Rules Mafia Guide by Rota and Dante

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AL sama

Red King
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This post will discuss the core fundamentals and mechanics of mafia in general. Its goal is to ensure that everyone is on the same page as to what, exactly, mafia is at its core, and how it is generally intended to be played. In this post, we will cover three major areas: common terms, alignment, and abilities.

Overview
The game, at it's simplest, is broken into two factions, the Town and eponymous Mafia. The Town typically represents a clear majority of the players, but each member of the Town is aware only of his or her own role. Each member of the Mafia, meanwhile, is aware of each of his or her partners, but the Mafia is substantially smaller. The game is then divided into two phases: Day and Night. During the Day, the Town tries to identify members of the Mafia, while the Mafia tries to remain hidden amidst the Town, and at Night, the Mafia kills one member of the Town. This repeats until one faction is entirely eliminated, and the remaining faction is victorious.

History
Mafia was originally a party game, typically attributed to Dmitry Davidoff and cited as being created in 1986. The game models a conflict between a small group of informed players (the Mafia) and a large group of uninformed players (the Town), and was designed to analyze the psychology of players when placed in either group, especially as a study of the mob mentality. It made the jump to forums much later, typically being attributed to mithrandir of The Grey Labyrinth, a puzzle forum, in mid 2000. The electronic medium allowed the game to evolve somewhat, featuring more complex setups and a slower pace that allows players to really consider their options, though it obviously lacks the necessity of a poker face found in the original form.

Common Terms
Mafia has a lot of buzzwords and terminology, some of which is intuitive and some of which is not. Below is a compilation of common terms within the game.

Role
A Role is basically all of the information provided to a particular player. It is generally comprised of three elements: Character, Alignment, and Abilities.

Ability: An Ability is a representation of some mechanical interaction the player can have within the game. It can be a Passive Ability, which is always on, or an Active Ability, which the player must consciously direct. A player can have more than one Ability.

Alignment: An Alignment represents the victory condition a player has been assigned. Alignment is also normally indicative of which faction a player is part of.

Character: A Character is the flavor name that a player has been assigned. It either calls back to a particular character within a source material, or represents an original character. It is generally accompanied by flavor, which is often the justification for Alignment and Abilities.

Role Email/Role PM: A Role Email or Role PM is a message sent from a host to a player at the beginning of the game which contains the player's Role.
Phase
The two standard Phases in mafia are Day and Night. The bulk of the game takes place during the Phases.

Day: Day phase is a stage, normally of varying length of time, in which all players may discuss the game in the designated game thread. Day is also when the Lynch occurs via whatever means it occurs. Because the Town is typically the single largest faction present, it openly dominates the Day, with Anti-Town factions forced to pretend that they are either part of the Town or Independent.

Night: Night phase is a stage, normally of a set length of time, in which players may not discuss the game in the designated game thread. Instead, players with Active Abilities are required to privately contact the host with their Actions for that Night. The host then resolves these Night Actions and posts what occurred during the Night. Because Anti-Town factions tend to have Abilities which can reduce the Town's playerbase, and because such factions are generally aware of who their allies' identities, Anti-Town factions tends to dominate the Night, with the Town left groping in the dark hoping to use their Abilities on the right players.
Twilight
The Twilights are Dawn and Dusk. Twilights typically act as buffers between the Phases, allowing players to discuss the game in the game thread, but disallowing the use of Night Actions and Day Actions. Most games won't need to officially recognize the Twilights with their own writeups.

Dawn: Dawn is the Twilight between Night and Day. It is the period of time between the end of the Night phase and the announcement of what occurred during that Night phase. In most games, it is entirely absent, as the writeup announcing the end of Night is also the writeup that explains what occurred during that Night.

Dusk: Dusk is the Twilight between Day and Night. It is the period of time between the end of the Day phase and the announcement of the Lynch. In a Majority Lynch game, this is the period of time between a majority vote being reached/a hard deadline being hit and the announcement of the Lynch. In a Plurality Lynch game, this is the period of time between a hard deadline being hit and the announcement of the Lynch. In a Monarchy Lynch game, this is the period of time between the King voting/a hard deadline being hit and the announcement of the Lynch.
Claim
Claiming is the act of revealing information about one's Role, generally at the request of the Town. A Claim, therefore, is the information that is revealed during this action.

Ability Claim: An Ability Claim is when a player states only the Abilities they received that game, generally accompanied by the Actions they have taken thus far.

Alignment Claim: An Alignment Claim is when a player states only the Alignment they received that game.

Character Claim: A Character Claim is when a player states only the Character they received that game, and specifically does not state the accompanying flavor, which may provide clues about the Abilities that player received that game.

Counter Claim: A Counter Claim is when a player's Ability Claim and/or Character Claim is the same as someone else's that has already Claimed. The general implication is that one of the two must be Fake Claiming, and therefore is Scum.

Fake Claim: A Fake Claim is when a player appears to Claim, but is actually lying about the information so revealed.

Flavor Claim: A Flavor Claim is when a player states the only Character they received that game, generally accompanied by the provided flavor. This is sometimes erroneously referred to as a Character Claim.

Full Claim: A Role Claim is when a player simultaneously Mechanical Claims and Flavor Claims. This is sometimes confused with a Role Claim, which is less specific.

Mechanics Claim: A Mechanics Claim is when a player simultaneously Ability Claims and Alignment Claims. This is sometimes erroneously referred to as a Role Claim.

Role Claim: A Role Claim is when a player simultaneously Mechanical Claims and either Flavor Claims or Character Claims. This is sometimes confused with a Full Claim, which is more specific.

Safe Claim: A Safe Claim refers to a Fake Claim which is provided by the host. As such, they are generally not at risk of being Counter Claimed.
Lynch
Lynch refers to the process of removing a player from play during the Day. It is a process that is often controlled by the Town, and is normally their primary method of eliminating Scum.

Finger of Suspicion: A term that is fast becoming obsolute, Finger of Suspicion, which is generally shortened to FoS, is used to officially indicate that you find a player suspicious without actually voting for that player. It is generally formatted in the same way as a vote, but any mechanical impact it had has long been removed from the game. It's primary use is indicating suspicion in a tense situation such as Lynch-or-Lose where a single vote on the wrong player can allow an Anti-Town faction to Speed Lynch that player and force a Mislynch, winning the game.

Lynch-or-Lose: Lynch-or-Lose, often shortened to LyLo, refers to a situation wherein the Town must Lynch correctly or they will lose to an Anti-Town faction. This occurs when an Anti-Town faction will constitute at least half of the living players at the beginning of the next Day phase, unless a member of that Anti-Town faction is eliminated before that point. This typically means that a single Anti-Town faction constitutes one player fewer than half/majority of living players, whichever is smaller. This is distinct from Mislynch-and-Lose in that a Town cannot opt to No Lynch to delay having to eliminate a member of the dominant Anti-Town faction.

Majority Lynch: In a game using Majority Lynch, all players vote for whom they wish to be Lynched during the Day. A player is not Lynched until a number of votes equal to a majority of the living players is placed on that player.

Monarchy Lynch: In a game using Monarchy Lynch, only a single player, called a King, votes for whom they wish to be Lynched each Day, and a player is Lynched as soon as they are voted for by a King. The King is generally not a static role; instead, there is typically a role or condition which determines which player becomes the King each Day, and there are normally restrictions in place which prevent the same player from becoming the King twice consecutively.

Mislynch: A Mislynch is a Lynch that was unfavorable for the Town. Generally speaking, a Mislynch refers to the Lynching of a Towny. However, in some situations, it can refer to the Lynching of any player not part of the dominant Anti-Town faction. While a Mislynch might initially seem worse than a No Lynch, there are actually very few situations where this is the case.

Mislynch-and-Lose: Mislynch-and-Lose, often shortened to MyLo, refers to a situation very similar to a Lynch-or-Lose, with the distinction that if the Town chooses to No Lynch in this situation, no single Anti-Town faction will constitute at least half the remaining players at the beginning of the following Day phase. No Lynching at this stage is one of the few times a No Lynch is preferable to a Mislynch. Note, however, that choosing to No Lynch in the face of Mislynch-and-Lose will push the game to Lynch-or-Lose the following Day phase.

No Lynch: A No Lynch is when a Day ends with no player being Lynched, either because the players specifically voted for a No Lynch, a deadline was reached, or a stalemate occurred due to no one faction constituting a majority of the living players.

Plurality Lynch: In a game using Plurality Lynch, all players vote for whom they wish to be Lynched during the Day, as with Majority Lynch. However, in Plurality Lynch, whomever has the most votes on them when Day ends is Lynched. In the case of a tie, Day can end either with a No Lynch, with all candidates Lynched, or with one candidate Lynched at random.

Speed Lynch: A Speed Lynch is when a player is Lynched very quickly with little or no discussion, either because a deadline is coming up, by Scum to quickly end Day, or out of simple laziness or incompetence. A Speed Lynch can be very harmful to Town, as it can eliminate the primary benefits of Day and Claiming, but is often preferable to a No Lynch.
Miscellaneous
Here are some other common terms.

Gambit: A Gambit is a particular strategy which has a high risk of failure and generally carries serious consequences upon failure, but also a high reward if successful. Gambits are almost always employed by Scum, as the Town typically lacks the facilities to coordinate a Gambit without clueing in their opponents as to the nature of the Gambit. Generally, a Gambit is used as a desperate last resort, when the risk is mitigated by the fact that not attempting the Gambit leads to the same result as failing the Gambit.

Oh My God, You Suck!: Oh My God, You Suck!, typically abbreviated OMGUS, refers to a reaction a player will sometimes have when being voted for. This reaction is typically defined as the accused voting to lynch his accuser without providing a justification for why his accuser would be a better lynch. While this reaction isn't necessarily a Scumtell, it is considered poor play and ought to be avoided.

Wine in Front of Me: Wine in Front of Me, typically abbreviated as WiFoM, refers to an infinite loop of reverse psychology when trying to analyze someone's actions and motivations, in regards to whether or not they had considered that said actions and/or motiviations would be so analyzed. The term, popularized by a scene in the novel and its film adaptation The Princess Bride, takes its name from a scenario in which an assassin brings two glasses of wine, one for himself and one for his target. His target knows that one is poisoned, and tries to determine whether the assassin poisoned the wine offered to his target or, knowing that his target might switch the glasses, poisoned the the wine intended for himself or, knowing that his target might know that he would assume the assassin knew he would switch the glasses and opt not to switch the glasses, actually poisoned the glass originally offered to his target, and on and on in an endless spiral. In mafia, it typically takes the form of a player claiming that they would not have taken a specific action if they were Scum because it would make them seem like Scum, to which one can reply that by offering such a defense, there is now a reason as Scum to take that specific action, to which they reply that by pointing this out, there is no longer a reason as Scum to take that action, etc. While it is impossible to avoid, as it is intrinsically involved in any attempt to analyze behavior, it should always be taken with a grain of salt, as Scum are almost always at an advantage when this sort of hypothetical back-and-forth takes place. Remember that, sometimes, the assassin poisons both glasses.

Alignment
Alignment refers to a player's victory conditions. There are three types of alignment in mafia: Town, Anti-Town, and Independent. Town and Anti-Town factions are inherently at odds with one another, and typically cannot win together. Moreover, Anti-Town factions are typically also at odds with each other, and similarly cannot win together; this is technically also true of Town factions, but is less relevant, as it is exceedingly rare for a game to feature more than one Town faction. The defining difference between Town and Anti-Town factions is that Town factions are represented as an uninformed majority, while Anti-Town factions are represented as an informed minority. Independent factions function entirely outside of the Town vs Anti-Town struggle, and can win alongside any Town or Anti-Town faction, given that certain specific conditions are met.

Town
The Town is a core faction in mafia. The Town normally constitutes over half of the players in a game, making it the single largest faction present in most games. For this reason, the Town controls the Day phase, with Anti-Town factions being forced to blend in with the Town in order to survive. Typically, each member of the Town, called a Towny, is only aware of his/her own Role. Thus, while the Town's goal as a whole is to eliminate all Anti-Town factions, each Towny must ferret out which other players are Town and which are Anti-Town in order to achieve this.

Anti-Town
The Anti-Town factions are all very similar, differentiated by relatively minor differences in how they are typically arranged, or what abilities they typically have. Anti-Town factions are normally much smaller than the Town, which necessitates members of Anti-Town factions, called Scum, to attempt to blend in with the Town during the Day phase to avoid discovery. However, Scum are generally aware of the identities of their teammates, if any, which gives them an edge in that Scum are not very likely to accidentally eliminate their teammates, and are allowed to communicate and coordinate outside of the game thread, which allows them to employ more complex strategies of deception against the Town. Each Anti-Town faction's goal is typically to eliminate the Town and all competing Anti-Town factions.

Mafia: The Mafia is the eponymous core faction in mafia, but is not quintessential in the same way as the Town; it is the most common of the Anti-Town factions, but is more frequently absent than the Town. Members of the Mafia are called Mafioso. The Mafia is almost always in possesion of at least one Destructive ability, often referred to as a Kill, which is normally utilized during the Night phase. This Kill can be a Faction, where any Mafioso may choose to make it, a Static, where a designated Mafioso must make it, or an Inherited, where a designated Mafioso must make it, but if that designated Mafioso should die, another designated Mafioso can make it. This Kill allows the Mafia to have some measure of control during the Night phase, and is their primary tool for eliminating the Town and other Anti-Town factions.

