Welcome to The Bookish Games, a variation of the game most commonly known as Mafia or Werewolf. If you want to know more about The Bookish Games, including How to Play, please check out the links in the menu.
THE GAME IS NOW OVER!
- [DAY] Shannon @ It Starts at Midnight as Victor, Team Victor (Town), Cop/Doctor (able to investigate OR protect one player each Night)
- [NIGHT] Crini (@xcrini) as Barry, Team Victor (Town), 2x Vigilante (able to target another player for a Night kill twice during the game)
- [NIGHT] Harker @ The Hermit Librarian as Samantha, Team Victor (Town), Townie (no special powers)
- Jade @ Bedtime Bookworm as Eli, Team Eli (Mafia), Bulletproof (could not be killed at Night), 2x Strongman (able to make mafia’s Night kill almost unstoppable)
- Beth @ Beth Wade as Serena, Team Eli (Mafia), Roleblocker (able to block one person each Night from using their ability, if any)
- Greg @ Book Haven as Stell, Team Eli (Mafia), Goon (no special powers)
- Kritika @ Snowflakes and Spider Silk as Dane, Team Eli (Mafia), Goon (no special powers)
Wait, what?! How is the game over if there’s still eight players left in the game?
Well, let’s just do the math, shall we? There are eight players left in the game, but half of those players are mafia and the other half are powerless Townies. If we were to let Day Five go live, the Town would have no possibility of gaining majority vote. The best outcome they could hope for is a tie. And as no remaining Town players have any special powers, there’d be no saving numbers once Night Five rolls around. The game would just progress with the mafia picking off the remaining Townie players one by one.
I’ll provide my thoughts about how we got to this end down below in my Game Master Notes, but for now let me just extend my congrats to the mafia team and commend them on their impressive game play. From Day One your team was threatened, but you somehow managed to pull yourselves together and make it to the end (apart from Anne, RIP).
The Mafia team as a whole gets my MVP vote for this edition for playing so masterfully, but if I had to choose just one I’d give that award to Greg. For being his first time participating in The Bookish Games, he played a nearly flawless game. Out of all of the mafia players, I think he was the one to escape most notice due to his mild activity levels and lack of crazy accusations, among other things. Good job Greg!
Inspired by Vicious, there were a couple of twists built into the set-up of this game (some of which were sadly unused). These twists included: Cop-Doctor Combo, Reviver, Vengeful, V.E. SCHWAB, and Near-Death Experiences. Read on to find out more (and beware since there are some spoilers for the first book).
Victor and the Cop-Doctor Combo
In Vicious, Victor is able to control pain. He can either choose to amplify it or take it away, depending on his mood and motives. Adapting this to The Bookish Games, we decided to give Victor both Doctor and Cop abilities.
The Doctor ability is fairly self-explanatory. He is able to take pain away, so why not interpret this as him being able to heal others? The Cop ability, on the other hand, we attached to his increasing of pain ability. If he wanted information from someone, such as their alliance, surely he could increase their pain, torturing them until their alliance is revealed?
Poor Shannon had the option of using one power or the other each Night, so not only had to choose who she wanted to target but also which power she wanted to use. As you’ll see when visiting the GoogleDoc link below where we keep track of each Night form submission, this wasn’t ever an easy decision for her and rarely worked out in a beneficial way. (Of course, even if it had, who knows if it would’ve made a difference the way the Town came after her Day Four.)
No Regular Cops?
As a follow-up to explaining Shannon’s Cop-Doctor role, I would like to take a moment to explain why there were no individual Cop or Doctor roles in this game. I honestly thought when setting this game up that the Town had a lot of advantages.
There were a lot of ways for the Town to stop themselves from being killed (Bulletproof, Commuter, Cop-Doctor, Bodyguard, Reviver), and even a couple of opportunities for them to return the favour (Vigilante, Vengeful). With so many opportunities to make the Mafia’s Night kills fruitless within the game, I felt like adding extra protective roles was unnecessary and that any investigative roles could become too powerful with the potential of so many Nights without kills. As a result, when I decided to incorporate the roles into the game I did so with caution, combining them into one and giving all the power to one player (sorry Shannon).
That being said, I did originally consider giving the Cop power to Mitch when trying to determine various set-ups for this game. I thought it sort of made sense, what with his hacker abilities. But when I was originally playing with my near-death experience idea (see below), I decided I wanted all non-EOs to be powerless so took away Dol’s and Mitch’s abilities. It was only due to Inge’s persistence that they ended up having any abilities at all, chosen to fit what she thought best reflected the book.
