Postgame a cereal murder that shoots people with cheerios - POSTGAME ANALYSIS


Brother in arms
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Alrighty then, let’s get started. You are currently reading the postgame for “a cereal murder that shoots people with cheerios”. I am sure the first thought on many people’s minds is, “Wow, it went on for this long? Indeed, I started this on March 29th, 2012, so in other words I had been hosting it for nearly five months. Had I not made the decision to end the game prematurely, who knows how much longer it would have lasted. Unfortunately, due to real life obligations (research and soon graduate school), coupled with a lack of motivation to update something that was growing stale in my spare time, this was the inevitable conclusion. While this was unfortunate, I do not wish to present a gloomy postgame. A little while ago, I made a post stating that having a timely and substantial postgame analysis is essential. Although the result in the end was not desirable, there was still a lot of stuff about this game that was worth writing about, so I am going to do just that.

Forward: Inspiration, and a comparison to the predecessor

Before I get into the specifics of this game, I will briefly discuss the main inspiration for its creation. To some extent, I have already described this in my postgame for the non anonymous game hosted inside an anonymous game, othwerise known as the predecessor to this game. If you haven’t read that and aren’t about to start, then I will summarize the key points: That game started off as a joke that I came up with after randomly talking to Gmax because NPL was a boring game that encouraged the players to be utter cowards, and the non players to be trolls. In any case, I did not originally intend to play it straight. I continued on with it and actually hosted it to completion because the people that played it seemed to enjoy it. The remaining question then is why I started this game right afterwards. To summarize it in one sentence, my intention was to make cereal a “legit” version of its predecessor in NPL. That is, it would feature the same structure of tasks and elimination, but it would also feature more players, significantly more complex tasks, and of course the trademark punishments, in order to motivate the players to be active (and give the cowards who chose to just watch some entertainment). But the real motivation behind hosting this, besides the mere fact that billymills really wanted me to, was that I wanted to host something original in a forum filled with stale mafia games. In particular, my goal was to make an intellectually stimulating game of wits and tactics that appealed to the veterans. Nevertheless, the overriding theme was that anyone with the courage to risk getting punished would be eligible to play, and in that respect, I don’t think this game could have been more successful.

Finally, I would also like to elaborate on the overall philosophy in my game design. I touched upon this somewhat in my posts during the third task, but I will summarize it again here. Basically, my goal was to make the game as dynamic as possible. Unlike mafia, where almost every design decision is pretty much made well in advance of the actual game, much of what transpired in cereal was made on the fly. In fact, I designed each of the tasks while the previous ones were running (eg, the fourth task was made while the third task was running). More importantly though, this also meant that if I felt there were significant flaws with some of the tasks themselves (eg. the third task, and later the final trial of the fifth task), I could simply just make some changes (after discussing them with the players) and resume the game. Therein lies the benefits of having separate tasks instead of one cohesive game archetype. Lastly though, it allowed cereal to ultimately become a game that players would choose to make of it. As a host, I was most interested in seeing what crazy schemes some of the players could come up with when a limited set of rules are presented to them. With the exception of the third task, I was also pleased with this aspect of game.

Prologue: Weeding out the cowards one paragraph at a time

Now let’s discuss the actual competition, shall we? We’ll begin our discussion with the preliminary task of course, which were the signups in of itself. Unlike a mafia game, where there are a limited number of slots available, anyone that signed up to play was eligible, as long as they followed a few simple instructions. While this was yet another advantage of dynamic game design, it also tested two essential skills that were needed in every task that would follow: The ability to read directions carefully, which are essential to formulating strategies or even finding loopholes to exploit, and courage, which was accepting your punishment if you failed to do the former. Amusingly enough, only one individual actually showed such heinous cowardice, in a rather amusing fashion I might add. This user was Walrein, who after realizing that his initial sign up post did not correctly conform to the standards outlined in my instructions, blatantly deleted it and posted a new one that did. However I made my instructions also ambiguous enough not to say that this was a punishable offense, but that in general you had only one chance to give me a good first impression. Because he failed to do so and acted in a most cowardly manner, I gave him a punishment that was as humiliating as possible: To don an embarrassing avatar personally made by me in paint as a symbol of shame until the game ended. This punishment was made worse by two other factors: That Walrein played in my previous competition but lost due to bad luck essentially, and that this game went on for a whopping five months. Consider my choice to end it prematurely as an act of mercy towards you if you want, because you can finally get rid of it for something else, unless you have, dare I consider, grown to like it!? In any case, in doing this I also made the nature of the punishments clear and that trying to avoid them when you deserve them would only make your fate worse.

Chapter 1: The middle quiz

Finally, we move on to the discussion of the actual tasks themselves. My analysis will not include a restatement of the rules or objectives of each task, for that I suggest you search for those posts individually in the original game thread.

Just as in the previous incarnation, I started things off with a quiz. The format was virtually the same, but the win condition was reversed in that the middle 50% of scorers would win, not the top / bottom 25%. Because of this, there was no loophole that allowed the players to win instantly (eg. answering nothing for all of them in the previous quiz). From the get go, most of the players had to make alliances to win. The most amusing thing that happened was LightWolf, one of the strongest players, actually scored too low despite being in an alliance, because he read one of the questions too literally and therefore chose to answer a more difficult question incorrectly as a result. Other than the fact that having to ask for your scores in the thread being a strategic element, there was nothing too interesting about this task. The only people that really failed were those that were a bit slow on submitting their answers. These people were primarily the ones I expected to lose in the beginning anyway, with the exception of shade who did really well in the previous competition. I was a little disappointed by that.

Chapter 2: Off to the races!

Now we get to the more exciting part of the competition. I really liked the premise in that you bet on a race that you and all the other players were trying to fix from the very beginning. Once again, this task emphasized the importance of alliances. Basically though, a few players thought it was a good idea to simply buy nothing and then try to bet on the right horse while having more wealth. However, Fishin issued a plea to all of the alliances to exclude these players from the informed party (eg, knowing which horses were fed the most). These were also the players that lost in the end. Nevertheless, a few of these people realized that their only chance of winning was simply guessing and hoping they would get lucky, and a few of them did! I was not pleased with this outcome, so this would lead to the next task...

Also once again, I would like to give a shout out to Fishin for coming up with the awesome names for the horses.

