Mischief of Faction is a social deduction game played over the course of three to twelve rounds. Each round is divided into two phases: the voting phase and the policy phase.
Mischief of Faction is played across five different areas: District A, District B, District C, District D, and the Capitol. Each of these play areas must be physically apart. In some cases, the Capitol may be best placed in a different room.
At the beginning of each game, players will draw a faction card at random. The faction card will assign a team and win conditions to each player. This faction card is secret and may not be revealed to another player unless an action orders a player to reveal their faction card.
Fascists Know Each Other
After all players have had a chance to examine their faction cards, direct all players to close their eyes. Once all players' eyes are closed, ask all Fascist faction players to open their eyes. This will enable all Fascist faction players to identify others on their team. After a few seconds, direct all players to close their eyes again. After a few more seconds, direct all players to open their eyes and move to a district of their choice.
Place the Oligarch Advantage card face up on the tableau, indicating a "free" starting Oligarch policy.
Players select home districts
Players may mill about for a about a minute but need to arrive at District A, District B, or District C with reasonable speed.
During the voting phase, players in each region must decide who will represent them at the Capitol during the policy phase. To represent a district at the Capitol, a player must secure a majority of the vote in that district. Each player has one vote in a District. Once a player has a majority of votes, they physically walk to the Capitol area.
In cases where a district is unable to secure enough votes to earn a majority in a timely fashion, that district will proceed without representation at the Capitol that round. (This may be a good outcome for players in certain cases.)
In some cases, using a timer for regular elections may be required.
Districts with no representation
Districts with no players have no representation at the Capitol. Districts unable to successfully elect a player will have no representation at the Capitol.
Players at the Capitol during the Policy Phase will adjust the number of roles based on the number of players present (see below).
During the policy phase, players in the Capitol will select a policy card to play from a three card draft. Players left in the Districts are free to discuss the policies of the day, but they are not allowed to move from their home districts. (Bio breaks are allowed.) Players left in the districts are free to discuss future actions, speculate who is in which faction, and generally rabblerouse.
Depending on the number of players present at the Capitol, players in the Capitol will determine the number of role cards to distribute.
4 players use all four cards; each player receives one card
3 players discard the investigate card; each player receives one card
2 players use all four cards; each player receives two cards
1 player discards the investigate card and receives all three cards
Players will shuffle and randomly assign role cards to each player in the Capitol. In cases with four players in the Capitol, each player will receive one of the role cards. In cases with three players in the Capitol, each player will receive one role card - excluding the Investigate role. In cases with two players in the Capitol, each player will receive two of the role cards.
The four roles are described below.
Before any player draws policy cards, this player may view the faction card for another player at the Capitol.
This player draws three cards from the top of the policy deck. This player must discard one card to the bottom of the policy deck. After this player discards a policy card, they hand the remaining two cards to the next player.
This player receives the two remaining policy cards from the first player. This player must discard one card to the bottom of the policy deck. After this player discards a policy card, they hand the remaining card to the action player.
This player receives the remaining policy card and must take the action on the card. This player will return to the general playing area (where Districts A, B, C, and D are located) announces the policy type, points scored, and moves any players to other districts as instructed by the policy card.
Investigate Role Card of Player at Capitol
Use only if 2 or 4 players are present.
Draw 3 Policies from the Deck
Hand two to next player
Take 2 Policies from player
Hand one to next player
Take action as directed by card
Check for Victory Condition
Check for Winning Conditions
After the Action player conducts the action on the selected policy card as written, players check to see if any victory conditions have been met. In the base game, victory conditions require either five policies of the same color or a district scores five points.
If a winning condition has been met, then the game immediately ends.
It is possible for there to be multiple win sets. For example, a fifth liberal policy that scores a fifth point for District A would trigger wins for all liberal players and all fascist players living in District A and the Oligarch player for District A.
It is possible for there to be no winners. For example, a fifth point scored in an empty district would trigger wins for that district. In this case, all players lose.