Live Action Mafia

A game of sneakiness and paranoia
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 23, 2019 10:51 pm 
I really liked being a Seer with a Search Warrant this game. I think the former is pretty fun and balanced, and the latter, while it seemed a bit OP near the end, could've been mostly neutralized if mafia had followed the strategy I discussed with brunnerj.

On Seer:
I didn't think too much about Seer on day 1, so only used my role at day end. Then after some thought on day 2, I realized that I could get a pretty good update on ixa based on whether they used their Splitter in a town-y way (it wasn't quite provable, but it seemed extremely like ixa to be active enough to proxy out the Splitter sets, and proxy them out to megaol).

I decided to continue using Seer on active players, choosing aok, agu1, and then megaol. PI was actually pretty annoying to determine towny-ness, so I was a bit lazy with confirming aok. agu1 didn't actually have great PW action claims (only priest and charging), but him roleblocking emmaw made me trust him quite a bit. megaol's PI claim was sketchy as fuck.

On megaol's sketchiness:
I will say that my use of Search Warrant on megaol wasn't completely lucky. I was already kind of sketched out by meghal for various weird happenings including:
- Right before micosu got lynched (like at 10:58 or something), brunnerj said that megaol messaged him saying not to lynch micosu, and then said that meghal didn't give a reason for why and that it seemed like possibly a meme. idk if this was before they got in contact as SK and mafia, but it made me think that megaol was probably a gay knight with micosu, and when she didn't die, made me just think that she was acting weird
- megaol's PI claim to me was really sketchy; I said that I thought she was Ghoti, and that her investigations looked meh but kinda reasonable, and then she didn't use that and instead claimed to be Luck, and claimed to have missed several days of investigation with no explanation.
- There was also a bit of bias from ixa being roleblocked, which was actually incorrect because I think they got un-roleblocked the day after?

On mafia play:
I definitely agree with ksedlar's assessment that mafia weren't aggressive enough this game. Not faking investigations is certainly way too conservative; I just assumed that some of the investigations were fake, but didn't want to put effort into figuring that out, and it turns out that they mostly weren't? But also mafia lost some win % from just not contesting beefs, I think. emmaw probably would've had a hard time explaining why she was at EC, I guess. But I was really confused as to why megaol chose to out pravinas publicly, as opposed to trying to pin the kill on me (I was asleep, but no one else at ET was alive to say otherwise).

On new players:
I was really impressed by new players this game! I feel like more of them were active than in previous years. Shoutout to ninager at least taking action, if not in the best possible way; mhummel for coordinating some roleblocks near game end to help solidify town's win; cjq for being pretty active and catching a mafia; and emmaw, micosu, onadneva, and patg for all making relatively clean kills!

This was a fun game!

PostPosted: Tue Sep 24, 2019 2:55 am 
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Joined: Thu Feb 14, 2019 12:47 pm
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definitely agree on not being aggressive enough. We found brunnerj guilty before town did and could have easily cleared him with investigations lol. When I mesaged josh about micosu I was like 80% sure he was SK so I didn't want to say anything directly but was hoping he'd get an update and try to unlynch micosu. I probably should have just been direct, I forgot that even SK's might sometimes tell things to town. Even later, I should have been direct I think; I just wasn't actually sure what value we gained from making contact with an SK who was probably getting executed that day (by then I was like 95% sure though). It turns out it would have given me a convenient kill on aok since josh was a conspiracy theorist and would have shown up guilty.

I was super scared through a lot of game about Jason seer finding me as an inactive PI. I was an inactive PI because I just forgot for the first two days that seers made faking investigations a thing I needed to do as a PI. I didn't claim Ghoti because I assumed Jason knew Linus was Ghoti, and there weren't really better ones I could claim nonsketchily. I realized that my claim was terrible and outed me right there when I made it. We were pretty fucked by that point anyway so I didn't care that much; I think jason search warranted me first, then asked me about PI between the search and knowing the items from it, so I was already screwed.

Outing pravinas was because if I pinned it on someone else there would probably be investigations which would out me, since at best I had a frame. I think aok being at ET and me not is also fairly sketchy? Being the #2 suspect even when you frame the #1 suspect (who btw looks very town) is pretty bad. Pravinas claimed vig SK meaning they could never kill again anyway, was probably getting caught for Linus, and was leaving for China soon.

