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The Masquerade

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1 The Masquerade on Wed Jun 24, 2015 4:40 pm

Before anything else, I should clarify that there are going to be some different than usual mechanics associated with this game, and insofar I have communicated my ideas to Kiyoko and she more or less said, “This needs to happen” and gave her support and backing to the game. I would like to host it during the third round, however I think it's going to need some fine-tuning between now and then. Notably, some of the role mechanics are very different and I will need to balance them.

Thus, I am unsure if this will be a closed or open role game, but it is my fear with closed role that it could get very confusing for the players. As a result, I leave the option on the table and would like to hear feedback. I will, however, outline some sample roles I have been cooking up. These may or may not end up in the game, but they will give you an idea of the way the game's unique mechanic can be manipulated and where I plan to take it.

So now, with this out of the way, allow me to unveil . . .

* * The Masquerade * *

{Flavor Text Goes Here – Shhh I'm not in the mood to write it just yet. Just pretend there's some lavish, fanciful description, okay? Okay.}

{Also, some artwork}

The most notable mechanic of the masquerade ball (and the primary clause for administrator backing) is that this game will not be carried out through your existing accounts. For The Masquerade, a set of dummy accounts will be created with names such as, “Butterfly Mask”, “Gemmed Mask”, “Fox Mask”, “Skull Mask”, “Wolf Mask”, “Lunar Mask”, and so on and so forth. I will create the passwords for each account and provide them to the player to which each mask is assigned—but will the masks be tied to roles or not? That's for you to find out.

The masks present an interesting dynamic to the way mafia is played: everyone will have total anonymity. Can you recognize each player by their posting habits? Maybe they're disguising their usual mannerisms and tendencies? Maybe... someone is actually masquerading as another player and typing just like them?

The Masquerade will test your ability to analyze not just player roles, but the players behind the masks, because like a true masquerade ball, masks can and will change hands and faces. Certain roles will interact with masks other than their own—or maybe even have the ability to swap between masks. Some examples are as follows . . .

Possible Roles (with placeholder names)
* * Two-faced
A role in which a single player is given access to a second mask account. They can then post under both masks whenever they please. I am uncertain as of yet whether a lynch or attack or anything else on one of the masks owned by such a player would affect the player or just the mask. I am leaning towards this role having similarities only to a role that has the ability to have their votes count twice, with the added advantage of being able to split votes. In other words, an action against either of their personas would go through.

* * Doppelganger
A role in which a player can steal access to another player's mask. How would this work? This will require a little explanation, and it also relies heavily upon players sticking to a code of honor. That said...

At the end of each phase (or each night phase, I haven't decided?), I will change the passwords of each dummy account and send a new message to each player which now has access to that account. This is the most elegant solution I could come up with, and it will require a lot of tracking on my behalf of both passwords and players behind each mask, so as a result there will probably be a 15-30 minute intermission between these password-changing phase transitions.

With that said, say you are a player with the ability to steal the mask of someone else. In addition to your own mask, you would be given the password to the mask of your choice. You could then log in to that account during the phase and post messages under that mask. How well can you conceal your identity and masquerade as the player whose mask you have stolen?

The main balancing point I need to consider with this one is how practical it is. If there are two players posting under the same mask, what's to stop the original player from just saying “That wasn't me that posted that!” In fact, that might be a viable move, or people might elect to fake it for their own ends by claiming that when they're the only one with access to their mask.

This is something I would like a lot of feedback on, in particular.

* * Midnight Mask
Lastly, one other mechanic Kiyoko actually came up with was the idea of a mask with a password that can be determined by a riddle. Essentially, I would provide a riddle at certain points of the game, and the player that guesses the answer would either be able to login with the correct answer, or maybe a more honest solution is everyone sends me their guesses (with a limit? 1-3 to avoid inbox spam?), and if they're correct I provide them with access to the dummy account.

I am not sure what function this separate mask would fulfill. My working idea was that it'd only be active during certain phases, and that it would be unfair to restrict access only to the first person to grab it, as that would be disadvantageous to players that can't be around at the time the riddle is posted.

* * Additional
There will be some more standard game roles, but with twists upon them to fit the theme of the game.

