linoleum blownaparte
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We had a great thread recently about co-ops, so why not one about traitor games?

I set out to ask: what makes a good traitor game? What makes one succeed or fail? After ransacking the forums of some traitor games for reviews, strategy articles, and session reports, here's some thoughts that can be the starting point for discussion.



A traitor game is an asymmetric race to the finish.

Two sides - the "good guys" and the traitors - are racing to get to their goal first. In The Resistance the first side to win 3 missions wins. In Werewolf each side wants the other dead. In Battlestar Galactica the humans are trying to make enough jumps before their ship is destroyed.

However the sides are not symmetrical. The traitor team is usually smaller, and secret; sometimes the traitors don't even know each other. The traitors can easily hurt the "good guys", but not vice versa.

A race between two sides allows the game to build to a climax and then end. In a game with blurry loyalties, it is important to keep the goal clear.


Step up the tension by setting trust and time at odds.

A basic idea in many traitor games is the tension between two opposing truths.

First: if the game goes long, the traitors will win. Usually this is accomplished by a mechanism that gives the traitor team a steady, building advantage:

1. The nightly kill in Werewolf
2. The inevitable draining of resource dials in BSG
3. The limit of three failed missions in The Resistance

These elements act as a timer. If the good guys can't deduce the traitors in time, the traitors win, the end.

The second fact: the players ALSO can't win without cooperating and trusting each other a little. In The Resistance, the Rebels have to come up with mission teams - if they can't reach an agreement, the Empire wins by default. In Battlestar Galactica, the game is just too tough without trusting other players on skill checks and executive orders.

So, players have to balance these elements of risk and trust. It's like a multifaceted push-your-luck game.


Give the players information.

One of the flaws of Werewolf is it's ultimately just guessing and finger-pointing. The Resistance and Battlestar Galactica each give the players information - usually not enough information to nail the rat, but enough to narrow things down. This allows trust and suspicion to naturally develop between different players.

In traitor games it's actually a GOOD idea to occasionally give players information that other players don't have access to. For example, Baltar's once-per-game power to look at a loyalty card doesn't break Battlestar Galactica, because the players have to ask themselves, "Do we trust Baltar? Is he telling the truth?"



Give everyone a double-edged sword.

Give the players ways to mess with and hurt each other!

The most basic form of this is: lynching in Werewolf. Every time the players lynch the wrong person that's like a free kill for the werewolves.

In The Resistance, it's very useful to try to frame someone else if you're a spy. The rebels will stop picking them for teams... and be more likely to pick you.

Battlestar Galactica is the epitome of this idea. In BSG you can throw someone in the brig. You can throw away cards on elections. You can waste your action on something the ship doesn't really need while ignoring a growing crisis. And you can even use your special abilities to contradict or undo what other people are trying to accomplish. The ways to actively or passively screw with the team are endless. The traitor will use the hell out of these abilities... all on the pretext that he "doesn't trust" the person he's antagonizing.



Introduce "Did He Help?" choices into the game.

A "Did He Help" choice is a particular kind of double-edged sword. It's when a player has the opportunity to help or sabotage the group, but the other players can't be sure which one he did. They have to be asking themselves, "Did he make the best choice from what's available, or the worst one?" Battlestar Galactica is full of these choices. An example is Roslin picking one of two crisis cards; the Admiral picking one of two destination planets; or a player using the Scout to look at and bury a card.

In The Resistance, the "Did He Help" choices are when a player gets a chance to nominate a team. Is he picking players he trusts... or is he trying to out a spy... or does he KNOW there's a spy and he's trying to help him??




Don't do player elimination or loyalty reveals - or delay 'em to the endgame.

Being eliminated is no fun. A spy being "found out" early is like a form of player elimination for him/her, because he/she no longer gets to play the undercover double agent.

The lack of player elimination is one of the aspects that sets Resistance above Werewolf, according to many reviews.


Lack of ambiguity is very bad for your game. It gives the traitor nowhere to hide.

