Bastardry Standards [DRAFT]

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Misnomer
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Bastardry Standards [DRAFT]

Postby Misnomer » Mon Aug 13, 2012 8:01 pm UTC

Ok, so I’ve noticed in recent games that I’ve played in and those I’ve run, there seems to be a lot of confusion over what is and isn’t a feature of a bastard game. Furthermore, a recent glance at the MafiaScum wiki, which I know some players here put a lot of stock by, suggests that a definition of bastardry is developing over there which is far stricter than what we are used to playing by here. I know that Silknor has written about types of bastardry in the past, but that was more of an explanation of ideas than a clear scale. In this post I have therefore set out what game features I consider to be bastard/non-bastard, so we have a clear scale that we can use in signups and game design.

I’ve identified four categories in which to classify games/game mechanics.

Category A is for features which may be controversial, but which are not bastardry in their own right. These may be freely used in non-bastard games without warning (n.b. this does not mean that it is necessarily a good idea not to warn players about them, just that you don’t have to).

Category B is for low-level bastardry. Loosely defined, this category is for features which do not interfere too much with the core concept of mafia games, but which are nonetheless controversial enough that players should be warned about them. Any game that deploys one of these features should warn players that the game contains low-level bastardry, or that a specific low-level bastard feature may be present.

Category C is for high-level bastardry. Loosely defined, this category is for features that represent a significant deviation from what most people would consider acceptable game design. Any game that deploys one of these features should warn players that the game contains high-level bastardry, or that a specific high-level bastard feature may be present.

Category D is for extreme-level bastardry. This is essentially any game feature which renders the game unplayable from a ‘serious’ perspective, with the game being played solely for comedy purposes. A game in this category must warn people that it is an extreme bastard game.

On the basis of the above definitions, I would like to propose the following categorisations:

Category A (Non-Bastard)
    Non-sane roles e.g. Insane Cop, Paranoid Doctor
    Hidden passive role abilities e.g. an uninformed Miller
    Hidden bonus win conditions
    Unhelpful roles e.g. Beloved Princess, Suicidal roles
    Time Traveller roles
    Cults and other recruitment roles
    Jesters/mimes
    Militant atheists
    Temporarily hidden win conditions
    Lie detecting roles
    Listening roles
    Useless roles e.g. a Nurse without a Doctor
    Flavour-writing roles
    Oracle/inventor roles, if used with care
    Rule clarifications
    Misleading flavour
    Emergency rule/setup changes (avoid if at all possible)

Category B (Low-Level Bastardry)
    False setup info
    Misleading mod statements
    Hidden active role abilities e.g. if a Cop was not told that they could investigate people
    False win/loss conditions
    Hidden win/loss conditions
    Death Millers/ false role reveals

Category C (High-Level Bastardry)
    Spoiler-reading roles
    Mod intervention
    Non-player intervention
    Deliberately/negligently unbalanced games
    Roles in which it is impossible to win as
    Roles in which the ‘win’ is determined by the mod e.g. mod’s bastard child
    Mid-game rule changes
    Mid-game setup changes
    Frivolous modkills

Category D (Extreme Bastardry)
    Games determined largely or solely by mod intervention
    Games with constant setup/rule changes
    Joke games

Naturally, the list can never be a complete one, but it should help give an indication of what is and isn’t bastard.

So what do people think? Is there anything that I’ve missed that should be up there? Or for that matter is there anything that you think I’ve categorised wrong? Once we've got something close to consensus, we should have a good guide to go by.
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Re: Bastardry Standards [DRAFT]

Postby Snark » Mon Aug 13, 2012 8:07 pm UTC

Move these 2 from C to D, I think:
Roles in which it is impossible to win as
Roles in which the ‘win’ is determined by the mod e.g. mod’s bastard child


Other than that, looks rather reasonable.

Also, "Letting UniqueSscreenname into a game" belongs in section D.
Last edited by Snark on Mon Aug 13, 2012 8:29 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Bastardry Standards [DRAFT]

Postby UniqueScreenname » Mon Aug 13, 2012 8:25 pm UTC

I'd agree with that. Also false win/loss conditions seems more like C than B to me.
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Re: Bastardry Standards [DRAFT]

Postby bluebambue » Mon Aug 13, 2012 8:39 pm UTC

What should games that have a lot of roles and flavor, but none of the controversial roles be called? It doesn't fall into my understanding of vanilla as it has flavor and more roles than may be standard. I think there needs to be a level of non-bastadry bellow A to denote games that have truly normal mechanics.

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Re: Bastardry Standards [DRAFT]

Postby Misnomer » Mon Aug 13, 2012 8:50 pm UTC

bluebambue wrote:What should games that have a lot of roles and flavor, but none of the controversial roles be called? It doesn't fall into my understanding of vanilla as it has flavor and more roles than may be standard. I think there needs to be a level of non-bastadry bellow A to denote games that have truly normal mechanics.

