[Doctors' Feud] It's like Mafia, if everyone was Mafia. Plus Cryptography.

Started by Sp4m, April 15, 2012, 12:14:20 AM

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Doctor's Feud is a 4-6+ player parlor game, playable with a timer and a deck of cards. The Narrative puts the players in the operating room, working together to save the king's life after an assassination attempt. The game creates a very unusual power dynamic, and is only playable once. the game will be provided with a "test session" where players ask the inevitable first time questions, followed by the "real thing" where the dynamic secretly, and radically changes.

During the game, there are two roles, the doctors, who (basically) are working the save the King, and the Spy who (basically) is working to sabotage the operation, and kill him. The Operation is a cooperative 'solitaire' style game that is simple, visual, and takes up a whole table top. The Doctors have the ability to undo the most recent play and (unknown to the Doctors) the spy is allowed to cheat.

The game gets interesting because the real scoring comes in from passing around secret key words around the table, such that only your contacts pick them up.
The "operation" game is really just a tool to distract players while they engage in small talk about plants and flower, trying to use subtle social cues that a particular word has significance to one player while concealing that from everyone else.

Each player chooses their own secret word, and is given some "public key" exchanges that they can use to identify their contacts.

the first game is played as described above, with Five Doctors and one Spy. the players are told that they are paramedics arriving at the scene of the assassination, and they need to stabilize the King. It should play out pretty quickly, with the doctors coordinating to beat the game, and the Spy feeling kind of powerless to stop them. A clever spy will be able to hinder things without getting caught, but for the most part, the spy will either get caught (point penalty) or feel helpless to stop them. This should set up the understanding that a) Doctors are capable of winning unless the spy is clever. b) obvious plays are clear signs that the spy is trying to sabotage the operation.

The second game is very different. Players are told they are the doctors working to save the King in the operating room, and if they fail, he will die. The players are given their character sheets, and discover that they are all spies. This would be all players BUT the one who brought the game. Ideally you, if you're reading this now.
In the second Game, players are all trying to sabotage the operation, but not make it LOOK like they are. Meanwhile, everyone is secretly making alliances and trying to get away with something. The second game is a whole lot of fun, with everyone acting as the trickster (coyote), and everyone exploring the option of secretly cheating (mimic the doctor). Everyone except the Doctor of course, who is privy to the whole thing, but plays straight laced, slowly, deliberately, and leads others to do the same.


For your consideration in 2012 Game Chef: Last Chance, I present [ A Delicate Operation ].

The theme was "Last Chance," and the challenge was to build a game that might only be played once.
A Delicate Operation is a social game like Mafia, the depth of play is not limited by your understanding of the rules, but by your ability to communicate and read others.

It puts players across the table from each other, trying to send a secret code in plain English in such a way that only the players you want to get it will. It's not a simple charge, but the game is fast.

The game is pretty special, but what makes it unique, what makes it truly "Last Chance" is Scenario B. If you're interested, check the download.

For your Consideration in 2012 Game Chef: Last Chance, I give you [A Delicate Operation ]