Live Action Mafia

A game of sneakiness and paranoia
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 Post subject: Thoughts on game design
PostPosted: Thu Mar 29, 2018 3:18 pm 
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I think this game has been really creative and had some cool mechanics! The idea of people having secret identities is cool, and being able to get cookies for figuring out the identities is also cool. I enjoyed trying to keep my identity secret and trying to figure out other people's identities. It kind of gives me ideas for another potential mystery game... Having two different games with some crossover between them reminds me of International Mafia of Mystery and of the Inception game, but this game has put its own spin on it.

It's also certainly amusing to have the role reversal from normal games; mafia is controlling the lynches while town is hunting down mafia and killing them in person. I think that given that this reversal exists, it has gone better than I would have expected.

I think that this game could have benefitted from the following features:
- A mafia counting mechanic, so town has some idea of how well it is doing
- A way to check if there are unknown players in a game. E.g. "[Some item]: Submit a set of people. Gods will inform you if there are players in the live action mafia game not included in this set."
- Clearer rules in general. The rules for the clubs were very ambiguous to start with. Additionally, a lot of players (including python and Dgrazian!) didn't realize that the linking rules existed, because they weren't mentioned at kickoff and they weren't in the emailed-out rulesdoc. There are also assorted cases not explained (e.g. what happens if a lynch vote is tied, what happens to your items if you die).
- More incorporation of introductions. If I were mafia, it seems like the daily planner would be woefully inadequate as a way to make kills, because mafia often need to make backup plans / mafia often want to compare people's intros to see whether there will be other players at a kill location. It also seems like some people with kill abilities (cmcclena?) don't have any way to access intros.
- Not having vanilla roles. It looks like some undead action players have vanilla roles in one of the games, and if they die in the other game they are left kind of sad.
- Mafia having some sort of bloodlust counter. Currently it looks like it's in Meghal's best interest to never make kills, unless she can connect with someone and be uninvestigable / move the time of death. She should hope that town will pick someone other than her to lynch (which would probably happen most of the time even if people didn't think she was super townie), and then if they ever don't, then she can manipulate the vote. However, town should always want to vote no-lynch, because they know that their target would only go through if they decide to lynch a townie. Thus, from an in-game perspective, it is in both sides' best interest to stall the game indefinitely. This probably won't happen because OOG people want stuff to happen, but IMO a core concept of GMing is to make sure people's OOG wants and their in-game wants never misalign too badly.

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 29, 2018 5:36 pm 
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++wanting clearer rules. I began game by spamming gms with a bunch of rules questions; a lot of things were implicit that should have been explicit.

As far as checking for unknown players: you could just use any ability or item you had targeting an NP, and if they were an NP it bounced. mafia spammed this with phonebooks until we found the exact set of players on day 2. We noted that the total number of usernames on day 1 was 34, and assuming that (size of live action)=(size of dead action) resulted in us believing there were 17 players in game, and using our 3 phonebooks we found the exact set.

Some people have killing incants like "shia surprise" that aren't known to be killing incants. Note that this effectively results in the person being able to paranioa text after death; I had no reason to believe i way dead so I texted my mafia buddies and then a few minutes later discovered that i was dead. This isn't necessarily a problem, but is worth noting.

The cookies for figuring out links seem really OP for all sides. The mafia noted that if two townies reveal their usernames to everyone, then the total number of pair investigations generated is enough to fully brute force a kill. On the other hand, the mafia have all the links now and own the lynch for approximately forever and also can roleblock the world.

Roleblocking at instant speed is weird. If i see a player, I can roleblock them and prevent them from turning around and vig killing me.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 29, 2018 8:22 pm 

Joined: Sun Sep 17, 2017 12:47 pm
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There should have been many more accounts, most of them fake, and all should have had the "always hide my online status" on to start. Maybe some of these fake accounts should have been making (meme?) posts to the forum. It was far too trivial to link the entire town, and would have been so even if I hadn't told everyone to send information to a mafia-aligned player early on day one.

Re: vanilla roles, the undead players are fine IMO. Being in two games ought to give you plenty to do. I was very sad that I was in only one game and had a vanilla role, a useless one at that (priest). All that my role ever did was confirm that there are at most 30 players in the live action mafia game (because otherwise josh didn't kill dylan, but josh did kill dylan). I was completely helpless the whole game.

