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How to Host a Phalla (mechanics & balance discussion)

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Posts

  • ArdorArdor Registered User regular
    edited March 2007
    Now that I think about it, the Red Scare phalla had a CIA group and SS group, each consisted of 6 people and each group of 6 was broken into two groups of 3. (3 SS, 3 SS, 3 CIA, 3 CIA).

    They each only knew 2 others, so broken into 4 groups of 3 between the different specialties, and they knew there was 1 mole in each group. I was never a part of those groups, but I wondered how that worked out.

    The mechanic behind it? The CIA collectively worked as a vigilante and the SS worked collectively as a guardian. Each sent in their vote to gives all options a % chance of benig taken and then a RNG or something deciding what happened.

    Ardor on
  • NerissaNerissa Registered User regular
    edited March 2007
    Maybe, but I think that people who are inclined to do that are going to do it anyway, and people who aren't won't do it any more because they've been assigned two other people to be in some arbitrary group. Give people some incentive to keep their group members alive over another group, and it might work.

    Nerissa on
    Personally, I like D&D because I find OCD much more interesting than ADD.
  • ElJeffeElJeffe Moderator, ClubPA mod
    edited March 2007
    Ardor wrote: »
    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.

    I'm not sure I quite see the point. So I'm in a group with two other people. They may or may not be specials or monsters. They are, in fact, no different at all from any other random two people I could point to. Why do I want to talk to them over anyone else?

    I think I'm missing what you're trying to do, here.

    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.
  • NerissaNerissa Registered User regular
    edited March 2007
    ElJeffe wrote: »
    Ardor wrote: »
    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.

    I'm not sure I quite see the point. So I'm in a group with two other people. They may or may not be specials or monsters. They are, in fact, no different at all from any other random two people I could point to. Why do I want to talk to them over anyone else?

    I think I'm missing what you're trying to do, here.

    Yeah, that's what I was trying to say :)

    Nerissa on
    Personally, I like D&D because I find OCD much more interesting than ADD.
  • ArdorArdor Registered User regular
    edited March 2007
    ElJeffe wrote: »
    Ardor wrote: »
    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.

    I'm not sure I quite see the point. So I'm in a group with two other people. They may or may not be specials or monsters. They are, in fact, no different at all from any other random two people I could point to. Why do I want to talk to them over anyone else?

    I think I'm missing what you're trying to do, here.

    Personally, I enjoy these games more when I have other people to bounce ideas around with. However, most people are very wary of trying to start a group like I typically do at the start of each game, due to the risks associated with it or worrying about having people reject the idea and/or call them a monster. I'd claim human nature and/or experiences I've seen in my life, but that's not very relevant here.

    I guess I'm just trying to make sure everyone has someone else they can talk to right away, the chances of someone in your group being a bad guy is noticable but not great, as odds usually go, so you might not mind sharing information with each other as far as ideas go, not necessarily roles.

    From looking over the ideas in the thread here, I kinda like Aroduc's game (at least what he wanted) and the ideas that have been put here about having 3 sides, each has the same specials in it and they fight to the death. I'm a strategy buff, and a game like that would appeal to me greatly. You don't handicap any team, but you still get the people who are simply a member of one side with no real role and probably no starting contacts per the game mechanics. I think this still involves people being non-active or non-interested.

    I'm guessing that using a game mechanic to match people up in pairs or smaller groups would help keep interest in the game.

    It might not be a bad idea to simply ask people, mabye ask the 60 who participated in the Phallia for example via pms or a thread here, on what would make the game more fun for each person. Then we could actually see a decent amount of thoughts shared by folks with different roles.

    In past games (not including the D&D one I'm currently participating in, I've been a villager, a vigilante with a single use kill and a seer. Obviously having the special roles make the game more enjoyable for me as they probably would for anyone, but I'd be interested to see what people think would make the game more fun as a villager, since most people fall in that category.

    I'll be honest, I'd almost enjoy being a normal villager in every game because I try to find ways to make the game enjoyable for myself and when people participate in the game to keep things movnig at a nice pace, it makes it enjoyable for everyone (my thoughts). Plus, it means someone else can be a special and likely give them more reason to pay attention and participate.

    Sorry if this is a series of unorganized thoughts.

    Ardor on
  • ArdorArdor Registered User regular
    edited March 2007
    I guess I'm not thinking of doing this as some form of strategy or anything related to game mechanics. I simply think it might boost participation which can probably boost interest in the game for more people.

    Ardor on
  • ArdorArdor Registered User regular
    edited March 2007
    Added thought, sorry for posting a lot.

    I do want to say I'm impressed with the folks who are willing to put these games together for other people like this. I don't think I'd enjoy running a game enough to opt to do it, but I do enjoy participating in them. To this end, I'd be more than happy to try and help you folks out if you ever needed something.

    Ardor on
  • SmasherSmasher Starting to get dizzy Registered User regular
    edited March 2007
    Nerissa wrote: »
    Maybe, but I think that people who are inclined to do that are going to do it anyway, and people who aren't won't do it any more because they've been assigned two other people to be in some arbitrary group. Give people some incentive to keep their group members alive over another group, and it might work.

