In this cousin of Saint Petersburg, each player represents a monarch dragon clan, and attempts to assert herself as the Dragon Monarch by game end, by securing the most Royals (victory points). In order to facilitate this process, players will use their Geld (money) to hire Dragon Lairds (aristocrats) and buy Resources (buildings) and Commoners (peasants). You can use precious Royals (your victory points) to acquire Dragon Havocs, which empower you to do anything from getting extra cash, to stealing things from your opponents. The Havocs tend to be one-shot little guys, however, and are always discarded to the bottom of the discard deck, as far out of reach as possible from those cards that pilfer the discard pile.
At the end of each round, you accumulate the Geld and Royals that your acquisitions generate for your clan. At the end of the game, you additionally receive any Finale Royals on cards as end-game victory points.
From the Margaret Weis web site: Deep in the heart of an island continent, many years ago, was a long forgotten land of ancient Saureans… Dragons of all sizes and shapes, who had, through the generations tamed the foolish races of men, dwarves, and elves that lived among them. Over the centuries, they refined their techniques and now were trying to gain control over all the surrounding dragon countries. There could be only one Dragon Monarch, but who would it be?
At the start of the game, each player is given a dragon clan and chooses to play either the king or queen of that clan. The object is for your clan to score the most points in Royals by the end of the game and thus become the ruling Dragon Monarch.
Each player starts with a random monarch, who represents them. The monarch has a Geld income, a Royals income, and may have a special power, as well.
Instead of having a deck for each type of card, all the remaining cards are shuffled together into one deck.
As a result, the rounds are not played in time-release phases like Saint Petersburg.
The number of each type of card up for purchase each round is not affected by the number of those cards purchased.
You may only see the topmost card of each type up for offer, unless you spend a Royal (victory point) for each card you wish to cycle to the bottom.
Only the bottommost card of each type gets moved to the fire sale at the end of the round.
The discounted leftovers (the fire sale) half price (after modifiers), rather than -1.
You have a hard hand limit of 4 cards, rather than 3.
Cards of your clan still in your hand at game end are worth -5 points, but cards of others' clans penalize you for their purchase price. With many of the cards costing around 20 Geld, a mismanaged hand can be devastating.
Instead of upgrade cards, you have the Dragon Havoc cards, all of which provide special powers, some of which benefit you by harming an opponent.
Instead of arbitrary distinct aristocrats awarding a triangle of points at game end, various cards have Finale Royals (end-game victory points).
Rather than specifically rewarding players at game end for focusing on one card type (aristocrats), players are rewarded for collecting sets of each card type.
The cards offered for any given round are not a fixed amount...
...but that random amount is scaled for the number of players every round, rather than only at game start.
Rather than being for 2-4 players, expandable to 2-5, it is for 2-5 players, expandable to 2-7.