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Subject: Revolt - A Hidden Role Game rss

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Nathan Woll
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This is my submission to this contest:
PNP Hidden Role / Bluffing Card game Design Contest 2013 - WIN 305GG


Here's the files: (my art skills suck)
https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/5826641/Revolt.doc

Rules:
Object: The object of the game is to be the first player to score 10 points.

Cards needed = 12 character cards (6 types in 2 colors); 10 player aid cards

Overview: Revolt is a Hidden Role/Bluffing game that takes place in feudal Japan. Players must decide each round whether to support the current Emperor or to support the revolution. Each player secretly chooses a character to support each round (Samurai, Ninja, Peasant, Monk, Vizier or Spy) then secretly chooses whether to support the Emperor or the revolt. Then players go around and reveal either the character they chose OR the side they chose. Some characters contribute more strength to their side while others have special abilities that can affect their team. Once all players have taken a turn then everything is revealed and the strength for each side is tallied. If the current Emperor remains in power then all those that supported him receive 1 point. If the Revolt is successful then all those supporting the revolt receive 2 points.

Setup: Give each player a Player Aid Card. If playing with 8 or fewer players then remove the two Monk Character Cards. Randomly determine a start player. Blue is always the color in power.

Each Round:

1. Divide the Character Cards by color and randomly remove 1 card of each color. Then shuffle the remaining cards together and give them to the start player.
2. The start player chooses a Character Card without revealing it then passes the deck face down to the next player on his left.
3. Each player in clockwise order chooses a Character Card then passes the remaining cards to their left.
4. The remaining cards are discarded face down.
5. Once each player has a card then players reveal ½ their card. (They do so by keeping their Player Aid Card over the other half.)
-If a player reveals his color then nothing happens and play passes to the next player.
-If a player reveals his character then he must activate that character’s power if he can.
6. Once each player has taken a turn then all face-up Character Cards are fully revealed and strength is tallied.
7. The players supporting the winning side score points. If the winning side was Blue then the winners receive 1 point each. If the winning side was Red then they each receive 2 points. The Blue side wins ties.
8. Restart from 1.


Character Cards: (Each card has the name on top and color on the bottom to allow players to cover half when revealing)

Peasant: This card has a strength of 1. If the Peasant is targeted by the Ninja then the Peasant gains +2 strength. (for a strength of 3)

Spy: The Spy has a strength of 1. The Spy may reveal his Character Card to Spy on another Player. He chooses a player who has not yet revealed his color then guesses either Blue or Red. The Player then reveals their color. If the Spy is right then the Player is out of the round and turns their Character Card face down. If the Spy is wrong then the Spy is out of the round and turns their Character Card face down.

Ninja: The Ninja has a strength of 2. The Ninja may reveal their Character Card to assassinate another player. The Ninja must choose a player that has not yet revealed their character. That player is out of the round and their Character Card is turned face-down. If the Ninja performs this action then his strength is reduced to 0.

Samurai: The Samurai is strength 3. The Samurai has no special powers.

Vizier: The Vizier is strength 0. If the Vizier is on the winning side then he gains +1 point. (If he supports Blue and Blue wins then he gets 2 points instead of 1. If he supports Red and Red wins then he gets 3 points instead of 2.)

Monk: The Monk is strength 0. The Monk receives 1 point if no one else chooses a Monk character card.


I don't know how to upload files yet. Any comments would be appreciated. My rules writing needs plenty of work I'm sure.
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Sturv Tafvherd
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I'm intrigued! I hope you don't mind if I ask questions.

1. Each card only has one character and one color, right?

2. There is no Emperor card, right?

3. Seems like there's a big incentive to select red cards. And a big incentive to select Vizier. A Red Vizier on a winning Red side would get 3 points, as you've stated.

4. The Blue Spy seems to be the natural counter to the Red-for-the-win. If I'm the fourth or fifth player to choose, I'd probably naturally get the Blue Spy if I see that at least 3 red cards have been selected.

