Live Action Mafia

A game of sneakiness and paranoia
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 04, 2015 10:05 pm 
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Daniel: "It would be hilarious if I told Jakob (since he's claiming vigilante) to kill Sammy."

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 04, 2015 10:07 pm 
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The most puzzling thing I've noticed this game has been how Dgrazian thinks innocent child is a weak role...

Also, while I have to give huge props to Dgrazian, I'm really sad for Jammy. It seems like they've put a lot of effort into this game, only for it to not work out anyway. It reminds me of my feelings when I've been mafia, especially with the way Sammy drew suspicion with his lack of town activity. If you're an active townie, there's very little you can do to feign mafia short of getting personal extra hours in the day.

And to Sammy / Jakob, when you read this: You guys played a great game, and it probably would have worked pretty well if Dgrazian weren't an IC.

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 04, 2015 10:14 pm 
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As a side note: if Dgrazian were a conscripted innocent child, this play would have been absolutely perfect.

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 04, 2015 10:15 pm 
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ksedlar wrote:
it probably would have worked pretty well if Dgrazian weren't an IC.

It probably also would have worked pretty well if Daniel wasn't paying attention and making good deductions... I think the more relevant thing is that Daniel was able to get himself elected mayor. Just the fact that he was IC shouldn't have made people trust him completely because of the conscription risk. Jakob and Sammy did a good job with my kill and with poisoning Daniel, but I think putting all their eggs in the same basket (the mutual alibi) was their downfall. One misstep from either of them and they both get implicated.

ksedlar wrote:
It seems like they've put a lot of effort into this game, only for it to not work out anyway.

As with pretty much every town victory.

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 04, 2015 10:16 pm 
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FWIW, I still think innocent child is a weak role in general. It only becomes strong once you don't care if the mafia kill you (as with poison), which doesn't happen very often.

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 04, 2015 10:18 pm 
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Jammy did awesome, for sure. It would have worked, too, if it weren't for you meddling innocent kids!

Also, somewhere there is a parallel universe where all the town square posts are exactly the same and DGrazian is a conscripted IC.

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 04, 2015 10:50 pm 
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ksedlar wrote:
It seems like they've put a lot of effort into this game, only for it to not work out anyway.

As with pretty much every town victory.[/quote]

True. It did seem like mafia was particularly dedicated this game though (going to south station and hiding behind a pillar to prevent paranoia texts, getting a complicated disguise, etc). But probably a lot of my feelings are because this game had a lot of parallels to the Summer 1 2014 game that stressed me out so much as mafia.

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 04, 2015 10:57 pm 
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I tend to have fun scheming and going overboard with these things. I'm kind of sorry that I conscripted Sammy though, this seems to have been a huge emotional strain on him and he's kind of down now. I didn't really have too much choice. In terms of game outcomes, I commend Daniel on his detective work and wish we had killed him sooner and/or that he hadn't been an IC.

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 04, 2015 11:11 pm 

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Curious, which abilities did the mafia have? Poison obviously (which was by far the weakest of the double-kill abilities.) Which two of {manipulate the press, frame a townsperson, plant evidence} did they have?

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 04, 2015 11:12 pm 
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Yep, if there's one thing I've learned from Live Action Mafia, it's to kill Dgrazian ASAP if you're mafia.

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 04, 2015 11:18 pm 
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Where was it posted that GK only had 1 investigation? I agree that makes a lot more sense but I don't remember reading it and can't seem to find it now.

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 04, 2015 11:38 pm 
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GKs having one investigation is in the welcome thread start post. Mafia had MTP and Frame.

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 04, 2015 11:47 pm 

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Did they use frame a townsperson

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 04, 2015 11:55 pm 
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Jakob, I'll congratulate you again on that wonderfully executed kill on me. Almost certainly one of the best kills I've ever experienced. :-)

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 05, 2015 1:20 am 
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We never used frame. We only made one kill and figured it wouldn't be investigated very heavily due to being far away (clearly a faulty assumption). Also, we assumed that we'd be able to make another kill so that investigators would have more things to investigate.

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 05, 2015 2:09 am 

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That's the one definite mistake I think you made. This game is small enough that you should burn through your powers. And frame could have been really effective there.

For me, when it became clear that there wasn't going to be a kill on Day 2, my belief state that frame
had been used shot up; the apparent implication was that the mafia WANTED investigations to happen.

I'll explain more tomorrow about why I became so suspicious of Jakob/Sammy, but this part of my theory was incorrect.

