Live Action Mafia

A game of sneakiness and paranoia
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 Post subject: Role Strategy
PostPosted: Wed Oct 11, 2017 2:11 am 
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Joined: Thu Sep 19, 2013 8:20 pm
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Definitions:
sketchy item - an item someone has that they are not publicly known (or known via a pickpocket proxy) to have.
non-sketchy item - the opposite
finesse an item - make a sketchy item appear to be a non-sketchy item
claim - something I think is unquestionably true
thought - something I think is probably true, but I am up for discussing

Claim - Pickpockets' primary purpose is to catch mafia/SKs by pickpocketing sketchy items from people. The items themselves aren't that useful. In particular, no pickpocket should use their pickpocket power before kills happen on day 1.

Thought - Planeswalkers should choose the "splitter" and priest roles as early in game as possible. Due to the large splitting delay, splitter much much less useful as game goes on. Notably, with 26 people, splitter currently can make groups of 3 and 3 (meaning up to 3 people get pair investigations), but once we hit 20 people, splitter can only make groups of 3 and 2 (meaning up to 2 people get pair investigations), which is significantly worse. Priest lists similarly go from size 3 to size 2 once game drops to 20 people. In particular, any planeswalkers who didn't choose "splitter" or "priest" for day 1 should definitely do it for day 2, while there will still probably be > 20 players alive.

Thought - Unlike in past games, there is not much of a downside to telling your role to a single person. The more you are roleblocked, the sketchier you should find the person, though of course you should be careful to avoid making your role guessable by people in general. People should still not randomly role reveal without a reason, but for example, mad scientists are no longer so sad to leak their role info when making a zombie. Though mad scientists may want to wait on using their power anyway, because "probability that the mad scientist dies before making a zombie" is probably equal to "probability the zombie dies before the mad scientist without using their kill," but with the extra downside that a town mad scientist might make a mafia/SK into a zombie. At the very least, mad scientists should not feel pressured to use their power quickly.

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 Post subject: Re: Role Strategy
PostPosted: Wed Oct 11, 2017 2:45 am 
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Julian pointed out that some planeswalkers might be saving up for the bang power, and thus there are some roles they might never be. If this is the case, I think that priest is better than pair investigator for day 1, and that pair investigator is probably better than splitter, even in the early game.

Expected results of being a priest before list sizes drop (randomly choosing people and with mafia randomly killing people): (6/25)*(5/24) = 5% chance of getting "one of 3 people made this kill", and (6/25) - (6/25*5/24) = 19% chance of getting "none of these 3 people made this kill." Pair investigators get a guaranteed "2 people didn't make this kill", a 50/50 chance of getting x2 priors on someone making the kill vs getting x4 priors on someone making the kill. However, note that priests get their results "per kill" while pair investigators get their results "per day."

I think this means that for day 1 (where we expect 3 kills), it's best for planeswalkers to be priest. I find it unlikely that serial killers would punt making a kill by a day (losing expected 1/3 of a kill) just for a couple of planeswalker priests.

Splitters can generate a maximum of 3 investigations per day; however, mafia may kill people in split sets, and people in split sets might be mafia, such that that I think the expected number of town investigations gained from a town planeswalker being splitter is probably less than the number of investigations town gets from a town planeswalker being pair investigator (generating guaranteed 2 investigations).

To be clear though, I think that town getting vigilante kills from planeswalkers is mostly useful in the late game. In the early-mid game, we aren't usually that limited in sketchy people to lynch. Furthermore, if people have noticed they are on the lynch block, they can say useful things before they die (e.g. about their suspicions, thoughts on game, role, etc), whereas they cannot if they are vigilante killed. Like, I objectively think that it is a generally bad idea for town to vigilante kill me, ksedlar, before the end game, because I would have a bunch of stuff I would say before getting lynched. So, I personally think it's better for planeswalkers who think they'll die before the end game to not save their points, and to instead use them for daily powers. Though people likely to live until the end game (new players and players who aren't living near other players) may want to save points for vigilante kills in the end game.

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 Post subject: Re: Role Strategy
PostPosted: Wed Oct 11, 2017 4:03 am 
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Thought (definitely open to discussion): Roleblockers might want to fake single pair investigations. E.g. If a roleblocker roleblocks X, they tell someone they got the pair investigation result "{X, Y} -> X did not kill Z." Correspondingly, pair investigators might want to send half their investigations to one proxy and half to another, in order to disguise roleblock results. The important thing here is NOT to obscure the roleblocker's identity, but rather to prevent mafia from going "Hmm, Pickpocket Orange didn't give a result today, and coincidentally, X is being roleblocked. Let's try trapping X as pickpocket!" or equivalent.

Thought: People who get splitter investigations should publicly say so, and not use proxies.

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 Post subject: Re: Role Strategy
PostPosted: Wed Oct 11, 2017 7:21 am 
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I think I agree that roleblockers should fake a pair investigation, seems to me the downside of having someone appear a bit sketchier due to a fake investigation is less than the downside of having mafia know who was roleblocked.

I definitely agree that people who received a pair investigation from splitters should directly state the info instead of proxying it, makes it harder for mafia to game the splitter and make the investigations less useful because now everyone has to report out or the splitter will know.

I also definitely agree that planeswalkers should be priest day one.


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 Post subject: Re: Role Strategy
PostPosted: Wed Oct 11, 2017 7:29 am 

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Thought - another role for planeswalkers to choose early if they're going to choose many roles is roleblocker, because it gives definitely-correct investigations before there’ve been 5 kills and can be gotten around by being a zombie afterward. But for planeswalkers who are saving for bang or who expect to die early, that’s far down the priority list.

