A game proposal

Back in the day, when I first started playing mafia online, things were run a little differently. In that simpler time, a moderator handed out roles and asked for SKIDS. The Godfather would respond with their hit – not just the name, but an entire scene describing how the kill should go down. The sheriff and doctor would say a few in character words. The serial killer would do the same as the mafia. The moderator would then post what the mafia wrote for the hit. Sometimes the mod would edit in a clue – but not even in every scene. Sometimes the mod might work in the actions of the sheriff or doctor. Same with the serial killer. And then sometimes the mod would not use the mafia scene at all, instead writing their own. Then the townies would have discussion time (both in and out of character), vote, and the mod would announce who was dead. Rinse, repeat – no scene for the lynch unless the mod felt like it.

This made the game a little different. Instead of clue-mining, it was more about figuring out if the mafia was trying to frame someone, or it was a double-blind sort of thing. The mafia would generally get into the spirit of things and bury in clues about themselves as well as townies. It seemed that an unintended consequence of these games, though, was that the mod would get sucked into sort of playing off all sides in order to keep the narrative flowing. So, for example, if they saw that the mafia was floundering, the mod might drop them a hint that the sheriff was dead. Or if the townies just weren’t coming together, the mod might let it slip that the doctor wasn’t who they thought it was. It unfortunately led to spoilers and people feeling a little manipulated, and like the game was too easy.

My friend David Bowles (who has played one or two mafia games on this board) and I decided to change up the way the game was run because there were a couple of things we thought could be done better. We had three sort of founding thoughts: one, that every character should have a great death scene, regardless of whether he was lynched, hit, or killed; two, that the game should be run without spoilers/direct interference from the mod/s; and three, that there should be a throwaway character to take the first round’s hits. We decided that the mods should go ahead and write all the death scenes so that we could stay on an orderly schedule rather than waiting days for the mafia to get around to writing the next death, and so that the argument of ‘who wrote this, the mafia or the mod’ would be taken out of the equation.

I think that we did a good job under the founding ideals, but we might have thrown the baby out with the bathwater. Mainly, the role play becomes minimal to the game. I think if everyone feels they have a part to play and are really acting out a role, they may feel more involved in the story – more like a murder mystery party where everyone dresses up. We have a lot of passion in these games – maybe this way, the passion would get poured into the character. So, while everyone is still in mafia mode, I wanted to run the idea of a game where the killers write their own scenes, with the mod at the helm but only steering the game (but only in character and in public, no /ooc tips or side emails) and writing the lynches past folks here.

Of course the obvious drawback to this idea is that not everyone enjoys or feels comfortable writing. So that might discourage people from signing up, and I don’t know that we would get enough to play this way. I think people would still want to play the version where the mods do all the writing, but this might be a neat change of pace. I know Roz had the idea of having a much more RP-oriented game, and this way could work really well for that.

So - thoughts?

pharren 11 years ago
I can often tell who wrote a thing by the way it was written. Seems an unfair advantage. Maybe have the mods rewrite the scenes?
pharren 11 years ago
Also, that way, people who don't feel creative enough or eloquent enough wouldn't be intimidated out of playing.
Verileah 11 years ago
That's funny because I was re-reading old Stand mafia scenes, where oftentimes since Mai and I got on weird opposing sleep schedules we ended up tossing scenes back and forth, then whoever happened to be awake would post everything. There were times when I couldn't remember if I had written a scene or Mai did, and I couldn't always tell by reading.

Still, point taken. That would be kind of a leap of faith for the players though - they'd have to trust whoever was modding the thing to present the scene fairly -and- not fuck up their writing, which is kind of intimidating from a mod's perspective, actually.
Wystro 11 years ago
I'd be willing to try it. Succeed or fail, I think that it may lead to a more unified experience.