That's a fair point but I'd say that's a side issue from bastardry. Personally, I normally mention whether or not my games have standard mechanics when I put them into signups.
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Re: Bastardry Standards [DRAFT]

Postby Adam H » Mon Aug 13, 2012 9:06 pm UTC

Yay I like this thread.

I'd probably move "Deliberately/negligently unbalanced games" from C to B. The worst examples of an unbalanced game are already covered in the "Roles in which it is impossible to win as", I think. It just opens up source of complaints. ("SK?!? That's IMPOSSIBLE to win as, you BASTARD!") I think deliberately making some roles harder than others is OK. How about "Deliberately unbalanced games" in B, and "Stupidly unbalanced games" in C.

Snark wrote:Move these 2 from C to D, I think:
Roles in which it is impossible to win as
Roles in which the ‘win’ is determined by the mod e.g. mod’s bastard child
I agree with the first, disagree with the second. I think that a win condition like, "try to get the mod lynched, I'll judge your effort" is OK in a category C game.

Also, rule/setup changing can be not so bastard. There are examples of setup changing that are considered NO bastardry - I'm thinking cults and traitors, mainly. If a game is high or extreme bastardry, rule/setup changing is expected... so is it really that bastardy? If a game stated upfront that the voting mechanic would change every day, I would definitely not put it in category D, even though it contains "constant setup/rule changes".

I guess the change I'd make would be something like "constant unexpected setup/rule changes"

Does "Misleading mod statements" under B mean blatent lies, or only half-truths and lies by omission? I'd say "blatent mod lies" needs to be in there somewhere - if not in B then in C.

bluebambue wrote:What should games that have a lot of roles and flavor, but none of the controversial roles be called? It doesn't fall into my understanding of vanilla as it has flavor and more roles than may be standard. I think there needs to be a level of non-bastadry bellow A to denote games that have truly normal mechanics.
I think it's best to combine A and below-A into one category (A). When the mod is forced to tell the truth then there's no point in categorizing the setups because the mod can just tell players what the setup is.
-Adam

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Re: Bastardry Standards [DRAFT]

Postby wam » Mon Aug 13, 2012 9:21 pm UTC

My opnion is that it should be changed to the following

I would add a medium bastadry category and put all thats in B in it.

I would then split Category A in half like this

Non-Bastard
Non-sane roles e.g. Insane Cop, Paranoid Doctor
Hidden passive role abilities e.g. an uninformed Miller (as long as its said that those roles are in the game)
Unhelpful roles e.g. Beloved Princess, Suicidal roles
Time Traveller roles
Cults and other recruitment roles
Jesters/mimes
Militant atheists
Lie detecting roles
Listening roles
Useless roles e.g. a Nurse without a Doctor
Flavour-writing roles
Oracle/inventor roles, if used with care
Rule clarifications
Misleading flavour (by omission)
Emergency rule/setup changes (avoid if at all possible)

Low level
Misleading flavour (by actively desinging it in)#
Temporarily hidden win conditions
Hidden bonus win conditions
Hidden roles like miller (if no warning is given)
Any randomly applied powers
Roles/factions that differ significantly from the normal


Also you haven't covered the ultimate level of bastardry, saying the game is highly bastard when its vanilla (or even worse the other way around)!
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Re: Bastardry Standards [DRAFT]

Postby Snark » Mon Aug 13, 2012 9:41 pm UTC

wam wrote:Also you haven't covered the ultimate level of bastardry, saying the game is highly bastard when its vanilla (or even worse the other way around)!
Here we have a problem. We could append .1 for any game label with its correct bastardry category and .2 for a game that might not be in its correct category. But then we have to consider the games that would first lie about the category and then append .1 when they should have used .2. There's probably a term for this dilemma.

Did you steal my french fries? No.
Are you lying? No.
If I asked you "Are you lying?", would you lie in answer to that question? No.
If I asked you "If I asked you "Are you lying?", would you lie in answer to that question?", would you lie in answer to that question? No.
...

If people are going to mislabel, they're going to mislabel. Most likely the people not playing would figure it out quickly based on spoilers and either end the game by force or let it be. Either way, players aren't likely to sign up for one of that mod's games again.
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Re: Bastardry Standards [DRAFT]

Postby wam » Mon Aug 13, 2012 9:55 pm UTC

That was quite toung in cheek! I doubt anyone on this forum would ever do that.
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Re: Bastardry Standards [DRAFT]

Postby Lataro » Mon Aug 13, 2012 9:55 pm UTC

If a mod does not want to spill the beans on their bastardry level, that's fine, there is a simple solution that does not require misleading players, or lying.

