* * * * * * SPOILER ALERT! * * * * * *
Do not draw, reveal, look at, handle, or otherwise disturb these cards until instructed.
That’s what it says on the initial card in Pandemic Legacy Season 1. But I didn’t heed that warning. I drew, looked at, and handled those cards as instructed until I was eventually disturbed. Now, my gaming group has encountered, adventured, and survived the legacies in Seasons 1, 2, and 0, and I find myself struggling with an addiction to Pandemic Legacy.
Unable to sleep, I wander the dark corners of the interwebs for rumors and hints about what’s to come. I dissected every connection between the CDC and BGG. I’m desperate for Daviau, longing for Leacock, jonesing for the next epidemic card to flip. Adamantly refusing to accept the designers’ claim that Season 0 ended the trilogy, I searched and researched, patched and dispatched, dotted my tees and crossed my eyes, and…
…I think I found something.
I FOUND IT!
Rob Daviau and Matt Leacock may have tried to keep this secret, but I unearthed their prototype for the TRUE final chapter in Pandemic Legacy Gaming.
If you want the truth – if you think you can handle it – I’m willing to share that information. But don’t make that decision lightly. There’s no going back to Neverland. Your innocence will be sacrificed. Your joy will be compromised.
Better yet, you can stop here and enjoy the blue pill. It tastes like grape!
Okay, then…. I give you:
Pandemic Legacy: Season π (With Spoilers)
Season 1 is set in the present. Season 2 is set in the future. Season 0 is set in the past. Season Pi will have been set in the perfect continuous. I will have been enjoying the game for a long time! English majors will have been especially enjoying this version!
In the same style as Season 2, Pi’s map begins with a trio of cities on the eastern coast of the United States. Jacksonville has been dropped in favor of Orlando because Z-Man hopes to develop a movie deal with Disney. Because Rob Daviau had a secret crush on Snooki, New York has been replaced with Seaside Heights, New Jersey. In light of the NFL’s recent naming decision, Washington has been renamed [Political City].
Like the first three iterations, Season Pi takes place over the duration of a year. Each month provides two opportunities to complete the necessary objectives. If you fail on the first attempt, you will be allotted additional resources for better odds of success. If you fail on your second attempt, proceed to the next month. Also, with consecutive failures in the same month, one player must shave a body part. (Razor and shaving gel located in Box 4.)
Caption: Not pictured: Chainsaw in Box 41
Last chance to turn back before learning the plot. Okay…. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.
January sets the stage: Alien zombie pirate spies have infiltrated the planet and released capsules with two plagues, one internet virus, and a Jonas Brothers earworm. As a team of ology-ologists, you must visit both physical and virtual locations, then apply for grants to properly fund said research. Completing January on your first attempt earns an honorary degree from the Mayo Clinic. Success on your second attempt provides an Orphan Annie decoder ring.
February intensifies. Intergalactic computer hackers overtake all first-world countries. They’re watching you. All player communication must be done utilizing Esperanto and/or sign language. In addition, the Spin Doctor is required to dress like a mime.
March intensifies. Radioactive waste has melted the Arctic Circle and the ensuing tsunami washed over the northern hemisphere. Any player pawn movement between cities above the equator must be powered by a garden hose (located in Box 5).
April intensifies. An unnamed virus has stolen humanity’s olfactory sense! Open Box 8 and retrieve the scratch-n-sniff stickers to add to their corresponding cities. Red smells like cinnamon, black is licorice, yellow is banana, and blue is hospital ward.
May intensifies. A plague has descended upon Western Europe and Paris Disneyland has been converted into a triage unit, with the worst cases being shipped to NoTomorrowland. Wait in line for 90 minutes between turns unless you’ve unlocked your FastPass!
June intensifies. The Medic has been conducting a secret love affair with the Epidemiologist, unbeknownst to the Field Operative. As a group, decide whether the Medic should pursue either adventure and excitement OR stability and trust. If June is not beaten on the first run, the Medic becomes pregnant and no one knows whose baby. Will it be immune to disease? To heartache?
July intensifies. Deconstruct your game box and use only that cardboard to build your own laboratory.
August intensifies. Leprosy appears as the fifth mutation. From this point forward, every time an outbreak occurs, sever one appendage from the player who triggered that outbreak. Store severed appendages in Cooler 3.
September intensifies. Sorcerers emerge from middle earth. Remove any city cards with the letter “A” and replace them with Magic The Gathering cards and (new character) the Omnimancer (as supplied in supplemental crate 2C). Tap five mana of any type to cure a disease. The Omnimancer converts city cards into mana according to their primary landscape characteristic.
October intensifies. The planet goes dark. Consult the braille rule cards supplied on Sheet J. The month’s objectives must be completed in pitch blackness. In a closet. In seven minutes.
November intensifies. Everyone but the Dispatcher dies when a giant meteor explodes and covers the planet in space goo. Read Card 274 and 275 when the second Epidemic strikes, and scratch off potential eulogies to add to their character sheets. Players must find the cure to the interstellar malady that murdered them so they can return to life. Why did the Dispatcher survive? He’s the traitor! He’s a Cylon werewolf saboteur mole mafia boss and chief of the resistance!
December intensifies. Collect all incomplete objective cards, as well as all objective cards you didn’t complete from Pandemic Legacy Seasons 1, 2, and 0. Complete ALL of them. NOW!
Once the final month is complete, calculate your score according to the following criteria:
- Consult Travelocity for every city ever infected during your campaign. Coordinate direct flights between those cities, and record as points the costs of the cheapest air fares (not including Air Quantas because their CEO believes it’s all a hoax).
- For each of the following scents you can still detect, add 35 points: lemon, lavender, Lysol. If you can’t get the aftertaste of October out of your mouth, subtract 25 points.
- If you post a photo of your final game board on social media platforms with the hashtag #PiPan, you’re addicted to social media. Subtract 2 points.
- Add the sum total of all appendages in Cooler 3 and add 250 points for each successful surgery to reattach them.
- Pranking your sister by hiding disease cubes in her breakfast cereal subtracts 150 points and may earn you a trip to the hospital and/or jail. Not worth it. Really, don’t.
- Multiply your successes by the square root of your failures and meditate on that for a good, long while.
I hope I’ve not ruined anything and that you can still enjoy the experience of the game, because at its core, Pandemic Season Pi is more of an experience than a game. It is being Kickstarted and promised to backers in July of 2021, with stretch goals including petri dishes, HAZMAT suits, and vaccinations.
Until we can game in-person again, have fun, stay healthy, and play games!