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Subject: How to keep an auditor secret rss

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michael brown
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I have been wrestling with a game mechanic that is giving me trouble. I thought that posting my problem here would be likely to help find a better solution.

Here is a link to the full rules of the game if anyone is interested in reading them.

The current problem is how to allow auditors to play audit cards without anyone knowing that they were the one that played it.

The current rules for the mechanic are:
each player has one set of 3 action cards (Play it safe, Cook the books, and Audit)
Everyone plays a card face down simultaneously and the cards are all shuffled together and then revealed. If a player cooked the books during the same turn that an opponent audited then the player that cooked the books suffers penalties. (a failed audit also generates penalties, but that is beside the point).
Each player discards their unused cards and they are shuffled together and then all the cards are returned to all the players.

My problem with this is that it takes too long to divide out the sets of three cards.

I have a few solutions, but am not really happy with any of them. If anyone wants to help brainstorm I would appreciate it.

My current solutions follow:
1) place all three cards from one action card set into a single card sleeve. Each player pulls them out of the sleeve and rearranges them until the one they want is on top. This speeds up returning cards - everyone just grabs one set. It is still annoying because everyone has to pull out the cards every time, and the sleeves get damaged quickly.

2) play the cards as normal and then shuffle all the cards together and deal everyone three new cards. Players who have double of any given card throws the doubles into the middle and everyone takes what they need. This is a little faster, but a lot more chaotic.

3) print the action cards out on a single square card (one action on each edge of the card). Place them in a card protector with the action that you want to do facing the top of the protector. This requires weird cards, and I don't like that.

4) have each action card have a built in wheel that you rotate to the action that you desire before placing it face down. this is cool, but would probably be expensive to make.
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J H
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How about using cubes to represent the three actions?

Green - Play it safe
Yellow - Cook the books
Red - Audit

Each player could secretly drop their choice into a cup and they just get poured out. Afterwards, all cubes get put in the cup and poured out with each player taking a single cube of each color.
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1 Lucky Texan
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I guess have a central deck with 3 times the max number of players - 15, 18 w'ever.

have each player pick up the entire deck, choose a card.

after the action, all cards go back to the central deck.
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The Dave
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Havox wrote:
How about using cubes to represent the three actions?

Green - Play it safe
Yellow - Cook the books
Red - Audit

Each player could secretly drop their choice into a cup and they just get poured out. Afterwards, all cubes get put in the cup and poured out with each player taking a single cube of each color.


/thread
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Chris Morse
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How many rounds are there?

You might give each player up front enough of each card/cube/counter type to last the whole game.

Obviously, this is more expensive in terms of components, but offers some advantages:
1. Goes faster, since players never have to retrieve their spent actions.
2. You could build in a limit to the number of times a player can perform a given action.
3. At the end of the game, it's easy to see how many times each player performed each action.
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Hello!

As I understand it, every player has the same three cards each round and then picks one to use, which is then returned to them, right?

Personally, I think the easiest solution is to have different card sets, for instance with a coloured border (one red, one blue, one black, one yellow, ...) so there is one red-audit, one red-cooking the books, one red-play it safe, one blue-audit, one blue-cooking, one blue-safe, ... Each player simply picks a set of one colour (preferably matching playing pieces or what you use) and then only needs to collect their own personal card afterwards. I don't think that it makes it that difficult, as the colour-coding should be quick to identify.

Yours,
Deathworks
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The Dave
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Deathworks wrote:
Hello!

As I understand it, every player has the same three cards each round and then picks one to use, which is then returned to them, right?

Personally, I think the easiest solution is to have different card sets, for instance with a coloured border (one red, one blue, one black, one yellow, ...) so there is one red-audit, one red-cooking the books, one red-play it safe, one blue-audit, one blue-cooking, one blue-safe, ... Each player simply picks a set of one colour (preferably matching playing pieces or what you use) and then only needs to collect their own personal card afterwards. I don't think that it makes it that difficult, as the colour-coding should be quick to identify.

Yours,
Deathworks


I think the problem with that is the OP wants the selection of cards to be secretive, that is I shouldn't know that YOU picked the Audit card.
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theTrueMikeBrown wrote:

Everyone plays a card face down simultaneously and the cards are all shuffled together and then revealed. If a player cooked the books during the same turn that an opponent audited then the player that cooked the books suffers penalties. (a failed audit also generates penalties, but that is beside the point).


