If you've been reading long enough you might well remember the old growing a tabletop posts. That's a thinking I've taken in other directions since, but this is a closely related idea, if a bit more general.
It's an underlying rock-paper-scissors system for this brave new world of rock-paper-scissors-lizard-Spock. I've been thinking about statless rules, the tile-based tabletop game Hive and 40K's Tyranids.
How it works
Two people play rock-paper-scissors as normal, but if either player loses three rounds in a row, that player gets to invent one new sign and create two new relationships involving it, choosing specifically:
- which of the two signs used in the last round beats the new sign;
- which of the two signs used in the last round is beaten by the new sign.
Each of the signs used in the last round must be involved in one new relationship, and the player must provide a basis for each relationship, if not obvious. Play then continues.
The second time this happens, and each subsequent time, the winner of the three can then opt to permanently remove one existing sign, one of the two used in the last round.
It's like evolving a new world of symbols, with the challenge of keeping up.
The principle could also be applied to other games. In a wargame for example, three consecutive losses could allow the losing player to modify a single unit type, for example by switching one point of stat or one skill, or an equivalent, for one other. Three successive wins could allow the winner to do the same to a losing unit. Units are being retrained, or tech rejigged, or changes made to composition, possibly as a direct result of the destruction. It's a simple campaign system, a bit like the campaign-like-feel proposal for playing 40K._