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Brass & Tax Mafia

Discussion in 'Little Italy' started by Prophylaxis, Mar 24, 2014.

  1. Prophylaxis

    Prophylaxis Squib

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    Should be able to get modnotes out tomorrow - been busy and sick all week.

    EDIT: I lied. Most likely on Saturday.
     
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2014
  2. Sloth

    Sloth Professor DLP Supporter

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    Hungry for apples?
    Your lies hurt me, Prophy.
     
  3. Rubicon

    Rubicon High Inquisitor DLP Supporter

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    He didn't specify which Saturday.
     
  4. Sloth

    Sloth Professor DLP Supporter

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    Hungry for apples?
    ...I find I can't counter that. Damn.
     
  5. Prophylaxis

    Prophylaxis Squib

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    This is still happening, just been insanely busy for the past couple of days.

    Need to find time to do this.
     
  6. ika

    ika Temporarily Banhammered

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    So how about that afterthoughts by proph.....
     
  7. Prophylaxis

    Prophylaxis Squib

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    This Saturday. :)
     
  8. blab

    blab Second Year

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    Berlin
  9. Citrus

    Citrus First Year

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    I really really really want to thumbs up this
     
  10. Sloth

    Sloth Professor DLP Supporter

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    Hungry for apples?
    Hm yes. Shame you can't.

    ...

    /upvotes.
     
  11. Riley

    Riley Alchemist DLP Supporter

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    Go post in the main forum some then bro.
     
  12. Prophylaxis

    Prophylaxis Squib

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    Game Design Notes

    I was reading about "mytharc" mafias one day - essentially, mafia games where there is a story present through each game, and each character that survives in the first game is placed in the second one. I wanted to try my own take of a mytharc - relatively large games tied together through core mechanics. In this case, this mechanic was gold.

    I do think gold is an interesting mechanic (and B&T Mafia 2 will probably include it) but I made a number of mistakes in its implementation. I do think that total control of gold (everyone massclaims it, town directs where it goes, etc) sucks out the fun of the game, and I'm happy it didn't happen in this game. It's one of the primary reasons why I designed the SK to have a gold-stealing ability - to punish the town for coordinating gold.

    Unfortunately, one thing I missed on was people sending gold - people didn't really make last wills, or use the Payback ability to transfer gold (not even the roles which had no use for gold - the vanillas, the Merchant, and the Journalist had no use for it). Unfortunately this prevented the gold-hungry SK from accruing too much gold. If I had to change it I would make the SK target a player and steal all their gold, limited shot.

    The flavor for this game was basically anti-flavor, though I can guarantee that you'll see these characters again. You probably didn't get too attached to them, though :p - I was very lazy when writing up the role PM flavor, and the in-thread flavor mostly consisted of a few sentences. I'm not a very good flavor writer, and it showed - the only role PMs I got excited to write about were the mafia and the SK, who had backstories - everyone else's role fit some archetypal city residents.

    - The SK was very powerful but limited in the use of gold. Had a bunch of tools to accomplish its wincon - the commute was mainly for survival, and the daykills were meant to give the SK a leg up in 3 man lylo and add a bit of excitement to the game (day actions are always fun). Gold thievery, as I mentioned, was to punish the town for coordinating moving gold. I developed this role first.

    - I like the top-down design of a jailed mafioso member needing to "break out" of the jail - it's very flavorful, and I included the message sending part of the role to be able to talk to the main mafia and to give the player a provable falseclaim. The jail chat is funny to read but ika blew his role when he chose to kill POSSUM, of all people. Oh well. I think that the toughguy kill + access to mafia chat was a good reward, though I should have told him that he got his ability once he got that role - as mentioned in obs, I don't think that people like hidden abilities, and I'll limit them in the future.

    - Again, wiretapping is very flavorful. This role originally watch + tracked the player for wiretaps, but Natirasha recommended that he only watched the player to give the player a falseclaimable role, and to not conflict with the Cold Trail Tracker. Unfortunately Zeit got modkilled Day 1 - this role was meant to hunt PRs late game and to have a false positive with the Payback ability. If I had to do this role again I would make the wiretaps last permanently even if the role died.