    Possible idea: split everyone up into groups of 3 that have nothing to do with their roles. Then give everyone's vote weight depending on how many people are alive in their group: A vote from a person in a group with all its members alive is worth three times the vote from the only person alive from another group. If that's too extreme change it to something like a 3/4/5 ratio.

    This could have a pretty big impact on the game. It would make predicting the results of voting more difficult than simply keeping a list of who voted for whom. You could add a special that once a night can see who a particular person is in a voting group with, or alternatively just make the voting groups public and add another layer of thinking to the game. Did the monsters not want to kill person A because that would make one of them obvious, and so they killed person A's partner B to reduce A's influence on the vote? Are they leaving everyone alive in particular groups to give themselves more power over the vote, or did they kill one of their group members and leave other groups intact as a red herring? Would it be beneficial to a seer to leave a monster in his own group alive for a little while in order to boost his own vote?

    Smasher on
  • FunkyWaltDoggFunkyWaltDogg Registered User regular
    edited March 2007
    Smasher wrote: »
    Nerissa wrote: »
    Maybe, but I think that people who are inclined to do that are going to do it anyway, and people who aren't won't do it any more because they've been assigned two other people to be in some arbitrary group. Give people some incentive to keep their group members alive over another group, and it might work.

    Possible idea: split everyone up into groups of 3 that have nothing to do with their roles. Then give everyone's vote weight depending on how many people are alive in their group: A vote from a person in a group with all its members alive is worth three times the vote from the only person alive from another group. If that's too extreme change it to something like a 3/4/5 ratio.

    This could have a pretty big impact on the game. It would make predicting the results of voting more difficult than simply keeping a list of who voted for whom. You could add a special that once a night can see who a particular person is in a voting group with, or alternatively just make the voting groups public and add another layer of thinking to the game. Did the monsters not want to kill person A because that would make one of them obvious, and so they killed person A's partner B to reduce A's influence on the vote? Are they leaving everyone alive in particular groups to give themselves more power over the vote, or did they kill one of their group members and leave other groups intact as a red herring? Would it be beneficial to a seer to leave a monster in his own group alive for a little while in order to boost his own vote?

    That sounds like a record-keeping nightmare.

    FunkyWaltDogg on
    Burnage wrote:
    FWD is very good at this game.
  • ArdorArdor Registered User regular
    edited March 2007
    Smasher wrote: »
    Nerissa wrote: »
    Maybe, but I think that people who are inclined to do that are going to do it anyway, and people who aren't won't do it any more because they've been assigned two other people to be in some arbitrary group. Give people some incentive to keep their group members alive over another group, and it might work.

    Possible idea: split everyone up into groups of 3 that have nothing to do with their roles. Then give everyone's vote weight depending on how many people are alive in their group: A vote from a person in a group with all its members alive is worth three times the vote from the only person alive from another group. If that's too extreme change it to something like a 3/4/5 ratio.

    This could have a pretty big impact on the game. It would make predicting the results of voting more difficult than simply keeping a list of who voted for whom. You could add a special that once a night can see who a particular person is in a voting group with, or alternatively just make the voting groups public and add another layer of thinking to the game. Did the monsters not want to kill person A because that would make one of them obvious, and so they killed person A's partner B to reduce A's influence on the vote? Are they leaving everyone alive in particular groups to give themselves more power over the vote, or did they kill one of their group members and leave other groups intact as a red herring? Would it be beneficial to a seer to leave a monster in his own group alive for a little while in order to boost his own vote?

    That sounds like a record-keeping nightmare.

    I suppose to keep track of such things means whoever runs the game would need help. I've had fun with the games so I'd like to try and contribute ideas and such to those of you willing to run a game.

    It would take me a while to clean out my pm box and such, but to anyone who thinks the information might be useful, I wouldn't mind pm'ing all the folks who were in one of the past games to see what ideas they would have about making the generic innocent role a little more enjoyable. I bet maknig that role a little more fun for the majority of people might boost participation and interest?

    Would you guys ElJeffe, Nerissa, etc think this information useful?

    Ardor on
  • SmasherSmasher Starting to get dizzy Registered User regular
    edited March 2007
    Smasher wrote: »
    Nerissa wrote: »
    Maybe, but I think that people who are inclined to do that are going to do it anyway, and people who aren't won't do it any more because they've been assigned two other people to be in some arbitrary group. Give people some incentive to keep their group members alive over another group, and it might work.

    Possible idea: split everyone up into groups of 3 that have nothing to do with their roles. Then give everyone's vote weight depending on how many people are alive in their group: A vote from a person in a group with all its members alive is worth three times the vote from the only person alive from another group. If that's too extreme change it to something like a 3/4/5 ratio.

    This could have a pretty big impact on the game. It would make predicting the results of voting more difficult than simply keeping a list of who voted for whom. You could add a special that once a night can see who a particular person is in a voting group with, or alternatively just make the voting groups public and add another layer of thinking to the game. Did the monsters not want to kill person A because that would make one of them obvious, and so they killed person A's partner B to reduce A's influence on the vote? Are they leaving everyone alive in particular groups to give themselves more power over the vote, or did they kill one of their group members and leave other groups intact as a red herring? Would it be beneficial to a seer to leave a monster in his own group alive for a little while in order to boost his own vote?

