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Tragedy Looper» Forums » Variants

Subject: [Variant] Five Player Game rss

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Magic Mike
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I've played twice so far and have had to turn away a fifth player both times. I might try this variant if it happens again.

The fourth Protagonist receives:
- The Leadership card
- The Extra pocketwatch card
- The Extra cellphone card
- The Extra diary card

When the Mastermind places cards, he or she may place a fourth card on any character or location that does not have Goodwill counters or Intrigue counters on it. This fourth card should be indicated with an Extra counter (or an Incident counter if Extra counters are already being used to represent something else). The fourth card may not be placed on a character or location that already has a Mastermind card placed on it.

When the Protagonists place cards, the Leader places his or her card last. That player may look at each of the other Protagonist's face down cards before deciding which card to place. The card placed may be one of the Extra cards or the Leadership card. The card must be placed on a character or location that does not already have a Protagonist card placed on it.

When cards are resolved:
- The Extra pocketwatch card becomes a duplicate of the other pocketwatch card
- The Extra cellphone card becomes a duplicate of the other cellphone card
- The Extra diary card becomes a duplicate of the other diary card
- The Leadership card becomes Goodwill +1
- If an Extra card would duplicate a once per loop card, the Extra card does nothing instead.
- If an Extra card duplicates a Forbid Intrigue card, the rule for resolving multiple Forbid Intrigue cards applies.

At the end of the Day, the Leadership card rotates and the player who had it swaps hands with the player to his or her left.

Edit: clarified resolution of Extra card duplication of Forbid Intrigue cards
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Ben Tsui
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Obviously I have not tried it yet, but I find it tips the balance towards the protagonist too much.

Mastermind is limited greatly where he/she can place the 4th card. Not much of a problem at the start of loop, but can be a problem with certain plots in place (ie ones with friends). Eventually mastermind might even run out of places to place cards but just random cards to bluff at locations, especially once you use up that +2 intrigue.

Meanwhile, the protagonist having an extra once-per-loop card played is huge. Another +2 goodwill ? Another -1 paranoia? Since the leader can see the card before placement, the leader knows exactly what to copy. Realistically, that is 3 extra +2 good will, and 3 extra -1 paranoia in total.

So while the protagonist gets extra power cards, the mastermind gets... an extra bluff?
 
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Matt Pierce
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I think the extra player not being able to look at the cards beforehand would make for some interesting discussion/planning when in the time vortex.
Also yeah, not being able to dupe once-per-loop abilities would be an important adjustment to consider.
 
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Magic Mike
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Thanks for the feedback!

I added:

- If an Extra card would duplicate a once per loop card, the Extra card does nothing instead.
 
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Ben Tsui
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The new rule is pointless since the leader gets to see all the face down cards before playing their own. Kinda like the rule where you cannot play 2 forbidden intrigue is useless when table talk is on.
 
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Jorgen Peddersen
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The idea would have merit if you force the fourth player to simply play one of the Extra cards.

And if you do it this way, perhaps even make it so that it can duplicate a once-per-loop card, but if you do, then that Extra card also stays on the table like a once-per-loop card.

Oh, and it's probably best to have the Extra cards have no effect if the other player played Forbid Intrigue...
 
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Magic Mike
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Alright, added the bit about duplication of Forbid Intrigues.
 
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Jeff Wood
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For a real change-up, why not have the leader go first? Then the player holding the deck of the played Extra card can really wonder what is best to play and where, since it will be duplicated.

Of course, you want to have that leader deck changing hands each day so everyone can enjoy making their fellow protagonists work harder.
 
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John Yein
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If you want to use the extra cards, I think it might be interesting to do it this way:

The extra cards (both Mastermind and Protagonist Extra cards) simply allows the effect of its twin cards to be used on a different target.

For example, Diary card player places Goodwill +1 on the Shrine Maiden, but suspects that the mastermind has placed a Forbid Goodwill on her, The fourth player helps by playing Extra Card C (Diary extra card)on the Girl Student with the picture side face down so the mastermind don't know which card is being twined. When the cards reveals, seeing that there is indeed a Forbid Goodwill on the Shrine Maiden, the players agree to apply the effect of Goodwill +1 to the Girl Student instead. (or they can keep the target as the shrine maiden, and have the Goodwill +1 be forbidden.)

Same for the master mind, except he has to indicate first (by token) which of his face down card he is twining. And his extra card (Extra Card A) can be placed face up since it just shows the Mastermind artwork.

In The case where the extra card alternate targets cause timing issues, the Protagonist must first choose the final target their card affects, and then the Mastermind will finalize his target selection. Unless all four cards (mastermind card and extra card, protagonist card and extra card) cover the same two targets: In this case the effects of both mastermind cards and protagonists cards only applies to one of the targets of the Mastermind's choice.

And just to throw something in, Maybe once per loop, instead of playing an extra card, the leader may opt to prevent the Mastermind from using his extra card for the day. (Basically forces a normal turn.)

Don't know how this will work out, but I can see more subterfuge and trickery with this setup and not have too much effect on game balance.
 
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An issue that I can see arising is the fact the decks are going to be passed around and you won't be using your own deck the whole time. If you play a once per loop card then pass your deck to the leader, then that player doesn't have access to that once per loop card, while you might be passed a deck later that still has access to that once per loop cards.

The concept is great and all. I forget if the backs of the extra cards look the same as the normal cards, but having the mastermind have a 'twin' card also, that twins a face down card of his, would be good.
 
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Kirran Sa
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As a player that has NO knowledge of the game other than a few things I've seen from Rahdo Runs Through and a few other murmurs, this game seems absolutely stellar; however, my gaming group is always at 5 players.

I know games love that arbitrary 4 player limit, but as collective anime fans, and fans of co-op puzzling, I know this is something we would all enjoy. I see many people complaining about balance issues with this proposed variant (of which I have no comment), but I just need to know:

is what is proposed in the OP at least a viable option for those wishing to play with 5 players? We've managed to find some ramshackle methods to turn other strictly 4 player games into 5 players, but I've seen nothing but negativity in response to this idea. Those of you that have complained, is there another alternative you would recommend? Are these "once per loop" cards you keep referring to so game-breaking that we would have absolutely no fun with the core game if they were passed to another player?

Thanks in advance guys. I'm eager to purchase this, but I just need to know if there is literally any possible way this can support five players, lest our group resorts to partnering up (which is always just not as fun).
 
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Magic Mike
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I actually haven't tried this variant yet because my groups still haven't gotten past First Steps.

One thing I've found with First Steps is that the free communication allows more than three protagonists. They're just limited to the normal three cards (they have to agree on all three cards). I actually ran a First Steps game at a convention last month with seven protagonists.
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Kirran Sa
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Oh wow, that's actually exciting to hear it works! I hope I can figure out some way to get this game working with 5.
 
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