    - Needed a cool roleblocker variant, and came up with the Roleblock JoaT - designed to give the mafia more options, as well as being a big gold-sink. It had two more abilities before I decided to trim the role a bit - had a gold-removal ability (target PLAYER X, remove X gold from that player) and a rolestop ability (that player became vanillaized for an extra night) when I decided that those two elements were extraneous.

    - I added the Journalist and Merchant roles late in design because I thought the town was too weak, and they needed some gold generators to pass around gold. I ripped the Journalist straight from SC2Mafia - I played there for a stint earlier and I thought this was one of the roles that I thought was neat. Plus, city resident archetype. I love how Rubicon framed his messages (they were hilarious) and I think this role is still interesting. No comment whether you'll see parts of it in the future.

    - Weatherman was mostly there as a provable role, as well as being a top-down design modeled after the Dreaming God role. Sadly, fontisian never used this ability because it had hidden components to it, but I think that weather explores some interesting design space and you may see it in a future game. This is probably the role that Nati and I spent the most time on.

    - Jailor was, again, largely based on a SC2Mafia implementation of a Jailor, where they targeted someone during the Day and neighborized + jailed them at night, with the jailor anonymous. The Jailor could decide to execute the player he jailed. This version was added to provide the town with a protective role (Jailors are probably my most favorite mafia role based on how versatile they are) and to add to the jailor mini-game.

    - Cold Trail Tracker was originally a Stalker variant (choose a player, choose to watch OR track them) but Nati convinced me to change it to mirror the Mafia Watcher. The role played pretty much as expected - a tracker variant that's a little weaker than an actual tracker but required some skill to use.

    - Jailed Vanilla was mostly there to add a third wheel to the neighbor group. In retrospect, I should have added a clause that made the Jailed Vanilla gain two gold if the Jailed Goon and the Jailor were dead - would fit the flavor better and give this role a little more power.

    - Slowvig was a vig variant (yeah, this setup was mostly tweaks on a couple of simple roles) that utilized gold. This role is a tad weaker than a usual vig since he fires only on odd nights, and I liked the flavor of designating your targets. If I had this role, I'd designate a VI player or easy mislynch pregame, just to give yourself the option of clearing away a mislynch.

    - Gold Cop was an obvious design choice on any game based on resource management. It had the potential to catch blab if Riley found out that he was hoarding an excess amount of gold. I balanced it closer to a real cop - I thought that a psuedo-Cop and a tracker variant were enough investigation for a 16-player game.

    - Merchant was a rather creative role I thought about while trying to brainstorm top-down designs for the game. The initial idea was an inventor that utilized gold in some way, and so the role developed. The role played rather clunky in execution - Maiden quoting her QT logs should have been a modkill but I let it off since it was an oversight on my part. The role was also suspect to real time problems, which are problematic since it occurred at times where I couldn't see the thread.

    Looking back on it now, this was easily the most complex setup I've run, and I'm thankful for all of you who put up with my design flaws - I bit off more than I could chew. It was also a learning experience, however, and this game experienced a fair share of flaws.

    CONT with "Flaws" and "MVPs"
     
  13. Prophylaxis

    Prophylaxis Squib

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    Mod's Thoughts

    What worked: Balance (tight game), focus on scumhunting rather than mechanics, roles, last wills being used to transfer gold,

    What didn't: The SK (and by extension Payback), merchant, flavor, mod decisions/messups (such as Point of Order), modnotes taking a REALLY long time to write, questions

    I think the game was overall successful; it's probably the most complex closed setup on DLP (as well as being the biggest) and I hope this game was fun throughout its month-long slog. It was definitely a whirlwind trying to mod this game; being unable to access the game thread for half the day compounded the problems, and trying to manage all of the little stuff that went on (gold transfers, little abilities here and there) was a nightmare. If I was modding this again I would most likely be in search of a co-mod to help me with stuff like this.

    The game definitely had its share of ups and downs - if you asked me about who would win at, say, night two of this game, I would no doubt say "town" - they lynched 2/3s of the scum, and Luckylee had blab on his hitlist. I thought blab would be vigged and Titus!SK would have to defend herself against a healthy town with tons of people left, and even without a consistent kill. I'm rather happy that the game went down to the wire (mafia vs town vs SK) and we were even unsure of who would win even when the game went to three players. None of the roles had any real problems (too overpowered) and I would like to thank Natirasha (my reviewer) for all the work he helped me in balancing the game.

