JJJ's Hosting Balance Worksheet

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JaggedJimmyJay
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JJJ's Hosting Balance Worksheet

#1

Post by JaggedJimmyJay » Thu Jan 11, 2018 3:30 am

I started putting this together a few months ago and then forgot about it as other matters in life took priority. Soon I will condense some of this material into a smaller checklist-styled thing which can hopefully aid prospective hosts who have the desire in the last-minute portions of getting a game started. Credit for the original idea goes to Spacedaisy. Thanks to Epignosis, Golden, and others for providing feedback on this thing behind the scenes.

This worksheet reflects my opinions of how a game is best balanced. I am not the sole authority on Mafia balance. If anyone disagrees with assertions made here, I'd love to talk about it in the thread below. Even better, if you have things you'd like to see added or questions about balance, put them here!
:)

Rules and Mechanics with One Mafia Team *a separate worksheet for multiple mafia teams may come later

Strongly pro-civilian

• Open setup heavy in unique roles (if reveals are legal)
• Unlimited BTSC for all players

Moderately pro-civilian

• Semi-open or matrix setup heavy in unique roles (if reveals are legal)

Slightly pro-civilian

• Semi-open or matrix setup light in unique roles (if reveals are legal)
• Closed setup heavy in unique roles (if reveals are legal)
• Potentially civilian-friendly independent roles
• Open thread during night phase

Barely pro-civilian

• Plurality voting
• Mafia BTSC made public after a game ends
• Open setup light in unique roles (like an open heist)
• Dead mafia in BTSC illegal
• No double-killing rule for the mafia team

Barely pro-mafia

• Majority/hammer voting (if vote changes are legal)
• Mafia BTSC during day phase legal

Slightly pro-mafia

• Closed setup light in unique roles (like a closed heist)
• Dead mafia in BTSC legal
• Precise roles of night killed players not revealed
• Locked thread during night phase

Moderately pro-mafia

• A rule against role reveals and info-dumping (not an issue in open setups heavy in unique roles, where the rule is necessary)
• A rule which limits vote changes to fewer than 2
• Alignments of night killed players not revealed
• Allowing mafia members to submit actions for their teammates

Strongly pro-mafia

• A rule preventing any dead players from winning the game
• A rule preventing any vote changes
• A mechanic preventing any roles from being revealed upon death (lynched or killed)

Role Strength by Faction

Civilian roles

Strongest
• Anything with the capability to cause a resurrection*
• Anything with the capability to cause a recruitment*
• Broad alignment-checking roles (cops)
• Any role with the capability to skip or significantly shorten a night phase

Strong
• Roles which are automatically immune to one night kill (bulletproof)
• Investigative roles which can view who targets a selected player (watcher)
• Civilian pairs or trios (if more than that, it's even stronger) who can participate in BTSC from the beginning of the game (masons)
• Roles which can kill during the night phase (vigilante)
• Roles which combine multiple basic abilities with good utility (jailkeeper)
• Uninhibited protective roles (doctor)
• Lie detection roles

Helpful
• Investigative roles which can view who a selected player targets (tracker)
• Inhibited protective roles (bodyguard)
• Disruptive roles (misdirection roles, blocker, bus driver)
• Any civilian role which can freely change which player is lynched
• Civilian roles with more than the standard voting power (doublevoter, extra vote distributor), this is stronger in an open setup
• Messenger roles which can communicate anonymously with other players or the public thread
• Roles which can see snippets of BTSC content
• Roles which are immune to one lynch (significantly stronger in open setups, weaker and arguably harmful in closed setups)

Harmful
• A role without direct voting control or voting power (tree stump)
• Investigated or revealed improperly (miller)
• Passively can cause mafia benefit (beloved princess)
• Traitor roles within the civilian faction designed to serve the mafia in secret

Mafia roles

Strongest
• Anything with the capability to cause a resurrection*
• Anything with the capability to cause a recruitment*
• Any role which can be revealed to be anything other than itself upon death (seemer, role forger), slightly weaker when role claiming is legal and in an open setup
• Any mafia role which can freely change which player is lynched
• Any mafia role which is immune to even one lynch (weaker than a lynch switch but still very strong)
• Infiltration roles that can corrupt a civilian BTSC group (weaker in an open setup)
• Any role with the capability to skip or significantly shorten a day phase
• Role deactivator (permanent)

Strong
• Any role which can prevent a player's role from being revealed upon death (janitor)
• Any mafia role designed to counter a congruent town role (ninja, strongman, godfather)
• Disruptive roles (misdirection, blocker, bus driver)
• Investigative role which can identify roles of other players (role cop)
• Role stealer
• Silencer

Helpful
• Mafia roles with more than the standard voting power (double voter, extra vote distributor), this is weaker in an open setup and significantly stronger in a closed setup
• Cursing roles

Harmful
• Mafia member who is excluded from BTSC and/or unknown to teammates

How many players on each side?

