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[WIP] General Guidelines for W3D Forum Game Moderators

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:soviet: General Guidelines for W3D Forum Game Moderators :allied:

As requested, I'm starting a GGWGM thread, which will hopefully guide players and future game moderators on the W3D board. You can also use it as a main Game Forum thread to ask questions, post suggestions, seek guidance or announce forum game related topics in W3D community.

Feel free to reply directly in this thread if you require guidance, or if you have a suggestion. This post will be edited periodically once there is an update. It will also serve as a place to organize larger games, in case more community players want to host one at the same time. Please note that this thread is still Work In Progress [WIP]

If there already is a game going, don't start a new game. Either announce it here at least a week in advance, or if there are no other games scheduled and/or announced, you are free to start a new interest thread for your game. It's better to ask players before actually making your game, since you can't tell if players will be available or willing to play your game. Good GM (game moderator) etiquette is to push off making a sign-up thread as long as possible if there's an ongoing game, and to never start your game until the current one ends.

Don't ask players privately, it's better to come up publicly to get more attention and awareness. If you only want to discuss new game mechanics privately, that's fine though but you still have to reveal it publicly if you want to host it. Any forum game that is hosted here should follow these guidelines, to make sure that games are not spoiled or train-wrecked. If you're not sure or don't want to follow certain guideline, that's OK, but make a suggestion first so we can discuss it before something making exception. In case of dispute, forum moderators have a final say. Let's work together to make every forum game as much fun and fair as possible!

:soviet: Basic Game Creation Guidelines :allied:

This section is mainly for new game moderators who seek advice how exactly start a forum game. Since there are multiple approaches and a lot of things to look into, this part will be updated once in a while to include thoughts of other GMs as well observations from other games that took place.

Before you start creating the game:

  1. Make sure you have an idea of what you're doing. If you just want to make a game but you don't have any clear idea or inspiration, then you risk making something either unoriginal, not entertaining enough or just plain stupid. Try to come up with something of your own, since nobody likes to play same type of game all the time.
  2. Try to establish basic things first: What type of game? What flavor? Do you want to make a classic mafia style of game or do you want to make something special? RPG perhaps? Competitive or Cooperative? In what kind of setting? Is it going to be based on something? If you're not sure about this, try asking others whether it would be a good idea. Don't try to make something complicated if you don't have experience. It could turn against you or become overwhelming. Once you have this figured out, you can move on thinking about details.
  3. If you already know what type of game you want to do and in which universe, you are good to go designing the actual game. This is the harder part as from now on, you need to make a lot of predictions, thinking and analysis. If you attempted to make a game before, you probably don't like this part as much as dreaming about the game in general. But it can also be fun if you "play" your own game and work on the details from players' perspective. The most important detail here is to establish for How Many and for How Long the game should be played. To determine that, you either need to do a research first about the demand, or, you can assume based on previous game. Don't expect that everyone will rush to play your game when you want, so you should consider that it might be less players, but if more players will be available it can be also more (up to 25% of the active community base can join or not join). So don't start designing games with more players than is actually available. Depending on the number of players, you can tell how long the game will last (e.g. in case of standard mafia setup with periodical player elimination and game phases, you can calculate how long a game can last). It's good to have all kind of scenarios prepared and determine the maximum and minimum. If the game seems to last longer than expected, you can modify the game later on (decreasing game phases, adding extra player elimination mechanic, etc). It's always good to check this step again and again whenever you modify your game concept, otherwise you may risk that the game can too early or drag on forever.
  4. In this step you should validate all the above 3 steps by actually asking players what they think about it. It is necessary to ask for demand, so you know if it's worth creating and hosting your game. You may even discover new concepts based on player feedback! If your concept doesn't get a proper recognition, there are always ways to improve it or push it along with other ideas. Ideas never die, they just evolve (or in worst case, recycle), so don't worry much if something doesn't go right on the first time. For example I never thought one of my most basic concepts will get evolved that much few years later! So if you haven't made a public post about your game yet, now should be a good time to do so, otherwise you won't know if it's even worth doing it!
  5. In this final step, when you already know what you want to host and what players want to play, you only need to determine When to start. Based on a game setup, prepare that as a GM you need to invest a lot of time into your game. Not just making it, but also hosting it. Make sure you don't have any major life events, trips, family vacations, or work related stuff during the period you'll host the game. Otherwise all your work will be in vain. So in short, if you know you'll be or may be busy, make sure you have time first. If you feel there might be something but you're not sure, you can always ask for a backup moderator to make announcer posts and resolutions while you're gone. Once you're sure about timing, ask players the same (preferably already in the game thread and see who can play when).

