First Player Tokens

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A token that shows which player is first in the order of taking turns.

Many games divide gameplay into turns and in some of these the order is not set between rounds. When this can become problematic for players to keep track of First Player Tokens can help them keep track of this part of the game state.


Puerto Rico as a First Player Token showing which player has the role of governor, which is the player that went first in the current round of selecting roles. In this game, the token is past in a pre-determined order but in Lords of Waterdeep an action allows other players to take the token.

Carolus Magnus not only has a First Player Token but one for each place in the order. Russian Railroads and Dominant Species has tracks where players place tokens of their color to indicate their place in the turn order, making these be First Player Token, "Second Player Tokens", etc. depending on their position.

Using the pattern

First Player Tokens are motivated in game design as part of helping players of Self-Facilitated Games handle the Excise caused by Varying Turn Orders in games with Rounds and Turn Taking.

While there natural are design choices regarding the visual and physical design of First Player Tokens, there are also some other concerns. For games with Varying Turn Orders regarding all places in the turn order it is typically not enough with First Player Tokens as "Second Player Tokens", "Third Player Tokens", etc. are needed (Carolus Magnus is an example of a game where this is needed). Another possibility is to have a player order track and have players place tokens representing them on this track; this makes those token be ephemeral First Player Tokens depending on their positions.

Interface Aspects

First Player Tokens is an. It can modify First Player Advantages slightly by high-lighting to all players who is the first player and therefor has the advantage.


First Player Tokens is a type of Bookkeeping Tokens.


Can Instantiate

Bookkeeping Tokens

Can Modulate

Excise, First Player Advantages, Rounds, Self-Facilitated Games, Turn Taking, Varying Turn Orders

Can Be Instantiated By


Can Be Modulated By


Possible Closure Effects


Potentially Conflicting With



New pattern created in this wiki.