Elbereth

Mid-Range Game 38: The Council of Elrond

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The writeup for this cycle has been edited in! I encourage you to read it before the new cycle’s, for chronological consistency. 

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Yuriel smiled, gracefully accepting the nomination. “I promise you,” she said in a clear voice, “the Ring has no power to corrupt me now. I will see it destroyed no matter the cost. This I swear.”

She meant it. After seeing her husband go mad from the Ring, and after what she’d had to do to stop him... Revenge was worth the cost at any price. 

She glanced over at Gwendolyn, who was staring intensely at whatever was in her hands - some kind of tool, but she wasn’t certain what. The girl seemed strange, but Yuriel hadn’t seen true madness in her eyes. Not yet, at least. But she would be watching. 

Elrond smiles at her. “You are excused from the Council if you wish,” he said. “I know you have many preparations to make.”

She rose to her feet and bowed. “I will take my leave, then. Thank you.” She walked out unhurriedly, but her steps quickened once she was out of sight. She had so much to do - so many decisions to make! Perhaps she would take a few items with her to sell if she could? Although she wasn’t sure if she would find any customers out in such wildernesses as she heard the world now was. 


Later that day, Aranmir came to Elrond with a request. 

Elrond considered, then nodded. “Yuriel may be needed to help with the craftsmanship,” he noted. “She’ll be displeased to be taken away from her preparations, but she’ll have to manage.”

Aranmir nodded. “Thank you, Lord Elrond. I’m sorry to trouble you, but...”

“It is an important matter,” Elrond replied. “It will be done.”


She hadn’t left Imladris in... Yuriel had lost track of the centuries. Not since her husband died, at least, and that was long ago indeed. 

She looked askance at the trees surrounding them, grown wild and strange. She wasn’t used to seeing wilderness completely untouched by friendly hands, left to its own devices. Even from what she remembered, the world had seemed... more ordered, then. 

Now it was wild and dark. She lay in her bedroll, staring up at the stars and listening to the breath of her sleeping companions. 

Elbereth, watch over me, she prayed to the glimmers of light above. Keep our journey safe and our hearts free from corruption or despair.

The stars gave no response, but she hadn’t expected them to. Yuriel knew Elbereth had heard, regardless. She could only hope it would be enough.  


Amanuensis was one of the Free People of Arda!

Cycle 4 has begun. It will end in 47 hours. 

Vote Count
Aman (4): Aragorn, Bard, Pejidot , Striker
Burnt (1): Fifth
Elbereth (1): Straw
Fifth (2): Coda, Wonko
Straw (1): Kas

Player List

Spoiler

1. Straw - NPC, Astranwir the Blue
2.  Fifth Scholar - Robin Smallburrow, hobbit Shirriff fleeing “Sharkey”
3. Coda - Aidenn, scholar studying the effects of the Ring on the psyche
4. Kasimir - Aranmir, a captain arriving from Gondor
5. Amanuensis - Yuriel (First Finder) Free People
6. Xinoehp512 - the Observer
7. Wonko the Sane - Gwendolyn (Elf from the Grey Havens)
8. Pejidot
9. Burnt Spaghetti - Tinuial (Clandestine Attendee)
10. Aragorn
11. StrikerEZ - Striker, bootleg Strider
12. GoWibble - black hat from XKCD
13. Rathmaksal [
color=green]Free People[/color]
14. Stink - Ulmo Corrupted
15. Young Bard - Phellom (Elf of Mirkwood)

Have fun!

Edited by Elbereth
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Perfect! Thanks for the great RP times, Aman!

rx6eRbqT9BFg7qZhtZQ_iGzPpv7baNQUxfGKkVF1S5MBENof44NhUWhRj3-5q_HVlk35KE49EoaokgabdRnSnmH1ivSpfgrPbDaiRYa1INnIJZ5vc0zBFiO2YcMe0c7fO1x7le9A

With a mild sense of irony, Aranmir nominated Phellom for the Fellowship.

Edited by Kasimir
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And, in a greater twist of irony, I'm going to reject my own nomination, and vote for Striker. :P

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I’m kinda proud of myself for being able to tell (with a small sense of doubt) that Aman was village. Usually I have absolutely no idea what his alignment is until it’s too late. :P

I thank you @Young Bard for the nomination. I probably won’t vote on myself for now, but if I get enough support, I probably will join in. If we aren’t gonna elect me this cycle, I’d like to elect either Kasimir or Fifth, as of right now. I’ll probably do some analysis later tonight once I’m back home, and my trusts might change based on that. But that’s where my trust lies the most right now.

 

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Okay weekend of chaos done, now to try to actually analyse stuff!

Okay so I've been tracking peoples votes just as an ease of access thing, so figured i'd share that:

Player | Who they have voted for (in chronological order) (colours to show the alignments we currently know)

Rath: Aman
Aman: Aman, Aman, Rath

Burnt: Bard, Pejidot
Kas: Wibble, Xino, Stink, Fifth, Aman, Fifth, Straw, Bard
Fifth: Striker, Burnt, Rath, Burnt
Striker: Striker, Aman, Aman, Rath, Aman, Kas
Wonko:Kas, Bard, Rath, Fifth
Bard: Bard, Stink, Wibble, Aman, Striker
Coda: Bard, Kas, Bard, Fifth
Pejidot: Aman
GoWibble: Stink
Straw: El, El, El

At this point I'd be content with either Kas fifth or Striker being nominated tbh. To be decided later though. I am exhausted and need sleep >> Again apologies for my major drop in activity over the last two cycles- I should have a bit more time to try focus on the game from here on out now the assignments are out of the way. 

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7 hours ago, Kasimir said:

Perfect! Thanks for the great RP times, Aman!

rx6eRbqT9BFg7qZhtZQ_iGzPpv7baNQUxfGKkVF1S5MBENof44NhUWhRj3-5q_HVlk35KE49EoaokgabdRnSnmH1ivSpfgrPbDaiRYa1INnIJZ5vc0zBFiO2YcMe0c7fO1x7le9A

With a mild sense of irony, Aranmir nominated Phellom for the Fellowship.

