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 Post subject: Mafia Discussion Thread
PostPosted: Sat Jun 15, 2013 3:36 pm 
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Didn't see anything like this around, so I started a new one. Basically to discuss Mafia games past and present, and everything else related to Mafia.

My contribution to the thread is a request: I'm looking for someone I can discuss the mechanics of my upcoming Casino Royale Mafia game with. I have a lot of ideas of what I want to incorporate, but they are just sort of bouncing around in my head right now and I need to smooth them out into a nice, straightforward game. (I plan on adding twists, but I can't add twists unless I know what I'm twisting) I'm going to try to live up to the unmitigated coolness of the subject, which is a tall order.

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 15, 2013 5:31 pm 
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Ok. Really, really, really cool game was New Gettysburg. Being able to create your own character was totally awesome. :P

(It also helped that I won, but that's beside the point... :P)

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 15, 2013 6:28 pm 
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Just as an FYI, I'm working on another game. It's a web-based scavenger hunt/challenge competition loosely based on the idea of the Amazing Race. I'm assuming it'll go in the Mafia, et al thread even though it is not mafia (it's et al lol)

I will probably not have it ready until the fall ... swamped until then with wedding planning, forming a new speech & debate club, and writing 2 new courses for next year's school.

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 15, 2013 6:38 pm 
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anorton wrote:
Ok. Really, really, really cool game was New Gettysburg. Being able to create your own character was totally awesome. :P

(It also helped that I won, but that's beside the point... :P)

LINK ME! (I'm lazy)

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PostPosted: Sun Jun 16, 2013 12:28 am 
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thephfactor wrote:
anorton wrote:
Ok. Really, really, really cool game was New Gettysburg. Being able to create your own character was totally awesome. :P

(It also helped that I won, but that's beside the point... :P)

LINK ME! (I'm lazy)

Here's New Gettysburg:
viewtopic.php?f=55&t=12413

Also pretty fun was Salem (my first game to play):
viewtopic.php?f=55&t=12287

If you want any "behind the scenes" look, I still have all my PMs. :P (Actually, that would take forever to send over, so I think I'll retract that offer...)

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PostPosted: Sun Jun 16, 2013 4:25 am 
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I have an idea for a mafia game, but as I have never run one before, I would like to cohost a game before I run one.

What I have in mind is a game based of Henry Hazlitt's book Time Will Run Back. The book is a novel about a kid that was secluded from the whole world during his childhood, and ends up becoming the leader of the Communist World. I thought it would make a really cool mafia game as it has a lot of opportunity for some really cool roles. But, the problem is I have no idea how to run a game :P

So, if anybody would be willing to help me, please PM me :D

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 18, 2013 11:36 pm 
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Chess is a beautiful game because of the low ratio of the complexity of the mechanic (a toddler can play it) to the depth of strategy required to excel (geniuses spend decades improving themselves).

There are mafia setups that enjoy that quality more than other setups. In my experience, the setup most like that is called classic mafia:

2 mafiosi, 1 doctor, 1 cop, 4 villagers

At night, the mafiosi communicate with each other and together decide whom to kill (or no one). The doctor chooses someone other than himself to protect. The cop chooses someone to investigate. The only communication is within the mafia.

At day, the name and role of the mafia's choice are revealed and the victim is eliminated and enjoys no last words. If the doctor protected that person, no one is eliminated and it is not revealed to anyone (other than the doctor and mafia) who was targeted. The cop learns whether or not his target is a mafioso.

All players communicate publicly during the day; there is no private one-to-one communication.

Each player has a single lynch vote -- at any time, this may be cast for any player (including self) or no one; at any time, it may be redacted. The day ends (after which no communication happens except within the mafia) when all votes are cast. If a player receives the majority of votes, that player is eliminated and his name and role are revealed. If "no lynch" receives the majority of votes or there is a tie, no one is eliminated.

If five opportunities to eliminate a player pass without elimination (e.g. 3 nights of no mafia kill and 2 days of no lynch), the game ends in a loss for everyone.

I've played classic mafia over 1,000 times and it never got old. After reaching 1,000 games, I still had debates with other similarly experienced people on strategic and tactical points. Every time I played, I still got an adrenaline rush, especially when I was a mafiosi and I had to deflect suspicion.

I don't think anyone can be called a mafia aficionado without having played classic mafia, and it is of great benefit to any beginning mafia player to begin with classic mafia.

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 18, 2013 11:43 pm 
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Halogen wrote:
If the doctor protected that person, no one is eliminated and it is not revealed to anyone (other than the doctor and mafia) who was targeted.
Meaning the target's name and role are not revealed to anyone (though the cop unconditionally learns whether his target is in the mafia) -- the mafia and the doctor merely remember their own targets.