"Bastardry: Yes"

See? It's clearly labeled to exist, and the players have no right to call foul regardless of the form it exists in. No one is misleading or being misled.
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Julian: "Of course. What else could it be?"
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Re: Bastardry Standards [DRAFT]

Postby Misnomer » Mon Aug 13, 2012 11:03 pm UTC

wam wrote:Low level
Misleading flavour (by actively desinging it in)#
Temporarily hidden win conditions
Hidden bonus win conditions
Hidden roles like miller (if no warning is given)
Any randomly applied powers
Roles/factions that differ significantly from the normal
I disagree with most of these being considered bastardry.

Firstly, I use misleading flavour quite a bit in my games, in order to prompt activity through discussion and just to make an interesting narrative. For example in my last game, I suggested repeatedly in the flavour that the game was a complicated one, when it was in fact simpler that it appeared. I thought that worked quite well, and I don't think it crossed into the line of bastardry.

Temporary win conditions I can see your point, although I think if they're well designed they can work quite well without being unfair (for example, a player is told that they will be told their win condition at the start of D2).

Hidden bonus wins I don't think should be bastard becomes I think bonus wins themselves are something of a joke or extra element.

Hidden miller is I think these days such a common role that it can be included in the non-bastard territory.

I'm not sure what you mean by randomly applied powers... are we talking something like the 'crazy' sanity sometimes applied to cops (random result) or percentage-based roles (like a 50% doctor)?

The last point I absolutely object to being considered bastardry. To me, bastardry means roles which are percieved as unfair, not simply roles which are non-standard, and I don't think we should be tarring non-standard mechanics with the brush of unfairness.

Also, rule/setup changing can be not so bastard. There are examples of setup changing that are considered NO bastardry - I'm thinking cults and traitors, mainly.
By changing the setup, I'm talking about the mod removing adding powers etc. during the game. If a setup begins with a cult, it's accepted that there will be alignment changes as part of the setup, so when these occur it wouldn't be the setup changing as such.
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Re: Bastardry Standards [DRAFT]

Postby Krong » Mon Aug 13, 2012 11:10 pm UTC

I agree with Lataro, in that saying the category your game lives in may be a bit too helpful in limiting the bastardry. If you want to surprise and shock people, warning them that surprise and shock is incoming is a bit counterproductive :)

Misnomer wrote:Category C (High-Level Bastardry)
Spoiler-reading roles

Disagree, should be D or never. It's my opinion that spoiler-reading roles should be banned from all non-joke games because their potential presence damages the usefulness and fun of the discussion thread. It's important for the discussion thread to remain heavily-trafficked because that's basically our main way to build and maintain this subfora community.



Beyond that, it looks alright, with two caveats:

1) The guidelines may be aiming too much at specifics. We could just do away with those.

Say I invent a role that has the ability to add a townie player to the game; let's say the top name on the replacement list is pulled in. I've called my game "non-bastard" (Category A). Scum complains after the game, because in looking at the specifics, they argue that this role deals with false setup info (B) and/or non-player interference (C). And now we've lost the point of the categories in the first place, which is to keep players from feeling cheated.

I might just simplify the whole list to the following:

  • No bastardry: The game has been designed to be fair and generally follow standard mafia game mechanics. Any rule, setup, or role PM information can be fully trusted.
  • Bastardry: The game has been tampered with in significant ways, but is still rational and rarely arbitrary.
  • Extreme Bastardry: All bets are off. This is probably a joke or puzzle game.

2) Be sure to explain the difference between closed and open games.

That generally lies outside of the bastard/non bastard discussion, but people can get confused. Some people consider anything outside of vanilla-open (or semi-open) to be bastardry; we need to be sure to clarify that that's not what the term usually means here.

Also, for the record, "open" does not mean "non-bastard". For instance, the following game setup is clearly extreme bastardry, but also open:

Bastard Open Setup wrote:There are 2 Mafia and 7 Vanilla Townies.
Mafia have a nightkill and nightchat. There are no other special abilities.

Oh, and Lataro and Krong are the mafia.

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Re: Bastardry Standards [DRAFT]

Postby Adacore » Mon Aug 13, 2012 11:23 pm UTC

I completely agree with Krong on the spoiler thing. No games ever should have spoiler-reading powers. The discussion thread is sacred.

And yeah, you can have open bastard games, but you're quite limited in what you can actually pull off*, and with a game being open all the bastardry should be immediately obvious from the game description. In this case, I'd suggest revealing any bastard elements of the setup during signups so people can see what they're getting into - you're going to reveal them anyway, since the game is open.

*There's a debate, of course, on games that are mostly-open, but have the bastardry element of having unannounced rules. Logically those would be under 'open bastard' too, since revealing that there were non-open elements would reveal the bastardry.

