Renaming the Village Spies
04-02-2013, 01:24 PM (This post was last modified: 04-11-2013 08:44 PM by Chocolate Pi.)
Post: #1
Renaming the Village Spies
The good:
  • The current Elders/Juniors/Spies subsystem works great and adds a ton of good gameplay, structure, and narrative to games.
  • Players like playing as Elders, Juniors, and Spies alike.
  • Players agree that the Elders/Juniors/Spies setup is worth having.
  • Players all eventually "get it" and understand.
  • Players do not have long-term confusion as to which side the Juniors/Spies are on.

The bad:
  • It takes players a little longer than we'd like to "get it."
  • The name "Village Spies" describes how they should be played rather than their mechanisms; players expect them to have some sort of spying/sneaking ability.

My current position is that the core system/mechanisms are sound, but messaging could be improved. Most specifically, the Village Spies could be renamed.

There is also some concern about coven join messaging, but one step at a time.
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04-03-2013, 07:39 AM
Post: #2
RE: Renaming the Village Spies
My personal opinion of the names:

Village Spies - I rather like the name. It lends some level of importance to the role, but issues regarding the simple explanation of a somewhat complicated mechanic can arise. (Although i've always felt that spies are awesome, and the name is, by extension, awesome)

Junior Villagers - This name makes "explaining" incredibly easy - "the two types of witches know each other+spies, and the two types of juniors join the coven when X condition is met". It makes slightly less sense because there are no elder villagers. You could even go with "Junior Spies" for this reason (as in, they are "trainee" spies until they reach "adulthood", which is when they join the coven as, well, spies)

Wooches
Village Wooches - I group these two together because its really just a case of semantics when it comes to these two, and i'd prefer "Village Wooches" for the sake of clarity. I /almost/ like the thought of "Wooches" becoming a game term, but you've been trying to minimise the number of obscure game terms for a while, and wooches is one that almost feels as though its more trouble than its worth. It feels as though it'd take the same amount of explanation to explain a Wooch as it would a Spy.

Fake Witches - I do not like this.

Village Masons - This actually kinda works - it even somewhat fits with the whole "tradiational mafia" meaning of the word as the spies can communicate with each other.

Occultists - I reject this idea because it results in a very similar predicament to "Spy".


In conclusion: I like "Spies" but i also like "Junior..." for the sake of explanation. "Junior Spy" would result in an ease of explanation; could provide a handwave reason for not having spy/sneak abilities ("you're still a junior/trainee spy, you'll get your spy abilities when you graduate spy academy if you surviev long enough") and just sounds pretty cool.
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04-03-2013, 08:45 AM (This post was last modified: 04-03-2013 08:54 AM by Coldblooded.)
Post: #3
RE: Renaming the Village Spies
I'd advise against using any name involving the word "Wooch". Urban Dictionary has a whole lot of conflicting (and invariably stupid) opinions on what exactly the word means, but I'd guess that you probably don't want to have your game associated with several of them. Plus, the word Wooch just sounds real dumb and doesn't actually help explain anything at all.

I'd agree with Tea, "Village Spy" or "Junior Spy" sounds best.

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04-03-2013, 11:36 AM
Post: #4
RE: Renaming the Village Spies
I am a member of a group that tests the latest version of Witch Hunt on a regular basis, and I have played with the rule that the spies never join the coven; they just act as buffers to confuse the witches and prevent some of them from joining. The junior witches join the coven not when the elder witches fail to select a target but instead when either the spies or the elder witches are all dead. Since the spies work solidly with the village, and even more so in the latest rules, the word "Village" is imperative to include (as opposed to "Fake Witches", which would have worked in the old rules). "Wooch" sound too much like "Witch" and may confuse people.

I know I voted for Junior Villager, but I'd like to change my vote to Village Spy. "Junior Villager" makes it seem like the person is inferior to normal Villagers, which is definitely not true of the Spies. The Spy aspect is taken care of because it is assumed that the spies have already infiltrated the witch education centers and messed with them enough to prevent any of the students from graduating, as well as looking like students to the teachers and like teachers to the students. When the school shuts down because the teachers are gone, the spies' mission is complete, and the witches in training must take their teachers' places. If the spies are ever killed, the school functions properly (aka the paperwork for graduation stops mysteriously disappearing) and allows the junior witches to graduate into the coven.
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04-03-2013, 11:41 AM
Post: #5
RE: Renaming the Village Spies
Yeah I agree with both dpaul and Tea with respect to the 'wooch' title. However, I also don't really like Junior Spy either. To me, the first thing I'd wonder when I hear it is wonder is why a regular Spy doesn't exist. It also doesn't make it any easier to 'explain' what they do then just calling them a Village Spy would.