Of Account and Login Access
One final comment before I close this out: Kiyoko has tested the nature of accounts and login permissions, and she determined (I believe) that multiple users could be logged in under one account at the same time without kicking the other out.

Oh, and all game-related information between player and host will be sent via your actual forum account, not the masks. The masks will have no messages on them (unless I send any for game-related reasons), and the passwords will be in my control. If someone is locked out of an account that they have access to because a player changed the password, I will be very sad and unhappy and grumble about it and perform a password reset or make Kiyoko do it. Or, you can all enjoy the spirit of the game and leave the passwords as is!

Closing Thoughts
I believe that I have rambled enough about the mechanics. At its core, I wanted to create a game which served three purposes: 1) The ability to claim true anonymity in a game of mafia, 2) The ability to swap identity like someone changing their mask at a ball, and 3) a game that fully captured the masquerade theme. Since these mechanics are quite a bit different and even complex, I am open to any and all feedback as to how I could structure the mechanics to make it a fun and exciting game, theme, and concept.

Oh, and there is one last idea I am toying with, courtesy of Mr. Alice:

All sign-ups will be done via private message. You wouldn't even know which other players are in the thread (but I would tell you how many).

p.s. my formatting is ugly
and lacking of pretty pictures
and ascii
and colors
;  ;

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2 Re: The Masquerade on Wed Jun 24, 2015 5:41 pm

This sounds great. I think closed roles might be better because even though it will make the game more confusing, it adds to the mystery and intrigue.

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3 Re: The Masquerade on Wed Jun 24, 2015 7:19 pm

I'm favoring keeping it closed roles as well, especially since I have a few more reeeally fun and thematic roles I'm in the process of cooking up that I think would make for some fun surprises. I honestly wanted to keep those example roles more hush-hush in case I use them, but I thought they'd help to elaborate upon the game's identity.

I'm hoping I can balance them all successfully in secret. I guess the best way is to just plug all of the roles into a bunch of games of varying sizes and simulate the results?

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4 Re: The Masquerade on Wed Jun 24, 2015 8:37 pm

holy crap this sounds amazing

also hope nobody tries to be me by stealing my blue cause i def wouldn't be typing in it!


Call me Andrea or Kotakia but, please, nothing else. That would be against the ~rules~.
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5 Re: The Masquerade on Wed Jun 24, 2015 8:49 pm

no one could ever replace you ;v;

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6 Re: The Masquerade on Wed Jun 24, 2015 9:26 pm

What if everyone typed in blue for the game. :3c

And in that moment, we were all Kotakia.

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7 Re: The Masquerade on Wed Jun 24, 2015 9:58 pm

i'd probs cry happy tears tbh


Call me Andrea or Kotakia but, please, nothing else. That would be against the ~rules~.
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8 Re: The Masquerade on Wed Jun 24, 2015 10:03 pm

Someone host a Fifty Shades of Blue game where we all have to type in, well, shades off blue.

Ok I'll stop sidetracking this thread, sorry Lux! :'D

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9 Re: The Masquerade on Thu Jun 25, 2015 10:17 am

So much hype for this!! I'm definitely joining this, even if I die N0!

Actually the game sounds super challenging but the idea..the idea is too good to pass up. Plus, all that work with managing the passwords. o.o (sounds just like a Luxaria game tbh)

Also, c-can I contribute some art. I wanna draw pretty masks and dresses ;w;


- "Wtf Kyouko stop cosplaying."
- "No."

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10 Re: The Masquerade on Thu Jun 25, 2015 10:22 am

AliceofOz wrote:Also, c-can I contribute some art. I wanna draw pretty masks and dresses ;w;

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11 Re: The Masquerade on Tue Jul 07, 2015 4:29 pm

So! I have been spending a lot of time crafting up roles, and I think that's going well so far. I'm going to post two polls at the bottom of this post regarding roles and rollover, but in the meanwhile I wanted to highlight some of the rules I've been thinking about. Opinions, thoughts, and suggestions are welcome!

1. I think there definitely has to be unlimited voting. I toyed with the idea of a set amount, like 3-5 votes, which might still be doable. But... I don't like the idea of limiting it to 1 or 2 vote changes, since other players might be using your mask. For that matter...

