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Dead of Winter: A Crossroads Game» Forums » General

Subject: Everyone's a Traitor rss

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Nathan Woll
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I have played this game a lot and even ran it at a few conventions. My thoughts on the "if you can't win do you have any incentive to help others win" debate is well documented. So I found my latest session quite interesting.

I brought out Dead of Winter this holiday with some family and friends. My brother, his wife, my sister, her friend and my 12-year old son were playing. I was running the game (which is quite fun if you have 6 players by the way...) So most of the players were casual gamers and none of them know my position on this issue. We were playing Home Sweet Home and got down to the last round. It looked like we would complete the main objective. However, on the last player's turn she had to build 1 barricade and kill at least 2 zombies at the colony to ensure there were still 10 barricades after adding zombies. She had 3 action dice so it looked easy enough but a Crossroads card came up that required either losing an action dice or losing morale and morale was at 1. (We knew there wasn't a traitor since with so many casual gamers I purposefully didn't add a traitor and all players were aware of this.) So the last player did have a lighter which would allow her to kill the required number of zombies and still complete the main objective...if someone would give her fuel. The problem was that no one had fuel since, with morale at 1, no one wanted to risk exposure while traveling and everyone had used all fuel cards.

So, she has two action dice, the game is about to end but she needs to kill 2 zombies and build a barricade (or kill 3 zombies). She has the lighter but no fuel. Crossroads has already triggered. Nothing to do, we lose.

Then while putting everything away and while everyone was talking about the game it came out that my sister-in-law actually had 3 fuel cards in hand (her secret objective was to have 3 fuel cards). So she could have given up a fuel to complete the main objective but she would lose. She saw no incentive to give up her fuel so it resulted in everyone losing. We all had a good laugh about this and some teasing about who we would avoid in a real zombie apocalypse. It's just a game so there weren't any hard feelings or anything but it made me feel a little better knowing even casual gamers understand that everyone losing is better than you losing but others winning.
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Xenothon Stelnicki
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Your sister-in-law is a monster.
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Rafael Maia
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boy, if only someone had one (or a handful) anecdotal stories of people doing the exact opposite... we could show how even casual gamers can "understand" that there is no one "right way" of making a decision under such an interesting scenario!
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Jack Francisco
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xen911 wrote:
Your sister-in-law is a monster.


or a Cylon. devil
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Zack Stackurski
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I had a similar situation in my first game. We were down to our last morale and needed a couple of zombies destroyed in a couple locations to survive to the end after achieving our overall objective. Derek was our last player and seemed torn about doing what needed to be done... I assumed he was looking for a less risky option to get us to win... but he went for it in the end and we were all hanging on every die roll as his tough guy barely survived something like 5 or 6 exposure checks on the turn to clean up the areas we needed to win!

Unfortunately it turned out Derek had not secured his personal objective and despite being the hero of the game for bringing it home was the only one to lose. Afterward let us know he figured his half victory of saving the colony was worth being the sole loser on personal goals (and he couldn't see how to squeeze another search into his actions to maybe pick up the food he needed). So I'm not sure I'd agree that making other people lose if you yourself are going to lose is always what people will or should choose... but it is something interesting to consider when all the chips are on the table in the final rounds.
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Nathan Woll
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rmaia wrote:
boy, if only someone had one (or a handful) anecdotal stories of people doing the exact opposite... we could show how even casual gamers can "understand" that there is no one "right way" of making a decision under such an interesting scenario!


Fair enough.

It was an interesting situation for sure. I like that this game brings out such things.
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Clyde W
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Given the thread title, I kinda hoped this was about how you trolled your family and made everyone a traitor.
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James Sitz
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clydeiii wrote:
Given the thread title, I kinda hoped this was about how you trolled your family and made everyone a traitor.


Just imagine the look on everyone's faces when they work together to exile someone and see that that person was a traitor.
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David "Davy" Ashleydale
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I don't think this is a great example of how people behave in a standard game of Dead of Winter, though, because there wasn't even the possibility of a betrayer. So she was just making a decision between everyone losing, or possibly some other people besides her winning.

If there had been the possibility of a betrayer, she would have had to decide between possibly some other non-betrayers winning (but still not her), and the betrayer possibly winning.

In that case, I bet she would have chosen to at least give some of the other non-betrayers a chance at winning, rather than give a betrayer a possible chance of winning.
 
