The King Is Dead: Gameplay Overview
The king has died without heir. Civil war is coming.
You are warrior princes and warrior princesses of noble name, each with a claim to the throne. At the end of the game, one of you will be crowned.
To win the crown, you'll need to make a mess: fight with your friends, ally with your rivals, fall in love with your enemies. You were born for this.
To start the game, you each choose one of the noble houses - the ancient crown, the rightful regents, the loyal retainers, the usurpers, the foreign power - and introduce your heir. You also each get a starting hand of cards.
Then go around the table. On your turn, choose one of the games and announce it. Everyone turns to that page in their game book, and you all follow the rules there to play that game. When that game ends, it's the next player's turn to choose a game.
All of the games have you drawing cards, showing your cards, trading cards around with the other players, and discarding cards. Your goal is to build the best hand of cards that you can. At the end of the game, you want:
- The most face cards;
- The most suits represented; and
- Maybe, just maybe, the Doom Cards: Jacks and Twos.
Once everyone's had a turn to choose a game, keep playing, but now anyone can end play with a final game: the Coronation. At the coronation, you find out who won the crown, whose houses rise and whose fall, and whether the new crown's rule is peaceful and prosperous, or doomed by disaster, assassination, or civil war.
On your turn, you choose one of the games. Everyone opens their game book to that page, and you follow the rules there to play the game.
Some of the games are one-on-one, with the other players acting as judges or as an audience. Some, everyone plays, or some, you get to choose who plays. Some are funny, some are poignant, some are dangerous, and they're all quick, charged, punchy, and dramatic.
The games are:
- An Animated disagreement
- A Chase
- A Conversation Over Food
- A Dance
- Intrigue and Muster
- Meeting Sword to Sword
- A Reunion
- Stealing Time Together
- Trials By Contest
- Endgame: the Coronation
When your game ends, it's the next player's turn to choose!
Endgame: the Coronation
Once everyone's had a turn to choose a game, keep playing, but now anyone can end play by choosing a final game: the Coronation.
At the Coronation, everyone compares their hands of cards.
- If you hold the most face cards, including Aces, you claim the throne. You're the new crown of Banteave. Congratulations!
- If your hand has the most suits represented, your house is ascendant. The new crown depends on you for support and power. Congratulations!
- If you hold any Twos or Jacks, these are Doom Cards. You hold Banteave's future: does the new crown rule in peace and prosperity, or in continued strife and civil war? Do the people embrace their new crown, or turn against them?
And the game ends with one final question, for each player to answer in turn: One year later, where are you?
Get The King Is Dead
Leave a comment
Log in with itch.io to leave a comment.