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Player Roles in a Draft

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RyanRay
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Joined: 03/27/2014

Hi All!

Does anyone know of any games where the player roles are selected in a draft format, specifically on each turn?

One of the playtesters of my light dice game suggested that these roles should be chosen each round with the player in last choosing first and going up from there.

Does anyone have any insights on the matter? I think it's a great balancer and also keeps each game fresh because you're not stuck to just one role the whole game.

Some Random Dude
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Joined: 01/30/2014
Citadels is the obvious one

Citadels is the obvious one that I can think of, but I believe Libertalia (or was it Liberte?) also had it.

And in Citadels, one of the roles is what determined who went first next turn.

kevnburg
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Joined: 05/02/2014
Cyclades

Cyclades does a draft through bidding. X roles are placed randomly in a column and players take turns bidding for roles. If player 1 bids 1 for role Y and then later player 2 bids 2 for role Y, player 2 gets the role (until somebody else bids higher) and player 1 has to bid on something else. This continues until every player has a role that they're the highest bidder for. Players then pay their bid money to the bank.

One role, always located at the bottom of the column, doesn't need to be bid for, can be taken by more than one player, and rewards a bonus to the first player who moves on it.

Once a player moves on a role, he can't bid on others to move off of it; a player can only bid again if another player dislocates him from the role by bidding higher (and you can't be dislocated from the bottom role).

The order of roles on the column determines bidding order in the next round (top of column goes first; bottom goes last).

After bidding, each player takes 1 turn to use powers associated with the role they chose (these powers often cost gold), then roles are placed randomly in a column again and players bid.

Zag24
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Joined: 03/02/2014
Second the comment

I will second the comment that you look into the approach taken in Cyclades. I think that it works extremely well for that game. However, part of what makes it work is the special cards which allow for escapes from the strict role assignment. In this game, it is the creatures that you can purchase, some of them allow for duplication of role-based actions, and they provide just enough variation to the strict use of roles to keep the game from getting stale.

Other games, such as Eminent Domain, have a user choose their role each turn, but without a draft. That is, several players could choose the same role. In that game, when you do choose a role, there is an opportunity for the other players to act in a lesser capacity in that role, as well. If your role selection includes a random component, which someone gets first choice and can lock out another repeatedly, then you should include something like this.

kevnburg
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Joined: 05/02/2014
Puerto Rico is like Eminent Domain

I haven't played Eminent Domain, but that example reminds me of a personal favorite, Puerto Rico. The entire game is players trying to pick the best role. X roles are laid out to choose from. On a player's turn he chooses a role and everyone does its effect (e.g. Builder: everyone gets to buy a building). The player who picks the card goes first and also gets a slight benefit (for Builder: pay 1 less gold to purchase the building). Unlike Eminent domain, each role can only be picked once per round. At the end of the round, all roles that were not chosen get 1 gold placed on them, and the next player to pick the role gets all the gold on it. The next player to the left starts the next round.

Puerto Rico works because
1) It offers a lot of timing windows for players to screw others over by picking a role at the right time (e.g. places that players want to put resources in have limited capacities, and you can try to pick builder when other players are too poor to buy anything).

2) Through selection of buildings (which often alter how the roles work for the player who gets them) and plantations (these determine what resources players get), each individual player's needs become very different.

RyanRay
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Joined: 03/27/2014
I actually just played my

I actually just played my first game of Eminent Domaine a few nights ago! Solid game, quite enjoyable.

To elaborate, my game involves having players choose 2 dice to act as their role (only that role gets those 2 dice) which will then be added to other dice they choose later.

I considered bidding for them, but I also liked the idea of secretly choosing roles from a box. The person in last takes the role dice they want and passes it to the person next-to-last, etc.

What we learned in the playtest was that some roles were slightly overpowered just enough to unbalance the game. This will hopefully resolve it.

I'll check out Citadels as well. I hear about it being a solid classic but never got around to it.

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