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Creating a voting assembly mechanic

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red
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Joined: 12/31/2018

I have been trying to make a game with a double board. The first board would be a grid where players place their troops to gain resources from randomly generated resource tiles. The second would be an assembly where players vote laws that change the rules of the game: rules that can change the value of the resources, the way they can be acquired, the way you can place your troops etc. The laws take the form of a law deck: players draw up to 3 cards during their turn, select a law that they find interesting and submit it to the assembly and try to get it passed with the vote of other players.

I thought the idea of making a simple game that gets more complex through play as players define its rules could be fun. Players have to cooperate and compete at the same time to pass their laws in the assembly while trying to get as much resources as possible to win the game.

Of course there are obvious drawbacks from this system:
1. Players constantly have to gang up against each other to vote laws
2. Once a player has a lead, no one wants to vote the laws he submits
3. And when you are leading thanks to laws that are to your advantage, its hard for other players to catch up with you

Have you guys played any similar competitive game with a voting system? What are your thoughts?

FrankM
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Joined: 01/27/2017
Take That

Part of the chaos of Fluxx is its Take That nature. One way that you can help behind players is by allowing either unilateral or chance events to undo existing laws.

For example, suppose there are N resources. Put down a base rule for each, in order. Then have base rules for whatever other categories exist, also in some specific order.

A law card, if enacted, gets placed on top of the category. Some cards might span two categories, which is why the order is important... such a card is printed in a wide orientation and lays across two piles. A newer card can be on top of it in one pile without undoing the other effect.

Some kind of Take That card or player(s) paying some fixed cost can revoke an existing card. Different methods might have different chances of success, and the "fixed" cost might even be affected by laws. Revoking a dual-effect card removes both effects, even if one of them was buried under more recent laws.

Another mechanic would be to have a chance each turn that a random category pops off a card. This would be easiest if the number of categories coincides with the number of sides on an included die or spinner.

A third mechanic would simply be to have each law automatically sunset after some number of turns, possibly determined randomly. Combined with the stacking mechanic above, the exposed law would get a reset duration, and the game could conceivably burn through the whole stack down to the base rules if the players ignore it long enough.

questccg
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Maybe you could TRY this...

I don't know anything about YOUR game... But I propose an interesting "TWIST".

Make it deceitful....

Pay-Off: pay "?" Gold to the Bank and your law goes into effect and ADDS to the Pool of laws.

Bribery: pay "?" Gold to the specified player and your law goes into effect and is ADDED to the Pool of laws.

Extortion: force one player to pay "?" Gold to you to ensure that a law is still ACTIVE. Otherwise REPLACE that card with a law of your own in the Pool of laws.

This way it's all about "Money" and "Power"... Like IRL! (LOL)

Note: For "extortion" any player can PAY, it depends which laws are favorable for which player. Two players may pay the amount extorted and therefore preserve the laws...

Tim Edwards
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Could players have different

Could players have different (and secret) victory conditions? Then You might suggest laws to deceive your opponents as to what you really want to happen, and you might create laws which appear to be for one reason but have an alterior motive, etc...

red
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Joined: 12/31/2018
Thanks for the advices! I was

Thanks for the advices! I was indeed thinking of dividing the deck of law cards into 4 categories. If law A is voted it replaces the previous law A, same goes for B, C and D, so there can only be maximum 4 active law cards at a time.

I like the idea of a sum of money that a player could play to remove a law card. As its a political game this could be referred as a "lobbying" action!

As you mentioned I also thought of different life cycles for different law cards: some could only last for a round whereas others could last until they get replaced...

FrankM
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Joined: 01/27/2017
ABCD

With four categories, you could add the chance removal (court injunction or whatever) with a relatively cheap six-sided die. Four sides correspond to the categories and two blanks.

questccg
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Early idea

FrankM wrote:
With four categories, you could add the chance removal (court injunction or whatever) with a relatively cheap six-sided die. Four sides correspond to the categories and two blanks.

A bit of "chance" could be cool. Maybe FREE to remove a RANDOM law or PAID to actually select which one (A-B-C-D). As you said a form of lobbying.

OR A-B-C-D-*-Blank. Where Star (*) means the player's choice... That could be another avenue. Something to think about. But the Custom d6 has potential.

I also had another "more complexe" idea. I was inspired by Fallout 76's SPECIAL card mechanic... Hear me out.

So instead of DISCARDING laws, they get played ON-TOP of each other. So when you DISCARD a law, it goes to the previous law for that category (A-B-C-D). So think that by some mechanic you can REVERT to PREVIOUS laws and you also in some cases have the ability to ADD NEW laws...

Not sure how to manage this... This is just an "early" idea...

