Hidden Menace: Basic Plays

It looks like I’ll be using cards as both a resource and an idea spring board, so let’s look at what a player might do with their cards. Here’s my current list for actions any player can take.

  • Buy In
  • Entice
  • Counter
  • Empower
  • Protect
  • Claim

Here’s how I’m thinking of handling the first three. I’ll split the next three into another post.

Buy In

Buying in lets a player describe the game world and what happens in it. To buy in, the player must place a card down in front of them. As long as that card is in play, that player can freely add any details or events to the current scene. At the end of the scene, the buy in card is discarded and the owning player may draw a new one.

The buy in card may only be played face up if the owning player’s first bit of narration matches the card’s theme. If they do match, the face up card can be used to defend that narration from any counters.


Enticing involves giving a card away in exchange for a favor. To entice the other players, simply lay a card face down and state what you want for it. Any player who fulfills those conditions gets the card. If more than one player does so, you may choose who gets the card. You can also state what type of card it is or let prospective buyers peek at the card at any time.


When another player adds a detail or event you don’t want in the game, you can attempt to counter it. To do so, place either a row of cards of a single die between you and your opponent. Playing cards sets your initial bid while playing a die starts you off with no bid.

All cards in your bid must be played face down unless you can state an existing detail that both supports an argument against your opponent and matches the theme of the card.

Once you’ve played your bid, your opponent must match it or forfeit. To match a bid, they must play one card for each card in your bid. For each face up card you play, they must play a face up card of their own or play an additional face down card. As with your own bid, they can only play cards face up if they have an argument that fits the game world and matches the theme of the card.

If they match your bid, they may either “up the ante” by playing an additional card or “hold” by placing a die next to their bid. If they up the ante, you must match their new bid or forfeit. If you match their bid or they hold, you can then up the ante or hold. This continues until either one player forfeits or both players hold. If both players hold, they must either reach a compromise or roll the die next to their bids, with the high roller winning.

Once the counter has been resolved, discard all cards in both bids and distribute an equal number of fresh cards between all player who didn’t win. This includes all player who didn’t participate in the conflict as well as the losing player.

Published in: on October 10, 2012 at 9:37 pm  Leave a Comment  
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