evileeyore
 member, 722 posts
 GURPS GM and Player
 Joined 20150819
Mon 5 Sep 2022
at 10:25
Why RPoL Doesn't Have 'Messageboard Mafia' Style Games
As I just noted in another thread, I'm rather surprised RPoL doesn't have a strong Mafia/Werewolf messageboard game group, as message boards are the best place to play those type of games.  I mean, I know we have a very large D&D following, but to be compeltely fair, every rabidly fanatic Mafia/Werewolf player I've ever previously known were D&D players and GMs, so it's not a 'genre thing'.

Any thoughts on why there isn't a large group here on RPoL playing those games?



Although... having just done a quick google search for a link to a good set of rules I've found literally dozens of forums dedicated to the game, so maybe that's the answer to my question.  The need is very adequately filled elsewhere...

A nice quick rundown of Messageboard Mafia:  https://www.newgrounds.com/portal/view/610087
(Werewolf/Vampire/etc are just different themes, but largely the same rules)
GreenTongue
 member, 1127 posts
 Game Archaeologist
Mon 5 Sep 2022
at 14:12
Why RPoL Doesn't Have 'Messageboard Mafia' Style Games
Sounds like you answered your own question. Games are where the players are so, unless RPoL shows up on your search, you go to what is returned.
evileeyore
 member, 723 posts
 GURPS GM and Player
 Joined 20150819
Mon 5 Sep 2022
at 15:32
Why RPoL Doesn't Have 'Messageboard Mafia' Style Games
RPoL doesn't show up on a search for "Play-by-post Message Boards" but yet we all showed up here.  Hmmm.  Granted, Messageboard Mafia is probably pretty niche even by niche game's standards.
bigbadron
 moderator, 16122 posts
 He's big, he's bad,
 but mostly he's Ron.
Mon 5 Sep 2022
at 15:36
Why RPoL Doesn't Have 'Messageboard Mafia' Style Games
Mafia type games show up here, from time to time.  Not sure how well they do, but I have seen people advertising them (or proposing them) a number of times over the years.
evileeyore
 member, 724 posts
 GURPS GM and Player
 Joined 20150819
Mon 5 Sep 2022
at 15:49
Why RPoL Doesn't Have 'Messageboard Mafia' Style Games
bigbadron:
Mafia type games show up here, from time to time.  Not sure how well they do, but I have seen people advertising them (or proposing them) a number of times over the years.

Okay, cool.  I just did a search and discovered the Game Search function is borked (so that's a new thread).

If I wasn't struggling to update the game I'm currently running I'd probably start one and try to create a community here... because I vastly prefer to play than run Message Board Mafia games.
V_V
 member, 1014 posts
Mon 5 Sep 2022
at 17:50
Why RPoL Doesn't Have 'Messageboard Mafia' Style Games
Just watching the very introductory link you provided (how these "scum" games work) I notice two main reasons why they aren't common here. BBR would know better than I, if such games cropped up at all. I can only speculate as to why they're uncommon, but here goes.


  1. Death often equates to elimination. This is true from the most rich acting in accordance games to pure strategy games without much but dry analysis. In a sense, yes, you can just go to another game on message board, but the economy of play time is a good return on investment....
  2. ...if the game moves quickly, it probably missed its target audience, and is being hosted with real time mediums. From "Among Us" to plain Anon IM. If the game is slower, but daily, it can become a chore to keep up on your turn, and ruin a game. Unlike D&D, it's more difficult to replace someone in a game designed to kill/eliminate player characters.
  3. If it's weekly, then it can cause people to lose interest when they need about a year to play a game that they could be out of in one month...
  4. ...Due to elimination, you have a high rate of "downtime" and those players are a finite pool, even super in fashion systems have maybe a hundred users site wide. In something more niche, you'll see the same players churn up over and over. Meaning that the only solution is to build a "pyramid" of activity, or see it dry up. By that, I mean the first player to be eliminated will (potentially) seek a new "scum" game. After a while you reach a Nash Equilibrium, and that tends toward very few people needing very few games, and very many people needing very many games.


People on RPoL don't tend to play board games. This is essentially a social board game, in the most rudimentary style of play. If you deviate from that too much it's no longer a marker for players to know what they're playing. If you try to tell a rich story...is it really the same game? I would say no. Then again, I've only learn about it half and hour ago, and probably won't look more into it. Players on RPoL tend to want consistent opportunity to play. Typically just because there's no RTJ limit, doesn't mean people feel invested in what is a kill off game.