Cult: The Cult is an Anti-Town faction that functions in much the same way that the Mafia does. Members of the Cult are called Cultists. Because the Cult can grow, it normally starts off smaller than the Mafia would in the same general setup. In the place of a Kill, the Cult has a Conversive ability, often called a Conversion, which allows it to recruit members of the Town and sometimes other factions, changing those players' alignment to Cult. The Cult's Conversion, like the Mafia's Kill, can be Faction, Static, or Inherited. However, because of how powerful a Conversion is compared to a Kill, in that it both decreases the size of an opposing faction while increasing the size of the friendly faction, Static Conversion is most commonly used. Likewise, because of how powerful a Conversion can be when used on an informed player, such as one that is part of a different Anti-Town faction, members of opposing Anti-Town factions are normally immune to a Cult's Conversion. A Cult that also inherently possesses a Destructive ability is informally referred to as a Cultafia.

Serial: The Serial is an Anti-Town faction that functions as a sort of one-man Mafia. The Serial typically has a Kill, but because the Serial has no real allies, the Serial is normally made to be more powerful than an individual Mafioso might be. Because the Serial is alone, this typically means that the Serial strives to eliminate all other players. However, like other Anti-Town factions, Serials can still win with Independents as normal, and indeed benefit most from allying with an Independent.
Independent
Independent is a catch-all phrase for pretty much any faction which is not inherently Town or Anti-Town. The most common Independents are the Survivor, which wins by surviving until the end of the game, the Jester, which wins by being Lynched, the Lyncher, which wins by participating in the Lynch of a specific player, the Unlyncher, which wins by ensuring that a specific player is not Lynched throughout the course of the game, and the Alien, which wins by surviving until only players it has targeted throughout the game are alive, but there are many more possible factions. The core fundamental of the Independent is that they can win alongside any Town or Anti-Town faction, so long as their own victory condition is met. The victory of an Independent does not end the game in the same way that the victory of a Town or Anti-Town faction does; instead, an Independent that has achieved its victory condition prior to the completion of the game is generally either removed from play as a winner, or remains in play and is announced a winner alongside Town or whichever Anti-Town faction wins at the end of the game.

Abilities
One's Abilities refers to a set of terms indicating the mechanical interactions a given player can have on a particular game. They are generally intended to allow ease of understanding as to what an ability does, both for the player receiving the Role and the other players when said player either Claims or dies.

Active vs Passive
There are two manners in which Abilities can be classified. The first is by how the Ability is used, whether it actively requires input from the player or is simply passively always on.

Active: An Active Ability is any ability which requires input from the player with the ability. The use of an Active Ability is called an Action. Players are typically restricted on when and how often they can use Active Abilities - the norm is once each Night phase. Active Abilities are generally susceptible to Immunity, Prevention, and Misdirection.

Passive: A Passive Ability is any Ability which does not require input from the player with the Ability. Passive Abilities are typically always in effect. For this reason, Passive Abilities are generally exempt from Immunity, Prevention, and Misdirection. Some Passive Abilities have triggered effects, however, which are not exempt from Immunity.
Nature of Ability
There are two manners in which Abilities can be classified. The second is the nature of what the Ability does, be it something which informs, defends, kills, etc.

Investigative: An Investigative Ability is any ability which informs. The most iconic Investigative Ability is the Cop, but other common Investigative Abilities include the Tracker, Watcher, and Thief. Investigative Abilities are generally more useful for the Town than for Anti-Town factions, because Anti-Town factions are typically already better informed than the Town. The use of an Investigative Ability is typically called an Investigation.

Protective: A Protective Ability is any Ability which grants immunity. The most iconic Protective Ability is the Doctor, but other common Protective Abilities include the Commuter, Jailer, and Bodyguard. Protective Abilities are generally more useful for the Town than for Anti-Town factions, because Town are far more likely to be targeted by harmful abilities from which one would want immunity. The use of a Protective Ability is typically called a Protection.

Destructive: A Destructive Ability is any Ability which kills. The most iconic Destructive Ability is the Vigilante/Hitman/Killer, but other common Destructive Abilities include the Poisoner and Executioner. Destructive Abilities are generally more useful for Anti-Town factions than for the Town, as Anti-Town factions generally already know which players are friend and which are foe, and so can use Destructive Abilities more precisely without the risk of friendly fire. The use of a Destructive Ability is typically called a Kill.

Manipulative: A Manipulative Ability is any Ability which misinforms. The most iconic Manipulative Ability is the Bus Driver, but other common Manipulative Abilities include the Framer, Redirector, and Politician. Manipulative Abilities are generally more useful for Anti-Town factions than for the Town, because misinformation is normally harmful to the Town's ability to identify Scum. The use of a Manipulative Ability is typically called a Misdirection.

Preventative: A Preventative Ability is any Ability which blocks. The most iconic Preventative Ability is the Roleblocker/Prostitute, but other common Preventative Abilities include the Jailer and Vote Drainer. Prevenative Abilities are generally about as useful for the Town as for Anti-Town factions, as they can be used by the Town as a quasi-Investigation looking for Destructive roles or by an Anti-Town faction to shut down a Protective or Investigative Role. The use of a Preventative Ability is typically called a Block.

Creative: A Creative Ability is any Ability which augments. The most iconic Creative Ability is the Inventor, but other common Creative Abilities include the Eraser, Graverobber, and Kingmaker. Creative Abilities are objectively more useful for Anti-Town factions than for the Town, as there is no chance of accidentally targeting an enemy with a beneficial Creative ability or a friend with a harmful Creative ability; for this reason, such Abilities must not be given to Anti-Town factions lightly. The use of a Creative Ability is typically called a Gift.

Conversive: A Conversive Ability is any Ability which facilitates communication. The most iconic Conversive Ability is the Converter, but other common Conversive Abilities include the Mason Recruiter, Motivator, and Psychiatrist. Conversive Abilities are objectively more useful for Anti-Town factions than for the Town, as there is no chance of accidentally targeting an enemy with a beneficial Conversive Ability or a friend with a harmful Conversive Ability; for this reason, such Abilities must not be given to Anti-Town factions lightly. The use of a Conversive Ability is typically called either a Conversion or a Conversation, depending on whether the Ability also alters Alignment.
Action Resolution
Action resolution is the act of determining how Actions interact and then resolving what occurs overall. Because many Actions are specifically designed to inhibit or enable other Actions, it can be quite complex.

Night Action: Night Actions are Actions that are used during the Night phase. Night Actions are broken up into three tiers, with a higher tier resolving before a lower tier fires. Conversive, Manipulative, Preventative, and Protective Actions are Tier 1, Investigative Actions are Tier 2, and Creative and Destructive Actions are Tier 3. Tier 1 has special self-interaction rules for resolving when one such Night Action would affect another. First, a self-targeting Tier 1 Night Action always resolves before all other Night Actions. Second, if a Tier 1 Night Action is being affected by another Tier 1 Night Action, the former resolves after the latter, unless the former is also affecting the latter. Tier 1 Night Actions that resolve simultaneously, even if they would otherwise affect one another, do not interact with one another.

Day Action: Day Actions are Actions that are used during the Day phase. Unlike Night Actions, which are generally sent to the host in private, Day Actions are posted in the game thread; they fire and immediately resolve based on when they are posted.

Examples

To better elucidate how exactly Night Action resolution works, here are some scenarios demonstrating various situations one might encounter as a host. For all scenarios, assume the following basic setup:

Player A is a Town Cop (Investigative)
Player B is a Town Doctor (Protective)
Player C is a Town Roleblocker (Preventative)
Player D is a Town Bus Driver (Manipulative)
Player E is a Town Redirector (Manipulative)
Player F is a Town Inventor (Creative)
Player G is a Town Motivator (Conversive)
Player H is a Mafia Hitman (Destructive)
Player I is a Mafia Prostitute (Preventative)
Player J is a Mafia Bus Driver (Manipulative)
Player K is a Mafia Redirector (Manipulative)
Player L is a Mafia Inventor (Creative)
Player M is a Cult Converter (Conversive)
Player N is a Serial Killer (Destructive)

Scenario 1: The goal of this scenario is to demonstrate how various Night Actions interact with players dying.

Player A investigates Player F (Tier 2)
Player F sends <item1> to Player L (Tier 3)
Player L sends <item2> to Player F (Tier 3)
Player M converts Player F (Tier 1)
Player N kills Player F (Tier 3)

Player M resolves first, converting Player F. Player F has an opportunity to alter his Action, and chooses to instead send <item1> to Player M. Player A resolves next, investigating Player F and reciving a guilty result. Player F, Player L, and Player N resolve last. Player F sends <item1> to Player M, Player L sends <item2> to Player F, and Player N kills Player F. Because Player F is dead, he is no longer a valid target, so Player L does not lose <item2>. However, as Player F's Action was already initiated, Player M still receives <item1> from Player F.

Player M converts Player L
Player A investigates Player L
Player A receives innocent (converted) guilty
Player F sends <item1> to Player L (converted) sends <item1> to Player M
Player L sends <item2> to Player F
Player N kills Player F
Player M receives <item1>
Player F receives <item2> (dead)
Writeup reveals Player F as Town Inventor (converted) Cult Inventor

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Scenario 2: The goal of this scenario is to demonstrate the special self-interaction rules for resolving Tier 1 Night Actions.

Player A investigates Player C (Tier 2)
Player B protects Player J (Tier 1)
Player C blocks Player B (Tier 1)
Player H kills Player J (Tier 3)
Player J switches Player A and Player J (Tier 1)

Player J is self-targeting, so his Action resolves before all other Tier 1 Night Actions. Player B's Action is being affected by Player C's Action, and is not in turn affecting Player C's Action, so his resolves after Player C's. Thus, Player J resolves first, switching Player A and himself. Player C resolves next, blocking Player B. Player B resolves third, protecting Player A instead of Player J due to the switch, but failing due to the block. Player A resolves fourth, investigating Player C and receiving an innocent result. Player H resolves last, killing Player A instead of Player J due to the switch.

Player J switches Player A and Player J
Player C blocks Player B
Player B protects (blocked) Player J (misdirected) Player A
Player A investigates Player C
Player A receives innocent
Player H kills Player J (misdirected) Player A
Writeup reveals Player A as Town Cop

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Scenario 3: The goal of this scenario is to demonstrate how Misdirection can result in an invalid target.

Player A investigates Player H (Tier 2)
Player D switches Player A and Player H (Tier 1)
Player H kills Player A (Tier 3)

Player D resolves first, switching Player A and Player H. Player A resolves next, trying to investigate himself instead of Player H due to the switch, but fails because he cannot self-target. Player H resolves last, trying to kill himself instead of Player A due to the switch, but failing because he cannot self-target.

Player D switches Player A and Player H
Player A investigates Player H (misdirected) Player A (invalid target)
Player A receives innocent (invalid target) failed
Player H kills Player A (misdirected) Player H (invalid target)
Writeup shows no kill attempts

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Scenario 4: The goal of this scenario is to demonstrate how to resolve interaction between two Bus Drivers that share one target and are resolving simultaneous.

Player A investigates Player B (Tier 2)
Player B protects Player H (Tier 1)
Player D switches Player A and Player H (Tier 1)
Player H kills Player A (Tier 3)
Player J switches Player B and Player H (Tier 1)

Neither Player D nor Player J is self-targeting, and both are affecting one another, meaning they resolve simultaneous. Moreover, Player B is being affected by both Player D and Player J, so his Action will resolve after theirs. Thus, Player D and Player J resolve first, with Player D switching Player A and Player H, and Player J switching Player B and Player H. Player B resolves next, protecting Player A and himself instead of Player H due to the switches, though the Protection on himself fails because he cannot self-target. Player A resolves third, investigating Player H instead of Player B due to the switch, and receiving a guilty result. Player D resolves last, attempting to kill himself instead of Player A due to the switch, but failing because he cannot self-target.

Player D switches Player A and Player H
Player J switches Player B and Player H
Player B protects Player H (misdirected) Player A and Player B(invalid target)
Player A investigates Player B (misdirected) Player H
Player A receives innocent (misdirected) guilty
Player H kills Player A (misdirected) Player H (invalid target)
Writeup shows no kill attempts

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Scenario 4: The goal of this scenario is to demonstrate how to resolve interaction between two Bus Drivers that share one target and are not resolving simultaneous.

Player A investigates Player B (Tier 2)
Player B protects Player H (Tier 1)
Player D switches Player D and Player H (Tier 1)
Player H kills Player D (Tier 3)
Player J switches Player B and Player H (Tier 1)

Player D is self-targeting, so his Action resolves before all other Tier 1 Actions. Player J is being affected by Player D, so his Action resolves after Player D's. Finally, Player B is being affected by Player J, so his Action resolves after Player J's. Player D resolves first, switching himself and Player H. Player J resolves next, switching Player B and Player D instead of Player B and Player H due to the switch. Player B resolves third, attempting to protect himself instead of Player D instead of Player H due to the switches, but failing because he cannot self-target. Player A resolves fourth, investigating Player D instead of Player B due to the switch, and receiving an innocent result. Player H resolves last, attempting to kill himself instead of Player D due to the switch, but failing because he cannot self-target.

