The new Doge has invited you to attend a prestigious masquerade ball at his palace during the Carnival of Venice! It’s the perfect escape from the boredom of noble life. But even better, it’s the perfect opportunity to plot and scheme your way to a position of power! While the various guilds frolic and cavort under the moonlit arcades of the ducal palace, you must utilize every means at your disposal to gain their support.
Fantasy Flight Games is excited to announce Masques, a card game in which two to four players take on the roles of influential families as they plot, scheme, and outmaneuver their opponents for the favor of powerful Venetian guilds. Hire agents to carry out your dirty work assassinating, wooing, and robbing the members of the court as you work to become the secret power behind the throne!
As the head of an ambitious Venetian family, you have sent your most influential representatives to mingle at the Doge’s masquerade ball. By cleverly positioning these guests (and by manipulating the guests of your opponents), you’ll vie for the attention of Venice’s elite guild masters, ensuring the most political power for your family.
Finding Favor for Your Family
Gameplay revolves chiefly around the clever use of guest cards with varying levels of influence. Each player receives a hand of guest cards, and each guest card has an influence value. The higher the influence, the greater that guest’s clout at court. Each player’s hand consists of a mix of cards representing members of any of the families currently in play. Use a rival family’s guest cards against them, and watch for chances to set up your own house for success.
Each of the rooms of the Doge’s palace offer tokens guild favor or valuable ducats to be won by ambitious nobles. The spaces between each card representing a room in the palace are the hallways of the Doge’s estate – the areas in which guest cards are placed to compete for adjacent resources.
Powerful Guilds and Dastardly Agents
Getting into the good graces of the guilds of Venice is the key to success in this power grab, so tokens of guild favor are vital. The guilds consist of the clergy, the vintners, the merchants, the military, and the scribes.
A player can win by currying favor with these powerful groups in one of two ways. If you want to cast a wide net with your influence, then you can seal your path to greatness by gaining at least one guild token with four out of the five guilds. If you’d rather focus the efforts of your manipulations, muster all your strength with a single backer by gaining four guild tokens for any one guild.
The nobles aren’t the only ones looking to get ahead at the masquerade ball. The palace abounds with opportunistic commoners whose loyalty can be bought for a bit of coin. Assassins and thieves, courtesans and palace guards, all have services for sale. Accruing ducats is the only way to secure the skills of these nefarious agents, allowing a savvy schemer to frustrate the plans of his opponents and create advantageous situations for himself.
The Doge’s masquerade is sure to be a lively one with all of this action behind the scenes! Frustrate the plots and schemes of your rivals as you manipulate, maneuver, and bribe your way to power in the cutthroat Venetian court in the mysterious game of Masques! Keep checking back for more information, and look for Masques in stores late in the first quarter of 2013.