- Warning: This section covers FAQ for Mafia and is transcluded in the Guide to Hosting Please don't make changes unless you wish these changes to be included in that guide!
Basically, whenever the host determines the outcome of the night by using actions in a certain order, this implies using a certain order of actions OOA. An action higher in the chain beats an action lower in the chain because it happens earlier in that universe.
Strong and weak order
Two different notations are used to capture the following two transitive relations: strong ">>" and weak ">" (easier to see in the following example):
- "block > redirect" means redirects can be blocked by targeting the redirector AND the redirector can still redirect the blocker if the blocker does not specifically try to block the redirect (intentionally redefined and used to overlap with the Precedence notation)
- "block >> redirect" means redirects can be blocked by targeting the redirector BUT redirects can never act on the blocker i.e. "blocks cannot be redirected".
Both types of relations (> and >>) can be used in a single chain as the OOA, e.g.: RID Kill >> Block > Kill > Spy which is equivalent to "RID Kills cannot be prevented. Blocks can stop a kill or a spy."
An extreme case of the OOA favored by some hosts uses only >> relations resulting in a Chronological Universe.
Example: RID Kill >> Redirect >> Block >> Save >> Kill. A host would determine the outcome of the night using that OOA as follows:
- The first thing host should look at is RID Kills. If for example a RID Kill kills the save, the Saver is dead.
- By the time we get down the chain to the save, it doesn't matter if the Saver was right or wrong, because he's dead.
- The kill goes through (unless it was blocked).
Chronological universes can be mapped (exactly) to a deterministic timeline with no loops. For example, the order of actions starts at 8PM (the time is arbitrary). Each action thereafter takes place an hour later than the previous one. That would mean for the above example that a redirect goes at 9PM (the RID kill happened at 8PM, so you can't redirect it). The block goes at 10PM, so the Blocker can't block the RID kill or the Redirect. And so on. If the RID Kill (which happens at 8PM) kills the Saver (at 8PM), by 11PM (the Saver's "time slot") the Saver is dead and cannot save.
Exceptions to the OOA
This system has a minor loop-hole when considering saves: If saves are supposed to stop nightkills even when the NK has a higher order than the other actions, then the Save has to have precedence over NK (or else it's useless), which leads to saves being unable to be blocked / redirected. A proposed solution is to use a special notation (coming from "Stratego" where Spy can beat Marshall, which has the highest rank, but not other pieces with higher rank) e.g. Night Kill > Redirect > Block > Spy > Save (> Night Kill). The save has higher order than the night kill, but it is the only action with that property.