NOTE: The numbers pictured below are intended to serve as a basic guideline. These assume a game is already balanced in other areas such as mechanics and role strength. These numbers may need to be adjusted to account for whatever unique balance-impacting elements have been incorporated into a game's makeup.

Image

Other significant balance issues:

• *A resurrection mechanic or role is a gigantic benefit to whichever faction possesses it. If this is to be included in any capacity, a strong counter-balance should be incorporated. If the resurrection is not guaranteed to affect a specific faction, it can still throw the balance of a game a great deal – consider weighting the effect with a negative consequence.

• *A recruitment mechanic or role is a gigantic benefit to whichever faction possesses it. If this is to be included in any capacity, a strong counter-balance should be incorporated. If the recruitment is not guaranteed to affect a specific faction, it can still throw the balance of a game a great deal – consider weighting the effect with a negative consequence. If the recruitment favors a mafia team, this can wholly decide who wins the game – it is the biggest possible benefit a mafia team can enjoy. If the recruitment benefits a civilian or independent team, it is a little less potent but still very significant. The only faction for whom recruitment isn’t inherently a huge power is the cult faction – it’s their basic function.
My banners, achievements, and win/loss records per faction and game type:
Spoiler: show
Civilian wins:
ImageImageImageImageImageImage
Not pictured: Felt Mafia 2, Greater Idea (Burglary), Seinfeld Mafia, All Fall Down (Burglary), Vocaroo Too!
Civilian-aligned record: 11 wins and 6 losses (2-2 Jobs, 2-1 Side Missions, 4-2 Heists, 2-0 Burglaries, 1-1 Special Games)
Mafia wins:
ImageImage
Not pictured: A Game About Chinese Food (Burglary), Phenon: Origins Mafia
Mafia-aligned record: 4 wins and 2 losses (0-1 Jobs, 1-1 Side Missions, 2-0 Heists, 1-0 Burglaries, 0-0 Special Games)
Independent wins:
ImageImageImage
Independent record: 3 wins and 1 loss (2-1 Jobs, 1-0 Side Missions, 0-0 Heists, 0-0 Burglaries, 0-0 Special Games)
Overall record: 18 wins and 9 losses (4-4 Jobs, 4-2 Side Missions, 6-2 Heists, 3-0 Burglaries, 1-1 Special Games)
Host:
ImageImageImageImageImageImageImage
Not pictured: The Theme Is Literally a Burglary (Burglary)
Awards:
ImageImageImageImageImageImage
Not pictured: Seinfeld Mafia MVP

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Quin
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Re: JJJ's Hosting Balance Worksheet

#2

Post by Quin » Thu Jan 11, 2018 5:02 am

I talk a lot about how much I like tree stumps, so I'll talk a little bit as to why it's not necessarily a "harmful" civilian role. Granted, the obvious drawback is that a stumps activation removes civilians of one precious vote (and sometimes stumps don't count as living civilians, affecting mafia win-cons), but it provides a couple of unique benefits in return.

* It gives the stump confirmed townie status which, if the stump is under pressure before activation, can help the thread get back on track.
* The immune status will remove any "restrictions" the player has to worry about. For example, some civilians withhold everything they're thinking because they don't want to draw attention as a night kill target. Stumps can word vomit all over the place and not have to worry about the repercussions.
* Much like a thread speaker role, activated stumps become a trustworthy player for civilians to bounce ideas off of or seek inspiration from. Huge benefit in this in getting townies engaged, out of tunnels, and whatever else can be detrimental to the civilian effort.

It's a bit awkward in deciding whether the benefits outweigh the costs with that kind of role. In the end it comes down to exactly who has that role and what the conditions for activation there are. On the former, I think some players would do the stump role justice and others not so much. A JaggedJimmyJay would make the most of the role, whereas a Dom might not. It's reliant on the player activating and being able to produce enough valuable content and keep players thinking and engaged to account for the vote that they've lost in activation.

I won't argue that stumps are a highly rated civilian role, but for me they fall on barely civilian, transitioning depending on how well it's used.
Scotty wrote:Teacher! Teacher! May I vote twice, like the Warden? I'll be a good boy, I swear!
Spoiler: show
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Quin
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Re: JJJ's Hosting Balance Worksheet

#3

Post by Quin » Thu Jan 11, 2018 5:09 am

Since we had a stump in Phenon which doesn't match my definition of a tree stump, here's how I broadly define a tree stump.