Making the game [WIP]

There are numerous ways how to make a game. I'll keep this section open as there is a LOT to say. I'll also explain my way of doing games in detail when I get time.

There are some handy template setups for newer GMs. These setups are called Micro Setups and fit anywhere from 5-9 players. There are also Mini and Large setups to choose from here, and several standard roles to use when building custom setups. Roles can of course be adapted and modified for flavor setups and/or more complex setups.

Starting the game:

  1. Check Timing! Check if no other game is colliding with your scheduled game. If there is a game being played, it's best to start your game after it's finished. Not only you can get more players to play but you can also get more players to know you're about to host a game of your own. Some players already do preparations while other game is being played, which could be a good idea, unless it's disrupting the currently played game.
  2. Make a game thread! Don't start the game unless you have proper player feedback already (check previous points if you skipped!). To do that, make a interest thread, where you describe your game in much detail as possible. Make sure players understand the basics of the game and their rules. You can copy a general set of rules from this thread (once they are finalized), or you can make your own. Make sure the game is understandable, clear and fair. You are not required to reveal everything (save the best for the last they say), but don't try to hide very important details. Sometimes it's hard to determine what is and isn't suitable to reveal. You can determine it by the answering the following questions: Does it concern all players, do all players need to know? Will there be a major confusion if this is not explained properly? Will revealing this info won't disadvantage any other player or faction in your game? Are there no other benefits or game balance reasons hindering you revealing this? If all the answers were Yes, please do reveal it. You can do the same visa versa for things that might be better hidden from public.You also don't have to reveal all your know-how or things you don't see appropriate. Besides the rules, games mechanics and introduction, make room for player information, flavor text, additional general behavioral guidelines, etc. I'll make a general template for you if you wish [WIP].
  3. Sign up phase - see how many players are signed and willing to play. Make sure everyone knows when your game starts or for how many players are looking for, this is the most important thing basically. Once you have enough players, you are clear to start the game unless there are some major objections. Don't wait too long for players to sign up, if you don't get enough players by at least two weeks, then you might start rethinking about making a smaller version of your concept. You may need to start all over as well as balance can break easily without some key roles.
  4. As a GM, please ensure your Hammer Times are planned timely. Usually the time when you start the game will also determine the hammer time. Pay attention to who has signed up for your game and what time zones they're all close to. For instance, my RA: APB Mafia Games have a standard 10 PM UTC/GMT (0 AM CET/6 PM EDT) hammer time. Please note that American players usually have a 9-5 work schedule and so anything after the 6pm EDT matches up nicely, but don't make it too late otherwise EU players won't be able to attend.
  5. Before starting the game, make sure you have all role information prepared for all players. PM each and every one a PM and please double check all the contains at least three times to make sure somebody doesn't get too much info, or too less, or in worst case, somebody else role! Make sure you setup the google docs properly and set the viewing/editing permissions to players who should have access in the first place. Here's how you do it:
    Open a file in Google Docs, or create a new document.
    In the top right corner, click Share.
    Under "People" in the "Share with others" box, type the email address of the person or Google Group you want to share with. Tip: Search for contacts by typing a name in the box. Ask players to provide you a valid email address in PM. Alternatively they can ask for permission once they click on the doc link that you see on the sharing window.
    To choose if a person can view, comment, or edit the file, click the Down arrow next to the text box .
    Click Done. The people you shared with will get an email letting them know you've shared a file.
  6. Make sure you have a tracker to track player actions, votes and general info you need in order to run the game. You can either create a sheet on google docs or create your own file, but make sure it's on safe place and you make backups of it.

