[Discussion] How to balance Cults

Rohan

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Cults are notoriously known to be imbalanced in mafia games because of alignment changes. In this thread, you can discuss how game hosts can balance cults. You can give ideas on balanced game setups with Cults.

Cult
The Cult is an Informed Minority Anti-Town faction. Where it differs from a Mafia, however, is in it's main ability. Where a Mafia kills players, a Cult can recruit them into the faction. This means that the starting numbers of a Cult are usually small, with the idea of them growing the longer the Cult survives in a game. A Cult cannot recruit players belonging to Mafia factions and other Cult factions. The Cult has a means of communication between members outside of the game thread to communicate with each other. The nature of how the Cult works means that they are harder to balance and roles typically change upon being recruited into the Cult to prevent them from being overpowered. The Cult wins when it eliminates all the Pro-town and Anti-town factions in the game or if they obtain a majority of the votes. The Cult can win with Neutral alignments. The Cult is officially represented by the colour Orange #ff9900.
 
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Shanks

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I am bit confused regarding cult. As far as i know they revive town player if mafia kills them at night phase.

Usually if you have more players in the game cult can play a definite role but i have definite doubt it can be seen anti mafia in the game as mafia and serial have to be careful even lynching town players.

I see it can be used in complex games but for simple vanilla i dont think we really need that. Hope i am wrong.
 

Rohan

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I am bit confused regarding cult. As far as i know they revive town player if mafia kills them at night phase.

Usually if you have more players in the game cult can play a definite role but i have definite doubt it can be seen anti mafia in the game as mafia and serial have to be careful even lynching town players.

I see it can be used in complex games but for simple vanilla i dont think we really need that. Hope i am wrong.
Cults recruits alive players to their faction. They cannot recruit dead players. The reason why they cannot recruit members from the Mafia is because a recruited mafia member can reveal the identities of his teammates to the Cult. This causes the game to become imbalanced as the Cult can find out all the members of the mafia by recruiting one mafia member.

Other than Cults can recruit Townies, Serials and Independents.

It can be added in simple games with heavy restrictions to balance them out. A Cult will mostly appear in advanced games with many players.
 
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Cults recruits alive players to their faction. They cannot recruit dead players. The reason why they cannot recruit members from the Mafia is because a recruited mafia member can reveal the identities of his teammates to the Cult. This causes the game to become imbalanced as the Cult can find out all the members of the mafia by recruiting one mafia member.

Other than Cults can recruit Townies, Serials and Independents.

It can be added in simple games with heavy restrictions to balance them out. A Cult will mostly appear in advanced games with many players.
Some of them games i saw they revived players . In one of the games in oro jackson they revived captain hotshot .
 

Rohan

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So the main problem with a Cult is the alignment change that happens when the game is in progress. To solve this problem, I thought about having the alignment change happening at early game state.

Let's take a game setup of:-

1 One Shot Cult Leader with factional Night Kill.
9 Vanilla Townies.

This game will have a Day Phase 0 where players can discuss with each other but voting will be disabled. After this will follow the Night Phase 1 where the Cultist will recruit one vanilla townie (Night Kill is disabled in Day 0). After N1 is over, the game setup will be:-

2 Cult members.
8 Vanilla Townies.

After N1, the Cult will essentially become like a Mafia faction. However, it is different in the sense that a recruit happened and the wolf, in this case, was able to bypass the RNG assignment of the roles by choosing his teammate after the RNG.

More setups to come...
 
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MadieV

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@MadieV, your comments on this topic after hosting your cult game.
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@Ansatsuken, maybe you can learn something here.
I think the important steps in balancing cult setups are:

  1. Set a specific number of conversions for the cult. This number would vary depending on the size of the game. If you keep it open, it's pretty much handing cult the win unless there are other mechanics in place.
  2. Determine what will happen to the cult if the cult leader dies. Does a new cultist rise as cult leader or is the cult's ability to convert gone?
  3. Make the town roles that are key to keep the balance of the game (like the ), conversion immune.
  4. Make sure there's a way the town players pick up they're dealing with the cult. This could be done through the write ups.
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Dragomir

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Cults recruits alive players to their faction. They cannot recruit dead players. The reason why they cannot recruit members from the Mafia is because a recruited mafia member can reveal the identities of his teammates to the Cult. This causes the game to become imbalanced as the Cult can find out all the members of the mafia by recruiting one mafia member.

Other than Cults can recruit Townies, Serials and Independents.

