Jonathan Hinson

Regnant Action – Old

During your Action Phase, you may once activate a Regnant Ability – based on the Suit of your Regnant you may do one of the following.

“Harvest” – Discard Spade Peasant to:
Convert a lower value Peasant to a Subject or a Glory.

“Scholastic” – Discard Heart Peasant to:
Take an Opponents Peasant of a lower value and place as your Subject or a Glory.

“Pillage” – Reveal and Discard Club Army Card to:
Take an Opponents Subject of a lower value and take as your Peasant or a Glory.

“Economics” – Serf a Diamond Subject to:
Convert a lower value Peasant into a Subject or a Glory.

Conspiracy Rule:

When a Regnant Ability places a card into Your Glory which does not share a suit with any card in Your Royal Court – you may also Discard any one card from your Glory.

Sedition Rule:

When a Regnant Ability places a card into Your Glory which does not share a suit with any card in Your Royal Court, and is the the same suit as your Opponents Regnant. You must also Discard any one card from your Glory (if available).

No Consort Ascendancy – old

If you have no Consort you may Discard a Number card from your hand for the following effect according to the Suit of the Card Discarded.

“Master of the Hunt” – Draw a card.

Herald” – Ennoble a Peasant.

“Champion” – Discard any card of a lower value from the Opponents Population.


Treasurer” – The opponent must give you any card of their choice from their hand, which goes immediately into your hand. You may now place a Subject from your hand.

Consort Ability – old

If you have a Consort. These are optional abilities that you may activate as you place a card into Your Glory due to a Regnant Action.

Spade Consort – “Reap”
Serf Subject.

Heart Consort – “Campaign” –
Draw a card, place into your hand – You may now place a Subject from your Population into the opponents Peasant Pile.

Club Consort – “Enlist”
Discard a Peasant and immediately place an Army Card from your hand.

Diamond Consort – “Gentrify”
Ennoble a non Diamond Peasant.

The genesis of “Kingdoms”.

I’ve always wanted to play a Card Game where all of the Face Cards, Number Cards, and Suits have a thematic and mechanical purpose. For example, there is always substantive reason why their different Suits, and Spades, and each one has it’s own unique reason for existing. When a card is played, or used, it is always used due to it’s Suit and value combined – etc. The King, Queen and Jack, I wanted them to not just be ranked, but to each embody their own purpose within a game setting or theme.

I’ve played and even created games that come close, but they typically fall short in some way. By the year 2015 I had already created a lot of card games, a few can be found on this website, And I thought it was time to create my card game Magnum Opus.

The early days…

Initially I had decided that the game would revolve around the concept of a Royal Court, and each Suit would represent a motivation, or skill of a member of the Royal Court. This would make each Royal Card in the deck, it’s own character with it’s own motivations and ideologies. The idea was simple, you would populate the Royal Court with Cards, and depending on who (what suit) the Royal Court was, you would attain “Glory Points” in unique ways. The Royal Consort (usually the Queen) would bring a second layer of abilities, and with Royal Cards of various Suits, you could create your own synergies and strategies.

The Number Cards were always the “Subjects”, and the “Population”, and these would be used by the Royals to achieve Glory.

Here come the Peasants…

The Peasants where a stroke of luck. I had decided at some point to have a separate discard pile for each Player. This was a place where cards could be stored for later use… then it occurred to me, literally years later – that Peasants, and Serfs had an integral part to play in this game. They became so much more than just a pile of cards, they were the outcasts, the labourers, the refugees, the hidden backbone to the Kingdom. Peasants were then, an integral part of the game.

More Intrigue, doesn’t mean more intriguing…

I had loaded the game with Thematic “Intrigues”, these were things like Scandals, and Treason, that would occur if a Royal Court was in a certain arrangement. I had quite a bit of fun adding in more and more Intrigues, until I realised that they were just more…

The problem of games within the game…

I soon had run into an issue when adding more and more layers to the game, it was occurring to me that I was adding “mini-games” into the game. Whilst these were thematic, and did have an outcome that would affect the game, it was apparent that these “mini-games” weren’t contributing a great deal to the overall story of the the game session. For example the “Polity”, and the “Duel” in the early iterations, where a rather simple distractions from the aim of the game. I would eventually have to admit that without some previous actions affecting these Actions, or perhaps without some more long-term affects, I would have to remove these completely. So, for months, I re-worked this aspect of the game, and it has now become one of the more interesting, and satisfying aspects of Kingdoms.

The flood gates opened…

Once I had established a solid base, with a set of game design rules, I started to not only refine, but flesh out a great deal of game mechanics, and thematic events.

An unplayable game?

This game became more of a thought experiment than a game. But it is definitely playable, and definitely enjoyable, (if you like this sort of thing). But, I can’t imagine ever teaching someone (except perhaps my Wife, and Best Friend) how to play. The game has a lot of rules, and if you didn’t play it often, then you would forget most of it. Maybe some day, someone will ask about my Card Games, and I can tell them about the most amazing card game ever made, not amazing because of it’s accessibility or fun factor, but because of what the game represents – my passion for creating games, and the purely earnest fulfilment of 53 Cards.