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TRAITORS IN ALMARIA: A One Night Hunt


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TRAITORS IN ALMARIA: A One Night Hunt

 

This is an easy-to-play forum-based game, set in Avernum, and based on One Night Werewolf. This is a discussion-based game where everyone receives a secret role and you have to guess who's who. The "One Night" variant means there will be no player elimination, no annoyingly short deadlines, and no restrictions on communication. Woohoo!! Post in this thread if you're interested in playing. More details below.

 

 

SETTING

When the Barriers came down, the Empire War intensified. That was especially true in the Eastern Gallery, where the Empire's surprise attack all but destroyed the city of Cotra. Suddenly, a lot of people found they had compelling reasons to get out of dodge. Caravans began running regularly between Silvar and Almaria. Almaria sits at the mouth of the Great Cave, the biggest and safest area left in Avernum's control. It's also a trading hub and a supply depot. Ultimately, people from all walks of life had reason to join the caravans. You were one of them.

 

You thought you recognized a few of the other travellers. But with all the refugees and soldiers about, and the rumors of brigands and invisible Empire soldiers hiding nearby, you could never be sure. The travellers were glad for their safety in numbers, but not quite ready to trust each other, either. It was a quiet couple of days.

 

When you reach Almaria, everyone heaves a sigh of relief. You all prepare your toll to pay at the Almarian bridge. At the gate, however, you're met by an old man in mage's robes. "I am Rone," he says, "Royal Wizard of Avernum, and we don't have much time... umm, hmm." He pauses. "What was I saying?"

 

"Time, yes, that's right. We don't have time. We think Almaria is about to be attacked. We don't know how. But tonight. It will be tonight. Don't ask me how we know. We... scry. And I can scry more. We found a way to scry inside your head... well, Patrick did. And that's why you're here... here... zzzzzzz..." This time, somebody kicks him.

 

"Your heads! Yes, we think there are Empire spies among you. Probably coming in for sabotage before the attack. But I can scry your heads... well, not all of you. It's slow, and difficult. I can scry one of you before the attack, so we can learn about it and become prepared. But just one person, and I don't know who. You spent time together. You must have watched... learned about each other. You need to decide. I need you all to talk. Figure out. Who was suspicious? Figure it out, and tell me. I can only... only time to scry one. So this is important! Zzzzzzzzz..."

 

You look at the other travellers uneasily. Rone was right: you did try to size them up during the trip. But you didn't have a chance to watch everyone. You only learned so much. And you wonder if anyone else figured out who you really are. Will they trust you? Can they trust you? You'd better find a way to get them to trust you...

 

 

GAMEPLAY

When the game begins, each player will receive their SECRET ROLE via private message from the game organizer (me). Your role will determine what your goal is. If you're an Avernite, you want to figure out who an Empire Spy is and vote for them to be scried. If you're an Empire Spy, you want to make sure that the person with the most votes is an Avernite. Pretty simple!

The game then takes place over 3 phases:

 

1. THE CARAVAN TRIP. Some roles have special powers that allow you to, e.g., spy on another player, or gain extra information. During this phase, those roles will use their powers (via PM with me).

 

2. OUTSIDE THE GATES OF ALMARIA. This is the main part of the game. Avernites will be trying to figure out who the spies are, by asking questions, sharing information, and trying to catch an Empire agent in a clear lie or otherwise acting suspiciously. But be careful, because the Empire agents will be making stuff up in order to pass as Avernites and spread suspicion towards Avernites, too. In general, the more that is said in public, the better the odds are for the good guys. So, post a lot, ask questions, and share your theories about who the spies are.

 

This phase will probably last 48 hours (open to suggestions if you think it should be longer/shorter). You don't need to spend all day at the computer but I'd recommend checking the game thread at least 2-3 times each day, so you have a chance to speak up and to hear what others say.

 

3. VOTING. In this "One Night" version of the game, voting is SECRET (though I will share votes after the game ends). You vote by PM (to me). You can still talk to other players during this time. Voting will probably be open for 24 hours. At the end of that time, Rone will scry whoever had the most votes. If it's an Empire Spy, Avernum wins! If it's not, the effort will be wasted and Almaria will fall victim to the Empire's cunning scheme!

 

 

WHAT ARE THE SPECIFIC ROLES?

The number and type of the roles given out will depend on how many players we get. I'll share the role list publicly before we begin.

 

HOW DO I SIGN UP?

Just post in this thread if you're interested. If there are any times in the next week or two when you'll be completely without internet access for a long period of time (i.e., 24 hours or more), let me know and I'll try and schedule around it.

 

Join us for a lot of fun!

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Do I need to have any experience with sort of game know what to / not fail embarrassingly? I've always been leery of this sort of thing, but you've piqued my curiosity. I remember playing Mafia once in real life years and years ago and just being hopelessly confused.

