Werepoker

The other day I was trying to think of a way that you could choose your role in Werewolf. This led me to the idea that you start people with money, and they can bid on the role they want. I mentioned this to Jude, Cami, Paul, and Travis, and Jude said that there has to be some incentive to keep the money. Travis suggested that people get paid for winning, and I took that to mean that you pay into a pot, and the pot goes to the winners at the end of the game. Obviously we’re not talking about Werewolf anymore, this is a totally new game.

Here is my attempt to hash out the details of this new Werepoker.

Basic new mechanics.

Everybody starts with some money, either by external buy-in, or just everybody starts with $500 or something. There is an ante for the game (say $25 if everyone starts with $500). There is then a silent auction for roles. Lay out all the roles on a table, and have each player write pieces of paper with their names and amounts on them, fold them, and put them by the roles. One by one, the game master (discussed later) calls people by name, and they come up to receive their role and pay for it if they were the highest bidder on any of them. Edge cases discussed later.

At the end of the game, the pot is divided equally among all the members of the winning faction, dead or alive. That is to say, the game encourages the sacrificing dynamic.

Public roles

At two points during the game there is a public auction for roles that everybody knows. Before the game starts (before people know their roles, before ante), there is an auction for the game master. The game master gets 10% (or something) of the final pot and does not pay ante. Also, after the first night (when people know their roles and their collaborators, and the seer has gone once), there is a public auction for some secondary roles with special “daytime” powers. This has the effect of energizing the first day, which is usually stagnant because there is no information yet.

  • The CEO: The CEO may “buy” votes by paying to the pot as much as he paid for his role. He can do this any number of times whenever he likes. If he paid $100 for the CEO role, he can pay $1,000 to buy 10 votes and totally nullify the voting to succumb to his whim. This legitimizes a lot of the villager roles who are capable of killing people, because the CEO would otherwise be capable of completely controlling the game if he’s got a big stash of money. (Also keep in mind that if he paid a lot for his role, if he is on a faction with more than one person, he will probably lose money by overusing his power because he has to split it with his teammates)
  • Houdini Houdini may escape lynching once per game. Nobody is lynched on that day.
  • There are probably more interesting daytime roles…

Special factions

Factions like the Werehamster (wants to be alive when normal winning conditions occur) and the Cobbler (wants to be dead when normal winning conditions occur) cannot take the whole pot if they win; that is too powerful. Instead, they should probably take half the pot, leaving the other half to the normal winning faction. The Vampire is a legitimate third faction and does not count for this: but the Vampire may choose not to bite someone. This is because by adding to his faction, the Vampire is decreasing his share in the pot if he wins.

Edge cases

Most of this is pretty straightforward. The role auctioning phase is a little tricky because there can be ties, and one person can be the highest bidder on multiple roles, and he may tie with himself, etc. I’d say in all those cases, resort to some sort of randomness. I don’t generally like randomness in this game (in fact, this new formulation makes it even less random than usual), but I can’t think of a better way to resolve these cases without giving away too much information or it taking too long.

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