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Re: Bastardry Standards [DRAFT]

Postby wam » Tue Aug 14, 2012 12:10 am UTC

Misnomer wrote:.

I'm not sure what you mean by randomly applied powers... are we talking something like the 'crazy' sanity sometimes applied to cops (random result) or percentage-based roles (like a 50% doctor)?


That was what i meant. So cops would get a random result etc. This in my mind would be bastardry as its a very rarely used role and is impossible for the player to figure out whilst playing.

Misnomer wrote:The last point I absolutely object to being considered bastardry. To me, bastardry means roles which are percieved as unfair, not simply roles which are non-standard, and I don't think we should be tarring non-standard mechanics with the brush of unfairness.



I think I phrased that wrong. I didn't mean purely mean mechanics, I was talking about things like the imgainary cult in firefly (One of the first ones I ever read on here!). Although that does probably go under the mil
Misnomer wrote:Hidden active role abilities e.g. if a Cop was not told that they could investigate people
now that I think about it.

As to the misleading flavour there is a wide range between omission (not mentioning anything) and flat out lying in the flavour. I think that comes down to the mods judgement. I did enjoy your game which made it seem much more complicated that it was.
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Re: Bastardry Standards [DRAFT]

Postby Adam H » Tue Aug 14, 2012 2:30 pm UTC

Krong wrote:I agree with Lataro, in that saying the category your game lives in may be a bit too helpful in limiting the bastardry. If you want to surprise and shock people, warning them that surprise and shock is incoming is a bit counterproductive :)

I think that if you don't want to say how bastardy your game is, say that it's D. It doesn't HAVE to include extreme bastardry, you are just warning players that it might. There is definitely a point in letting mods say their game has minor bastardry - we're just defining what "minor bastardry" means.

If we really wanted to surprise and shock people, then we'd do away with the bastardry disclaimer altogether.

Misnomer wrote:
wam wrote:Low level
Misleading flavour (by actively desinging it in)#
Temporarily hidden win conditions
Hidden bonus win conditions
Hidden roles like miller (if no warning is given)
Any randomly applied powers
Roles/factions that differ significantly from the normal
I disagree with most of these being considered bastardry.
I agree with Misnomer on all of this. HOWEVER, the point of categorizing the games is to give players a heads up on what to expect. I think that Wam should be warned if a game might contain something that he absolutely does not want in a game. That might mean that every single game gives the disclaimer that they might contain these roles, in which case wam has to decide if he wants to sign up for any of them or just quit playing closed games. For myself, I will probably never make a non-open game that definitely will not include these controversial roles, so if that means saying that all my games are "slightly bastard", then that's fine with me.

Misnomer wrote:
Adam H wrote:Also, rule/setup changing can be not so bastard. There are examples of setup changing that are considered NO bastardry - I'm thinking cults and traitors, mainly.
By changing the setup, I'm talking about the mod removing adding powers etc. during the game. If a setup begins with a cult, it's accepted that there will be alignment changes as part of the setup, so when these occur it wouldn't be the setup changing as such.
OK, I think a lot of the bastardry examples you give should then have the phrase "without player input" or something. I think this would fix a lot of the specific counterexamples that we could think of.

"Mid-game rule changes without player input"
"Mid-game setup changes without player input"
"Non-player intervention without player input"
etc.

Re: Spoiler-reading. I think there's a notable difference between a player actually reading spoilers and a mod sending a player the abridged version of the spoilers. The former should be D and the latter should be C, IMO.
-Adam

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Re: Bastardry Standards [DRAFT]

Postby BoomFrog » Tue Aug 14, 2012 2:42 pm UTC

I think the consensus is that most mods want to have the possibility of insanity and other "low bastardy" in their games. Basically on these fora that's now standard and not considered bastardy anymore.

I agree we should keep the categories as broad as possible to allow as much surprise as possible without having any players feel cheated. Also, I would divide listeners to low bastardy for "extremely limited listeners" and put full listeners in high bastardy. I actually do think a "vanilla" category is part of this spectrum, and "what is vanilla?" is a useful discussion to have anyway. As said before this is mostly a warning for closed setup games as any open game's should be clear. If a game is open-bastard then I think that's clearly saying "there are hidden bastard elements and this is really semi-closed" My breakdown for closed games:

Vanilla:
All roles do exactly what they say in your PM and nothing more.
All mod information is truthful, flavor is purely for fun and contains no useful information.
Roles will be simple, the most complicated role will be a redirector.
The game should be roughly equally likely to be won by any faction. Indys who's win does not end the game may be more likely to win then an average player. e.g. Jester or survivor.
Acceptable examples from Misnomer's list:
Spoiler:
Unhelpful roles e.g. Beloved Princess, Suicidal roles
Cults and other recruitment roles
Jesters/mimes
Lie detecting roles
Oracle/inventor roles, if used with care
Rule clarifications
Emergency rule/setup changes (avoid if at all possible)


