Illuminopoly, the game of real estate subversion
Game and rules rendition by Dave Van Domelen.
Illuminopoly Version 2.0 by Dave Van Domelen 1993, anything not a trademark
(registered or otherwise) of Parker Brothers or Steve Jackson Games is
copyrighted by Dave Van Domelen. Doesn't leave much, does it?
A Game for 3 - 10 Players of Ages 12 and Up
A work crew was upgrading the electrical system of a run-down property on
Baltic when Sal found the Thingy. It was some kind of computerized device
hooked into the electrical lines, kinda like a phone tap or sumthin. Anyway,
Sal he took it to th' foreman, who told him to fergit about it. That was about
a week before Sal was in that train wreck....
Running the world used to involve control of secret societies and
political candidates. But that was before someone discovered how to use
subsonics generated in electrical wiring along with chemicals in the water
softeners to influence the minds of people living in apartment complexes and
subdivisions. Soon the secret was 'common knowledge' among the factions vying
for world domination, and they scrambled to buy up real estate in order to
create their own armies of voting public.
Owning the utilities allows you to subvert huge masses of unclaimed
territory, but less reliably (hence the random roll for Rent). Owning the
rails lets you tamper with consumer goods delivered on trains, and with the
minds of the Light Rail passengers. Monopoly on a certain area is highly
sought after, since it allows the owners to renovate the properties
extensively while adding even more complex mind control devices and attracting
a richer (and more powerful) class of slave. Illuminopoly is the story of the
struggle for dominance of one particular city, as several factions vie to gain
You will need a standard Monopoly set to play Illuminopoly, and will need
to make the following additions and modifications:
Each player needs a number of markers (such as poker chips with their
piece name written on them) to indicate which of an opponent's properties they
Each player needs a card the same size as a property card with their
piece name and symbol on it, and four outward-pointing arrows. Properties will
be arranged like controlled organizations in Illuminati.
Each property card needs an inward arrow at the bottom of it. Properties
on the second leg (first leg being Baltic etc.) have one arrow pointing
outward. Properties on the third leg have two arrows. Properties on the final
and richest leg have three outward arrows. Arrow placement is up to owner of
the game, as he will have to write all over the cards. This is to represent
setting up holding companies in offices on the property to control other
The equipment consists of the board, the property deeds as modified
above, 3 dice (or more), tokens, 32 houses, 12 hotels, Chance and Community
Chest cards, money, 9 faction cards and a number of Subversion markers.
Lay out the board and the Community Chest and Chance Cards. Each player
chooses a faction token (either by rule of 'fastest grab', high roll or pulling
out of a hat, sold separately). Each player is given $1.5 Million divided as
follows: 2 each of $500 Grand (multiply all bills by 1000), 2 $100 Grand, 2 $50
Grand, 6 $20 Grand, 5 $10 Grand, 5 $5 Grand and 5 $1 Grand. Players lay down
their Faction card somewhere with enough room around it to arrange properties.
Then a CEO of the Bank is chosen.
All players have 'pet' members on the bank's Board of Trustees, and must
select a Chair of the Board, to take the duties of keeping the Bank's funds in
order and holding the deeds to all unclaimed properties. A majority is
required, so bribes and promises of future favors must be given for any one
candidate to win. Once the Chair is chosen, continue with play.
However, should anyone catch the Chairman dipping into the till, as it
were, he is voted out, and a new Chair must be chosen. The ousted player gets
a new pet Board member and may vote in this new election. Also, if the Chair
goes to Jail for any reason, even if he has a Political Favor card he is voted
off the Board.
In lieu of this, a player may chose to be solely the Banker, without
chosing a faction. In this case, all he does is play the role of Banker and
Auctioneer (if necessary). In cases where there are 10 players, one must be
Banker. Such a "professional" banker will also be the final arbiter in
interplayer disputes...and of course can take bribes. The Banker can win if
the total normal rent from properties under his control (mortgaged) is greater
than that of any other player. As a result, offering to mortgage a property is
a very effective bribe. (see Mortgaging below)
If the Bank ever goes broke, it goes under and may be bought by the
highest bidder, who must now collect fines and pay out GO money from his own
funds. The money bid for the bank goes into the bank's Reserves. If the
Reserves (money held separate from the player's money) ever goes below one
third of the initial amount, the bank goes up for bid again.
