Tribute is a game for three players by Alan Parr.
It lasts five turns.
At the start of the game each player selects 10 cards, minimum value 0 and maximum value 9, totalling a number set by the GM (e.g. 50). They may also buy special cards, which will be costed and explained by the GM.
Each turn, players must play two of their cards, one against each of their opponents. There are thus three separate matches to be resolved and in each the winner receives a tribute of 1 from the loser. Once played a card cannot be played again.
Example special card:
Players may buy up two double cards at a cost of 3 points deducted from the starting total. These cards are played in addition to the number cards and cannot be reused.
In any round a player may unilaterally opt to double the stakes for all three matches. The doubling is only effective for that round, but he may of course double again in subsequent rounds. In a doubled round each loser pays 2 points tribute. Should more than one player double (or a player use more than one double) then the tribute is 4 or even 8 points for each match (do note that a player may not opt to double in just one match or just his own matches - doubling affects all three matches).
Should a player NMR the GM chooses orders which repeat as closely as possible the orders the player used in the previous round.
The winner is the player with the highest score after all cards have been played.
In this variant by John Walker, the players do not have to declare any numbers at the start of the game. Players just need to tell the GM which numbers they are playing each turn. So long as the total of the numbers played adds up to prescribed total at the end of the game.
Compared to the standard game, players will have less information to be able to judge which numbers to pick against each opponent. This however is counterbalanced by the ability to be able to adjust their plays depending on the match position.
This variant is played without specials by default.https://variablepig.org