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I enjoyed watching this game, and was glad that everything was resolved smoothly. From a moderating perspective, the self-conversion thing should have been discussed more by the rules committee. There's nothing inherently wrong with a self-conversion, but the expectations of the players and the GM need to be out in the open, otherwise things could turn south quickly. This is an issue that could be dealt with by changing the mechanic slightly, by having GM expectations clear in the rules, or by (not so much in an anonymous game) having the discussion among players in the signups.

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Posted (edited)

Alrighty, GM thoughts. 
This game was really interesting to watch. Although, I'm not sure I can deal with any more of Kasimir's questions. Every single day he'd be asking me for 5-6 more rule clarifications. For those who don't bother to read the dead doc, this is where this game came from. I was originally inspired after my Dreamer game that I ran before my mission, with a straight up bodyhopping mechanic (although that game was an item hunt rather than a normal SE game). So I thought, who hops in bodies? Fused! Fused do! (I know Kandra do too, but I didn’t think of them).
That was the basic idea before my mission. After my mission, more ideas came together. I decided to try something a bit different. The voting rules, for example, are styled after Among Us. Everyone gets to choose their own role. I also realized I liked the idea of there being some sort of requirement for each form. It makes sense flavor wise, since different forms have different forms of thought. Most of them also encourage activity. When designing the roles, I realized that it would be, well, kind of broken to have the stronger roles available, such as a village kill and a scanner. So I decided to toss them out. With an anonymous game, this means that at the end of the day, this ends up being an entirely skill based game. You can choose your playstyle. You can choose your role. For the village, if the decision is presented to you, you can even choose what side you want to be on. If you get a voidgem, and you use it, you get converted. It’s even in flavor, because who knows if the Singers necessarily are willing to break free of Odium’s oppression.
When finishing constructing the game, I realized that there were strong themes inherent in the rule set that I came up with, so I doubled down on that for the writeups. The themes of freedom and choice were key for this rule set. This is why I added the conversion mechanic. It used to be a full on conversion mechanic, but I changed it to make it so people had to choose to do so. Granted, the elims only ever handed out a single gemstone, and Dragonfly didn't end up using it. I felt like it fit perfectly into the type of story I was trying to tell. I figured most people wouldn't take the bait, but a few might. I wanted to provide that temptation and see what people would choose. What might have been even more fun would have been to leave a single voidspren gemstone in the village stash at the beginning of the game, and see how people reacted. Could have been funny. 
Incidentally, I should mention balance. I balanced this game under the assumption that at some point, someone would convert. Nobody ended up converting, but it was the right thing to do given how the elim team got their hands on both mediationforms and a warform. That side of the game, I was really pleased with. I was also really happy, thematically, how the game literally hinged on Azure Mouses's choice to not convert, and instead hand out a mediationform to the village. It fit perfectly into what I was aiming for in this game. 
However, I do have a couple quibbles with my own rule set. First off, I didn't like how the PMs ended up being used. I should have made it so all PMs were one on one on top of being just for one cycle, and Kasimir made the good suggestion at the end of the game that I probably could have made the Artform into a mailman as well, thus encouraging the use of Artform. This would have made it a lot harder to clear players just based on PMs, and made it even harder to identify Mavset-im. The way PMs were set up, Mavset-im basically didn't stand a chance. 
I'm glad I made the various other adjustments that I did, such as Scholarform. As it was, scholarform still ended up being the most powerful role in the game, even after putting the limiters on it that I did.  I probably would have nerfed Warform a bit more in hindsight, or just had less of them. Warform severely slowed the game down, but that was also due to bad luck on the elims part. I liked how Mediationform and Workform turned out, although after what happened at the end, I probably would provide less workform gemstones. 
So I guess it'll be Mist who ends up with a stormform gemstone in their posession, although I realized I wasn't actually supposed to put that back in the village stash. I thought it was the manufactured one, when in fact Azure Mouse still had that one, so that gemstone should have returned back to the elim stash. But since it was the end of the game, I just didn't bother to fix the mistake. 
All in all, this was a fun game to run, and to watch. It was such a tight game, and the elim team came so close to winning, and then the village managed to turn it around. I had both endings plotted out in my mind from the beginning, though. If the elims had won, Moirin would have been killed in the writeup, and Thane would have been forced into a regal form, and sent to the front lines against the Heralds. Both were good endings, in my mind. I was particularly happy with my writeup of Mavset-im's death, because it really captured the themes that I was inspired by with this game. 
Of all my rulesets, I think I'm most likely to rerun this one and the Dreamer ones. It'll likely be a while before I'm up to GM again, which is ok because college starts here in a few weeks. If I do rerun this, I'll likely make the changes I just mentioned, as well as implement a few more rules to add some interesting things. Flavor wise, the rerun would probably take place in modern day roshar, whereas this game is set somewhere in the Last Desolation. 
Answering questions. 
The beginning elim stash was as such- 2 Stormform, 2 Decayform, and 1 Smokeform. They never ended up using Decayform and Smokeform, so those are still in the stash in the document. 
The chances of elims grabbing an item ended up being 2 to 1. Just because that was the easiest to RNG, and I'm nothing if not lazy. 
edit: Yeah, in regards to the conversion mechanic, I didn't really think to explain that I was ok with people converting themselves. The mechanic was very limited in game, taking 3 seperate actions (and thus 2 cycles, because the gem can only be used in the night) in order to get a void gem to a villager and actually have them use it, and only 3 available voidspren from scholarform, on top of the all-important freedom of choice to actually use said gem. So it was not at all a broken mechanic. Also, I have no idea what the current meta is, so I'm completely untainted by ideas of "don't self convert."
Are there even any other games that have been run with a similar mechanic? But I probably could have explained in the rules that I was ok with people converting if they so chose to, when I was mostly trying to obscure that particular interaction in the rules. I kind of wanted people to discover it for themselves, rather than me explain it. That didn't really last very long though. 
Thank you @Araris Valerian for helping with the IMing. I'm glad everything worked out, and that everyone could continue having fun, as that is always my most important goal when running a game.

