Wyrmhero

Quick Fix Game 22: Ghosts in the Night

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*Facepalms* Pass the Honorary Elim medal, please.

But three elim pairs, and giving the elims Lopen and Orlok? That was definitely unexpected.

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35 minutes ago, randuir said:

Also, before I forget, apologies for tunneling on you, Jondesu.

Hah, no worries. I'm liable to do the same to you sometimes. The perils of being an active player (though I was much less active than I planned due to being sick). 

I admit to being a bit confused as to the Shadow role too. Phatt and I just hid ourselves because we had no way to know who else would be valuable, but then to find out there were no scanners...guess it was a bit of a troll move. Oh well, didn't hurt anything either, just weird to me. Three Elims is what I'd expect from a game this size, though (I ran a game with 9 people and 3 Elims and the Elims lost, though that was in person). Well done, Mage, Stick, and Lopen. I didn't suspect ya'll until the end, and Stick not at all.

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Akhm... Good game... I think so :P

As I said "no roles in this game". Truly there were roles but without any use as I guessed.

And I feel like idiot after this game... 

And I was not suspicious of Stick... and she is elim... it was obvious. How I missed that?:D

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1 hour ago, randuir said:

Also, doing that piece of analysis at the end was an interesting exercise, especially regarding the importance of ignoring preconceptions. The fact that there where some things pointing to _stick_ being evil caught me by surprise, and If I had looked at Lopen's posts without this impression from day 1 that he was village, I'd definitely have had him as completely Neutral, and given the amount of text he produced, that should have been a clue to his true alignment. Anyway, it's a shame it proved to be for nothing, but ti was interesting to do anyway.

Also, before I forget, apologies for tunneling on you, Jondesu.

Yeah, I kept feeling like someone was gonna call me out for something... :P

31 minutes ago, Elenion said:

*Facepalms* Pass the Honorary Elim medal, please.

But three elim pairs, and giving the elims Lopen and Orlok? That was definitely unexpected.

I believe this was the 4th game I've been evil with Orlok(not sure if LG24 counts, but that would make it 5). :lol: But yeah, since most of the village seemed to accept the idea of 2 elim pairs, I was more than happy to enforce that idea and keep the village from feeling a sense of urgency. :D

Great game everyone! I thought that the Day Turns had pretty good activity throughout, which always makes the games funner no matter what side you're on. I was surprised at not getting very much attention even though I was posting quite a bit, but I'll take it. ;) Part of the reason I didn't want to have everyone partner claim was because it would have made me and Orlok's survival that much harder to explain. >> 

Wyrm, I enjoyed the game immensely, and the write-ups were great as per usual. I also thought the pairings were a really interesting mechanic, and if I'd been a villager, I definitely would have liked having a confirmed partner to bombard with my crazy theories.

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Wonderful job Stick, my better half.

Sadly the turnover time fell right at the wrong time so I could only be on for the first half of each night turn, which was only every third day.

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I felt that this game was a little slow because of the split. During the Day, I was frustrated about being unable to speak, but during the Night, I didn't have very much time to talk about anything.

I feel bad for Wurum. :(

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We won! This was fun. Congratulations, fellow sons of honour :-D And good job, villagers! Rand got my alignment right at the end, so well done :] Though I expected more suspicions on me...

I liked the pairing system. Thank you, GM Almighty, for running a fabulous game :] 

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So, there are two things to address here - Concept and then balance.

 

Overall, I feel the concept needs some tweaking, but in general it worked and was fun. People enjoyed the game, which is always the best thing to aim for, and it looks like the pairing idea was a hit. It promoted a bit of social behaviour between players that tend not to be social, which was nice. And when I originally developed this idea (in the same way you would say 'that bastard developed my thunder'), one of the reasons was that it could be a nice place for new players to begin playing. We didn't have many, admittedly, but as an experiment it seems to have gone well and been enjoyed.

 

At one point someone, I can't remember who I'm sorry to say, asked whether I deliberately made it so that the players seen more as analytical and heavy thread contributors were Night Turn players. Of course I had to say yes as I can't suggest that I have made things anything less than random, but in this case and in all honesty, this was just a coincidence. I didn't change any of the Turns players were on, and barely changed the pairings as well, as I felt the initial distribution given was good. 

