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Risk/Reward Mechanic

PostPosted: Sun Sep 30, 2018 3:54 pm
by mastina
So I developed a really cool idea for a game mechanic to be used in a theme game, but no matter how hard I try, I can't refine it to be workable as a runnable game, so I thought I may as well put it out here, so someone in the future would be able to refine it and make a game from it.

It works like so.
The game revolves around GAMBLES.
Each GAMBLE has a RISK, and a REWARD.
Every player has a unique GAMBLE, specific to them; this is their role PM. (The game as I envisioned it would be a closed, thus, these would not be known in advance.)

However, there would also be a list of generic GAMBLES that every player, at specific times, would be able to take.

Said GAMBLES are not inherently one time use only; a player can take some of the same GAMBLE multiple times, and a non-player-specific GAMBLE could be done by more than one player.
GAMBLES are submitted privately.
Each GAMBLE has three possible outcomes:
  1. Obtained the REWARD, without suffering from the penalty of the RISK. (Total success.)
  2. Obtained the REWARD, but sufferer the penalty of the RISK. (Partial success.)
  3. Fail to obtain the REWARD, and suffer the penalty of the RISK. (Total failure.)
Each time you successfully obtain a REWARD, your chance to obtain a REWARD goes down, but the REWARD is magnified; each time you fail to obtain a REWARD, your chance of getting a REWARD increases, but the REWARD is less beneficial.

Inversely, every time you don't incur a RISK PENALTY, your chance of taking one increases, AND the penalty of the RISK is increased; every time you take a RISK PENALTY, your chance of incurring another lowers, and it'll be less severe when you take it.

So, say that you had a base REWARD of having one extra Vote, with a base RISK of taking one less vote to lynch.

Say that the risk/reward chance for that GAMBLE starts at 50/50.

If a player has succeeded in obtaining a REWARD once, then the REWARD of this GAMBLE would be having Two Extra Votes. However, the success chance would be lower, say, at 25%.

If a player has taken a GAMBLE, but not incurred its RISK PENALTY, then the RISK PENALTY would increase to being taking two less votes to lynch, and the chance to incur the penalty would increase, say, to 75%.

If a player has taken a RISK PENALTY, then this PENALTY would be reduced. In this case, it's already at the minimum, but the RISK of incurring it is lowered to, say, 25%.

You can similarly imagine the inverse GAMBLE:
Say, base REWARD of taking one more Vote to lynch, yet a base RISK of having one less Vote at your disposal. Both at 50/50 to start.

Succeeding at a prior GAMBLE would increase the REWARD; taking two more votes to lynch. Two prior successes, Three more Votes to lynch.
But the chance of success would drop accordingly to, say, 25/12%.

Taking a prior GAMBLE without incurring the PENALTY, RISK increases to 2 less Votes at disposal; 3 less, if having avoided two prior PENALTIES. The chance of incurring the penalty would increase, to, say, 75/88%.

Incur 1/2 prior PENALTIES, and while the PENALTY in this case is at the minimum, the chance of it being inflicted is lowered, to, say, 25/12%.

In other words, the worse you suffer, the lower the chance of suffering worse, and the less you will suffer; the less you suffer, the greater the chance you will, and the worse the suffering will be; the more that you succeed, the greater the future rewards are but the chances of obtaining the reward lowers; the less you succeed, the greater your chances of future success are, but the lower the reward is. (To a certain minimum level.)

Like I said, I feel like there's potential in the mechanic, but this is as far as I could refine it.

PostPosted: Sun Sep 30, 2018 6:43 pm
by Krazy
Maybe make it so that you are gambling on whether town lynches scum or not. Then make it like role madness instead of extra votes. Safe bet--town mislynches, in which case you simply get to use your night action. If town lynches scum, then you don't get to use a night action, which helps avoid a town sweep. Just a thought.

PostPosted: Sun Sep 30, 2018 10:49 pm
by mastina
In post 1, Krazy wrote:Maybe make it so that you are gambling on whether town lynches scum or not. Then make it like role madness instead of extra votes. Safe bet--town mislynches, in which case you simply get to use your night action. If town lynches scum, then you don't get to use a night action, which helps avoid a town sweep. Just a thought.
That's not how I envisioned gambles to work. That's, "If this happens, you get an award; if it doesn't, you get a punishment".
Gambles are, mechanically, purely two separate dice rolls: a dice roll to see if you successfully obtain the reward for the gamble, and a dice roll to see if you incur the risk's punishment.
Successfully obtaining the reward makes obtaining future rewards harder, but more rewarding.
Successfully avoiding the risk's punishment makes it more likely to incur the risk's punishment and the punishment of an incurred risk worse.
Incurring a risk's punishment makes it less likely to incur future risk penalties, and reduces the consequences from having another.

The mechanic is meant to be basically random chance, a literal gamble. Where if you win, you get something; if you lose, you lose something. Rewards grow with time, but increase the chance that you fail to obtain them (the thing about gambling is that the odds are always stacked against you; the system is designed so that you'll always eventually lose more than you win); the risk of loss increases the more you haven't lost, and it becomes all the worse when you do.

PostPosted: Mon Oct 01, 2018 12:30 am
by BuJaber
I feel like these sort of things don't really work in a mafia game for one simple reason: most players will get eliminated before they get a chance at trying them out. It becomes just a gimmick that only the people who stay alive actually feel the impact of.

Not to mention that after a few days of this it'll get really swingy if gambles do in fact have to do with lynches etc. Say a scum manages to survive until it's 4 player lylo and they got lucky and won a few gambles and now their vote counts as 3 votes. They insta-win because of dice rolls pretty much.

Second point is really specific and circumstantial but yeah first point I think is the real issue. New mechanics/themes should imo be impactful to an extent that everyone can enjoy/experience but not be too impactful that it stops being a mafia game. That's where the difficulty comes in. How you hit that sweet spot is the challenge.

I could see something like this working in a bastard maybe, but still for the vast majority it'll feel just like a normal mafia game with the added spice of losing/winning based purely on luck.

Essentially regardless of the actual mechanic, your idea adds an element of RPG to the game. Where each player has their own sort of adventure they can go on. For something like that to be fun people need a way to survive longer than usual. You need a long game where everyone is like x-shot bulletproof and maybe day 1 lynch is skipped so people can start gambling or whatever.