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 05, 2015 2:16 am 

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Yeah, killing is really tough. I'd like to make things easier for the mafia, or at least increase the reward of a successful kill. I'd be very particular in how I'd change things though.

Also, Miranda made a good decision in allowing an extra no-kill day given the extraordinary effort you were putting into the game. And I totally called it that the mafia had asked this of Miranda (I felt similarly last game.)

I had thought that the no-kill on Tuesday was a deliberate attempt by the mafia to mislead the town. Apparently I was completely mistaken?

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 05, 2015 5:53 am 
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Yeah, mafia were trying to make a kill Tuesday and the stars were not aligned.

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 05, 2015 10:15 am 
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I think kills a lot of the kill difficultly comes from it being a summer game. People are much less likely to have activities (such as classes) with clearly defined start and end times, and people are much more likely to be hanging out off campus. I REALLY glad to see how the state of introductions has improved since last summer though; I think mafia's job would be nearly impossible without it.

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 05, 2015 1:08 pm 
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As a first comment about feels, I would like to say that I HATE being manipulated by a controlling mayor. I've had bad experiences with this on a sample size of 2 :P

Even if I was town, the "just do what dgrazian says" (probably) optimal strategy would have felt pretty unfun.

As a second comment, a word of advice: If I tell you on day 0 that I find Jakob sketchy, do NOT just let me back out of that. When Jakob is mafia, either I'll be dead by day 1 end, I'll be conscripted by day 1 end, or I'll tell people that Jakob is mafia. When Jakob is town, it's a lot less likely I'll suspect Jakob (unless, as in fall game, it's a trick to get people to kill me). In this case I basically knew by day 0 end (because of the thing with Jakob checking my watch), but I messed up there...

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 05, 2015 3:17 pm 

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I actually think that the town went a bit too far in trusting me with everything (though of course, I took maximal advantage of that.)

But sometimes, there IS a true case of a person being 100% innocent, and the optimal play at that point becomes letting that player dictate everything. This is bad for gameplay, and the potential for this is the biggest reason that the shadow of conscription is necessary. But cases of somebody being 97% innocent are more common, and that is unfortunately probably enough to trust the player with all important decisions.

However, having been on the both sides of this scenario:

1. Other players can and should still make use of their roles.
2. Other players can and should analyze behavior, make deductions, and do all the things that townies do.

So while I definitely find dictatorial player situations frustrating, I don't think it ruins the game, at least not if it doesn't happen very frequently.

Still, it's definitely something that the rules should discourage. And that's what conscription is for.

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 05, 2015 3:37 pm 
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I was actually going to post something against the "I've already gotten enough role info to set all the traps, so you should just reveal to me" logic. But I was busy getting to pika, actually cleaning at pika, and then pretending to be cleaning at pika. And of course once all the townies trusted you I couldn't really do anything about it anyway.

Some other miscellaneous notes:
Wow, asjm has been a killing role 4 games in a row.

Jakob (and, to some extent, I) thoroughly used the help of NPs to scout out people's plans. We didn't mess with the ET NPs' testimonies of Daniel's absence, and weren't trying to put the blame on anyone in particular (most likely a mistake as has already been said), so probably they were just mistaken. Jakob sent an email as Alex Smith asking NPs when Lucy came back to ET on night 1 (to make sure she wasn't the investigator), and to ask who was at ET on night 2 (to make a kill there at day 3 start, before realizing he had been lynched). He forgot to change his characteristic font and text color the first time, though :P I was also contacting Jayson at the end to try to see if Daniel could be killed soon.

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 05, 2015 5:35 pm 
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sammyluo wrote:
Jakob sent an email as Alex Smith

Hm, I would have thought this would be against the rules...?

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 05, 2015 5:41 pm 

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There's no rule against it. It's a question about whether it is reasonable. If asjm thinks it is then I would say it is. If not, I would just say don't do it again.

I know that if somebody pulled such a trick against me I would just be amused/impressed (I'm probably tempting fate here...)

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 05, 2015 5:43 pm 
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If it were directed towards a player, I think it should be covered under the "no anonymous communication" rule. But I don't see a problem with doing it when contacting an NP.

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 05, 2015 6:10 pm 
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I wouldn't've tried to ban it if I'd known. Anonymous communication with NPs is an acceptable funny shenanigan and not as game-breaking as anonymous communication between players. However I would draw the line at asking NPs to say things to other players anonymously, since then you could use an NP as your investigator proxy and stuff.

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 07, 2015 5:15 pm 

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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!

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