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I'm trying to devise a point-based scoring system for a variant of Mafia/Werewolf. The idea is that there are teams coming in, and so individual players should be able to earn points regardless of role which add to the overall team score. Is there anything like this out there that might help me balance the point values?

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I think adding scoring to the game will have side effects ruining the core game play. Most of the game is played by subtlety where people have no reason to kill others unless... This goes away with a point based system. For instance if points are awarded for survival, people would start gaming it instead of concentrating on killing the wolves. –  Andrey Mar 19 '13 at 13:22
    
@Andrey Unfortunately, I have to have some way to declare one or more teams the "winner", as this is part of a day of friendly-competitive events. Unless the coordinators would let me just make this one not count toward the final prize... –  Yamikuronue Mar 19 '13 at 13:26

3 Answers 3

up vote 2 down vote accepted

I am going to answer this assuming this is a convention, you are GMing the game, and there must be winners written in on a card at the end If you are going to play 1 or 2 games you should pick the winners yourself. Just decide who did the best job. Did someone manage to lie to the group really well, or did anyone lead the group, get them past the chaos, and lynch for victory? If you do not feel comfortable picking, let the players vote, but let them only pick from the winning team.

If you are going to have 5+ games you could consider a point system. Maybe just giving a point to everyone on the winning team. Whatever you do, do not let the players know the scoring If people know how the game is scored they will game the system. If this happens it will most likely ruin the game for everyone, (and probably let the wolves cakewalk their way to victory in later games).

Players will quickly think “he is winning, lets lynch him just in case”.

Again, if there are ties, I recommend just picking winners yourself; let the players vote on who they thought was most helpful.

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Ooh, there's a thought: maybe a secret scoring system with bonus points for player-elected MVP and bonus points for GM-elected MVP? Kind of like the Mario Party bonus stars? –  Yamikuronue Mar 19 '13 at 13:49
    
Secret scoring systems are inherently evil... players should know their goal and be able to achieve it in any way they choose that can fit into the rules. –  Sconibulus Mar 19 '13 at 15:49
    
@Sconibulus "Secret scoring systems are inherently evil" can you back that up in some way? People will be there to play werewolf, not 5 game werewolf meta. This is in a way the same thing as why StackExchange keeps fraud algorithms secret –  Andrey Mar 19 '13 at 16:18
    
@Andrey Of course I can't, evil is a moral judgement, not an objective one. My opinion is that any game where not only the scores, but the scoring mechanism is kept secret isn't really a game at all. It's a bunch of random activities leading toward an endpoint, where someone is declared the winner. If the scores are NOT kept secret, (when someone earns a point, players, or at least that player, are informed) and the scoring system is consistent, and preferably objective, there is wiggle room, as the system is, at least, determinable. –  Sconibulus Mar 19 '13 at 16:55

Well the first thing that comes to mind is to play multiple games such that each player is on each team a predictable number of times

for instance, let's say you have 9 villagers(one of which is an informant) and 3 mafia. you would play the game 12 times, so each player is an informant once, and a mafia 3 times.

You probably want to have multiple games going on at the same time, and isolated from each-other, and have people constantly switch groups. That way, it would be much much harder for people to guess everyone else's role.


Another way to do it, would be random. at the beginning of each game, you randomly assign players to a role, and you still play multiple iterations of the game.

This way can be a little bit more luck based, but the more you repeat it, the more the actual better players will rise to the top scores.

You can also mitigate the luck factor a little bit by balancing the roles such that no role has a benefit over the other. If mafia tends to win more often, than you can reduce the points that they get when they win. etc. you might also assign points based on how they win/how many people are left alive.

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I think this idea would work, but you should ensure that the percentage of players of different teams per opposing side is equal. Else, players could attempt to lose on purpose for the greater good of their team mates. –  mafutrct Mar 19 '13 at 13:04
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@mafutrct Of course, if I intentionally assign roles following some pattern, it makes it easier to guess who the werewolves/mafia are... –  Yamikuronue Mar 19 '13 at 13:25

Town of Salem

is a Kickstarter project which is a more diversified and polished version of the popular "party games" such as Mafia and Werewolf. (in fact, the villain faction is still named Mafia). There are about 30 roles, and whilst the game does not run on a point-based system, it has extensive roles that can enable "dead" players to participate, which can help make this competitive.

For example: Medium can chat with dead players. The catch is that the names of such dead players ("out-of-play") are anonymous to Medium. In this sense, it provides a greater flexibility in player contribution overall.

To convert this idea into a point-system, you could have a "log" system in which players can jot down/check off players' names as werewolves v.s. "town members" and so forth. In result, players are motivated to keep deducing and cooperating until the game is declared over (as opposed to sitting back once they are out of play.) Whoever gets it correct can earn points in their team's favour; you may choose to assign penalty to "wrong guesses" to discourage 50/50 shots. The point-tally process can be simplified as a simple Boolean (assuming your game has two opposing teams/factions).

I hope that helps. Just wanted to breathe a fresh point of view into traditional mechanics. I apologize if the suggestion came off as abrupt.

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New answers are always welcome, but this doesn't appear to answer the question: if Town of Salem is actually a competitive game appropriate to the asker's needs, please elaborate on how, because it doesn't seem to be. Advertising is acceptable, but only as part of an otherwise useful answer (please see the heading "avoid overt self-promotion" in our behaviour expectations), and you must disclose your affiliation with the product. Also, this is a Q&A site, not a forum with threads: see our tour to understand how our site works. –  doppelgreener Sep 28 at 2:18
    
@doppelgreener I tweaked the links (wiki instead of kickstarter page) and provided relevant content in my response. Again, I am sorry about the misunderstanding for I simply wanted to share a good approach to games in this genre. As needed, further revision requests are more than welcome. –  Cross_Counter Sep 28 at 3:04
    
I did some editing on this to help get the core point across, you can check the revision in the revision history. The fact "dead" players can participate is important, and helps this cease to sound like an advertisement tacked onto an independent suggestion: it's a suggestion using that system, and the fact that dead players can participate. –  doppelgreener Sep 28 at 3:11
    
Good edits. Welcome to the site! –  ire_and_curses Sep 28 at 3:13

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