Illuminopoly

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A work crew was upgrading the electrical system of a run-down property on Baltic when Sal found the Thingy. It was some kind of computerized device hooked into the electrical lines, kinda like a phone tap or sumthin. Anyway, Sal he took it to th' foreman, who told him to fergit about it. That was about a week before Sal was in that train wreck.... fnord

Illuminopoly, the game of real estate subversion. fnord

This is copypasta of what was written by Dave Van Domelen in July 1993 while he was at Ohio State University. Blah blah, copyright, blah blah. fnord

Fluff[edit]

Running the world used to involve control of secret societies and political candidates. But that was before someone discovered how to use subsonics generated in electrical wiring along with chemicals in the water softeners to influence the minds of people living in apartment complexes and subdivisions. Soon the secret was 'common knowledge' among the factions vying for world domination, and they scrambled to buy up real estate in order to create their own armies of voting public. fnord

Owning the utilities allows you to subvert huge masses of unclaimed territory, but less reliably (hence the random roll for Rent). Owning the rails lets you tamper with consumer goods delivered on trains, and with the minds of the Light Rail passengers. Monopoly on a certain area is highly sought after, since it allows the owners to renovate the properties extensively while adding even more complex mind control devices and attracting a richer (and more powerful) class of slave. Illuminopoly is the story of the struggle for dominance of one particular city, as several factions vie to gain total control....

Components[edit]

  • a full Monopoly set. Duh. fnord
  • Each player needs a number of markers (such as poker chips with their token on them) to indicate which of an opponent's properties they have Subverted.
  • Each player needs a card the same size as a property card with their piece name and symbol on it, and four outward-pointing arrows, one on each edge. These cards represent the secret conspiracies that the player is buying property for.
  • Each property card needs an inward arrow at the bottom edge. Properties on the second leg (purple, orange) have one arrow pointing outward on another edge. Properties on the third leg (red, yellow) have two out-arrows. Properties on the final leg (green, blue) have three out-arrows.

When placing property cards in the conspiracy's power structure, each in-arrow must be adjacent to another card's out-arrow. This means the properties on the first leg (indigo, cyan) are too cheap to cannot control anything else, and the conspiracy cards are not controlled by anyone else -- they are the secret masters, after all.

  • you'll need another regular die; three dice instead of two.

Setup[edit]

Lay out the board and the Community Chest and Chance Cards. Sort all the money into stacks; this will be the 'Bank' funds. Sort the property cards so they are easy to find. fnord Make room near the 'Free Parking' space for money that will eventually be embezzled to a Swiss bank account. Each player chooses a faction token (either by rule of 'fastest grab', high roll, or Polynesian leg-wrestling). Each player is given starting funds as follows:

2x $500, 2x $100, 2x $50, 6x $20, 5x $10, 5x $5, 5x $1

Players lay down their Faction card somewhere with enough room around it to arrange properties. Then the CEO of the Bank is chosen.

The Bank[edit]

All players have 'pet' members on the bank's Board of Trustees, and must select a Chair of the Board, to take the duties of keeping the Bank's funds in order and holding the deeds to all unclaimed properties. A majority is required, so bribes and promises of future favors must be given for any one candidate to win. Once the Chair is chosen, continue with play. fnord

However, should anyone catch the Chairman dipping into the till, as it were, he is voted out, and a new Chair must be chosen. The ousted player gets a new pet Board member and may vote in this new election. Also, if the Chair goes to Jail for any reason, even if he has a Political Favor card he is voted off the Board.

In lieu of this, a player may chose to be solely the Banker, without choosing a faction. In this case, all he does is play the role of Banker and Auctioneer (if necessary). In cases where there are 10 players, one must be Banker. Such a "professional" banker will also be the final arbiter in inter-player disputes...and of course can take bribes. The Banker can win if the total normal rent from properties under his control (mortgaged) is greater than that of any other player. As a result, offering to mortgage a property is a very effective bribe. (see Mortgages below)

If the Bank ever goes broke, it goes under and may be bought by the highest bidder, who must now collect fines and pay out GO money from his own funds. The money bid for the bank goes into the bank's Reserves. If the Reserves (money held separate from the player's money) ever goes below one third of the initial amount, the bank goes up for bid again.

