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Mafia Philosophy

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Murphy, Edward
Nov 18, 2014
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Gonna bring up a few things here that I touched on in my final analysis of Classic Sonic Mafia.

1: Serial Killer cannot win with any other faction. The entire point of the Serial Killer is to be the last one standing. If Serial Killer cannot achieve that goal, they’ve lost. If Serial Killer can’t achieve their goal, but the other faction(s) cannot achieve their goals either, that’s a tie.
Ties are not victories, because you haven’t reached your win condition. That’s the difference between a 1:1 scenario with a Town Doc and Mafia Goon and a 1:0:1 scenario with a townie and a survivor. In the case of the former: Mafia can’t win because the doc can self protect, but Town can’t win because the goon can’t be lynched. Neither side has achieved their wincondition. In the case of the latter: Town wins because they’ve eliminated all threats to their faction, and survivor wins because they survived until endgame.

This segues nicely into my second point.

2. Parity alone is not a good means of determining victory. The main goal of mafia is to eliminate Town, and the main goal of town is to eliminate mafia. Their winconditions need to reflect this, but still prevent the game from dragging unnecessarily once an outcome is certain and stay worded neutrally to allow for the possibility of hostile Indeps being present.
Simply saying: “You are allied with <Mafia>, and you win when <Town> is eliminated,” or “You are allied with <Town>, and you win when <Mafia> is eliminated,” doesn’t work.

Much better, and more generic, wincons would be:
“You are allied with <Mafia>, you win when all threats to your faction are eliminated or this is inevitable.”
“You are allied with <Town>, you win when all threats to your faction are eliminated.”

These wincons do two things successfully.
  1. They allow for the possibility of Hostile Indeps.
  2. Mafia’s wincon allows for the game to potentially end if parity is achieved under the correct circumstances. Town does not need such an adder, since there is always the possibility of a mislynch or a misdirected action at night. (I suppose there really isn’t harm in adding that bit to the end of the Town wincon, but it’s going to be useless 99.999999+% of the time.)

Under these wincons, Mafia cannot win if it achieves parity at 1:1 with the Doc, and Town cannot win, either.

3. Hostile Indeps how do they function?
The point of a hostile Indep and the main distinction between a Hostile and non-hostile Indep is the ability to win with another faction. Non-hostile Indeps can win with other factions. Hostile Indeps cannot. This is why Hostile Indeps need to be removed from the game before the Town or Mafia can win.

The wincon for a Serial Killer should be something like:
“You are allied with yourself, and you win when you are the last player standing or this is inevitable.”

Much like the Mafia wincon, this allows for an early game end of parity is achieved under certain circumstances, but if the game is 1:0:1 with the Town Doc, or 0:1:1 with a SK and Mafia (no modifiers), then the game ends in a stalemate and neither faction wins. (This is why most hosts give the SK some kind of edge, like a 1x BP or 1x Strongman, to allow the SK to achieve victory in the final phases.)

Other Hostile Indeps include the Cult, which wins when it can control the vote and kill off or convert the remaining players in the game, but cannot win with Town or Mafia, and some variants of Clockmaker.

It is extremely difficult to balance out these Hostile roles, either because their wincons are very challenging or because their actions make them very threatening.

In any case, just my two cents on these matters. Carry on.
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