One good thing about EM is that you can create your own setup. Even if you are new, it is no harm trying to create your own setups. This is a guide which outlines some things you should and probably shouldn't do when making a setup. Having trouble creating a setup? Feel free to read this page :)
Most setups have something that they are centered around. Maybe you think that all the good ideas have been taken. For example, setups that revolve around...
- ...the janitored role night one.
- ...following the cop.
- ...crazy cops.
- ...reverse mafia/rogue town.
- ...hunting for gallises.
- ...mafia causing mayhem.
True, it is hard to think of an original idea. However, with so many roles and settings, there is usually enough room for you to create your own idea. For example, have you ever thought of a/an...
- ...massclaim setup?
- ...disguiser-based setup?
- ...mason versus third party setup?
- ...setup where the doctor appears as mafia?
- ...out-right insane free-for-all setup?
- ...setup involving working with pairs instead of individuals?
Even if you can't think of your own idea, improving, or creating a variation of an existing setup is still okay. If you want, try and make a setup centered around gallises and millers appearing as villagers!
Consider the setup's balance
Is the setup favoring one side? Does the mafia having an unfair advantage? It is usually hard to determine a setup's balance - setups maybe need to be tweaked several times before achieving a balanced win ratio.
How many mafia should be in an *insert number here*-person setup? It's pretty hard to say - it all depends on the nature of the setup. On average, 9-player setups have two or three mafia, but Shaudius' reverse mafia setup has only one mafia in 10 people!
Number of different roles is important. If there are 3 villagers, it is easier for mafia to hide. If there is only one of each role available, mafia will have to counter claim one of the town roles. Many setups have free villager(or other town roles) slots for mafia or killer to hide into. Having free slots for mafia to claim is often a factor for considering the setup balance.
Sometimes, a setup may need to leave enough room for a free mislynch for the town. Why? Here are some possible reasons:
- If there is a cop and a miller but no tracker in a setup, the town may need a free mislynch to check if the miller is mafia.
- If the setup revolves around random lynching.
- If the setup involves more than one type of cop (normal, insane, naive and paranoid), mislynches may help the cops figure out which type they are, or allow for more reports.
- If one or more lightkeepers are in a setup, as lightkeepers make it hard for the town to co-ordinate their votes.
- If the setup contains a yakuza.
Also, you must consider the setup options. Believe it or not, turning whispers off can make a large difference to the game. If, for example, there is a cop and a doctor in the one game, having whispers off prevents the cop from asking for a doc claim. Similarly, day starts can also greatly affect the game, especially if the setup requires random lynching or includes jailers.
Finally, before making a setup, you must think about some possible scenarios that might happen. Will a mismason cause the entire town to lose? Is there a lyncher and a gallis in the one setup (if the lyncher has the gallis as his/her target it is impossible for them to win without being converted)? A quick ponder will be enough, because even though some setups may seem unbalanced, they may actually be more balanced than you think!
Tools of the Trade
In other forms of mafia, the ability to choose to not to lynch on any given day isn't usually awarded by default. In EpicMafia, not lynching has always been a staple of our game and is still revered today as a great way for the town to progress without falling victim to a clever Fool or a MYLO trap. Not lynching can provide the town the benefits of extra reports, potential crossfire, Granny or Bomb kills, and it is sometimes just a good way to increase the statistical probability of lynching mafia the following day.
Must lynch is a tool that changes all of this. With must lynch (pictured by a small noose icon to the left of the setup), the town cannot choose to No Lynch any day at all. This is a great benefit for roles like the Fool and the Lyncher who have win conditions completely based on lynching certain people, but it will also force your town to make tough decisions they might not otherwise have had made. Additionally, Jailers cannot use their powers in games with must lynch turned on. When including this option, be sure to keep these things in mind.
One final thing to mention about must lynch is the ability to "break" it by means of forcing a no lynch. When the vote is at a deadlock and there is no more time on the timer, kicking will result in a no lynch regardless as to whether or not must lynch is activated on the setup. Usually this isn't a problem on larger setups due to the fact that mafia or third-party roles may take advantage of a tie situation.
Here are some popular games with must lynch activated:
In other forms of mafia, the game traditionally starts on the first day and every player may have at least one day's worth of play. EpicMafia is different in the sense that we have just the opposite tradition, starting on the first night.
Days starts (pictured by a small Sun icon to the left of the setup) are essentially just tacking on (or, more accurately, taking away) one phase of the game. Instead of starting on the Night 1 phase and moving on to Day 1, players start on Day 1 and move on to Night 2. In reality the game is just completely skipping over the Night 1 phase with no activity at all.
Day starts can give everyone a chance to win the game, for instance, if a Fool or a Survivor is killed during the first night on a game without day starts activated, they will never have a chance to win the game. Day Starts are powerful tools for Agents and Spies because this gives them a chance to communicate with third-party roles before any night kills take place.
