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[Phalla] Smash Bros Fighter Pass ∞ - Congratulations! (Village wins)

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  • H3KnucklesH3Knuckles Jack of many interests... ...master of noneRegistered User regular
    edited October 28
    So, about those host notes:

    Motivation
    I've been spitballing ideas to host a phalla for a long time, but I never went through with running one, because I have this thing where the moment something nonessential takes more than a little research/planning, it goes into a 'homework' mental bin and I procrastinate indefinitely on it. There's a lot of cool RPGs and games with RPG mechanics that I never got very far in because of this bad habit. So I wanted to just dive in and do one without letting myself continue to delay, in the hopes that getting over the hump would make the next time easier. Plus, if it went poorly, I could blame it on being rushed. :P So when there was interest in a follow-up to the game Endless_Serpents' had to cancel, and none of the hosts who had something in the works were ready to go, I figured I'd go ahead and do it.

    Premise
    The premise was simple: people often complain about Smash Bros characters that fall under the heading of 'anime swordsmen', irregardless of how differently they play from one another, or whether they are men at all. There's inconsistency on whether they include non-anime swordsmen in this. I imagine Sly Cooper would get a pass despite the fact his weapon wouldn't be all that different in terms of being a disjointed hitbox that moves in wide sweeps. The whole thing always bothered me because it seemed to be largely superficial and to grossly oversimplify the gameplay differences, which should be the real deciding factor. Also, just a lot of sour grapes about Fire Emblem's level of representation rather than whatever characters the person making the complaint wants.

    So I went on a bit of a rant (more-so than the above paragraph) about this in the Smash Brothers thread recently, and Lucedes jokingly responded by saying how 'that sounds just like something an anime swordsman would say' and red-naming me like they were voting for mafia. And I liked the idea of using that as a mafia in a phalla. Obviously, if it's Smash Bros based, it would need to be a battle phalla of sorts, so I needed a way to do match-ups.

    Drafts
    I think I went through at least 2 other major ideas before the one I went with. I didn't write down anything about the first, and it's largely slipped my mind. The second was a convoluted idea where the mafia wouldn't actually be the thing people were initially told they were looking for, but rather the villains of the Smash Bros' classic & adventure modes, with the sword users being millers, or survival neutrals, but I spent too long mulling over ways to do it, who to give cover IDs to, etc, etc. So Monday morning I threw all that out and came up with the game we ran in the span of a couple hours.

    The cut-down
    I'll admit I screwed up the balance on this. In my defense, I had originally planned a longer game with quite a lot more special roles, as I was expecting to easily hit the high 20's given how many games recently had been able to bring in player counts in the low 30's. I'm not sure whether the original game would've had problems, but in cutting things down, I was expecting the mafia to aggressively abuse soft-networking to pit the village against one another (part of why I gave them all cover identities), and figured that short games don't give a lot of opportunities for vote analysis which would also favor the mafia. With only 16 players, 2 kill powers, the vote, and potential match eliminations, I wasn't expecting more than 5 nights. So I erred on the side of the village for a handful of decisions on what to cut and what to keep. In particular, I was really expecting the miller and thrall to be more of an issue for the village. In hindsight, I overestimated the odds against the village.

    That being said, the village specials (mainly the seer and guards) were on fire through the early-middle parts of the game, and in ways that are fairly fundamental to phalla, so much so that I'm not sure it really mattered. I think village was going to win this anyways.