Sydney the Reviver
A special EO power prominent in Vicious that was incorporated into this edition of The Bookish Games was Sydney’s ability to revive dead people.
This type of role is generally frowned upon by the Mafiascum wiki, which is where I pull most of my information when setting up this (and previous) games. Reviving eliminated players from the game makes them near untouchable for the Mafia. The Town people know not to vote for them because their alliance/role has already been revealed, and it’s generally assumed that any Doctors will protect them at Night.
In order to help fight this role’s potential for being overpowered, I did two things. The first is obvious, I limited the ability to only being used once within a game. After a player’s death was revealed, Joséphine had until the following Night to decide whether or not she wanted to bring the eliminated player back into the game. (The eliminated players were not able to access the dead player chat until the decision was made.)
The second limitation was not as obvious, and it may have affected the outcome of this game. (Sorry Town!) In Vicious, when Sydney revived Barry it affected his EO abilities, making him immune to Victor’s pain management. She didn’t know it would happen, she just took a chance at reviving him and the effect was realised after the fact. As a result, I decided that when a player was revived, he/she would be revived as a powerless Townie. This was a necessary limitation to help ensure that someone like Shannon didn’t take over the game.
Let me explain that. Say Shannon was killed Day Two and revealed as Cop/Doctor. Joséphine would’ve very likely revived her that Night, knowing she was such an important player. If Shannon were allowed to keep her powers, the rest of the game could’ve potentially been a disaster. Everyone would’ve known they could trust her decisions, they would all do what they could to protect her each Night, and it would just turn into a waiting game with Shannon investigating a player each Night until she found a mafia member, everyone voting for that one person when she reveals their mafia alliance during the Day, rinse and repeat. It would just take away a lot of what makes the game fun. So to avoid that, the revived-as-Townie rule came into affect.
I didn’t tell Joséphine that would be the case when a player was revived though. You see, I’m an evil mastermind. I like to tell you the basics when it comes to your role, but sometimes I may not mention all the details. (In other words, always check out The Roles page once your role has been assigned to you just in case I “forget” to mention some important details.) So when Night Three came around Joséphine decided to revive Asiya, hoping that if she was targeted for a Night kill Asiya’s bodyguard powers would kick in and keep her in for another Day, but instead she still died and Asiya came back in as a powerless Townie. Whoops. Sorry Joséphine. (And contrary to what some suspected, Asiya did not die protecting Joséphine, she was the Mafia’s intended kill Night Two.)
Aw, I’m so sad this role didn’t get used!
When browsing through the list of possible roles for The Bookish Games on Mafiascum, we came across one called Vengeful. As that was the name for Vicious’s sequel, being published on the day of our sign-ups, we felt it was only right that we give it a little nod in this game. And of course we named the character after the author, Victoria.
The role itself was set up just to match the description provided by the wiki. If Jenn was lynched, she would’ve been allowed to submit the Night Action form to kill one of the players who helped vote her out. Unfortunately she was murdered so nothing happened.
The Nameless and V.E. SCHWAB
It is time to reveal the mystery around Betty… and Heather… and Erica.
You’re right. Usually when I add characters to the game who don’t already exist within the book, I generally just call them “Nameless Townie 1” or something generic like that. This edition though? I decided to switch things up.
If you put together the names for all the characters who existed in the game but not in the book, the first letters would combine to spell V.E. SCHWAB, the author of Vicious. (Victoria, Erica, Samantha, Charlie, Heather, Whitney, Amanda, Betty)
Why did I do that? Well, why not? The numbers were right and I thought it would be a fun little easter egg, so I did it to see if anyone would figure it out. (No one did, but that’s not surprising. Half of the nameless Townies were still alive at the end of the game and you guys had a lot of other things on your mind.)
On top of that, I felt that giving names to the nameless would be helpful in case players decided to revert to name-claiming to win the game. In the Harry Potter edition of the game, we got to a point where everyone started to name claim and the bad guys had to frantically come up with some sort of name to prove their innoncence (which was sort of fun in seeing what they could come up with, but frustrating because really the game should’ve be won based off such cheap measures). By giving innocent players unknown names in the book, it meant that if name-claiming became a thing, the decision still wouldn’t be straightforward. Sure, players like Victor and Sydney wouldn’t get voted on because everyone knows they can be trusted, but Erica and Heather and Betty? The only way to be sure would be to vote them out, making the game a bit more fun.
