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Subject: Banker, Guard or Robber? rss

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Sturv Tafvherd
United States
North Carolina
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I've played Win, Lose, or Banana
and later, I ran into Dr. Boom

But I found the game design to be a bit ... incomplete.

So I started working on my own version. Here's what I've got so far.

The game is played with at least 3 players; but the fun really starts when you have more than 4.

If you only have 3 players, take the cards for the first 4 roles below.
If you only have 4 players, take the cards for the first 5 roles below.
If you only have N players (N>4), take the cards for the first N roles below.

The game is played over at least K rounds, where K is the number of players. Players take a turn being the Banker from round to round (the rest of the players draw a random role card secretly). After K rounds (when everyone has played as the Banker once), the player who has the highest total points greater than 2xK+1 wins. If no one qualifies, or there is a tie, play another round.

Banker : if you identify the Guard, 2 points
Guard: if the Banker picks you, 2 points
Robber: if the Banker picks you, 3 points
Customer: if you identify the Guard, 2 points
Investigator: if you identify the Robber, 2 points

Detective: for each hidden role you correctly identify, 1 point
Con Artist: if the Banker picks the Robber, 4 points
Detective: same as the first Detective
Joker: for each mistake made by both Detectives, 2 points
Jail Bird: for each person who identifies you as the Robber, 2 points

Hidden Roles: Guard, Robber, Customer, Investigator, Con Artist, Joker, Jailbird.

Game Round details.
1. One player is the Banker. His job is to keep track of time and then call for the End of Discussion
2. The other players each get 1 random role card, and should keep it secret (unless they are Detectives). If there are less than 5 players, there will be an extra/unused role card.
3. Plead. Each player gets at least 1 chance to speak. This would be when the Guard and Robber would persuade the Banker to pick them.
4. Interrogate. Each player gets at least 1 chance to ask a question.
5. End of Discussion. Banker controls when this would happen. I'm thinking allowing at least 1 minute per player for steps 3&4 combined. So in a 5 player game, you'd have 10 minutes for Plead and Interrogate.
6. Detectives write down their guesses.
7. Banker chooses. (*) Banker points at his choice (guessing who is the Guard). All other roles that needs to make a guess also points to their choice. (Only the Detectives write down their guesses)
8. Everyone reveals their role, and tally up the scores.

edit: (*) above

Feedback much appreciated.
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Sturv Tafvherd
United States
North Carolina
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So, what makes it non-random?
... well, there's the bluffing and social manipulation aspects.

Which is also the reason why Win, Lose, or Banana and Dr. Boom were non-random games in my experience... and thus, very fun.

The problem I had with those games is that ... well, it ended with the guess. And you might never get a chance to be the Win or the President.

So, in this version, I've put in a race-to-get-X-points.

And that adds a pretty quirky meta-game aspect.

For example, as the Banker, you might choose to knowingly point at the Robber... either because the Guard would win instantly from gaining the 2 points, or to misdirect either the Customer or Investigator.

Or, as a Customer, you might plead a case that you are the Guard, just to add misdirection to the Banker.

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