Player D switches Player D and Player H
Player J switches Player B and Player H (misdirected) Player D
Player B protects Player H (misdirected) Player D (misdirected) Player B (invalid target)
Player A investigates Player B (misdirected) Player D
Player A receives innocent
Player H kills Player D (misdirected) Player H (invalid target)
Writeup shows no kill attempts

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Scenario 5: The goal of this scenario is to demonstrate how to resolve interaction between two Bus Drivers that share both targets and are resolving simultaneous.

Player A investigates Player B (Tier 2)
Player B protects Player A (Tier 1)
Player D switches Player A and Player B (Tier 1)
Player H kills Player B (Tier 3)
Player J switches Player A and Player B (Tier 1)

Neither Player D nor Player J is self-targeting, and both are affecting one another, meaning they resolve simultaneous. Moreover, Player B is being affected by both Player D and Player J, so his Action will resolve after theirs. Thus, Player D and Player J resolve first, with both switching Player A and Player B. Player B resolves next, attempting to Protect Player B twice instead of Player A due to the switches, though both fail because he cannot self-target. Player A resolves third, likewise attempting to investigate Player A twice instead of Player B because of the switches, though both fail because he cannot self-target. Finally, Player H kills Player A twice instead of Player B due to the switches.

Player D bus drives Player A and Player B
Player J bus drives Player A and Player B
Player B protects Player A (misdirected) Player B (invalid target) and Player B (invalid target)
Player A investigates Player B (misdirected) Player A (invalid target) and Player A (invalid target)
Player A receives failed and failed
Player H kills Player A (misdirected) Player B and Player B
Writeup reveals Player B as Town Doctor, and indicates two killers

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Scenario 6: The goal of this scenario is to demonstrate how to resolve interaction between two Bus Drivers that share both targets and are not resolving simultaneous.

Player A investigates Player D (Tier 2)
Player B protects Player A (Tier 1)
Player D bus drives Player A and Player D (Tier 1)
Player H kills Player D (Tier 3)
Player J bus drives Player A and Player D (Tier 1)

Player D is self-targeting, so his Action resolves before all other Tier 1 Actions. Player J is being affected by Player D, so his Action resolves after Player D's. Player B is being affected by both Player D and Player J, so his Action resolves after theirs. Thus, Player D resolves first, switching Player A and Player D. Player J resolves next, switching Player D and Player A instead of Player A and Player D due to the switch (Player J's Action is effectively unchanged). Player B resolves third, protecting Player A instead of Player D instead of Player A due to the switches. Player A resolves fourth, investigating Player D instead of Player A instead of Player D due to the switches, and receiving innocent. Player H resolves last, attempting to kill Player D instead of Player A instead of Player D due to the switches.

Player D switches Player A and Player D
Player J switches Player A (misdirected) Player D and Player D(misdirected) Player A
Player B protects Player A (misdirected) Player D (misdirected) Player A
Player A investigates Player D (misdirected) Player A (misdirected) Player D
Player A receives innocent
Player H kills Player D (misdirected) Player A (misdirected) Player D
Writeup reveals Player D as Town Bus Driver.

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Scenario 7: The goal of this scenario is to demonstrate how to resolve interaction between two Redirectors that are targeting one another and resolving simultaneously.

Player E forces Player K to target Player N (Tier 1)
Player K forces Player E to target Player N (Tier 1)
Player N kills Player K (Tier 3)

Neither Player E nor Player K is self-targeting, and both are affecting one another, meaning they resolve simulatenous. This means that Player E redirects Player K onto Player N, and Player K redirects Player E onto Player N. However, as neither Misdirect interacts with the other, Player E and Player K are both misdirected, but only as it pertains to other abilities they might have. Player H resolves next, killing Player K.

Player E forces Player K to target Player N
Player K forces Player E to target Player N
Player N kills Player K
Writeup reveals Player K as Mafia Redirector

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Scenario 8: The goal of this scenario is to demonstrate how to resolve interaction between two Redirectors that are not targeting one another and resolving simultaneously.

Player A investigates Player N (Tier 2)
Player E forces Player N to target Player K (Tier 1)
Player K forces Player N to target Player E (Tier 1)
Player N kills Player A (Tier 3)

Neither Player E nor Player K is self-targeting, and neither is being affected by another Tier 1 Action, so both resolve simultaneously. Thus, Player E forces Player N to target Player K, and Player K forces Player N to target Player E. Player A resolves next, investigating Player N and receiving a guilty result. Player N resolves last, killing both Player E and Player K instead of Player A due to the misdirects.

Player E forces Player N to target Player K
Player K forces Player N to target Player E
Player A investigates Player N
Player A receives guilty
Player N kills Player A (misdirected) Player E and Player K
Writeup reveals Player E is Town Redirector and Player K is Mafia Redirector

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Scenario 9: The goal of this scenario is to demonstrate how to resolve interaction between two Roleblockers that are resolving simultaneously.

Player C blocks Player I (Tier 1)
Player H kills Player C (Tier 3)
Player I blocks Player C (Tier 1)

Neither Player C nor Player I is self-targeting, and both are affecting one another, meaning they resolve simultaneous. This means that Player C blocks Player I, and Player I blocks Player C. However, as neither Block interacts with the other, Player C and Player I are both blocked, but only as it pertains to other abilities they might have. Player H resolves next, killing Player C.

Player C blocks Player I
Player I blocks Player C
Player H kills Player C
Writeup reveals Player C as Town Roleblocker

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Scenario 10: The goal of this scenario is to take a complex situation and resolve it as an example.

Player A investigates Player K (Tier 2)
Player B protects Player K (Tier 1)
Player C blocks Player L (Tier 1)
Player D switches Player A and Player M (Tier 1)
Player E forces Player K to target Player D (Tier 1)
Player F gives <item1> to Player D (Tier 3)
Player G motivates Player D (Tier 1)
Player H kills Player C (Tier 3)
Player I blocks Player E (Tier 1)
Player J switches Player A and Player B (Tier 1)
Player K forces Player M to target Player A (Tier 1)
Player L gives <item2> to Player H (Tier 3)
Player M converts Player L (Tier 1)
Player N kills Player J (Tier 3)

Alright, once we've identified that no Tier 1 actions are self-targeting, the first Night Actions we should probably look at are the Conversive Actions, because they can potentially change everything else. Player G is affecting Player D, another Tier 1, while Player M is affecting Player L, a Tier 3. This means that, when figuring out in what order the Tier 1 Actions resolve, we can have Player M resolve towards the end. However, if Player G is not affected by any other Tier 1 Night Actions, then he will resolve first. As it happens, Player G is not being affected by any other Tier 1 Night Actions, so we'll resolve him first. Thus, Player G gives Player D a second use of his Night Action. Player D chooses to switch Player E and Player G.

Now, let's look at the rest of the Tier 1 Actions. Player D Mk.I nor Player J are affecting one another, so they will resolve simultaneous. Both Player D Mk.I and Player J are affecting Player K, so they will resolve before him. With exception to Player G, who is already resolved, neither Player D Mk.I nor Player J are being affected by any other Tier 1 Actions, so we'll resolve them next. Thus, Player D switches Player A and Player M, while Player J switches Player A and Player B.

Next up, Player M is being affected by Player K, who is being affected by Player E, who is being affected by Player I, who is being affected by Player D Mk.II, so they will resolve Player D Mk.II, then Player I, then Player E, then Player K. So first, Player D switches Player E and Player G. Then, Player I blocks Player G instead of Player E due to this switch; however, as Player G has already resolved, this has no noticeable effect. Next, Player E forces Player K to target Player D. Then, Player K forces Player D instead of Player M to target Player B and Player M instead of Player A; as both of Player D's Actions have already resolves, this also has no noticeable effect. Finally, Player M converts Player L, which fails due to Player L's Anti-Town alignmemt.

This just leaves B and Player C to be resolved. Neither is affecting a Tier 1 Action, and neither is being affected by a Tier 1 Action, so they can resolve after all other Tier 1 Actions safely. Player B protects Player K, and Player C blocks Player L. After that, Player A resolves, investigating Player K and receiving a guilty result. Player F, Player H, Player L, and Player N all resolve last. Player F gives <item1> to Player D, Player H kills Player C, Player L attempts to give <item2> to Player H but is blocked, and Player N kills Player J.

Player G motivates Player D
Player D switches Player A and Player M
Player J switches Player A and Player B
Player D (motivated) switches Player E and Player G
Player I blocks Player E (misdirected) Player G*
Player E forces Player K to target Player D
Player K forces Player M (misdirected) Player D* to target Player A(misdirected) Player B and Player M
Player M converts (immunity) Player L
Player B protects Player K
Player C blocks Player L
Player A investigates Player K
Player A receives guilty
Player F gives <item1> to Player D
Player H kills Player C
Player L gives <item2> (blocked) to Player H
Player N kills Player J
Writeup reveals Player C as Town Roleblocker and Player J as Mafia Bus Driver
 

AL sama

Red King
#3
This post will discuss hosting a game. Its goal is to ensure that hosts are able to easily identify what is and is not balanced in a setup, as well as the proper etiquette expected of them. In this post, we will cover three major stages of hosting a game: initial design, specific design, and running the game.

Initial Design
Initial design is the stage of creating a game in which you consider the theme, size, and rules that you intend to use in this game. It is important to have a good idea of these three things before you start crafting roles, conditions, or anything else, because it is around these three things that the game is designed.

Theme
Theme is probably one of the most important things to consider when designing a game. While a very simple game can be forced into just about any theme, anything even remotely complex will need to be crafted around the theme, rather than forced into the theme. When considering a theme, you should ask yourself some important questions:

What theme should I use? It might seem obvious, but this is easily the most important question. A theme can be any number of things. It can be as broad or specific as you want, as original or as derivative as you please. A theme can reference a specific source material, such as a novel, movie, or show. Consider a game based around a particular arc of the One Piece manga. Such a theme is going to carry certain expectations, both for the host and players, regarding how familiar they are with the theme. You'll be selecting from a set of relevant characters, generally trying to give them abilities that fit their personalities and capabilities, designing mechanics and conditions which lend themselves to the theme, etc. A theme can also be based on an original story. You can make up the names of the characters, craft their personalities and capabilities to suit your roles, and craft the narrative to suit your mechanics and conditions. The down side is that there will be a larger burden upon you to provide original flavor for the players, so that they can properly grasp the theme. But a theme can also be broader than that, such as an abstract concept. Consider a game themed around fast food restaurants. The characters aren't really people so much as the charicatures of massive corporations to whom you can assign roles that are really only loosely relevant, and the concept is abstract enough that you can probably fit in all sorts of interesting mechanics and conditions.

To what sort of factions does this theme lend itself? This is especially important for determining what kind of Anti-Town or Independent factions you might use in the game. You don't need to make any final decisions, but it's good to have some idea, going in, as to what kind of factions are viable. Consider a game themed around Mario. The conflict between Mario and his various adversaries is generally much too straight forward to support a proper Cult. Now consider a game themed around The Call of Cthulhu. This is a theme that demands a proper Cult, but doesn't really have room for a Mafia. As you can see, some themes fit certain factions better than others, and this should be taken into consideration.

How many characters have to be in this game? A common trap a new host falls into when crafting a themed game is using all of the obvious characters. This leads to a Town advantage, where a Mass Claim can break the game due to character confirmation. When deciding what characters to include, and what characters to leave out, it is important to include some minor characters and to exclude some major characters. Consider a game themed around The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring. This is a theme that has nine major protagonist characters, the eponymous fellowship. In a game where the protagonists are the Town, it is tempting to include all nine. However, this is a trap. With all nine characters included, Scum are left with no truly viable Fake Claims, while a Mass Claim allows the Town to form a huge nine-man bloc of unlynchable confirmed players. In such a game, the mafia would need to be incredibly powerful to balance the flavor advantage offered to the Town. Now, consider a game themed around A Song of Ice and Fire. There are scores and scores of characters, with maybe twenty or thirty characters important enough to be considered main characters, and with all the shifting perspectives, it is difficult to clearly define all of them as protagonists and antagonists. In such a game, it is less necessary to exclude major characters (albeit not completely unnecessary), as the allegiances of the various characters are not immediately identifiable, due to the theme.

Which faction goes with which set of characters? It is important to remember that the Town is not inherently good, nor is the Mafia inherently bad. Protagonists can be Anti-Town, and antagonists can be Town. This is another trap that new hosts commonly fall into. Instead of arbitrarily making the protagonists the Town and the antagonists the Anti-Town, consider which set of characters fits each faction the best. Consider a game themed around the Left 4 Dead franchise. We are presented with eight major protagonists and maybe two minor protagonists, and then eight major antagonists and a myriad of minor antagonists. A host might be tempted to make the protagonists the Town, but this is a trap. There aren't enough protagonists for Anti-Town to have viable Fake Claims. However, reverse the situation, and suddenly, there is a clear Anti-Town, and plenty of antagonists both major and minor to leave the Anti-Town with viable Fake Claims. Now, consider a game themed around Bleach, which (in general, though subverted in various specific arcs) has a high number of recurring protagonists and a fairly limited number of recurring antagonists. This is a theme that is better suited for a protagonists as Town setup, in most situations.
Size
Once you've decided on a theme, the next important step is to decide on how many players you're going to design the game around. There are three major factors in this decision.

