Welcome to MafiaManiac, a site is dedicated to the growth and expansion of the online forum game of Mafia.

Mafia is that party game you may have played, where there is a mafia (informed minority) trying to overtake an entire village and the villagers (uninformed Majority) are trying to stop them. We play these mafia games over several days in our forum and we have people from all over the world playing them. These mafia games can be themed from movies, real life situations and almost anything you can think of! Mafia involves a lot of creative strategy, making you think on your toes. You'll be forced trust your gut, check your logic, and deceive or be deceived. If you think you can handle playing, here are a few links you should definitely check out.

- Unreality's Official Guide to Mafia
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- Our Wiki

Also registering and replying to my welcome message with how you found this site without me asking you to will get you 2 rep points, which is very helpful later on.

Thank you for visiting our site and please Register

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GMaster479
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 Mafia Wager
Giovane D'Honore
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  Posted Mar 7 2015, 07:31 PM
I am a new member here but I have played Mafia on other sites. Currently, I am thinking about the limitations of the existing sites organizing Mafia games and the limitations of the game itself.

To be more specific, I am referring to a contradiction a player is facing when playing the Mafia...

On one hand, a player is encouraged to approach the game with enthusiasm, competitive spirit and authentic will to ensure victory for his team. The more enthusiasm all of the players share, the more fun the game will be. And that's great, I think this applies to any game or sport...

But, on the other hand... A player should not be too competitive, because there are always so many ways how he can easily cheat and thus acquire too much of an advantage.


So, as I understood, you should be a "good sport". You should put your desire to win on the second place, and as #1 make sure that everyone in the group is having sufficient amount of fun.


What is your stand on this? Do you ever think about it this way?

Can you imagine playing a Mafia game for small stakes? Or as a symbolic bet with your friends, a wager?
Team Innocents vs Team Mafia...
Or in any other way that would turn the game into a real competitive match?

Do you think that current ways of playing could support the increased competitivity between players...?
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  Posted Mar 7 2015, 07:51 PM
I would like to understand more about what initiated this line of thought. It sounds like there was some conflict on another site as to competitiveness? Maybe if we knew more background info, it would be easier to understand the question.

I don't see any ways for people to cheat and gain an advantage apart from discussing member to member outside of BTS chat. On this site, that is such a taboo that it just doesn't happen. Anyone who tried it would be exiled.

The way we play it is "what happens in mafia, stays in mafia" so while we don't go all out and play dirty, attacking each other no holds barred like some places, we do pretty much speak our mind and a lot of friendly teasing goes on, along with whatever strategies can possibly be thought of within the parameters of the rules. Sometimes it gets ugly but it is understood that it doesn't go outside the game.

Playing mafia for stakes would be okay if the game was 100% balanced. Many games aren't, because hosts have to be different and make nutty designs. http://mafiamaniac.org/smile/XD.gif


QUOTE (araver @ Oct 1 2015, 08:41 AM)
I cannot believe ... ok.
Consigliere
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  Posted Mar 7 2015, 08:00 PM
Nutty designs, like giving baddies and indies loads of secret extra votes, so the goodies need some super player to be the goodie kill and kill the baddies off every night starting n1?

http://mafiamaniac.org/smile/nahnah.gif
lolmod
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  Posted Mar 7 2015, 08:10 PM
I personally tend to like slightly less competitiveness than what would go along with wagers.

Specifically, things like baddies saying "so-and-so is a dangerous player but let's not kill him/her right away because... they haven't played for a while and shouldn't get NKed on their first game back, or they tend to be entertaining, or I'd like the challenge of being up against them for a little bit".

Also, since we have a fair number of hybrid games where everyone's in a BTSC with powerplay ability, less experienced players can sometimes end up just watching and not contributing too much if the more experienced ones just run the show. Without wagers, I tend to make an effort to get new and inexperienced players to contribute and be involved in the game.

But we generally frown on the "he's my buddy so I'll leave him alone" mentality, because that's just not mafia-ish. In fact, I think people tend to be more likely to act on people they know and have played with a lot, even without needing wagers as incentive.

That, and it smells like someone might be looking to hustle the unwary http://mafiamaniac.org/smile/whistle.gif
Consigliere
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  Posted Mar 7 2015, 08:15 PM
I think every game is a symbolic bet of sorts, where the stakes are win/loss record and the joy of winning. There is also joy in playing a really good game even if losing. Cheating would render any win as pointless and hollow.
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  Posted Mar 7 2015, 08:34 PM
@plas - they are some good examples of how we put aside competitiveness. I hadn't thought of that. I think that is a function of having the type of community that we have. When you say it is frowned against to leave your buddy alone, but more acceptable to say "he's entertaining or he hasn't played in a while or he always dies n1", I think that means people are modifying their play based on improving enjoyment for everyone vs favouritizing their buddy, and IMO that's a good thing.

