Mafia: Goontown [Game Over]

*The scene: An abandoned warehouse. Three legitimate businessmen, having just narrowly escaped a sting, are meeting to plan their next move.

“The problem,” said Vinnie, “is all those damned power roles. Detectives who can figure us out, even if we do everything perfectly.”

“Yeah,” said his cousin, Guido, “And doctors, who can prevent us from ever making a kill.”

“Or serial killers, who compete with us,” said Vinnie.

“And don’t forget those chia bingo managers!”

“Lord, don’t even get me started on the chia bingo managers!”

“And it’s always us goons who take the brunt of it,” said Guido.

At this, the third man, a quiet, bespectacled individual known as Books, spoke up. “I think we can all agree on the nature of the problem. But what do you propose we do about it?”

“Simple,” said Vinnie. “We find ourselves a quiet little town, away from the busy cities, too small to have any of those sorts.”

“But Vinnie,” said Guido, “The family is all in the big cities. In a small town, who will be the bosses?”

“That’s the beauty of it. We will be. Now, clearly, since this was all my idea, I’ll be the Godfather, so nobody will ever be able to investigate me as Mafia.”

Guido sounded doubtful. “I dunno, Boss, didn’t you just say there were no investigators there?”

“So you see the genius of it, then,” said Vinnie: My power is guaranteed to work!"

“Well, now that you mention it, I’ve always wanted to be one of them cool Enforcers, preventing folks from doin’ nothin’ to interfere with us.”

“You idiot,” said Books, “Nobody will interfere with us anyway. That’s the plan.”

“Knock it off, Books. As Godfather, I say that if Guido wants to be an Enforcer, he can be.”

“Be that as it may,” said Books, “but what the two of you fail to appreciate is that knowledge is power. If we’re going to be choosing our own roles, then I want to be an investigator.”

“Uh, wait,” said Guido, “If everybody’s just a nobody, same as everybody else, won’t that be really easy?”

“So it’s decided,” said Vinnie. “I’ll be the Godfather, Guido can be the Enforcer, and Books can be the Investigator, and we won’t have to share our haul with anyone.”*

This is a Mafia game. Most of the players will be innocent Townsmembers, but a few will secretly be Mafia members, known only to each other. Every Day (represented by five real-world days), all of the players, including the secret Mafia members, will vote to lynch one person. Every Night (represented by two real-world days), the Mafia members will secretly pick one Townsperson to murder. In either case, the true role of the deceased will be revealed. This cycle will repeat until one side is victorious, either the Town completely eliminating the Mafia, or the Mafia killing enough Townies to control the vote. And that’s all there is to it: This will be a vanilla game.

The game will play with 10, 21, or 22 players. 22 would be preferred: If there are fewer, then Guido will unfortunately win an all-expenses paid island vacation off the coast of San Francisco. All three setups, assuming an equal level of skill on both sides, would give Town between a 50% and 51% chance of winning. If more people sign up than one of those thresholds, any extras will be alternates, in case of people dropping out. Detailed rules will follow, when we see how many people we have.

Sure, I’ll play!

I’m sitting out at giraffe, so I’ll play here.

/in

My availability will be spotty, but /in.

  1. snfaulkner
  2. Mahaloth
  3. Biotop

When does this start?

If we hit 22? As soon as the cycle allows (I’m thinking probably end-of-Day on Thursday afternoon).

Less than that, and it depends on whether it looks like we’ll hit 22.

/in. I’ve been away too long.

/in

I’m curious what model you use to compute your win probabilities.

Perhaps Jseton points? Nothing I have heard of can predict swing or erratic human behavior, but maybe he balanced it with jsexton’s points and it come out about right.

I assume that lynch decisions are indistinguishable from random. This covers the case where neither side has any skill at all, of course, and it also covers the case where both sides are perfectly skilled, and the Scum therefore act exactly like Town, and there is therefore no basis for even a skilled Town to make any non-random decisions. In between those two extremes, I know of no inherent quantification that would allow for comparison of skill levels, and so I consider it reasonable to assume that “equal skill” means the amount of skill required to keep the probabilities at the same level as at the two well-defined points.

JSexton points are inherently flawed, both in that they assume a linearity that isn’t there (if you take a balanced game and double the size of both teams, the Scum will end up with a massive advantage), and in that they neglect the influence of parity, which is highly significant, especially in a game with no Doctor, Roleblocker, or Vigilante.

  1. snfaulkner
  2. Mahaloth
  3. Biotop
  4. Prof. Pepperwinkle
  5. Sunny Daze

Yay!

/in

I’ll give it a shot — rather inexperienced, but wth.

It’s been years since my last game, but I’m able to be active again so… in.

I’ll give it a shot. Never played before.

  1. snfaulkner
  2. Mahaloth
  3. Biotop
  4. Prof. Pepperwinkle
  5. Sunny Daze
  6. Snoe
  7. Hi, Neighbor!
  8. Knowed Out

Just two more for the minimum threshold. And this is probably a good game for a first-timer: Some of them can get much more complicated.

Come one, come all, and bring your paranoia!

Chronos, you monster.

Biotop summed it up pretty well for me.

  1. snfaulkner
  2. Mahaloth
  3. Biotop
  4. Prof. Pepperwinkle
  5. Sunny Daze
  6. Snoe
  7. Hi, Neighbor!
  8. Knowed Out
  9. Johnny Bravo

C’mon, just one more, we can do it!

Or 13 more; that would work too.