Clip Clipperson (it/its): “Reporting for BNN, I’m Clip Clipperson. Here with me is the Commissioner of the hit Discord event, Blaseball Mafia, New Mafia Commissioner Spiderface II!”

Spiderface II (she/her): “Hi!”

C: “So, New Mafia Commissioner Spiderface II, can you give us a little bit about yourself? Experience with Blaseball and the community, experience with hidden role games such as Mafia?”

S: “Sure. I’m a stay at home mom of two (rabbits), wife of six (and counting) and I write either as a hobby or professionally, depending on how I feel about myself when someone asks. My professional background is in theatre, education, and theatrical education. I’ve been with Blaseball since just before the birth of SCORES BASERUNNER, and a Flowers rep since about a year ago. As you might expect, most of my focus in terms of community management work in Blaseball has been centered around events and interteam relations. I live in Toronto, Ontario.”

“As far as experience with hidden role games, I’m the best Among Us player in The Garden. Ask anyone, they’ll tell you it’s true. And if they tell you something different, they’re lying.”

C: “Oh, wonderful! Certainly nothing ‘sus’ about that. May you, your six wives (and counting), and two (rabbits) have continued happiness and healthiness!”

“What inspired you to suggest Mafia to the Groundskeepers? The large scale of the game, the game design of using Blaseball’s iconography and systems?”

S: “In truth, I honestly don’t really know. Looking at the logs, it seems as though I was chatting with other reps about like, Among Us Blaseball mods or an Among Us Blaseball tournament, and the idea just kinda came to me in a flash. I’m a very community minded person (which extends from my real life philosophy and experience) and so as soon as the seed of the idea was planted in me it really flourished quickly. I think most of the broad details were figured out in a couple days.

As far as the design of the event, using Blaseball iconography just seemed like a perfect fit- there were so many concepts already in Blaseball that translated super well, like revocation, debt and incineration, there are Blaseball Detectives and Fool Detectives… and then from there, it was a natural fit to slip in broader Blaseball mechanics, like Divine Favor or the concept of a Wimdy. It all really came together nicely, I think.”

C: “It certainly was the talk of the Discord! Did you have any pre-Mafia expectations about how the game would go, how the community and Groundskeepers would engage with it? If so, how were those expectations supported or upended?”

S: “I don’t know why, but for some reason I didn’t expect it to be so… big! I honestly did not think that the players would be as chatty and passionate as they were, or that there would be so many spectators who were so invested. In retrospect, I should have expected that- it’s Blaseball, after all, we love a spectator splort- and certain design decisions, like having three Champions per team (which is a decision I stand by) certainly increased the busyness, especially early. I don’t think much about the broad structure would change if we (myself and the keepers) had expected it to be as much as it was, but we maybe would have been a little better prepared early.”

C: “Especially in the early Days, it did feel like Blaseball was back, to an extent, watching our favorite Teams and all. Speaking of the Teams, would you like to walk me through the process of distributing roles and alignments? Any that didn’t make the cut?”

S: “The role set of the game was probably the thing that had the most tweaking done and took the longest to iron out. I started by doing a bunch of research into Mafia in general, and hand picking a small selection of roles that both looked fun and had a clear Blaseball mod counterpart. I think the opening setup looked something like Stronger Together (who had a night chat at this point) Hard Boiled, Scrambled (who at this point got a random result from investigating) Fire Eater and Protector, Barista and Observed, and Early to the Party. That was it!”

“Then, I consulted my Mafia Advisors, Notes and Chaos my beloved, and we tweaked some existing roles, added all the Levil roles, and added Elsewhere. Then, almost a week before we locked in, Ump Possum came in and added Electric and Magnified as a final balance tweak. Honestly, I don’t think anything ever actually got cut! We certainly had some things we mused over and decided against, but for the most part, once a role was in it stayed in. Then, I had 24 role/alignment pairs, and just assigned each team a pair!”

C: “I’ve heard word that you had a special process to assign teams roles, it sounds Smashing.”

S: “All I’ll say is that the Breath Mints were Luigi, and that whatever method I may have used, it was, as so often happens in Blaseball, a far better storyteller than I. Some of the role assignments were pitch perfect.”

C: “Definitely, the Jazz Hands and Moist Talkers’ rivalry represented as Baristas and Observed respectively was a personal favorite of mine. What are your, let’s say, top 3 moments or events from Mafia as a whole?”