PvP, however, isn't the problem. It's the latency of those players eliminated, and also the latency of very active players (maybe in multiple games at once) having latency to juggle them.

As a rule, I've found D&D players don't like death; despite the fact there are easy ways to revive a character. This is due to the latency. Just the fact they have to "sit out". Even if this wouldn't be true in practice, I think it's the stigma.

These aren't even really opinions, so much as guesses. I'm not so much grasping at straws, as just offering my perspective. As someone who is very open to hack n slash all the way to deep narrative games, I think the idea of putting effort into typing out messages in regard to the level of investment (dry → rich commentary) never scales well in a sardines type game, or all in or all out type game. PvP thrives are simultaneity. At least that I've seen.

I hope this wasn't terribly difficult to understand my point of view. I certainly don't expect it to be easily agreed with, but I just hope it was coherent. ;)
evileeyore
 member, 726 posts
 GURPS GM and Player
 Joined 20150819
Mon 5 Sep 2022
at 19:26
Why RPoL Doesn't Have 'Messageboard Mafia' Style Games
V_V:
Just watching the very introductory link you provided (how these "scum" games work)...

"MafiaScum" is a singular message board, 'scum' is not associated with Message Board Mafia games outside of that board (I chose the link as it was quick, easy, fairly well describes general 'Mafia' play, and was the first I found.  It links back to MafiaScum the message board that person presumably plays at - and I wasn't interested in investigating further as my time is limited and there are far, far, far, far, far more MBM/W sites than I ever suspected existed.  It was an errant thought I just realized I hadn't played a game in ages and hadn't seen one advertised here, despite it being perfect for message baords).

quote:
Death often equates to elimination.

Yes and no.  Yes, one is eliminated from the game proper, but in most cases (from my prior experience on other boards that were niche gaming boards) the eliminated stay "in' in the OOC thread and quite a lively discussion can form up there within certain limits.  Some topics tend to be verboten, such as "no revealing unknown info" and "no asserting 'facts' outside of the play", but there can be very interesting speculative/meta conversations during the remainder of the game.  Of course, some Players only want to play, where some are very interested in the side/post-play discussions.

quote:
...if the game moves quickly, it probably missed its target audience, and is being hosted with real time mediums.

I'm specifically referring to a Message Board game.  It was derived from a face-to-face congame, so yes, it's perfectly adaptable to real time mediums, but the message board variant is a perfect fit for message board play.

quote:
Unlike D&D, it's more difficult to replace someone in a game designed to kill/eliminate player characters.

No, it's really simple.  Someone drops out, they are out, why bother with 'replacing them' for a game designed to be over in one to two weeks? Or to take a the 'real time' part out, why replace a player in a game designed to be over in 5 to 10 turns?

Most MBM/W games run with a Day-Night cycle taking one day each (sometimes two days each, maybe a bit slower if the GM and Players prefer it), I've never seen one run faster... but then until a specific game here, I'd never seen a Play-By-Post rack up hundreds of posts a day either, so sure, I could see a faster one happening.

With 10 Players, two deaths per day... that's a short game.  I've seen them go all the way down to the wire with only 4 players left out of 20 that took two weeks to get to (alternating day/night turns each real day, so one elimination per real time day), and I've seen them end in one day due to very lucky choices.

The games tend to be very fast as message board games go.

quote:
...Due to elimination, you have a high rate of "downtime" and those players are a finite pool, even super in fashion systems have maybe a hundred users site wide.

MBM/W only needs 11 people, 10 Players and a GM.  And largely in the other sites I've played it in it tends to have a strong, small group of 15-20 people.

I was just surprised that with as many as we have here, I've never seen one advertised int he sevne years I've been here (I may very likely have missed a few adverts along the way, but I check the Players Wanted daily for interesting sounding games).

quote:
In something more niche, you'll see the same players churn up over and over. Meaning that the only solution is to build a "pyramid" of activity, or see it dry up. By that, I mean the first player to be eliminated will (potentially) seek a new "scum" game. After a while you reach a Nash Equilibrium, and that tends toward very few people needing very few games, and very many people needing very many games.

I don't think you've grasped the concept of the game quite well, a lot of what you have to say itsn't exactly on par, or maybe I'm not grasping how it pertains.

quote:
People on RPoL don't tend to play board games.

I think you're missing "on RPoL", which is probably accurate.  I've only played two board games on this site in 7 years, and I'm unsure of how many others were advertised but I passed them up (probably not very many, the logistics of running a board game on RPoL is more complicated than 'theatre of the mind' permits).

quote:
It's the latency of those players eliminated, and also the latency of very active players (maybe in multiple games at once) having latency to juggle them.