If you're thinking of more suitable names I think Infiltrator or Agent (as in, double agent) could possibly work as well but I do think just sticking with Spy is fine.
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04-04-2013, 02:50 AM
Post: #6
RE: Renaming the Village Spies
@YoungsterJoey - ah yes, i remember that change. Its just been a a few versions since I've played a Test Game*, and sometimes i forget which changes have occured.

*Speaking of which. CPI?
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04-04-2013, 04:19 AM
Post: #7
RE: Renaming the Village Spies
(04-04-2013 02:50 AM)A Killer Cuppa Tea Wrote:  @YoungsterJoey - ah yes, i remember that change. Its just been a a few versions since I've played a Test Game*, and sometimes i forget which changes have occured.

*Speaking of which. CPI?

What is CPI?
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04-04-2013, 07:39 AM
Post: #8
RE: Renaming the Village Spies
Our wonderful host's nickname I believe, Chocolate PI.
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04-04-2013, 08:56 AM
Post: #9
RE: Renaming the Village Spies
(04-04-2013 07:39 AM)Palamedes Wrote:  Our wonderful host's nickname I believe, Chocolate PI.

Yep!

(the "i" shouldn't be capitalised, but eh, i forget.)
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04-11-2013, 08:23 AM (This post was last modified: 04-11-2013 08:25 AM by amosmyn.)
Post: #10
RE: Renaming the Village Spies
How about "Village Moles", "Villiage Scrys" or "Villiage Infiltrators"? They're more specific than simply "spies". No offense, but most of the names you have listed are rather droll. You're going to have an instruction manual anyways (right??) so if there's an issue with people not understanding what a scry, infiltrator, mason, etc is, they can check the manual and poof! Comprehension.
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04-11-2013, 08:35 AM
Post: #11
RE: Renaming the Village Spies
I actually like "Infiltrator"

Explains it nicely

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04-11-2013, 11:35 AM
Post: #12
RE: Renaming the Village Spies
Infiltrator is pretty good; it still kinda fits with investigator, and you have the "I" alliteration.
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04-11-2013, 11:39 AM
Post: #13
RE: Renaming the Village Spies
As I said before I'm alright with Infiltrator or leaving it the way it is.
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04-11-2013, 08:43 PM (This post was last modified: 04-11-2013 08:45 PM by Chocolate Pi.)
Post: #14
RE: Renaming the Village Spies
(04-11-2013 08:23 AM)amosmyn Wrote:  How about "Village Moles", "Villiage Scrys" or "Villiage Infiltrators"? They're more specific than simply "spies". No offense, but most of the names you have listed are rather droll. You're going to have an instruction manual anyways (right??) so if there's an issue with people not understanding what a scry, infiltrator, mason, etc is, they can check the manual and poof! Comprehension.

My guess is that everyone would assume Village Moles are in the Coven. I think that's a really natural assumption, but realized two seconds ago that if I'm wrong and that assumption isn't the case, Village Mole is far and away the best option? Emphasis on them being in the "middle" of the two sets of Witches.

Scry is commonly used as a word for a cop role, or a verb of the cop's action. (synonym for "check")

Infiltrator has the same problem as Spy, but more extreme; it's a highly "active" name that strongly implies "this is someone who infiltrates something." Which these guys don't do. They are traps more than anything, but that sort of description doesn't make for a good name.

(04-11-2013 11:35 AM)A Killer Cuppa Tea Wrote:  Infiltrator is pretty good; it still kinda fits with investigator, and you have the "I" alliteration.

Erm, that's a major strike against it. We under no circumstances want any player type getting confused with roles, and similarly named roles that even interact with that type is a huge landmine.

So the status quo is Village Spies vs. Village Moles. Wonder if I can edit polls? (Yup, new poll made.)
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