 

6 hours ago, Young Bard said:

And, in a greater twist of irony, I'm going to reject my own nomination, and vote for Striker. :P

 

6 hours ago, StrikerEZ said:

I’m kinda proud of myself for being able to tell (with a small sense of doubt) that Aman was village. Usually I have absolutely no idea what his alignment is until it’s too late. :P

I thank you @Young Bard for the nomination. I probably won’t vote on myself for now, but if I get enough support, I probably will join in. If we aren’t gonna elect me this cycle, I’d like to elect either Kasimir or Fifth, as of right now. I’ll probably do some analysis later tonight once I’m back home, and my trusts might change based on that. But that’s where my trust lies the most right now.

 

The Circle of Life, I see. :P I’m glad you all trust each other, but unfortunately cannot extend that same courtesy to any of you. 

I stand by my eventual no-vote on Aman; although he was good, he’d not said much recently to merit trust, and his wagon had far too little opposition in any case. That does make me wonder if the Elims engineered it to gain trust, or if they felt they had no immediately viable alternative to offer, or if most of them are simply inactive. Aman is a controversial enough figure that I’d expect more voices than my own protesting his quick nomination, and the lack of opposition is indeed troubling. 

Some backlogged comments I’d not been able to get to because of time: 

Quote

Fifth

@Coda, I won’t say no to votes on me, but I would prefer you participate in discussion rather than simply choosing to drop unexplained votes. Same goes for @Straw and his continued votes on the GM. While we have a little more breathing room with two villagers on the Fellowship, our proportion of active villagers is shrinking. If you’re village, you should participate to facilitate and contribute to analysis, and if you’re evil, you’re not getting my vote at the very least by standing on the sidelines. :P 

Quote

Okay more seriously - I saw it the other way around. There are honestly less blatant ways to escape analysis, e.g. piling onto established bandwagons and just not moving your vote, which would be better ways for an Eliminator to slip under the radar. This is blatant (and I'll be honest, a little infuriatingly unhelpful), which makes me think that it's not quite what an Eliminator would aim for. But those of you who have played more with Straw can confirm if it's de rigeur for him. 

Other things that informed my decision (note that this is not my final voting decision) : I did up some vote analysis (El [@Elbereth] has ruled it can't be shared whether in aesthetic or unaesthetic form]) as promised, and I noticed that I am the most promiscuous voter in this game and I intend to continually be shamelessly promiscuous. Also because: I complained I think a cycle or two ago that we were focusing on too narrow a swathe of candidates so I'm taking that to heart by trying to advance different candidates, even if I don't feel them, and make the strongest case I can find myself making for them, and see if people complain it's thin gruel or something. That might be informative anyway. I note you also agreed the Village can't afford to hunker down around the same candidates again and again!

(I realised that in PMs, I was identifying the same few people for my Fabulous Five, and felt that this was unproductive, and probably a product of cognitive bias. So I looked at the vote distribution analysis I did and deliberately picked someone I hadn't voted for and tried to see what might get me to feel voting for them. I'm still lukewarm on this, but this is the best considerations I can offer for Straw. I admit, I was also trying to kick some bushes and see what came out of them.)

My current Fabulous Five [to reiterate, people I would vote into the Fellowship today if I had to pick 'em all at once]: Myself, Wonko, Aman, Striker, and potentially I'd take a gamble on Peji, which more or less spells out how undecided I am on my trusts, or at least, people I am less suspicious of.] I could be persuaded to swap Bard in based on certain fallout from the lynch today, which looks more and more to me like I'm feeling an Aman lynch.

Yes and no - if their active, discussion-controlling players have suspicion on them, you'd think it'd be easy to throw a vote onto Rath or some other known villager just to get brownie points. I'm getting a bit bearish about 'more information' now, simply because we haven't been substantially discussing, and because discussion and suspicions without GM information (from the lynch) need to be taken with a pinch of salt. The lynch is exactly how we correct our biases and mistaken assumptions/inferences, and we only get 7 in total, and 2 more chances to get it wrong.

That being said, I largely agree with you that if given a chance to ram candidates through, Eliminators would have, so the fact they didn't indicates there was no chance for this to be done, at least not without further compromising themselves. (The reasons for this are numerous, and I admit it's one reason I'm still not comfortable voting you into the Fellowship - one natural read of the situation is that an Eliminator who could have rammed things through was just not around for the punch. Given the Rath-Aman lynch ended up being 3:2, it's definitely the case that it was possible to force an evil Aman through. This is partly why I am a bit more confident about Aman.) But I also have some confidence in the proposition that some Eliminators might have been trying to gain trust. Ironically, the fact you didn't push for Rath or another suitable candidate, which would have been a way to try to get some trust makes me a bit more positively inclined to you. But that being said, you could certainly have calculated the trust accrued from Rath would have been negligible too.

Re: your comments on Straw, while I partially agree in principle, I have a deep-seated irritation for rewarding suboptimal play like this with trusts and votes. To me, it sets a poor precedent that villagers should gain trust by doing obviously suspicious things that the Elims would never do, because it’d draw attention to themselves, because Eliminators will definitely always play it safe. >> I disagree with this so much, because it flips the meta on its head, makes villagers not do one of the few useful things they can (analysis), and sets a precedent for the Eliminators when they would like to do something blantantly suspicious—if we excuse Straw here, or Bard for his late vote which broke the tie and elected a Corrupted onto the Fellowship, we allow other suspicious actions by actual Eliminators to slip by (not that I think Straw or Bard aren’t, as I suspect both). It’s much simpler for both analysis and long-term precedent if we punish suspicious voting behaviour and comments with suspicion, instead of second-guessing ourselves out of it. 

Hear, hear on more candidates. As I explained below, I’m less willing to be “promiscuous” this game, but will throw a vote down on Burnt again, as her above analysis is helpful, and because I want to know if we’re okay with electing more highly vocal people now (I am, but understand if there’s disagreement, particularly with Kas and Wonko having both been helpful enough that keeping them around has merit). 

The rest of your post is mostly response to Bard, and I will content myself in agreeing with the general thrust of it. I also need to make more time for PMs >>

Before I forget, I would like @Pejidot, @Aragorn and @StrikerEZ to provide additional justification for their votes on Aman. I’m currently uncomfortable with this group, with them being the most likely candidates to have voted on Aman simply to gain trust, or as part of a larger Eliminator effort. 

