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Source: (consider it) Thread: Circus: Mafia Part II: La Cosa Nova
Smudgie

Ship's Barnacle
# 2716

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Cluedo? Cluedo? Please say it's Cluedo, Mr Wet Kipper sir, and you'll be on my list of favouritestest circus hosties for ever. [Big Grin] [Axe murder] [Biased]

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Miss you, Erin.

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Wet Kipper
Circus Runaway
# 1654

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just before Teufelchen started up the first Mafia game, I had been in discussion with my fellow Circus Host regarding the resurrection of Wink Murder.

That might be a little too like Mafia, so maybe a game of Cluedo next.

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- insert randomly chosen, potentially Deep and Meaningful™ song lyrics here -

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Smudgie

Ship's Barnacle
# 2716

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Oh my, I'd forgotten wink murder!!!

Cluedo first, then wink murder. I'll be a happy penguin from now until Christmas. [Big Grin]

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Miss you, Erin.

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Rugmaker
Shipmate
# 10728

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quote:
Originally posted by Stevie Boy Wonder:
But towards the end, with the whole Rugmaker/Leonato mutual accusation thing, Leonato's arguments looked so well rounded to me, and Rugmaker's defence of them so leaky, I had to bite my tongue hard not to chip in from beyond the grave, "For crying out loud, Rugmaker's as guilty as [insert clearly guilty criminal mastermind's name here]!"


To be honest, I thought so too, and was at a bit of a loss how to respond at times. Late in the game it is also very dangerous to knock off someone who has been accusing you immediately without pointing to your own guilt. Leonato was a real thorn in the flesh for us at the end, but we managed to put him off just enough by AR and I nominating each other - high risk, high reward!

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Waiting to think of something witty to put here.

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Pure Sunshine
Shipmate
# 11904

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quote:
Originally posted by Wet Kipper:
just before Teufelchen started up the first Mafia game, I had been in discussion with my fellow Circus Host regarding the resurrection of Wink Murder.

That might be a little too like Mafia, so maybe a game of Cluedo next.

Ooh, these sound like fun. I'm not sure how either'd be played online, but I'm up for them regardless!

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Pure Sunshine by name, and sometimes by nature.

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Teufelchen
Shipmate
# 10158

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Ok, as promised - my modus operandi as Moderator, along with the full rules as they currently stand:

Tiefling's Complete Guide to Mafia
These explanations will combine rules with methods, and mention variations that have not (yet) been used.

Basic Idea

Mafia, also known as Are You a Werewolf? is a game depicting a conflict between an informed minority and an uninformed majority. In the simplest version, the minority are called Mafia and the majority are called Citizens (or townspeople, villagers, or civilians). The Mafia begin with complete knowledge and the Citizens with none. Almost any variation to the game will alter this state somewhat. Each side wins when the other is eliminated or unable to act.

Setup
The roles are assigned by the Moderator, who oversees the game and does not play. Conventionally, this is done using playing cards. (Looney Labs produces a set of Werewolf cards, and there are various methods of using standard playing cards for Mafia roles available online.) I have used Microsoft Excel to assign the roles. This can be done by assigning a random number from the RAND() function to each player, and sorting the list of players by their random numbers, before matching the list to an alphabetical list of the chosen roles. Once the roles are assigned, everyone is told secretly (by private message) what role they have been given, and what its abilities and victory conditions are. The Mafia are identified to one another at this point.

The game typically begins with a brief 'evening' phase before the first night begins, as described below.

Game Play

The regular turn sequence consists of a night followed by a day.

During the night, each person who has been given a night action should take it. The Mafia have a night action which entitles them (as a group) to kill one other character. A nominated member of the Mafia (known as the Don or Godfather) sends the Moderator a PM with the name of the chosen victim. The Moderator then notifies the victim that he or she has been killed, and day begins. The person who was killed is out of the game. (Generally, the victim is expected to post a suitably dramatic death scene, and disclose what role they had been given.)