If there is any way that a "good guy" player can definitively prove his loyalty, the game is broken because only a traitor wouldn't take the opportunity to prove his innocence.

In the same vein, if there is something that will always help or always hurt the team, this mechanic needs to be taken out, because only a traitor would do something that always hurts the team, or refuse to do something that always helps them. This seems to be a problem with Panic Station with the trading and exploration mechanics (at least in the shipped version of the game), where in several session reports the Host player had no choice but to explore and trade how the humans wanted, because any deviation from optimal, risk-minimizing behavior would out him as the bad-guy.




Be careful about managing the endgame.

The endgame is when the players have a good idea of who the traitor is, but the game has not yet come to a close.

Different games manage this differently.

In Werewolf & The Resistance, the players can usually win the game (the exception is when a series of spies can dunk votes in Resistance, or when the Werewolves reveal they outnumber the surviving villagers). Thus, when the traitors are deduced, the game is basically over.

In Battlestar Galactica, a suspected traitor can be brigged. He/she can continue to insist on their innocence, or become a "revealed Cylon" with several ways to continue hurting the team. Figuring out the traitor usually gives the humans an advantage, but by no means guarantees victory. In fact, Cylons will often reveal themselves at key moments to inflict maximum damage and turn knife's-edge situations into hopeless situations for the humans (e.g. brigging the Pilot right as the Cylon fleet attacks).
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Nate K
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Yep.
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Adam Kazimierczak
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So I'm going to go out on a limb and say that I find most standard traitor games boring...unless I'm the traitor.

If you're the good guys it's essentially just a co-op with a little paranoia thrown in. Sure you can suspect that Joe is a cylon, but unless you have more to go on you'll probably just keep chugging away with your optimizing co-op strategy. After all, that's all you can do: you're a goody-two-shoes.

"Evil will always triumph because good is dumb."

Well, the problem is that most players have to play the good guys. And then when you're a good guy and someone thinks you're a bad guy, that's just annoying.


"So you think I'm the traitor because I was the traitor last game? Give me a break!"

"I'm the traitor because I took too long looking at my cards?"

"I'm the traitor because he said so?"


Sure, this can be fun, even hilarious...for the traitor. (I think there's a pattern developing.) It's always fun to revel in the ineptitude of the good guys. Now if the traitor sucks and gives him/herself away early on, then the game isn't fun for anyone. So you're left with three scenarios:

1. Traitor sucks, good guys win easily: no fun for anyone.

2. Traitor fooled everyone, good guys flummoxed: fun for traitor.

3. Traitor fooled almost everyone or good guys get lucky: fun for everyone?


If your group hits #3 more often than not, then you'll love traitor games, but not every group has this track record.

I guess it boils down to the fact that I don't particularly like most pure co-ops, but unless you're playing the traitor that's all you're getting in a traitor game other than some metagaming paranoia. Shadows over Camelot is arguably the blandest co-op experience of all, and the traitor can just play along and actually be the most helpful player on the team until the very end to tip the black swords over the edge, which makes it less a traitor game than a last turn "WTF?! We lost??" game.


So my ideal traitor game hasn't been invented yet, but I'm working to expand the "fractured co-op" or "layered traitors" genre to remedy this. You still start with good guys and a traitor, but the good guys each have a secret goal that if achieved makes them "win" instead of just "survive." That way the good guys might actually act in ways that are not "optimal play" for the group, but not be the traitor. Also it helps if the action card dynamic needs to be such that you may not be able to play something optimal, so some questionable card plays could be explained with "Sorry, that's the best thing I had in my hand..."










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kurthl33t wrote:
Yep.


That's exactly what a toaster would say.
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Nice thread, there are a few other things I'd add:


I hate player elimination, unless you have a great group which don't mind watching others play the game then it's flawed from the off. Which is a pity because I'd love Bang! otherwise.

Therefore there needs to be a way for the traitor to remain ambiguous until the end, and if not then they need to be able to still affect the game (but this should be an unwanted fallback option). In the resistance it can become the case where lucky power draws create a situation where one person is confirmed as a spy. It's rare, but still not that much fun for that person.