5. It seems that the color of the Spy would be obvious: it would be opposite whatever the player guesses of his suspected opponent. I can't think of a good reason to pick a Spy of the same color as your suspected opponent ... unless the color you wanted was already gone, and you really want to eliminate a player this round. But if that were the reasoning, you risk wasting this round and then you'd have to do the same thing next round.

A solution to this is to randomize the start player from round to round.

6. What's the minimum number of players?

7. It's easily deduced that you can only support a max of 10 players ... question is whether it is fair for the 9th or 10th player to only have 1 or 2 choices by the time the cards get to them. So perhaps the game has a sweet spot at 8 players?


You also probably meant for the Peasant to be immune to the Ninja's assassination. Otherwise, the Peasant gets boosted temporarily, and then promptly gets removed from the round.



There's some intriguing deductive things going on while players are selecting cards.

-- first player knows exactly which two cards were excluded from the round. If he sees one monk missing, he can play safe and get the other monk. If he sees one spy or ninja missing, he can play somewhat safe and get the Vizier or Samurai of the other color. Depending on that spy/ninja, he'll either reveal his character or his color.

-- the second player knows exactly what color the first player picked. He can choose to ally with the first player and grab the same color, or he can get the spy or ninja and try to eliminate the first player. This can make it very difficult for a player to win the game when he needs his last points while being first player ... it becomes the second player's job to eliminate him.

That said, this probably means you need more than 2 players.

-- the third player has a good idea of what colors the first two took.
..... If the second player decided to ally up with the first, it can also be somewhat easy to figure out the characters the first 2 players took. That would make the third player's choices a bit clearer.
..... On the other hand, if the first 2 players took different colors, the choices are a bit murkier ... but one thing for sure: player 2 may be trying to eliminate player 1. And if 1 spy or 1 ninja is missing, that may be player 2's selected card.
..... If I saw player 1 and 2 teaming up, I'd probably join them. And that means the Samurai and Vizier cards of the ally color are what I'd hope for. Otherwise, I'll get the Ninja of that color.


.... Hmmm, I'm seeing a dangerous pattern here: first two players set the stage. If they happen to ally up, the succeeding 3 players are almost encouraged to join in and get easy points. Once someone gets close to the top, he'll get Ninja'd or Spy'd.

remeber what I said about randomizing the Start player? Forget that. Perhaps the game should be played to make it hard for the lead player: meaning, after each round has been scored, players get out of their chairs and sit in total point order ... highest to lowest. The Start player for the new round is the player with the highest total, followed by the player with the second highest total, and so on.


Anyway ... just some thoughts. Looks like a great game!

...
and I haven't even gotten to think about all the yelling and accusations once people start revealing the first half of their cards!
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Nathan Woll
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Thank you for your feedback!

Quote:
Each card only has one character and one color, right?
Yep.
Quote:
There is no Emperor card, right?
right

Quote:
A solution to this is to randomize the start player from round to round.

Ah yes, the start player passes clockwise each round. I forgot to say that.

But another idea was to tie it in to a specific role. I originally had it tied to the Vizier role since I figured going first would be a disadvantage to counter the extra point.

Plays 5-10 players.

I think there is enough possible scenarios to provide good decision trees.

For example: Start player sees that Blue Ninja and Red Spy are out so he takes Red Vizier. Second Player sees those three cards out and assumes first player took Red Vizier so he might take Blue Samurai since he probably won't want to give a player 3 points.

Another option I thought of was to only remove a Red card instead of both colors.
 
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Nathan Woll
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I'm making a major rule change.

( I'll update the op when I get to a computer.)

Players will no longer draft cards but will have a hand of all 12 cards. Each round players will ( in turn order) choose a card and play it showing only Character or Color. Players go around and play THEN go around and resolve character actions. THEN all cards are revealed and the round is scored. Play 10 rounds and see who wins. Play 1 more round of there's a tie.


This rule change should address some early conference. It will also allow fewer players to play.

I'm still not sure about start player each round. The news rule change makes start player pretty disadvantageous so ideally the player with most points should be first but implementation would be messy.
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Sturv Tafvherd
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That's going to require more cards, right? 120 cards for a 10 player game?

I actually like the deduction involved in a draft format. Gonna have to see how this new no-draft version plays out.
 
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