So I know that the Geek Nights stand on hidden traitor games are inherently broken, and not a good model for make a game. But I was wondering if anyone, Rym and Scott included could think of a way that might make a hidden traitor game work.
These are just the kinds of things I like to think about, and I thought I'd make it a discussion rather then a simple musing.
Maybe it could have a modern spy theme. Everyone working for a different country, but the countries are randomly assigned and there are multiples of each. So in theory you could have one or more compatriots, or none.
and Maybe part of the goal is to find out who is working for who.
Ultimately though the early game winds up being boring, and the late game is still a co-op vs 1 guy, which doesn't do anything to solve the smart player problem.
There is the random mechanic of which character you are and a few other variables which determine what scenario is played out. It is fun enough to fall into an RPG mode. Haven't really played it with a group of people who are very well versed in board games though.
And I'm excluding prisoners dilemma type games that are predicated on such choices.
OR, utilize secret turns and special mechanics for the traitor so that they continue to play normally during the main game, but have their own separate game to play. The only problem with this is keeping it a secret and having everyone follow the rules and not peek, and getting the person to do it quietly and not reveal themselves. Doesn't really work with a modern board game.
Actually, CO2 is kind of like this. You have to cooperate to build green energy plants. If you don't, everybody will lose. But there can still only be one winner.
A game where you can have direct fucking while also having a secret traitor could hypothetically work.
The first is the occasional traitor. Not like Shadows or Battlestar where someone is a traitor for the whole game. Instead, all players are playing individually, but occasionally cooperate and betray each other. Verrater, Eclipse, Dune, almost any war game with more than two players. You want to be a traitor? Just dick over your allies. Done.
The second, which I have not seen, is the unknown number of traitors. Everyone is nominally working together for some goal, but it's possible that everyone is a traitor. It's possible that nobody is a traitor. This makes it non-trivial to determine who the members of the other team are.
At the same time, that lends itself more to a game where each person has their own set of goals, some of which are shared with others, so they have to work together, yet there is still competition.
Each player has an individual win condition. If that condition is met, that player and only that player wins.
You could have the individual conditions be complementary with the team conditions, or they could run counter to them.
A way to simplify it is to simply have a deck of win condition cards. Everyone gets two. Some cards appear more than once. If you achieve any one of them, you win. You can never reveal your condition to anyone. Even if someone says their condition, they could be lying.
The game needs to be structured in such a way that it is possible to convince someone to take an action that does appear to be helping their win condition, but could potentially help another condition instead in the case you trusted the wrong player.
Of course, this is all purposeless without a central mechanic.
Imagine a scenario where a player is a key figure in her party or 'team' yet, has a connection or other out; perhaps its a guarantee from an opposition leader of reward or to maintain her power. That would give her a successful outcome personally even if her side were to loose. That would bring up issues of whether to invest resources short term in her team's efforts, into her long-term assets, or perhaps into the opposing teams' lot. It'd be hard to say and the other players may or may not know of her immunity to the results of their struggle.
Yet lets take the other side. Maybe a player's team is to win. But in the push for victory, a player looses their money or perhaps their lands and rank, or maybe their family is kidnapped by a crunchwrap of wildebeasts... That player then would have a negative outcome (a loss) and would not be counted among the winners, despite having helped their team win. Like you won the battle, but your family has been obliterated and you have nothing left to live for... happy fucking congratulations.
I mean, this is essentially the outcome for Mafia I suppose, (unless you count being lynched by your own townsfolk in the process of successfully purging the mafia as a good outcome for you.) And tho I don't have personal experience, It seems any RPG of sufficient depthmust include facets of this: but in a board game context, with such mechanics as those involve, could one include a high level of resolution in terms of victory conditions between players, alliances, factions, and maybe society as a whole?
Games of this nature have two aspects that I find interesting and worthwhile:
1) Psychology - people will often play in ways that are exploitable or give away information; making use of this fact is .
2) The "choose the right moment" game - Many such games involve a form of taking action that reveals critical information; normally this would be disastrous, but the core idea is that you wait for an opportunity in order to minimize how much you give away, and maximize the payoff.
I've listened to you two go on about role playing a lot, so that's the one that gets stuck in my mind.
OK, apparently ":" followed by "s" is a weird emoticon. 2vim4vanilla.