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Re-Release of Illuminati Card Game 171

William Tanksley writes "Anyone here remember the Illuminati card game? It seems that Steve Jackson Games got enough complaints about the horrid MagicTheGathering-clone version they'd released, and they're finally releasing an updated, full-color version of the original game."
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Re-Release of Illuminati Card Game

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  • As a going-away present to a friend of mine who liked conspiracies, but never had a chance to play the game. Is there no Dog?
  • Wow. Remember the early 1990's... back before that "Internet" thing became popular? Back when Boardwatch was all the rage and magazines like Wired didn't even matter?

    Er... has Wired ever mattered?

  • While the SJG game Illuminati does indeed draw massively from the RAW series, it's not entirely clear to me that RAW invented the Illuminati. The actual Illuminati organization may never have existed <!-- fnord -->, but that doesn't mean belief in the Illuminati didn't.

    I don't know one way or the other, myself - RAW may have invented the Illuminati as a name for the Worldwide Conspiracy he wanted to write about, or he may have drawn the name of a Worldwide Conspiracy that someone already thought existed. I can't help but imagine that RAW would have found it amusing to do the latter - he might have been hoping that those in the Region of Thud that actually believed the Illuminati existed would latch onto his Illuminatus! trilogy as a documentary work.

  • INWO (The collector-card version) used action tokens instead of money. Each group got one action token (with, as usual for Illuminati, some exceptions) per turn, and could spend that token at any time until the player's next turn. Action tokens were used to initiate or participate in attacks, or to use some special powers. I'd say the equivalent in Illuminati Classic would be to spend X amount of money to /. another group.
  • I'm pretty much burned out on gaming, but I keep up with SJGames news because they're a shining light in a murky void of slick junk for the kiddie and angst-ridden adolescent market.

    Steve is a genuine SF/Techie/Science geek too. Gibble-gobble, gibble-gobble, one of us!

    And they're not owned by Hasbro!


  • I was going to post about the interaction between the Slashdot and Microsoft cards, but it occurred to me that you could emulate the same effects in a much more general fashion, provided there's enough cards to which this applies: Add a new alignment. Slashdot has OpenSource alignment, Microsoft has ClosedSource alignment. Reconsider all the other cards for which alignment they should have. (Obviously, whether the source is open or closed is irrelevant to the Illuminated power groups - they can see all the sources they want. :)

    If there aren't enough cards for which this alignment makes sense, then just add a rule that Slashdot and Microsoft interact as if they each have an extra alignment that opposes the other's.

    I agree with another poster, though, that Slashdot shouldn't really have any outgoing arrows. It's not really set up to Control other power groups directly. On another note, will the new Illuminati editions have a Linux Community or equivalent card, I wonder? (Guess I'll find out when my order comes in... *_*)

  • You name it. Also designed games back in the day.

    But Illuminati was always one of my faves for game design. It's the sense of humor about paranoia, I guess. That plus it was a lot easier than designing RPGs. The whole simplicity movement in gaming was way overdue, IMHO.

  • Steve and I had fun writing it...

  • Some info about the re-release that I haven't seen covered here yet:

    The Network's victory conditions have been changed, again. In the original little thin box set (with expansion sets 1 and 2 (and 3, but nobody ever used 3)) the Network had a special victory condition of 15 transferable power. Since it starts with 7, getting that 8 wasn't too hard-- IF any transferable power came up at all. The problem always was that everyone wanted transferable power, so the Network had to hope that the cards came up right so they could get what they needed to win.

    The (first) Deluxe edition came out, with regular-sized playing cards instead of miniatures (yay) and cardboard money instead of paper (boo), and changed that to 20 transferable power. In our experience (myself and friends) this became nearly impossible. 13 xferable power is a *lot*, considering that only 1 group (the CIA) has 4, only a handful (5 or 6) of groups have 3, and maybe a quarter of the groups total have any.

    Now in the new re-released deluxe, that's been upped *again* to *TWENTY-FIVE* (25). What I want to know is: has anyone *ever* played the Network in the new deluxe edition and won? IMHO the Network is now tougher to win with than the Servants of Cthulhu, who were never given a prayer to win by anyone.

    Some cards were changed around as well between old Deluxe and new Deluxe; if there's sufficient interest I'll drag out my copies of both and diff 'em and see how it comes out. The only difference that I can remember right now is that the Semiconscious Liberation Army seemed to have been weakened (lost its transferable power, only +1 to destroy any group now.)