2. I'm unsure as of yet how to handle votes from a mask with two users behind it. Should I only use the most recent in-thread vote? Require each player to PM me their actual vote before the end of the day so that way regardless of shenanigans in thread, I'll know which votes are real? In the latter case, it would mean the other person masquerading as another player would cause havoc by making other people think there was a different vote. The in-thread vote could look much different from the actual vote.

The only tricky part with this is... hm. I do want to encourage people to be active, but I do not wish to punish people for being inactive, and I worry that someone with an ability to masquerade might overpower the original user of a mask. I still have some issues to work out with masquerading, it seems.

3. There's going to be a "tier" of ownership, so to speak. I've been thinking of how to handle some of the roles I've crafted, and I think the best way to process certain actions and passives is to distinguish between the various states of ownership. Here's how I roughly picture it working:

The Players
The players are the actual people behind their assigned mask. Unless stated otherwise, the role belongs to the player and not the mask.

The Mask
The mask refers solely to the mask account, regardless of the player or players with access to it.

A masquerader merely assumes the mask of another player. Unless stated otherwise, they do not gain access to the role of the mask assigned to the player.

I plan on having roles that will interact with these three, as well as roles themselves. Not sure if alignments will be included, though I do not think so. I will elaborate more on this at another time when I have the roles finalized. The best example I have right now is that if people vote to lynch, say, fox mask, and there is another person masquerading as fox mask, then unless otherwise stated in the masquerader's role description, only the player owner of fox mask will be lynched. The masquerader fox mask will not be touched.

4. This is closed role, but I am not sure what rollover information will include. It will hold the alignment information and ratio, but since I think there will be... some roles that obfuscate information, it might not be exact. If/when someone is killed, I might include their role name for speculation purposes (Gambler, Dancer, etc). Alternatively, I might just leave it as a brief "The person wearing the butterfly mask was killed. They were town."

5. Here's one big idea I'm considering: No role claiming. I had an idea for a few roles that have to claim under certain conditions, or... say a certain phrase, for example, but otherwise role claiming would be disallowed. That said, since it's closed role, you have no way of knowing if people are telling the truth or not. I'm a bit up in the air about this one.

But on the topic of roles, here's something I'd like to poll you guys on. What role distribution would you like to see between active and passive roles? If you're interested in playing, voting in this also helps me get a rough idea of how many players to expect (since sign-up is done via PM), but I'll create extra roles to be cautious.

Hmm... I think that's mostly everything for now. Oh, I suppose one other poll, if you'd be so kind. What rollover times work best for you? I don't know how effective this poll will be, but I figured I might as well include it. I was leaning towards 11:00 PM PST, but I'm willing to see what others think. (I'm EST myself, but PST seems to be used more often than not for our threads)

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12 Re: The Masquerade on Wed Jul 08, 2015 11:45 am

In the past, I remember it being very difficult to enforce the "no role claiming" rule, because people will accidentally let things slip or will juuuust almost hint at their role again and again until everyone else guesses it for real. It's not because people are trying to get around the rules, is just that when you're being voted under pressure and your role is your best defense, you want to hint at it. ;v;

I don't really have an opinion on active and passive roles. Umm for rollover I tend to go to sleep between 11pm and midnight so an 11pm rollover might be difficult for me, but if it works best for everyone else then I'm okay with that!

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13 Re: The Masquerade on Wed Jul 08, 2015 12:15 pm

That's a good point! I was just trying to toy with the idea of certain roles having mandatory claims in thread and I wasn't sure if others role claiming would work against it. I think I could have both and let the chaos reign, actually.

Hmmm. I'm now thinking of giving everyone two abilities, be it active/active, passive/active, or passive/passive... just to see what crazy shenanigans would come of it. That might get to be a mess, though. I'll have to keep creating roles and see what works in the context of the game.

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14 Re: The Masquerade on Sat Jul 11, 2015 2:46 pm

I'm assuming there's going to be an incentive to having the riddle mask?

So you're thinking of having rollover at 2am EST?

Are all these mask accounts going to have matching mask avatars?

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