Chapter 3: The timebombs of unfairness

Ah, the third task. Amazingly, this was the only task that I had really thought about well in advance of its inception. I initially decided not to use it because ultimately it was unfair in that the individuals who started with the bombs would have a large disadvantage. Since several users (but not all) ended up getting this far from luck, I thought this was an appropriate way to handicap them. However there were two issues that I had with this task. The first was sort of due to a loophole. Earlier, I discussed how I wanted this game to be dynamic and give a lot of choices available to the players under a given ruleset. However I was disappointed by the choices of pretty much every group of players besides billymills et. al, who were the only ones who didn’t follow Ditto’s call for everyone to just idle and let the four people who started with the bombs lose. Ironically, this wasn’t even Ditto’s intention. I was hoping that more players would pass and strategically block, as well as attempt to make some negotiations. This forced me to intervene for the first time and actually change the rules of a task while it was still running. The other big problem was the fact that two out of the four players with the bombs (porygon3, EARTHWORM) played well enough in that they really didn’t deserve to have them. Thankfully, due to their alliance connections, they were able to get rid of them. However, this was at the expense of Ace Emerald, who I felt didn’t really do anything wrong except not having the right friends. If there was anyone who was unjustly screwed over by this task, it would be him. Overall, this was a controversial task, but I think it served the purpose it intended well enough, aside from those two things.

Chapter 4: Keys and auctions

At last, we get to my favorite part of the competition. This task was probably the most well received, and to think I came up with the idea while I was half asleep back of a radar truck! My main inspiration was simply the desire to design something that incorporated auctions and monetary information trading. Honestly, this task was the epitome of cereal itself without being too complex. In fact, I would say that in the future no task should be more complex than this one, and that is precisely the problem that I had with the final task, but I will explain that later. Anyway the premise for this one was pretty similar to the third task of the previous competition, if you think about it, only there are much more possibilities. This was also the first point in the game where many of the players started to become more independent, and became willing to backstab their allies if it meant winning outright. Several players even attempted to infiltrate multiple alliances at once for their own benefit, but their attempts were only moderately successful at best, and outright failures at worst. The two major alliances at this point though, were a coalition primarily lead by billymills and zorbees, and another one completely dominated by EARTHWORM.

One notable aspect of this task was the amount of work it was to host: While I thought the design was solid, I had to be on at every moment to middleman all of the information trading between players to prevent cheating, as one of the mechanics in this task was the buying and selling of information. To say that getting highlighted 19948543 times a day by EARTHWORM was a bitch was no exaggeration. But hey, I can’t fault him. Unfortunately for him though, thanks to the superior networking capabilities of billymills and some bad luck, EARTHWORM ended up losing spectacularly in the end. StevenSnype, a member of his alliance, survived in his place but had to leave on a trip so he took his punishment like a man. With that, the four remaining players were Fishin (who after having one of his plans fail miserably ended up surviving because he was useful to billymills), zorbees, billymills, and Pidge.

Chapter 5: The marathon, part I

We are almost done! Truthfully, as a host I was already worn out from the demanding responsibilities of the previous task, but given the high expectations of some of the players (billymills), I worked hard to deliver something very ambitious. And on paper at least, it certainly was. The final task was really just four separate tasks in of themselves! However, I also made it this way so that other people that were too cowardly to sign up in the beginning or got eliminated earlier due to unfortunate circumstances another chance to play. However, my main intention for doing this was to test the finalists’ ability to lead an entire team of players. In this respect, I don’t think the final task was successful because many of these recruited players weren’t really forced to do anything. Part of this was due to the underlying philosophy of the game which I have mentioned to death by now: The game was what each player would choose to make of it. Some of these players were more active and actually contributed to strategy discussions, but by and large most of them just idled and waited for the leaders to bark orders. This phenomena is not just restricted to this ask though, it is regrettably becoming a trend I am seeing more commonly in mafia games too. But that’s enough ranting for now.

Let’s discuss the actual task. The first three trials themselves, in my opinion, were a success. My aim was to make them simple enough for everyone to enjoy but also require the same time of strategy and politics as in the previous tasks. I especially liked the first trial, which was the quiz, as zorbees and his team especially impressed me with their ability to predict the responses of the other players.

Chapter 6: The marathon, part II

Finally, we are now at the final trial of the final task of the competition, and the moment where my morale as a host started to fall apart. I promised to make something that was as “epic” and “complex” as an individual game in Circus Maximus, and I did just that. But honestly I think it was too complex for its own good, and it was made worse by the fact that its experimental nature made it difficult to balance. Basically though, the idea behind this final trial was to force the players to combine all of the skills they have gained in the other tasks, which were to negotiate with other players as well as concocting original strategies. It was also meant to put team loyalty to the test as the other players were allowed to betray their team. This is also the part of the trial that I believe was the most flawed in that while there were several incentives for the players to jump ship in the form of punishments, the rules made doing so very risky and generally difficult to pull off. Only one or two players even considered doing it throughout the trial, one of which was only doing it just for the hell of it (Layell).

In conjunction with this, the other biggest problem of this trial was that completely eliminating a team was almost impossible. This was due to how easy it was to defend the vaults once all of the buzzwords were known, as even without recruiting other players, the base income of each team was enough to reasonably afford protection each night. To remedy this problem, I considered implementing a “patch”, which would have changed the rules so that a hooker type action would stop vault protection if a team predicted it successfully, as well as a cap on recruits as that was also starting to get kind of ridiculous.

While I do think there were some positive aspects of the last trial, I think I will end my discussion here and save the additional details for the player analyses below.

Epilogue: What if?

Naturally, by ending the game prematurely, several questions have been left unanswered, so I will go ahead and address them.

Q: What was the final punishment?
A: Post a video of themself picking their nose.

Q: What about the secret prize?
A: I will award it to the four players who made it to the final task (Fishin, zorbees, billymills, Pidge) at a later date.

Q: Will anyone be punished?
A: No. While I do think several people should be punished for their particularly poor performance in the final trial, I will not do so as it wouldn’t be fair to the potential winning team.

Q: What was the purpose of those essays we had to write?
A: Good question! The first one about the lord’s wife was mostly just a fun thing I came up with because frankly I wanted to force the recruited players to get off their butt and do something. I did want to make the players think that there was some hidden purpose behind it even though there wasn’t so the game could be potentially more interesting. The only real relationship it had to the task was that it would have granted Fishin’s team (the ones that completed their submissions first) a slight advantage in the following trading period, which was that they would be allowed to execute one additional trading period action (ie recruit 2 people instead of 1). On the other hand, the second essay did have a game related purpose. I would have instructed each player who submitted an essay to “try” to pair up with one other unpaired player that answered with a different response from their own. In reality, almost every player picked free food, so finding someone that picked free travel would have been very difficult. Basically, I was hoping to set up an elaborate troll when you could simply say that you couldn’t find another player to pair up and fulfill the requirement of “trying”.