    A large concern I addressed to Nati was the concern that the game would be solved by night actions (massclaim, everyone claiming their night actions every night), rather than analysis and scumhunting. I'm very glad this game didn't devolve to that (possibly because DLP meta normally has mechanics that punish town for massclaiming - see Tiny Hunt).

    I'm also glad that most people liked the design of the game (roles). The game was definitely complex, but part of that arose because the game featured a resource management mechanic (gold) along with untraditional roles, like the Cold Trail Tracker or the Merchant. I put a lot into the design of the roles, as you can see in the first part of the modnotes. (I wonder what roles we'll see for B&T Mafia 2)

    While the Payback mechanic flopped, I'm happy that some gold transfer (which was designed to be a large part of the game) happened via last will.

    ---

    So, what didn't work?

    While I was happy how I designed most of the SK role (doublevote used to townfirm + push lynches, daykill added to create something for the players to talk about/introduce some dramatic moments in the game, commuter ability) the Money Laundering Ability was a total flop, since NO ONE (except for blab in endgame) used the Payback ability at all. In fact, most of the roles I designed late in design (Journalist, Merchant) were designed to be ways for the town to generate gold, and while people were happy in setting last wills, they never transfered gold overNight. Most of the vanillas, who had no real use for gold, didn't transfer it either.

    I'm not sure how to fix this, as I never saw any reason why people didn't use it. Maybe making the Payback ability compulsive?

    Maiden's Merchant role was also quite interesting to design, but had many problems logistically. The most difficult part of the role was managing everything in real-time - night actions have a clearly defined order of operations, but much of Maiden's role operated during the daytime - which mean that timestamps, etc, had an effect. The role was rather clunky in execution and while I think it's very cool (inventor twist) it probably did not belong in this game. If I had to design this role again, I would have everything take place at night.

    (wow, I'm looking back at my design notes and marveling at how I'm mostly rehashing this stuff)

    Flavor was also pretty "meh" - I didn't even finish most of the scenes. Most of the flavor happened in the role PMs, while I just coppled stuff together for the lynch and kill scenes. I'll just start with the opening scene of B&T 2: Aleksander Johannes (the SK) will be in charge of the government and exercise great power. Most of the players that have disappeared may or may not come back.

    Another thing was the mod decisions. Modkilling Zeit was probably one of the most stressful decisions, as a mod, I have ever made. When the rules violation involves role PM quoting, the mod HAS to modkill - if you don't modkill, you have very limited options regarding the health of the game, since the playerbase will treat it as a mod-confirmation of the slot - rightly or wrongly. That said, there were two problems present in this game regarding misinterpretations, and I will be much careful on my wording on role PMs the next time I host a game this complex.

    Second crisis averted was when MathBlade PM'd Riley with a message. I'm glad that the message contained no game-relevant information but regardless it was related to the game. Since it did not impact the gamestate all that much I was able to let off MB with a warning.

    I think the second-biggest mod decision I spent time agonizing over was the confusion regarding "confirmed" on blab and Maiden's spat during Day 3. For those not in the know: blab requested to buy the bulletproof item from Maiden Day 3, and I said "confirmed" to blab, which meant that his request was seen and confirmed by me - not Maiden giving blab the bulletproof item. I had to weigh this decision in the obs chat, and it caused a near-explosion in-thread. Chalk that to being another problem of the Merchant role and my wording.

    I think those were the only big mod decisions - I could be forgetting a couple minor ones since it's been so long.

    And yeah, sorry for these taking so long to write - coming in with stomach flu near endgame, plus the fact that modding this game took much of my free time, prevented me from doing running commentary on the gamestate.

    Questions were another big problem. I had many hypothetical questions asked by other people that, if I answered them, would confirm some part of the game. I'm happy you put with my endless streams of "I can't answer that" in the QTs - I'll see if I can find a way to answer them better in the future.

    Play:

    This town, in short, did not play well. fontisian and Rubicon did a great job with leading the town early and having solid reads - yet when they were killed the town went on a four-mislynch spree. blab was considered very townie throughout most of the game (WHY?) and the town was willing to put up with Titus's continued survival as double-voter and her questionable behavior throughout the game.

