Live Game Set Up - advice requested

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Live Game Set Up - advice requested

Postby thewysecat » 12 Jan 2015, 19:45

This is an appeal to anyone with experience playing Mafia live. I have never played it live, but I intend to try and run a game with new players so I wanted to seek advice.

Does anyone have a decent game set-up they would recommend? Something simple. I might play nightless vanilla. Or maybe a limited night game with a cop and a doc, but nothing more complex than that

What is the maximum number of players you would try this with? 12? 15? Can you get away with 20+?

I would normally have a 3:1 ratio, but does this alter with live games? Should mafia resources be strengthened or weakened in live play?

Any tips on avoiding 'cheating' (not closing eyes properly, IDing people through people moving at night etc)?

How are game days managed? Time limits? Until a majority is reached?

How long would you estimate each game day should take?

How is voting conducted and recorded?

Do you need to manage day chat? I could imagine a chaotic town with everyone shouting across one another being both unenjoyable and very pro-mafia so any 'house rules' on that?

Anything else I have forgotten?

Thanks

Wyse
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Re: Live Game Set Up - advice requested

Postby obgynkenobi » 12 Jan 2015, 20:33

My experience and opinions only: To avoid cheating, make sure people know that any cheating results in an automatic GM kill (and the GM has absolute authority to do so). To mask nighttime movement sounds, have all participants drum hands lightly on the table top during the night phase. I usually let the town figure out the mechanism of the vote after a nomination for a day-kill. Most towns agree that once there is a majority the phase ends. Thus, it's in the best interest of participants to vote wisely. Some people put in place a firm time limit to day phases, others do not. Usually as the GM with a rambunctious group, I will allow discussion to go on so long as it's productive, but if it starts to break down I reserve the right to start a 5 min egg timer. Once the bell goes off, consensus must be reached or there is no day-kill. That is usually enough incentive to the town to make a decision. I think the max I've ever played with was 18 or so. The 3:1 ratio should work regardless of the size of the group playing.

IMHO, live mafia games give town a distinct advantage in that it's substantially easier to read that someone is lying live and in person vs on a forum/chat thread. If you're going to alter the ratio, I would favor mafia in that adjustment.

Hope this helps.

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Re: Live Game Set Up - advice requested

Postby Alman » 12 Jan 2015, 21:10

Finally, a Mafia question I understand! I've been absolutely fascinated by watching the game on here. I had only ever played a simple game "live" as a youth leader. We play this often with a bunch of teens. We usually do either just detective, or sometimes add in a doctor who can save one person a night. We have them sit in a circle and drum their hands on their thighs. We play the ratio by ear but usually somewhere in the neighborhood of between 1/4 and 1/3 give or take. We play pretty fast paced, with no hard time limits but most nights only lasting a minute more or less. Days usually last 3-4 minutes depending on debate.

Again, this is with a bunch of teens, where we play more than one game at a sitting. It would be interesting to try it with a bunch of adults.
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Re: Live Game Set Up - advice requested

Postby condude1 » 12 Jan 2015, 22:46

A few hints: play music in the background to cover up movement noises: if players are drumming hands there's the possibility of "He stopped drumming during the mafia phase, lynch him!".

I'd use an honour system for peeking: just say it ruins the game if you peek: 99% of people will understand.

I'd keep games at around the same sizes as here, otherwise it just gets unruly. With regards to roles, K.I.S.S. Something like watcher can be really hard to implement and a bit confusing for new players. Cops, docs, bulletproof are all valid roles for live mafia.
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Re: Live Game Set Up - advice requested

Postby Zander » 14 Jan 2015, 09:02

Do you need to manage day chat? I could imagine a chaotic town with everyone shouting across one another being both unenjoyable and very pro-mafia so any 'house rules' on that?


Thats literally half the fun of live mafia :P You get actual lynchmobs and physical reads. Usually some sort of order forms, either with a town leader or something similar. Lurking is almost always insta-punished, because there is a guy in the corner not talking.

Use the honor system on cheating, and don't play with cheaters. Make sure people follow the spirit of the game not the rules to the letter, and don't be afraid to punish people for being ghost-talking dicks.

As for people listening at night, people can gesture pretty quietly if they want to. As long as people aren't too close together.

As for roles: keep it simple. Doctors are good in live games, and cops are alright too. Oh and it is a LOT of fun to include a sheriff in live games: a townie who can shoot one person per game during the day. Just make sure shooting someone with a finger gun is an acceptable order. Hilarity will ensue.

Time limits are up top you, we have always played it sort of casual with the GM deciding when, with only like 5 minutes per day, or shorter if the town wants to vote immediately. You can do a timer or something if you want more formality. We have always done public voting by hand raising, private seems awkward in live. Although I suppose you could just put people's heads down. Or have everyone text an order.
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Re: Live Game Set Up - advice requested

Postby condude1 » 14 Jan 2015, 22:04

Zander has a good point: day vig is a fun role in live mafia.

For voting, simply tell them to say "I accuse _____". Maybe make is so you can't retract a vote once it's placed to stop a massive, confusing vote change EOD, although it works either way.
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Re: Live Game Set Up - advice requested

Postby istott » 15 Jan 2015, 05:57

You make it so the day vig has to walk over to the victim, shout FALCON PUUUUUNCH and, while not actually punching them, make it look like they did.
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