[i] - Dexterafia: Town Wins

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Re: [i] - Dexterafia: Town Wins

Postby Brooklynxman » Thu Nov 18, 2010 10:47 pm UTC

I want an explanation from scum for why I was killed.
We figure out what all this means, then do something large and violent

The thing about changing the world...once you do it the world's all different.

I'm Angel. I beat the bad guys.

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Re: [i] - Dexterafia: Town Wins

Postby Weeks » Thu Nov 18, 2010 11:21 pm UTC

Because your tits.
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Re: [i] - Dexterafia: Town Wins

Postby VectorZero » Thu Nov 18, 2010 11:35 pm UTC

Because on the day Dr Ug was lynched, I was lurking around the forums hoping the deadline would pass with Ug still on L-1. You were the only person around at the time to see me.
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Re: [i] - Dexterafia: Town Wins

Postby The Mighty Thesaurus » Fri Nov 19, 2010 12:32 pm UTC

And why did you protect me, Jess? Is it because I know where you live?
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Re: [i] - Dexterafia: Town Wins

Postby VectorZero » Fri Nov 19, 2010 12:57 pm UTC

Just got a chance to look over the mod notes.

I like the Doakes role. Getting killed after fulfilling the win criteria is a nice touch and deals well with the uncomfortable issue of having a living player who has nothing to play for.

I think the Dexter role was overpowered, with the 50% resistance rolled in. I'm just not sure why the game warranted having a NK-resistant cop/vig, even if he couldn't do all things at once. Sure he's the main character of the books/show, but the game shouldn't entirely revolve around him by default.

In this setup, there is a set of characters who a) have to be in the game and b) have to be town. That's how you did it, that's how we picked it in rolespec. But with Dex, Deb, Rita, Cody, Astor, Angel, Laguerta, Quinn and Masuka, thats half the players who would be able to safely claim; scum can't counterclaim and come out in front, plus there aren't that many characters available to falseclaim.
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Re: [i] - Dexterafia: Town Wins

Postby roband » Fri Nov 19, 2010 1:02 pm UTC

VZ - we expected more successful kills from scum and the SKs, well, I did at least.

And a mass claim is never great, but it happens unfortunately.

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Re: [i] - Dexterafia: Town Wins

Postby VectorZero » Fri Nov 19, 2010 1:30 pm UTC

I agree, but it's up to the mods to ensure there are measures to counteract that. Explicitly forbidding claims is one (shitty) option, and unless you ban all claims you run the risk of getting halfway through a massclaim by stealth before the mod steps in. I don't want to discuss what I'd do, since I've got a game running, but there are plenty of ways to deal with it.

I've said this in other games, but I think that 'balancing' a town-scum-sk setup by buffing town (in this case, a doctor, a roleblocker, a tracker/watcher, a cop/vig, a cop-cop, a corpse-cop, a proxy-cop and a group of masonesques) puts scum at a big disadvantage (I don't think 'balanced' means 'town has 50% chance of winning). I'm also not a fan of non-communicating non-town factions having to cooperate to have a chance at winning, which is basically the implication of 'more successful kills'.

F11 is a well balanced setup, with 2 scum and 7 townies, with scattered power roles. Do you think that, on top of a F11 setup, adding one vanilla mafia balances 4 extra townies, 2 neutral indies (the majority of survivors play town unless given a reason not to), and giving town a mason group and 7 power roles? SKs are a tricky role to balance: they can hinder town or devastate scum; I'll put them to the side for the moment.