    Also, for those who were talking about Hacker (another SJG release), there's a supplement called Hacker II: The Dark Side that has some neat stuff in it. Viruses, black Ice, outdials, more cards, more system expansions, more funny systems that can be added to the net with wacky specials, multiple accounts per system, even a 'net worm that can be released. I haven't had a chance to play it with the expansion set yet, but it looks good. Anyone have comments on the playability?
  • Please moderate down to -1, Flamebait. Thank you.
  • For your own safety and that of others, you might want to ease off on the coffee a little. ;-)
  • If this has anything to do with Robert Anton Wilson and Robert Shea's books in the Illuminatus! and Robert Anton Wilson's continuation in The Masks of the Illuminati and Schrodinger's Cat I am definitly gonna get sucked into this. Even if it doesn't, Illuminati stuff is cool and I'll probably play anyways.
  • INWO was not a horrid M:tG clone. It was a great game (which I think M:tG is, too), that you didn't need to invest your life savings in in order to have a shot at winning (unlike M:tG ;-)). Though I really look forward to being able to get the original game, it should be great fun. And it isn't a CCG, which means I can get my friends to chip in, too.
  • You want to talk about a waste of money (well, not really, but it reminded me of this anyway, so whatever :).. I read in Inquest a long while back about this Illuminati tournament.. When it got down to the two finalists, one guy told the other he would pay him 50 bucks or so to throw the match. Then he played that card that lets you go back on your word while your opponent still has to honor his side of the bargain, and the move was ruled legal. :)

    What better game can you think of that actually says you can cheat if you can get away with it?

  • by teraflop user ( 58792 ) on Monday September 20, 1999 @10:02PM (#1670599)
    • RoboRally (Wizards of the Coast)

      Program your robots a turn in advance to navigate around a maze containg hazards, conveyors, turntables etc. Confused by the fact that you may not have the right program cards, another robot may bump into you throwing your calculations off, and the robots shoot at each other. Long.

    • Ricochet Robot (Hans Im Gluck/Rio Grande)

      Much simpler, and yet far harder. Move robots with no brakes around a board to reach a target. You have to hit things to stop. Usually there is nothing in the right place to bounce off of. So you have to move several robots. Sometimes you have to work out 20 or 30 moves in your head, and then announce before anyone else gets there. (Best call I know of was 63, which involved iteratively bouncing two robots off of eachother).

    • Die Siedler von Catan/Settlers of Catan (Kosmos)

      Probably the best board game ever. A sort of colonisation/town building game, with a random board made up of hex tiles. Superbly balenced, and reasonably quick.

    • Mississippi Queen (Gold Sieber/Rio Grande)

      Actually, this one is easy enough for non-geeks, but has some of the same sort of puzzles as RoboRally - work out how fast you can go without ramming an island in a randomly twisting river.

    Euphrat und Tigris (Hans im Gluck) is good but I can't work out how to win. Sixteen-thirty-something (Warfrog) is a very strange twist on the normal board wargame idea.

    Needless to say, the best boardgames come from Germany, although there are some good US companies too. Rules translations are sometimes needed from Game Cabinet []. In the UK we have the problem that board games are regarded as something you do at Christmas so you don't have to talk to your relatives.
  • Alignment: Straight, Criminal, Corporate

    Attribute: Computer Image: a Borg Cube-ship with the Microsoft Logo

    Slogan: "Who do we want to assimilate today"

    Power: 4

    The only card in the deck with 5 arrows out (2 on either side, 1 on botton). Microsoft, if controlled by the Network or the Bavarian Illuminati, is +10 to control any computer group If controlled by the Servants of Cthulhu, +20 to destroy any computer group
  • Of course, one can never forget the Eric Conspiracy.

    There is no Eric Conspiracy. You must be (fnord) imagining thing. Here, let this nice young men in their clean white coats stand with you until the next Orbital Mind Control Laser comes over the horizon ... er, I mean, isn't it a lovely sunset this evening?

  • i do

    "The number of suckers born each minute doubles every 18 months."
  • I wasted so much money on this game so many years ago, I can't wait to waste some more on a re-release. Even if you didn't want to really play the game, the cards themselves were hilarious and sometimes all too true.
  • I basically dropped out of the whole sci-fi/gaming scene when these pernicious collector games hit the scene. I continued roll playing for years after that with my small group, but the whole big "gaming community" that we used to hang out with was a thing of the past.

    My poor 11 year old son has fallen prey to this disease now.

    "The number of suckers born each minute doubles every 18 months."
  • They've used the money from that 'horrible' game to finance this one. The Illuminati 2000 has been in the works for a LONG time.
  • Wow. Remember the early 1990's... back before that "Internet" thing became popular? Back when Boardwatch was all the rage and magazines like Wired didn't even matter?

    Seems to me SJG led to the World(tm)'s first run in with the EFF. I guess we ought to all go buy a starter deck (even though we're all recovered addicts and this will just get us hooked againn) just to support the beginning of the end of electronic privacy and the efforts that the EFF have put in to protect us.

