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Reading the Play

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Strange is the night where black stars rise,
And strange moons circle through the skies
But stranger still is
Lost Carcosa.

Reading the Play is a card game themed around “The King in Yellow.”

Players race to assemble passages from the infamous play, while dealing with the madness contained within.

Players take turns either drawing from the deck or trading with each other. Each player is attempting to assemble as many sequential lines of the play as possible while avoiding Yellow Signs. The game ends when the final line of the play is revealed, at which point the player with the most lines in front of them wins. Players have to be careful though because if anyone ever has three Yellow Signs in hand the game ends and everyone loses.

Players: 3-6
Ages: 18+
Play Time: 15-30 Mins

28 Line cards
6 Yellow Sign cards
2 Elder Sign cards

Line CardYellow Sign CardElder Sign Card

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Discussions (1)
Customer avatar
Martyna P July 23, 2017 8:12 pm UTC
Hi! Today, my friends and I playtested the game with three players and it was very fun! However, we have a couple of questions pertaining to the rules and the objectives of the game.

1. We noticed that the game has got the potential to be either competitive and cooperative (players competing against each other for the longest fragment or players competing against the game, trying to get the longest fragment before three yellow signs appear). We concluded that the game was designed to be competitive but have you considered adding a cooperative play mode?

2. We believe that the conditions of victory should be more specific, or at least clarified. For example, is it the longest stanza (i.e. the longest streak of consecutive lines) or the highest number of consecutive verses from different stanzas that counts as victory?
Customer avatar
Rob J August 15, 2017 2:08 pm UTC
Hey! Thanks for buying and trying out the game! I'm sorry for not responding sooner, I guess I don't have notifications set for this.

1. That was actually an intentional part of the design. It is, by all accounts, competitive. But it's also possible to play semi-cooperatively as well, even while others are being competitive. I just didn't intentionally call that out in the rules. There are a couple cooperative play modes I've tested. For example, you can try to build the entire play as a group (everyone takes a stanza) while avoiding the Yellow Signs. It works reasonably well. As for including them in the rules, it's something I'm working on if the game gets expanded.

2. Ah. I see that could be confusing. The intention is that it's the longest streak of consecutive lines. That's not to say a different interpretation would be unplayable. However, I can always claim the vagueness as part of the thematic aesthetic, right?
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File Size:
6.98 MB
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File Last Updated:
July 10, 2017
This title was added to our catalog on July 09, 2017.
Rob Justice
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