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Help on Traitor Mechanic in Cards

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kodarr
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Joined: 08/04/2008

Ok the gist of the game is heroes are trying to find a key to leave the labyrinth. It's a co-op game with a chance of someone turning into a traitor through pure evil changing them.

The games actions are all card based. There are Hero cards, and Evil cards. When drawing cards you can draw from either deck but Evil cards will give a better benefit but at the same time cripple you or your allies with status effects, manipulating movements, etc... The hero cards are same basic actions but lesser in value. Ex: Hero move cards range 2-4, & Evil move cards range 4-8.

Now at the start of the game 10 random evil cards are removed from the deck. This is important because there is a Traitor card in the evil deck and you shouldn't know if the current game has that card or not.

My problem is that as you close in towards the end of the game as in any co op game the game can sway towards the game winning fairly easily. I noticed that everyone will start to draw evil cards in the attempts to become a traitor. I need to think of some way to discourage this because this leaves the traitor to always win since so many Evil cards in players hands will always cause the heroes to lose.

I know just getting rid of the traitor would fix this problem then it is just weighing how good or bad playing an evil card is compared to a hero card. But I think most the fun of the game is you don't know if someone is a traitor and purposely making it harder to find the key to leave or not.

So any ideas on how to keep the traitor element and preferably in the evil deck but some way to discourage the mad drawing of evil cards.

Louard
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Joined: 02/09/2010
Why so hard?

Maybe you could tell us what it is about the endgame that makes it so hard for the heroes to win.

Seems to me that a possible mitigation to everyone trying to be the traitor would be making it less of a guarantee that evil will win in the end.

Also, no alternative suggestion for this yet, but it seems like you've got a bit of a downward spiral effect going as players, draw evil cards in the hope of becoming the traitor and by the fact of drawing evil cards are making it more likely that evil will prevail. Perhaps if there was some other factor that caused evil to win, thus decoupling the action that will make you the traitor from the action that will make evil win in the end.

RacNRoll Gaming
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Joined: 05/12/2010
Take a Blackjack

Take a Blackjack approach....

If you assign a value to the Hero and Evil cards a player can "BUST" if they go over the limit on Evil Card value...thus causing the evil to consume them causing their demise.

(Example using 21 as in blackjack)...Player A has drawn enough evil card to have an evil score of 17 does he run the risk of drawing a card with a value of 5 or higher and die? or does he draw the hero cards to get himself down to a lower number?

Not sure if this is what you were looking for but its an idea

Pastor_Mora
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The werewolf approach

1) I like the blackjack idea. It was quite from outside the box.

2) I don't see why I won't be taking evil cards always (they are more powerful after all). If your only chance of not winning would be that the traitor card was actually not on the deck, well, you have just 10% chance of that happening in a 100 cards deck (how many cards per deck you have?) and having a 90% chance of winning alone is an affordable risk for me.

Have you thought about predefined roles? Maybe a player can receive a traitor card at the beginning (add some other roles too).

Keep thinking!

RacNRoll Gaming
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Pastor_Mora wrote:1) I like

Pastor_Mora wrote:
1) I like the blackjack idea. It was quite from outside the box.

Thanks.....maybe I should have saved it for one of my own games :p

Louard
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RnR's Blackjack idea

I like how this one can be used with or without the concept of a traitor card.

Without the traitor card, you can say that the player with the highest evil score without busting is the traitor.

With the traitor card, you could keep the same rule for declaring someone a traitor but add that whoever has the most evil points and does NOT have the traitor card can not score at all. This could create a good risk/reward element as to win as the traitor you need allot of evil, but if you don't get the traitor card and your evil level is the highest, you don't score.

Creating ways fort the heroes to 'fight back' against the traitor could open the door to allot of fun 'Mafia' style subterfuge too. I don't mean directly attacking, mind you. i simply mean that if the heroes have actions at their disposal that could target other players and make it hard for them to win as the traitor it adds an element by which whoever holds the traitor card will want to better their chances while not giving away the fact that they are, in fact, the traitor.

kodarr
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Joined: 08/04/2008
Well all evil cards also have

Well all evil cards also have negative effects for instance an evil move card may also disease the player making them lose one life each round. Players are capped at 5 card hands so they can't always draw. Plus the deck is 100 cards after you remove 10 it is 90 cards and you don't know if the single traitor card is in the deck still or not.

Near the end game there is usually 1 piece of the key left to locate the board is fairly filled with monsters and it could swing either way.