    (Okay, so it's off-topic, but I felt it was worthwhile.)
  • The whole simplicity movement?
    I finally got sick of blowing $80 every 6 months for "updated sourcebooks".

    Our group adopted the ultimate minimallist gaming system. One rule. What the GM says, goes.

    For basically anything to do, you roll dice. Whatever's handy (at the GM's discression), and if you roll high (considering all the mitigating circumstances), you succeed, your degree of success depending on the roll. No tables, no formulas, no modifiers, no rules. Saved a LOT of money, and time, and focussed more enjoyment on the experience of the game.

    It eliminated all the spoiled-brat punks who wanted to hang out and show us the expensive new gaming set their mommy just bought them, it eliminated the rules lawyers, the arguments, and when you spilled a coke, it went on the table.

    Sometimes we used miniatures and maps for visualization, but only for real complicated tactical situations.

    Best part, you craft your own world. You don't rely on someone else's creation. Its very free.
    It does require a very good GM, who must be very creative, a good storyteller, and not play favorites. Usually lends itself well to 1-3 players, more gets too cluttered with specifics (like how much ammo of what type jim has in his magnum).

    "The number of suckers born each minute doubles every 18 months."
  • From the website(s):

    • Boxed set includes 106 cards, 4 blank cards, 160 money tokens, two dice, and a rulebook
    • ISBN 1-55634-091-5
    • Price $34.95 (pre-orders)

    Not yet listed at [] or [], but you will find the lowest price with PriceSCAN []

  • Have the cards been updated? I sincerly hope so, so they still are so true and to the point...

  • I must say that I like both games. Very similar play, though different enough to appeal to me for different reasons.

    One thing I wish they'd have done was add attributes to the new cards. That would have been a nice touch.

  • Unfortunately, Hacker's been out of print for a while too, though Hacker II (expansion set, no good without the original) is still out in stores. If everyone started pestering Steve Jackson, think we could get him to bring it back too (possibly even with Hacker III)?

  • I found the game bloated, but those cards kicked ass. Disgruntled postal workers, Flat Earthers, Alien Abductees, hell even Eliza!

    (It seems like everytime I mention Eliza, no one knows what I'm talking about, but this is /., I have faith.)
  • Ahhhh, the Illuminati card game. I remember it well. I remember once in a friend's basement I almost pulled off the Great Double Cross. Rolled a 2 on 2D6, the whole nine yards. Then my damn brother pulled some "screw you, buddy" card out of his butt, to which I had no counter. So close, yet so far away . . .

    Wow. I think I'm going to buy this. I still have my old cards. Huzzah for SJG! =D

    And it's about time! What. . . only four years since Assassins came out? :P Is that some sort of weird gaming record?

  • A couple of months ago, a friend of mine was rummaging around in this old hobby store and found an old version of Illuminati still in its shrink-wrap. He bought it, of course, and we all figured out how to play it.

    It's one of the weirder games I've ever played, but it's really fun if you have 2-3 hours to kill. I can still remember hanging out after hours at the local computer store (massive Geek points here) eating chile relleno burritos and playing Illuminati.

    Actually, for really high Geek points, Donnie brought it to the line for Star Wars (TPM), and we played it while waiting for a movie.

    The game was a lot better than the movie, but that's not saying much. I've had better sunburns than TPM.
  • And, depending on the time that the agreement was made, he may not even have had to play the "I lied" card. The rules are very specific and the group I play with always brings this up near the end-game. A player can make any agreement, but any terms that would not take place during that players turn are optional. And you don't even have to be playing the "Cheating Game." The Cheating Game is way messed up.

    Cthulhu: I'll make you a deal. Help me blow up Bjorne and I'll help you blow up Phone Phreaks during your turn.

    Yeah. Right.
  • Hacker [] was SJG's companion game to Illuminati. It was all about breaking into computer systems. The systems made up one huge "power structure" like in Illuminati, and you'd roll dice to get a presence on each system. You had to be able to trace a path from one of your systems to break into another, or else have a dialin. You started with a Plain Clone, but could move up to a Hackintosh or even an Amoeba.

    Hmmm. Going to have to drag that out sometime.

    (And, before someone decides to flame me, I know the difference between hacker and cracker.)

  • As I understand it, the success of M:tG gave Steve Jackson the idea of adapting the classic Illuminati game [] to that format -- this made it possible to create a lot of cards (over 400, or about three times the number of different cards in Illuminati) and of course bring some of the jokes up to date with jabs at contemporary figures.

