View Full Version : Huge Mafia Game Netherworld: Tainted Ashes

03-19-2010, 21:56
The plot is set, and I'm looking to continue the Netherworld series. However, the workings of the game will a fair degree different than the previous two incarnations. Yes, the prefix is correct- the design for this game is for a very, very large number of players. I'm hoping for a minimum of sixty players, but I'd prefer to get to eighty. Now, to explain what's going on...

It is years after the events of N2. The Gods and Demons skirmished for years, neither unsure exactly of what happened when the encampment at the Styx gate was destroyed. In a flash, the war was halted. Members of the Netherworld and World of Gods alike flew from their posts, and into the human world. Angra had spent nearly a year developing an underground network, and now he has pulled the strings of rebellion against both worlds, and setting his base in the world of humans. A grand tower marks his capital in Babylon. With their forces cut from under their feet, Hades and The Elder met in person, at the now long-abandoned encampment, to sign a ceasefire. Their attentions now both look to the world of humans....

The town will be Angra Mainyu and his forces, which have been gathered from all three worlds. The Netherworld and Gods will form primary mafias. And make no mistake, humans do not hold good will towards their new overlord.

Mechanics wise, I will be borrowing heavily from Seamus' Capo games. Players will have chances to advance in rank, with differing abilities per rank. All abilities a player has will be made plainly available. Recruitment will be a definite factor. Now, abilities will be pretty similar to Capo, but there will be a few new classes as well as the "traditional" classes.

I'm also considering a new mechanic for lynching, and I'd like to hear the player's feelings on this. There will be an elected director, as with Capo. However, with each lynch phase, the players with the two most votes will be made to duel. The director may choose one of the combatants to die, following the end of the duel. My feeling is that the duels will *mostly* be non-fatal- however, there may be a few roles which will not settle for a "bloodless" end to a fight. If one fighter is slain, the director may elect to have the other slain as well, or not.

Any thoughts?

03-20-2010, 14:03
I will certainly play, but I voted GAH! on the lynch option. I've been in several games with a dueling system, and the one thing they all seem to lack is a purpose for the duels. They generally end up being a way for bored townies to do something else and don't tend to have much practical purpose in the game beyond entertainment. Your option is a bit more promising because it isn't optional and it is meshed into the actual lynch mechanism. Howeveer, I'm not entirely clear on what use the fight will be. Is the duel going to reveal info on the two combatants, so that the director can lynch one of them? If so, is that too powerful? In such a situation, the town will naturally gravitate towards pumping two suspects forward to duel so that they can both have a 'duel investigation.' If mafia are spotted in duels, that might be too powerful. At the same time, if the mafia are NOT spotted in duels... what's the point?

Again, putting them in for entertainment is perfectly fine; duel system do accomplish that relatively well. However, I'm unclear on how the duel will factor into the greater goal of catching the mafia and whether it would be balanced.

03-20-2010, 16:11
The mafia will not be revealed by the duel mechanism, and there's a reason why. Remember the whole background. There's former Gods and Demons, as well as humans working for Angra Mainyu. Now, the duel mechanism will give an indication of strength of role- and if a player is killed in the duel, that may indicate an, shall we say, abnormal role, as most, including mafia, will attempt to show restraint to avoid a larger spotlight on them. There will be some, but not a lot, of info given away based on how they fight. I felt this would accomplish a couple things:

1) Give a bit more significance to the role of Director. Bearing in mind that I plan on doing the writeups(though I'll take a few hints if the players desire), so that bit of the director's job is moot. Further, this way, the director will have a much more direct influence on the game. Of course, as I figure it, any director who consistently chooses the player the town found least suspicious is one not long for the world. The one override mechanism I have against the director's power is that if he is in the top two in voting at the end of any day phase, he will be stripped of power, and forced into a duel to the death against his peer in "suspicion garnering". Regardless of who wins, the town will then elect a new director.

2) Be a way for both the town and mafia forces to gather a bit of information. Not much a lot, but enough for people to get a feeling of "oh, this guy is probably a power role". There's one more bit of info it would help some people with, but I shan't reveal, as its secret. :quiet:

03-21-2010, 02:09
I like the duel idea, and how you set it up. One thought for your consideration, as an alternative option for both duels and directors:

The director is elected, and his/her power is to choose between a traditional lynch (top voted dies) or a duel (two top candidates duel each other). Whoever wins the duel might be based on their strength, but perhaps also on some other mechanic... rock/paper/scissors is one idea, but I'm assuming you already read about and considered that. Having it based on strength might be revealing... and it might not be. Having it based on both strength and chance might be interesting. I like the idea of duels, but I also like the idea of there being traditional lynches if the Director wishes so. This is a rough sketch of an idea... you can play with it or toss it out.

03-21-2010, 02:25
The lynch mechanism is similar to what we had in the Snakes & Foxes games at CFC. Basically we voted who would fight each other, with the loser of the fight dying. It was okay, but extremely difficult to remove specific players.

03-21-2010, 02:28
The lynch mechanism is similar to what we had in the Snakes & Foxes games at CFC. Basically we voted who would fight each other, with the loser of the fight dying. It was okay, but extremely difficult to remove specific players.


This is definitely the thing to be concerned with.

I think at the beginning of the game it might be prudent to have duels to gain information, and then specific lynches later on... which could be decided by the director person. Could be a good compromise.

