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 Post subject: Kingdom Magic
AgePosted: 2015-May-06 9:08 am 
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Joined: 2013-Oct-26 9:21 am
Age: Dragon
Location: Xenia, OH, USA
I was introduced to this variation about a year ago and loved it.

It is basically a form of BANG! for Magic.

We started playing it as an alternative at my LGS enough that I ended up streamlining it and tweaking it for our playgroup. I will also post the images we use for role cards for randomly picking roles at the end of this post.

Here's the way we play.

Number of players 5-8. (6+ is best)

The game starts like normal Commander, but each player is assigned a random role. The game ends when the King is eliminated from the game, regardless of how many players are remaining in the game. Beyond that, there are no range limits, anyone can attack anyone.

To set up the game, determine seating order by whatever method you choose. Then have each player select the deck they will play with before role cards are chosen. Put all the role cards for the game (see chart at the end of the basic rules) into a pile, shuffle them, and randomly distribute them between the players. Have all players finish their mulligans and starting hands before revealing the King.

When a player is eliminated, with the exception of the Joker and Doppelgänger, roles are not revealed until the end of the game.

The roles are broken down as follows:

King (use a plains or use the role card image provided.)

Turn this card face up at the beginning of the game.
You take the first turn
You start the game with 10 more life than your starting total.
You win if you are still alive at the end of the game.


Usurper (use an island or use the role card image provided.)

You become the King if you eliminate the King. Your life total becomes 10 more than your starting life total. The previous King becomes the Usurper with 1 life.


Assassin (use a swamp or use the role card image provided.)

You win if you eliminate the King with every other player eliminated.


Bandit (use a mountain or use the role card image provided.)

You win if the King is eliminated and at least one Bandit is still in the game.


Knight (use a forest or use the role card image provided.)

You protect the King. You win if the King is alive at the end of the game. You do not need to be alive at the end of the game to win.


Those are the basic roles. The role breakdown based on number of players is as follows:

5 Players: King, Knight, Bandit, Assassin, Usurper.
6 Players: Add 1 Bandit.
7 Players: Add 1 Knight.
8 Players: Add 1 Bandit.

If more people wish to play, keep alternating between Bandits and Knights, however, it is not recommended to go over 8 players.

King, Assassin, and Usurper are unique roles. There can only be one of each in a game.


Advanced Rules:

After a while, our group wanted a bit more complexity in the game. I came up with some additional roles to add this complexity. The additional roles (with rules clarifications) are provided below.

Doppelgänger (use a card with the word "Doppelgänger" written on it, or use the role card image provided.)

When the first player is eliminated, reveal this card, and take their role card. You become that role. (That player retains their role for win condition sake)

Rules Clarification:
If the King is eliminated by the Usurper, and is the first player eliminated, this role will take precedence. So the Usurper will remain the Usurper, and you will become the King. The original King is still eliminated, but the game will continue, as there is still a King. The original King will win if the new King wins.


Executioner (use a card with the word "Executioner" written on it, or use the role card image provided.)

You win if you personally eliminate half of the players from the game. (You join the winning team, the game continues)


Joker (use a card with the word "Joker" written on it, or use the role card image provided.)

You win if you are eliminated first. (You join the winning team, the game continues)

Rules Clarification:
The Doppelgänger can become this role. If the Doppelgänger is revealed, the Joker does not reveal. If the Doppelgänger becomes this role, for purposes of win condition, count the next elimination. So if the Doppelgänger becomes the next player eliminated, they will also win.


Schizophrenic (use a card with the word "Schizophrenic" written on it, or use the role card image provided.)

You begin the game as a Bandit, then rotate through roles as each player is eliminated in this order: Knight then Bandit. Your role at the end of game determines your win condition.

Rules Clarification:
When the game ends, you are frozen in your role. It does not switch that final time. So if you are a Bandit when a player is eliminated to end the game (death of King, for example) You will remain a Bandit.


Zealot (use a card with the word "Zealot" written on it, or use the role card image provided.)

You must attack every turn if able, but you may never attack the King. You cannot attack the same player in consecutive turns, unless they are the only remaining player besides the King. You win if the King is alive at the end of the game.


The role breakdown for this version of the variant is determined in the following way:

Put the King, Knight, Bandit, and Assassin in the role pile. Take the remaining roles (Usurper, Bandit, Knight, Doppelgänger, Executioner, Joker, Schizophrenic, and Zealot) and put them into another pile. Shuffle this pile, and randomly select and additional number of roles based off the total number of players. So for 5 people, add one from the random roles, for 6 add two, and so on. Then add these roles to the role pile, shuffle, and distribute as normal. This adds some randomness to the game, and keeps players guessing.


