Game Description

Prophets & Kings is a set building game based on the prophets in the Old Testament of the Holy Bible.

Players earn points by building sets of cards that match a Biblical prophet with the kings who reigned during the years of his prophesying, or a Biblical king with the prophets that prophesied during their reign. The more cards in the set, the more points the player earns.

Scores are calculated at the end of the game, with the player with the most points being the winner.

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Deck Description

The Prophets & Kings deck is comprised of 70 cards with each representing either a king or a prophet from the Old Testament.

P&K Cards

The name at the top of the card is the prophet or king. If the name is red, then this represents a prophet. If the name is blue, then this is a northern kingdom (Israel) king. If the name is green, this king is from Judah. If the name is purple, then this represents a foreign king.

Each card includes a short passage from the Bible which gives us a glimpse into the life of this prophet or king.

At the bottom of each card is a list of names. For a prophet card, this is a list of the kings during whose reign the prophet prophesied. For a king, this is the list of prophets who prophesied during his reign. This tells you what you need to know as you build sets in playing the game.

Here are some important notes about the cards in the deck:

  • Note that there are two Jehoahaz cards. One for the king of Israel and one for the king of Judah. Pay attention to which is needed for a given prophet.
  • Several kings are known by different names or different spellings in the Bible. We have used the name by which each is best known.
  • This naming is particularly confusing when there was a Joash/Jehoash as king in Israel and a different Joash/Jehoash as king in Judah at the same time. Only the Jehoash from Israel is in this game.

Here is a summary of the 70 playing cards in the deck:

All Scriptures are from the World English Bible, which is in the public domain.

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How to Play

Prophets & Kings is a set building game.

Game Setup

  • Deal 5 cards to each player.
  • Place the remaining cards face-down as a draw pile.
  • Turn the top 4 cards in the draw pile face-up to form 4 discard piles.
  • Choose a player to go first.

Game Play

On your turn:

  • Draw enough cards from any combination of the top of the draw or discard piles or blindly from another player’s hand to have 7 cards in your hand.
    • You can take multiple from any source.
    • If any discard pile is depleted, immediately replenish it from the draw pile.
  • If you have any match of a Prophet and a corresponding King card, you may play it i front of you.
    • Choose whether you want to build a series of Prophet cards to match the King card, or a series of King cards to match the Prophet. (Hint: Longer sets are worth more.)
    • If building a series of Prophet cards, place the King card face-up on top and place the Prophet card behind with the name showing.
    • If building a series of King cards, place the Prophet card face-up on top and place the King card behind it with the king’s name showing.
  • If you have any cards in your hand that can be added to any series that you have already played (without duplicating cards already played in a series), you may add them by placing the new card behind those already played.
  • If you still have more than 5 cards in your hand, discard down to 5 cards.

Ending the Game

  • The game ends when the last card is taken from the draw pile.
  • The current player may complete their turn.
  • Each series that has been played is scored as indicated in the scoring matrix below.
  • The player with the most points wins.

Scoring

Scoring is based on the length of each set you have built. To calculate the set length, count both the Prophet and King cards. Score each set based on the table below and then add the scores for all your sets together to determine your total score. Note that the Scorepad app can greatly simplify this for you.

 

# Cards in Stack Score
22
35
410
525
650
7100

Here are some examples to help clarify these scoring rules:

 

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Game Variations

Illuminate Game Bidding, Scoring, and Playing Variations:

  • Not Perfect bidding: The sum of all player bids can’t match the number of cards in the hand. Since the dealer bids last, this constrains how he can bid. (This can be especially helpful in a 2 person game.)
  • High Risk Zero: If you bid zero and don’t get it, instead of getting -W, you get -N.
  • Shorter Game: Instead of playing 12 hands, only play 6 hands. You can either play hands of 1,2,3,4,5, and 6 cards, or hands of 2,4,6,8,10, and 12 cards.
  • Longer Game: Instead of playing 12 hands, play 23 hands. Play hands of 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12,11,10,9,8,7,6,5,4,3,2, and 1 cards.

Other Games to Play with the Illuminate Deck:

  • Grace: Basically the game of Spades, but played with the Illuminate cards.
    • Players agree on how many points it takes to win. Typically this is 200 (a short game) to 500 (a long game).
    • The object of the game is to be the player with the fewest points when any player gets to the game ending score.
    • Each player chooses one of the Role Cards at the beginning of the game.
    • All cards are dealt each hand.
    • Each player bids each hand how many tricks they expect to win. The minimum bid is 1.
    • Players must follow suit with the led card if possible.
    • The player to the left of the dealer leads first.
    • The player that wins a trick, leads the next trick.
    • Highest card in the led suit wins unless someone plays a Grace Card (with a symbol matching their Role Card) or a Special Card (one with a star).
    • If a Special Card is played, follow the instructions on the card.
    • If a Grace Card is played, the highest Grace Card played wins the hand (unless a Special Card says otherwise).
    • Scoring is determined at the end of the hand.
      • If a player won fewer tricks than they bid, they get zero points.
      • If the player gets at least as many tricks as they bid, they get 10x their bid.
      • If they got more tricks than they bid, they also get 1 point for each trick they won over what they bid.
    • The winner is the player with the most points when the first player gets to the winning number of points.
  • Mercy: Similar to the game of Hearts, but played with the Illuminate cards.
    • Players agree on the number of points that marks the end of the game. Typically this is 50 (a short game) to 100 (a longer game).
    • The object of the game is to be the player with the fewest points when any player gets to the game ending score.
    • Each player chooses one of the Role Cards at the beginning of the game.
    • All cards are dealt each hand.
    • Players must follow suit with the led card if possible.
    • The player to the left of the dealer leads first.
    • The player that wins a trick, leads the next trick.
    • Highest card in the led suit wins unless someone plays a Grace Card (with a symbol matching their Role Card) or a Special Card (one with a star).
    • If a Special Card is played, follow the instructions on the card.
    • If a Grace Card is played, the highest Grace Card played wins the hand (unless a Special Card says otherwise).
    • Scoring is determined at the end of each hand.
      • Players get one point for each of their Grace Cards they won (whether they played it or someone else played it).
      • Players get 7 points for each Special Card that they won.
    • The winner is the player with the fewest points when the first player gets to the losing number of points.

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How to Buy

Illuminate is still in development and is not yet available for purchase.

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