It can be added in simple games with heavy restrictions to balance them out. A Cult will mostly appear in advanced games with many players.
Cults can recruit dead players. It all depends on the host and how smart/creative they are. Also, yes Cult can recruit Mafia as well, I hosted a game like that. You just have to put restrictions into it or just let it be, the game was fine and wasn't that imbalanced.

Cults is so much fun and I find it no problem to balance usually.
It's even easier to balance when it's a Cultafia where it's both cult and Mafia combined like @MadieV did in her game.
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One way to balance Cult is to make it so that they have certain characters that they need to convert instead of having them convert whoever they want. Of course that comes with having to help out the cult so they don't fail a convert each time as well as giving buffs to those that they need to convert such as iron and lynch immune(preferably hidden).
 
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Rohan

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Cults can recruit dead players. It all depends on the host and how smart/creative they are. Also, yes Cult can recruit Mafia as well, I hosted a game like that. You just have to put restrictions into it or just let it be, the game was fine and wasn't that imbalanced.

Cults is so much fun and I find it no problem to balance usually.
It's even easier to balance when it's a Cultafia where it's both cult and Mafia combined like @MadieV did in her game.
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One way to balance Cult is to make it so that they have certain characters that they need to convert instead of having them convert whoever they want. Of course that comes with having to help out the cult so they don't fail a convert each time as well as giving buffs to those that they need to convert such as iron and lynch immune(preferably hidden).
How do you prevent the Mafia converted to Cult player from not exposing his former teammates?
 

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How do you prevent the Mafia converted to Cult player from not exposing his former teammates?
They cant thats the answer , thats the danger when u balance the game. Its either cult leader commiting suicide or a rule bar he cannot recruit mafia player.His recruit will fail on mafia player or he will commit suicide depends on the game host.
 
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Rohan

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Literally just tell them that they can't expose their former teammates.
It still does not solve the problems though. Even if the recruited member cannot expose his former teammates, he can still work against them by trying to lynch them or hinting the cult leader to recruit the remaining mafiso. The recruited member also knows who was on his team so it means that the entire mafia team has been outed to one member of the Cult.

Then there is the power drain that the mafia will end up getting by losing a member which will be harmful to them. This does not happen with the Town because more players are present in the faction.

The best way to do it would be a forced sub out but that is kind of inconvenient.
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Oh and I forgot, how do you explain to the Mafia what happened to the recruited member? If the Mafia looks at the writeups then they will instantly know who was recruited and will get rid of him. This makes the recruit of the Cult a waste and at the same time puts the Mafia at a disadvantage.
 

Dragomir

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It still does not solve the problems though. Even if the recruited member cannot expose his former teammates, he can still work against them by trying to lynch them or hinting the cult leader to recruit the remaining mafiso. The recruited member also knows who was on his team so it means that the entire mafia team has been outed to one member of the Cult.

Then there is the power drain that the mafia will end up getting by losing a member which will be harmful to them. This does not happen with the Town because more players are present in the faction.

The best way to do it would be a forced sub out but that is kind of inconvenient.
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Oh and I forgot, how do you explain to the Mafia what happened to the recruited member? If the Mafia looks at the writeups then they will instantly know who was recruited and will get rid of him. This makes the recruit of the Cult a waste and at the same time puts the Mafia at a disadvantage.
You just have to disallow them from doing it. Say that they still have to act as if they were Mafia. Everything works out fine mate.

The power drain can be completely avoided if you just don't let the Cult convert whoever. Make them only be able to convert a certain mafia who would be presumably the weakest so the PD is no big deal. Or also have a mechanic in play where the Mafia gets a buff in exchange for the loss of the buddy that got converted.

It's so easy to think up ways to balance things out.
 

Rohan

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You just have to disallow them from doing it. Say that they still have to act as if they were Mafia. Everything works out fine mate.

The power drain can be completely avoided if you just don't let the Cult convert whoever. Make them only be able to convert a certain mafia who would be presumably the weakest so the PD is no big deal. Or also have a mechanic in play where the Mafia gets a buff in exchange for the loss of the buddy that got converted.

It's so easy to think up ways to balance things out.
I doubt the bold would happen.

The next point seems solid.
 

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Oh and I forgot, how do you explain to the Mafia what happened to the recruited member? If the Mafia looks at the writeups then they will instantly know who was recruited and will get rid of him. This makes the recruit of the Cult a waste and at the same time puts the Mafia at a disadvantage.
You don't. Allow the converted buddy to still be able to talk in the Mafia chat so nothing is suspicious.
 
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