Contra ksedlar’s second thought, a lot of role info leakage happens by mafia solving logic puzzles on peoples’ actions, proxy chains, etc. If your role leaks that way, it’d be extra bad if you think it’s because the townie you proxied to trapped you with it. There’s also not much upside to telling someone your role.

++ksedlar’s other thoughts.


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 Post subject: Re: Role Strategy
PostPosted: Wed Oct 11, 2017 9:45 am 
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I disagree with planeswalkers being roleblockers early because of the fact that the mafia can simply have someone else do the kill. That being said, PW roleblockers might be useful days 1 and 4 when we expect SK kills since then the SKs could be caught if two kills fail to materialize. (of course SKs could choose to wait but this costs 1/3 of a kill so I'd expect them not to)

I think Planeswalkers should probably be Priest right now as this role is incredibly powerful and can almost catch a mafia. The planeswalker would lose its role if a Saint kills a sinner, but given that this would prove a mafia is in a set of size 3 this would likely be a good sacrifice. Splitter is another good choice but imo priest is more powerful than 2 or 3 PIs.

Midgame (when priest is weaker/already chosen by PW) I think it may even be worth it to use pickpocket, the logic being pickpocket is the only investigation that gets stronger with time (since maf/SK have more sketchy items). It's possible Pair Investigator or saving for a vigilante kill is better though.


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 Post subject: Re: Role Strategy
PostPosted: Wed Oct 11, 2017 10:44 am 
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Thought - if roleblockers proxy out who they roleblock, and everyone claims when they're roleblocked, it'd be possible to distinguish roleblocks from traps. I think this may be worth it. They're already sort of distinguishable from pair investigators since PIs have two. And we could use Katie's aforementioned tactics for having it be unclear when a particular proxy's source is roleblocked that day.

Thought - should we be tracking witch somehow, so that an evil witch can't just kill the person they cursed every day? (Note: in the current setup, evil witch does this terrifying chaining thing that gets them an extra kill every day; PW has to take breaks and thus can't do quite as much damage, but still a lot. I think the rules were designed for the OPness of this to be mitigated by the fact that the target knows who cursed them.) This has two potential downsides: (1) witches could get trapped (ok whatever, it's not even obvious that mafia want to do this if they know a witch since maybe they want more curses floating around), and more importantly (2) curse victims shouldn't be public because then mafia will go kill them. Not sure how to do this effectively except maybe to have each cursing be accompanied by one witness, and then if the victim dies the next day, the witch and the witness have probabilistic beef?

++ Katie's many good points about pickpocket. In particular, they should wait until after a kill and then pickpocket someone *who does not non-sketchily have an item of the same type as the kill victim had.* This means it is very important for town to do proper item tracking, so let's have a spreadsheet.

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 Post subject: Re: Role Strategy
PostPosted: Wed Oct 11, 2017 11:10 am 
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I agree with roleblocker directly proxying over faking pair investigations. This has the following advantages:

1) Other PIs won't investigate the person the roleblocker randomly designated as the other element in the pair.
2) Roleblocks can in theory be distinguished from traps (though mafia can of course fakeclaim trapped, and mafia roleblockers may not claim to make it look as though people were trapped)
3) On days where we expect 2 Serial Kills, the absence of a kill (eg only 1 or 2 kills for the day) puts sketchiness on anyone who was roleblocked.

It does allow for the potential of investigators getting trapped, but given that multiple people are likely to be roleblocked on any given day this is rather weak I think (mafia probably won't waste losing an entire trap or two just to maybe catch a single Pair Investigator)


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 Post subject: Re: Role Strategy
PostPosted: Wed Oct 11, 2017 12:02 pm 
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Investigations, splitters, etc: I generally favor maximal role obfuscation, though this might not be strictly optimal in the current ruleset. So ++pair investigators splitting; I'd advocate for split targets proxying as usual, since mafia split targets could just report fake investigations anyway; I'm not sure how to obfuscate priest without generating a bunch of noise Bayesian evidence?

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 Post subject: Re: Role Strategy
PostPosted: Wed Oct 11, 2017 1:00 pm 
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Mafia could still lie about a splitter investigation but if they do it without a proxy it makes it higher risk for them to lie, especially if the splitter dies before the results which can often happen.


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 Post subject: Re: Role Strategy
PostPosted: Wed Oct 11, 2017 4:48 pm 
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We should probably try to resolve this, since investigs will be happening now that there's a kill. Jackie, I'm not sure I understand what "Katie's aforementioned tactics" are?


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 Post subject: Re: Role Strategy
PostPosted: Wed Oct 11, 2017 5:02 pm 
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I also suggest that any Roleblockers should proxy out who they roleblocked today. This is especially true since I was expecting there to be three kills today (1 mafia + 2 SK) but so far there is only one. If this holds up, I would be suspicious of anyone who is roleblocked, on the grounds that they might be a Serial Killer prevented from killing.

However, it may be worth it to wait until tomorrow to lynch: a double-kill day tomorrow means that there is a very high certainty of a Serial Killer being roleblocked today (we would have to consider mafia using Scheme to trick us but I would still be very very suspicious). If there isn't a double-kill day tomorrow then it's probably more likely one of the mafia or SKs attacked another mafia today, who then pled guilty. However we should still keep people roleblocked today on our sketch list for SK kills even in this case.


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