During the day, the players try to root out the Mafia in their midst. This is done by means of public lynching. (I know this is a gruesome concept, but it's very traditional in Mafia. You may imagine the victims being detained at length by an inefficient justice system if you prefer.) Once the previous night's victim has posted a death scene, players may begin to accuse one another of being Mafia. A formal accusation (as opposed to a careless suggestion of complicity) makes the accused eligible to be lynched that day. Once three nominations have been made, or a fixed time period elapses, nominations close.

The accused are then able to defend themselves, for a fixed period or until they are all satisfied that they have defended themselves (or their rivals incriminated themselves) enough. The players then all vote for who they would like to see lynched. One of the following two rules for majorities should be followed, as announced by the Moderator at the start of the game:

Simple majority: If more than half (rounded up) of the eligible voters either fail to vote within the alloted time, or formally abstain, no-one is lynched. If two nominees tie for the largest number of votes at the end of the voting period, no-one is lynched. Otherwise, the nominee with the largest number of votes is lynched.

Absolute majority: Anyone who is voted for by more than half the eligible voters is lynched. Anyone who is voted for by exactly half the eligible voters is lynched unless the other half either all vote for the same other candidate, or all abstain. Otherwise, no-one is lynched.

Length of Phases

Rules on the length of phases do not form an integral part of the rules, but should be clear to the players so that they know how fast they have to play. At present, the set lengths of the night, nomination and defence phases are each 24 hours. The voting phase was 36 hours in both the games just played, but could probably be increased to 48 hours. Because players may not all have access at weekends, the phases are somewhat extended. If it is night, the defence phase, or the voting phase at midnight on Friday, the next phase will not start until the Moderator's first post on Tuesday. If it is the nomination phase at midnight on Friday, nominations will remain open until three have been made, and defence will then last until the Moderator's first post on Tuesday.

The End-Game
If the Citizens lynch all the Mafia, the game ends immediately with a victory for the Citizens. If the Mafia, at nightfall, are equal or greater in number to the Citizens, the game ends in a victory for the Mafia. With additional roles, the end-game may be more complicated, but the fact that the citizens cannot resist an equal number of any other single faction is crucial.

Roles to follow in the next post...

T.

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Little devil

Posts: 3894 | From: London area | Registered: Aug 2005  |  IP: Logged
Teufelchen
Shipmate
# 10158

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Roles

Although the Mafia and Citizen roles outlined in the previous post are all that is essential to the game, it is usual to include one or more other roles, usually to provide the Citizens with information or protection. There may also be more than one 'hostile' group, and these will usually be hostile to each other. (This section contains more information than any one game will ever need - Citizen, Mafioso, Detective and Watchman/Doctor are by far the commonest roles. You can skip the rest if you like. A few untried roles and concepts follow in a subsequent post.)

Citizen: The default role. Citizens have no special abilities.

Mafia: The standard adversary. The Mafia faction may kill one person per night. Other Mafia-like factions may be added - these may be Mafia from different families, 'Ndrangheta, Tongs, Snakeheads, Triads, Yakuza, or any other kind of gangster. Usually, these groups form separate factions and are in competition against each other as well as against the Citizens. See also Werewolves.

Detective: A member of the Citizen faction. The Detective may, as a night action, ask the Moderator whether a given player is a Mafioso or a Citizen, and get an accurate answer. (Different gangsters all look alike to the Detective, and everyone else looks like a Citizen.) The Detective is sometimes referred to as the Angel or the Cop.

Watchman: A member of the Citizen faction. The Watchman may, as a night action, choose one player to defend from attack for that night. Any attack on someone protected by the Watchman will fail. The Watchman is sometimes referred to as the Doctor or the Archangel.

Mason: The Masons are members of the Citizen faction. The Masons are all at a lodge meeting on the first night, and can therefore attest to one another's innocence. They have no other night action. (As with Mafia, more than one group is possible - Odd Fellows, Scottish Rite Masons, etc.)