Recruitment mechanics should be very carefully looked at before being implemented, and there needs to be a reason beyond flavour why the good guys don't want to be recruited to the traitor side.
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linoleum blownaparte
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Adam undoubtedly has a point. Pandemic and Battlestar Galactica: The Board Game both debuted in 2008. They are both highly respected games in the BGG top 50.

Since then, The Resistance (2009) is the only traitor game to see the BGG top 500.

Whereas Pandemic was released around the same time as Space Alert and Ghost Stories, and sparked a movement that included: LOTR:LCG, Defenders Of The Realm, Flash Point, Gears Of War, Castle Ravenloft, Hanabi, D-Day Dice, Sentinels Of The Multiverse, Zombicide, Yggdrasil, Elder Sign, Mice & Mystics, Robinson Crusoe, EscapeTCOTT... just to name a few.

So what's the deal with so few traitor games?
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I think it's just very difficult to make it look like someone who is purposefully playing to lose, is playing to win. There needs to be an enforced information sharing limit, or complete lack of choices beyond discussion about who is the traitor.
 
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i absolutley have a soft spot for traitor games so i enjoyed readin this article


i want to talk a little bit about more about player elimination

early game marginalising is very bad for a game wheter it is through elimination or a bad guy accidently slipping up. One way to work around this problem is to have information about ones character to only be available when he is still alive,

In ressistance spies get to make a deccision if they wish to sabotate or not, the good guys do not need to make a choice, we had a first time player ponder this deccision, so everybody knew straight away that he was the bad guy. I think we can learn something from this as well.

About double edge swording: ideally every action can be used by both sides in order to do something with an outcome that isnt a hundred percent gurantee,

On Ambiguity i would like to say that there are many types of strategies and tricks the bad guys can use, newer players can make a suboptimal actions claiming to forgot, some rule or another. But an expirience player should be able to do an action that can be interpreted in diffrent ways. And ideally that no two games will be the same.

the original pandemic is not a traitor game bideway, the traitor element was only introduced in the expansion

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Adam Kazimierczak
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There's no denying co-ops are enjoying a surge of popularity and are probably here to stay. However most traitor games, rather than forging into new territory are just tapping into a small subset of that co-op fanbase by structuring the rest of the game as a slightly easier co-op.

The plus side of having the game be the primary opponent and the traitor play an ancillary role is that the traitor does not need to make overt moves against the group most of the time. The downside is that essentially the game plays as if the traitor doesn't exist until the reveal.

The Resistance is the exception: a pure traitor game with no co-op element vs. the game. This makes it more social and potentially less boring for the good guys (because you actually get clues about the traitor with every vote). Of course the theme is as thin as a monofilament, but there's a lot of betrayal goodness packed into a short time frame so a lot of players will let that slide.
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linoleum blownaparte
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Police Precinct, a game that was KS'd in early 2012 and is shipping now, has an optional traitor. So add that to the list

Going back to the discussion, I think the introduction of a traitor allows you to make a less puzzly co-op because the attention is on other elements like trust. Imagine a game where players can work together to build important tools, BUT only one player can own and use these tools at a time. That shifts the focus from Pandemic-style "OK how do we get all the cards we need to assemble the flamethrower?" to the more interesting "Should we really let George have the flamethrower? What if he's The Thing?"

The titular powers (President, Admiral) in Battlestar Galactica sort of accomplish this.

Balancing the traitor against the game itself - and answering the question of "which one is going to be the main antagonist?" - is certainly a problem.

If the traitor is the main antagonist
, then the good guys should be able to win easily once they know who it is. If that's the case you should make sure the game can't go on much longer after that happens. That's the path The Resistance chooses. An unmasked spy is effectively out of the game in TR, but the game will only continue for 5-10 more minutes anyway.

If the game is the main antagonist, you have other issues. And this is a thornier problem to solve.

