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How to Host a Phalla (mechanics & balance discussion)

1356738

Posts

  • ElJeffeElJeffe Moderator, ClubPA mod
    edited March 2007
    I think if you just capped it at one secrets submission per day, it would solve most problems.

    ElJeffe on
    Maddie: "I named my feet. The left one is flip and the right one is flop. Oh, and also I named my flip-flops."

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  • NerissaNerissa Registered User regular
    edited March 2007
    Hmm... well, here's what I'm trying to accomplish with the secrets, maybe there's another way to handle it.

    I'm wanting to have some players start with a piece of information about another player that seems to imply guilt. Some of these pieces of information will in fact lead to witches, while others lead to innocent villagers. However, I want to give the players who get that information a reason to not just broadcast to everyone what they know. Thus, I'm tying their knowledge of that information into their own secret, which I must then give them incentive to hide... which means I need to give someone else incentive to find it out.

    I'm also wanting to recreate, to some extent, the puritan willingness to jump on any "sin" as evidence of witchcraft, so all of the secrets would be things that would probably have been considered sinful in that culture.

    As an example, one person might get "As you sneak out into the forest one night to meet your lover, you see X sneaking out in another direction. You wonder what he might be up to, but your passion overrides your curiosity and you continue on your own mission of lust."

    Now, X may be a witch, or may be sneaking about to indulge his own secret sin. However, announcing to the village that you saw X sneaking about at night should not be an option, because in the atmosphere I am trying to create, that would lead directly to "So why were YOU sneaking about at night?" which is a question they should not want to have asked.

    Nerissa on
    Personally, I like D&D because I find OCD much more interesting than ADD.
  • SmasherSmasher Starting to get dizzy Registered User regular
    edited March 2007
    ElJeffe wrote: »
    Also, if I had to do it again, I would seriously nerf the Phylakes. I'm more or less convinced at this point that guardians are fundamentally game-breaking when a group of people who really know what they're doing play.

    The main problems with typical guardians are that they can make themselves effectively invincible (the only threat is the village, and they can counter that by announcing their identity if they need to), and that they can block an effectively unbounded number of spy kills. Some ideas to counter this:

    - Give them a limited number of blocks, and have blocks be used up whether their target was attacked or not. Make them choose between protecting the seer from a stab early on and leaving themselves enough blocks for later in the game.

    - Have successful blocks cause the guardian's identity to be exposed. You could expose it to everybody or to just the spies depending on how you want to balance the game.

    - Patriots. They sacrifice themselves to protect others.

    I like your method of splitting up special powers among multiple people. It reduces the impact of a lucky kill (and you all know how much I love randomness), and gives more people a chance to be a special.

    An unrelated point, but another thing game designers have to take into consideration is the growing experience of the village. For example, I doubt the village up until recently would have been capable of pulling out a victory in Phallia, as there were a number of moves it pulled during the game that earlier villages wouldn't have thought of. The monsters are also improving, but not as rapidly, since almost everyone is a villager most games and many people have never been a monster. People can look at past monsters to see how they played, but such third hand knowledge doesn't spread as quickly as the first hand knowledge from being a villager does.

    Smasher on
  • tuxkamentuxkamen Registered User regular
    edited March 2007
    Network retardation (in the growth sense, not the intelligence sense) is important, and I agree that the guardians don't work as the players improve unless they are limited in some fashion.

    To add to the suggestions made, there are other possibilities:

    - Guardians cannot protect themselves
    - Guardians can only protect the same target one time
    - Guardians (in a group) cannot protect from a number of attacks >= their number

    tuxkamen on

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  • NerissaNerissa Registered User regular
    edited March 2007
    Smasher wrote: »
    An unrelated point, but another thing game designers have to take into consideration is the growing experience of the village. For example, I doubt the village up until recently would have been capable of pulling out a victory in Phallia, as there were a number of moves it pulled during the game that earlier villages wouldn't have thought of. The monsters are also improving, but not as rapidly, since almost everyone is a villager most games and many people have never been a monster. People can look at past monsters to see how they played, but such third hand knowledge doesn't spread as quickly as the first hand knowledge from being a villager does.

    Also, experience in being a monster helps you as a villager, but not so much vice versa.

    I know that I've come into every game since Rishiri thinking "ok, this is something we did / thought of doing, so it's something I need to keep an eye out for."

