In this strange world where people love to follow Hermits home, an added complication is the Hermits' tendency to get lost and wander into the wrong house.
At the start of a round, each player is secretly assigned to be a particular personality, which they have to bring home by collecting the Hermit in a trick. At the end of the round, if your Hermit has ended up in the wrong house, the owner of the house will most likely give you their most annoying follower, thus increasing your points.
Like the two player variant, this adds some hidden information to the game, and can make low-point cards potentially valuable.
To start, create a second 'identity deck,' consisting of a number of cards equal to the number of players plus three. This deck should be made up of the lowest point Personality Cards possible, but not the ones from the original deck. You'll either need to use a second Decktet deck, or just write the names of the personalities on bits of paper that can be shuffled and handed out.
List of personalities from lowest to highest:
2 the Author
3 the Painter
3 the Savage
4 the Sailor
5 the Soldier
6 the Lunatic
6 the Penitent
8 the Diplomat
9 the Merchant
10 the Bard
10 the Huntress
(So for example, in a 3 player game, you'll need 6 cards, comprised of the Author, the Painter, the Savage, the Sailor, the Soldier and the Lunatic.)
Deal one out to each player, and put the rest away. The players keep their Hermit identities a secret, and do not know which identities were not dealt out this round.
Each player should try and get their Hermit home, by picking up a trick including their Hermit.
At the end of the round, player's reveal their identity cards. Starting from the lowest point identity, (i.e. from the Author upwards, order is important!) players show whether or not they brought their Hermit home. Their own Hermit card is always worth 0 points to them.
If another player has their Hermit, then that player must give the owner of the Hermit one personality card of their choosing, most likely their highest point card. If the only card they have is that player's Hermit, then that's the card they must give. It still reduces their point total, but doesn't increase points for the owner of that Hermit card.
Because the identities are evaluated one at a time in a specific order, it's entirely possible for someone to be given back a card that they just gave away!
If a player's Hermit ends up in a trick that was not completed, then there is no punishment.
After the swaps are done, the identity cards are taken, shuffled into the identity deck, and given out again at the start of each round.
Compatibility with other variants:
Shoot the Moon / Shoot the Sun variant:
Works well together, note the value of a set of Moon or Sun cards only reduces to 0 if the set is complete AFTER all the Hermit swaps have been made.
So for example, if someone ended the round holding nothing but the Moon cards (Author/Lunatic/Diplomat/Huntress) but The Author was the identity of another player, you would have to give that player one of your cards, thus breaking up the moon set, and meaning the cards remaining will still add to your point total at the end! Whereas if you had an extra personality to give that was not part of the moon set, then you could have given that instead, and ended up with 0 points.
House party variant:
I suggest not using this. The consolation is that if someone ends up with all the personalities after a round, then they will certainly have the other player's Hermits, and will be able to give them the highest point cards.
Two player variant:
Untested. Should be fine, but you may want to reduce the size of the identity deck to 3 or 4 due to the Cottage.