How many characters does the theme you've selected reasonably offer you? It is important to remember that, in most themes, you need to leave some characters out so that Scum have viable Fake Claims. In a theme with eighteen characters, it is not appropriate to have eighteen players, unless the theme does not allow for a clear determination to be made on which characters will be Scum, even late into the game. As a general rule of thumb, try to leave at least as many characters out as there are Anti-Town. If you're only leaving that many out, you may also want to consider providing Anti-Town with some of the characters left out as Safe Claims.

How many players can you reasonably expect to sign up? I know this sounds obvious, but sometimes the place where you're hosting limits how large a game you can run. You can't exactly run an eighteen-player game when you only have twelve players, after all. Especially if you want the game to be active. It's tempting to try and fish in a lot of new players, but this has historically led to an overall poor experience for everyone involved on most occasions.

How many players are you comfortable hosting for? Again, this seems obvious, but a lot of people don't realize the burden hosting a forty-player epic game is going to put on the host. Resolving Night Actions with that many players is a nightmare, and tracking votes is far worse. Just remember that bigger is not always better, where mafia is concerned. If a host can't handle the burden of a game and neglects the game, it can really ruin the game for everyone else. And that's not to mention that larger games require all players to be more active, because they are generally going to have more posts overall.
Rules
Finally, you need to consider what rules you're going to use. There are a variety of different rules you can enforce in a mafia game that lend themselves to different styles of play.

Communication: By default, players are not allowed to communicate outside of the game thread unless otherwise specifically stated in their Role PMs. This is called a Closed Communication game. It is intended to maintain the Town's status as "uninformed" by ensuring that everything the Town collectively knows is in the game thread, as well as making it easier for the host to enforce rules, since it is very difficult to monitor what is said outside of the game thread. However, it isn't the only way to run a game. The alternative is called an Open Communication game, in which there are no restrictions on players communicating outside of the game thread. In an Open Communication game, it is important to ensure that the Town does not have any roles or characters that can easily confirm themselves early in the game, as such roles allow the Town to form powerful blocs of confirmed players too early for the Mafia to counter them. Open Communication is best used in a theme either where it is difficult to discern which characters will be Town and which will be Anti-Town, where the flavor lends itself to individual detective work, or where accidentally revealing one's self to Scum has serious repurcussions. The inbetweens for these two are Semi-Closed Communications and Semi-Open Communications. In a Semi-Closed Communications game, players are generally not allowed to communicate outside of the game thread, but under certain circumstances may be on a limited basis. In a Semi-Open Communications game, players are generally allowed to communicate outside of the game thread freely, but might not be under certain circumstances. For example, if members of the Town are allowed to communicate outside of the game thread during the Day, but not at Night, then this would be Semi-Open Communications.

Universal Knowledge: By default, players are normally provided with only cursory universal knowledge. This is called a Closed Setup game. In a typical Closed Setup game, all players will be informed as to the theme of the game, how many players are in the game, and what rules the host expects players to abide by, but nothing else. Providing additional information should be carefully considered. A fairly standard practice, for example, is to provide the default Town win condition that appears in Town-aligned Role PMs to all players to prevent them from trying to nitpick wording to confirm players. It is important to consider the consequences of any information revealed. For example, in an Open Setup game where the host reveals exactly which characters are present in the game, a Mass Claim will effortlessly reveal all scum. In such a game, some rule or mechanic must prevent or otherwise discourage a Mass Claim to balance things out. A game which reveals more than just the basics, but not everything is considered to be a Semi-Open Setup game.

Claiming: By default, the only restriction on what a player may or may not claim is that it is expressly forbidden to quote messages the host sends to players privately. This is to prevent players from nitpicking the host's alleged wording or formatting to try and confirm players. Further restrictions on what players can claim should only be used when necessary, as such restrictions can heavily hinder the Town's ability to discuss and scum hunt. As such, restrictions on claiming should only normally be used if the Town is already very powerful in the setup and needs to be weakened in order to balance out.

Deadlines: By default, there is no hard deadline on Day. This is to allow the Town as much time as it needs before making a Lynch. However, hard deadlines can be used to great effect to create tension in a game where the Town might otherwise be too powerful, and the threat of soft deadlines is a typical method of fighting inactivity as a host. It is important to consider how a deadline, be it hard or soft, will affect a game, before putting one into effect.

Lynches: By default, a game of mafia is Majority Lynch. This is to ensure that the Town truly controls the Lynch until the Mafia outnumbers them. Plurality Lynch and Monarchy Lynch should only be used in games where the Town is significantly larger or more powerful than the Anti-Town faction(s), and there is a need to weaken the Town's control of the Lynch.

Writeups: By default, a writeup should provide flavor hints as to what actions might have taken place, and which characters might have performed those actions. In a game with a strong Anti-Town faction or particularly weak Town, a host might consider including hints regarding the identities of Anti-Town players in addition to the normal flavor. On the other end, in a game with a strong Town or particularly weak Anti-Town faction(s), a host might consider limiting the flavor hints.

Specific Design
Once you've decided on a theme, size, and the general rules you intend to use, it's time to actually craft the setup. This stage is called specific design.

Mechanics
A Mechanic is something that will affect every player, typically by either altering a fundamental element of mafia, or by adding an additional element to mafia. Games with Mechanics are often built around those Mechanics. For the most part, players are normally aware of Mechanics going into a game. Not all games need Mechanics, but they can be a fun way to keep the game fresh. The important thing is to really think about the consequences of a given Mechanic, how it will impact the various potential Roles, and to build around that. A Mechanic is only fun when it isn't abusable. Mechanics can have a wide range of effects, so there's not really much else I can explain to prepare you for balancing them.

Faction Counts
Having considered what factions a theme might lend itself to, you now need to decide exactly how many and what kinds of factions the game will include. Typically, you'll want to consider the Anti-Town factions first, and then move to Independents. It is important for each Anti-Town faction to have an equal chance of victory, not only compared to the Town, but also compared to one another. Steps need to be taken to ensure that no one Anti-Town faction is clearly more powerful than any other Anti-Town faction. After determining which factions will be in the game, you should divide up the total number of players you intend to run into the various factions. Generally speaking, in a game with a single Mafia, there should be one Mafioso for every two to three Townies, depending on how powerful you intend to make the Mafia. When dealing with multiple Anti-Town factions, remember to try and assign at least half of the total players to the Town. In a game with multiple Mafias, the individual Mafias should generally be the same size, unless you intend for a particular Mafia to have stronger roles than another, in which case the Mafia that will have stronger roles should be smaller. Cults should generally be smaller than Mafias due to their ability to grow by eliminating members of the Town.

Individual Roles
Once you've nailed down factions, it's time to start crafting individual Roles. Balancing during this stage is as much an art as it is a science. I'm going to try and explain this, but it's something that you'll pick up with experience. As a general rule, the Town should have at least one Investigative Ability and one Protective Ability, while a Mafia and/or Serial should have at least one Destructive ability, and a Cult should have at least one Conversive ability capable of modifying alignment.

Consider how quickly each faction can achieve victory. Generally speaking, the average length of a game is a number of Phases equal to one plus a half of the total number of players. A 12-player game should generally take around seven Phases, while a 20-player game should generally take around eleven Phases. For the Town, look at how quickly they can have every player investigated (count weaker Investigative roles like Trackers, Watchers, and Thieves as half a player per Night rather than a whole player per Night). In a balanced setup, the Town should generally not be able to investigate every player before the average length of a game of that size. For an Anti-Town faction, consider how long it will take for said Anti-Town faction to be the same size as the Town if the Town mislynches every Day. In a balanced setup, an Anti-Town faction should never be able to be the same size as the Town in half the average length of a game of that size.

Next, consider the overall strength of each faction. I like to give rough point values to Abilities to get a feel for a faction's strength. Generally speaking, Investigative, Protective, Destructive, and Manipulative Abilities are worth 4 points for the faction they're most useful to, or 2 points for the faction they're least useful to. Meanwhile, Preventative and Creative abilities are always worth 4 points, and Conversive abilities are always worth 8 points. Strong Abilities are considered for full point value, while weaker Abilities are counted as half point value. Finally, I add 1 point for every positive Passive Ability, and subtract 1 point for every negative Passive Ability (certain Passive Abilities are worth more than 1 point, but they are special exceptions). Generally speaking, using this method, you'll want each Anti-Town faction to have roughly the same point values as one another, and roughly between half and a third the total point value of the Town. Moreover, you should try to avoid any individual Role having an overall negative point value, as such Roles may not prove very fun to play.

Finally, look for individual loopholes that might be abused. For example, consider a game which features a very major character, one that is highly unlikely to be Lynched after Claiming. If this character is made Iron, he/she would be a major obstacle to the Mafia, but more importantly, he/she would make winning nigh impossible for a Serial player. If the Town has a Noble and the Mafia has a Politician, they could potentially grab the Noble's doublevote, which could allow them to Speed Lynch and win before the Town is at Lynch-or-Lose. Just consider how all the various roles might interact with one another to try and work out the quirks and kinks a full setup is bound to have.

Conditions
Conditions are little special exceptions meant to make a particular setup properly unique by more accurately reflecting the flavor. They are minor modifications to existing mechanics that players are generally unaware of. They are generally also used to fine tune balance. A condition might say that a certain character's action will always fail against a particular other character, either for flavor or balance reasons, or both ideally. Or, a condition might outline how a particular character's ability is slightly different from normal, perhaps a Manipulative Ability that also allows the target to self-target, even when the target is otherwise not allowed to, which is normally explicitly prevented. Like Mechanics, Conditions can cover a wide range of things and are generally used to spice things up, so there's not a lot else I can say about them here.

Running the Game
A lot of new hosts don't realize the burdens that actually running a game entails.

Role PMs
It is important to craft clear and concise Role PMs, as they are often the only direct interaction you will have with each player. A good Role PM should include some flavor about the character, typically justifying the abilities assigned to the character or hinting at conditions that might be specific to that character, as well as a breakdown of what alignment and abilities the player has been assigned. Moreover, it is important to give a detailed explanation of exactly what a player's victory condition is, as well as how each ability specifically works. While we have somewhat standardized the terms used for alignment and abilities, they are not perfectly uniform, and it is not uncommon for a player to make an incorrect assumption about what a term means. However, probably the most important aspect is for the flavor and mechanics portions of each Role to be separate and distinct from one another. Flavor is nice, but when it is confused with mechanics, it can seriously mislead the player as to what their abilities are within the game. A well crafted Role PM should leave as little as possible to interpretation.

Writeups
As a host, you need to be very careful what you put in Writeups. In a lot of ways, a Writeup is like a Role PM. It should have a section of flavor explaining what took place, followed by a section breaking down what, mechanically-speaking, occurred.

End-of-Night Writeup: Flavor should center around things that every character might have seen or been aware occurred. In most cases, this means framing the writeup around the discovery of a dead body or bodies, so kills will take center stage in these Writeups. It should be clear which character died, and the nature of the body should give some hint as to how they died or perhaps which character killed them, but should otherwise be left somewhat vague or open to interpretation. The writeup may also hint subtly at other actions that may have taken place, especially failed kills, at the discretion of the host. The mechanics explanation should include which player died and what Role that player had, and may also list which players were targeted by failed kills. As such a Writeup marks the start of the Day phase, it is also typical for the mechanical explanation to announce the new phase and any conditions related to the Lynch, either how many players represent a majority if Majority Lynch, when Day will end if Plurality Lynch, or the identity of the King if Monarchy Lynch.

End-of-Day Writeup: Flavor for these writeups is normally a bit shorter. Generally, they should reveal what character is being lynched, and what alignment that character was. This can be framed as a lynch followed by finding evidence of innocence or guilt, if the theme is not overtly clear on which factions are innocent or guilty, or it can simply state that the character was lynched if the theme is clear. The flavor can additionally allude to the flow of phase it follows, making references to major arguments or periods of inactivity/indecision, but this should be handled with care so as not to reveal anything about the still living players and their possible motives. The mechanical explanation should reveal which player was lynched and what Role that player had. As such a Writeup also marks the start of the Night phase, it is also typical for the mechanical explanation to announce the new phase, as well as note when this Night will end if a hard deadline is in use.
Host Etiquette
Hosts are expected to behave in a specific manner in their role as the moderator of a game. These are some general guidelines that a host can follow to minimize player disputes and the like.
  • Hosts should never discuss game balance while running a game, even if it does not necessarily pertain to the game being hosted. Moreover, they should never comment on what characters or roles may or may not be in the game, unless the game is Open Setup and specifically calls for such statements.
  • Hosts should never allow themselves to be dragged into a debate in the game thread, nor should they ever appear to side with a specific player in any such debate. Hosts have knowledge regarding a game that players do not, and so may be biased by such knowledge in their opinions, and disputes regarding a game should always be held until the game has ended. This includes liking posts or revealing their thoughts to a player in private.
  • Clarification should be given on a need-to-know basis, and hosts should always try to avoid clarifying on a subject if doing so would directly confirm or contradict a player's claimed alignment or role. Players should be focused on what other players are saying, rather than what you as the host are saying. A player needs to know how their own Role works, but does not necessarily need to know how another player's claimed role would work, for example.
  • Any rule that constitutes a modkill should be clearly outlined in the topic post of the game thread. Players come from a variety of communities and may have played mafia differently, so a host should never just assume that every player is aware of unstated "common sense" rules.
 