    For example, I remembered how we set up so Jeffe would condemn one of the players we thought might be dangerous to have around, and then I would come out and defend him, just to obviously dissociate ourselves. So, when Squashua and I got into it over stupid shit in Phalliad, the first thing I did was to watch very carefully to see if anyone was overly vocal about either of us soon thereafter.

    Nerissa on
    Personally, I like D&D because I find OCD much more interesting than ADD.
  • NerissaNerissa Registered User regular
    edited March 2007
    What's the average number of times a guardian actually blocks something in a game? I expect it's a function of number of effective guardians / night and size of the game.

    For example, Phalliad had essentially 1 guardian (since they weren't effective on the same nights) for 60 people and I think I saw 1 actual block take place. I expect that would have been higher in a small game, simply because the bad guys have fewer people to pick from.

    Nerissa on
    Personally, I like D&D because I find OCD much more interesting than ADD.
  • ArdorArdor Registered User regular
    edited March 2007
    Nerissa wrote: »
    What's the average number of times a guardian actually blocks something in a game? I expect it's a function of number of effective guardians / night and size of the game.

    For example, Phalliad had essentially 1 guardian (since they weren't effective on the same nights) for 60 people and I think I saw 1 actual block take place. I expect that would have been higher in a small game, simply because the bad guys have fewer people to pick from.

    I think it also depends, the guardian tends to have a better chance of blocking a kill when there isn't a vocal network and/or mouthpiece. If Phallia had two smaller networks going under the table so to speak, there's a much better chance a guardian would've blocked more kills.

    Otherwise, the monsters have to assume the spokesperson would be defended and waste a kill of theirs.

    Thusfar, the games have worked out pretty nicely in terms of, a central network does not have enough time to find out what 90% of the people are.

    I think the seer role is something that's very useful and should stay as it is in these games. Guardians I think should be handicapped more. Smasher has some good ideas about them.

    The one use vigilantes worked out fairly nicely I thought. Especially as a type of sleeper role. People who get a cool role like that later in the game tend to want to use it prior to dying. That tends to favor the monsters since the bare odds at that point give them a much better chance to hit a monster.

    Ardor on
  • NerissaNerissa Registered User regular
    edited March 2007
    One of the options I was considering for my game is to have the guardians only effective against X attacks (only used up if/when the person is actually attacked), but have multiple attacks in one night actually count separately, so if I'm guarding you, and you get hit by both the monsters and the vigilante, it uses up 2 of my effective blocks. It's slightly more powerful than just giving them X nights they can use their power, but I think dropping X to a much smaller number might make up for that.

    The other thing I was thinking was that after their X blocks have been used up, they can still guard someone, if they wish, but block number X+1 kills the guardian, so if the guardian has 1 block left and the person they are guarding gets hit twice, the guardian dies on the 2nd one. If they have no blocks left and the person gets hit twice, they both die.

    For the other specials... I was thinking about odd / even night powers, but making that firm. If the odd-night seer dies, the even-night one doesn't get to pick up the slack, nobody gets visions on odd nights. Slightly less powerful than the other way of doing multiples, but slightly more powerful than a single seer.

    Hmm... what about a rotating power? I'll take vigilante as an example. One person starts the game as the vigilante. If they die before they use their power, it's gone. Otherwise, once they use it, the power passes to another random villager, who is the new vigilante until they die or use it. I'm thinking it might be too powerful a tool for the villagers, but would be a neat twist.

    Nerissa on
    Personally, I like D&D because I find OCD much more interesting than ADD.
  • DevoutlyApatheticDevoutlyApathetic Registered User regular
    edited March 2007
    Nerissa wrote: »
    Hmm... what about a rotating power? I'll take vigilante as an example. One person starts the game as the vigilante. If they die before they use their power, it's gone. Otherwise, once they use it, the power passes to another random villager, who is the new vigilante until they die or use it. I'm thinking it might be too powerful a tool for the villagers, but would be a neat twist.

    The way it's phrased it's a "Kill somebody and prove your innocence to somebody" power. You PM whoever you'd like to confirm your villagerhood to and tell them you're offing x tonight, then x dies by vigilante...

    DevoutlyApathetic on
  • NerissaNerissa Registered User regular
    edited March 2007
    Nerissa wrote: »
    Hmm... what about a rotating power? I'll take vigilante as an example. One person starts the game as the vigilante. If they die before they use their power, it's gone. Otherwise, once they use it, the power passes to another random villager, who is the new vigilante until they die or use it. I'm thinking it might be too powerful a tool for the villagers, but would be a neat twist.

