ESPIONAGE: A brand new simple forum game! (Central Rules & Information Topic)

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Re: ESPIONAGE: A brand new simple forum game! (Central Rules & Information Topic)

Postby bash7353 » March 3rd, 2014, 2:44 pm

Since Spy and Informants have a different chance of making it onto someone's list they'll appear in different numbers. Those can be calculated and then if one knows all lists they could potentially spot that. Especially since only one Informant will be on each list, so there'll a three-way split or two-way split - depending on how many Informants are in - there as well that'll distinguish Spy from Informants.

What might solve this is saying the Spy and every Informant have the same chance of making it onto the list. We might have none of them, we might have all of them, but all with the same probability. Then we'd only be able to identify a group of, let's say, four players that we know consists of the Spy and the three Informants. We won't know who's who, though. I don't know if that'll be good enough.

We have to remember, and I've mentioned this before, that we won't only have real lists that would be made public. The Spy and the Informants will fake their own lists, won't they? That'll screw everything up and might successfully throw the Civilians off.
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Re: ESPIONAGE: A brand new simple forum game! (Central Rules & Information Topic)

Postby dumytru » March 3rd, 2014, 4:04 pm

Fujiwara wrote:First off, is it 45% for each informant (if there's more than 1), or 45% for any informant?
The problem with this option is that it's very similar to the orginal version, so the point of contention is: What happens when the detective is out of the game? At this point everyone can post their lists and for every list that doesn't contain the detective, we’ll know that it contains either the spy or the informant (or both).
So the probablilities P(spy) and P(informant) are actually quite a bit higher than 45% and 35% respectively on these lists, since the combined probability P(spy or informant) has to be 100%. In fact, even the base probabilities of 55/45/35 are not the actual probabilites, since the redraws to ensure at least one special role is on the list increases each of these probabilities. I’m not sure how to calculate the actual probabilities in this case – maybe someone else knows? If not I'll research the matter and get back to you later.



You're asking what's the probability that at least the Spy is on a given list that doesn't have the Detective on it? 35%
The probability of the Spy being on it is the same on every single list.
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Re: ESPIONAGE: A brand new simple forum game! (Central Rules & Information Topic)

Postby Jd- » March 4th, 2014, 12:01 am

Fujiwara wrote:Personally, I think this version could work out well. In the previous rounds, people were tempted to play bingo with their lists, as someone formulated it, and I don't think that's what the game should be all about. Without the lists to help us, we'll have to actually deduce the identity of the spy based on what people are saying as well as the spy's actions. The most important function of the lists will be that they can help us protect the detective: There's a higher chance of voting out the detective if we vote from the lists, so we should preferably vote for someone not on our list instead. Conversely, we'll get no hints about the spy's identity through voting, but the spy might be able to narrow down the potential detectives through the voting results.
One thing we should consider with this variation is that it gives the spy an advantage over before. If we also include the new ability 'assassinate,' the spy side might get so strong if there are too many informants - the 3 informants you mentioned sound like a quite a lot. Let's not forget that due to Conan-chandesune's early demise in round 2, we've never actually played a round with more than 1 informant, so if we suddenly get no real information through the votes, a new informant ability and 2 or more informants, it might not be very balanced either ... but, well, I guess testing these things out in practice should give us a good idea. :D

I think it's our best bet as well. It adds more emphasis on the civilians using analysis of trends within the game to find out who's wayward and who's really a civilian. All the same, the Spy/Informants still have to blend in and participate even with their new abilities/means of hiding.

With this, it should be fairly safe for all civilians to post lists at the end of the game or any time before (if they want the Detective dead, of course). I think the new function of lists will be: "This is my list of suspects, let's check them off as we go along as either innocent or not with the chance one of them is a special role player" instead of "I know there's a special role player, let's see which it is". To me, I think that adds a little more depth than before and could make for some very interesting confrontations later on between civilians and the evil side.

As for 3 Informants, I agree it's a lot (not just a lot in general but a lot for the Spy to coordinate). Depending on the size of the game, though, it may be necessary to even the odds. The way I originally planned it was:

1~6 Players: 1 Spy, 1 Detective, 0 Informants
7~12 Players: 1 Spy, 1 Detective, 1 Informant
13~18 Players: 1 Spy, 1 Detective, 2 Informants
18+ Players: 1 Spy, 1 Detective, 3 Informants

If we have a game of say, 20, that'd mean it'd be 1 Spy + 3 Informants for 4 evil players vs. 1 Detective + 15 Civilians for 16 good players. While 3 Informants sounds like a lot in theory, I think it may be key to giving the Spy side a better shot and will make hunting the Informants a little bit more interesting as the game progresses.