If this is too complicated, simply assume the bank never goes broke, and simply refuses to pay money when it lacks cash in hand.

Money[edit]

Unlike Illuminati, you need not store money on the property cards -- thanks to modern computerized banking, money flows easily between companies. The board game was made in the 1930s, so obviously a $1 is not actually $1 anymore, but represents 100,000 or 1,000,000 as much. When rolling dice, a player may spend $10 for each +1 or -1 to adjust the die roll.

When paying anything described as a "bribe," "graft" or "fee" that doesn't go to another player, half goes to the bank and half goes to an unmarked Swiss Bank Account near the "Free Parking" space on the board.

The Conspiracies[edit]

Each game piece represents an agent for each different faction. If they go to Jail, they will eventually die mysteriously at the hands of their replacements who are 'Just Visiting' (no game effect, just fluff). Each faction has their own special ability and goal to win the game.

Every Faction

When all properties are either controlled or destroyed and before the Chairman of the Bank starts their turn, the total rents collected are added up. At this point, any subverted properties count for the controller, not the owner. If at this time any one faction has more than half the total rents, that faction has won the game.

Top Hat

Aristocratic faction. May forfeit a turn in order to collect rent twice. Wins if it owns or controls the five most valuable properties on the board, as determined by base value. Normally these are Boardwalk, Park Place and the green properties, but with Rebuilding this can change (see below).

Thimble

Pattern maker. Believes in diversity. May rearrange holdings instead of collecting rent, and still move. Wins if it owns or controls six different colors of property.

Racecar

Automotive interests. May roll 3d6 to move if it desires, or just 2d6. Wins if all four railroads are destroyed at any point in the game.

Horseman

Anarchist. Has discovered the Foul Plot and is determined to beat the Illuminati at their own game by keeping them from controlling enough of the city to use it. If at any time seven properties are destroyed the Horseman wins. Also, if at any time the Horseman has Subverted at least two properties of each opponent, he wins. However, if he ever satisfies the normal winning conditions, he becomes disgusted that he has become the enemy, divests and tries to go to the press. But he mysteriously disappears, and his properties become unclaimed as he drops out of the game.

Wheelbarrow

Infrastructure faction. Gains an additional die on all Subversion attempts, as he knows the wiring. Wins if he controls or owns both utilities and at least two Railroads.

Steam Iron

Slumlord. Believes in the power of the lowest common denominator, and will seek to own the cheapest properties he can. May ignore any Chance or Community Chest card that says he has to pay for something, and takes a -2 to Rebuiling rolls (rebuilds cheaper or as good...never better). Wins if he owns the cheapest properties in at least five colors. Control is insufficient, he must own.

Dog

Inhuman faction. Motives inscrutable. Cannot be stopped by Jail (always is Just Visiting) since the real powers are never seen. Player chooses one of the other special winning conditions and writes it down before play starts.

Shoe

Former tramp who clawed to the top. He initially doesn't know about the plot, but soon finds out and plays along to avoid being destroyed. He has the special power that his advance men (game piece) can ride the rails. As his piece moves, it can move to the next Railroad instead of the next space. So a roll of 5 could result in 1 - 2 - Railroad - next RR - 5, to get extra movement. The Shoe is only interested in a life of luxury for himself, and wins if he manages to build a hotel on any third or fourth leg property.

Artillery Piece

International Terrorist Conspiracy. Optional for advanced games, has special rules below.

Play[edit]

Play starts at the banker, and proceeds counterclockwise. Should the Chairmanship of the Bank change during the turn, continue the current turn until its end, then start anew with the new Chair.

Each player's turn proceeds in this order:

