Live Action Mafia

A game of sneakiness and paranoia
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 08, 2016 4:21 pm 
Come one come all to this fantastic game of ~mystery mafia~

More information coming shortly. But you knew that already.

PostPosted: Tue Mar 08, 2016 5:43 pm 
Also, I don't know how to sticky topics... Whoopsie daisies.

PostPosted: Tue Mar 08, 2016 9:21 pm 
Fun fact: After the initial randomization process, the average number of items per player was 4. This game's going to be insane.

PostPosted: Wed Mar 09, 2016 9:25 am 
I messed up the balance of this game bigtime.

The ammo isn't even relevant. The mafia have plenty of ammo on their own (mistake 1). Investigations are less trivial to come by than I thought (mistake 2). I'm going to need to put a LOT of town power into tomorrow's daily drama.

PostPosted: Wed Mar 09, 2016 9:40 am 
You could maybe rule me not dead? I really didn't think that Tin successfully killed me, and I thought you were just letting it go anyway through for game balance's sake because otherwise a mafia'd've outed themself for nothing.

I'm not reading anything outside town square and this thread for now, just in case.

PostPosted: Wed Mar 09, 2016 9:47 am 
I guess even your assessment of those two mistakes might be too much information to let escape the graveyard.

PostPosted: Wed Mar 09, 2016 9:58 am 
I'm just going to give town a bunch of Spring Cannons and Knives tomorrow. And probably Sticks and Glass Shards to give townies a chance to make magnifying glasses to gain investigations.

Name   Description   Weight Value   Type
Knife   You may not have the gumption for murder, but threatening someone at knifepoint is a good way to mug all of their items. This allows you one use of the "Mug" incant.   5   Steal
Spring Cannon   Once every six hours, you may tap someone on the shoulder and say "Sproing!" PM me with the date and time of this. One of that player's items randomly bounces to another player at random.   4   Steal

PostPosted: Wed Mar 09, 2016 10:01 am 
Tin wrote:
Also, Dylan is either hallucinating, had the wrong bed, or should call the cops, cause apparently there is a lad who looks just like me sneaking into my bed to catch zzz!!

I like how all these alternatives are all put on the same level of likelihood.

PostPosted: Wed Mar 09, 2016 10:10 am 
Having read the mafia items but not the town items... wow. The mafia could out themselves and prove a win:

The mafia could kill four people today (gun (Tin's kill of me), gun, gun, bloodthirsty gun), collecting my ammo and two more, and douse someone in gasoline. Even if one of them is executed, they could kill three people tomorrow (gun, gun, bloodthirsty gun) and douse someone in gasoline, then set the gasoline on fire. On day 3, the last mafia shoots the last townie. And that's without even trying to make kills secretly, or taking advantage of the fact that they know things and can coordinate and the town can't.

Of course, I've only seen the mafia items and not the town items, and you've said that items are the key feature of this game, so I guess it makes sense that things look really unbalanced when I can only see the mafia's items. But holy cow does there need to be a lot of power in the town's items to give the town a chance.

PostPosted: Wed Mar 09, 2016 10:29 am 
I don't know what items town already has, and presumably they're really strong, but knives, spring cannons, and magnifying glasses aren't nearly enough. Some thoughts on items:

Knives and spring cannons: most of the mafia's items are protected by rocket packs. In particular, all the items that out them are, and the town doesn't have any information, so no matter what scheme the town comes up with to use them, the mafia will expect to end up with as many items as they started with.

Scopes: even with 1,872 scopes (enough that every player could investigate every other player for every kill), the mafia could force through a win, as in the previous post (assuming no medkits).

Suppose someone had a "bring someone back from the dead" item (and all those knives, spring cannons, and scopes, but no medkits) and they used it on me immediately, and I revealed everything from the graveyard and mafia den. Then they might still win: they'd have to win some races to say "bang" before people can mug them. (They'd have to kill one more townie than in the previous strategy, but they have two poisons I didn't account for). (I'm not suggesting such an item is at all a good idea, just showing how much power the town would need.)

Suppose every player had four items that give immortality for a day (but kill attempts on them are refunded). If the town knew everything about the structure of the game, they could use them immediately to make every player immune for the next four days, and then two mafia would die to the bloodthirsty gun. But in the meantime, they'd get to splash three people with gasoline and poison two people, so you'd have one mafia and 4 unsplashed and unpoisoned townies. The mafia would then have to kill two of them (gun, bloodthirsty gun) and fool one of the remaining two town on the execution vote, so the mafia'd have about an even chance in that case. (But that's assuming the town knows the whole structure of the game, and the fact that they don't is always the mafia's biggest advantage.)

Brainstorming about items that might be powerful enough in the next post.

PostPosted: Wed Mar 09, 2016 10:45 am 
Brainstorming about items that might be powerful enough to give the town a chance:

-Liquid nitrogen. If used on someone within 15 minutes of their death, they get cryopreserved: they don't get graveyard access, and come back to life the next day. If used later than that, it's useless. This'd give the town an extra incentive to figure out whether people are dead quickly, which is nice, and if they do come back, they out a mafia. (This wouldn't be nearly enough by itself, because the mafia can currently win while all of them are outed.) Giving out several copies of this might do it, though: the town would need to use about two of them successfully to be even.