This was another little detail we added to the game but was never used. (To be fair though, I knew going into the game that it would be highly unlikely to happen as it all came down to Beth roleblocking Crini or Shannon protecting a player from Crini’s or the Mafia’s kill. But if the perfect storm happened to create the possibility, I wanted to be prepared.)
In the book, people who go through a near-death experience gain powers (often relating to their death). As a result, we decided that if a powerless player had a near-death experience in the game (targeted by the Mafia for a Nightkill but saved by a Doctor, for example), he/she would be granted a special ability. The special abilities Inge and I chose for the near-death experiences included: Vanilla Cop, Hider, Paranoid Gun Owner, and Vanillaiser.
Inge did ask if we could consider changing the NDE to include those who were nearly lynched but survived at the end of the Day, but the game had already started at that point and I don’t like to make any changes to set-up once the game gets going out of fear some kind of bias revealing itself, so it was kept how originally planned. That may have made things more interesting though, if we included near-lynches. Maybe next time.
BEHIND THE SCENES
As always, here is the information for the secret pages and access to the master sheet where we kept track of each Day/Night actions. If you have questions about anything, don’t hesitate to ask!
- The Mafia Night Chats – The Mafia Night chats have now been imported! You can find what the mafia was saying at Night by looking at the blog archives or visiting the Night links on the Vicious Edition game page.
- GoogleDoc Spreadsheet – This is the Master Spreadsheet that Inge and I used to keep track of everything in the game from number of comments players made to voting history to Night Action form submissions. Click the tabs on the bottom of the page to see what went down each Day/Night.
- Spectator Chat (password: blackedout) – Here you will find what was said behind your backs by the spectators and ghosts! (Don’t worry, it’s nothing too bad.) As you will see, activity in the chat picked up quite a bit once Night Three rolled around not only because there were so many eliminations but because Joséphine’s death meant I no longer had to wait an extra Night to send eliminated players the chat details.
GAME MASTER’S NOTES
Wrapping the Game Up:
Oh boy, let me just say this: it doesn’t matter if I know the identities of all the players in the game and all the twists that have been implemented, I never know exactly how everything is going to play out. It’s part of what makes this madness so fun.
Town, you were so close to figuring things out so many times. It was like the name of the Mafia was right there on the tip of your tongues… but then you would get sidetracked and vote someone else out instead.
Just think about it: Day One and Day Two, you nearly had Beth. Day Three, you almost had Anne. Day Four, well, I’m not sure what happened there. I thought for sure Jade would be a target after her name was mentioned Day Three and Anne was executed, but for some reason that vote just never picked up traction. But still, all it would’ve taken was one or two of you to switch votes on any of those Days and things could’ve been different. For some reason though, it never seemed to work out.
And don’t tell me it’s because I made that mafia team too strong. I definitely didn’t try! I knew Jade and Anne would be good because they’re active players who have played before, but the other three? Well yes, Beth played the last edition so maybe I should’ve had a better gauge on her, but she died Night Three and tbh I was such a mess that edition that I really couldn’t remember how she played so felt like I was willing to take a chance there. And Greg and Kritika? They were brand new to this game! I had no clue what to expect with them.
I figured with Crini and Shannon and Joséphine and Jeann and Sana and ALL THE PEOPLE being Town, there was a good chance this Mafia team would be crushed. I was wrong.
And contrary to popular belief, I did not individually handpick roles for players! For the first time ever, I used a random number generator to assign roles. Hence the reason why some powerhouse players such as Jeann and Sana were plain Townies and some newbies to the game such as Stephen and Kait were given special powers. So take that all you who think trying to predict what I would or would not do is the best way to figure out this game. I mean, the random number generator did assign roles similarly to what I probably would’ve done so there were no major surprises and you still probably could’ve accurately guessed who had special roles and who didn’t, but hey. I actually didn’t do it all myself this time.
