It's Always Scummy in Philadelphia

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It's Always Scummy in Philadelphia

Postby JoeHoya06 » 07 Dec 2019, 00:34

Any fans of "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia" around?

I still have my outline for my football/soccer-related game that I'd really like to run – Condude was helping me with some game-balancing stuff, and then there was a period where we didn't chat and then I got sidetracked and here we are 11 months later and the game is still "In Development" – but I was thinking of giving a go at a smaller-sized game, just doing it on my own (with the tips I've picked up) and seeing how it goes.

I was trying to think of a theme and I realized that there's already a television show where all of the characters are terrible people and often sabotage themselves and each other on a weekly basis. What better place to set a mafia game than Paddy's Pub?

I'd like it to be fun, so there'd be a lot of show-related stuff in the flavor and the mechanics – you wouldn't need to have seen an episode of the show to play the game, of course, it would just make it more enjoyable – but I also don't want to get too bogged down in trying to make it perfect as a first-time showrunner, so to speak. I'd want it to be fair, of course, but I would also be learning on the job, and I'm fine with that.

Anyway, hopefully once I put it all together, it's something folks would be interested in having a little fun with before/during/after the holidays.

Any thoughts, tips, tricks, or ideas?
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Re: It's Always Scummy in Philadelphia

Postby UFO Fever » 07 Dec 2019, 02:45

I will say often times my strategy as town is to emulate the D.E.N.N.I.S. system
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Re: It's Always Scummy in Philadelphia

Postby Nanook » 07 Dec 2019, 03:25

It's the implication
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Re: It's Always Scummy in Philadelphia

Postby Fatmo » 07 Dec 2019, 03:34

Mac's mom is underrated as a character.

And I love Rickety Cricket.
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Re: It's Always Scummy in Philadelphia

Postby JoeHoya06 » 09 Dec 2019, 20:59

I was thinking about this over the weekend and I came to a bit of a mental standstill.

Obviously, I don't want the game to be restricted to just people who know/like/love the show, and likewise don't want those who do know it to have an advantage. At the same time, I had some ideas for things that could relate to the characters – roles, passive abilities, connections, etc. – that would be specific to one or more characters.

(Example: Maureen Ponderosa was married to Dennis Reynolds. If she were in the game – she isn't on my list, hence using her as an example – she would have some sort of thing that would in some way relate to Dennis. Maybe if he dies, she gets a power, or loses a power, I don't know.)

My concern is that this may give an unfair advantage to a fan of the show who sees their role PM, sees that they have a character-linked role, and surmises that others would too and starts figuring out what those might be. I have no problem with people doing that, of course, but if you don't know the show, you can't do it, and I don't want to make it a barrier for entry.

So then I thought, why don't I just list the roles/abilities in the rules, similar to what UFO did with his pets? Would that be okay? So in theory, everyone knows that in this example, whoever is Maureen is going to be affected by what happens to Dennis. That seems fine, but I want to have the scum roles – the McPoyles, natch - have a character as a cover role, which means I'd have to have both town and scum versions of the roles for each character, right?

My alternative was to just give a list of characters that will be in the game, and then give out random show-connected roles that may not relate to your specific character, just to an episode of the show, so that "character names and roles are random and not connected." But I have some good flavor-based stuff I don't want to lose.

So, to parse that all out...am I better off creating roles/abilities that are connected to each character and then listing them at the start, so everyone knows what's out there? Or should I keep it quiet, and risk the folks who know the show being able to make some guesses about what each character can do?

ADDENDUM: Orrrrrr do I do the thing where I list all the possible roles I come up with, say 13, even if there are just 9 or 10 or 11 players? So you know what's out there, but it's not guaranteed that they're in the game? Although, this would render some of the flavory stuff moot, i.e., Maureen's thing with Dennis doesn't matter if Dennis isn't in the game, which basically makes her vanilla.
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Re: It's Always Scummy in Philadelphia

Postby UFO Fever » 16 Dec 2019, 07:27

In general, I like for role/power info to be kept in the dark with players, as I think surprises are more fun and giving scum more room to just make shit up is something I like more. The reason I’m publicly listing the abilities/roles in my game is because 1) I didn’t put much thought at all into whether or not it was fairly balanced, I’m going more for fun and laid back, so I felt it was more fair to everyone playing to put everything up front. And 2) I did run a variation of this in Discord a ways ago and didn’t want to give an unfair advantage to someone that remembered playing that game.
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Re: It's Always Scummy in Philadelphia

Postby Nanook » 16 Dec 2019, 08:08

You could make powers tied to character, and characters not tied to alignment—so any character can be any alignment, but their power is the same either way.

Fits the flavor of the show too, cause they’re pretty much all scum.
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Re: It's Always Scummy in Philadelphia

Postby kimpossible » 16 Dec 2019, 16:35

I'm actually a fan of just having all the powers out there and known when they're weird stuff and not standard(ish) Mafia roles. Or possibly take a page from Condude's last game and give partial information without full details.

I'm actually thinking of some similar ideas for Dunder Mafialin Paper Company, where you don't have to know the show but it will help. Putting the info out in the open means you level the playing field and make it about how the mechanics interact, rather than "Who here knows more than they should? But is it because they have a role, or because they watched the show 87 thousand times?"
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Re: It's Always Scummy in Philadelphia

Postby JoeHoya06 » 16 Dec 2019, 18:29

nanooktheeskimo wrote:Fits the flavor of the show too, cause they’re pretty much all scum.


I was considering the twist of "they're all scum and in the end nobody wins" because that would be the essence of the show in one sentence. :lol:

kimpossible wrote:Putting the info out in the open means you level the playing field and make it about how the mechanics interact, rather than "Who here knows more than they should? But is it because they have a role, or because they watched the show 87 thousand times?"


This is exactly what I've been struggling with the most...if someone else were doing this, I'd be like "hell yeah, secret show-based powers FTW!" But if I were playing in a game about a show I didn't watch, like The Office for instance, I'd be annoyed if someone had a leg up on me because of it.
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Re: It's Always Scummy in Philadelphia

Postby kimpossible » 16 Dec 2019, 20:19

One possibility I've considered is to publish the names of special moves that the characters have, but not what they actually do, allowing folks to at least speculate on them.
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