 

:soviet: Forum Game Rules Guidelines :allied:

General Forum Game Organization Rules:

  1. A Forum Game should only be hosted inside the Forum Games Section. A new GM may be asked to review his/her game plan by an experienced GM. This rule should assure that the forum game quality is somehow consistent, playable and can be finished without any issues in adequate time. The end goal is to keep a routine flow of forum games so everyone who wants to host can host, and everyone who wants to play can play.
  2. If you want to host a game a month or so in the future, please register it here first and the GGWGM thread will be updated. You can use this template. There are exceptions in case the game doesn't involve players to sign up, such as running games with words that do not need a GM and don't have particular an ending goal.
  3. Don't register multiple games at once and wait until games in queue are finished. If a game is not hosted/played, the next one in queue is asked to post a signup thread. Any game that is hosted outside of the queue system, it will be reported and viewed by another GM or Forum moderator first. If the issue isn't resolved or there is a further dispute regarding hosting games, it will be resolved by staff member(s) in forum moderation area (aka not public). Until then all games will be on hold.
  4. Every GM is responsible for his/her game, setting up rules, roles and game mechanics. That also involves moderating that particular game and also punishing current active players (setting up penalties in that game or in worst cases also bans from his/her game). GMs can and are encouraged to ask for a Moderator assigned to help with moderating, or, they can be assigned temporary moderation permissions for the duration of the game. The current GM always has the last word when it comes to resolving issues between players.
  5. If the a GM is hosting a game alone and doesn't ask anyone else to assist, please DO NOT get involved in moderating/policing his/her game without permission. Any disputes should be brought up first with the GM, and if that doesn't help, with senior staff member.
  6. Disrupting games (for whatever reason) is considered an offense and can result to a temporary ban, demotion or permanent ban from forum games section. As a GM you should report this offense to active staff members in forum moderation area (or by the report post system) first and postpone the game until it is resolved.
  7. Active players should not be involved in resolving any disputes in the current game or outside of the game in Forum Game section, unless they are part of the Staff that was assigned to handle the issue.
  8. In case the current GM goes inactive for a longer period of time (e.g. more than a week) and leaves the game unattended, without assigned co-mod, the game will be suspended and next game in queue can be hosted. If the inactive GM returns and the new game is already running, the game will be postponed until the new one is over.
  9. If the game takes too long to finish (without being announced in the first place), active players can vote wherever they want to continue or end the game. Voting is recommended before announcing to leave the game or making other statements that could disrupt the game. The current GM can also suggest to shorten the game on the go if majority of  current active players agree to it. If majority of current active players vote to end the game instead, the next game in queue can be hosted. Please note that this rule can only apply if the game is taking longer than a month from start and wasn't announced to last as long in the first place.
  10. We are all here to have fun in the first place, not dedicate time for personal disputes or over-competitiveness that is hurting the community. Hence for all other disputes/issues that cannot be resolved by the current GM, a Forum Game Staff should be assigned to be resolved. If there is no current Forum Game Staff assigned/available, a senior staff member(s) will be assigned to resolve it. Please try to keep all disputes under control, outside of public and in professional matter.

