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.
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 for the Church of the SubGenius: A player with the Church of the SubGenius as his hidden group must win by satisfying the special win conditions of both of his groups. He cannot control enough groups for a basic victory and then claim a win by virtue of having more than enough groups to satisfy the special win conditions of the Church of the SubGenius. There are no special rules governing a player with the Church of the SubGenius exposed.
- Special Rules for the UFOs: A player with the UFOs on top must select a victory condition for them, just like normal. However, the secret victory condition for the UFOs cannot be the same as that of his hidden group. A player with the UFOs as his hidden group must also select a special victory condition for the UFOs. Again, this special victory condition cannot be the same as that of the player's visible group. All rules regarding the Church of the SubGenius apply to a player with the UFOs hidden who selects the Church of the SubGenius's victory conditions.
- Special Rules for the Unmasked card: Anyone playing this card can choose to replace either his exposed or hidden group. He may not look at the unused groups to make his choice in this; he simply selects one of the unused Illuminati and chooses which of his two Illuminati to replace. If desired, the player can discard his exposed group, turn his hidden group over (it becomes his new exposed group) and place the new group as his new hidden group. If five people are playing Double Secret Illuminati, remove this card at the beginning of the game.
- Special Rules for the Computer Espionage card: This card cannot be used to learn the identity of another player's hidden Illuminatus.
- Special Rules for controllable groups: Groups that enhance an Illuminatus' income or number of cards drawn apply only if they match the exposed group. Thus a player who controls the Weathermen draws an extra card only if his exposed group is The Bermuda Triangle.
Article publication date: April 26, 2002
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