Hmm... I've had an idea for a variation on this contest. Here's a roughly-scraped-off-the-wall explanation of it; do you think it could work?

Everyone will start out with a number of points, say 7. Each turn, people are allowed to challenge one person to duel. If two people pick each other, they will fight in that round; all other contestants will be randomly paired up with each other.

If you win your round, you get the number of points your opponent has added to your total. If you lose, your points are halved and rounded up if a fraction. If both of you draw, both of you lose 1/4 of your points, and your score is rounded up if a fraction. The goal is not to come first; for example, the winner is the person with the second largest unique score, 2nd place goes to the person in the middle and 3rd place to the person with the second smallest unique score.

The strategy here is to pick the correct person to play to make sure you gain as many points as you can, but to aim yourself into a particular rank slot. For example, let's say that the current ranks are as follows:

#1: 20

#2: 18

#3: 14

#4: 10

#5: 10

#6: 4

#7: 2

#8: 1

#9: 1

#10: 1

Player 1 needs to prevent himself gaining too many points if possible, so would pick #9 or #10 to challenge. Similarly, #7-10 want as many points as possible, so picking someone with lots of points would be to their benefit. However, what about person #4? He/she has a fair number already, and could have a shot at the #2 spot. But what if this is the final round? He/she could pick #7 and if they win, end up with 12 points, which could preserve their #4 place if #5 loses. If he/she loses, he/she ends up with 5 points, but this may still be enough for 6th place (and thus, the middle) if no-one else below moves up.

If two people or more end up tied with a winning score, then a tie-breaker round will decide who wins.

I can see a possible strategy for gaming the system if some players agree to sacrifice themselves for others, but I don't think that is likely to happen if everyone plays with the intent to win a prize.

Oh, and in case my suggestion got lost on the previous page, why not make the contest more DROD themed, and name it

"Golem, Sword, Oremite"?

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Resident Medic/Mycologist