Bring Your Own Character 2.0: Sign-Ups

BYOC2

The Bookish Games

Welcome to The Bookish Games, an online version of the party game Mafia that has been floating around the internet since 2013. If you haven’t participated in the Games before and what to know what it’s all about, be sure to visit the links provided in the menu (to the left on computers, top of the page for mobiles). There you will find a rundown of how the game works, the rules all players must follow, and archives of the previous editions of The Bookish Games.

The main thing to be aware of if you are thinking about participating in The Bookish Games and haven’t played before is that this game requires a major time commitment. At the very least, you will have to dedicate an hour or two each week to The Bookish Games if you want to play it properly. The Bookish Games involves reading comments left by other players (generally over 100 comments per game Day), analysing information from comments and player deaths, contributing to the Day discussion, and submitting the Night Action form for your special power (if any). Please take this into consideration before signing up to play.

(But also, don’t let that warning scare you off because these games ARE are a lot of fun. Don’t believe me? Check out this page of testimonials where players from the past discussed why they love The Bookish Games.)

Bring Your Own Character 2.0 Edition

Usually we take a couple months off hosting The Bookish Games once an edition has come to an end, but as the world is a bit of a mess right now we thought some players could use the distraction now. As a result, we’re looking to jump right back into things with another edition of The Bookish Games: Bring Your Own Character edition.

Here’s the main thing you need to know if you didn’t participate in the previous BYOC edition: nothing in this set-up is pre-determined. Unlike other editions where we open sign-ups with a prepared player list and set-up, this edition is totally up to you. 

If you want to play, complete the sign up form below letting us know your top three choices for book characters and their associated roles. The rules for these choices are as follows:

  • Please include at least one Town-aligned choice. We will do our best to give everyone their first-picks for characters/roles but unfortunately there aren’t many anti-Town slots available. Be sure to give us at least one Town option, just in case.
  • Roles can be pulled from The Bookish Games Roles page or the MafiaWiki – or, if you’re feeling really crazy, you can even come up with your own original role. Note: The moderators hold the right to adjust the roles as deemed necessary. We’ll contact the player to discuss options before making a final decision.
  • Do your best to ensure the character and role you are pairing together makes sense. While requesting to play Harry Potter as a Serial Killer may be a fun idea, it just doesn’t quite make sense. Creativity is encouraged, but also be mindful of the source material.

There will also be an option for you to suggest a set-up twist in the sign-up form. If you’re feeling inspired, give us an idea! The BYOC edition never guarantees a balanced game, but we’ll do our best to keep it reasonable and fun.

Sign-Up to Play!

The deadline for sign-ups is Wednesday, April 29th with the games starting on Wednesday, May 6th. As this game does not involve a premade set-up, there is no limit to the amount of players who can sign up to play. Anyone and everyone is welcome, as long as each person agrees to follow the rules.

NOTE: We must have at least FIVE participants sign up in order for this game to proceed.

Sign ups are now closed!

Confirmed Players

  1. Shannon @ It Starts at Midnight (she/her)
  2. Anne @amengelhart (she/her)
  3. Harker @ The Hermit Librarian (they/them)
  4. Amber @ YA Indulgences (she/her)
  5. Kritika @ spidersilksnow (she/her)
  6. Beth @ ArtemisHi (she/her)
  7. Kerrie @ lovekerrie (she/her)
  8. Greg @  Greg’s Book Haven (he/him)
  9. Anna @AnnaJJacobson1 (she/her)
  10. Jeann @ Happy Indulgence (she/her)
  11. Nicole @tardigradeTay (she/her)
  12. Megan Rose @Megan_Roze (she/her)
  13. @mhisreading (she/her)
  14. MeyliaAndBlackTea (she/her)

Spectators

  1. Asti @ @astistenning (mod)
  2. Dana @DanaBartelt (mod)
  3. Inge @ingeswonderland
  4. Christine @ Captivated Reading
  5. Irene @ Boghunden
  6. Siran @ToukhanianSiran
  7. Meeghan @ Meeghan reads
  8. Amber (@BooksofAmber)

If you would like to be added to the Spectator Chat, a place where you can share your thoughts about the game with the moderators, eliminated players, and other spectators, please leave a comment below. 

