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Elbereth last won the day on May 22 2020

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2,365 Steel Inquisitor

About Elbereth

  • Birthday January 24

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    When I'm not playing SE, you can generally find me reading, writing, playing the harp, or sleeping.

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  1. I’m considering taking it, since the timing would work out well with my fall break. I should be able to let you know within the next day or two.
  2. mafia championship

    Congratulations to @Illwei for being our representative, with @Matrim's Dice as a substitute! Go forth and do the Cosmere proud.
  3. Depends on how unbalanced we're talking. The idea is that BTs are run a little differently than normal games and in large part to test-run a concept more than play a full game with it, but we haven't really hashed out specifics beyond that.
  4. hahahahahahahahhahahaha no Mat already covered it basically, but it's always the case that a couple committee members are certain they won't be playing (and one of the mods will have to be IMing), so you can just PM us as a group and we'll select a couple people to talk with you privately. Break Tank games are a thing that will happen when we can figure out how the heck to format them. They may just be a partial game, may start on C2 or C3, may just be one 12-hour period in total or might be normal length. We'll see! If you have permission this is allowed, fyi.
  5. mafia championship

    Hello!! We have received an invitation to be in the Championships once again! This year's setup: You can cast a vote for nomination in red. You don't need to nominate people multiple times (though you can :P), since everyone nominated and available will be going up in a poll in about a week. If you've been nominated, please say whether you'll be available or not. Remember that it is much more of a time commitment than one of our games, and there'll be a lot of reading to do! But it's also a fantastic experience and I absolutely loved going last year. Let the nominations begin!
  6. Whoever does take the QF, please wait to put signups up for a few days until the LG is partway through its signups. We try not to have exactly identical signup weeks, and the LG has priority here, so I'd wait at least till Monday or Tuesday (since the LG should go up by tomorrow). Thanks!
  7. Yeah, definitely! And in fairness, Wilson and I haven’t been around enough recently to realize the meta was this open with roleclaims, or we might’ve done something in advance. (But maybe not, and either way it’s still a problem.) Hm. First, SE’s “safeword” equivalent is blue text, but we don’t use it on in-game things and there’s good reason for that. But secondly.... I'm contemplating a few things here. I think Kas' point about the root of the problem is particularly useful here. What you're talking about here is damage mitigation. If a player breaks a norm, how do we get them to stop doing that? And that's fine (though there are a couple complications to this one, see below), but all in all it was handled... okay, I guess I can't say it was handled well, but I don't think it was abnormally poorly. Humans are bad at communicating clearly about their feelings in the real world, let alone a text-based game involving heaps of paranoia. And I think the focus needs instead to be on, how do we get people not to break norms in the first place? (To which I think the answer is ethics, norms, and empathy, basically, but there's more detail than that.) But, to address the specific critiques I have of your idea: 0) It seems, at least to me, to imply that if the other person doesn't mind, there isn't a problem. For instance, say that Dingo instead tried to blackmail Sunburst Toucan. Toucan is a pretty new player from mafia forums elsewhere, and doesn't see anything wrong with this - they're still having fun! Does that make blackmail okay in this instance? (Hint: no, no it does not.) And I guarantee that if something like that had happened, very similar comments to the ones this game would've been made in the spec doc. Certainly I know that Wilson was unhappy about the situation well before TJ said anything about it to anyone. Because even if it doesn't hurt that person, it hurts the community to normalize blackmail. I expect the response would've been somewhat less harsh if TJ weren't upset, but it'd very much still be there and it definitely should be. I don't think you're intending to say it, but this solution both doesn't provide for situations like the one I outlined, and ignores that those situations exist. 