Standard Game (no warning of bastardy or promise of vanilla given)
Everything from the mod in bold is truthful
Flavor may be misleading, may contain useful information or may be useless
Roles may have hidden elements such as insanity but should have some sort of flavor hint, warning in the setup, or other means to help them learn their full role.
Roles may be complex and there may be unexpected interactions
The game should be roughly equally likely to be won by any faction with the exception of indies.
Acceptable examples from Misnomer's list:
Spoiler:
Hidden win/loss conditions - I think this is fine as long as the player knows there is a hidden condition and there is some method for the player to learn the condition.
Non-sane roles e.g. Insane Cop, Paranoid Doctor
Hidden passive role abilities e.g. an uninformed Miller
Hidden bonus win conditions
Time Traveler/Resurrection roles - If it's possible to un-die then it will obviously have to be said in the setup to not read spoilers after death.
Temporarily hidden win conditions
Extremely limited Listening roles
Useless roles e.g. a Nurse without a Doctor
Flavour-writing roles/Misleading flavour - handle with care if other roles are depending on flavor to learn their full role.


Bastard Game:
Anything the mod says may be false
Implicit rules of mafia may be broken such as non-players affecting the game.
Still no players with spoiler reading roles, the discussion thread is sacred.
Acceptable examples from Misnomer's list:
Spoiler:
Everything on the list except spoiler readers.


Is there anything I put under "standard" that would make people feel cheated? There was some controversy over the Gargoyles "fake" cult. I think the main thing is there needs to be hints somewhere to the unusual hidden elements.
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Re: Bastardry Standards [DRAFT]

Postby Adam H » Tue Aug 14, 2012 3:13 pm UTC

I still think there's value in defining "medium bastardry". Players may not want to signup for a bastard game unless they know it's not going to turn out to be a stupid joke.

I like the split between vanilla and standard, though. That's a good thing to define.
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Re: Bastardry Standards [DRAFT]

Postby New User » Tue Aug 14, 2012 3:22 pm UTC

I'm getting in over my head by joining this discussion.

Boomfrog wrote:All roles do exactly what they say in your PM and nothing more.
This is contradicted by the "useless roles" in the Standard section. Some would say that a useless role is vanilla if it does exactly what it says in the description. Example: A nurse is told, "You will become a doctor when a doctor dies in this game." There is no doctor, so the nurse can never become doctor. The nurse was told the entire role, but not told that it is useless.

Boomfrog wrote:Roles will be simple, the most complicated role will be a redirector.
This cannot be measured. Some might argue that one role is more complicated than another.

Boomfrog wrote:Extremely limited Listening roles
This is also hard to measure. Anything other than 100% listening (which would be the ability to read every word of night chat) could be considered limited. What could be considered extremely limited is hard to define.

As far as people who say that giving a bastardry label defeats the purpose of bastardry (surprise, shock), I disagree but I can understand your viewpoint. I think they should be accurately labeled, or at the very least there should be a "possibility of bastardry is greater than zero" and we can all make wild guesses as to how bastardish that particular game is. Any game labelled "possibility of bastardry is equal to zero" or "vanilla" or whatever is decided to call it, that label should be trustworthy. It defeats the entire purpose of having labels if they are not to be followed.

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Re: Bastardry Standards [DRAFT]

Postby Adam H » Tue Aug 14, 2012 3:44 pm UTC

Just because something's hard to measure doesn't mean we can't make a best estimate.

New User wrote:
Boomfrog wrote:All roles do exactly what they say in your PM and nothing more.
This is contradicted by the "useless roles" in the Standard section. Some would say that a useless role is vanilla if it does exactly what it says in the description. Example: A nurse is told, "You will become a doctor when a doctor dies in this game." There is no doctor, so the nurse can never become doctor. The nurse was told the entire role, but not told that it is useless.
Nah, it's not contradictory, just unclear. Add a bit on to the vanilla section that says "the mod never intentionally misleads" and it's all cleared up.
-Adam

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Re: Bastardry Standards [DRAFT]

Postby _infina_ » Tue Aug 14, 2012 3:57 pm UTC

I feel like running a Catagory "D" game. Anyone want to help? :twisted:
Spoiler:
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Re: Bastardry Standards [DRAFT]

Postby BoomFrog » Wed Aug 15, 2012 2:10 am UTC

For me the defining question is, "If this happened in a game without a warning in the setup would you feel it ruined the game?" If the answer is no then it's not bastard. That's why I emphasized there should be some hint to the nature of any trickiness. For example Misnomer's game went over the top hinting that there was some hidden feature about the complexity level of the game. Players were aware that something strange was going on so that made it fun to puzzle out while trying to scum hunt/not reveal your secrets. That was a well designed game that I think stepped right on the border of bastard but was not bastard, so it's a great place to draw the line.