Q: Who would have won if the game continued?
A: It is difficult to say. After all, when I ended the game, it was sort of in a “stalemate”, but the new patch and a plan by billymills to fracture zorbees’ team could have potentially changed things. Basically, I think it would have been between billymills and Pidge, with billymills coming out slightly on top due to his ability to devise innovative strategies. However, I have played many games with him so I am biased in that regard, as Pidge could have very well come out on top with a unique strategy of his own.

Appendix: Analysis of notable players

In this section, I will briefly discuss how the game went for the notable players. Admittedly “notable” is kind of subjective, but I don’t want to give any space for the players that mostly did nothing as there were quite a few of those in the earlier tasks. Please do not take any of this wrong way, as I plan on being quite blunt.

I think I have pretty much covered what needed to be said. Even though his punishment is now over, he is still an S-class coward in my book. I would normally apologize for unintentionally making the game go on too long and extending his punishment, but even though he did try to come back as a member of Pidge’s team, I think he deserved every bit of it, and his futile complaints about it just made me laugh. I mean no disrespect, but I think what happened here was a shining example of what these punishments were all about.

The paranoid man. LightWolf is a man with a history of being overly paranoid about unlikely scenarios in mafia games, but arguably no players are better than him when it comes to concocting schemes, not even billymills. This is why I was disappointed to see him succumb to paranoia so early in the game even though he was allied with billymills. However, he took his defeat gracefully and continued to consult with me about the game, giving me advice on how to handle certain situations in the tasks as well as giving me potential ideas to work with. He also expressed his desire to get another chance somehow, and this is what inspired me to make the final task a team game. He then suggested the possibility of making each of the players have separate win conditions that may require them to betray their team, but in the end I chose not to to do this. Looking back, I think this was a mistake as it would actually add a real challenge to the final task and force the players to do something.

Man, to think that he would disappoint me not only once, but twice? He was one of the players who made the questionable decision to not buy any food in the second task and was forcibly excluded from the victory party as a result. Not only that, but he didn’t really try to correctly guess the correct horse to bet on despite the fact that a few other players in the same situation as him did just that. I have a long history with Gmax and mafia games and I probably think more highly of his skill than anyone else. Admittedly, I shouldn’t be talking right now as his reasoning for his poor performance was real life commitments, so I suppose it couldn’t be helped. Still, I wish I could have seen a final task pitting LightWolf, Gmax, EARTHWORM, and billymills against each other. Now that would make any game great.

He was one of the players who managed to correctly guess one of the horses correctly as I mentioned in the analysis for Gmax. However, I was openly clear that I did not like how certain players would continue to advance due to luck, so I made the third task particularly unfair to him, and truly give him another chance if he was able to survive it. Unfortunately, he didn’t deliver and was ultimately eliminated. He did complain about the unfairness, but I can’t accept such an excuse when both porygon3 and EARTHWORM were able to escape a similar situation. But at least he came back in the final task to assist billymills.

One of the most honorable players in the competition, if there ever was one. His play was solid in the first two tasks, and established allies in billymills, zorbees, and porygon3. However, when billymills found out about EARTHWORM’s dilemma of holding a bomb, he decided to help EARTHWORM escape elimination at Ace Emerald’s expense. I guess ultimately it was due to his unlucky positioning on the playerlist, but ironically enough EARTHWORM also fell to bad luck in the following task. Finally, I appreciated him for taking his punishment like a man, despite his situation. I don’t know if he is still active in Circus, but if I ever played a mafia game with him I would be more than happy to have him on my team.

No player caused me more frustration than Ditto, solely because he was able to get as far as he did without really exerting any effort. He does possess a notable skill in finding odd loopholes in my rules that allow him to do so, and he did so quite often in the previous competition. However, in this case his attempt at doing so would, though unintentionally, unjustly screw over EARTHWORM and porygon3. Though I did acknowledge that the third task and the entire competition would be unfair, I also wanted to give the players with bombs an opportunity to find a way out if they put the effort in, so I was forced to change the rules of the task to give them a chance to do so. Even more ironically, he was also the least likely player to have a bomb in the first place due to his positioning on the playerlist! Thankfully though, the fourth task (for the most part) successfully distinguished the motivated and the lazy players, so it was no surprise that Ditto would lose then.

He played fairly well, though unremarkably in the first three tasks. He did have a bomb in the third task but thanks to his connections with billymills he was able to survive. Regrettably though much of his play was characterized by an over dependence on his alliance, and as a result he failed to move on past the fourth task when players like billymills and EARTHWORM were being extremely active in comparison. He didn’t have a mic, so he couldn’t show us a recording of his attempts at singing the classics like forks, EARTHWORM, or StevenSnype. Instead I stated that he had to write an essay on why he should buy a mic but he never did, so technically he should be a blacklisted player until he does so. But I haven’t seen him around lately, so I doubt he cares.

Forks! He hasn’t ventured much into the mafia community since Simpsons Mafia, but I guess we are good friends so he actually joined my game after I advertised it on #smogcraft. And he actually got much farther than I expected! Yes, I ultimately wanted him to play so I could hand him a humiliating punishment, I will admit it. In the end, that is precisely what happened as after spending far too much money during the bidding phases, he was soundly eliminated in the fourth task and had to sing the classics. I have talked to him on skype before and know what his voice sounds like, so I knew how it would sound. I also linked his recording directly in the #smogcraft topic so that everyone would know his shame. Good courage though!

Snype was another surprisingly solid player. We were playing some shitty ass mafia game at the same time while running this competition, so we actually talked a lot. Where I thought he really shined though was in the fourth task. Certainly, it is true that he allied with EARTHWORM and his success was partially due to all of the effort he put in. However, while EARTHWORM did intend to have his entire alliance make it to the final task, Snype also acted independently and made his own trades. That is not to say that he betrayed EARTHWORM, but if it ensured his own survival I am sure he would have been willing to do so. Needless to say, he played really well and honestly deserved to be in the final task. Unfortunately, he couldn’t due to real life circumstances, but like Ace Emerald he accepted his punishment, despite its severity, with grace and maturity.

The slimy Adam Nelson is another person that I have played many mafia games with, and I am sure that nobody would disagree with me that he can be a frustrating guy to deal with. Indeed, as far as how demanding the players were, nobody was more so than EARTHWORM as he kept me on constantly during the fourth task to arrange 385719 trades. In the end though, I can’t really fault him for it as he played the best out of all the players in the fourth task, in my opinion. In contrast to billy’s alliance which was rather fragmented and self-centered, EARTHWORM genuinely wanted his team to win, though in doing so he was overwhelmingly dominant in that he devised most of the strategies for Snype and Pidge, two players that were already solid enough on their own. Some could argue that this was bad play and could leave him open to betrayal, and it did, but that was not the reason he lost. Essentially, billymills, seeing him as his biggest threat in the competition, came up with a clutch scheme which would involve giving Fishin a chance to survive at the expense of either Snype or EARTHWORM by randomly guessing their keys and buying them during the last bidding phase. Luck was not on EARTHWORM’s side as Fishin literally bought the correct keys to EARTHWORM’s box, and as a result he was eliminated empty handed after maintaining a solid lead, though Pidge (the least active member of his alliance) moved on. In my opinion, it really is a shame that he did not make it, as much as I hate to admit it.