    The way it's phrased it's a "Kill somebody and prove your innocence to somebody" power. You PM whoever you'd like to confirm your villagerhood to and tell them you're offing x tonight, then x dies by vigilante...

    Yeah, which is why I think it might be too powerful for the villagers.

    Nerissa on
    Personally, I like D&D because I find OCD much more interesting than ADD.
  • DevoutlyApatheticDevoutlyApathetic Registered User regular
    edited March 2007
    Nerissa wrote: »
    Nerissa wrote: »
    Hmm... what about a rotating power? I'll take vigilante as an example. One person starts the game as the vigilante. If they die before they use their power, it's gone. Otherwise, once they use it, the power passes to another random villager, who is the new vigilante until they die or use it. I'm thinking it might be too powerful a tool for the villagers, but would be a neat twist.

    The way it's phrased it's a "Kill somebody and prove your innocence to somebody" power. You PM whoever you'd like to confirm your villagerhood to and tell them you're offing x tonight, then x dies by vigilante...

    Yeah, which is why I think it might be too powerful for the villagers.

    That's what I was meaning to say, but I'm rather tired and I see I didn't actually type that part out.

    I'd been kicking around some mechanics for a "Phalla in x days, max" game in which kills always happened so the game ends on schedule. Guardians were probablamatic for this. The two solutions were if a guardian blocks a kill he chooses where to deflect it to (pretty damn powerful) or if a guardian blocks a kill it's randomly assigned out of all possible targets (including or excluded the original depending on how evil I felt.)

    The second of these would greatly reduce the cost to the monsters of testing the network mouthpiece. Though a 1/x chance of hitting a fellow monster might not be worth it.

    DevoutlyApathetic on
  • SerpentSerpent Sometimes Vancouver, BC, sometimes Brisbane, QLDRegistered User regular
    edited March 2007

    The second of these would greatly reduce the cost to the monsters of testing the network mouthpiece. Though a 1/x chance of hitting a fellow monster might not be worth it.

    Totally not worth it as a monster if you can get hit. Monsters are too subject to random chance as it is (with there being less of them). The gain (testing the guardian) is very little, the possible negative is huge. Also, if the narration reveals the guardian 'deflected', now he is confirmed to the village which is ALSO very bad for the monsters.

    The main problem I see with guardians is there ability to center a network on them. Remove this ability and they're powerful but probably just fine... how to do this varies from Phalla to Phalla depending on the other special roles around.

    Serpent on
  • ElJeffeElJeffe Moderator, ClubPA mod
    edited March 2007
    One of the central strengths of the guardians is in the psychological game. While a successful guardian block only occurred once in The Phalliad, that doesn't mean the guardian was only useful once. It pretty much kept the spies from killing the village mouthpiece for the entire game, because they always assumed he'd be protected. In the last few games, the absolute best way to stay alive has been to come forward and proclaim yourself as either a special or the mouthpiece of a special. At that point, you're monsterbane.

    I think that not condensing the power frequency rate, as Nerissa suggested (eg, if you get a power every other night, it's always every other night) would help with this. I think nerfing guardians with X blocks per would work, too. If someone came out, he'd have at most X nights of protection, after which he was toast, and any future outees would be killed, as well.

    ElJeffe on
    Maddie: "I named my feet. The left one is flip and the right one is flop. Oh, and also I named my flip-flops."

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  • SerpentSerpent Sometimes Vancouver, BC, sometimes Brisbane, QLDRegistered User regular
    edited March 2007
    ElJeffe wrote: »
    One of the central strengths of the guardians is in the psychological game. While a successful guardian block only occurred once in The Phalliad, that doesn't mean the guardian was only useful once. It pretty much kept the spies from killing the village mouthpiece for the entire game, because they always assumed he'd be protected. In the last few games, the absolute best way to stay alive has been to come forward and proclaim yourself as either a special or the mouthpiece of a special. At that point, you're monsterbane.

    I think that not condensing the power frequency rate, as Nerissa suggested (eg, if you get a power every other night, it's always every other night) would help with this. I think nerfing guardians with X blocks per would work, too. If someone came out, he'd have at most X nights of protection, after which he was toast, and any future outees would be killed, as well.

