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Word RPS

A Rock-Paper-Scissors-flavoured word game
 (+9) [vote for, against]

Each round of Word RPS consists of the two players choosing any letter (from A to Z, or space), and then revealing their choice.

Points are won in RPS style, with letters from A to I beating letters from J to R, letters from J to R beating letters from S to Z and space, and letters from S to Z and space beating letters from A to I.

So far, the game is exactly equivalent to normal RPS, where {A to I} = rock, {J to R} = scissors and {S to Z, space} = paper.

The twist is that players must also spell out words with their throws (using space to complete one word and start another).

If a player makes a choice that prevents him from spelling a word (or complete a word with space), and his opponent challenges, he loses the match. However, a player who challenges incorrectly also loses the match.

Example match - first to two points wins:

Round 1:

Player 1 - B
Player 2 - C

- tie

Round 2:

Player 1 - BU
Player 2 - CA

- player 1 wins a point

Round 3:

Player 1 - BUN
Player 2 - CAC

- player 2 wins a point

Here, for example, player 2 may expect player 1 to either play S (for BUNS) or space (to complete BUN_) next, so figures that he can win by choosing a J-R letter. However,

Round 4:

Player 1 - BUND (towards 'bundle')
Player 2 - CACK (towards 'cackle')

and player 1 wins by two points to one.

Example match 2:

Round 1:

Player 1: P
Player 2: D

- player 2 wins a point

Round 2:

Player 1: PR
Player 2: DJ

- player 1 challenges, thinking there are no words beginning DJ-
- player 2 says he was thinking of the word 'djinni', an alternative spelling of 'genie'. Since this is an acceptable word, player 2 wins.

Word RPS combines the RPS scoring system with a splash of logic (figuring out what letters your opponent is most likely to choose next) and vocabulary (being able to surprise your opponent with unusual choices of letters, or lure them into an incorrect challenge). People who enjoy playing Ghost will probably enjoy this game too.

An optional variant would require players to make valid phrases/sentences, as well as valid words (e.g. "my_cat_is" would be allowed but "my_is_cat" would not).

 — imaginality, May 29 2008

Ghost http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ghost_(game)
As referred to in the last sentence above [imaginality, May 29 2008]

RPS-25 http://www.umop.com/rps25.htm
RPS with 25 choices [apocalyps956, May 29 2008]

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Is there an Excel version?
 — normzone, May 29 2008

How about each letter/space beats the next 13 letters/space like in my link?
 — apocalyps956, May 29 2008

 Is it possible to use the 3 rows of the keyboard somehow? I can see the number of letters isn't the same on each row, but perhaps someone could think of a way.

 For example, the keys QAZ, WSX etc, could finally end up with IKP and OL.

I just thought it might be easier to remember which beats which, for some reason.
 — Ling, May 30 2008

 There's no real problem with having unequal sets of letters (the A-I set occur with greater frequency in natural English than the other sets, as it is). Any minor imbalance in number or popularity of letters wouldn't affect the fairness of the game.

 What might be more of a problem with the keyboard arrangement is that the bottom row has no vowels, so there would be too many occasions where it's obvious you can't use a letter from that row next. For example, if you start with T, how many words begin TZ-, TX-, TC-, TV-, TB-, TN- or TM-? So I think each set of letters should have at least one vowel in.

Maybe slicing the keys in three sets as: {IOP,JKL,NM,space}, {TYU,FGH,CVB} and {QWER,ASD,ZX} would work?
 — imaginality, May 31 2008

Yes, I think that dividing the keyboard left/middle/right is better. Either way, there will be weaknesses where some groups have more often used letters and therefore using the letters from the superior group would increase the chance of winning.
 — Ling, May 31 2008

 //Either way, there will be weaknesses where some groups have more often used letters and therefore using the letters from the superior group would increase the chance of winning.//

This is only true if we assume the opponent is choosing his or her words randomly - intelligent opponents will be aware of the bias, and will prevent you from taking advantage of it by biasing their word choices slightly more in favour of the 'weak' set or sets of letters than you'd expect by chance.
 — imaginality, May 31 2008

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