    Dramatis Personae (player - character / cover - role)
    • 38thDoe - Laharl (Disgaea) / Diablo - Mafia Busdriver
    • Auralynx - Kaede Akamatsu (Danganronpa) - Village Miller
    • AustinP0027 - Jonesy (Fortnite) - Village Guard 1
    • Brody - Lara Croft (Tomb Raider - Standard Villager
    • Bucketman - Isaac (Golden Sun) / Isaac (Binding of Isaac) - Standard Mafia
    • Calica - Thrall (Warcraft) - Village Seer
    • discrider - Joel Miller (The Last of Us) - Standard Villager
    • Heffling/Locus - Billy/Jimmy Lee (Double Dragon) - Standard Villager
    • kime - Geno (Super Mario RPG) - Standard Villager
    • Lucedes - Doom Slayer (Doom) - Village Vigilante
    • MamaWolf - Adol Christin (Ys) / Viewtiful Joe - Standard Mafia
    • mrpaku - Q*bert - Standard Villager
    • premium - Lilith (Borderlands) - Village Guard 2
    • SeGaTai - Marcus Fenix (Gears of War) - Standard Villager
    • Sir Fabulous - Carmen Sandiego - Standard Villager
    • Wildcat - Ezio Auditore da Firenze (Assassin's Creed) / Gordon Freeman (Half-Life) - Mafia Thrall

    I had a lot of fun coming up with characters for the special roles, only Laharl felt a little random, which is why when they asked if they could bus-drive resurrections I ruled that they could, as it felt fairly thematic to the character. There were several possible characters each for the miller and thrall roles, about 10 mafia standard choices, a couple dozen standard villager candidates. Then I rolled dice to pick which ones to assign to people. If I was to run this again, I would probably assign roles, then let people pick from the list of characters for that role (using a randomized order to decide who gets to pick when).

    Cover identities for the mafia players were chosen to have something relating them to the actual character, as well as matching their preferred fighting style.

    Characters were assigned preferred fighting styles based on the following logic: Aggressive characters are those who fight almost exclusively in melee, and ideally have means of being able to get to grips with an opponent even under fire. Defensive characters are strongly focused on ranged attacks or others skills that would see them categorized as a 'zoner' in most fighting games (think of the Belmonts or Min-Min in current Smash Bros). Balanced are the characters who are comfortable doing both, this includes FPS characters like Marcus or Doom Slayer who have melee-specific traits like chainsaws. Opportunists are characters with mobility, stealth, or some means of tether/grapple as a defining feature since that would better let them capitalize on items, confusion, and those awkward moments in a Smash Bros match introduced by stage mechanics. My thinking on the RPS rotation was that Aggressive can 'push through' a Defensive screen, but can't chase down Opportunists, while Opportunists' usual poke & run is a sub-optimal way of dealing with someone who wants to keep you at a distance anyways like a Defensive player.

    Matches
    So, matches. Obviously a must in a Smash Bros phalla, but how to resolve them? This is one of the things that changed a lot between the drafts. Dice pool was the epiphany I had for a quick and dirty solution the night before sign-ups were supposed to open. Like I said before, if I were to run it again I might go for something else, but I liked that this made assignments and player choices have impact, yet were still random enough that you never really knew how it would turn out.

    I had the fighting style stuff because I like games that give even the standard Villagers something mechanical to do each night. Also, I had originally intended to require people to submit a choice to avoid inactivity, as a way to be able to nag people about not submitting actions via pm in the main thread without giving away that they were specials. But as stated in clarifications, circumstances conspired to make me back off on that idea.

    Each night I would assign groups by rolling a die to pick players until Group A was filled, and so on and so forth. In the case of odd numbers of players, a 3-player group would automatically get a Free For All. If the rule set was 2v2 or 1v1, I'd use a dice roll to decide which pairs players went to (roll for player 1 & 2, then 3 only if 1 & 2 weren't together, then the 4th player filled the last vacancy).

    So how did it all work? Each player had 6 D20's as their base pool, which would be increased or decreased by various factors:
    • Character style preference:
      • Aggressive and Defensive mirrored each other in that both got a +2 die bonus if they were your character's preferred style, but suffered a -1 die penalty if you used the other
      • Balanced and Opportunist both only got a +1 die bonus for using your preference, but could use any other style without a penalty.
    • Rule set: anyone using the Opportunist style got a +1 die bonus if they were in a Free For All, but lost a die if they were in a 1v1. I would pick the rules for each group by rolling a d4; 1 was 1v1, 2 was 2v2, 3 or 4 was Free For All
    • Items: When on, everyone in the match got an extra die, Opportunist style gave a second die. I would roll a die and if the result was odd then items were turned off, if it was even they would be on.
    • Stage: I would pick these by rolling a D12, if resulted in a stage type that's banned for the rules a group were assigned (see below), I would reroll. They would give +1 or -1 die based on whether the style a player was using had advantage or disadvantage on the stage type.
    • Opponents' choices: There was a rock-paper-scissors triad for the fighting styles of Aggressive beats Defensive beats Opportunist beats Aggressive. For each opponent's choice your chosen style beat, you gained +1 die, and lost -1 die for each who beat yours. Balanced style just had 0 change in this column.

