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PostPosted: Fri Aug 12, 2011 8:54 pm 
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I was toying with the idea of writing a mafia game (don't think it's coming very soon, but it may eventually... ;)), and was wondering if there was an ideal number of teams...

Do you guys prefer a large number of teams (say 5-6) with fewer people per side (2-3), or a small number of teams (2-3) with more people per sides (5-6).

//Andrew

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PostPosted: Sat Aug 13, 2011 4:04 am 
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anorton wrote:
I was toying with the idea of writing a mafia game (don't think it's coming very soon, but it may eventually... ;)), and was wondering if there was an ideal number of teams...

Do you guys prefer a large number of teams (say 5-6) with fewer people per side (2-3), or a small number of teams (2-3) with more people per sides (5-6).

//Andrew

What I've found is that the fewer number of people allows for much greater coordination between team members. That said, if one person is inactive, then the team is substantially more handicapped. Furthermore, smaller teams become less effective during the day-- three people can't exercise much clout. That's paritally why Project 78 had smaller teams part of larger sides-- that way, you get the advantages of having small teams, but allow for the larger side vs. side dynamic.

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PostPosted: Sat Aug 13, 2011 4:07 am 
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Sharkfin wrote:
That's paritally why Project 78 was composed of subsets of teams-- that way, you get the advantages of having small teams, but allow for the larger team vs. team dynamic.

I wasn't around for P78 (but I know it caused a slight grudge between HSU and Tim)... I've read through a little of the game, but I feel that I'm missing quite a bit from lacking the role PMs. How did that work?

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PostPosted: Sat Aug 13, 2011 4:42 am 
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I'm not making any judgments about your knowledge of mafia, but I recommend having a solid grounding in fundamental mafia theory before designing a game.

The following is the perfect setup, proven mathematically and by hundreds of thousands of real games (including a few hundred played by me):

2 mafia - together, kill 1 non-mafia (or no one) at night
1 cop - investigates 1 person per night to determine innocence or guilt
1 doctor - protects 1 person other than self from mafia per night
3 villagers - each day, vote to lynch someone (or no one) just like everyone else

The action with the most votes (doesn't have to be over 50% of the town) wins. For example:

Alice - lynch Frank
Bob - lynch no one
Carol - lynch Alice
Dave - lynch Frank
Eve - lynch Carol
Frank - lynch Greg
Greg - lynch Bob

Frank gets lynched.

If Frank votes to lynch Bob, then two actions (lynch Frank vs lynch Bob) tie for the majority of votes and no one is lynched.

In fundamental mafia theory, there are only two teams: town and mafia. The idea of several equally sized teams competing against each other is ancillary to the principle of an informed minority (mafia) vs an uninformed majority (town) that makes mafia what it is. Mafia can become more interesting with several teams (but mainly with asymmetric teams -- more on that following), but you have to stay true to the fundamental "informed minority vs uninformed majority" principle or else the game ceases to be mafia and, in my opinion, becomes less enjoyable.

Uninformed majority vs informed minority is a form of team asymmetry. The teams (town and mafia) are asymmetric because they have different sizes (5 vs 2), different roles (only town has investigative or protective roles, whereas only mafia has killing roles), different levels of information (only mafia are given each other's identities), etc. Asymmetry is the heart of mafia. It can become very interesting with other asymmetric teams, for example, the fool (a role that works alone) whose only goal is to get lynched, at which point the game ends. Another good asymmetric team is the cult, whose members elect a non-cult player to recruit into the cult each night. They win merely if they outnumber everyone else (at which point everyone else alike, including but not limited to town and mafia, loses).

My personal preference is for a setup with just 2 asymmetric teams: mafia and town. I do enjoy interesting town- and mafia-sided roles, for example, the town-sided vigilante who may kill anyone (or no one) each night. But fundamentally, I prefer straightforward setups that are chosen for play because they are proven to be balanced and challenging, not because they seem interesting at the time.

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PostPosted: Sat Aug 13, 2011 4:53 am 
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Halogen wrote:
I'm not making any judgments about your knowledge of mafia, but I recommend having a solid grounding in fundamental mafia theory before designing a game.