I guess I like "low bastardy" and would like it to be acceptable to include in any non-vanilla game without warning.

New User wrote:
Boomfrog wrote:Roles will be simple, the most complicated role will be a redirector.
This cannot be measured. Some might argue that one role is more complicated than another.
We could list all acceptable vanilla roles but I think even that list will change over time, and I'd like something timeless instead of something that needs to be annually reviewed. There will have to be mod judgement in any setup, we're not trying to remove that, and I don't want to stifle any mod creativity. The reason I specified redirector is that in Hogwarts Mafia some players felt since it was advertised as a vanilla game the one-shot buss driver was an unreasonable inclusion. I wanted to make it clear that redirectors are possible in a closed vanilla game. Although maybe they shouldn't be?

Boomfrog wrote:Extremely limited Listening roles
This is also hard to measure. Anything other than 100% listening (which would be the ability to read every word of night chat) could be considered limited. What could be considered extremely limited is hard to define.
What kind of listening roles are fun and acceptable is a debate we had a while ago in the meta thread, but the short version is: The Mod delivers snippets of conversations or even paraphrases them. Anything that would identify the speaker or recipient is left out. Any encoding is undone by the mod so players have no reason to use any codes. Any role who's potential existence encourages code use, false PMs, or simply not talking is antifun and should be banned from standard games.
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Re: Bastardry Standards [DRAFT]

Postby cjquines » Wed Aug 15, 2012 9:38 am UTC

Wait, are we confusing bastardry with complication?

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Re: Bastardry Standards [DRAFT]

Postby Adacore » Wed Aug 15, 2012 1:50 pm UTC

cjquines wrote:Wait, are we confusing bastardry with complication?

By the strictest definition of bastardry, any game with any closed elements at all is bastard, because things other than the identities of roles are concealed from the players at game-start. We don't generally use that definition here, but Silknor made a case a while back that we should, and far more games should be open setup than were/are.

It's possible to have a game that's open but extremely complex, such as Wizardry (at least, some variants thereof - I'm not sure any fora Wizardry was 100% completely open and non-Bastard, between Wish spells and not revealing the role distributions); that would be zero bastardry. But those kind of games are pretty rare.

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Re: Bastardry Standards [DRAFT]

Postby Adam H » Wed Aug 15, 2012 10:06 pm UTC

OK, here's my best effort. I tried to combine everyone's thoughts, and I think this is the best suggestion I've seen. :) There's probably some stuff I overlooked, though.

Games in the signup queue would have a "Setup" label with either Vanilla, Standard, Complex, Bastard, or "CATEGORY D" (for infina :) ). Games don't have to be as complex/bastardy as the game says it is in the queue - if a game says it's complex, it could be standard or vanilla as well.

Vanilla
Spoiler:
Must be balanced.

Can include:
Cults and other recruitment roles
Jesters/mimes
Common unhelpful roles e.g. Beloved Princess, Suicidal roles
Rule clarifications
Emergency rule/setup changes (avoid if at all possible)


Standard
Spoiler:
Must be balanced.


Can include:
Common non-sane roles e.g. Insane Cop, Paranoid Doctor
Hidden passive role abilities e.g. an uninformed Miller
Hidden bonus win conditions
Time Traveller/Resurrection roles
Useless roles e.g. a Nurse without a Doctor
Flavour-writing roles
Oracle/inventor roles
Militant atheists (though I dunno what that is...)
Lie detecting roles


Complex
Spoiler:
Must have a semblance of balance.

Can include:
Misleading flavour (by design)
Temporarily hidden win conditions
Unusual insanities (doctors that kill, etc.)
Roles/factions that differ significantly from the normal
Listening roles
"Bastardry" if it's created solely by a player with an unusual role (e.g. a scum player with the ability to make their NK target a Death Miller).


Bastard
Spoiler:
Must be fun.

Can include:
False setup info
False mod statements
Mod intervention
Non-player intervention without player input
Deliberately/negligently unbalanced games
Roles in which the ‘win’ is determined by the mod
False win/loss conditions
Hidden win/loss conditions
Mid-game rule/setup changes without player input
Hidden active role abilities without player input
Death millers without player input


"CATEGORY D"
Spoiler:
Anything goes.

Can include:
Spoiler-reading roles
Roles in which it is impossible to win as
Frivolous modkills
Games determined largely or solely by mod intervention
Games with constant setup/rule changes without player input
Joke games
-Adam

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Re: Bastardry Standards [DRAFT]

Postby Misnomer » Wed Aug 15, 2012 10:13 pm UTC

Hmmm... I see what people mean about clashes. The last thing I'd want is for constant rules lawyering to break out over whether or not a game was a bastard game. I think it might be better to define a few broad categories similar to BF's and Adam H's, but without the bastardry/complexity conflation and with a few additional rules in place. I'd like to propose the following revised guidelines:

Bastardry Guidelines
Bastardry refers to game modding which may be percieved by players as being unfair. Moderators should indicate in signups which category their game falls into.