    However, it wasn't long before everybody and his brother started publishing collectible card games, and Sturgeon's Law kicked in. While INWO [] is, in my possibly biased opinion, one of the better ones (for one thing, it had the advantage of building on a decade-old successful design), it got caught up in the CCG glut (especially the Assassins expansion, which came out just as the industry was licking its wounds from all the CCGs that crashed and burned).

    The whole concept has come full circle, with "One Big Deck" rules for playing INWO without individual player decks and the INWO SubGenius [] expansion designed for one-deck play.

    MIB 0137 Fnord


  • "The International Cocains Smugglers attack to control the Local Police Departments"

    wait... was that a game or not ... ?

  • Does Raisa Gorbachev count ? If so, we may be fnord in for another reaping by the Law of Threes.
  • and they are only uncommen... which tell me that someone didnt know how to play... or all the cards. ( this is why i quit M:tg cause i couldnt remenber all the cards... )

    #include "standard_disclaimer.h"
  • Yeah, the new Illuminati is great. They took all of the cards from the old set, slapped art on them from the collectable game they did, and re-released. Much as the old game was a pain for managing stickers, though, I liked the old money better than the new cardboard chits.

    They also released an updated "expansion set", since Illuminati is getting a little dated, they wanted an expansion that brings it up to date. It's just as many cards as the base game, so combining them gives you a very different feel (makes things like Nuclear Power Activists nearly useless, though, because of the increase in card number).

    Here's hoping SJGames comes out with an updated Hacker (for those who don't know Steve Jackson Games was considered very technically hip for a game company, and ran one of the best BBSs back when BBSs were all there were). Hacker was a great game (if a little silly), and made for wonderful in jokes all night long with a crowd of CS geeks. It had cards like "Moon Microsystems" (Sun), "HAL" (IBM) and many other great puns and twists.
  • Actually Eliza is no longer a card, some things have been removed to make way for new cards like the Chineses campaign doners

    You're confusing INWO [] (the CCG version) with Illuminati [] (the 80s-vintage one-deck card game). Eliza was (and still is) an INWO card; Chinese Campaign Donors is a card in the new release of Deluxe Illuminati. It's an easy mistake to make, especially since some people play one-deck games using INWO cards.

    You're right on the basic point, though -- there were some cards in the older edition of Deluxe Illuminati that were cut because they were too dated or just not that funny (e.g. "Iranian Moderates") in order to make room for contemporary jokes.

    MIB 0137 Fnord


  • Man, I had Car Wars...nobody would ever play with me (pout)...but I spent tons of time designing the coolest cars...I loved it...I would just use their system to design up all sorts of was great...
  • Steve Jackson did a discussion of upcoming projects [] and Q&A session at Shorecon last week -- in response to a question about Hacker, he said that those odd-shaped cardboard parts would push up the price. I gather that it's not categorically ruled out, but not particularly likely.
  • Naaaah. In real world terms, maybe, but it makes them way too powerful for game balance. Maybe one or more of these:

    Power 2 or 3 (maybe some transferrable), income fairly high -- maybe 4. Three arrows.

    The Network gets +2 on any attack if they control M$

    Any player gets a +1 to any attack by a Corporate group if they also control M$.

    Any player controlling Slashdot has a +3 to attack M$.

    (Those of you who are old Illuminati players may recognize my sig.)
  • That's very odd. I'm still on Illuminati Online and I still have my shell account. It could be bacause I have one of their telnet-only accounts, which would be much less useful without a shell.
  • Oi, mate, methinks you need to change your .sig to give "an" ape a brain, not "and"

  • I happen to like that "horrible" CCG. It's the only CCG I do like.
  • Don't get me wrong. I like INWO too. It's only people who take things too seriously, I think who have major issues with it. That's why I marked it as 'horrible'. It was a lot of fun. I still have my One With Everything somewhere.
  • I recently bought Illuminati Deluxe for a party... While reading through the rules, I found a section on cheating. It essentially said that they condoned, and in fact approved of, cheating. This is, of course, in the true spirit of the game. With regards to the Slashdot card, perhaps it could be an effect card that vastly increases the power of one of a couple groups (I haven't seen Y2K yet, but I bet they have at least a couple groups representing nerds...). Or use that as a special power for a group. I'll think of more uses, and post them later...
    Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.
  • I've got two other guys keen on playing Illuminati, but I need one or two more to get a really good game going.

    Interested? email

  • I was really interested in the One-with-all edition, but then half of the cards would be useless and it still was too expensive

    After INWO SubGenius came out, a few people developed one-deck versions using 120-150 selected cards [] (about 60-75 each groups and plots) to solve the "half the cards would be useless" problem. If you've still got a batch of INWO cards around that you haven't used lately, it might be worth a try.

