Thursday, February 02, 2017

Town Meeting

Opening a general discussion post, since things are getting oddly quiet for a secret-information social-deduction dynasty. What next for Zahndorf, Villagers? How are we all feeling? What concerns and hopes and dreams do you have today?



02-02-2017 14:00:49 UTC

I think that precisely because this is a secret-information game, it’s in our best interest to not give out anything too significant about ourselves. This is how I’m seeing things:

Doing nothing is also the most effort-efficient way of playing (basically a sort of “defensive stance”) versus playing aggressively which would likely require trying to bait/fish some kind of reciprocation with your interaction, but if you just do the “do nothing” thing, then you can just avoid/defend yourself against that, plus now you’ve got the advantage of the attacker having kind of “exposed” himself with the attack, which is more information for you. You could try to “confusion fu” people too and lie and whatnot, but then that plays into a grander meta than this dynasty, which is your reputation as a person, and I don’t think people are too willing to wager that lightly, especially versus the “do nothing” move which is way less risky.

So the meta just stabilizes into doing nothing.


02-02-2017 14:02:34 UTC

(Doing nothing in the social-deduction-intrigue context)


02-02-2017 14:25:57 UTC

Oh, you can do and say plenty without giving away anything about yourself. Nomic is particularly interesting as a secret-information game, because you can force your opponents to reveal their secrets in their voting (or to bluff, but at a cost to themselves) - I won the Assassin dynasty a few years ago partly by seeing who would vote against a particular proposal and then acting on that information.

Interesting that you assume people won’t lie. I know at least one player has committed to never lying in BlogNomic because players wouldn’t trust them in future rounds. Maybe it’s always worth having an explicit “players in faction X are encouraged to lie about being in that faction” rule.


02-02-2017 15:45:32 UTC

Well, yeah, that definitely works, but in a situation where you have a target cornered (If they don’t vote to prevent something, some detrimental thing will happen, if they do vote, they’re giving information, thus something detrimental will happen anyway). I think that moves like that are mainly feasible only as a winning move, because then you don’t have to live with the consequences of selling yourself through making an aggressive play like that.

Overall, yeah, doable, but not something I see happening often and becoming the cornerstone of gameplay until there’s something non-player based that enforces change that can easily be used to corner others (such as the lynching rounds in mafia/werewolf games, or your (Kevan’s) Proposals. But in the case of your proposals, theres hardly a way to make a play based on it because its neigh impredictable what you will suggest and to plan/make a move based on that, if its even usable for a play at all.)

As for votes, you can also just choose to not vote or DEF, or play dumb and vote against or in favor because of a subjective reason (you like/dislike the guy). So unless you’ve pinned someone or a situation real good to corner them, its really hard to make an effective aggressive play.


02-02-2017 15:52:03 UTC

Basically, we need a more frequent and powerful neutral source of change (such as lynching rounds in Mafia/Werefolf games) for a game like this to work effectively imo.


02-02-2017 16:06:45 UTC

Lynching in Mafia isn’t neutral, though, it always starts with one player suggesting a target.

I’d say that proposals were a much less consequential game action than anything else, because they can be thrown out quite casually, can be retracted, and always require a quorum of support. If you make an aggressive “evict player X from the village” proposal and it gets enough support, you’re now part of a majority, and can continue to exploit that. If the proposal fails, player X is probably the only player who’ll bear a grudge. (And I don’t think that’s the kind of grudge that would carry over to the next dynasty, any more than someone would carry a grudge between chess matches - it’s a matter of basic game mechanics rather than conversational lying.)

A perfectly good Nomic strategy is to keep making inoffensive proposals which are of slight benefit to yourself and to only about half of your opponents, rotating the latter subset each time. If you angle that against other player’s suspected secrets, you can put them in the position of either voting for something that slightly penalises them, or betraying their secret. It doesn’t have to be a big endgame showdown, it just has to help you slightly along the way.


02-02-2017 16:35:52 UTC

Well, yeah, that’s true but the lynching itself is triggered by a neutral source. The event of a lynching needing to happen isn’t player-motivated, its part of the rhythm of the game such as a timer on a football match instead of an actual player action (such as attemping to make a goal within the timer’s time or feinting a broken leg).

It’s basically “forced” change. Without it, it’s just best to “hoard” information and ensure your survivability because of how effective that can counter making aggressive plays.

The grudge thing is a difficult one though. You can say “lol, I’ve brought in all of these players to out-vote everyone and win, and it’s perfectly legal and you should suck it up because its _part of the game_” too. Where do you draw the line?. I don’t think everyone here is familiar with everyone else to know what their own code of behaviour and morals are, so they don’t know what will piss people off to a degree that will earn them penalties beyond the “game” that exists in a dynasty.

So out of respect, I don’t think people will attempt to pull these kind of attacks against people. (At least, not enough to make it a mechanic which drives a dynasty forwards).

That’s why the nuetral change-forcer needs to be a thing. Once that’s in place, it becomes explicitly a part of the game and not a “lol suck it up boi” kind of thing. Of course, what you do with that power is subject to the same toxicity but since it has been lowered to actual game text, it feels less grim and more respectful.


02-02-2017 20:36:01 UTC

It does seem to me too difficult to figure out what does what. Even in a best case scenario where you take one ingredient and then hide out at home to see what symptoms you get without anyone applying ingredients to you, it would take almost 2 weeks to have reasonable confidence in what it does.

I’d share information but I have very little.


02-02-2017 21:52:21 UTC

I’m miserably happy thanks.


02-02-2017 22:39:35 UTC

Maybe it’s taken more as a grind dynasty? With the information being wealth. Trust is necesary for commerce and given how easy it is to get away with a lie (2 weeks to confirm it), then there is just no good motivation for collaborative player interaction either?

So its just a fairly solitary grind.


02-02-2017 22:44:33 UTC

Bring on some information revealing proposals then…


02-02-2017 22:54:58 UTC

I would but I’m idling to keep myself from getting Black Death’d


02-02-2017 22:57:38 UTC

Well well well :)


02-02-2017 23:18:45 UTC

Yeah. Also, all of my arguments could be moot and its just that people aren’t motivated to go through the effort needed to do dig through the GNDT history and do the Sympthom Sudoku and other calculations.

Maybe a .csv export function of the GNDT could be made? To make analysis easier.