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Curse of the Archmage - 3 to 5 player trick-taking game, easy PnP with a standard deck.

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blinks's picture
Joined: 01/06/2009

Rules and prototype deck construction (a simple modification of an existing playing card deck) at github (

BGG thread at

If you don't like trick-taking games, this one's not going to change your mind. If you're a big fan, it plays kind of like a cross between Scopa and Spades, but with a more flexible player count and quicker start (no bidding).

I've had several test plays with several different groups (varying amounts of trick-taking experience), and I'm mostly looking for some blind tests of these rules to make sure they're coherent.

Core of the game is that the winner's card goes to the player who "lost the most" (played the lowest card in the led suit), and each suit has a different score curve across the ranks.

The game is intended to be played in "expert" mode (where the partnerships are somewhat secret and you don't have to follow suit), but non-gamers had trouble with partnership play and experienced trick-takers had trouble with the subtlety of not following suit, so the "beginner" rules are simplified.

If you test, I'd hugely appreciate knowing:

- What was the curse card?
- Was the Archmage solo?
- What were the scores (noting which was the Archmage team)?
- Where did you feel the most clever?
- Did you get confused by the rules? If so, where?
- Did it feel like there were any specific obvious decisions?


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