The current form is cleaner, but I think that the data crunching can be taken to such an extreme that it can seem like a sterile exercise. Perhaps we can make a game specifically for the purpose of running through the changed format. Perhaps two or three rounds over as many days to test the play?
Vulash 11 years ago
Honestly, I don't know that I would like it as well. It already seems like the townies have a slight disadvantage (how many times have they won? - and how many of those were pure luck?) and this seems like it would make it even harder. The worst part for me would be the mod intervening. It would really suck to be pulling off a great gameplan where everything is going right (sort of like this last game for the mafia) only to have the mod even up the score - I don't know if it rewards hard work. And then if I was the GF and wrote a huge kill scene only to have it never published would be frustrating as well. I definitely prefer it the way you guys adapted it. Like Wystro said though - there is no way to know unless we give it a test go. I'd prefer a two or three round test go at first because honestly I've been wanting to be mafia for awhile, and I wouldn't want my chance to finally come on something like this and then back to not on regular games. I know that sounds a little self centered, but it's true!

I will say that I've thought for sure I wouldn't like stuff in the past after reading it - only to proven very wrong in practice. I'd be up for playing around with the idea.
pharren 11 years ago
I didn't really mean rewrite the entire scene (unless the person submitting it was not a writer and simply submitted "killed Gongaa in the Zoo by tying a steak to his face and throwing him in the lion cage"), but simply add, remove, or alter elements that could potentially be used to identify the writer.

Or, just let me keep my advantage. That's cool, too
Vulash 11 years ago
pharren;99453
I didn't really mean rewrite the entire scene (unless the person submitting it was not a writer and simply submitted "killed Gongaa in the Zoo by tying a steak to his face and throwing him in the lion cage"), but simply add, remove, or alter elements that could potentially be used to identify the writer.

Or, just let me keep my advantage. That's cool, too


Her description said sometimes the mod wouldn't use the scene at all
Kilandra 11 years ago
I honestly came to play because I was uner the influence that people actually RPed stuff out, but that really wasn't the case. It was all this ooc bashing and clue finding and arguing and finger pointing. Granted, that's the game. You have to point fingers and find the clues to figure things out. I just began to feel that RPing was getting me nothing but grief because I was one of the very few people who did it, and when I did, everyone went nutso with what I was RPing, so I just stopped. I was having fun doing that, but I honestly felt like I was constantly setting myself up for nothing more than people to pick apart what I was RPing out, tear it to shreds and post up accusations because of what was RPed. I think I mistook Mafia to be more like a murder mystery type of thing? IC finding of clues, figuring things out... seems like that way people would tend to be less judged oocly for what was said/done/written, and at least if people were IC, then you'd know that they were accusing your character and not you. That line was clearly blurred, I feel, in the ooc threads.
That being said, I also told Roz it was my first and last game. I wanted to have fun, but I definitely felt unwelcomed as a newbie, like I was interrupting the boys club (not distinguishing male/female there, just using that reference), which made me kind of sad, as it was the first time I'd ever stepped out of my shell to tryu something like this. But, that was my mistake. I hope that things go well in the future for everyone, and you come up with more great ideas (cause this was one!) and maybe people will RP more and go for more of an IC thing. But, also, if people like the way it was done, then that's great too, because it's your game, you should enjoy it
pharren 11 years ago
I just began to feel that RPing was getting me nothing but grief because I was one of the very few people who did it, and when I did, everyone went nutso with what I was RPing


Your situation was unique, because Roz killed you, then brought you back, and your in-character posts almost seemed to be daring people to question your guilt or innocence. Nobody knew for sure if Roz changing the "unlawful deaths" to "unlawful death" actually meant that you and Eve were innocent, or if it was just something being used as filler.

