Herowannabe

game
Cosmere Codenames

788 posts in this topic

So in my family we love the game Codenames, and I got to thinking how fun it would be to play a Brandon Sanderson themed version. And then it occurred to me, why not adapt it to play on the forums? Should be easy enough, so let’s take a crack at it, yeah?

As for the nitty gritty:

I’ve never played Codenames, what is it?

Spoiler

In a nutshell, you divide into two teams- red and blue- and each team nominates a spy master. Then a 5x5 grid of random words (and/or pictures) is laid out for everybody to see. These words are potential Codenames for each team’s spies or agents out in the field. The spymasters are shown a key which tells them which codenames belong to each team, to innocent bystanders, and which one is the assassin. The spymaster’s job is to give clues to their teammates and get them to correctly guess the right codenames and bring in all of their teams’ agents.  

That’s the gist of it, but of course there is a bit more to it. Edit: here is an updated link to the official rulebook.

Okay, I get how to play, but how are we going to Sanderson-ize it?

Spoiler

Pretty easily actually. Instead of drawing cards from a deck (like you normally do in Codenames), we’ll populate the 5x5 grid by using the “Random Page” link over at coppermind.net, and skipping over anything too obscure (as a rule of thumb, any entries with only 1 paragraph of info or less should probably be skipped).

Will there be spoilers for any of Brandon's books?

Short Answer: Very Possibly. Play at your own risk!

Long Answer: the codenames used in each game will not contain any spoilers for any of the books. However, they will be linked to their respective coppermind wiki entries, which can contain spoilers for Brandon's books. Also, I can't guarantee that the clues that the spymasters give and/or the teams' discussions won't contain spoilers. Again, Play at your own risk! I will try to post at the start of each game which of Brandon's books the codenames are drawn from for that game, so you can know if you need to avoid a particular game. 

How are we going to make this work on the forum?

Spoiler

After a few games, this is the method that we have settled on. It seems to be working pretty well, and we haven't had any major issues: 

Starting a new game

Before each game, there will be a brief period when players can sign up to play and volunteer to be a spymaster if they wish. Once we have at least 6 players total (3/team) and two of those players have volunteered for Spymaster duty then we will begin the game. Players will be assigned to teams based on the order they signed up for the game (NOTE: If anyone wishes to sign up while a game is in progress they may do so, and they will be assigned to one of the teams and may begin playing immediately). 

During the signup period, we will generate the grid for that game. Everybody will be able to view the grid and offer suggestions if they think a codename is too obscure or difficult or whatever. The key card won't be created or distributed to the Spymasters until the game actually begins, however. 

The Grid

We have created a spreadsheet in google sheets to use for the grid. Everybody will be able to see it, but only the Spymasters (and the impartial moderator, if one is needed) will be authorized to edit it. As guesses are made, the respective codenames will be changed to the appropriate colors to show which team they belonged to.

Taking Turns

The Spymaster who’s turn it is will post their one-word clue along with the number of codenames it applies to in this thread. For convenience, please bold the clues and make them the color of your team, like so:

Stormlight - 3  

or

Villains - 2

The teams members are then free to discuss -in the thread- the clue and any guesses they want to make. Any team member may make a guess at any time by placing their guess in bold. Any codenames that are written in bold WILL be counted as guesses, and conversely, any guesses that are not bolded will NOT be counted

Multiple Guesses

Normally in Codenames clues are given one at a time, but to help speed things along we will allow multiple guesses to be made while we wait for the Spymasters to respond. However, the Spymasters should mark off the codenames as if they had been given one at a time, in the order they were given. If the team’s turn ends prematurely (by making an incorrect guess) then any guesses after that are ignored. Next turn, if they wish to repeat the uncounted guesses they must repost them. 

For example, say the red team makes three guesses (Kaladin, Vasher, and Elantris). The Red Spymaster then responds to the guesses one at a time.

1. “Kaladin” is a red agent, so he marks it red on the grid.

2. “Vasher,” however, is a bystander. The Spymaster marks Vasher gray,

3. Because the team made an incorrect guess their turn immediately ends, and the “Elantris” guess is not counted.

Either Spymaster (or the moderator) may mark the guesses, since they all have access to the key and the google sheet. However, obviously only the Spymaster whose turn it is can give the clues for their team. ;)

Ending a turn

To prevent turns from running on and on for too long, each turn will be given a 48-hour timer starting from when the Spymaster posts their clue. If the team members have made all the guesses they wish to make and are ready to end their turn early, they may indicate it by posting "ready to pass" or "done guessing" or something similar in bold text. Once at least half the team members have indicated they are ready to end the turn, the other spymaster may begin their team's turn at any time. 

