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Shared control of a single piece--thoughts?

3 replies [Last post]

Greetings, all.

I have this idea for a game, it has no real name yet, but let's just call it "the Ghost House" for now. The setting: there is a famous haunted house, with ghosts and everything, and there are regularly tours that go around and look at all the spooky sights, but one day something goes terribly wrong! < dramatic voice here > The ghosts are real, they're attacking people, and you have to get out before they get you! :D

Anyway, the idea is that each player plays a tour guide leading a Crowd of frightened and panicked tourists around to try and get them out of the house before the ghosts get them. Players take turns steering the single Crowd piece (which starts in the middle of the board, natch) in a set number of steps (no dice or cards for movement).

Things are complicated further, because each individual tour guide is a bit greedy, and wants to snag some booty off the corpse of fallen tourists before leaving (a bit morbid, I guess, but it's not like the dead tourists will be needing that Wad Of Cash or Brand New IPod anymore). This provides reason to explore the haunted house, and not just all bolt for the door. Players will draw an Item Goal card before play starts to determine what item they need to pick up before leaving the house (more on these Item Goals later)

Left like that, shared control of the single piece seems stupid, because players with conflicting interests will just pull the Crowd in opposing directions and no one will get anywhere. In order to break this potential stalemate, each player will also control a Ghost as well as the Crowd (tho not on the same turn!).

Ghosts move more slowly than the crowd, but are able to pass thru walls like nothing, and thru doors -- which slow the Crowd down -- without difficulty. On your turn, you will move the Crowd, and then all other players will move their Ghosts in turn. Then the next player will move the Crowd, and everyone else will move their Ghosts (this time including you). If a Ghost touches the crowd on your turn, you are out--you cannot win, or steer the Crowd anymore. You will, however, still be able to move your Ghost around to try and knock other players out. Naturally, if all players are knocked out by touching Ghosts, then the game is over.

A player wins by collecting the necessary Item for his/her Item Goal (done by moving the crowd over the body and the Items are held collectively), and exiting the house. That's the game.


Controlling Ghosts from beyond the grave, so to speak, seems like a genuine kingmaking situation. That might not be the best idea, but it could be better than just losing, and the Ghosts are necessary to break the move stalemate between a player who has his Item Goal satisfied and is trying to leave, and another who still needs to pick up hers. The Ghosts can jump in and take out one of them, or even both of them.

The Ghost mechanism is also important because it allows players the opportunity to take out the final player, even all but one have been knocked out by previous Ghost attacks. Still, tho, is there too much potential to ruin the fun, do you think?

I think part of the game is to be kinda vengeful, or just "out to get" someone anyway, so it fits the spirit (get it?) pretty well.

What do you guys think? Is there something missing, or lacking here? Maybe just unclear? Has anyone else tried a game with shared control of a piece or pieces, and had difficulty/success making it work?


Joined: 12/31/1969
Shared control of a single piece--thoughts?

Hey screech, nice game idea.

I see your potential problems (with one single "crowd" marker) But I think i've come up with a solution, but you might also have to change the storyline a bit.

Instead how about each player controls a "ghost" the "ghost's" being the naughty lil' creatures they are, want to get all the dead guys loot. The ghost's can only get an item if you are adjancent to the crowd marker.
And the "crowd" is played by no one.

The "crowd" markers movement is determined by a deck of cards. (I.E the card says "move left 1, and up 1 space")

On the side of the board is a track, a "Pawn" represents the winning of the "crowd" (I.E The track has 10 spaces, if the the "Pawn" reachs space 1, the crowd wins)
Or the "ghosts" win if they get all the loot.

Good Luck

Shared control of a single piece--thoughts?

I think the shared movement of pieces is a great idea. When I first started reading your post, I thought it was going to be the opposite way around. Where every player would have their own "tour guide" that they move, in addition to a single ghost piece moved by all players. The "crowd" is under no direct control from players, but where they go is some how related to how you move your "tour guide" piece. I was thinking the crowd will move towards your "tour guide" and away from the ghost.

Though, of course, there wouldn't be multiple tour guides, so for this version, the more likely story would be the tour guide saw the ghost and bolted, leaving the tour group there. A few brave individuals step up to lead the group out. However, all are feeling a little greedy and want to take the crowd on a little tour of there own.

I see the ghost as a way of foiling other people's attempts at leading the crowd a certain way. However, how each player actually tries to win over the crowd is another question. Perhaps manipulation cards. 8O PLaying a card is like telling a fib to the crowd to make them follow you....

Sorry, just sort of a mental gush, not trying to complicate things.

Shared control of a single piece--thoughts?

I suggest to look at Hansa. I love that game and it involves control of one piece for all players.

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