1) And now to why the idea itself is tricky to implement: first, emotional manipulation. If we can trust each other, just saying “I’m not having fun here” should be enough, after all - but players have to be paranoid about whether it’s sincere. This is something we’ve never had very firm norms on - some of our best players have used emotional manipulation very successfully, in fact. But it’s something we don’t have norms against in large part because it’s rare, and relatively minor when it does happen. I’m personally okay with that situation continuing; I certainly don’t want to have to decide what counts as emotional manipulation and what doesn’t. But that means players will stay paranoid, and for the player now being doubted in their sincerity about not having fun, that sucks. A lot. 2) The second reason why this won't work much of the time: alignment-specific problems. Because often, though not always, a player not having fun is having an alignment-specific issue. That’s not something you see in the cases of Elephant or Penguin having problems, but it is somewhat there for the elims this game. A team, or a team member, isn't enjoying the game in a way that essentially reveals their alignment - because if their alignment were to the other side it would be heavy emotional manipulation way past what we see on here. And this is the case in... well, I don't feel confident enough to put a percentage on it, but this is the case for a lot of the drama/lack of enjoyment that happens. 3) The last reason is just that being hurt is personal and complicated and hard to communicate. Say, I'm evil and a teammate starts musing about killing the rest of the team and winning alone, just because that seems more fun. (Real story.) Maybe I laugh along with it at first, because it's kind of a fun idea or I'm tired or whatever, and then hours or days later I realize "wait, no, that'd be horrible" - it's hard to then go back to that person and say "y'know that idea you were talking about that I agreed to? well I disagree now so much that it's making me not have fun so please don't" without feeling awkward and like they won't take you seriously. I'm not saying you shouldn't say something like that - you absolutely should, if it happens, and the GM/mods will back you up if the other person gets upset - but I can absolutely understand why you might not want to do that. Or, same situation but this time I know I have an anger problem. And so what I want to do isn't to say "I'm hurt, please stop" but instead "that's an awful idea and you're a terrible player and you should feel bad for even thinking of that" and I know that wouldn't help. So rather than lash out, I don't say anything, because I don't want to cause my GM more headaches to deal with. And, imo, that's a good decision. Basically what I'm saying here is that there are lots of times in which a player being hurt or not having fun will have a difficult time saying that, explaining why, or keeping calm about it. Whenever you can communicate like that, you can and should, but I want to put the onus on the person breaking the norm rather than the person being hurt in the process. addendum to all of this: Many of the situations I listed above can be helped by talking to your GM/IM. Which I do think is something everyone should take from this game. I think that mod intervention without being asked is extremely difficult and complicated, and would in general not advocate that it happen, but if a player comes to me and says "hey X is doing this and I'm really not enjoying it" then I may be able to pass that on to X. Ultimately norms are built from the community level, but there are some that it's hard for players to maintain except post-game. If you find yourself in one of those situations, or really any sort of conflict with another player, talk to your GM or IM. Let me know if all/any of that makes sense, I'm tired and rewrote this a few times to try to get it to say what I wanted but I'm not sure I quite got there.
  8. Big post incoming. Surprise. Responses, first: If this was less broken than you expected, you had very low expectations indeed. It was not just a new player thing. Kas/Burnt/Hael knew each other, several people called Joe correctly, and Araris was fairly obvious from the moment he said he didn't want PMs. So, this is somewhat true, but in my mind the way to fix this is a game balance issue, not a player issue. If people want to claim all the time, that's fine! Everyone enjoys that - it's not something harmful, in my opinion. So the fix for games like these, where mechanical analysis is so powerful, is to limit PMs. More on this later, probably. You don't have to use passes on your own games, you know. There are passes that have been sitting around for years - I'd highly encourage everyone to make more non-Sanderson games, and there's pretty good odds someone will have a pass for it! The funny thing to me is, this is with the changes we made to Survival. I agree - Survival has a very hard time staying invested in the game. But in most of the past Shard games, Survival's win condition was literally just "survive". Which is... even worse. I like the addition we made of voting on both teams this game, though that became moot for you very early on when you got in contact with the neutrals and the neutrals had contact with the elims so you didn't have to do any work to figure out who to vote on. But I think you're right that we need more there. And, in particular, the 'survival cannot be targeted by non-kill actions' is something that we ported over from previous games and we