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 Can signups take less long?
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B: 2-4
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  Posted Aug 12 2016, 11:04 PM
As we wait for the next game's signups to fill, I think back to my signup plan for some of my games where I didn't have a set number of players and just said "I'll let signups go for a few days and will plan to start with however many players sign up at long as it's some minimum." That's easy to do with faction games like Dungeons & Mafia and such, but could maybe be extended to traditional goodie-baddie games.

The idea would be to go with one of the following options.

Option #1: Flexible roster size
The OP would basically look like this, where you would have a list of roles and show which roles would be included if at least N people signed up.

5 – Block
8 – Role spy
11 – Vote x0-x2 on anyone except self
14 – Lynch frame ODTG

5 – Block
5 – Kill with ODTG publicly revealed spy-kill
5 – Save
5 – Follow spy
8 – Vote x0-x2 on self
8 – Messenger
11 – Broadcast
11 – Lookout spy
14 – Mason
14 – Mason

So if 8 people signed up then all of the roles with a 5 or 8 would be included, and if 11 people signed up then all of the 5, 8, and 11 roles would be included. This would end up making the game be a completely open setup once it starts like we're used to, and people reviewing the idea during game design can look at all the possibilities and make sure that each of them are reasonably balanced (although it would be more challenging than with a completely known fixed setup).

Option #2: Deck of Cards
The OP would basically look like this, where you would have a list of possible roles in the game but no indication of which will actually be included.

Possible Baddies
Trap (specify if it blocks, saves, silences, makes unvotable, can't be used on self)
Role spy
Follow spy
Lookout spy
Spied as goodie
Lynch frame ODTG
Vote x0-x2 (on self or anyone)
Unkillable ODTG (either lynch or night kill, invoked automatically, appears as saved)
RID kill

Possible Goodies
Role spy
Follow spy
Lookout spy
Trap (specify if it blocks, saves, silences, makes unvotable, can't be used on self)
Spy-Kill (the killed player's ID is revealed either publicly or to the goodie kill)
Kill with ODTG spy-kill
Lynch save
Vote x0-x2 (on self or anyone)
Unkillable ODTG (either lynch or night kill, invoked automatically, appears as saved)
Lover (masons where if one dies then both die, maybe also sharing an ability or smth, IDK)

Signups will continue until a specified time (or extended if a minimum number of players haven't signed up by that time), and when the game starts the host will pick roles. The host should specify at the outset (in the signups OP) whether the game will be an open setup where a list of goodie and baddie roles and abilities will be posted when the game starts, or whether it will be a nearly-closed setup where (as an extreme example) only a list of role names is posted in the game's OP but no abilities or faction affiliation of those roles and you don't even show the total number of goodies vs baddies in the game, or whether it will be a semi-open setup where some but not all of that info is shown.

I would NOT use random.org to pick which abilities are included in the game; for example, it would be silly to give the baddies a role spy and a RID kill, or to have only one goodie mason in the game. But subtler issues might arise with role interactions, and it would be difficult to control balance if it were completely randomized (in general a more closed setup would need a higher goodie to baddie ratio than what we're used to anyway), so I would only recommend that an experienced host go with this Deck of Cards option.
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TG: Nope
  Posted Aug 13 2016, 02:27 PM
I wholeheartedly agree with the first option 5/8/11/14. Without indies.
I think no one likes to design 8-player mafias, but it's a reality we have to accept - it's better to have a fast lane of small games going when a host is willing rather than two games 13+ > 1 week in signups.

... A red bird of my desire came and sat upon my shoulder, and I wrote a note and tied it to its leg and sent it off into the west. It said, "I'll be back," and it was signed by me.
... I saw my earlier selves as different people, acquaintances I had outgrown. I wondered how I could ever have been some of them.
... *shrug* Good-bye and hello, as always.

Spoiler for The three laws of the ol' faithful goodie killer

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