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Author Topic: Mafia Theory  (Read 31098 times)

TheDarkStar

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Re: Mafia Theory
« Reply #210 on: August 20, 2017, 06:44:16 pm »

Are there any other cases I missed other than the 4 I stated? I've looked down the Xylbot role list and haven't (yet) found any that don't fit. Are there any Bay12-specific ones that I forgot about?

What about adding players to the game (either real or just things that are alive and take actions) or merging players?
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TolyK

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Re: Mafia Theory
« Reply #211 on: August 21, 2017, 12:41:08 am »

Adding players or NPC's is possible. Regarding merging - I haven't done it, but it seems fairly straightforward. Both of these fall under category 3 (where it's the state of the "all entities" object and the individual players that change).
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dolores

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Re: Mafia Theory
« Reply #212 on: March 11, 2019, 09:54:29 am »

While we wait for our host to get up to date with what they're doing with a player who hasn't logged in for a month, I thought I'd get a head start on some IC posting since it's not part of actual gameplay itself.
Slightly difference since we've got a bunch of ToS players. I haven't played ToS, but I've watched people play it and it's pretty much the same as EM which I used to be decentish at.

The main differences between B12-style "slow forum mafia" and realtime mafia with short timed phases
  • Night phase gameplay is pretty much the same, except mafia have the opportunity to examine their reads as a group to a greater extent (i.e. speculate on roles)
  • All of the methods for finding scum during the dayphase that you are used to still work, but the difference between finding scum and lynching scum is much greater on forums
  • It's much easier to find players that are town on forums because they're ignorant at all times, which is hard to fake and harder to hide, unlike in realtime mafia where a player can at any time and as any role lose grasp of what's going on
  • There is often no Night 0
With all that in mind, the main thing I think I need to give people with a ToS background is an outline of typical Day 1. The later the day it is, the more mechanical information is available and the more gameplay elements shared with realtime mafia will come to the fore. Day 1 is something which doesn't exist in 99.9%+ of EM setups and I believe the same is true of ToS.

Day 1
Bay12 often does not have a Night 0.
This is a big deal.
Day 1 begins with town players knowing nothing but their own role. In setups which have scum, scum have more information on several players; all of their teammates, as well as their own role. Third parties typically have an information advantage in knowing that there is a third party in the setup and what the powers and objectives of that thirdparty are (their own role).
This is extremely bad for the town. Typically, there are more town players than non-town players, so theoretically the lynch should follow town interests. However, the town, as mentioned, is ignorant.
What this means, is that every player has a strong incentive to take control of the lynch and direct it against players that are not on their team. Scum and third parties know the members of their teams and therefore know which players are not on their team; scum in particular are interested in the 'powers' of other players roles but not the 'alignment' thereof. For town, the 'alignment' of other players roles is their paramount interest, because the goal of town players is to lynch players who do not have the town alignment.

That's all well and good, but there's no (or generally very little, if day powers or setup information exist) mechanical information on other players roles available, especially in terms of their alignment. As such, unlike other days where players can jump right into their gameplay, Day 1 tends to follow a more arduous process in terms of it's scumhunting.
  • RVS
  • Gut Reads ->Pressure
  • Case Building
  • Lynching on a Case
Steps 3 and 4 don't always happen, which is bad for town because it gives them less to work with on Day 2+, since any cases which don't end can be picked up, and any cases which do (because the player dies) can give insight into the players making them [personally I don't believe that last part, but it is a common belief amongst players who've been around for longer than I have].

Step 1 is very important and very tedious. Since, by definition, nothing is happening when the game starts, players need to make something happen out of nothing. The way this is typically done is by asking each other questions which relate to the game in some way and shed some insight on the state of mind and thought process of the players. These questions will also serve as character reference material. Typically, the questions are accompanied with a vote directed at one of the players being asked a question. Since the town players know so little, these votes often have little conviction behind them. This step does not always need to be resolved through random voting accompanied by questions; you can look at Paranormal 25 on this board or some of Dariush's games (if I'm recalling correctly) as an example of alternatives. 'RVS' with it's implicit association of low impact questions is a common and useful method, however.

Typically, these questions will provide some insight into other players that you can use to make gut reads. This tends to cause players who have given responses which either appear to be working against the interests of the town, usually by giving away little or obviously manufactured information about the player, or which have failed to engage sufficiently in the activity of the previous step to have a lot of votes on them. Again, these votes are generally easy to move; however, they tend require the player with the votes on them to say something in order to move them. Ideally, this step will generate enough stated reasoning behind the voting of certain players to allow cases to be built.

