|Upcoming Games of Masque of the Red Death|
|Buckeye Game Fest||Sept 21-24||TBD|
Want to host Masque of the Red Death at your local con? Please email me to coordinate and I will send you a physical set of the cards. Or join our FaceBook Group!
Introduction: Masque of the Red Death is a live action game of social deduction, manipulation and strategy for groups of 12-42 players. It is based on the Edgar Allan Poe short story of the same name and often ran at conventions. All the materials needed to run the game can be downloaded on this page. A general overview of the game and its rules are on this page, but the full set of rules must be downloaded below.
Story: A terrible plague called the Red Death has swept over the land, leaving death and disease in its wake. Fortunately for you, Prince Prospero has created a refuge in a walled castellated abbey where he and his wealthy nobleman are waiting out the plague. Indifferent to the suffering outside the abbey, the nobleman spend their days feasting, imbibing fine wine and holding lavish parties. Tonight, the prince is holding a lavish masquerade ball where the attendees disguise their identities behind masks. Little does the prince know that the Red Death and those who serve it have infiltrated the masquerade, intent on showing the rich noblemen that death comes for everyone.
Team Party: Most of you will be on Team Party. Your goal is to find and cast the Red Death card out of the party. At the beginning of the game, the card starts with a role called ‘The Stranger’ but it may pass to others. If, at the end of a trial, the card is found to be outside the party, then Team Party wins.
Team Death: About one-fourth of the players will be on Team Death. Your goal is to eliminate as many players as possible, either by killing the or getting them cast out of the party (or both). If, at the end of trial, the number of living players inside the party has been reduced to a quarter or less, Team Death wins.
Starting Team: The team you are on is determined by a Team Card. For most Roles, they can potentially be on any Team. But some Roles are always on one team or the other.
Role Cards determine a player’s faction and starting ability card. There are up to 42 Roles currently available for the game.
|Role||Faction||Starting Ability Card|
|The Bandit||Thieve’s Guild||Mug|
|The Bard||Thieve’s Guild||Seducing Song|
|The Thief||Thieve’s Guild||Pickpocket|
|Grave Robber||Thieve’s Guild||Loot|
|The Conman||Thieve’s Guild||Tax|
|The Cleric||Clergy||Turn Undead|
|The Bishop||Clergy||Scroll of Healing|
|The Abbot||Clergy||Wand of Silencing|
|The Friar||Clergy||Mental Fortification|
|The Detective||Scholars||Magnifying Glass|
|The Fortune Teller||Scholars||Tarot Cards|
|The Philosopher||Scholars||Crystal Ball|
|The Templar||Guards||Holy Crozier|
|The Executioner||Guards||Executioner’s Ax|
|The Jester||Rebellion, Knows Royalty||Irresistible Offer|
|The Beloved||Rebellion, Knows Scholars||Blackmail|
|The Assassin||Rebellion, Knows Thieve’s Guild||Poison|
|The Spy||Rebellion, Knows Clergy||Subterfuge|
|Bodyguard||Rebellion, Knows Guards||Shield|
|The Necromancer||No Faction, Team Pagan||Necronomicon|
|The King in Yellow||No Faction, Team Cult||Indoctrinate|
|The Mad Scientist||No Faction, Team Pagan||Experimental Potion|
|The Judge||No Faction||Contempt of Court|
|The Plague Doctor||No Faction||Medical Kit|
|The Stranger||No Faction, Team Pagan||Red Death|
|The Barbarian||No Faction||Mace|
|The Groundskeeper||No Faction||Body Disposal|
|The Gatekeeper||No Faction||Portcullis|
|The Worshipper||No Faction, Team Cult||Soul Probe|
|The Count||No Faction, Team Pagan||Mist Form|
|The Merchant||No Faction||Bag of Gold|
Ability Cards are various powers you players can use during the game. One side of the card explains the requirements for using the card while the other side (and the color of the card) indicate the card’s effect on the target player. Cards are used by showing another player the effect side of the card (the Requirement side cannot be shown). All players start with one pre-determined Ability Card that is decided by their Role and another Ability card at Random.