* Begins with vanilla townie status
* Must PM the host to activate, either with instant activation or end-of-phase activation. If it's the latter, player won't activate if scheduled to die that phase
* Player is revealed as a tree stump but does not lose civilian affiliation
* Player can no longer vote and no longer counts in the civilian/mafia ratio
* Player is immune to all actions and cannot be voted for
Scotty wrote:Teacher! Teacher! May I vote twice, like the Warden? I'll be a good boy, I swear!
Spoiler: show
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Ricochet
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Re: JJJ's Hosting Balance Worksheet

#4

Post by Ricochet » Thu Jan 11, 2018 10:58 am

aint readin
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JaggedJimmyJay
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Re: JJJ's Hosting Balance Worksheet

#5

Post by JaggedJimmyJay » Thu Jan 11, 2018 2:01 pm

Ricochet wrote:
Thu Jan 11, 2018 10:58 am
aint readin
You read every word. It's okay to admit it. ;)

@Quin

I can see your argument for a tree stump being positive, and in some situations it might work out that way. We can recall the 2015 GOC when Rico was essentially a tree stump and ended up setting the post count record for the site -- if the player with the role gives maximum effort, then it can be pro-civilian. Its biggest drawbacks are seen toward endgame when that missing vote and civilian slot become crucial.
My banners, achievements, and win/loss records per faction and game type:
Spoiler: show
Civilian wins:
ImageImageImageImageImageImage
Not pictured: Felt Mafia 2, Greater Idea (Burglary), Seinfeld Mafia, All Fall Down (Burglary), Vocaroo Too!
Civilian-aligned record: 11 wins and 6 losses (2-2 Jobs, 2-1 Side Missions, 4-2 Heists, 2-0 Burglaries, 1-1 Special Games)
Mafia wins:
ImageImage
Not pictured: A Game About Chinese Food (Burglary), Phenon: Origins Mafia
Mafia-aligned record: 4 wins and 2 losses (0-1 Jobs, 1-1 Side Missions, 2-0 Heists, 1-0 Burglaries, 0-0 Special Games)
Independent wins:
ImageImageImage
Independent record: 3 wins and 1 loss (2-1 Jobs, 1-0 Side Missions, 0-0 Heists, 0-0 Burglaries, 0-0 Special Games)
Overall record: 18 wins and 9 losses (4-4 Jobs, 4-2 Side Missions, 6-2 Heists, 3-0 Burglaries, 1-1 Special Games)
Host:
ImageImageImageImageImageImageImage
Not pictured: The Theme Is Literally a Burglary (Burglary)
Awards:
ImageImageImageImageImageImage
Not pictured: Seinfeld Mafia MVP

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Re: JJJ's Hosting Balance Worksheet

#6

Post by speedchuck » Thu Jan 11, 2018 2:05 pm

I guess stump can be a huge positive for town (not a handicapped role like bastard cop), but when considering balance, I'd agree with JJJ. Having a possible extra day to find scum is pretty big, and that one extra vote could do it.

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JaggedJimmyJay
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Re: JJJ's Hosting Balance Worksheet

#7

Post by JaggedJimmyJay » Fri Jan 12, 2018 12:20 am

Malfunctioning roles are something that I didn't cover, like the alternative screwy cops. They are probably harmful by default, though a cop with backwards checks can become positive once the malfunction is discovered (all prior checks become objective even if in reverse).
My banners, achievements, and win/loss records per faction and game type:
Spoiler: show
Civilian wins:
ImageImageImageImageImageImage
Not pictured: Felt Mafia 2, Greater Idea (Burglary), Seinfeld Mafia, All Fall Down (Burglary), Vocaroo Too!
Civilian-aligned record: 11 wins and 6 losses (2-2 Jobs, 2-1 Side Missions, 4-2 Heists, 2-0 Burglaries, 1-1 Special Games)
Mafia wins:
ImageImage
Not pictured: A Game About Chinese Food (Burglary), Phenon: Origins Mafia
Mafia-aligned record: 4 wins and 2 losses (0-1 Jobs, 1-1 Side Missions, 2-0 Heists, 1-0 Burglaries, 0-0 Special Games)
Independent wins:
ImageImageImage
Independent record: 3 wins and 1 loss (2-1 Jobs, 1-0 Side Missions, 0-0 Heists, 0-0 Burglaries, 0-0 Special Games)
Overall record: 18 wins and 9 losses (4-4 Jobs, 4-2 Side Missions, 6-2 Heists, 3-0 Burglaries, 1-1 Special Games)
Host:
ImageImageImageImageImageImageImage
Not pictured: The Theme Is Literally a Burglary (Burglary)
Awards:
ImageImageImageImageImageImage
Not pictured: Seinfeld Mafia MVP

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Re: JJJ's Hosting Balance Worksheet

#8

Post by Epignosis » Fri Jan 12, 2018 12:24 am

A civilian I can't kill is a terrifying civilian.