General Mafia Rules:

Short version for GMs to put in their games to remind players what are the common sense rules:

  • Try being as active as you can, report any long term absence to the GM. Unreported Inactivity can be punished by the GM.
  • Await your Role PMs before the game starts, if you have any questions regarding your role, let the GM know before the game starts via PM only. Don't discuss your role in public.
  • Do NOT edit your game related posts during the game. If you want to make a correction, always post a second post saying "Mafia Edit:".
  • If there is an action to be resolved by the GM other than normal mafia vote (such as ##shoot), please do not do any other actions and wait until it's resolved. Discussion can be permitted also if GM announces it in such a case.
  • Please be civil! No spamming or swearing. It's just a game. Let's have fun!
  • If you are not in the game, please DO NOT post game related stuff in chat!
  • DO NOT discuss the game outside of the thread unless you are specifically given permission by GM.
  • DO NOT quote private mod communications.
  • DO NOT attempt to break the game. No trying to get people to make toxx clauses, encryption, or fake day actions. Basically, if you're about to post something you're a little too proud of as a way of breaking the game, think twice before posting.

Long version:

http://mafiawiki.notesmash.org/wiki/Standard_mafia_rules

:soviet: Templates and References :allied:

Choose Your Own Role - Order of Action Resolution Guide

Choose Your Own Role - Basic Tracker Template

 

:soviet: Future Planned Games :allied:

Game name: Halloween CYOR Mafia

  • GM: Retaliation
  • Co-GM: N/A
  • Type: Flavored CYOR
  • Min. Players:  ~10
  • Date when game is ready: Mid Oct

 

 

 

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So this thread is for forum/teamspeak/irc games and not the launcher-installed ones right? The title confused me a bit, I thought it was a guideline for moderating game servers.

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I've updated the thread, fixed some grammar issues and added more info to some steps. I've added Jeod's bit too. As I'm starting to get sick while still working I'll be finishing this eventually.

 

 

So this thread is for forum/teamspeak/irc games and not the launcher-installed ones right? The title confused me a bit, I thought it was a guideline for moderating game servers.

 

I've changed the title too :)

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By the way, should I be able to find time to run a game, I'd like to ''reserve'' a spot for late July/Early August under the title of ''The July Crisis''.

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As per original ''reserve the spot'', I won't be able to run my game until the 21st of July at the earliest.

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This is the only thread that would have a wait list. It isn't consistently updated.

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Ok from now on if you want to have a game hosted, please register it here and I'll update the thread. That's how we did it on BHP back then when we have many games in queue. Simple rule is, don't register multiple games at once and wait until games in queue are finished. If a game is not hosted/played, the next one in queue is asked to post a signup thread.

 

Here's how you do it:

 

I'm planning to host another RA: APB Forum Mafia, here are the necessary details:

  • Game name: RA: APB Forum Mafia VI
  • GM: VERTi60
  • Co-GM: N/A
  • Type: Battle action RA:APB flavor Mafia
  • Min. Players: 10
  • Date when game is ready: asap

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I'm planning on going next, here are the details.

Game name:  Cuban Missile Crisis Mafia

GM:  OrangeP47

Co-GM:  N/A

Type:  Standard, closed setup

Min Players: 11

Date When game is ready:  Aprox. Oct 1st

 

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Ok registered. Since it's your first game host you might want to grab a comod as well or at least check the game setup with a mod.

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I absolutely would love to have someone look over my stuff. My only concern is that it's balanced for a large number of people, and showing anyone the setup would decrease the number of people we have available to play.

I guess if there's someone who's going to be busy or such and thus won't be able to play anyway, we could work something out, so they wouldn't need to worry about spoilers.

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So in case Kam's game won't start for another week, I'm prepared to run the next APB Mafia, (even with low pop so it's faster) before Orange can get his game checked and make ready for Oct.

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Soo...if another game isn't announced within 24 hours @VERTi60 @OrangeP47, I'm gonna launch sign-ups for my game (first time GMing so we'll see how it goes). The theme of my game will be CYOR Monster Mash edition, in the spirit of Halloween. Essentially Town are villains from any horror film - Vampire, Zombie, Witch, Killer Clown, etc... Mafia will be the badass heroes who'll try to survive and kill them. TP and Neutral might be available. If you don't have a specific character in mind, tell me what kind of race, role, or alignment you'd prefer. When choosing your character, please keep in mind that they must be from a horror film (any kind), so a character like Alucard would not be applicable, while Dracula would be. Game start would be October 29th, most likely.

