A Trick-Taking Card Game in Search of a Theme

Women Playing Cards on New Year's Eve
Tagging on yesterday's game mechanic, I had another idea for a hand management game, but this time using trick-taking mechanics instead of area control. This one is really nascent, but I think a good strong theme would give it some direction to deal with any problematic bugs.

2-4 players
A deck of playing cards.
4 Players: Deal 13 cards to each player.
3 Players: Deal 17 cards to each player and put the remaining card in the center of the table.
2 Players: Deal 26 cards to each player.

On your turn, play a card from your hand onto the table. The next player does the same, and so on, forming a pile of cards.

When a player plays a card that brings the sum of the pile over 10, she decides which suit will be scored at that time. Cards without a number (A, J, Q, K) do not raise the sum, but they have other value as you'll see below.

Then all players have a choice of discarding as many cards as they wish as long as those cards have a matching suit. Your score is the number of that suit in the pile plus the number of cards you discarded.

For example: You just pushed the pile over 10 and decided to score hearts. There are three hearts in the pile. You discard two from your hand. You score 5 points. Bob discards one heart, so he scores 4 points. Sarah discards six hearts, so she scores 9 points.

After scoring, the pile is discarded and a new round begins. Play continues until the first player loses all her cards. The player with the most points wins.

Here are some themes I'm considering:
  • Poseidon: Each player raises the sea level by playing cards into the pile. The player to raise the tide over 10 decides which city-state will be favored.
  • Potion Making: The idea being that you're trying to decide the "active ingredient." This one comes from Grant Rodiek. Thanks, Grant!
  • Lobbying: Each player is a lobbyist pushing an official to support their cause, but the official has a short memory and only favors the last lobbyist who made a donation.

Happy to take any other suggestions, though!
Daniel Solis
Art Director by Day. Game Designer by Night.