    I don't think x nights of protection works well at all. It still creates a public, guaranteed network turn 1. The network then goes private later if the monsters keep taking a stab at the guy who came public. I don't think it would even be worth the monsters while to try to take a hit at the guy who came public, as again it would 'confirm' him. The monsters would be best to just ignore the guy and so the network never becomes guaranteed.

    I think it's important that guardians can not protect anyone from votes. I also think it's important that if a guardian does a protection, SOMEONE dies (and not a random deflection which could hit a monster), so the monsters still have strong incentive to take a shot at the guy. Also it might be worth it to have the narration ignore when a guardian protects someone (although that now takes some of the fun out of the game... )

    Serpent on
  • ElJeffeElJeffe Moderator, ClubPA mod
    edited March 2007
    What we need is a way to heavily discourage people from going public, period.

    ElJeffe on
    Maddie: "I named my feet. The left one is flip and the right one is flop. Oh, and also I named my flip-flops."

    I make tweet.
  • SerpentSerpent Sometimes Vancouver, BC, sometimes Brisbane, QLDRegistered User regular
    edited March 2007
    ElJeffe wrote: »
    What we need is a way to heavily discourage people from going public, period.

    A conversion mechanic would do this ;)

    Serpent on
  • NerissaNerissa Registered User regular
    edited March 2007
    ElJeffe wrote: »
    One of the central strengths of the guardians is in the psychological game. While a successful guardian block only occurred once in The Phalliad, that doesn't mean the guardian was only useful once. It pretty much kept the spies from killing the village mouthpiece for the entire game, because they always assumed he'd be protected. In the last few games, the absolute best way to stay alive has been to come forward and proclaim yourself as either a special or the mouthpiece of a special. At that point, you're monsterbane.

    I think that not condensing the power frequency rate, as Nerissa suggested (eg, if you get a power every other night, it's always every other night) would help with this. I think nerfing guardians with X blocks per would work, too. If someone came out, he'd have at most X nights of protection, after which he was toast, and any future outees would be killed, as well.

    True, and where I'm running into trouble is figuring out how the psycological game affects what X should be if you limit the guardians to X blocks each. I'm thinking that probably only counting blocks that are used should probably cut X about in half, but at the same time, if you are counting multiple attacks in the same night as separate blocks, then X should never be lower than the number of different groups of monsters -- if there are vigilantes, add 1 to that. Basically, if whoever you are protected gets hit by everyone who could possibly attack them on the first night, nobody should die. However, using up all of that guardian's blocks is fair game.

    Another factor in limiting guardians to X blocks... if you have more than one, do you let them guard on the same night? If not, do you go on a strict rotation or do a random chance of who is effecitve each night?

    edit: another thought... you could have guardians use blocks out of a common "pool" and give them a total of X blocks between them -- either directly or you could implement it by redistributing any unused blocks among the remaining guardians when one dies.

    Nerissa on
    Personally, I like D&D because I find OCD much more interesting than ADD.
  • SmasherSmasher Starting to get dizzy Registered User regular
    edited March 2007
    ElJeffe wrote: »
    What we need is a way to heavily discourage people from going public, period.

    I think patriots are the best way to do this. That way they can't guard themselves, eliminating the possibility of the Eternal Guardian, and if someone else comes out in the open it's worth it for the monsters to try and kill them since they'll either kill that person or a patriot.

    DarkPrimus actually came up with an inventive variation in the councillor phalla that could make the guardians a little stronger than that without being too powerful again. He told me he was a guardian with 3 blocks, and then he became a patriot. This worked particularly well in the context of the game where non-player proxies did all the actual special roles (bodyguards for guardian, assassins for vig and monsters, mystics for the seer, etc.), but it shouldn't be too hard to rework it into something fitting the theme. If one were to do that I'd suggest tuning it so the guardian gets 1 block + patriot. That'd allow the seer and vigilante to hook up, but at the cost of the guardian's life the second night.

    Whether that variation works better than straight patriots depends on how many guardians you want to have. With lots of guardians it becomes too powerful as one guardian can sacrifice himself to hook the rest up with the seer, who can then rotate their protections so the seer is always protected by someone who has a regular guardian block left. With only one or two guardians it becomes much more viable, as the guardian has to make a choice whether it's worth it to sacrifice themself to hook up the vigilante and seer, or whether it'd be better to wait and hope to be seered.

