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keira

Northern Isles: Any Interest?

Northern Isles  

13 members have voted

  1. 1. If a revival of Northern Isles were done, would you be interested in playing?

    • Yes
      7
    • Maybe
      5
    • No
      0
    • No, but it'd be nice to spectate
      1


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For those not around in 2009, Northern Isles was a mildly-popular forum game similar to Mafia, set in the Exile/Avernum universe.

 

Anyway, long story short, I'm thinking about bringing it back. It'd most likely use the same rules and roles as game 12 did. Anyway, if there's enough people interested, it'd most likely begin sometime next week.

 

Poll's above and all that. What do y'all think? Is there enough interest to make this happen?

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I asked about this a while ago. I'm on board, you'd probably run it better than I could. Someone told me to wait till a busier period here, such s September

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Maybe, if someone would coach me or atleast teach me the mechanics, that'd be great.

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I'd love to play Northern Isles again, but fifteen players is quite a bit with the current level of activity.

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We'd certainly have to tweak the rules a bit for a smaller number of players. It was difficult enough filling all of the slots in the later games, and my life got in the way, so it fizzled.

 

To anyone who wants to host it, the biggest challenge is being active enough and keeping the order of operations straight. Actions are first-come, first-serve and need to be processed in a timely manner because a certain action by one player may preclude an action of another.

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After rereading everything, it may be possible to do a 8-10 person game by removing the Darkside Loyalists as a faction and any other characters dependent upon them. They were originally meant to be the "enemy" faction anyway.

 

Roles 1-5: Adventurer, Anama Priest, Gladwell, Oliver, Shanker

Role 6: Alchemist OR Craftmaster Strine

Roles 7+: Randomly chosen

 

This gives you a game with two factions competing, two merchants, a neutral ally Shanker, an adventurer who could go anyway, and then 2+ other random roles to add a bit of mystery, variety, and stock material for Gladwell or the Anama factions.

 

You'd have to remake the victory conditions and extra actions accordingly too. I would also weaken Gladwell and strengthen the Anama a bit, as Gladwell appeared to be the stronger faction in the last game. Something I considered is making their bonus scale with the number of shrine pieces built, which should balance them a bit stronger.

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Two thoughts:

 

1. A game that preceded the Northern Islands game was a Darkside Loyalists mafia-style game. Would that perhaps be a viable alternative? I've just been feeling an itching to play that game lately.

 

2. Could we maybe have this Geneforge theme for a change of pace?

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1. A game that preceded the Northern Islands game was a Darkside Loyalists mafia-style game. Would that perhaps be a viable alternative? I've just been feeling an itching to play that game lately.

That didn't work out very well...

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I actually looked for DLWH first, but it seems to have been entirely forum-wiped.

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That didn't work out very well...

 

Why do you say that? As i recall, it actually worked very well. The only fault was when a bad role ended up being made, and that can be easily fixed by just not having that role again.

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It ended badly because people did not follow the communication rules and dead players wouldn't remain silent. The game was never completed.

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That may have been true for a subsequent game, but I distinctly recall being the last mafia in the first game and eventually being executed as a result of that.

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The first game was definitely a mafia-style game. The Darkside Loyalists won, and due to a quirk of the rules I wrangled a win as the DL Commander by suicide. The thread is sadly gone, but I still have the PMs of some of my finest moments of lying and misleading with rationalization.

 

—Alorael, who believes the second game was the one that was aborted, and there were some serious issues with it. The first went fine. And subsequently it became Northern Isles with all the complex roles.

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I think there were three or four Darkside Loyalist Witch Hunt games -- two that I ran and one (or more?) that somebody else put together significantly later. There were also one or two informal Mafia or Werewolf games before those, that Dintiradan ran off-site I believe. The first DLWH game was indeed great.

 

The second one was immense (more than 30 players, IIRC) which exacerbated its other problems. There were overly ambitious rules, some which might have been fine in a smaller, less heterogeneous group, but all made worse because I didn't do a good enough job of articulating the vision for the game in a way that all 30-ish players could connect with. There were arguments about nearly every facet of the rules; players who decided to not read the rules and then got mad when things didn't work the way they wanted; players who were contrary on principle; talking corpses, as Excalibur mentioned; and still other players who didn't like the rules and responded by quietly cheating. Meanwhile, I was processing upwards of 45 PMs per day, and trying to keep numerous forum threads organized; as conflicts began to emerge, I became increasingly frustrated, and responded by being unsympathetic and inflexible, which of course made things worse. The atmosphere became increasingly negative; eventually the cheating came out into the open, there was a lot of self-righteousness going on, and given how things were turning out, I decided to abandon the game (and indeed the forums entirely, for a "sabbatical" that ultimately lasted two days but had seemed as though it might be forever).

 

A lot of bad blood was born in that game, but it was at least a learning experience. It was one of the last really big community things we ever had. Ironically enough, it led directly to the addition of a new batch of moderators. And of course it led to Northern Waters, and further down the line to Ephesos's Labyrinth event and the birth of AimHack.

 

The reason the threads are gone, BTW, is because we thought they were literally causing the boards to crash; I think we ultimately found another cause, but there were a few days (maybe a week?) when the server was doing especially crazy things with the biggest threads; we axed the main DLWH threads, the previous What are you reading topic, and I believe a really huge political topic that originated during the Obama/McCain election of the previous year.

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I think there were three or four Darkside Loyalist Witch Hunt games -- two that I ran and one (or more?) that somebody else put together significantly later. There were also one or two informal Mafia or Werewolf games before those, that Dintiradan ran off-site I believe. The first DLWH game was indeed great.
I have no memory of this. But setting up small single-purpose satellite forums is something I've done for this and other communities, so it sounds like something I could have done. I admittedly have a bad memory, so if someone could jog it I'd appreciate it.

 

I only remember being in one Darkside Loyalist game (never touched Northern Isles), as a member of the Anama. Level of commitment was an issue: looking back at my PMs, the Anama would be sending messages to each other every couple of days, but other players would be sitting on AIM talking a lot more.

 

Personally, I've really soured on Mafia-style games since Darkside Loyalists. Any "party game" with player elimination, really. Calref had a good time playing The Resistance and Avalon yesterday; a Mafia-esque game I like because it has no player elimination (and because it's short, easy to explain, and forces more public information than most Mafia variants). If we can come up with a rule set with those qualities, but have it scale well for a large number of players, work asynchronously, and not be too much of a burden on the person running the game, I'd be interested. But that's a tall order.

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