How do you know which player cooked the books if the cards are played secretly?
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Chris Morse
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DeePee wrote:
theTrueMikeBrown wrote:

Everyone plays a card face down simultaneously and the cards are all shuffled together and then revealed. If a player cooked the books during the same turn that an opponent audited then the player that cooked the books suffers penalties. (a failed audit also generates penalties, but that is beside the point).


How do you know which player cooked the books if the cards are played secretly?

You don't know, that's the whole point. You're not supposed to know who played which card.

Which is why color-coding the cards is also the wrong answer.
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1 Lucky Texan
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yeah, might be possible to spot one or 2 player's selection without a lot of ; shuffle face down/flip/shuffle face up - resolve action - gather, shuffle face up/flip/shuffle face down - distribute back to players according to cardback color.
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The Dave
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Corrino22 wrote:
DeePee wrote:
theTrueMikeBrown wrote:

Everyone plays a card face down simultaneously and the cards are all shuffled together and then revealed. If a player cooked the books during the same turn that an opponent audited then the player that cooked the books suffers penalties. (a failed audit also generates penalties, but that is beside the point).


How do you know which player cooked the books if the cards are played secretly?

You don't know, that's the whole point. You're not supposed to know who played which card.

Which is why color-coding the cards is also the wrong answer.


That's what I thought. But the OP does say this:

Quote:
If a player cooked the books during the same turn that an opponent audited then the player that cooked the books suffers penalties. (a failed audit also generates penalties, but that is beside the point).


How can you penalize someone if you don't know who to penalize?
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1 Lucky Texan
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maybe everyone votes on what action to apply to the active player? but, how to penalize the failed auditor?

interesting. - the different-colored card backs might help here, resolve the action with the cards face up - if the audit fails, only flip that card over to reveal the color of the auditing players, then, the others do the face-up shuffle, flip, face down shuffle, retrieve their color?
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Clunky, but -- use the three cube idea from above, and people have a face-down card that says if they cooked the books or not. If there's an audit (or there's a game effect,) this card is revealed, otherwise it is not (if that's possible.)
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The Dave
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Terwox wrote:
Clunky, but -- use the three cube idea from above, and people have a face-down card that says if they cooked the books or not. If there's an audit (or there's a game effect,) this card is revealed, otherwise it is not (if that's possible.)


No card needed. If there is a cookbooks/audit pairing, everyone displays the cubes they kept. It's easy to see who tossed in what. Otherwise, you toss all cubes back in a bag, mix em up, dump em out, and everyone takes a set.
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Jakub Marek
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It's sufficient to show the card seeked. Did someone cook the books? Show me your cook the book card or you did! Whether the second one is play safe or audit, that's another story.

Did someone audit but noone cooked the books? Show me your audit card or you did.
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michael brown
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Sorry folks about being slow to respond initially, I was called away. (It is likely to happen again, so I will try to answer questions quickly)

Here is a link to the full rules of the game if anyone is interested in that.

Havox wrote:
How about using cubes to represent the three actions?


This is a good idea.
The only problem that I have right now is that the game is currently really component light (4 cards per player, one score mat (not per player), 6 tokens (also not per player)), and I am trying to keep it that way. swapping out 3/4 of those cards with cubes would greatly increase the size of the game.

The benefit of having colored cubes that are really easy to grab might outweigh the penalty of increasing the size of the game. I will have to see how playing with cubes is.

1 Lucky Texan wrote:
have each player pick up the entire deck, choose a card.


This is good except I am worried that if players paid attention they could easily determine what a player who picked after them picked (say that the top card in the deck is an audit card and the person just picked the first card they saw, then everyone who had already chosen would know that that player is able to audit other players).

Corrino22 wrote:
How many rounds are there?
You might give each player up front enough of each card/cube/counter type to last the whole game.


The game could be over in two rounds if a player played perfectly and his opponent(s) played perfectly wrong, however the game usually seems to last 10-20 rounds.

whattheproblemis wrote:

I think the problem with that is the OP wants the selection of cards to be secretive, that is I shouldn't know that YOU picked the Audit card.

This is correct, we do not want anyone to know who is able to play audit cards, just that they are played.

DeePee wrote:
How do you know which player cooked the books if the cards are played secretly?