S: “Hmm, it’s difficult to say, honestly, especially since the perspective I was watching the game from- knowing absolutely everything- was so much different from everyone else’s. Definitely the first reveal of Divine Favor was a real highlight. Didn’t the Garages then proceed to win 3 tie votes off of Divine Favor in a row? That’s just awesome. Watching the Lift masterfully manipulate the Firefighters every night before dramatically throwing it all away was a favorite. And watching the Lovers (Val in particular, not that I’m biased [Editor’s Note: Val is one of Spiderface’s wives]) run an absolute clinic de-susing themselves after the Flowers died and using Friend of Crows in an ingenious and completely unexpected way was fantastic.”

“…You might be able to tell from those that I may have had a slight bias towards Levil winning.”

C: “Haha, of course. Can you describe the experience of running the game while it was active? It seemed like the running and playing of the game over several weeks might have been taxing.”

S: “It was! I essentially scheduled my whole life around Mafia, hammering my sleep schedule into shape in order to wake up in time to do the writeup each day. I had put myself in a funny position where I was one part writer, one part producer, and one part supporting actor, and it was an interesting task balancing all of those things. I was very hyperfocused on Mafia all the time in the early game- at one point I almost got hit by a car on my bike while thinking about potential strategies the Jazz Hands could use to win. 

Learning how to take breaks and keep a healthy Mafia/Life balance was crucial, and I owe a lot to the keepers for helping me with that. Especially Notes and Chaos, who did great work as Intern Interim Mafia Commissioner and Senior Intern Interim Mafia Commissioner respectively while I couldn’t be around to judge a rules question or do a writeup.”

C: “I’m glad to hear you had some great help with you, and doubly glad you didn’t get hit by a car. Are there any changes you and/or your associates would make for future Discord events as such? I also suppose, do you have any advice for folks that want to plan Discord events, small or large?”

S: “Hmm, that is a good question. I could talk a lot about minor structural changes that could have happened- slowmodes and day durations and such- but I think my main thing I would have done different, which applies to most events, is just done a better job at setting expectations of what the event was. It was called Blaseball Discord Mafia, and the Blaseball and Discord parts were just as important as the Mafia. It definitely, indisputably, was a game of Mafia, but that ultimately came second to the fact that it was a community event about building bonds and keeping each other entertained. Improv with extra steps, as I like to say.”

“And so the thing that I wish I had done better, that I recommend to anyone organizing any community event, is to set expectations clearly, and early. I won’t pretend that we didn’t have a few genuine rough patches early on, and I think a lot of that came down to that expectations around what the event was for and what the event would be like were just not set correctly. And that is totally my bad, and is a mistake I aim to learn a lot from.”

C: “Well put. Anything else you’d like to comment on? Future plans in Blaseball, community management, Short Circuits, etc.?”

S: “Oh goodness, is it over already? Well, currently I’m just gently relaxing with the Lovers, enjoying Short Circuits from a distance. I’ll probably go back to being a Flowers rep eventually ‒ I well and truly love this community and running events in it, so while I’m recuperating from the immensity of Mafia right now, I’ll be back at it soon enough, I suspect. Stay tuned for whatever monstrosity I come up with next, assuming the keepers ever allow me to do anything ever again.”

“As far as closing words, I’ve already thanked everyone who participated in every way- so I’ll thank them again! Thank you all, Champions, spectators, keepers, all my various collaborators, Carl, for your participation in Blaseball Discord Mafia. I truly just don’t know what to say about it, it was so much that I have trouble wrapping my head around it. But thank you for being there with me.”

“And finally, if you enjoyed Blaseball Discord Mafia, remember that it came from very humble origins! Just a single errant modmail is sometimes all it takes to spiral a cool idea into a beautiful reality. Meaning, that you can do it too! Not Mafia specifically, but whatever YOUR dream community event is. I so often feel like I’m the most proactive person in a given room, and I’m giving YOU all the task of proving me wrong. I don’t hope you’re looking forward to whatever I’ll make happen next. I hope you’re all looking forward to whatever YOU make happen next. I know I certainly am.”

“That being said I’m happy to announce my next major project, Blaseball Discord [CONNECTION LOST]”

C: “Spider? Spider!? Must be the Noise. Back to you, BNN.”

Missed Blaseball Mafia? Need a Recap? Check out the first in the Mafia Minute series here:

Credit to Clip Clipperson for this article, you can find them at @clip_ny on twitter here:

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