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Joel Carson
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randomlife wrote:
I don't think this is a great example of how people behave in a standard game of Dead of Winter, though, because there wasn't even the possibility of a betrayer. So she was just making a decision between everyone losing, or possibly some other people besides her winning.

If there had been the possibility of a betrayer, she would have had to decide between possibly some other non-betrayers winning (but still not her), and the betrayer possibly winning.

In that case, I bet she would have chosen to at least give some of the other non-betrayers a chance at winning, rather than give a betrayer a possible chance of winning.


The final player's turn doesn't sound like it lost the final morale. It's just that game ended with nine barricades instead of ten, it doesn't sound like an overrun took out a morale. So, this decision has no chance of helping the betrayer win, assuming one existed.

And since you probably haven't met "her", I'm not sure how you can jump to such a conclusion.
 
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David "Davy" Ashleydale
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JCChrono wrote:
randomlife wrote:
I don't think this is a great example of how people behave in a standard game of Dead of Winter, though, because there wasn't even the possibility of a betrayer. So she was just making a decision between everyone losing, or possibly some other people besides her winning.

If there had been the possibility of a betrayer, she would have had to decide between possibly some other non-betrayers winning (but still not her), and the betrayer possibly winning.

In that case, I bet she would have chosen to at least give some of the other non-betrayers a chance at winning, rather than give a betrayer a possible chance of winning.


The final player's turn doesn't sound like it lost the final morale. It's just that game ended with nine barricades instead of ten, it doesn't sound like an overrun took out a morale. So, this decision has no chance of helping the betrayer win, assuming one existed.

And since you probably haven't met "her", I'm not sure how you can jump to such a conclusion.


Okay, right, I misread the situation. I thought they lost by morale going to 0 which could have given a betrayer a win.

And I didn't mean to imply that I knew for sure what she would have chosen to do, because you're right -- I've never met her. But I was just saying that I would "bet" that most non-betrayers would rather have other non-betrayers win than have a betrayer win. Even though technically, a loss is a loss.
 
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Joel Carson
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randomlife wrote:
JCChrono wrote:
randomlife wrote:
I don't think this is a great example of how people behave in a standard game of Dead of Winter, though, because there wasn't even the possibility of a betrayer. So she was just making a decision between everyone losing, or possibly some other people besides her winning.

If there had been the possibility of a betrayer, she would have had to decide between possibly some other non-betrayers winning (but still not her), and the betrayer possibly winning.

In that case, I bet she would have chosen to at least give some of the other non-betrayers a chance at winning, rather than give a betrayer a possible chance of winning.


The final player's turn doesn't sound like it lost the final morale. It's just that game ended with nine barricades instead of ten, it doesn't sound like an overrun took out a morale. So, this decision has no chance of helping the betrayer win, assuming one existed.

And since you probably haven't met "her", I'm not sure how you can jump to such a conclusion.


But I was just saying that I would "bet" that most non-betrayers would rather have other non-betrayers win than have a betrayer win. Even though technically, a loss is a loss.


Fair enough. But, even if you're right about that, so what? The OP was trying to explain that people play differently, and the refusal to lose to let the rest of the players win isn't necessarily a sign the player is hyper competitive and selfish. The point was this is a casual player just learning the game. No meta or planning for future games with the same group. Just a person's casual decision to let everyone fall with her. She may not have the majority opinion of players, but that doesn't make her any less "right" in her action.
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David "Davy" Ashleydale
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To me, the purpose of the post was to provide support to the conclusion: "... even casual gamers understand that everyone losing is better than you losing but others winning."

Maybe that's true for sessions like that one where they removed the possibility of having a betrayer, but I'm not sold that the conclusion is valid for the regular version of the game.

It could be. But I don't think that particular anecdote supports the conclusion.
 
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Joel Carson
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randomlife wrote:
To me, the purpose of the post was to provide support to the conclusion: "... even casual gamers understand that everyone losing is better than you losing but others winning."

Maybe that's true for sessions like that one where they removed the possibility of having a betrayer, but I'm not sold that the conclusion is valid for the regular version of the game.

It could be. But I don't think that particular anecdote supports the conclusion.


Yeah, I agree with the OP's statement until the phrase "is better" showed up. I'd put it...

"...even casual gamers understand that everyone losing [can be] [more satisfying] than you losing but others winning."
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Jason
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I thought someone screwed up the stacks of cards like I did once. Everyone was, in fact, a traitor. Only took a turn and a half of everyone acting damn shifty for one player to figure it out. Shame.
 
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