AL sama

Red King
#4
This post will discuss playing a mafia. Its goal is to ensure that players understand common strategies and why they are prevalent. In this post, we will cover strategies for the three major alignment types: Town, Anti-Town, and Independent.

Town
As a Towny, your primary goal is to seek out and eliminate Scum. Because the Town typically controls the Day phase, Scum are often forced to pretend like they are Townies as well. Thus, the key to winning as Town is to identify players who are not what they say.

Logic
Mafia is a deeply complex game, but even in highly situational circumstances, there are some rights and wrongs to be found. Through the application of logic, one can differentiate between these rights and wrongs.

Deduction: Deductive reasoning, generally speaking, is taking a broad truth and applying it to a narrow case. While it is a fundamental of logic, it is not very useful on its own. Proper deduction leads to absolute certainty, but only because it starts with absolute certainty, and absolute certainty is not particularly abundant. It is generally used in conjunction with hypotheticals and other forms of reasoning to reach a conclusion.

Induction: Inductive reasoning, generally speaking, is taking observations and using commonalities to predict future events. This is the bread and butter of logic within mafia. Broadly speaking, induction is used to analyze past events, both within a particular game and within mafia overall, and use those to reach the likeliest conclusion.

Abduction: Abductive reasoning, generally speaking, is considering all possibilities and repeatedly ruling out the least likely until only one remains. That is, it is effectively process of elimination. Abduction is primarily used alongside induction, and is itself a form of induction.

How to Argue: I'm adding this section because, too often, I've found that players use the wrong definition of argument. As a Towny, you are effectively a philosopher, trying to seek the truth. To a philosopher, an argument is not a fight, nor a back and forth of scathing remarks. An argument should be either an assertion or a counter to an assertion, in either case supported by evidence. An argument should be kept civil, and it needs to be understood that the goal of an argument is not to win, but to reach the truth.
Scum Hunting
Scum hunting is the act of actively trying to identify Scum via a series of observations intended to identify players attempting to blend into the Town and tactics designed to make blending into the Town more difficult.

Observations: The key to observations is to look for Scumtells.
  • Scum tend to lie about certain aspects of their role, especially alignment for obvious reasons. Being caught in a lie is pretty much the single most damning of all Scumtells, and is where the common Town mantra "Lynch All Liars" comes from. In a perfect world, there are no common false positives of this Scumtell; however, some Townies sadly will lie, typically because they are fearful of revealing their role because it will make them appear Scummy or because their role is powerful and may encourage Scum to target them. There are no exceptions to this Scumtell: all Scum must lie about something in order to blend in with the Town.
  • Scum tend to use fallacies, statements that appear logical at first glance but which are actually inherently flawed, in order to try and mislead the Town. Fallacies are a powerful tool for any Scum, because they can be used to subtly control the Town's actions and obfuscate the actual facts while simultaneously making it seem as though the user is contributing. See the section on Anti-Town strategy for a proper breakdown of fallacies. In a perfect world, there are no common false positives for this Scumtell; however, some Townies sadly will use fallacies in an attempt to get their way, usually out of pride or incompetence. There are no specific exceptions to this Scumtell: Scum will almost always rely on a fallacy at some point in a game, as they are the easiest way to support the lies necessitated by being Scum.
  • Scum tend to avoid contributing to discussions, especially early in the game. This is because the more Scum say, the more they can be held to later in the game, when more information has been revealed. By committing to a side in a discussion, they allow the Town to analyze their statements in light of information learned after the fact. Moreover, Scum will, at least on some level, be worried about appearing to side with or otherwise agree with other Scum too often. Scum do not want the Town to identify them, and contributing to a discussion may inadvertently lead the Town in the right direction. Finally, Scum do not want to draw attention to themselves, and being the first to suggest something new tends to draw attention. Thus, Scum tend to be wishy-washy. This can take the form of frequently posting meaningless or irrelevant content, only posting cursory agreement to something already suggested, or posting very infrequently. In a perfect world, there are no common false positives of this Scumtell; however, some Townies sadly will lurk, parrot, or otherwise appear wishy-washy, often because they are either unhappy with their role or overly fearful because their role is important, though this can also be borne of laziness or incompetence. The primary exception to this Scumtell is the Serial player, who will often contribute with zeal as though they were a Towny. It should be noted that Serial players sometimes display this Scumtell in the very earliest parts of the game if they are unaware as to which group of characters is the Town in the game.
  • Scum tend to be more defensive of one another than Town are. This is because Anti-Town factions are considerably smaller, and so the loss of even a single member can greatly cripple an Anti-Town faction. Moreover, Scum know the identintities of their partners from the outset. Thus, on a subconscious level, Scum tend to be more defensive of their partners than is normally expected because they have no uncertainty regarding the alignment and value of said partners. While this can manifest simply as overdefensiveness, its most common manifestation is actually that Scum are normally among the last players to vote for their partners in a lynch, if they even vote at all. The most common false positives for this Scumtell are the Mason, which has a partner or partners of which they may be excessively defensive as Town, and any Investigative role, which may have special knowledge which exhonerates a player that has not been shared with the rest of the Town. The primary exception to this Scumtell is, once again, the Serial player, which has no partners to defend; indeed, the Serial player will often display an indifference towards which player is lynched, because, on a subconscious level, they recognizes every other player as an enemy.
  • Scum are more prone than Townies to try and deflect suspicion onto other players. When pressed, Scum are more likely to try and distract their accusers by pointing out another player that might be suspicious than they are to actually respond to accusations leveled against them in the hopes that these accusations will be forgotten. In a perfect world, there are no common false positives of this Scumtell; however, some Townies sadly will deflect suspicion onto others when pressed, typically due to laziness or incompetence. It should be noted that pointing out a better lynch is not necessarily the same as deflecting in and of itself; the key to deflecting is to use suspicion of another player to ignore addressing accusations made against one's self. There are no exceptions to this Scumtell, but it should be noted that a Serial player will only ever deflect for themself, while other Scum will also often deflect for their partners.
  • Scum are more likely to vote with the flow than Townies. This stems from a desire to not stand out or go against the Town consensus, especially early in the game. In a perfect world, there are no common false positives of this Scumtell; however, some Townies sadly will bandwagon, normally as a result of laziness or incompetence. It should be noted that voting with the consensus is not necessarily bandwagoning in and of itself; bandwagoning is voting with the consensus without contributing anything to the discussion regarding the potential lynch. There are no specific exceptions to this Scumtell, but Scum won't always bandwagon; they are just more likely to.
  • Scum have a tendency to become overly focused on opportunities to mislead the Town, which will sometimes manifest as tunnel vision. This comes from the fear that, at any moment, some new information can come to light and the tides of Day can turn on a dime against an Anti-Town faction. Moreover, certain Mislynches benefit an Anti-Town faction moreso than others, and sometimes Scum will allow their desire for that perfect moment to overrule their otherwise cautious behavior. As such, Scum will sometimes become overly committed to a specific suggested Lynch, even if a better Lynch is identified. A common false positive of this Scumtell is any Investigative role or Preventative role, which may have special knowledge which condemns a player that has not been shared with the rest of the Town. There are no specific exceptions to this Scumtell, but Scum won't always tunnel; they're just more vulnerable to allowing greed to cloud their judgment.
  • Scum will often attempt to promote Townies revealing information. This stems from the fact that, while most Anti-Town factions are informed in the sense that they know one another's identities, their greatest weakness is that they don't know very much about any other player's role. Thus, Scum tend to fish for this information, usually with subtle posts that can be interpretted as a call for information but that they can later be claimed as benign and misinterpretted by whomever offered the information. Any Towny can appear as a false positive for this Scumtell, as some information is needed to fuel the Town's discussions. There are no exceptions to this Scumtell, though an Anti-Town faction that has already gathered what it deems to be sufficient information will often stop fishing for further information.
  • Scum will sometimes claim things late in a game which contradict their behavior early in the game. This is normally due to carelessness, but is still important to watch for. This is especially the case with Fake Claimed investigations. Late in the game, when making a fake Full Claim as an Investigative role, Scum will often select players that are currently dead as the alleged targets of their investigations earlier in the game, so as not to provide the Town with any useful information, as well as because dead players cannot speak up if lied about. However, by looking at how the claimant interacted with these players in light of this claim, contradictory information can be identified. When caught in a contradiction, Scum will typically attempt to backtrack, claiming that they made a mistake and that the contradictory information was incorrect. There are no common false positives for this Scumtell: this is a symptom of Fake Claiming, and members of the Town should pretty much never Fake Claim. The are no exceptions to this Scumtell: if Scum are careless and Fake Claiming, they are prone to lie in a manner that contradicts past behavior.
Tactics: There are a myriad of different scum hunting tactics out there, but we're going to talk about some of the most common ones.
  • The most tried and true scum hunting technique is simple observation. Being on the lookout for common Scumtells is the most paramount tenet of scum hunting.
  • It is traditionally accepted that if a player claims to have information that condemns another player, the accused must make a Full Claim before the accuser reveals the information they may have. This is because, once condemning information is revealed, a Fake Claim can be tailored to explain away any information. If the accused knows that the accusations against them are based on their having targeted whomever died last night, they can claim that they targeted that player and lie about the ability they have, while if they know that the accusations against them are based on their having a Destructive ability, they can claim to have said Destructive ability and lie about whom they targeted with said ability, etc. By forcing the accused to claim before the accuser presents their evidence, the chances of Scum correctly guessing what the accuser has discovered and tailoring their Fake Claim to combat it are significantly lowered.
  • The Town's most potent weapon against Scum is information, and so it is of the utmost importance that information only be released on an as-needed basis. Thus, it is fairly standard for the Town to agree to a maximum number of claims they will pursue during a Day before they buckle down and lynch one of the claimants. The exact number can vary based on how many players are in the game, how far into the game they are, and how many players have already claimed, but it is generally a fairly small number. This helps prevent an overflow of information that can aid Scum in crafting Fake Claims.
  • It is generally accepted that some consensus should be reached before a player claims. A single player's demand for a claim is rarely sufficient. Typically, true consensus is shown via votes. A player may refuse to claim unless a certain number of votes is placed upon them, and some players may seek to expedite this by preemptively voting for a player they wish to claim. However, Anti-Town factions may attempt to take advantage of this to "accidentally" Speedlynch a player. Generally speaking, votes placed to prompt a claim should never exceed half the majority needed to lynch. If votes are placed in excess of half the majority, players should remove their votes to prevent an accidental Speedlynch. Townies should not place votes in excess of half majority unless the intent is to lynch the player being voted for, and should be wary of players that break this rule of thumb.
  • Outlining a plan for how various players or roles should behave at Night is a delicate procedure. While it might be tempting to outline a large and specific plan, it is these that are most easily abused or worked around by Anti-Town factions. It is better to leave some variability to any plan for Night Actions. Rather than demanding that a specific player be targeted by a specific role, provide a small list of candidates for that role to target. This will not only help prevent Anti-Town factions from abusing or working around a plan for Night Actions, but may also reduce players with similar roles from redundantly targeting the same player.
  • It is fairly common for the Town to require any player that investigates guilty to a sane Cop to say so before the end of Day 1; any player claiming to investigate guilty after Day 1 risks being policy lynched. This often forces Millers and Independents out of hiding, which saves any Cop that might be present from wasting an investigation on them, but also serves to deny the common reactionary tactic used by Scum cornered with a guilty investigation of claiming to be a Miller or Independent after the fact. While it is fairly common for one or even two Scum to join the Millers and Independents in claiming to investigate guilty on Day 1, the Town grows suspicious if there are too many such claims, and those who do try to take advantage are often scrutinized more heavily than those that do not, which is still an overall benefit for the Town.
Power Roles
There are a variety of roles with active abilities, commonly called power roles, which the Town can have. However, in order for these roles to be effective, there are certain things that must be kept in mind. Below, the expected behavior for the most common roles from each type of ability are outlined. Other roles can model their behavior after those with the same type of ability.

Cop: A Cop should never investigate a player that has claimed to investigate guilty, because whether they are telling the truth or lying, the result is the same, and is thus a waste of an action. Generally speaking, a Cop should not claim during the first couple of Days if it can be helped, and should avoid claiming if they do not have a guilty result on someone. A Cop should attempt to push a lynch against a player that has investigated guilty without revealing the investigation initially, revealing only that they has condemning evidence if the lynch is not supported, and revealing the actual evidence (the guilty result) only after the player investigated has Full Claimed.