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Guys after the latest discussion with moderators we have come up with some basic guidelines for moderators and players. Please review it in the OP:

On 12/27/2016 at 10:17 PM, VERTi60 said:

General Forum Game Organization Rules:

  1. A Forum Game can only be hosted inside the Forum Game Section by a senior GM (a person who moderated at least three games in past without a major incident, or a staff member with previous game hosting experience). A non senior GM or new GM will be asked to review his/her game by another senior GM first and/or have the game co-moderated before allowing to host it. This rule should assure that the forum game quality is somehow consistent, playable and can be finished without any issues in adequate time.
  2. If you want to have a game hosted, please register it here first and the GGWGM thread will be updated. You can use this template. If you are a not a senior GM, please talk to one first who can vouch for you and help you with your game setup first before registering. There are exceptions in case the game doesn't involve players to sign up, such as running games with words that do not need a GM and don't have particular an ending goal. Senior Staff and/or assigned Forum Game Staff can call these exceptions or issue a permit if necessary.
  3. Don't register multiple games at once and wait until games in queue are finished. If a game is not hosted/played, the next one in queue is asked to post a signup thread. Any game that is hosted outside of the queue system, it will be reported and viewed by another senior GM or Forum moderator first. If the issue isn't resolved or there is a further dispute regarding hosting games, it will be resolved by staff member(s) in forum moderation area (aka not public). Until then all games will be on hold.
  4. Every GM is responsible for his/her game, setting up rules, roles and game mechanics. That also involves moderation that particular game and also punishing current active players (setting up penalties in that game or in worst cases also bans from his/her game). Non senior GMs can ask for a Moderator assigned to help with moderating, or, they can be assigned temporary moderation permissions for the duration of the game. The current GM always have the last word when it comes to resolving issues between players.
  5. If the current senior GM is hosting a game alone and doesn't ask anyone else to assist, please DO NOT get involved in moderating/policing his/her game without permission. Any disputes should be brought up first with the GM, and if that doesn't help, with senior staff member.
  6. Disrupting games (for whatever reason) is considered as offense and can result to a temporary ban, demotion or permanent ban from forum games section. As a GM you should report this offense to active staff members in forum moderation area (or by the report post system) first and postpone the game until it is resolved.
  7. Active players should not be involved in resolving any disputes in the current game or outside of the game in Forum Game section, unless they are part of the Staff that was assigned to handle the issue.
  8. In case the current GM goes inactive for a longer period of time (e.g. more than a week) and leaves the game unattended, without assigned co-mod, the game will be suspended and next game in queue can be hosted. If the inactive GM returns and the new game is already running, the game will be postponed until the new one is over.
  9. If the game takes too long to finish (without being announced in the first place), active players can vote wherever they want to continue or end the game. Voting is recommended before announcing to leave the game or making other statements that could disrupt the game. The current GM can also suggest to shorten the game on the go if majority of  current active players agree to it. If majority of current active players vote to end the game instead, the next game in queue can be hosted. Please note that this rule can only apply if the game is taking longer than a month from start and wasn't announced to last as long in the first place.
  10. We are all here to have fun in the first place, not dedicate time for personal disputes or over-competitiveness that is hurting the community. Hence for all other disputes/issues that cannot be resolved by the current GM, a Forum Game Staff should be assigned to be resolved. If there is no current Forum Game Staff assigned/available, a senior staff member(s) will be assigned to resolve it. Please try to keep all disputes under control, outside of public and in professional matter. (subject to change once we get a new protocol in place)

 

 

General Mafia Rules:

 