shouldn't have kept that bit. All that aside - ideas would be appreciated, here! If anyone has thoughts on different win conditions for Survival, why anyone would want to kill them, or investment/etc actions that Survival could have, please share. I think this is a good point, and something I'll be watching for in future docs. It reminds me a lot of when someone is doing something mildly annoying and not harmful (see, in particular, Coda and TGK in LG64) - the problem was that everyone said they didn't really like the thing but it was fine, and all of those voices added up felt like a lot harsher criticism than anyone ever intended. We can certainly edit stuff into the writeup, but you're also perfectly welcome to just add your part of the story here in thread. I think you've summarized the mechanical breaks in this game pretty well right there. Which leads into... PROBLEMS & SOLUTIONS 1 - THE BIG STUFF Problem 1: Odium/Honor. This is something we realized early on was a serious problem for the elims, and is one of the (several) reasons they fared poorly this game. The elims had a lot of vote manipulation, but no kill outside Odium's powers and no way to find Honor. And so everyone avoided the Rosharan system like the plague, and Odium had 1-2 people to choose from, total. This is, obviously, not great. Solution: Confine Honor to Roshar. This is also, conveniently, the problem with the simplest solution - make sure Honor can't leave the Rosharan system, and the dynamics of the game change dramatically. People flock to Roshar to provide cover for Honor, Odium always has a chance to hit them, and everything makes much more sense. Problem 2: Open PMs. Very open PMs. As Araris mentioned earlier, if too much information gets passed around and collected, games start to break. That's more true the more complicated a game is, in general. There are a couple other things that made this game even worse for it (Shards being so easy to prove and only being able to invest in the relatively small number of non-Shards), too. Essentially, it comes down to action tracking. The suspect pool at end game was narrowed down to so few people because only those people could have put in a particular kill - if not for that mechanical analysis, I expect Devotary would've been pretty solidly village trust, and was probably at the top of that pool as it was. But when you've got five people and the ability to coordinate roleblocks and scans, there's only so much you can do. This is something we saw even before Prudence was re-made, with Shadesmar D2. I looked at the PMs going around there and already I could tell 'this is a problem, the elims are going to go down if this keeps up' because mechanical analysis is so powerful in this game. And then NuPru came along, when we'd been planning for a Prudence more like Elandera's and hadn't expected one that just granted practically everything. And things broke. And that's not a problem player-side - I personally love mechanical analysis and love complex games for that reason. But the fact that it was so easy in this game is a balance problem. Solution: Very limited PMs. Now, I don't know exactly how limited. This game was so one-sided because none of the elims got in the PM game and there were some very strong village PMers, and so they didn't have a chance to muck up any of the analysis. But even so, I wouldn't want to give the option for PMs to be this open again. I personally might go as far as taking out Shadesmar and Prudence's Shardic, honestly, but there are ways to limit it that would probably work. (Specifically, you get one on-world and one off-world PM on Shadesmar, and Prudence can only open X PMs per cycle / they're temporary / maybe has less choice over which of the requested ones to open?) Just don't leave it the way it is. Problem 3: Too few non-Shards and too much provability. There were 11 non-Shards starting the game, vs 16 Shards. That ratio is, shall we say, non-ideal - and while we did make ways for the Shards to pass out of the game, that wasn't a guarantee and maybe half the time the Shard stays in. Which lowers the pool of non-Shards even further. This is a problem because it's annoying for the Shards involved, but it's a particular problem because it makes Odium's investee much easier to track down. The second half, the provability, is that claims were very, very easy to prove for almost every Shard. Solution: Fewer shards, scans, and distinctiveness. Wilson already addressed this in part - have fewer scans, make the investiture actions less unique, and give less information to the receiving player (ie you don't know which Shard invested in you, you just see the effect). I think we should probably do that, but think about going further as well - maybe investments work on anyone, including other Shards, so that the mechanical analysis can't just be split into two categories re: kills anymore. Straw suggested taking away investiture actions altogether, and while I don't think we should do that (since those are specifically designed to make non-Shards feel important/useful, which was a big problem in LG10), but... I don't know. This