Normally you determine how you seat players and who goes first anyway you want. However, with intermediate and advanced players, you may want to use the rules below to decide those things:
1. First, carry out the usual preparations up through 7. Replenish the Random Market.
2. After that, each player gets their starting deck of 10 cards, and secretly picks 5 cards to be their starting hand, leaving the remaining 5 cards to be their draw pile.
3. All players reveal their hands simultaneously.
4. The player who reveals the most Apprentice Maid cards has the priority to go first, and takes whichever seat they wish.
5. After that, other players take their seats clockwise from the first player in descending order of number of Apprentice Maid cards.
6. If two or more players have the same number of Apprentice Maid cards, use dice, rock-paper-scissors, or similar to break the tie.
Using this rule largely removes the role of luck in the first couple of turns, and makes the game more fully reflect the players’ skills.
However, we don’t recommend using this rule with players who are beginners or otherwise aren’t experienced with this game.