Edited by Steeldancer
additional thoughts on the conversion mechanic
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To be honest, I was quite worried at the start of this game. 

I was planning to be a Villager so I could relax a bit with anon rules and, well, that didn’t happen.

I was also planning on grabbing an Artform gem and abusing the anonymous writeup posts to write about Faleast and AraRaash fooling around, and, well, I got the one role where I couldn’t do that :P so I just grabbed one anyway

I was also planning on RPing Jalnor more but then I noticed I was one of four people who submitted RP characters and decided that I shouldn’t out myself as Ash D1. Not that I hid very well, but I wasn’t trying too much with my work schedule.

But I had a lot of fun this game. Unlike the AG there were a lot of ways it could have gone differently, and we were about one slipup away from winning. Me swapping to Falcon might have been that slipup, but Beagle was out of excuses and with so many PMs around I’d get outed no matter what I did. Also, I was camping and inactive and may or may not have panickedly tried to find cell service to actually submit a kill action… 


 

That reminds me of something, actually. Faleast and AraRaash were rather busy playing cards. @Steeldancer, mind if Abaram gets a little rerouted by a certain saddened di-Shard? There’s a lot of things Lamentation could do with a Fused… :ph34r:

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19 minutes ago, Illwei said:

Also, did I really not vote Tuatara D1? Because-

Nope, and my bad - you went Weasel, Dingo, Rhino, with Rhino and Ross being your two biggest suspects.

20 minutes ago, Illwei said:

Sure sure blame the victim here smh smh. I thought you said the correct procedure was to blame wyrm.

True, I'll blame Wyrm for this too :P 

36 minutes ago, Matrim's Dice said:

That was nice validation for me since I had been confused why I was the only one who seemed to be concerned about that, or at least was the most concerned. But I didn't know at the time it was as close as 7-6 that one Day o.o

'Cause I was massively paranoid and focused on getting the lynch right rather than blocking a hammer? You were right though, and I knew the hammer block mattered more that late. Thank goodness I swapped back...

37 minutes ago, Matrim's Dice said:

I don't think you'll ever have a Quiet RPful game, Kas :P I think you've played/ran more games since retirement than you did before.

Technically untrue but also, why would you curse me like this.

Oh right. Obligatory "what were the codes even." So - the dirty secret. I used an OTP system, meaning that while my base message would likely be lost (I didn't use the most secure OTP available) an Elim could have constructed a plausible cipher probably and just made up whatever. I'm not the best with codes so I tend to rely on misdirection rather than actual foolproof security.

OTP system = plaintext + key = ciphertext using a mod 26 system. You convert both plaintext and key using a simple alphabetical substitution cipher, mod 26 it, and then reconvert it back into letters. To reverse, ciphertext - key using a mod 26 system. The trick I did - which tied in to 'Atticus dreams of past lives' RP - was to plant the key for the following Turn's cipher in my RP each Turn.