I also feel that I got absurdly unlucky at the start of the game. I still feel like I was correct in assigning a less than 5% probability to Meghal being mafia early on. However, towards the end, I updated to around 30% or something, and decided that we were screwed if she was mafia anyway, so I doubled-down on her being town. In reality, I should have updated to significantly higher than 30% and realized that town still had a chance even though they have all the links etc. I was assuming that the mafia were josh, ashley, and two others, which in fact would have made town's situation hopeless, but with just one other it is likely that casey will eventually shoot meghal or something.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 29, 2018 10:54 pm 

Joined: Sun Sep 27, 2015 4:34 pm
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brunnerj wrote:
Some people have killing incants like "shia surprise" that aren't known to be killing incants. Note that this effectively results in the person being able to paranioa text after death; I had no reason to believe i way dead so I texted my mafia buddies and then a few minutes later discovered that i was dead. This isn't necessarily a problem, but is worth noting.


I thought it was clear, and that GMs said at kickoff, that if you don't know what an incant used on you does, you should wait until you find out to do anything.

Did all of the mafia's linking come from people telling meghal who they were? I didn't give my identity since it seemed useless to; I just said I exist and who my day 0 contact was.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 29, 2018 11:01 pm 

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Why do all of the usernames start with ACGT?


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 29, 2018 11:07 pm 
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Homestuck reference

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 30, 2018 12:06 am 

Joined: Sun Sep 17, 2017 12:47 pm
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dylanhen wrote:
brunnerj wrote:
Some people have killing incants like "shia surprise" that aren't known to be killing incants. Note that this effectively results in the person being able to paranioa text after death; I had no reason to believe i way dead so I texted my mafia buddies and then a few minutes later discovered that i was dead. This isn't necessarily a problem, but is worth noting.


I thought it was clear, and that GMs said at kickoff, that if you don't know what an incant used on you does, you should wait until you find out to do anything.

Did all of the mafia's linking come from people telling meghal who they were? I didn't give my identity since it seemed useless to; I just said I exist and who my day 0 contact was.

I think approximately none of it came from that. I was the only one who told meghal who I was. The mafia had MANY other ways to establish links


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 30, 2018 4:08 am 
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2 links (python, dgrazian) came for free from the item doxxing.

Hantoa and adamyedidia were linked by having posted publicly on forums and recognizing content and mannerisms.

Lily Chen was linked for being the set investigator that investigated my minions game.

Maxmurin was linked for telling megal his forum name because his role benefited from linking.

Julian was linked because he trusted megal.

The rest was random guessing and process of elimination.


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 30, 2018 11:50 am 

Joined: Sun Sep 17, 2017 12:47 pm
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Ugh, the maxmurin thing was such a facepalm. I told meghal not to link with max, because it would be a dumb thing for town to do. She kept acting like it would be ok, and I told her absolutely not to do it. Then she went and did it, and that evening max and I were roleblocked. At first I suspected maxmurin, but pretty quickly decided he was innocent anyway. I got very irritated that she did this anyway and sent a zillion somewhat ranting messages to meghal, which she mostly ignored. Rather than stay insistent and hold her accountable, I let it drop, partially because Max and I decided that mafia had some other power to roleblock, since it happened to python too. That was really dumb. It fit in my model for meghal to just have been careless and lazy or something, and again, I thought we were screwed if she was mafia, so kept assuming she was town.

This did update me towards her being mafia, but not enough. This is another lesson that anyone who does something that they should know is anti-town should automatically he assumed not to be town. As another example, hantoa is not actually town in this game.


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 30, 2018 12:17 pm 
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So I had thought that Jackie was the set investigator that investigated the minions game. At least, Jackie is investigator L. Also, how would knowing that Lily did a set investigation allow you guys to do linking on her?

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 30, 2018 4:35 pm 
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So megal knew that cinammonGlaze was the investigator that investigated the minions game. I knew it had to be someone that was physically there, because it came out too fast and was too accurate otherwise. This meant it was one of ksedlar, lilychen, or jasonye. We guessed jason first, lily second.


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 30, 2018 11:01 pm 
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Thoughts on the DA-game:
saMMY whY Am i DeAd :( I wasn't even being that sketchy.
Also, GRRRRRR pms are a pain to use. I loved the anonymus part of game but I realized how great using hangouts/messenger actually is.
I wish people talked more on forums? I think sharing information for town is especially important in a mystery game.

Wow we actually lynched mafia on Day 2 & 3, can't complain about that. Yay Inspector Jim.