However, one thing to note: Now that Assassinate is in the game, we should make it that the Spy always needs two phases to escape (especially with 2+ Informants in the game too). The original rule was made when the Spy was the only player on their side, but now that that's been expanded, I think the old rule isn't very important anymore and two phases is more than fair.

If we do a quick simulation, we could have a round that goes like:

Prep: (Good=16, Bad=4)
Day 1: Spy Kills Civilian, Civilian Arrested (Good=14, Bad=4)
Day 2: Spy Kills Civilian, Civilian Arrested (Good=12, Bad=4)
Day 3: Spy Kills Civilian, Informant Arrested (Good=11, Bad=3)
Day 4: Spy Kills Civilian, No Arrest (Good=10, Bad=3)
Day 5: Spy Kills Civilian, Informant Arrested (Good=9, Bad=2)
Day 6: Spy Kills Civilian, Informants Kill Civilian, No Arrest (Good=7, Bad=2)
Day 7: Spy Kills Detective, No Arrest (Good=6, Bad=2)
Day 8: Spy Kills Civilian, Informant Arrested (Good=5, Bad=1)
Day 9: Spy Arrested, Civilians Win

In this example, we have a very high-kill, high-arrest sort of game and it could still go either way, I believe. I think it's worth trying, depending on the size of the next game, at least.
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Re: ESPIONAGE: A brand new simple forum game! (Central Rules & Information Topic)

Postby Togop » March 4th, 2014, 3:10 am

If we want to change the lists so that they'll help protect the detective (and idea I like), I propose another way to do it that's easier to balance.
1) First, for every civillian prepare a random list where every player appears with equal probability. The number of players/teams on the list should be about a fourth of the number of total players/teams. That way, each player has about 25% chance to appear on each list.
2) Replace some entries randomly so that the detective appears in about 65% of the lists.

The lists shouldn't contain info on the spy. Suppose they do. Then if we post all lists on prep phase, the detective will be found out, but we'll have three days to arrest the spy. The spy/infmant would post fake lists adding noise. However, they won't be able to organize befored ay 1. So if the spy appears on 3 or more lists than most civillians, we'd be able to deduce who that is (or at least limit to three suspects, assuming some statistical anomalies). If not, then the information on the spy wouldn't be statistically significant anyway, especially considering how much of the list info is lost when people die or get arrested.
So I think the list shouldn't have any information ont he spy at all. If they do, it'll have to be statistically iignificant, and will only cause arguments about math and statistics.
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Re: ESPIONAGE: A brand new simple forum game! (Central Rules & Information Topic)

Postby Jd- » March 4th, 2014, 4:24 am

You know, Togop is right. There is an argument to be made that having the Civilians set out to find the Detective as their primary goal is actually pretty interesting... That opens up an entirely new game that we've not touched on yet. No one would really know the Spy. They would know who the Detective is if they found them, but they'd have to rely on more than just their lists to find the Spy/Informants.

It's something to think about and completely removes any incentive to ever post the lists.

What about this: Every list is of 7-8 players, but the Detective is always on the list. The lists are shareable at any time if the civilians for some reason decide to do that. This gives the Civilians the ability to secretly protect the Detective (or who they suspect is the Detective). The Spy/Informants won't be discernible due to the fact they'll be appearing at random just like civilians. But, most importantly: This gives civilians a role that is similar to the Informants.

The only even possible weakness to this that I see is that civilians may somehow use "knowing who the Detective is" to confirm other civilians. However, given how the lists have played out in the past, I don't think this is in any real danger of every happening. I did just think of one more issue: What if some civilian takes it upon themselves to start posting their list and requests everyone else does the same? Once the Detective does die (in being sacrificed in this example), they go through and look for people who didn't have the Detective in their list. Of course, the Spy/Informants could just wait until several people have posted and work from there, making this a very dangerous and likely very futile strategy--especially when the Informants and Spies mess it up.