Eg. Jay is my buddy but sometimes he's like a sack of potatoes and i'm like "i'm warning you, bro. Start entertaining me quick smart, or you're outskies!" http://mafiamaniac.org/smile/tongue.gif

The fact is, people are people and so we're never going to be 100% unbiased, however that often shows itself in ways that contradict acting in favoritism.

Eg. A lot of the people I like the most are also the ones that need to scram so I can win. Vs the people who are singled out to live on based on their role or outside factors. The only time I'm going to be anti competitive is when I think it will help my team later in the game (by inducing a debt of goodwill) or in future games to come by virtue of building a reputation of sticking to deals.

Eg. I wouldn't blindly trust nana if she told me she's a certain role or faction, or what she did last night, but if she proposed terms of an alliance, I would trust her to stick to the letter of her word due to past experience, plus knowing she wouldn't ruin her rep just to betray in one game.


QUOTE (araver @ Oct 1 2015, 08:41 AM)
I cannot believe ... ok.
Monsieur
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  Posted Mar 7 2015, 08:34 PM
QUOTE (plasmid @ Mar 8 2015, 01:10 AM)
I think people tend to be more likely to act on people they know and have played with a lot, even without needing wagers as incentive.


Like how Hachi always kills me when he is bad :c


I'm an educated man, I read various remarkable books, but I cannot understand the direction I myself want to go, whether to live or to shoot myself, as it were. So, in case, I always carry a revolver about with me. - Epikhodov
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And perhaps we are funny. But you must never imagine, that just because something is funny, Monsieur le Marquis, it is not dangerous. - Mr. Croup
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I have always felt that violence was the last refuge of the incompetent, and empty threats the last sanctuary of the terminally inept. - Monsieur le Marquis
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There is nothing so dangerous for anyone who has something to hide as conversation!... A human being cannot resist the opportunity to reveal himself and express his personality which conversation gives him. Every time he will give himself away. - Agatha Christie
Jay
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  Posted Mar 7 2015, 08:38 PM
QUOTE (Boquise @ Mar 7 2015, 07:34 PM)
QUOTE (plasmid @ Mar 8 2015, 01:10 AM)
I think people tend to be more likely to act on people they know and have played with a lot, even without needing wagers as incentive.


Like how Hachi always kills me when he is bad :c


http://mafiamaniac.org/smile/lol.gif

And how I always spy Nana on N1. http://mafiamaniac.org/smile/nahnah.gif
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  Posted Mar 7 2015, 09:14 PM
http://mafiamaniac.org/smile/slap.gif


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Giovane D'Honore
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  Posted Mar 7 2015, 09:59 PM
Hey, thanks for many replies http://mafiamaniac.org/smile/smile.gif

I found so far that people of a specific profile are playing games like Mafia. Same people tend to like board games.

I don't like board games. Because, everytime I play, someone gets angry at me eventually http://mafiamaniac.org/smile/smile.gif
And I am only taking the most rational actions to win. No storytelling, no emotions... Pure ratios of win/invest.

I am generally interested in Game Theory, optimal strategies and stuff... So I approach every game in such way.

I feel that most board games (and Mafia also), are not devised for players like myself. (I developed interest in Mafia 'by accident').

When I play board games, I tend to find a dominating strategy that is either not intuitive or not in accordance with the story behind the game. When a game has a single or too few dominating strategies, it is broken.

In game theory, this would be called that the pareto optimal front is too small. In layman's terms, a game should always have a rock-paper-scissors component, so that none of the strategies is dominating all the others.

A game that is broken in this way can be fixed in two ways:
1) prohibit the dominant strategy
2) change the game so that new strategies emerge or the current dominant strategy becomes less profitable

This is basically a choice whether you will reduce the number of strategies or increase.
The successful (popular) games tend to choose number 2. One example is chess and the "en passant" move.


So, to get to the point...
If I were to play day-to-day mafia with my colleagues at work and one evening one of them comes to me and says: "Look at my laptop, it says here clearly that I am innocent. Show me your screen so that I can make sure that you are innocent too."

And even if I am innocent myself, I am supposed to report him? And even if I report him, how can anyone be sure that I am not stating false accusations?

This is just... not a game. Not in the purest meaning of the word. It is a group of people embarking in a fun story together and they are enjoying the story more than the competition.

I believe this is why the game is only popular with the specific profile of people. I kind of feel that the game has a great potential (both as a fun competitive game and as a platform for research in psychology, sociology and game theory) but because of these reasons it has always retained the reputation of a childrens' make-believe game...



