Crowning a King

Crowning a King is a roleplaying short for four players. In order to play you will need a standard deck of playing cards with the jokers removed.

There are four roles in this short. The roles are the crown prince, his mother, his sister, and the viceroy. Start by divvying the four roles amongst yourselves. This short is divided into three primary events. Each event has requirements that must be fulfilled before the group can move on to a new event. Requirements are fulfilled only through playing scenes.

Before you begin with each event each player should discard any cards that they still have and draw five new cards. You will use the cards during scenes when your character and another character are in opposition. You will not gain more cards, until the beginning of a new event.

Playing Scenes

Scenes can focus on anything that you want. While framing a scene keep in mind the requirements of the event. Also note who has cards left in their hands.


When you are in a scene and you want your character to oppose another. Announce your challenge to the group. Pick a card from your hand to use to complete your challenge. Both suit and value matter during the resolution. Suit determines your character’s approach to the conflict. Value will decide if your character succeeds.

If your character is challenged, you can either choose a card from your hand as your character’s answer to the challenge, or choose to do nothing. If you choose to do nothing, your character will lose the challenge unless another character steps in to help. Any other character can help by playing a card for the challenged. If you play a card for another player, then your character steps in and faces the challenge, entering the scene if needed.

Playing a club means that your character uses violence. Playing a spade means that your character uses lies. Playing a heart means that your character uses love. Playing a diamond means that your character uses money.

Compare the values of the cards, the character with the higher value wins. Ties always resolve in the challenged character’s favor. Work together to narrate the outcome of the challenge.

The Events

The first event is the death of the old king. This event ends when all characters have been informed of the old king’s death. In addition at least one character has to break down in tears before the event can end.

The second event is the preparation of the prince. The preparation occurs the night before the coronation. The preparation involves prayer and fasting. Although visitors aren’t allowed, it isn’t impossible. This event ends when at least one character has gained a grudge against another, and when the night of fasting and prayer ends.

The third and final event is the coronation itself. This event ends when the prince is crowned.


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