Plan 28

I want to make INWO simpler, quicker, more fun and more accessible. That way I might get to play INWO more often. So Plan 28 is a compilation of, in my opinion, the best of the house rules and variants that meet those goals.

(In case you're wondering where the name comes from: Plan 28)

Currently Plan 28 consists of the following variants:

Additionally, Plan 28 ignores all those Pointless INWO Rules.

I've also created a solo version: Solo 28.


  • Choose an Illuminati Deck (30 cards, 1 Illuminati, 9 groups, 20 plots)
  • Separate out piles of cards for the Uncontrolled Deck and In Media Res decks:
  • Resources
    • Groups with Power 5+
    • Groups with Power 3-4
    • Groups with Power 0-2
    • NWOs in each colour (red, blue, yellow)
  • Prepare the Uncontrolled Deck
    • Prepare the Uncontrolled Deck using sets of cards. Each set comprises:
      • 2 NWOs
      • 1 Resource
      • 1 group of Power 5+
      • 1 group of Power 3-4
      • 1 group of Power 0-2
    • The number of sets used in the Uncontrolled Deck is equal to one more than the number of players. (So use 3 sets, a total of 18 cards, for two players.)
    • Shuffle the uncontrolled deck before play.
    • Sets of cards are random (or could be themed - Space, Communist, etc)
  • Prepare the In Media Res deck
    • For each player, 4 cards consisting of:
      • 1 Resource
      • 1 group of Power 3-4
      • 2 groups of Power 0-2

Starting play

  • Reveal Illuminati
  • Draw 3 plot cards
  • Choose and reveal Starting Group
  • Choose In Media Res groups
    • Each player takes four cards (1 resource, 1 P3-4 group, 2 P0-2 groups)
    • Each player chooses two cards and discards the others
    • In Media Res cards are put face up.
    • Choose starting player
    • Starting player chooses first, then player #2 and so on.
    • When everyone has one card, the order is reversed. (So the starting player gets the first group and the last.)
  • Draw 3 group cards
  • You are now ready to begin.

Turn order

Phase 1: Planning - During this phase all players do the following (in this order)

  • Draw one plot card
  • Draw one group card
  • From the Uncontrolled Deck draw one card for each player and one extra card. Place groups and resources into the uncontrolled area and NWOs into play.
  • Place action tokens on groups and resources

Phase 2: World Domination - Starting with the new starting player, each person does one "active" move or knocks. Then the next player makes an "active" move or knocks. If each player knocks consecutively, then the WD phase is over.

If a player knocks, they can still do a move later in the turn (unless everyone has knocked, in which case the turn is over).

Phase 3: End of Turn - Do the following in this order:

  • Spend actions to draw plots
  • Everyone discards down to 5 cards
  • Bermuda Triangle reorganises
  • Effects that last until end of turn end.
  • The only cards that may be played are those that say End of Turn. Review this - if it doesn’t matter what order things take place in, then it doesn’t matter
  • The next player then becomes the new starting player.

Phase 4 (Turn 4 only): Victory

  • Determine victory points and the winner

Active Moves

  • Making an automatic takeover of a group in hand or in the uncontrolled area
  • Making an attack on a group in the uncontrolled area
  • Playing a plot card that initiates something
  • Using an ability that initiates something
  • Moving a group (including to another player)
  • Creating or moving a link
  • Spending an Illuminati action token to take over a resource
  • Spending an Illuminati action token to buy a Group card
  • Buying Plot cards with action tokens
  • Giving a Plot card to another player
  • Returning a Plot card to your deck (or discarding one)
  • Making a trade with another player
  • Spending an action token to draw the top card of the uncontrolled deck and put it into play
  • Playing a duplicate group or resource card to add or remove an action token from that group or resource in play

Reactive moves

  • Changing the result of the dice roll
  • Cards or abilities that react to other moves - such as Crop Circles

Cards and abilities may only be played during the World Domination Phase unless they specifically say that they can be played during other phases, or are reactive moves.


#1 Declare Attack (invoke Privilege)

#2 Calculate Strength of Attack

Strength of the attack is equal to the Power of the Attack minus the Defence.