    That sounds like a record-keeping nightmare.

    I admit I don't know very much about excel, but from what I understand about its capabilities it shouldn't be difficult for someone who knows how to use it to create a spreadsheet that calculates how many votes a person gets based on who's alive in their group. Once you've got that figured out for each person, it's trivial to have the vote totals incorporate the weight of each person's vote. If the narrator doesn't know enough excel to do that they could probably have someone write a spreadsheet for them, then fill in the details themself.

    Smasher on
  • NerissaNerissa Registered User regular
    edited March 2007
    Ardor wrote: »

    It would take me a while to clean out my pm box and such, but to anyone who thinks the information might be useful, I wouldn't mind pm'ing all the folks who were in one of the past games to see what ideas they would have about making the generic innocent role a little more enjoyable. I bet maknig that role a little more fun for the majority of people might boost participation and interest?

    Would you guys ElJeffe, Nerissa, etc think this information useful?

    Might be... I think you'll find that the people who actually participated enjoyed playing, whether they were a plain villager or a special. What the causal relationship is between those two things is probably a bit more complex, and I doubt too many of the non-participants will have a useful response.

    I do think having some sort of "behind the scenes" interaction makes the game more fun, so anything that will encourage that will probably be helpful. I just don't think that assigning someone to a random group at the beginning will do that. If you want to do some polling on that quesiton, though, and maybe how to encourage interaction, it could be useful.

    I kinda like the idea of voting blocks. I encourages people to participate and keep each other alive, and also throws a new twist into the strategy. As a matter of fact, I think I'm going to totally redesign my upcoming game around that idea now. :P It could even fit into my theme rather nicely, I think. (Divide the group into families of 3/4, each family gets one vote)

    So... let's say 39 players (13 groups of 3 is perfect for a witch theme), 3 witches... do I guarantee no more than one per family? Probably not, or at least not publicly. Too easy to find one witch and know the rest of the family is clean. Each family would have to have an official voter, either assigned at the beginning or chosen by them (I lean toward chosen by them the first day, with some mechanism for allowing them to change it later.). Nobody else in the family would be allowed to vote. Instead, they would work with the family "head" to determine who the family would vote for that day.

    Now... what about the witches? If a witch can influence his family's vote, it has 3X the weight it would have had in a normal game (due to there being 1/3 as many votes), but they are not guaranteed to be able to do that, since odds are they are the only witch in their family. Then again, if someone gets networked, THEY only have 1/3 voice in their family's vote as well. Of course, getting chosen as family head might give them a stronger say in the vote, but they would still have to be careful of attracting attention by not going along with the rest of their family.

    So, how does this balance out? Too powerful for the witches or not powerful enough? Assume for now only the standard other mechanics (some form of seers, vigilantes, and limited guardians for the village, no specials for the witches) Do I need a 4th witch? Do I need to give the witches some special power(s)? Do I need to make the village specials more powerful than usual?

    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
    Statistically I think the balance issues work out to a wash. The witches gain more power over the votes (depending on the group composition, but overall I think they have a slight edge over normal villagers) but it becomes harder to hide among the masses since there's only 13 votes. The specials face the same dilemna.

    If your design has any issues I think they have less to do with balance than with participation. If only one person per group gets the vote there's a decent chance that person is going to hold onto it rather than giving it up to the other players. This might leave the other two feeling marginalized, which could end up reducing participation instead of increasing it. This could be countered by having the vote switch through the three every day (going through a complete cycle every 3 days), but I wonder whether people will end up going more inactive on their days off or not. Hard to say without giving it a spin.

    Honestly I prefer giving everyone a vote every day and weighting it based on the number of players in their group still alive, but that probably just comes down to personal taste.

    Smasher on
  • NerissaNerissa Registered User regular
    edited March 2007
    Well, I was thinking that at least 2 of the 3 family members had to actively state in public that X will be their family head. It they want to change that, again, at least 2 will need to come out and say so. If they can't get 2 people to agree on who will make their vote, then the family's vote doesn't count until they do.

    Although rotating it would work too.

    Edit: Another thought, votes could still be weighted by how many members of the family are still living, so as to provide incentive to keep your family alive rather than kill off the ones that disagree with you.

    Nerissa on
    Personally, I like D&D because I find OCD much more interesting than ADD.
  • TechnicalityTechnicality Registered User regular
    edited March 2007
    You could give every member of a family a vote, but if the family votes don't all match at the cut off they don't count.

    Just a thought.

    Technicality on
    handt.jpg tor.jpg

  • ElJeffeElJeffe Moderator, ClubPA mod
    edited March 2007
    Nerissa wrote: »
    I kinda like the idea of voting blocks. I encourages people to participate and keep each other alive, and also throws a new twist into the strategy. As a matter of fact, I think I'm going to totally redesign my upcoming game around that idea now. :P It could even fit into my theme rather nicely, I think. (Divide the group into families of 3/4, each family gets one vote)

    I like this. I like it a whole lot. Especially because it makes a lot of sense in the context of the game. I'm a sucker for game mechanics that are logical within the context of your scenario. For the two games I've run, I've sort of gone that route in picking mechanics. First, pick a setting. Given that setting, what sort of roles and powers seem logical? This is what gave rise to the self-destructing vigilantes in Newham (madness was very Lovecraftian), the secret cult (secrecy and the unknown, also Lovecraftian), single-use public vigilantes in Phallia (Spartans don't sneak around in the shadows!), and so on.

