Live Action Mafia

A game of sneakiness and paranoia
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 Post subject: Strategy Discussion
PostPosted: Mon Feb 23, 2015 5:04 am 
I think everyone here has played before, so I'm sure you've already read past threads I've had. But I think it's still worth it to discuss strategy more specific to this game and to things I haven't really mentioned previously.

Elected positions: Seems good to keep people elected, although Class Clown seems like the better of the two positions (people can pm others if they ever laugh at something the class clown says, and getting good items in game seems pretty valuable). Meanest Person in Mafia seems like a combination vigilante / investigator who can only get true results if they're negative. Meanest Person in Mafia should absolutely make their kill publicly and not unexpectedly, unless they have a very good reason to do otherwise, imo.

Role sharing: It seems like mafia are unlikely to have set-a-trap in the same form we're used to. However, they may have some power that penalizes role sharing, and at the very least, knowing roles lets mafia know who the best targets are. So I would say while role-sharing is probably safer this game than normal, roles should really be shared on a need-to-know basis. Definitely don't tell someone your role just because they told you theirs (mafia are actually more likely to share their "role," and the mere fact that someone doesn't have an innocence-based role makes them statistically more likely to be mafia). If you have important information you want to get to town, the proxy system is a reasonable choice. However, try not to get a proxy before you need one.

Voting: Voting is actually important. Pay attention to close votes (where every vote counts), particularly when one of the voters is revealed to be mafia. Mafia will often vote as a block when it's important. Additionally, pay attention to who proposed lynches. For instance, in last game akshat and cyqwang were correctly judged to be unlikely to be mafia based on the fact that mafia shikexue proposed lynching them. I HIGHLY suggest that vote discussion be ON THE FORUMS as much as possible, rather than irl, so that ideas are more traceable. In the 2014 IAP Game mafia abergal was leading a lot of the lynches, but people didn't notice she was because she was doing it irl by throwing out subtle suggestions.

Pay attention to the little things: Mafia can't be perfect, and they will slip up up and be suspicious sometimes. Notably Lily Chen, Ellena, aok, ltchin, and Kemus have been very effective at deception when they're mafia, while Lucy, Anpere, Lily Chen (at least to me), and aok have often seemed disproportionately suspicious as town. Anyway, most mafia slip up a bit. The big way mafia are caught without powers is when something unexpected happens.

Maybe they accidentally run into a player right after a kill. Maybe they killed someone who texted another player they would be with them beforehand. Maybe there was an NP at the kill site that they didn't bother get on their side who town can interrogate (note: this is especially effective if the killed player didn't change locations since they were killed. When I was killed at UPOP last game, the NP next to me clearly noticed I was killed in Live Action Mafia and saw who kill me, and I stayed at the same table with her sitting next to me for 5 hours.) Maybe the mafia's supposed alibi should involve an NP being able to vouch for them, but they didn't prep the NP (if a player initially mentions the NP IN THEIR ALIBI, the NP's confirmation is likely worthless.) Maybe the mafia is just caught in a lie about something seemingly innocuous (like which inactives they poke). So pay attention!

Things that are hard to fake as mafia: Genuinely caring about optimal town strategy. Not just saying "I think X is good strategy for town" but thinking through scenarios, modifying their proposed strategy, being open to ideas, and thinking of things that are both novel and effective, especially when town as a whole is unlikely to give them bonus innocence points for their idea (i.e. something may be a sign of innocence when you notice it, but becomes less of a sign when other people point it out.) aok spending hours devising, fool-proofing, optimizing, and explaining an innocent child / gay knight / genie trust and info sharing arrangement in the last fall game is an example. Be careful not to mistake things like posting a lot on forums or talking a lot in meetings as this. By "genuinely caring about optimal town strategy" I kind of mean the next paragraph.

Also, doing something that would be really bad strategy as mafia (e.g. saying something that is likely to get a lynch mob sent against you, giving a valuable item to a townie, etc.) Sure, there's some balance where doing something "bad to do as mafia" might make them look more innocent, but it's hard to predict the degree and if the degree will balance out what they did. For instance, I've been known to trust and share information with players who give me mics. I still don't think it's generally worth it for a mafia to give a townsperson a mic, at least if the receiver isn't in mafia hands.


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