Thanks in advance to everyone who signs up! We’re looking forward to seeing what you come up with.

❤ Asti and Dana

Scythe: Game Over

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!

Scythe Game Over Final

Eliminated:

Winners:

Half-winners:

  • Beth @ArtemisHi as Honorable Scythe Michael Faraday, Team Old Guard, Suicidal, Restless Spirit
  • Joséphine @ Word Revel as Rowan Damisch, Team Old Guard, Unlyncher (Citra), Mafia-targeted Eavesdropper, Apprentice Scythe

Half-winners! Because you didn’t fully meet your win condition (in Beth’s case, stay alive; in Joséphine’s case, keep Citra alive), but you made it to the end of the game, and that’s worth something.

TEAM OLD GUARD WINS!

Congratulations to MY team, Team Old Guard, for winning the game! (Haha, that’s right, your evil mastermind has returned to the admin side of The Bookish Games to help Inge write this Game Over post. I’ve been limited to bugging Greg in the Spectator Chat for far too long – it’s time to expose you all to my rambling again!)

As with every edition of the game, this win was a result of both skill and luck. There were so many little things that could’ve completely changed the game if given the chance – Siran could’ve been revived by the Spectators Day One which could’ve led to a very different Day Two, we could’ve woken up to FIVE Town deaths instead of three if Kerys wasn’t lynched, Meeghan could’ve investigated Sana and kept the focus off her until all other options were exhausted at the end of the game – the list goes on and on. (Be sure to read about the set-up below, so much good stuff!) Luckily things worked out the way they did for Team Old Guard and they managed to snag that win. Congrats Amber, Jeann, Kritika, Meeghan, and Shannon! (Oh, and to our first half-winners too, Joséphine and Beth!😂)

Our two MVPs for this edition of the game are Jeann and Shannon. While it took the actions of the entire Town to ensure Team Old Guard’s win, these two managed to do a little extra in making the Mafia’s job hard.

JeannJeann was the vigilante hero this Town needed. The Mafia was hurting with the back-to-back eliminations of Kerys and MiKayla on Days Three and Four, but there was no guarantee that Crini would’ve been next to go going into Day Five. (You saw how well she verbally combatted with me, that girl is good!) Luckily for the Town, Jeann took matters into her own hand and used her vigilante power to eliminate Crini Night Four, crippling the Mafia team to just one player left. You go Jeann!

Even during the Day, Jeann contributed strongly to the team. While she was occasionally sidetracked by retaliatory votes and miscommunication, Jeann was actively involved throughout the game and regularly provided some much-needed analysis. If you check the Spectator chat, you’ll find that we were cheering as “Team Jeann” more than once.

(Dana: Y’all, I think Jeann saved the town with her going vigilante on Crini and submitting her form before Crini submitted the form for the Mafia to glean her. Total MVP!)

Shannon

Shannon was the Townie who used her votes the most effectively throughout the game. Not only was she an early part of each Mafia member’s vote out (one of the first three voters for Kerys on Day Three, MiKayla on Day Four, and Sana on Day Seven), but she also caused the tie Day Five saving teammate Joséphine from elimination.

Plus, Shannon provided a much-needed voice of reason at times during this game. Take Day Six and the role reveals, for example. There was a lot of confusion surrounding the information Harker shared about Amber’s role and it was only through Shannon that players really managed to figure out what it all meant. Kudos to her (especially because I totally couldn’t figure it out in the Spectator chat until she connected the dots for me)!