Short version for GMs to put in their games to remind players what are the common sense rules:

  • Try being as active as you can, report any long term absence to the GM. Unreported Inactivity can be punished by the GM.
  • Await your Role PMs before the game starts, if you have any questions regarding your role, let the GM know before the game starts via PM only. Don't discuss your role in public.
  • Do NOT edit your game related posts during the game. If you want to make a correction, always post a second post saying "Mafia Edit:".
  • If there is an action to be resolved by the GM other than normal mafia vote (such as ##shoot), please do not do any other actions and wait until it's resolved. Discussion can be permitted also if GM announces it in such a case.
  • Please be civil! No spamming or swearing. It's just a game. Let's have fun!
  • If you are not in the game, please DO NOT post game related stuff in chat!
  • DO NOT discuss the game outside of the thread unless you are specifically given permission by GM.
  • DO NOT quote private mod communications.
  • DO NOT attempt to break the game. No trying to get people to make toxx clauses, encryption, or fake day actions. Basically, if you're about to post something you're a little too proud of as a way of breaking the game, think twice before posting.
     

 

Long version:

http://mafiawiki.notesmash.org/wiki/Standard_mafia_rules

There might be later adjustments to improve the system, maybe a whole class rework. But please read it first before registering/playing games. Remember we put these new GM player policies here in hope to help both GMs and players so that everyone's happy: New GMs will have a guaranteed help and with a vouch of senior GM they can get more players while players are ensured that the game is "safe" to play.

@TheIrishmanI have registered your game, but you should wait until mine and Orange's game are over. @OrangeP47 btw if you want to start your game you can go ahead since it's already mid Oct, but let me know if the setup was reviewed by someone first. If you want to uphold your game please let us know so we can arrange.

Depending on Orange I will decide if I re-host the APB Mafia as Forum game or Chat game so that Irish can host his game. But same goes to you @TheIrishman, your setup must be viewed by one of the senior GMs first.

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Well, it's a CYOR, so there isn't really a setup until the characters are sent. Using what people request is how I'd determine the roles/abilities. I'd have 5 days of sign-up and 2 days to create the setup. And I'm only pushing my game because there's been too much silence on the Mafia front (roughly 10 days of zero posts), so I wanted to give people something to play. If you two want to do your games instead, please go ahead.

Edited by TheIrishman

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Yea CYORS are tricky, but you must have at least an idea of a setup, or rules how the roles will be made. You can see that after last CYOR there were made adjustments how role requests are handled, similar to custom roles in my APB game too. Another wild CYOR is something I don't really want to see happening.

I'll give @OrangeP473 days to respond and we'll see next week who's gonna host what.

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Hm...I'm unsure about how to create rules around how roles will be made since I planned to make them according to the character's abilities, i.e. Michael Myers (from the Halloween series) could be a Tracker with 1 time Night Bulletproof. I think the best I could offer is to have my co-host review my setup after it's made to see if it needs any tweaking. As for setup, I know what I'll most likely do for Mafia, Town, TP, and N count according to how many players sign up, but it'd change depending how many players sign up. And whether there'd be TP or N could change depending on the characters requested and the abilities requested.

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5 minutes ago, TheIrishman said:

Hm...I'm unsure about how to create rules around how roles will be made since I planned to make them according to the character's abilities, i.e. Michael Myers (from the Halloween series) could be a Tracker with 1 time Night Bulletproof. I think the best I could offer is to have my co-host review my setup after it's made to see if it needs any tweaking. As for setup, I know what I'll most likely do for Mafia, Town, TP, and N count according to how many players sign up, but it'd change depending how many players sign up. And whether there'd be TP or N could change depending on the characters requested and the abilities requested.

You can either choose mafia roles before players request them and then simply align them with flavor. You can thus create a few setups before hand.

Or you can decide which roles will be in game before hand too or make some sort of rules how the roles will be made, what is allowed to request, etc.

