The Last Banquet
Ah, banquets. Food, fun, music, dancing, endlessly complex seating arrangements, etiquette, and outfits! Why, anyone who’s anyone simply must have the latest fashions for the King’s banquet. From the lowliest servant to the queen herself, from the bishop to the ghost – wait a moment, who invited the ghost? Oh, never mind! So what if there are assassins about, an inheritance yet to be awarded, and trade negotiations to finalize? This shall be the grandest banquet of all time! It might even be the last.
The Last Banquet is an epic, large group game for six to twenty-five players. Each player takes on the role of a member of the Royal Court, from the King himself, to the pious abbot, ghostly White Maiden, and courtly baron. Acting out their respective roles, players must use the actions allowed to them to try and accomplish their teams' agendas. However, you must be judicious in your actions, as the King is watching closely for signs of disloyalty–and not everyone at the banquet table is on your side. Court the King’s favor, and work to enact your own cunning machinations to further your own ends.
Featuring multiple scenarios of intrigue, teamwork, roleplaying, and bluffing, The Last Banquet will have you and your friends cleverly navigating the intricacies of the royal court in hopes of securing your team’s objective.
Six Unique Scenarios
The Last Banquet features six different scenarios designed to support varied player counts. Assassinate the King before your rival faction in The Last Banquet scenario by ending a round with your faction’s assassin seated next to the King. In The White Maiden’s Lament scenario, the ghostly White Maiden and her faction try to slay the queen, while the queen’s faction attempts to ward off the eerie specter. Retrieve the keys while avoiding the nefarious duke and rescue the princess in The Missing Princess scenario.
The Last Banquet is great for large gaming groups and parties, and each of its scenarios can accommodate a wide range of player counts. It’s like finding six different games in one box!
Welcome to the Feast
At the beginning of the game, each player receives a character card. Character cards provide background information about each character to assist in roleplaying, along with information such as Social Status, character Demeanor, and character gender, which help determine your motivations throughout the game. Each card also describes the actions available to your character during a round of play.
Rich with social intrigue, The Last Banquet is an immersive, narrative, and social experience, so getting into the mindset of your character is important. Each character card in the game provides warm or snide remarks to use as a greeting to the group, helping you step into your role.
After character cards are distributed, most scenarios require players to split up into factions, or teams. The factions meet separately to scheme for the coming banquet. For example, in i scenario, each faction secretly chooses an assassin. The objective of each faction is to get its assassin seated next to the King by the end of the turn. To achieve this objective, you’ll need to strategize with the members of your faction, and come up with a plan to thwart the devious maneuverings of your opponents. Will you attempt to mislead your opponents with outlandish behavior during dinner, while your assassin slyly takes a seat next to the King? Perhaps you’ll use your courtly graces to distract the opposition from your true motives. There’s plenty of room for trickery in the royal court!
After determining roles and meeting with their factions, players then take their places around the banquet table according to the rules of the scenario. You’ll want to get your faction in the most advantageous position possible to start the game.
The Host (often the King) begins the game holding the Scepter, which serves as the active player marker.
Navigating the Royal Court
The Last Banquet is played over a series of rounds, each consisting of two phases: the turn phase, and the objective phase. At the beginning of each turn phase, all players begin in the standing position. The Host determines which direction the scepter will be passed for the remainder of the round by passing it to the first player on his left or right.
Only standing players can receive the scepter, or perform actions. Once a player has taken his turn, or is forced to sit down due to a game effect, he can no longer take a turn.
When a standing player receives the scepter, he becomes the active player, and can then perform an action from his character card, or pass. After taking his turn (even if he passes), he gives the scepter to the next player and sits down.
A Night of Friendly Manipulation
As the banquet progresses, dinner conversation may take unusual turns, or certain dining companions may prove to be more interesting than others. You’ll use your actions to move about the dining room, always working toward the goal of your faction.
Actions are also used to affect other members of the court, often by rearranging them at the table. Actions can also protect certain people from effects of an action, or change the direction in which the scepter moves. Most character cards have four actions: a basic action, actions numbered one and two, and a favor.
On your turn, simply select an action and read the text aloud. Then, follow the instructions. Some actions are considered beneath the more important members of the court. These are denoted with the symbol to the right and do not affect characters with the Royalty Social Status.
Favor actions require the consent of a patron - an esteemed member of the court, often the King. To perform a favor action on your turn, you must request a favor of the scenario’s patron. If the patron accepts, you may then resolve your favor. If the patron declines, your turn ends and you must pass the scepter and sit down.
Throughout the course of the game, players will switch seats at the table, sometimes occupying the same space as other members of the court. Common actions include forcing players of your choice to switch places, switching places with other players, or moving adjacent to a player of your choice. Of course, as seasoned noble, versed in the politics of the court, you’ll want to camouflage your motivation even as you carefully scrutinize the behavior of your fellow guests.
A Means to an End
While you hobnob with the other members of the court, and enjoy the sumptuous feast, you must never forget that your goal is to use your given actions, and the help of your faction, to cleverly maneuver other players and yourself into a position to accomplish your faction’s objective. For example, when playing The Last Banquet scenario, as discussed above, you want to maneuver your faction’s assassin next to King, while thwarting the attempts of your rival faction to do the same. Of course, this must be done with proper etiquette, as befitting a member of the royal court. You wouldn’t want to draw the suspicion of your host, after all!
When the last standing player takes his seat, the objective phase begins. During the objective phase, each faction checks to see if it has achieved its objectives. If a faction achieves its objectives, all players in that faction win the game!
For example, in The Last Banquet scenario, If your assassin is seated next to the King at the end of the turn phase, your faction wins!
If no faction has achieved victory, the scepter passes to the Host. As the next course is brought to the table, the next round begins!
Come One, Come All to The Last Banquet
Arrange your coaches, don your best finery, and make your way to the King’s court for the feast of a lifetime. Gossip abounds, treachery runs rampant, and the food is divine! The Last Banquet is the perfect place to test your cunning, forge new alliances, and rub elbows with people from all walks of life. Mingle with the land’s most revered citizens, and keep your wits about you. The Last Banquet is the social event of the season – you don’t want to miss out!
30 - 90 minutes
6 - 25 players
The copyrightable portions of The Last Banquet are © 2014 Fantasy Flight Publishing, Inc. The Last Banquet and Fantasy Flight Supply are trademarks of Fantasy Flight Publishing, Inc. Published under license from GameHeads GmbH.