Don't worry... I'm really just writing out a game idea because it helps me think through how to play the game I'm in... (as in, "if I knew everything, how would I play?") I might try to get people to play it after I play more games, but that's iffy... :)

Anyway - That was a great write up! Thanks...

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 09, 2015 5:35 am 
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Posting in a thread that hasn't been posted in for about 2 and a half years. But it's important. We should have a set of rules or at least some clarification regarding no-share agreements. In the current game, there's been some questions regarding the specifics of what following a no-share entails, and it would be nice to codify the spirit of the law into the letter of the law (to use Stoa LD terms ;P).

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 10, 2015 9:10 pm 
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Evan wrote:
We should have a set of rules or at least some clarification regarding no-share agreements. In the current game, there's been some questions regarding the specifics of what following a no-share entails,

I think people should just be more clear about what they mean when trading, instead of just saying "no share agreement" actually clarify if that means just not sharing the actual RPM, not sharing any information in the RPM such as affiliation, or whatever other agreement you want to come up with. Just a suggestion.

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 10, 2015 10:33 pm 
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jnshelton wrote:
Evan wrote:
We should have a set of rules or at least some clarification regarding no-share agreements. In the current game, there's been some questions regarding the specifics of what following a no-share entails,

I think people should just be more clear about what they mean when trading, instead of just saying "no share agreement" actually clarify if that means just not sharing the actual RPM, not sharing any information in the RPM such as affiliation, or whatever other agreement you want to come up with. Just a suggestion.

Yup, it's an in-game tactic so I think it's incumbent upon the players to communicate what they want to each other.

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 10, 2015 11:11 pm 
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No share rules seem incredibly dumb to me

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 10, 2015 11:55 pm 
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ShaynePC wrote:
Yes, I agree. Also, if you want to break a no-share agreement, there should be no official rule against that. Just do it with the knowledge you'll get a bad reputation as a word breaker. But the less official rules, the better.

I think the same "don't break no-share" standard should also apply across mafia/good team boundaries. (e.g. mafia shouldn't pass around RPMs that were traded under no-share.) I'd love to see a game in which a mafia and a good player cooperate to accomplish secondary win conditions.

I agree, though--the less official rules, the better.

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 11, 2015 4:42 pm 
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anorton wrote:
I think the same "don't break no-share" standard should also apply across mafia/good team boundaries. (e.g. mafia shouldn't pass around RPMs that were traded under no-share.) I'd love to see a game in which a mafia and a good player cooperate to accomplish secondary win conditions.

I agree, though--the less official rules, the better.

This is how I play. No-share means totally confidential, as far as I'm concerned. But I also believe that there shouldn't be any official rules about it. It's not like hacking or anything. It's a game strategy. And if you break it, yeah, I sure won't trust you again, and I'll probably bawl you out, but I'd consider it within the parameters of the game.

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 12, 2015 2:09 pm 
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thephfactor wrote:
No share rules seem incredibly dumb to me

I'm with Phillip on this one. People should be able to enhance the truth in one game and not have their actions carry over into the next game. By establishing a standard in which "person x can now never be trusted and should be blacklisted because he broke a no-trade agreement" you add too much tangibility to a game of mafia. You're holding mafia to a double standard. Either they engage in an agreement that will put them in a lot of risk or they refuse and get lynched for being sketchy.

I'll be clear right now that I will feel absolutely no guilt if I break a no share agreement and no such offer should be made to me in game.

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 12, 2015 6:09 pm 
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Hammy wrote:
I'm with Phillip on this one. People should be able to enhance the truth in one game and not have their actions carry over into the next game. By establishing a standard in which "person x can now never be trusted and should be blacklisted because he broke a no-trade agreement" you add too much tangibility to a game of mafia. You're holding mafia to a double standard. Either they engage in an agreement that will put them in a lot of risk or they refuse and get lynched for being sketchy.

