On the topic of shareability of lists and how the rules should incentivise I've come up with this:
Every Civilian gets a list. In previous rounds those lists contained information regarding both Detective and Spy. There was an incentive to keep your lists to yourself, so as to protect the Detective, but at the same time publishing the list would help identify the Spy. Whether the lists definitely contain Detective and Spy or they do so with a greater probability than other roles, we've agreed that, despite the incentives I've mentioned, it won't work if players are free to share their lists publicly.
As Togop pointed out, if every Civilian makes their actual list public everyone will be able to count how often each player appears, which'll give them two players who are bound to be Detective and Spy. That would pretty much guarantee a Detective/Civilians win. It's doubtful that Informants and Spy pretending to have lists themselves will be able to seriously obstruct this kind of strategy, but even if they could, the game would become one of statistical analysis. I'd predict that most people would make their lists public and if you're voted depends on how often your name comes up. Aside from that every round would end very quickly as Detective and Spy will always be found early. I don't think that's how we want the game to play out.
The only way to prevent the innocent side from using this strategy to easily win is to have lists contain no indication as to the Spy's identity whatsoever. That's how they were generated for Round 4 if I remember correctly. The Detective was found on every list, but all other players, no matter if they were the Spy or not, appeared with the same probability. But, in my opinion, that's not ideal either. At no point during the game is any Civilian able to use his or her list to help find someone evil. The only thing they are able to do is narrow down the Detective, which, I suppose, is valuable information. There are players on your list you might be afraid are the Detective, so you decide not to vote them. Overall, however, I think this change had made lists far less important as they weren't really considered as much as in earlier rounds when making decisions over the course of the game.
As I see it, we can't have lists indicating the Spy's identity, and we can't have lists not indicating any evil role's identity either. So what I'm proposing is this:
We put Detective and Informants on the lists.
If Civilians decide to make all or many of their lists public, they wouldn't be able to identify the Spy, but only the Informants. As a result the Spy would learn the Detective's identity, so this doesn't seem like a very smart move. If you're playing for the innocent side keeping the Detective safe should trump identifying Informants, so I think my suggestion incentivises players to keep lists secret. Lists will help some Civilians narrow down possible Informants, who they might decide they should arrest. Also, their behaviour during the game - who they defended, for instance - might reveal possible Spy candidates. That way lists will still have a purpose, and players can still draw helpful conclusions from them, but making them public, at least in early stages of the game, would only hurt your own team.
There is one problem that I see, though. If the Detective dies or gets arrested the incentive to keep lists secret is immediately removed. That could potentially cause problems. For one thing, the Spy would have to very careful not to make up and post a list as his or her own that people might be able to tell is fake since other lists contradict it. I don't really like the idea of Spies and Informants losing because of something like that.
I'm not sure how exactly to do that. We could do something like 'either Detective or Informant(s)' similarly to how it was done in Rounds 1 through 3, but the question would be how to handle rounds in which there are multiple Informants. What we could also do is put Detective and Informants on every list. As of right now, I'm inclined to go with the more extreme latter option.
What do you guys think? Is that something we could try out and see how it goes?
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