Category A: Pure
If a game is in the Pure category, then a player may reasonably take all information they are provided with by the moderator at face value. Mods should not mislead players about aspects of the game, either through false statement or lies of ommission. In particular, all role information should be the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. The setup should be designed in such a way that all players have a reasonable chance of winning. Non-sane roles should be avoided, as should misleading information inherent in the setup (e.g. setups that include investigation-altering roles). If such elements are included, players must be warned in advance that they may exist (e.g. by way of an open setup). Mods should be fair and impartial at all times, and should not interfere with the gameplay except when it is necessary to do so to ensure the smooth running of the game. Note that Pure games are not the same as Vanilla games (games which use simple, standard setups), although the two may overlap.

Category B: Non-Bastard
This is the standard expectation for moderation and setup design: any game which does not state it's bastardry level may be reasonably assumed to be this, although as a player there is no harm in asking the mod to clarify things. Mods of Non-Bastard games should be fair and impartial at all times, and should not interfere with the gameplay except when it is necessary to do so to ensure the smooth running of the game. Mods should not directly lie to players, and the setup should be designed in such a way that all players have a reasonable chance of winning. Subject to these conditions, mods have a free hand in game management and design, and may choose to include roles or setup features that are misleading and/or unexpected.

Category C: Bastard
Loosely defined, bastard games are games in which there is no guarantee of fairness. Mods may intervene in the game, lie to players, design unwinnable role/setups and pretty much do as they please. Players can reasonably expect to play what is still recognisably a mafia game, but otherwise that's about it.

Category D: Extreme Bastard
All bets are off, the mod can do whatever they want.


In addition to these broad categories, the following guidelines should be taken into account:

    Thou Shalt Not Meta-Bastard. Telling your players that a game is Non-Bastard when it's actually Bastard is neither funny nor clever, and is likely to ruin your reputation as a mod.
    Spoiler-Reading Roles. These are despised by a significant proportion of Xkcd mafia players. If you insist on using them at category C or less, you MUST warn your players about their existence.
    Alignment-Changing Mechanics and Listening Roles. These are non-bastard, but some players dislike them so it might be a good idea to warn of their inclusion anyway.
    The 5th Amendment. Just because mods can't lie in Pure/Non-Bastard games doesn't mean they have to tell their players everything. Use your right to silence!
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Re: Bastardry Standards [DRAFT]

Postby BoomFrog » Thu Aug 16, 2012 3:47 am UTC

I like these broad definition but I think the line between pure and standard needs some clarity. ( I also suspect that we will see very few pure games outside of the vanilla queue but that's besides the point.)

Non-sane roles should be avoided, as should misleading information inherent in the setup (e.g. setups that include investigation-altering roles). If such elements are included, players must be warned in advance that they may exist (e.g. by way of an open setup).
You've just excluded Godfathers from pure closed setups which is obviously a mistake. I think we can just add that Godfather's are acceptable in pure, it's really the only commonly played misleading role besides redirectors. Are unannounced redirectors acceptable in "pure"?

Also, If I say in the Set-up "Your role PM's may contain false information, you may have a completely different power or even win condition from what you are told." is that a standard or a bastard game? My setup statements are truthful and the game is designed to be fair and the roles that have false win conditions are designed to be just as likely to win as any other player.
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Re: Bastardry Standards [DRAFT]

Postby Misnomer » Thu Aug 16, 2012 10:58 am UTC

BoomFrog wrote:I like these broad definition but I think the line between pure and standard needs some clarity. ( I also suspect that we will see very few pure games outside of the vanilla queue but that's besides the point.)

Non-sane roles should be avoided, as should misleading information inherent in the setup (e.g. setups that include investigation-altering roles). If such elements are included, players must be warned in advance that they may exist (e.g. by way of an open setup).
You've just excluded Godfathers from pure closed setups which is obviously a mistake. I think we can just add that Godfather's are acceptable in pure, it's really the only commonly played misleading role besides redirectors. Are unannounced redirectors acceptable in "pure"?
Ah, but that's the trouble isn't it? If you want to make an exception for the Godfather, why not the insane cop? I'd argue that the latter was personally more common here than the former. If we're going to have a pure designation, it can't just be full of exceptions for roles people like. I''d say that in a closed/semi-closed pure game, cops should at the very least be warned that there are roles out there which might lead their investigations to return a false result. As for redirectors, I would say that their possibility would need to be announced.

