Looney Labs Icehouse Mailing list Archive

Re: [Icehouse] A Zendo variant

  • FromKory Heath <kory@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • DateTue, 13 Feb 2007 10:55:39 -0800
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.

Is the decision whether to call Master or Mondo still an
interesting one?
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.

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.

-- Kory