First, the traitor has to be able to do SOME damage or the game's not very fun for him - just running around looking like he's helping but trying not to actually help. The traitor has to be able to create real damage, by sabotaging or spiking the efforts of the other players.

Second, unmasking the traitor has to have some positive effect for the good-guys, or else why should they even care.

Third, an unmasked traitor has to have something to do for the rest of the game, since - with the game as the main antagonist - unmasking the traitor is no guarantee of winning the game.

Fourth, and perhaps most difficult, the traitor's role pre- and post-reveal have to be VERY carefully balanced. If the post-reveal traitor is too powerful he will be tempted to reveal right away. If he's too weak, then being unmasked will feel like being eliminated from the game in all but name.
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Before I get into thoughts on new mechanisms, I want to talk about The Resistance a little bit. This has been my favorite Hidden Identity game for a long time because of its purely social nature and the lack of elimination.

However, having played it a few dozen times, I've noticed a trend where about 1 in 5 games is pointless. The probability shows it should be less for this situation, so maybe I'm just unlucky.

1.) The spies are physically near each other in the rotation
2.) The leader starts at least a few people away from the first traitor

If a spy isn't on the first mission, it is a low probability they'll EVER be on a mission. By the time the leader gets to a spy (if EVER), they'll HAVE to pick the original team plus themselves and vote for it to fail, which automatically gives away that player being a spy.

My point is, when designing a traitor game, try to make sure the player's physical position doesn't have an impact on their chance to win.
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kaziam wrote:


So my ideal traitor game hasn't been invented yet, but I'm working to expand the "fractured co-op" or "layered traitors" genre to remedy this. You still start with good guys and a traitor, but the good guys each have a secret goal that if achieved makes them "win" instead of just "survive." That way the good guys might actually act in ways that are not "optimal play" for the group, but not be the traitor. Also it helps if the action card dynamic needs to be such that you may not be able to play something optimal, so some questionable card plays could be explained with "Sorry, that's the best thing I had in my hand..."


Sounds like you need to REALLY play Panic Station.

The best THING (punn intended) about PS is the utter paranoia in the game, and the fact that the traitor(s) is a dynamic and can change at ANY time!

Its not perfect and rules need some clarity, but good guys CAN win (goal is not secret however, I too am doing that one), and its fun to play on either side imho anyway.

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One additional point to consider.

I don't believe the games mentioned are 'traitor game's, they are more like 'informed minority team games'. In all of the games listed, there are at least two traitors and they are working in concert. In BSG they don't know each others' identities, and you can end up with a solo Cylon... but in general they end up being team games.

Contrast this with Shadows over Camelot where if there is a Traitor, they are alone in their fight.

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I was recently wondering about optimum player numbers for traitor games. Why don't they work with few players? Or why haven't they been made to work with fewer up till now?
 
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linoleum blownaparte
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From reading the rules, session reports & reviews, Panic Station has a big problem. Which actually is very constructive to examine in light of game design...


Brief overview: you're exploring the station to find goodies (to fight aliens with), and you can trade a card when you enter the same room as another player. If the player who is secretly a Host (=alien) gives you an infection card, you become part of the Host & win/lose with it.



The big problem is player motivations and incentives.

The Host wants to trade, in order to infect other players and win. The humans DO NOT want to trade. Ever. For four reasons:

1. Trading is not exactly a power move. You give 1 card and get 1 card. So... you're back where you started.

2. There is no puzzle element where the humans want to trade so that they can assemble something big and badass. There is no Big Awesome Gun, or a Parasite Cure, that needs to be assembled from spare parts. Now, a human does need to have 3 gas cans to torch the alien Hive at the end of the game (= win for the humans), but the humans can easily wait for the endgame to do this, and one human might even find 3 gas cans by themselves.

3. There is no need to trade to get goodies to the people who can use them. Every player can find a use for all the cards. Some cards can only be used by Troopers or Androids, BUT every player has two characters - one of each! - and may use cards in his hand on behalf of either at any time.

