At its heart is a fairly simple mechanic. Each turn you collect resources based on your house and other resources. These resources can then be used to solve one of the problems that besets the empire, each of which requires a certain combination of resources. If you solve the problem, you receive favor with the Lord Ruler. If you and your fellow players fail to solve the problem, someone will have to suffer the consequences - though that may not necessarily be you!
If you lack the necessary resources to solve any of the problems, you can also ask your fellow players for help. And that's where the game gets most interesting, as almost anything goes when it comes to negotiation. One player might ask for part of the rewards you'll receive, or a promise not to target them with an upcoming negative event, or even just make you go get them something out of the fridge! The only catch is that whatever terms you agree to, you must keep up your side of the bargain.
In addition to the normal resources, you also receive Personality Cards that can provide additional resources, redirect a negative effect, cancel another player's card, or secretly award you favor at the end of the game. These cards provide one of the best ways to interfere with your fellow players, keeping them from getting too far ahead.
So what happens if everyone decided to gang up on you, or you simply are too far behind to have any hope of winning? Simple - you join the rebellion! Rather than trying to solve the problems, you instead try to push as many of them through as possible, allowing the unrest to grow to the point where it ends the game prematurely. And should that happen, the player with the least favor, rather than the most, wins the game.
The game successful Kickstarted about a month ago, but you can still get in as a late backer.
Intrigued? Watch the video below, then go support this great game! I can't wait until next April to start playing this with my game group...