Oh, and the fact that the mafia only killed high-powered players? That was luck. They had no clue who had what powers. The characters on their team may have been “cops”, sure, but they weren’t actually given any Cop abilities. Night One and Night Two they targeted individuals who didn’t say much and couldn’t help players determine any Mafia identities, it just so happened that their targets (Jenn and Asiya) both had special powers. Night Three and Night Four? Well, they guessed that maybe Joséphine and Crini had special powers, but that wasn’t even their main motivation for targeting them. They wanted to get rid of the analytical players who they felt threatened by, and Joséphine and Crini were the ones leading the charge during those times. (Though I don’t know, I would’ve been tempted to keep Crini around just because she seemed to be a little of course after her one successful Night kill. 😂)
So yeah, all that to say that this whole edition was just a series of unfortunate events for the Town. They couldn’t get the votes they needed to vote for the Mafia players when they had them on the board, the Mafia players themselves were lucky in managing to eliminate a powerful player each Night, and there were a handful of issues in regards to player activity (or the lack thereof) that distracted the Town from their goal.
But hey, prior to this edition the mafia had only won two out of nine games so it was about time they had another win. 😅
We thought it might be fun to wrap this post up by sharing some of our favourite moments from this edition of The Bookish Games.
Day/Night One: Shannon’s safety
Obviously the running joke from Day One was Shannon and how she was risking her real life to check in on the events of the Day while driving her car. (I definitely do not recommend!) The mafia even considered eliminating Shannon for her own safety, but luckily she learned her lesson.
Anne: Oh, my one other random thought was that maybe we ought to eliminate Shannon for her own wellbeing and safety. 😂😂😂
Shannon: @Asti, I stayed in the parking lot to comment so I hope you are proud 😂 … I was very good this time! My son was like “mom can we GO!?” and I said “Noooo Asti will be mad if I comment at red lights again” 😂
Day Two: Confusion about Betty
I’ve mentioned the reasoning behind the Betty name up above, but let me just assure you that the mass confusion about Betty after her death brought me so much joy. It’s nice to throw you guys off every once in a while, even if it did cause a major distraction for the Town.
Harker: Before diving into Day Two: I’m not sure I recognize the character Betty. Could anyone enlighten me? I recently finished the book and it doesn’t ring a bell.
Dana: I don’t know who Betty is either. Maybe some names were made up due to there not being an abundance of characters in the book. Or maybe she makes an appearance in Vengeful?
Jade: So, i hadn’t planned on reading Vicious just yet, but after the last Day ended I was dying to know who Betty was haha (not that it really matters I think). So I started reading the book and inhaled practically half of it yesterday! I thought I met Betty yesterday in the book but turns out that characters name was Beth LOL. I did a search for Betty on my kindle and nothing came up. Has anyone read Vengeful? Is she a character in there? I might be a mystery unless Asti decides to enlighten us. I don’t think they usually make up names because we’ve had “nameless” townies before… but maybe they did this time just to confuse us!
It even was mentioned in Shannon’s blog post in which she reviewed Vicious:
I bought this like 503 years ago, and probably would have never read it if not for Bookish Games, tbh. (Lot of good it did, I still have no freaking clue who Betty is.)
Day Three: The Dreaded Blockquotes
And of course we can’t forget Day Three and the massive fails when it came to players using blockquotes. I’ve never felt so needed in my life.
Jade: WOW. Somehow in my comment where I explained how to do a blockquote I completely did it wrong?? What I tried to blockquote didn’t blockqoute, and what I tried not to blockquote did… I don’t know how I did that but if a mod could fix my comment for me it would be greatly appreciated!! I’m so embarrassed hahahah.
Anne: Omg you can tell I’m still half asleep. Can a mod help me with my blockquote fail? Lol 😨
Thank you, Asti! Do not blockquote before coffee, folks!
Greg: This was supposed to be block quoted as well.
Clearly I’m block quote challenged. *sigh*
Anne: Oh clearly take block quotes away from me. >.<
I’m going to go hide in a corner from absolute shame. I reread it twice!!!
Asti?! Help? lol
(Did you notice something interesting about the players who made those blockquote mishaps Day Three? They were all Mafia players. Dun Dun DUNNNNN!)
We Need Your Feedback!
Okay, I was going to end this section of the blog post asking for your feedback regarding certain elements of The Bookish Games, but as this post is already MASSIVELY long and I have no internet it will have to wait until another time.
Please check back next Saturday, November 10th, for a feedback post to go live for The Bookish Games. It won’t be specific to how you felt about this edition of the game (feel free to complain or cheer about the Vicious edition in the comment section of this post). Instead it will ask for your opinion on some general things about The Bookish Games including the Twitter account, amount of players, etc.
We hope you enjoyed this edition of The Bookish Games and look forward to seeing you for the next one. Don’t forget to join our mailing list if you want to be notified when sign-ups for the next edition go live and we’ll see you next week for our feedback post.
Asti & Inge