Games with Secret Roles
Jeff Carey
United States
Mount Pleasant
South Carolina
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Since Shadows Over Camelot was released, the idea of games with secret player roles has intrigued me. The idea of an unknown traitor is really central to Shadows and, I think, the game wouldn't work nearly as well without it. I'd like to find more games where this idea of secret roles is crucial to the design and playability of the game, so I've started a list. It's quite short though, so I'd appreciate your help in building it out!
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1. Board Game: Shadows over Camelot [Average Rating:7.15 Overall Rank:319]
Jeff Carey
United States
Mount Pleasant
South Carolina
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The game that inspired this list.
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2. Board Game: BANG! [Average Rating:6.54 Overall Rank:1018]
Jeff Carey
United States
Mount Pleasant
South Carolina
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The hidden roles of sheriff, deputy, outlaw, and renegade are central to the mechanics of this game.
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3. Board Game: Saboteur [Average Rating:6.62 Overall Rank:854] [Average Rating:6.62 Unranked]
Jeff Carey
United States
Mount Pleasant
South Carolina
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Some players are secretly assigned the role of saboteur with the intent of disrupting the team's progress toward unearthing the gold. At some point the saboteurs must become overt in their efforts, but how long can they maintain their appearance of innocence?
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4. Board Game: The Castle of the Devil [Average Rating:6.47 Overall Rank:1706]
Jeff Carey
United States
Mount Pleasant
South Carolina
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I received this game from a friend, but have not made an opportunity to play it. From the BGG game page:

"All players are passengers within a carriage that is rushing to Devil's Castle. They each act as a member of a secret association, but no one knows who is friend and who is foe."
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5. Board Game: Inkognito [Average Rating:6.58 Overall Rank:1403]
Jeff Carey
United States
Mount Pleasant
South Carolina
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Each round of play starts with secret associations which must be uncovered to successfully complete the round.
 
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6. Board Game: Inkognito: The Card Game [Average Rating:5.42 Overall Rank:13983]
Jeff Carey
United States
Mount Pleasant
South Carolina
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The game I was actually thinking of (and own) when I added Inkognito to the list.
 
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7. Board Game: Hoax [Average Rating:6.01 Overall Rank:6672]
Jeff Carey
United States
Mount Pleasant
South Carolina
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From the BGG game description:

"Each player is assigned one of six different characters -- each with its own unique abilities -- but can pretend to be any character and use its corresponding powers."
 
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8. Board Game: Die Erben von Hoax [Average Rating:6.07 Overall Rank:8120]
Jeff Carey
United States
Mount Pleasant
South Carolina
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A remake, with slight rules variations, of Hoax.
 
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9. Board Game: The Werewolves of Miller's Hollow [Average Rating:6.82 Overall Rank:736]
Jeff Carey
United States
Mount Pleasant
South Carolina
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There are a few variations of this game, but they all employ the same basic mechanic of sorting out everyone's hidden role.
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10. Board Game: E.T.I.: Estimated Time to Invasion [Average Rating:5.74 Overall Rank:10375]
Jeff Carey
United States
Mount Pleasant
South Carolina
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One player is secretly an Alien who will be revealed during the game and attempt to thwart the efforts of the other players to win the game.
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11. Board Game: Ca$h 'n Gun$ [Average Rating:6.63 Overall Rank:883]
Andy Foulke
United States
Bethel Park
PA
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In the advanced game, you have the hidden cop role.
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12. Board Game: Citadels [Average Rating:7.12 Overall Rank:316]
Ben Lott
United States
Mason
Michigan
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Although you change roles each turn the hidden nature of them is what makes the assassin and thief work so well.
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13. Board Game: Project KGB: The Double Agent [Average Rating:5.57 Overall Rank:12683]
H-B-G
United Kingdom
Halesowen
West Midlands
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A game from my youth. One player was the double agent, but no one knew who he was. The others had to deduce his identity before he was able to commit enough acts of sabotage to win.
 
