PlayDip Mafia Textbook

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Re: PlayDip Mafia Textbook

Postby sjg11 » 04 Jun 2012, 19:49

I can't believe that nobody has mentioned the most important rule in the book yet.....

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Re: PlayDip Mafia Textbook

Postby connect4 » 04 Jun 2012, 20:55

Zoomzip wrote:
connect4 wrote:Also add on that, mathematically, it's always better to lynch, especially if you have an odd number. Ignoring information gain, a random lynch has a better chance of hitting the Mafia than no lynch.

The only exception is if either the information you gain is huge (e.g. Fellowship with a known cop), or if you're at even numbers, to remove a townie from the equation to improve odds.



C4, can you elaborate on this even/odd concept you have? What is the difference in a lynch/no-lynch scenario between 8-4 and 9-4?


Sure. Let's start with a simple case: 3 townies, 1 mafia. Furthermore, game's completely vanilla, no cops, no nothing. As you can see, we are in the position where a lynch = a loss if incorrect. Pretending we have a perfect Mafia who blends in so well you can't tell the difference, you can't nail him. You have a 1/4 chance of killing him, and a 3/4 chance of the Mafia winning.

Now instead, let's do a no lynch. During the night, the Mafia kills. At this point, we now have 3 players. We have a 1/3 chance of hitting the Mafia, improving the town's chance of winning.

To see where this comes from, assume that the Mafia kill every night; if we remove special powers from the equation, this is generally to the Mafia's advantage anyway. Define the number of "mistakes" a town has as the number of times they can lynch a townie (then have a mafia kill) before reaching the "do or die" day. If we're at 4-3, for example, the town has no mistakes; a mislynch ends the game. Similarly, at 5-3, we also have no mistakes; a mislynch + mafia kill end the game. At 6-3, we have one mistake, as a mislynch plus kill takes us to 4-3. What you find, if you follow the trend, is that in a town with an even number of living players, a no lynch does not change the mistakes that you have. In an odd town, it does.

Of course, there are caveats to the above. As Crunkus noted, you lose voting info if you use this too early. You may gain cop information, but you also risk the cop dying and wasting voting info. As such, it's better in the do-or-die timeframe. Even then, if the Mafia kill is obvious ("the cop is dead, we know there's no godfather, and he cleared XXX"), then it's probably not worth wasting the death. The fancier the game, the less likely this may be to hold true; for example, see Fellowship, where you actually gain (possibly reliable) cop information from extra nights.

Long story short: at game end, if there's no clear picture what to do and the town has even numbers, no lynch is at least a valid consideration.
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Re: PlayDip Mafia Textbook

Postby bkbkbk » 04 Jun 2012, 20:57

Zoomzip wrote:
connect4 wrote:Also add on that, mathematically, it's always better to lynch, especially if you have an odd number. Ignoring information gain, a random lynch has a better chance of hitting the Mafia than no lynch.

The only exception is if either the information you gain is huge (e.g. Fellowship with a known cop), or if you're at even numbers, to remove a townie from the equation to improve odds.



C4, can you elaborate on this even/odd concept you have? What is the difference in a lynch/no-lynch scenario between 8-4 and 9-4?

What he means is that, statistically, towns benefit from having odd numbers - it increases the raw chance of a good lynch, without changing the number of mislynches you have left. At endgame, it is better for the town to have an odd number alive than an even number, for this reason. For example, 3:2 is better than 4:2 (40% chance of correct lynch rather than 33%) and 4:3 is better than 5:3 (43% chance rather than 37.5%). Thing is, it's only really viable when you're in one of those positions. In the above example, it would probably be a bad idea to no lynch at 8:4 in order to get the numbers on your side. However, at 6:4, say, it would be a much better idea. It's basically what Crunkus referred to, in that the most common time for a no lynch will be when a mislynch + night-kill will lose you the game, but a night-kill alone won't. Connect4 has given half of the reason for that fact.

The other one, of course, is that it's another night's data, if any. But basically, the purpose is to narrow down the pool by one. Obviously, it's possible to end up with a stalemate here, if the mafia refuse to kill, and the town refuse to lynch - for to do either would be to reduce their own chances of winning. That results in the GM being put into a very awkward position.

I will add here, though, that a no lynch in such a position (no. of town = no. of mafia + 2) is not always advantageous to the town. If the town has a single clear player, and no way of protecting him, then the night will not help them at all - only deprive them of said player's insight. There are other, more specific exceptions, but generally speaking, it is good to no lynch when the numbers match that though.

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Re: PlayDip Mafia Textbook

Postby connect4 » 04 Jun 2012, 21:19

bkbkbk wrote:The other one, of course, is that it's another night's data, if any. But basically, the purpose is to narrow down the pool by one. Obviously, it's possible to end up with a stalemate here, if the mafia refuse to kill, and the town refuse to lynch - for to do either would be to reduce their own chances of winning. That results in the GM being put into a very awkward position.