(Dana: Shannon is always so good at everything game related and we need a manual)

And, just because I was so invested as a player, I thought I’d highlight a couple of my favorite things about the gameplay of our other Town survivors:

  • Amber deserves recognition for managing to survive until the end of the game when the Town pretty much wanted to vote her out every single Day. She also managed to be a part of the three Mafia player lynchings.
  • Though she wasn’t part of their final eliminations, Meeghan helped reinforce suspicion around Kerys and Crini during the early Days of the game. I was also quite impressed by her investigation strategy as a Cop – focusing suspicion on some players during the Day while investigating other players during the Night.
  • Kritika is a boss for stepping in for Krista so late in the game, duh. Who knows if Sana would’ve ended up getting the most votes Day Six if she didn’t charge in after her.
  • Joséphine deserves credit just for putting up with us all after that Siran vote Day One, ouch. I also loved that even once she self-revealed as Unlyncher she left players thinking there was another Unlynchee in the game (though I guess it’s true – her win condition was to make sure Rowan survived!).
  • And Beth, my other fellow filthy bandwagoner, I loved her breakdowns while she was alive. (It must’ve feel so weird to play being limited to a vote!)

But really, you’ve all been great and I had such a good time playing with you. (Even you Mafia bastards who killed me! Sana, you’re SO GOOD!) I love you all.

Now to hand it back over to Inge so she can discuss the set-up…

THE SET-UP

Dana and I had a lot of fun scheming, and there were some very interesting bits and bobs in this edition. Unfortunately, we didn’t get to use them all the way we would’ve liked, but here’s a breakdown.

WARNING: Spoilers for Scythe below. (Just to be safe.)

Scythe-Mass-Gleanings

Mass gleaning

I mean, we had to, didn’t we? Honorable Scythe Robert Goddard and his groupies disciples are famous for their mass gleanings, so, y’all guessed it – we gave the Mafia the opportunity to glean en masse. If they chose to save their kill, they could target one extra person on any future Night. They went for it, saved their kills Nights One and Two, and were able to kill three people in one go during Night Three (bye bye, Anna, Patricia, and Asti). This definitely caused some confusion and panic, which was, of course, the intention. You hated it, we loved it.

(Dana: So, so much!)

Scythe-Arsonist

A Mafia Arsonist

So, yes, usually an Arsonist is a Third Party role. But we had to incorporate Noam Chomsky and his slightly creepy love for flamethrowers, so we made the Arsonist part of the Mafia. This made for an extremely powerful team, so we curbed it slightly: the Arsonist was only allowed to kill alongside the Mafia (to imitate the New Order scythes gleaning in group).

If the Mafia chose to save their kill, the Arsonist’s only option was to prime. If the Mafia kills, it’s time to ignite. Which would’ve happened during Night Three if you hadn’t killed Kerys off – you saved Jeann and Anna from a fiery death. We have to admit, it was an extremely good move for the Town, but we were a tad disappointed. We were really looking forward to those five Night kills. 😝

(Dana: We may be evil.)

Scythe-Apprentices-Updated

Conclaves and Apprentice Scythes

Ah yes, the Conclaves. Held every three Days, they were a source of much confusion and trepidation. Thing is – most of you were unaffected by the Conclaves. The only ones being tested were our Apprentice Scythes:

  • Siran / Citra Terranova
  • Joséphine / Rowan Damisch
  • Anna / Claudette Catalino
  • Jenn / Jacory Zimmerman

With Siran being eliminated Day One, only three players were under scrutiny. They knew they were being tested, but they did not know what the test was.

On Day Three (Vernal Conclave), their final vote had to be for a Mafia member. Only Jenn passed this test when she voted for Kerys. Joséphine and Anna failed, but Anna was killed Night Three, so only Joséphine received a penalty: her vote on Day Four would be randomized. Thanks to random.org, Joséphine had to vote for Shannon M.

On Day Six (Summer Conclave), Joséphine was the only remaining Apprentice Scythe and thus faced the test alone. She had to comment at least six times. She only just passed this test by not showing up until the very last day, but she passed! And so her vote was not taken away on Day Seven.

Scythe-Tuning-Fork

Tuning Fork

With great power comes great responsibility. We introduce to you: the Tuning Fork. Not even Asti knew what it did. We emailed her this:

“At Night, you can use your Tuning Fork. You’re not quite sure what it does, but your faith tells you that its resonance has the power to create much chaos and confusion. Use it wisely.”