    It seems once you figure out a theme, a lot of mechanics just sort of fall into place, like your secrets-thing. I think if you hammer out the kinks in that, it could be an awesome idea.

    Also, as an aside, I like being a special, but I still have a blast as a villager, because I'm extremely vocal and generally make it a point to pick someone at random on the first day and decide to trust him, so that I have someone to discuss strategies covertly with. Eventually it'll bite me, but odds are I'll pick an innocent more often than not.

    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.
  • ElJeffeElJeffe Moderator, ClubPA mod
    edited March 2007
    You could give every member of a family a vote, but if the family votes don't all match at the cut off they don't count.

    Just a thought.

    I like the idea of picking a family head, and giving him the vote. Women and children from that era were pretty much ignored.

    That's one thing you could do, Nerissa. Make a third of the people husbands, a third wives, and a third kids, and tweak their abilities based on those designations. Like, husbands are the only ones who can vote, but the women and children have other minor powers. It would sort of be like making everyone a special, but more subdued.

    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: »
    You could give every member of a family a vote, but if the family votes don't all match at the cut off they don't count.

    Just a thought.

    I like the idea of picking a family head, and giving him the vote. Women and children from that era were pretty much ignored.

    That's one thing you could do, Nerissa. Make a third of the people husbands, a third wives, and a third kids, and tweak their abilities based on those designations. Like, husbands are the only ones who can vote, but the women and children have other minor powers. It would sort of be like making everyone a special, but more subdued.

    Kids would make nice thieves or spies of sorts, they get into just about everything and nobody really pays much attention to them. The wives could be stone cutters or start off with various bits of information depending on the background of your game.

    Ardor on
  • ElJeffeElJeffe Moderator, ClubPA mod
    edited March 2007
    Ardor wrote: »
    ElJeffe wrote: »
    You could give every member of a family a vote, but if the family votes don't all match at the cut off they don't count.

    Just a thought.

    I like the idea of picking a family head, and giving him the vote. Women and children from that era were pretty much ignored.

    That's one thing you could do, Nerissa. Make a third of the people husbands, a third wives, and a third kids, and tweak their abilities based on those designations. Like, husbands are the only ones who can vote, but the women and children have other minor powers. It would sort of be like making everyone a special, but more subdued.

    Kids would make nice thieves or spies of sorts, they get into just about everything and nobody really pays much attention to them. The wives could be stone cutters or start off with various bits of information depending on the background of your game.

    If we want to go all stereotypey - and I don't see why we wouldn't :) - the women could also have some edge in the secret department. Maybe each woman starts out knowing one other woman's secret. The kids could maybe learn a random secret every other day, which could include whether or not someone was a witch. They'd be like low-grade seers, but the ability would be random instead of focused.

    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.
  • CantideCantide 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.


    There's an easy way to stop a rotating power from being abused as proof of innocence. Just let the bad guys be included in the rotation. To prevent bad guys from hoarding a power and never using it, you'd probably have to move it every round or so, whether it's used or not.

    Whether to keep the "if the holder dies, the power is gone" rule would depend on how large the game is. If there's more than 3 or 4 monsters, they'd likely be willing to sacrifice one of their own to get rid of a village special, especially if it was a rotating seer power.

    Cantide on
  • ArdorArdor Registered User regular
    edited March 2007
    Cantide wrote: »
    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.


    There's an easy way to stop a rotating power from being abused as proof of innocence. Just let the bad guys be included in the rotation. To prevent bad guys from hoarding a power and never using it, you'd probably have to move it every round or so, whether it's used or not.

    Whether to keep the "if the holder dies, the power is gone" rule would depend on how large the game is. If there's more than 3 or 4 monsters, they'd likely be willing to sacrifice one of their own to get rid of a village special, especially if it was a rotating seer power.

    You know, this brings up an interesting idea.

    What if there are a specific number of specials, but the power is changed daily? This obviously wouldn't apply to whether you are innocent or evil.

    You might have one seer, one guardian and one vigilante (basic rules and such), but every time the vote occurs, the specials get their results, but the roles get pm'd to someone else.

    While this can be used as some form of verification to find out who's innocent. What if some added element was put in there to recommend people don't jump out claiming to be such and such? For example, what if there are 2 of each role that change around, but if the monsters kill a person that night with a role, the role is either given to the monsters for a night or removed from the game? That would put a fairly good reason as to why coming out would potentially be a bad idea.

    You wouldn't even half to limit the specials only going to innocents either, maybe the monsters also have the chance to be a special for a day?

    Ardor on
  • NerissaNerissa Registered User regular
    edited March 2007
    ElJeffe wrote: »
    You could give every member of a family a vote, but if the family votes don't all match at the cut off they don't count.