Doctor: A Doctor should never protect a player that has claimed to be immune to kills, because an Anti-Town faction is unlikely to risk a shot against a player that may be immune to kills, or that investigates guilty, as an Anti-Town faction will rarely waste a kill on a player that may serve as a fallback lynch for the Town, not to mention that a player claiming to investigate guilty may be Scum themself. Generally speaking, if it can be helped, a Doctor should be among the last players to claim, as they are one of the most important roles for Anti-Town factions to eliminate. A Doctor should try to prioritize protection on a claimed Investigative role, if possible, but should not be afraid to occasionally stray from an outlined Night Action plan to try and keep Anti-Town factions on their toes.

Roleblocker: A Roleblocker should never block a player that has claimed an Investigative or Protective ability, unless Town consensus dictates otherwise, because such abilities are the most important to the Town. A Roleblocker should use their ability every night, and should prioritize players that either claim to have no Night Action or that they won't use their Night Action, because blocking such players has the least potential to harm the Town while still having the potential to harm Anti-Town factions. A Roleblocker should not block the same player twice consecutively, unless a kill failed the same Night said player was blocked the first time, in which case, the Roleblocker should always block that same player again; if a kill fails on both Nights the same player is blocked, this should be considered condemning evidence against that player, and the Roleblocker should continue to block them until they are either lynched or a kill does not fail without the total kill count being reduced.

Vigilante: A Vigilante should never shoot a player without a consensus from the Town the previous Day indicating that a Vigilante should shoot said player. This is because the Vigilante is potentially one of the most harmful roles to the Town. While a Vigilante can make their own judgments if consensus is not explicitly stated, such as a Mislynch after a Counter Claim, they should always treat their action with the utmost care. The exception to this is players that have claimed to be immune to kills, which Vigilantes can shoot in order to test such claims without Town consensus.

Bus Driver: A Bus Driver is a difficult role to play as Town. The primary use of a Bus Driver for the Town is to switch an important player, such as a claimed Cop or Doctor, with a player of lesser value, such as an inactive player, acting in the place of a Protective role. It is imperative that a Bus Driver be open with the Town, should their action lead to confusion, especially regarding condemning evidence. A Bus Driver should never be afraid to claim to clear up a situation affected by their actions.

Inventor: An Inventor is a role that must be played very carefully, as it can just as easily benefit an Anti-Town faction as it can the Town. Inventors should try to only send their gifts to players that are very likely to be Town, such as players that have been investigated innocent or players that have confirmed abilities that are traditionally Town.

Mason Recruiter: Depending on the host, a Mason Recruiter can act as a weak Cop by announcing whom they intend to target each Night, as Mason Recruiters traditionally either die or fail to recruit members of Anti-Town factions. However, Mason Recruiters need to be keenly aware of the possibility of Chaotic roles, and should always query the host as to what occurs upon targeting a member of an Anti-Town faction.

Anti-Town
As Scum, your primary goal is to seek out and eliminate Townies and Scum from competing Anti-Town factions. Because the Town typically controls the Day, Scum are often forced to pretend like they are Townies as well. Thus, the key to winning as Anti-Town is to blend in with and mislead the Town.

Fallacy
Mafia is a complex game, and while there are sometimes rights and wrongs in many situations, they are not normally very clear cut. Fallacy is the bread and butter of Scum, because it appears to be logic on the outside, but actually serves to mislead the Town.
  • Appeal to Common Sense: The user makes an assertion and acts like it should be common sense rather than providing specific evidence. The user hopes that others will be too afraid of looking stupid to ask for evidence. See also: Appeal to Ridicule.
  • Appeal to Flattery: The user compliments others rather than offering any evidence for an assertion. The user hopes that those receiving compliments will feel obligated to support the assertion despite the lack of evidence.
  • Appeal to Force: The user explicitly or implicitly threatens to do something if an assertion is not supported. The user hopes that others will support the assertion out of fear of whatever was threatened.
  • Appeal to Majority: The user insists that an assertion must be correct because most people support it. The user hopes that others will support the assertion out of fear of standing out or going against the flow.
  • Appeal to Ridicule: The user acts like an assertion made by someone else is so ridiculous as to not need specific counterpoints. The user hopes that others will be too afraid of looking stupid to ask for evidence. See also: Appeal to Common Sense.
  • Appeal to Tradition: The user insists that an assertion is correct because it has always been accepted in the past. The user hopes that others will feel obligated to support the assertion out of a false sense of obligation to tradition.
  • Argument from Repetition: The user continues to make an assertion, even after it has been countered, without providing any new evidence. The user hopes that, eventually, everyone else will get sick of the discussion and just disregard it altogether, treating the assertion as equally valid to any alternatives.
  • Bait and Switch: The user subtly alters an assertion previously made such that it looks the same but is fundamentally different, and then offers evidence supporting the altered assertion as though it supports the original assertion. The user hopes that people won't notice the difference and will assume that the evidence is valid for the original assertion. See also: Straw Man.
  • Cherry Picking: The user points only to favorable specific events or statistics as evidence for an assertion while outright ignoring relevant events or statistics that do not support the assertion. This is used to give false weight to the assertion.
  • Circular Reasoning: The user supports an assertion with evidence that only applies if the assertion is assumed to be correct. This is used to give false weight to the assertion.
  • Correlation Proves Causation: The user points out a correlation between two things and then treats this correlation as proof that one thing causes the other thing. This is used to give false weight to an assertion.
  • False Analogy: The user offers an analogy for an assertion which is inherently flawed or otherwise doesn't fit the current situation. This is used to give false weight to either the assertion, or a counterpoint of the assertion, depending on the nature of the analogy's flaw.
  • False Compromise: The user suggests a compromise between two assertions purely on the grounds that compromise is inherently better than choosing one or the other. Alternatively, the user can first suggest an infeasible alternative to an assertion, and then offer to compromise, once again purely on the grounds that compromise is inherently better. The user's suggested compromise is often designed to negate the pros of one or both suggested assertions.
  • False Dichotomy: The user insists that there are exactly two possible assertions, and then shows one to be either false or undesirable. The user hopes that others will support the other assertion without considering alternatives to the two suggested assertions.
  • Hasty Generalization: The user points to specific events or statistics as evidence for an assertion when the events or statistics represent too small of a sample size to come to any conclusion. This is used to give false weight to either the assertion, or a counterpoint of the assertion, depending on the nature of the generalization.
  • Kettle Logic: The user offers multiple statements in support of an assertion, and while any single statement might be valid, the individual statements contradict one another. This is used to give false weight to the assertion.
  • Loaded Question: The user asks a question, typically a yes or no question, that assumes something that has not been proven, such that, regardless of how it is answered, it implies an assertion the user has made. This is used to give false weight to the assertion.
  • Non Sequitor: The user offers evidence which may be correct, but which is wholly irrelevant to the assertion or counterpoint it allegedly supports. This is used to give false weight to the assertion or counterpoint.
  • Poisoning the Well: The user ignores counterpoints made against an assertion, and instead verbally assaults the person offering the counterpoints. The user hopes that others will call into question the credibility of the person being insulted and ignore the offered counterpoints.
  • Red Herring: The user makes a contentious assertion which is ultimately irrelevant. The user hopes that everyone else will be too busy arguing about this new assertion to remember whatever they were previously debating.
  • Slippery Slope: The user insists that if a certain course of action is taken, a chain of events will follow leading to an ultimately unfavorable result. The user hopes that others will be too concerned with the stated potential end result to notice that the suggested chain of events leading to it are actually unlikely. Alternatively, the user offers a seemingly innocent course of action which, if taken, may lead to a chain of events which are ultimately unfavorable. The user hopes that this seemingly innocent course of action is taken without considering the consequences.
  • Straw Man: The user subtly alters an assertion made by someone else such that it looks the same but is fundamentally different, and then offers counterpoints against the altered assertion as though they counter the original assertion. The user hopes that people won't notice the difference and will assume that the counterpoints are valid for the original assertion. See also: Bait and Switch.
Blending
Because the Town controls the Day, Scum must blend in with the Town out of necessity. This means that Scum must appear as though they are Town to an uninformed player, while working against the Town in actuality. This entails several things.

First, Scum must be careful about contributing to discussion for a number of reasons. For one, taking a side on issues can lead to problems for an Anti-Town faction. If Scum take the "correct" or Town side of an issue, they risk assisting the Town, which may ultimately lead to the Town catching other members of the Anti-Town faction. On the other hand, if a member of an Anti-Town faction takes the "incorrect" or Anti-Town side of an issue, they risk Town identifying that they are Anti-Town later. The best type of contribution for a member of an Anti-Town faction is information that appears to be helpful but is actually misleading. Misinformation is a very powerful tool for members of Anti-Town factions, but it must be used wisely. Obvious misinformation can draw the attention of the Town, after all. The use of fallacious reasoning can be very helpful both in obfuscating which side of an issue is "incorrect" and in distributing misinformation.

Second, by necessity, members of Anti-Town factions must lie. While the Town will seek to minimize the lies that can be told and identify the lies that are told, members of Anti-Town factions must lie in spite of this. The truth is the Town's most powerful weapon, and so members of Anti-Town factions must seek to obfuscate it as best they can, both surrounding themselves and the Town. The key to lying believably is to lie about as little as possible to get the job done. Lying is necessary, but that does not mean that members of Anti-Town factions must lie about everything always. Half truths are much easier for the Town to swallow, and thus will be easier to sell as truths. The same can be said of fallacies, as well. A subtle fallacy is always preferable to an overt fallacy.

While it is the goal of Anti-Town factions to eliminate the Town, one must recognize that it is also the goal of Anti-Town factions to eliminate other Anti-Town factions. In games that feature more than one Anti-Town faction, an opportunity is presented wherein members of one Anti-Town faction can gain clout with the Town by hunting for members of another Anti-Town faction. This is a very powerful tool, as it allows members of an Anti-Town faction to actually contribute and otherwise behave like members of the Town without risking themselves or their teammates.

Finally, and most importantly, one must seek to minimize any idiosynchrasies or quirks that easily differentiate one's normal Town playstyle from one's normal Anti-Town playstyle. If one is always active as Town, one must also be active as Anti-Town. If one always takes a front role in scum hunting as Town, one must appear to take this same role as Anti-Town. This is another place where fallacies can be of assistance. Through the use of fallacy, one can ostensibly seem to be playing in the same manner that they always play, while actually corrupting their normal playstyle. The key is for the difference between one's Town playstyle and one's Anti-Town playstyle to be as subtle as possible. Alternatively, if one frequently changes how one plays as Town, so long as they do not have a set manner in which they play as Anti-Town, they can get away with more.
Power Roles
There are a variety of roles with active abilities, commonly called power roles, which Anti-Town can have. However, in order for these roles to be effective, there are certain things that must be kept in mind. Below, the expected behavior for the most common roles from each type of ability are outlined. Other roles can model their behavior after those with the same type of ability.

Investigator: An Investigator's primary goal is to identify important Town power roles. If possible, a Investigator should avoid investigating players claiming to have no active abilities. Moreover, Role Cop can prove to be a good fallback Fake Claim for a Investigator.

Doctor: A Doctor's primary goal is to keep important faction power roles alive. Priority should be given to a Hitman or Converter when they are present. Moreover, Doctor is a great fallback Fake Claim, as the Town will almost always hesitate to lynch a claimed Doctor, and if the real Doctor Counter Claims, the trade is almost worth it.

Prostitute: A Prostitute's primary goal is to shut down Town-aligned Investigative roles. A Prostitute should block players at random until a player with an Investigative role claims, and then attempt to shut down that player.

Hitman/Killer: A Hitman/Killer is the mainstay of a Mafia or Serial player. They should prioritize killing Town power roles, but need to care for Town protection and kill immunity. They should never fire on a claimed Iron unless there is serious reason to suspect the claim, or unless they have the ability to kill through immunity. If possible, eliminating Town protective roles is ideal.

Bus Driver: A Bus Driver is a very powerful ability for an Anti-Town faction, because it not only allows the Anti-Town faction to manipulate set night plans and mess with Investigative roles, but it also allows the Anti-Town faction to kill or convert through protection.

Inventor: An Inventor effectively further augments an Anti-Town faction's abilities, as an Inventor knows the identities of his allies. An Inventor can prove his ability by sending items, which makes Inventor a decent fallback Fake Claim.

Converter: Conversion is incredibly powerful for Anti-Town factions, as it allows them to simultaneously reduce the number of the Town and increase their own number. The best targets for conversion are claimed power roles and players that have been "confirmed" as Town, whether via investigation or other means.

Independent
The various neutral third-party factions have a myriad of unique ideal playstyles, depending on their exact win conditions.

Survivor
Survivor is one of the most common Independents. As a Survivor, one must be careful not to anger either the Town or any Anti-Town factions that might be present, because a Survivor's victory is very much in their hands. Moreover, it is key for a Survivor to come forward as soon as possible.

To placate the Town, a Survivor should appear cooperative and provide any information requested. Naturally, if information is requested that might anger an Anti-Town faction, a Survivor should lie to the Town so as not to anger said Anti-Town faction. So long as the lie is believable, the Town will be none the wiser. A Town will normally only lynch a Survivor if they believe the Survivor to actually be Anti-Town, because it is a waste of a lynch otherwise.

