The 48 Laws of Power, by Robert Greene

This book is very interesting by two reasons:

One, the stories are really diverse and well described, which help to remember the laws. Second because what Robert Greene calls “laws” is very similar to what I understand as gameplays (from Wardley Maps).

The laws by category

I have used some of the categories of Wardley Map’s gameplays to organize these 48 laws. Note that some of the laws could be in more than one category.

Some of these laws, as the gameplays, can be applied permanently or on sporadic moments. In addition to that, the good strategist will apply them in a combined way.


  • Law 23: Concentrate Your Forces
  • Law 29: Plan All the Way to the End
  • Law 35: Master the Art of Timing
  • Law 39: Stir Up Waters to Catch Fish
  • Law 45: Preach the Need for Change, But Never Reform Too Much at Once
  • Law 47: Do Not Go Past the Mark You Aimed For
  • Law 48: Assume Formlessness


  • Law 1: Never Outshine the Master
  • Law 2: Never Put too Much Trust in Friends, Learn How to Use Enemies
  • Law 3: Conceal Your Intentions
  • Law 4: Always Say Less than Necessary
  • Law 10: Infection: Avoid the Unhappy and Unlucky
  • Law: 19: Know Who You’re Dealing With – Do Not Offend the Wrong Person
  • Law 22: Use the Surrender Tactic: Transform Weakness into Power
  • Law 42: Strike the Shepherd and the Sheep Will Scatter

User perception

  • Law 5: So Much Depends on Reputation — Guard It with Your Life
  • Law 6: Create an Air of Mystery
  • Law 14: Pose as a Friend, Work as a Spy
  • Law 16: Use Absence to Increase Respect and Honor
  • Law 17: Keep Others in Suspended Terror: Cultivate an Air of Unpredictability
  • Law 21: Play a Sucker to Catch a Sucker – Seem Dumber Than Your Mark
  • Law 24: Play the Perfect Courtier
  • Law 25: Re-Create Yourself
  • Law 27: Play on People’s Need to Believe to Create a Cultlike Following
  • Law 28: Enter Action with Boldness
  • Law 30: Make Your Accomplishments Seem Effortless
  • Law 32: Play to People’s Fantasies
  • Law 36: Disdain Things You Cannot Have
  • Law 37: Create Compelling Spectacles
  • Law 38: Think as You Like But Behave Like Others
  • Law 40: Despise the Free Lunch
  • Law 43: Work on the Hearts and Minds of Others
  • Law 44: Disarm and Infuriate with the Mirror Effect
  • Law 46: Never Appear Too Perfect


  • Law 7: Get Others to Do the Work for You, but Always Take the Credit
  • Law 11: Learn to Keep People Dependent on You
  • Law 13: When Asking for Help, Appeal to People’s Self-Interest, Never to their Mercy or Gratitude
  • Law 18: Do Not Build Fortresses to Protect Yourself – Isolation is Dangerous
  • Law 20: Do Not Commit to Anyone
  • Law: 26: Keep Your Hands Clean
  • Law 31: Control the Options
  • Law 34: Be Royal in Your Own Fashion: Act Like a King to Be Treated Like One
  • Law 41: Avoid Stepping Into a Great Man’s Shoes


  • Law 9: Win Through Your Actions, Never Through Argument
  • Law 12: Use Selective Honesty and Generosity to Disarm Your Victim
  • Law 15: Crush Your Enemy Totally
  • Law 33: Discover Each Man’s Thumbscrew

Games plays proposed in Wardley maps

This is the table I was mentioning above:

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