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  Posted Mar 7 2015, 10:28 PM
Someone showing you a screen that proves innocence is cheating in the same way that distracting a chess player and then removing one of their pieces would be cheating. Or football players could sneak weapons onto the field, or drug the other team's water. Gambling, where the stakes are cash, is notorious for cheating, and cheating is always punished.

Every game has rules and punishes violations.
lolmod
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  Posted Mar 7 2015, 11:45 PM
Yep, I think it's fair to say that none of us would want to play with anyone who intentionally blatantly breaks such a fundamental rule of mafia. How to handle it depends on the circumstances: if they're new to the game and/or don't understand how flagrantly wrong that is, then let them know that it's unacceptable to do such a thing. If they know full well what they're doing, they shouldn't be playing mafia.

If you play the game because you like it and think it's fun, then you're fairly likely to stick to the rules because cheating only robs you of the experience. I'm not saying there aren't people who would cheat even if they're just playing for fun, but it seems far less likely than if you're playing for cash.

And re: game theory, I think we'll get along well http://mafiamaniac.org/smile/happy.gif
Giovane D'Honore
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  Posted Mar 8 2015, 06:41 AM
QUOTE (Nana7 @ Mar 8 2015, 02:28 AM)
Someone showing you a screen that proves innocence is cheating in the same way that distracting a chess player and then removing one of their pieces would be cheating. Or football players could sneak weapons onto the field, or drug the other team's water. Gambling, where the stakes are cash, is notorious for cheating, and cheating is always punished.

Every game has rules and punishes violations.


Removing one of the pieces in chess, bringing weapons onto the football field...
The only reasons why these things don't happen is because there is an objective way of detecting and proving what rule has been broken and who broke it.
They are not playing fair merely because they are very noble and upstanding.

If a football team could get away with drugging the opposing team, rest assured that it would be a very common scenario.

And that's a good thing! That's what it means to have a competitive game.

Why 10 seconds of Superbowl commercials cost $1 million, and some random all-star match cost several times less? Because, people like to watch competition...


But, this extends to life in general. Why would I pay the taxes if I can get away with not paying them? Sure, if I am a good guy and whish best for all my countrymen, I will pay the taxes. But after the rascals don't pay the taxes, it only means that the good guys will have to pay more. So, effectively, you are being punished for being good.

The only reason why people pay taxes is because of the fear that they might get caught if they don't.

And now to apply the tax analogy to mafia...
If you live in a small town or a village with its own taxing system. It is feasible to convince people: "Don't be assholes and pay your taxes. It is for everyone's best interest."

And people will do as you say even if they have a way of not doing it.

But you lose this ability if your small town/village gets bigger. Then you need a better system than just verbal convincing.

Same way mafia is always restricted to a specific profile of players.

This post has been edited by acajic: Mar 8 2015, 06:41 AM
Giovane D'Honore
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  Posted Mar 8 2015, 07:58 AM
QUOTE (plasmid @ Mar 8 2015, 03:45 AM)
Yep, I think it's fair to say that none of us would want to play with anyone who intentionally blatantly breaks such a fundamental rule of mafia.


Yea, that's all fine...

I guess the discussion can then be diverted into questioning whether a game can exist that is similar to Mafia but does not share these fundamental rules i.e. it is more liberal in the mentioned scenarios.

A game that shares the aspects of conspiring, lying and deceiving but gets rid of the rules that prohibit this-and-that kind of behaviour.
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  Posted Mar 8 2015, 10:57 AM
We actively encourage hosts to design their games in ways such that the rules themselves make certain kinds of undesirable behavior detrimental. The best example of that is preventing goodies from outing their roles blatantly. Back in the day, I think everyone knew that you could break a game if all the goodies just outed their roles to figure out who was baddie, and people were just told "don't out". If players did out, the host might have punished players for outing by doing something like making them lose their ability for the next cycle. But we've now come around to the idea that that isn't a great way of doing things: players could just give pretty blatant hints without completely saying "I'm the spy" and it would have the same effect, and the host would have to make dicey calls on whether someone completely outed or was just dropping hints. The better way of dealing with it is to give the baddies or an indy a RID kill ability, or have some other in-game mechanism to make outing your role be detrimental to your wincon. Players nowadays are free to out their roles, but they have to make a strategic decision on whether doing so would be worth the consequences.

Some of my recent ones are even getting rid of the restriction on direct player-to-player messaging. Dungeons & Mafia and Toy Soldiers (in the Games Ready forum) are that way. If you were really bound and determined to cheat in one of those games, you'd have to do things like give another player your login password, or physically give them your laptop, to let them view your entire account and verify that you're telling the truth and not about to backstab. But that gets to be pretty extreme / ridiculous; AFAIK people here don't even do unallowed PMs. (The motivation for designing games with direct player-to-player PMs actually had more to do with allowing people to lie more easily, not removing an advantage from cheating by telling other players the truth.)
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