I like the idea of separating the evil cards from the traitor, but there needs to be a negative effect that will eventually distribute the traitor to someone and a random way that it won't be in the game also.

The black jack thing is a good idea but I would need to restructure the whole game to apply that since the cards are secret in the players hands meaning a traitor could play cards that did horrible things claiming that the other cards are much worse when they really aren't.

Another option I guess I could just have only a deck where every card has negative effects as well as positives so they only have one deck to draw from and there is no choice but I like the choice aspect.

Any other Ideas on a way to balance the evil deck and hero deck so that ppl don't just jump to try and be traitor and everyone loses.

Jean Of mArc
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Hey kodarr, Thanks for

Hey kodarr,

Thanks for sharing your game ideas with us!! Sounds interesting! :) I like the idea of removing 10 random cards so that the traitor might not even be there. That's cool. Maybe you could make it 20 cards so that the odds are 80% instead? 90% seems high.

I think that the ideas that have been suggested so far, blackjack or no-evil-points-if-not-traitor, would do quite well for your game. Another idea is that choosing hero cards grants you a certain amount of hero points. If someone draws the traitor card, then the only way he can be vanquished is if the other players' hero points are high enough to do so. By this I mean that if everyone just keeps choosing evil cards, then they are not getting any hero points. And if someone DOES get the traitor card, the other players may not be able to beat him. However, if they continue to choose hero cards, then they may have enough to beat him. Something like that could help things.

Let us know your thoughts!

kodarr
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Joined: 08/04/2008
One problem is all cards are

One problem is all cards are hidden when drawn so you don't know the values or what the cards do. Cards can be used for moving, searching, attacking, and hiding are the 4 base types.

Amount of points for black jack won't work since you won't now the values people have. Which is why I can't use that as the system stands right now.

Removing more cards I think I will do that but that won't solve the problem completely.

So your saying have a chart like in dungeon lords for evil and good that you sway depending on the cards you draw. Also if someone has the traitor card they don't reveal so you don't know if someone is a traitor until the game is over. You can suspect it but... even if you kill them they discard their hand face down so you never know if they were a traitor or not.

So the traitor wants to hamper the players by making less optimal moves because if they act out then they will be hunted down by the other players.

innuendo
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Joined: 05/25/2010
Why not make is symmetric and

Why not make is symmetric and put a "Champion" card in the hero deck. This means that if everyone is drawing evil to get traitor one player can draw good and get Champion and wipe everyone out since he'll be the only good player. You can do the same thing where you remove 10 or 20 cards from the hero deck and then you have a very interactive games were players are trying to read other players and if one player draws the champion or traitor early they can bluff by drawing cards of the other type or just go all out and try to power grab.

Seems something like this would offset the issue. By making an equal strong force on the other side. Everything else suggested is just ways to nerf the traitor effect which may still need to happen, that's a testing issue. But why not just make good better by giving them a champion?

infocorn
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Some thoughts...

I'll add my kudos on the blackjack thing. That was inspired! Also, I was thinking about the Champion-type card as well.

Keeping two decks is interesting. Have you considered compulsory balanced draws, ie one (or more) from each deck if you're opting to draw at all on the turn? This would possibly allow you to tally how many have been taken; if you KNOW that X number of cards have been taken, a "DM" type rule could trip where after a certain number of Evils have been taken (or played) that the first card(s) drawn must be done so face-up (just as an example).

On a related note, allowing each player a chance to flush a hidden-in-the-hand traitor out with something deductive (a la CLUE) might work. Something like having taken more of a certain type of card from other draw effects or reaching a waypoint or objective marker allows you a "question" that the Traitor would have to answer.

What about making the traitor "move" from turn to turn? My thinking here is sort of like Hearts: you're passing 3 cards to another player in 3/4 of the round, some of which could really help you to get rid of/harm you to get. Something like maybe as the round ends, if there's compulsory discarding, that rather than d/c to a lost-card pile, your d/c is hidden hand cards and the traitor (if you have it in your hand, you HAVE to toss it).

Just some thoughts.

innuendo
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Joined: 05/25/2010
You could also do something

You could also do something cool where for each successive draw from a deck it costs more. So basically the cheapest route would be to draw 50% from each deck. But say for each card you draw from the same deck in a row in the same turn it costs one extra 'point' Or whatever you are using as a resource. So if you draw 2 it costs 3 points (1 + 2) and if you draw 3 it costs 6 (1 + 2 + 3)...this would be a good limiting factor preventing players from just going all evil.

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