Note: Example:

A1 B1 C1 D1
A2 B2 C2
A3

If you reverted A3 law... Then the result would look like:

A1 B1 C1 D1
A2 B2 C2

Something like that...

wob
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Joined: 06/09/2017
hi. my suggestion would be...

hi.
my suggestion would be... at the start of each round 3 potential new laws are drawn from the deck. each player has 3 tokens they can use to secretly vote on which law to ratify (either each token has a number or count the amount). a majority sees the law passed, otherwise there is no law change. this would add an extra level of diplomacy/deception and second guessing eg if no law is acceptable to you you can try to split the vote more than the binary yes/no to a new law.
you could also add an option to abstain, the power not to vote can be just as useful as voting for things you dont want.

FrankM
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Joined: 01/27/2017
Same wavelength

questccg wrote:
So instead of DISCARDING laws, they get played ON-TOP of each other. So when you DISCARD a law, it goes to the previous law for that category (A-B-C-D). So think that by some mechanic you can REVERT to PREVIOUS laws and you also in some cases have the ability to ADD NEW laws...

Not sure how to manage this... This is just an "early" idea...

Note: Example:

A1 B1 C1 D1
A2 B2 C2
A3

If you reverted A3 law... Then the result would look like:

A1 B1 C1 D1
A2 B2 C2

Something like that...

That's what I was trying to describe further up the thread... and apparently didn't do a very good job of it.

questccg
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Examples can sometimes make for clearer thoughts

FrankM wrote:
That's what I was trying to describe further up the thread... and apparently didn't do a very good job of it.

Sometimes it's easier with an example. I'll admit that I read your post (the one about Fluxx) ... but I didn't get the same understanding. No worries... We're all helping him with his mechanic.

I also had another thought: about the custom d6. If the d6 has: A, B, C, D, *, Blank... Whenever you roll a LETTER you may ADD a law (of that type). Whenever you roll a STAR "*" you may REMOVE any one law (your choice of type).

That's another variant... Just things you can explore.

questccg
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I like HALF the idea

FrankM wrote:
...A law card, if enacted, gets placed on top of the category. Some cards might span two categories, which is why the order is important... such a card is printed in a wide orientation and lays across two piles. A newer card can be on top of it in one pile without undoing the other effect...

While I think the idea that a law can span more than one category (A-B-C-D), the part where I got lost is the orientation and laying across two piles...

I'd personally just make it that a law can (for example) be in category A or B. But NEVER BOTH (a bit opposite in what you were explaining). The idea is that some law may be applied to different categories makes some laws MORE powerful in that they can be played universally (in any category, for example) or very limiting laws that are specific to one category.

I would keep it as simple as possible in that the laws state the "compatible" categories and players determine which position they play them in...

Another example: If you have a law that can be played in any category (A-B-C-D) and you roll a "B"... Then you could play THAT law in position "B" or another card compatible with the "B" category.

Players CHOOSE IF they want to ADD a law or not. Similarly when you roll the STAR (*), a player may decide to remove NO law (if he choose to do so).

Note: Here is where I have an ADDITIONAL way of "spicing" the game... You talk about LOBBYING. For example IF you roll the STAR (*), you can use diplomacy to see what LAW the OTHER players may want removed... And you can ask a monetary "pay-off" in order to perform that action... A bit of subterfuge in the diplomatic/law aspect of the game... Or it could be the other way, you want to remove law "X", an opponent can PAY you to "leave the card/law in play"... Again some shady business!!! (Can't shake it... with all the talk about laws, I feel like you need to represent the Good & Bad side of law making... right(!?))

gibralter5
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Joined: 01/21/2018
Just an example

One game that does have voted laws that can change the way the game is played is Twilight Imperium. While the game may or may not be far removed from what you envision for your own there might be some interesting points to take home.

red
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Joined: 12/31/2018
Hey guys, thanks for your

Hey guys, thanks for your contributions!

I really like the idea of wob: having each player own a token that they invest in one of 3 possible laws every turn. That reminds of a game I recently played called rolling for the galaxy, where you secretly pick an action behind cover and unveil it. That was satisfying.

However I have to say I am not a fan of dices, and I will try to avoid it. I think the random tiles placed on the grid and the law cards that you pick add enough randomness to the game.

I think there could be like two ways to validate a law. It could just a simple secret voting mechanic (like the one I mentioned) and also a resource that you can gain from the grid and invest to skip voting and just validate the law. The problem with having only voting is that players constantly have to gang up on each other.

These are my thoughts but we'll see. I'll keep you posted

questccg
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Simple mechanics are best

red wrote:
...However I have to say I am not a fan of dices, and I will try to avoid it. I think the random tiles placed on the grid and the law cards that you pick add enough randomness to the game...

Well if you don't like DICE, make it very straight forwards:

  • Vote one law to STAY...
  • Vote one law to LEAVE...

Highest law to LEAVE is replaced by the law of the current player's choosing. Of course there could be TIE (2 vs 2 in a 4 player game).

  • In case of a TIE, laws stay the same.

I'm not sure this is 100% error proof. You'd have to playtest it.

Cheers!


But one thing is that I would have 4 categories rather than 3. WHY? Because it makes it too probably for TIES to occur with only 3 laws in effect. Just an observation.

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