What if I want to take a turn being a Spymaster?

Spoiler

Spymaster Selection

It is highly recommended- but not strictly required- that before you volunteer to be spymaster you meet the following criteria:

  1. You have played codenames at least once or twice before (whether in real life or here on the forums) and are familiar with how it works, and are willing to do your best to follow the rules. 
  2. You should be familiar with the source material being used to populate the grid (normally that will be the Cosmere (including all of Brandon's published novels, novellas, short stories, and graphic novels that take place in the Cosmere), but for some games we may limit it to specific worlds/series, or expand it to include some of Brandon's non-Cosmere works)
  3. You are willing to commit to being active in the game (i.e.: checking the thread roughly once per day and responding if needed) for the next couple weeks, until the game ends. If a regular player takes a few days off or goes inactive, its not a big deal- their teammates can pick up the slack. If a spymaster goes inactive... well, see the next section. 

Spymasters will be chosen on a volunteer basis during sign-ups for the next game. Nobody will be forced to be a spymaster if they don't want to. 

What happens if a Spymaster stops playing mid-game?

If you think you aren't going to be able to continue playing the game, please inform us so we can select another player from your team to take your place. If a spymaster ever goes inactive without warning, we will give them a few days to return to the game. If they don't show up and don't respond to PMs or anything, then they will automatically be replaced. The replacement spymaster will be given access to the spreadsheet and the keycard and everything they need to take over. 

How to be a Spymaster

When the game is ready to begin you and the other spymaster will be sent a link allowing you to edit the spreadsheet (note, I will need your email address in order to give you editing permissions. I promise I won't use your email for any nefarious purposes or anything). 

One of you will *create a key card and share it with the other Spymaster via a private PM. The easiest way to do that is to download the Codenames app (available for iOS, and I believe for Android as well) and then use the app to generate a random 5x5 keycard. Then take a screenshot of the grid and PM it to the other spymaster (including the Seed Number in the menu so that the grid can be recreated, if needed). Alternatively, if either of you have a copy of the game you can draw a card at random and take a picture of it, then send it to the other Spymaster.

*Whichever method you use, please be fair and use the first keycard generated/drawn. Don't doing anything hinky like comparing it to the grid and trying to find a keycard that you feel is more favorable for your team. Thanks. :)

The key card will indicate which team goes first (by the color of the border/background on the card). Once all of the above has been taken care of, the spymaster whose team goes first can take their first turn. 

Taking your turn as a Spymaster

To take your turn, simply look over the grid and decide on a clue, then post that clue along with the number of codenames it applies to in this thread. In that same thread, please remember to mention each of your team members (using the @ symbol followed by their user name). Please also post a 48 hour countdown timer. You can generate one to insert using this link, and then copy and paste the link that is displayed in the "URL" box. It should look like this:

bla_1516109100.png

Also, it's helpful- but not required- to occasionally repost the link to the spreadsheet along with your clues so that players don't have to go hunting for it. ;)

Spymaster Etiquette

This is the same as what is in the Codenames rulebook, but bears repeating. As the Spymaster, you are not allowed to give any information to your team (in the thread, sheet, PMs, or etc) other than the one-word clue and the number of Codenames it applies to each turn. You are not allowed to say things like “this clue is a bit of a stretch” or “good job for guessing that one right”  or "that wasn't the agent I was going for but good job guessing it anyway" or etc. etc. etc. *All you should be posting in thread is the clues and numbers. That’s it. You can discuss thoughts and experiences with the rest of your team AFTER the game is over. ;)

*(Exceptions can be made for out of game stuff or for rule clarifications, if needed, but these should be the exception, not the rule, and should never directly or indirectly give any information away about the game.)