Quote

Tentatively Fabulous: Wonko, Aman
Maybe Fabulous: Striker (depends on which way Aman flips), Bard (I am not sure about this but can be persuaded to shift him around), 
Dunno: Peji, Straw, xinoehp512, Wibble
Feels Suss, Might Delete Later IDK: Aragorn, Fifth, Burnt
Yeah, Nope: Coda

@Kasimir, I accuse this list of bias towards former Corrupted. We swear we’ve reformed, no need to keep us socioeconomically disadvantaged folks down any longer :P More seriously, I like this idea, so:

Fabulous: Fifth

Tentatively Fabulous: Kas (good analysis, promoting discussion), Wonko (same as Kas, more trust here probably, did defend Bard but did so blatantly enough that no Eliminator teammates would do so) 

Maybe Fabulous: Burnt (liking her ideas now that she’s active), Striker (still on the seesaw, this time on the good side because of Aman’s flip, still would like a bit more)

Dunno: Xino, Wibble, Peji, Aragorn (All fairly quiet, listing in roughly increasing order of trust) 

Feels Suss: Straw (the voting-on-the-GM thing is annoying me no matter which alignment he is), Coda (would like to see more), Bard (not forgiving the C1 Stink vote)

Quote

Fifth - I can't really get much of an alignment indication from most of their posts - they generally make sense and have good arguments, but I'd expect that regardless of alignment. I'd be leery about electing them to the Fellowship right now. There's a part of how they play that seems almost... safe? Like they're just going after some of the more obvious suspicions, not really saying or doing anything that would be likely to cause too much controversy or suspicion - I suppose that gives me a slight Elim read on them, though I might revise that later.

Huh. @Young Bard, I’m slightly surprised that you’re drawing this conclusion—if anything, I’ve been trying to play this game more freely with the limited time I have, and have found myself playing slightly more chaotically than my normal multiquote-analysis self (...oops); if my votes are guarded, it’s because there are more Elims out there, I easily misplace my trust (this can be verified by almost any of my past games), and because since my activity is in spurts, any vote could be the last one I make all cycle, and I want to make sure it’s on someone I’m reasonably confident on. I appreciate Kas’ “promiscuous” voting, but can’t afford to really do so this game. :P That said, while it’s in your rights to not trust me, the reverse is also true, and I’m still exercising that right, as I have been since C2. :P 

Really-backlogged-backlog (this was from C2? >> ): 

Quote

Also, Fifth, I'll admit I'm kinda wondering what makes you think I've been hopping on bandwagons. First cycle, I voted on myself mostly as a joke, then moved my vote to Aman and stayed there. This cycle, I again voted on Aman, and only briefly switched it to Rath when I felt like he was gonna be the only alternative to a player I didn't trust. 

@StrikerEZ, this is bandwagoning—voting and jumping between wagons onto whoever you think the leading candidate is that you have a degree of trust on. :P While in hindsight your trust of Rath and Aman was justified (provided you aren’t an Eliminator seeking to profit from those lynches), I was suspicious more because you seemed willing to jump onto any passing lynch, instead of providing thoughtful votes, a concern which you have largely allayed. 

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22 minutes ago, Fifth Scholar said:

The Circle of Life, I see. :P I’m glad you all trust each other, but unfortunately cannot extend that same courtesy to any of you. 

For what it’s worth, I’ve extended that trust to you as well. Just, I trust Kas slightly more than I trust you (mostly because of interactions in our PMs [EDIT: to clarify, I meant my PMs with Kas]). 

22 minutes ago, Fifth Scholar said:

I stand by my eventual no-vote on Aman; although he was good, he’d not said much recently to merit trust, and his wagon had far too little opposition in any case. That does make me wonder if the Elims engineered it to gain trust, or if they felt they had no immediately viable alternative to offer, or if most of them are simply inactive. Aman is a controversial enough figure that I’d expect more voices than my own protesting his quick nomination, and the lack of opposition is indeed troubling. 

For what it’s worth, at least 40% of the reason why I voted on Aman was because I was afraid he was playing us again and was actually an elim. In that case, I’d want to get him out of the game sooner rather than later so he can’t mislead us any more than necessary. The other 60% was that something about his posts genuinely did give me a villager vibe. It felt more real than his normal silver tongue stuff, so I was willing to take the risk and nominate him. 

22 minutes ago, Fifth Scholar said:

Re: your comments on Straw, while I partially agree in principle, I have a deep-seated irritation for rewarding suboptimal play like this with trusts and votes. To me, it sets a poor precedent that villagers should gain trust by doing obviously suspicious things that the Elims would never do, because it’d draw attention to themselves, because Eliminators will definitely always play it safe. >> I disagree with this so much, because it flips the meta on its head, makes villagers not do one of the few useful things they can (analysis), and sets a precedent for the Eliminators when they would like to do something blantantly suspicious—if we excuse Straw here, or Bard for his late vote which broke the tie and elected a Corrupted onto the Fellowship, we allow other suspicious actions by actual Eliminators to slip by (not that I think Straw or Bard aren’t, as I suspect both). It’s much simpler for both analysis and long-term precedent if we punish suspicious voting behaviour and comments with suspicion, instead of second-guessing ourselves out of it. 

I kind of agree with you on the Straw thing. I think that I’d suspect him less for his votes on El if he’d stopped doing them after the first cycle or at the very least had provided real analysis along with the gimmicky votes. 

As for Bard, it’s definitely possible for someone to do last minute vote shenanigans as a villager that ultimately hurt the village. (I’m thinking of me in the first run of Kas’s QF :P). I don’t trust him completely yet, but we’ve been PMing and I’m willing to give him the benefit of the doubt for now. 

22 minutes ago, Fifth Scholar said:

Before I forget, I would like @Pejidot, @Aragorn and @StrikerEZ to provide additional justification for their votes on Aman. I’m currently uncomfortable with this group, with them being the most likely candidates to have voted on Aman simply to gain trust, or as part of a larger Eliminator effort. 

I already basically commented on my reasonings above, but I am curious why Peji and Aragorn decided to vote for Aman. 