Here are some popular games with day starts:
In other forms of mafia, the concept of whispering is completely foreign. As a matter of fact, most traditional mafia games have strict rules against any and all secret communication during the day. This is another example of where EpicMafia breaks from the norm as whispers are very much common place in most games. Whispering is by far the most used tool of setup creators, this is mainly because day starts and must lynch are options that were added, whereas whispering had always been on by default; the option was instead given to turn whispering off.
Whispers give players the ability to secretly communicate with another player without saying something in the public chat. The most traditional use of whispers is when a Cop whispers his report to another player. When role claims are taking place, sometimes players ask that other players claim to them via whispers. Additionally, recruiting roles have a much easier time being successful when they can whisper people they have just recruited. Whipsers may leak however, both accidentally and intentionally. Intentional leaking may be used by the player at any time by activating it in the whisper menu, but accidental leaks sometimes occur, sometimes revealing only the message and other times revealing the message and the recepient.
Although whispers can be used by anyone, they generally benefit town roles more than mafia. Turn on whispers when you think the town could use an added boost of strength, when you want your power roles to have an added sense of protection, or if you have included recruiting roles like the Mason or the Cultist and think they could make use of them.
Here are some popular games with whispering turned off:
This option allows you to not reveal roles upon death. These tables are typically more advanced, because they rely on techniques like scumhunting more than follow the cop. These tables also usually require the village to think about which role/s died during the night, as it is usually easier for the mafia to fakeclaim when the dead roles are unknown. The "no reveal" option is usually associated with the mortician role, as the mortician can uncover which role/s died, but not all "no reveal" setups require a mortician.
Here are some popular games with the no reveal option activated:
Adding useless roles
What this basically means, is avoid adding a role if it's not going to affect the game in any way. For example, try to avoid using special cops where there are no other types of cop, or having a shrink with no converting roles, if you don't have a good reason. However, sometimes there are exceptions, such as:
- where each town role must be different to allow massclaiming.
- roles which won't affect the game directly but can be confirmed by tracker/watcher reports
20 player setup with 15 different roles? That's generally far too many claims/reports that the town has to deal with, often leading to mass confusion and a lack of direction for the town. Although the mayhem that can be caused by this setup is quite fun to watch, large setups can get pretty confusing. It is usually advised that when creating a setup with a large amount of people to be weary of including too many different roles. If you think you have an idea for a large setup, do not be hesistant to include several villagers or other roles that have less of a leadership position. In addition, the people that joined the game first are likely to afk, as they have to wait for other players to join.
Amnesiac as kingmaker
Okay. We all love the amnesiac - as long as you don't die, and someone else has, you have the free choice of taking whatever role you want from the graveyard.
However, this role is also hard to use in a setup. In many amnesiac setups, if the amnesiac chooses mafia, the mafia is likely to win; and if the amnesiac chooses a town power role, the town is likely to win. Preventing this can be a difficult task, but if the balance is just right, the amnesiac can almost guarantee to make the game more interesting (as long as they don't die too soon, of course :P).
A great rule of thumb to use when including an Amnesiac in your setup is to ask yourself, "If Amnesiac chooses mafia/town/third-party on N1, do the mafia/town/third-parties still have a reasonable chance to win the game?" If you can answer yes to that question, then the Amnesiac will likely work well in your setup. Check out some of the different ways creators have used Amnesiacs in their setups:
- Mislynch - Amnesiacs tend to work well in setup environments that value lynching over being more cautious.
Here's some examples of what not to do. :)
Way too boring. It's just a lynch, shoot, lynch, shoot setup, hoping that the next lynch is mafia. Besides, the setup's already been done before and people normally use it as a chatroom.
A setup with 20 gunsmiths, meaning a maximum of 20 people can shoot, and 5 thieves, who do not know each other and might shoot each other. Yes, this seems like a fun setup which has no flaws, but games like this should never be ranked.
A must lynch setup with 3 fools and 3 lynchers? It would seem to be a fun setup but I can assure you - this setup is going to have fools and lynchers taking up most of the wins. Don't believe me? How about some evidence? :D
I seriously wonder who the mafia could be. If you don't get me, you should know that the masons have one large meeting at night. Unless the masons are being idiots or just ridiculously bored, the town will win.
Okay, that example was crazily exaggerated but you get my point - don't have too many roles which can have one meeting.
With no converting roles, all the traitors have to do is help the mafia kill one person who is part of the town, and then get the other traitors killed/lynched for any easy mafia win. Plus, what's the point of the paranoid cop if you have no other types of cop and it is useless? The tracker is just going to get reports on his town mates, thus he/she can't find his enemy, the ninja. The doctor has a hard job there. So it is very imbalanced due to the traitors.