I'm nto sure 'latency' is the word your looking for?

quote:
As a rule, I've found D&D players don't like death; despite the fact there are easy ways to revive a character. This is due to the latency. Just the fact they have to "sit out". Even if this wouldn't be true in practice, I think it's the stigma.

Every single fanatic MBM/W player I've known (myself excluded*) was also a die-hard D&D Player and/or GM.

* I dislike the system and it's sacred cows, but I'll play D&D as a "it's the group not the game" thing.


quote:
I hope this wasn't terribly difficult to understand my point of view. I certainly don't expect it to be easily agreed with, but I just hope it was coherent. ;)

I think the disconnect might be that Message Board Mafia/Werewolf isn't a game about "telling a story".  It's pure social-politics bluff style gaming boiled down to it's most refined, it's most 'mere' state, with very minimal gameplay mechanics bolted on.




Having given it more thought, I think Greentongue may have nailed it.  People will search for games and go where the games are... and as such, die-hard MBM?W players will end up on one of the dedicated boards, even when/if they also play here, so why run here when they can run/play there?

If I can get myself organized and get myself to updating my game properly, I might have to try to start up a community game here.  The overhead/prep-work on a MBM/W game is super low, and running them is super easy...
Tileira
 member, 534 posts
Mon 5 Sep 2022
at 20:25
Why RPoL Doesn't Have 'Messageboard Mafia' Style Games
In reply to evileeyore (msg # 7):

I'm not sure why you're arguing against these points. Your answers might make sense to you as a fan of these games, but V_V's suggestions make sense to me as an RPoL user and what I know of other users' behaviours and expectations. You can disagree as a personal opinion, but I think V_V is very right about what RPoL's user base is like.

To me, you question is like asking why no-one is playing pbp chess tournaments. They aren't because the users already here aren't really into that kind of game, and the people who are interested don't stumble across RPoL.

This message was last edited by the user at 20:25, Mon 05 Sept 2022.

Sightless314
 member, 42 posts
 If there's a will
 There's a way
Mon 5 Sep 2022
at 23:12
Why RPoL Doesn't Have 'Messageboard Mafia' Style Games
eThere are several World of Darkness, both CwoD and nWod, active here.
I was in a organized crime game for a while a couple of years back, but it died. There is a cops and robbers game that periodically seeks players, but I don't know exactly its format.
GreenTongue
 member, 1128 posts
 Game Archaeologist
Tue 6 Sep 2022
at 12:48
Why RPoL Doesn't Have 'Messageboard Mafia' Style Games
Would a game in this style, where instead of killing the goal was to "Infect" / "Purify", work?
The goal being that you "convert" everyone to one "side" or the other.
A "Cleansed" and a "Infected" would cancel each other out if in direct contact and both would then become neutral.
evileeyore
 member, 728 posts
 GURPS GM and Player
 Joined 20150819
Tue 6 Sep 2022
at 20:55
Why RPoL Doesn't Have 'Messageboard Mafia' Style Games
GreenTongue:
Would a game in this style, where instead of killing the goal was to "Infect" / "Purify", work?
The goal being that you "convert" everyone to one "side" or the other.
A "Cleansed" and a "Infected" would cancel each other out if in direct contact and both would then become neutral.

It would certainly be interesting.  A few Variants I've seen sort-of worked that way on the villains end, infecting/converting 'Townies' to the side of "evil", but did not do away with the "Voting Out" process, that's rather the main theme of the game, the hard social discussion around the vote, making your case, pleading, wheeling, dealing, lying, etc.

Basically the main back and forth of the game is centered around the "daily" vote, who is being 'executed', and thus proven to be innocent (and thus a mistake to have voted out) or a villain (and thus a win for the Townies).  Whhile there is strategy and discussion among the villains during the "night" phase, it's not really as involved and doesn't 'drive the game' if that makes sense.

I really should just run a game so it becomes clearer.


[EDIT]
I'm not sure how to do a "convert" on both sides... one of the premises of the game style is a very limited time length due to a rather severe winnowing of Players, where a continual back and forth, a constant shifting of sides, could keep the game running indefinitely.

It might get stale in that regard.

But it's an interesting mechanic to consider how to implement.
[/EDIT]

This message was last edited by the user at 21:15, Tue 06 Sept 2022.

V_V
 member, 1015 posts
Wed 7 Sep 2022
at 00:05
Re: Why RPoL Doesn't Have 'Messageboard Mafia' Style Games
evileeyore:
No, it's really simple.  Someone drops out, they are out, why bother with 'replacing them' for a game designed to be over in one to two weeks?


