In order to increase the number of characters and randomization, yet not to decrease the probability of assassinating or thieving by too much, this variant works wonders for a 2-player game.
Separate the base-set characters and the Artist (#9) from the expansion pack (The Dark City) into a facedown pile, known as the active deck.
Set aside the starred characters from the expansion pack (except the Queen #9, which is only used for games with 5 players or more) into another facedown pile, known as the passive deck.
*The Artist is permanently in the active deck for the rest of the game.
How does it work?
ALL standard rules for a 2-player game apply, except for the following:
1. At the start of a round, randomly draw 3 characters from the passive deck and show it to both players. Then, put it facedown into the active deck.
2. The player with the 'crown' will shuffle the active deck and remove 2 cards facedown. From the remaining 10 cards, s/he chooses one character, then passes the deck to next player.
3. The next player then chooses one character, removes 2 cards facedown, and passes the remaining 6 cards to the next player.
4. The next player then chooses one character, removes 2 cards facedown, and passes the remaining 3 cards to the next player.
5. Finally, the next player chooses one character and removes 2 cards facedown.
6. The player with the 'crown' calls out the character to play, e.g. '#1', '#2', ..., until '#9'.
*If there are two characters that share the same number are called, then the character without the 'star' on its card would play first.
7. After the end of the round, the 3 starred characters from the active deck is removed and shuffled into the passive deck.
*Remember to retain the Artist in the active deck.
8. The next round repeats with 3 random characters drawn from the passive deck and shuffled into the active deck.
*Don't forget to show both players the 3 random characters.
The probability of sniping of thieving is 33% (1 out of 3 characters), which is about the same for a normal 4-player game. A normal 2-player game has a probability of 50% (1 out of 2 characters).
With the 3 different random characters added into the active deck each round, this changes the strategy from round to round and intensifying the game.
This variant also ensures that the number of cards reduced from the character deck is uniform (3 per player).
Alternatively, the Artist may not be permanent in the active deck. Thus, 4 random characters are drawn from the passive deck, instead of 3.