Zendo Over Text

Not the kind with cardstock and pawns. Mostly play by post Mafia so far.

Zendo Over Text

Postby pedromvilar » Sun Aug 14, 2016 10:35 am

So, there's this super cool game called Zendo, which is usually played with plastic pyramids. Rules here.

And I was wondering if people on this forum would be interested in playing Zendo over text, either here or on IRC (maybe #zendo). The koans are replaced by text strings, and the rules over Koans and the Rule change a bit:
  • When choosing a rule, the Master announces what an "acceptable" string is. For example, an acceptable string could be trios of numbers, or sets of numbers, or sequences of letters of any length, or whatever the Master wants;
  • The straightforward extension on the official restrictions is used: no outside references, no references to other koans, no reference to time, no reference to the medium, no reference to people, etc. Valid rules must be about the string and only the string;
  • To guarantee fairness, at the start of the game the Master picks a cipher key and posts the ciphered rule somewhere, and at the end of the game gives the players the key to the rule.

In a forum game, a few people would decide to join, and turns would proceed normally, and at the time of a Mondo every Student PMs the Master their guess and once every Student has done that (or a set amount of time has passed), the Master posts the true answer and awards Guessing Stones to the winners. Perhaps the Master could also post the running tally of Guessing Stones at each post, and perhaps a spoiler-box'd list of all koans tried thus far as well. If that gets too large the list could maybe be pastebin'd.

In an IRC game that information could be pastebin'd and in the room's topic or something, though one on IRC might be fast enough that that wouldn't be necessary.

Anyone interested?
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Re: Zendo Over Text

Postby Moriwen » Sun Aug 14, 2016 10:48 am

I'd be into it!
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Re: Zendo Over Text

Postby Throne3d » Sun Aug 14, 2016 10:51 am

Me too!
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Re: Zendo Over Text

Postby Kappa » Sun Aug 14, 2016 10:57 am

This would be cool!
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Re: Zendo Over Text

Postby Unbitwise » Sun Aug 14, 2016 11:49 am

I have played and enjoyed a game of this type which is real-time without any turn structure or guessing stones. Adding those seems less fun to me because it changes the pure gathering-and-understanding-the-evidence challenge to also have game strategy (other than "what do your guesses hint to the other players") — but I've never actually played original Zendo.
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Re: Zendo Over Text

Postby Kappa » Sun Aug 14, 2016 12:15 pm

I don't remember whether the version I play with my family generally involves guessing stones; I think it did involve a turn structure, but was fairly informal and relaxed about it. I generally prefer less over more bureaucracy in these sorts of things.
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Re: Zendo Over Text

Postby Moriwen » Sun Aug 14, 2016 12:21 pm

Seconded (thirded)? I think figuring it out as a group is probably more fun than having lots of strategy about guessing stones and such.
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Re: Zendo Over Text

Postby DanielH » Sun Aug 14, 2016 1:27 pm

I agree that group figuring out seems more fun. I also would like to point out something I was too late with for the first Mafia game: the correct solution to “prove the rule stayed the same” is hashing, not encrypting.
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Re: Zendo Over Text

Postby pedromvilar » Sun Aug 14, 2016 1:44 pm

Cooperation works, too, and probably allows for more complex rules from the start - in the original Zendo game rules such as "The Koan must have at least one blue piece or two red pieces." are ridiculously complicated and make for an hour-long game unless someone has magic insight or it's a group of veteran players who've long since moved to rules like that.

- EDIT: About keeping the rule the same, it's not even really that necessary, since you also have the whole history of Koans that must be consistent with whatever rule "turns out to be" correct.
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Re: Zendo Over Text

Postby pedromvilar » Sun Aug 14, 2016 2:04 pm

If people would like to play this cooperatively, I'd accept suggestions for how the rules would work in a non-turn-based format. The one that comes to mind is people posting their Koans, the Master saying whether they follow the rule or not, and anyone can try to guess the rule at any point.
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