    Smasher on
  • CantideCantide Registered User regular
    edited March 2007
    The basic patriot is fairly useless. It tells the bad guys that whoever you were guarding was part of the network and probably important, so they'll just keep attacking the same target. The end result is that the bad guys get to kill two members of the village network instead of one. If you look at the communist Phalla where Thorgot and I were patriots, all we accomplished was keeping our seers alive for a single night longer.

    Cantide on
  • ElendilElendil Registered User regular
    edited March 2007
    What about an alloted number of guard-breaks for the monsters? It'll keep people from going public since the guard can reasonably be cracked without completely nerfing regular guarding--the monsters would have to first find out who's being protected in order to break it.

    Another possibility would be something like you had going, but with one off day--like a three night protect-protect-no protection cycle.

    Elendil on
  • ArdorArdor Registered User regular
    edited March 2007
    How about making it so guardians cannot block multiple attacks? Since the bad guys usually get multiple kills, they could just search for people being guarded and bomb them the next day? Or maybe allowing them one successful defense per game?

    I agree with ElJeffe that allowing someone to come forward to setup a network immediately drops the chance of the monsters winning by a fair amount.

    A conversion ability should prevent people from coming forward or simply taking guardians out of the game completely.

    You know, Thralls tend to throw favor into the game for the monsters since they come up innocent when seered. What about giving a thrall the ability to kill once per game through defense but it outs them in narration?

    That allows the monsters a great chance to get information from them.

    Ardor on
  • ElJeffeElJeffe Moderator, ClubPA mod
    edited March 2007
    Cantide wrote: »
    The basic patriot is fairly useless. It tells the bad guys that whoever you were guarding was part of the network and probably important, so they'll just keep attacking the same target. The end result is that the bad guys get to kill two members of the village network instead of one. If you look at the communist Phalla where Thorgot and I were patriots, all we accomplished was keeping our seers alive for a single night longer.

    True, but this will also let the original target know that he's probably dead in a day, so he can groom a new network head, or whatever. Plus, the basic patriot idea is nice in that it discourages a martyr from sacrificing himself to form Instant Network, because he's going to die, plus take a guardian with him.

    More importantly, I think barring guardians from protecting themselves is pretty much paramount at this point. Any mechanism that allows a person to verify himself as innocent on the first night in survive results in a perfect network, and this is unavoidable if you use the classic guardian with any flavor of vigilante.

    In retrospect, the Staff in my last game was a horrible idea as implemented. I didn't foresee Ardor sacrificing himself like that, and it very nearly broke the game. After the first night, I went back and reworked the spies' powers mid- and end-game powers to compensate for that, because holy shit that could've been bad.

    ElJeffe on
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  • SmasherSmasher Starting to get dizzy Registered User regular
    edited March 2007
    What were their powers before that?

    Smasher on
  • ElJeffeElJeffe Moderator, ClubPA mod
    edited March 2007
    Five fewer random kills on night three. Athan wasn't going to get extra kills if he was the last spy, he was going to be reduced to one. Hades spies only got one spirit block, and more "revoke an ability" powers. Amusingly, most if it wound up not mattering, because it wasn't triggered until after the bad guys had definitely lost. :)

    I actually never commited myself to any power list at the outset I had one that I would probably use, but I made it so that I could tweak the powers as the game progressed if I'd seriously imbalanced it. After the rewrite on night one, I didn't change it any further, but I left the possibility open.

    ElJeffe on
    Maddie: "I named my feet. The left one is flip and the right one is flop. Oh, and also I named my flip-flops."

    I make tweet.
  • ArdorArdor Registered User regular
    edited March 2007
    ElJeffe wrote: »
    Cantide wrote: »
    The basic patriot is fairly useless. It tells the bad guys that whoever you were guarding was part of the network and probably important, so they'll just keep attacking the same target. The end result is that the bad guys get to kill two members of the village network instead of one. If you look at the communist Phalla where Thorgot and I were patriots, all we accomplished was keeping our seers alive for a single night longer.

    True, but this will also let the original target know that he's probably dead in a day, so he can groom a new network head, or whatever. Plus, the basic patriot idea is nice in that it discourages a martyr from sacrificing himself to form Instant Network, because he's going to die, plus take a guardian with him.

    More importantly, I think barring guardians from protecting themselves is pretty much paramount at this point. Any mechanism that allows a person to verify himself as innocent on the first night in survive results in a perfect network, and this is unavoidable if you use the classic guardian with any flavor of vigilante.

