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Old 04-14-2009, 09:29 AM   #1
USFLTecmo
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GMing for Dummies

I have run two games now, with the second one nearing completion. I mean for this thread to be a place for GM's or prospective GM's to ask questions of the more experienced ones.

For example, in the game I'm running now, I had the question about the seer abilities when it comes to an ongoing conversion.

Hypothetically, let's say there's an unholy mark/Drew/convert possibility out there, and the wolves hit it. Let's also say that the seer's scanning that person the same night. Would they see them light or dark? I decided how I would have handled it, but I want to see what everyone else thinks.

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Old 04-14-2009, 09:33 AM   #2
Alan T
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Originally Posted by USFLTecmo View Post
I have run two games now, with the second one nearing completion. I mean for this thread to be a place for GM's or prospective GM's to ask questions of the more experienced ones.

For example, in the game I'm running now, I had the question about the seer abilities when it comes to an ongoing conversion.

Hypothetically, let's say there's an unholy mark/Drew/convert possibility out there, and the wolves hit it. Let's also say that the seer's scanning that person the same night. Would they see them light or dark? I decided how I would have handled it, but I want to see what everyone else thinks.

Depending how complex your game is (how many players have roles, and what all occurs during the same phase), it is important at the start of the game for you to decide the order of execution for the game. You don't have to announce what it is (or you can if you want to), but that would help in any case of order conflict at night.

A common one that I usually do (but not always) is:

1) Good villager actions (non-kill)
2) Bad wolf actions (non-kill)
3) Good villager night-kill actions
4) Bad wolf night-kill actions

This way it allows a bodyguard's action to go off, or some other action that a good or bad role may have to inhibit another player's night action first before a night kill.

If I had set my night order this way, in your case, I would have a seer scan the player as good before they got converted that evening.
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Old 04-14-2009, 09:41 AM   #3
USFLTecmo
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Trust me, this Office Space game is more complex than anything I've put together.

For the record, I follow your logic exactly, except there's no good guy kill actions at night in any of the games I've done so far.
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Old 04-14-2009, 09:48 AM   #4
Alan T
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Trust me, this Office Space game is more complex than anything I've put together.

For the record, I follow your logic exactly, except there's no good guy kill actions at night in any of the games I've done so far.

It seems most games don't have a good guy night-kill action, but it is not an uncommon role (assassin role) by any means, so I included it in my example just as a reference point. It is one of those fun roles to include though at times because it is a good guy role that could actually harm the village if used poorly. (ie: person pulls a night-kill on someone on a gut instinct incorrectly and then that leads people to thinking they are actually bad because of it)
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Old 04-14-2009, 10:24 AM   #5
Abe Sargent
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Trust me, this Office Space game is more complex than anything I've put together.

For the record, I follow your logic exactly, except there's no good guy kill actions at night in any of the games I've done so far.

Don't read hoopsguy's Marvel game then, your head might explode



Sometimes, I GM and come across something totally unexpected that I didn;t plan for. Say hello to Mr. Quarter, whose flip will determine the outcome.
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Old 04-14-2009, 10:30 AM   #6
Abe Sargent
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Don;t allow me to give you too much of a hard time about the difficulty comment I grabbed upon.


Sometimes I find myself pleasantly surprised by how good my players were. In terms of the IP of the games I've used, I've used Star Trek, Middle Earth, Magic, and a D&D like game in The Dungeon, but it was my own creation in a small game with just 10 players that I think reads the best and worked the best. (WW Small Game: Seville High, Book One: The Janitor of Death - GAME OVER, Blakekin Win - Front Office Football Central)

Sometimes the complex games are memorable, but sometimes it's the simpler ones. For every Spawn of Barkeep, Hunt for the Necromancers of hoops or Tombstone of AlanT or even the Warhammer 40k of tanglewood, there are solid games without all of the extra bells and whistles.