Werewolf: The Werewolves fulfil the same function in Are You a Werewolf? as the Mafia do in Mafia. (The Werewolf idea is originally due to Andrew Plotkin, who asks to be credited when it is used.) However, they are affected by a different set of roles. The Detective cannot detect Werewolves, and the Watchman cannot defend against them. (It's possible different werewolf tribes might exist, although this rumour has not yet been confirmed. It's likely that werewolves would only be able to defeat other werewolves if they had superior numbers.)

Seer: The Seer is the Werewolf equivalent of the Detective, and can detect Werewolves as a night action. The Seer cannot detect Mafiosi or other gangsters.

Alchemist: The Alchemist can defend one player per night against Werewolves with a preparation of wolfsbane. The Alchemist is the Werewolf counterpart of the Watchman/Doctor, and cannot protect against Mafiosi.

Number of Roles
In assigning roles, it is important to maintain balance. Personally, I would never make less than 2/3 of the players members of the Citizen faction, no matter what other advantages they were given. In the first game I moderated, there were only 2 Mafiosi out of 12 players, and they still achieved a flawless victory. In the second game, 6 out of the 24 starting players were gangsters, but split into two competing gangs of 3, and offset with Masons and a Watchman. Ideally, each gang should have at least 2 members. The Masons, if present, must have at least two members, and I recommend making them at least one member stronger than the largest gang. I'm not sure what weighting to give each of the other roles - weight of numbers seems to be the governing factor in balancing the factions.

The introduction of a second gang in the second game was intended to weaken the gangsters and give the citizens a positive motivation for not lynching anyone if they really didn't agree with any of the nominations. In the event, I'm not sure if this approach worked or not.

T.

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Little devil

Posts: 3894 | From: London area | Registered: Aug 2005  |  IP: Logged
Teufelchen
Shipmate
# 10158

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And finally, the untried roles:

Cultist: The cultists, as a group, can recruit one person to join them each night. A successful recruit retains their powers, but joins the Cultist faction. If the cult attempts to recruit a mafioso or werewolf, the cultist doing the recruiting dies. The cult wins when everyone in town is in the Cultist faction, or if there are more cultists than citizens when the shooting stops. (More than one cult is possible. A cultist trying to recruit a member of another cult simply fails.) The detective can detect cultists, but I'm unsure as to whether the seer should be able to as well. The watchman, but not the alchemist, can defend against cult recruitment. Whereas the Masons should start out more numerous than the gangsters, the cultists should probably start out less so. A cult which belong to the citizen faction is also possible, and is known as the Neighbourhood Watch.

Caterer: A variation on the Detective, the Caterer can scrutinise one player's food order each night. This provides a coded clue to the player's identity - for example, the Mafia might always eat pizza. The Caterer is usually in the Citizen faction.

Vampire: Suited to the Werewolf setting, a Vampire would be expected to have the same power as the cultists, and to die if he tries recruiting a werewolf. This role is entirely untried, but it seems reasonable that a vampire who tries to recruit a gangster fails, but does not die. The seer can detect the vampire. I'm not sure whether to let the Alchemist defend against the Vampire with garlic, or to introduce a second 'defender' role, the Priest, who uses holy water. In the latter case, it might also be an idea to give the 'recruit' power only to the 'master' vampire, and not to the attendant recruits.

T.

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Little devil

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The Great Gumby

Ship's Brain Surgeon
# 10989

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quote:
Originally posted by Banner Lady:
I enjoyed Gumby and Eliab's posts very much, so I was sorry to see them go early.

[Axe murder]

I'm sure I'd have got steadily more boring if I'd had to keep it up for any length of time, though. At least there are some advantages to being bumped off early.

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The first principle is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool. - Richard Feynman

A letter to my son about death

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Teufelchen
Shipmate
# 10158

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Thoughts on openness:

My original gambit of trying to play an 'all roles secret' game clearly didn't work. Since then, I've thought more about how the Moderator should announce the roles.