Additionally, this creates ambiguity when someone is protecting someone else. Are they protecting the Spy as an Informant, or are they protecting the Detective as a civilian?
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Re: ESPIONAGE: A brand new simple forum game! (Central Rules & Information Topic)

Postby Jd- » March 4th, 2014, 4:49 am

New List Proposal: Detective-Only Lists

With this proposal, all civilian lists will feature 7-8 players. One of those players listed will be the Detective. Unlike previous incarnations, the Spy will not be factored in to eligibility on a given list. What civilian players will know is that somewhere amongst their list is the Detective player. Lists will also be fully shareable in the game topic, if for some reason that is desirable. The Spy and any Informants would be included in lists just as a normal civilian would be, with no special treatment or consideration given as a result of them being a non-Detective role.

This change makes it so that civilians' primary goal in a game is to ensure that the Detective stays alive while they search for the Spy. However, they are advised to be careful in what information they share from their lists--after all, the Spy and their Informants will be watching.
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Re: ESPIONAGE: A brand new simple forum game! (Central Rules & Information Topic)

Postby Togop » March 4th, 2014, 4:54 am

The reason I didn't suggest the detective to be always on the list, but on 65% of the lists was that I'm a little concerned about being able to automatically know that a bunch of players are definitely not the detective. But since you probably wouldn't want to share it, it wouldn't be a big problem.

Anyway, there's one more problem that needs to be addressed. Currently, once the detective has investigated the spy, it's basically certain that the town wins. I don't think that was desirable, considering the results of Investigate can't be mentioned as such. However, as someone mentioned, detectives could go "Arrest me and the ***" for a certain win. As such, I think we should modify investigate to only be able to confirm non-spies, not detect the spy. Two possibilities:
1) When investigate returns "Non-spy" that means non-spy. When it returns "suspicious" that may be a spy or a non-spy. The chance that a non-spy is reported as suspicious should be abou 20% (I'm assuming the detective will do about five investigates based on games so far).
2) The detective gives a list of three names, and the GM reports back with one non-spy from the list. Additionally, you can't include the same player more than thrice (because if you consistently use the same name and don't get it back, it's probably spy).
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Re: ESPIONAGE: A brand new simple forum game! (Central Rules & Information Topic)

Postby Jd- » March 4th, 2014, 5:22 am

Togop wrote:The reason I didn't suggest the detective to be always on the list, but on 65% of the lists was that I'm a little concerned about being able to automatically know that a bunch of players are definitely not the detective. But since you probably wouldn't want to share it, it wouldn't be a big problem.

Anyway, there's one more problem that needs to be addressed. Currently, once the detective has investigated the spy, it's basically certain that the town wins. I don't think that was desirable, considering the results of Investigate can't be mentioned as such. However, as someone mentioned, detectives could go "Arrest me and the ***" for a certain win. As such, I think we should modify investigate to only be able to confirm non-spies, not detect the spy. Two possibilities:
1) When investigate returns "Non-spy" that means non-spy. When it returns "suspicious" that may be a spy or a non-spy. The chance that a non-spy is reported as suspicious should be abou 20% (I'm assuming the detective will do about five investigates based on games so far).
2) The detective gives a list of three names, and the GM reports back with one non-spy from the list. Additionally, you can't include the same player more than thrice (because if you consistently use the same name and don't get it back, it's probably spy).

All very good points. I really like #2 and hadn't considered it before. #1 I'd thought about a few times, but I'm not entirely sure how that would change the game up. What would you say to never being able to use the same name more than once? Is that too crazy? If we did that, the Detective would be able to limit their suspicions to three people at a time, but I'm actually worried that this may end up (with or without the thrice limit) being more powerful in the right hands than the old Investigate. I think if we made it 7 names, it'd be more reasonable, but there are some issues with introducing a limit and not introducing a limit.

