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System for Theme Flavor Unbreakability

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System for Theme Flavor Unbreakability (STFU) is a tool for mods to help create themed setups that are unbreakable by flavor.

The intent of this system is that mods who follow it to the letter can state this in their opening post, as a deterrent against players obsessing over outguessing the mod with regard to flavor. This system is not suitable for all setups, and it should not be stated that STFU is being used if the randomization is "tweaked" in any way.

This article is a work in progress.

Background

One of the most frequent things both players and mods will say about a theme game's setup is that it is "unbreakable by flavor." In many cases, this is incorrect, even when the mod him/herself believes it to be true. Because it's so often false, many players (myself notably) will go to great efforts to break it.

In the case where the setup really is unbreakable, those players are essentially being nothing more than a distraction. When it is breakable, then the intended balance of the game is likely to be ruined.

By formalizing a system of setup generation that mods can point to and say "STFU," attempts to outguess the mod can be thwarted proactively.


General Principle

In general, the idea of STFU is that the mod generates a list of town aligned flavor-role pairings, and randomly assigns them to ALL the players. The mod then independently and randomly assigns non-town alignments to players. The mod may choose to tweak the roles slightly to fit the new alignment, or add modifiers (such as ninja) if balance requires it. The mod finally assigns non-town flavor to each of the players if necessary, using whichever non-town flavors best fit their roles. Non-town aligned players are told what their original flavor would have been if it differs from their new flavors.

Specifics are described below for various setup types.


Standard Flavor Setup Without Safe Role-claims

In most theme games, there is a town flavor and a scum flavor. The following is the process for properly randomizing a "standard" theme setup.

1. Create a Private Topic for modnotes. The first post can be anything, but the randomizations below should go in the posts immediately following it. Because the first post may have to be edited to change permissions, it shouldn't be used in randomization.

2. Determine "playerlist order" as it will appear in the game's OP. Usually it's best to use the order in which players signed up.

3. Make a list of town-aligned flavors. There should be as many flavors as there are players. For each flavor, determine a role suitable for that flavor.

4. In the second post in the mod PT, post the playerlist order, then the flavor-role pairings, then roll Xd100 twice, where X is the number of players. The first set of rolls correspond to a flavor roll for each player, the second set is for tie-breakers.

5. Whichever player got the highest role is assigned the first flavor-role pairing. The second highest roller gets the second and so forth until all the flavor-role pairings have been assigned. Where there are ties, compare the second set of dice instead. The results should be posted in the third post of the mod PT.

6. In the next post, state the number of each type of non-town factions, and roll Xd100 twice again. Whoever rolls the highest becomes scum #1, next highest is scum #2 and so forth.

7. For each scum player, choose a scum flavor that makes the most sense with that player's role. If necessary for balance, or if the role would be completely useless to scum, small adjustments can be made to the role. The scum players' original flavor will be given to them as a safe flavor claim. The next post in the mod PT should contain the results of this final step.

Be very careful when making adjustments to roles. Always keep in mind that role is related to the players' fake flavor as well as their real, so if it obvious that a specific role is being used with scum intent, players will rightly try to flavor-game to determine who's fake flavor best fits the scum role.


Standard Flavor Setup With Safe Role-claims

In games with alignment-indicative and role-indicative flavors, the process is identical to above up to step 7. Instead do the following:

7. For each scum player, assign a scum flavor-role pairing in whatever way you choose. The scum players' original flavor and role will be given to them as a complete safe-claim. The next post in the mod PT should contain the results of this final step.


Non-Alignment-Indicative Flavor Setups

In games where there is no specific scum flavor, the process is identical to #Standard Flavor Setup Without Safe Role-claims, except that the scum flavors assigned in step 7 are simply their real flavor. Safe flavor-claims should not be given. It should be indicated to the scum players exactly how their role PM differs from a town-aligned PM.


Flavor Irrelevant Setups

Occasionally mods want a game where flavor is merely flavor, and has no in-game relevance and can be entirely ignored. This can be done with or without flavor being alignment-indicative. This process can also be applied to non-The full process is as follows:


1. Create a Private Topic for modnotes. The first post can be anything, but the randomizations below should go in the posts immediately following it. Because the first post may have to be edited to change permissions, it shouldn't be used in randomization.

