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Snowball Bash Mafia

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1 Snowball Bash Mafia on Mon Dec 21, 2015 9:20 pm

[Snowball Bash Mafia]
[[Name Pending]]

[What is?]
Snowball Bash Mafia is intended to be a fun and seasonally appropriate mafia game to round out the last of 2015 with a focus on—you guessed it—snowballs. And lots of them.

Snowball Bash mafia has a core mechanic that serves as its underpinning: Snow forts and snowballs, or, more simply, snow! Built with the design goal of enabling player choice and interaction with regard to the game's proceedings, the Snowball Bash will allow for each and every player to tailor their phase-by-phase decisions around their preferred playstyle.

[Cool. How does it work?]
Every player in this game has their own snow fort that both grows and weakens through the numerical snow count of your fort—and don't worry, I will track this for you each phase. The numbers are still in flux as I prepare this game, but for demonstrative purposes, some numbers will be presented as example.

When you start the game, your snow fort will have 2 snow. At the start of each day phase (or each phase; mechanics and balancing are still fluctuating), fresh snow will fall and add 1 snow to your fort.

Your snow fort is very much your lifeline in this game. A large percentage of roles, if not every role, will require snow to function. That is to say, to perform actions—like a stun, jail, or whatever else—you would need to scoop 1 snow from your snow fort in order to use your role power. You, of course, have the option not to use your snow. Why would you do that, though?

The working idea is that a number (or majority) of roles will cost 1 snow to use and add that much snow to the target's snow fort. This means that you strengthen their fort at the cost of using your abilities. Having a snow count above 0 is important for your snow fort, as many roles that throw snowballs at a target will be lethal if received by a target at 0 snow. Choose your targets carefully.

The night kill for the mafia also operates under these parameters. Any target hit by a NK will receive 2 or 3 (haven't decided, but probably 3) snow's worth of damage. However, if the target survives then they will receive 1 snow to their total (this part might get removed). Unlike other roles, a night kill will be lethal to a player if they hit 0 snow at any point during the action; other roles will leave the player at 0 snow, making the next ability used on them lethal.

This is the basic overview of the mechanics, which I will streamline into a much cleaner description before the game starts.

In other words, you have a snow fort. You get snow during certain rollovers. Using your role costs snow. Targets afflicted by roles may receive snow in return. Having a high snow count prevents dying to other roles and night kills. You will be able to determine if people are using roles on you based off of your snow count. You can kill people at 0 snow when you use your role ability. Essentially, everyone is their own personal doctor, their own motion detector, and, in some cases, a vigilante. As a final note, your snow fort will cap out at a certain amount of snow (probably 5 or 6 or so). All excess snow will topple off of your fort and disappear.

[I'm still processing this. What other changes are there?]
In addition, I have plans for players to only be allowed 3 votes each day phase. At the start of the phase, you will have 3 snowballs for voting. These “voteballs” are not subtracted from your snow count, and they do not add to the target's snow count upon voting. If the target receives enough votes, they are out of the Snowball Bash.

Players will also have the option each day phase to convert their freshly fallen snow into a vote, giving them 4 votes total for that phase. This 4th voteball operates exactly like the others.

I have not decided if I will allow players to save voteballs from previous phases, but it is unlikely.

[Okay. I follow you, but this is still a WIP, right? So you're considering other things?]
This is the base game as is, and I will run it with these planned mechanics, after balancing is done to snow numbers and roles. I have a good sense of what the roles will look like in this game, with lots of flavor and fitting elements. As observed prior, I am taking into account that each player will have unique chances to be their own personal doctor, a motion detector, and possibly a vigilante, and I will balance roles around this fact. For a hint of what's to come, much of my focus will be on disruption and building roles around the snow concept. These new roles will be reminiscent of ones you already know.

However, I have also entertained the idea of creating a global time-gate effect called “The Parents Shoveling Snow” that would help safeguard against certain powers being too strong in very specific scenarios. For an example, this would be similar to my original written role of The Cocktail Waitress in The Masquerade before I changed it last minute. The Cocktail Waitress had lynchproof, but originally this lynchproof only existed so long as The Host, the jailer, was alive in the game. If I do any time-gates or hard-restrictions for balancing purposes, they would be in this vein, through either the parents or something else.

I've also toyed with the idea of a snow plow driving through at certain pre-designated phases to add dirty snow to the game, but I think this may over-complicate the game. I do want to keep it simple, thus how streamlined the snow forts are/will be, and the snow plow will likely be cut. It's merely an experimental idea I'm toying with at the present.*

Lastly, I'm still working on how this works out in terms of flavor. The Day / Night phase setup presents an awkward situation in which the snowball fight during the day (thus why I created “voteballs”) becomes the real fight and does not utilize the snow mechanic, and then the... night phase happens and people are still throwing snowballs instead of resting? I might either have to rename both phases, or find a better way to flavor myself through this. I think I like the idea and flavor of the voteballs so I kind of intend to keep them. Voteballs means people pelt each other with snowballs until one person is lynched (gets pelted so much that they give up to go inside), whereas if there were no voteballs then it'd be like... everyone stops fighting to huddle together and decide who is no longer in the game. From a flavor perspective, that feels off.

Kiyoko has suggested making there be no night phases, but I don't know if I could reasonably squeeze the roles and votes into a single phase while retaining the snow mechanic. I'm still working through this and open to feedback.

* I am more than likely going to roll these extra ideas into actual roles by dumbing them down and making them smaller in scope. This feels best to me (and others!).

[When will this start?]
Given that this isn't quite complete yet, and that it'd take at least 2 days or so for sign-ups, and that the holidays are a thing and will distract people, it's likely I won't start this until sometime around the 26th – 30th. I do want to get this going before the year is out and start as soon as possible, however. I think I could probably get the mechanics and roles down enough to post it up on the 22nd, if people are okay with a prolonged sign-up phase. But we'll see.

[To-do list]

  • Pretty-ify the sign-up post
  • Streamline explanations and mechanics
  • Finish balancing – numbers, roles
  • Feedback?
  • Pick a rollover time (open to suggestions)
  • Find cute Winter Miku art for no particular reason
  • … anything I forgot goes here?
  • <3


“I love that idea. I think the concept is great.”
- Kiyoko, 12/21/2015

“A snowball fight would be perfect! It's a really fun concept!”
- Sammiya, 12/21/2015

“oh shit that sounds so cool omg. this sounds amazing holy eff.”
- Blaire, 12/21/2015

5/7 Game of the Day
- IGN, 2015

“Stop stealing the cookie dough.”
- My mother, 12/21/2015


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