  1. Collect rent on ALL properties owned, even if in Jail (Roll dice for Utilities each round)
  2. Either Reorganize or Role Dice. If Reorganize, move your properties around at will. If Roll Dice, roll 2d6 (3d6 if Car), use Money to tweak the result, and advance your token that many spaces. If a property is landed on, the player has five options:
    1. Buy If property is unclaimed, buy it by paying the amount printed on the board. The Banker then gives the buyer the Deed and the buyer installs his mind control devices. If the player does not wish to buy it, it remains unclaimed, and is not auctioned off.
    2. Destroy Attempt to have the property rezoned commercial and removed from play. See below. Works on claimed and unclaimed.
    3. Rebuild Only if property previously destroyed. Covertly get plot zoned back to Residential and build new apartments.
    4. Take Over Attempt a buy-out of the property. This can only be done on claimed property.
    5. Subvert Rewire opponent's mind control systems to make his pawns serve you instead.
  3. Whenever GO is passed, the player picks up $200 from Interest and Outside Investments. If GO is passed mutliple times in one turn, such as can be the result of various cards, this money is collected for each pass. GO money is paid by the Banker, and may not be paid if the Bank is bankrupt (see Banker rules).
  4. Landing on another player's property does NOT incur rent payments paid to them, and you may chose to do nothing once you land there.
  5. If the player rolls doubles, he may roll again after this, effectively taking another turn. Should he roll doubles again, he gets a third turn. However, should he roll doubles three times in a row, he attracts the Attention of Higher Powers and they have his agents "removed" (Go to Jail).
  6. If the Chairman of the Bank is next, check to see if any player satisfied their conspiracy's winning conditions.

Take Over[edit]

To attempt a hostile takeover of a property, first one must spend money equal to half the current value of the property. This goes into the Bank and represents buying off the 'norms' who own stock in the holding companies. Then the aggressor tries to roll a 12 on 2d6. The player may add +1 to this roll for every $10 spent for graft and such. Opponents may subtract -1 from the roll for each $10 spent on counteractions and red tape. Money spent on this roll by the winner goes to the loser (assume someone in the losing faction takes some graft) and money spent by the loser goes half to the bank and half to the embezzlers at Free Parking. Thus it is possible for a failed takeover to turn a profit if the property wasn't very valuable but the war was hard-fought. E.G.: To keep the Iron from taking over Baltic, the Boot has to pony up $30 to make the attempt, but could pocket several hundred of the owner's cash in "buy off" money.

Subvert[edit]

Like a takeover, but the owner gets to spend no money. Attacker spends half of the value of the property in bribes to security, plus additional financial lubrication to increase his roll, and tries to get a 12 on 2d6. Note that the Wheelbarrow gets 3d6 on this. The owner will still get the rent from this property, but the rent will count in the controller's power base. The owner will not 'notice' this subversion until the next time his piece lands on the property, at which point it is automatically reverted to his control for free. While the property is controlled, the controller places one of his markers on the property card. Nothing new may be built on a controlled property until the control is broken. An exception is if the subverter can control all of the properties in the monopoly, construction may resume, but he benefits from the increased power. Half of money spent on Subversion attempts goes to the Bank, half to Free Parking. See Mortgages below for subversion-like situations.

Destruction[edit]

With a few exceptions, this generally involves rezoning the property so that the apartments must be torn down and replaced by a mall. If owned, the property remains in the owner's portfolio, but can no longer control other properties for him. Destruction attempts cost just like Takeover attempts, with bribes tossed both ways to enhance rolls. However, the attacker needs only roll a 7, and all money spent (not half) goes to Free Parking as graft to the zoning board, except for the base cost (half property value) which goes to the bank to represent financial entropy. If the property is owned, only the attacker and the owner may spend money, unless they invite in help (usually in return for future favours). If the property is unowned, anyone may throw money on either side. Usually this will happen when the Horseman is starting out, and the other factions want to stop him from destroying properties.

Exceptions:

  • Utilities cannot be destroyed
  • Railroads cost full value as the base cost of destruction (effectively buy it then destroy it)
  • If you try to destroy your own property, anyone can oppose you, but must spend twice as much ($20 per -1 to the roll).

Destroyed properties earn half rent for their owners, and have half the value for defending against takeover. None of the rent they earn is counted for power base calculations.

Rebuilding[edit]

A property may only be rebuilt when it is landed on, even if you own it. Rebuilding involves getting the original rezoning overturned, which requires a roll of 8 or more on 2d6, modified by graft as usual. No one may interfere with this roll. Once it is rezoned, you spend half the value of the property and roll one die to adjust the property value thus: 1-2 : Property rebuilt cheaply, worth 1/2 original value; 3-4 : Property rebuilt same as before; 5-6 : Property rebuilt posh, worth 1 1/2 times original. Steam Iron likes things cheap, and will subtract -2 from this roll. Top Hat likes posh, but still needs tax write-offs, so does not modify this roll.