We need the simple games to make the complex ones stand out more. Although I prefer the complex ones, I;m not above jumping into a simpler one to get some gaming done.
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Old 04-14-2009, 11:28 AM   #7
USFLTecmo
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Simple works for me, I'm still learning the game's nuances, but introducing other things is fun from time to time. One game that was run by the old GM on our board was one with a Serial Killer, who didn't win with anyone but himself, but could make a night kill every other night.

The one quibble I have with the office space game is that the items have abilities that aren't spelled out. I would have had no idea the rope could protect someone. Overall, it's been very well done, though, and I hope the good guys win.
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Old 04-14-2009, 12:47 PM   #8
lerriuqs
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I haven't GM'd any games, but I do have a general question - is it the norm for the BG to find out who's he's stopped if he's protected someone?

The reason I ask is that the games we've played, the BG has not found out anything about blocks/nonblocks if there is no kill and so you can create quite a bit of confusion if you do a no action one night as a wolf.
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Old 04-14-2009, 01:11 PM   #9
Abe Sargent
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I think that depends on the individual game. Some tell, some do not. Some have the BG outright kill the wolf they block. I think how powerful the BG is is one way to balance the game. You know, in this game, if the BG outright killed, we would have gained a day as the village, so that is powerful.
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Old 04-14-2009, 01:16 PM   #10
Abe Sargent
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We've had so many GMs over the years, and each has put their own little spin on WW. I know what an AlanT game will look like. I know what a hoopsguy game will look like. My traditional WW games has assigned characters in addition to roles. We each have our own stamp.

Because of that, we become very fluid with the basics, if that makes sense. I've seen wolf dukes and double seers and weakened seers that only scan for the lesser wolves and such.

So for example, telling people what roles will be in the game at the beginning can help hammer the game out, but it also makes fake revealing more difficult for wolves. It's a definite help for the village.

I've seen games where the roles and alignment (wolf/non-wolf) were not revealed on their death, which was really annoying, let me tell you.
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Old 04-14-2009, 01:16 PM   #11
lerriuqs
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I think that depends on the individual game. Some tell, some do not. Some have the BG outright kill the wolf they block. I think how powerful the BG is is one way to balance the game. You know, in this game, if the BG outright killed, we would have gained a day as the village, so that is powerful.

Are they always told whether or not they block?
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Old 04-14-2009, 01:21 PM   #12
USFLTecmo
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I generally list all the roles that are possible in a game, and then make a few different equal (or as close to it as I can get as possible) potential role setups, then I get random.org to not only assign which set of roles to use, but who gets to be each role. So far, it seems to have eliminated a bit of the metagaming that takes place when you have the same group playing game after game.

I picked this up because the first game I GMed, one of the players thought that I assigned all the roles by personal preference (which I didn't), and made the wrong read at the end of the game because of it. This last game, I didn't see a lot of discussion over who I picked, but there was still a lot of discussion based on events outside the game, because I went with an Alpha Wolf role that selected the other two. It has made things quite interesting, but I figure I'll run it once every three or four games, so as not to overuse it.

Last edited by USFLTecmo : 04-14-2009 at 01:23 PM.
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Old 04-14-2009, 01:23 PM   #13
Abe Sargent
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Are they always told whether or not they block?

I can't recall a game where they wer not, but I haven't played in a lot of the WW games here.
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Old 04-14-2009, 01:27 PM   #14
lerriuqs
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Are you taking notes Joe??
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Old 04-14-2009, 01:31 PM   #15
USFLTecmo
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Are you taking notes Joe??

I recall saying to you that telling the BG he made a block was a good idea earlier. I just hadn't realized they were told about it before the Office Space game.

Last edited by USFLTecmo : 04-14-2009 at 01:32 PM.
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Old 04-14-2009, 01:47 PM   #16
Alan T
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I can't recall a game where they wer not, but I haven't played in a lot of the WW games here.

There have been games here where the bodyguard blocked without knowing it, but they are pretty rare. It feels like a clunky mechanism to do it that way, and if I recall correctly, I believe it was set up that the "wolf" would see the bodyguard there and decide to not attack. So it was not as much a block as it was simply prevention.

