Live Action Mafia

A game of sneakiness and paranoia
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 Post subject: Feedback on game?
PostPosted: Sun Jul 10, 2016 2:40 pm 
If there's not too many other GMs, ltchin and I want to run another mystery game later in the summer, so fire away! Too unbalanced for you to have fun? didn't like your role? loved your role? etc, etc


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 Post subject: Re: Feedback on game?
PostPosted: Sun Jul 10, 2016 2:44 pm 
I guess I'll start. If you're going to be without internet access for large periods of time, I recommend getting a Co-GM.


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 Post subject: Re: Feedback on game?
PostPosted: Sun Jul 10, 2016 3:16 pm 
I had lots of fun! I loved my role and the secret Potter subplot. Also, I want to GM a standard game in the second half of August, so please schedule yours for late July/early August if possible.


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 Post subject: Re: Feedback on game?
PostPosted: Sun Jul 10, 2016 3:26 pm 
I'm sad I died so soon, but my role was interesting and it's been fun to watch.


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 Post subject: Re: Feedback on game?
PostPosted: Sun Jul 10, 2016 4:35 pm 
I really enjoyed this game. Part of it was that this was a troll game and so I had fun making up stupid posting restrictions for example. It feels like there was 1 more mob member than there should have been but I haven't seen everything town could do so maybe it was balanced


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 Post subject: Re: Feedback on game?
PostPosted: Sun Jul 10, 2016 5:23 pm 
== Lucy. I really liked my role and kmli's role.


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 Post subject: Re: Feedback on game?
PostPosted: Sun Jul 10, 2016 7:26 pm 
It's been very fun to watch; I think the existence of freeform game actions and the corresponding use of creativity to do things add a lot to the game (though it makes it very hard to interim-mod accurately :P ). I'm tempted to sign up for the next one :D


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 Post subject: Re: Feedback on game?
PostPosted: Sun Jul 10, 2016 7:35 pm 
Town had a lot of power I think. I, for example, could ask two yes/no questions every day (or a more open ended question, to which jakob said he would try to give about equally useful answers.)

Unfortunately, we seem to have started with absolutely no clue whatsoever as to what we were actually supposed to do. For all we knew, our goal could have been for all of us to die. Or to write the most haikus. Or to write no haikus. Or to troll game the most. The lack of constraints made it really difficult to do anything useful in the first couple days, and after that it was too late.

On day 2, I used my daily ability to basically ask what our goal was. I learned that (paraphrasing) "There are people trying to kill you. Some of them are on a team. Your goal is to kill them." Which was a surprise to me, because I was guessing that our goal was going to be something different from "kill the mafia under a different name" once we learned that there were no mafia alive.

In my opinion, all of the above is fine. But I think it's extremely easy to underestimate the impact of being totally clueless about the structure of the game. Retrospectively, I think town had a pretty small chance of winning this game for exactly that reason. We had power, but no clue about how to use it. So town probably should have had either yet more power or some starting point in terms of what we had to do to win.

With that said, I had a great time this game, and I think that it was rather beautifully designed. Thanks Jakob!


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 Post subject: Re: Feedback on game?
PostPosted: Sun Jul 10, 2016 11:42 pm 
Reposting in right thread
I already said this in the gchat, but I think having players with two alignments/goals is a terrible idea. At the end of the game, it put me in a situation where I could basically decide the outcome of the game (maybe, don't know without a count on the lynch vote) and either way I'd be betraying my team. This game had been really fun up until then, but now I have a really bad taste in my mouth.

Also, the inclusion of a "Crucio" power really crossed a line for me. I know we're RPing killing our friends and all, but torture is not a subject for humor/games. Ever.

Take that with a grain of salt, as I hate live-action mafia and play like once a year to remind myself why I hate it.


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 Post subject: Re: Feedback on game?
PostPosted: Mon Jul 11, 2016 12:18 am 
Someone in Town Cinclement asked if anyone wanted to run/play in another game this week. I volunteer to co-God if anyone wants to play and someone will god with me.


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 Post subject: Re: Feedback on game?
PostPosted: Mon Jul 11, 2016 12:19 am 
Clarification: this would be a standard game, not a mystery game, and would start around Wednesday.


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 Post subject: Re: Feedback on game?
PostPosted: Mon Jul 11, 2016 1:44 am 
Kmath and I want to GM the non-mystery fall game.


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 Post subject: Re: Feedback on game?
PostPosted: Mon Jul 11, 2016 3:09 am 
As for actual feedback: I found this game quite fun. I believe this is the most fun I've ever had in a game where I've been essentially mafia at any point in game. I enjoyed figuring out what everyone's weird roles were, as well as how game itself worked. The game had a very good pace of figuring things out for me, almost like a well-written book. I also won all 3 of my goals, so that was pretty fun for me.