    Just a thought.

    I like the idea of picking a family head, and giving him the vote. Women and children from that era were pretty much ignored.

    That's one thing you could do, Nerissa. Make a third of the people husbands, a third wives, and a third kids, and tweak their abilities based on those designations. Like, husbands are the only ones who can vote, but the women and children have other minor powers. It would sort of be like making everyone a special, but more subdued.

    I like that idea... I'm just scared of having the husbands end up getting assigned to inactive players, which is why I was leaning toward letting the families pick their heads. (Also, it would suck for a family if their head randomly happened to be a witch.) Maybe I can let anyone vote, but only count the highest-ranking member of each family (if the husband doesn't vote that day, the wife's vote counts). That way, if a family ends up with a deadbeat husband, the strong wife (or widow if the husband dies) can take over. Bookkeeping nightmare if I were going to try to do it by hand, but not too bad with a bit of clever programming, I think. I could even come up with a clever mechanic for orphans (if they're orphaned in the first two days (still "young"), they get "adopted" by a random family and their family's vote gets co-opted by their adopted family) but I think that's probably a bit much.

    Let's see... kids are good at hiding, so maybe they get a one-time dodge to get away from witches or vigilantes. Or maybe they require a larger vote margin to execute than an adult might due to their parents' protection. No, I like the dodge, I think.

    Wives... what, gossip? Nag? Maybe the wives can get together and between them... ugh, too many possiblities! One-time seer is too powerful, I think. Maybe the wives can get together and override a vote? Maybe... if over 50% of the wives all vote for the same person, they will be executed in place of whoever the husbands voted for.

    I'm still trying to decide how the secrets are going to fit in. I really like them in the theme, but (as people have pointed out) there are potentially a lot of problems with them, not the least of which is that I need to come up with 30-40 different secrets for people to have! I'm going to have to go back and re-read the suggestions from earlier this week and see if I can make it work or if I should just shelve them for another time.

    Damn, what this is going to do to my tracker application... :P

    Nerissa on
    Personally, I like D&D because I find OCD much more interesting than ADD.
  • ElJeffeElJeffe Moderator, ClubPA mod
    edited March 2007
    Maybe wives can alter the votes of their husbands by withholding sex. :)

    For your secrets, you could use a sort of Clue-esque model to make it easier on you. "SXXXX had an affair with YYYY in the ZZZZ." "AAAA stole something from BBBB."

    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.
  • NerissaNerissa Registered User regular
    edited March 2007
    OK, I'm done talking about my game in particular... I got my strategy-minded husband to help me hammer out the rest of the mechanics last night, and I'm not willing to post any more specifics before the game starts, as some of them will not be known to everyone. I will say that there will be several new twists on old (and not so old) mechanics. Thanks, everyone, for all of the ideas. Some of them have definitely been incorporated into the game.

    Now, weren't we talking about ways to limit those damn guardians?

    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: »
    OK, I'm done talking about my game in particular... I got my strategy-minded husband to help me hammer out the rest of the mechanics last night, and I'm not willing to post any more specifics before the game starts, as some of them will not be known to everyone. I will say that there will be several new twists on old (and not so old) mechanics. Thanks, everyone, for all of the ideas. Some of them have definitely been incorporated into the game.

    Now, weren't we talking about ways to limit those damn guardians?

    Well, try checking out MTVCDM's game in D&D, there are no guardians in that game. It also has a conversion ability.

    If it were me, I might either remove the guardian altogether, or give it the ability to block all attacks one night successfully, and the second night it blocks, it dies in place of the target. So at max, it gives the protected target 2 nights to live.

    Or, since some people have deemed the guardian a class not very fun to have, it could be useful in saying it will successfully block an attack by taking a death, and giving it's target a pm from the moderator with a random name of one of the bad guys.

    Example, I protect Nerissa successfully, but I die in her place. Nerissa gets a pm from ElJeffe saying XXXX is the person who Ardor protected you from.

    This does help Nerissa out and gives her the name of someone who is a monster, however it's possible she isn't to going to necessarily be taken seriously at that time AND it really gives the guardians reason to defend someone else. If they protect themselves, they take to the grave the name of someone that they needed to kill.

    Ardor on
  • SmasherSmasher Starting to get dizzy Registered User regular
    edited March 2007
    I can't remember if someone already posted it, but another guardian idea: give them a limited number of blocks that get consumed whether their target was attacked or not.

    Smasher on
  • Look Out it's Sabs!Look Out it's Sabs! Registered User regular
    edited March 2007
    So right now I'm working on mechanics/role descriptions for a phalla game I might do in the future. When you guys play do you like having all the info shown to you from the beginning, or only the basics of the specials, and not any specific skills they might also have.

    Look Out it's Sabs! on
    NNID: Sabuiy
    3DS: 2852-6809-9411
  • Elbonian ManElbonian Man Registered User
    edited March 2007
    I like it better when I know all the rules going in since it keeps me from having to second guess how stupid/crazy I think the host is and it doesn't provide any odd surprises. There are times where it works out alright or even beautifully if some or a lot is kept secret(Jeffe's Cthulhu and Phalliad games), but most of the time it's just a bad idea(Shinto's NY game).