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Assuming Triumph joins in, and that Excalibur and Tridash's interest translate to participation, that's eight players, which means this is definitely a go. More players are still welcome to join.

 

One possible timeline would be:

 

Wednesday night (EST): Caravan Trip.

- List of players is posted

- List of all possible roles is posted

- Players receive roles via PM

- Roles with special powers can respond to the PM, in order to use them (e.g., "I spy on Alorael")

 

Thursday night (EST): Outside the Gates of Almaria

- Results of special power use are revealed via PMs (or in this thread, if that's appropriate for any)

- Discussion takes place (definitely in public, some may choose to have private discussions as well) so players can figure out who to vote for

 

Saturday night (EST): Voting phase

- Voting opens (via PM with me, if you change your mind, the last stated vote counts)

- Discussion can continue

 

Sunday night (EST):

- Votes tabulated, game ends, we see who won

- Everything is revealed

 

This would be a great timeline for many of us, I'm guessing, as it allows for plenty of discussion on the weekend and wraps the game up before next week begins. If this would be a problem for anyone (i.e., if you'll be away from the internet for the entire caravan trip phase, or the entire voting phase) speak up and let me know.

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PLAYER LIST

Nalyd (Coppereye)

BainIhrno

Excalibur

Sarachim

Goldengirl

Tridash

Sylae

Triumph

Iffy

 

There are THREE possible "sides" for you to be on: Loyal Avernites, Empire Spies, and The Skribbane Addict.

- LOYAL AVERNITES want Rone to scry an Empire Spy to get information for Almaria's defense. All Loyal Avernites win if the person with the most votes is an Empire Spy.

- EMPIRE SPIES want to make it to Almaria undetected. If any one of them is scried, they lose. They win if the person with the most votes is a Loyal Avernite.

- THE SKRIBBANE ADDICT is unique: they want to be the target of Rone's scrying, because it will give them the magical "high" they are looking for. (As a side effect, it will also make Rone go crazy and attack the entire caravan.) Thus, their goal is to act suspiciously enough that they receive the most votes. If that happens, the addict wins, but the caravan is kicked out of Almaria, which means that everyone else loses.

 

There are deliberately more possible roles than there are players. Specifically, there will be three unused roles. The result is that you won't know exactly how many spies there are... and there may, or may not, be a skribbane addict in the group.

 

LOYAL AVERNITE ROLES (8):

- APPRENTICE MAGE: The apprentice mage chooses one player. The apprentice mage finds out that player's role.

- PRIEST: The priest learns what one of the unused roles is, chosen at random.

- DISCIPLES OF SIXUS (2): Each disciple knows who the other disciple is. (If there is only one disciple, they know there are no other disciples in the caravan.)

- REFUGEES (2): The refugees have no special power. However, the Empire can't tell them apart. (See below.)

- GEAS TOUCHER: The geas toucher bears a special curse of the sort Gladwell will one day use. The geas toucher chooses one player. The geas toucher switches roles with that player. The geas toucher finds out what their new role is, but the other player is not made aware of the switch. This role changing ability takes effect AFTER all other abilities, so the information they provided MAY be outdated by this.

- HIGHLY ALERT CITIZEN: You can't sneak up on the highly alert citizen. At the start of the trip, this player receives alertness status. At the very end of the trip, after role changing abilities, the one player with this status finds out whether or not their role was changed, and if so, what it was changed to.

 

EMPIRE SPY ROLES (3):

All Empire Spy roles begin the Caravan Trip knowing who the other empire spies are.

- EMPIRE BUREAUCRAT: The empire bureacrat chooses one role. The empire bureaucrat is told how many players have that role.

- EMPIRE INFILTRATOR: The empire infiltrator chooses one player. The empire infilitrator tries to find out that player's role. However, the infiltrator cannot recognize the refugees, the highly alert citizen, and the skribbane addict. If the target has one of those roles, the power will fail, thus providing limited information.

- EMPIRE CULTIST: The empire cultist's bizarre mental magic can seriously confuse its victim. The empire cultist chooses one player (who is not an empire spy). That player switches roles with one of the unused roles, chosen at random. No one is made aware of the changes. This role changing ability takes effect AFTER all other abilities (except the Geas Toucher), so the information they provided MAY be outdated by this.

 

SKRIBBANE ADDICT ROLE (1):

- SKRIBBANE ADDICT: The skribbane addict has no special powers, but has a unique goal, as described above.

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GENERAL TIPS FOR LOYAL AVERNITES

- Your goal is to help discover who at least one Empire Spy is.

- In order to do this, you need information. At the start of the game, you won't be able to trust most of the other players. But as more and more people share what they know (or what they claim to know), you'll be able to start ruling out some players as definitely or probably loyal.

- In general, the more that players talk (in public or private, but especially in public), the better things are for the Loyal Avernites.