22 minutes ago, Fifth Scholar said:

@StrikerEZ, this is bandwagoning—voting and jumping between wagons onto whoever you think the leading candidate is that you have a degree of trust on. :P While in hindsight your trust of Rath and Aman was justified (provided you aren’t an Eliminator seeking to profit from those lynches), I was suspicious more because you seemed willing to jump onto any passing lynch, instead of providing thoughtful votes, a concern which you have largely allayed. 

I mean, if we’re arguing semantics, is it really bandwagoning if I only jumped on one vote wagon? :P

But yeah, you’re kinda right about my voting. I do tend to be a sheep when it comes to my votes sometimes. I’ve started working on voting for reasons solely of my own in the past few games, but with how busy I ended up being this past week, it’s been pretty easy to fall into old habits. 

Edited by StrikerEZ
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3 hours ago, StrikerEZ said:

For what it’s worth, at least 40% of the reason why I voted on Aman was because I was afraid he was playing us again and was actually an elim. In that case, I’d want to get him out of the game sooner rather than later so he can’t mislead us any more than necessary. The other 60% was that something about his posts genuinely did give me a villager vibe. It felt more real than his normal silver tongue stuff, so I was willing to take the risk and nominate him. 

Fair enough, definitely, and I won’t fault you for that. 

3 hours ago, StrikerEZ said:

I kind of agree with you on the Straw thing. I think that I’d suspect him less for his votes on El if he’d stopped doing them after the first cycle or at the very least had provided real analysis along with the gimmicky votes. 

As for Bard, it’s definitely possible for someone to do last minute vote shenanigans as a villager that ultimately hurt the village. (I’m thinking of me in the first run of Kas’s QF :P). I don’t trust him completely yet, but we’ve been PMing and I’m willing to give him the benefit of the doubt for now. 

I’m certainly not objecting to further analysis on Bard—I concede that the Stink vote could be an incredibly unfortunate mistake by a villager—but I am concerned that he’s getting nominated, particularly when I don’t see his voting patterns as having earned any more trust, and particularly with it being only two cycles away from when he hammered an Eliminator into the Fellowship. He’s a very dangerous gamble, and one we shouldn’t be taking unless we know a lot more, even though his analysis and PM interactions are still helpful. 

3 hours ago, StrikerEZ said:

I mean, if we’re arguing semantics, is it really bandwagoning if I only jumped on one vote wagon? :P

Yes. :P 

3 hours ago, StrikerEZ said:

But yeah, you’re kinda right about my voting. I do tend to be a sheep when it comes to my votes sometimes. I’ve started working on voting for reasons solely of my own in the past few games, but with how busy I ended up being this past week, it’s been pretty easy to fall into old habits. 

Understood, and I’d rather you follow others’ votes than not vote at all. More stuff to analyse and all that, which is why I feel bad for not leaving myself enough time to put down a vote this morning before rollover. 

@Kasimir @Wonko the Sane I don’t believe I’ve addressed either of you this cycle, so what are your thoughts on the semiactives, and which of them would you vote for if forced to choose? I want to create discussion about them, particularly if there are Elims lurking in there in accordance with the theory saying that the Elims are quieter this game. 

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54 minutes ago, Fifth Scholar said:

@Kasimir @Wonko the Sane I don’t believe I’ve addressed either of you this cycle, so what are your thoughts on the semiactives, and which of them would you vote for if forced to choose? I want to create discussion about them, particularly if there are Elims lurking in there in accordance with the theory saying that the Elims are quieter this game. 

Define 'semiactives.'

For my part, I'll define them as the following pool: <Straw, Peji, Aragorn, Wibble, Coda, xinoehp.> Quite frankly, I have very little to go on, so I'd vote by RNGesus. I've PMed Peji a bit and she's understandably busy with RL (Wonko said this in thead last cycle, and Peji confirmed) but has said a little about some of her impressions thus far. I don't think that's really quite enough to go on for voting, and I feel that if I said I were most inclined to vote for Peji right now, it would be due to the simple fact she's said the most (comparatively!) out of the pool. Which isn't very much at all.

I distrust Aragorn, and I am beginning to consider that I may have to update my priors on Wibble. I am not really convinced by the argument made for Straw since we're now gunning for two Villager elections in a row. I feel Coda's persistence in voting Bard might either signify they are Eliminators together - or that Coda is an Eliminator and aware that Bard is Good, and so voting him for village cred. (I feel the Wonko argument doesn't really apply to him as he's just basically voted Bard without bothering to defend him.) So I'm negative on Coda - probably the most negative of my reads, actually. I am, of course, open to revising my views if we hear more from @Coda. Wibble has not voted or said anything at all since D1, and while I'm open to revising my views simply because so many of my initial reads have been wrong or off, I just can't do that significantly for Wibble without more information. I don't have any information at all for xinoehp, except that I can understand the frustration with him in LG61.

Mild bias to Peji, but I'm concerned it's a bias, so I'd RNGesus in the worst case. Peji's positively inclined So yeah. RNGesus between Straw, xin, and Peji, because I feel it's a low information vote, and there's just not enough information to go off.

4 hours ago, Fifth Scholar said:

Re: your comments on Straw, while I partially agree in principle, I have a deep-seated irritation for rewarding suboptimal play like this with trusts and votes. To me, it sets a poor precedent that villagers should gain trust by doing obviously suspicious things that the Elims would never do, because it’d draw attention to themselves, because Eliminators will definitely always play it safe. >> I disagree with this so much, because it flips the meta on its head, makes villagers not do one of the few useful things they can (analysis), and sets a precedent for the Eliminators when they would like to do something blantantly suspicious—if we excuse Straw here, or Bard for his late vote which broke the tie and elected a Corrupted onto the Fellowship, we allow other suspicious actions by actual Eliminators to slip by (not that I think Straw or Bard aren’t, as I suspect both). It’s much simpler for both analysis and long-term precedent if we punish suspicious voting behaviour and comments with suspicion, instead of second-guessing ourselves out of it. 

This game proceeds differently from a normal SE game, and people will reason like that one way or another. Refusing to consider this just means that we bury our heads in the sand. Arguing that excusing Straw or Bard for their actions allows all suspicious actions to slip by is a slippery slope argument. This action is suspicious, and all suspicious actions should be examined. Whether we decide they can be overriden by other concerns is a different issue altogether. I certainly would not vote Bard purely on the basis that what he did was too suspicious to be an Eliminator action. Just as Eliminators can make sub-optimal plays, so can Villagers. And it's true that it's suspicious. I do remain divided on Bard because of it. (My views on Straw have already been discussed.) At the same time, arguments unsupported by actual game data - be it from GM information or otherwise, are merely theoretical. 