If this is too complicated, simply assume the bank never goes broke, and
simply refuses to pay money when it lacks cash in hand.
Play starts at the banker, and proceeds counterclockwise. Should the
Chairmanship of the Bank change during the turn, continue the
current turn until its end, then start anew with the new Chair.
Order Within a Player's Turn
Collect rent on ALL properties owned, even if in Jail
(Roll dice for Utilities each round)
Either Reorganize structure or roll dice.
If Reorganize, move your properties around at will.
If roll dice, advance the 2d6 spaces (3d6 if Car) and if a
property is landed on, the player has five options:
If property is unclaimed, buy it by paying the amount printed on
the board. The Banker then gives the buyer the Deed and the
buyer installs his mind control devices. If the player does not
wish to buy it, it remains unclaimed, and is not auctioned off.
Attempt to have the property rezoned commercial and removed
from play. See below. Works on claimed and unclaimed.
Only if property previously destroyed. Covertly get plot
zoned back to Residential and build new apartments.
Attempt a buy-out of the property. This can only be done
on claimed property.
Rewire opponent's mind control systems to make his pawns
serve you instead.
If the player rolls doubles, he may roll again after this,
effectively taking another turn. Should he roll doubles again, he gets a third
turn. However, should he roll doubles three times in a row, he attracts the
Attention of Higher Powers and they have his agents "removed" (Go to Jail).
Landing on another player's property does NOT incur rent payments paid to
them, and you may chose to do nothing once you land there.
Whenever GO is passed, the player picks up $200 Grand from Interest
and Outside Investments. If GO is passed mutliple times in one turn, such as
can be the result of various cards, this money is collected for each pass. GO
money is paid by the Banker, and may not be paid if the Bank is bankrupt (see
Banker rules above).
Once all players have gone, check for winning conditions.
Each game piece represents a different faction, with special victory
conditions and powers.
Aristocratic faction. May forfeit a turn in order to collect
rent twice. Wins if it owns or controls the five most valuable properties on
the board, as determined by base value. Normally these are Boardwalk, Park
Place and the green properties, but with Rebuilding this can change (see
Patternmaker. Believes in diversity. May rearrange holdings
instead of collecting rent, and still move. Wins if it owns or controls six
different colors of property.
Automotive interests. May roll 3d6 to move if it desires, or
just 2d6. Wins if all four railroads are destroyed at any point in the game.
Anarchist. Has discovered the Foul Plot and is determined to
beat the Illuminati at their own game by keeping them from controlling enough
of the city to use it. If at any time seven properties are destroyed the
Horseman wins. Also, if at any time the Horseman has Subverted at least two
properties of each opponent, he wins. However, if he ever satisfies the normal
winning conditions, he becomes disgusted that he has become the enemy, divests
and tries to go to the press. But he mysteriously disappears, and his
properties become unclaimed as he drops out of the game.
Infrastructure faction. Gains an additional die on all
Subversion attempts, as he knows the wiring. Wins if he controls or owns both
utilities and at least two Railroads.
Slumlord. Believes in the power of the lowest common
denominator, and will seek to own the cheapest properties he can. May ignore
any Chance or Community Chest card that says he has to pay for something, and
takes a minus two to Rebuild rolls (rebuilds cheaper or as good...never
better). Wins if he owns the cheapest properties in at least five colors.
Control is insufficient, he must own.
Inhuman faction. Motives inscrutable. Cannot be stopped by Jail
(always is Just Visiting) since the real powers are never seen. Player chooses
one of the other special winning conditions and writes it down before play
Former tramp who clawed to the top. He initially doesn't know about
the plot, but soon finds out and plays along to avoid being destroyed. He has
the special power that his advance men (game piece) can ride the rails. As his
piece moves, it can move to the next Railroad instead of the next space. So a
roll of 5 could result in 1 - 2 - Railroad - next RR - 5, to get extra
movement. The Shoe is only interested in a life of luxury for himself, and
wins if he manages to build a hotel on any third or fourth leg property.