    In retrospect, the Staff in my last game was a horrible idea as implemented. I didn't foresee Ardor sacrificing himself like that, and it very nearly broke the game. After the first night, I went back and reworked the spies' powers mid- and end-game powers to compensate for that, because holy shit that could've been bad.

    Heh, sorry man. I didn't mean to cause you trouble. I know networks favor the village like 5 to 1 and that was the only way I figured it would've been able to happen. Cutting out the pm posting was a good move though.

    Minus the staff, the only way a network could really start, would be once one of the oracles found a spy and went forward, asking to be protected to prove his validity. A smart spy though, would've done that on like day 3 and potentially gotten the names of all the specials. Bloodbath ahoy.

    You might also consider dropping items and guardians, but create several stone cutter groups.

    Another variation might be to put everyone into groups of 3 or 4 etc. Spies would be mixed into this. This not only allows people contact with 2 others, but creates a lot of false sense of security which would really hamper the village. Once a central network starts up, the monsters start losing ground.

    Ardor on
  • CantideCantide Registered User regular
    edited March 2007
    Elendil wrote: »
    What about an alloted number of guard-breaks for the monsters? It'll keep people from going public since the guard can reasonably be cracked without completely nerfing regular guarding--the monsters would have to first find out who's being protected in order to break it.

    Another possibility would be something like you had going, but with one off day--like a three night protect-protect-no protection cycle.

    That's what I'm planning to have in my RPGish game. One of the monster classes will be able to break a shield once or twice in the game. As you said, it won't prevent normal guarding from working, but it prevents people from being able to publicly announce they're protected without fear of death.

    Cantide on
  • YarYar Registered User regular
    edited March 2007
    Didn't Tarranon say he'd never seen innocents win a Phalla before?

    Anyway, the simpler the better. Also, I'd like to see more of an element of chance thrown in a certain junctures. Like, It would have been cool if towards the end of Phallia, Athan got an ability to randomly select one other player and mimic any ability he has. Such an event (or perhaps a better one than that) would shake everyone out of the rut we get into where "the strategy is X and the game is over in Y days regardless." If none of us had any idea whether or not Athan successfully mimicked a guardian power or something, then some things could remain up in the air.

    Yar on
  • CantideCantide Registered User regular
    edited March 2007
    The problem there is that games end up coming down to luck. Obviously chance plays a major role in these games, e.g. who becomes the bad guys, who gets seered/vigilanted, etc., but I think the players should have as much control over their situation as possible. In visiblehowl's Phalla, for example, the entire game was decided by him flipping a coin to pick whether Grimmy or RBB would die.

    Cantide on
  • YarYar Registered User regular
    edited March 2007
    Cantide wrote: »
    The problem there is that games end up coming down to luck. Obviously chance plays a major role in these games, e.g. who becomes the bad guys, who gets seered/vigilanted, etc., but I think the players should have as much control over their situation as possible. In visiblehowl's Phalla, for example, the entire game was decided by him flipping a coin to pick whether Grimmy or RBB would die.
    I wouldn't want it to ever reduce the entire game to a coin flip if possible. But there must be a happy medium between that, and the frequent scenario of knowing the end-game days before it happens. Like Elendil said, after Ardor offering himself for killings, the spies did the math and pretty much knew the game was over. New powers and massive kills and such can help balance, but still...

    Yar on
  • ElendilElendil Registered User regular
    edited March 2007
    Yar wrote: »
    Cantide wrote: »
    The problem there is that games end up coming down to luck. Obviously chance plays a major role in these games, e.g. who becomes the bad guys, who gets seered/vigilanted, etc., but I think the players should have as much control over their situation as possible. In visiblehowl's Phalla, for example, the entire game was decided by him flipping a coin to pick whether Grimmy or RBB would die.
    I wouldn't want it to ever reduce the entire game to a coin flip if possible. But there must be a happy medium between that, and the frequent scenario of knowing the end-game days before it happens. Like Elendil said, after Ardor offering himself for killings, the spies did the math and pretty much knew the game was over.
    I don't think it was quite that--we knew without some massive intervention it was going to be extremely tough to win (and we got it, in the form of the night 3 massacre and altered spy abilities) and the result was a pretty close game. It worked out reasonably well.

    If I have any complaints about the mechanics, they're:

    1. The special abilities barely being affected by the loss of any networked specials. As long as there was a seer alive, it was always going to be one seering per night, which made killing any but the very last fairly pointless.