Naturally, Asti being Asti, she immediately used it the very first Night. (Question: Do you think Asti is the type of person who sees a big red button and decides to press it to see what it does? Let us know in the comments!) We cheered her on for this because yay chaos! Because the Tuning Fork randomly redirected all Night actions (using random.org). A randomly targeted Night kill would’ve been especially salacious.

(Dana: She would totally push it!)

Alas, the Tuning Fork didn’t do much, because the Mafia had decided to save their kill, and the Arsonist’s priming of Jeann randomly retargeted… Jeann. At the very least, we got a good laugh out of confusing Meeghan, who investigated Asti, but got results back for Joséphine:

Scythe-Doctor

Doctor grants immunity

We wanted to replicate immunity-granting; Shannon T didn’t know this, but when she protected someone for the Night, they were also protected the next Day, so they couldn’t be eliminated. A twist we didn’t actually get to see in action, because y’all managed to lynch the Doctor on Day Two. This is why we can’t have nice things.

Scythe-Unlyncher

Unlyncher/Unlynchee

In the book, Rowan and Citra are pitted against each other, which will eventually lead to one of them gleaning the other. Rowan decides very early on that he’ll throw the “competition” so Citra can live. Thus the roles Unlyncher and Unlynchee were very easily chosen. We also thought it’d be a little bit funny to make Siran the Unlynchee, as her unpredictable playing style makes her difficult to protect. Sorrynotsorry, Jo. 😉 You did truly give it your all on Day One.

Scythe-Eavesdropper

Eavesdropper

We debated for a looong time about how to portray the complex character of Rowan Damisch. We talked about a possible alignment switch as well, but eventually we settled on Mafia-targeted Eavesdropper. Joséphine couldn’t choose who to overhear, but every Night she received snippets from the Mafia chat. She did not know who said what.

During Night One, the Tuning Fork made things a bit difficult to overhear.

Sometimes, the snippets were a little more ominous.

But as the Mafia started dropping like flies, Sana was the only one left in the chat, and what Joséphine overheard became a little less useful.

(I’m sorry, Sana. It was too funny not to share. 😂)

Scythe-Spectators

Spectators’ Role

These past few editions, we’ve been trying to come up with ways to incorporate the Spectators into the game. This time, there were a lot of options. Judges at the Conclaves? The Thunderhead? Ultimately, we gave them the role of Maxim Easley, founder of Regenesis, 1x Revival. If a player was about to be eliminated, the Spectators had to write “REVIVE [NAME]” to stop the elimination and role reveal from happening. However, most of the Spectators became inactive, and so the role kind of fell to Greg, who spent half of the game chatting to himself (until Asti died and he suddenly had a very talkative conversational partner). You should’ve seen Greg – he was like a little kid in a toy shop, so happy with his powers. 😂 Eventually, he decided to use his power for a little extra chaos (which we, as moderators, can only encourage) and revived Sana on Day Six.

Scythe-Faraday

The Curious Case of Michael Faraday

Honorable Scythe Michael Faraday’s role was super fun to put together, as his storyline is also a really complicated one. In the book, he fakes his own suicide after Vernal Conclave in an attempt to save Rowan and Citra’s lives. So we knew we wanted a Suicidal role, but, indeed, only after Vernal Conclave. If Beth had died before the end of Day Four, her roles would not have activated. But because she survived up until then, her self-gleaning kicked into action and she became a, unkillable Restless Spirit, being able to vote but not comment.

Scythe-Thunderhead

Thunderhead

And last but certainly not least, we knew we had to incorporate the Thunderhead somehow, and it would be a big role. So Harker became and investigative immune, and a Survivor, and a Beholder. Their job was, simply, to stay alive and observe. But because we didn’t want to make the Beholder role too powerful, we kept the results fairly cryptic and had Harker figure things out on their own.