As for knowing the Detective for sure being in your list, I'm not sure how it'd really change the game up. Knowing that the people not on the list are definitely not the Detective is... interesting. But, just how valuable is it? Below, I've run a simulation with the 20 players from Round 1 mentioned before, but I've changed who the Spy/Detective were, as well as adding 3 Informants. It should be obvious at a glance who the Detective is. That is the good part, at least. As Togop mentioned, though, I think making it only 65% or 70% likely that your list includes the Detective is probably the best bet. For the guaranteed version from the proposal above, here you go:

[spoiler]List 1:
--------------
dumytru
miyano_shiho
kkslider5552000
Monsi
shinichi'sapprentice
Commi-Ninja
Yuri Iwamoto

List 2:
--------------
dumytru
Monsi
Yuri Iwamoto
Kleene Onigiri
Conan-chandesune
Raifuujin
shinichi'sapprentice

List 3:
--------------
PhoenixTears
aly_angelflight
kkslider5552000
Monsi
shinichi'sapprentice
Meme
Yuri Iwamoto

List 4:
--------------
Commi-Ninja
Jd-
Raiden
Kamite
Yuri Iwamoto
KainTheVampire
shinichi'sapprentice

List 5:
--------------
Stopwatch
Raiden
Kleene Onigiri
Yuri Iwamoto
KainTheVampire
Raifuujin
dumytru

List 6:
--------------
googleearth
Raifuujin
Commi-Ninja
Raiden
KainTheVampire
Yuri Iwamoto
miyano_shiho

List 7:
--------------
Nix (Spy)
Monsi
miyano_shiho
KainTheVampire
Meme
Commi-Ninja
Yuri Iwamoto

List 8:
--------------
PhoenixTears
Commi-Ninja
miyano_shiho
Yuri Iwamoto
Nix (Spy)
KainTheVampire
dumytru

List 9:
--------------
Jd-
Kleene Onigiri
PhoenixTears
kkslider5552000
dumytru
KainTheVampire
Yuri Iwamoto

List 10:
--------------
Kamite
googleearth
Monsi
Yuri Iwamoto
KainTheVampire
PhoenixTears
Nix (Spy)

List 11:
--------------
Stopwatch
Nix (Spy)
Raifuujin
KainTheVampire
Yuri Iwamoto
Jd-
PhoenixTears

List 12:
--------------
Kamite
KainTheVampire
Yuri Iwamoto
Raifuujin
Meme
Conan-chandesune
dumytru

List 13:
--------------
Stopwatch
googleearth
Monsi
Raiden
Yuri Iwamoto
Kamite
kkslider5552000

List 14:
--------------
Nix (Spy)
Raifuujin
googleearth
Raiden
Meme
Yuri Iwamoto
Kleene Onigiri

List 15:
--------------
Commi-Ninja
Yuri Iwamoto
shinichi'sapprentice
Kleene Onigiri
dumytru
miyano_shiho
Nix (Spy)[/spoiler]

I'd like to hear more on the proposals thus far and the point you've brought up from the others. Some interesting possibilities we've come up with here and some more minds cracking at it will help us reach the best possible solution sooner, I imagine.
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Re: ESPIONAGE: A brand new simple forum game! (Central Rules & Information Topic)

Postby Togop » March 4th, 2014, 6:10 am

I'm not sure what you mean in the above post. To clarify, what I suggested was that the detective selects three people and tells them to the GM. Then the GM selects one of them at random from the non-spies and tells the detective that that one is not the spy.
This way, the detective gets one non-spy per day (the same as what currently happens unless the detective guesses the spy) but their abilities to determine the spy are a lot more limited. We can use two as a limit. It's perfectly possible to include a civillian in the list twice, and still not get them cleared.
I think using 7 names gives the detective way too little control.
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Re: ESPIONAGE: A brand new simple forum game! (Central Rules & Information Topic)

Postby Jd- » March 4th, 2014, 7:38 am

Yeah, I see what you mean now. It's definitely usable and one to consider as a frontrunner. I was going for removing the GM's control of it, but I think that way could be quite good. I'm currently considering a couple of other things on the list situation, will post more later on.
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Re: ESPIONAGE: A brand new simple forum game! (Central Rules & Information Topic)

Postby Fujiwara » March 4th, 2014, 8:07 am

Togop wrote:The lists shouldn't contain info on the spy. Suppose they do. Then if we post all lists on prep phase, the detective will be found out, but we'll have three days to arrest the spy. The spy/infmant would post fake lists adding noise. However, they won't be able to organize befored ay 1. So if the spy appears on 3 or more lists than most civillians, we'd be able to deduce who that is (or at least limit to three suspects, assuming some statistical anomalies). If not, then the information on the spy wouldn't be statistically significant anyway, especially considering how much of the list info is lost when people die or get arrested.
So I think the list shouldn't have any information ont he spy at all. If they do, it'll have to be statistically iignificant, and will only cause arguments about math and statistics.

