Double Secret Illuminati

A Variant for Illuminati

by Steve Honeywell

It's common knowledge that the Illuminati control the world. What isn't known, really, is which Illuminatus is in charge. "Double Secret Illuminati" simulates the uncertainty of knowing who is really in control by having each player hide his true Illuminati colors. This game works best with four players and cannot be played with more than five.


This game is similar to Deluxe (or Classic) Illuminati, and works for three to five players, although four is ideal. Each player possesses two Illuminati, one of which they use to control groups and draw income, and one which exists as the true power behind the throne.


At the beginning of the game, each player selects two Illuminati groups to play. One group is placed face-up, and is the face the player presents to the world. The other Illuminati group is placed facedown under the first Illuminatus. This is the real Illuminatus, the power behind the exposed puppet. Players can select which of their two Illuminati groups they choose to show the world and which they want to be their true self. Any unused Illuminati are discarded without anyone seeing the groups. Part of the fun of this version is not knowing who is whom.

Players use the power, income, victory conditions, and special ability of the exposed group for everything. The hidden group is used only to determine winning conditions.

Winning Conditions

The game is played as normal with the following stipulation: to win, a player must fulfill two victory conditions. One of these two conditions must be the special victory condition of his hidden Illuminatus. For instance, a player with the Gnomes of Zurich exposed and the Bavarian Illuminati hidden must control enough power to satisfy the victory conditions for the Bavarians and either control enough groups or have enough money to satisfy the Gnomes. Naturally, this makes for a very long and cutthroat game as each player attempts to learn exactly who is what. Expect a game with four players to last a good three hours or more due to the added victory condition.

Special Rules

Article publication date: April 26, 2002

Copyright © 2002 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