My particular concerns with the limited testing I have done are as follows:Thief Dice (1st edition)
A game played by rolling a pair of six-sided dice. Players take on the role of thieves competing to become the Ideal Thief. Now everybody can have a chance to know what it feels like to be Jaster!
OBJECTIVE: Be the first thief to gain six steals (See Easy Guide under “How to Play” section).
# OF PLAYERS: 2 to 8, but 3 to 5 is recommended.
HOW TO PLAY:
The game is played in a series of rounds. There can be a set number of rounds to limit game time, or the game can be played until all but one thief is “jailed”.
Each thief starts the game with an equal number of points, determined before the game begins. If playing for stakes, the number of points should equal the amount of riln paid into the pot. Points can be set low for shorter games, or high for longer games (and bigger pots!).
To begin the game, all thieves should roll their dice. The highest number goes first (ties re-roll). The remaining thieves call their spots, saying “Second!”, etc.
A round consists of the thieves taking turns rolling their dice. Rolling a 1 or 3 is a “steal”. If a thief gets six steals the round is ended. Rolling a 6 is a “bust”. If a thief gets busted they lose a steal, assuming they have any. Rolling a double 1 is a “backstab”, causing the next thief in line to lose their turn. The backstabbed thief also gives up a steal to the backstabber, assuming they have any. A thief rolling a double 6 has a “close-call”, losing their next turn to lay low. A close-call doesn't lose a thief any steals. If any other doubles are rolled, they count as a steal. If both a 1 and 6 or a 3 and 6 are rolled, then they negate one another and nothing happens. Rolling both a 1 and a 3 will gain a thief two steals.
1 or 3=steal (6 needed)
6=bust (lose a steal)
double 1= backstab (skip next thief, gain a steal if they have any)
double 6=close-call (lose your next turn, but no steals)
any other double=steal
1 or 3 and 6=nothing happens
The round continues until a thief gains 6 steals, winning the round. At this point, all remaining thieves roll their dice and add up the total, multiplying by 3. This is the amount of points that each thief pays to the round winner, up to the maximum number of points (if points are set at 10 then thieves can only pay up to 10 points). This is why low point games are shorter (possibly only a single round!).
If a thief runs out of points, they are out of the main game and are no longer able to roll with the remaining thieves. This is called being “jailed”. Jailed thieves have one chance each round to “rat” on another thief by rolling their dice, but they have to announce that they are ratting so that the game may pause for them to roll. If the rat rolls a combined total of 7 or 11, then the targeted thief gets busted and loses a steal.
When a round is over, steals are set back to 0 so that each round requires 6 steals to win. Points carry over from round to round. The winner of the previous round starts the new round, but remaining thieves call their spots as in the first round.
WINNING: The winner of each round is the first thief to gain 6 steals.
The winner of the game is the last thief left after all other thieves have been jailed.
If there are a set number of rounds, then the winner is the thief with the most points at the end of the last round.
The winner gains the coveted title of Ideal Thief (and the pot)!
Now get out there and steal something, you scoundrels!
1) Backstabs and Close-calls in a two player game. For instance, having the first player get a close-call and then having the second player get a backstab, followed by a close call. That would give the second player two free turns after rolling the backstab, but losing his next turn once rolling a close-call, leaving one free turn left that technically shouldn't be able to be used according to the rules of a close-call. (I guess an easy fix is to add a rule saying that if a player rolls a close-call then it is immediately the next player's turn.)
2) Needing six steals to win a round. With a larger number of players this could get confusing to keep track of since the game is being played via a text mud, especially when you start adding in backstabs and ratting. Obviously, this would require that each player keeps track of their own steals. I think on the flip side, that makes the game more fun, because while you keep track of your own steals it is also a good idea to keep track of all the other player's steals so you know where you stand. It would become particularly important and strategic once you get jailed and you want to rat on someone to try and prevent them from winning a round.
3) Ratting! I haven't had a chance to really test this. My concerns with it are mostly pertaining to it's probability of being successful. I want it to be successful enough to make it useful and fun to use (not fun for un-jailed thieves though!), but not so successful that it seems unbalanced.