I'm not saying we shouldn't have lost. We played badly. I just don't see how we could have saved this.
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Re: [i] - Dexterafia: Town Wins

Postby LL Cool J » Sun Nov 21, 2010 2:00 pm UTC

The Mighty Thesaurus wrote:And why did you protect me, Jess? Is it because I know where you live?
Mostly random. I made a list, crossed off everyone who seemed a little suspicious (figured scum would want to keep suspicious people around and I didn't have much else to go on) then picked you because I had a good feeling. It had, uh, nothing at all to do with your awesome avatar portrait staring into my soul. Definitely not.
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Re: [i] - Dexterafia: Town Wins

Postby MasterOfAll » Sun Nov 21, 2010 11:40 pm UTC

For the record, I would have found a D1 mass claim in this game a very interesting thing. Watching people I know are lying come up with completely plausible claims is one of the things I really love about this game. I especially love it when they continue to insist that I must be some kind of bastard mod to have given them the role they have when they are the person who is being a bastard (I'm looking at you, Dr Ug. :D If memory serves, it was in the MoA Project game you did that. Which did turn out to be a bastard mod after all, but only because Brook inadvertently sent a PM to BigNose, who then posted the PM in the game thread, and I decided to change my setup slightly to compensate.)

Anyway, I don't think the anti-town players would be stupid enough to all claim their actual rolenames if forced to claim on D1. Sure, they would have to be worried about possible rolecops catching them in a lie, but if they did any research into what we sent them in the Role PM, they would have to wonder why their Rolename didn't show up *anywhere* on the internet, yet alone in anything related to Dexter. Some of the anti-town would be bound to reason that an accurate nameclaim would be hazardous and come up with a sufficiently obscure yet plausible character.

Finally, yes, Dexter was a totally overpowered role. He even had a possible kill resist and possible retaliation that he wasn't told about. But, still, I stand behind the balance of the game. Sure, things could easily sway one way or the other quickly, but I really tried to make sure that every player's win condition was actually achievable. Even Brook's 'survivor' role had a pretty good chance of succeeding, due to the number of times he could hide or roleblock if not hiding. He just happened to get himself killed on the 2nd night when he *wasn't* hiding because he thought he was safe.

Okay, I'm kinda rambling here and am not really sure anymore what point I am trying to make. But, I think a policy of always outlawing claims is silly. Some setups need some extra rules, and I don't have a problem with it. But, unless the mod has warned you against roleclaiming, you probably need to assume that either 1) the mod doesn't really care if you do it or 2) the mod has mechanisms in place (a buttload of kills N1, for instance) that would make it not necessarily a good idea. Just remember that *noboby* trusts anyone in the early game. Even the scum team tend to question if there is a traitor among them, right?

tl;dr - I still stand behind the game setup. I think it was fair to all players (although your definition of 'fair' may be different from mine). Anti-town players just managed to play particularly poorly.

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Re: [i] - Dexterafia: Town Wins

Postby Dr Ug » Sun Nov 21, 2010 11:57 pm UTC

I do agree that dexter was unbalancing, and scum were weak. We did also play badly, but i'm not sure playing well would have given us an equal chance of winning as town, even if they didn't play well. 3 scum with no extra powers is a very weak faction in a game this size, let alone one with super-powered roles like dexter.

Put it this way - I picked weeks as Dexter D1. We tried to kill him D1, and failed due to the NK-resistance (which I don't think makes any flavour-sense). Unfortunately I played D2 quite badly, but I think picking weeks as Dexter so early should have been rewarded, and having a NK-resistant cop vig is not balanced when competing against a vanilla 3-person mafia in a 18 player game. See VZ's post above for a more detailed argument about this.

I guess it partly depends on what you think "balanced" is, but I agree with VZ that "town has a 50% chance of winning" is not appropriate balance. I balance games so that each faction has an equal chance of winning (no matter how many ppl are in that faction), or at least that each player has an equal chance of winning (so if a role is likely to change win conditions, that is taken into account).

Oh - and yeah, I really enjoyed doing that in the MoA project as well ;).
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Re: [i] - Dexterafia: Town Wins

Postby roband » Mon Nov 22, 2010 10:53 am UTC

Having a 'mafia' didn't really make flavour sense, but we didn't want a lot of individual SKs running around.

Also, Dexter was not unNKable, he had 50% resistance (a coin flip, which would have changed the game dramatically if it was the other result) with 10% being removed each time.

If you'd continued to attempt to kill Weeks, you'd have gotten 60% chance of success on N2 and so on.

