The King is dead... murdered... childless. The Kingdom begins to splinter with factions forming behind each new contender for the throne. Rumours start to spread that the King has an Heir, a child born of a secret affair involving the Kings father. The child now grown, is now hidden in plain sight among the members of the Court.
The Heir will be found with careful words and actions, but the Royal Advisors of the King’s Court dare not trust one another. Each one claiming they are loyal to the Kingdom. Will the Heir survive to rule, or will they suffer their father’s fate?
Players take on the role of Royal Advisors tasked with running the Kingdom in the wake of the Kings death. The Royal Advisors must try to find and eliminate the Traitors in their midst before the Kingdom falls apart. Players will scheme, deceive and persuade in order to seek out and eliminate the Traitors and safely return the Kingdom to its rightful ruler, the Kings Heir.
Act of Treason was inspired by games like Mafia, Werewolf and The Resistance. It takes many aspects of these games and seeks to amplify what makes these games so much fun - the deception, the intrigue, and social interaction. If you can successfully deduce who is who, convince, deceive and persuade, then you'll be able to win every time. However, that is a task that is much harder than it sounds!
Becoming a game designer and creating a game that I can be proud of has always been a dream of mine. Act of Treason is a game I can most certainly be proud of. It has been a lot of work and time - over 5 years now - spent making Act of Treason the best game it can be.
Below I have listed the major steps on the road to getting Act of Treason to market. I'll be ticking things green as I complete things on this list and gear up towards launch day on February the 10th.
In addition to the rulebook shipped with the game, we will host an official copy of the rules online so that anyone can access it on their mobile device. In addition, we will include a brief rules introduction video for new players, explaining all of the rules of Act of Treason.
A sample of the online rules sits below. It will be mobile friendly, as well as automatically updated for any errata and FAQ's. I will reveal more of the rules as we get closer to a successful launch on Kickstarter.
The King has been killed by Traitors. The rightful Heir to the throne, along with his Loyal followers must seek out and kill the Traitors within their midst before the Kingdom falls into despair.
There are two teams - the Loyals and the Traitors. Each player will receive a Loyalty card which determines which team they belong to. Loyalty is secret and players should not show their Loyalty card to anyone else.
|The Heir and Loyals win when:||The Traitors win when:|
|All Traitors have been eliminated||The Heir is eliminated|
|OR 5 Quests have been successfully completed||OR Kingdom Strength is reduced to ‘0’|
1. Place down the game board
The round sequence displayed on the left of the game board shows the order of phases within a game round. The Kingdom Strength displayed on the right of the game board tracks the strength of the Kingdom. Place the Kingdom Strength on ‘4’ for the start of the game.
2. Assign the Steward Role
The Steward is the temporary leader for each round. They choose the Quest to embark on, and the order in which people act during the action phase. Randomly determine the Steward for the first round and place the Steward Card face up in front of them.
3. Set up the cards
Shuffle the Knowledge cards () and place them face down in the Knowledge Deck Area at the bottom left of the game board. Deal 4 Knowledge Cards from the top of the Knowledge Deck face down to each Player.
At the top of the game board, place all nine Quest cards face up into their respective areas, Law (), Military (), and Commerce (). Each area will have 3 Quest cards. Ensure that the Quests are ordered so that the Quest numbered ‘1’ is on the top, and ‘3’ is on the bottom of each pile. Experienced players may wish to use Randomised Quests as described in the optional rules section.
Shuffle the Court cards and distribute them into 3 equal decks of 6 cards each. Note, in a game with 7 or less players, you will need to remove all cards with the ‘8+’ symbol, and create 2 piles of 6 cards instead. Place each deck face down in the Court at the bottom of the game board, and then turn the top card of each deck face up.
|Include in all games||8 to 10 players only|
4. Determine Loyalties
Shuffle the designated number of Heir, Loyal and Traitor cards as referenced in the Players Table on the top right of the game board. Deal one loyalty card face down to each player. Each player then looks at their Loyalty ensuring that no one else can see.
5. Treachery Setup
In a 5 Player game there is no Treachery Setup. The Treachery Setup allows the Traitors to know who the other Traitors are so that they may better work together.
All players including the Steward close their eyes. The Steward calls out the following: “Everyone close their eyes. Traitors, open your eyes. You have 5 seconds. See who is on your team.” The Steward then waits five seconds. “Times up. Traitors close your eyes, everyone open your eyes.” All players, including the Steward, must follow these instructions.
The Traitors will now know who is on their side, while the other players do not. Players should voice any concerns during the Treachery Setup and redo the setup of the game from step 4 if necessary.
Act of Treason is played in rounds divided into 5 phases: Quest, Action, Tribute, Reward, and Refresh, as shown on the Round Sequence on the left hand side of the game board.
Phase 1: Quest Phase
The Steward must choose 1 available Law (), Military (), or Commerce () Quest from the Quest area at the top of the game board and place it face up in the Active Quest Area () in the center of the game board.
It is recommended that the Steward ask players which Knowledge they have in order to choose the Quest with the best chance of passing Tribute. Players are free to lie or answer however they wish.
All Quests have an effect that comes into play as soon as it is picked by the Steward. If the Quest has the 'Pass' keyword then it will only come into effect if the Quest is successful during the Tribute phase.
As soon as any Quest leaves the Active Quest Area during the Reward Phase it no longer provides its effect.