In those cases, I would guess that the GM did it that way to try to add another villager role without it being too powerful. So they further watered down the bodyguard role to try to keep an overall game balance.
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Old 04-14-2009, 01:50 PM   #17
Passacaglia
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Originally Posted by USFLTecmo View Post
I generally list all the roles that are possible in a game, and then make a few different equal (or as close to it as I can get as possible) potential role setups, then I get random.org to not only assign which set of roles to use, but who gets to be each role. So far, it seems to have eliminated a bit of the metagaming that takes place when you have the same group playing game after game.

I picked this up because the first game I GMed, one of the players thought that I assigned all the roles by personal preference (which I didn't), and made the wrong read at the end of the game because of it. This last game, I didn't see a lot of discussion over who I picked, but there was still a lot of discussion based on events outside the game, because I went with an Alpha Wolf role that selected the other two. It has made things quite interesting, but I figure I'll run it once every three or four games, so as not to overuse it.

The part in bold is pretty much a given around here. There's been some exceptions, but when that happens it's always spelled out -- we're going to assume that it's completely random who gets to be each role unless we're told otherwise -- and when that happens, we'll discuss the selection process to the extent of almost completely ignoring the rest of the game (WW Draft, anyone?).
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Old 04-14-2009, 03:15 PM   #18
Barkeep49
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The key is balance. The reason there are roles in the game in the first place is to help the villagers have a chance against the wolves. The key is to give each chance a plausible means to victory and then let the game unfold. A game can be quite balanced even if one side dominates. In a situation like that it probably just means one side played well while the other side played poorly.
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Old 04-14-2009, 04:43 PM   #19
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I recall saying to you that telling the BG he made a block was a good idea earlier. I just hadn't realized they were told about it before the Office Space game.

The amount of information the BG learns varies from game to game from what I have heard (I have been a wolf more than a villager, except for the past few games, so I have had all of the wolf roles but only roled as a seer once as a villager so I don't know personally about the BG role). To use the Office Space game as an example I used random chance to determine how much was learned about the attacker and then each side was given an equal amount of information about the other (if it was rolled that no information was to be learned than neither side would know, but the BG would be told of a block).
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Old 04-14-2009, 08:18 PM   #20
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Alan is 100% correct about the importance of "order of actions". This was the biggest takeaway I had from my first game as a moderator. It has only been reinforced in later games that I have moderated, where it has helped me in navigating through scenarios I did not originally foresee between characters.

I think it is important with a basic ruleset, but absolutely critical as additional roles are added to the mix above and beyond the ones commonly associated with the "simple game" - bodyguard, duke, seer, wolves.
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Old 04-14-2009, 08:24 PM   #21
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Are they always told whether or not they block?

Just about always know if they got a block.
Don't always know who they blocked.
Sometimes the bodyguard guarding a wolf prevents the wolf from acting.
Every once in awhile a bodyguard can take a wolf with him on a block, getting a 1-1 trade.
Sometimes, like the Eaglefan game, there are multiple possible outcomes with the dice roll making the decision.

I've probably had a different version of the bodyguard in each game that I've run because I think it is fun to create slight variations on the normal WW archetypes. However, as BK and others have noted, it is important that the moderator attempt to create a balanced game where both sides have a relatively equal opportunity to win. So if you "gimp" the bodyguard role then there should be corresponding adjustments to strengthen the villagers ("buffed" roles or more roles) or weaken the wolves.
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Old 04-14-2009, 08:52 PM   #22
Passacaglia
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Personally, I never tell the BG if he or she got a block, but since I never ever have conversions in my game (like a cunning wolf, I think it just makes the game less cohesive), everyone should just know that's what happened.
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Old 04-15-2009, 09:08 PM   #23
Autumn
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To use the Office Space game as an example I used random chance to determine how much was learned about the attacker and then each side was given an equal amount of information about the other (if it was rolled that no information was to be learned than neither side would know, but the BG would be told of a block).

Ah, guess I should have been reading in here yesterday.
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