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Hidden Movement

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bottercot
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Joined: 02/06/2018

Hello,
I just wanted to share a strategy I have come up with for handling one-sided hidden movement.
It can be used in settings where one side knows exactly where everything is, but the other side knows nothing.
For example, if a spy were to be infiltrating a complex Mission Impossible-style, climbing through vents and taking out guards along the way, the infiltrator would likely have planned out ahead of time the positions of all the guards, security systems, and objectives.
Or, as another example, if a killer were to be hunting down his victims in a horror setting. The killer would know exactly where his victims are, but the victims would have no clue.
It has its limitations, but it can work in a variety of settings.
Essentially, it requires two of the same board, one given to the "hidden" player, the other to the "oblivious" player.
The hidden player's map can optionally be different, including special details such as hidden pathways or other things the oblivious player may not know about. The map would also include the positions of each of the oblivious players' pawns.
The oblivious player (OP) would need to announce each of their movements to the hidden player (HP), so that the HP can update his map. There are a variety of methods to identify the space to which they moved, from building the maps on a coordinate grid battleship-style, to simply giving every room or space a name (i.e. living room, hallway 1, etc.).
Another mechanic to compensate for the OP's lack of information is the usage of Sound.
As an example, perhaps certain rooms or spaces could be identified as Sound spaces. When entered by the HP's pawn(s), the HP could say, "Sound in [room name]", or "Sound at [x,y]". To accompany this, the OP could have their own copy of the HP's pawn, to put where they think it most likely is.
Another mechanic that could be utilized would be the usage of cameras or pawn's "vision" to find the HP's pawn(s).
For example, on their turn the OP could have the option to search a camera or cameras. They could say, "checking camera [x]", to which the HP could respond with either "empty", or "[name of pawn]".
Or, the OP could move one of their pawn's into a room, which would trigger the HP to say "empty" or the name of their pawn.
One problem with this mechanic is that it requires accountability on the hidden player's side, but this isn't a huge problem.
I hope I effectively explained this mechanic.
Now some questions:
-Is this mechanic original?
-Are there any ways it could be improved?
-Are there any usages for this that I may not have considered?
-Are there simpler ways to do the same thing?

wob
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Joined: 06/09/2017
your right it would require

your right it would require honest players- but i see no other problems.
the "entering room" trigger sounds good. some rooms could have hiding places that let the HP say the room is empty when it isnt.
the camera seems a little off. maybe if there was a special room where you can check. in a serial killer game there could be a mechanic that you can see the killers board but cant tell the others unless you get to the same room as them (imagine yelling at a monitor "get out he's behind the sofa". but your friend cannot hear you).
the "making a sound" trigger also sounds good but should be used sparingly
i think you have nailed the uses (many catching one, or one catching many). theme wise it could fit a monster in a maze, cops catching a killer etc etc.

FrankM
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Joined: 01/27/2017
This sounds...

This sounds similar to the concept behind Last Friday, but in that case the hidden player simply writes his/her location on a slip of paper each turn.

In a higher-budget production, putting the HP pawn on certain spaces on the hidden board can trigger "sounds" or other warnings (RFID tags, microswitches, whatever). If both boards are instrumented, it's fairly simple to hard-code visibility rules.

Like Battleship and Stratego, I'd think the electronic version would be a deluxe version.

wob
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Joined: 06/09/2017
i wonder if you can take the

i wonder if you can take the idea a step further and give each player a map.
im thinking a sci-fi explanation- players occupying the same time and space but differnt dimensions. but make the dimensions interact- if i turn on a water tap in my kitchen it turns on the gas in yours.
i really haven't thought about it further, other than the fact you would need a GM with knowledge of all the maps.

X3M
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Joined: 10/28/2013
Everyone cheats! Simply prevent it?

I think, that your game needs a game master. A neutral that oversees everything. This would also allow for multiple players at the same time.

But either way, once hidden objects are used. There is need for some fairness. I never liked FOW if honesty of players was required.

The way to overcome this, is a physical proof that the HP must create. In order to make sure that the OP doesn't feel cheated.

I cannot advice on how to do physical proof for your game.

stuartellis2
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Joined: 01/23/2019
I think a game needing honest

I think a game needing honest players is a problem. The very nature of any game is that people are competing and in some cultures the act of cheating is considered a skill. Ive seen famous sportsmen at the pinnacle of their career openly celebrate that they managed to get one past the officials in order to overcome their opponent.

Im quite sure this would also happen with some gamers, even taking into account that board gamers are some of the fairest and respectable people on earth (perhaps because they're used to living by a set of rules).

wob
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Joined: 06/09/2017
honesty in gamers shouldn't

honesty in gamers shouldn't be a big deal. i agree cheating is rife in sport, (and my faith in humanity is very low) but they are playing for money not fun. gamers might bend rules (if they aren't clearly defined) but rarely flat out cheat. any players that do dont tend to be invited to play many games.

mulletsquirrel
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Joined: 08/14/2014
Letters from Whitechapel

Have you played Letters from Whitechapel? It is the most elegant "one player is hiding and the others try to catch him" game I've ever played. The mechanics work as follows:

There is a large map/board which shows all the locations players may be. All players place their pawns on the board except the hidden player. The hidden player has a pad of paper behind a screen which he uses to mark his location on each of his turns. Each turn, the hidden player moves and then the seekers move and may "check for clues" (asking if hidden player has been there) or making an accusation that the hidden player is on a specific location right now.

Play is very streamlined and can get very tense when you think you've found the hidden player or as the hidden player you're nearly caught!

stuartellis2
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Joined: 01/23/2019
ive played Letters from

ive played Letters from Whitechapel. Really cool game.

Tim Edwards
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Joined: 07/30/2015
mulletsquirrel wrote:Have you

mulletsquirrel wrote:
Have you played Letters from Whitechapel? It is the most elegant "one player is hiding and the others try to catch him" game I've ever played. The mechanics work as follows:

There is a large map/board which shows all the locations players may be. All players place their pawns on the board except the hidden player. The hidden player has a pad of paper behind a screen which he uses to mark his location on each of his turns. Each turn, the hidden player moves and then the seekers move and may "check for clues" (asking if hidden player has been there) or making an accusation that the hidden player is on a specific location right now.

Play is very streamlined and can get very tense when you think you've found the hidden player or as the hidden player you're nearly caught!

It looks (and sounds) a bit like Steve Jackson's Undead?

gxnpt
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Joined: 12/22/2015
hidden information

Your general description is just assigning a Ref/GM role to the hidden player (as if an RPG Ref is running a particular NPC as well as the world itself).

Sounds, views, etc. are elaborations on that theme.

Going electronic gives a built-in Ref and hidden info handling function.

Staying away from them pesky electrons makes it more difficult to track hidden things in a verifiable manner unless someone starts making a cheap hand cranked Babbage Analytical Engine.

Ways of handling/tracking/verifying hidden info tend to be customized for the purpose in physical games but true invisibility (not having a token on the public map/board) is usually done by writing down the location or taking a location marker from a cup of markers or using a second (hidden) board.

Other mechanisms are usually either "token on board for location but unit details are hidden" or "many decoys moving also".

One player having more detailed info than another re fixed items (secret passages and traps and such) is just an information distribution thing and not actually part of the same mechanism.

Fixed items can be handled on a board by using decoy tokens in the "empty" locations or by drawing a card (that might be a nothing card) if item distribution is random and unknown to either side.

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