Mat noticed I'd seeded a white L at points. The L/M/Q denotes if the line in question came from RP done in a MR, LG, QF. Sometimes it'd be embedded in a paragraph, like so:

Quote

Either way, he thought,Mthere wasn't much he could do except to try to keep out of the way of the destruction.

In this case, the RP line was cribbed from MR1, so it was the first line in the paragraph. I had one that was from LG5, so there was a whitetext L, and it was on the fifth paragraph of my RP. The substitution cipher used depended on which game it was from - LGX/MRX/QFX, with A = X. (This was functionally the same system I used for my Tineye cipher, with T=1, T=2, T=3 in ascending order with each following write-up.

Tineye messages were themed.

N2 Cipher - the Sator square was purely thematic and meant to throw people off into thinking it had to do with how everything was neatly segmented and enciphered. Really it was just that same OTP system using T=1. The centrality of TENET in the Sator square does hint at what the key is though - a line from Tenet.

Quote

"This is knowledge divided. All I have for you is a gesture in combination with a word - tenet. Use it carefully. It'll open the right doors, but some of the wrong ones, too."

The ciphertext deciphers to a line from Tenet I won't spoil :P

The centralised letters always were from a YouTube video - inserted into a YouTube URL, this one gives Posterity from the Tenet OST.

The strange alphabet are dragon runes from Skyrim, and it's a translation of some lines from the Skyrim theme:

Quote

 ahRK FIN NOROK PaaL GRaaN
 FOD NUST HON ZINDRO ZaaN

And the fiercest foes rout
When they hear triumph’s shout

N3 Cipher - Norse/Valhalla themed. Hint is from the words in the centre and the rune - yeah, it's from Wardruna. I later threw in a line from the Vikings just to make up space.

Quote

Key: Arle ell i dagars hell Enn veit ravnen om eg fell
Plaintext: Eg songane sokte, Eg songane sende

Key: This hero that comes into Valhalla does not lament his death! I shall not enter Odin's hall with fear.
Plaintext: My death comes without apology! And I welcome the Valkyries to summon me home!

The song this time is Wardruna's Helvegen and the centre words and first enciphered message is in fact from Helvegen.

The dragon runes capture another line from the Skyrim theme:

Quote

Ahrk fin tey, boziik fun, do fin gein!
Wo lost fron wah ney dov, ahrk fin reyliik do jul,

And the tale, boldly told, of the one!
Who was kin to both wyrm, and the races of man,

N4 Cipher - LotR/Shadow of Mordor themed. The symbol in the centre is from Shadow of War so that was a hint. The lines on the left are Sindarin, which I borked a bit as there's one line before that I forgot to include, but it's the lettering from Talion's sword, Urfael.

As the hint suggests, the ciphered text are the lines from Talion's dagger, Acharn:

Quote

Key: Terrifying evildoers who must give back with blood.
Plaintext: Swallows pain and red becomes black.

The video is actually Dragostea din tei with no relation at all, just that I insisted on getting one troll/meme video in :P

And the dragon runes once again come from the Skyrim theme:

Quote

Sahrot Thu'um, med aan tuz, bey zeim hokoron pah,
Ol fin Dovahkiin Komeyt ok rein!

Mighty Thu'um, like a blade, cut through enemies all,
As the Dragonborn issued his roar!

There we go :P And after that I resigned to grabbing workform or being bait for Vulture so I did not vandalise the write-up further.

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I had a blast this game, despite my frustrations with rules and meta. I always did love being evil.

1 hour ago, Archer said:

I will point out though that it’s pretty much exclusively a problem for the Final Solo Elim, whose odds of winning are low anyway.

It may be pretty low, but it shouldn't be impossible. That's what this game felt like. Impossible once the first domino fell. In the end, it was either never kill again and be caught anyways because numbers, or be proven by mechanics. Having played a game in the past as a final solo elim who only lost from a coin flip, I can tell you it's way more fun when mechanics can't/aren't used to clear people. 

3 hours ago, Matrim's Dice said:

Outside of the numbers, though, Elandera in particular played really well.

Thank you! I really tried to put on my villager hat for the game. A little too much at one point...

By the way, I'd taken on Stormform D2/N2. TUO, I believe, grabbed the mediationform gem and passed it to me. Thanks for that, by the way. It proved invaluable for my defenses.

To my team, this was fun! Sorry I kinda had to bus all of you and have it be useless in the end. 