-Super magnet: All ammo in the game is immediately transferred to the user. Then the mafia would have three gasoline kills, two poison kills, and one bloodthirsty kill per day (against 9 remaining townies), which the mafia would narrowly lose if outed. (This wouldn't be nearly enough by itself either, because the mafia aren't outed.)

-Bulletproof vest. Permanent. The person wearing this is immune to "bang", and kill attempts against them are used up. If the mafia lose one kill per day to this (and out one of themselves per day), they don't quite win, but they only need to get all their kills in on one day to be able to force through a win.

-Ethical voting booth. When set up, changes the rules for elections: the person the majority of _town_ votes for is executed. (Mafia's votes are still reported normally, but don't count.) Town would be excited to come up with a scheme to make elections close in an attempt to get a bit of information about mafia, but secretly the real prize from a balance perspective would be to reduce the number of townies who need to be alive to win.

PostPosted: Wed Mar 09, 2016 11:21 am 
(I forgot to mention: if liquid nitrogen doesn't work until the next day, the mafia still want to make kills cleanly enough that they don't get executed on the first vote.)

More brainstorming:

Hunch: Distribute 1 of these to each player. When used, gives a list of 3 names. It's guaranteed that one of these that's given to town will give the names of all three mafia, but all other hunches are random names. Or maybe each name is of a mafia with twice the probability that it's of a town. (Not enough alone because even revealing all the mafia isn't enough, but could be combined with some ways of reducing the mafia's outed power.)

Taser: A classic. Giving each player 4 of these would be enough to make it about a tie (by the same strategy as "Suppose every player had four items that give immortality for a day...") if the town knew the whole structure of the game (although, again, that they don't is most of the mafia's strength).

Bloodthirsty-gun-into-bloodthirsty-gun-that-needs-bullets transmogrifier: the posted description doesn't say it the bloodthirsty gun needs bullets, but maybe you intended it to. If you say you intended that, that gives you other opportunities to weaken the mafia a bit. (It doesn't weaken them at all alone, because they still have enough ammo to do everything they'd want to). It'd be nice to make the bullet-hunting the town is trying to do actually matter, as I think you intended.

Super magnet take 2: when used, redistributes every bullet to a random person, maybe weighted toward the town. (Hoping to take away enough bullets to make bullet-hunting relevant.)

Incidentally, if not for the bloodthirsty gun, the mafia would have a pretty good chance of winning just by using no powers and trying to direct execution votes. The bloodthirsty gun removes that strategy, but it's probably not _bad_ for the mafia (they only need one clean kill every other day), so the town should probably get some items that help them even if the mafia uses no item powers (like the voting booth or hunches).

PostPosted: Wed Mar 09, 2016 11:41 am 
More brainstorming. (Incidentally, the town needs items of about this strength whether they get them anew from the daily drama or they already have them. Maybe my items were just abnormally weak and the game is more balanced than I think?)

Prayer book. When used, creates a guardian angel watching over town: the next time a townie would be executed, they instead survive, a la Jordan. (It would still be really bad for town, because they currently can't afford to not execute mafia every day, but it could be combined with other items.)

Missile defense system: destroys any items that would otherwise be saved by jetpacks. (This is nice because it makes the mugging game relevant again: currently it's not because all the relevant mafia items would be saved by jetpacks. It'd be nice to have something like this to make what the town thinks should matter actually matter.)

PostPosted: Wed Mar 09, 2016 12:58 pm 
Besides the daily drama, the combinator(s) are a way to get more powerful items to the town.

PostPosted: Wed Mar 09, 2016 2:38 pm 
Note that retroactively saying that the bloodthirsty gun actually needs ammo doesn't even hurt the mafia, since they have more than enough ammo for all the kills they could ever want to make.

Also, the mafia don't currently know that they're curbstomping the town, since from their perspective the town could have items as awesome as they'd need for balance. That is, you left yourself a lever to balance the game without anyone knowing that something's up. Good (possibly accidental) planning! :)

(If I were mafia, I wouldn't want to have to make a meta-choice like between balancing by better town items and changing the bloodthirsty gun.)

PostPosted: Wed Mar 09, 2016 3:02 pm 
(By the way, Pravina, you're welcome to use any of my thoughts to help balance the game, since it sounds like you're hosed. If you'd rather ignore me, feel free to do that too.)

Another idea: make it tragedy-looper style, where the town has no hope of winning the first time, but if the mafia "win", the game restarts to its initial state and the town gets another chance.

Actually, I like that idea enough that I'll run such a game myself.

PostPosted: Wed Mar 09, 2016 3:31 pm 
Pesto, do you want access to my spreadsheet to take a look at the total of items and add items and weights to the sheet? I'll run the scripts with whatever you've added on, after some inspection.

I'm planning on releasing a bunch of antidotes during tomorrow's daily drama, and let those wipe off gasoline. Because oops.

PostPosted: Wed Mar 09, 2016 4:32 pm 

PostPosted: Wed Mar 09, 2016 9:54 pm 
"Josh, you're the best person in the room."

Am cries

PostPosted: Wed Mar 09, 2016 10:00 pm 
Josh: "should I kill lotta when I go in there?"

PostPosted: Wed Mar 09, 2016 11:27 pm 
spreadsheet: ... sp=sharing

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