4. Worst of all, trading is how you get infected. Having one or perhaps two humans die is preferable (to the human side) than to have even one human secretly converted to Host. In any event you can heal a wounded player using a first aid kit in your hand - you don't need to trade it to the wounded player (what a missed opportunity to incentivize trading!).

So to sum up, trading is all downside for a loyal human. 100% risk, 0% reward.





If the game were merely as I have described, it would be broken in a very simple way. No human would ever trade. The first human to offer a trade would out himself as the Host, receive a flamethrower to the face, and the humans would romp to a win.

At this stage of the design, the game could be "fixed" by introducing a reason, or better yet an imperative, for the humans to trade.

This could be by making trading very powerful and advantageous, like Executive Orders in Battlestar Galactica. Or by making trading often absolutely necessary to win, like approving mission teams in The Resistance. Either of these two solutions would lead to interesting questions of balancing risk and reward, trust and betrayal, just as in these two top-100 BGG games.

However instead of fixing the player motivation problem the game applies a series of really ugly patches "on top" of the basic design (I'm not saying that the rules were invented in a certain order - this is just a thought process for understanding the "layers" of the design).

1. So, the first twist was simple. You MUST trade upon entering a room with another player. This would introduce enough (forced) trades to let the Host hide his infection attempts. Well, trying to force players to do things that don't help them to win is NEVER a good idea. They will just try to work around the rule. In this case it's easy: humans avoid each other like the plague so that they don't have to engage in useless & dangerous trading.

2. How can we fix it? How about giving each player two characters to manage (Android and Trooper) and making the map so small it forces you to bump into other players. OK good, now everyone is interacting! Oh wait, the Host is starting to win all these games... humans cannot escape trading, and the Host is running wild...

3. One more rule: if you trade away a gas can, you can ignore any infection card that was handed to you in that trade. (recall that humans need gas cans to win at the endgame). Just to remind you of the key point - none of this is making humans WANT to trade more. The gas-can rule is there to stop the Host from succeeding in every infection attempt (since now he has way too many opportunities).





So - the game as I have now completely described it, is the Panic Station that was shipped to stores. Now instead of being broken in a simple way, it is broken in a convoluted way. The degenerate human behavior takes players longer to discover but is still just as degenerate. The game breaks down into gas-for-gas trading since this is the only reasonable human option when the game forces you into trading. The Host might trade innocent objects for gas, trying to hoard gas cans and take them away from the players, but this is transparently self-outing play. Anyone who breaks the gas-for-gas gridlock is the Host; and as long as the G4G gridlock continues, the humans are safe from the Host.

This, at least, is what I got from reading all the reviews and session reports of the game.




It all goes back to the same point that we often hit upon in the "pure co-op" thread... you cannot underestimate the impact of player motivations in a game design. A game, like any set of laws, can be riddled with perverse incentives and unintended consequences that are not clear until you try to put those laws into practice.

With regard to traitor co-ops this means you have to be very careful to create actions that both the traitor and the team want to do. The Resistance boils this down to a gem. Every player wants to go on missions. The spy, obviously, wants to be on the team so he can sabotage. Every rebel player also will insist on joining, because each rebel knows he is loyal (and can't be 100% certain of anyone else).

If you have an action that the traitor wants to do, but the loyal players don't want to do, one good way is to let the traitor "hide" his action. For example if the traitor was always trying to damage the zones of the spaceship that the team needed (engine room, control room) that would be a giveaway. But if there was an event that said "Draw two different Zone cards, pick one, that Zone is now damaged." Now the loyal player can try to direct the damage to where it will hurt the least. Meanwhile the traitor can try to do the MOST damage while sadly telling the group "Sorry guys, the other option was even worse!"
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Richard Hutnik
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I had viewed traitor games as cooperative games where one player is trying to tip the game into failing the other players in the game. I had applied this principle to a traitor variant of Jenga. I also ended up doing Traitor Race, which is a 2 player only traitor game, based around press-your-luck as the mechanic to get sabotaged. In this, there has to be way to make player's motives unclear, and I believe a core skill needed in the game is to be able to read other players in the game, and see if they are lying.
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linoleum blownaparte
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Vanish wrote:
Before I get into thoughts on new mechanisms, I want to talk about The Resistance a little bit. This has been my favorite Hidden Identity game for a long time because of its purely social nature and the lack of elimination.