Phase 2: Action Phase
All players take a turn during the Action Phase. The Steward takes their turn first and then decides which player will take their turn next. Once that player has concluded their turn the Steward chooses the next player to act. This format continues until all players have had a turn.
At the start of their turn each player must draw two Knowledge cards from the top of the Knowledge deck. Players then have one Action and may choose to do any of the following:
Pass: A player may opt to Pass their Action this Round.
It is often the best choice in early rounds to pass your turn. The Court cards are expensive and Assassinations too risky.
Vist Court: A player may use their action to acquire a Court Card from Court. To do this, they must discard a number of Knowledge cards equal to the current Kingdom Strength and place these face down into the discard pile.
Once the Court card has been obtained, the player places it down in front of them to indicate that they now own the Court card. A player may only own one Court card at any time. If a player already owns a Court card and gains a new Court card, then the old card must be placed into the discard pile.
Cards in the Court and Quest areas of the Game Board stay face down until the Refresh Phase.
A player may discard their Court card to block any Assassination attempt made against them.
Use: Players may use their action on any Court card that has the 'Action' keyword. The effect will be listed on the card. For example, the Informant Court card lets players use their action to draw three Knowledge cards and then discard the Informant Court card.
Cards without the Action keyword, do not require an action to use their effects.
Assassinate: A player may spend their Action to attempt to eliminate any player of their choice.
Naturally, the target will not want to be eliminated and may try to convince players of their innocence. If the assassinating player wishes to go ahead with the assassination they must confirm it by verbally announcing that they ‘lock-in’ their decision. Note that until the assassin ‘locks-in’ their decision, they are free to change their mind and all players are allowed to discuss freely.
The assassin is able to announce their assassination and then immediately lock it in if they wish, which leaves their target with no opportunity to defend themselves.
When the assassination has been locked-in it cannot be withdrawn. The target cannot talk and will be eliminated unless they can discard a Court card they own to block the assassination attempt. In addition, any other player can also save the target by discarding their Guardian or Royal Guard Court card, using the effect listed on the card: “Discard this card to block an assassination against any player“.
If the Assassination is not blocked, then the target is eliminated from the game. Eliminated players never reveal their loyalty. They cannot be examined. They cannot talk, nor can they interact with the game. If the Steward is assassinated, the Steward Role is transfered to the Stewards assassin.
While Kingdom Strength is on ‘4’ or ‘3’ Town Watch is in effect. This is shown by the green coloring on the ‘4’ and ‘3’ spaces of the Kingdom Strength on the right of the game board.
Town Watch eliminates any player after they use the Assassination action whether successful or not, by hanging them in the town square. This cannot be blocked. Town Watch is disbanded when Kingdom Strength drops to ‘2’.
If Town Watch kills the Steward, the Steward role is passed to the player to the left of the eliminated Steward.
... More rules will be revealed in time ...
Designer & Owner
I am the creator and designer behind Act of Treason. I have always been passionate about game theory and design. I also enjoy using Photoshop, AfterEffects & Premiere Pro, as well as coding in my spare time. I like debating, logic and learning by engaging and discussing with others.
I am an illustrator, graphics designer and concept artist from Bordeaux, France, and have been freelancing in the entertainment industry for 4 years. I have been passionate about drawing ever since I was a child and am strongly influenced by classic painting and impressionism, but also contemporary comics. You can find a showcase of my art on theartysquid.com
I wouldn't have made it without the support of the fans of Act of Treason - You guys gave me the motivation to push forward when the going got tough. A big thank you to the following people:
Josh, Chris Sharpe, Ry, Tremaine, Lex, Tegan, Sarah, Brin, Logan, Todd, Cameron, Richard, Tim C, Chris S, Lindsay, Steve, Tim U, Karina, Phil, Walter, James H, Amelia, Liss, Toni, Sanwarnee, Amy, Pete, Katie, Hanna, Mark, Andrea, Ben, Kelvin, Keith, Leanne, Joel, James S, Simeon, Jason, Matt J, Peter.
Special Mention: Daniel Haddock, Christopher Paulin, Isaac White, Shem Phillips.
There are likely many play testers that are missing from this list. If you feel you've been missed please feel free to contact me and I will happily add you.
I've received a lot of praise from people over the years about Act of Treason. At the time I rarely took down formal notes or saved the messages I'd received, which is rather unfortunate. Below is a showcase of some of the more candid responses I've received, as well as some of the more traditional feedback that I receive from survaying player responses.
"So I played Act of Treason with Tyson and some people from work last night and it is EPIC. Like I forgot how great it is!!!"
“Just putting it out there but am pretty keen for some more AOT.. Really enjoyed it and now that I understand the game play a lot better think I could give it a better go :) … Ha! And I'm not saying it to boost your ego either.. Was really cool! Even though you tried to kill me lol”
"I have to sleep, but I Just want to say congrats for sticking with the concept, and I can verily say that the game is excellent."
"I really love this game it's always good fun to play! It's way better than Avalon and has more dimension. I highly recommend it!"
"I think I would go as far as to say it is my favourite of that genre"
Act of Treason is aiming for the release date of Feb the 10th, 2018. Don't miss out! Follow us on Twitter to keep updated with all the latest developments or sign up by email to the Kickstarter mailing list for a one time email when the Kickstarter is announced.