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Old 10-13-2009, 11:18 AM   #1
robotrevolution
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Default Munchkin Tournament Help

Hey, first time posting here because I'm looking for some advice.

I'm running a Munchkin tournament for the local game shop at a big area convention. The idea we had was to run the largest game of Munchkin we possibly could - one table, possibly dozens of players. For every X number of players, we'll add an additional expansion to the game, starting with the core expansions. The winner takes it all.

I've seen threads about limiting tables to six players and competing in rounds, which is a great way to run a tournament, but we really love the idea of a giant Munchkin table with 20, 30, or more players.

A few things I'm thinking of:
- two or more players take turns at the same time, which would work well with the next item
- sphere of influence: you can only affect players a certain number of seats away from you (3 on each side, for example)
- go below level 1 and you're out (though this could reduce the fun factor)
- play for exactly 1 hour, plus enough times around the table so everybody has the same number of turns

I like the idea of multiple players going at once, which would increase the action, though it could also increase confusion. With a sphere of influence, however, it may not be too difficult to set up, especially if we use totems or some other large object to denote which players are taking their turns. The totems would only pass to the next player when everybody is done with their turn - kind of like the dealer button in poker games.

EDIT: To be clear, something along these lines (imagine the straight line is a group of players sitting around a table):
P1-off
P2-on
P3-on
P4-on
P5-ACTIVE PLAYER
P6-on
P7-on
P8-on
P9-off
P10-off
P11-off
P12-on
P13-on
P14-on
P15-ACTIVE PLAYER
P16-on
etc

Any thoughts or suggestions? We really want this tournament to go well and I'm looking for ideas, since we've never run a Munchkin tournament this big before. Thanks very much!

Last edited by robotrevolution; 10-13-2009 at 11:24 AM.
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Old 10-13-2009, 11:34 AM   #2
MunchkinMan
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Default Re: Munchkin Tournament Help

Having run a Munchkin table of 10 players, I can tell you that 8 is the absolute most I will ever allow, ever again. Adding the idea of multiple players playing at the same time is just going to make it way too confusing, and I honestly don't think this is going to work. I guess what I'm trying to say is, if you really like pandemonium and mayhem, why not just take a bunch of kindergarteners to play paintball?

But, some more thoughts to why this is a bad idea:
  1. What happens if one of the active turns laps another? If you don't allow turns to move until all the current active turns are completed, how do you combat bordedom of the player who has to wait for his turn to happen because he's ready to go (the previous player had a fast turn), and one of the other active turns is in the middle of an epic battle. You can't guarantee that everyone's going to be interested in a battle they can't influence (i've seen it happen in 3- and 4-player games, so don't tell me it's less likely in a 30-player game).
  2. How many cards are you thinking you're going to use? You'll use up cards very, very fast if you're going from a single deck, even if you blend in every possible set and spend a lot of time re-shuffling.
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Last edited by MunchkinMan; 10-13-2009 at 11:57 AM.
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Old 10-13-2009, 11:53 AM   #3
robotrevolution
 
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Default Re: Munchkin Tournament Help

Quote:
Originally Posted by MunchkinMan View Post
Having run a Munchkin table of 10 players, I can tell you that 8 is the absolute most I will ever allow, ever again. Adding the idea of multiple players playing at the same time is just going to make it way too confusing, and I honestly don't think this is going to work. I guess what I'm trying to say is, if you really like pandemonium and mayhem, why not just take a bunch of kindergarteners to play paintball?
What do you think about using the sphere of influence idea to reduce the number of active players, while still allowing everyone to participate? When players are killed, they're out, so the spheres would change over the course of the tournament.
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Old 10-13-2009, 12:11 PM   #4
MunchkinMan
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Default Re: Munchkin Tournament Help

I don't like modifying the rules too much to accommodate too extreme a variation, and I especially don't like violating an inviolable rule (NOTHING takes you below Level 1). Removing a player who dies once they've reached a certain level is fine, but death can come unexpectedly early to a Level 1 or 2 player through nothing more than dumb luck. And, the sphere of influence is an interesting concept, but what about the players across from you? Hell, if you're going with sphere of influence, why not just break it up into tables of 6 and be done with it?

All I can really say is that I've run a fair number of tourneys over the years, and if you can get everyone together at once and run a few-swiss style rounds (probably best in your situation, and definitely good for a 1-day event), or have to have a number of qualifiers over the course of a weekend followed by semi-final rounds and a final game (much better for a 3-4 day long convention). These seem to work best and provide the best opportunity for everyone to have a good time and feel they were given a fair shot of winning.
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Old 10-13-2009, 01:18 PM   #5
GruntOfKis
 
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Default Re: Munchkin Tournament Help

There about 4-9 cards that lower level and cause death. there few chance this will happen.

Quote:
Originally Posted by robotrevolution View Post
What do you think about using the sphere of influence idea to reduce the number of active players, while still allowing everyone to participate? When players are killed, they're out, so the spheres would change over the course of the tournament.
about the sphere of influence it mostly answer here
Quote:
Originally Posted by MunchkinMan View Post
  1. What happens if one of the active turns laps another? If you don't allow turns to move until all the current active turns are completed, how do you combat bordedom of the player who has to wait for his turn to happen because he's ready to go (the previous player had a fast turn), and one of the other active turns is in the middle of an epic battle. You can't guarantee that everyone's going to be interested in a battle they can't influence (i've seen it happen in 3- and 4-player games, so don't tell me it's less likely in a 30-player game).
  2. How many cards are you thinking you're going to use?
I can see someone wait 20-40mins before he able to play a card use sphere of influence.