My initial statement is not entirely accurate. There are two teams: the Auditors and the Accountants. The entire team is punished for messing up. If anyone cooks the books during an audit then all of the accountants are penalized.

Edit: more posts were written while I posted

whattheproblemis wrote:
No card needed. If there is a cookbooks/audit pairing, everyone displays the cubes they kept. It's easy to see who tossed in what. Otherwise, you toss all cubes back in a bag, mix em up, dump em out, and everyone takes a set.

Eremiell wrote:
It's sufficient to show the card seeked. Did someone cook the books? Show me your cook the book card or you did! Whether the second one is play safe or audit, that's another story.

Did someone audit but noone cooked the books? Show me your audit card or you did.


That is true - the real game doesn't have that issue since it doesn't matter exactly who played the cook the books card, but that would be a reasonable solution.
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Ryan McGuire
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Eremiell wrote:
It's sufficient to show the card seeked. Did someone cook the books? Show me your cook the book card or you did! Whether the second one is play safe or audit, that's another story.

Did someone audit but noone cooked the books? Show me your audit card or you did.


Exactly. In the case where one player Cooked and another Audited, you don't need to have everyone show both their remaining cubes/cards. That would reveal who played the Audit as well. You just need everyone to show their Cooked cube. Anyone who can't is in trouble.

By the way, this is how things are handled in The Resistance. The involved players are dealt one of each card (in this case, one Succeed and one Fail) they pick one and put it face down in a pile on the table. The pile is shuffled and checked for Fail cards. All the unused cards are returned face-down and shuffled. Then all the used and unused cards are sorted back out into Succeed and Fail piles, ready for next round.
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Colin Tate
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What if you had two sets of the choice cards?

That way after everyone places their choice card and discards their non choice cards they just pick up a clean set already sorted. Then it's just the job of whoever placed the first choice from that round to sort the previous cards.

This way you always have a fresh set but keep the game small. It's not the prettiest but I think it would cut down on time as long as the individual rounds are not only lasting 8 seconds or less.
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Colin Tate
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Hey I was just curious why the players need to be kept secret. Is there a problem like in resistance to have your identity known? I'm just curious about your game at this point.
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Corrino22 wrote:

You don't know, that's the whole point. You're not supposed to know who played which card.


This was my impression when I started reading the OP, but then he states that there are penalties for a failed audit or for cooking the books when an audit occurs. So the players clearly need to understand at some point who played which card in order to administer the penalties.

I think the critical question which hasn't been answered yet by the OP is why the players need to be unaware who played what at first and then aware later. What happens in between discovering that an audit took place and resolving the penalties to book-cookers and/or auditers which depends upon the players not knowing who played which card?




Furthermore: if identical cards are used it's easy enough to find out who played which one just by looking at which cards each player has left in their hand, and at this point it's also trivial for each player to be given back the card that they played (or one of the same type) at the same time as the penalties/effects are resolved for each player... so what is it about this process that you feel needs to be streamlined anyway?
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Eremiell wrote:
It's sufficient to show the card seeked. Did someone cook the books? Show me your cook the book card or you did! Whether the second one is play safe or audit, that's another story.

Did someone audit but noone cooked the books? Show me your audit card or you did.



^^^ I'm on board with that - minimum components.

no different from the cubes, but easier to keep concealed (no player screen required.)
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thetate00 wrote:
Hey I was just curious why the players need to be kept secret. Is there a problem like in resistance to have your identity known? I'm just curious about your game at this point.


Yes, that is the reason why. My group likes werewolf type games, and the auditors are the secret group in this game.

Bichatse wrote:
I think the critical question which hasn't been answered yet by the OP is why the players need to be unaware who played what at first and then aware later. What happens in between discovering that an audit took place and resolving the penalties to book-cookers and/or auditers which depends upon the players not knowing who played which card?


I actually did answer that - perhaps you didn't read the post that I posted at 1:23 - The specific player that played the audit (or the cook the books) is never supposed to be known for sure:

theTrueMikeBrown wrote:
There are two teams: the Auditors and the Accountants. The entire team is punished for messing up. If anyone cooks the books during an audit then all of the accountants are penalized.


It doesn't matter which player cooked the books, All of the players on the accountant team are penalized when an audit is successful (since the player that cooked the books is part of that team, they are penalized as well)
 
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