The setting: Toscana during the Renaissance, in an Italia that has yet to develop a central government in a Europe that has only recently emerged from the dark ages. The nobles that held power have fallen, and traders with money are now attempting to climb the ladder of power. Determined to elevate their fame, they use their finances to become patrons of talented individuals, and aid and protect them in their endeavors.
In Patronize, the players are wealthy merchants who control individuals with talents in fields such as religion, arts, science, and exploration, trying to become more famous. But other rich merchants are also out there, and the competition to become someone's official patron is fierce; sometimes your intended protégé is snatched from under your nose.
Patronize uses trick-taking mechanisms and features 17 types of people cards, all with different abilities.