Although Fishin was without a doubt the least remarkable player who managed to survive up until the final task, there are many things about him that I can discuss. In the early stages of the competition, I think he was one of the strongest players, as he was heavily involved in all of the strategy sessions in his alliances, particularly in the second task. His play began to falter in the fourth task, where he came up with an overly ambitious scheme in which he would try to get himself involved with all of the alliances and doublecross them for his own benefit. Unfortunately, he was publicly caught lying to EARTHWORM very early, and as a result he had difficulty finding partners to trade information with. Either that or he just stopped caring after his blunder. Regardless, he was able to make it to the final task only because he proved to be useful in billy’s plan to eliminate members of EARTHWORM’s alliance, which resulted in EARTHWORM’s elimination when he didn’t deserve it. Indeed, it was certainly beneficial to billymills as Fishin would be much less of a threat, and this was definitely so in the final task. Due to his apathy, Fishin was undoubtedly the worst player at managing his team, even though it consisted of the bright minds of Paperblade, His Excellency dak, and EARTHWORM. He did not try hard enough to make sure that he knew the night results of his team (although partially, my lord dak messed up at one point himself). As a result, Pidge was able to quickly obtain all of his buzzwords early in the trial, and his team was kept alive for such a long time ultimately because his existence was a useful buffer for billymills. Even then, he didn’t really attempt to recover in the face of adversity and thus failed to capitalize on many opportunities given to him, for instance using his money to recruit more players like the other factions. There was one exception to this though, as his team was the first to submit their responses to me for the knight essay. Perhaps he didn’t do so because it was one of the terms for the protection given to him by billymills, but even then I think this was a grave mistake. If he had just not given up after making his mistakes, I think he would have done alright.

Nobody asked me more questions about the game than zorbees. Not even billymills. However, this was certainly a good habit to get into, so I don’t think it is an understatement to say that zorbees deserved to get as far as he did. He, along with billymills, played a large role in orchestrating the first four tasks for their alliance. In the beginning of the fourth task, his team was also the strongest in part because everyone on it was actively involved in the strategy talk. When the final trial began, however, he ironically misinterpreted the rules and chose not to buy any stock, which was a pretty crucial mistake. By no means was it a game ending mistake though, as he smartly recruited as many people to his team as he could to boost his income. I could argue that his team management skills were questionable as both Itchni and possibly Layell were planning on betraying him, but other than that there was nothing seriously wrong with his play. Then again, neither was the case for billymills and Pidge, so that is why I ultimately think his odds of winning were lower than theirs. But make no mistake, he definitely deserved to be in the final task. Since Layell never sent in his action to move stuff from the vault on Day 8, it is possible that he was simply trying to mislead billymills, though as of this post I am not sure.

The only player who joined the game during the final task to be considered “notable”. This was because he joined with the intention to betray whatever team recruited him right from the start, or so he said. He missed some opportunities to do so in the beginning, but another one arose later in the game after contact with billymills. The plan was for him and Itchni to remove 50% of the vault’s contents and give the money to Fatecrashers so that zorbees would redirect his protection to him instead of the vault. However, for whatever reason Itchni did but he didn’t, so the plan kind of failed. I still do not know if Layell simply forgot or if it was intentional. It is for this reason that I can’t really say for sure who would have won the game, though based on my knowledge, Layell most likely forgot to send me a Day 8 PM.

The blacksheep of the group, that is for sure. I never expected him to get as far as he did, but there weren’t really any notable flaws with his play. I would say that in the first four tasks, it was merely solid, and simply followed the flow of his alliances. Furthermore, he shocked me and many others by choosing to recruit relatively weak players to his team in the very beginning. However, I think this strategy worked out very well for him. While weak on paper, no team was nearly as organized as his, as they were the ones who most consistently sent their PMs to me on time. The team members themselves contributed very little, in fact Pidge’s team was the only one that didn’t have an IRC channel. This also worked out for him though, as he still made sure he knew all of the night results of his team members and with his bold, yet successful attempt to weaken Fishin early, he ensured their loyalty to him. Overall I was very impressed, though I don’t know if he would have been able to overcome billymills.

I saved the best for last, obviously. It goes without saying that billymills was the best player overall in cereal even though he didn’t officially win. Given his history in the previous competition and mafia in general, this was really not a surprise. billy’s play was not merely solid, but pretty much phenomenal for almost all of the tasks. I supposed he faltered a little bit in the first three trials of the final task and his plan to eliminate zorbees in the fourth trial would have failed due to Layell idling during the previous day. But even then, I cannot deny that he made the most attempts to come up with interesting strategies for each task, as well as not neglecting the diplomatic aspect of the competition. I won’t go into too much detail about his strategies as many of them were already mentioned in other parts of this postgame previously. Strangely enough, he thought I was inactive towards the end for mysterious reasons, but he finally believed me after I showed him a copy of a soon to be published research paper that I coauthored. Overall, if there is any shame in ending this competition prematurely, it is not being able to see what actions billymills would have done from here.

Final Thoughts

Overall, I do think it is a shame that I chose to end this early and thus cannot deliver the final punishment. Nevertheless, I had a lot of fun hosting this game. Ideally, I would like to host another one of these now that I have analyzed the flaws of this game in detail, but I probably cannot do so until at least next January as I will be done applying to graduate school by then.

I would like to thank everyone that had the courage to play and accept their punishments. I would especially like to thank Fishin, zorbees, billymills, Pidge, and all of their teammates for putting up with the final task. Lastly though, this postgame would not be complete without a fuck you to the cowards who read this thread but didn't have the balls to sign up. And Walrein, for being a coward regardless. That is all. Thanks for reading.


/me huggles
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Haha! I can understand how annoying I must have been during this game, and I apologize for that. In all honesty, I figured that because I wasn't on a team that I was the only one my lazy playstyle was affecting I could do it. I didn't think a single person would follow me into eating the pies, especially because in the previous task I got through solely on luck. I decided that since I got through that task on luck, I'd see how far I could get solely by choosing random options and such. I'm pretty sure I misread the rules of the keys, but I doubt I would have done much better had I did though.