Role Card Images

Basic Rules:
Image
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Advanced Rules:
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 Post subject: Re: Kingdom Magic
AgePosted: 2015-May-06 9:10 am 
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Joined: 2010-Jul-18 9:59 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
What happens if the Usurper kills the King while the Bandit is still alive? The Bandit wins and the game ends?

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 Post subject: Re: Kingdom Magic
AgePosted: 2015-May-06 9:18 am 
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Joined: 2013-Oct-26 9:21 am
Age: Dragon
Location: Xenia, OH, USA
Viperion wrote:
What happens if the Usurper kills the King while the Bandit is still alive? The Bandit wins and the game ends?


It's actually up there. The Usurper becomes the new King. The old King isn't actually eliminated. They basically trade roles.

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 Post subject: Re: Kingdom Magic
AgePosted: 2015-May-06 9:45 am 
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Joined: 2010-Jul-18 9:59 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
So the only way the Bandit(s) can win is by eliminating the Usurper before the King?

Edit: It's not "actually up there" btw. I quote (emphasis added by me):

Quote:
Usurper

You become the King if you eliminate the King.

Quote:
Bandit
You win if the King is eliminated

In Bang! the Bandits win as soon as the Sheriff is dead, even if it's not the Bandits that kill him.

Edit again: I see the "Rules Clarification" bit about what happens when there's a Doppelganger and the King is first eliminated, but there may not be a doppelganger.

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"Degenerate, unfun decks generally come from degenerate, unfun players in my experience." - Cthulus Thrall

"- if this spell is played ten times in a given game then I suggest you warm up the tar and pluck some chickens" - tarnar

"I'm happy to serve as a quote machine" - Sheldon


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 Post subject: Re: Kingdom Magic
AgePosted: 2015-May-06 11:05 am 
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Joined: 2013-Oct-26 9:21 am
Age: Dragon
Location: Xenia, OH, USA
Viperion wrote:
So the only way the Bandit(s) can win is by eliminating the Usurper before the King?

Edit: It's not "actually up there" btw. I quote (emphasis added by me):

Quote:
Usurper

You become the King if you eliminate the King.

Quote:
Bandit
You win if the King is eliminated

In Bang! the Bandits win as soon as the Sheriff is dead, even if it's not the Bandits that kill him.

Edit again: I see the "Rules Clarification" bit about what happens when there's a Doppelganger and the King is first eliminated, but there may not be a doppelganger.


The Usurper is a replacement effect. Just think of it that way, since no player actually gets eliminated. The King stays in the game. He just becomes the Usurper instead.

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 Post subject: Re: Kingdom Magic
AgePosted: 2015-May-06 12:44 pm 
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Joined: 2010-Jul-18 9:59 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
Cool cool. In that case may I suggest a wording change?

"If you would eliminate the King, instead you become the King and your life total is set to 10 + its starting value. The King becomes the Usurper and their life total is set to 1"

I love Bang! and am excited to give this a go :)

_________________
"Degenerate, unfun decks generally come from degenerate, unfun players in my experience." - Cthulus Thrall

"- if this spell is played ten times in a given game then I suggest you warm up the tar and pluck some chickens" - tarnar

"I'm happy to serve as a quote machine" - Sheldon


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 Post subject: Re: Kingdom Magic
AgePosted: 2015-May-07 10:07 am 
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Joined: 2013-Oct-26 9:21 am
Age: Dragon
Location: Xenia, OH, USA
Viperion wrote:
Cool cool. In that case may I suggest a wording change?

"If you would eliminate the King, instead you become the King and your life total is set to 10 + its starting value. The King becomes the Usurper and their life total is set to 1"

I love Bang! and am excited to give this a go :)


Well have fun with it... My group sure does.. I'd suggest a few games with the basic rules before throwing the advanced roles in.

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 Post subject: Re: Kingdom Magic
AgePosted: 2015-Jul-23 5:23 am 

Joined: 2012-Dec-19 1:01 am
Age: Wyvern
This sounds like a really interesting multiplayer format. I'm interested in trying with my group, but I have a few questions first...

1. Under what conditions does a game actually end? A number of victory conditions refer to something "when the game ends", but the rules don't clearly spell out when a game actually ends. Just from reading the rules, I'm making a few assumptions:
- The game ends and roles are revealed for all players if the King is eliminated by someone other than the Usurper. Bandits would usually win here, though the Assassin would win if he's the only other person left.
- The game ends if the King and Knights eliminate all other players. I'm assuming the game would have to end if only the King and Knights remain, but since standard roles do not get revealed when a player dies, how would the King and the Knights actually know that they had won? Can the Knights opt to reveal their roles so that the table can see that only the King and Knights are remaining?

2. Am I reading correctly that the Assassin only wins if they have killed everyone else and are the last player alive? If my assumption in #1 is correct (the game ends immediately if the King dies), this would mean the only way for the assassin to win is to kill everyone except the King, and then kill the King last?

