Old forum comments
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Designed this with Alex last night. Any last-second comments before I run it at the Sandpit? --gwyn (talk) 2009-11-18 09:02:44
Pens are good, particularly the "any mark" - that a dot will do, but you can freak someone out by writing a few words if you happen to catch them in a position where they can't feel the nib of the pen at all.
Scoring sounds like a lot of work, though, if you have to cross-reference all the bibs (and wait for every player to return before you can announce a final score). Dropping the reward for tagging a bib might be enough - if you're allowed to check your own bib (which you can't really stop people from doing), then it becomes more about tagging the players who you can see are ahead of you, rather than just tagging as many as possible.
Did you see Celine's Watch Your Back? It's more about watching players to work out who's secretly on your team, and stickering anyone who looks like a rival, but there's some overlap. The big white sticker might make a good alternative to a bib or safety-pinned paper - bibs sound a bit unwieldy if you have to wear them all night, and not everyone is going to want to pin holes in their clothes. Some A5 stickers which you've fed through a printer to add a game title and a neat red-handed area might be good. (Could also summarise the rules in small text, so that people don't forget them.)
Minor hack question: what's to stop me adding fake red-handed marks to someone's bib? If we all have different coloured felt-tips (which I assume we need to for fair scoring), would the red-handed marks have to be written in the wearer's colour? --Kevan (talk) 2009-11-18 14:18:11
If we drop the point for backstabbing, then I think the dominant strategy is to hide in the cellar for the duration of the game.
But you're right, scoring may be a little intimidating. I think the process is: 1) Group the bibs by team. 2) Foreach team, foreach bib, foreach team, record hits and redhandeds. TEAM BLUE hit by: blue green red redhanded Player 1 n/a true false 0 Player 2 n/a true true 1 Summary: dealt out [ ] received [ ] redhanded [ ] score [ ]
TEAM RED Player 3 false false n/a 2 ...
3) Foreach team, count 'number of hits received' (by summing 'true' for their table).
4) Foreach team, count 'number of caught-red-handed events' (by summing the column for their table)
5) Foreach team, count 'number of hits dealt out' (by summing their column on all boxes)
6) Calculate score for each team.
I could, of course, use the alternative mechanism of eyeballing the bibs, making up some rough summary ("RED were the real death-dealers here, but they took a lot of hits, making GREEN the reigning champions! Has anybody seen team BLUE?"), then quietly binning the bibs before anyone notices..
I was going to hand out a rules sheet separately, since you can't read the rules written on your back!
Fake red-handed marks are cheating and there are lots of ways to cheat, but yeah, "you have to briefly hand over your pen to be marked as redhanded".
I guess labels are more player-friendly than safety pins (assuming they come off cleanly!), but I'd be tempted to make the target A4 just to reduce the amount of pen that's going to get on people's clothes.
Watch Your Back looks like fun, but I think it's quite a different game. It doesn't seem to have any mechanic to prevent you from stickering someone, once you've chosen to do so. --gwyn (talk) 2009-11-18 16:33:43
Ah, okay, teams makes it a lot easier to score, if you're only checking two colours per bib. I had visions of trying to distinguish three different shades of blue in a pattern of twenty coloured dots.
I suppose red-hand marking is still a little exploitable if you're having to trust what someone's writing on your back. If you're in the mood for printing multiple stickers, you could give people a smaller lapel sticker to track failed stabbings.
Are pens the only team indicator (so that if I meet someone with an unstabbed back, I have to sneak a look at their pen, or challenge them to produce it)? And are you going to group people up and hand pens out visibly at the start, or keep them a secret and let players make their own decision about whether and how to announce their allegiance? --Kevan (talk) 2009-11-19 01:01:16