  • The trading card game was still a nice game
    (if all player agreed to buy the same amount of
    cards). and the cards and drawings were very

    i hope there will be localized versions again -
    i love the german inwo edition with german cards
    like "zuvieldienstliestende" or "stammtischpolitiker".
  • Hell, I was writing supplements to Car Wars back in the mid-80s when I was a wee lad. I did fixed-wing airplanes and a few gadgets before the game quietly folded.
  • Sorry to burst your bubble but HAL was supposed to be born in 1995 (or is that 92?) I just watched 2001 the other night. Anyway, he definitely learned to sing Daisy before 99.
  • Hey, Cheapass Games ( produces some really good stuff. Kill Doctor Lucky is one of my favorites. mjt
  • Hey, offtopic, but I'm getting desperate. ;>

    Anyone out there have a copy of the FIRST edition Top Secret (from TSR) rulebook? Please, send me an Email... Thanks!

  • Not to mention a bunch of funky card games - some that regularly pop up at our game nights (a geek must!)

    * Flux

    A game which starts with only one rule - draw one card and play one card each turn. How do you win? That remains to be determined... each card played changes the rules as you go, making for a quite enjoyable run of meta-gaming. Good for game theory geeks.

    * Falling

    You're all falling toward the ground, and the aim is to be the last to hit. Not much of a goal, but it was all you could think of on the way down... fast paced (real time card game - think snap on PCP) and frentic, and a lot of fun.

    * Settlers of Catan

    The two player card game version of the board game (which is just fantastic - buy it buy it buy it) - a lot of fun, almost civilisation in cards, and a mean cut throat devil dealing war between the two players....
  • One of the cool things about INWO was that card frequency didn't have as much to do with playability as it does in other CCG's. It always seemed to me that the rare cards weren't so much the most powerful cards as the funniest cards. (Of all the CCG's I've seen, Star Wars was the worst money game; all of the main character (i.e. non-cannon-fodder) cards were much too rare.)

    I liked the mechanics of INWO slightly better than the original (esp. the use of action tokens, and rules about which groups could get involved in an atttack), although I love both. I have two copies of the old "deluxe" edition (including the special "Black Box" edition, as well as a big box of INWO cards and the INWO Church of the SubGenius edition. Hail Bob!

  • by Anonymous Coward
    J.R. "Bob" Dobbs (high epopt of the Industrial Church of the SubGenius) is currently at #1 in Time's poll of the 100 Phonies and Frauds of the Century [].
  • Their bulletin board evolved into Illuminati Online [], one of the early commercial ISP's, several years ago. I've been using my IO account for a permanent e-mail drop (although in the era of Spam, I've gotten cautious about handing that address out), a good Usenet feed, and occasional web hosting since 1993.
  • The fact that we can't come up with a satisfactory response to that question itself answers it.
    Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.
  • Thank you, whoever you are. This is one of a few games I've been passively searching for for years.

    Using Microsoft software is like having unprotected sex.

  • Illuminati Online is my current ISP - for a brief history, check out []. Quite a history, too, what with the Secret Service raids and all that.

    I've been with them for about 5 years, and they've been great, but I'm leaving soon for more bandwidth. But they're a good shop - runs on Linux & Apache, EFF supporters... I'll miss 'em.

  • Anyone besides me still have a copy of the original plastic-box set (and expansion sets I and II), with the dinky cards and the tissue-paper money? When the game was going badly, one could always fake a sneeze and blow everyone's money all over the table (we often played with elaborate rules controlling such events, not to mention set rules for cheating for the banker).

    INWO made some playability improvements to the original game, but i still think the original was more fun. The more wildly varying winning requirements for the different Illuminati helped. It led to each player being treated very differently... like when the Assassins were encouraged to kill groups early in the game, but radically opposed later. Or the tilting-at-windmills attacks on the Gnomes of Zurich to get them to spend money.

    Ah, so many happy memories...

  • Could have been.. the original release of Illuminati, was, I believe in a 'pocket box' format (that little black plastic case you mention). You'll likely never see that format again (the molds for the cases were literally
    broken and would be expen$ive to replace).
  • Yea, SJ goes to alot of conventions. I bought my copy of the Principa Discordia from him at marcon( He's a hell of a nice guy, when they tried to charge tax on the book, i told him i didn't belive in the government, so i didn't have to pay the tax, he let me. Sadly though later that day at the marcon dance i got a picture of him doing the Macarena.

  • My buddy bought this game months ago and already bought an expansion to it! What a great game!

    I'ld been playing it since the late 80's or early 90's and have gotten rather adept at arranging wins for myself. . .since that's actually what you do. You don't just win the game.

    I've managed to pull wins out of my butt the last two times I played. The last time was the most memorable though. 5 player game. Me and another guy were horribly behind in terms of victory conditions. Next turn around each of the other 3 players would have won so we could stop them all. Suddenly I realized that we could share victory conditions if I gave him enough cards to win and he gave me the the last 2 "Wierd" groups I needed.