There are some things that should be beyond the pale (lying about real life problems/busyness, whether in blue text or otherwise), and I do not consider this to be one of them. I don't see the meta shifting just because one player chooses to play like that - we could make the same argument about punishing inactives, and that's not a road I want to go down. The community has a right to shape the meta, and we will shape the meta by how we play, but if we keep excluding players because how they play irritates us or we dislike it, that's not a project I'd be on board with. It was not cool when we did it to Jain, it was not cool when Striker got punished repeatedly during my game for what people deemed suboptimal play, and it's not cool now, as much as I am itching to vigilante kill Straw and xin. ( @Elbereth can I have a kill role? Please? :P This Eleventh Fool role makes me lose all my self-respect!) 

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Sorry for being very, very inactive. Life is weird, and homework is the root of all evil. I voted Bard so much because I did a poke vote and just forgot to change it. I trust Kas, Fifth, Burnt, and Striker, though my village detector is very inexperienced. I'll leave my vote on Fifth for now. 

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I forgot to add this and then Coda came on, so rather than editing - I do feel that an ongoing game is not the right place or time to debate broader concerns about the direction of the meta, so I'd rather leave it for the appropriate thread than to sidetrack everyone. I think this is an issue that can and should be fruitfully discussed, since it came to the surface in LG61 as well. I also think as it concerns the community and what sort of community we want to be, it should be in a venue where the broader community can be engaged.

Thanks for listening to my TED talk, see you guys next year!

Edit: As part of my Eleventh Fool powers for this cycle - @Fifth Scholar, does this mean you're giving Bard the STINK eye? :ph34r:

Edited by Kasimir
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50 minutes ago, Kasimir said:

This game proceeds differently from a normal SE game, and people will reason like that one way or another. Refusing to consider this just means that we bury our heads in the sand. Arguing that excusing Straw or Bard for their actions allows all suspicious actions to slip by is a slippery slope argument. This action is suspicious, and all suspicious actions should be examined. Whether we decide they can be overriden by other concerns is a different issue altogether. I certainly would not vote Bard purely on the basis that what he did was too suspicious to be an Eliminator action. Just as Eliminators can make sub-optimal plays, so can Villagers. And it's true that it's suspicious. I do remain divided on Bard because of it. (My views on Straw have already been discussed.) At the same time, arguments unsupported by actual game data - be it from GM information or otherwise, are merely theoretical. 

There are some things that should be beyond the pale (lying about real life problems/busyness, whether in blue text or otherwise), and I do not consider this to be one of them. I don't see the meta shifting just because one player chooses to play like that - we could make the same argument about punishing inactives, and that's not a road I want to go down. The community has a right to shape the meta, and we will shape the meta by how we play, but if we keep excluding players because how they play irritates us or we dislike it, that's not a project I'd be on board with. It was not cool when we did it to Jain, it was not cool when Striker got punished repeatedly during my game for what people deemed suboptimal play, and it's not cool now, as much as I am itching to vigilante kill Straw and xin. ( @Elbereth can I have a kill role? Please? :P This Eleventh Fool role makes me lose all my self-respect!) 

Quick response before I go to bed to both the quote above and this: 

31 minutes ago, Kasimir said:

I forgot to add this and then Coda came on, so rather than editing - I do feel that an ongoing game is not the right place or time to debate broader concerns about the direction of the meta, so I'd rather leave it for the appropriate thread than to sidetrack everyone. I think this is an issue that can and should be fruitfully discussed, since it came to the surface in LG61 as well. I also think as it concerns the community and what sort of community we want to be, it should be in a venue where the broader community can be engaged.

Thanks for listening to my TED talk, see you guys next year!

So at the risk of going meta for a very brief second to clarify my position, what you’re saying I’m saying is not what I mean at all, but only because I phrased it so poorly that I’m ashamed of myself. :P 

I am in firm agreement that we have no right to determine what “optimal” play is, or punish those who deviate from it; had I been thinking at all when writing the last post, the wording would have been very different. My concern is rather forms of play which deny us any information to work with at all, and voting on the GM every turn with one-word posts qualifies, I believe; it’s not a playstyle quirk, which I agree would be different, as Straw has been very helpful in past games he’s been in, even if he doesn’t make long and winding posts like yours truly. :P Preserving players’ ability to have fun is important, and is my first consideration; therefore, I don’t mean to detract from Straw having that fun if one-word votes on the GM each cycle are his way of doing that, but that doesn’t change the fact that this playstyle destroys our ability to significantly analyse him in a way that other “suboptimal” playstyles like Stink’s or Striker’s or Jain’s simply don’t.

As such, and bringing this back to in-game matters, electing Straw seems to validate this style of play, and set a precedent in the future that it’s a sign of a villager, which I oppose on the grounds that a. it isn’t, and b. if a style of play which completely denies us information is affirmed now, while it doesn’t necessarily mean it will be affirmed in the future, the precedent does exist and could be dangerous to our collective ability to analyse. If this were a regular village/elim game, I would name Straw mildly suspicious and mostly disregard him, probably dealing with the refusal to engage similarly to an inactive or lurker, but it wouldn’t be something I’d lynch him over. However, this isn’t a regular game, and a Straw lynch here I would oppose on similar grounds: by denying us information, he is functionally inactive unless you want to go deeper into the IKYK levels of whether an otherwise active Eliminator would stand by while villagers were elected (which is a completely valid consideration), but electing him for, in essence, not participating just feels wrong to me, though he has the complete right to annoy me all he wants with his playstyle. :P Essentially, I hold to all the points I expressed in this debate with Orlok on the same subject, in that policy lynches of players behaving “suboptimally” or inactively should not be a mark of the forum, but we have the right to suspect such players independent of their playstyle if we believe they are doing so in order to consciously reduce our collective ability to analyse. @Straw, my apologies for the tone and wording of my earlier comments, which were rushed and not reflective of my views on this matter. 

