Your cat likes me more
In brightest day / In blackest night / No evil shall escape my sight / Let those who worship evil's might / Beware my power--Green Lantern's light!
The empire is in chaos. As rebels work to overthrow the Emperor, his bastard son uses the chaos to make his own play for the throne.
At the beginning of the game, assign every player a role secretly and randomly:
For 3 players, use the Emperor, Rebel, and Pretender. For every two additional players, add a guard and a rebel. If there are an even number of players, add one more rebel.
The Emperor reveals his identity at the beginning of the game and starts with 10 additional authority. He will take the first turn, with a full hand.
Whenever you play a card that allows you to gain authority, you may have any other player of your choice gain that authority instead.
Whenever someone is killed, they reveal their role. If the killed person was a Rebel, the killer gets to a collect a bounty by searching through the killed guard's deck and taking one card of his choice. If the Emperor kills a guard, he draws two fewer cards at the end of his turn.
The game ends when the Emperor dies or when all the Rebels and the Pretender are dead.
If the Emperor dies and the only player left is the Pretender, the Pretender wins. Otherwise, all the Rebels win (even the dead ones).
If all the Rebels and the Pretender are dead, the Emperor and the Guards win (even the dead ones).
This has some potential, and hidden roles can surely add fun to a team game.
I think without range as a factor to slow the rebels (as Bang! does to slow the outlaws), there's really nothing stopping them from piling on the emperor every single turn for a quick victory. They know who the emperor is, so why would they target anyone else? Authority gainers wouldn't be able to keep up with the damage.
Now, if there was a rule to allow bases to be freely given to the Emperor, that might be interesting, but I'd say bases had to discard to the originator's discard pile, otherwise the Emp would be putting out 5 bases every turn before long and doing nothing else.
Another balancing element may be to give the Emperor a 6-sized card hand instead of 5.
In Bang!, the Sheriff starts with 5 life, with a max of 5 life. This allows him to have a 5 card hand, and have 7 cards at the beginning of each turn -- while all other players have a maximum 4/6-card hard. This balancing might defray a bit of the damage focus on the Emperor.
Is the penalty for killing the Deputy (2 fewer cards) a one-time penalty, or a permanent penalty for the rest of the game?
I would actually love to see Bang!-style Character ability cards added to the game, with possible racial allegiances that could auto-trigger ally abilities.