    Ah. . .my friends weren't happy with me that day!

    ** Martin
  • For improvisation with rules or preparation, you might try a story-telling game.

    Once-Upon-a-Time involes making up a fairy-tale including all the elements on cards in you hand, and ending with the line on your ending card. Other players may interrupt if you mention anything on one of their cards, or by using a generic interrupt when you play a card, and then have to continue the tale.

    Baron Munchausen is even more free form, with little tokens as the only props. Players take it inturns to tell tall tales of their adventures. Other players may interrupt with challenges to the story (by paying a token), in which case the storyteller must either correct themselves or pay to refute the challenge. At the end, players spend their remaining tokens voting for the best story.
  • Illuminati? That's a fine game.

    Star Fleet Battles: now there's a waste of money.

  • Needless to say, the best boardgames come from Germany...

    I know why you say this because a lot of these games from Germany show some remarkable ingenuity.


    I can't stand any of them. They all have one major, very unfortunate similarity - the playing of the game is separate from the scoring. Let me explain. Almost every German game is structured so that each player takes a turn, and then scores points based on achieving certain goals and/or conditions. So the games often come down to who can squeeze the most points out of their last few turns, and you can get very heavy into the calculations....

    It also makes for a bizarre division between what happens on the board, and what's happening with the "victory points" off the board, and sometimes the two are at odds intuitively. I prefer games where the winning and losing is completely represented in the game itself - like Starfleet, where you win if you blow up your opponents ships, or wargames, where you win if you win on the board. Chess is another good example. Settlers of Cataan is awful, IMO. Robo Rally and Ricochet Robot are great, though. :-)
  • They used to rock a little more. :/ When I signed up, everyone got a shell account. In the last few months, though, they raised my monthly price and yanked the shell account. In return I got a bunch of web space I don't need. That's what made me start looking elsewhere... hard to resist the pull of ADSL when it costs about the same.

  • A reissue? I'm still trying to sell 4,000 of the first batch.
  • Steve Jackson Games also publishes a rather nifty RPG called GURPS. You can download a free, completely playable 32-page version of GURPS (called GURPS Lite) at []. And I just so happen to have some support material for GURPS Lite on my own web page at rpslit.htm []. Happy gaming!
  • They completely disrupted all of our D&D sessions :-)
  • QUOTE:
    Additionally, SJG was awarded approximately $50,000 for its losses. SJG's lawyers got $200,000. Who really won this case? Dunno. Think they did pretty well. I started playing GURPS when I heard about it. Know a lot of other geeks. I still buy GURPS stuff just for nostalgia. And Illuminati Online is a rather popular ISP. Steve Jackson games is a great company, though, and it deserves all the business it can get.
  • The Deluxe ed. cards are pretty damn slick. The money sucks, unfortunately--little cardboard rectangles like everyone else uses. The original eds had stackable black poker chips that were so nice that my friends used it as the money for all their other money-using games (i.e., Cosmic Encounter and miscellaneous debris) as well.

    The discussion of the Slashdot card brings to mind the applicability of the game paradigm to innumerable custom spinoffs. Way back when, some folks threw together a Brown U. Illuminati set that was extremely cool (I won't burden this post with any of it, becaus the jokes were mostly very inside and very early-'90s-topical). The Burningman Illuminati idea shows some potential. Basically, any subculture with enough baroque politics is destined to be turned into an Illuminati module. It's just a matter of time...

  • by eriko ( 35554 ) on Tuesday September 21, 1999 @01:30AM (#1670675) Homepage
    Power:1 Money:1
    2 arrows out (L/U)

    Special: Once a turn, owner may declare a given group "Slashdotted." This group may not attack, lend power to an attack, or grant money to an attack. If attacked, no money can be spent on defense by anyone other than the group itself, but defender's power is doubled (hard to attack a site you can't reach)

    If owned by the network, Slashdot POW triples (3).

    (Notes: Pow and money are weak, because the special is strong, and historical concerns. This really needs to be tested in a game-the power may be a little to strong. Pow modifier is a beta idea-/. should become more effective if combined with the network, but how much so depends. A POW 3 card with a special is a pretty potent card. 2 Outgoing arrows is another way to restrict power-game balance is important)
  • It is nice to see someone else on they are a great ISP and they are gonna bring the Metaverse back.....YAY !!!!!
  • cool
    then the $80 bux I just spent on 2 copies and the y2k expansion is a definate splattering of piss
  • Read "The Hacker Crackdown []" by Bruce Sterling.
  • It's nice to see a real game return! Along with Cosmic Encounter (which was re-released a few years ago), Car wars, AD&D, V&V, Traveller, Champions, Star Fleet Battles, Paranoia, GURPS, etc, this was a game I used to really enjoy playing years ago when I was single and had a lot free time to spend with friends.