To placate Anti-Town factions, a Survivor need only be aloof and distant in discussions. If the Survivor has an active ability that could be useful to the Town, it is important that the Survivor either lie and say they do not have such an ability, or lie about how they are using it. An Anti-Town faction will normally only shoot at a Survivor if they believe that the Survivor poses a greater threat to them than the Town's major power roles, or if the Survivor refuses to cooperate during an endgame Gambit.

When a Survivor is present, it is fairly common for an Anti-Town faction to come forward and demand support from a Survivor in what might otherwise have been a Lynch-or-Lose situation for the Town. This is a type of endgame Gambit. If the Survivor cannot rely on the Town for protection, has no means of self-protecting, and cannot reasonably guarantee that the Anti-Town's kill is either lynched that Day or blocked that Night, a Survivor should always cooperate with the Anti-Town faction in this situation. However, if the Survivor can either rely on the Town for protection, self-protect, or otherwise reasonably guarantee that the Anti-Town faction's kill will be a nonissue, they may choose to side with whichever faction they feel treated them better.
Jester
Jester is a rare Independent, because it is incredibly difficult to balance. Getting lynched is pretty straightforward, and a Jester almost always ends up harming a Town. Still, they are sometimes used. The key to winning as a Jester is to get one's self lynched without the Town realizing that they are lynching a Jester. A Town will always opt to shoot a Jester at night rather than waste a lynch if they recognize it for what it is. Thus, the key is to instead be "caught" as scum. There are many ways to achieve this. It is also generally wise to very lightly hint at being Iron; the key is to hint lightly enough that the Vigilante doesn't bother to test it, but overtly enough that the Mafia is hesitant to test it as well.

The first is for the Jester to act generally scummy, and then claim an important character or role in the hopes of being Counter Claimed. Being on the wrong end of a Counter Claim is almost always a guaranteed way to get lynched. The Jester should fight the lynch, so as not to draw suspicion, but shouldn't fight it effectively enough to turn the lynch on whomever Counter Claimed him, as this will normally result in being shot the following Night by a Vigilante.

The next is for the Jester to Counter Claim a player that has recently claimed. This should only be employed if a Vigilante is likely not to be present, because it is likely that whomever has been Counter Claimed will be lynched first, meaning that a Vigilante may eliminate the Counter Claiming Jester the Night after rather than the Town lynching him the Day after.

Another effective method is for the Jester to claim to have condemning evidence against a specific player. Like the previous method, care for Vigilantes while using this. Moreover, the Jester should be careful not to accidentally get real scum lynched in this manner, as that will cement the Jester as "Town" and may draw Anti-Town kills.

Finally, a Jester can act generally scummy, and when asked to claim, "botch a Fake Claim". Effectively, the Jester lies in their claim, but intentionally makes some mistake that the Town identifies and uses as justification for a lynch. This can be difficult to pull off correctly, however; if the mistake is too obvious, the Town may grow suspicious that a Jester is in play, while if the mistake is too subtle, the Town may miss it altogether.
Lyncher
Lyncher is a fairly common Independent. Unlike a Survivor, a Lyncher should try to remain unknown for as long as possible. The key to winning as a Lyncher is to ensure that one's target is not killed at night, while casting enough suspicion on them that they will eventually be lynched.

Ultimately, a Lyncher needs to cast as much suspicion on a player as possible. Constantly calling into question their motives or picking apart their arguments is a good start, but one must be careful not to appear to have tunnel vision. So long as the target is under suspicion, it is unlikely that the Mafia will waste a kill on him.

If a Lyncher can't seem to get a Town to commit to a lynch, or finds himself under suspicion because of how hard he is pushing against a specific player, the best way to proceed is to claim as a Cop or similar investigator with incriminating evidence on the target. This will normally be just enough to convince the Town to lynch the target, and once the target is lynched, the Lyncher has won and doesn't care about any consequences.

The primary drawback of the investigator claim Gambit is the threat of Counter Claim. In the event that a Lyncher is Counter Claimed while fake claiming as a Cop or similar investigator, they should push to lynch the target on the grounds of "proving" their investigation. Once again, once the target is lynched, the Lyncher wins and is immune to consequences, and the Town should go along, considering that, for Anti-Town, this would be a 1:1 trade, which is only ideal in a Lynch-or-Lose situation.
Alien
Alien is an uncommon Independent. It is a difficult role to win with simply because games are normally too short for an Alien to have sufficient opportunity to saturate their ability. There are a couple of strategies that an Alien can employ to attempt to achieve victory.

First, an Alien can try to keep whomever they have already targeted alive. This can be pretty difficult, but if at all possible, an Alien cannot afford for anyone they have already targeted to be lynched or killed. On principle, an Alien should probably oppose plans that involve lynching or killing someone they have already targeted. Still, this can be very difficult to effect.

Ultimately, an Alien wants a game to drag on for as long as possible, and wants the game to end with as few as possible players left alive. To this end, an Alien should try to take steps to delay the game without giving advantage to any particular faction. Lynching claimed Independents and supporting No Lynches are both decent ways to slow the game down, but these can also lead to an Anti-Town advantage.

An easier method is for the Alien to figure out who the Anti-Town are, target all of them, and then try to work against the Town, acting as a sort of secret ally for the Anti-Town faction. Even if the Alien is eventually killed, so long as the Anti-Town achieve victory, the Alien has also won (provided the Alien targeted all of the Anti-Town players that survived to the end). While this is somewhat easier than trying to keep previous targets alive or delay the game, especially if the Alien manages to identify a Serial, it is still fairly difficult, and requires a mixture of luck and skill to achieve.
Savage
Savage is an uncommon Independent, and is a bit more loosely defined that other Independents. A Savage wins by killing other players. Sometimes, it is specific other players, while other times, the Savage simply has a quota. Exactly how many and which players must be killed are determined by the host, but generally a Savage should need to kill more than one, and unlike a Lyncher or Unlyncher, a Savage never knows which players they have to kill, just which characters (or from which factions) they must kill.

Playing as a Savage is, in many ways, similar to playing as a Serial. Savages usually have some manner of kill, and generally have no explicit allies. Savage is simultaneously more difficult and easier to play than a typical Serial Killer. On one hand, a Savage can win with other players, which is generally easier than having to kill everyone. On the other hand, the game does not wait for a Savage the way it does for a Serial: if all that is left is a single main faction and the Savage, the game is over whether the Savage has achieved their win condition or not.

The fewer players a Savage need kill, the more tactical and less like a Serial the Savage will want to play. This is because, the more players a Savage kills, the more likely the Savage will be identified by the Town as a Serial Killer, which makes it increasingly difficult to win alongside the Town.

Another important difference between Savage and Serial is that a Savage needs to be responsible for the requisite deaths, while a Serial does not. This means that a Savage cannot rely upon the Mafia's kill or the Town's lynch to eliminate a target, and indeed is threatened by these methods of elimination, because a Savage will generally lose if it fails to eliminate its target. A Savage wants to identify a target and be directly responsible for that target's death.
 

AL sama

Red King
#5
This post will serve as a glossary of alignment and passive abilities in traditional mafia. Its goal is to ensure that players and hosts have a set of terminology on which they can fall back on, so that everyone is on the same page as to what a particular term means. While this is not going to be 100% inclusive, and one should not limit one's self only to terms listed below, I've labored to make this as expansive as possible while staying within the character limits of the site. This post may be expanded in the future.

Alignment
  • Alien
    • Type: Independent
    • Member: Alien/Aliens
    • Nature: Neutral; Leaning Varies
    • Win Condition: Once all other players currently alive have been targeted by the Alien at least once.
  • Co-<Independent>
    • Type: Independent
    • Member: N/A
    • Nature: Prefix; Attached to Neutral
    • Win Condition: Once a predefined player meets the attached win condition.
  • Cult
    • Type: Anti-Town
    • Member: Cultist/Cultists
    • Nature: Informed Minority; Has a Conversion
    • Win Condition: Once the Town and all other Anti-Town factions have been eliminated.
  • Jealous <Town/Independent>
    • Type: Town/Independent
    • Member: N/A
    • Nature: Prefix
    • Win Condition: As the normal win condition, but a predefined player or players that either share an alignment with the Jealous or could otherwise win with the Jealous must be dead when that win condition is met.
  • Jester
    • Type: Independent
    • Member: Jester/Jesters
    • Nature: Neutral; Leans Anti-Town
    • Win Condition: Once lynched.
  • Lyncher
    • Type: Independent
    • Member: Lyncher/Lynchers
    • Nature: Neutral; Leans Anti-Town
    • Win Condition: Once a predefined player is lynched, provided the Lyncher is a valid voter on said lynch.
  • Mafia
    • Type: Anti-Town
    • Member: Mafioso/Mafiosi
    • Nature: Informed Minority; Multiple Members; Has a Kill
    • Win Condition: Once the Town and all other Anti-Town factions have been eliminated.
  • Savage
    • Type: Independent
    • Member: Savage/Savages
    • Nature: Neutral; Leaning Varies
    • Win Condition: Once the Savage has eliminated a predefined character/predefined number of players.
  • Serial
    • Type: Anti-Town
    • Member: Serial Killer/Serial Killers
    • Nature: Informed Minority; Single Member; Has a Kill
    • Win Condition: Once the Town and all other Anti-Town factions have been eliminated.
  • Survivor
    • Type: Independent
    • Member: Survivor/Survivors
    • Nature: Neutral; No Leaning
    • Win Condition: Once either Town or an Anti-Town faction achieves victory, provided the Survivor is alive.
  • Town
    • Type: Town
    • Member: Towny/Townies
    • Nature: Uninformed Majority
    • Win Condition: Once all Anti-Town factions have been eliminated.
  • Un<independent>
    • Type: Independent
    • Member: N/A
    • Nature: Prefix
    • Win Condition: Opposite of attached win condition.
  • Usurper <Anti-Town>
    • Type: Anti-Town
    • Member: N/A
    • Nature: Prefix
    • Win Condition: As the normal win condition, but a predefined player or players that either share an alignment with the Usurper or could otherwise win with the Usurper must be dead when that win condition is met.
  • Werepack
    • Type: Anti-Town
    • Member: Werewolf/Werewolves
    • Nature: Informed Minority; Multiple Members; Has a Kill
    • Win Condition: Once the Town and all other Anti-Town factions have been eliminated.