one might take a fairly substantial game redesign to address properly, is what I'm saying. PROBLEMS & SOLUTIONS 2 - THE LITTLE STUFF There were a lot of smaller balance problems this game. I'm going to list out as many of them as I can remember down below, for the benefit of future GMs, but there will be more that I'm forgetting. If you were affected by something like this, please mention it so it can get fixed if this is rerun! Autonomy and Ruin are both very easily found because they have to take their actions on the planet where they currently are. In Autonomy's case, I'd recommend just letting them target any planet they want; this could also work for Ruin but consider other options. One is treat it kind of like Mountainous Arson, in that you can tag planets and then have a finite number of times where you blow up everything you've tagged. There's some funky rulings around Mercy's redirect and Shard passing that aren't internally consistent. Shard passing more general could use a look - maybe have it so that someone holding two Shards can use neither until one is gone? Also, probably make it so that you can't choose which player gets the Shard you drop - it goes to the last successful investee ala death. Survival, as mentioned above. Take away the no-targeting thing, but ideally also give some actions / reason for engagement with the game. Currently surviving isn't difficult because no one wants to kill them. Cultivation being temporary, as Wilson mentioned. I'm particularly concerned about a potential Cultivation/Valor synergy that could be very bad for the elims. (Making Valor unable to be unsplintered might also be a good idea.) Preservation's investment action either shouldn't be able to target the same player on consecutive cycles or can't target during the day. The current situation makes their investment basically a more powerful Mercy, which thankfully wasn't taken advantage of but is definitely a break. Autonomy should be able to roleblock during the day, probably. Everyone else can. Possibly take away Whimsy's Forger role. That's a bit powerful. (Especially if there's a Forger currently dead.) Devotion's investment and Roshar's ability should be switched. Currently Roshar recharges all items and Devotion recharges one, which makes Devotion a lot less powerful than Roshar. That's not great. This isn't a change based on brokenness so much as simplification, but we're probably going to take out charges for minor roles. As is, they feel very similar to items. It's partly because of how free PMs were that the neutrals had such an easy time, but I think there's still room for improvement on their win-cons to make them a little more engaged in the game. (See also 'half neutrals' below.) BIG ALTERATIONS There are several ideas we've thought up throughout this game that would make really cool/interesting games! Those are distinct enough from the current ruleset that it'd essentially be creating and balancing a whole new game, which is why I'm listing them separately, but I think they're very cool. All Shards no vanilla - A MR or LG that's capped to 16 players, so everyone gets to be a Shard and you don't have to worry about all the non-Shard issues. You'd be able to simplify the current rules significantly (maybe take out investment actions, maybe take out roles and only have items, etc. Half neutrals - I personally really like this one, though I'm not sure how exactly it'd shake out. Essentially, have a lot more neutral Shards (I know we were thinking Whimsy and Ruin would be great neutrals in particular), but also give them a faction alignment. So they can win by filling their personal win condition or the group's. (Or make them have to do both? I'm not sure which would do better - the complicating factor to all of this is how faction game ethics/norms aren't really well-set and drama tends to ensue.) This would make for an awful lot less "just claim to both sides and work with them" at least, which I'd prefer. SE D&D part II - Run a Shard game like LG49! I noticed in this game that there were a lot of people who wanted to just do chaos and felt constrained by their win conditions. So give people a playground in which to just have fun with Shards and their friends. Two caveats to this: 1) LG49 was hell to run, and 2) it'd have to be much more built out than LG49 was at the game's start. Wilson and Orlok and I managed, because we've run a lot of games between us and are good at balance, but I wouldn't want to it again, and wouldn't trust most people with that kind of responsibility. But hey, it could be really fun! Oh, and because I don't really know where to put it, I also think that Shard games shouldn't be anonymous, most complex games should avoid being anonymous unless it's important to the fundamental structure of the game, and AGs need to be the standard LG1 ruleset from now on. Shard games can happen some other time. Okay, so I wanted to end with the good stuff but 1) this is really long and 2) I've got to do other stuff, so I'll end here for the moment. See you all later, and please remember to add any small breaks you found!
  9. Happy Birthday!