    I just bought the latest version of Car Wars in a fit of nostalgia and would like to get Illuminati too.

    It's also nice to see someone publish a card game where the ability to win isn't simply a measure of how much money you throw into it. My one foray into playing Magic left me very unimpressed.

    Don't feel bad for me not being able to play. I currently play Monopoly with my 3- and 5-year-olds (and eventually the 1-year-old and baby...) and will work them up to more interesting games once they learn to read and count money for themselves, etc. I know they will love these old classics.

  • I was one of the first five or six people to play Illuminati. I was working at SJG in 1980/81, and one evening Steve brought out this new project, a card game. Steve Jackson is an insane genius-type, but quite fun...

    (I also co-wrote one of his other games, BTW. Look it up.)

  • by Sabby ( 1759 )
    Steve Jackson did the industry a favor by making the "One With Everything" set. He established that even CCGs could be fun without collectability. (As I've heard rumors that he does not like secondary markets. Part of the reason that he republishes old GURPS modules.)
  • RAW has indeed everything to do with this game; the whole SJG is based on his book. The paranoids and Erisians will tell you the Illuminati existed way before RAW wrote them. They're just a bunch of silly men because RAW Shea invented them all from scratch. The Illuminati never existed. Repeat after me. fnord

    "There is no surer way to ruin a good discussion than to contaminate it with the facts."

    • Special :When slashdot comes into play, name any card on the board. That card is unable to use any power till the end of the round.
    • put 5 tokens on the ./ card every 10 rounds.
    • If these tokens are not used after 3 rounds, they are lost
    • The ./ card can use one of its tokens to add a +1 or -1 to any card on the board for that round.
    • If a card recieves 20 +1 (or -1) modification, then the +1 (or -1) becomes permanant.
    • When slashdot is in play, each card placed first in a round gets an automatic -1 to power, and a label of "off topic"

  • Seriously, if you've got a copy of the first edition, check the list of playtesters for someone with two hyphens in his name.

    That's my Canadian name. I gave it up when I moved back to the US, so it's shorter now.

    I still owe Steve a computerized version of Darwinopoly - maybe I'll do it for Linux first.

  • Get down off your cross. Someone may need the wood.
  • Actually, I've had my copy of Deluxe Edition for about 7 months now. (was able to but my copy directly from Setve Jackson himself at JohnCon99, Anyway this is just a shameless plug for "JohnCon1900, Ye old Millenium bug strikes again"

    While it's still a long way off, JohnCon represents all things geek, yet without a computer.

    Pre-register now and come play all kinds of geek games like Illuminati, Spammers, Cults Across America, Iron Dragon, Over the Edge, AD&D, Call of Cthulhu, GURPS and more!!!

  • One of my friends in college had the original Illuminati game. Having played both, I'd say they both kicked butt. Though I guess the original was less annoying to keep track of than the collectibe/tradeable/customizable/profitable card version.

  • Actually Eliza is no longer a card, some things have been removed to make way for new card like the Chineses campaign doners
  • And after JohnCon, come to the Barnstormer's Spring Mainstage. You'll be coming down off your pixie stik high and still have enough attention span to watch a wonderful professionally directed musical!

    Only yards away from JohnCon's Gilman Hall in the historic Arellano Theater.

  • INWO never really appealed to me, but me and my
    buddies used to play game after game of the
    original game, so I for one am happy to see it
    back. Ah, the backstabbing, second-guessing,
    and downright dirty dealing of that game!

    Now what I'd like to see is an online version!

  • The version(s) that came out this year are regular games, not CCGs. Deluxe Edition is a remake of the orginal, and Y2k is just an exspansion deck with new groups.

    INWO is long since dead
  • by Anonymous Coward

    What Illuminati really needs, of course, is a slashdot card.

  • We used to use the 'blank cards' as special cards. A blank card entitles you to give any other player a 'wooden arm/leg' anytime during the game. I've seen one of my friends jump on another guy because of this game - can't wait to get my slimy hands on the new version.
  • Not all that off-topic, and quite worthwhile...

    I recall playing Illuminati and Car Wars in college, and I thought that Steve Jackson Games made great stuff. The whole episode with the Secret Service coming after them because of GURPS Cyberpunk just pissed me off. (I think it was that incident that led to the founding of EFF.)

    I think Spider Robinson said it best, in the afterword to The Callahan Touch: "...every dollar given to Steve [Jackson] is a droplet of urine on the shoes of the federal bureaucracy, and a blow for the right of Americans to be free from arbitrary search or seizure even if they do happen to own a computer."

