This article originally appeared in Pyramid #13

Illuminati: New World Order

More Frequently Asked Questions about the INWO Rules

Prepared by Steve Jackson

Aiding Attacks

Q: When a group aids an attack, does it get a +4 if it has a similar alignment, and/or a -4 for an opposite alignment?

A: No! You must look at the alignment of a group (unless it has Global Power) to see if it is even eligible to aid the attack, but only the group that actually makes the attack gets bonuses or penalties for alignment.

Canceled Actions

Q: If a group attacks and its action is canceled, can that group try the same attack again if it can get another Action token?

A: Yes.

Q: Can an action be canceled after the dice are rolled?

A: No!

Q: If Discordia spent its action and an appropriate Plot to turn the Nuclear Power Companies into a Government group, could the NPCs just use their action to cancel the Discordian action and stay Corporate?

A: No, because when they became Govern-ment they fell under Discordia's immunity. It's now illegal for them to do anything to Discordia. A group cannot take an illegal action, even if — if the action were completed — it would make itself legal.

Committing to an Attack

Q: Does using a duplicate Group card as "agents" commit you to the attack?

A: Yes. If you play an agents card, you must go through with the attack and spend that card.

Destroying Groups

Q: Can groups with 0 Power be destroyed?

A: Yes. The question only arises because such groups could not be destroyed in the original Illuminati game. In INWO, they can.

Devastation and Relief

Q: Does a Place lose an Action token as soon as a Disaster is played on it?

A: That's right. Of course, if something happens to avert that Disaster completely, so it never happened (Hoax, for instance), the Action token comes back.

Q: What is the cost to give Relief to a place with Power 0?

A: Since the cost of Relief is three times the printed Power of the Place, regardless of its current Power, the question should not arise; no Places have zero Power.

Q: Can a group be moved to an open control arrow of a devastated Place?

A: Yes, it can. It gets no Action tokens and does not count for victory until the Place is relieved, but you can move it there.


Q: When is a card considered "discarded" and capable of being recovered by a card such as "Stealing the Plans"?

A: The card is considered discarded immediately upon use, unless it stays on the table as a link or a marker for an effect. Such cards are discarded only when the link (or whatever) is permanently broken.

Q: If someone discards a group from their hand due to a failed attempt to control (or for any other reason, for that matter) does this prevent others from bringing out their own copies of that group?

A: No. Others are free to use their own copies of the same card.

Free Moves

Q: When you buy a Plot card with Action tokens, is this a free move?

A: Yes.

Goals and Victory

Q: What's to stop someone from hiding extra Goals in his hand, and discarding them before showing one Goal and claiming a win?

A: Well, it's cheating. Someone who would do that would mark cards or steal your Action tokens, too . . . We don't have a specific punishment for it, any more than we do for any other type of cheating.

Q: What happens if two players, playing the same Illuminati, meet their Goals at the same time? The rules say they can't share a win.

A: Since they cannot share a win, neither of them wins. Unless some other player(s) also have reached their Goals, the game continues. Yes, this means that if you cannot stop player A any other way, perhaps you can stave off his win by a turn if you aid player B who happens to have the same Illuminati . . .

Q: How do the goals on Goal cards interact with the original goals of the Illuminati groups?

A: Read the cards. Most Goals specifically say that they can't be combined with other goals in any way. Two of them allow certain cards to count double toward the Basic Goal (number of groups controlled). One Goal just clones the Bavarian goal (control a total of 50 Power).

The goals from different or multiple Goal cards cannot be combined in any way, even if it's legal for you to have more than one Goal card . . . which it isn't, unless you are the UFOs or have a Plot card that allows multiple goals!

No group or Resource may ever count more than double toward the Basic Goal.

Q: If a Plot or special ability changes a group's Power or Alignment, does that count for goals?

A: The rules specifically say (top of p. 5) that Power changes count for goals only if they are permanent. There is no such note under Alignments — an alignment change that only lasts until the end of the turn does count toward (or against) a win at the end of that turn. However, after the end of that turn, it doesn't count for anything.

Q: Is that true even if the group is destroyed?

A: Yes. If you turn a group permanently Peaceful and destroy it, it counts as a destroyed Peaceful group for all purposes. If you turn it temporarily Peaceful and destroy it, it would count for a win at the end of that turn, but not later.

Plot Cards

Q: When you buy a Plot card with Action tokens, is this a free move?

A: Yes.


Q: Does an increase in regular Power also increase Global Power?

A: The rules explictly say "no, not unless a card specifically says so."


Q: What's this "in-between turns" phase?

