House Rules for the Pittsburgh INWO Cabal
(Yes, I know it's pretentious to describe my play group as the
"Pittsburgh INWO Cabal". Coax other players to join us (and get on the
Pittsburgh INWO mailing list I run), so that we may deserve the
In general, we play Illuminati: New World Order by the official rules
(and card texts) of the Unlimited Edition and the World Domination
Handbook 1.1, as interpreted by the netreps in the FAQs. We have a few
house rules that we feel make the game more sensible:
Cthulhu's +4 applies to an Annual Convention.
Technically, Cthulhu's card text doesn't mention Annual Convention.
But it makes a lot of sense for Cthulhu's bonus to destroy to apply
In general, we will play that any bonus that applies to both
Disasters and to Assassinations will also apply to Annual Convention.
Other resources for INWO rules questions:
- Groups under attack from your hand are considered "In Play."
The official ruling is that groups under attack from your hand are
not considered "In Play." You may not use the Orbital Mind Control
Lasers to change their alignment, you may not slurp up personalities
under attack with the Immortality Serum, and so forth. We do not
play this way.
Groups under attack from your hand are considered in play while they
are under attack, and return to the owner's hand if the attack fails.
(Even though it returns to the owner's hand, it is discarded at the end
of the turn if it hasn't been taken over. But if a player makes two
attacks on the same group from their hand in one turn, it is in their
hand between attacks, not in play.)
- An attack that is not called off or canceled fails if it does
Steve Jackson has recently (5/30/96) ruled that an attack does not fail
unless the die roll reaches at least a 2, so the dice are rolled. This
is a bad ruling, and we're not going to follow it.
- Update: As of 10/12/96, SJGames has come around to our point of view.
- Corollary: Australian Rules grants plot cards, even if the
required die roll is below 2.
- The official word is that you do not get plot cards if the roll is
below 2; we play that you do.
- You may not attack to destroy groups that cannot be destroyed.
At the same time, SJ ruled that you could attack to destroy undestroyable
groups. This contradicts the precedent set with other rulings made
on Shangri-La and Switzerland, and it makes the Church of Violentology
with a Screaming Meme a devastating combination. We won't permit it.
- Update: SJ Games has come around to our point of view. No longer
may you destroy undestroyable groups according to the official rulings.
- You may use Forgery to forge a destroyed Resource.
This makes sense in the world of Illuminated Conspiracy that the game
is supposed to represent, and it's nice to have some way of bringing
out a destroyed resource.
- Plot draws from Soulburner take effect before any other draws
resulting from an attack.
The official ruling is that cards like these take effect in the order
that they were played. So, for example, if Bjørnë comes
out, and then Soulburner by the same player, the destroyer of
Bjørnë would draw plots first, and then Soulburner would
let Bjørnë's future owner draw plots from the destroyer.
This is not a bad ruling. However, it's worth noting that the only
circumstance in which drawing plot cards as a result of an attack
produces a timing conflict is when Soulburner is involved, because
Soulburner is the only way to let you draw plots from someone else in
an attack. In other circumstances, you can let everyone draw their
plots from their own decks at the same time without timing conflicts.
Therefore, if we arbitrarily impose this ruling that Soulburner takes
effect first, then we don't have to remember when everything was played,
which is a convenience.
- The Special Ability of a plot card is its full card text.
- There has been an ongoing debate about whether Are We Having Fun Yet can
be used to cancel any effect of a group card. There have been notions
of 'Limitations', 'Instructions', and so forth. It's kind of a mess.
- By far the simplest interpretation is that all card text can be canceled.
Heck, cancel the color text while you're at it. Yes, this leads to some
surprises and non-intuitive play, but that's completely acceptable.
- An Agents card may be played to cancel an action or special-ability use of the group it represents.
- This is a pure variation. There's no basis for this in the rules.
But it seems like a way to make agents slightly more flexible, and it
makes sense in the Illuminated world the game represents. Therefore,
we're playing several games by this rule as an extended playtest of
- This variation should not be presumed to be in effect in
play-by-email games or tournaments that are based on Pittsburgh House
If you know of house rules that should be on this page, please send me
e-mail and let me know; I'll add them to this page.
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Last modified: May 13, 1998