Note that it is not revealed to the doctor whether he saved his target from the mafia or the mafia merely decided not to kill -- this enables an interesting gambit when the mafia decide not to kill anyone in hopes of the doctor targeting one of them and being fooled into thinking his target was actually saved from the mafia and therefore is not in the mafia.

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 20, 2013 9:13 am 
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I agree Jordan. The classic mafia set up is really the one which all of our games should be based on, whether on facebook (are you part of the mafia group we have on facebook?) or here on HSD. I have had many discussions with people, especially Danny, about the proper ratio of town to mafia the gm should allow.

Ultimately I've always believed mafia to town should follow the classic set up 1:4, but if there are bigger games with more powers for both sides, then you can occasionally go as high as 1:3, but ultimately the mafia should be outnumbered, since they have the element of secrecy, and their odds grow with every day they survive.

What I really hate seeing is overpowered mafia, which often happens when people try to make 1:1 or 1:2, even 1:3 can have this problem, since the mafia should be outnumbered from the start in order to make the game actually competitive. With the amount of knowledge they have that town does not have, they more than make up for the lack of advantage in numbers.

Another issue I've seen, usually with facebook mafia games, is that the gm's give safeclaims to the mafia. That defeats the purpose of having to create a character for yourself, especially when the gm's also give the mafia a rpm sample to go off of. The point of mafia is for a small minority of players to blend into the majority and kill them from within. That is defeated by overpowering the minority, or taking away their challenge of having to blend in.

Overall though, I absolutely love mafia XD. It's really the only reason I still come to HSD at all actually.

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 20, 2013 10:45 am 
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Hmm, I haven't seen the Facebook group.

And I noticed a mistake in my post: it should be 3 villagers, not 4.

3 villagers, 2 mafiosi, 1 cop, 1 doctor

On epicmafia.com, it has a nearly perfect 50:50 ratio after 147,000 games. That ratio fits the projected ratio which is found by following all possible ways the game can play out and seeing how many ways there are for the town to win and how many for the mafia to win. It would be completely thrown off with one more or one fewer villager. (I've played many times with 2 villagers which has about 80% mafia win and with 4 villagers which has about 90% town win.)

It's actually not about the ratio of mafia to town; it's about the options available to the town each day. The most important aspect of the game is how often the town has a mislynch opportunity (an opportunity to lynch a non-mafia while guaranteeing that the game will reach the next day); with 4 villagers, there is a guaranteed mislynch opportunity on day 1 (extremely town-favorable); with 3 villagers, there is a 1/7 probability of a day 1 mislynch opportunity, which balances quite well against the 1/6 probability of losing the cop on night 1. It's also very important when the town is at a must-lynch (the mafia are guaranteed to win if no one is lynched that day). Must-lynch is sometimes favorable to the mafia; sometimes it doesn't favor either side.

It gets really difficult when there is a partial mislynch opportunity (when there is merely a high probability of the mafia winning after lynching correctly) and the probability of the mafia winning on the following night must be taken into account.

The difference between 3 villagers and 4 villagers makes it a completely different game; with 4 villagers, you plan to lynch unconditionally on day 1; with 3 villagers, it's up in the air, depending on how the cop and the mafia play it. With 2 villagers, you usually have a day 1 must-lynch which can be anything from the best-case following a 3 villager day 1 no-lynch, to a 1/6 chance of a town win.

I don't think the ratios scale proportionally, i.e. I don't think 4:2:1:1 is the same balance as 8:4:2:2. I remember reading a paper that, while inconclusive, suggests that the setup scales in favor of more mafia, i.e. 7:5:2:2 would probably be more even than 8:4:2:2.

To put it bluntly, it depends on the players. The weaker the players are overall, the greater the mafia's advantage. There are some highly counter-intuitive techniques that help the town and contribute to the even ratio of classic mafia -- more than the techniques at the mafia's disposal. Above all, though, deception is easier than scumhunting, i.e. it's easier to convince people you're on their side than to figure out who's not on your side by examining subtle behavior like mannerisms and voting patterns.

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 20, 2013 5:09 pm 
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Hmm, I haven't seen the Facebook group.


Do you want in? (This invite goes to any HSDer, btw).

Epicmafia games are great (if you don't mind the player base. :P ). I can't say I've played the classic setups thousands of times, but they're great. The typical setup goes like this:
Matthew and Megan are Mafia
Danny is the Doctor
Colin is the Cop
Taryn, Thaddeus, and Thomas are Town

Matthew and Megan kill Thomas on night one. Colin investigated Taryn, Danny saved Colin. We're left with 6 people: Two villagers, Two mafia, a doctor, and a cop. Colin now "outs" his report - Taryn is innocent. At this point, the mafia will typically counterclaim the cop spout with a counterreport. Matthew now counterclaims the role of cop, and claims he found Megan (his partner) to be innocent. Since lynching incorrectly would make a town victory reliant upon the doctor saving correctly, the town agrees on two things. One, nobody should be lynched today. Two, the cops should "crosscheck". Colin will investigate Megan, Matthew will now investigate Taryn.