 

One thing that I really wanted to avoid this game was one player basically dominating the pairing and running roughshod over the other player. It'd be unlikely to happen with our players, but it was a concern. That is why the aspects of the game were divided so neatly in concept - Votes and main thread posting for the Day player, and PMs and Actions for the Night player. I'm pleased to say that there was none of this. A benefit of dividing the game was that it could also mean that if a Night player had suspicions, they could share them in a safer manner via the Day player, and not have it traced to them, or that Day players could say whatever and be relatively safe from being bumped off during the Night.

 

I think the issue with this though was regarding the timing for the players themselves. By limiting the amount of time people have to have an effect on the game, ignoring the PM with their partner, it made things very awkward for players with less time on their hands. I did also note that there was less discussion than I would have liked for such a quick game, which I would also say is due to the splitting of players into distinct halves that never touch.

 

I think that I would ideally like to change the concept to try and find the sweet spot for the pairing mechanic. Firstly, I would get rid of the Day/Night distinction, and just run with a single Turn per Cycle. Players could all vote in the thread, working together but appearing separate. This would basically make all the players secret lovers that share an action, rather than control the 'same' character. The benefit of this would be that it encourages discussion by having everyone able to talk to everyone. The disadvantage is that you have to figure out how to deal with a situation when a player-pair is in second and third place for the lynch, but their totalled votes add up to make them first, and how to accept actions being sent in (you could potentially make players just in effect be lovers, with each having a potentially different role, but this would introduce higher variance if a double-role got killed). The second alternative is that you make the pairings public and actually treat the players as the same character. The disadvantage with this though is that there's not as much of a benefit for doing so, it just halves the number of players.

 

Moving on to balance, I feel this was tipped in the Eliminator's favour. In retrospect, I feel I should have either kept at two Eliminators and made one a Thug, or given the village a Thug. The reason I went for 3 in the end was because the village players basically had a confirmed villager to talk to, whereas the Eliminators didn't get any real benefit from the doubling up mechanic other than potentially being harder to kill at night.

 

I think a large part of the reason that the village lost was because they focused down on certain players and did not have enough time to correct the mistake, unlike in a normal game where the first few lynches can go badly but the game can be turned around later. The lynch of Sart also taking out Elbereth was very fortunate for them, as El was close to calling Orlok out as an Eliminator. Admittedly, this would have done little unless his partner was found, but it would have been a start.

 

The Role distributions were picked because I wanted an essentially Roleless game. This game contained 10 Roleless players and 1 Messenger. I distributed Roles with no actual effect to make it harder to realise that this was what I did. Unfortunately, I feel that this was a bit too clever, as the timescale of the game meant that this was never going to be realised. In any case, the idea was to focus on the discussion and analysis, as well as subvert expectations. As I say though, I feel I should have given a Thug out to one side, either in addition to the or instead of the Messenger on the Village side, or instead of a third player on the Eliminator side.

 

Interestingly, I also think that there are arguments for removing the Messenger entirely. The Night Turns were very quiet, when in actual fact they could have been used just as easily to have discussions about the Day Turn with other Night players. Instead, these discussions were mostly confined to PMs, which is okay, at least something is happening, but not great. The PMs were there to feel the other Night players out and try and get a read on them, while having a public examining in the thread. This did not happen, however, but I think it's as much a consequence of the metagame on this forum as anything else, as we do tend to neglect the thread when PMs are up, when it should really be used for further discussion.

 

Another point which is not a consequence of balance per se but of prediciton and how the game went. There was no lynch on Day 1. This was very important, and I could have perhaps expected that players would not want to kill two players off. The original idea meant that on Day 3, it would be lynch-or-lose, and you would have the most information possible to prevent the latter. Unfortunately, by not killing anyone, it meant you had much less information to go on and thus it was harder to prevent the losing lynch on Day 3, which may not have been apparent. As I say, I could have predicted this. My personal opinion though is that if I was playing, I would've definitely voted to make it a lynch regardless of whether it'd get me lynched the following Day, and that it's more of a lesson on not being afraid to kill someone in this game than anything balance-wise.