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Re: JJJ's Hosting Balance Worksheet

#9

Post by Marmot » Fri Jan 12, 2018 12:29 am

I seem to recall a game recently where mafia kills failed 44% of the time because of civilian roles. :ponder:
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Re: JJJ's Hosting Balance Worksheet

#10

Post by DharmaHelper » Fri Jan 12, 2018 12:02 pm

I never know how to split the teams when making a game. Thanks JJ
our Linkitis is our lives.



#BroughtBackThePoliticsThread

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Dragon D. Luffy
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Re: JJJ's Hosting Balance Worksheet

#11

Post by Dragon D. Luffy » Fri Jan 12, 2018 7:19 pm

What is a mountainous setup?

How does revealing something after the game ends affect balance?

Also: "Mafia BTSC during day phase legal" appears in two different categories.

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Re: JJJ's Hosting Balance Worksheet

#12

Post by Dragon D. Luffy » Fri Jan 12, 2018 7:19 pm

Pretty good topic btw. I love mafia theory.

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Re: JJJ's Hosting Balance Worksheet

#13

Post by Dragon D. Luffy » Fri Jan 12, 2018 7:23 pm

A good way to balance bulletproof civilians is giving mafia easy access to strongman kills (called super kills in my other site).

Like, make them limited in some way (limited shots or cooldown), but give the mafia the way to get rid of a particularly annoying player on rare occasion.

As a rule of thumb I follow, if town finds a mafia, they deserve to kill them. If mafia finds a town PR, they deserve to kill them. A strongman rewards mafia teams who can find power roles by letting them get rid of them more easily if they aim it right.

Likewise, I very rarely make town roles with an infinite number of bulletproof, and when I do, I add a clause that surviving a kill makes them voteless in the next day.

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JaggedJimmyJay
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Re: JJJ's Hosting Balance Worksheet

#14

Post by JaggedJimmyJay » Fri Jan 12, 2018 9:37 pm

Dragon D. Luffy wrote:
Fri Jan 12, 2018 7:19 pm
What is a mountainous setup?
All players on both sides are vanilla.
Dragon D. Luffy wrote:
Fri Jan 12, 2018 7:19 pm
How does revealing something after the game ends affect balance?
This is something Golden mentioned -- the notion that if a mafia BTSC is going to be revealed after a game that it might hinder the team members from saying certain things that they don't want people to see in the post-game. I'm not sure it's a significant thing but I can see the argument.
Dragon D. Luffy wrote:
Fri Jan 12, 2018 7:19 pm
Also: "Mafia BTSC during day phase legal" appears in two different categories.
Good call, thanks.
My banners, achievements, and win/loss records per faction and game type:
Spoiler: show
Civilian wins:
ImageImageImageImageImageImage
Not pictured: Felt Mafia 2, Greater Idea (Burglary), Seinfeld Mafia, All Fall Down (Burglary), Vocaroo Too!
Civilian-aligned record: 11 wins and 6 losses (2-2 Jobs, 2-1 Side Missions, 4-2 Heists, 2-0 Burglaries, 1-1 Special Games)
Mafia wins:
ImageImage
Not pictured: A Game About Chinese Food (Burglary), Phenon: Origins Mafia
Mafia-aligned record: 4 wins and 2 losses (0-1 Jobs, 1-1 Side Missions, 2-0 Heists, 1-0 Burglaries, 0-0 Special Games)
Independent wins:
ImageImageImage
Independent record: 3 wins and 1 loss (2-1 Jobs, 1-0 Side Missions, 0-0 Heists, 0-0 Burglaries, 0-0 Special Games)
Overall record: 18 wins and 9 losses (4-4 Jobs, 4-2 Side Missions, 6-2 Heists, 3-0 Burglaries, 1-1 Special Games)
Host:
ImageImageImageImageImageImageImage
Not pictured: The Theme Is Literally a Burglary (Burglary)
Awards:
ImageImageImageImageImageImage
Not pictured: Seinfeld Mafia MVP

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