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Re: [i] - Dexterafia: Town Wins

Postby VectorZero » Mon Nov 22, 2010 12:43 pm UTC

roband wrote:If you'd continued to attempt to kill Weeks, you'd have gotten 60% chance of success on N2 and so on.
I'm aware of that, I'm just not convinced of a) why Dexter has that ability and b) how it's balanced.
MasterOfAll wrote:For the record, I would have found a D1 mass claim in this game a very interesting thing. Watching people I know are lying come up with completely plausible claims is one of the things I really love about this game.
I agree.
Anyway, I don't think the anti-town players would be stupid enough to all claim their actual rolenames if forced to claim on D1. Sure, they would have to be worried about possible rolecops catching them in a lie, but if they did any research into what we sent them in the Role PM, they would have to wonder why their Rolename didn't show up *anywhere* on the internet, yet alone in anything related to Dexter. Some of the anti-town would be bound to reason that an accurate nameclaim would be hazardous and come up with a sufficiently obscure yet plausible character.
No, we figured that out quite early. I think you overestimate the utility of a obscure-yet-plausible falseclaim. In my experience, they don't work. Examples that spring to mind are my claiming URL in futuramafia and cycoden claiming Felger in stargate. Claiming an obscure character is a scumtell, for the very reason that they are good roles to falseclaim.

Finally, yes, Dexter was a totally overpowered role. He even had a possible kill resist and possible retaliation that he wasn't told about. But, still, I stand behind the balance of the game.
Surely a game that hinges on the life or death of one player is, by definition, unbalanced? If his life so strongly favours town, and his death strongly favours scum and scum pick him early in the game and fail to kill him then doesn't that mean that once that is resolved the outcome of the game is nearly determined? Why should scum have to keep hammering away at the game breaker character until he dies, rather than pick off other power roles or, god forbid, good players who are using good analysis to track down scum?

But, I think a policy of always outlawing claims is silly [...]
I agree, and in fact I think outlawing claims is a bad idea altogether. I disagree with your assessment on the impact in this particular setup, but I've made my specific concerns known already.

I think it was fair to all players (although your definition of 'fair' may be different from mine)
What is your definition of fair?

This is not supposed to be an attack on your game. I know that I (and Dr Ug; we've discussed this previously) have a different approach to game balance than others, and I'm enjoying the opportunity to have this debate. Once Dune is over, I'd appreciate your comments there (don't worry, I'll have a few of my own too :P)
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Re: [i] - Dexterafia: Town Wins

Postby Dr Ug » Mon Nov 22, 2010 11:46 pm UTC

I also want to make sure no one takes my discussion as saying the game was bad. It was fun. I like to debate game design as it helps me optimise my own future games.

I have used "random elements" before (ie 50% chance of success), and I don't think I like them anymore. The game shouldn't be based on chance, but rather on skill. If our kill had gone through on weeks N1, the game would have been very different, and for that difference to have been decided by random.org is a little dissatisfying. Instead, if he had an ability to apply NK-resistance one-shot, so he had to pick which night to use it, that would be better IMO (although I still don't see how the kill resistance was based on flavour).
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Re: [i] - Dexterafia: Town Wins

Postby MasterOfAll » Wed Dec 01, 2010 5:40 pm UTC

Okay, I'm not going to respond to most of what was said farther up on this page, because so many things are so wrong on so many levels I wouldn't even know where to begin to respond. It has taken this long for me to even be willing to answer any questions at all. But, I will answer the last couple posts . . .

VectorZero wrote:I'm aware of that, I'm just not convinced of a) why Dexter has that ability and b) how it's balanced.
a) You are familiar with the show, right? Dexter is a total badass. Sure, he sometimes almost gets caught or almost loses a fight with some criminal he is stalking or is stalking him, but everything always ends up in his favor. b) It is balanced because he wasn't totally invincible, and town could have still won with Dexter dead, or scum could have still won with Dexter alive, etc.

