The Game of Living, Basic Edition: The Rules of Play

Posted on February 23, 2012


  1. At the start of the game, each player is “born” into — that is, randomly assigned to — a small, hierarchical and generally closed community, which is organized along bloodlines and proximity.
  2. Each player is randomly assigned a role in the hierarchy of the community.
  3. Each community controls a certain amount of resources, determined by the outcomes of previous games and the choices of previous players.
  4. Based on her role in the community, each player receives a certain amount of the resources controlled by the community, at the start of the game and over the course of the game.
  5. A person can renounce the resources available to her, share those resources, maintain the amount of resources available to her, and/or try to get more resources.
  6. If a player wants more resources, she can compete for them in accordance with the rules of her community and her role; she can try to take on a different role in the community, in accordance with the rules determined by her community and her role; or she can attempt to take on a role in another community and compete for its resources, in accordance with the rules of that community and her role in it.
  7. There are as many ways to compete for resources as there are communities in which to compete, but the goal always remains the same: to change one’s status within the community. Each player’s allocation of resources is ultimately determined by her status and role in the community.
  8. Each player can choose, if she so wishes, a specific victory condition or conditions from a set of options defined by her community and her role in the community.
  9. To join another community, a player must ingratiate herself to a person or persons in the targeted community, who can determine who is or is not a member of the targeted community.
  10. The game ends, for each player, when she dies, even if she achieves her victory condition or conditions before death.
  11. To determine the number and kind of communities, the relevant roles, and the rules for each, a designated player should, with a roll of the two ten sided dice provided, determine at what time in history the players are to be born and consult Chart A: Demographics, Class, and Resources Through the Ages.
Who wants to play?