Ace Emerald

The hero pays the price
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One of the most honorable players in the competition, if there ever was one. His play was solid in the first two tasks, and established allies in billymills, zorbees, and porygon3. However, when billymills found out about EARTHWORM’s dilemma of holding a bomb, he decided to help EARTHWORM escape elimination at Ace Emerald’s expense. I guess ultimately it was due to his unlucky positioning on the playerlist, but ironically enough EARTHWORM also fell to bad luck in the following task. Finally, I appreciated him for taking his punishment like a man, despite his situation. I don’t know if he is still active in Circus, but if I ever played a mafia game with him I would be more than happy to have in on my team.
Yep, I'm still around. Thanks for the mention! It was very fun to play, I was considering coming back when the teams were formed but I was getting a little busy. Too bad it's over, Walrein gets to change his avatar :/


<@dtc> every day with alk is a bad day
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to think I came up with the idea while I was half asleep back of a radar truck!
i am now curious about what you study

anyway i am one of the cowards who chose not to play. i don't spectate mafia as much anymore (not enough time) but i still visit cmax and this definitely caught my eye so i decided to watch it. i have to say that in terms of what this game tried to accomplish, it has to be one of the most ambitious things i have ever seen in cmax. since i wasn't actually participating and i don't go on IRC, my view of the game is limited, so bear with me.

i was impressed by how... complex you were willing to make your challenges, bass. i really wanted to see how the last challenge ended - it looked so cool! - but from the very beginning it also looked too complicated. i actually didn't understand it the first time i read it >_> i liked the horse task the most personally, the key task looked rather complex for my taste and the eggs task was damaged by the obvious rush to eat the eggs. anyway i just have a few questions in the aftermath. this game got me thinking, so most of them are hypothetical and they're just to get you thinking too; you don't have to answer if it would take you too long to do so.

first, a complete index of all tasks (it helps me keep track >_> useful for any other spectators as well):
task 1 (first quiz):
task 2 (horses):
task 3 (exploding eggs):
task 4 (keys):
task 5 trial 1 (second quiz):
task 5 trial 2 (swords/shields thing):
task 5 trial 3 (arm wrestling):
task 5 trial 4 (the monstrous one at the end):
task 5 trial 4v2 (patched):

1) the last trial DID look like it was taking too long. night 8 with not a single company out of business yet. you boosted the cost of guarding a vault massively in the patch, so what do you think would have happened if there was no action that guarded the vault? ie you can still protect individual players but the vault cannot be protected. do you think this would have made it too easy to win (because buzzwords were being found out too quickly?), or do you think that would put more pressure on teams to find one another's buzzwords and basically race each other to break into the vaults?

you also proposed that the cost of guarding vaults be proportional to the company income. this is an interesting direction. what about making it proportional to the amount of money people have in the vault? if you underpay guards, obviously they could just make off with the money themselves! maybe find a way to allow thieves to bribe the guards. ie if a thief bumps into the guards, he can offer them a chunk of the earnings, up to a percentage dictated by the thief's employer, to bribe the guards to stand aside. if the thief had to bribe guards, but still fails, then the cost of failure is rendered even higher: the guards (who didn't get a kickback because the thief failed) publicly announce that a thief tried to break into X company's vault, maybe even the identity of the company who hired the thief! ohoho.

alternatively, you could let the company decide how much to pay the guards, and a thief can bribe the guards for a fixed amount of cash which, if it exceeds the amount paid by the guards' employer, lets the thief into the vault. the company hiring the thief has to pay the thief that fixed amount of cash, PLUS whatever they would have had to pay the thief (ie 500 for failing or a portion of the winnings if successful). if the company lowballs the guards, a richer company could throw a bribe into the pockets of their approaching thief and make off with the winnings. however if the company is too timid and overpays its guards, it loses money for no gain if nobody attempts to steal from them. conversely, if a company overpays its thieves in the hopes of bribing the guards, they risk more cash in the attempt - the thief might not encounter guards and just make off with the bribe on his own, or the thief might be unable to bribe the guards and now the employer has wasted the bribe for nothing. ofc this creates the problem of a rich company being able to easily outpower any smaller company by simply bribing the guards to extreme extents, but hey that's how real industry works right?

2) second question about the last trial. i feel like there was too much money circulating in the game. inevitably in a game where people have to run out of a certain resource to be eliminated and you get more of the resource as you go, the game takes a hell of a long time (see: risk, monopoly). what do you think would have happened if the game was almost zero-sum? ie there was no way to bring more money into or out of the game. everybody who gains money does so at the expense of someone else. i think this would be a bit too much of a squeeze, so perhaps a small amount of per-phase income (but reduced). companies would have to hire, and pay, one another to perform their night actions. at the risk of becoming more complicated, this greatly reduces the amount of money going into or out of the game, so eventually a company can only profit if it squashes another company. no free lunch, right? do you think this would have improved the game's balance and speed?

3a) in trial 3, you suffered a problem of people wanting to eat their eggs early, which defeats the purpose of the game. conversely though, players who are delaying the eating until the end are also being cowardly. this creates a difficult problem, where you have to encourage players to eat their eggs late, but not TOO late. what do you think would have happened if there were more eggs? as many as 6-9? this would have made it really difficult to conduct another game before the teams task that you had at the end (because with fewer surviving people, the only way to conduct a relevant game would have been with teams). however, if the odds are less in their favor, people would have been strongly discouraged from eating the eggs. you could root out the cowards who ate them right away more easily since the odds of them blowing up would be greater.

in a similar vein, what if there was no eat-egg action? people would just eat the top egg on the stack at the end of the game, and whoever lives, lives. since nobody can be eliminated before the end, you'd have to increase the number of eggs in circulation to do this (since otherwise, everybody would be holding like one egg until the game was over. this also lets you introduce more explosive eggs into the game). players would otherwise have to do the same stuff to survive, but people can't just jump out of the game early out of good fortune.

and thirdly, what if you defused some eggs as the trial went on? you observed that eating the eggs early to just skip the gameplay was, ironically, an act of cowardice, which you were trying to discourage. after each stage, you could "defuse" some of the eggs. nobody knows which ones are now safe to eat, but it's a known fact that there are less of them that are dangerous. conversely however this encourages players to delay eating an egg for as long as possible to maximize their chances of survival. you could reactivate the eggs later, so those who waited too long would be surprised to find their chances worsening. flavor wise, the joker would announce that he deactivated, or reactivated, some of the bombs (that's totally something he would do in-universe, this is the joker we're talking about). you could even introduce the possibility of the joker LYING about the number of bombs he removed or reintroduced.