    This meant that
    • Aggressive and Defensive could potentially have pools as low as 1 (stage disadvantage, weak style, weak to all 3 opponents) and as high as 13 (items, stage advantage, preferred style, superior to all 3 opponents)
    • Balanced range was limited to 5 (stage disadvantage) to 9 (items, stage advantage, & preferred style)
    • Opportunist could get as low as 3 (via a couple different combinations) or as high as 14 (FFA, items, stage advantage, preferred style, superior to all 3 opponents), but were more affected by match assignment than any other style

    From there I had a sum of how many D20's each player got, and just used the dice roller function on Google. I'd write down your best roll result, and then compare everyone in the match to determine placements. For 2v2's I would use only the best result for each team. I used Olympics rules for ties (the next lower placement is left empty, so tie for first means you skip 2nd place), but when there was a 3 player group they just got a pass in that no one would come in last place and lose a stock (similar to how I handled matches where players got eliminated that night, I'd just slide everyone below up a place). I did roll for everyone regardless of whether they were eliminated before the match, more out of curiosity than any mechanical need.

    Everyone was sure someone had a power that affected their chances in matches, but nope. Everyone was playing by the same rules (aside from the preferred style bonuses).

    Stocks actually worked out pretty well. 38thDoe was the only player who was eliminated for losing too many matches (MamaWolf had a bye the night she got killed, but would've placed 3rd if she hadn't). No one else even got down to 1. Before the game started, my biggest worry was that I was getting something wrong about the odds of people placing last repeatedly and we'd have a mass culling day 3 or 4.

    Things I would change? Well, if I was set on sticking to a dice pool where I only used one die's result
    • I'd make changes to the traits of the fighting styles, if nothing else I'd probably drop the -1 die penalty Aggressive & Defensive had for picking the other. I still like the fighting styles having effects beyond the RPS rotation though.
    • Base pool size and the range of possible dice changes would be redesigned to always come out to an odd #
    • How your fighting style compared to other players wouldn't affect your dice total, but would determine whether I used your best, median, or worst roll (if fighting multiple opponents, I'd basically sum pluses and minuses for each two-way comparison to determine whether you had advantage). This would make the part players had the most control over, the meta-game of trying to get into your opponents' heads and pick the style that beat theirs, have the greatest impact.
    • Items wouldn't be a bonus die (or two) for everyone. Instead I'd roll two d6 per player, first one as a bonus, then one as a negative, meaning you'd get anywhere from a -5 to a +5 added to the die result I recorded for the match. Opportunist style would only get 1 positive d6.
    • There'd be sudden death rules, so no more ties (as in Smash Bros). Probably just an unmodified 1D20 per player & roll off until the tie was broken.
    • I might give the mafia some kind of edge for matches, but something that functioned more to avoid losing stocks, not so much winning 1st place.

    Oh, and if you want to see the results sheets:
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    Stages
    There were 12 stages, 2 each of 6 types
    srpmpeywzvgi.png

    Obviously I messed up by not ensuring that each rule set had stage types favoring and disfavoring each fighting style. Also, in a future attempt at this, I think I'd make up new stages related to the characters chosen/assigned, rather than use ones from the actual Smash Bros games. But again, a lot of this was chosen based on what I could come up with quickly.

    Coins and the Shop
    I wanted there to be a reward for doing well in matches, beyond not getting eliminated. There's a bunch I would probably change here. It's another thing that got affected by the cut-down as well. I quickly picked a bunch of things based on the riddle prizes in MamaWolf's recent Rumpelstiltskin phalla. I liked the idea of things getting crazier as we got further in, so I wanted the cost for the big abilities to be high, and I didn't want players to be able to pool coins. I still think designing it around players being able to share coins would be a hassle to pace right, but I would definitely consider letting the mafia do it as a special ability (possibly tied to one player so they had the risk of losing it).