I think we made a lot of mistakes this game around not being careful enough. We clearly should have faked investigations (for onadneva + brunnerj), but i kind of just forgot to do so on Day 1/2, which made doing so after difficult/sketchy. Also, we should have used up the items we got from kills. Also, after Emma was outed, she clearly just should have held all the mafia items b/c search warrant. I did note that, but forgot to give them back to her after she didn't get executed the night before. The cj thing was just rip, we used an NP scout (julian) and specifically tried to be careful for cj, and just failed.

We were also a bit unlucky with executions. Onadneva and Micosu were both mafia, and each were executions that should have gotten at most 0.5 mafia in expectation.

The new player mafias were really really good at being active, making kills, and being mafia. I think most of the fuckups were things that were my responsibility as the experienced player, rip. They each made at least one kill, which was good.

I actually personally don't like the role of seer that much; I don't see a reason seer can't just ask a player everything they've done with their role after learning it, some of which is verifiable. Mafia should be allowed to use certain roles for their own benefit, such as roleblocker or splitter. Also, though it didn't happen this game, I'd be a little scared of it turning into "Seer X dictates a lot of town actions" by Day 4 or 5. Seer also does require mafia to realize they need to be careful from the start of game, so they have consistent actions to justify. Though this might be fine in general, it is maybe? harsh in a fall game with overall less experienced mafia. It took us till 4pm Day 1 just to get in contact with each other; I hadn't even thought to consider Seer yet. I'm also generally less in favor of things that require players to "not fuck up" rather than "have an interesting idea". Maybe I'm just biased because I didn't realize this Seer stuff until Day 3, but maybe any other experienced player would have.

PostPosted: Tue Sep 24, 2019 8:24 am 
Amusingly, the main strong suit of seer I had foreseen was catching fake mafia investigators who weren’t real PIs. Being a PI who does not release investigations is probably more townie than average, in fact, given that other mafia can poke a mafia PI. It’s possible that Meghal’s delivery was sketchy but IMO an argument of, “Based on items, onadneva looks mafia. If I were mafia, it would have been easy for me to release an investigation clearing him without looking suspicious at all. Therefore, you should strongly update against me being mafia.” Also in practice, I think all 3 town pair investigators had played multiple times, but each of them either forgot to investigate on some day, or only used one investigation on some day. Also there were many investigations on people already cleared innocent. Aok also should have gotten quite sketchy, because he did 3 investigations for the day 1 kill, which was illegal, but which I happened to not catch (I think the priors on a fake PI forgetting should be higher than a real PI plus GMs forgetting).

As for other roles, this has been the first game with a big push towards splitters claiming their splitter sets. In past games a mafia splitter could easily have claimed someone else’s splitter sets as theirs. While there has been public roleblock claiming in the past, usually it would also be easy enough to claim “I was roleblocked” as reasoning for missing a day or two of actions, especially if you are a splitter, whose rolelessness on a day is indicated to mafia such that they can often just trap splitters who admit publicly to being roleblocked.

I think other than splitter and pair investigator, it is pretty easy to tell the truth, make up fake sets on the spot, or refuse to say (in the case of a seer).

PostPosted: Tue Sep 24, 2019 8:40 am 
More generally, I want to say that people make mistakes when playing LAM. It's actually super super common. Mafia make mistakes even more, simply because there are more things they have to do. While some of playing well is avoiding mistakes, another thing is what I like to call, "milking mistakes for all that they're worth." Consider last game, when I directed all the mafia to get totems from other people, rather than going to the cornucopia, and Dgrazian did the same. Arguably this was a mistake, but then because span and dgrazian didn't get totems, we turned it into an opportunity to have span and Dgrazian look really innocent.

I'd say the best way to mistakes is something like:
- If you did mistake X and it's not obvious, then you can argue that X didn't happen, because mafia doing X would be a mistake (e.g. the case from the previous game)
- If you did mistake X and it is obvious, then you can argue that because you did X and mafia doing X would be a mistake, then you're not mafia (what I think megaol should have done in terms of bringing up not clearing onadneva to jasonye)

Of course, handling mistakes is also hard. Certainly I will usually just get bogged down by mistakes and feel bad, rather than making proper use of them. But at least theoretically, getting value even out of mistakes is a great mafia strategy.

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