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Concealing the Identity of a Traitor

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Toa Lewa
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I am working on a game that has some similarities to Mafia/Werewolves. The game is set in the future, and each player takes on the role of a robot. The game places a primary focus on hiding and discovering player roles. There are two factions in the game, the forces of the Resistance and the forces of the Mainframe (the evil ruler of the planet). Instead of a narrator who possesses all of the information (like in Mafia/Werewolves), one player plays the Mainframe and has no information.

The goal of the Mainframe player is to determine through a process of trial and error the roles of each player, and kill a specific target. The Resistance players will try to keep the target players “under the radar” by using misdirection. The Resistance will also try to prevent the targets from being wounded by sacrificing themselves.

One player will take on the role of a traitor while playing the game. The traitor has his or her own victory condition, and tries to kill members of the Resistance along the way. However, if the traitor is killed, the Resistance loses.

The turns are in this order:
1. Mainframe
2. Resistance
3. traitor

During the Mainframe’s turn, he or she attacks the players and tries to gain information about player roles. During the Resistance’s turn, the Resistance can heal players, upgrade a player, free captured player, and move. During the traitor’s turn, he or she can attack other players or make it more likely for another player to abandon the Resistance.

Here is the problem. Keeping the traitor’s identity concealed is of utmost importance in the game. If the traitor is killed, the Resistance and the traitor loses. However, the traitor get his or her own turn, and must play cards during his or her turn (this will immediately reveal his or her identity). I have resolved this by having the Mainframe player leave the room each time it is the traitor’s turn. I don’t like this solution, because the Mainframe player will have to leave the table or room up to 15 times in a game. I have also thought about having everyone “act” like the traitor during this turn and have everyone look at the traitor cards and play cards. However, I don’t really like this idea.

I would like to keep the Mainframe player at the table, but I don’t want to reveal the traitor’s identity. Does anybody have any suggestions?

anonymousmagic
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I don't understand why the

I don't understand why the Resistance loses if the traitor dies. To me that would make a partial victory.

Why not have all players close their eyes during the traitors turn just like in Werewolves and have the traitor play their card and refill their hand so no one knows who it is (if they do it silently).

questccg
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Closing their eyes?!

Toa Lewa wrote:
I would like to keep the Mainframe player at the table, but I don’t want to reveal the traitor’s identity. Does anybody have any suggestions?

I guess since you know Mafia/Werewolf, you must know their solution, right? In those games, what is asked by the players is to CLOSE THEIR EYES (night time - when people sleep). Then the narrator will say something like: "The werewolves may now awaken." And obviously they do, while watching all the other players to make sure nobody is cheating...

Unfortunately I don't think this works well with your THEME (Robots). This works well with Mafia/Werewolf because the Mafia and Werewolves operate during night time when the rest of the players are "sleeping".

This is the best solution I can give you, you would somehow have to *work* it into the theme...

Best of luck to you with your game!

Toa Lewa
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Traitor's Role

Quote:
I don't understand why the Resistance loses if the traitor dies. To me that would make a partial victory.

Good point. Actually, there is some backstory which I didn't include in my description. In the story, the traitor is the captain of the guard and has security clearance to all of the Mainframe's areas. He betrays the Mainframe, and helps the Resistance to make their way towards the Mainframe's capital. In essence, the Resistance would not be able to complete their mission without the traitor. However, the traitor is double dealing and wants to wipe out members of the Resistance.

Herein lies the difficulty for the Resistance. The Resistance cannot let the traitor be killed, since they wouldn't be able to destroy the Mainframe without him. However, the traitor keeps stabbing them in the back throughout the game. This element adds some tension to the game.

Toa Lewa
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Blindfold

I didn't really think too much about having the Mainframe player close his or her eyes (I don't know why since my game was inspired by Mafia). However, I think this could work. What would you think about incorporating a blindfold into the game?

Kroz1776
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Spooky Red Eyes!

Toa Lewa wrote:
I didn't really think too much about having the Mainframe player close his or her eyes (I don't know why since my game was inspired by Mafia). However, I think this could work. What would you think about incorporating a blindfold into the game?

Yeah, and the blindfold could give him robot eyes!

questccg
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ROFLMAO!

Toa Lewa wrote:
What would you think about incorporating a blindfold into the game?

It would be COOL if the blindfold was a SILVER colour! Haha

No *seriously*... I can picture the *coneheads* and your mainframe player with such a silver blindfold...

Or I would make them design a HAT that stretches... Something like a winter hat - but SILVER! Haha

I have such a hat - in black. But SILVER would be much cooler! <= Funny! The mainframe needs to be cooled!!!

ROFLMAO!

Toa Lewa
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Visor

Quote:
Or I would make them design a HAT that stretches... Something like a winter hat - but SILVER!

