Live Action Mafia

A game of sneakiness and paranoia
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 Post subject: Strategy Discussion
PostPosted: Mon Jan 15, 2018 9:55 pm 
We should talk about strategy! My thoughts:

Remember to use your powers! In particular, remember to use pre-day powers on today, day 0. Otherwise they go to waste!

Keep in mind when game will end. It often seems to be the case that town gets blindsided when mafia can push through a victory, because town doesn't realize how fast endgame creeps up on them. Note that if both mafia and the serial killer are alive at the start of day 4, then mafia can win on day 4. If there are 2 mafia or a mafia + SK, they can win on day 5. Keep this in mind when you're using your powers.

Role-specific strategy
Desperado: You probably want to activate close to the beginning of the day when you activate, such that you have a possibility of getting shot at by the mafia. Even if you can't out a mafia who shoots you, it's still quite useful for you personally to know who a mafia is, because you're much more likely to get your investigations correct if you investigate the person who shot you. Also, you can vote for them; even setting up a slight tiebreak vote against a mafia is useful. See suggestions below on silenced people. Probably proxy out results for your first day of immunity, but reveal the info yourself before the end of the second day of immunity.
Pair Investigator: Not too much complex stuff here. I guess if you're a new player, (i.e. Daniella), you should know that it is standard practice to pick a proxy to tell your investigations to, and then they'll report the results in the town square. That way you aren't publicly revealing yourself to get trapped by the mafia.
Planeswalker: IMO the best combo is priest day 1, pair investigator day 2. I think priest, pair investigator, and splitter are all better for a day than roleblocker (not very good at all) and role investigator (probably saturated with existing role investigators). Splitter, even early on, is almost strictly worse than pair investigator. I'm pretty confident that on a double kill day, priest is better than splitter, and I think day 1 is likely to be a double kill day, because I think it really hurts a serial killer to not make a kill day 1. Also, priests get infallible results, which is actually a huge buff over pair investigations in this size of a game, because with fewer kills, the average kill is more likely to be manipulated. I don't think it's worth charging up for a single-use power, and I think you might as well charge later rather than earlier.
Priest: Keep your lists full every day! Don't be afraid of losing your powers, because if that happens, you've narrowed down the killer to one of two people, which is worth it already. Proxy results like a pair investigator would. If you get a hit (e.g. a saint did kill a sinner or vice versa) make sure to get the results to town ASAP, and mention which direction it went in.
Roleblocker: Unsure whether you should proxy or not. People should discuss. We should reach a conclusion and have all roleblockers agree to do the same thing. The plus of proxying out results is that you can vouch that people didn't make kills; the minus is that it might help mafia set traps. I think proxying the results is better in this size of game, but I could be persuaded otherwise.
Role Investigator: Use your power every day. Don't proxy the results in most cases. Your power is most useful for checking whether someone is capable of manipulating investigation results (i.e. a secret admirer, priest, planeswalker, or pair investigator).
Secret Admirer: Use your role power every day. See suggestions below on silenced people. Probably proxy out results for your first day of immunity, but reveal the info yourself before the end of the second day of immunity.
Splitter: Split every day with sets that are as large and as even as possible. Don't be too aggressive about putting yourself in your own sets (otherwise mafia might trap you), but probably do so with increased probability.
Vigilante: Wait for the endgame to use your role (and make sure you have a good idea of when that endgame is. If you shoot incorrectly, town really really suffers (because it loses not one but two townies). Only shoot if you are very confident (AND shooting is actually better than lynching), or if town is likely to lose if you don't shoot. If you're shooting on a day in which town is likely to lose otherwise, shoot early in the day; there have been many endgames with active vigilantes who just get shot because mafia were more on top of things than they were.

Silenced people - So, it seems pretty useful to figure out when someone is silenced. If we ever can figure out a sufficiently sharp bound on when someone became silenced, then this is useful in the same way that alibi information is useful for when someone dies. Also, we should try to get it so that there can be a witness if a silenced person makes a kill, because then we'll know not to waste investigations on that kill, and we'll have a better idea of how many mafia might be alive. Silenced townies should generally have no incentive to make private kills. Note that witnessing a silenced person probably means following them around. If you are (quite reasonably) someone with real things to do in their life, you can just tell a silenced person "I'll plan to follow you around from X time to Y time," and then the silenced person can take that into account.

Example interaction possibility:
Sammy activates as a desperado on day 0. On day 1, Josh kills Dylan. On day 2, Josh attempts to kill Sammy on Floor Pi at 3 pm. Sammy and I are of course messaging each other a lot, so I start to get worried at 3:30 pm when Sammy hasn't said anything to me since 2:38, so I ask Sammy if he is alive and non-silenced. Sammy doesn't respond. I message Julian to ask Sammy whether he is silenced, and Julian reports that he is. Meanwhile, Sammy, knowing Josh is bad, investigates him for dylanhen's death and gets a guilty, so he wants to kill Josh. Josh has meanwhile killed rusch at 3:37, knowing that Sammy killing him is a possibility. I message Sammy, "I will be hanging out at ET from 5 pm to 8 pm in Front Rooms. If you want to kill someone at ET, I'll follow you when you get here to witness your kill. Otherwise, if I don't see you in that time, I will go to Floor Pi at 8:30 and hang out with you until day end, in case you go somewhere to make a kill." Sammy comes into ET at 5:30 and kills Josh, with me as a witness. I report this to town, who now knows that Josh is a likely culprit for kills so far. Once Sammy dies at the end of day 2, town then knows that Josh was almost certainly bad.

Silenced people can of course say if they have real life obligations that they would be uncomfortable with someone following them to.

Do other people have more thoughts?