1. If a role is in use, the Moderator must say so.

2. The Moderator may also announce the use of roles that are not in use, in order to confuse things.

3. There's no reason to say how many of each role exist.

Additionally, I'm aware of various roles which involve inaccurate information. Examples are the Miller, who's innocent, but looks guilty to the Detective, and various kinds of 'broken' Detectives who see the wrong people as guilty, or who see everyone as guilty. As a matter of policy, I will never use these roles. Aside from the difficulty they would create for me, I think they're quite unfair to the players. Therefore:

4. Each role's abilities will be correctly disclosed to the player who has that role.

5. The Moderator never lies in PMs.

T.

[ 22. November 2006, 10:39: Message edited by: Teufelchen ]

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Little devil

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Eliab
Shipmate
# 9153

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quote:
Originally posted by Teufelchen:
The introduction of a second gang in the second game was intended to weaken the gangsters and give the citizens a positive motivation for not lynching anyone if they really didn't agree with any of the nominations. In the event, I'm not sure if this approach worked or not.

I think it made the game very interesting, but didn't achieve that by having the intended effect.

The citizens would have had more chance with one gang of six than two gangs of three, because the murder rate is doubled by two gangs. The chance of gang-on-gang slayings helps the town, but is off-set by the fact that the watchman can't stop all the killings even if he always guesses right and by the reduced life-expectancy of the detective that comes with more murders.

And it makes spotting the criminals harder. The only information a citizen has is what he can deduce from other players' actions. At some point, the criminals have to act against what their interests would be if they were citizens. Having two gangs delays that point right to the end-game. While one gang is active, the thing that EVERYONE most wants to do is to identify and bump off a subset of the town's underworld.

A third reason is that although it's nice to see a Mafiosi get their comeuppance in the night, it doesn't tell us very much, and it is information that the citizens most need. If we'd ever managed to lynch a gangster, that would have told us a lot, because everyone has to vote (or abstain). Fewer gangsters means a reduced chance of nominating and lynching them.

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"Perhaps there is poetic beauty in the abstract ideas of justice or fairness, but I doubt if many lawyers are moved by it"

Richard Dawkins

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Teufelchen
Shipmate
# 10158

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Would any of the following have helped the citizens compete against two gangs?

Two Detectives, who know each other.

Two Watchmen, who know each other.

A vigilante, who can kill at night but is on the citizens' side.

Two Neighbourhood Watch instead of four Masons.

T.

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Little devil

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Wet Kipper
Circus Runaway
# 1654

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Being a vigilante would have been interesting.

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- insert randomly chosen, potentially Deep and Meaningful™ song lyrics here -

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Rugmaker
Shipmate
# 10728

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Having just played as a bad guy, the factor which was of most nuisance to me was the masons. Towards the end of the game it definitely skewed the voting possibilities having two known innocents, one because she was a mason. The detective is really just taking a punt in the dark, and as soon as he or she makes any move to reveal their role they'll be killed by somebody, so they really can't help much. Similarly, the watchman is really just guessing, especially early on - has the watchman actually managed to save anybody in either game?

I think that having two gangs was fun, and I would have loved to see an end game with say two left from each gang plus two citizens! But I think that a game with just one gang is equally good, just different. I think that the change to the voting rules should help the citizens a good deal and restore a balance somewhat. I know that AR and I never felt we were in any way certain to win until we actually did - the game was a lot closer than it may have appeared, and the citizens were probably only a couple of votes here and there away from winning. They just had no way of knowing that at the time!

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Waiting to think of something witty to put here.

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Smudgie

Ship's Barnacle
# 2716

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Personally I found the increased complexity of the balance of roles a bit overwhelming, but that's because I'm overwhelmed with things generally at the moment and only popping online here and there. That's probably why I didn't get quite as involved this time - I tended to switch off when the new roles emerged. As I said, the fault is with me though, not with the game as such (Thanks for running it, Teufelchenchen!) and I look forward to the next one.

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Miss you, Erin.

Posts: 14382 | From: Under the duvet | Registered: Apr 2002  |  IP: Logged
Teufelchen
Shipmate
# 10158

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quote:
Originally posted by Rugmaker:
The detective is really just taking a punt in the dark, and as soon as he or she makes any move to reveal their role they'll be killed by somebody, so they really can't help much.