That says it all. To me, and I could only speak personally. I wouldn't waste two weeks on RPoL to play a game like that. I could play that in a an hour to six hours and make nightly game on TTS (Tabletop simulator). On RPoL I want more than two weeks in a game investment.

Two weeks is the equivalent of uncanny and death valley. It's awkward and uncomfortable for most players I've interacted with.

I wouldn't, and so won't, ever RTJ to a game that lasts less than one year projected. The latency isn't worth a season long game. Not in my experience.

I'm explicitly withdrawing from this thread. I thought I understood the concept in half an hour of seeing the link, and clearly I didn't. Now that I do understand it, I know enough to step out of this conversation. Feel free to quote my message, so you can explain and clarify, but full disclosure, it won't be for my viewing. This isn't a topic I feel I have anything more to add upon.

I wish you luck with your pursuit of this game. As BBR pointed out, these games do come up. I hope you find one (or ten!). :)
Cheers!

This message was last edited by the user at 01:09, Wed 07 Sept 2022.

Zag24
 supporter, 742 posts
Wed 7 Sep 2022
at 14:03
Why RPoL Doesn't Have 'Messageboard Mafia' Style Games
One issue you want to protect against if you're running a Mafia game here:  People can see when another player has last logged one.  So the temptation is to make a separate thread which only the Mafia players can see for their nighttime discussion.  However, if your nighttime lasts for, say, three actual days, then when day starts, the first few townies to jump in can look at "The Cast" and see that some people logged into the game on the previous day, so they must be mafia.

The solution is to post something visible to everyone at least every day, which will provide some cover for the mafia members as the reason they have logged in.
GreenTongue
 member, 1129 posts
 Game Archaeologist
Wed 7 Sep 2022
at 15:25
Why RPoL Doesn't Have 'Messageboard Mafia' Style Games
In reply to evileeyore (msg # 11):
[EDIT]
continual back and forth, a constant shifting of sides, could keep the game running indefinitely.
[/EDIT]

That was the idea for addressing the "loss" of players.
evileeyore
 member, 729 posts
 GURPS GM and Player
 Joined 20150819
Thu 8 Sep 2022
at 00:19
Why RPoL Doesn't Have 'Messageboard Mafia' Style Games
Zag24:
One issue you want to protect against if you're running a Mafia game here:  People can see when another player has last logged one.

That's a problem at most message boards though, that's not really endemic of RPoL.  A simple solution is to set the Night Phase to be of "up to" so many days, so if the Players with a Night Phase finish early, the game will immediately progress instead of waiting the full number of real life [TIME UNITS], in fact that's how Day phases tend to work, as soon as enough votes have been cast to remove someone, Day phase ends and (if the GM/Moderator is eternally online) Night phase begins immediately.

But yes, as I've been reading (on the MafiaScum message boards) login tracking is tactic some people use.

quote:
The solution is to post something visible to everyone at least every day, which will provide some cover for the mafia members as the reason they have logged in.

There are other ways around the tactic, if you want to remove it.  And RPoL is uniquely suited for it with rMail,  Set up an rMail thread with the Mafia and then individual ones with Townies with Night jobs, and presto, they do not need to log into the game to declare their actions.



GreenTongue:
That was the idea for addressing the "loss" of players.

"Loss of Players", or rather a Player being removed from a game to "sit idle" for the next game, is rather a fundamental premise of the game.

There are ways to avoid it, but I'd try to steer clear of methods that could very easily lead to stalemate or infinite gameplay.  "WIn/Lose" is the point of the game (for some.  For me "social politics" is the point of the game, the back and forth, the brinkmanship).  Very much the same thing that so entrances me with World of Darkness games (more so LARP, but 'tabletop' games can have that if the GM is into it as well).

I've kinda been vaguely searching for a good game with that social/political feel, but most people either run 'adventure', or run systems/freeform I don't enjoy.
Kenderkin
 member, 19 posts
Wed 11 Jan 2023
at 15:48
Why RPoL Doesn't Have 'Messageboard Mafia' Style Games
I have thought about this problem for some time....

There are tons of interesting variations, mutants on the the spacestation, other sci fi variations.......

So one thing that might be useful would be having or finding a core group of players that would be interested in helping set up new permutations, and to play in the games as they come....

So recruiting players dedicated to keeping a game going, and regrouping afterwards....


I played several games with the same character whom I enjoyed playing
"Duke Leto Atredies"