3. The Usurper personally has to eliminate the King to take his role, correct? IE if a Bandit kills the King while the Usurper is alive, the game ends and Bandits win?

4. What happens if the Assassin eliminates the King, and all of the Bandits are dead, but there are still Knights (and maybe an Usurper) remaining? Does the Assassin win, or do all players lose?


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 Post subject: Re: Kingdom Magic
AgePosted: 2015-Aug-02 1:37 am 
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Joined: 2013-Oct-26 9:21 am
Age: Dragon
Location: Xenia, OH, USA
Paradox52525 wrote:
This sounds like a really interesting multiplayer format. I'm interested in trying with my group, but I have a few questions first...

1. Under what conditions does a game actually end? A number of victory conditions refer to something "when the game ends", but the rules don't clearly spell out when a game actually ends. Just from reading the rules, I'm making a few assumptions:
- The game ends and roles are revealed for all players if the King is eliminated by someone other than the Usurper. Bandits would usually win here, though the Assassin would win if he's the only other person left.
- The game ends if the King and Knights eliminate all other players. I'm assuming the game would have to end if only the King and Knights remain, but since standard roles do not get revealed when a player dies, how would the King and the Knights actually know that they had won? Can the Knights opt to reveal their roles so that the table can see that only the King and Knights are remaining?


Yeah, the game ends with either the King dying (and not being replaced) or with the King and only those loyal to him/her still alive. (usually you can vocalize "well i'm a knight")

Quote:
2. Am I reading correctly that the Assassin only wins if they have killed everyone else and are the last player alive? If my assumption in #1 is correct (the game ends immediately if the King dies), this would mean the only way for the assassin to win is to kill everyone except the King, and then kill the King last?


The Assassin doesn't have to kill the players themselves, just has to be on a 1-on-1 showdown with the King at the end. This makes the Assassin look like a knight for most of the game. The Assassin's only real goal is to kill the King with no one else left alive.

Quote:
3. The Usurper personally has to eliminate the King to take his role, correct? IE if a Bandit kills the King while the Usurper is alive, the game ends and Bandits win?


Yes. The Usurper has to deal the 'fatal' blow to the King to take over. If someone else does, the Usurper loses.

Quote:
4. What happens if the Assassin eliminates the King, and all of the Bandits are dead, but there are still Knights (and maybe an Usurper) remaining? Does the Assassin win, or do all players lose?


If the Assassin kills the King with anyone else on the table, the Assassin will lose. If all the bandits are dead, that means everyone loses (with the possible exception of the advanced roles Joker and Executioner)

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 Post subject: Re: Kingdom Magic
AgePosted: 2015-Sep-03 1:07 am 

Joined: 2012-Dec-19 1:01 am
Age: Wyvern
I've played this format a few times with a group of friends. It is a lot of fun and helps to direct big multiplayer games so they don't drag on forever. We've been using slightly tweaked rules to address what we saw as some problems with the basic rules though. In particular:

* There is no strong incentive for anyone to attack the bandit/renegade. Unless you are directly and seriously threatened by them, the winning strategy for all other roles is usually just to ignore them.

* There is no real incentive for anyone to ever attack a guard. This leads to an odd dynamic where they can often be safely ignored, but because they are mostly ignored, they can sometimes build up to a disproportionately strong board position as no one really cares to weaken them. We didn't like this as it made games as guards very spikey.

* The bandit/renegade role has a very difficult win condition. If the person playing the bandit does not have a well tuned 1vMany type deck, it is nearly impossible for them to win.

* There is no penalty if the King kills a guard, and we felt that there should be. For whatever reason, we've had a lot of games where the King ends up killing his guards...

To address these issues, we've been playing with the following rules additional rules. I'm curious to hear people's thoughts on these:

1. If the King kills a guard, the King loses 10 life or his health total is set to 40 (whichever results in a lower total). And his maximum hand size is reduced by 1. This makes it so that the King has to be at least a little careful in who they attack. We may have to adjust this to account for multiple guards (we've never had more than 6 people play so far).

2. If a Guard is killed by someone other than the King, the King loses half of his life or is reduced to 25 life (whichever is lower) and must sacrifice 3 permanents. The idea was to give the Assassins and Usurper an alternative way to weaken the King if he has built a very strong board position, and to provide some reasons for the guards to be attacked and have to defend themselves.

