Re: Hosting Rules and Guides
by Iteru, Mintaka and Hellion
While not necessary, there are extra things that a host can do to increase both the interest in their game, the fun involved as well as to make their game unique.
A theme is a topic that a host chooses to base their game around. Common examples include video games, TV shows or even original material created by the host themselves. Themes have a number of benefits:
- They give players an extra incentive to join if the theme is something that they like. Observing franchises which are popular around the forum and basing a game off of one of them is a good way to increase the number of players interested. Examples include Pokémon, MLP, games based off of the War Room itself.
- It may be easier to create a game with source material to base it on as opposed to making everything up.
- Name claiming, where people claim the entity that their role is based on in an attempt to prove their alliance, becomes an element of the game (the host may forbid name claiming in their rules).
It should be noted that there is the possibility of giving some players an advantage if they know the theme well while other players don’t. Certain characters, due to their traits, backstory, canon, etc will likely be paired with roles that reflect such. Due to this it is recommended to provide a website link, such as to a wiki, where information on the theme can be found so that unfamiliar players can reduce the disadvantage they have through research.
Creativity and Experimenting
The guide mostly covers the usual mafia games, those with the concept "informed minority VS uninformed majority". However, hosts should not be afraid to think of ways to put their unique twist on this format and experiment with different mechanics.
For example, some games provide more than two big parties competing to win. There can be three parties that are competing to have the number advantage at the end of the game. In such cases, the mind game becomes fun in a different way - players would need to consider more than two sides when eliminating a target and it could also mean temporary alliances be required in some cases. Also, a portion of the town players, instead of being clueless, could know each other, or have a condition that makes them united once fulfilled. There are many other ways to shake up the usual mafia games formula, such as a mechanic that changes a player's alliance. Some games might allow players to continue participating and influencing the game after their death.
If a host is unsure of a mechanic, such as whether it would upset the balance between the two sides, they could host a smaller game with the new mechanic. Smaller games mean that hosts have less actions to keep track of, and more space to evaluate how the mechanic affects the game. However, if you are already experienced with hosting, then you could give the new mechanic a go in a big game.
The roles and mechanics of a game are not the only thing that can make a game enjoyable. The host themselves can add comedy and personality into the game by how they interact with players through flavour text, updates or just in general going along with a joke that the players currently are. Writing detailed updates and flavour text can immerse users into the game, and if you do, prompt your players to read them. A good way to get players to read them is by slipping clues in them.
While players' inactivity can harm a game, it's also important for the host to be a presence in their game. A good way to decrease players' inactivity and make sure that everyone has a good time is for the host to be in regular contact with their players, especially neophytes who might be participating in their first mafia. Checking in with those players, asking them their thoughts about the game, giving them advice in a reasonable amount, are simple things that a host can do which can make a big difference in player's enjoyment.
Prospective hosts should remember that who they are as players often creates expectations about who they will be as hosts. Prospective players are more likely to join a host's game, if that host has previously shown to be a good player beforehand, either by displaying good deductive skills, being a leader, by displaying good sportsmanship or simply by being humourous and personable, because they respect and appreciate the host as a player first.