Regarding me thinking Mouse was mediationform: You made a mistake. As soon as one of you said in that PM that you weren't telling me for a reason, I started doubting my assumption and then guessed it was probably Vulture. Either way, it worked out. I wasn't planning to kill the mediationform soon as a way to hopefully give a little reason as to why I was alive.

Now for my personal thoughts on the rules. The elim gems weren't worth using. With the reliance on mechanically proving this game, it was too dangerous. The roleblock didn't actually stop any actions worth stopping (enough people were in forms before D2 that it couldn't stop the use of things like warform). Stopping PMs from being created could have been helpful, but that also puts more burden on the GM to create PMs. Decayform wasn't really usable because, again, it didn't stop people from taking forms. It would only help in a case like Weasel, who hoarded gems. And smokeform might have been useful, but not worth the chance of being caught because of other mechanics.

Having PMs be a true action (submitted to and created by the GM at rollover) could have also helped the endgame. Dangerous though it may be, it would have given a chance to lie and say it failed because the target died. Suspicious, but not outright damning. I also agree with tying it to artform in some way. 

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Hey I just watched Tenet.

Huh.

(Very much recommend!)

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2 minutes ago, Ashbringer said:

Hey I just watched Tenet.

Huh.

(Very much recommend!)

...I just did too. Like a week ago. (Also recommended, even if I found it... confusing at times :P)

Double huh. 

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44 minutes ago, Kasimir said:

Nope, and my bad - you went Weasel, Dingo, Rhino, with Rhino and Ross being your two biggest suspects.

Well hopefully this just means I'll be great in my semifinal :woweek:

but honestly what was i doing?

was i village reading tuatara? because-

well, anyways. anyways.

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55 minutes ago, Elandera said:

Now for my personal thoughts on the rules. The elim gems weren't worth using. With the reliance on mechanically proving this game, it was too dangerous. The roleblock didn't actually stop any actions worth stopping (enough people were in forms before D2 that it couldn't stop the use of things like warform). Stopping PMs from being created could have been helpful, but that also puts more burden on the GM to create PMs. Decayform wasn't really usable because, again, it didn't stop people from taking forms. It would only help in a case like Weasel, who hoarded gems. And smokeform might have been useful, but not worth the chance of being caught because of other mechanics.

Incidentally, this is probably one of the things I would change. In order to give the elims more flexibility, I would make it so the kill wouldn't take an action (except for the Mavset-im kill), and then make decayform destroy the form, rather than the gemstone. That really would have been a great mechanic in this game. Smokeform... yeah I don't know how to help that one. Smokeforms sounds like it should be a village thing, but isn't. The most helpful thing that it does is track who makes PMs with who, but that isn't as important in a game where there's no strong singular village role. 
So yeah, the elim gems needed to be tuned a bit. 
Another thing I might change is to make the gemstone counts more anonymous, so it can't be used to prove the whole game. I had that idea when I was first doing the game, but couldn't figure out how to implement it. Now that I'm thinking about it, the way to do it would be to have a total gemstone stash visable to me, which then out of that a few gemstone are presented as options to each player during the day, through their GM PM. That way no one knows the total number of gemstones. But unfortunately that takes away some of the choice that I was really aiming for this game. But in terms of smart rule making, that would probably be better so it can't be mechanically solved like that. 

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1 hour ago, Elandera said:

By the way, I'd taken on Stormform D2/N2. TUO, I believe, grabbed the mediationform gem and passed it to me. Thanks for that, by the way. It proved invaluable for my defenses.

That was… that was me. :P

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Did anyone guess who I was?

Anyway I’m happy I got exed earlier as it let me run the MR, even if I was a bit sad because I do love An games

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2 hours ago, Ashbringer said:

That was… that was me. :P

Right! Then thank you very much for that. :P

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Posted (edited)

That was a fun game! I told you guys I wasn’t evil (Amethyst Scorpion here)!

Fun fact, I’ve played a single Anonymous Game previously. In it, I was also Amethyst Scorpion. That was a fun twist of RNG.

Also, @Steeldancer, I did request the Stormform gem. I wasn’t gonna use it, but do I get to keep it? Edit: nm, saw the comment on that.

Edited by Jondesu
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So, I just want to say a few thoughts. I’m finally home from my leadership retreat for marching band, though I’m absolutely exhausted. So my thoughts are probably going to be short and not make much sense. :P

First off: I think the way the PM/Mavset-im mechanics played out in this game was a huge problem. No matter what we did with the malibu kill, it was going to be way too easy to catch Ash. Easily mechanically confirmable mechanics like that are always rough to have in a game in my opinion.