If you land on someone else's destroyed property, you must first take it over. Then on your next turn you may forfeit movement in order to rebuild. If the rezoning roll fails, you must move on, and cannot try to rebuild again until next time you stop there.

Rebuilding a Railroad costs full value of a single RR, and does not roll on the table above. However, this new Railroad will not add to others owned by the player for purposes of Rent for d6 turns, while the 'monopoly' on Rail is reestablished.

All money spent on Rebuilding goes to the Bank, none to the Swiss Bank Account.

Properties destroyed by the Artillery Piece need not be rezoned before being rebuilt.

Special Spaces[edit]

Income Tax

When a player lands on the Income Tax spot, he may either pay an accountant $200 to find enough loopholes to avoid paying taxes (money goes to the Bank) or pay 10% of his total value to the Bank in taxes. Total worth includes all money, printed prices of all mortgaged and unmortgaged properties he owns, and the cost price of all buildings he owns.

The player must decide before paying tax which option he chooses.

Jail

A player's agent (token piece) goes to Jail when

  • landing on the "Go To Jail" spot (sting operation)
  • drawing a card labelled "Go To Jail" (warrant for arrest)
  • rolls doubles three times in a row (got caught by the mundane police)
  • the player is caught cheating by other players (got caught by other conspiracies!)

The Dog faction is immune to all but getting caught by other players. Jail represents the inconvenience of having to get new agents, since the current ones are as good as dead, usually at your own hands before they talk. Tokens gonig to Jail never pass GO.

A player gets his counter out of jail by

  • rolling doubles on any of his next three turns (New agents kill old agents and move on) and the piece moves as determined by the doubles roll, but does not use the space they landed on
  • Using a Political Favor card (which gets the agents out of Jail so they can be killed in the privacy of your base for failure)
  • Buying and using a Political Favor from another player
  • Posting $50 in bail on any turn before rolling the dice (and then taking them home to face their doom)

If the player does not do any of these by his third turn in Jail, the agents go to Trial and $50 must be paid to bribe the judge, who releases the agents into the player's tender care. The new agent will appear in the 'Just Visiting' space, and move normally on the player's next turn, "retiring" the old agent along the way. (Sure are many fresh plots in the St. Charles Place graveyard...)

If the player lands on the Jail space, he is Just Visiting. If another player is in Jail at this time, the player who is visiting may post bail for the agents, drug them and get information, then kill them (and the player who was in jail sends his new agents out from Just Visiting next turn). This will allow the Visiting player an automatic success on his next Subversion attempt on the player whose men he bailed (he still has to pay base cost, though).

Since the men in Jail are just Agents, the player may still buy or sell property under the table, collect Rent, build on properties, fight off Takeover and Destruction attempts, reorganize his structure (instead of getting out of Jail) and still can win.

Chance and Community Chest

Each faction must maintain the facade they have built, and that includes some silly things like beauty contests and the like. When the Chance and Community Chest spots are landed on, take the top card (or a lower card if you're good at that sort of thing and can do it without being seen) and do as it says, with one exception: Get Out Of Jail Free card become the Political Favor card. Not only can it get your men out of Jail, it can also be used to halt any Destruction attempt that you are allowed to influence, or to counter any card an opponent plays against you. The card then goes back in the deck. All other cards are played immediately and placed at the bottom of the deck (or otherwise, as mentioned above).

Free Parking

A player landing on this spot may either: rearrange his property structure for free, or may take a short trip to Switzerland to pick up the half of each bribe and fee left in the Unmarked Swiss Bank Account.

Property Arrangement[edit]

The player cannot own all his property directly in most cases, and establishes Holding Companies on his other properties to run later purchases. Properties must be arranged in a structure around the player's Faction card, with the 'in' arrow of each property aligned with the 'out' arrow of either the Faction Card or another of the player's properties. Properties may not overlap each other. More expensive properties are better able to dummy for the player and hold other properties.

Any property directly attached to your main card is worth twice as much for defending against all attacks, and subversion is discovered next time the property is passed, not landed on. Property one removed is worth 1.5 times as much versus attack, and if subverted the owner may choose to end his turn on that property in order to 'fix' it, provided he would have passed it otherwise. Thus, in many-player games, subversion is very temporary as all factions are paranoid about the competition. It will then generally be used as a method of getting that one last required property.