International Terrorist Conspiracy. Optional for
advanced games, has special rules below.
The playing pieces represent the advance men of each faction, and if they
go to Jail they die mysteriously at the hands of their replacements (get out of
Jail normally, 'hit' occurs when roll or payment says you get out).
When all properties are either controlled or destroyed, at the end of each
turn the total rents collected are added up. At this point, any subverted
properties count for the controller, not the owner. If in any turn one faction
has more than half the total rents, it wins.
The player cannot own all his property directly in most cases, and
establishes Holding Companies on his other properties to run later purchases.
Properties must be arranged in a structure around the player's Faction card,
with the 'in' arrow of each property aligned with the 'out' arrow of either the
Faction Card or another of the player's properties. Properties may not overlap
each other. More expensive properties are better able to dummy for the player
and hold other properties.
Due to modern computer money storage, funds can be transferred for free
among all the properties of the player, at any time. Thus it is unnecessary to
keep piles of money on the property cards. Multiply the amounts on the bills
by 1000, so the $1 bill is really a grand. Every $10 Grand can modify a dice
roll by 1 (one).
When a player lands on the Income Tax spot, he may either pay an
accountant $200 Grand to find enough loopholes to avoid paying taxes (money
goes to the Bank) or pay 10% of his total value to the Bank in taxes. Total
worth includes all money, printed prices of all mortgaged and unmortgaged
properties he owns, and the cost price of all buildings he owns.
The player must decide before paying tax which option he chooses.
A player's agents (counter) go to Jail when 1) He lands on the "Go To
Jail" spot, 2) He draws a card labeled "Go To Jail" 3) He rolls doubles three
times in a row, 4) He is caught cheating by other players. The Dog faction is
immune to all but 4. Jail represents the inconvenience of having to get new
agents, since the current ones are as good as dead, usually at your own hands
before they talk. Going to Jail NEVER passes GO.
A player gets his counter out of jail by 1) Rolling doubles on any of his
next three turns (New agents kill old agents and move on), and the piece moves
as determined by the doubles roll, but does not get a free turn, 2) Using a
Political Favor card (which gets the agents out of Jail
so they can be killed
in the privacy of your base for failure), 3) Buying a Political Favor from
another player, 4) Posting $50 Grand in bail on any turn before rolling the
dice (and then taking them home to face their doom). If the player does not do
any of these by his third turn in Jail, the agents go to Trial and $50 Grand
must be paid to bribe the judge, who releases the agents into the player's
tender care. New agents move 2d6 (or 3d6 if the Car faction) from Jail at this
point, dropping the old agents in a culvert on the way or paving them into a
If the player lands on the Jail space, he is Just Visiting. If another
player is in Jail at this time, the player who is visiting may post bail for
the agents, drug them and get information, then kill them (and the player who
was in jail sends his new agents out from Just Visiting next turn). This will
allow the Visiting player an automatic success on his next Subversion attempt
on the player whose men he bailed (he still has to pay base cost, though).
Since the men in Jail are just Agents, the player may still buy or sell
property under the table, collect Rent, build on properties, fight off Takeover
and Destruction attempts, reorganize his structure (instead of getting out of
Jail) and still can win.
CHANCE and COMMUNITY CHEST
Each faction must maintain the facade they have built, and that includes
some silly things like beauty contests and the like. When the Chance and
Community Chest spots are landed on, take the top card (or a lower card if
you're good at that sort of thing and can do it without being seen) and do as
it says, with one exception: Get Out Of Jail Free card become the Political
Favor card. Not only can it get your men out of Jail, it can also be used to
halt any Destruction attempt that you are allowed to influence, or to counter
any card an opponent plays against you. The card then goes back in the deck.
All other cards are played immediately and placed at the bottom of the deck (or
otherwise, as mentioned above).
A player landing on this spot may rearrange his property structure for
free. In addition, half of all Bribes or fees not specifically paid to the
bank go here, and can be collected by the player instead of rearranging his
To attempt a hostile takeover of a property, first one must spend money
equal to half the current value of the property. This goes into the Bank and
represents buying off the 'norms' who own stock in the holding companies. Then
the aggressor tries to roll a 12 on 2d6. He adds one to his roll for every $10
Grand he spends on graft and so forth. He subtracts one from his roll for
every $10 Grand his opponent chooses to spend on counteractions and red tape.
