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There are board games that involve using a crayon to draw lines (not letters or figures) on a board (e.g. EuroRails). Are these activities problematic on Shabbat? There are two aspects: the drawing itself and whether the crayon is mukzah. (Assume that the crayons are part of the game, not raided from the kids' toy stash. So they are only ever used for playing this game.)

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Sounds like tzoveah to me. Though I don't know whether the Torah prohibition applies where the color doesn't penetrate the surface. –  YDK Nov 28 '11 at 22:16
    
@YDK, I was assuming that tzoveah required some degree of absorption (so crayon on waxed board, or for that matter dry-erase marker on whiteboard, wouldn't count). But I don't have a source. –  Monica Cellio Nov 29 '11 at 14:07
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According to Shabbos 103a, you're chayiv for writing two letters becuase that's how they marked the boards of the Tabernacle. However, 103b specifies that just two lines would count too.

He is guilty only on account of making a mark, because marks were made on each of the boards of the Tabernacle to know which was its companion. Therefore if one draws one line across two boards, or two lines on one board, he is culpable. - Shabbos 103b

In the game of EuroRails, it would be patur (not mutar) to only make only one line, but if you make two lines, you would be chayiv d'oraita. Not a very long game.

The Crayon itself would be mukzah as well. Even though it's considered part of the game, it would still have the form and function of a crayon used for drawing and writing, the more familiar uses of a crayon, and indeed, halachically, as I said above, its use in the game would be considered writing.

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If a "line" is the space between two pips, that would be a very tedious game indeed. If a "line" is a single stroke through any amount of space, all that means is that you can't draw branches, which is different. (This also raises the question of how long between strokes constitutes the same act of writing; I assume the answer is more than seconds and less than days. Not proposing playing the game that way, of course; just curious.) –  Monica Cellio Nov 29 '11 at 14:10
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