    Elbonian Man on
    For the price of one of my novels (Hardback, historical/alternative historical/dinosaurs) I can get 2 or 3 Manga for the price of my book. I think its about what you can afford and stuff.
  • tuxkamentuxkamen Registered User regular
    edited March 2007
    This does help Nerissa out and gives her the name of someone who is a monster, however it's possible she isn't to going to necessarily be taken seriously at that time AND it really gives the guardians reason to defend someone else. If they protect themselves, they take to the grave the name of someone that they needed to kill.

    That breaks the game if you have a public network, though.

    New topic:

    So in the Mole Phalla, we have an intermission of sorts. In the actual reality-show genre, often there are 'how well do you know your fellow contestants' segments or games, where you try to answer questions like 'who slept with everyone on campus' or 'who teaches cats to walk on their hind legs'. The implication is that the results of the questions are likely to affect the number or type of specials.

    Each person in this game has a background job/location (I'm an environmental activist, for example), so this actually works. However, right now we're OOCly screwing the pooch on the questions. The questions are something like:

    - Who's likely to steal
    - Who's likely to return something you lost
    - Who's likely to throw a surprise party.

    We happen to have a three-person network who is taking up all the slots, and we do have a policeman in the 'return something you lost' question, so that should be fine. However, we also have a not-quite-confirmed thief special who won't be put in the first slot. (I'm not sure who's best in the party slot out of the living players. We have a painter.)

    From a 'we are playing a reality show' standpoint, in order to get the questions 'right' we should be choosing the players who we know best fit those questions. Instead we are more or less saying 'whether it's right or not, put confirmed players in those slots'. It may come back to bite us because 'wrong' answers likely end up giving powers to the moles.

    So, topic:

    I like the idea of side-games in Phallas, though I'm not sure how to fit one in mine. Without forcing RP, how do you encourage people to vote as '________ in a ________' rather than 'Phalla players who don't give a crap about the setting'?

    (Other than smacking them over the head with 'don't vote like sheep, there will be consequences'.)

    tuxkamen on

    Games: Ad Astra Per Phalla | Choose Your Own Phalla
    Thus, the others all die before tuxkamen dies to the vote. Hence, tuxkamen survives, village victory.
    3DS: 2406-5451-5770
  • ArdorArdor Registered User regular
    edited March 2007
    tuxkamen wrote: »
    This does help Nerissa out and gives her the name of someone who is a monster, however it's possible she isn't to going to necessarily be taken seriously at that time AND it really gives the guardians reason to defend someone else. If they protect themselves, they take to the grave the name of someone that they needed to kill.

    That breaks the game if you have a public network, though.

    New topic:

    So in the Mole Phalla, we have an intermission of sorts. In the actual reality-show genre, often there are 'how well do you know your fellow contestants' segments or games, where you try to answer questions like 'who slept with everyone on campus' or 'who teaches cats to walk on their hind legs'. The implication is that the results of the questions are likely to affect the number or type of specials.

    Each person in this game has a background job/location (I'm an environmental activist, for example), so this actually works. However, right now we're OOCly screwing the pooch on the questions. The questions are something like:

    - Who's likely to steal
    - Who's likely to return something you lost
    - Who's likely to throw a surprise party.

    We happen to have a three-person network who is taking up all the slots, and we do have a policeman in the 'return something you lost' question, so that should be fine. However, we also have a not-quite-confirmed thief special who won't be put in the first slot. (I'm not sure who's best in the party slot out of the living players. We have a painter.)

    From a 'we are playing a reality show' standpoint, in order to get the questions 'right' we should be choosing the players who we know best fit those questions. Instead we are more or less saying 'whether it's right or not, put confirmed players in those slots'. It may come back to bite us because 'wrong' answers likely end up giving powers to the moles.

    So, topic:

    I like the idea of side-games in Phallas, though I'm not sure how to fit one in mine. Without forcing RP, how do you encourage people to vote as '________ in a ________' rather than 'Phalla players who don't give a crap about the setting'?

    (Other than smacking them over the head with 'don't vote like sheep, there will be consequences'.)

    I might be missing what exactly you are asking at the end there, but if we are following the mole phalla example, nobody really knows the outcome of this vote they are having today. It could be positive or really bad, we aren't sure.

    If you are looking for a method to not force roleplaying but to ask people to make honest choices due to some small RP element, like the careers/professions we were all given, you might make it a little more clear if you'd prefer people vote one way or the other. By leaving it up to chance like MTV is doing, we aren't sure what to expect. To state that this choice should be based upon the profession you were given at the beginning of the game implies that voting in only confirmed ninocents could very likely screw the innocents over.

    I think it's a neat distraction, and it brought a fair amount of life back to the thread. Unfortunately, side-games like these would be much more interesting (along with the game itself) if more vocal members were left alive longer, as they are the ones that drive these games to 100+ pages of life.

    I'm thinking about that council vote that was concieved during an earlier Phalla game I was not a part of, I thought that was a slick idea that kept people thinking not about who they wanted to kill, but who they wanted to trust.