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The only thing I got right now is an idea of "no more than X amount of [blank] role" since there may be multiple characters who are good at something, let's use Tracking as an example. But even that number can vary depending on how many people sign up. I do have a few roles that are guaranteed to be in the game, but no more than 4.

Edited by TheIrishman

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9 hours ago, TheIrishman said:

The only thing I got right now is an idea of "no more than X amount of [blank] role" since there may be multiple characters who are good at something, let's use Tracking as an example. But even that number can vary depending on how many people sign up. I do have a few roles that are guaranteed to be in the game, but no more than 4.

That's actually good start, I also use that sort of system. I put a maximum of this role and this role before the game is announced - you can also see it in the role sheet I put up.

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We can push my game back.  The thing is, it requires a lot of players, and I can't really reduce it to require less without losing some core mechanics.  Having it reviewed, while something I think will benefit it greatly, further cuts down on our active player base.  Therefore, it might be better to run it at a time when more people are available, such as December (if I predict right?).

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38 minutes ago, OrangeP47 said:

We can push my game back.  The thing is, it requires a lot of players, and I can't really reduce it to require less without losing some core mechanics.  Having it reviewed, while something I think will benefit it greatly, further cuts down on our active player base.  Therefore, it might be better to run it at a time when more people are available, such as December (if I predict right?).

You shouldn't think that reviewing the game will automatically mean that you'll get -1 players. If a senior GM says that your game looks good and will be fun it will make more players to join it in the end.

Anyway always balance the games around number 10 (+-2 players). I don't think we can 100% guarantee that we'll have more players available during Dec.

@TheIrishmanyou can put a signup thread next week, see how many players will join and what they request. I'm gonna host a chat version most likely before moving back to forum version.

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Another way to deal with the possibility of losing a potential player by revealing the setup is to design the game as an open setup game, where everyone will know the details anyway.

If you can't do that for this game, another option is to run a different game entirely until you've earned enough GM cred to run the game as designed.

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On 10/21/2017 at 8:07 PM, OrangeP47 said:

We can push my game back.  The thing is, it requires a lot of players, and I can't really reduce it to require less without losing some core mechanics.  Having it reviewed, while something I think will benefit it greatly, further cuts down on our active player base.  Therefore, it might be better to run it at a time when more people are available, such as December (if I predict right?).

If you mean me, I’m out till January by staff ruling, and even after that I wouldn’t host or play a thing here. It’s too restricted now.

On 10/21/2017 at 10:26 PM, Category 5 Hurricane said:

Another way to deal with the possibility of losing a potential player by revealing the setup is to design the game as an open setup game, where everyone will know the details anyway.

If you can't do that for this game, another option is to run a different game entirely until you've earned enough GM cred to run the game as designed.

The sweet, sweet irony (directed at Verti60); watch him hide this post :)

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I find open setup to be too boring and restricting. It makes things too difficult for scum/TP since it limits their ability to lie, in turn making it easier for town. This is a CYOR where wackiness and the unexpected are certain to be all around. I want surprises and maybe even a few scares. Being uncertain of those around you and figuring it all out are some of the best parts of Mafia.

Although this might not be a favorable suggestion, instead of having Vert, Nod, or Cat5 review the game setup, would Jeod still count? He's very familiar with CYOR type games, has the general experience, and won't subtract from our player count.

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Open setup games have their own uses. For example, Steins;Gate was a mostly-open setup. The majority of the game setup was open, as long as you could get your head around how it worked. The only rules hidden were limited to lab leadership and the time machine.

Open setups can even be designed to include more possible roles than actually exist. For example, the game I just played in at MU was a matrix game. It was technically open setup, but you didn't know which setup on the matrix was the one being used. Only mafia knew for sure which one it was.

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Fair, but it still limits Mafia's ability to lie. And certain games can work splendidly with open setups, like yours, but I just don't see it for a CYOR.

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