    2. Hades--a great idea, but the spies' ability to suppress ideas is greatly limited when the overall effect of a kill is that the person gets whisked off to another village where they're free to continue doing basically the same thing.

    Elendil on
  • SmasherSmasher Starting to get dizzy Registered User regular
    edited March 2007
    A couple other ideas to moderate specials:

    Specials and monsters seer as the same thing. At least one of the early games (Rishiri or however you spell it, I believe) had it so both monsters and specials seered as undead. It's still possible for specials to confirm each other, but it'll take longer and be riskier.

    Make the guardian unable to protect against vigilante kills. This eliminates the simplest way of publicly identifying the guardian. The vigilante can still come out, but he'll have to have the seer verify the guardian. This opens the realistic possibility of having a monster pretend to be a seer, which would probably take several days to sort out and waste valuable time for the village.

    Give the village two stakings a night. This would be best giving each individual two votes as well, allowing them to vote for either two seperate people if they're not really sure or focus their efforts on just one. This gives the villagers a more important role relative to the specials, and also gives the monsters more room to manipulate the vote.

    Smasher on
  • SerpentSerpent Sometimes Vancouver, BC, sometimes Brisbane, QLDRegistered User regular
    edited March 2007
    you know what was really cool?

    when we had that council that could veto votes.

    Serpent on
  • Look Out it's Sabs!Look Out it's Sabs! Registered User regular
    edited March 2007
    An idea I still want to play around with is something similar to the wraith I did in castle phalla. However not as extreme as Cass did it, for I intended the wraith to only be able to attack back if (s)he was voted to be staked. I'm stuck though with having the kill be a random person that voted for the wraith, the last or first person who voted for the wraith, or the wraith can choose someone who voted for against them.

    The idea behind this is that the wraith is a supernatural monster and that it would die fighting when normal humans try to stake it, bringing one down with them, while skilled killers like vigilante or bad guys are strong enough to kill them without getting killed themselves.

    Also it would be a small group of them instead of just one, maybe 3 depending on how big exactly the game is. They get one kill each night plus their vote skill. Also when the wraiths get reduced to one it will start becoming paranoid/stronger, and that it will either be able to take down anyone along with them when they die, or it will cause such a ruckus that people find out who attacked the wraith in the narration.

    Plus they won't be neutral but be one of the bad guy groups intended to be used when there are more than one bad guy group in the game.

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  • Aroused BullAroused Bull Registered User
    edited March 2007
    Serpent wrote: »
    you know what was really cool?

    when we had that council that could veto votes.

    You'll be getting something similar to that.

    Aroused Bull on
  • PsychoLarry1PsychoLarry1 Registered User regular
    edited March 2007
    So something I've been thinking about: I have yet to play a game that doesn't have issues with people not voting or barely participating, and it's always been annoying. The common solution has been to just zap them, but this always seems to hurt the village by cutting down their numbers advantage. Plus the people that didn't get into the game end up bitter.

    Do you guys think a wait list option would work? Maybe 5-10 people that didn't make the list, but get to take the place of someone that misses too many votes or pops in every day for a one-line vote and isn't heard from again till the next day.

    I think this would be helpful because we could keep participation strong, but I know it will fuck up the village's ability to figure out roles, especially those heavy on the stats and post analysis like Lady Eri and Nerissa. So what is your opinion, could it work?

    PsychoLarry1 on
  • tuxkamentuxkamen Registered User regular
    edited March 2007
    So something I've been thinking about: I have yet to play a game that doesn't have issues with people not voting or barely participating, and it's always been annoying. The common solution has been to just zap them, but this always seems to hurt the village by cutting down their numbers advantage. Plus the people that didn't get into the game end up bitter.

    Do you guys think a wait list option would work? Maybe 5-10 people that didn't make the list, but get to take the place of someone that misses too many votes or pops in every day for a one-line vote and isn't heard from again till the next day.

    I think this would be helpful because we could keep participation strong, but I know it will fuck up the village's ability to figure out roles, especially those heavy on the stats and post analysis like Lady Eri and Nerissa. So what is your opinion, could it work?

    It's a good idea, and will be happening in mine (through story mechanics).