However, having played it a few dozen times, I've noticed a trend where about 1 in 5 games is pointless. The probability shows it should be less for this situation, so maybe I'm just unlucky.

1.) The spies are physically near each other in the rotation
2.) The leader starts at least a few people away from the first traitor

If a spy isn't on the first mission, it is a low probability they'll EVER be on a mission. By the time the leader gets to a spy (if EVER), they'll HAVE to pick the original team plus themselves and vote for it to fail, which automatically gives away that player being a spy.

My point is, when designing a traitor game, try to make sure the player's physical position doesn't have an impact on their chance to win.


Yeah... The more players there are the fewer opportunities anyone has to be the leader, which can initially hurt the spies. If the spies know they are in this difficult position, they should vote No on lots of teams so that the leadership rotates around nearer to them. By the same token, though, this seems like a problem specific to The Resistance because of its very short playtime. If this is really a problem one could always play with the house rule that a leader cannot nominate themselves (which would prevent the rebels from picking the same team over and over). IIRC you would need to waive that rule for the last, 'every rebel' mission.
 
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linoleum

while I loosely agree with your conclusions and critiques of some mechanics in panic station (our whole group of 6 discussed them while learning the game), somehow it is far and away our favourite traitor game. by miles.

the random and enclosed map creates variable tension levels and tactical imperatives that flavour the gameplay and its ending.

we have found humans win more than 50% but alien victories are memorable eg all 5 of us alien players urging the final human we couldn't reach to do a base scan... we have never grinned so malevolently as we revealed the number of infected players to his disbelief. a classic gaming moment.

most early trades aren't with infected people so you can pair up in trust relationships and acutely observe movement and action behaviour to deduce who are the riskiest trade partners. the fact that this becomes less reliable later is key to 'the thing' like tension. stockpiling and ensuring bullets go to the trustworthy is also a key reason to trade.

the expansion adds the antidote which probably should have been in the core...

anyway - while most agree its flawed in some ways, it is most often the game we play with 1 hour left in the evening. i strongly urge anyone who likes treacherousness but who hasn't yet played it to do so. there is much flavoursome paranoia to be learned from i think.
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Any game can be fun with the right group but it's like the discussion we had re: Pandemic in the pure co-op thread. I fall on the side that thinks that game design, rather than the players' psychology, is what really shapes the behavior of the game. In any case as designers we can only change the design, not which players play our games...

One more traitor game to add to the list: The Thing, by the same guy who made Revolver! It's PNP. The Thing seems like the perfect setting for a traitor game.
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kronik wrote:
I was recently wondering about optimum player numbers for traitor games. Why don't they work with few players? Or why haven't they been made to work with fewer up till now?

It's a tricky problem to solve, and one I've been toying with in my own game design. I have a playable prototype, but it occasionally falls on some of the shortcomings listed in the OP above.

I would venture that it's easier to design a coop game than it is to design a traitor game and that's why we see more of them. Just a guess.

Also, coop games tend to have a sliding scale to adjust to the players. How many epidemics do you play with in Pandemic? 5 too easy? Just add one more for a challenge then. Balancing a traitor game can't fall back on that because you don't know who the traitor is going to be or how well they might do.
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Linoleumblownaparte wrote:
The second fact: the players ALSO can't win without cooperating and trusting each other a little. In The Resistance, the Rebels have to come up with mission teams - if they can't reach an agreement, the Empire wins by default. In Battlestar Galactica, the game is just too tough without trusting other players on skill checks and executive orders.

So, players have to balance these elements of risk and trust. It's like a multifaceted push-your-luck game.