I totally agree. I was going to suggest the same, but it must have slipped my mind while I was writing my last post. :D

Jd- wrote:New List Proposal: Detective-Only Lists
With this proposal, all civilian lists will feature 7-8 players. One of those players listed will be the Detective. Unlike previous incarnations, the Spy will not be factored in to eligibility on a given list. What civilian players will know is that somewhere amongst their list is the Detective player. Lists will also be fully shareable in the game topic, if for some reason that is desirable. The Spy and any Informants would be included in lists just as a normal civilian would be, with no special treatment or consideration given as a result of them being a non-Detective role.

Yeah, I think this should work very well. With no more info on the spy on the list, the detective becomes more important and at the same time civilians have a better chance of figuring out who he is so they can protect him.

Togop wrote:Anyway, there's one more problem that needs to be addressed. Currently, once the detective has investigated the spy, it's basically certain that the town wins. I don't think that was desirable, considering the results of Investigate can't be mentioned as such. However, as someone mentioned, detectives could go "Arrest me and the ***" for a certain win. As such, I think we should modify investigate to only be able to confirm non-spies, not detect the spy. Two possibilities:
1) When investigate returns "Non-spy" that means non-spy. When it returns "suspicious" that may be a spy or a non-spy. The chance that a non-spy is reported as suspicious should be about 20% (I'm assuming the detective will do about five investigates based on games so far).
2) The detective gives a list of three names, and the GM reports back with one non-spy from the list. Additionally, you can't include the same player more than thrice (because if you consistently use the same name and don't get it back, it's probably spy).

Both would work for nerfing Investigate, but I think I’d prefer option 2), preferably with the 3x limit for the reasons you stated.

Jd- wrote:Yeah, I see what you mean now. It's definitely usable and one to consider as a frontrunner. I was going for removing the GM's control of it, but I think that way could be quite good.

If you want to remove the GM’s control you can randomize the decision of which name gets verified as non-spy by throwing a die. It’s what I would do as GM anyway.
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Re: ESPIONAGE: A brand new simple forum game! (Central Rules & Information Topic)

Postby Conan-chandesune » March 4th, 2014, 3:22 pm

I think that the Detective only lists idea is not-so-great, as it would eliminate the use of lists (we don't get any info about the spies this way) and i think Assasinate is also a bit overkill. The investigate change thing should work well, if it returns non-civvie on both spies and informants.
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Re: ESPIONAGE: A brand new simple forum game! (Central Rules & Information Topic)

Postby Kleene Onigiri » March 4th, 2014, 5:23 pm

If you have the detective for sure on your list, you would randomly vote for someone who's not on your list, right?
So if people do a random vote on Day 1, everyone that was voted would probably not be on the list the civilians received. For the spy it would be good info on who's most likely not the detective D: Isn't that a lot of information for the spy?
Maybe it's not too much info for the spy. But if it is, maybe make the voting hidden? So that no one would know who voted who at the end of the phase? Just if there was a tie or that someone was arrested?
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Re: ESPIONAGE: A brand new simple forum game! (Central Rules & Information Topic)

Postby Togop » March 4th, 2014, 9:14 pm

You will need organized civillian effort to protect the detective. This a large part of the point, it would promote dialogue and get the game going.
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Re: ESPIONAGE: A brand new simple forum game! (Central Rules & Information Topic)

Postby Jd- » March 4th, 2014, 9:28 pm

Togop wrote:You will need organized civillian effort to protect the detective. This a large part of the point, it would promote dialogue and get the game going.

Agreed. This creates an entirely new meta-game, where the civilians have this very valuable information but have to be careful not to share it.

Also, about Assassinate: I think this is a very important addition to promote a better balance for the evil side. It's a one-time-use, but it gives them the chance to get out of a bad situation. If we would've had that last round, we'd have killed one of the teams suspecting us at various points in the game. If it breaks the whole balance somehow, we can get rid of it after trying it once, but I think it should end up OK.

As for the idea of hiding the votes, I'm actually not against this. However, in the end, I think this is going to have a much bigger impact in favor of the Spy, as they can now purposely vote for strong civilian teams with their Informants and pretty much arrest anyone they want in the early phase(s).

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