I'm experimenting with some pen-and-paper role-playing involving characters with hidden agendas. To foster a proper sense of paranoia, I want these hidden agendas to be unknown to not only the other PCs, but the other players, too. A PC's hidden agenda is known only to the GM and their player.
One of ways the secret agenda can manifest in the game is through the PCs intentionally failing tasks that would contradict their hidden agenda. For example, an undercover agent in a terrorist organization could try to aim their shots wide of the intended target, pretending to just have a bad day with their aim. Mistakes happen!
I want a rolling system that allows my players to intentionally make "unfortunate" mistakes without automatically implicating them of such treachery to the others. Here's a list of criteria I'd like the system to fulfill:
- As little overhead over normal rolling as possible: no pen and paper public key crypto!
- The system must keep intentional failures indistinguishable from unintentional ones, at least between the non-GM players. Relying on suspicious gestures like note-passing or secret signals should preferably be avoided.
- In particular, there mustn't be a way for a player to prove that their roll was honest, lest the players decide to require such proof from everyone after each roll.
- Preferably, the system makes it possible for a player to cheat downwards only – failure can be arranged, but success still requires luck with the dice!
- Preferably the players roll their own dice – it's not a huge deal, but getting to roll has a certain feel to it!
Does anyone have a system they have used or seen used that works given these criteria?
Note: Methods using cards and other randomization devices are also acceptable in lieu of dice, as long as the method proposed meets the standards outlined above.