    "Free your code...and the rest will follow."

  • The point-totting games you have described are certainly a significant sub-classification, but I don't think you can legitimately claim that German games fall more often in this genre.
    • For example, Catan, Manhattan, 1630-something, Civilisation and both Illuminati games are point totting games, but only the first two are German, the third being a rare good UK game, the rest being American of course.
    • Mississippi Queen, Ricochet Robot, Elfenland, Bausak (where you build a tower of awkward wooden blocks), Carabande (a big wooden motor racing game where you flick the counters) are all German (some republished elsewhere), and don't involve points.
    I would agree that point totting games can get frustrating if you play with people who are too deparate to win. In Manhattan in particular the last player each turn can often spend 1/2 hour figuring a play which will turn the whole game upside down (but I've seen Monopoly played that way too). The solution is to play games for fun. Beer helps.
  • Illuminati was a satisfying play and the freer-form RPG's destroyed my high school GPA, but there has never been a rush like Car Wars, the simplicity and focus of the rules were incredible.

    yeah, that's where it was it.
  • I became completely infatuated with Illuminati after a friend taught me to play on his copy of the original tabletop game. My local games shop had packages of 12 INWO starter decks for sale for $10, so I decided to try the newer game on the reputation of the old.

    The CCG drove me crazy! The original Illuminati was complicated enough -- it takes new players forever to learn the rules. A friend and I, both familiar with the original game's rules, spent an entire evening trying to learn INWO, and failed miserably.

  • On the night of your senior prom, did you:

    1) go the the prom with a date
    2) go to the prom stag
    3) play Traveller
    4) play AD&D
    5) play loderunner
    6) surf the web
    7) chat on irc
    8) turnips, turnips, turnips

    I'm pretty sure my choice was 3, since it was 1984.

  • Those are good balance points. I would call it this way..

    If Slashdot doesn't have any outgoing arrows, then it's special should be a free action.

    So, modify the card above to no outgoing arrows, and make /.ing a free action, once per turn. Increase the POW to 2, since it's not useful in the attack, and leave the NW power bonus at x3, which would make it hard to take /. away from the network, which is poetic...
  • by Windigo The Feral (N ( 6107 ) on Monday September 20, 1999 @06:38PM (#1670724)

    Some anonymous coward dun said:

    What Illuminati really needs, of course, is a slashdot card.

    Ah, Illuminati. :) Several of my friends knew it in the original version, so when it was re-released earlier this year (and it's been out for several ours back in June) it Had To Be Bought...and I was introduced to the good, old, original game of Fsck Thy Neighbour in its original form. ;) Very cool game, it is. :3

    Seriously, though...the new decks (both the re-release and the Y2K Expansion Pack--which contains a card for the Church of the Subgenius :) do have two blank power cards and two blank Illuminati a power, I figure a Slashdot Effect card could be done up giving +6 Attack power to any card held by CotSG or the Network... ;) Or maybe even automatic successes on privileged attacks on other Illuminati... :) Alignment is gonna be a bastard though... ;)

    Seriously, I think we could come together and actually cook something up for this... ;)

    Using Slashdot as an Illuminati would be harder. The Network IS essentially Slashdot :3

    You could also do up cards for the Freaks Software Foundation (RMS in beatnik clothes or somethin', alignment Weird Communist Liberal ;) an' other stuff...I think we can let our imaginations run wild on this...

    Gods, I think TOO DAMN MUCH on this. :3 Then again, I'm also one of the folks who's given real thought (after one too many incidents of kitty deciding SHE wants to play Illuminati, too, in the way kitties tend to define "read" or "play" or "type on keyboard" by laying on top of what you are doing :) to making up a Ferlie Kitty Card which enables one to randomly rearrange one's OPPONENT'S power structure... :)

  • by IIH ( 33751 ) on Monday September 20, 1999 @07:21PM (#1670731)
    I remember playing the game years back, the concept was good, the only thing that annoyed me was all the adding etc. (I get a +4, -2, +2, -5, so I need a 7 or more (but I can use card x, if the roll is even, etc)) It took some of the spontantity out of the game.

    Personally, my best memory is one of the stories I heard of what allegedly happened at one of the prize competions:

    Person A and person B are in the final, very close game... Person A says to Person B, "it's close, be a shame for one of us to lose now. If you conceed, I'll split the prize, okay?" Person B thinks, agrees, and calls the ref over and conceeds. Person A then shows the card "I Lied", which enabled him to default on an agreed deal. The refs found this amusing, judged it legal (and definitly within the spirit of the game) and awarded him the prize.


"If the code and the comments disagree, then both are probably wrong." -- Norm Schryer