2. Determine "playerlist order" as it will appear in the game's OP. Usually it's best to use the order in which players signed up.

3. Make a list of town-aligned flavors. There should be as many flavors as there are players. If there is no flavor, skip this step and step 4.

4. In the second post in the mod PT, post the playerlist order, then the flavors, then roll Xd100 twice, where X is the number of players. The first set of rolls correspond to a flavor roll for each player, the second set is for tie-breakers.

5. Whichever player got the highest role is assigned the first flavor. The second highest roller gets the second and so forth until all the flavors have been assigned. Where there are ties, compare the second set of dice instead. The results should be posted in the third post of the mod PT.

6. In the next post, list all the roles in the game together with their alignment, and roll Xd100 twice again. Whoever rolls the highest gets the first role, next highest gets the second role and so forth.

7. If flavor is alignment-indicative, then for each scum player, choose a scum flavor for them in whatever way you like. The scum players' original flavor will be given to them as a safe flavor claim. Note that if flavor is alignment-indicative, there should not be a role in the game that can identify a player's flavor.

8. The next post in the mod PT should contain the results of steps 6 and 7.

Example Implementation

Kagami wants to make a micro "Peter Pan Mafia." In this game, there are 9 players, two of which will be scum. The town is flavored as peter pan and his allies, while the scum are the pirates, Captain Hook and Smee.

Nine players sign up almost immediately {AngryPidgeon, Bulbazak, Cephrir, Desperado, Elyse, FakeGod, Garruk Relentless, Hoopla, and Iecerint}.

Kagami comes up with nine flavor-role pairing for the town: {Peter Pan - Cop, Tinkerbell - Jailkeeper, Wendy - Tracker, Tootles - Suicide Bomber, Twin #1 - Neighbor, Twin #2 - Neighbor, Slightly - Hated, Nibs - VT, Curly - VT}

She then posts the playerlist and flavor-role pairings in the same mod topic post in which she rolls 9 dice twice. She rolls {23, 24, 98, 56, 32, 14, 73, 24, 44} and {13, 55, 96, 95, 43, 90, 22, 3, 9}. The highest roll is 98, so the third player (Cephrir) gets Peter Pan - Cop. The second highest is 73, so the seventh player (Garruk Relentless) gets Tinkerbell - Jailkeeper. Ultimately, it looks like:

AngryPidgeon: Nibs - VT Bulbazak: Twin #2 - Neighbor Cephrir: Peter Pan - Cop Desperado: Wendy - Tracker Elyse: Twin #1 - Neighbor FakeGod: Curly - VT Garruk Relentless: Tinkerbell - Jailkeeper Hoopla: Slightly - Hated Iecerint: Tootles - Suicide Bomber

Note that the tiebreaker dice had to be used since both hoopla and Bulbazak rolled 24.

Now, Kagami posts the results so far in the mod topic, then rolls for who will be scum. She rolls {1, 22, 53, 22, 90, 84, 56, 58, 43} and {43, 56, 20, 20, 10, 32, 55, 60, 93}. This makes Elyse and FakeGod the scumteam.

Kagami assigns Mr. Smee to Elyse with the role neighbor, with some flavor about smee being terrible at disguises, but it doesn't matter since the twins don't know who or what each other are.

She then assigns Captain Hook to FakeGod, but decides that town is a little too powerful. She makes Cephrir only a 1-shot cop and FakeGod gets a 1-shot Strongman+Ninja, flavored as "Cannonball Barrage."

Kagami then posts the results and adjustments in the mod topic, and sends out role PMs. She informs Elyse that Twin #1 is safe to claim, and informs FakeGod that Curly is safe.

During the course of the game, Hoopla points out that Elyse must be town because it makes no sense to have Twin #2 if there's no Twin #1. Iecerint says that mods are always making mains characters into fake-claims, so one of Cephrir, Garruk Relentless, or Desperado must be scum! Desperado disagrees, and says that Kagami has only modded a few games, it's more likely that she didn't give fakeclaim and that the main characters are flavor-ICs.

Kagami points to this page and tells them to STFU.