The Power of the Attack is the power of the attacking group plus:

  • +4 for each matching alignment (except Fanatic)
  • -4 for each opposite alignment
  • Any direct attack bonus
  • Any “any attempt” bonuses
  • Any +10 card played to boost the attacker’s power
  • Any other plots played with an attack
  • Any other bonuses

The Defence is the defending group’s Resistance plus +5 if the group is Secret.

#3 Aid and interference

Starting with the attacker, everyone may do one move:

  • Play “any time” plot cards or those that say they can be used during an attack (but not NWOs or instant attacks)
  • Aid the attack or the defence, which can only be done by Groups:
  • that have Global power
  • that are the target’s puppet or master
  • that have an alignment in common with
  • the target, except Fanatic
  • Play an agents card for the attack (+10) or defence (-10)

#4 Roll dice

#5 Results of Attack

Attacks to Destroy

As Attacks to Control, except opposite alignments give bonuses to attack (not defend – defence is as attacks to control)


Cards or abilities take effect in the order they are played. A card or ability takes effect before the next one can be played. The exceptions are:

  • Reactive cards and abilities must take place before the next active move.
  • Cards or abilities that change a die-roll must be played immediately after the roll. They must also be played before other reactive cards or abilities. (If several players are all reacting to the same play, then attempts to manipulate rolls take priority over any other kind of play, since any new play would render the manipulation too late.)

If two cards really are played simultaneously (two players want to steal the same card with Stealing the Plans), then roll the dice to decide who plays first.

Determining victory

Victory points are determined by totalling your victory point total as follows:

  • One point for each group in your power structure.
  • Up to three bonus points for any groups that count double towards the basic goal (eg, Network, Discordia, etc)
  • Three bonus points if you have achieved your Illuminated goal (Bermuda, Bavaria, etc)
  • Up to three bonus points for Hermes, Cthulhu or SubGenius

Additionally, for each goal or rival Illuminati card card you have in hand:

  • Three bonus points if you achieved that goal card.
  • Up to three bonus points for any groups that count double towards the basic goal (Criminal Overlords etc).
  • As many bonus points you would have received if you had been playing that rival Illuminati.

Additionally, up to three points if you have achieved the conditions set by a Purple NWO.

If there is a tie, the Illuminati with the most groups wins. If there is still a tie, the Illuminati with the greatest overall power wins. If there is still a tie, the victory is shared.


Plan 28 includes some keywords (because I have defaced my cards…).

Reload: Alignment/Attribute: [A] Discard two undrawn Plot cards to place an Action token on up to two groups of with the appropriate alignment or attribute. This card may not benefit a group that already has any tokens, or a group that is suffering from any effect that prevents it from getting Action tokens. (If you can't discard the Plot cards (because you have no cards left in your plot deck then you can't play this card.)


Each Illuminati deck consists of 30 cards:

  • One Illuminati
  • Nine Groups
  • 20 Plot cards

In general no more than two copies of any plot card can be included in a deck. Additionally, only one copy of cards on the Restricted list can be included - and only one card in total from the Ultra Restricted list.

Restricted (only one copy per deck):

  • Savings and Loan Scam
  • Comet Hail Bob

Ultra Restricted (one one card from this list permitted per deck)

  • The Big Prawn
  • Cyborg Soldiers
  • Voodoo Economics
  • Messiah

Banned cards: Plan 28 bans all the cards that are banned by the various variants, and also:

  • Good Polls - because we like to encourage attacks on each other and these discourage that.
  • Power Grab - doesn’t work in simultaneous play without significant errata.
  • Most Zaps - because they discourage attacks, and we like attacks.

Deckbuilding Comment: Deck size is restricted mainly because I have only a limited set of cards, and I want to build several “permanent” decks that are reasonably balanced that I can just pick from. There’s no reason why you couldn’t use normal deckbuilding rules.

The reason for limiting the number of groups in a deck is to encourage players to utilise the uncontrolled area. With only 9 groups, you're going to need more groups to win.

The reason for the Restricted and Ultra Restricted lists is similar - I have a single set of cards. Restricted cards tend to be those that I try to cram into every deck - it’s a rare deck that I won’t include Savings and Loan Scam, for example. The Ultra Restricted cards are the really swingy cards, the ones that can be unbalancing if you have too many in a single deck.

Plan 28 rulebook

In due course, I’d quite like to write a full Plan 28 rulebook, but at the moment I think this is enough to be going on with.


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