03-21-2010, 19:39
A Zoroastrian Mafia? Count me in!

03-22-2010, 13:45
This may not apply to the proposed rules, since these duels would not be voluntary by either party, but I think one of the requirements for a good duel system is well balanced risk and reward. The game system needs to have a solid benefit to both the town and the mafia for engaging in duels. At the same time, there needs to be a risk to both sides as well... be it death or role reveal. A good duel system will have these risks and rewards balanced in such a way that people are regularly engaging in duels, but they're not clearly benefitting either side.

03-22-2010, 14:09
Allthough I agree that so far, duels have never been of much use for town, they can be useful in theory.

Duels also have an irresistable fun factor :smitten: Nothing more satisfying than chopping off the head of that annoying obviously wrong townie in a fair duel (only to discover at the end of the game that said townie was of course right in all of his assumptions...).

03-23-2010, 02:45
Duels also have an irresistable fun factor :smitten: Nothing more satisfying than chopping off the head of that annoying obviously wrong townie in a fair duel (only to discover at the end of the game that said townie was of course right in all of his assumptions...).

This post made me sneeze.

05-24-2010, 06:43
Been thinking more and more on the game's structure, and I've come to what I feel is a definitive solution.

Summary of game structures:

- Unless the game goes well over the number of players I anticipate(in other words, somehow I get 100 or so, I do have a backup plan just in case the exceedingly unlikely event occurs), there will be three mafia families at the start of the game.

- There will be a town overseer(director) role, who's primary purpose will be to determine the outcome of ties, for both lynch and duels. If they want a particular method of execution, I will use it as well. I may alter lynch writeups as needed, however. The overseer will be elected on the first day, and chosen again every three day phases.

- There will be a system which will bear strong similarities to Sigurd's Star Wars game(many thanks for inspiration, I was trying to come up with a proper execution and Star Wars was very clear) for the purposes of "promotion" of all players.

- Though every player will be able to be promoted from their original position, certain roles will be able to be promoted further than the bog-standard townsperson. Thus, regular townspeople will not be able to become a Master(Don).

- However, every player can obtain a position of high affluence- be it in a mafia family or a pro-town position

- There will be a very small number of un-recruitable townsperson roles.

- There will be duels, but they will not be tied to the lynch. The players will vote for one person to be lynched each day. In order to duel, a player must issue a Challenge: Player X. Challenges must be accepted, and cannot be retracted. Duels will not, as a general rule, end in death. However, a small number of certain roles will immediately slay those they defeat in duel. In the event of many challenges, the overseer will determine who duels.

- There will be purpose to the duels. Every player in the game will be in one of three categories- human, god, or demonic. I have a system for balancing the three to a degree- however, as a general rule, the humans will have a slight uphill climb. Further, the duel may be able to tell the town the capabilities of the combatants. Since Angra Mainyu's forces are comprised of humans, demons, and gods, it will not tell role alignment.

- Mafia families will consist of 5 roles to start.

- Like Capo, every player can participate in night actions. Successfully participating in night actions have a small chance in promotion for each participant. However, this is only for a successful night action.

- As a general rule, four "ordinary" townspeople can kill one player, and three can defend a player. However, promotions can alter this ratio.

Example- 2 players of rank 1(will be given proper name later, essentially a starting townsperson), and one player of rank 2 would be able to commit a night kill, or one player of rank 1 and one player of rank 2 would be able to make a protection. Essentially, the formula for a successful protection is to have a combined rank of 3, and a combined rank of 4 for a kill.

However, protections are not infallible. A protection will fail against a night kill which has a combined rank of at least 2.5 times the protection rank. So, for the basic protection of combined rank 3, it will succeed in protection against combined ranks up until rank 8.

- There will be at least one pro-town masonry group.

- Given a game of doubtful alignments, there will be, most likely, two detectives.

- There will be neutral roles, of course. There will be at least three of them.

- Construction of mafia families: one Master(essentially a Don), who will be irreplaceable. If killed, the family does not lose. However, there many capacities the Don fulfills that cannot be done by anyone else. The faction will not be able to promote any to master. Further, there will be one Champion(essentially a Luca) two scouts(essentially mades), and fifth, secret role which will depend on the faction. The champion and Master are not replaceable, in terms of their capacities. The scouts and secret role will be replaceable.

-Masters investigated will show up as "loyal", unless the champion is killed. Once a faction loses their champion, the master will show up as "dis-loyal", unless they have committed a night kill. Once they commit a night kill, and their champion is gone, they will show up as "Seditious". Scouts and the secret role, until they commit a night kill, will show up as dis-loyal upon investigation, and will be shown as seditious of the night of a kill and after it. Champions will always show up as dis-loyal unless caught in the act of killing.

Regular townies will show up as loyal until they commit a night kill, and will show up as dis-loyal after the night of, and after, killing.

Other roles may show up as "unclear", indicating no alignment at the time of investigation. These roles will be able to help the town, or hurt it.

-Although there will only ever be the original three Masters, new mafia families may be formed. In order to form, a group of players must have a combined rank of a least 20 and consist of no more than four players. Essentially, the group must all send me coordinated night orders to "form family". The players must all spend one night consecrating their agreement, and must all survive that night phase. If any part of the consecration fails- be it one player not sending orders, or the players not actually having the necessary rank, it will fail and the family will not form.

I think that covers most of what I want to reveal....