Regarding having multiple goals, I think there are pluses and minuses. I enjoyed having multiple things in game to pursue, but I did not enjoy the fuzziness over what exactly counted as a win (and how it lead to conflicts like Ethan's). The mason goal in particular was fuzzy, especially when put in conflict with other goals. (How much does knowing one specific thing matter? How do you average mason knowledge?) It was also unclear how the goals ranked in comparison to one another. Previous mystery games dealt with multiple goals by forming AND and OR statements with them. I might have also been okay with a very strict priority tiering (You would would never even consider choosing goal 2 over goal 1 if faced in a conflict). I like goals where you could take 10 active observers of all game activity, ask them if a specific person had won, and they would agree. A lot of the goals this game felt like LARP goals, AKA guidelines for actors, not rules for players of game.

Speaking of LARPs, this game in general felt very LARPy (not even counting things like, "walk at a heel-toe pace" and "roleplay accordingly" which popped up in my pms). There were a lot of freeform mechanics that could be used for tons of different things. This definitely leads to cool, creative things (<3 <3 the using the portkey to teleport Miranda into body double Erin's body for the ET explosion), and it can be useful for GMs to balance things that break in game. However, it causes huge issues whenever a gm isn't immediately contactable. Also, it can lead to important game events being determined on the whim of a GM. For example, at the end of the game, I tried to kill Max in 3 different ways (making him eat a portkey, strangling him with a noose, and repeatedly stabbing him with a "stab" incant), and he tried to Crucio me (but was tied up and had just become good). All of these outcomes could not be resolved in real time, and in fact never got resolved at all in practice.


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 Post subject: Re: Feedback on game?
PostPosted: Mon Jul 11, 2016 3:45 am 
I enjoyed the fact that Jakob's signature was a hidden ability. I liked my "get as many incants as possible" goal, despite the ambiguity in what exactly was a win. I thought kmli and Tuan's roles were amusing and quite fitting for a troll game. I thought the Harry Potter subplot was also cool.

I liked being in the mason faction as far as having buddies and brainwashing people, but I didn't like the mason goal. I like the idea of including remote players somehow, but I think all remotes except Ethan, Tuan, and maybe kmli ended up relatively isolated from game in an unfortunate way. The original mechanic for killing remotes (Anpere's hitman mechanic) was also 100% useless in practice, because it turns out there's basically no way to find a hitman without a mob member being personal friends with the target. Usually players not in a main living group should give contact info for an NP that would help kill them, but the remote players quite reasonably assumed that no one would be killing them in person, so there was no need. Using the teleporter/portkey allowed a workaround, but it's still unfortunate to be killed by what is essentially a sniper rifle.

I think the game balance was reasonable, though somewhat mob biased. I think Dgrazian's complaint is harsh; I know I asked what the town goal was day 0 and was told, "You're not sure what the town goal is, come to think of it. Someone's trying to kill you all and you probably want them to stop." So it seemed clear to me that town wanted to find and kill people who made kills, like normal. I even got a guaranteed-to-exist item specifically telling us about the mob day 2. I had put both mob members on my fan list as of day 2 end, Miranda for being super sketchy, and Max by being less innocent than all other local players. Dgrazian seemed to have had similar thoughts by the time he died. Had I not been conscripted and Dgrazian killed day 3, Max was a likely lynch day 4. If Ian had played instead of mob getting a conscription, and a mafia I was a fan of didn't hit me, I think town would have won. An active Anpere and a working hitman mechanic would have been too much mob power though. I also agree that mystery mafia games tend to be mafia biased by default, due to town confusion, and so GMs should adjust in light of that fact.


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 Post subject: Re: Feedback on game?
PostPosted: Mon Jul 11, 2016 3:51 am 
Above all though, this was a well-thought out game that was fantastic to play in! And amazingly for being a troll game, it WASN'T horribly broken in any way. That's difficult to do. Writing and running mystery mafia games is HARD and solo GMing one seems terrible. It's easy to focus on what went wrong or what people didn't like, but there will always be issues whenever you try new things, and this game had surprisingly few problems given its number of new things tried.

Hooray for Jakob!


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 Post subject: Re: Feedback on game?
PostPosted: Mon Jul 11, 2016 4:14 am 
I thought I was done saying things and that I was ready to go to sleep, but I was wrong.

One of the issues people had with the first mystery mafia game was that some food items would be randomly poisonous. This made things quite unfun for players involved with those items. It's really annoying to not only be killed for no reason, but to not even be killed by any player, just an item. Thus, even the worst items in my mystery mafia game wouldn't kill the person consuming them, and unknown items could also be examined for effects. Players, when faced with an unknown that they're curious about, will tend to try the unknown, even if it's risky, and that's not a bad thing; games should just be run with that in mind. As it turns out, the holy grail is WAAAAAAYYYY more harmful than a poisonous item. As it happened, the holy grail effect didn't end up being too awful, because I expected that its effect was possible, and the mob was able to win anyway. But we KNEW that the grail turning the drinker good was possible, and we EXPLICITLY discussed that nothing good for the mob goal could possibly come from drinking from it, only bad, and Max drank anyway because we were curious. I think it would have been very unsatisfying for everyone for our out-of-game curiosity to be the downfall of the mob, rather than any good play from town members.

So even though it turned out okay in this case, I think "this item does something REALLY bad to you, and the only way to find that out is to test it" mechanics are a bad idea for future mystery games.


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