Also, if a property is taken over, the entire arm branching from it is taken for free, as in Illuminati, but all properties other than the one taken over are now treated as subverted by the original owner until passed by the new owner (takes a sweep around the city to get the settings changed, basically).

Monopolizing[edit]

Once a player owns all properties of a color group, he has monopolized it. All rents from that property immediately double as he links up the mind control apparatuses to generate a more insidious, neighborhood-wide effect that gets passersby as well as residents. He may also erect Buildings.

If a property is Mortgaged, all properties continue to collect double rent and double influence, for the Bank Chair and the Owner.

Houses and Hotels[edit]

When a player owns all the properties in a color group, he can now operate in greater secrecy, with less fear of competitors spying on him. As a result, he may now Go Condo with his properties and start building Houses, which have enhanced mind control devices and attract richer clientele, giving higher "rents" (actually mortgage payments) and more power from controlling the residents. Housing projects must be built evenly, i.e., you can't have two houses on a property until all properties have at least one. Once the neighborhood is totally gentrified (four houses on all properties) a Hotel may be built, which not only brings in plenty of money, it also attracts out of town politicians and dignitaries. Mind control of these people, although limited in duration, can have profound effect on the faction's power base. Once the Hotel is built, the House counters are returned to the Bank, although the condos still exist.

The price of building houses and hotels and installing Secret Mind Control Devices is listed on the Deed, as are the rents collected from them.

When the Bank has no houses to sell, this means all building permits are tied up in red tape and graft. Players wishing to build must wait until counters are returned to the Bank (permits cleared up). If a player is about to buy the last counters and someone else wants to build, he may try to bribe the builder for his permit.

Selling Property[edit]

Unimproved properties, railroads and utilities (but not buildings) may be sold to any player at any time as a private transaction for whatever price the two agree on. However, if the property to be sold is a holding company for other properties, all properties must be sold together. Thus, it is a Good Idea to restructure before selling.

If the color group has been monopolized and has any buildings on it, all buildings must be sold back to the Bank first (returned to Rental status and the Mind Control equipment torn out), since the Mind Control equipment is run through the entire block, and would pose a security risk to the other properties if found on the sold property.

Houses and hotels (building permits) may be sold back to the Bank for half the money paid for them. If not all properties are to be sold (just some to make up some cash), then they must be sold off evenly (all hotels broken down to four houses before any houses are sold, etc). Hotels may be sold in blocks (all the cash at once) or broken down slowly.

Mortgages[edit]

Any unimproved property may be Mortgaged to the Bank for its listed Mortgage value. However, the Bank's Chair automatically Subverts the properties and places his counters on them. The properties remain subverted to whoever is Chair of the Bank until they are unmortgaged, at which point they automatically revert to the owner. Before an improved property (one with houses etc) can be mortgaged, the buildings must be sold off (see above).

In order to lift the mortgage, the owner must pay the Bank (not the Chair, unless there is a separate Banker player) the amount of the mortgage plus 10% interest. Only when all properties in a monopoly are unmortgaged may buildings be bought again, at full price.

The player who mortgages his property does not collect Rent on it, in addition to it being Subverted. If someone tries to Takeover the property, the Bank Chair will put up enough money to automatically block it (since it is under his control while mortgaged). The player who owns the mortgaged property may also sell it, and the buyer must pay off the mortgage plus 10% interest. If he waits to pay the mortgage, he must pay an additional 10% interest to the Bank.

The obvious benefit here of being the Chair of the Bank Board is that you retain control of properties under mortgage, even though you don't collect the Rent, and you can prevent Takeovers. However, should you go to Jail or otherwise lose the Chair, all mortgaged properties are now controlled by the new Chair (an eloquent argument against mortgaging all your properties as proof against Takeover).

If there is a Banker Player, he can win by collecting enough properties via Mortgage.