Step 3 can proceed when a player(s) have actually been scumread by one or more (town-aligned) players. At this point, a member of the town knows one or more players that they want to lynch. Lynching players tends to be quite hard to achieve on forums, because people have plenty of time to overthink things. As a result, the players who want to make a lynch happen need to make the player(s) they want lynched look more scummy than every other player. This means highlighting parts of a player's posts that make you think they are scum and explaining your reasoning such that other players follow along with and agree with you, and (to a lesser extent) arguing with players voting for someone who you don't want lynched (anyone other than your current target) about the merits of their current voting choice. This is the productive and useful part of Day1, because players will come off looking towny or scummy at the end of the day as a result of how they look during this step. Since scum know which players they do not want to lynch from Step 1, they can have a hard time pretending to find someone they want to lynch. Players who do not engage in building cases will typically have to justify doing so (by explaining the current state of their reads) or will be seen as scummy. Similarly, doing a bad job in this step in terms of building a case which doesn't make sense to other players (e.g. if it is fallacious because the one building it is scum trying to lynch someone they know is not) will make a player look scummy.

Step 4, a player gets lynched. Having been lynched, their role (and alignment) is visible to all players; this means that most/all of the information that was available to them is now available to everyone else, who can reread their posts and posts about them in a new light.


Wuba or shakes should call me out if I've said something dumb. I've tried to keep my voice out of this as much as possible.
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notquitethere

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Re: Mafia Theory
« Reply #213 on: April 01, 2019, 03:38:13 pm »

That's a good summation of the house style, definitely. If enough of the town are AFK or apathetic, then scum can easily coast to a win (in the absence of clever power use, random effects etc.)

Shakerag

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Re: Mafia Theory
« Reply #214 on: April 02, 2019, 08:19:19 am »

Good summary.  Don't really see anything I would correct.  The only thing I would potentially add is that, in regards to bay12 meta, claiming Survivor or something functionally similar is basically signing your own death warrant. 

This also makes me wonder how our "typical" meta would be shaken up if we were to more often use the n0 phase.
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notquitethere

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Re: Mafia Theory
« Reply #215 on: May 19, 2019, 01:42:39 pm »

Starting the game on N0 is something that people have occasionally floated as a good idea (starts D1 with info) and some other forums do this (as well as live mafia). We don't tend to here due to not wanting to kill players before they've properly had a had a chance to play. Here's some solutions to this problem:
- Nightless, or Deep South, mafia (as seen in some of the CYOM games). In these, players can use their powers at any time and the game is only paused to process lynches.
- Having lives- everyone can die a few times before actually dying. This prolongs games but allows a lot of kill powers to fly around.
- A limited number of resurrections: the first x players to die will be resurrected (where x is the number of kill powers in the night). Everyone is guaranteed to survive N0, but scum still have an incentive to try to kill. You'd have to design the game carefully if this involved resurrected players revealing their alignment.
- No killing N0. This is my least favourite option, as this doesn't give mafia, trackers, redirecters, blockers or protectors anything interesting to do. You might as well just give the cop a random player's alignment and start D1 as normal.

Mephansteras

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Re: Mafia Theory
« Reply #216 on: May 19, 2019, 01:55:53 pm »

I have two issues with the N0 kill.

1) It's bad for getting new players into the game. Signing up to play something and being killed before you get to do literally anything is a terrible incentive to play future games. Sure, getting lynched day 1 also sucks, but at least you get to play a day and can learn from whatever mistakes you make. A N0 nightkill doesn't even give you that.

2) All N0 actions are either random or based on metagaming. Day 1 may not give much info, but it does provide some and the things people do Day 1 can guide the various power roles to pick intelligent targets. Makes N1 choices much more interesting than N0 ones.
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notquitethere

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Re: Mafia Theory
« Reply #217 on: May 19, 2019, 02:19:07 pm »

Yep, N0 kills are a poor mechanic for forum mafia. But you raise an interesting point about the randomness of N0 actions. Basically the incentive for having N0 actions would be to give players some information to start the game off with. Day one emerges out of smoke and mirrors, you have to lynch someone for the crime of not behaving enough like you think they should behave. Here are some other ways you could liven up Day 1 without killing players at the start:

- Give players role or alignment information when they start. Problem: you don't want the game to be mechanically breakable from the start so the design would have to be clever.
- Give players secondary win conditions (like kill X player, make sure X player survives, etc.) that don't overwrite their existing win conditions, but give an enhanced win for a player. Problem: if it's not mandatory, players can ignore it; if it is mandatory, then there are no more town players.
- Have public secondary-mechanics other than day voting and night powers which provide players with content to talk about. This strays further from vanilla mafia, but if there are things like items, markets, card draws, piece movement, board manipulation etc. etc., then players can question why other players made certain choices during Day 1 which can inform the lynch.

Mephansteras

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Re: Mafia Theory
« Reply #218 on: May 19, 2019, 02:22:25 pm »

I've long pondered a set-up that gave everyone a weak power that was public knowledge. Something to explain the "So...how does everyone in this small town NOT know that so-and-so is a police officer?".

Could probably combine that with a N0. No kill that night, but people can use these weak powers on N0 to start off Day 1 with a little bit of limited info and knowledge. And since the roles are public knowledge, people can talk freely about it without fearing about automatically giving away their faction.
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