    If you wanted to switch things up a bit, have you thought about some form of daily poll or vote that could take place in your game beyond voting for death every day? Maybe instead of a seer role, you have the village vote on someone to have to reveal their role every other day, or perhaps you tell people that the person(s) with a post count right in the middle compared to everyone else gains a power for the day. It might engage people a little more than simply going with a vote to kill someone.

    Ardor on
  • tuxkamentuxkamen Registered User regular
    edited March 2007
    I'd have to think about that. A vote that results in temporary abilities would be interesting, but it has to be something that keeps the pace of the game moving (don't want to have no-kill days or people lose interest).

    tuxkamen on

    Games: Ad Astra Per Phalla | Choose Your Own Phalla
    Thus, the others all die before tuxkamen dies to the vote. Hence, tuxkamen survives, village victory.
    3DS: 2406-5451-5770
  • NerissaNerissa Registered User regular
    edited March 2007
    Ardor wrote: »
    If you wanted to switch things up a bit, have you thought about some form of daily poll or vote that could take place in your game beyond voting for death every day? Maybe instead of a seer role, you have the village vote on someone to have to reveal their role every other day, or perhaps you tell people that the person(s) with a post count right in the middle compared to everyone else gains a power for the day. It might engage people a little more than simply going with a vote to kill someone.

    That's an interesting thought, I'm not quite sure how well it would go over, particularly with the more vocal players. Also, you'd have to have some way to discourage padding the post count rather than actually participating.

    Nerissa on
    Personally, I like D&D because I find OCD much more interesting than ADD.
  • ArdorArdor Registered User regular
    edited March 2007
    tuxkamen wrote: »
    I'd have to think about that. A vote that results in temporary abilities would be interesting, but it has to be something that keeps the pace of the game moving (don't want to have no-kill days or people lose interest).

    It's kind of like the councilor role a past Phalla had.

    I'm a player in the game. Everyday, I not only vote for who I think should die, but I also vote on who I think should have a temporary ability or something like that.

    How about a grab-bag type of thing? You might list 5 temporary abilities that are 'won' each day for example. You can recycle after they've been used.

    -immunity to death by monster/vigilante next day
    -immunity to death by voting next day
    -one use seer ability next day
    -removed from game, role revealed
    -converted to other side (monster becomes innocent, innocent becomes monster)

    You wouldn't even have to tell everyone what the winner received either, if you want to keep everyone further in the dark.

    From my experiences, the right information wins you the game obviously. It also comes from being able to find a way to confirm someone is 100% telling you the truth. Hence, networks will always favor the innocents in these games. We've had discussions on how to limit the ability for someone to come forward or to start an obvious network that most know they can trust. By giving people limited abilities but nobody but one person knows what they got, you keep people in the dark and add some change to the game.

    How about something different then a vote? How about the narration places a riddle in it, and the first to solve it get's some form of prize? That way, it's not a popularity contest and nobody can say (Hey! You didn't vote for our confirmed villager, you're a monster!). I mean, take something simple like "What do you put into a barrel to make it lighter?" Answer: A hole.

    Re: Nerissa.

    I just took something off the top of my mind about the post thing. From my perspective, I enjoy these games and try to post a fair amount since I find it a fun thing to do. I'm trying to think of some mechanic to reward people in odd ways. Maybe you say whoever has the post count closest to the average of posts per player, so everyone can actually influence that number. Maybe to mix things up, you say whoever had the most retracted votes, etc.

    I think it might be a nice novelty to add something further to the 80% of the people who end up as normal villagers which involves more than voting for one person to go away, as several of us are eluding to.

    One last thought. While not necessarily a thrall, I think it would be cool to add in a role or several roles of people who can play either side to 'win'. Like a mercenary perhaps, they have winning conditions which can be done by siding with the villagers or the monsters. I think what might make it more interesting, is to give every special that option. Maybe the seers, guardians and vigilantes of the world don't want to always be good, they'd rather have a choice.



    Also, on the voting block idea with the husband/wife/child idea where only the husband gets a vote, what if the husband could submit his real vote via PM, but all three of them could throw out votes in the thread? It would still kick start conversation, accusations and defensive positions, it would also not reduce a group's ability to influence the vote, even if their vote doesn't count because their leader is down?

    Ardor on
  • NerissaNerissa Registered User regular
    edited March 2007
    Ardor wrote: »
    Also, on the voting block idea with the husband/wife/child idea where only the husband gets a vote, what if the husband could submit his real vote via PM, but all three of them could throw out votes in the thread? It would still kick start conversation, accusations and defensive positions, it would also not reduce a group's ability to influence the vote, even if their vote doesn't count because their leader is down?

    I'd rather not deal with 13+ pms a day just for voting. :P

    I think what you're saying here implies that only the members of the group know who their leader is, which is an interesting idea, I'm not sure how that would work out. The other factor here is that players wouldn't know who someone else voted for on a given day, which I think would have a HUGE impact on strategy. It cuts out one of the big pieces of information that the villagers have to work with.