    1. Condensation


      Yes, Happy Birthday!!!

    2. Matrim's Dice

      Matrim's Dice

      Happy Birthday El!

    3. Chinkoln


      Happy Birthday! 

  10. THE GAME IS OVER ...but we haven't finished the writeup and want it to be appropriately epic, so we'll put it up in 24 hours. BUT there is one thing you can do in the meantime! We still have non-Sanderson passes to give out, after all, and even if this game didn't try very hard at anonymity we might as well do it while nothing is confirmed yet. So! Please PM us your top three choices for cosmetic role awards! There's no strict criteria here - it can be who you think stayed in character best, or made you laugh the most, or anything else you like. Please rank your choices when you send them to us. You can send it in your GM PM, or the PM where you got your anon account login, or on Discord, or really wherever non-public. I doubt we'll hear from everyone by tomorrow, but we'll announce the winners as soon as we can!
  11. AG7: Day 7 - Glitterally Deadly So, what will we do for the writeup this week? I don’t know. Nothing even happens. Yeah. Surely we can think of something? Even if someone had been attacked and survived, that’d help. Well.......... Does it have to be a player that was attacked? Uhh. Yes? It kinda does? Okay, but consider: Wilson, the Bloodthirsty Goddess the Brightness Ascendant, walked through the Cosmere, surveying her work. She’d delivered all the messages she was supposed to, letting the Cosmere’s most powerful know where they stood with each other, but she was bored. Usually the information she delivered was important! Significant! She’d heralded the deaths of Shardholders, the splintering of Shards, the destruction of entire planets and what was there now? Nothing. She sighed. At least she’d gotten to them all this time before that cheeky interloper Elbereth could. In fact, she hadn’t seen any trace of the girl at all recently..... Wilson shrugged. I’m sure she’ll turn up eventually. Then she heard a rumbling noise behind her, and the ground started to shake. She looked back just in time to see a big sparkling something before it hit her, nearly knocking herself off her feet. Regaining her footing, she looked up and saw - well, things approximately the size and shape of boulders, except... glittering. And hurtling towards her at- crash! Another boulder slammed into her from behind, knocking her to her knees. Sighing internally, Wilson covered her head rather than getting up to just be knocked down again. As more boulders hit her, she noticed that while the initial hit of the things was hard enough to cause bruises, upon contact they just - shattered? Exploded was the better word, maybe, into showers of glitter that fell softly around her. She winced and closed her eyes. Well, there goes this dress, she thought somewhat distantly, trying not to laugh hysterically at the absurdity of the whole situation. She counted at least a dozen more impacts before the rumbling finally stopped. After waiting a moment longer to make sure there were no more surprises in store, she judged it was safe to get up. Groaning slightly, Wilson pulled herself to her feet and took stock. She was absolutely covered in glitter - as was the land around her for several hundred yards, and deep enough to be nearly up to her knees. It was in her mouth, even. She tried to spit it out but she could still feel the flakes of glitter. And she couldn’t very well use her hands to get the glitter out of her mouth or off her face or…..off her dress. They were covered in as much glitter as the rest of her. A few feet away from her, in a particularly high pile of glitter, she noticed a long shaft sticking out at an angle. Also made of glitter (or just covered in it; she probably looked like she was made of glitter right now), but... She waded her way over and pulled at the thing, uncovering a long spear with a point that - well, it wasn’t sharp exactly, but it definitely would’ve hurt if it had been on target. She took a deep breath and blew on the glitter on her hands. The glitter swirled up and went into her eyes and down her throat. She recoiled, coughing, and blinked hard. That….had been a mistake. She stared at her hands, at a loss for what to do. Then her eyes narrowed. She growled, curling her hands into fists at her side, and stomping her foot into the glitter surrounding her. She knew exactly who had done this, and there would be a price to pay. El attacked Wilson, but other than that nothing happened! Day 7 has begun and will end in 45.5 hours at 8am MST on January 21. Player List 1. Amber Vulture - (Creative Cook) 2. Amethyst Scorpion - Mort (Deathspren) 3. Azure Mouse - Tenth of the Dusk/Kaikoa (Bounty Hunter) 4. Charcoal Hyena - Soren (Hobbyist (Poet)) 5. Chartreuse Penguin - (Bumblebee) 17th Sharder 6. Coral Swan - Enoras (Prophetic) 7. Cream Tuatara - (Prophetic) Cultivation 8. Fuchsia Ostrich - Konion (Unlucky orphan) Dominion 9. Indigo Weasel - Iadhain 'the Weasel' Ramer (Kleptomaniac ) 10. Ivory Dragonfly - Eris (Decisive) 11. Magenta Albatross - Relas (Distracted) 12. Mauve Crocodile - Siena Ashao (Unlucky) Forger 13. Melon Dingo - Niru Drash (Insane-Egomaniac-Scholar) Original Ruin 14. Mint Heron - Nihalin (Hobbyist) Original Prudence 15. Onyx Flamingo - (Excitable) 16. Opal Lion - Remy (Hobbyist) 17. Oxblood Beagle - Lady Orchid (Gossip) Endowment 18. Pearl Chameleon - (Compulsive Gambler) 19. Plum Rhinoceros - Solemnheart (Returned-Amnesiac-Scholar) Mercy 20. Quartz Zebra - Sophos (Bad Stormwarden) 21. Saffron Iguana - Vatorr Maj (Tinker) Honor 22. Sage Kangaroo - Arleoxtai Ashvtet (Gossip) Original Valor 23. Sapphire Elephant - Al (Drunk) 24. Scarlet Octopus - () 25. Taupe Gecko - Aurora (Bad Human) Elantrian 26. Turquoise Gorilla - () 27. Violet Axolotl - Sir Brockett (Elderly)
  12. i’m fine everything is fine CYCLE OVER FOR REAL NOW