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Unknown Kingdoms: The Footsteps of Marco Polo • 2017 rpg

Johnathan Creed • no link

Renowned traveller Marco Polo has disappeared. Hearing legends of lands he visited, a band of curious Venetians sets out to document these strange kingdoms, befriend their rulers in the name of Venice, and perhaps find the lost explorer.
Deck of cards spread face down in a grid to form the landscape.
Red cards: wilderness. Mountains, deserts, seas...
Clubs: cities.
Spades: special settlements. Monasteries, pirate hideouts, ancient ruins…
Jokers: mysteries. Ghost-towns, tombs, hidden temples…
Face-cards follow their suit and indicate a remarkable person present – mighty king, reclusive sage, legendary thief, infamous villain…
The first player selects a card from one of the grid’s edges to reveal. They get to describe the place and any distinctive features (culture, diplomatic relations…).
Reveal and describe a card adjacent to any upturned card.
‘Interact’ with an upturned card (discover clues, befriend populace, buy boat…): declare intention and roll 2d6. If the result equals/betters the card’s number, you succeed. Relevant interactions from earlier in the game give +2 bonuses (necessary for king-cards). For failures, another player describes what happens. For face-cards, another player describes the NPC’s reaction (strike bargain, ask for a favour…).
Take turns to act. Explore these strange lands together.

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