    Nerissa on
    Personally, I like D&D because I find OCD much more interesting than ADD.
  • Look Out it's Sabs!Look Out it's Sabs! Registered User regular
    edited March 2007
    How would you guys say is the best way to find out how to balance bad guys vs good guys. Right now I probably have all the specials done, and the amount of good guy specials. But I am having problems thinking of how many bad guys should I have to make it more balance. Also there will be two different bad guy groups in the one I'm planing. If anyone wants to see (I might just post it here anways) the role descriptions/mechanics just ask. I'm fooling around a bit with the vigilante and defender in this one.

    Look Out it's Sabs! on
    NNID: Sabuiy
    3DS: 2852-6809-9411
  • SmasherSmasher Starting to get dizzy Registered User regular
    edited March 2007
    If the mechanics are going to be public anyways, I'll take a look at them and give you my input.

    Smasher on
  • Look Out it's Sabs!Look Out it's Sabs! Registered User regular
    edited March 2007
    So here are the good guys that I have for now.

    Scout
    - You are the last member of the scout team who was sent ahead of the main army force. You are the master of stealth and disguise, wary of your surroundings. Each night send a PM to Saburbia on who you want to stalk in which you will learn whether they are a soldier from your team or someone else.


    Sniper
    - You were one of the best snipers in your field, no wonder you survived the battle. You know how to hide in the wilderness and when you choose your target, the target is as good as dead. Each night you can choose to kill someone, or if things look risky, you can choose to hide in the wilderness. You will be able to evade anyone that night, however if there are multiple people looking for you, chances are one of them will find you. Send in your PM each night stating who you want to kill, or if your decided to hide that night to Saburbia.


    Bomb Squad
    - You were a member of the bomb squad, setting up mines or disabling them was your job. One of your equipment pieces, a force field shield for when disabling bombs, is still intact. However you only have enough power in it for one night. The shield can reflect any and all attacks, but will be used up after the one night whether or not an attack happened on the person you defended. There are 3 members of the bomb squad left, if you are able to find them and choose the same target that night, you will be able to work together and make your own bomb trap which will be stuck onto the target until it is activated. When that person is attacked, it will self destruct killing the target and the attacker. When you decide to use your force field shield, send in a PM to Saburbia stating who you want to defend. If all three members of the bomb squad send in a PM stating they want to defend the same person, than the trap is made and put on the person stated.


    Chef
    - You are the head chef of the army. You do not believe what is going on is morally right, people are voting for who should die? A lot of those soldiers never went through college, hell some haven’t passed high school. However you are a university grad who decided to become a chef after finding how corrupt politics was. After the war between your state and the neighboring state, you decided to help your fellow men with what you could, not through brawn but through your food. You have various exotic spices which you have collected through the years. One of which can have great control over who eats it, but you have limited supply of this specific spice, 2 nights worth to be exact. With this spice you can sway the votes and change it since you, the smarter one of the bunch, knows who should be killed that night. Whenever you decide to use the spice send in a pm to Saburbia on who you want the votes to be changed too.


    Alpha Squad 2
    - You and two others are the remaining members of your squad. You know each other fairly well and trust each other. You guys are keeping an eye on each other, looking after each other’s backs. Hopefully you guys can survive through this by working together, sharing ideas, and possibly expanding your group.

    Look Out it's Sabs! on
    NNID: Sabuiy
    3DS: 2852-6809-9411
  • SmasherSmasher Starting to get dizzy Registered User regular
    edited March 2007
    Two questions before I comment: how big are you aiming to make the game, and are the two evil groups initiallly seperate but working together or are they enemies?

    Smasher on
  • Look Out it's Sabs!Look Out it's Sabs! Registered User regular
    edited March 2007
    Smasher wrote: »
    Two questions before I comment: how big are you aiming to make the game, and are the two evil groups initiallly seperate but working together or are they enemies?

    I'm probably aiming for a mega game, 50-60 people. The two enemy groups are separate, and I'm thinking of having a couple of deserters who are trying to get in contact with one of the groups.

    Look Out it's Sabs! on
    NNID: Sabuiy
    3DS: 2852-6809-9411
  • ElJeffeElJeffe Moderator, ClubPA mod
    edited March 2007
    Two general comments, Saburbia:

    - When in doubt, your bad guys are probably too weak. Just a general observation based on all the Phalla games I've seen so far. More often than not, the bad guys are sort of nerfed. This gets more true as time goes on and the players get better.

    - With 50-60 people, you're going to want to maintain about 5-6 kills per night. It's tough to maintain interest in a game like this past about a week and a half, especially given that the people who participate the most are the most likely to die.


    Specifically: I think the bomb squad idea is cool, but it's going to be very difficult for those three people to find each other unless your game winds up with an InstaNetwork early on, in which everybody can contact some confirmed innocent fellow. Maybe you could add in some seer-lite ability which only serves to identify whether someone is a fellow bomb squadder or not? You could say they have some sort of bomb-detection gear, or something.

    As to the sniper, is there a limit to how many times he can hide and make himself almost invincible? Because that, coupled with the vigilante ability, is a pretty powerful package. The one nice thing about it is that it nicely avoids the vig/guardian verification strategy that allows for night-one networks. Maybe if you only gave him 2-3 rounds of ammo? It needs to be a little nerfed, I think.

    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.
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