The answers to common (and not-so-common) questions about playing the game. If there’s something not included then email firstname.lastname@example.org with your query. We can’t promise to have an answer to you before the end of your game, but it should be there before the end of someone else’s.
Q: When can you play a nomination card (a job card)?
A: Only in your turn, or as a result of someone playing the Call for nominations card.
Q: When can you play an excuse card?
A: Only when someone has tried to nominate you for a position (played a job card on you), or in response to a counter or to someone playing “Have you considered the worthy Friend to my left?”, “Have you considered the worthy Friend to my right?” or “Have you considered this role, Friend?” so that the nomination passes to you. You cannot play an excuse card in your turn.
Q: When can you play a counter card?
A: Any time anyone plays a feeble excuse. This can be during your turn or during someone else’s turn.
Q: When can you play a special card?
A: Only in your turn.
Q: The special cards are confusing – can you explain how they work?
A: Each one is different and you need to read the information carefully. Many players find that they only get to grips with these cards on their second or subsequent game. Learning to use the special cards effectively is one of the joys of becoming skilled at the game! Details of many of the individual cards are elsewhere in this FAQ.
Q: Can the card “But if you don’t do it, we’ll have to appoint Brian!” be used on anyone? I can’t find a Brian player!
A: It can be used on anyone. There is no Brian player.
Q: If you play the card “I feel Brian is a very strong name”, do you have to play it on someone called Brian?
A: No, it can be used on anyone.
Q: Does the card “Have we considered Brian for this role?” have to be used on a Brian player?
A: No, it can be used on anyone. There is no Brian player.
Q: Does the card “Can you read Brian’s handwriting?” have to be used to remove nominations made by a particular player?
A: No, it removes any two nominations of your choice, regardless of who made them.
Q: Who is Brian anyway?
A: Brian is the presence looming over the Meeting, the Friend in the background, the person who gets blamed for everything. And an amusing name.
Q: Can you use an excuse card to remove a nomination from the agenda?
A: No. Excuses can only be used when a card is first played. To remove a nomination from the agenda, you need to find the correct special card.
Q: With “That was not in right ordering, Friend”, is it the most recent appointment or the most recent appointment of mine that is removed?
A: It is the most recent appointment made, whether or not it was you.
Q: If you play “That was not in right ordering, Friend” after “Hope so!” has been played, which appointment is undone?
A: It is the last appointment in the agenda, the one at the back.
Q: If someone has just lost the game by getting too many points, what happens if you play “That was not in right ordering, Friend”?
A: Nothing. You cannot play “That was not in right ordering, Friend” in that circumstance, because the appointment cannot be undone. (Remember that the person, upon resigning, has already stopped doing the job.)
Q: With “I feel called to ‘minister’”, can you attach any name to the nominations?
A: You can only rearrange the names already in the agenda. You can’t add in names of new Friends to do the jobs, you can’t move around the nominations themselves (the job cards) and you can’t end up with someone nominated for a different number of jobs than before the card was played. Only the name cards already on the agenda should be moving.
Q: When someone nominates you as part of the Call for nominations card, can you play excuses?
A: Yes. These nominations are just like normal.
Q: When can you play the “I just can’t cope with any more jobs” card?
A: When you have been appointed to three or more jobs. This means they are in front of you. Having them on the agenda of the business meeting does not count.
Q: Does “Have you filled out a yellow form yet?” count as one of the three jobs you need to play “I just can’t cope with any more jobs”?
Q: Does “Have you filled out a yellow form yet?” count towards the 10 points required to play “If I have to do anything else, I’ll quit!”?
Q: Is there any way to get rid of “Have you filled out a yellow form yet?” once it’s been played on you?
A: Become overloaded and quit. Otherwise, no.
Q: When you play “I’m searching for a spiritual direction”, can you take any card from the discard pile?
A: No. Only a job card is allowed. If there are no job cards in the discard pile, then bad luck!
Q: How does Urgent nomination work?
A: The urgent nomination works exactly like a normal nomination (including excuses and counters can be played) except that if successful it goes to the top, not the bottom, of the agenda. You must have a job card to play alongside Urgent nomination.
Q: Can you play excuses when someone uses Urgent nomination?
A: Yes you can. The urgent nomination works exactly like a normal nomination except that if successful it goes to the top, not the bottom, of the agenda.
Q: If a business meeting is stopped/adjourned as a result of playing “Good God, it’s four o’clock!”, when does it start again?
A: When there are five or more jobs on the agenda, as normal. If there are already five or more jobs on the agenda, it will restart as soon as a new job is added to the agenda.
Q: When playing “Have we considered Brian for this role?”, can you nominate yourself?
Q: When playing a job card, can you play it on yourself?
Q: When playing a job card on yourself, can you use excuses against your own job?
Q: Can you play counters against excuses you have yourself played?
Q: If there are two appointments being made each turn (as a result of “Friends, it’s getting late…” being played) and the business meeting is then adjourned using “Good God, it’s four o’clock!” while there are still items on the agenda, when the meeting restarts are two appointments still made each turn?
Q: If you get to five jobs on the agenda on someone’s first move (as a result of successfully nominating someone), then the number of jobs is reduced on their second turn (for example, by playing “Can you read Brian’s handwriting?”), does the business meeting still start?
A: Yes. The only time it wouldn’t is if all the jobs on the agenda are removed (by playing Nominations Committee lose their notes).
Q: Is it important whether the job card or the name of the nominated Friend is on top when putting cards on the agenda?
A: You should put the job card on top, with the bottom of the person’s name sticking out at the bottom. This means that players can see how stressful each job is, which is important when deciding which special cards to play.