I'm kind of thinking along the lines of an opaque visor. Something like the visor that Cyclops in X-Men wears except you can't see through it. I would be a little concerned about packaging though, since the visor would take up space. However, Scotland Yard comes with a hat for Mr. X, so it isn't the first time something like this has been done.

By the way, do you think it is a good idea or do you think it is just plain stupid?

questccg
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Better solution

Toa Lewa wrote:
...By the way, do you think it is a good idea or do you think it is just plain stupid?

No I think it could be a good idea (visor, blindfold and even a hat). I was just picturing the *coneheads* and that got me laughing! Haha

Maybe you could use a SLEEP blindfold?! just a sec let me find a link...

http://img3.eachbuyer.com/500-500/h/c/hc81_4.jpg
http://img3.eachbuyer.com/500-500/h/c/hc81_2.jpg

Search for "sleep blindfold eye mask" on Google. The one at EachBuyer.com is priced at $2.11 USD. That is very affordable. But it would have to be BLACK...

I think this would be a good solution!

Toa Lewa
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Eye Mask

Quote:
Maybe you could use a SLEEP blindfold?!

I think that is exactly what I am looking for. Thank you so much for your help! I have been pondering this for a long time, and I couldn't think of anything that wasn't complicated. Sometimes it takes a fresh mind to see the obvious solution. :-) LOL

questccg
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A good solution

Toa Lewa wrote:
...I have been pondering this for a long time, and I couldn't think of anything that wasn't complicated...

This is especially true when you are playtesting a game. Some of *my* playtesters have volunteered some of the best ideas for my game! Even if they were more casual gamers and the game was perhaps geared for a more hardcore audience, they were able to make suggestions to make the game MORE appealing to the Casual Gamer!

Sometimes it take someone who has not been as INVOLVED with our games to find solutions or other directions to look at.

I'm glad this is a solution you can work with (plus from the prices I saw like $2.11, it is a very affordable solution also...)

munio
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There are a couple of ways to

There are a couple of ways to deal with this challenge, and it depends if the cards/ actions the traitor uses as his action,

If all cards are the same then the all players select one card to put in the middle, then the cards are shuffled. One by one the players pick up the stack of cards, if they are ressistance member they hold them for a while and pass them on, but if a player is an traitor then he may choose to rearrange them, once everyone has handdled the cards, players open their eyes and the top card is revealed.

If The traitor cards are distinctly diffrent from the regular cards you could give each player a hand of "blank" traitor cards, and the traitor some infiltrator cards with actual text on them. Players choose one card to play, the pile is then shuffled and the action is taken

On a related note, perhaps it would be interesting if all cards had two orders on them (a traitor order and a ressistance order), and depending on what phase they would be played in, the diffrent part would be used

Kroz1776
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Such Tension

I must say, this game would create such tension because you have to protect your enemy to destroy your other enemy. Such drama. How does the traitor win?

Toa Lewa
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Traitor Victory

Quote:
How does the traitor win?

Good question. I can answer that question after explaining how the Resistance wins. In the game, one player wields a powerful weapon known as the orb. The goal of the Resistance is to travel to the Mainframe's location, and use the orb to destroy the Mainframe. The Resistance wins if the orb wielder, the traitor, and some other player are still alive when they reach the last space (the third player will prevent the traitor from doing any mischief).

The traitor wins if only he and the orb wielder make it to the end. In this case, the orb wielder would destroy the Mainframe, but the traitor would then kill the orb wielder and take over the Mainframe's forces and set himself up as the new ruler of the planet.

In one sense, the traitor's player wants to be destructive. In the other sense, the player needs to be protective of the orb wielder, since he or she loses if the orb wielder dies.

BubbleChucks
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Joined: 06/07/2012
Its a little hard to come up

Its a little hard to come up with a solution without knowing how many cards the traitor plays. As a work through ill go with 3 cards.

Each player has 3 blank cards (including the traitor)

In the traitor phase everyone puts down 3 cards. The traitor puts down active cards (keeping their blank cards in hand) and the other players put down blanks cards.

The cards are shuffled and revealed. The blank cards are discounted and the Traitors cards are acted upon. Then everyone closes their eyes, the traitor opens theirs, sorts through the cards and places 3 blanks cards in front of the other players and their own 3 active cards back in front of them. Everyone opens their eyes and picks up their cards.

This would work if the cards everyone has always remain the same. If the game involves a card draw then it wouldnt - because the players could simply look at how many cards the other players have. The player with a hand size that decreased by 3 would be the traitor (unless the traitor made a card draw when everyones eyes where closed).

Or you could just have a pile of traitor counters detailing actions. Eyes closed, traitor puts a counter (denoting an action) in the centre of the table (or in front of another player), eyes open.

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