Second, I will second (hehe) Elandera’s comment that the elim forms weren’t super balanced compared to the village forms. All of the most beneficial powers for our team (extra life, extra votes, losing a vote on yourself) were in the village stash. And the forms we did have just weren’t super useful. Stormform would’ve been useful if there was a village kill, decayform would’ve been useful if it destroyed forms, not just the gems. Smokeform…I’m not sure what sort of change you could make to this role to even make useful for the elims.

Lastly, I just want to say that this game stressed me out so much. I don’t know if you guys can tell just how frustrated I was through my comments in the doc, but the amount of frustration I was having was legitimately unhealthy. I was constantly thinking about this game, and any time anything went wrong (which happened more often closer to when I died) it really genuinely would make my day worse. And to top it all off, the past month or so has been really hard on me mentally and physically. I don’t think it was anyone’s fault, just kind of unfortunate. And I think is a sign of a general trend I’ve seen in my playing over the past…maybe 10-15 games I’ve played. That I get way too invested in the game and let it affect how I’m feeling. I said this in the dead doc already, but I think I’m going to be taking a break from games for a bit. Mostly because of marching band starting up and the fact that I’ll have a lot of extra responsibilities on top of that because I’m leader. I think I would’ve wanted to take a break after this game, even if I didn’t have marching band to worry about. I think I need to take care of myself a bit before I come back to get my 50th game. :ph34r:

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35 minutes ago, StrikerEZ said:

I think I need to take care of myself a bit before I come back to get my 50th game.

We'll miss you, Striker, but I'm glad you're taking care of yourself. It was great having you on my team.

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Did anyone figure me out? I tried to put small things that hinted at me being someone else, but didn't go all out. I don't have anything to say that wasn't already said, but the PMs were both not useful enough (in the case of the elims) or way to useful (in the case of the village).

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On the smokeform thoughts, I feel like that might work if you had a probabilistic conversion system, which might shift the intent of the mechanic a little.

The idea here would be that putting on a form of power endangers you. Some, like Eshonai, don stormform to protect their people, but it's the good intentions lead to Braize sort of thing. Maybe lean into the 'Villagers would want smokeform' thought: if conversion were probabilistic, Villagers might want to grab smokeform (or scholars research it) to gamble they can catch an Elim before they convert.

Idea would be you have a certain probability x of converting when you first attune smokeform and it increases with every turn you remain in it.

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7 hours ago, Kasimir said:

On the smokeform thoughts, I feel like that might work if you had a probabilistic conversion system, which might shift the intent of the mechanic a little.

The idea here would be that putting on a form of power endangers you. Some, like Eshonai, don stormform to protect their people, but it's the good intentions lead to Braize sort of thing. Maybe lean into the 'Villagers would want smokeform' thought: if conversion were probabilistic, Villagers might want to grab smokeform (or scholars research it) to gamble they can catch an Elim before they convert.

Idea would be you have a certain probability x of converting when you first attune smokeform and it increases with every turn you remain in it.

Oh, I see. That would work well with the idea I mentioned before as well. Nice, nice...

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On 8/13/2021 at 0:17 PM, _Stick_ said:

great to you have you back, Drought!

Thank you!

On 8/13/2021 at 11:03 AM, Matrim's Dice said:

Drought played, that's cool

Yeah, It was  :P

 

Trying to get back into SE was weird; the time commitment was more than I remembered, and analyzing posts was a difficult mindset to get back into.

That being said, I feel like I really started to get back into the swing of it... right before I died :P

I enjoyed the game though, and props to everyone! Especially Opal Lion/Kas who carried us villagers (or maybe just me? Who knows?)

 

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This game was a wonderful welcome back to a few people! Thanks to Steeldancer for bringing us this Rosharan-based anonymous game. I really enjoyed being an elim again, despite the loss. Congratulations to the Rebel Singers for resisting Odium. One day, though. One day.

As always, if anyone would like to try their hand at running a game, please get ahold of Wilson, Devotary of Spontaneity, Elbereth, Araris Valerian, or myself, or post in the GM Signups & Discussion ThreadNot 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 in our Art of Game Creation thread. 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. If you would rather keep some detail secret, or are self-conscious about posting in thread (there's really no need to be; while we do slaughter each other, we are very polite about it), then I'm sure one of our fantastic committee members (Amanuensis, STINK, Sart, Fifth Scholar, Straw, Haelbarde, and Young Bard) would be more than willing to help you out in private.

Thanks again to everyone that played, and we look forward to killing seeing you in future games! :ph34r:

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