Losing[edit]

Any time after the first run around the board, any player with no properties and no money mysteriously disappears and is out of the game. If he is in debt from mortgages that exceeds his cash, and all his properties are mortgaged, he is considered to be without properties or cash. In this case, the Bank auctions off all mortgaged properties, or the Chair of the Bank has the option of buying off the mortgage personally. If the Chair of the Bank is the one to go bankrupt, he is replaced and leaves the game.

If the player owes more money to another player than he has in assets, the other player may foreclose and take all properties, as well as the life of the broke faction leader. In Illuminopoly players may make any loans or secret deals they wish.

Cheating[edit]

Of course, this is an Illuminati game, and if you can cheat well, do it. The new setting of the game will eliminate some of the old cheats (like palming organization cards) but create new ones (like shifting 'subverted' markers around or dipping into the bank for interest free loans). Getting caught lands the player's marker in Jail, and he cannot get out with a Political Favor, since he was caught red-handed. Even the Dog can go to Jail in this way.

Artillery Piece[edit]

These are optional rules, recommended only for players already used to Illuminopoly.

The artillery piece has special rules for just about everything. Firstly, it cannot own property, and is exempt from the loss rule above. When it lands on a property, it can issue a ransom demand or attempt to destroy the property. If a ransom is issued, the player who owns the property decides whether to pay it on his turn, and the terrorist's turn is over. The next time it becomes the Terrorist's turn, whether or not the ransom is paid, he must decide if he wants to blow up the property. Of course, taking ransoms and then blowing up he property is a quick way to not get ransoms paid any more. This destruction attempt costs just as much as a normal attempt, except the money is paid for breaking security or beefing it up. Players owning properties of the same color as the threatened one may help defend against the attempt by adding money, since if the destruction is successful, all properties of that color are damaged and don't pay rent next turn or count for victory. See below for other effects of destruction.

If the Terrorist decides not to issue a ransom, he rolls as subversion instead, since no one will be ready for him. This will often be done against unclaimed properties or in return for favors from opponents of the victim-to- be.

If the Terrorist lands on an unclaimed property and wishes to issue a ransom, all players may join in paying it, since they may wish to buy the property someday. In this case, the ransom is paid at the end of the turn by a pool the other players pay into.

If the destruction attempt fails, the Terrorist's piece goes to Jail, and no political favors can get it out. After the fourth such jailing, the captured men turn state's evidence on the head of the ring, and the player is out of the game. As a result, the Terrorist player may wish to do nothing when landing on a space, rather than risk a bombing that will fail or risk credibility by asking a ransom that won't be paid (out of confidence that the building can be protected).

If a normal property is destroyed by the Terrorist, it is rubble. The owner, if any, must first pay half the value of the property to clean up and pay off victims. Then he must rebuild as per the normal rules, but without needing to rezone. The cleanup may be performed on the owner's next turn. If the property is unowned, buying it costs 1.5 times as much as base, since it must be cleaned up first, then rebuilt. Destroyed properties yield no rent, cannot be holding companies, and don't count as anything for victory conditions. However, they still must be attached somewhere to the owner's web of cards. If he chooses, the owner of a destroyed property may simply abandon it, sell it back to the bank for mortgage value (value of the land) on his next turn instead of moving.

If a utility is attacked by the Terrorist, the entire utility is not destroyed, rather service is disrupted. A utility destroyed by the Terrorist will not give rent or count toward victory for d6 turns, while it is repaired. Similarly, the entire Railroad is not destroyed, but the line is unprofitable for d6 turns after the explosion.

If the Terrorist attacks a property currently 'destroyed' by rezoning, he attacks as if it were full value, since security at malls is just as tight as that at apartment buildings.

The Terrorist wins if he destroys at least one property of each color over the course of the game, spreading his terror to every neighborhood in the city. He has to hit every color because he can destroy unclaimed properties so easily early in the game.

Optional Rules[edit]

Feel free to rename properties for a different feel, such as naming them after properties in your home town. Of course, an interesting variation can be played with those State U. sets available in most college towns. New Chance and Community Chest cards can spice up the game, as well as rules for the factions represented by new pieces included in some games (like the boat I've heard of). Making a special board can enhance the feel of the game, but is not necessary...the idea of these rules is that they allow you to recycle that old game in your closet at home into something fun and subversive. Maybe tape an eye in the pyramid to the board. Whatever trips your trigger. fnord Have fun. fnord fnord fnord