Marc Hartstein wrote:
I wonder if losing one guessing stone might be sufficient.
It might be. However, one of my goals is to put a pretty low cap on the
number of stones that people are likely to collect. If I only lose one
stone for an incorrect guess, I will answer a Mondo any time I'm more
than 50% confident. I'll rack up stones more slowly, but I'll still rack
them up. If I lose my whole stash for an incorrect guess, I'll probably
always abstain once I've got three stones, and maybe abstain most of the
time even when I have only two stones. That's the behavior I'm shooting for.
Losing all stones would, of course,
completely remove this tactic. Is that intentional?
It's not intentional. But I wouldn't miss that tactical feature.
The primary reason to retain the distinction is simply to keep the game
moving. I suspect that there will be times in the mid-game when
everyone's feeling a bit lost - or everyone has two or three stones -
and no one really feels like answering a Mondo at the moment. It would
be pretty tedious for the rules to keep forcing you play Mondos each
turn, if the entire group keeps abstaining.
Is the decision whether to call Master or Mondo still an
However, there are always other options to consider. For instance,
rather than forcing everyone to secretly answer or abstain each round,
you could just give everyone the option to do a Mondo on any koan that
any player builds. So every turn, someone builds a koan, and then the
Master says "anyone want to Mondo?" All the players who feel like it can
simultaneously answer the Mondo, and the people who don't just openly
abstain. In the cases when no one feels like risking their stones, the
turn just automatically becomes a "Master" turn.
I can't tell at the moment if that would feel cleaner or more ugly than
my original suggestion.