VectorZero wrote:No, we figured that out quite early. I think you overestimate the utility of a obscure-yet-plausible falseclaim. In my experience, they don't work.
Well, my recommendation is to keep trying reasonable falseclaims when necessary. The other option is to falseclaim a role you fully expect someone else to have, and then convince everyone that you are telling the truth when another player claims the same role. This only works until the other player dies and their identity is revealed, but it can buy extra time for your scum team, and be quite fun. And, if you happen to chose a main character that the mods left out for whatever reason, you would become a 'trusted townie'.

VectorZero wrote:Surely a game that hinges on the life or death of one player is, by definition, unbalanced? If his life so strongly favours town, and his death strongly favours scum and scum pick him early in the game and fail to kill him then doesn't that mean that once that is resolved the outcome of the game is nearly determined? Why should scum have to keep hammering away at the game breaker character until he dies, rather than pick off other power roles or, god forbid, good players who are using good analysis to track down scum?
No, not necessarily. This was a game based on the show Dexter. Dexter is the main character. We wanted Dexter's death to have major implications. It wasn't a game breaker role, just an overpowered one. And, there is no reason for scum to 'keep hammering away' at him. The scum team always has to decide where their kill has a good chance of succeeding and doing the most good for them. Still, both the Scum team and the SK's could have won the game with a live Dexter if they decided to just leave him alone. Or, if the anti-town players wanted to kill him badly enough, he would have likely eventually died. Sure, this wasn't a typical way to set up a game of mafia, but how many of our games here really are 'typical'?

VectorZero wrote:What is your definition of fair?
It varies depending on the game. For this game, I believe every player had a reasonable chance (but not necessarily 50%) to fulfill their win condition. Playing perfectly wasn't necessary, but 'good play' goes a LONG way towards getting a win. Sure, the scum team was small, but there were also 2 serial killers with the goal of killing all the cops and a couple other independents to provide balance.

Dr Ug wrote:I also want to make sure no one takes my discussion as saying the game was bad. It was fun. I like to debate game design as it helps me optimise my own future games.

I have used "random elements" before (ie 50% chance of success), and I don't think I like them anymore. The game shouldn't be based on chance, but rather on skill. If our kill had gone through on weeks N1, the game would have been very different, and for that difference to have been decided by random.org is a little dissatisfying. Instead, if he had an ability to apply NK-resistance one-shot, so he had to pick which night to use it, that would be better IMO (although I still don't see how the kill resistance was based on flavour).
Personally, I like games that include both skill and chance. Skill only games (chess and checkers, for instance) are okay, but the better player always wins (or should, at least), which can get old quickly regardless of whether you are the superior or inferior player. Chance only games (Candyland and roulette, for instance) are rather boring for me. But, a good mix of skill and chance (poker and other card games, for instance) can provide many, many hours of entertainment. Of course, in a game of mafia, even if the mod isn't using random.org at all, randomness is often provided by other players doing totally unexpected and unorthodox things.

The flavor reason for Dexter's kill resistance is simple. Dexter is not an easy person to kill. If you have ever seen the show, you know this. I can understand why you might be unhappy that Dexter was difficult to kill in this game, but I don't understand how you cannot see how it totally fits flavor-wise.

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Re: [i] - Dexterafia: Town Wins

Postby VectorZero » Thu Dec 02, 2010 12:36 pm UTC

MasterOfAll wrote:Okay, I'm not going to respond to most of what was said farther up on this page, because so many things are so wrong on so many levels I wouldn't even know where to begin to respond.
That's a shame, since surely issues with the greatest disagreement are the most interesting/important to discuss.
It has taken this long for me to even be willing to answer any questions at all.
You did offer to discuss the game balance, and I don't think anyone's been rude or, in fact, anything other than keen to discuss a difference of opinion.

MoA wrote:a) You are familiar with the show, right? Dexter is a total badass. Sure, he sometimes almost gets caught or almost loses a fight with some criminal he is stalking or is stalking him, but everything always ends up in his favor. b) It is balanced because he wasn't totally invincible, and town could have still won with Dexter dead, or scum could have still won with Dexter alive, etc.
One could use the same argument against any protagonist. In a Law&Order game, I wouldn't give Stabler NK resistance, nor Gibbs in an NCIS game. Not even for Mal or River in a Firefly game. (Nearly) all series' protagonists survive anything that gets thrown at them (until the end of the series, at least.)