- One common strategy is to ask other players what their roles are. Although Empire Spies can lie, this puts them on the record as claiming something you might be able to disprove later.

- Some Loyal Avernite roles get extra information. You may decide to share that information publicly, or keep it secret. Sharing it may increase trust in you, but keeping it secret till other players have had to say more, might help you discover a spy.

- Also, remember that Empire Spies can make up their own roles and information. You can't automatically believe in information that is shared with you. Gather lots of information, think about how people are acting, and decide what makes the most sense.

- It is almost never a good idea for Loyal Avernites to lie to other Loyal Avernites. This includes lying in public when you aren't sure of most allegiances. This isn't to say you should never do it, but make sure you think about the consequences of doing so carefully.

 

GENERAL TIPS FOR EMPIRE SPIES

- The Empire Spies have a trickier job. Your goal is to avoid being discovered, and if possible, to quietly direct suspicion on Loyal Avernites, to make sure none of you get the most votes.

- Since you don't want to be discovered, you have to act like a Loyal Avernite.

- That means being a part of public conversation, even though the less players talk, the better it is for the Empire Spies.

- Avernites will ask what your role is. This makes it crucial for you to try and figure out what other roles are being claimed. Loyal Avernites sometimes put off sharing their roles, too, but it does raise suspicion if you do that. Basically, you need to come up with credible "alibis".

- There will be between 1 and 3 Spies. If there are 3 Spies, you can secretly collaborate in public discussions and back each other up, and you'll have access to more information from your roles... but you'll also be a bigger target for the Loyal Avernites to hit. In particular, if everyone is revealing roles, you'll probably be forced a situation where multiple players claim the same role. The better your stated information lines up with the knowledge of other players, the better your chances.

- Remember that if the other players find any ONE of you the most suspicious, you all lose.

- If there is only 1 Spy, you are a nimbler and narrower target. However, you'll also have much less information to work with, and no allies. You'll have to strike a careful balance between hanging back from the fray, and painting a credible picture of yourself as a Loyal Avernite.

 

GENERAL TIPS FOR THE SKRIBBANE ADDICT

- You have the most challenging goal, but also perhaps the most enjoyable. Your goal is to arouse enough suspicion to make people think you're an Empire Spy, but not so much that they realize you're the Addict.

- You might think that allows for sloppy play. It doesn't. You need a good "alibi" of another role, just like the Empire Spies do. And you need to be careful that you are just the right amount of suspicious.

- Loyal Avernites should remember that there may, or may NOT, be a Skribbane Addict!

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All roles have been sent. Let the plotting and scheming begin! The Caravan Trip lasts until tomorrow afternoon, approximately 5pm Eastern time, or possibly earlier if all target choices have been made earlier. If you have a target choice and have not made it by 5pm, I will pick a random legal target for your power.

 

Please feel free to AIM me with rules questions or general chatter, as well. Shlarthuckher, minus the h's.

 

Public discussion does not begin until the Caravan Trip is over. I don't really recommend private discussion unless you are part of a group where you know the identity of others (Empire Spies if there are 2-3, or Disciples of Sixus if there are 2). However, there's nothing stopping you if you feel like going there.

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So this role switching thing...mean players can became Empire spies who weren't before? Or an Empire spy can become an Avernite? And they won't know it and will spend the game acting off what they thought their role was?

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There have been a few questions about the timing of the role switchers, so I'll clarify:

 

1. Everyone finds out what their initial role is.

2. Information-gathering roles (Apprentice Mage, Priest, Empire Bureaucrat, Empire Infiltrator) gather information based on initial roles.

3. Empire Cultist (if any) swaps somebody's role with an unused role. Nobody finds out anything about either role (but the Empire Cultist knows that player's role has changed).

4. Geas Toucher (if any) swaps their role with somebody else's role. Geas Toucher finds out their new role (and knows the other player is now the Geas Toucher, aka a Loyal Avernite). Nobody else finds out anything.

5. Highly Alert Citizen (if any) finds out what their current role is.

 

You'll note that there could be 0, 1, or 2 role-switchers in play.

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THE CARAVAN TRIP HAS ENDED.

 

RONE HAS SPOKEN, AND GONE BACK TO SLEEP.

 

LET THE LOGICAL GAMBITS AND WILD ACCUSATIONS BEGIN!

 

 

 

 

(Votes will be accepted starting at 5pm on Saturday, and voting will be closed no later than 5pm on Sunday. It will close earlier if all votes are in earlier.)

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Sooooooo...hi, fellow loyal Avernites, and, umm, you meanie-snout Empire agents, too, I guess. I thought Rone was a big muckety-muck wizard of our fair, albeit dark and beleaguered, kingdom. I'm a little underwhelmed, I've gotta say.