/meta talk

Fair points on Bard—I’ll admit once again that I’m struggling to get past the tiebreaking vote on Stink, but if you believe him to be village in spite of that, I’ll trust you—I suppose I just don’t see the underlying logic behind why he should be trusted, other than tone and a cleaned-up voting record, which I could say for a few other people as well. 

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39 minutes ago, Fifth Scholar said:

I am in firm agreement that we have no right to determine what “optimal” play is, or punish those who deviate from it; had I been thinking at all when writing the last post, the wording would have been very different. My concern is rather forms of play which deny us any information to work with at all, and voting on the GM every turn with one-word posts qualifies, I believe; it’s not a playstyle quirk, which I agree would be different, as Straw has been very helpful in past games he’s been in, even if he doesn’t make long and winding posts like yours truly. :P Preserving players’ ability to have fun is important, and is my first consideration; therefore, I don’t mean to detract from Straw having that fun if one-word votes on the GM each cycle are his way of doing that, but that doesn’t change the fact that this playstyle destroys our ability to significantly analyse him in a way that other “suboptimal” playstyles like Stink’s or Striker’s or Jain’s simply don’t.

As such, and bringing this back to in-game matters, electing Straw seems to validate this style of play, and set a precedent in the future that it’s a sign of a villager, which I oppose on the grounds that a. it isn’t, and b. if a style of play which completely denies us information is affirmed now, while it doesn’t necessarily mean it will be affirmed in the future, the precedent does exist and could be dangerous to our collective ability to analyse. If this were a regular village/elim game, I would name Straw mildly suspicious and mostly disregard him, probably dealing with the refusal to engage similarly to an inactive or lurker, but it wouldn’t be something I’d lynch him over. However, this isn’t a regular game, and a Straw lynch here I would oppose on similar grounds: by denying us information, he is functionally inactive unless you want to go deeper into the IKYK levels of whether an otherwise active Eliminator would stand by while villagers were elected (which is a completely valid consideration), but electing him for, in essence, not participating just feels wrong to me, though he has the complete right to annoy me all he wants with his playstyle. :P Essentially, I hold to all the points I expressed in this debate with Orlok on the same subject, in that policy lynches of players behaving “suboptimally” or inactively should not be a mark of the forum, but we have the right to suspect such players independent of their playstyle if we believe they are doing so in order to consciously reduce our collective ability to analyse. @Straw, my apologies for the tone and wording of my earlier comments, which were rushed and not reflective of my views on this matter. 

/meta talk

See, it's just that I disagree that this sets a precedent - either way, when we know what Straw's real alignment is at the end of the game, there will be a precedent. To be sure, people will be a bit less encouraged to pull a Straw because they'll say "oh, he didn't get away with it," but it doesn't stop a player from doing that and going, "Well, look at MR38 - Straw did this and he was a Villager/Eliminator," so who's to say someone isn't trying that? I think the analogy to me would be like how everyone in SE was very negative on WGGs for a while, because Cessie's attempt at one had failed so spectacularly. But it never stops people from wondering, or really trying one - it's still a precedent anyway, whether it's rewarded or not.

With your new phrasing, I generally agree - I wouldn't consider his actions a reason to vote Straw, for instance, but had more people than you taken the bait, I might have then really doubled down on Straw just because I'd be seeing where everyone is falling into place on Straw. But that would be an informational vote rather than because Straw's actions lead me to think well of him - and really, in any case, as I told Wonko last cycle (or was it two cycles ago?), I'd really rather vote for stronger Villager candidates than ones I'm meh about. I didn't swap from Straw last cycle as El mentioned she was counting Aragorn's vote (despite the lack of red), and Ada was winning by a landslide so my voting last minute for Ada really wouldn't have changed anything at all :P That being said, I had always intended to vote with my trusts for that cycle at least.

I would just add the caveat that early Jain really was this bad, until he got killed repeatedly. He was considered unanalysable precisely because he was so random, and I believe it was in part a strategy to be difficult to analyse except he kept getting Villager all the time. I think random players or players with a reputation for randomness are in fact adopting the same strategy, just to a less infuriating degree. That being said, we are agreed that while we shouldn't penalise such players, we certainly don't have to reward them! 

48 minutes ago, Fifth Scholar said:

Fair points on Bard—I’ll admit once again that I’m struggling to get past the tiebreaking vote on Stink, but if you believe him to be village in spite of that, I’ll trust you—I suppose I just don’t see the underlying logic behind why he should be trusted, other than tone and a cleaned-up voting record, which I could say for a few other people as well. 

The issue I think is that by that light, I should be just as suspicious! I diverted what ended up being a building lynch cluster between Bard and Ada! And we now know Ada is a Villager, so I've been implicated in shifting a lynch off a Villager. It should look even worse for me if Bard turns out to be Village after all (I'm still unsure about him :P )  as I arguably turned a Village-Village lynch to an Eliminator lynch (and Eru help me if Burnt is a Villager as well because this would mean I ignored every single Village option and hit on the Eliminator! Ouch!)

Anyway, bold of you to assume I'm voting him because he's a trust :P I definitely don't trust him that much, and he's probably the weakest of my top tiers at the moment. I am still rather suspicious of you for that single-minded focus on Burnt, but can be persuaded otherwise, and I think some of your late posts will require me to analyse and recalibrate again.

Don't forget, I have over twenty-four hours to change my vote :ph34r:

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I’d just like to say that, while I do find what @Straw is doing slightly annoying at this stage in the game, I still think he has every right to do it if he pleases. And for what it’s worth, I almost considered being as meme-y as he’s been in this game so far. It was only once I actually started analyzing things and PMing that I actually got really invested in getting the right people elected. :P

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H'okay. So I'm gonna do something I haven't done in a very, very long time, since the Desolation of Elantris and info-dump :ph34r: Basically, I've been sitting on this issue for a bit, but I think it's beyond me, and I also think that getting the thread to weigh in on this would be very helpful.

