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Help with Social Deduction Game

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MattyT
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The Ambidex game from Virtue's Last Reward inspired me to try and make a deduction game for my next project. Below are the rules I used to playtest with some friends last night:

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Each round players are randomly paired into teams to play a guessing game. After each player secretly chooses between the numbers 0, 1, and 2 the moderator reveals every outcome one team at a time. Players gain points equal to the number they chose during the guessing game. However, if both players of the same team chose the same number they both lose the amount of points instead.

At the start of a new round all players are randomly paired into new teams. Repeat this until one or more players win by reaching 8 points.

After the first round, once per round, any player may call for a re-pairing of teams. If all other players agree via a majority rules vote the teams are randomly paired again before proceeding.

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We had fun, but unanimously agreed there was something missing. It's meant to be played with at least 4 players, so before I make any major changes I wanted to playtest with larger groups. Any thoughts or ideas would be helpful.

MattyT
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Suggestions I've been given so far.

The most suggested thing would be to add roles, similar to Werewolf or Mafia. Another friend suggested adding "agendas" or unique win conditions for different players. In this scenario I'd remove the 8 point win limit, and give every player their own separate winning requirement.

Another friend thought I should take more from the Ambidex game. In it, groups of three must vote against one another in a 2 vs. 1 match. If both sides vote "Ally" they both gain 2 points. If one side votes "Betray" the betraying side gains 3 points and the ally side loses 2 points. If both sides pick "Betray" nothing happens.

I've gotten more feedback, but those two are the ones I've seen most from what I took down last night.

Jay103
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You call it a "deduction

You call it a "deduction game", which to me means either a social deduction game (Werewolf, Resistance, Spyfall, etc.), or a logical deduction game (Mastermind, etc.)

I'm not sure I can really see much deduction going on here. What would you base any decision on? Even if you think you can work out something in what your opponent's strategy is, the way a multi-round rock-paper-scissors battle might go, that's subverted here by randomizing the teams each round.

It's not even really a Prisoner's Dilemma thing, because, well, one of the choices is 0, so you wouldn't want to ever choose that (you could avoid a loss, but.. you're unlikely to actually win the game if you play to get 0 points in a round), and then it's just a question of the outcomes (1,1), (1,2), (2,1), (2,2), and I see no opportunity for any sort of strategy at all...

Can you make a deal with your partner before choosing?

MattyT
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Issues

You can make deals with your partner, discussion is free during the game but no agreements are binding. It used to be 1,2 or 3, but I changed it to 0, 1, or 2 to see how the game would play if you'd have the option of going for a stalemate without a loss. Like you said, no one ever really picked 0 - except in the scenario where someone was at 6 or 7 points. That just let other people catch up in the end though, at least in my particular sessions.

The deduction would come from figuring out if you can trust your teammate to pick certain numbers. Say you and I are playing a round right now. We're both in the lead at 5 points each. The optimal choice would be to pick 2, and we both know it. I might tell you I'd pick 1, since if we both picked 2 then we'd be at a loss of 2 points each. Going +1 in this situation, against going -2, is preferable.

You think I'm lying, and I probably am. What I told you could very well be a reverse-psychological trick to get you to pick 1 so I can pick 2. +1 is still preferable to -2. The decision here would be if you could or couldn't trust me to keep my word.

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