A: A terribly bad idea. The whole concept is being removed in Version 1.1 of the rules. There is no such thing as a time that is between the end of one turn and the beginning of the next. It never happened. No such thing. Fnord.

+10 Cards

Q: These cards can give +10 to Power for the rest of the turn, if used for defense against an Attack to Destroy. Is it legal to set up a situation in which the group survives and uses its increased Power in an attack?

A: No. Sneaky idea, but no. We'll change the card wording to make that explicit.

Alignment Changers

Q: If you use your Illuminati group to power one of these cards, do you need any other groups?

A: No. One of these cards can be powered either by your Illuminati action, OR by token(s) from groups of the desired alignment equal to the Resistance of the target group (doubled if its alignment is currently opposite).


Q: Some cards affect exposed Goal cards. But aren't Goals exposed only at the end of the game?

A: No. Goals are useless unless they're in your hand of Plot cards, and if something exposes your Plots, it can catch a Goal as easily as anything else.

Bill Clinton

Q: Why aren't the arrows lined up so Hillary can control Bill (or vice versa) with her card just to the right of his, so the card art "works" together?

A: Because every other group has its incoming control arrow on either the top or the bottom. If you wish to have a house rule that says Hillary can control Bill from any side, the blessings of Eris upon you.

Q: Can I declare an attack on Clinton (or with him), flip a coin to determine his alignment, and then call off the attack if I don't like the result?

A: No. Roll the dice, then flip the coin. If Clinton's alignment change wrecks the whole plan, well, now you know what it's like to be in the Senate.

Q: Does Clinton flipflop alignments randomly even after he's dead?

A: Yes. If his Liberal status matters after he's out of play, for any reason, flip a coin.


Q: What sex is Bjørnë?

A: Male. The card refers to him as a "he." Yes, the Bimbo at Eleven can get him. The mind reels . . .

Book of Kells

Q: Does this give an extra Action token, or some kind of action without a token?

A: We will change the card to read "... gives that group one extra Action token each turn . . . "

Center for Weird Studies

Q: When I discard any Plot Card, does this mean from my hand?

A: Yes. When a discard is called for, it is from your hand unless "deck" is specified.

Clipper Chip

Q: Can one player have multiple Clipper Chips in play?

A: No. This will be made explicit.

Clone Arrangers

Q: Should this card be read as "+4 on any attempt to control"?

A: Yes, and that's what later printings will say.

Q: Does the original personality still count as "destroyed"?

A: No; the card will be changed to make this explicit.

Combined Disasters

Q: If a Place is ordinarily immune to a Disaster, can a Combined Disaster be used to let that Disaster hit that Place? For instance, could Oregon Crud be the second disaster in a Combined Disaster against Moonbase?

A: No. If a Disaster ordinarily works only on Coastal places, for instance, or only on non-Huge places, it can't be added to a Combined Disaster against such a place.

Count Dracula

Q: Can the Count attack Vampires, even though they're Secret?

A: Yes! His card specifically mentions them, and therefore overrides the general rule.

Q: Does the Dracula card confuse the game meanings of "kill" and "destroy"?

A: Not really — it's a special effect. Dracula cannot be destroyed by any means, including "killing" assassinations, unless Magic is used. But if he's destroyed by any means, he's considered killed and permanently dead. (The rationale was that if the ancient Dracula were to be stripped of his power, which is what "destroyed" implies, he would die.) This is different from ordinary vampire Personalities created by the Vampire group card.

Crop Circles

Q: Can this card let you look through someone else's deck?

A: No. [THWACK!]

Q: Can you use this card in any way to trade Plot draws for Group draws (or vice versa), or look through one deck and then draw from the other?

A: No.

Deasil Engine

Q: Is this spelled right?

A: Look it up.

Death Mask

Q: Can this resource make an attack fail (like W.I.T.C.H.)?

A: Yes. Or make it succeed, if it failed. That's the whole point.

Discordian Society

Q: Can Discordia use the special powers of Straight and Government groups that it owns?

A: Sure it can. Fnord. It just cannot be attacked by such groups.

Q: So, can Discordia use one of its own Straight or Government groups to attack another of its own groups, or those of a rival Discordian player?

A: See the definition of Immunity. A Discordian player can use his Straight and Government groups freely against his own groups, but not against those of an enemy Discordian.

Q: If Discordia plays the "Hail Eris!" Goal, how do its goals change?

A: They don't. This Goal card just lets someone else use the Discordian goal. The card is worthless to Discordia fnord.


Q: Can they attack/aid/interfere with Secret groups, if the attacker or target is Magic?

