I've been watching a lot of vintage TV game shows recently (To Tell the Truth, Twenty Questions, What's my Line etc), and I figured it might be fun to try out a game on TSW. It's based on a few of these older panel-style game shows. I was going to call it "20 questions," but as that name has rudely already been taken, I'm instead just calling it, "Who am I?"
A user acts as moderator and answers player questions. The moderator chooses a well-known person, historical figure, or fictional character.
- The chosen person/figure/character should be someone that is knowable, but not necessarily someone who would be easy to guess.
- The moderator may choose to give one or more hints to the players.
A player (there can be any number of players) may ask a question about this person/figure/character, as long as the question is answerable by "yes" or "no" (e.g. a player can ask, "Does this person have brown eyes?" but cannot ask "What color eyes does this person have?").
- There may be instances where a yes/no question might result in an answer such as "maybe," "possibly," "probably," etc., but the questions should fundamentally be yes/no questions.
- If there is a question asked that the moderator cannot answer, the moderator will tell the player, and allow the player to ask another question instead (the unanswered question will not count against the total number of questions).
- If the moderator requires clarification of a specific question, they may ask the question-asker to explain their meaning or to rephrase their question. In this event, the rephrased question does not count against the 20 question limit.
Only one player may ask questions at a time. It is said to be a player's turn from when the player asks their first question, until they receive a No response (or unless they do not respond with additional questions within 72 hours of a response)
- Any question responded to with a Yes awards the player 5 points, and the player's turn continues.
- A player has 72 hours from receiving a Yes answer to ask another question. If this time elapses, the player's turn ends, and any player may choose to ask a question.
- Any question responded to with a No awards no points and ends the player's turn. Any player is then free to ask a question.
- Answers which are not yes/no will award two points and will not end the player's turn.
- A player has 72 hours from receiving a partial answer to ask another question. If this time elapses, the player's turn ends, and any player may choose to ask a question.
- Once a player's turn ends, another volunteer player may ask the next question, or the player whose turn has ended may try again.
During the round, a player who has at least 10 points may guess the identity of the person/figure/character.
- If the player guesses correctly, they win 25 points, plus 5 points for each question left to be asked (e.g. if there were 7 questions left to be asked and a player made a correct guess, they would win 60 points).
- If a player guesses incorrectly, they lose half of the points they've accumulated (rounded down, in the case of fractions of points). They also are barred from asking the next question or from making another guess right away; if it is the player's turn currently, their turn ends upon an incorrect guess.
- Guesses do not count against the 20 question limit.
If no player has made a guess after 20 questions have been asked, each player who participated in the round will be allowed to make one final guess. There is no penalty for a wrong guess at this stage. A correct guess yields 25 points. If after this final round, no player has correctly guessed the person, the moderator should reveal them.
The winner of the game is the player with the most points at the end. If there is a tie in points, the win goes to the tied player that correctly guessed the person. If no points leader correctly guessed the person, the win goes to the player that had the most questions answered with Yes during the game.
This all might seem a bit complicated at the outset, but I'm sure once the game starts it'll make sense.
I'm going to play through a hypothetical round to show the basic functions of the game.
Moderator: This person is a real person, not a fictional character
Question 1: Is this person dead? Yes
Question 2: Was this person male? Yes
Question 3: Was he alive at any time in the last 500 years? Yes
Question 4: Was he alive at any time in the last 100 years? No
Question 5: Was he a king, emperor, or other form of royalty? No
Question 6: Was he involved in the military? Yes
Question 7: Was he from the United States? Somewhat
Question 8: Did the United States not exist as a country when he was born? Yes
- (Take notice of the way the question was asked; negative questions are allowed, and might be an effective way to rule out possibilities without incurring a No answer)
Question 9: Was he an important political figure? Yes
Question 10: Was he a president of the United States? Yes
Question 11: Was he a military leader in the war(s) he was a part of? Yes
Guess: Is it George Washington? No
Question 12: Was he involved in the American Revolutionary War? No
Question 13: Was he involved in the War of 1812? Yes
Guess: Is it Andrew Jackson? No
Question 14: Did he die while serving as president? Yes
Guess: Is it William Henry Harrison? Yes
There can be a bit of strategy in regards to the order that questions are asked. For instance, As soon as Question 11, if someone had asked if he died while in office, the answer would've ruled out the two incorrect guesses, since neither of them died while in office. If someone had asked about his involvement in the War of 1812, Washington would've been eliminated beforehand.
A few other items of note. The best strategy is to start general, to ask questions that eliminate as many possibilities in one turn as you can. Determining whether the person is alive or dead, and male or female, is a good quick way to substantially narrow down the field of potential guesses later on. After this, it's often good to focus on a specific field. For instance, you could ask "Is/was he/she involved in the arts?" or "sciences?" or "business?" or "politics?" If the question were answered as a yes, you could then dive deeper; "Was he involved in motion pictures?" or "Was he a president?" or "Was he an inventor?" If you find a particular field where the person is/was notable, it may be worth pursuing that line further to determine the correct person through process of elimination.
Finally, unclear answers are not necessarily bad. Note in questions 7 and 8 above, that question 7 yielded a "somewhat," and not a simple yes or no. This serves as a major clue because it substantially limits the field of potential people, since all people who were definitely from or definitely not from the U.S. are now eliminated, leaving only those few whose origins are more murky. The next question helps clarify things further by defining the scope of question 7's answer.
Let's kick things off. I'll be the moderator for this round. I have chosen a person/historical figure/famous character; let's see if you can guess it. Who will ask the first question? -- LostInRiverview talk · blog · contribs 02:54, April 17, 2019 (UTC)
Addition: I feel it might also be a good idea to give a hint to start off with, since otherwise the matter is quite broad. I will say that the person that I have chosen is a real person or historical figure, rather than a fictional character. -- LostInRiverview talk · blog · contribs 03:14, April 17, 2019 (UTC)
Additional addition: I've modified the rules of the game. The main change is that getting a No answer does not disqualify you from asking additional questions right away. Getting Yes answers, however, maintains your turn and stops other players from asking questions while your turn continues. -- LostInRiverview talk · blog · contribs 22:42, April 18, 2019 (UTC)