    There was consideration if rez should allow conversions, and maybe I should've said yes. At the time I figured forcing the village to waste another vote getting rid of a mafia player who'd have a night to affect matches or buy items for teammates (and the fact that who was doing the rez wasn't announced officially) would be valuable enough to mafia. Then again the game wrapped up so fast only one player got to do it and the revived never got to play another day. During design I was really concerned about too many people getting rezzed, but it looks like I overestimated how many people would have repeat wins.

    Voting (spoiled for image size)
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    Hah, my vote-logging payed off here as I already had a very robust spreadsheet template worked out. Not much to say about the actual voting, although I found discrider getting voted out day 2 a little weird.

    Thread chat
    Yes, I was actually keeping tabs on this. I'd said that I wanted a minimum two posts per day to avoid inactivity penalties, but I actually let it slide because the only two violators were Brody (who got vigged the second night) and mrpaku. And I had to respect their commitment to the bit. As a result, I got lazy by day 5 and didn't keep track.
    4ok1c9d2iqsc.png

    Actions
    io3l3hmigy9e.png
    So, as I said, I think the Village specials kind of carried the day here. The mafia snafu'ed Day 2 (meant to put the kill on premium and busdrive it onto Austin), but it's debatable how much of an impact it had. I told the busdriver when actions were moved, but not what they were unless it was a guard they hit that night (for example, day two I told 38th that 'one action' had been driven from premium to Austin, but not that it was a seer), and had told them that specials were told when their actions were busdriven (but not to whom), so they probably should have been concerned that another player out there would know premium was being targeted for busdriving. But night 3 premium guarded himself solely out of concern for the narrowly avoided wagon, figuring he might be vigged or mafia'd, so like I said, it didn't really matter. Day 4 they switched up targets and finally had success, followed by a successful last shot day 5. They could've busdriven kime's resurrection of premium (since kime had announced the intent in thread), but that would've just been delaying the inevitable. Even if 38th hadn't been eliminated for rolling too low in his match (Wildcat could've bought him stock or at least a bye if she'd been on late enough to see how the vote was going), the vig would've still gotten him and the village would vote out whichever mafia he used it to rez.

    As for discrider and kime's discussion about guards, I feel like I've seen more games where they either worked all night or it was unspecified, then I have games where it was limited to 1 attack. Of course, sampling bias comes into play as I only started around 2014, I think, and even after I did there's been a lot of phallas I haven't played in.

    There was a point night 1 where MamaWolf had proposed busdriving between Lucedes and one of the mafia players, where I panicked because I realized I hadn't planned how to handle the seering/busdriving interaction. This could've easily decided the game. So I tried to look up advice on the mafia wiki, only to see that there wasn't a consensus on how to handle it. So I hastily started a pm conversation with three forum members who have hosted previous games, but weren't in this one, to see what they had to say. One wasn't available to answer in time, one said "the seer sees the mafia player as mafia", and the other argued pros and cons for each side. In the end it was a moot point since 38th busdrove other targets that night, but at that point I was still underestimating the village's chances, and the pro-seer interpretation felt like a fair balance to there being thralls and millers about, plus it fit with the wording I'd used in the original role pm, so I handed down that ruling after 38th conveniently asked a different question about the role pms ("oh, while I was looking at that, I noticed this wasn't worded as explicitly as it should've been, so...") just in case it came up again later. Then when the mafia mixed up the orders night two, I went back to that hosts conversation to comment on the situation, the member who hadn't been available late night 1 responded with the gif of Michael Jackson eating popcorn from the Thriller video. :D

    Outcome
    Well, as we can see, the village got a lot of things right from the start, premium was rolling on fire most nights until he died, and kime, Lucedes, and mrpaku steadily racked up a lot of coins by the end. Although Wildcat had the best record since she would have out rolled premium for the rematch, and would've been 1st place in her match the night she got voted out as well. Austin and premium did real well at sussing out mafia players, too. All in all, things worked out and I avoided any major catastrophes (well, I did accidentally give Austin the wrong results pm one night, but it was for a player he already knew, so... *shrug*).

