[Artemisia] Pope Joan - Rules Correction

Dame Rachel (Thaya Shaeffer) damethaya at yahoo.com
Thu Dec 11 07:48:21 CST 2003

Greetings Good Cousins All,

At the recently past “Poacher’s Feast” event I did teach many good gentles the period card game of “Pope Joan.”  I have come to discover that I was mistaken in one of the rules I did impart.  


Pardon the bandwidth if this is not of relevance to you, as the folks in attendance were from far and wide and I did not have all of their e-scribe contacts.  


Once you discard a King, your turn is up and the player to your left then gains control of the play regardless of who it was who last played.  It is not the previous person who was last able to play after all.  Thus the fine strategy of laying all your Kings first or using it as a tool to hold control of play, while cleaver, is no longer correct or accurate to the rules.  The idea being that to clear your hand, if it includes Kings, you must be careful in the discarding of them as it will end you turn and give control to another and in order to keep control as long as possible.  


Also, while it was normally true that each play puts in coins or fees sufficient to fill the pots for each round, and must also pay half the winnings to the winner of each round, this did cause it to be a very costly game.  There was also a variation whereby tokens such as polished stones were used to fill the board, with a coin being paid by each player to the winner of each hand.  There was often other gambling or side bets made towards the outcome of the hand as well.  Sometimes, there was a buy in for the tokens such as 20 for a shilling or what have you.  (Polished rocks work well for this, and are available at most craft stores.  Try for styles which look like polished rocks or minerals such as those of earth toned colors).  It would be the tokens then that were used to fill the playing pots, with the winners of each round earning coins.  Then after a set time of play, or when a player went to "cash out" or change with another, he or she could then be paid back for their
 accumulated tokens - similar to pocker chips.  The idea being that in that variation the tokens were valued at say a mundane penny to buy into the game, while the rounds were valued at say a mundane dollar to actually gain some money for winning.  This was a Tavern game after all.  Hope that sort of makes sense to all of you.


Should any of you wish more information on Pope Joan or other period card games and table games, feel free to drop me a private missive at damethaya (at) yahoo (dot) com (Thaya being my mundane first name).


Dame Rachel  

Dame Rachel Ravenlock, OP 
mka: Thaya G. Shaeffer
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“I know that God only gives me 
as much as I can handle, 
I simply never knew 
He thought so highly of my abilities.”  
- Mother Theresa
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