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 to this blog and can be found by visiting the links at the bottom of the dedicated Scythe edition page.
  • GoogleDoc Spreadsheet This is the Master Spreadsheet that Inge and Dana 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: iamyouromega) – This page grants you access to the Spectator chat where the moderators, ghosts, and spectators discussed gameplay.

INGE’S GAME MASTER NOTES

I just wanna take a moment to thank you all from the bottom of my heart. Your undying loyalty and enthusiasm for these games, even during times of crisis, are so motivating.

And even though things got heated from time to time, you guys took many opportunities to joke around as well. I had a good laugh every time Shannon magically conjured up an inactive player, and with Beth trying to explain blockquotes:

“ARGH, I give up. Google it I guess.”

And I think I speak for all of us when I say we’re all waiting with bated breath for Bookish Games Life Lessons With Shannon™. 😉

We’ll also be introducing group therapy in the next edition.

But seriously, I am super proud of all of you, and I hope you’ll give yourselves a pat on the back. Don’t be too hard on yourself if you think you “underperformed” this edition. There’s no such thing. This game is never easy, and we’re all under a lot of stress. As long as you went out there and you tried and you had fun, that’s all that matters.

Also, a massive thank you to Asti for creating our amazing graphics once again! Even without knowing which characters and roles we’d be using, you’ve absolutely nailed it.

That’s all from me for now. Take care, my friends.

ASTI’S GAME MASTER NOTES

Thanks to Inge and Dana!

Before I get to the general admin stuff I just wanted to give a HUGE thank you to Inge and Dana for setting up and moderating this edition of the game. It’s a lot of work to run these games and is probably even more overwhelming when you have to deal with me as a player so thank you thank you thank you for agreeing to doing it. I loved the inclusion of new roles and interesting twists and you really left me guessing all the way until the very end. SO good!

(Dana: Thank you so much for letting me do this, I had the best time! I’m hooked and would adore helping again in the future!)

Informal Twitter Chat

It was suggested towards the end of the game in Spectator Chat that we have a little Twitter Chat once the game is over, but after discussing it between the mods we’ve decided that it might be a little bit hard to do in the traditional sense since players are split between so many different time zones. Instead, we’re going to pop up some game-related questions and comments onto the Bookish Games Twitter tonight for you to answer and interact with at your own convenience. And if there’s anything you want to ask other players or comment about, please do! Tag us in your tweets and we’ll retweet them for others to see.

Of course, if you don’t feel like chatting on Twitter the comment section of this post will be open as always!

Coming up Next

I am not entirely sure what I want to do next with The Bookish Games. We usually take a couple months off after a game to rest up and plan the next one, but I know the world’s a bit crazy right now and some players might appreciate the distraction of another Game. As a result, I’m sort of leaving this up to you guys. If you’re happy with the usual break we’ll continue on like usual with an announcement for the next edition in a couple of months after we sort it out. But if you would like to get thrown into the Games again in a week or two let me know in the comments and we’ll do another quick Bring Your Own Character edition. (No hard feelings either way!)

If we do take our usual break, would you be interested if I whipped up a post in the meantime with some general tips and hints about playing the game? I could share a copy of the spreadsheet I used while playing and maybe highlight moments from previous games when discussing strategy and whatnot? I think it could be quite fun to write but wasn’t sure if anyone would be interested.

Anyways, I think that’s everything. Thanks once again to Inge and Dana for creating an amazing game set-up, and thank to all of you for making it such a good time! As always, sign up to the mailing list if you haven’t already to be notified when the next game will be happening and stop by the Bookish Games Twitter to answer our follow-up questions and continue discussing the game!

Until next time,

❤ Asti & Inge & Dana

Scythe: Day Seven

Welcome to The Bookish Games, a variation of the game most commonly known as Mafia, Werewolf, or Town of Salem. If you want to know more about The Bookish Games, including How to Play, please check out the links in the menu.

NOTE: Only players who have signed up for the Game should comment on this post. If you are not a participant but want to talk about the Games, please contact us on Twitter and we’ll send you access to the Spectators Chat.