Time is another factor. 6 player take 1 hour to fins. there was 20 player that should be a 4 hour game. sphere of influence does not change this. They play for 10mins and they wait 10mins doing nothing, and that if all player can play their turn with same pace.

Last edited by GruntOfKis; 10-13-2009 at 01:28 PM. Reason: time add
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Old 10-14-2009, 02:20 AM   #6
-ScreenName-
 
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Default Re: Munchkin Tournament Help

Quote:
Originally Posted by robotrevolution View Post
- go below level 1 and you're out (though this could reduce the fun factor)
i don't really like this one because a player (at level 1) could very easily draw a curse lose a level card or lose to a low level monster that takes away their only level (even if they're strong enough to defeat the monster, i'm sure there will be at least a few enterprising munchkins trying to thin the competition). it seems like a lot of the players can be cut out unfairly in the beginning of the game; just my opinion though.
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Old 10-15-2009, 10:46 PM   #7
Kirt
 
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Default Re: Munchkin Tournament Help

How many moderators do you plan on having?
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Old 10-16-2009, 02:37 AM   #8
Nixel
 
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Default Re: Munchkin Tournament Help

Quote:
Originally Posted by MunchkinMan View Post
I don't like modifying the rules too much to accommodate too extreme a variation, and I especially don't like violating an inviolable rule (NOTHING takes you below Level 1). Removing a player who dies once they've reached a certain level is fine, but death can come unexpectedly early to a Level 1 or 2 player through nothing more than dumb luck.
I could just imagine this... in the starting hands, someone gets a "Curse, Lose a level", and a player is instantly removed from the game before it starts.

Random luck of cards is one thing, but inevitably, something like this is bound to happen.
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Old 10-16-2009, 11:07 PM   #9
Kirt
 
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Default Re: Munchkin Tournament Help

Quote:
Originally Posted by robotrevolution View Post
The idea we had was to run the largest game of Munchkin we possibly could - one table, possibly dozens of players.

I've seen threads about limiting tables to six players and competing in rounds, which is a great way to run a tournament, but we really love the idea of a giant Munchkin table with 20, 30, or more players.

- two or more players take turns at the same time, which would work well with the next item
- sphere of influence: you can only affect players a certain number of seats away from you (3 on each side, for example)
- go below level 1 and you're out (though this could reduce the fun factor)
- play for exactly 1 hour, plus enough times around the table so everybody has the same number of turns

I would take very seriously MM's advice to keep players at 8 or under.

I understand your desire to have massive players in the same game, but the basic problem is keeping a player interested while he waits for his turn with so many other players. You propose to do this with multiple players going at once and Sphere of Influence, but as noted above, this adds considerably to the confusion and effectively cancels any interactivity between players on opposite sides of the table, so what is the point?

It seems like you want to do something *different* and you plan on having lots of (presumably experienced) players.

Let me throw an idea off the top of my head...TEAMS. Or, to put it in munchkinese, competing adventuring parties.

For example: divide players into teams of between 3 to 6 (as evenly distributed as possible).

Two teams play against each other at a time. (so you could have multiple tables going at once).

Rules as per standard munchkin, but initiative alternates between teams and circulates among members of the same team.

If a munchkin whose combat it is, is forced to run away from a monster, he is eliminated from the team (helpers are immune to this - you can only be eliminated on your turn). (Bad stuff would not apply)

Round ends when one team has been reduced to only one munchkin. The other team claims victory. That team is now reconstituted (all players return) to face another victorious team.

What typically happens in a "large" game is that players hold on to their cards and don't oppose other players until the end. (Why should I waste my "ancient" on player X's monster when there are X+5 other players?) Then whichever player is unlucky enough to be first to level 9 gets dumped on. This means a lot of time spent cooling my heels while waiting for my turn to come around because it isn't worth it to oppose another player until the end. This problem would increase dramatically in a game with 10, 20, or 30 players.

But by playing on teams, each player stays "in the game" because they have an incentive to help every player on their team and oppose every player on the other team. It would create lots of table-talk as players on one team decide which opposing players they want to eliminate and in which order, and how to optimize builds with the classes/races/items in play. Even after a player has been eliminated, he would want to stick around to help with strategy and see if his team wins so he can come back in the next game.

Also, by playing on teams a player can be assured of a helper, which would help keep players from being eliminated early through bad luck.

Interestingly, the game would stay balanced up until the end even if one team is losing more players. For example, start with two teams of 5 and 5. After several turns they are at 4 and 2. The team of four has more options to oppose the team of two. But the team of two is taking twice as many turns individually, so they will be leveling faster, because the turns pass between teams.

For example, if team one was Sam, Sarah, Seth, and Sally, and team two was Rob and Rex, turn order would be:

Sam
Rob
Sarah
Rex
Seth
Rob
Sally
Rex
Sam...

I would further allow a player that had to run away and was thus being eliminated to "drop" one item of his choice while running, with that item then being retrieved by the teammate whose turn it is next.

You would need to put some sort of restriction on giving/trading items, so that members of a team would not just cycle their best gear to the next teammate in line. Perhaps only allow one item to change hands per turn (thieves etc. could still use their powers) or while items can be traded downstream they can only be given upstream.

You could play the tourney until one team emerged victorious, through elimination or round-robin, or you could let the victorious team play one more round of standard munchkin, with all the former teammates backstabbing each other.

Last edited by Kirt; 10-16-2009 at 11:18 PM.
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Old 10-17-2009, 05:30 AM   #10
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Default Re: Munchkin Tournament Help

My only advise on your proposal is: Don't.
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