I came across a scientific paper today on Twitter which described different ways the Rock-Paper-Scissors cycle is found in different systems in the real world. One of these is that of several different species in some habitat, where some animals eat others. What they found was that even in quite complicated networks of hunter-prey links, emergent alliances can form, where some subset of animals is able to protect themselves from any threat. I was thinking this could make for an interesting hidden role game.

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Day 66: Emergent Alliances

At the beginning of each round, each player is dealt a role card. This role identifies how they can interact with the other roles in the game, with each role belonging to one of three different teams. The object of the game is to first identify which other people are in your team, and then for at least one member of your team to be the last person standing.

Your role outlines what power you have over the other players. For example, each role can attack and defeat one particular role from each other team, and can themselves be attacked by a different role from the other teams. So you are trying to find who has these roles, so that you can attack the right people, and avoid your attackers.

On your turn, you can choose to attack a player. If nothing else happens, you show them your card. If you are able to defeat them, then they are out of the game. However, if you were wrong, then they now know what role you are, and might be able to use it to their advantage. Additionally, when someone else is attacked, you can choose to intervene, and instead get to attack the attacker (again showing them your card). If you were right, then the attacker is out of the game. However, if you are wrong, you miss your next turn.

The game continues in this way, until all players but one have been eliminated. The team that contains that player is the winner!

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This game is primarily missing a mechanism by which players can gain information about what roles the players have. I imagine there could be a whole suite of different roles with varying powers (much like Ultimate Werewolf), but I don’t really know exactly how to do that. Anyone with a good discovery mechanism out there?