There are two distinct clusters of 'trust' (IDK, trust? Least suspicion?) beginning to form up. I PMed a number of people since the beginning of this game, and especially since last cycle. I usually ask people to identify who they would vote for - in a particular cycle - if they had to pick the entire remaining Fellowship on the spot. Occasionally I ask about their favourite breakfast and other stuff, which is why I now know that @Burnt Spaghetti has an excellent apple-cinnamon turnover recipe, and that @Straw would rather receive $0.01 per step than $0.75 per jump :P (For the record, Burnt would take $0.01 per step as well.)

Cluster One:

Quote

Wonko: Aman, Bard, Wonko, Kas, Burnt

Bard: Aman, Bard, Wonko, Striker, Straw

Kas: Aman, Bard, Wonko, Kas, Striker, Peji,

Pejidot: Aman, Bard, Kas (uncertain), Peji

I've grouped Cluster One together because our lists are more or less compatible: we agree on Bard and Wonko, with weaker agreement on Striker and myself. I put Peji last cycle as I was willing to give her the benefit of the doubt and distrusted everyone else - I also did not consider myself electable due to the amount of doubt floating around, but am fine with swapping myself back in for obvious reasons :P Moreover, since only three of this list needs to be Villagers, I feel that the two on which we disagree are actually negotiable. So this appears to me to be one distinct voting cluster.

I have grouped @Pejidot with this cluster as she agrees in general on Bard, and has a weaker potential agreement on me (though she also says I've RPed a lot and so she'd need to read through that as well.) While she did not identify herself in her picks, she noted it was also because she didn't feel it was indicative, as everyone would select themselves.

Cluster Two:

Quote

Striker: Aman, Striker, Fifth, Kas

Burnt: Striker, Fifth, Kas, Burnt

Fifth: Striker, Fifth, Kas, Burnt, Wonko

This cluster is distinctive because they trust Fifth - the other cluster does not. They are also more positive (relatively) in their reads of me, Burnt, and Striker than the other cluster. This cluster also trusts Wonko less than the other clusters.


I share this information for two reasons. First, because I find it unlikely that both clusters are made up entirely of Villagers, but if we somehow are, then we should be talking to each other. Discussion is how we refine our suspicions. Already, Fifth's posts mean that I have to read through them later on and potentially revise my judgements of him, or in philosopher-speak, update my priors ;) 

Second, because I'm cynical, I think at least one of these clusters has been compromised by Eliminators, but really, probably both are. In which case, non-communication will allow Eliminators to play both sides and exploit our distrust against each other. So: I think that judging from these, at least, though people may certainly change their views, strong consensus candidates would be Striker, Wonko, and myself. At this point, I am willing to back Striker, though I would also welcome a lynch of myself as I feel I am not adequately helpful to the Village and am more confused than anything :P 

The next worry is that if we are in fact infiltrated, then there might be something fishy about our compromise candidates. That being said, if all three of us aren't Eliminators, we'll do just fine :P I can confirm that it can't be the case that we are all Eliminators but I am also aware that saying it's not true because I'm not an Eliminator is not especially rhetorically persuasive :P 

So people. Thoughts, opinions?

Edited to highlight the overlaps in clusters better. Clusters do not represent strength of suspicions/trust.

Edited by Kasimir
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@Kasimir I’ve already told you this, but that post is very impressive. I don’t have the time or mental capacity to truly analyze it right now (I probably should’ve been asleep an hour ago), but I do want to ask you one thing. 

I can understand why you put me and you as compromise candidates. But I’m not sure why you put Wonko in there too. Of cluster 2, only Fifth trusts Wonko, while 3 of cluster 1 trusts him. For me and you, all members of both clusters trust us at least a little bit.

Nevermind, misread who trusted who. I can see why you picked the three of us as the most trusted. 

I will support a lynch on me, but if other people would rather lynch Kas instead, I’d be willing to vote for him. For now though, I’ll retract my vote on him: Kasimir

Edited by StrikerEZ
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1 minute ago, StrikerEZ said:

@Kasimir I’ve already told you this, but that post is very impressive. I don’t have the time or mental capacity to truly analyze it right now (I probably should’ve been asleep an hour ago), but I do want to ask you one thing. 

[strikethrough]I can understand why you put me and you as compromise candidates. But I’m not sure why you put Wonko in there too. Of cluster 2, only Fifth trusts Wonko, while 3 of cluster 1 trusts him. For me and you, all members of both clusters trust us at least a little bit.[/strikethrough]

Nevermind, misread who trusted who. I can see why you picked the three of us as the most trusted. 

I will support a lynch on me, but if other people would rather lynch Kas instead, I’d be willing to vote for him. For now though, I’ll retract my vote on him: Kasimir

I mean, if you want to get into absolute numbers... :P

Quote

 

Kas (6): Wonko, Kas, Peji, Striker, Burnt, Fifth

Striker (5): Wonko, Kas, Bard, Striker, Fifth, Burnt

Wonko (4): Wonko, Kas, Bard, Fifth

 

So yes, you're right that Wonko is a bit weak as a compromise candidate out of the pool of three, but I flagged him anyway as the next in line. The other issue is that this doesn't take into account strength of trusts: for instance, Wonko is more willing to vote for you and himself, given the choice, than me. You are not as high as Wonko or me on Fifth's list. And so on. So I think we can't really count on absolute vote-strength here. I don't really find the absolute numbers as informative :P 

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4 minutes ago, Kasimir said:

So yes, you're right that Wonko is a bit weak as a compromise candidate out of the pool of three, but I flagged him anyway as the next in line. The other issue is that this doesn't take into account strength of trusts: for instance, Wonko is more willing to vote for you and himself, given the choice, than me. You are not as high as Wonko or me on Fifth's list. And so on. So I think we can't really count on absolute vote-strength here. I don't really find the absolute numbers as informative :P

....dude I get what you said, but for a second my tired little brain was blown when you said it doesn’t take into account the strength of the trusts. XD

Is what your saying that I’m basically in the middle of everyone’s trusts, with you and Wonko being on the opposite ends (either strongly yes or strongly no), which therefore cancels out and puts me in the lead?

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Just now, StrikerEZ said:

....dude I get what you said, but for a second my tired little brain was blown when you said it doesn’t take into account the strength of the trusts. XD

Is what your saying that I’m basically in the middle of everyone’s trusts, with you and Wonko being on the opposite ends (either strongly yes or strongly no), which therefore cancels out and puts me in the lead?