It would be interesting, I think, explicitly to allow everyone to communicate privately. That way, the detective could pass information to any known masons, or to anyone the detective personally knows to be innocent, broadening the base of approval for the detective's discoveries.

quote:
Similarly, the watchman is really just guessing, especially early on - has the watchman actually managed to save anybody in either game?
There was no watchman in the first game. In the second game, the watchman did not save anyone. Of course, the watchman can help solve the problem of the detective's vulnerability - if the detective has said enough to give herself away, the watchman can protect her.

The vigilante's role description is this:

Vigilante: This role may kill at night, but does not have to. The vigilante is a member of the citizen faction, and wins when there are no members of other factions left.

T.

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Little devil

Posts: 3894 | From: London area | Registered: Aug 2005  |  IP: Logged
The Great Gumby

Ship's Brain Surgeon
# 10989

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quote:
Originally posted by Teufelchen:
Would any of the following have helped the citizens compete against two gangs?

What would neighbourhood watch do? I didn't notice them in the list of roles, and they don't appear to be mentioned in the Wiki article. Would they be the same as watchmen, or different?

I like the idea of the vigilante, and another watchman mightn't be a bad idea, but would another detective swing the balance too much in favour of the citizens? Both games were very close, after all. The mob only won game 1 on a final, suicidal change of mind, and mainly scraped game 2 thanks to a few early successes overnight.

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The first principle is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool. - Richard Feynman

A letter to my son about death

Posts: 5382 | From: Home for shot clergy spouses | Registered: Feb 2006  |  IP: Logged
Rugmaker
Shipmate
# 10728

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I fear that a vigilante may actually help the mafia. Either he/she kills people based on only partial evidence/gut feelings and probably takes out more citizens, or he/she waits for convincing evidence that someone is mafia in which case they would be lynched in any case.

I hadn't thought of the watchman protecting the detective. Of course, what to do if several people all claim to be the detective!?

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Waiting to think of something witty to put here.

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Teufelchen
Shipmate
# 10158

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quote:
Originally posted by The Great Gumby:
What would neighbourhood watch do? I didn't notice them in the list of roles, and they don't appear to be mentioned in the Wiki article. Would they be the same as watchmen, or different?

I encountered Neighbourhood Watch in this Flash animation which gives an admirably complete list of roles. They're mentioned in my 'unused roles' post above, under 'cultists'.

Essentially, they are Masons who can recruit an extra member each night.

T.

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Little devil

Posts: 3894 | From: London area | Registered: Aug 2005  |  IP: Logged
The Great Gumby

Ship's Brain Surgeon
# 10989

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quote:
Originally posted by Rugmaker:
I fear that a vigilante may actually help the mafia. Either he/she kills people based on only partial evidence/gut feelings and probably takes out more citizens, or he/she waits for convincing evidence that someone is mafia in which case they would be lynched in any case.

I'm not sure. Certainly, a really clueless vigilante would be no good at all, but there have been a few occasions when a citizen was obviously pretty sure (accurately) that another player was a mafioso. If they were a vigilante, there would be no need to a) draw attention to themselves by publicly accusing them, and b) convince a majority of players to agree. These conditions make it very difficult to lynch the mafia, because they can all confidently vote for another nominee, blurring the issue and requiring much more than 50% of the honest citizens to pick the mobster out of the 3 nominations.

If the vigilante was careful, he/she could really tip the balance in favour of the citizens.