EDIT 2/5/2018:

I have updated this post with the rules we have settled on after a couple of games. So far everything seems to be working smoothly, and people seem to be enjoying it. So if you'd like to play, just reply to this thread and say so! :)

Also, I have edited the next post to include quick links to the first post of each of the games played so far, and I will continue to keep the list updated as time goes on. Feel free to skim over any previous games if you wish to see how they played out, or jump straight to the first post of the current game. :)

For posterities' sake, this spoiler box contains the rest of the text from the original post:

Spoiler

 

If this catches on, then in future games we can experiment with mixing pictures in with the words, and/or focusing on one of Brandon’s series in particular. For this first game, we’ll open it up to all of Brandon’s published works. It won’t be necessary (but it might be helpful) to have read ALL of Brandon’s books to play and enjoy the game, but be forewarned, the game may potentially contain SPOILERS for anything Brandon has written. Play at your own risk!

So, who’s game? Reply to this thread and say so if you want in. Also, if you are willing and able to be a Spymaster then feel free to volunteer (for this first game I’ll be one of the Spymasters, so we only need one more). I highly recommend that you 1) play game or two of Codenames and 2) be willing and able to check the thread at least once a day or so and 3) Again, not necessary, but it would be nice if you have read all of Brandon's published works (or at least his major ones). It would be nice if you fulfilled these 3 things BEFORE you volunteer to be Spymaster.

Once the two Spymasters are determined the rest of the players will be assigned to one team or the other in the order they signed up, alternating between the two teams. 

Once we have a handful of players (4 is the bare minimum: 2 per team. 6+ is preferable though) we’ll start the first round. Players may still join in after the game has started, and will continue to be assigned to teams on an alternating basis. 

 

 

Edited by Herowannabe
updated rules
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Game 1

I went ahead and populated the grid for the first game. As I did, I included links to each entry on coppermind.net, so if there is a codename that you aren't familiar with or don't remember you can just click the link to read up on it. 

Again, possible spoiler alert: The grid links to entries from Stormlight Archive (including stuff from Oathbringer), Sixth of the Dusk, White Sand, Legion, Elantris, Mistborn, The Emperor's Soul, and the Cosmere as a whole. If you don't feel comfortable reading a random wiki article or two about any of those series, then you may not want to proceed. ;)

Link to the google sheet

 

Player List

Red Team

SM: Herowannabe

Kered

Jondesu

Steeldancer

Luckat

 

Blue Team

SM: Xinoehp512

Hemalurgic Headshot

Darkness

Silverblade5  

Edited by Herowannabe
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I won't have the chance to play this for a bit (if at all especially given the timezone I'm in) but I want to thank you for it - codenames is utter genius and the best board game since cards against humanity (and I might add its from a Czech) and I love that you're cosmerifying it!! Glorious. 

Once my family holiday is over I'll see if I can get involved. I encourage others to do this, or at least try codenames generally!

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2 hours ago, Extesian said:

I won't have the chance to play this for a bit (if at all especially given the timezone I'm in) but I want to thank you for it - codenames is utter genius and the best board game since cards against humanity (and I might add its from a Czech) and I love that you're cosmerifying it!! Glorious. 

Once my family holiday is over I'll see if I can get involved. I encourage others to do this, or at least try codenames generally!

Thanks! :)

and what does the timezone matter? Not everybody has to be logged on at the same time to play. As with any sort of forum game I expect a typical round of Cosmere Codenames to last at least a week or two, with turns taking a day or two each. That should give plenty of time for anyone in any time zone to pop in when is convenient for them and make a contribution to their team. 

The holiday-family stuff I understand. I actually wanted to post this a week ago but it took me this long to find the free time to write it up. :rolleyes: Feel free to come back and sign up once the holidays are done- even if the round has started there’s no reason we can’t add players in mid-game. :)

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15 minutes ago, Herowannabe said:

Thanks! :)

and what does the timezone matter? Not everybody has to be logged on at the same time to play. As with any sort of forum game I expect a typical round of Cosmere Codenames to last at least a week or two, with turns taking a day or two each. That should give plenty of time for anyone in any time zone to pop in when is convenient for them and make a contribution to their team. 

The holiday-family stuff I understand. I actually wanted to post this a week ago but it took me this long to find the free time to write it up. :rolleyes: Feel free to come back and sign up once the holidays are done- even if the round has started there’s no reason we can’t add players in mid-game. :)

Ah yeah makes sense, the only game here I've played is cards against cosmere which is 'live' but you're quite right. I'll get involved once the silly season is over :)

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Count me in!

Our family has this game, so I've played it before.

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I'm defiantly on board. I've never played before, but I've seen something similar. Great idea, pal.   

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2 hours ago, xinoehp512 said:

Count me in!

