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Natural Action Resolution

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Natural action resolution is a system of resolving night actions designed by Xylthixlm for use in his mafia bot XylBot. This is a simplified version suitable for human-moderated games.

The system is called natural action resolution because it always gives the intuitively "natural" result for simple situations. It is compatible with the order suggested in Night Choice but covers more cases.

Unless the mod states otherwise in their rules, all Normal games must use NAR. For simplicity, a list of when to resolve all normal roles has been created.

The Golden Rule

Apply actions which modify other actions before the actions they modify.

Applying the Golden Rule in Three Easy Steps

  1. Find an action (or a passive modifier, such as Bulletproof) such that its effect cannot possibly be modified by any other action.
  2. Resolve it.
  3. Repeat from step 1 until all actions are resolved.

Paradox and Ambiguity

Sometimes the actions that might affect each other form a loop, so that there's no action to pick in step 1. In other cases, the order of two actions matters but it isn't clear that one affects the other.

An example of an action loop:

In this case, both actions affect each other; player 2's action changes the target of player 1's, and player 1's is prevented by player 2's.

Note that this loop would not occur if either of the players had chosen different targets. If player 2 had targeted someone else, then the roleblock is not affected by any other actions, and player 2 will just be blocked outright. If player 1 had targeted someone else, then the redirect is not affected by any other actions, so player 1 will end up blocking player 2's target.

An example of two actions that interfere without affecting each other:

In this case, the order of applying the actions affects whether player 3 loses just the abilities they had at the start of the night, or whether they lose the invention as well.

Again, there is no conflict if the players pick different targets; for instance, if player 1 targets player 2, then the gift of the invention has absolutely no effect on the vanillaising, so the vanillaising (which would prevent the invention being given with some variants of Vanillaiser) happens first.

These cases are both very rare. Normally, the Golden Rule will be sufficient to resolve almost any combination of actions. Try to resolve actions using the Golden Rule first before reading onwards.

In case of emergency breakdown of the Golden Rule

If there is really no other option, the traditional recommendation of Natural Action Resolution is to pick whichever of the conflicting actions comes first on the following list, and resolve it first:

  1. Copy
  2. Hide
  3. Bus
  4. Block
  5. Redirect
  6. Protect
  7. Miscellaneous
  8. Kill
  9. Recruit
  10. Inspect

Do not use this list unless actions are actually in conflict; that is, that both affect each other.

If only one of the actions affects another, resolve that one first, regardless of the positions on the list.

Sadly, though, this list tends not to help in the majority of conflicting actions; the most common cases of conflicts, e.g. Roleblocker versus Jailkeeper, appear in the same location on the list.

Count minor modifications of the actions listed above the same as the basic action (e.g., randomize would be the same priority as redirect). For actions which combine two other actions use the first one listed.

If the list still doesn't narrow it down to a single action, pick one of the best candidates using any fair method, such as by taking the first one submitted.

Resolve the action you picked this way, then go back to the golden rule until you get another cycle. Usually one or two picks are enough to make everything work.

Killing

Killing doesn't stop the actions of the dead player. (Imagine that all kills happen at the end of the night, and everyone pulls the trigger simultaneously.) This means that kills generally do not affect other actions for the purpose of the Golden Rule. One exception is with combinations like Kill versus Recruit; in this case, the kill prevents the recruitment, but the recruitment does not prevent the kill, so by the Golden Rule the kill happen first and the player flips with (and wins with) their old alignment.

Roleblocking

It can be hard to decide what can, and what can not be roleblocked. As a general rule of thumb, actions which players choose to use can be roleblocked, and actions which don't involve player choice can't be roleblocked. A general exception to this rule, is roles that can talk during the night phase (for example Masons or Mafia). The reason for this is by the time the mod receives the roleblock target during night the masons may have already talked for hours on AIM, via private message, or on a party line.

Triggered Actions

Some roles might take actions that are triggered by other actions. For example, a Paranoid Gun Owner will kill if targeted by an action. Resolve triggered actions along with the regular actions, using the golden rule as normal. Any action which triggers when a player is targeted should "go off" between steps 1 and 2 of the Golden Rule, before resolving the action that triggers it. When that happens, stop and go back to step 1, this time considering the triggered action as well.