Whoops, sorry :P I was just worried you read it as "These are the people who said they'd vote Wonko", Aman...etctera. 

Not really - I'm saying that this calculation is too complex for me to figure out in my current state. It's one of those things that have to be mooted to the thread for everyone to talk about because trust is also situational - e.g. I might not be willing to back you, as compared to myself, but if it's a choice between you and Wonko, nope, *slams table* TAKE MY STORMING VOTE, no questions asked :P (Note: This is an example, as there are some reasons I can think of that Wonko would be interesting as a candidate, but at least right now, I'm more inclined to getting you lynched, or myself lynched.) Basically, I don't think it can be accurately done a priori. We just have to see what the response is.

So I really don't know what the final numbers would look like, but it's enough to me to flag that these three seem to have some measure of trust from everyone - let's talk about them, and also the fact we seem to have two rather divided groups! I also dropped into the thread early as I'd rather people talk or have time to. We don't need last-minute hasty discussion prior to a lynch!

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@Kasimir That all makes sense. I would stick around and talk a bit more, but seeing as no one else appears to be getting on anytime soon and I really should already be asleep, I think I’m gonna head out for the night (or I guess technically morning at this point :P). 

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8 hours ago, Fifth Scholar said:

As such, and bringing this back to in-game matters, electing Straw seems to validate this style of play, and set a precedent in the future that it’s a sign of a villager, which I oppose on the grounds that a. it isn’t, and b. if a style of play which completely denies us information is affirmed now, while it doesn’t necessarily mean it will be affirmed in the future, the precedent does exist and could be dangerous to our collective ability to analyse. If this were a regular village/elim game, I would name Straw mildly suspicious and mostly disregard him, probably dealing with the refusal to engage similarly to an inactive or lurker, but it wouldn’t be something I’d lynch him over. However, this isn’t a regular game, and a Straw lynch here I would oppose on similar grounds: by denying us information, he is functionally inactive unless you want to go deeper into the IKYK levels of whether an otherwise active Eliminator would stand by while villagers were elected (which is a completely valid consideration), but electing him for, in essence, not participating just feels wrong to me, though he has the complete right to annoy me all he wants with his playstyle. :P 

I've just been inactive due to RL stuff, and I don't think that's a new thing?

6 hours ago, StrikerEZ said:

I’d just like to say that, while I do find what @Straw is doing slightly annoying at this stage in the game, I still think he has every right to do it if he pleases. And for what it’s worth, I almost considered being as meme-y as he’s been in this game so far. It was only once I actually started analyzing things and PMing that I actually got really invested in getting the right people elected. :P

I've honestly been voting on Elbereth because I have had very little time for this game, and I didn't want to just vote randomly.

Logically, Striker is probably the best choice here.

Edited by Straw
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Pdufxvh nrqvwdwlhuw vrzrko lq ghu Zlvvhqvfkdiw dov dxfk lp öiihqwolfkhq Glvnxuv hlq „hlqglphqvlrqdohv“ xqg „srvlwlyhv'“ ecz. 
友情 的溪 水慢 慢流 窝武 
„srvlwlylvwlvfkhv“ Ghqnhq. Lqvehvrqghuh glh Zlvvhqvfkdiw ioüfkwhwh vlfk dxv Ixufkw yru Zhuwxuwhlohq rghu srolwlvfkhu Hlqplvfkxqj lq glh Hpslulh xqg lq txdqwlwdwlyhv Ghqnhq. Juxqgväwcolfkh, txdolwdwlyh Uhiohalrq ghu jhvhoovfkdiwolfkhq Sureohph xqg Dxijdehqvwhooxqjhq iäqghq lq glhvhu whfkqrnudwlvfkhq Khuuvfkdiwvzlvvhqvfkdiw qlfkw vwdww. 
歲月 的溪 水慢 慢流 科斯 
Vwdww glh Xqjohlfkkhlw lp Ndslwdolvpxv xqg glh qxnohduh Ehgurkxqj cx klqwhuiudjhq xqg cx nulwlvlhuhq, züughq glhvh Sureohph qxu yhuzdowhw xqg vrplw lpphu qhx uhsurgxclhuw.
多年 以後 又再 相逢 吧勺

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Rough translation of the text between the lines of Kas’ post:

Friendship, slow water, slow flow, Wuwu

Years of the stream slow water slow flow Coase

After many years, I will meet again.

Edited by Straw
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20 hours ago, Kasimir said:

The issue I think is that by that light, I should be just as suspicious! I diverted what ended up being a building lynch cluster between Bard and Ada! And we now know Ada is a Villager, so I've been implicated in shifting a lynch off a Villager. It should look even worse for me if Bard turns out to be Village after all (I'm still unsure about him :P )  as I arguably turned a Village-Village lynch to an Eliminator lynch (and Eru help me if Burnt is a Villager as well because this would mean I ignored every single Village option and hit on the Eliminator! Ouch!)

Anyway, bold of you to assume I'm voting him because he's a trust :P I definitely don't trust him that much, and he's probably the weakest of my top tiers at the moment. I am still rather suspicious of you for that single-minded focus on Burnt, but can be persuaded otherwise, and I think some of your late posts will require me to analyse and recalibrate again.

 

Noted on all counts, though I’d note there’s a difference between how you’ve acted and what Bard has done since C1, in that your active pushes for discussion have earned you more trust from me, aside from the fact that Bard’s vote is arguably more inherently suspect. 

12 hours ago, Straw said:

I've just been inactive due to RL stuff, and I don't think that's a new thing?

I've honestly been voting on Elbereth because I have had very little time for this game, and I didn't want to just vote randomly.

Logically, Striker is probably the best choice here.

Hmm, fair—that said, random voting may almost have been more helpful. :P Thanks for contributing meaningfully again, sorry for the mild persecution, and I wouldn’t mind a little more elaboration on the Striker vote, but okay. :P 

Interesting point on the “clusters,” Kas. I think there’s too much of a lack of focus on Burnt, who’s been otherwise productive and active, but I’ll switch to Wonko in the interests of diversifying the lynch pool, hopefully prompting him to speak, and for his status as my tentative trust who’s most likely to be widely accepted. I’d also like to hear more from...basically everyone, along with a vote, so I have more information to make a decision on with my limited time. 

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