Speaking of which, megHAL had actually figured out most of game by the time I died.
a) That there were 3 mafia, and that there was 1 left
b) the mafia was a DA only player
c) The remaining mafia was probably a silencer role.
All of which are correct. The meta from LA is pretty strong

Forums are pretty cool, although my main benefit from them was updating that I could trust admins as town? Like I trusted the set of {tinTiger, trollyChum, goldenCircle/carbonatedToast} mechanically (and mostly trusted achromaticGorumet), and I think this was really useful for information dumps.

I'm also generally amused at the amount of investigative power in this game, I think.


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 31, 2018 11:48 pm 

Joined: Mon Mar 26, 2018 7:53 pm
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ksedlar wrote:
- Mafia having some sort of bloodlust counter. Currently it looks like it's in Meghal's best interest to never make kills, unless she can connect with someone and be uninvestigable / move the time of death. She should hope that town will pick someone other than her to lynch (which would probably happen most of the time even if people didn't think she was super townie), and then if they ever don't, then she can manipulate the vote. However, town should always want to vote no-lynch, because they know that their target would only go through if they decide to lynch a townie. Thus, from an in-game perspective, it is in both sides' best interest to stall the game indefinitely. This probably won't happen because OOG people want stuff to happen, but IMO a core concept of GMing is to make sure people's OOG wants and their in-game wants never misalign too badly.


There were 5 people I could kill without looking guilty and being able to move time and place of death (max, adamyedidia, jamb, hantoa, dgrazian), so this wasn't actually the issue. But i was constantly getting splashed/roleblocked and also unwilling to go to ET just to make a kill without letting anyone know I was there, and thus be unable to hang out. There should have been some way to prevent so much roleblocking (maybe not allowing someone to be roleblocked twice in a row, or making roleblock take effect for only a few hours, or making them happen in person).

Relatedly, I was going to execute the following scheme, but never got around to it: kill someone at rollover, get roleblocked, and have their death posted at a time I was not roleblocked, making me an even townierTownie.

Also yes, town definitely should not have lynched, but for a different reason. Like, if I was being voted and manipulated the votes, I probably would have looked super sketchy. However, if mafia was in the last ~5 people alive with no lynch controls used, mafia pretty much won, due to lynch controls and hopefully ability to not get roleblocked at least once or twice by killing peopke who had already used roleblocks. This means town random lynching gave around a 50% chance which seemed wayyyy worse than the chance they actually had. What town should have done, though, was lynch a random person each day, but tell them to manipulate the votes to "no lynch." As such, they'd force the mafia to waste their lynch controls if I was ever chosen.


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 01, 2018 12:13 am 

Joined: Mon Mar 26, 2018 7:53 pm
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ixa wrote:
Wow we actually lynched mafia on Day 2 & 3, can't complain about that. Yay Inspector Jim.

Speaking of which, megHAL had actually figured out most of game by the time I died.
a) That there were 3 mafia, and that there was 1 left
b) the mafia was a DA only player
c) The remaining mafia was probably a silencer role.
All of which are correct. The meta from LA is pretty strong




I think this was a slight problem in game. Like, I guessed josh was mafia because it made sense for one common, one not common, and one from not both games after I had seen some amount of symmetry in games. Not that strongly, because I still traded DA usernames, though largely because I figured if everyone looked innocent for my death, he would be pretty sketchy as mafia, so w/e. Also, lily in LA had my role in DA, which made me not want to say my DA role to anyone. I think it was a bit bad that DA/LA roles were strongly guessable by knowing the other; they should have been swapped around as there are many sensible permutations.

Also, my role had too much investigative power; as mafia in LA, I had all the usernames in LA, and so if DA people helped me, I could connect and get a lot of pair investigations, on top of already being an investigator. I didn't know curtainCultivator was a player; when I made my spreadsheet i thought they were an LA player for whom I had linked a newer username, since they didn't post till later (Day 5), or this kill would have been outed within like an hour of being made. I guess there was just too much investigative power all around, and this was kind of the whole point in this game, so maybe this was just fine. But also I was Investigator X for like >50% of DA values of X, so nuking my investigative power probably would have helped prevent this?


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 01, 2018 2:50 am 

Joined: Mon Mar 26, 2018 7:53 pm
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ksedlar wrote:
So I had thought that Jackie was the set investigator that investigated the minions game. At least, Jackie is investigator L.


So tomatoGarlic actually received a PM from cinnamonGlaze with a very similar set investigation on that kill. I actually thought it was the same one, because i'm bad, and therefore never posted it. So yeah, two investigators.

Also, I'd like to comment that I super enjoyed all the flavor/interesting elements of having two interconnected games. Also, all the nonstandardness (town controlling day kills, mafia controlling lynches) was pretty amusing.


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