From SA Mafia Wiki
The moderator of the game is the one who organizes and runs the game. They come up with the set up, determine how many players there will be, and what kind of roles will be given out. They are responsible for generating interest in their games, posting the OP, deciding on the final player list, sending out roles, keeping track of vote tallies, keeping track of night actions and results, and writing flavor for executions and night kills. For larger games, many mods employ a co-mod to assist, and players need to treat the co-mod with the same respect they give the mod.
The mod's word in a game is considered final. If a mod tells you to stop doing something, stop it. If players break any rules in the game, it's the mod's discretion as to how to remove the player from the game, by either replacement or through a mod-kill. Any disagreements with the mods, whether about game set up, decisions, or problems with another player, are expected to be taken out of thread or should wait until after the game has ended to avoid distracting from the game.
So you want to mod a game?
- First, you need a theme. It can be anything from breakfast foods to movies to video games to colors of the rainbow. It's your game after all. Try not to make the theme from a too obscure source, as the more familiar players are with the theme the more interest it will generate.
- Determine what sort of game you want to run.
- Mini games are usually simple affairs, anywhere from 9-14 players, and can be started at any time.
- Large games are more complex and have 15+ players.
If you wish to run a large game, you will need to place yourself in the queue and wait your turn.BGQID.
- GBS games are usually large games that are played in GBS instead of Play by Post, but as only one GBS game is allowed at a time you will need to make sure that no one else is running one. You must contact AngerbotSD to get the go-ahead before creating your game.
- Make sure that the game is balanced. This will require careful consideration of the power roles in the game, on both the town and scum sides. You don't want to make one side or the other overpowered. If you have any third party roles, be sure that they're properly worked into the game so that they don't stick out and become too obvious. If you're unsure about whether your game is balanced or not, many of the more experienced mods are happy to help look over your set up if you ask them politely.
- Announce your intention to run the game in the Discussion Thread. Take a look around and see if anyone has recently started a game, or if there are a lot currently running. While the Games mods don't care how many mafia games are running at one time in Trad Games, there is a finite pool of players on SA, so if too many are running you may find it difficult to fill your game.
If it's a large game, request to be placed in the queue and wait patiently until those infront of you have finished their games.BGQID.
- Write up the OP. The OP should contain the following information:
- Information about the set up and theme.
- Basic mafia rules (no editing of posts, no out of thread communication unless allowed, and any other rule applicable to your game).
- Contact information for the mod(s), including your AIM and whether or not you have PMs.
- List of living players with links to their post histories.
- List of dead players placed in spoiler tags for those following along with the game but not playing it themselves.
Any other information included in the OP is up to you based on how much flavor you wish to include. While people are signing up for your game, it's a good idea to begin writing up the role PMs now! This way once the game is filled, you can immediately begin sending out roles to get your game started.
- Keep tabs on your game. Be available for frequent vote counts and player questions. Be around for players, but once the game begins the mod should be more or less hands off. Keep any personal commentary to a minimum, if you make any at all. Mods must be careful not to give players any hints on the game - remember that once it begins, it's up to the players to figure things out. An active game is a fun game, so if any players are lurking heavily and have not posted in awhile, give them a prod to make sure that they still want to play. Replace or mod-kill heavy lurkers as necessary. If discussion lags, the mod way wish to instill a deadline (if one doesn't already exist) to spur things along.
- Once the game has ended, post the role PMs and night actions so that players can see who was doing what. Announce in the Discussion Thread that the game has ended, with the winner listed in spoiler tags. Post-game discussion often includes critiques of the set up. Be open to any constructive criticism, and bear it in mind. Remember, the more fun players have in your game, the more likely they'll be to sign up for the next one you run!
wins32767's modding tips
- Get a balanced setup. This is the hardest thing to do with a non-stock setup which is why we spend a lot of time talking about it.
- Use interesting flavor. Flavor draws in players and replacements and can turn an otherwise bland setup into a really good game.
- Get active players. Nobody has fun in a game with a bunch of lurkers, so I try to actively recruit at least half of the players in my game. I target people I know will post a lot and I send them a PM asking them if they are interested in a slot. If you've been playing for a while you know who these people are, but if not, go to votefinder, click on players and sort by posts per game.
- Slightly overbook your game. Keep drumming up support via the discussion thread or PMs until you have more players than you have slots. This gives you a pool of people who are interested enough in your game that they'll be likely to want to replace in (and you will need replacements).
- Write an interesting post to announce your game. Pretend it's a 30 second TV spot. It's got to catch someone's interest enough that they click through to your OP. If you do a good job with this it will make finding replacements easier when you need them. People will be at least passingly familiar with your game.
- Make sure you are clear about why the "standard" mafia rules exist. Make sure you include a rule about the spirit of the rules as well. Some people are rules lawyers and will try to find loopholes. Having a rule that let's you adjudicate the other rules in a way that's in line with your conception of the game makes it easier to prevent people from breaking the game. Make sure you publish any rule clarifications publicly unless they involve a secret aspect of the setup.
- Be active in talking to your players about the meta aspects of the game. Make sure you are clear about deadlines and the rules and why the rules exist. Give people warnings if they cross a line via PM.
- When you post a flip make sure to post a votecount. Otherwise it's a terrible pain to go back and figure out who was voting for who at the deadline.
- Run short nights. Do anything in your power to keep nights short. Get people to submit conditionals before the deadline (if merk flips scum then investigate winvirus, etc), nag the hell out of them if they haven't submitted in a few hours. Get in the scum doc and nag them there. However, make sure to give a bit of wiggle room after your last submission so that people can't determine based on when the night ended who is a power role/scum.
- Run tight deadlines. 2 day deadlines make for better games than 5 day deadlines. Conversation stagnates. Also, open ended deadlines are very strongly pro-town, so factor that in when you are balancing.
- Be aggressive about replacements. I try to keep a rough posting threshold of 10 posts per game day. If you are under that, especially early I will nag the crap out of you to post for a day, then I'll replace you. To do this you really need to have a good replacement pool.
- Make sure your replacement posts are interesting. "I need a replacement for X game, d1." is worse than "I need a replacement for X game, D1 early, lots of discussion going on!" which is worse than "Interested in replacing into an active game with cool flavor? D1 early, still lots of time to make your mark!" Remember you are a salesperson selling your game to a potential replacement. Make it sound interesting and exciting.
- Make sure you understand how all the different parts of your setup interact. If you have a busdriver and a hider, how does it work if the busdriver targets the hider? Does a super kill ignore all protections including hiding? This is partially covered in balancing, but as players submit results any sufficiently complicated game is going to have a lot of interactions some of which you didn't think of. Make sure you have solid guidelines in place before the game (the BP is to prevent the scum from getting about .5 kills per game. That means if it's roleblocked it's still effective because otherwise it would only stop .33 kills per game [or whatever])
- Factor into your balance fake claims. If the scum aren't provided with them, that aids the town. If they are, it aids the scum. Fake claims are very useful in preventing some degenerate conditions in setups, so I like to use them but if you don't, make sure you understand that it increases the likelihood of a scum team getting caught in a lie.
- Keep the OP up to date with a player list, replacements, and flips. Town players will especially need to keep track of this information. The scum will usually have a spreadsheet with it.