Your in-character posts were filled with traits that had been exhibited by the Serial Killer, I think? And since you died (the first time) on day 1, nobody had really gotten a chance to see the flavor of your in-character stuff yet. Plus, assholes like me were there fanning the flames in IMs and chat channels, questioning the relationship of your in-character posts to your culpability, because I was a filthy Mafia member and needed you (and everyone else) to die (nothing personal!).
Vulash 11 years ago
I can honestly say I never looked for any clues in RP posts - I read them solely for entertainment. I'm sorry you didn't feel welcome as a newbie, but I know some of the other newbies didn't have that problem. I think perhaps you got the feel of boys club from us because we were all so untrusting of each other, but we at least knew each other's habits while playing. It's a difficult social environment to befriend people.
SnowDragon 11 years ago
I think it would be cool to give it a test run. I didn't RP in game because the last time I did it got used against me. I figured I would keep my mouth shut this time around and see what happened. I did last a bit longer this time around..LOL
Wystro 11 years ago
I'd like to give a test run a shot, and I invite Kilandra to join. I personally guarantee you a good time! And as a fellow newbee, I'm sure that we will have fresh insights to offer the veterans.
Vulash 11 years ago
Wystro;99476
I'd like to give a test run a shot, and I invite Kilandra to join. I personally guarantee you a good time! And as a fellow newbee, I'm sure that we will have fresh insights to offer the veterans.


Like - how to convince people that you're the sheriff when you're mafia even when their guard is up?
Verileah 11 years ago
I think my post was confusing because I put a lot of unnecessary backstory in there. What I was proposing was a game where the title roles write their own scenes that the mod posts, with just steerage from the mods for the most part, but keeping the three founding principles (wow, that sounds pretentious now that I've said it a few times) in place - so no mod spoilers, death scenes for everyone, and at least one day of playing.

I agree with Vulash, the mod shouldn't be willy-nilly just not posting what the mafia submits.

Pharren, I did misunderstand your post, thank you for clarifying.

Kilandra, point taken. For what it's worth I enjoyed your RP posts and your gutsy playstyle. It was nice to meet you . Yours was one of the outlooks I had in mind when writing up this post. I always wanted Mafia to be a game that brought people closer together - a way to spend time in the trenches, if you will. The idea of mafia being a 'boys club' makes me uncomfortable and is certainly food for thought.

I like the idea of a test game. Maybe something in a universe where everyone can grab a character and go without a lot of bio writing and scenario making. Like, I don't know, simpsons mafia or something.
Wystro 11 years ago
Simpsons sound great! We can just pre-write the characters and then they can be given out. And I promise to play nice, Vulash!

Sincerely,

Sheriff Wystro
ROzbeans 11 years ago
Our first couple games were more RPish. Go back and look at the Everquest and Blade Runner games. I, for one, put clues in my own posts hinting I was the serial killer. Skirting the edge was fun for me, but I'm more into writing than some of the others. I'd love an all RP game with no or little OOC, but the core players that play this game here are buddies I knew from my EQ days - TAC is an art/literature board, but Open Chat gets A LOT of traffic (or does, depending on what's going on) than the artsy side - so it's a little of everything.

I'd like to give this a try. I'd like to encourage the repeat players to RP more and talk about clues in character rather than out. We can see how it goes?
pharren 11 years ago
I would play a game with no OOC discussion.
Gongaa 11 years ago
I would have put on a robe and wizard hat and cybered Pharren in the EQ mafia game.


The no-ooc game could be interesting. I'll have to admit though, I really like the current variant, even though this was my first mafia game ever.
ShutUpSara 11 years ago
Having a quick run of a RP-only game would be interesting!! RP was def. the most fun part of the game for me.. but writing is what I do. I think having a "light" setting of The Simpsons, or Family Guy or something like that where most everyone knows the story, and can assimilate easily into that universe would be a great way for those who might be a bit cautious about RP'ing to get their feet wet. Keeping everything IC would cut down on unnecessary drama too, I'd think. With all the murderin, and serial killin, and lynchin, drama outside of RP should be a minimum lol
ROzbeans 11 years ago
FYI - we tripled the normal monthly hits for TAC in the first 2 weeks ALONE.