Night two breaks. Matthew and Megan are huddled in their mafia chatbox. Megan and Matthew are fully aware that the town believes Colin. They also know (whoever the doctor is) won't be protecting a cop tonight. The doctor WILL protect the cop once Matthew is lynched, since there would be no counterclaim. Matthew and Megan "sack", killing Colin before he can find the truth about Megan. Danny protects the other innocent report (Megan) to no avail. Colin investigates Megan. The gambit worked. Colin is now resting in pieces. The town now realizes that Matthew was lying, and without thinking twice, lynches him.

Night three begins. This is what we know as "lylo" - Lynch right or lose. Megan's predicament is interesting right now. They have a confirmed town (Taryn), two unconfirmed players (Danny and Thaddeus) and herself in play. She knows that the doctor will be protecting Taryn. But wait, what if Taryn herself is the doctor? Megan decides to play it safe and kill Thaddeus. Danny protected Taryn, so she chose well.

Day three begins. Thaddeus died, and was revealed to be the 2nd villager. A few things:
1) Colin, on day one, found Taryn innocent.
2) Danny is the doctor.
3) Megan is unaware of #2.
Taryn, being suspicious of Megan, asks her to claim. Megan has a 50/50 chance of being right. Either she can claim the doctor, or the final villager. If she claims final villager, Taryn will know Megan is lying, and Megan gets lynched.
Megan takes a stab in the dark, and claims doctor. Danny rushes to "cc" her - he knows that she's mafia, and he's not about to let her claim doctor. We know the lynch will be between Megan and Danny. They obviously vote each other. Taryn leans on trusting Danny more than Megan, so Megan, the final mafia is lynched on a 2-1 decision. Game over, town wins.

That's a fun game. Simple at first glance, complex when you look at each mechanic. A few monkey wrenches can happen night one that drastically reduce town's odds of winning.
1) Doctor dies night one. 2) Cop dies night one.
On the other hand, the doctor can save correctly night one. This drastically increases town win chances. In fact, town has about a 90% chance of winning from here.
Any of these variables is enough to spice up the game. It's what keeps a simple setup fun.

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 20, 2013 6:14 pm 
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I want in!

And in that classic game, I would lynch a cop claim on day 1. Lynch right, and it's almost a guaranteed town win; lynch wrong, and there's still a decent chance of the doctor saving on night 2, leading to a probable town win. If you don't lynch on day 1, the best chance the town could have is 50:50, likely lower.

It was... interesting trying to convince epicmafia players to do this. Giving my opinion often got me lynched for "scumminess", but I always get more satisfaction out of being right when everyone else is wrong than out of winning. :P

I do like the sacrifice, though, if no one is lynched on day 1. It needs a quick-thinking mafia partner who knows exactly when to claim doctor, but it tends to shorten and simplify the game (better for the mafia).

In fact, I like it so much that as the doctor, I always protect a cop claim rather than an innocent report.

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 09, 2013 9:04 pm 
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Just curious, did ShaynePC jump ahead in line? Thought JeremyBs game was up next.

Anyway, I've made progress on my Casino Royale game, so if JeremyB still isn't ready when Princess Bride finishes up, I could start.

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 12, 2013 4:09 am 
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Bee and I are both busy, so we are very happy Shayne's game is running. If someone else wants to be up next, we probably will let them go too. I'm trying to put a lot of effort into the roles so everyone can have an interesting place in the grand scheme of things, but it takes time. And it didn't help that I just installed and switched over to Linux from Windows for the first time, so I'm learning my way around.

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PostPosted: Sun Jul 28, 2013 7:50 pm 
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ShaynePC wrote:
I having a hard time getting to like epicmafia. I just keep getting insulted, or killed for being a noob. I will stick at it, but it's annoying.

Also, no one will sign up for games when I create them. ?

I will sign up, so long as you don't do it around finals time. :)

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 15, 2013 2:09 am 
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After Casino finishes, there are two more games before mine comes up again. Will those games be ready, or should I start working on mine? #BeeJeremyShayneJohnny

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 15, 2013 8:42 pm 
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Kenya debate as good as me?
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Nix Firefly from the lineup actually...

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 27, 2014 9:26 pm 
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Hint hint peoples.
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ShaynePC wrote:
I'm planning my game out for 15 people. I assume we won't get more than that anyways.

Small world – I have slated STH to have 15 slots as well. :) BTW, do you have a theme yet for your game?

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 02, 2015 8:25 pm 
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Woah, hang on now--does the FB Mafia group still exist, or is it now defunct?

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 02, 2015 8:35 pm 
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anorton wrote:
Woah, hang on now--does the FB Mafia group still exist, or is it now defunct?

It does... I never played in it - it's pretty huge, last I checked. (I just left a couple days ago since it would spam me every time a new game was starting.)

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