 

So, a quick summary of my findings:

  • People enjoyed being paired up. The ability to bounce ideas off someone you know is safe seems to have been used quite well.
  • Limiting players to half a Cycle though really hurts players with less time on their hands and limits discussion a lot more than expected.
  • Would suggest using a method more akin to 'The Lovers' than the Day/Night split, to help encourage thread-use.
  • There's definitely a potential for similar games in the future, but I would like to find the sweet spot where it works best.

 

And notes on balance:

  • Eliminator team was slightly pushed, and I could've done with erring on the side of caution. It wasn't unwinnable though.
  • When the game is short, Village players need to act aggressively to provoke as much discussion as possible.
  • PMs tend to prevent discussion in the thread over the Night Turn. I would probably remove it to force players to discuss, but my concern is that it might lead to Night players feeling they had absolutely nothing to do, when that's not true at all.
  • Players really don't like lynching two people on the first Day. I would really like to find a way to encourage D1 lynches.


And now for something completely different. Write-ups are hard, and I have at this point written so many variations (including trying different styles of write-up as well) of various lengths (LG7 had some that were 3k words long!) that I have some difficulty figuring out what to do next. This was compounded in this game by the fact that we have two characters per player, essentially, and I would have had to meld them together to do them justice. So, in order to deal with the fact that the characters were harder to write for the write-ups, I intentionally removed them from the equation and wrote an essentially RP-piece. What did people think of the write-ups and the direction I chose for them?

Edited by Wyrmhero
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14 minutes ago, Wyrmhero said:

And now for something completely different. Write-ups are hard, and I have at this point written so many variations (including trying different styles of write-up as well) of various lengths (LG7 had some that were 3k words long!) that I have some difficulty figuring out what to do next. This was compounded in this game by the fact that we have two characters per player, essentially, and I would have had to meld them together to do them justice. So, in order to deal with the fact that the characters were harder to write for the write-ups, I intentionally removed them from the equation and wrote an essentially RP-piece. What did people think of the write-ups and the direction I chose for them?

First, I love basically any write-up you do tbh.

Secondly, I'm personally a fan of write-ups that are a bit more 'meta'/unusual than the classic 'steve was walking home, then got attacked by mysterious guy and died'. But that's mostly cause I'm not that good at writing so it's easier for me to do the weird write-ups than the dramatic confrontations.

So to answer your question, I thought they were great write-ups. They weren't too long, and they weren't too short either. I know that for me, there was never a super big investment in The Odd Man, as it's a QF and harder to RP in, so I was fine with just the mention that I'm dead.

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I personally liked the write-ups as well, and it matched the theme of the game pretty well. I should have seen the 'there was only one guy' twist coming, given the game's theme, but it still caught me by surprise.

Regarding the lack of day-one lynch, I suspect if you implement the idea to have everyone talking at the same time, it won't be an issue. I feel part of the reasoning behind that was that both players in each pair should get at least one cycle to say their piece, and a D1 lynch this game would have killed someone off without giving them a real chance to speak.

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Interesting... Well, I died C1, so not much to add here.

On C1, I did express suspicions about Mage in my partner PM though. :ph34r:

Also, while I didn't closely follow the game much after dying, I enjoyed reading all the write-ups. Well written.

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I had great fun playing this game, so first would like to thank Wyrm for running a game with such an interesting concept.

I think the largest mistake for the village was not forcing partnerclaiming. Although the thread seemed to settle on the idea of two eliminators, the potential for there to be three was mooted. With the decision to avoid a lynch on D1, the village gave themselves essentially one day of useful information to analyse (D2), before the D3 lynch-or-lose. If, however, we'd had to partnerclaim, the information generated in the two night cycles would have been useable in the D3 lynch. I also think that tying night players to day players would have increased their incentives to post - lurking, and not doing so would become suspicious. Finally, there would likely have been useful information generated from observing those who opposed partner-claiming. 