LOL!! Silly Humans can never get it right!
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I'd like to see a traitor game where the traitor doesn't exist at the start of the game, but rather the actions of the group as a whole put somebody into a position where they are pushed "over the edge" and become a traitor.

The first application I thought of for this was a co-op game with Super Heroes and Super Villains. All players start as Super Heroes and are dealt a hand of three weakness cards which they keep secret. The heroes travel around a map dealing with villains and events. The group decides which threat to tackle with a vote. Force one super hero into his weaknesses too many times and he, secretly, turns into the Super Villain. The Super Villain would not have to reveal his plans until he was ready, so maybe for a few turns after being pushed "over the edge" he's collecting weapons and such before he tries to win, taking control over the game's AI bad guys as their leader.

I think it would present interesting decisions as some players might WANT to end up being a villain and therefore the voting won't be so obvious as to "Jim doesn't want to go to San Fran, so that must be one of his weaknesses" while other players would prefer to win on the good side, but the votes go against them ... what a better time to betray when nobody will listen to you?

The biggest problem I see with it is resolving multiple betrayals without elimination.
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Vanish wrote:
Before I get into thoughts on new mechanisms, I want to talk about The Resistance a little bit. This has been my favorite Hidden Identity game for a long time because of its purely social nature and the lack of elimination.

However, having played it a few dozen times, I've noticed a trend where about 1 in 5 games is pointless. The probability shows it should be less for this situation, so maybe I'm just unlucky.

1.) The spies are physically near each other in the rotation
2.) The leader starts at least a few people away from the first traitor

If a spy isn't on the first mission, it is a low probability they'll EVER be on a mission. By the time the leader gets to a spy (if EVER), they'll HAVE to pick the original team plus themselves and vote for it to fail, which automatically gives away that player being a spy.

My point is, when designing a traitor game, try to make sure the player's physical position doesn't have an impact on their chance to win.


From your description, I am inferring that spies always fail when they are on a mission in your group. So if the first mission passes, then you are 100% sure it is clean. A good way to fix this is to pass the first mission as a spy. Then when you add the new team member (who is clean) and mission 2 fails you will have everyone fooled.

Then your play group will adjust and this will become less of an issue. Then a new groupthink will emerge and you will need to move another step ahead. This is the beauty of the Resistance.
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TheFlatline wrote:
Betrayal at House on the Hill does this, although it's usually immediately apparent who the traitor becomes.


I've played Betrayal at House on the Hill, and the idea is not the same (although you are correct they technically don't start as a traitor). One might even say that the game doesn't even really start until the Haunt. The players all know when the haunting happens, heck the betrayer even leaves the room.

What I am looking for is a game where the players actions push someone into the traitor role, not a dice roll. Secondly, the when and who would still be unknown to everyone but the traitor.
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WyantJM wrote:
From your description, I am inferring that spies always fail when they are on a mission in your group. So if the first mission passes, then you are 100% sure it is clean. A good way to fix this is to pass the first mission as a spy. Then when you add the new team member (who is clean) and mission 2 fails you will have everyone fooled.

Then your play group will adjust and this will become less of an issue. Then a new groupthink will emerge and you will need to move another step ahead. This is the beauty of the Resistance.


No, not in the slightest. Believe me, we take the game way past that level. With a good starting setup, a game of the Resistance in our group can take two hours.

The issue is difficult to describe since the number of players changes the format.

Its more like this:
Mission 1: Leader selects himself and next two in line, no spies on team PASS
Mission 2: Same two, Leader adds person to the left, still no spies PASS
Mission 3: Pick Same three again, and next in line, if spy, MUST FAIL.
Mission 4: Spy is leader, naturally downvoted,
Next leader, even if spy, probably requires two votes anyway, PASS

Yawn?


Like I said, it is only about 20% of the time. But that 20% is a wasted game.

Edit: It has nothing to do with group dynamic, its all about the luck of the first player in picking all Resistance to start, combined with the spies never getting Leader.
 
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