Money spent on this roll by the winner goes to the loser (assume someone in the
losing faction takes some graft) and money spent by the loser goes half to the
bank and half under Free Parking. Thus it is possible for a failed takeover to
turn a profit if the property wasn't very valuable but the war was hard-fought.
Such as keeping the Iron from taking over Baltic, he has to pony up $30 to make
the attempt, but could pocket several hundred grand of the owner's cash in "buy
Like a takeover, but the owner gets to spend no money. Attacker spends
half of the value of the property in bribes to security, plus additional
financial lubrication to increase his roll, and tries to get a 12 on 2d6.
Note that the Wheelbarrow gets 3d6 on this. The owner will still get the rent
from this property, but the rent will count in the controller's power base.
The owner will not 'notice' this subversion until the next time his piece lands
on the property, at which point it is automatically reverted to his control for
free. While the property is controlled, the controller places one of his
markers on the property card. Nothing new may be built on a controlled
property until the control is broken. An exception is if the subverter can
control all of the properties in the monopoly, construction may resume, but he
benefits from the increased power. Half of money spent on Subversion attempts
goes to the Bank, half to Free Parking. See Mortgages below for
With a few exceptions, this generally involves rezoning the property so
that the apartments must be torn down and replaced by a mall. If owned, the
property remains in the owner's portfolio, but can no longer control other
properties for him. Destruction attempts cost just like Takeover attempts,
with bribes tossed both ways to enhance rolls. However, the attacker needs
only roll a 7, and all money spent goes to Free Parking as graft to the zoning
board, except for the base cost (half property value) which goes to the bank to
represent financial entropy. If the property is owned, only the attacker and
the owner may spend money, unless they invite in help (usually in return for
future favors). If the property is unowned, anyone may throw money on either
side. Usually this will happen when the Horseman is starting out, and the
other factions want to stop him from destroying properties.
Exceptions are this: Utilities cannot be destroyed, and Railroads cost
full value as the base cost of destruction (effectively buy it then destroy
it). If you try to destroy your own property, anyone can oppose you, but must
spend twice as much ($20 Grand per POWER subtracted from your roll).
Destroyed properties earn half rent for their owners, and have half the
value for defending against takeover. None of the rent they earn is counted
for power base calculations.
The Artillery Piece follows special Destruction rules.
A property may only be rebuilt when it is landed on, even if you own it.
Rebuilding involves getting the original rezoning overturned, which requires a
roll of 8 or more on 2d6, modified by graft as usual. No one may interfere
with this roll. Once it is rezoned, you spend half the value of the property
and roll on the rebuilding table below:
- 1-2 : Property rebuilt cheaply, worth 1/2 original value
- 3-4 : Property rebuilt same as before
- 5-6 : Property rebuilt poshly, worth 1 1/2 times original
Steam Iron likes cheap, and will subtract two from this roll. Top Hat likes
posh, but still needs tax write-offs, so does not modify this roll.
If you land on someone else's destroyed property, you must first take it
over. Then on your next turn you may forfeit movement in order to rebuild. If
the rezoning roll fails, you must move on, and cannot try to rebuild again
until next time you stop there.
Rebuilding a Railroad costs full value of a single RR, and does not roll
on the table above. However, this new Railroad will not add to others owned by
the player for purposes of Rent for d6 turns, while the 'monopoly' on Rail is
Money spent on Rebuilding all goes to the Bank.
Properties destroyed by the Artillery Piece need not be rezoned before
Any property directly attached to your main card is worth twice as
much for defending against all attacks, and subversion is discovered next time
the property is passed, not landed on. Property one removed is worth 1.5 times
as much versus attack, and if subverted the owner may choose to end his turn on
that property in order to 'fix' it, provided he would have passed it otherwise.
Thus, in many-player games, subversion is very temporary as all factions are
paranoid about the competition. It will then generally be used as a method of
getting that one last required property.
Also, if a property is taken over, the entire arm branching from it is
taken for free, as in Illuminati, but all properties other than the one taken
over are now treated as subverted by the original owner until passed by the new
owner (takes a sweep around the city to get the settings changed, basically).