I think Wyrm has already covered effectively why a D1 lynch is sensible. A night kill, although something to discuss, is far more useful when discussed in context of the previous day's lynch. Without that context, the village starts D2 with almost as little information as D1, but with a player already dead.

We're a wonderful community, and I can definitely understand that people don't like dying D1 or N1. Speaking as the player with (last I checked) the highest number of recorded C1-2 deaths, it's not fun dying early, and when it's frequent, reduces investment in games. In a game like this, though, without a D1 lynch generating material for the night players to discuss, and without a lynch of their own, many night players were unable to do anything N1 anyway. In terms of enjoyment for all players, I think a D1 lynch would have been justified by increasing the usefulness of the remaining night players in N1.

As an eliminator team, we have been lucky this game. Aman's limited ability to communicate during the day dramatically reduced discussion, of which he is normally a key driver. 

Sart's lynch on D2, though, was a remarkably lucky break for us. Not only were Sart and El advocating partner reveals, which, as I've already described was a serious threat to us, but El had a very reasonable chance at catching me.

Not only does she know me well, but we were both exchanging notes on every single post made through the game when we could talk in night cycles. By the time N1 ended, I'd provided her with my analysis of more than 60 posts, even with a relatively quiet night cycle. (For context, there were 198 posts by players in C1 of the AG, and 125 in LG31). She had a lot of material to analyse, and was already paranoid of me by the time I died. With another cycle's analysis, I am reasonably confident that she'd have caught me by the end of N2, had she been alive, and would likely have been able to demand partner claims after having done so, for the D3 lynch.

@Arraenae, apologies for your N1 death. We killed you because you had opposed partner claiming, and in the 5 minutes before the cycle ended in which time I had to make a decision as to who to kill, I decided it might be worth seeing if we could get the village to believe we were worried about your opposition to partner claiming.

@Amanuensis, you died because I was worried about the level of exposure I had to you (with El dead, you had spoken to me more than any other villager), and because on N1, I speculated that the village might be role-heavy to make up for the lack of time in the game. At this point, I hadn't factored in the advantages derived from having a cleared partner with which to discuss the game, but was concerned that you'd perceive it as my having seen roles in the game. 

@STINK, I'm afraid you died on a whim, nothing more.

 

Something I'd be interested in hearing thoughts on, from anyone, is the challenges an eliminator faces in reducing information in the game. I see games as a race between the village to increase the information available to them, and the eliminators seeking to reduce village numbers. It makes strategic sense for the eliminators to try to curtail information generation as much as possible. However, I believe there is a responsibility for eliminators to pursue this in a balanced manner. Taken to an extreme, the eliminators could play a very sound strategic game by removing all the vocal players as soon as they could, and lurking. 

I have a problem with this approach for a number of reasons. Firstly, it discourages activity, and players must weigh up the enjoyment they derive from analysing and engaging in a game against the materially increased likelihood of death high activity brings.

Secondly, it normalises inactivity, which I think everyone can agree is something bad for the community, whatever our thoughts on the contribution crusade. Inactivity is certainly sometimes not avoidable. I've gone inactive in a few occasions, including after a death in the family, and starting a new job, whilst being in the middle of a serious argument with a friend. It's not something to encourage, though, and I think LG31 and this game have been much healthier for their higher activity. 

The strategy of minimising information would also lead to frequent targeting of the same few players in the early game, which diminishes their involvement and investment in our community, and reduces the fun everyone has in games, through there being less to get involved in. 

I think that as an eliminator team this game, we could have done better through attempting to increase discussion during the night turns, which were relatively quiet. Although I made a significant post in N1, timing forced it to be at the end of the night, and out-of-game circumstances precluded me from making a second substantive post in N2. 

 

Overall, I hugely enjoyed this game, and would like to thank Wyrm once again for the effort he put into running it, and everyone who played for contributing to the fun.

Edited by OrlokTsubodai
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This is my first game, and I don't know if I should be happy that I survived or sad that I lost.

