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Capetown

Capetown

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Capetown
Superhero.jpg
Designer: Holly Gramazio and Kevan Davis
Players: 6-12
Stuff required: Some cards; a scoring sheet; some (optional) masks for costume.
Crew required: One narrator.
Preparation: Five minutes.
Time required: Twenty minutes upward.
Place required: Enough room for everyone to stand (or sit) in a circle.
Activities: Bluffing, deduction.
Discuss this game
This is a playable game - it's finished, tested and ready to play.
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This game is made available under an Attribution-Noncommercial Creative Commons licence. (What does this mean?)

A social game of secret superhero identities. Players choose to aid, disrupt or ignore a series of crimes and disasters that unfold in the bustling metropolis, unmasking one another's true identities in the process.

Setup

Before running the game, think up some superhero and supervillain names; one for each player, and an equal mix of heroes and villains. For each of them, make:-

  • Three Action cards saying "Hero name saves the day!" (or "Villain name wreaks havoc!")
  • Two Patrol cards saying "A masked figure is out on patrol..."

(You could leave the names blank and ask players to make up identities; maybe add a number to the corner so you can resolve any confusion or cheating if someone tries to write more than one name across their cards. If players might recognise each other's handwriting, then redistribute them randomly before play starts.)

Arrange the cards into hands of five; three Action cards, and two Patrol cards. Give each hand to a player, making a private note of who gets which hand, and telling them not to reveal their cards to anyone.

If you've got some masks, hand them out at the start. It's up to you whether you get the players to wear them all the time, or have them change into their "costume" when they're standing up to hand a card in.

Basic gameplay

Good and Evil are fighting for supremacy in Capetown.

At the start of each round, the narrator announces that something dramatic is happening in the city. This can be a Good Thing (a parade, a celebration, a concert) or an Evil Thing (a bank heist, a prison break, an earthquake), and these will alternate over the nine rounds of the game, starting with Evil.

Each player has three choices, each round. They can either:-

  • Rush to the scene (either to save the day, or to make things worse, depending on whether they're Good or Evil).
  • Head off to patrol a different part of the city (which helps conceal their identity).
  • Ignore the event and bide their time.

If they want to rush to the scene or head out on patrol, the player should stand up, walk over to the narrator and hand them an Action or Patrol card respectively. Having done this, the player remains standing by the narrator. Players who are ignoring the event remain seated.

When nobody else wants to attend the scene or head out on patrol, the narrator shuffles the received cards together, ignores the Patrol cards, and counts up Good versus Evil. If one side has more than the other, it wins and gets a point. If it's a tie (or if nobody attended), then the nature of the event prevails - if it was a crime or disaster, Evil gets a point; if it was a parade or celebration, Good gets a point.

The narrator reads the names off of the Action cards they've been given, and summarises the situation: "Mantisman and Plastiqueman rushed to the volcano edge, and fought off Doctor Cuttlefish to save the school bus. Heroes score a point!"

All the players then get a few moments to look around and see who those heroes and villains might be. Anyone who's standing up by the narrator is either one the characters who's just been named, or someone who was "on patrol" that round. When everyone's had a moment to squint suspiciously at people, the players all sit back down, and the narrator keeps the cards used this round.

The game continues for nine rounds. When a player is out of cards, they can't take any more actions in the game. Whichever team has the highest score at the end is the winner.

Unmasking

If a player thinks they've worked out the secret identity of another hero or villain (perhaps they've noticed that whenever Mantisman saves the day, Bob is standing by the narrator), they can make an accusation at the end of a round, by naming the player and their suspected identity. (Typically heroes will try to unmask villains, and vice versa.)

If the narrator confirms that the accusation is correct, then the accused player is eliminated from the game and may no longer assist or hinder events. The accused player's team loses a point.

If the accusation is wrong, then the narrator reveals the accuser's team (although not the accuser's identity), and that team loses a point.

Flickr photos

A photo on Flickr
A photo on Flickr
A photo on Flickr
A photo on Flickr
A photo on Flickr
A photo on Flickr
A photo on Flickr

(These are the ten most recent Flickr photos of Capetown. To add your own, just add the "ludocity:game=capetown" tag to your Flickr photos.)