    I ran a game! It was fun getting to see everything from this side. Next time I'll probably try for a design with less mechanics and more networking to see what that looks like.

    Let me know if you have any questions that weren't answered!

    H3Knuckles on
    If you're curious about my icon; it's an update of the early Lego Castle theme's "Black Falcons" faction.
    camo_sig2-400.png
    mrpakukime38thDoeCalicaLucedes
  • discriderdiscrider Registered User regular
    edited October 27
    Oh yeah, flawless victory.

    As for seer into busdriver, it really depends on how much information you want to tell players.
    Sometimes it comes back as just the alignment of the target that's landed on.
    Sometimes it comes back as <this other dude is whatever>.
    Depends on how you've framed the previous seer results too.

    As for the balance, I think with 3 kills on 16, you were probably right to have two guards, but I would've put one in the mafia since there was both a vig and seer in the village.
    Just, again, my general rule of thumb is killsx7 days = player count.
    So you were only looking at 5 days, so maybe stretching it out was appropriate.

    But then, you've also got rezzes so.. you might want the game to end earlier, and have less guards.
    Or even just drop the seer or vig, as the mafia's going to be squeezed between chasing coins to stop rezzes and actually hampering the village network.

    It also seemed unlikely that stocks were going to get to zero.
    Just unless people are directed into 1v1s you were probably going to see matches dominated by whoever lost the vote/got vigged/mafia killed coming last, and keeping stocks on the other 3 players or the two players on the other 2v2 team.
    Still, I'm glad that I stuck a bye on Calica to stop her going to 1 day 3.

    Also was impressed @mamawolf who seemed to be playing mafia more cool than previously.

    discrider on
    Steam Community page: http://steamcommunity.com/id/discrider/
    Why is this cloud here?
    Why must it spite me?
    kimeH3KnucklesMamaWolf
  • kimekime Queen of Blades Registered User regular
    The first match I had the largest dice pool and the smallest final result? uuuggggggh

    *reads through the rest of the matches*

    Oh OK so my luck more than balanced out in the rest of the matches lol. I'm OK with the RNG now :D

    H3 I love your post-game post here. I'm a big fan of numbers and charts and such so this is hitting my buttons :D:D

    Battle.net ID: kime#1822
    3DS Friend Code: 3110-5393-4113
    Steam profile
    H3KnucklesLucedes
  • discriderdiscrider Registered User regular
    There was a question before of what makes a new Mafia a new Mafia.

    To me, it's nerves.
    A new Mafia cares too much about whether what they're saying is suspect, and about whether they live or die.
    So you can just generally accuse them and see if they sweat.

    Steam Community page: http://steamcommunity.com/id/discrider/
    Why is this cloud here?
    Why must it spite me?
    premiumLucedes
  • H3KnucklesH3Knuckles Jack of many interests... ...master of noneRegistered User regular
    edited October 27
    Oh! Almost forgot, since premium brought him up earlier: Waluigi was going to be the SK, so desperate to get in that he'd do anything.

    So it's pretty funny that his role got cut due to a small turnout.

    H3Knuckles on
    If you're curious about my icon; it's an update of the early Lego Castle theme's "Black Falcons" faction.
    camo_sig2-400.png
    kimeLucedes
  • MamaWolfMamaWolf The wolf pack guides all to safetyRegistered User regular
    discrider wrote: »
    Oh yeah, flawless victory.

    As for seer into busdriver, it really depends on how much information you want to tell players.
    Sometimes it comes back as just the alignment of the target that's landed on.
    Sometimes it comes back as <this other dude is whatever>.
    Depends on how you've framed the previous seer results too.

    As for the balance, I think with 3 kills on 16, you were probably right to have two guards, but I would've put one in the mafia since there was both a vig and seer in the village.
    Just, again, my general rule of thumb is killsx7 days = player count.
    So you were only looking at 5 days, so maybe stretching it out was appropriate.