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 Post subject: Re: Strategy Discussion
PostPosted: Mon Jan 15, 2018 9:59 pm 
Oh yeah, regarding desperadoes: given that game could theoretically end on day 4, you probably shouldn't be activating any later than day 4.


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 Post subject: Re: Strategy Discussion
PostPosted: Mon Jan 15, 2018 10:43 pm 
Oh, interesting thing about silenced person votes: we can optionally sacrifice a townie in order to figure out who used "bang" on a silenced person!

Basically, we set up a vote loop, where everyone votes like:
A votes for B
B votes for C
...
Z votes for A
The silenced person is excluded from this vote loop, and votes for whomever tried to kill them. Of course, that person then defects from the loop and just votes for some townie instead. But we see their defection, and we can hopefully tase them as soon as the night phase finishes. Note that mafia are pretty sad to get in race conditions against someone who might have a taser, because if they use freeze, the frozen person can still tase them, causing mafia to use up their kill ability without actually killing anyone!

Even if the silenced person is already killing / going to kill the person who "bang"ed them, it's still useful to let them pick the lynch, because they're probably town. Note that mafia can only fake being silenced for a day; real silenced people won't have a visible vote.

We should only use this scheme if it's worth sacrificing a townie to out a mafia. It probably won't be by day 4, and it might not be on day 3.


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 Post subject: Re: Strategy Discussion
PostPosted: Mon Jan 15, 2018 10:48 pm 
A few things:

Who to put on lists / in slots
It's generally a good idea to fill your priest lists and secret admirer slots with people among those you think are most likely to die that day. This should probably include very experienced players / people known to be good townies (like ksedlar and me rip) and/or very publicly trusted townies. You should include some degree of randomness to avoid 1) redundancy with other priests/SAs and 2) mafia successfully predicting who you'll put and avoiding killing those people (though this is sometimes a worthwhile trade). Among the people on your priest lists, you should lean towards putting the people who are worse at being mafia than town (like ksedlar and me :P ) on your saint list, and the people who are better as mafia on your sinner list, though again use some hard-to-predict randomness. Generally, newer players are rarely targeted on the first day of game (as a courtesy thing, and also because mafia tend to focus on known threats), so usually you should avoid putting them on priest lists/in SA slots until a few days (3?) into the game.

Your splitter lists should roughly be the opposite - you want to preferentially pick people that the mafia aren't likely to go out of their way to kill just to foil your splittings. If you have to include people who are better targets, split them as evenly as possible between your lists (so, don't put ksedlar and me on one of your lists, because that likely just results in 0 splitting investigations happening the next day :( )

Your roleblocker slots should preferentially go to people who are better at being mafia than town, if you know who these are. In this game there's no one I would say fits this for sure, and regardless you want a fairly large amount of randomness here so that 1) people don't get blocked by multiple people at the same time, 2) people don't become sad by being blocked multiple days in a row, and 3) if these good-as-mafia people do turn out to be mafia, you can block them later in game when it matters more.

How to investigate
When you use a pair investigation, unless it's the first one on a kill, you should always include the currently guiltiest-looking person (based on reported investigations) in the pair. Chaining is the most effective way to either absolve people or compound our certainty in their guilt. Also, in recent games fake pair investigations generated by the mafia have been rampant and have really wrecked town strategizing, so have some positive (but low, unless things are VERY suspicious) probability of surprise-checking previous investigations just in case. Everyone should stay constantly vigilant of which investigations could have been faked, and make sure to try to track investigation sources as soon as it becomes important (e.g. a proxy dies and no one else steps up to proxy, or a "proxy" mysteriously stops posting investigations, or one investigator keeps investigating the same player innocent, or a mafia is outed and many previous investigations have called them innocent - though this is less likely worrisome now because we only have 2 mafia + SK, I guess)

If you have a set investigation, it's good to use it earlyish on a set with probability ~1/2 of containing the killer from your perspective (probably the 3-5 people sketchiest for the kill?) to narrow the search space for pair investigators. If you have an infallible investigation, it's generally a good idea to wait until later in the day to use it to let pair investigations narrow down your suspect list first (though again, keeping fake investigations in mind is important)


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 Post subject: Re: Strategy Discussion
PostPosted: Tue Jan 16, 2018 7:14 am 
game end:
By the end of day 5, there will be 5 mafia kills, 1 SK kill, 1 mafia scheme kill, 5 lynches, for 2 total people alive at the end of day 5, and 4 alive at the end of day 4. If anything more happens (vig kill, SA kill, desperado kill, SK lives to day 4, someone goes desperado) the number alive can be even smaller. 2 people left is game end unless exactly one is mafia, in which case the next day is trivial (but its outcome still depends on rolepowers, items, tiebreaks, etc).
The point is, the game ends by end of day 5 certainly, and a day 4 end is very reasonable.

roleblock proxying: I think that roleblocks should be proxied the same way investigation/priest/etc are.


general proxying note: the sources of information should be kept track of and not lost, since losing this is how mafia can get away with faking stuff.
Proposal for discussion:
Consider telling an additional random player when you give or recieve information from a third party so that the source of the information is not lost.
Ex: Let X be a piece of information, such as an investigation result, and A, B, C... be players.
If A tells B X, then A and B should choose a random C to tell "A told B X". This way, even if one of A, B, or C is bad, and another one dies, there still is a townie who knows X and X's source.


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 Post subject: Re: Strategy Discussion
PostPosted: Tue Jan 16, 2018 1:34 pm 
Most people have paranoia chats. A use for these chats would be to send periodic "not silenced" updates, regardless of whether a player is capable of becoming silenced (as opposed to just dying), so there are good bounds on when people who can become silenced might be silenced without giving info on who is actually capable of becoming silenced. (Might produce some scares if people forget to update, but people in the chat would probably make sure before jumping to conclusions.)


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