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Character selection in hidden-role game

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jambojazz34
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Joined: 05/29/2017

Hi! I’m designing a hidden roles game. Think about Citadels to get the idea. Players get 1 character card each round. Characters have phase 1 abilities and phase 2 abilities. In phase 1 players can bluff and choose a character different from their card. In phase 2 the cards are revealed. Generally, characters whose phase 1 ablity is strong, have phase 2 ability weak, and viceversa. Bluffing involves some risks.

I’m facing some indecision about the selection of the characters at the beginning of the round. During my first playtests i found that drawing blind works, but it seems like too much luck is involved.
On the other hand, letting the first player choose from all but one character (the same as Citadels) will put him in a great advantage.

I’m thinking about these three alternatives, and i can’t choose wich would be the best:

1) Draw 3 and choose 1. Put the 2 cards not chosen on bottom of the deck or reshuffle.

2) Draw 1 card. If you don’t like it, put it on the bottom of the deck and draw another card. Repeat untill the third card is drawn, at that point you must take it.

3) Draw 1 card. If you dont like it, you can spend 1 coin to draw another card. Repeat untill you run out of money (or card in the deck) or stop when you want. Choose 1 and reshuffle.

Which do you think could fit better? Other tips are appreciated too.

English is not my mother tongue, feel free to ask me for clarification if i was too vague.

let-off studios
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Joined: 02/07/2011
Pay to Play

I personally think it would be better for a streamlined game experience if players had to pay X coins immediately to draw a hand of X cards (you can set a maximum if required). Paying one coin at a time to replace cards after thinking about it would slow things down, in my opinion.

If a player drew the same role as they had previously, they must reveal it, immediately place it at the bottom of the deck, and then draw one more card to add to their hand.

To make a selection, they choose the role they want, and place the rest at the bottom of the draw deck in any order.

If this seems too powerful/cheap, then make the number of cards drawn X-1 or X-2, something like that. Testing ought to bear this out.

jambojazz34
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Joined: 05/29/2017
Players have to be able to

Players have to be able to draw at least 1 card even if they have no money, because they could run out of them in different ways and they can't do actions without characters. So maybe X+1 cards, where X is the number of coin spent, could be a nice spot.

I will try your advice as soon as i can, thanks!

let-off studios
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Joined: 02/07/2011
Other Options

jambojazz34 wrote:
Players have to be able to draw at least 1 card even if they have no money, because they could run out of them in different ways and they can't do actions without characters.
Well, some other possible approaches include:
- issuing one/some coin to all players at the beginning of a round, before roles are chosen/purchased
- first role card is at no cost, but players may pay additional coin to have additional role cards to choose from

Each option has its own dynamics, and it may be worth considering all of them, depending on how you want the game to play out. Testing will help you determine what best adds to the game flow, what slows it down, what confuses players, what sticks best with the theme you've chosen, and so on.

Here's to your success. :)

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