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A CCG using Non-transitive Mechanics (R/P/S)

5 replies [Last post]
Joined: 12/31/1969

After perusing the boards here, I came upon a post for a game using a non-transitive system instead of numbers:
and got an idea - a CCG using the Rock/Paper/Scissors relationship as the main mechanic.

The theme came from a desire to make a humorous game and a quiz I found online:,%20Ninja,%20Pirate,%20Robot?%20
This is what I came up with:

Their are numerous secret organizations that work behind the scenes of everyday life that are unknown to the majority of society. These secret groups are constantly trying to push their agendas forward through a variety of means while constantly trying to hinder the goals of rival secret groups. As such, these secret societies are always fighting amongst themselves.

The humor shows in with these so-called secret societies. I envision groups of intelligent simians, greedy pirates, self-sentient robots, the walking dead, among others, fighting amongst themselves behind the scenes.

I've also come up with some rudimentary game play for it. The object of the game will be to complete three goals (or Agendas) for your group before your opponent does. To do this you have to engage in conflicts in three different zones to push your agenda toward completion. Every time you win a conflict in a zone your agenda moves into the next zone. Every time you lose, your agenda moves back to the previous zone. If you push your agenda through three zones, it's completed.

You will have a choice of groups to build your deck from. They will kind of act like the colors in Magic, in that they will have various advantages/disadvantages but can mix them to your liking in a deck. This will allow you to essentially create your secret group when you build a deck.

You will also have a HQ card which will represent your group's base of operations. It could grant you a special ability, some resources to use, and perhaps a starting hand size.

As far as resources go, I opted to use 'Pull' as my resource of choice. Characters will generate 'Pull' mainly for their specific group. So when you want to play a card, you have to tap the appropriate number characters that can generate 'Pull' for that card (it's reminiscent of an old CCG called On the Edge).

Pretty much all cards you play will go into one of three zones. Since Characters serve a dual purpose (generating 'Pull' to bring cards into play and engaging in conflicts to push your Agendas forward) this adds a lot of strategy to the game in my opinion.

The Rock/Paper/Scissors (RPS) relationship comes into play with the conflicts that happen to push your agenda forward. Each Character will have a number of these RPS symbols on the card. When you engage in a conflict with an opponent, you compare the symbols on the Characters. The winner is the Character with the majority of winning symbols. The loser would then be discarded from the zone. This RPS relationship will be used throughout the game in various ways. For instance, I was thinking of adding a large RPS symbol on each card to be used for determining random results in the game. When a result is called for, the players would draw the top card off of their decks and compare the large RPS symbol.

I will also have other card types (like actions and items) in addition to Characters.

That's pretty much what I have at the moment. I'm going to begin to workshop it with a couple of friends tonight and thought I would post it here for some constructive ideas/criticism since the board members here were very helpful the last time I was working on a game idea.

So there you have it. Any ideas or criticism you may have is greatly appreciated. thanks in advance![url][/url]

Joined: 12/31/1969
A CCG using Non-transitive Mechanics (R/P/S)

What if you used a bidding system to vote on the symbol to be used in a conflict. If each player has to choose how much influence "Pull" they are going to use to try to resolve a conflict, then useing pull might be a good way to do so and fit the theme.

How this would go is:
1) Player A declares that they are going to attempt to push their agenda in Zone 2.
2) Player B tries to block Player A. They select their cards to use.
3) Player A selects a card with 3 Scissors (or whatever you decide to call them), 2 Rock and 1 Paper.
4) Player B selects a card that has 2 Scissors, 2 Rock and 4 Paper.
5) Player A would like to push for Scissors and Player B would like to push for Paper.
6) Player A then plaece a bid of 5 Pull on Scissors.
7) Player B places a bid of 6 Pull (having to bid over player A not equal to) on Paper.
8) This goes back and forth until one player opts out.
9) The last player to bit then puts the money into the bank (or what ever other mechanic you use) and the result is determined by the symbol nominated by the player who won the bid.
10) The player who lost the bid will get their Pull back (or some depending on your mechanics) at some point (say after the resolution).

You could use other cards (which might cost pull too) that might influence the number of symbols that can be used by a card (ie +1 Scissors, -2 Rock, etc) at any time (ie: before the bidding, during the bidding or after the bidding), so that ther is still uncertanty.

you could also add in cards that have other effects. These could use ideas from game theory like "Prisonors Dilemma" or "The Ultimatum Game".

The prisonors dilemma card might be that they have to select another plaeyr and they then choose one option each and the results of these selection are resolved using the ruls of the prisoner dilemma scenario.

The Ultimatum game is the plaeyr who drew the card is given an amount of resourcees (pull?) and has to divide it up into to portions. One portion the player offers to another player and they can ether accept it or reject it. If the player accepts the amount then both plaeyrs get the amount in their portion. If the player rejects it then neither player gets anything (the resource is returned to the bank).

These could be themed in any way you like.

Joined: 12/31/1969
A CCG using Non-transitive Mechanics (R/P/S)

Hmm, sounds similar to the concept of the Steve Jackson card game Illuminati, though that has nothing in the way of the "RPS" mechanic for resolving group takeovers.[/i]

larienna's picture
Joined: 07/28/2008
A CCG using Non-transitive Mechanics (R/P/S)

I have a problem understanding yhow you mix RPS with numbers. What the number mean?

On a "paper 2" vs "rock 5", is it the paper that wins the match or is it the number 5 that wins the match.

Maybe number could be used for solving ties. ex : "Rock 3 vs Rock 5", "Rock 5" wins

Joined: 12/31/1969
A CCG using Non-transitive Mechanics (R/P/S)

Larienna wrote:
I have a problem understanding yhow you mix RPS with numbers. What the number mean?

On a "paper 2" vs "rock 5", is it the paper that wins the match or is it the number 5 that wins the match.

If I understand correctly, you add up the number of "victories" and whoever has the most wins.

Paper 2 vs Rock 5 would give you 0 victories. But you'd also have a Rock vs Scissors and Scissors vs Paper to add up, so you might still win that "battle".

In the case of:

Character A : Paper 2 Rock 3 Scissors 6
Character B : Paper 4 Rock 5 Scissors 2

A gets 0 + 1 + 2 = 3 victories, B gets 1 + 0 + 0 = 1 victory, so A wins.

It's a shame that Scissors 2 vs Paper 2 doesn't relate to a victory point in this instance. You could scale the current scoringby +1 to allow for 1 point for a victory-draw, but that makes it a little more complicated. A better solution might be for these kind of draws to give you Tie-Breaker points instead....though the possibility of an even tie would still exist.

Joined: 12/31/1969
A CCG using Non-transitive Mechanics (R/P/S)

With my post I was thinking that you would have to resolve one symbol first. This would meant that they were voting on what symbol that was resolved first.

So if Rock was voted in then you would remove a Scissors symbol for each Rock symbol your opponent had. Then you would progress to the next symbol (or even vote on the next symbol too). Finally ther would only be one symbol left to use. Once you have resolved that symbol, the winner might be the one who has the most symbol.

Another resolution might be the vote is for the symbol that is to be used as the victory score (and some other system for resolveing the loss of symbols is used). The player who has the most symbols left in the voted symbol is the winner of that contest.

Both of these do allow for ties and that could be a part of the game. Maybe a tie allows you to keep your current standing (niether advance or retreat).

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