You've played Werewolf, or Mafia, or Witchhunt, or one of the many other variations of the classic "Sleep, Accuse, Debate and Lynch" (SADL) circle games. (Yes, I just made up that acronym.)
Now it's time for Zombie Village. What, you ask, is Zombie Village? It's a tournament-style structure for SADL circle games. Because don't you really want to have a formal system for crowning a World Champion of this kind of game? Well, I do. I dream of starting local, say crowning a Bay Area champion, and working our way up to the big global finale. Yes, I'm serious. And you are coming to my apartment to playtest it.
(Never played this type of game before? Worry not. It's simple to learn on the spot. Come play anyway!)
Also, as a design challenge, it's pretty juicy. How do you award points for performance in a game so that no matter what part is randomly assigned to each player, all players have an equal chance of scoring and advancing in the tournament? It's some tricky math, involving lots of fun probabilities and game theory. Way more complicated than Deal or No Deal.
Here, for example, is one potential tournament scoring system. Imagine that multiple games are played simultaneously in different circle; points awarded after each game; and players begin being eliminated after a certain number of games (say, 2 or 3) based on their total points across all games. You work your way up to a final table of Grand Master players, a game everyone will surely want to watch because, DAMN! Those are some wiley werewolf-mafia-vampire-zombie gamers.
- 10 -16 villagers
- 2-3 zombies
- 1 caretaker
- 1 non-playing moderator
- 1 non-playing scorer
- If the villagers win, a dead villager receives 2 points.
- If the villagers win, a surviving villager receives 5 points.
- A villager who nominates a zombie, resulting in the zombie’s lynching at the time of the nomination, receives 3 points (points awarded at the conclusion of the game.)
- A villager who nominates an innocent villager, resulting in the villager’s lynching at the time of the nomination, loses 1 point (points subtracted at the conclusion of the game.
- If the zombies win, a dead zombie receives 2 points.
- If the zombies win, a surviving zombie receives 5 points.
- Each time a zombie is nominated and successfully avoids lynching, he or she receives 3 points (points awarded at the conclusion of the game.)
- The caretaker is scored according to villager point system, plus:
- The caretaker receives 2 points for each Zombie discovered, denounced to the group and successfully lynched anytime thereafter.
- The caretaker loses 1 point for each living, undiscovered Zombie at the time of the caretaker’s death.
So, when are you coming to my apartment in Berkeley to playtest Zombie Village? That's a great question. The answer is: As soon as I can get 15 or so other people to my apartment to playtest Zombie Village. Proposed date: Friday, January 13th, evening. ARE YOU GAME?
If you are in the Bay Area and can come to my Berkeley apartment (street parking available, and we are 3 blocks from a BART stop) on the evening of Friday January 13, email me at zombie at avantgame dot com. We're about halfway to a quorum for the 13th, so climb aboard the train to Zombie Village! (OR If you would like to playtest on a DIFFERENT date, let me know. We may do it again, or reschedule as necessary.)