Also, If I say in the Set-up "Your role PM's may contain false information, you may have a completely different power or even win condition from what you are told." is that a standard or a bastard game? My setup statements are truthful and the game is designed to be fair and the roles that have false win conditions are designed to be just as likely to win as any other player.
I'd say Bastard, as false win conditions are incredibly difficult to balance (even if it seems fair on paper, you've no idea how a player is likely to judge what their true win condition might be). Plus, it strikes me that such a setup would involve a lot of clear mod lying - even with a warning, lies are still lies.
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Re: Bastardry Standards [DRAFT]

Postby Krong » Fri Aug 17, 2012 2:38 am UTC

I like the revised guidelines much better, but I don't have a problem with investigation-altering roles in a pure setup. It is perfectly possible for a mod to include these without having to lie to a player.

Say Misnomer cops Lataro, who is scum. Misnomer is actually insane. When I, the mod, tell Misnomer his result, this:
Krong wrote:Lataro is TOWN.

is a lie, while this:
Krong wrote:You copped Lataro and got a result of TOWN.

is not.

Same kind of thing goes for other non-sane roles -- just say "Confirmed" in response to their action rather than "X will have Y happen to them" or whatever. (Though I personally think non-sane non-cop roles are too bastardy to be in a "Pure" game.)
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Re: Bastardry Standards [DRAFT]

Postby BoomFrog » Sat Aug 18, 2012 3:20 am UTC

Ah, but that's the trouble isn't it? If you want to make an exception for the Godfather, why not the insane cop? I'd argue that the latter was personally more common here than the former. If we're going to have a pure designation, it can't just be full of exceptions for roles people like. I''d say that in a closed/semi-closed pure game, cops should at the very least be warned that there are roles out there which might lead their investigations to return a false result. As for redirectors, I would say that their possibility would need to be announced.
I this the pure definition is useless if it is excluding many popular vanilla setups. First of all is there anyone here who would prefer to play a "pure" game over a "Standard" game except for the case of a vanilla game to introduce noobs? Is there demand for this category?

I would be happy with a short list of exceptions. "All roles should have a reliable result with the following exceptions. Redirectors, busdrivers, Roleblockers (including variants like Jailkeeper), Godfathers, Millers and unknown sanity cops are allowed."

That said I don't care about pure very much because I wouldn't play a pure game except to help fill out a noob game. I'm happy with the Standard-Bastard-Category "D" continuum.
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Re: Bastardry Standards [DRAFT]

Postby UniqueScreenname » Sat Aug 18, 2012 3:41 am UTC

Snark wrote:Move these 2 from C to D, I think:
Roles in which it is impossible to win as
Roles in which the ‘win’ is determined by the mod e.g. mod’s bastard child


Other than that, looks rather reasonable.

Also, "Letting UniqueSscreenname into a game" belongs in section D.

Good thing I only have one S in my name. Also, Snark-modded games are by definition category D.
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Re: Bastardry Standards [DRAFT]

Postby Adam H » Wed Aug 22, 2012 3:24 pm UTC

BoomFrog wrote:You've just excluded Godfathers from pure closed setups which is obviously a mistake. I think we can just add that Godfather's are acceptable in pure, it's really the only commonly played misleading role besides redirectors. Are unannounced redirectors acceptable in "pure"?

I'm OK with limiting Pure games to 1) complex open setups, 2) extremely simple closed setups, and 3) semi-complex semi-open setups. A closed setup with a sane cop, an insane cop, a naive miller, a godfather, and 8 redirectors should not be considered a pure game.

Two games going on right now are Pure: Twin Trap and High Ropes. Other recent games are all the vanilla ones, wam's corporate, sailor moon, maybe others (gladiator pit? )... So yeah I think there's a demand for them.

Remember:
Misnomer wrote:If such elements are included, players must be warned in advance that they may exist

So in a pure closed setup, include a list in the OP of which roles might be in the game.
-Adam

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Re: Bastardry Standards [DRAFT]

Postby BoomFrog » Thu Aug 23, 2012 3:03 am UTC

AdamH, you have satisfied me like no other.
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Re: Bastardry Standards [DRAFT]

Postby wam » Thu Aug 23, 2012 10:43 am UTC

Yeah the guidelines look good to me.
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Re: Bastardry Standards [DRAFT]

Postby Adam H » Thu Aug 23, 2012 1:36 pm UTC

BoomFrog wrote:AdamH, you have satisfied me like no other.
Heh, you keep saying this! ;)
-Adam

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Re: Bastardry Standards [DRAFT]

Postby Adam H » Mon Aug 27, 2012 9:50 pm UTC

Picking roles for specific players (without telling players a la PyP) is bastardry, right?

What about having a setup where noobs are more likely to receive one set of roles and pros are more likely to receive another set of roles?

I assume that if you tell players that you did this it would be non-bastard, but if you did it without warning it would be bastard?
-Adam


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