I understand what you're saying, but don't your actions carry over to the next game regardless? Everyone knows that Daniel, for instance, is a brilliant liar who regularly plays both sides regardless of his own affiliation. When you play a game with him, you come into it with that knowledge and you base your strategy accordingly. When you play a game with me, you know I never lie, and you likewise adjust your strategy based on that. Back in the day when Esther and Elijah both played, everyone understood that they would put sibling interests ahead of either team, so if they were on different teams, no one could trust them. That played out in a couple games and it established their reputation.

It's a game, yes, but it's based on strategy, and a large part of that is knowing your teammates and opponents. There certainly shouldn't be any hard feelings about it... it's all in fun... but even if you could, you wouldn't want to relearn everyone's strategies every single game.

(Besides, no-shares don't have anything to do with the quality of the information shared. If I enter into a no-share with someone, it doesn't obligate them to tell me the truth. It just obligates both of us not to tell other players what we told each other.)

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 12, 2015 6:13 pm 
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And I also see what you're saying, but the idea that we're even talking about "no-share agreements" implies that they should have some form of binding power, aka, a blacklist. When you start binding people with special agreements it becomes more detrimental to their future playing than a simple reputation.

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 12, 2015 6:36 pm 
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Hammy wrote:
And I also see what you're saying, but the idea that we're even talking about "no-share agreements" implies that they should have some form of binding power, aka, a blacklist. When you start binding people with special agreements it becomes more detrimental to their future playing than a simple reputation.

Well, I haven't seen that play out in mafia history. Granted, very few people don't abide by no-shares and I haven't really kept tabs on those that didn't, because I already know that virtually everybody lies in mafia.

My stance on no-shares is that they don't make sense if you're planning on lying. If you're lying, you'd often rather have that disseminated. What you don't want spread is the truth, because in mafia, information is power. So they're a safety net of sorts for those players that are telling the truth. Rather understandably, I believe it was jasonmontgomery28 who brought no-shares to the height of their HSD popularity. Their use has waned and the commonly understood restrictions surrounding them have decreased since then. Personally, I use them to prevent getting killed off D1 when I'm mafia. Otherwise I would, every time. But to be consistent, that means I have to use them every game, regardless of my role or powers. So they're a strategy tool that I've used in accompaniment with not lying to establish the reputation that I want, and that I've used more or less effectively. I'm the only HSDer left using that strategy. But I like it, and it's worked tolerably well for me. So I like no-shares. And I don't "black-list" people based on their violating a no-share anymore than I "black-list" them for lying to me about other things. I just strategize based on my past experiences with different players. :P

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PostPosted: Sun May 17, 2015 6:35 pm 
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Bee wrote:
Back in the day when Esther and Elijah both played, everyone understood that they would put sibling interests ahead of either team, so if they were on different teams, no one could trust them. That played out in a couple games and it established their reputation.

Ohhhhh the good ol' days. I think we both wanted to see if we could mess with the system and it totally worked.

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PostPosted: Sun May 17, 2015 8:56 pm 
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GumboSoup wrote:
Bee wrote:
Back in the day when Esther and Elijah both played, everyone understood that they would put sibling interests ahead of either team, so if they were on different teams, no one could trust them. That played out in a couple games and it established their reputation.

Ohhhhh the good ol' days. I think we both wanted to see if we could mess with the system and it totally worked.

:o You really should play again...

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PostPosted: Sun May 17, 2015 11:01 pm 
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GumboSoup wrote:
Bee wrote:
Back in the day when Esther and Elijah both played, everyone understood that they would put sibling interests ahead of either team, so if they were on different teams, no one could trust them. That played out in a couple games and it established their reputation.

Ohhhhh the good ol' days. I think we both wanted to see if we could mess with the system and it totally worked.

The newbies must experience this. Including me....

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PostPosted: Mon May 25, 2015 4:02 am 
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Sadly the real world kidnapped both of us....but! I'd be up for some mafia whenever the next game starts. I'm out of the loop, but if someone yells at me when the next game starts up, I'll try to join :)

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PostPosted: Fri May 29, 2015 7:30 pm 
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GumboSoup wrote:
Sadly the real world kidnapped both of us....but! I'd be up for some mafia whenever the next game starts. I'm out of the loop, but if someone yells at me when the next game starts up, I'll try to join :)

I'll try to remember to pm you. Good to see you around again

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