MoA wrote:my recommendation is to keep trying reasonable falseclaims when necessary. The other option is to falseclaim a role you fully expect someone else to have, and then convince everyone that you are telling the truth when another player claims the same role. This only works until the other player dies and their identity is revealed, but it can buy extra time for your scum team, and be quite fun. And, if you happen to chose a main character that the mods left out for whatever reason, you would become a 'trusted townie'.
Absolutely, these are all valid tactics. Utilising your team's lives as weapons is a great technique for both sides. However, my complaint is that in this setup, scum is very hard up against the wall. A combination of cops, masonesques, and the fact the town was built around a large group of characters that were obviously town and bound to be in the game makes a falseclaim very difficult to survive in this game. It's all well and good to say that you can falseclaim, say, Batista, and draw a counter claim or only be revealed on his death, but with only 3 scum out of 20, every life is very valuable. The chance of surviving to endgame with that sort of tactic is very low.

On the subject of main characters left out, who would you have falseclaimed in this game?

MoA wrote:This was a game based on the show Dexter. Dexter is the main character. We wanted Dexter's death to have major implications.
I don't disagree with this.
And, there is no reason for scum to 'keep hammering away' at him. The scum team always has to decide where their kill has a good chance of succeeding and doing the most good for them.
Absolutely, but they're not omniscient.
Still, both the Scum team and the SK's could have won the game with a live Dexter if they decided to just leave him alone.
Not impossible, but Dexter could single-handedly sniff out and kill scum!
Or, if the anti-town players wanted to kill him badly enough, he would have likely eventually died.
Without knowing why he didn't die? He was clearly a dangerous character and player; he warranted scum's attention, and rightly so. I don't think scum should have been penalised for picking him as a good kill target.
Sure, this wasn't a typical way to set up a game of mafia, but how many of our games here really are 'typical'?
The setup was great. I just think the scum faction was underpowered compared to town.

MoA wrote:[my definition of fair] varies depending on the game. For this game, I believe every player had a reasonable chance (but not necessarily 50%) to fulfill their win condition. Playing perfectly wasn't necessary, but 'good play' goes a LONG way towards getting a win. Sure, the scum team was small, but there were also 2 serial killers with the goal of killing all the cops and a couple other independents to provide balance.
I'm not sure I understand your answer, and perhaps I misphrased the question. Does fair mean that town and scum and SKs and independents have (roughly) equal chances of winning, or does it mean that town is balanced against anti-town? In other words, if you have a balanced setup with a town faction and a scum faction, how do you balance adding an SK? My opinion is that the SK is detrimental to scum as well as town, and if you buff town to balance the SK, doing so disadvantages scum.
MoA wrote:Personally, I like games that include both skill and chance. Skill only games (chess and checkers, for instance) are okay, but the better player always wins (or should, at least), which can get old quickly regardless of whether you are the superior or inferior player. Chance only games (Candyland and roulette, for instance) are rather boring for me. But, a good mix of skill and chance (poker and other card games, for instance) can provide many, many hours of entertainment. Of course, in a game of mafia, even if the mod isn't using random.org at all, randomness is often provided by other players doing totally unexpected and unorthodox things.
I agree to a point. However, I think the 'randomness' in mafia is more about the unknown. Excitement should come from players actions and weighing the balance of odds of claims versus expectations, or considering scum tells, or working out the rules the mod has implemented (for instance, the fun in NQRia came from deducing the setup; a lot of the voting etc. was mechanical, but with some inspired actions that were unexpected and swung the game.) In hold 'em, the fun comes from convincing your mate you hold a straight draw and getting him to throw away a pocket pair when you've got nothing.

This is not about being right or wrong. I'm interested in why you set up games in the way you do, and the same for other mods. I hope we can have a similar discussion once Dune's over, since I'd like to go into more detail on managing mass claims.
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Re: [i] - Dexterafia: Town Wins

Postby roband » Thu Dec 02, 2010 12:41 pm UTC

Still, both the Scum team and the SK's could have won the game with a live Dexter if they decided to just leave him alone.