    But then, you've also got rezzes so.. you might want the game to end earlier, and have less guards.
    Or even just drop the seer or vig, as the mafia's going to be squeezed between chasing coins to stop rezzes and actually hampering the village network.

    It also seemed unlikely that stocks were going to get to zero.
    Just unless people are directed into 1v1s you were probably going to see matches dominated by whoever lost the vote/got vigged/mafia killed coming last, and keeping stocks on the other 3 players or the two players on the other 2v2 team.
    Still, I'm glad that I stuck a bye on Calica to stop her going to 1 day 3.

    Also was impressed @mamawolf who seemed to be playing mafia more cool than previously.

    Thanks! I appreciate that! I've been trying to work on that!

    "May the moon watch over you and keep you safe through the night, 'till the morning comes and MamaWolf can protect you through the day"
  • discriderdiscrider Registered User regular
    edited October 28
    MamaWolf wrote: »
    discrider wrote: »
    Oh yeah, flawless victory.

    As for seer into busdriver, it really depends on how much information you want to tell players.
    Sometimes it comes back as just the alignment of the target that's landed on.
    Sometimes it comes back as <this other dude is whatever>.
    Depends on how you've framed the previous seer results too.

    As for the balance, I think with 3 kills on 16, you were probably right to have two guards, but I would've put one in the mafia since there was both a vig and seer in the village.
    Just, again, my general rule of thumb is killsx7 days = player count.
    So you were only looking at 5 days, so maybe stretching it out was appropriate.

    But then, you've also got rezzes so.. you might want the game to end earlier, and have less guards.
    Or even just drop the seer or vig, as the mafia's going to be squeezed between chasing coins to stop rezzes and actually hampering the village network.

    It also seemed unlikely that stocks were going to get to zero.
    Just unless people are directed into 1v1s you were probably going to see matches dominated by whoever lost the vote/got vigged/mafia killed coming last, and keeping stocks on the other 3 players or the two players on the other 2v2 team.
    Still, I'm glad that I stuck a bye on Calica to stop her going to 1 day 3.

    Also was impressed mamawolf who seemed to be playing mafia more cool than previously.

    Thanks! I appreciate that! I've been trying to work on that!

    I mean, I say this because as I was following the thread (and dead) I was thinking 'Mamawolf is playing pretty well if she is mafia'.
    Which is not not sensing m-vibes, but I probably still would have voted MrPaku first though :p
    And I waited to say this until after I checked whether you were the miller role in H3's post.

    So yeah.
    Definitely playing much better as Mafia.

    discrider on
    Steam Community page: http://steamcommunity.com/id/discrider/
    Why is this cloud here?
    Why must it spite me?
    MamaWolf
  • discriderdiscrider Registered User regular
    I should qualify my qualification.

    You were definitely treading the "unknown alignment" line with all the inactives on my mafia-dar.
    Which is far better than burying the needle into the Mafia side of it.

    But you weren't above suspicion on the village side, like 'I can PM?' Calica, and kime who everyone should trust implicitly.
    Which is where I'd like Mafia to aspire to be so I can be betrayed at some point.

    Steam Community page: http://steamcommunity.com/id/discrider/
    Why is this cloud here?
    Why must it spite me?
    MamaWolf
  • Sir FabulousSir Fabulous Malevolent Squid God Registered User regular
    I like to think my death on day 1 led to the village victory in extremely important but causationally opaque ways.

    pickup-sig.php?name=Orthanc

    Switch Friend Code: SW-1406-1275-7906
    H3KnucklesLucedeskime
  • discriderdiscrider Registered User regular
    That sounds like a hypothesis we can test with additional experimentation

    Steam Community page: http://steamcommunity.com/id/discrider/
    Why is this cloud here?
    Why must it spite me?
    38thDoeLucedespremiumMamaWolfWildcatkime
  • WildcatWildcat Registered User regular
    @H3Knuckles Thanks for running this one, H3 - I had good fun with it. Apologies to my fellow mafia for being rubbish :P

    H3Knuckles
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