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10 hours ago, Figberts said:

This is my first game, and I don't know if I should be happy that I survived or sad that I lost.

be happy :D Not many survive their first games. I mean, did, but everyone went easy on me:P

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15 hours ago, Figberts said:

This is my first game, and I don't know if I should be happy that I survived or sad that I lost.

 

4 hours ago, Darkness Ascendant said:

be happy :D Not many survive their first games. I mean, did, but everyone went easy on me:P

I survived my first game and won, but yeah, it's awesome just to survive either way. I always prefer to win, of course, but it's less fun to have to sit in the dead doc and just observe.

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15 hours ago, Figberts said:

This is my first game, and I don't know if I should be happy that I survived or sad that I lost.

In my first game, I died and lost and my body was set on fire. :P

 

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5 hours ago, _Stick_ said:

In my first game, I died and lost and my body was set on fire. :P

 

well...that is what sticks are for.

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5 hours ago, Jondesu said:

I survived my first game and won, but yeah, it's awesome just to survive either way. I always prefer to win, of course, but it's less fun to have to sit in the dead doc and just observe.

I disagree quite strongly with this. I mean, yes, it's disappointing when you die and sit out the rest of the game, but that shouldn't make you want to survive more for the sake of surviving. I think that we, as a group/metagame, need to 'get over' dying and start to acknowledge that it's not a bad thing to die in these games if we can ultimately help our side win. Remember, it's a team game, and you can still win (or lose) whether you're alive or not. The plays you make should not be based on whether it's more or less likely to get you killed, as that leads to bad plays and ultimately people becoming disenfranchised and not really playing for fear of being killed early, but whether it's going to help your team. I'd rather die and help my team than survive to the end, and that should be a viewpoint we encourage.

Edited by Wyrmhero
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@Wyrmhero, did I say anything like that? I always play for my team to win, and I get killed early more often than I survive, and don't complain. But it is less fun to die early, and that's simply fact. I acknowledge that fact. I don't play to survive to the detriment of my team, but I'm not going to pretend I'm just as happy when I go out early.

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My apologies, the post changed quite a bit as I wrote my thoughts on it, so I realise that it's a bit misleading now. The part I disagreed with was the 'awesome just to survive either way' part of it, because to me as a Villager, I feel it's a little disappointing to survive a losing game. Reason being, it means that the Eliminators did not consider me a threat and my analysis was nowhere near the mark. But that's a personal view, not one I apply to other people. 

 

Ultimately, my thoughts are that if I have been killed, then my alignment has been confirmed and my analysis can now be looked at in a new light. If I have been Eliminator killed, then there is a reason for it, and that is either contained within my analysis, the playstyle of the Eliminators, or the players on the Eliminator team. My death can be turned into a useful thing for the Village, which is great, and improves my team's chances. So I see it as a good thing to die early, because it means I'm doing something right.

Edited by Wyrmhero
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Time to close up another of Wyrm's fantastic games.  As always, your write ups were great and kept us all entertained even while you ruthlessly butchered someone. :P  I for one really hope to see a game like this rerun.  The two-headed mechanic looked vastly entertaining and helps to open communication between players that might not normally talk to each other.  And if there is one thing we should all be doing is talking to each other.  After all, it's only polite to let your victim see your face before you knife them in the back. EMqYlbxRo13K50x1H0zXr5OW3GmB5ywfDwHMg0UMXjlzYjq4blSgdE8-WG7YxvPpJYCSFHbEgjLI5pCvDDHiVJaBHrInPIIpp_Q92502FzTs9sVDzZVpuSdxiuXzsOFxM9dm7b9R

Many thanks (and upvotes) to Wyrm for running his game and congratulations to the Sons of Honour for pulling off the win.  The Ghostbloods shall have their revenge.

If anyone would like to try their hand at running a game, please get a hold of GammaWilson, Metacognition or myself. Not only will we get you added to the list, but we'd also be more than willing to help out in any way we can.

You can also ask questions and get some hints and feedback from everyone over here in our 
Art of Game Creation thread as well. With all the games that we've run so far, we have plenty of experienced GMs that can help you refine any game you're thinking about!

Thanks again to everyone that played and we look forward to killing seeing you in future games!

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