4) in the keys trial, you chose to create an information auction system, but you also burdened yourself by making it official and having to regulate it yourself. this was so that the buyer could later attempt to punish a lying seller, but would be themselves punished if their claims were false. obviously you would have had to know the details of the transaction to reward/punish buyers appropriately. i'm trying to think of a way for this system to work without the host having to handle it themselves in real time. there's no way to reduce the number of keys since each player has to have 3 separate keys to open their personal box (maybe reduce that number to 2, but now that makes it easier to have your box opened if you mess up). one idea i had was of having a witness appointed by the buyer and seller to adjudicate any disputes in the transaction (and they could support either the buyer or the seller in event of a conflict, creating room for even more fun backstabbing action! however neither side is guaranteed a chance for justice if they're wronged because the witness could troll them, so this reduces people's willingness to buy or sell information). another idea would be to segment the auctioning into time units, and insert maybe 4 time units per phase. rather than resolving auctions and claims in real time, you'd look at all the declared auctions and claims at the end of each time unit. would save a little effort, i suppose? what do you think? do you think there were any measures you could have taken to make it a bit easier on yourself?
various thoughts:

The thing I was probably the most proud of was basically coming up with a foolproof plan to win the first task about an hour after it was posted, which resulted in an easy pass to the next round for everyone involved (...except Lightwolf)

I liked the 2nd task a lot too, though it didn't end up being very exciting since after the food buying phase I found another very easy way through the game by simply excluding the people who didn't buy food. Also, Bass is really bad at naming horses.

Not much to say about the 3rd task, I didn't like it much but didn't really need to do much either.

4th task was definitely my favorite; I think my plan was solid at its core but I had the wrong method (Earthworm's idea of selling legit information, and then turning around and telling someone in secret to bid more on the key was far better than outright lying), and more importantly I couldn't instill confidence in the people I was attempting to work with, most of them ended up going off and doing their own thing and I only survived thanks to the assistance of billymills and some luck.

My play in the 5th task was pretty bad. I misunderstood some things in the rules (most notably about how company prices worked; which resulted in my stock price hitting rock bottom and allowing most of it to get bought up. I also thought only one team would try recruiting during the first trading phase since I only saw one new "I swear to not idle" oath post in the thread, and was planning on trying to turn the other two teams who didn't recruit on the one who did) and an inter-team screwup with results resulted in my team's final password being revealed early. After said series of setbacks , I felt pretty apathetic about my chances and the game itself, and didn't want to bother recruiting anyone else for the slim chance of victory (in a game that had no sign of ending anytime soon), who would probably just end up getting punished anyways. In the end I was thinking about just telling billymills that I would basically give him control over my (and my team's) actions since he was the main reason I even got to the 5th task in the first place, with the possible condition that he recruit Earthworm via defection since ew would otherwise be getting both the harshest and second harshest punishments, which he probably didn't deserve, but I never got around to it.

Overall I'm not a fan of the 5th task for a number of reasons (the rules were too complex, especially for a team game where there wasn't much motivation for each individual team member to try and understand them, so the whole team element felt mostly pointless, the stock trading phases were vital and yet pretty haphazard, and of course offense was pretty much impossible). It's certainly a unique concept for a game but I think it needed a lot more refinement.

Also I still think you should publish the responses to the assessment of character essays, or at least the amusing ones.

Regardless, I enjoyed the whole experience a lot. Many thanks to my team for sticking with me and Bassforte for both hosting and writing the postgame in a timely manner.


Chwa for no reason!
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I can't imagine how much of a chore some (read: most if not all) of these tasks were for Bass since the last one in particular got me sick of this game, to the point where i was considering forfeiting if it went on too long.

I really enjoyed the second quiz because it was a creative twist to the previous quizzes Bass had done, and in part because the people who worked with me were trustworthy. (I was nervous as hell working with billymills all game because I was afraid of a backstab, one that nearly could have happened on the keys task)

The horse task was another interesting one based purely on the concept of it.

All in all though, I did enjoy this, and it was a shame it had to end the way it did.

Regarding the final trial of the final task: I did fuck myself over at first by misreading the rules, but I was shocked when so many of my stocks sold the next trading cycle, which really helped my income. I did some more misplays later but a lot of that is probably due to my lack of interest and enthusiasm for the task. I feel like I really played well up until the last task. The only thing I really regret prior to the mega-trial was pretty much not going after the most treasures in the keys task, but a) for a while i forgot it existed, and b) the quiz might have gone differently if I had already had a bonus point.

The one trial i didn't really like was the sword/shield one (task 5 trial 2), because I felt it was too simple and that there wasnt really that much strategy. The extent of my conversations were basically "you attacking this guy? ok cool ill attack that guy". I probably could have done more negotiating to ensure the first cycle didnt go the way it did but i definitely didnt expect billymills to go against me with all his might like he did.

EDIT: forgot a couple things

both of my character assessment essays were exactly 100 words, with the final seven words being "what i learned in boating school is...". The answers were both very wishy-washy, which while some may interpret as cowardice, I think of it as carefully assessing my options, which is pretty much how I got to this point.

@alkinesthetase: i think a near-zero sum game for the final trial could have potentially been a good idea.

Also regarding the final task, idk if it's just me, but I expected the marathon points to be more impactful than they actually were. I mean, I certainly thought about them when strategizing, but the way bass originally described the marathon, I expected it to be like, the person(s) with the most marathon points would start with quite a large advantage and the person(s) with the least would start in a big hole. It wouldn't have really mattered anyways since we all had 1 marathon point anyways.


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i am now curious about what you study
Atmospheric Science, with a specialization in climate science / global warming. I was in the radar truck for part of a project in a weather radar elective course.

Anyway, by popular demand, here are the responses for the knight writing prompt. Enjoy!

As a loyal subject of my Lord and master, I shall keep silent for discretion is a part of my line of work. Kings are not expected to be true to their Queen, mistresses and bastards are a major part of how the Game is played.

The Queen would be all but a fool if she did at no point suspect that her King was solely devoted to one woman - that would be a great danger for the line of succession. After all, if someone murders both him and his true heirs, that would spell doom towards the House. Having a secret bastard or two are essential to make sure your house does not vanish if such a tragedy were to occur.

While it is unfortunate that I have a bad conscience due to the fact that I am close friends with my Queen, my loyalty is towards His Grace the King and second to that only the realm itself. It is no concern of mine to get involved in this, both honour and duty dictate my actions in this scenario to be nothing but silence.

italics are a sign of a questionable demeanour, so I must say that I would be quite miffled at this so-called mistress. If she has come to besmirch the honour of the lady of mine liege and gerrymander the heart of my lord, that would be hubris of the highest degree and something which a man of honour like mineself could not take sitting down or standing up, and therefore I would be honour-bound to scatter the tendons of this wanton strumpet like leaves carried by a tempestuous gust of winter wind like the kind we used to have back in the good old days.

