do you ever yearn for the soft touch of a pancake
Core 'Shroom Staff
"Will you choose to ally? ...Or to betray?"
"Will you choose to ally? ...Or to betray?"
What is VLR Mafia?
Simply put, VLR Mafia (short for Virtue's Last Reward Mafia) is a small, closed set-up game with a recurring theme of 9 and a gimmick revolving around the Prisoner's Dilemma. Unlike WarioWare Mafia (which I'm still getting to, for those waiting), this isn't going to be role-centric. Most of you peeps will be vanillas. I'm looking for 9 sign-ups and no more. The reason why I chose to focus on VLR instead of the original game: 999, is because 999 doesn't feature the prisoner's dilemma, which is a gimmick I'd like to try and build a Mafia game around.
What is Virtue's Last Reward?
Virtue's Last Reward is the second installment of the Zero Escape series, a well-written visual novel that's worth taking a look at. Without going into too much detail, the story revolves around a group of 9 characters who've been kidnapped by an AI named Zero III and forced to play a sadistic game with their lives (called The Nonary Game: Ambidex Edition) in a remote facility. Each player is given a bracelet with a point value. In order to escape, they must have a total of 9. To gain or lose points, they participate in AB Games (a variation on the prisoner's dilemma) after exploring another area of the facility to discover where they are and why they were abducted. If their point total reaches 0, they are killed.
The game focuses a lot on trust and decisions, and it can be dark in places. Some of its themes and dialogue are also a bit mature. I'll tone it down and not focus too much on the plot for the sake of this Mafia, and there will be no quotes from the game's dialogue at all. Bear in mind, this Mafia game will have minor spoilers, though nothing that'll completely ruin VLR for those who haven't played it.
What is the prisoner's dilemma, and how will it be implemented in this Mafia?
The prisoner's dilemma is a well-known game theory. I'm just going to link you to the Wikipedia page for it and not try to feign intelligence, but here's a brief excerpt:
In any case, explaining it with a diagram is also helpful.Two members of a criminal gang are arrested and imprisoned. Each prisoner is in solitary confinement with no means of speaking to or exchanging messages with the other. The police admit they don't have enough evidence to convict the pair on the principal charge. They plan to sentence both to a year in prison on a lesser charge. Simultaneously, the police offer each prisoner a Faustian bargain. Each prisoner is given the opportunity either to betray the other, by testifying that the other committed the crime, or to cooperate with the other by remaining silent. Here's how it goes:
If A and B both betray the other, each of them serves 2 years in prison
If A betrays B but B remains silent, A will be set free and B will serve 3 years in prison (and vice versa)
If A and B both remain silent, both of them will only serve 1 year in prison (on the lesser charge)
In Virtue's Last Reward, the Prisoner's Dilemma is used to distribute points, but in VLR Mafia it will be used to affect night actions.
The game mechanics have been altered slightly since they were originally posted, hence the different appearance of this section.
The Prisoner's Dilemma (AB Games)
The game has three types of phases: Day, AB and Night.
During the Day, instead of nominating one person for lynch, players must nominate two different people to participate in an AB Game. The AB game is an adapted version of the prisoner's dilemma: each side is restricted from communicating and must decide whether they trust their opponent or not. If they do, they pick Ally, and if they don't, they pick Betray. VLR adds a little more depth to this decision by including point values which determine whether they escape or die, but VLR Mafia will not include these.
At the end of the day, the two players with the highest amount of nominations will be prohibited from communicating with each other in any form, and given a choice of either Ally or Betray. This is the AB phase. Players not participating in the AB Game can still freely bullshit within the thread, however there is to be no influencing the participant's decision, even with joke posts (e.g. Player A should choose Ally because my cop check was innocent, I'd choose betray because Sigma's a pervert, etc.). This phase will end after 24 hours (after which any indecisive parties will automatically Ally), or immediately if both nominees send their decisions in.
After the AB game, the game will progress to the Night phase, where players can send in night actions if they have any and all players can communicate freely. Participants will receive rewards/penalties depending on what they chose, as outlined by this table:
Most players do not have powers. Powers are obtained by playing AB games.
If both players Ally, they can choose from one of these items, but they cannot be the same thing. After Allying, both participants are allowed to negotiate for a brief period: Silver File (Weak Cop Check)*, Sun/Moon Key Card (Public Speaker)*, Knife (Vigilante)*, Injection Gun + Vial (Doctor***) Pair System (Cupid**)
If one player allys while the other betrays, the person who betrayed can choose one of these items: Gold File (Cop Check*), Star Key Card (permanent Public Speaker*), Scalpel (Weak Vigilante*), Injection Gun + Vial (Doctor***), Luminol (Lie Detector), Handcuffs (Jailer) Pair System (Cupid**)
Players can only hold one item at a time. Each item is one-use only (except for the Star Key Card). The items that each player chose will no be made public, however, the outcome of the AB Game will be.
*A few notes on these items:
- Weak Cop Checks (Silver Files) have a chance of failing and giving you useless information, Cop Checks (Gold Files) will always reveal information about the character you target.
- Weak Vigilante (Scalpel) fatally wounds someone, Vigilante (Knife) kills them outright. These items are always used at night.
- The only permanent item is the Star Key Card, which makes that person a public speaker until they choose a new item. The Sun/Moon key card only applies for one phase.
**The Cupid power in this game has a slightly different effect. Instead of becoming lovers, players targeted by the cupid power become partners for the next day phase. If one of them is nominated to play an AB game, the other will participate as a partner, meaning that they can communicate with only each other during the AB phase, and receive the same bonuses after the AB game is finished.
***The Injection Gun + Vial has a chance of failing depending on which role it is used on. To prevent this game from dragging on forever, there are only three vials that can be obtained from the AB Game, and after they're gone, anyone who chooses the Injection Gun as their prize will receive something else instead.
Players who are fatally wounded will die at the end of the night phase if not healed by a doctor. These players are permanently dead and no longer count towards the total number of innocents/mafia. Opposing factions must be wiped out completely in order to win (Mafia must kill all innocents, innocents must kill all Mafia).
What is a Funyarinpa?
How could you not know what a Funyarinpa is... that's almost blasphemous.
Anyone can sign up (you don't have to know what VLR is to play), but be warned that this game deviates from the standard Mafia formula quite a bit. This will not start until
- DragonFreak (Clunk)
[*]NEXandGBX (Steven Stone)
[*]Lily x (Yuusuke Makishima)
[*]Stargazing (Snowzomi Mistletoujou)
[*]fantanoice (Chiaki Nanami)
[*]Icemario (Tiz Arrior)
[*]Chibiki Daisy (Patchouli Knowledge)
- Toad85 (Peter Sam)
- NSY (Lucina)
- Rocker64 (Kimberly Hart)
- Yoshi K