a solitaire game of conspiracy and manipulation
You are the heir to the throne, but the monarch might live a very long time. You intend to speed things along, but it will only work if the major personalities in the kingdom back your play. You need to buy, trick, or eliminate anyone who might stand in your way.
In this game, personality cards represent different people in the kingdom who you need to control; personalities are the cards done up like face cards, with two close ups of a single figure. All of the other cards represent elements which you can use to control personalities.
Deal five cards in a row; these represent people and events occurring around the capital city.
Deal another five cards below the capital to represent resources you have at your disposal. If you turn up a personality when dealing your resources, put it in a row above the capital cards and deal another card to your resources. Repeat if the next card is a personality, and so on until you have five resources none of which are personality cards.
The row of cards above the capital represents people at the royal court. You only place cards in the court if you turn up a personality while dealing your resources, so there will typically be a few or even no cards at court. If you place a sixth card in the court row, however, the game ends immediately.
You may exercise your resources to control a card in the capital or court rows. In order to do so, discard one or more cards from your resource row. The cards must all share a suit with the card you are trying to control, and the total of their ranks must be at least the rank of the target card. Aces are treated as rank 1, Crowns as rank 10.
Note that the cards from your resource row do not need to share a suit with each other, provided they share a suit with the card you are trying to control.
If you control a personality, move it to the discard pile. If you control a non-personality card, move it to your resource row; you may use it later to control something else.
After a play, deal cards so that the capital row has five cards. Then deal so that your resource row has five cards; put personalities in the court row, as above. When the deck runs out, continue to play until one of the end game conditions is met.
Ending the game
The game can end in three possible ways. One means victory, the other two mean defeat.
- You have moved all of the personality cards to the discard pile. You have control of everyone who matters and can safely seize the throne. You win.
- You cannot make any further moves, but there are personality cards remaining in the court, the capital, or the deck. Without the backing of everyone, your plan must be abandoned. All that scheming for nothing! You lose.
- There are more than five personalities in the court row. With so many people snooping about, someone's discovered your plot. You lose utterly. It's the gallows for you, old chum.
Original design: P.D. Magnus