Large and small additions to Ortus Regni
Here you will find six unique smaller rule alterations that can be incorporated into any game of Ortus Regni.
State and Church
A new and immediate victory condition, if an Earl possesses both the King card and the Cathedral at the very start of their turn they immediately win the game.
This rule is also used in the Wessex campaign variant and the Great Heathen Army no-player elimination variant, but it adds a high-tension immediacy to normal Ortus Regni games as well.
A simple augmentation to the Mercenary card, Mercenaries now have an unlimited Garrison. Any number of Army cards can be slotted next to a Mercenary, i.e. placed in its Garrison.
But keep in mind that while these new Mercenary Captains are powerful they are still just as vulnerable to Treachery or Intrigue as before, and this larger Garrison force is thus equally vulnerable.
As an Action an Earl can discard 2 cards from their Hand to select 1 card remaining in their tray... and place it in their Hand! Any card an Earl left in their complete Earl card set, after making their 24 card Earl deck, is thus available to an Earl during the game.
Resourceful Earls are not truly able to modify their decks dramatically on the fly, but they might be able to grab that precious single card, like a Banner or Allies perhaps, that they need to continue the struggle. Note also that by taking a Resourceful Earl action an Earl does increase, by 1 card, the number of cards they have in play; even though they decrease the number of cards in their Hand by 1.
Religious buildings as Fiefs.
- Churches and the Cathedral can be placed in your Earldom as Fiefs, as if they were a Castle or Palace. They can now anchor and create their own Fiefs. Lands and Market Towns can then be attached to them, but not additional Churches or the Cathedral.
- Churches and the Cathedral are still strength 1. So they are weaker anchors for a Fief than a Castle (str. 2) or a Palace (str. 3). But they are a Fief and count as such to keep you in the game, if you have lost all your Castles and your Palace.
- Churches and the Cathedral, when they are their own Fief, only accept a Monk as a Lord - as an Abbot - but when they do have a Monk Lord installed they grant the Monastery Special Action; the ability to force an Earl to reveal their Hand to the table.
- Churches and the Cathedral can still simply be attached to a normal Fief, anchored by a Castle or Palace. In which case they cannot accept a Monk Lord and play by the normal rules of Ortus Regni.
The Clerisy rule affects the game in several ways. It can be a subtle change or a dramatic one depending on the strategies in play. Ultimately it means you can create many more Fiefs than normal, because previously you could only include up to 6 Castles in your Earl deck. Keep in mind that the weakness of a Religious Fief means that there is no real distinction between Sieging and Raiding, i.e. it almost never makes sense to Raid such a Fief. But the Monastery Special power is a step easier to acquire, as well.
There is one way to lose the crown, in the chaos of a Battle.
If the King card is fielded into a battle and the Battle Result card goes against the King then suddenly there is a chance to remove the Kingship. The other Earl in that battle has the immediate opportunity to play a Treachery card on the King card. There is no counter available in the chaos of a battle, no Allies card can be played to save the King card here.
If a Battle Result has gone against the King card and a Treachery card has been played the battle is still resolved by the normal rules of Ortus Regni. But immediately after the battle the King card is withdrawn from its owner. And any Royal Army cards that were attached to it are also discarded. The King card is now available again to be claimed, by playing Banner cards in the normal fashion.
Imagine that the King has not been killed but has been so humiliated, humbled, or shamed in the battle that he no longer has the standing to maintain his claim to the crown after the mayhem of this terrible defeat.