This is an odd little deduction game I am noodling at the moment. It's very rough, but here's the loose outline.
You and the other players are trapped in a haunted house, chased by ghosts. Each of you has a unique path you must take to escape the house. Though of you is trying to be the first to escape, you are forced to stay together. Will you convince others to join you on your path? Will you compromise your path for the greater good?
The deck is comprised of door cards, treasure cards, and goal cards.
Door Cards: Each card has a closed door on one side bearing three signs. The reverse shows an open door showing one of those three signs. Some of those cards also show a ghost. Scary!
Goal Cards: Each card shows a sequence of 7 signs.
Treasure Cards: Each card shows 2 signs at the top and some game information at the bottom.
Vote Cards: Three cards for each player, each showing LEFT, CENTER, or RIGHT.
Deal a set of vote cards to each player. Deal one goal card to each player. Keep it secret. Draft two of three treasure cards to each player. Deal three closed doors in a row in the middle of the table like so.
|The LEFT door may have an X, triangle, or star.|
The CENTER door may have a X, square or circle.
The RIGHT door may have a hexagon, triangle or star.
Vote: The players debate which door to open then place their votes. All votes are revealed simultaneously. If there is a tie, the second-place choice is the winner. Flip over the chosen door card and discard the others.
|The players voted for the LEFT door, which turns out to be a triangle.|
In time, a whole row of door cards is revealed and placed in a continuous row called the PATH.
|An example of a complete path.|
Ghosts: Several ghosts lurk in the haunted house. If a ghost is revealed, keep it in the path.
Treasure: Players may play a treasure card if the path shows the signs at the top of the treasure card. When you play a treasure card, place it in front of you. Thereafter, certain signs may count as other signs just for you.
Goal: You're trying to make symbols in the path match the symbols on your goal card.
END OF GAME
The game ends when there are ten cards in the path, when a player wins, or if four ghosts appear in the path.
If the game ends because of ten cards, the player with the most symbols in the path matching her goal card wins the game. Each symbol only counts once, so if your goal card shows two stars, there must be two stars in the path. The exact order doesn't matter.
If the game ends because of ghosts, all the players lose. No one escaped the haunted house. Boo!
If there all the signs in the path match your goal card, the game ends immediately and you win. You escaped the haunted house!
This game is ideally suited for a "crystal mandala" deck design. This allows the players to memorize the exact probability that a ghost lurks behind certain doors. However, the voting mechanics, treasure cards and hidden agendas add enough unpredictability to spice things up. That's the idea, anyway.