Kickstarter Incoming: Sultan’s Library

Disclaimer: This is a Kickstarter Incoming post.  That means the game does not exist in final form yet.  Therefore, any comments on design or components will only reflect what I have seen at the time this is written.

Company: Photon Games
Funding Status:
Current Status: “artwork about 50% finished” — from publisher
Launch Date: 02 June 2015
 Publication Date if Funded: January 2016

Today’s Kickstarter Incoming is SULTAN’S LIBRARY, a (mostly) card game design by Ryno Laurens. Players assume the role of an Envoy of the Sultan, sent out by their bibliophile employer to gather certain rare books and return them to his Library. Each envoy (see below) has a special action that is printed on their card. These special actions can be used during Action Rounds during the player’s turn.

Sultan’s library Envoys (From the PNP, may not be final images)

Each turn, a player has two actions for exploring the world and looking for books. Players need to pick up any books they find and bring them back to the Sultan’s Library for scoring. Once any Envoy has deposited 3 books, the remaining players finish out the round.

A turn (which  I think is the same thing as a round, I’m not sure) starts with players drawing 2 cards.  They then take two actions from this list:

  1. Explore the Area: ​You can pay the Explore cost of the Location you are in to look for a Book in that area. Flip over the top card of the Location Deck. If it is a Book, put it in your Location. If its a Location Card, you Travel to that Location. Discard your old Location Card.
  2. Pick Up a Book:​ When you are in the same Location as a Book, you can pick it up. When you pick up a Book, your Character is Holding that Book until you can Deposit it. You can only Hold 2 Books at once.
  3. Deposit a Book:​When you are in the Sultan’s Library, you can Deposit a Book that you are Holding.
  4. Play an Action Card:​You can play any Action Card that you have in your hand.
  5. Perform your Special Action:​You can perform your Envoy’s Special Action as noted on their Character Card.
  6. Travel to a Location:​You can move to any face­up Location by paying 2 more Explore points than is shown on that card. Discard your old Location Card.  Note: Location Cards have special powers that may limit player’s actions (see below).
  7. Scrounge: ​You may spend 2 Actions to draw 1 Card from the Action Deck.

A Location Card (from PNP materials, may not be final)

The turn/round ends when the player scores by placing books in the library.  The player also discards his hand down to 5 cards at this time.

Sample book cards from the PNP materials (may not be final)

I am not clear after reading the rules how the game progresses around the table, or how cards are played against other players, although the text on the card suggests what to do, but not really how.. play it like an interrupt?  Can the target player defend?

Journey Cards (may not be final)

I’m sure that will be clarified somewhere– again, I’m drawing conclusions from a vague description, some youtube videos and the PNP rule book, so I’m not clear on the inter-player dynamics of Sultan’s Library


I like the Arabian Knights style theme; it seems to fit the mechanics reasonably well.  The artwork (what is accomplished so far) is pretty well executed.  I think they are going for “Whimsical” here, and for the most part they achieve it.  The mechanics seem reasonable enough, but I’ve never played it, so I’m not entirely sure– there are elements of interaction that seem missing from the rulebook.  I liked the way the location cards added to the game narrative.    There’s potential here, I sense it.


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