The Players

Eliminated:

Other:

Krista is replaced by Kritika.

Game Master’s Notes

What the hell happened? Day Six was so hectic, I’m supposed to be counting comments and my spreadsheet literally says “THERE ARE TOO MANY COMMENTS.” No, you know how much we love your enthusiasm, but things got a little heated. We hope you’ve had a few days to calm down and clear your heads a little bit. We’re all under a lot of stress and this is a stressful game, but try to keep the fighting to a minimum. Take a few deep breaths before you reply to something that frustrates you. We are here for you if you need to talk and/or vent about the Games.

Please take care of yourselves during COVID-19. These are stressful times, and we hope the Bookish Games can be a fun distraction for you. Having said that, your health and safety comes first. You can always request a Day pass if you feel you can’t make it a certain week.

As always, don’t be afraid to contact us if you have any questions or just want to chat in private about what’s going on during the Game. We are here to help and want to make this as fun of an experience as possible! If it’s urgent, keep our time zones in mind: Inge lives on CEST (GMT+2) and Dana on CDT (GMT-5).

It is now Day Seven.

You have until Sunday 7pm BST to discuss suspicions and cast your votes. Once the deadline has been reached, the person with the most votes will be eliminated.

Good luck!

Scythe: Night Six

It Is Night Six.

Welcome Mafia! It is now your chance to openly discuss your evil plans. You may talk about what’s happened so far, brainstorm strategies to survive the next Day, laugh at how clueless the Townies are – whatever your heart desires.

You have two objectives by the end of the Night:

  1. Determine which player you would like to target for elimination.
  2. Determine which Mafia teammate you would like to send to complete the kill.

OR choose to save your kill for another Night.

Once you have decided on these objectives, please have one of your team members submit your decisions to the Moderators by completing the Night Action form.

You only have 48 hours to make a decision. The Night phase ends each Tuesday 7pm BST. A countdown has been added to the sidebar to assist you in determining how much time you have left each phase.

Remember: Your goal is to outlast and eliminate any other team. Use your kills wisely, and do your best to keep your team alive.

Mafia team: Sana, Crini, Kerys, MiKayla

Scythe: Day Six

Welcome to The Bookish Games, a variation of the game most commonly known as Mafia, Werewolf, or Town of Salem. If you want to know more about The Bookish Games, including How to Play, please check out the links in the menu.

NOTE: Only players who have signed up for the Game should comment on this post. If you are not a participant but want to talk about the Games, please contact us on Twitter and we’ll send you access to the Spectators Chat.

The Players

Eliminated:

    • Jenn @bookish_ginger as Jacory Zimmerman, Team Old Guard, Apprentice Scythe

Other:

Krista has had to drop out due to time constraints and will be replaced by Kritika. I’m giving her until the start of Day Seven to read up on all the comments (if she survives), so Krista/Kritika receives a pass for Day Six and does not need to meet the comment minimum.

Game Master’s Notes

Whew, that was quite an ending of Day Five! I didn’t need chamomile tea afterwards, though I’m sure for a few of you it was incredibly intense. Creating a tie can be controversial because it gives you no new information, so I sure hope you did the right thing… 😉

Today is Summer Conclave. Same as on Day Three, Apprentice Scythes will be put to the test today. Fail to pass the test and you will receive a penalty. Good luck, as you will have no idea what the test is.

Please take care of yourselves during COVID-19. These are stressful times, and we hope the Bookish Games can be a fun distraction for you. Having said that, your health and safety comes first. You can always request a Day pass if you feel you can’t make it a certain week.

As always, don’t be afraid to contact us if you have any questions or just want to chat in private about what’s going on during the Game. We are here to help and want to make this as fun of an experience as possible! If it’s urgent, keep our time zones in mind: Inge lives on CEST (GMT+2) and Dana on CDT (GMT-5).

It is now Day Six.

You have until Sunday 7pm BST to discuss suspicions and cast your votes. Once the deadline has been reached, the person with the most votes will be eliminated.

Good luck!