    Consider your argument for a second - you're saying that it would be too hard to analyze someone who'd get zotted anyway. Analysis is not very useful in these cases; you're trying to determine the behavior of a flatliner. Who cares? If they miss too much time, they ruin the game anyway.

    tuxkamen on

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  • ArdorArdor Registered User regular
    edited March 2007
    So something I've been thinking about: I have yet to play a game that doesn't have issues with people not voting or barely participating, and it's always been annoying. The common solution has been to just zap them, but this always seems to hurt the village by cutting down their numbers advantage. Plus the people that didn't get into the game end up bitter.

    Do you guys think a wait list option would work? Maybe 5-10 people that didn't make the list, but get to take the place of someone that misses too many votes or pops in every day for a one-line vote and isn't heard from again till the next day.

    I think this would be helpful because we could keep participation strong, but I know it will fuck up the village's ability to figure out roles, especially those heavy on the stats and post analysis like Lady Eri and Nerissa. So what is your opinion, could it work?

    I bet some people have good reasons, like tests or family events/issues that do not allow them much of a chance to say anything, but I'm guessing most people who don't post a lot get the normal villager role, don't really have anyone to talk to in pms and might not have a lot to say or are bored by not being anything special.

    An odd idea might be to create groups for everyone. You might make sure the total number of people in the game is divisible by 3 for example. Split everynoe including the bad guys up in groups of three and hand out roles as usual. This at least gives everyone 2 other people to talk to, even if they don't trust each other as you would mix everyone up.

    If the moles know each other, and you create a stonecutter group (not necessarily one single group but maybe 3 people in 3 different groups), you also give the monsters a better chance of winning because they can influence several different groups. It really helps cut down the networking that obviously gives the village a huge edge over the monsters.

    At the beginning of virtually every game, the monsters have a network and the villagers need to build one. However, the monsters usually get very unlucky by trying to expand on their network, by creating smaller ones with villagers and such, and the villagers usually form a strong enough network to break the monsters nicely. This idea might solve that problem.

    I haven't thought through it fully, so I haven't fully analyzed the pros and/or cons of doing so. I do think, however, that it would help encourage people to be more active as they alerady have people to work with.

    Ardor on
  • thorgotthorgot Registered User regular
    edited March 2007
    The core of Mafia is the interactions of an informed minority with an uninformed majority. Try not to forget that. Once you stray from that (like the G&T game that just finished), it's no longer the same game.

    Heh, though I did read about a game where everybody was paired with somebody else, and they only got one vote as a pair. If one died, the other died. Still, even this weird game kept the core of the game alive.

    thorgot on
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  • NerissaNerissa Registered User regular
    edited March 2007
    Ardor, what incentive do people have to actually do anything with their starting group in that case? They aren't less likely to be a monster, so you can't trust your group any more than you can any other group.

    Hmm... unless you give each group a vote rather than each individual. As long as at least one member of the group is alive, they get to vote. Otherwise, they don't. Now that might be an interesting mechanic. You'd have to figure out how that affects the extent of the change it makes in how much the monsters influence the vote, and balance accordingly.

    Nerissa on
    Personally, I like D&D because I find OCD much more interesting than ADD.
  • ArdorArdor Registered User regular
    edited March 2007
    Nerissa wrote: »
    Ardor, what incentive do people have to actually do anything with their starting group in that case? They aren't less likely to be a monster, so you can't trust your group any more than you can any other group.

    Hmm... unless you give each group a vote rather than each individual. As long as at least one member of the group is alive, they get to vote. Otherwise, they don't. Now that might be an interesting mechanic. You'd have to figure out how that affects the extent of the change it makes in how much the monsters influence the vote, and balance accordingly.

    I honestly think most people are afraid to pm someone in the event they get killed right away or if the other person turns into chicken little as soon as someone contacts them. It's a risk, and without someone else to talk to and potentially not much to add to the thread, these people tend to lose interest in the game or don't find it fun to play.

    I'll be honest, in the past few games, right as the game starts or prior to game start before anyone knows their roles, I ask 1-2 people if they are willing to work together and try to not kill each other. That way, whether I know what these other two people are or not, I've got 2 people to bounce ideas off of. I've had both good and bad experiences with doing it, but in the end, I think I enjoyed the game moreso when I had others to talk to in pm's to scheme. It's like creating a small stonecutter group but nobody's role is guaranteed. We can try to agree to various things like, share roles but don't use them against each other, or don't kill each other etc, but in the end, it's still a big risk.

    I personally don't mind taking the risk because I think I enjoy the game more because of the small group to start with. Not everyone is this way, but I'm simply sharing my experiences.

    Ardor on
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