A setup with 1/3 of the players as yakuzas?!?!?! Unless the shrink is lucky enough to pull off one of the yakuzas' conversions, this becomes autowin for mafia night 1. Also, the doctors are useless as you can easily save a yakuza and cause autowin for mafia, and there is almost no possible way to save a killed person. Even if you do, the yakuzas will convert, making it 3 on 3, which is still mafia win.
Okay. Let's start counting the problems with this setup.
- Naive cop, no other types of cop. It's just like having a dead cop or a villager. What's the point?
- Mason has a 1/2 chance of mismasoning night one, and is likely dead the next morning anyway.
- The only thing shrink can do in the whole setup is to interfere with the mason.
- Jailer in a must lynch setup??
- With four killing parties, survivor has an unfair chance of winning.
- What's the point of three janitors??? Cleaning three bodies in a row? Well that raises the mafia's chance of winning quite a bit...
Let's count the problems in this random setup too.
- Doctor and gunsmith, the only power roles of the town. Although it looks legit, but isn't it kind of random?
- You have only got a little more than half of the players representing the town, and the three mafias. You will then have a common day 1 MYLO, and if mafia gets gun, mafia can shoot someone, and if it is not fool, they can joint win, which is basically like point farming.
- What's the point of the millers and godfather if there is no cop? You might as well change them to their normal form.
- You have a ninja with no watcher or tracker.
- You have a forger with no wills allowed.
- Fool can't win if the town only decides to use their guns as lynches or if he is killed by mafia that night or day.
Once again, this setup is basically like the previous one.
This setup may look interesting, but this is what you might call a point farm setup - a setup which is usually yields a quick game created for the purpose of obtaining easy points. Not only is the game quick, with the entire town consisting of lightkeepers, the lyncher has a decent chance of earning his/her 110 points, which is the highest amount of points possible in a single game.
You've got four different types of cops, four townies who all think they are villagers but two of whom are actually millers, and a framer that is going to be lawyered (Who would lawyer a godfather?). If the cop reports are going to be so useless, why even have the cops in the first place? You might as well random lynch, but of course, there's always a fool or two in the way.
How do I get my setup ranked?
Assuming you have considered all of the above, and you think your setup is perfectly fun and balanced, you may want to get it ranked or at least get more setup karma so that it will appear higher in the "Find Game" page.
Things to do before asking people to give karma
There are two things you can do before asking people to increment its karma:
- Publicise it in the forum.
- Test it. i.e. Create a game, and ask your friends to join!
- You can also create a game and use your own accounts to test it, but to prevent getting suspicion of cheating and misunderstanding, please read the Article about Cheating first.
Remember to ask the testers for possible improvements and to adjust its karma after testing!
They don't join my unranked games!?
Generally, there is a higher chance other people will join your unranked games if you can get hold of a few older players to join your game. If you can get 3 or 4 people to join, there is a fairly good chance that other people will join too.
Many players are willing to give advice to improve your setup, so just ask for comments/help.
People call my setup unbalanced but I'm pretty sure it isn't!
Sometimes it can be hard to determine if a setup is balanced or not. Could it be that there are too many third party roles? Or maybe people just don't understand how you intend the setup to be played? Try to talk with the people who call the setup balanced and maybe even ask for possible improvements which could be made.
Occasionally you might also create a setup which achieves a perfect 50% villager to 50% mafia wins ratio for the first 100 games played, but as EpicMafia players develop a new strategy for the setup, the setup becomes biased towards one side.
In addition, setups may take many revisions to achieve the desired balanced ratio. So if your setup ends up being too biased to one side, try again but don't get annoyed.
Why is there a blank win statstic on my setup?
On some setups, it is possible to achieve a situation where nobody wins. For example, in All Hail Discordia, a small percentage of games end up with no one winning, sometimes by the mafia, vigilante and killer shooting each other, or similar.
Is there anything I should take into consideration when making my setup involving specific roles?
Yes, there are many minor things which should be known which, believe it or not, can sometimes greatly affect the balance of a setup.
- A vigilante's shot will not go through if the vigilante is shot by the mafia. On the other hand, a vigilante's shot will still go through if shot by a killer.
- A killer's shot will still go through if shot by a vigilante, another killer or mafia.
- Town drunks override hookers
- Amnesiacs receive 0 points if they die without taking a role. Therefore it is best to be able to give the amnesiac a decent chance to survive through the first night.
- A lyncher who has a gallis as his/her target cannot win. Both lynching the gallis and popping (minority voting) the gallis don't count as a win.
- Cultists cult after masons do, but masons can kill a cultist by converting them. In addition, the cult leader should always have a fair chance or survival.
- A doctor can save a yakuza from dying if the yakuza tried to convert. However, if a bodyguard protects a yakuza who chooses to convert, there is a 50% chance that the bodyguard dies protecting the yakuza and a 50% chance that the yakuza dies normally.
- Watchers cannot get intercepted. They do not trigger the granny nor witch's curse either. However, a watcher doesn't see intercepts or curses in reports.