The one who I am loyal to is not my lord's wife, but my lord. It is my duty to serve my lord, and do what he commands, or failing that, what is in his best interest. If my lord asked me for my opinion or gave me an opportunity to give it, I may question his choice, but I would not go against his will or what I assume it would be. In this case, unless commanded otherwise, I would remain silent about my lord's unfaithfulness. Doing otherwise would go against my values and is therefore unacceptable. Screw Flanders.

The loyalty is to the lord, and it's not my place to question him. That would be like the hand questioning the mind, and last I checked, if I wanted to tear out my heart (or whatever other body part you think best represents the wife), then the hand isn't going to argue. So I wouldn't say anything about it unless he specifically told me to. Personally, I think it's bullshit he would do something like that to such a kind and generous lady, but it's his decision and I must stand by that if it is what makes him happy.

I believe that in this case, the best thing to do is to tell my lord that I saw him with his mistress, and to ask him why he was cheating on his wife. If he truly is the most Honorable of lords, then he will be true to his wife with some encouragement. If he doesn't heed my advice however, I don't believe that going to another lord would be a wise decision, since they would be even less honorable than the lord I'm currently under. If this were the case, I would threaten the king to talk to his wife about it, otherwise I would leave. However, I doubt I would leave unless the lord's behavior has become disgusting, as he is the most honorable lord, therefore all the other lords are even worse in this regard. However, this isn't about the morality of cheating, it's about trust. If I know that my lord is abusing the trust of someone else (who he has no stated reason for) then what's to say that he wouldn't abuse the trust I have in him?

Before my answer, I will discuss loyalty, the key factor. Then I will discuss honesty, and lastly, I will discuss fidelity.

I'm not terribly sure why I've been loyal to my lord all his life -- I'm assuming here that he did nothing to inspire great gratitude in me, though this is difficult for me to imagine as, while I am extremely loyal to my loved ones, I am never blindly loyal due to ties of employment, institutional affilitation, patriotism, etc. To secure my loyalty, one must inspire it in me. As such, I would probably be a bad knight, because if I did not see any reason to give my loyalty to my lord, I would not be inclined to serve them with my all.

Because of how highly I value my own loyalty -- I only give it to those I truly believe deserve it, and when I do, I give all of it --, I see loyalty as a very admirable character trait, and to be disloyal to those who deserve loyalty is generally dishonourable. It would fill me with great guilt and conflict to be in this situation, where I risk being disloyal to either side.

Honesty, however, is more important to me. The ultimate dishonour is to be dishonest; sometimes these ideals conflict, but honesty reigns supreme. I despise liars, particularly the unfaithful -- for personal reasons (my father was very unfaithful to my mother, and unfaithfulness is the #1 thing I cannot abide in a lover) and for moral reasons, because to cheat is both an act of disloyalty and usually accompanied by dishonesty. Additionally, I have two ties of loyalty in this situation: my lord's wife and my lord. My lord has committed one of the most abhorrent acts he can, and does not deserve my loyalty, for he has been both dishonest and disloyal, while the wife has done nothing to incur my disloyalty and deserves the truth.

However, I have to think practically as well. While it seems I have other employment opportunities, to break my honour like this would disgrace me and possibly invalidate those, and I also don't want to be killed. If the lord is the type of man I could approach seriously about this and be treated with respect, I would probably approach him first, and implore him to mend relations with his wife, reminding him that I have loyalty to her as she is his lady and thus my superior, and that I wish to see neither of them unhappy. If not, I would go directly to the wife, tell her what I knew, and then, having dishonoured my relations with my lord, seek new employment. However, I would not tarnish his reputation by telling some of those lords what he had done; I would simply tell them that I believed I could no longer serve him with my full strength, and that as a knight I look for a lord I can most loyally devote myself to protecting, so it would be a further dishonour to remain in his employment.

I could simply not meddle in my lord's affairs, but that would be a betrayal to my personal integrity; I would lose so much respect for him that I would not be a good knight, and lose respect for myself for betraying my own ideals. I firmly believe that, unless there were other circumstances (I can't imagine what), this is the course of action I would take.


billy says I don't need to send in anything else.

Chances are if I am a loyal knight, this Lord would have to be pretty powerful or come from a very powerful family. There could be no question of leaving him, or I would have done it years ago. More likely than not I would turn a blind eye to it, as it is his business and as he's a lord in medieval times I'm surprised its not more than just one.

If, however, we were in some sort of dilemma: war, famine, political turmoil, then I would probably confront him about it and politely question his ability to deal with both keeping his affair silent and balance the current dilemma. I may maneuver the situation to get a preferable position in the political scene if I felt it was necessary.

If the discussion between the mistress and the lord involved killing the wife or others, I would probably consider enabling the targets' escape. There's no use for senseless killing, but it would be pointless to keep the lord near someone he was willing to kill at any time.

If the discussion involved myself in any way negatively, I would probably go to the wife first. I would probably explain the scenario and get the necessary proof if necessary. I would then recommend leaving immediately and seeking asylum at a rival or distant castle.

If there's any other scenario, I would probably act differently.

The question in its current state is unanswerable. There is not enough information to form a proper course of action. The question is one of loyalty to one person against loyalty to another, but without understanding the details of the relationships, it becomes hard to pick a side. If I were forced to pick a side, I'd probably pick the wife's side, simply because holding the secret would weigh on my conscience. However, I'd be willing to support the lord if I felt I was more loyal to him than to the wife. What I learned in boating school is...

My first course of action would be to confront the lord which has employed me. I would ask him why he was cheating on his wife, who was, as you said, very kind and honorable. I would tell him that I felt that I wanted him to think about his actions, and his wife that so loves him. Or, perhaps I could persuade him that he should talk to his wife about it, if he feels strong enough, and motivated enough by my talk. I feel that, with proper reconciliation, he and his wife, both very kind people, could get over it, and leave his mistress behind.

(does this mean one of the captains are selling out oh noes

also inb4 mekkah sends you "penis" 100 times)

I myself am the last to leave on a ship that is still has hope, while the first on a ship that will obv sink. Sharing this information with my king's wife would endanger our "ship", this I would never risk. But would our "ship" start going down, I'd share this information with the one I believe is the most easily fooled, by having him learn of it in a similar way I did, and have him to give the news to the queen.

Using this chaos, and the blame being put on the sad stupid squire, I'd support the queen gaining her trust, and through that gain everything she has access to, and join a side that has still hope. I'm loyal, but no fool.