Our family has this game, so I've played it before.

 

40 minutes ago, Kered said:

I'm defiantly on board. I've never played before, but I've seen something similar. Great idea, pal.   

Welcome aboard both of you! If @Extesian is still around and interested, then we have the bare minimum needed to play. :) hopefully we can recruit a few more players first. I haven’t made any effort to advertise it anywhere, so let me go spread the word a bit and we’ll see who turns up. ;)

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Hey, I might want to play. When is this?

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1 minute ago, Hemalurgic Headshot said:

Hey, I might want to play. When is this?

Once we get enough players. :) I’m thinking once we hit 6 players (3 per team),  and I get confirmation from Extesian that he still wants to play and be a Spymaster (or we find another Spymaster), then we’ll go ahead and start

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Just now, Herowannabe said:

Once we get enough players. :) I’m thinking once we hit 6 players (3 per team),  and I get confirmation from Extesian that he still wants to play and be a Spymaster (or we find another Spymaster), then we’ll go ahead and start

Sounds alright with me. I'm good to go.

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Whoa cool!!! I LOVE Codenames! 

I'll get back on whether I can play

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Huh, interesting idea. I don’t know that I’ll be much good at it, but I’m willing to give it a shot.

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6 minutes ago, Jondesu said:

Huh, interesting idea. I don’t know that I’ll be much good at it, but I’m willing to give it a shot.

You’ll get the hang of it. Adding you to the list :)

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56 minutes ago, Steeldancer said:

Whoa cool!!! I LOVE Codenames! 

I'll get back on whether I can play

Come on, you know you want to... ;)


so, we nearly have enough players to start. In rereading the thread I realized that for some reason I was assuming @Extesian would be the other Spymaster, but now I see that we never actually talked about it. So really the position is up for grabs- preferably to someone who has played Codenames before. Who wants it? @Extesian ?@xinoehp512? @Steeldancer?

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Hey @Herowannabe it will probably only be from a week's time ill be able to play, I'm winding down my holidays and need to get things done before real life hits. I'm certainly good with bring a spymaster (I've played a lot) though don't need to be. But I'll need some time. If you get numbers to start you should do so and i can join subsequent games :)

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1 hour ago, Extesian said:

Hey @Herowannabe it will probably only be from a week's time ill be able to play, I'm winding down my holidays and need to get things done before real life hits. I'm certainly good with bring a spymaster (I've played a lot) though don't need to be. But I'll need some time. If you get numbers to start you should do so and i can join subsequent games :)

Noted.  Feel free to jump in and start playing whenever you’re ready. :)

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Lmao we're all coming in from the link you posted in SE.

I'd like to have a crack at this too if you may :P 

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3 hours ago, Darkness_ said:

Lmao we're all coming in from the link you posted in SE.

I'd like to have a crack at this too if you may :P 

Well that was kind of the idea for posting the link there in the first place. ;)

 

Added you to the list. We now have enough committed players to start, we just need someone to volunteer to be the second Spymaster. Who wants it...?

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7 hours ago, Herowannabe said:

Well that was kind of the idea for posting the link there in the first place. ;)

 

Added you to the list. We now have enough committed players to start, we just need someone to volunteer to be the second Spymaster. Who wants it...?

I would, but I don't want to do it on my first ever game. Don't want to screw it up haha. 

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16 minutes ago, Kered said:

I would, but I don't want to do it on my first ever game. Don't want to screw it up haha. 

No worries, I’m hoping that someone who has played Codenames before will volunteer, like @xinoehp512 or @Steeldancer... ;)

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If nobody else is willing, I'll do it... I'm not looking forwards to it, however. Being Spymaster is hard. 

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Ok i can play, although crap those words are going to be mad hard to string together. Often vague words allows for great clues (or great failures). So, I'll avoid being spymaster. 

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35 minutes ago, xinoehp512 said:

If nobody else is willing, I'll do it... I'm not looking forwards to it, however. Being Spymaster is hard. 

Yeah it is, but that’s just part of the fun! ;)

19 minutes ago, Steeldancer said:

Ok i can play, although crap those words are going to be mad hard to string together. Often vague words allows for great clues (or great failures). So, I'll avoid being spymaster. 

Okay, adding you to the list. 

 

I do worry about some of the obscure words- before I generate a key for the Spymasters, should we swap out some of the harder references? Maybe reduce it to Cosmere works only? What do people say?

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