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14. Board Game: Familienbande [Average Rating:6.30 Overall Rank:3339]
(The Artist formerly known as) Arnest R
Germany
Munich
Bavaria
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Not sure this qualifies - secret families good enough ?

 
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15. Board Game: Murder, She Wrote [Average Rating:6.00 Overall Rank:9487]
Ian Harris
United Kingdom
Chester-le-Street
County Durham
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One player is secretly the killer, trying to murder five witnesses then escape the village; the rest are Jessica Fletcher(s), who must identify and capture the miscreant.
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16. Board Game: Meuterer [Average Rating:6.93 Overall Rank:802]
Jim Cote
United States
Maine
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Except for the Captain, the other roles (First Mate, Mutineer, Deck Hand, Merchant, Loader) are chosen secretly as each player stops playing cards.
 
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17. Board Game: Verräter [Average Rating:6.73 Overall Rank:1341]
Mike K
United States
Fairless Hills
Pennsylvania
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You can't include Meuterer without including its precursor.
 
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18. Board Game: Clans [Average Rating:6.56 Overall Rank:1138]
I am Jajax!
United States
Massachusetts
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19. Board Game: Age of Gods [Average Rating:6.32 Overall Rank:3243]
John Heath
United States
New York
NY
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Nw, I haven't played this game, but from what I've read each player is secretly backing several races. Surely this counts
 
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20. Board Game: Colossal Arena [Average Rating:6.79 Overall Rank:752]
John Heath
United States
New York
NY
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Each players chooses a combatant to secretly back, while overtly backing oters. The secretly backed contestant is worth more pointd, and, unless purposefully revealed, no one is quite sure which contestant you are most attached to
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21. Board Game: Battlestar Galactica: The Board Game [Average Rating:7.75 Overall Rank:62]
JD
Canada
Edmonton
Alberta
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Who is the cylon?
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22. Board Game: Castle of Magic [Average Rating:6.19 Overall Rank:5637]
Chad R Morin
United States
South Central
Massachusetts
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The game plays out on a board, where players work to increase their spellcasting ability, learn what the relics and ritual components do (which changes each game), and control country-ruling relics and activate the ritual components in the manner that serves their cause. Players get varying points at game end based on the final magic ritual (which determines if someone dies, what happens to the castle's monster, etc) and how that plays out based on who controls what relics/countries.

1. Secret Roles with Varying Goals: Everyone gets an identity card that spells out a player's faction, goals, etc., and the points each end-game result is worth (either positive, negative, or no value). Some more advanced characters violate the "normal" roles, like a player who IS the Monster, a player who wants to die, a player working against his own faction, etc.

2. Learning Secrets: There are spaces on the board that allow you to learn one secret about another player (ex. which faction they belong). Because of the way the secret cards work, the victim will not know which piece of information was revealed.

3. Working with Hidden Identities: Learning secrets will help you determine with whom to work in controlling the relics and ritual components. Each player gets one "Talk Chip" that, when used, allows all players to break away as they wish for 5 minutes of private conversations. Because of the varying points and the way the end-game is determined, you may work out deals with those who oppose your actual goals because they may desire some of the same ritual activations you do or your main goal is simply no longer viable and you need a way to still get some points. This can actually work because the player with the highest score and ALL players with at least half that score win the game equally.

Great game; one of my favorites!
 
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23. Board Game: A Line in the Sand: The Battle of Iraq [Average Rating:5.90 Overall Rank:9362]
Flying Arrow
United States
Pennsylvania
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Not secret roles, exactly, but secret goals so that you don't know who your friends are.
 
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24. Board Game: The Thing [Average Rating:7.08 Overall Rank:3926]
Mark Chaplin
United Kingdom
Nottingham
Ice-choked tower, Mondavia, Nanglangka.
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They have something under the ice!



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25. Board Game: The Resistance [Average Rating:7.37 Overall Rank:174]
Tyler Durden
Germany
Goettingen
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