If per chance I were to find my lord socializing with a mistress, I would ask of myself some questions. How am I sure that this women is in fact a mistress, and what sort of business is it of mine to spread gossip I am a knight not a jittery jester that prances around making bad jokes and spreading rumours.

If my Lord has been so careless with such a supposed mistress I shall let fate itself to unravel in the ways it knows how. Others may involve themselves in this affair but my duties remain clear: protect this realm and chop of the heads of any barbarians that dare to cross it. I would rather not be known as a knight that undid his own Lord, I’m just lucky I have a job in this medieval job market. If this does undo my Lord’s realm I at least need to make sure I can keep him as a reference for my resume.

My night actions (if any) will come at a later time.

My primary course of action would be to confront the lord about his cheating at a time when neither his wife nor his mistress is present. I would talk to the lord about how it is wrong to cheat on his wife, especially one as kind and honorable as his. I would ask that he break off this secondary engagement as soon as possible, and warn him that if it were to continue I would be forced to inform his wife. If I were to discover that he ignored my advice and continues to see this mistress, I would follow up on my threat and inform my wife of my lord’s cheating.

Answer wordcount: 112

I would wait until I had more information before making a rash decision. The overheard conversation could have been a huge misunderstanding on my part, and is not sufficient enough to allow me to do anything. I would wait for more clues on whether this affair was real. If it in fact was real, I would attempt to counsel the king to be more honorable and to end his crooked ways. If he refused to change his ways, I would have no choice but to leave him for a more honorable king. I would not make my intention to leave clear, so there would be no attempts on my assassination, until I was far away. It is not dishonorable to leave without notice, as the king himself is dishonorable, and the reason of quitting in the first place.

At this point, the only reasonable course of action left to this knight is to start a military coup. The king is clearly unfit to rule, seeing as he cannot even keep his promises to those closest to him, never mind the realm, and has fooled me into believing that he was a great man. The other lords who wanted me on their side are obviously total wusses, as even I could tell that they were less deserving of my service than the current king is, and as we know, the current king is unworthy to rule. Surely the lord's wife, the lady, is nice and honorable, but are nice and honorable good qualities for the leader of a lordship? No. There is only one person left in this picture who is worthy of ruling this lordship, and it is I, askaninjask.

Given the lack of background information in the prompt, I will assume that I am a traditional European knight in the Middle Ages or Renaissance era. Also given that the nature of the conversation is more than likely trivial due to a lack of embellishment of the subject matter, it is more than likely a casual conversation and not a plot to assassinate the current queen. The nature of the relationship between the monarchs cannot be determined from the prompt, so regardless of the queen's virtue I will assume that she has a chaste, yet frigid relationship with her husband. Given the lack of emotional investment in the relationship, the damage caused by the presence of a mistress is relatively minimal and it’s a nonissue.

As a result, I would proceed to do nothing, as marriages were not much more than tools of power among royalty, and historically to have mistresses were even expected of a king (or any ruler, really.) Though, I might sneak a peek around the corner just to see what the king’s tapping, for curiosity’s sake.

I would not betray my loyalty to my Lord, for that is a foolish thing to do. Once I have broken my bond to my first Lord, what's to stop me from doing it again? And again? How can any of the other Lords trust me if that aspect of my character is forever tarnished by my action here? Besides, as a knight, what business is it of mine where my Lord chooses to stick it? So what if my Lord has a mistress on the side? He's surely entitled to it. This isn't the 21st century you know. Also, does the Good Book not teach us 'Bros before Hos'? I see no reason why I should place my Lord's wife before my Lord, the one who I originally pledged my loyalty to. For all these reasons and a shitload more, I would not change my allegiance to another Lord.

I would attempt to discover the identity of the mistress that my lord happened to be speaking to when I overheard them. After doing so, I would speak with my lord and attempt to persuade him to be faithful to his wife and leave his mistress, and hope that my years of loyal service will give me enough influence for him to listen to my counsel. If he does not do as I request of him, then I would then simply wash my hands of the entire affair and put it behind me, since my lord has clearly shown himself too hardheaded and stubborn to listen to me and deserves whatever he gets when his wife inevitably discovers that he is cheating on her.

The indiscretions of my lord in his bedroom would not suddenly change the reasons why I was so loyal to said lord in the first place. How could I claim to be a loyal soldier if I were to abandon him at this juncture? Certainly this implies some sort of character flaw with my lord, but he is an honorable man. To suddenly revolt against him for having a mistress seems incredibly rash. However, the fact remains that I have a duty to remain honorable. Hiding secrets is certainly not an action becoming of honor. If his wife were to ask me about this mistress, I would tell her everything that I know. If my lord found out that someone told his wife about the mistress, I would own up to it and accept what comes.

Also, it is possible that you have recieved the secret prize as of this post, or at least parts of it.
In reality, almost every player picked free food, so finding someone that picked free travel would have been very difficult. Basically, I was hoping to set up an elaborate troll when you could simply say that you couldn’t find another player to pair up and fulfill the requirement of “trying”.
I wasn't sure since I thought "I don't travel much but if it was free I would probably travel a lot more" but then thought "Yeah but if I had free food I could spend all *that* money on traveling, or maybe other hobbies if I didn't want to do it all on traveling" and resolved to look up prices because being totally factual for internet forum games is important.

And then I forgot about it entirely.


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I never got to write mine, but I would definitely have selected free travel. Food is a lot cheaper than travel, and since I'm no gourmand, I'd happily travel around the world eating trash (figuratively) and seeing everything I've dreamed of. I thought this was really obvious o_o I guess you don't travel as much as you eat, like Paperblade said, but I'd definitely exploit free travel.

I guess part of it is because you need to pay for travel in larger sums at a time than you need to pay for food, although my choice might not be mathematically the most profitable.


seize the memes of production
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I too never got to answer the Food vs Travel thing, but I would have said food, seeing as:

1. I eat like a fatass
2. I don't travel much
3. You don't have to travel to eat food

Plus, the meaning of "free travel" is a bit vague. I assume it means covering the costs of transportation and hotel fares, but it could mean other things too. And I for one don't mind flying coach and staying in a shitty hotel to go to an awesome place with awesome food ^_^
Siding with travel, I'd love to take a free trip to the moon or something.

As for backstabs, I think I only stabbed pidge, Ace Emerald, porygon3, Earthworm and Zorbees in that order. Idk maybe others.


Alas poor Yorick!
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My response was something like: Get all the food you need to have an effective monopoly, get whatever free travel you want.


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I'd pick the free food myself, since I am somewhat of a foodie. Then I'd venture to all of the restaurants in the U.S. with at least one Michelin Star.