Gameplay

This game is isomorphic to the board game Love Letter for 3 or 4 players (or in Extended, 5 to 8 players), except it is perpetual, replacing Tokens of Affection.

Players take turns until the draw pile has one or zero cards remaining. Each player always has 2 cards when taking a turn, 1 card when otherwise in game, and 0 when eliminated.

Each turn, a player draws a card and uses one, which activates its effect. The turn order is random, but the first player is a randomly selected previous winner (last rank is 1 on the scoreboard), when possible.

When a card is used or destroyed, it is discarded face up, and then the card's effect activates.

Eliminated players destroy all cards in their hands. If 6b is in the eliminated player's discard pile and not the last card, the eliminated player partially wins.

The round ends when the draw pile has 1 or 0 cards remaining, or when only 1 player remains. The player who has the highest adjusted hand value (the hand card value + hand bonus) wins. If there is a tie, the tie breaker is the sum of discarded card values. If there is still a tie, those players are equally ranked. Eliminated players are ranked by the order of elimination, below players who were not eliminated.

After determining ranks, if a WATCHED player has rank 1, the player who discarded 0b, if still present, partially wins.

When a user partially wins, his win counter is increased by 1 without affecting any other score.

Cards

There are 16 (32 in Extended) cards per deck:

Name Friendly Name Use Effect Count (Extended)
8 Princess Annette eliminate discarder (+4 adjusted hand value if 9b is in another player's hand) 1
7 Countess Wilhelmina no action (must use if other is 5 or 6) (+4 adjusted hand value possible) 1
6 King Arnaud IV (unusable if other card is 7) target another player; trade cards 1
5 Prince Arnaud (unusable if other card is 7) target any player; destroy target's hand 2
4 Handmaid Susannah become IMMUNE (prevent being targeted) until user's next turn starts 2
3 Baron Talus target another player; compare hand card values, if not equal, eliminate lower player (+4 adjusted hand value possible for 7b) 2
7b Dowager Queen Tummia 0 (1)
2 Priest Tomas target another player; user looks at target's hand 2
1 Guard Odette (Dougaul) target another player and guess value (not 1); if target has 0c, eliminate user, target destroys hand; otherwise, if guess = target hand card value, eliminate target 5 (8)
9b Bishop Vinizio target another player and guess value; if guess = target hand card value, user partially wins, target optionally destroys hand 0 (1)
6b Constable Viktor none (partially win if eliminated while in discard pile) 0 (2)
5b Count Guntram none (+1 to adjusted hand value later) 0 (2)
4b Sycophant Morris target any player; target becomes REQUIRED (must be targeted at least once) until the end of the next turn 0 (2)
3b Baroness Fiona target two other players (both may be same); user looks at first target's hand, user looks at second target's hand 0 (2)
2b Cardinal Vesper target two different players; players swap hands, user looks at first target's hand 0 (2)
0b Jester Darius target another player; target becomes WATCHED 0 (1)
0c Assassin none (defends against 1) 0 (1)

Only 8 has an effect when it is destroyed (same as effect when used). If any other card is destroyed, the player draws another card to replace it.

If players are to be targeted, but no target valid (by IMMUNE or REQUIRED), the targeting fails, and no effect occurs, since the effect requires a valid target and is skipped. Some cards do not target: 4, 7, 6b, 5b, 0c.

A target is valid if it meets the textual constraint ("another" excludes the targeter, "different" requires the members to be distinct), contains all REQUIRED players, and does not contain any IMMUNE members.

In some cases, the constraints are impossible to satisfy. If targeting other players, and all other players are IMMUNE, or a player is both REQUIRED and either the targeter or IMMUNE, no target is valid. If the REQUIRED player is not targeting and is not IMMUNE, that player can be targeted twice (3b), or the targeter can target himself and the REQUIRED player (2b). A player who activates 5 or 4b can always target someone (himself or the REQUIRED player) unless someone is both REQUIRED and IMMUNE.

Adjustments

The hand bonus is the number of 5b in the cardholder's discard pile + 4 if any of these conditions are met (otherwise + 0):

The hand bonus rules might seem complex, but they are required to satisfy

Honesty

In real life, players can cheat by lying when targeted by 1 or 9b or by not using 7 when required. Preventing such cheating, the game server makes it better than the physical version, which needs an arbitrator, who would likely rather play.

Time Control

Intermissions last up to 30 seconds, ending early if all players are ready.

Each turn lasts up to 20 seconds, with automatic random moves. Unused turn time cannot be carried to future turns. There is only a turn timer, not a game timer.

Options

Decks (default: 1, min: 1, max: 3)

Number of decks in play. This setting does not increase the threshold of 2 cards, which ends the game when there are less than 2 cards in the draw pile.

Extended (FUTURE feature, default: off)

Enable extra cards and highlighted portions.