Once a player owns all properties of a color group, he has monopolized
it. All rents from that property immediately double as he links up the mind
control apparatuses to generate a more insidious, neighborhood-wide effect that
gets passersby as well as residents. He may also erect Buildings.
If a property is Mortgaged, all properties continue to collect double rent
and double influence, for the Bank Chair and the Owner.
Houses and Hotels
When a player owns all the properties in a color group, he can now operate
in greater secrecy, with less fear of competitors spying on him. As a result,
he may now Go Condo with his properties and start building Houses, which have
enhanced mind control devices and attract richer clientele, giving higher
"rents" (actually mortgage payments) and more power from controlling the
residents. Housing projects must be built evenly, i.e., you can't have two
houses on a property until all properties have at least one. Once the
neighborhood is totally gentrified (four houses on all properties) a Hotel may
be built, which not only brings in alot of money, it also attracts out of town
politicians and dignitaries. Mind control of these people, although limited in
duration, can have profound effect on the faction's power base. Once the Hotel
is built, the House counters are returned to the Bank, although the condos
The price of building houses and hotels and installing Secret Mind Control
Devices is listed on the Deed, as are the rents collected from them.
When the Bank has no houses to sell, this means all building permits are
tied up in red tape and graft. Players wishing to build must wait until
counters are returned to the Bank (permits cleared up). If a player is about
to buy the last counters and someone else wants to build, he may try to bribe
the builder for his permit.
Unimproved properties, railroads and utilities (but not buildings) may be
sold to any player at any time as a private transaction for whatever price the
two agree on. However, if the property to be sold is a holding company for
other properties, all properties must be sold together. Thus, it is a Good
Idea to restructure before selling.
If the color group has been monopolized and has any buildings on it, all
buildings must be sold back to the Bank first (returned to Rental status and
the Mind Control equipment torn out), since the Mind Control equipment is run
through the entire block, and would pose a security risk to the other
properties if found on the sold property.
Houses and hotels (building permits) may be sold back to the Bank for half
the money paid for them. If not all properties are to be sold (just some to
make up some cash), then they must be sold off evenly (all hotels broken down
to four houses before any houses are sold, etc). Hotels may be sold in blocks
(all the cash at once) or broken down slowly.
Any unimproved property may be Mortgaged to the Bank for its listed
Mortgage value. However, the Bank's Chair automatically Subverts the
properties and places his counters on them. The properties remain subverted to
whoever is Chair of the Bank until they are unmortgaged, at which point they
automatically revert to the owner. Before an improved property (one with
houses etc) can be mortgaged, the buildings must be sold off (see above).
In order to lift the mortgage, the owner must pay the Bank (not the Chair,
unless there is a separate Banker player) the amount of the mortgage plus 10%
interest. Only when all properties in a monopoly are unmortgaged may buildings
be bought again, at full price.
The player who mortgages his property does not collect Rent on it, in
addition to it being Subverted. If someone tries to Takeover the property, the
Bank Chair will put up enough money to automatically block it (since it is
under his control while mortgaged). The player who owns the mortgaged property
may also sell it, and the buyer must pay off the mortgage plus 10% interest.
If he waits to pay the mortgage, he must pay an additional 10% interest to the
The obvious benefit here of being the Chair of the Bank Board is that you
retain control of properties under mortgage, even though you don't collect the
Rent, and you can prevent Takeovers. However, should you go to Jail or
otherwise lose the Chair, all mortgaged properties are now controlled by the
new Chair (an eloquent argument against mortgaging all your properties as
proof against Takeover).
If there is a Banker Player, he can win by collecting enough properties
Any time after the first run around the board, any player with no
properties and no money mysteriously disappears and is out of the game.
If he is in debt from mortgages that exceeds his cash, and all his properties
are mortgaged, he is considered to be without properties or cash. In this
case, the Bank auctions off all mortgaged properties, or the Chair of the Bank
has the option of buying off the mortgage personally. If the Chair of the Bank
is the one to go bankrupt, he is replaced and leaves the game.
