Some thoughts on the game, which I realized I haven't really written in the graveyard yet:
In the second hour of the game Lily Chen revealed to me as an Innocent Child. I was rather strongly concerned that she had been conscripted through her body double, Alex, especially because I believed that it was sub-optimal for an innocent child to reveal in any but the most extreme situations. However, after considering the situation for a minute, I simply couldn't resist revealing back to her. It was just too perfect! Sadly, our bliss was not to last.
Of course my decision to submit Lily's mayoral petition, when I had physical possession of three completed petitions, was anything but arbitrary. And in case nobody noticed, I quietly kept the impeachment petition to myself. I wanted as much control as possible over her impeachment, given the combination of my knowledge of her role and the lingering possibility of conscription.
Also, during the meeting where we elected Lily mayor, I got innocent vibes from Francesca and arkadiyf and strong suspicious vibes from Lucy and sammyluo. My impressions were stronger than they usually are in these games, especially for the pre-murder phase.
I'm as confused as anybody about the perceived uncertainty of my whereabouts after Lily's death. Everything I said in the town square was true. I was in the pit at the time of the murder, without internet access, and I hid in the laundry room when I heard arkadiyf coming down the stairs and saw him entering the pit. I exited the back door, came around to the front, got my shoes, took the t to Hynes Convention Center, and ran back to campus. It was only when I signed into a computer in the student center that I learned that Lily was dead. I realized then that arkadiyf must have just been looking for me for alibi purposes.
Lily's death convinced me that that the mafia knew what they were doing. It was clearly a well-planned kill, and killing the mayor so late in the day meant we had no time to elect a new mayor before the end of the day. From both a tactical and strategic perspective it seemed perfect.
I was thrilled to learn that I was poisoned. As an innocent child, being poisoned was an opportunity to mass-reveal, since it wouldn't give the mafia a net extra kill. Also the fact that I was poisoned meant that the much more powerful hitman and scheme abilities were not in the game. I determined quickly that I was going to mass reveal and try to be elected mayor, but I didn't do so right away, because I wanted to see how people acted before-hand.
The second meeting, where I was elected mayor, reinforced my previous suspicions, except that I became a little bit less suspicious of Lucy. I became less and less suspicious of Arkadiyf and Francesca, and I also had a strong 'innocent' reading of asjm. Though it had crossed my mind before, it was around this time that I began to strongly consider the possibility that sammyluo+jakob (hereafter jammy) were a mafia duo.
After the meeting, asjm revealed to me as vigilante, which I believed. Arkadiyf revealed that he and Lucy were gay-knights. I strongly believed him but warned him to be extremely vigilant about the possibility that Lucy had been conscripted.
Over the next couple hours I got a stronger and stronger nagging feeling that jammy was mafia. It was one of the most unshakable feelings I've ever had in a game of live action mafia. It's hard to point to a single reason for my suspicion; it was really the totality of the circumstances. Here were some of the sources of my suspicion (some of these were right, some were wrong):
- I believed that if sammyluo or Jakob had started as lone mafia, one would probably have conscripted the other.
- sammyluo seemed suspicious to me; he was less involved in the game than he has been as a townie in the past.
- Lily's kill suggested excellent planning and execution, I could totally see them planning it together.
- Sammyluo expressed initial suspicion of jakob but later walked back on it.
- I'm generally more physically difficult to kill than Lily, and Minions of Darkness at ET would have been an absolutely perfect opportunity to kill me with little-to-no risk, but I was not killed that day. Yet somebody not at ET would not necessarily have known how good an opportunity it was.
- The fact that I was poisoned suggested that I was even more difficult to kill than usual. Another pointer away from ET.
- As Day 2 was drawing to a close, it seemed that there were going to be no kills. I knew that the mafia had no abilities to protect themselves from positive investigations. It seemed that the mafia wanted investigations of the first kill to continue, presumably so that a framed townsperson could be investigated (though in fact they hadn't framed anyone.) Regardless, the seeming nonchalance about repeated investigations of the first kill would only make sense if the mafia had reason to believe that the true killer would not be investigated. And jammy had alibied for each other...
- I had an unshakable 'gut feeling' that was much stronger than the gut feelings that I normally get in live action mafia. Of course, this 'feeling' was probably related to the points above.
As a note, I investigated jakob instead of sammy because I had a vague impression that he would be the more likely player to go make the kill. But if I had gotten a negative on jakob, I was going to investigate sammy the next day.
Some thoughts on the rules:
- Town was too strong
- In particular, investigations were too numerous.
- All items, except possibly shovels, should be removed from a game this size.
- The no-kill penalty rule for the mafia should always have a 'good-faith' exception. If the mafia are making a strong effort to make a kill, then not killing should not count against them. Jammy were making very strong efforts
- Hitman should use up the mafia's daily kill. It has two extremely useful purposes, obfuscation and double-killing/power plays. These functions to be separated.
- As is, hitman >> scheme >> poison in terms of power. Likewise, frame >> mtp > plant evidence
- The clues system is clunky, especially with the way that it interacts differently with the different investigation mechanics and mafia powers
- Too much of the mafia's power budget is in set-a-trap. Town is overly incentivized to not discuss their roles.
- A game this small and high-powered is very difficult to balance. Note that relatively small changes made investigations go from near-useless in game-1, to op in game-2, to a little bit less op in game-3.
- An all-vanilla small game would be very interesting. It's been tried a couple times at ET, and I think it was reasonably successful?
- It's frustrating as mafia to put in a huge amount of effort to make a perfect kill and lose because of an immunity-ability or a random investigation. Of course, my investigation in this game was anything but random, but town did have way too much investigation power relative to mafia counters.
- Expanding on the last couple points, we have a huge number of trap abilities/items in this game and a huge number of kabooms for the mafia that make those abilities very weak. How about instead if there were no immunity abilities. Especially in a small game like this.
- Requiring 'how-to-kill-me' introductions was a great idea, ksedlar!
Down with the GCSN!