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Game Balance

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Game Balance is a measurement of how fair a game is. The more balanced a game is, the more the outcome of the game will depend on the skill of the players, the more interesting it will be for the players.

Most games are said to be balanced if all players have an equal chance of winning at the beginning. In practice, not many games are truly balanced. Most of the time there is an advantage on one side. However, if the advantage is small enough then it is convenient to say that the game is balanced.

Before the game ever gets started, the Game Moderator should spend some time thinking through possible ways the game could proceed to an Endgame; if many of those possibilities seem to be heavily weighted toward either the ProTown or Scum players, it's possible that the game is not properly balanced (like a set of scales).

There are some conventions to help you get started: for instance, most Mini Games have either 3 or 4 Scum, depending on how many powers they get *and* how many the Town gets. Balance is a tricky issue, and asking an experienced moderator to look over your setup (someone who isn't going to be playing your game, obviously!) is a good step to take before you run the risk of making either your winners or your losers, or both, feel cheated.

There are some basic ways to tip balance in either direction if one group is getting too powerful:

If Scum is too powerful, here are some tips, in rough order of usefulness:

  • Give the town more power roles!
  • Take away some scum power roles.
  • Introduce more factions (this actually hurts the scum, they have higher chances of killing each other)
  • Take away scum/add townies
  • Make all cops (if any) sane.

If town is too powerful, here are some other devices: