Live Action Mafia

A game of sneakiness and paranoia
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 Post subject: Item Strategy
PostPosted: Wed Oct 11, 2017 12:22 am 
In past games, where items have been more valuable, secretly transferring items items to people has been good for keeping mafia from knowing item locations. Now, town cares way more about knowing item locations than mafia. If player X transfers an item to player Y, and then player X dies and pickpocket Z pickpockets Y and gets the transferred item, then pickpocket Z will rightly advocate for Y's lynch. This is bad. If you want to transfer an item to someone, please post so publicly, for the sake of pickpockets. I am very confident that secretly transferring items is bad for town in almost all cases.

Thing that is probably optimal strategy, but less unobjectionably so (i.e. open to discussion):
Pickpockets should pick a proxy and proxy out their pickpocket results. If a pickpocket pickpockets someone and doesn't find a sketchy item, this is useful information (arguably more useful than investigation results). Also, this prevents pickpockets from getting into the issue that Lucy/Linus had last game, where a pickpocket pickpockets another pickpocket, finds a sketchy item, and thinks they're probably bad. Pickpocketed people should also say when they are pickpocketed, in order to prevent mafia (particularly mafia pickpockets) from finessing like "I pickpocketed [sketchy item] from X before they died" when they actually killed X to get the item. Credit to python for part of this idea.

Discussion question: Should we do hymnal rituals?
If the answer is "yes," then we absolutely want to do them ASAP, in order to prevent mafia from finessing like I did last game, i.e. "I got this coin from the hymnal ritual" (when I got the coin from killing m2w). People should claim any items they got from the hymnal ritual ASAP, and if they try to later claim an item came the ritual without doing the initial claim, that's sketchy. Ideally we can get a hymnal ritual done before any kills happen, but if we can't do that, then any people who claim an item that is the same type as an item from a dead player should be treated as somewhat sketchy.

 Post subject: Re: Item Strategy
PostPosted: Wed Oct 11, 2017 1:02 am 
sketchy item - an item someone has that they are not publicly known (or known via a pickpocket proxy) to have.
non-sketchy item - the opposite
finesse an item - make a sketchy item appear to be a non-sketchy item
claim - something I think is unquestionably true
thought - something I think is probably true, but I am up for discussing

Claim 1: No townie should ever have sketchy items, aside from when the item is about to be used (e.g. tasings). If a townie has a sketchy item, they have probably done something wrong (modulo weird town schemes).

Claim 2: We want to maximize the ratio of mafia/SK's sketchy items to their non-sketchy items, in order to make it easier for pickpockets to catch them.

Thought - sketchy item stacking: Note that mafia/SKs can finesse some of their sketchy items by killing people with like items. E.g. Mafia X has a taser, so mafia Y kills python and gives python's taser to mafia X, so that the sketchy taser is indistinguishable from the nonsketchy taser. Note that serial killers can only do this by personally killing someone with their same type of item. Thus, if a person with with item X dies, players who have a non-sketchy X should be thought of as somewhat sketchier.

Thought - hymnal ritual item stacking: If we do a hymnal ritual, this could potentially allow mafia/SKs to finesse more items. At game start, mafia can only finesse a maximum of 4 out of the 6 types of items, but if a hymnal ritual lets mafia/SKs have a greater diversity of non-sketchy items, then they can do more finessing. We can prevent this by making people transfer their items after hymnal rituals to people with the same type of item. E.g. If achester (mafia counter holder) and boof (coin holder) are in a hymnal ritual, and achester gets a coin from the ritual, then a mafia achester could be able to finesse coins in addition to mafia counters. However, if he gives his coin to boof, this is no longer possible, and a mafia boof has negligible extra ability to finesse.

Thought - item stacking on high-priority kill targets: Normally, if a mafia/SK kills someone and gets a non-finessable item, a pickpocket has a 50% chance of learning that the person is bad if they pickpocket them. This is because most people have one non-sketchy item -- the one that they started with -- and most of the time killing someone will cause the killer to gain one sketchy item. But if the killed person had say, 3 non-sketchy items, then a pickpocket's chance of catching the killer would increase to 75%.

It's definitely the case that some people are higher priority to kill than others. For example, Sammy is a very strong townie who is good at psych-reading people and who will probably catch some mafia if he remains alive long enough. On the other hand, people feel bad new players, and new players are less likely to come up with plots that are dangerous to mafia, simply due to inexperience. Given claim 2, it makes sense that we might want new players to pool some of their items on Sammy, so mafia/SKs who kill Sammy get a bigger penalty. Given that all the new players (boof, ixa, natalyat, and rusch) have coins, I actually propose the following for realsies:
Thought - Boof, Ixa, Natalyat, and Rusch (or some subset >=2) give their coins to Sammy (and announce so publicly), and Sammy gives one of them his taser.
Thought - I acquire an item somehow (from someone publicly giving me an item, or via a hymnal ritual). Currently I have 0 items, and I would say I am a higher kill target than average, despite being somewhat inconvenient to kill.

 Post subject: Re: Item Strategy
PostPosted: Wed Oct 11, 2017 1:21 am 
Edit for above: *people feel bad killing new players

Thought (more questionable and up for discussion) - pickpockets should give pickpocketed non-sketchy items back to their proxy to publicly distribute back to the original owner (who now looks more innocent from not having had a sketchy item pickpocketed from them, and thus who would benefit from having an item on them when they die). If all pickpockets must do this, this also prevents mafia pickpockets from being able to finesse a bunch of items. The main potential downsides I see are:
a. Only some people do this, and mafia/SK pickpockets can just claim to disagree with the strategy (keeping their items), while town pickpockets give their items away.
b. Pickpockets are lazy and pick proxies who are more physically convenient for them to gives items to. This might let mafia guess the identity of a pickpocket and trap them, which would be bad both for preventing pickpocketing (which is a very good power for town) and for making the pickpocket suspicious of their proxy for knowing their role.

Thought - Hymnal rituals (done as early as possible and with public item claiming) are probably good. In particular, hymnal rituals in expectation don't change mafia/SK's ratio of sketchy/non-sketchy items, but they do increase the number of actually useful items for town. They also slightly increase the number of items in game, which I think is useful at our current item number (not everyone has an item, and we might want to stack items on a few people). People should feel free to argue against this thought, but again, I assert that if hymnal rituals should happen, they should happen ASAP.

Thought - I have a secret thought that I don't want mafia/SKs to be able to react to right now. I will tell someone this thought in case I die, but don't forget about this thought's existence!

 Post subject: Re: Item Strategy
PostPosted: Wed Oct 11, 2017 7:35 am 
I think a bigger problem with the pickpocket giving their items back is that the proxy almost definitely knows who the real pickpocket is, while with other information proxies it's more unclear. I guess proxy chains of passing items back is possible, but it's inconvenient and I wouldn't expect it to happen enough that the proxy wouldn't be able to conclude the pickpocket way more than they should.

I think we should have a hymnal ritual iff we can get one off before the first kill. This seems unlikely to happen, but it's worth organizing, hopefully either during the first town hall or before that, I guess.

 Post subject: Re: Item Strategy
PostPosted: Wed Oct 11, 2017 10:19 am 
I think the pickpocket thing would be too annoying to give them back, and not happen in practice. Pickpocket was supposed to make life *more* convenient because if you wanted to have people sign an item you could have a pickpocket pull it between e.g. EC and ET.

We should not only have people *claim* items from hymnal rituals, but pass them around to the next person alphabetically who participated in the ritual*, so everything rotates by one. That way I can't be like "oh yeah I got item X" and then be free to kill someone who has item X the next day. And yeah we should do these ASAP.

* because mafia are less likely to be able to set things up such that the next person alphabetically in the ritual is also mafia, and we should do it within the ritual so that transfers can be done instantly and not have the excuse of laziness

 Post subject: Re: Item Strategy
PostPosted: Wed Oct 11, 2017 10:50 am 
I think an even better solution than alphabetical item-passing is to force people to claim what items they got, then force them to give these items to people who started with that item (this is a variant of ksedlar's idea). If there don't exist people who started with that item at the hymnal ritual, they instead pass the item alphabetically. This way, mafia/SK are less likely to get any items they can finesse.

Even with this scheme though it is possible the alphabetical passing ends up giving mafia/SK an item they can finesse away. So I think hymnals weaken pickpockets but create more potentially-useful items, they are probably marginally good overall.

I'm less sure about concentrating items on high-priority kill targets because if mafia or SK happened to have that item they can just kill the person for free, and actually look way *less* sketchy since that item is more likely to be snagged by a pickpocket than any actual sketchy items they have.

 Post subject: Re: Item Strategy
PostPosted: Wed Oct 11, 2017 11:34 am 
Wow so many thoughts :D
++ just about all of ksedlar's thoughts on pickpocket. Re: python's objection to high profile stacking, this can be mostly resolved by doing fairly heavy taxation of coins, leaving few people who can kill someone with a large coin stack without being exposed, and shifting those coin stacks around once in a while to prevent hoarding.
I'm obvious happy to accept the role of tax collector, but my one reservation is that it feels kind of mean to dictate to new players who they should give their coins to and leave them itemless. I'll only do this if all the new players are happy to comply.

 Post subject: Re: Item Strategy
PostPosted: Wed Oct 11, 2017 11:36 am 
I'm fine giving my coin to someone.

 Post subject: Re: Item Strategy
PostPosted: Wed Oct 11, 2017 11:38 am 
Since coins are useless, I think it's fine to demand giving those away (but it'd be less fine if it was an item someone might be excited to use, or something).

 Post subject: Re: Item Strategy
PostPosted: Wed Oct 11, 2017 12:15 pm 
I think we should pick a coin bearer, and give them all the coins, this should protect them from being mafia killed.

 Post subject: Re: Item Strategy
PostPosted: Wed Oct 11, 2017 12:26 pm 
Coin-bearer is an interesting strategy, I guess it's probably the best use of coins. Now that we want pickpockets to serve an investigative purpose we don't want coins to "shield" other items from pickpockets since this obviously blocks the investigation. The problem with coin-bearer is we need to implement it after hymnal rituals, since people having no items is bad (mafia/SK can kill them for free without picking up sketchy items)

I'd be fine with sammy being coinbearer, he'd probably be a high-priority mafia kill target otherwise, and it'd be nice for him to be able to survive a while longer this game (having died day1 last time). But I still suggest we wait until after the hymnal so players don't get stuck not having any items.

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