    I was worried it was going to be a town blowout Day 1, when Zeit + ika got caught on behavior + Zeit's modkill, but through the chain of derps the town snatched defeat from the jaws of victory. Admittedly, I can't recall specific examples since it's been so long since the game ended, but if you want my input on a specific series of events, let me know. Most play comments are in the obs chat, I think.

    I think my biggest comment considering how long this game ended would probably be: Re-evaluate your reads when people start flipping what you aren't expecting them to flip.

    Town MVP: None. The town derping from Day 3 up to endgame prevents me from awarding this in good conscience.
    Honorable Mentions: Rubicon (for acting as a good town leader up until he died and had solid reads), Maiden (for being the only town member with decent reads up until the debacle with blab), and Sloth (for almost solving the game lategame when he died)

    Mafia MVP: blab. He survived an ability-heavy town AND the SK and was considered nearly-universal town during endgame. I think there was a good chance he could have won the game.
    Honorable Mentions: Nope.

    Special Mention: Titus, who pulled off the win by being wrong on all of her reads up until endgame. Played one of the strongest SKs I've seen in a while, in that she managed to avoid suspicion and stayed alive using the classic strategy of being someone scum DOES NOT want to kill.

    So that's that. I hope you have fun, and I will design B&T Mafia 2 sometime soon.

    Mod Board QT (all actions are recorded there)
     
  14. ika

    ika Temporarily Banhammered

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    To the bolded: next time, just make an executive decision, one of the things that went wrong with this was locking the game and going over to observers and asking "what to do" as a (sole) host for this one, you should make the decision and the decision alone. If you have a co-host (WIFOM city where blab kinda steped in to help) I was reaching termoil on what to do and blab basicly stepped in and said "heres what going to happen" and made an independent choice.

    to the underlined: this will kinda tie into the last part, but you have to be clear on wordings. if players try to play the "confrim the role" game though questioning, you have to either go with it or do the (annoying) "cant answer that" this one was kinda more of misinterpretation overall

    to the italics: this is the one i just flat out hate. this is more of a semi-rant/how i see it. if you make a setup, any and all questions should be able to be answered. there are some extreme cases where something cant be answered or you can just quote the setup for it. But if a player ask hypothetical, it should be allowed to be answered even if it means confirming something about the game. If you set up the game to where it can be broken by Q&A, then you should be ready to pay the price. Personally I rather have it that its stated "not all questions can/will be answered" otherwise it feels like the host is just hiding something and could be consider bastardized.
     
  15. fontisian

    fontisian Slug Club Member

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    Want to see something cool?
    By the start of Day 3, Rubicon and I were dead, and Citrus and Luckylee were confirmed town from their various abilities. Lynch everyone else (Titus, Sloth and blab) and the game would have been. Hell, we actually had enough players left to lynch straight down this list for a win.

    Stats not working, my ass.
     
  16. Titus

    Titus Squib

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    The problem is blab was at the bottom so you didn't have the bodies to lynch down the list.

    Oh and I shot you Fonti bc I figured scum needed a hand. Never in a million years did I expect ika to cover for me.

    Luckylee's ability is really what damned him with your unexplained death. There was a dayvig. Vig shooting you, not plausible.

    I was also treated as confirmed town, because I was just confirmed not-scum.
     
  17. Sloth

    Sloth Professor DLP Supporter

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    Hungry for apples?
    I really don't see Lucky as conf!Town, still, even now. I still maintain that he had as big a part in Town losing as Blab or Titus. /tilts head.

    Still, not totally a bad point, even if I have a hard time following.
     
  18. Titus

    Titus Squib

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    :facepalm: Maybe ika can write a Titus to English guide? Of course, it would jsut be the same words. I do not get why I am widely not understood.
     
  19. Rubicon

    Rubicon High Inquisitor DLP Supporter

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    Didn't you only visibly kill someone once and ika claimed credit for it? I think that's the #1 thing that helped you slide by.
     
  20. ika

    ika Temporarily Banhammered

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    you were not understood in this game more or less b/c you were SK, for you to solve the game you would have to essensaly out yourself. By the SK POV the game is unsolvable

    any other game i would have to be in to be able to translate or have someone point out the post they dont understand so i can translate it.

    much like how people dont understand emotion based players, many players dont get heavy logic based players

    if you like i could craft something like that up.
     
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