3. We use a combined version of the bandit and doppelganger roles which we call "renegade". The Renegade starts with the same win-condition as the bandit (be the last man standing). However, if the renegade is killed by someone, they take on that person's role and then share that role's win condition. The way this works is:

* When lethal damage is dealt to the Renegade (or some action is taken that would cause them to lose the game, like milling them), they reveal their role card. The person who dealt lethal damage to the renegade secretly reveals their role to the renegade only. Everyone at the table knows that they were the renegade, but only the renegade and the person who killed them will know their new role.
- If a renegade is killed by an Assassin, they become another assassin and must kill the King to win.
- If a renegade is killed by a guard, they become a guard and must protect the King.
- If a renegade is killed by the King, they become a guard.
- If a renegade is killed by the Usurper, they become a second usurper. *Either* Usurper is then able to kill the King and become the new King. However, if an Usurper successfully steals the role of King, any other Usurpers become Guards for the new King. The previous King then becomes the only Usurper at 1 life. This was to prevent the role of King from being passed around too frequently, and also to encourage some friendly rivalry between Usurpers (they work together to steal the throne, but only one of them can actually sit on it).

* When the renegade takes a new role, they shuffle their hand, graveyard, and all nonland permanents they control into their library. Their commander is returned to the command zone and their commander tax is reset to zero. They are then reset to 40 health and draw 7 cards. Lands they had in play remain in play. Exiled cards remain in exile.

We're still tweaking the specific penalties and benefits a bit, but in general we like how this has diversified the game. There is incentive now for every role to be attacked by at least someone, so no roles are free to concentrate on offense alone. There are also more benefits (and some penalties) in place for correctly guessing other players' roles and taking appropriate action.

A few other ideas we've been floating (but have not tried yet)
- "Promotions" or some king of benefits for guards when they kill an Assassin or Usurper. Probably in the form of some life gain or getting to play a few cards for free.
- In 6+ player games, a way for the Assassins (we call the role that only cares about killing the King Assassins) to begin the game knowing who the other Assassins are. With no alternative win conditions, and no way to switch roles, Assassins have to play the game fairly coy with our rules. Knowing who the other Assassins are so they can try to secretly collaborate might balance this out a bit.


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 Post subject: Re: Kingdom Magic
AgePosted: 2015-Sep-19 11:06 am 
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Age: Dragon
Location: Xenia, OH, USA
If I'm reading your posts correctly, Paradox, you guys play with all roles revealed? That's kinda odd, and goes against how the game is set up. No one knows who anyone is except the king. that's the point.

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 Post subject: Re: Kingdom Magic
AgePosted: 2015-Sep-21 5:12 am 

Joined: 2012-Dec-19 1:01 am
Age: Wyvern
tgambitg wrote:
If I'm reading your posts correctly, Paradox, you guys play with all roles revealed? That's kinda odd, and goes against how the game is set up. No one knows who anyone is except the king. that's the point.


Not sure how I gave you that impression? No, we tweaked how a lot of the roles work (especially the bandit/renegade), but we do *not* play with roles revealed. The King's role is known. Other players only reveal their roles when they are eliminated from the game (or in the Usurper's case, when he deals lethal damage to the King) so appropriate actions can be taken.

To trigger the various benefits or penalties for eliminating a player, you would have to correctly guess someone's role. If you eliminate someone without knowing what their role is, you could trigger a situation that isn't beneficial to you (this is especially true of the penalty the King gets if he kills one of his own guards by mistake). We wanted people to have to try a bit harder to figure out what roles the other players are, and also to give more roles incentive to attack and defend themselves. If the King is too strong to attack, the Assassins could win by killing a guard to weaken him instead, or by killing the renegade to gain a team-mate and outnumber him. To do that though, they'd have to figure out who the guard and renegade are.

We were contemplating a setup where the Assassins would start the game knowing who the other assassins are, but we have not tested this yet.


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 Post subject: Re: Kingdom Magic
AgePosted: 2015-Sep-21 7:27 am 
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Age: Dragon
Location: Xenia, OH, USA
There shouldn't be more than 1 assassin in the game. All the roles are unique except for Bandit and Knight.

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 Post subject: Re: Kingdom Magic
AgePosted: 2015-Sep-21 11:43 pm 

Joined: 2012-Dec-19 1:01 am
Age: Wyvern
tgambitg wrote:
There shouldn't be more than 1 assassin in the game. All the roles are unique except for Bandit and Knight.


Sorry, more confusion. We use slightly different role names than you do. We call the role that just has to kill the king "Assassin" (that made more sense to us, Assassins just have to kill the King and don't care about anything else). We call the combined assassin/doppelganger role "Renegade":

King (unique)
Guard/Knight (multiple) - protects the king
Usurper (unique) - becomes the king if he kills the king
Assassin (multiple) - wins if he kills the king and at least one assassin is alive
*Renegade (unique) - wins if he is the last remaining player. If killed by another player, he becomes their ally and continues playing


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 Post subject: Re: Kingdom Magic
AgePosted: 2017-May-04 8:01 pm 

Joined: 2017-May-04 6:05 pm
Age: Egg
made long and enthusiastic post, site ate it :cry:

long story short.
We play slightly different version. We altered the roles to take into account fairnes when playing with uneven number of players and the ability to play with only 4 players.

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