 

Well, anyway, I do know something, I'm just trying to decide if I should just immediately reveal what I know or wait and hope that it'll somehow trip up one of you Empire phonies.

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Sooooooo...hi, fellow loyal Avernites, and, umm, you meanie-snout Empire agents, too, I guess. I thought Rone was a big muckety-muck wizard of our fair, albeit dark and beleaguered, kingdom. I'm a little underwhelmed, I've gotta say.

 

Well, anyway, I do know something, I'm just trying to decide if I should just immediately reveal what I know or wait and hope that it'll somehow trip up one of you Empire phonies.

I advise you to reveal it. I'm feeling very much in the dark.

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I think it's time to spread the information around like butter. I have several juicy tidbits of info that I could exchange quid pro quo. I will also accept sprigs of graymold as payment.

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*looks around; raises hand to get permission to speak; realizes no one is in charge; starts talking*

 

Okey-day, see, I'm an *Apprentice Mage* - not a spider! I was studying under Miles up at Formello, until recently, when I got permission to go to Patrick's Tower to study there, but then the barriers got in the way, but now the barriers are gone, and then I was traveling, and now I’m stuck with you all here outside Almaria...anyway, I know a little magic. And, well, I was practicing a little on the caravan trip, you see. No, I didn’t set anyone on fire! Although I once almost turned a rock into a guava, but then it caught fire instead…uh, but, yeah, I was just practicing my Scry Monster spell.

 

As a result, I know that Excalibur is NOT the *Geas Toucher*! How do I know that? Because I cast Scry on him, silly! And he used to be a Geas Toucher, but now he’s used his weird creepy magic, so of course now he's not a geas toucher anymore! I've actually been in touch with him, and learned who he purports to be now, as well as who his unwitting victim was. But I'll not embarrass them by revealing anything else about their identities without giving them a chance to speak for themselves.

 

And, in conclusion, go Avernum!

 

I'm the Apprentice Mage, and I approve this message.

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Hmm. So let me see if I have this right.

 

First, Triumph claims Apprentice Mage, and makes a role reveal about Excalibur as well. This will conveniently enable Excalibur to corroborate Triumph's claim, placing them both above suspicion. Even more conveniently, Excalibur's role enables him to reveal a third player, repeating the process for someone new.

 

Three players with a coordinated, internally consistent set of role claims that defy outside verification. What does that sound like to y'all?

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See, the thing is, if I'm really who I am say I am, I have nothing to lose to by admitting it. If I were an empire agent, I'd be taking a big risk by falsely claiming a role so early, before I'd had reasonable chance to confirm no one else had that role. Fortunately for me, this move involves no risk because I am a loyal Avernite Apprentice Mage (notwithstanding any coincidental resemblance to a spider).

 

It's really cute how you're not willing to reveal your identity, good sir. After all, just like me, if you were an Avernite, you could admit who and what you are.

 

Edit: also, how do you know our story defies outside verification? Have you already talked to everyone else in this caravan? A strange remark...

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I'm a Refugee, since you asked. I don't see how it's "cute" that I didn't reveal that until now, when most players haven't even spoken yet.

 

And I'm not accusing you, Excalibur, and yet-to-be-revealed third party of being Imperials. I just can't help being suspicious of a troika who all claim that the other two members are Avernite.

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Aha, well done, self-identifying as one of the only roles of which there is more than one. I seem to recall hearing something about defying outside verification a moment ago... fa la la la la, la la la la.

 

I meant only to note that it was curious that you, a loyal Avernite of unimpeachably unimpeachable loyal loyalty, should begin your contributions to our search for the Empire agents with a barrage of implicit accusations rather than by identifying yourself, given that identifying yourself can do no harm to you if you are an Avernite and will benefit our efforts to ferret the spies among us.

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I'm claiming to be the Apprentice Mage (well not just claiming, I actually AM the Apprentice Mage). As the rules taste, my ability let me find out the role of another person. Choosing randomly off the list of members of this caravan, I scried Excalibur. The result I got back was Geas Toucher. But as the game rules state, the Geas Toucher's ability is one of the last to resolve, after abilities such as mine. That means that while I can be 100% certain Excalibur WAS the Geas Toucher and now someone else has become the Geas Toucher, I cannot be certain what Excalibur is now or whom he affected - only he knows that for sure.

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Hmm. So, come to think of it, even if Triumph's telling the truth Excalibur could have swapped roles with an Imperial. I think Excalibur had better tell us who he swapped with and what new role he got, so the other player involved can corroborate this.

 

I still think that Triumph/Excalibur/yet unseen third player are likely Imperials, but I'm willing to listen to alternatives.

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As far as I know I am not a refugee.

And as far as I know, you are not the Hypothetical Hoplite of Hippocrates. Tentatively telling one thing you are not is a far cry from admitting your role - something you should have no problem doing if you are a loyal Avernite.
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