A: Yes. Specifically, they can attack Secret Magic groups even though they are not themselves Secret.

Q: Can their Power be used without an action?

A: No! Their special ability just lets them use their regular Power (which is greater than their Global Power) for or against a Magic group.

Early Warning

Q: Is this card discarded after a single disaster?

A: Yes.


Q: The card says the group it is linked to gets an extra action. Does this mean "an extra Action token"?

A: Yes, and the card will be rephrased to make that explicit.

Q: Can more than one copy of Eliza be linked to the same Group?

A: I think not! We'll specify that on the card, too.

Flying Saucer

Q: Do you have to play a Resource as your automatic takeover in order to use the special ability of taking over an "extra Resource"?

A: No. Your first takeover can be anything you want.

Q: Can you make your first free takeover of a Resource on the same turn you get the Flying Saucer?

A: Yes.

Fred Birch Society

Q: This card "counts as two Conversative groups for any Illuminated goal." What exactly does this mean?

A: For any Goal that requires one to count groups that are Conservative, either to control or to destroy, Fred Birch counts double.

George Bush

Q: Is he Conservative before he is taken over?

A: No. He is Conservative when the owning Illuminati want him to be. Therefore, he can only be Conservative while in a Power Structure. When unowned — or if he is destroyed or killed — he has no conservative convictions.


Q: If Germany uses multiple tokens in a single attack, and the "action" is canceled (for example, by the Nuclear Power Companies), does the entire attack get canceled?

A: Indeed it does. In this case, the entire attack is an "action."

Giant Kudzu

Q: Can a place attacked by Giant Kudzu use its Action token to defend itself, since Giant Kudzu is not an Instant attack?

A: No — any Disaster costs its target an Action token immediately.

Hat Trick

Q: Does this work on any Plot card?

A: No, only on those that are discarded after play. Since Hat Trick says to discard the other card, it would be self-defeating to use it on a card that was supposed to stay on the table.

Q: If this card is played immediately, does it keep the preceding Plot card from being canceled or neutralized?

A: No. It gives you the right to pick up that Plot card and put it back in your hand, but it doesn't protect the effect of the card in any way.


Q: Can Hoax block instant attacks?

A: Absolutely. It eliminates the Plot card that created the instant attack. There was no Plague of Demons — it was all just a hoax.

International Cocaine Smugglers

Q: Do you really mean the decision has to be unanimous?

A: Absolutely.


Q: If Israel participates in an attack, is the privilege negated for everyone?

A: Absolutely.


Q: Suppose that a Violent group has its power doubled — for instance, by the Cyborg Soldiers. Then it and the KKK participate in an attack. Does the KKK double its power again, or is this a case of "no multiple doubling"?

A: This is a clear case of multiple doubling. Not legal.


Q: Do the Lawyers get their bonus if the attacker is not Government or Corporate, but the target is?

A: No, no, no, that's not what the card says.

Media Sensation

Q: How do you determine the sex of a Media Sensation card?

A: The card has to represent a real person in the news. There is usually a consensus about the sex of real people in the news.

Q: Can a Media Sensation card be declared as a person who has a "real" card?

A: No, never. Not even if there is no card for that person currently in play. For instance, Bill Clinton can never be a Media Sensation, because there is a real Bill Clinton card.

Nephews of God

Q: Isn't the wording ambiguous if you happen to be entitled to draw more than one Plot per turn?

A: Arguably yes. Try "Each turn, roll 2 dice before you draw any cards. If you roll a 6 or less, you may draw one extra card from either of your decks."

Nuclear Power Companies

Q: Can they remove an Action token from an enemy card before it's spent?

A: No. They must wait for the action to be taken, then cancel it.

Orbital Mind Control Lasers

Q: Do alignment changes made by the OMCL count for (or against) victory?

A: You bet they do. But only as long as they last. So a group that is made liberal by the OMCL and then destroyed will only count as a "destroyed Liberal group" if the person who is claiming victory can do so on the same turn the group was destroyed. (Rationale: A group which was destroyed while in the throes of temporary strangeness will not be remembered as Liberal — or whatever — in the long run.)

Q: Can the OMCL add an alignment opposite to one a group has?

A: No. They can reverse an alignment, but nothing can let a group hold two opposing alignments at the same time.


Q: What if OPEC gets attacked before its first turn? What is its Power?

A: Roll to determine its Power when you first take over the card.

Q: Is OPEC's Power considered Tem-porary, since it expires at the end of the turn?

A: OPEC's Power, as rolled on the dice, is considered Permanent for purposes of Goals.