If the player owes more money to another player than he has in assets, the
other player may foreclose and take all properties, as well as the life of the
broke faction leader. In Illuminopoly players may make any loans or secret
deals they wish.
Of course, this *is* an Illuminati game, and if you can cheat well, do it.
The new setting of the game will eliminate some of the old cheats (like palming
organization cards) but create new ones (like shifting 'subverted' markers
around or dipping into the bank for interest free loans). Getting caught lands
the player's marker in Jail, and he cannot get out with a Political Favor,
since he was caught red-handed. Even the Dog can go to Jail in this way.
Artillery Piece Rules (Optional)
The artillery piece has special rules for just about everything. Firstly,
it cannot own property, and is exempt from the loss rule above. When it lands
on a property, it can issue a ransom demand or attempt to destroy the property.
If a ransom is issued, the player who owns the property decides whether to pay
it on his turn, and the terrorist's turn is over. The next time it becomes the
Terrorist's turn, whether or not the ransom is paid, he must decide if he wants
to blow up the property. Of course, taking ransoms and then blowing up the
property is a quick way to not get ransoms paid any more. This destruction
attempt costs just as much as a normal attempt, except the money is paid for
breaking security or beefing it up. Players owning properties of the same
color as the threatened one may help defend against the attempt by adding
money, since if the destruction is successful, all properties of that color are
damaged and don't pay rent next turn or count for victory. See below for other
effects of destruction.
If the Terrorist decides not to issue a ransom, he rolls as subversion
instead, since no one will be ready for him. This will often be done against
unclaimed properties or in return for favors from opponents of the victim-to-
If the Terrorist lands on an unclaimed property and wishes to issue a
ransom, all players may join in paying it, since they may wish to buy the
property someday. In this case, the ransom is paid at the end of the turn by a
pool the other players pay into.
If the destruction attempt fails, the Terrorist's piece goes to Jail, and
no political favors can get it out. After the fourth such jailing, the
captured men turn state's evidence on the head of the ring, and the player is
out of the game. As a result, the Terrorist player may wish to do nothing when
landing on a space, rather than risk a bombing that will fail or risk
credibility by asking a ransom that won't be paid (out of condfidence that the
building can be protected).
If a normal property is destroyed by the Terrorist, it is rubble. The
owner, if any, must first pay half the value of the property to clean up and
pay off victims. Then he must rebuild as per the normal rules, but without
needing to rezone. The cleanup may be performed on the owner's next turn. If
the property is unowned, buying it costs 1.5 times as much as base, since it
must be cleaned up first, then rebuilt. Destroyed properties yield no rent,
cannot be holding companies, and don't count as anything for victory
conditions. However, they still must be attached somewhere to the owner's web
of cards. If he chooses, the owner of a destroyed property may simply abandon
it, sell it back to the bank for mortgage value (value of the land) on his next
turn instead of moving.
If a utility is attacked by the Terrorist, the entire utility is not
destroyed, rather service is disrupted. A utility destroyed by the Terrorist
will not give rent or count toward victory for d6 turns, while it is repaired.
Similarly, the entire Railroad is not destroyed, but the line is unprofitable
for d6 turns after the explosion.
If the Terrorist attacks a property currently 'destroyed' by rezoning, he
attacks as if it were full value, since security at malls is just as tight as
that at apartment buidlings.
The Terrorist wins if he destroys at least one property of each color over
the course of the game, spreading his terror to every neighborhood in the city.
He has to hit every color because he can destroy unclaimed properties so easily
early in the game.
Other Optional Rules
Feel free to rename properties for a different feel, such as naming them
after properties in your home town. Of course, an interesting variation can be
played with those State U. sets available in most college towns. New Chance
and Community Chest cards can spice up the game, as well as rules for the
factions represented by new pieces included in some games (like the boat I've
heard of). Making a special board can enhance the feel of the game, but is not
necessary...the idea of these rules is that they allow you to recycle that old
game in your closet at home into something fun and subversive. Maybe tape an
eye in the pyramid to the board. Whatever trips your trigger. Have fnord fun.
Game by Dave Van Domelen of Ohio, USA
firstname.lastname@example.org July 19, 1993
The Game Cabinet
- Ken Tidwell