We actually had to put a house rule in place in our real life games back when I was able to play in grad school. We settled on this: if the game state stayed the same for three consecutive days, the town auto-wins. Worked really nicely at preventing this. Also, it gave the doctor a tiny bit of extra incentive to correctly do what he needed to do.
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Re: PlayDip Mafia Textbook

Postby musashisamurai » 05 Jun 2012, 00:10

bkbkbk wrote:I might get around to writing something here at some point, since my name's been mentioned. Or at least grab a few links to some relevant posts.

musashisamurai wrote:
Zoomzip wrote:Is this even a good idea?


its a great idea Zoomzip. I think we should get some of our best players here (you, Crunkus, bkbkbk, Vindictus, Niakan, Alphatengoecho, and C4) to explain how they play and give advice to new players.

That's just a list of the mods!

Well, and Zoomzip...but you missed out a lot.

:lol:


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Re: PlayDip Mafia Textbook

Postby Zoomzip » 05 Jun 2012, 04:04

OK, so there's been some really good information put into this thread. I've started a document that has begun to put this information together, almost like a conversation. I'm not sure it is the right format, but it is at least interesting to look at. Anyone can comment on the document at this link, or in-thread. I think a lot of good stuff has been said in here, and compiling it is lots of fun.

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1iVP ... YwV6g/edit

Also, I'm trying to find pithy quotes that summarize much of the expanded information, so if you know of (or wrote a few!) please feel free to drop the knowledge on me.
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Re: PlayDip Mafia Textbook

Postby Zoomzip » 05 Jun 2012, 04:06

Also, while I have edited some responses, I have not edited heavily.
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Re: PlayDip Mafia Textbook

Postby Zoomzip » 05 Jun 2012, 04:25

sjg11 wrote:I can't believe that nobody has mentioned the most important rule in the book yet.....

Don't listen to sjg!


I'll just add that insight to the...

Hey, wait a minute...I see what you did there.

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Re: PlayDip Mafia Textbook

Postby sjg11 » 05 Jun 2012, 10:21

"Why are people against early reveals?"

Because they tell the scum where all of the important townies are which allows the scum to kill them. This is not a good thing. This defeats the town's best chances during the night while not significantly improving their chances during the day.
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Re: PlayDip Mafia Textbook

Postby Crunkus_old » 05 Jun 2012, 14:12

sjg11 wrote:"Why are people against early reveals?"

Because they tell the scum where all of the important townies are which allows the scum to kill them. This is not a good thing. This defeats the town's best chances during the night while not significantly improving their chances during the day.


Revealing information is something that by and large should be discussed by the group. This is often a critical decision, and how it gets discussed can be valuable data. Instantly revealing information is not something that generally helps the town or demonstrates that you are town. Indeed, it can be used by the scum to encourage others to follow their example, even while they extol the virtues of caution. One of the main components in game design is considering how various forms of reveal will effect the game. There are games where one kind of reveal, or even a full reveal are very advisable on day one. But it is more common that there are built in hazards to reveals and that a tipping point is usually reached part way through the game where the benefit of revealing outweighs the cost of revealing. In low-information games this is particularly difficult to assess, as many mechanics may be hidden. In the end this is a cost-benefit situation. You need to consider not just what the cost of such and action is, but what the benefits are carefully and with specificity. It is one of the things that varies GREATLY from game to game depending on the rules, and what works for one game does not necessarily work for another as a strategy. The only thing that really doesn't work is adopting a philosophy and applying that evenly to all games. This robs the town of a chance to see how you interact with the rules of the game (since you aren't really considering them at all in your decision) and likely leads to poor choices in many cases.

Hints are the same as reveals. They are not clever. Do not hint when you wouldn't reveal. There's no reason to think an individual in the town is more likely to pick up on your hint than one of the many scum still operating. I suppose you can lay a seed if when laying that seed you think it impossible that anyone would pick up on it before you reference it later, but I've honestly never see that be more than a gimmick as a strategy. In general, it is best to simply keep information either revealed or secret, unambiguously.

Just because your role is innocuous, does not mean revealing this is wise. You are still revealing information which is relevant to the roles other people have. Mafia often discover identities, roles, and other game relevant information through a process of elimination. When you aid that process, you aid the mafia. You better have a damn good reason, and not just a lark. It is quite common for players to try little gambits or make little hints or other such things, and I've watched a great deal of games from the vantage of being "in" on the mafia conversations. These things work against the town surprisingly quickly, even given pieces of incorrect information people try to send out. Not saying anything at all until it is time to say something is often the superior strategy, and its stock only rises as more townies adopt it. Oh, and don't dump your information the first time it looks like you are going to be lynched. Carefully consider such a move. Things change quite often, and if the only thing you have between you and the noose is a role claim, it's historically unlikely that this will make a difference. The scum can make the same sort of claim quite often. Talk your way out of the noose, that's the game. Don't rely on a reveal to save you. It really shouldn't.
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