Q: Can you use Murphy's Law or Bribery to change the die roll here?

A: You certainly can.

Orbit One

Q: Should Orbit One really be affected by Earthquakes?

A: No, that's an error on the Limited card. It is immune to Earthquakes, but vulnerable to Nuclear Disasters.

Peace in Our Time

Q: Does this give Peaceful groups a +3 Power against direct Attacks to Destroy only, or can they aid against such attacks with the increased Power?

A: Only if they themselves are the target.

Seize the Time

Q: Can you play this card before each person has finished their first turn?

A: No, because interrupting their turn is doing something "to" them. The card text will be changed to make this explicit.


Q: Do they get their +5 defensive bonus against Instant attacks?

A: Yes. Version 1.1 makes this explicit.

Spear of Longinus

Q: Can this card be used more than once in the same attack?

A: No. [THWACK!]

Q: If you also have Stonehenge, can you automatically stop Disasters or Attacks to Destroy against you, by aiding them with the Spear, making them Magic, and therefore unable to hurt you?

A: Nice try, but no. The Spear is your own, and your immunity doesn't protect you against your own things.


Q: Should this card really say "... immune to all Magic groups, Magic Plots and Magic Resources"?

A: Yes, it should, and it will.

Q: If I have Stonehenge and the Spear of Longinus, is that a killer combo?

A: No. See the Spear of Longinus listing.


Q: Zurich cannot destroy Switzerland. Can it make an "attack to destroy" that it knows will only devastate Switzerland?

A: No. Zurich cannot make any attack to destroy against Switzerland.


Q: What does "involving Texas" mean, on the Texas card?

A: The intent is that Texas must use its own Action token, its own special ability (self-referentially!) or be defending itself. A resource linked to Texas and aiding or affecting Texas would also "involve" Texas. If there were a personality that gave a benefit to Texas by being linked to it, something involving that personality would "involve" Texas too.

Trading Card Games

Q: Where did this card come from, anyway?

A: It was the freebie in issue #4 of Duelist Magazine. Except that the press run of the magazine exceeded the number of cards we printed, so not every copy included the card. Hope you got one.

Q: What is its frequency?

A: Very common; there are more of these than any other Limited card. And it will be in the Factory Set. But we do not plan to issue an Unlimited version.

Q: Once this group is traded in and discarded, can it be returned to play?

A: No, not by any means. It's not "destroyed," it's just gone. Duplicate cards are no use.


Q: Can you play this card before each person has finished their first turn?

A: No, because making them lose a group is doing something "to" them. The card or rules text will be changed to make this explicit.

Q: If an Upheaval removes the last puppet of an Illuminati, destroying it, does that Illuminati count as a kill for purposes of Cthulhu or Fratricide?

A: Yes, in both cases, because the Goal wording on the cards says "remove," and doesn't specify how.


Q: They can't be killed (assassinated) without Magic. Can they be destroyed without Magic?

A: Yes. A regular attack to destroy will still work. They just can't be killed without Magic. The Spear of Longinus is great for staking Vampires, for instance. (Note also that no Magic is required to destroy the Vampires group itself . . . but, since it's an ordinary organization-type Group rather than an individual, it can't be "killed."

Video Games

Q: Do they give themselves a +1 to power?

A: No, they don't.

Wall Street

Q: Does the "it" in Wall Street's power description refer to Wall Street itself?

A: Yes, yes, yes. Wall Street can treat any Corporate group as Government, or vice versa, when Wall Street makes or aids an attack.

Q: Does Wall Street's special ability transfer to other groups in any way?

A: No.

Warehouse 23

Q: Do you have to use your automatic takeovers to put Resources in Ware-house 23?

A: After the first free Artifact or Gadget, Warehouse 23 gives you no more freebies ... you must get any further Resources by automatic takeovers or the special abilities of your cards.

Q: If you lose Warehouse 23, can you remove the contents first?

A: No way!

Q: What if you have a unique Resource in Warehouse 23, and someone else plays it?

A: If you immediately reveal your Resource by removing it from the Warehouse, it's yours. If not, then the other person has that Resource and you don't.

If you've got a Q, we've got an A.

Pyramid Magazine
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Austin, TX 78760


Article publication date: June 1, 1995

Copyright © 1995 by Steve Jackson Games. All rights reserved. Pyramid subscribers are permitted to read this article online, or download it and print out a single hardcopy for personal use. Copying this text to any other online system or BBS, or making more than one hardcopy, is strictly prohibited. So please don't. And if you encounter copies of this article elsewhere on the web, please report it to