I felt we were getting way off topic on that signup thread discussing this, but I really think this should be done by all hosts future and present. I have no problem with you guys selecting the actual player list that is in the game, but could you be more transparent than saying "Random" when you don't mean it?
A more apt description for what you are doing might be "Selected" or "Picked" or "Chosen". When I was talking to this with SuperJack he thought hosts should call it hidden, but I don't think that really describes what you are doing. Although even that would be better than using "Random".
Random doesn't mean you picked it, that isn't random and no, it isn't semantics. Look up semantics if you don't understand what semantics mean.
I have no problem with hosts doing what they want with their player list for not having a shit game as long as you tell us about it. For instance Cryptonic mentioned in that thread that he doesn't want 7 Rachyl in a game because of the RNG system. Well here is a few ways to fix that:
1) A weighted system that makes Rachyl harder to get. Of course this is disclosed somewhere in signup.
2) Limitations on number of players possible. You can define that anywhere in the signup probably preferred in player cards.
3) Categories to limit how many of any "type" of player you define in the setup. Obviously shown in the signup.
The reason for this is for anyone who wants to come and play forum mafia who hasn't experienced it before. When a random player who has played arcade mafia comes on here obviously they are going to have a different experience from regular mafia. The thing is that when you aren't telling them things such as That you already decided on exact players in the game, it looks like the list is stacked even if you did it to balance it.
Like if you were a neutral poker dealer, you wouldn't stack the deck so that the players would get the cards you chosen, would you? Even if it was for balanced someone feels cheated.