[ETA: I like the idea of the neighbourhood watch, but it would be a huge advantage to the citizens, IMO]

[ 22. November 2006, 13:02: Message edited by: The Great Gumby ]

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The first principle is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool. - Richard Feynman

A letter to my son about death

Posts: 5382 | From: Home for shot clergy spouses | Registered: Feb 2006  |  IP: Logged
Teufelchen
Shipmate
# 10158

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In the last instalment of my 'Moderator's Toolkit' posts, here are samples of the messages used to notify players of their roles:

Gangsters:
quote:
The Mafia roles have now been allotted. You are a Mafioso. You must keep this information secret. The other Mafiosi are Mario and Luigi. You have a night action which enables you to kill one other character. Between you, choose a Don to notify me of each night's target. Once I get a PM from your Don confirming the same target, I'll let your victim know that they've been done in. Your day options are the same as everyone else's: you may nominate who to lynch, and you may vote in lynch mobs. You win when the only people left are Mafiosi and the same number or fewer from the citizen faction.
Detective:
quote:
The Mafia roles have now been allotted. You are a Detective, a member of the citizen faction. You must keep this information secret. You have a night action which enables you to investigate one other character. Once I get a PM from you nominating your target, I'll let you know whether that person is a citizen or a mobster. Your day options are the same as everyone else's: you may nominate who to lynch, and you may vote in lynch mobs. You win if there are only members of the citizen faction left.
Watchman:
quote:
The Mafia roles have now been allotted. You are a Watchman, a member of the citizen faction. You must keep this information secret. You have a night action which enables you to guard one other character. Once I get a PM from you nominating your target, that person is protected from being killed that night. Your day options are the same as everyone else's: you may nominate who to lynch, and you may vote in lynch mobs. You win if there are only members of the citizen faction left.
Mason:
quote:
The Mafia roles have now been allotted. You are a Mason, a member of the citizen faction. You must keep this information secret. Your fellow Masons are Pip, Squeak and Wilfred. You are all at a lodge meeting on the first night, and can thus vouch for one another's innocence. You have no other night action. Your day options are the same as everyone else's: you may nominate who to lynch, and you may vote in lynch mobs. You win if there are only members of the citizen faction left.
Citizen:
quote:
The Mafia roles have now been allotted. You are a Citizen. You must keep this information secret. You have no night action. Your day options are the same as everyone else's: you may nominate who to lynch, and you may vote in lynch mobs. You win if there are only members of the citizen faction left.
There. Once any final questions and discussions have wrapped up, I'm happy for Papa Wet SmurfKipper to close the thread.

T.

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Little devil

Posts: 3894 | From: London area | Registered: Aug 2005  |  IP: Logged
Banner Lady
Ship's Ensign
# 10505

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I enjoyed the concept of two gangs, because as a citizen I knew they would rather kill each other than me - even if it wasn't actually safer with two murders each night, it felt safer. But how many gangs & murders the moderator allows is probably best dictated by the size of the group playing, surely?

It was interesting to hear Rugmaker & AR say they were not sure of winning up until the last. I had a hunch AR was 'ndrinu back when I posted that I saw her jaguar parked outside Ezio's Bar. But her character got so interesting I then didn't care if she was. I didn't cast the vote for lynching her when I could have, because I wanted her to keep posting. (Sorry, fellow citizens!)

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Women in the church are not a problem to be solved, but a mystery to be enjoyed.

Posts: 7080 | From: Canberra Australia | Registered: Oct 2005  |  IP: Logged
basso

Ship’s Crypt Keeper
# 4228

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Since nobody wants to ask, I'll just tell you that the intent of my death scene was that Ezio had been drowned in a butt of malmsey. It seemed appropriately Shakespearian for the intro we had. If I'd been lynched, one of the mob would have yelled "The first thing lets do is kill all the barmen!"

Again, great fun. I look forward to the next game of whatever...

b.

Posts: 4358 | From: Bay Area, Calif | Registered: Mar 2003  |  IP: Logged
Teufelchen
Shipmate
# 10158

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quote:
Originally posted by basso:
Since nobody wants to ask, I'll just tell you that the intent of my death scene was that Ezio had been drowned in a butt of malmsey. It seemed appropriately Shakespearian for the intro we had. If I'd been lynched, one of the mob would have yelled "The first thing lets do is kill all the barmen!"

I should have asked. A wonderful touch, basso.

Thanks once again to all the awesome roleplayers on this thread!

T.

--------------------
Little devil

Posts: 3894 | From: London area | Registered: Aug 2005  |  IP: Logged



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