Factions In addition to teams, players may belong to a Faction specified on their Role Card (or No Faction at all). Factions provide information that can be used to help Team Party coordinate against Team Death or also help Team Death plot against Team Party. In any Faction (except the Rebellion Faction), 0 to 1 members will be on Team Death.
|Royalty Faction – The wealthy elite invited by Prince Prospero himself to wait out the masquerade. Royalty all start with a White ‘Trial Motion’ card. This means that they will have at least two Trial Motion cards since all players start with one. 0 to 1 of the royalty will be on Team Death while the rest are on Team Party.|
|Guard Faction – Powerful soldiers hired to protect the Prince and his noblemen at the masquerade. Guards all start with a Red ‘Kill’ Card. 0 to 1 of the guards will be on Team Death while the rest are on Team Party.|
|Scholars Faction – Highly educated academics who use their intellects to reveal secrets. Scholars all start with a Green ‘Say Your Colors’ Card. 0 to 1 of the scholars will be on Team Death while the rest are on Team Party.|
|Thieves Guild Faction – Greedy crooks, bandits and conmen who have infiltrated the masquerade to steal from the wealthy elite. Thieves Guild members start with a Violet ‘You are Robbed’ card. 0 to 1 of the Thieves Guild will be on Team Death while the rest are on Team Party.|
|Clergy Faction – Holy men of the cloth who battle evil through faith. Clergy start with a Pink ‘Cancel’ card. 0 to 1 of the Clergy will be on Team Death while the rest are on Team Party.|
|Rebellion Faction – A secret society that has infiltrated the party with the intent on overthrowing the ruling class. Each member of the Rebellion is also a member of another Faction that they have infiltrated. But their starting Ability Card is not the same color as the Faction they have infiltrated. For example, a Rebel who has infiltrated the Scholars Faction does not have a Green ‘Say Your Colors” Card as a starting card (although they may have been dealt one as their Random Card). None of the Rebellion are on Team Death, all of them are on Team Party.|
|No Faction – Other attendees of the party may belong to no Faction. This means, depending on their Role, their Starting Card may be any color – including Orange ‘Change Areas’ or Blue ‘Zombify’. At least 2 players who have No Faction are on Team Death.|
The best way to play is to effectively use information, manipulation, and abilities to meet your personal and team goal. Sharing information may be necessary to find out who is your ally, but it may also reveal yourself to possible enemies. Lying and deception is encouraged as long as it does not conflict with any of the rules.
|Red “You Are Dead” Cards kill you. If someone shows you this card, it means they have killed you. Wait 2-3 seconds and then die. You are now “dead” and your body will be taken to the Morgue at the end of the Round. The ‘Red Death’ card that Team Party is trying to cast out is one of these cards.
Red Cards 1
Red Cards 2
Red Effect Side
|White “Trial Motion” Cards are used for trial purposes and are the only cards that must be used openly. Every player will have at least one Trial Motion card all players start the game with at least one. A Trial Motion card can be used to nominate someone for trial (which starts the trial phase of the game) or to vote on a nominee to be cast out during a trial.
Starting Influence / Team Cards
White Cards 1
White Cards 2
White Effect Side
|Green “Say Your Cards” Cards are investigation cards the compel another player to say which colors of cards they are currently holding.
Green Cards 1
Green Effect Side
|Violet “You Are Robbed” Cards are used to steal one random card of a specified color from another player. You must give one random card of that color to the person robbing you. If you do not have any cards of that color, the Violet Card is used to no effect.
Violet Cards 1
Violet Cards 2
Violet Effect Side
|Orange “Leave or Return to the Party” Cards force another player to switch areas. If the target player is currently in the party, they are being forcibly cast out. If they are currently outcast, the target player is brought back into the party.
Orange Cards 1
Orange Cards 2
Orange Effect Side
|Blue “You Are Zombified” Cards turn other players into zombies (usually dead players). Pretend to die and wait until the next Round before you rise as a Zombie. Dead or zombified players immediately join Team Death and want to eliminate as many players as possible. But as a zombie you cannot speak coherently or move at more than one step per second. All players start with a blue ability card called ‘Zombie Bite’ which will be useful if they are ever Zombified.
Blue Cards 1
Blue Cards 2
Blue Effect Side
|Yellow “Join Our Cult” Cards immediately switch you to Team Cult. As a member of Team Cult your goal is to for most of the living players to be on Team Cult by the end of the game. If you are already on Team Cult, the card is used to no effect.
Yellow Cards 1
Yellow Effect Side