Not impossible, but Dexter could single-handedly sniff out and kill scum!


This is a fair point, but on the first night, the odds of Dexter getting an absolute positive result on scum was 1 in howevermanyplayerstherewere.
As it was, Dr Ug (if memory serves) was selected and Dexter was told that he hadn't killed anyone yet.

I don't really know what my point is here, but there were plenty of scenarios where the game would not have happened the way it did.

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Re: [i] - Dexterafia: Town Wins

Postby VectorZero » Thu Dec 02, 2010 12:49 pm UTC

And he also hit overbored after he had made a kill. He did well with his choices, and was rewarded. Scum also picked out worthy targets, and were disadvantaged for doing so.

I'm not saying there are no circumstances in which scum could have won. What I am saying is that town had a huge number of power roles (partly to balance SKs, partly because they're fun) and scum had nothing.

Even a one-shot unblockable kill might have been reasonable, and maybe a godfather given the number of cops.

WRT "Dexter was told that he hadn't killed anyone yet", would the message have been different had Weeks copped, say, Debra?
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Re: [i] - Dexterafia: Town Wins

Postby roband » Thu Dec 02, 2010 1:00 pm UTC

And he also hit overbored after he had made a kill. He did well with his choices, and was rewarded. Scum also picked out worthy targets, and were disadvantaged for doing so.

well actually, scum targeted Dexter, who was not a cop. Granted, him dead would leave you in a better position, but he didn't need to be dead for you to win.

Even a one-shot unblockable kill might have been reasonable, and maybe a godfather given the number of cops.

Not all the cops were cops though. Dexter has been discussed. Matthews got only town results, no scum results. And Quinn only got one town result because his CI died on N1.

WRT "Dexter was told that he hadn't killed anyone yet", would the message have been different had Weeks copped, say, Debra?

I don't know what WRT means. Yes it would have been different, but it's open to interpretation and false claiming, and independent role for example.

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Re: [i] - Dexterafia: Town Wins

Postby Weeks » Thu Dec 02, 2010 1:20 pm UTC

"with regards to"
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suffer-cait wrote:One day I'm gun a go visit weeks and discover they're just a computer in a trashcan at an ice cream shop.
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Re: [i] - Dexterafia: Town Wins

Postby Azrael001 » Thu Dec 02, 2010 8:40 pm UTC

The only thing that I would have done differently is have it so that catching my Dexter trying to kill prevented his kill from going through that night.
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Re: [i] - Dexterafia: Town Wins

Postby roband » Fri Dec 03, 2010 9:42 am UTC

Could have made a more interesting endgame, I guess.

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Re: [i] - Dexterafia: Town Wins

Postby MasterOfAll » Fri Dec 03, 2010 3:34 pm UTC

Azrael001 wrote:The only thing that I would have done differently is have it so that catching my Dexter trying to kill prevented his kill from going through that night.
But, but, but, . . . you did see the part where Dexter would be automatically roleblocked the following night after killing Doakes, right? The idea, flavor-wise, is that he had 2 bodies to dispose of instead of the 1 he planned for, so would be too busy to investigate or kill anyone new. Similar idea, but keeping nightly death count as high as possible for as long as possible.

roband wrote:I don't know what WRT means.
Dude. Internet. You have it. Learn to use it.


As for everything else, it will have to wait for later. I just want to say that I still don't think some people are realizing that the 2 Serial Killers in this game were not just the typical SK. They both had a very specific win condition - to kill off every cop. If only those 2 roles hadn't gone to 2 players (and 1 replacement player) who didn't really have time to play, . . . but they still managed to make a nice dent in the town population. An active player could probably have done a much better job with that role, though - being able to appear town and doing a better job picking targets and not getting modkilled, etc.

Anyway, I will probably come back and answer some more questions later.

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Azrael001
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Re: [i] - Dexterafia: Town Wins

Postby Azrael001 » Fri Dec 03, 2010 3:36 pm UTC

No. No I did not.
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