interesting ingredients, some of which may sound very esoteric (dragon's blood, anyone?), whilst others will be readily familiar to many players. The rulebook contains detailed descriptions of all of the ingredients that are mentioned on the cards, and is designed to act as a teaching aid, so players can read up about any ingredients that may be unfamiliar to them, and find out more about how they were used.

All of the various medical recipes come from medieval arabic manuscripts, particularly Minhāj al-dukkān by Abū 'l-Munā al-Kūhīn al-'Attār, from which the game takes its name. You can learn more about this important manuscript in the publication The World of Pharmacy and Pharmacists in Mamluk Cairo, which was published in 2010 by Brill as part of the Sir Henry Wellcome Asian Series. A comprehensive online resource for this publication is available at the following url:





al-dukkān is available for Tabletop Simulator on Steam for Windows or Mac computers from the following url:


An instructional video on how to play the game can be viewed below. Note that I am using automatic text to speech translation to generate subtitles, so these may occasionally be rather odd, as the technology is not quite there yet. Also note, that you should always check the rulebook - just because I developed the game doesn't mean I always remember how to play it properly :/ 





Physical copies of the game may be purchased from

Note that the game does not come in a box and that you will need to download and print a pdf of the rules, which are available below


Download the rules in pdf format from the following url:


 Forthcoming Event

On Thursday 10 December, from 6pm until 7pm, join Daniel Burt from Oxford's Faculty of Oriental Studies for a fascinating insight into the Board Games and Medieval Medicine Project as part of the Knowledge in Motion - Science and Medicine in the Islamic World lecture series at the History of Science Museum, Oxford. There is no charge to attend this online event, but you will need to register. For further information, please click here.


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