Passive Abilities
  • Actor
    • Affected: Player
    • Effect (Preventative): The Affected's vote does not count unless it would immediately result in a lynch.
  • Aegis
    • Affected: Player
    • Primary Effect (Protective): A predefined player is immune to Destructive effects until the Affected is removed from play.
    • Secondary Effect (Destructive): Any player using an otherwise unprevented Destructive ability on the predefined player is killed by the Affected.
  • Alternating
    • Affected: Ability
    • Effect (Preventative): The Affected can only be used on certain phases, either to even or to odd phases. Whether it is even or odd varies by game.
  • Ascetic
    • Affected: Player
    • Effect (Protective): The Affected is immune to all effects, except for Protective and Destructive effects.
  • Backup
    • Affected: Active Ability
    • Effect (Preventative): The Affected automatically fails if another player with the same ability as the Affected and of the same alignment as the user successfully uses said ability.
    • Aside: See also Deputy, Nurse, Sidekick, Wingman.
  • Beloved
    • Affected: Player
    • Effect (Preventative): If the Affected is removed from play, the next Day phase is skipped.
  • Bomb
    • Affected: Player
    • Effect (Destructive): If the Affected is killed by a Destructive effect, the player that used the Destructive effect on the Affected is killed by the Affected.
  • Bonded
    • Affected: Player
    • Effect (Creative): If the Affected is removed from play, any other player with Bonded keyed to the Affected dies.
    • Aside: This ability normally comes in pairs.
  • Buckler
    • Affected: Player
    • Effect (Manipulative): While the Affected is alive, any unprevented Destructive ability targeting a predefined player affects the Affected instead.
  • Burst
    • Affected: Ability
    • Effect (Preventative): If the Affected is used/utilized, it cannot be used/utilized for one Day and one Night.
  • Completely Unstable
    • Affected: Two or More Abilities (indicate with "-")
    • Effect (Manipulative): The user chooses its target and which Affected ability to use, but either the target or the ability used (determined at random) is disregarded and instead randomized.
  • Cthulhu
    • Affected: Player
    • Effect (Creative): Any player targeting the Affected with an unprevented ability gains Drunk for the remainder of the game, or until converted by a Cult. Cult-aligned players are immune to this ability.
  • Cursed
    • Affected: Ability
    • Effect (Creative): If the Affected is used/utilized, the user receives some penalty. The nature of the penalty can vary by game.
  • Day
    • Affected: Active Night Ability
    • Effect (Creative): The Affected is used during the Day instead of at Night.
  • Deaf
    • Affected: Player
    • Effect (Manipulative): The Affected does not have the ability to unvote.
  • Death Miller
    • Affected: Player
    • Effect (Manipulative): If, upon being removed from play, the Affected's character, alignment, and/or abilities would be revealed in the writeup, false information is revealed instead. The nature of this false information varies by game.
  • Delayed
    • Affected: Ability
    • Effect (Preventative): The Affected cannot be used or utilized. After certain conditions are met, the Affected loses Delayed. Typically, a player is not aware of the Affected until Delayed is lost. The exact conditions necessary to lose Delayed vary by game.
  • Drunk
    • Affected: Player
    • Effect (Manipulative): The Affected is disallowed from making sense in the game thread. The exact nature of what is considered to make sense can vary by game.
  • Enabler
    • Affected: Player
    • Effect (Creative): If the Affected is removed from play, a predefined player loses a predefined ability. The nature of the ability lost varies by game.
  • Faith
    • Affected: Ability
    • Effect (Preventative): There is a 50% chance that the Affected will automatically fail upon each use or otherwise cease to be in effect each phase.
  • Fan
    • Affected: Player
    • Effect (Manipulative): The Affected may not disagree with a predefined player in the game thread.
  • Full
    • Affected: Jack of X Trades or Master of X Trades Ability
    • Effect (Creative): Instead of One-Shot abilities, the Affected receives unlimited uses of its abilities.
  • Ghost
    • Affected: Player
    • Effect (Manipulative): The Affected returns "innocent" to a Sane Investigative effect that would normally return "guilty", and "guilty" to an Insane Investigative effect that would normally return "innocent".
    • Aside: This ability can only be held by Scum or Independents. For the Town variant, see Miller.
  • Hated
    • Affected: Player
    • Effect (Manipulative): The Affected requires one fewer votes than normal to lynch.
  • Hero
    • Affected: Player
    • Primary Effect (Protective): If the Affected would be lynched by a King, the lynch fails.
    • Secondary Effect (Destructive): The King is killed by the Affected.
    • Aside: This ability is typically reserved for a specific setup known as Kingmaker.
  • Informed
    • Affected: Player
    • Effect (Investigative): The Affected is aware of something beyond what is considered normal for the Affected's alignment. The exact information of which the Affected is aware varies by game.
  • Inhibitor
    • Affected: Player
    • Effect (Preventative): If the Affected is removed from play, a predefined player gains some ability. The nature of the ability gained varies by game.
  • Inner Demon
    • Affected: Player
    • Effect (Investigative): The Affected is aware of a predefined player's character, alignment, and abilities.
    • Effect (Protective): The Affected is immune to lynches unless the predefined player is voting for the Affected, and is immune to Destructive effects except those used by the predefined player.
    • Effect (Creative): If the predefined player is removed from play, the Affected dies.
    • Effect (Preventative): Each Day, there is a 50% chance that the predefined player's vote doesn't count, and a 50% chance that the Affected's vote doesn't count. Each Night, there is a 50% chance that the predefined player's active abilities automatically fail, and a 50% chance that the Affected's active abilities automatically fail.
    • Aside: The Affected typically does not share an alignment with the predefined player (it is most often Serial-aligned). There is typically some condition which allows for the Affected to either recruit the predefined player, remove the predefined player from play without dying, or win without having to recruit or eliminate the predefined player.
  • Insane
    • Affected: Investigative Ability
    • Effect (Manipulative): The result of the Affected is the opposite of normal.
    • Aside: All Investigative abilities have some sanity, which the user is unaware of. See Naïve, Paranoid, Random, Sane, and Strange for examples of other sanities.
  • Interval
    • Affected: Ability
    • Effect (Preventative): The Affected can only be used/utilized on phases divisible by a certain number. The divisor varies by game, but is always greater than two.
  • Invisible
    • Affected: Player
    • Effect (Protective): The Affected is immune to Investigative effects.
  • Iron
    • Affected: Player
    • Effect (Protective): The Affected is immune to Destructive effects.
  • Kamikaze
    • Affected: Player
    • Effect (Destructive): If the Affected is lynched, a player that voted for the Affected is killed by the Affected. Which player is killed, whether the first voter, the last voter, a voter determined at random, or a voter of the Affected's choice, varies by game.
  • King
    • Affected: Player
    • Effect (Manipulative): Instead of a normal majority lynch, the Affected may announce a player, and that player is lynched.
    • Aside: This ability is typically reserved for a specific setup known as Kingmaker.
  • Lich
    • Affected: Player
    • Effect (Conversive): If the Affected is lynched or killed, the Affected will return to life again after a predetermined number of phases, so long as a player with Phylactery keyed to the Affected is still alive. The number of phases it takes to return to life varies by game.
  • Long Lost
    • Affected: Player
    • Effect (Conversive): The Affected believes itself to be Town-aligned, but is actually a member of an Anti-Town faction.
  • Loved
    • Affected: Player
    • Effect (Manipulative): The Affected requires one more vote than normal to lynch.
  • Lover
    • Affected: Player
    • Effect (Creative): If a predefined player is removed from play, the Affected dies.
  • Lynchpin
    • Affected: Player
    • Effect (Creative): If the Affected is removed from play, all players sharing an alignment with the Affected also die.
    • Aside: This ability is typically reserved for a specific setup known as Assassins in the Palace.
  • Masonic
    • Affected: Player
    • Effect (Conversive): The Affected may communicate with any other player with Masonic keyed to the Affected outside of the game thread.
  • Mental
    • Affected: Two or More Abilities (indicate with "-")
    • Effect (Manipulative): Whenever a player attempts to use one of the Affected, the player chooses which ability to use, but the target is determined at random.
  • Mentally Unstable
    • Affected: Two or More Abilities (indicate with "-")
    • Effect (Manipulative): Whenever a player attempts to use one of the Affected, the player may choose either the target or which ability to use, and the other is determined at random.
  • Miller
    • Affected: Player
    • Effect (Manipulative): The Affected returns "guilty" to a Sane Investigative effect that would normally return "innocent", and "innocent" to an Insane Investigative effect that would normally return "guilty".
    • Aside: This ability can only be held by Townies. For the Anti-Town/Independent variant, see Ghost.
  • Mirror
    • Affected: Player
    • Effect (Manipulative): Any effect targeting the Affected affects the user instead.
  • Naïve
    • Affected: Investigative Ability
    • Effect (Manipulative): The result of the Affected is always benevolent.
    • Aside: All Investigative abilities have some sanity, which the user is unaware of. See Insane, Paranoid, Random, Sane, and Strange for examples of other sanities.
  • Neighborhood
    • Affected: Active Ability
    • Effect (Preventative): The Affected has a 50% chance to automatically fail, unless the target is the same as another ability with Neighborhood keyed to the Affected.
  • Nexus
    • Affected: Player
    • Effect (Manipulative): Any effect targeting the Affected affects another player instead (determined at random).
  • Ninja
    • Affected: Player
    • Effect (Manipulative): The Affected is immune to Investigative effects which return results related to the use of an ability.
  • Noble
    • Affected: Player
    • Effect (Creative): The Affected's vote counts for one more than normal.
  • Observant
    • Affected: Player
    • Effect (Investigative): Any time a player affects the Affected, the Affected is informed that the player did so, but not what the effect was.
  • Omniscient
    • Affected: Player
    • Effect (Investigative): The Affected is aware of every player's role at the start of the game.
  • Optimistic
    • Affected: Ability
    • Effect (Preventative): There is a 25% chance that the Affected will automatically fail upon each use or otherwise cease to be in effect each phase.
  • Overeager
    • Affected: Active Ability
    • Effect (Manipulative): If the Affected is not used during a valid phase, it will be used on a random valid target.
  • Paranoid
    • Affected: Investigative Ability
    • Effect (Manipulative): The result of the Affected is always malevolent.
    • Aside: All Investigative abilities have some sanity, which the user is unaware of. See Insane, Naïve, Random, Sane, and Strange for examples of other sanities.
  • Pathalogical Liar
    • Affected: Player
    • Effect (Manipulative): The Affected may not make true statements in the game thread. An exception is normally granted for statements regarding one's own alignment.
  • Peasant
    • Affected: Player
    • Effect (Preventative): The Affected's vote counts for one less than normal.
  • Perfectionist
    • Affected: Active Ability
    • Effect (Preventative): The Affected takes effect one cycle after use. The Affected cannot be used again until after it has taken effect.
  • Pessimistic
    • Affected: Active or Passive Ability
    • Effect (Preventative): There is a 75% chance that the Affected will automatically fail upon each use or otherwise cease to be in effect each phase.
  • Petty
    • Affected: Player
    • Effect (Preventative): The Affected's vote does not count, unless the player being voted for is currently voting for the Affected.
  • Phylactery
    • Affected: Player
    • Effect (Conversive): So long as the Affected is alive, a player with Lich keyed to the Affected can return to life.
  • Pitfall
    • Affected: Player
    • Primary Effect (Preventative): Any time a player would affect the Affected, there is a 50% chance that the effect fails.
    • Secondary Effect (Creative): The player attempting to affect the Affected dies.
  • Post Restricted
    • Affected: Player
    • Effect (Manipulative): This is a catch-all for passive abilities which affect the Affected's ability to post in any way, but which are not already described in other passive abilities.
    • Aside: See Drunk or Pathological Liar for examples of specific restrictions.
  • Priest
    • Affected: Player
    • Effect (Preventative): The Affected's vote does not count if it would immediately result in a lynch.
  • Random
    • Affected: Investigative Ability
    • Effect (Manipulative): The result of the Affected is completely random.
    • Aside: All Investigative abilities have some sanity, which the user is unaware of. See Insane, Naïve, Paranoid, Sane, and Strange for examples of other sanities.
  • Reckless
    • Affected: Player
    • Effect (Creative): If the Affected uses an active ability, it has a 50% chance to die.
  • Reporter
    • Affected: Player
    • Effect (Conversive): If the Affected is removed from play, writeups stop including flavor.
  • Sane
    • Affected: Investigative Ability
    • Effect (Manipulative): The result of the Affected is normal.
    • Aside: All Investigative abilities have some sanity, which the user is unaware of. See Insane, Naïve, Paranoid, Random, and Strange for examples of other sanities.
  • Shield
    • Affected: Player
    • Effect (Protective): A predefined player is immune to Destructive effects until the Affected is removed from play.
  • Shy
    • Affected: Player
    • Effect (Preventative): If the Affected is targeted by any active ability, the Affected's active abilities automatically fail that Night.
  • Strange
    • Affected: Investigative Ability
    • Effect (Manipulative): The result of the Affected is normal, but uses predefined terms other than those normal to represent the result.
    • Aside: All Investigative abilities have some sanity, which the user is unaware of. See Insane, Naïve, Paranoid, Random, and Sane for examples of other sanities.
  • Suicidal
    • Affected: Player
    • Effect (Creative): If the Affected reaches half the necessary votes for a lynch, the Affected dies. This does not end Day or otherwise count as a lynch.
  • Territorial
    • Affected: Player
    • Effect (Destructive): Any time a player affects the Affected, that player is killed by the Affected.
  • Unlynchable
    • Affected: Player
    • Effect (Protective): The Affected is immune to lynches. Whether attempting to lynch the Affected ends day in a No Lynch or simply fails varies by game.
  • Unstable
    • Affected: Two or More Abilities (indicate with "-")
    • Effect (Manipulative): Whenever a player attempts to use one of the Affected, the player chooses the target, but which ability is used is determined at random.
    • Aside: See also Schizophrenic.
  • Unstoppable
    • Affected: Active Ability
    • Effect (Protective): The Affected is immune to failure.
  • Untouchable
    • Affected: Player
    • Effect (Protective): The Affected is immune to all effects.
  • Useless
    • Affected: Ability
    • Effect (Preventative): The Affected automatically fails upon each use or is not in effect each phase. A player is typically not aware of Useless.
  • Vanilla
    • Affected: Player
    • Effect (Creative): The Affected has no other active or passive abilities.
  • Vengeful
    • Affected: Player
    • Effect (Destructive): If the Affected is removed from play, the Affected may choose one player. That player is killed by the Affected.
  • Vote Restricted
    • Affected: Player
    • Effect (Manipulative): This is a catch-all for passive abilities which affect the Affected's ability to vote in any way (but not how much the vote counts as), but which are not already described in other passive abilities.
    • Aside: See Actor, Deaf, Petty, or Priest for examples of specific restrictions.
  • Weak
    • Affected: Protective Ability
    • Effect (Creative): If the user targets a player aligned against the user with the Affected, the user dies.
  • X-Shot
    • Affected: Active or Passive Ability
    • Effect (Preventative): The Affected can only be used/utilized a certain number of times, after which, the Affected is lost. The number of times the Affected can be used is indicated by a number, which replaces the "X" in the name of this ability. That number varies by game.

Examples of Sanity
Sanity is an oft overlooked mechanic of Investigative abilities. Here, I will try to better define how each sanity interacts with some popular Investigative abilities.

  • Cop
    • Sane: Receives "innocent" for Town, or "guilty" otherwise
    • Insane: Receives "guilty" for Town, or "innocent" otherwise
    • Naïve: Receives "innocent" always
    • Paranoid: Receives "guilty" always
    • Random: Receives either "innocent" or "guilty" at random
    • Strange: Receives "fish" for Town, or "taco" otherwise (exacts can vary by game)
  • Tracker
    • Sane: Receives actual target
    • Insane: Receives self
    • Naïve: Receives target of protection (or no target if no such target)
    • Paranoid: Receives target of kill (or no target if no such target)
    • Random: Receives random player
    • Strange: Receives actual target, but under a predefined nickname
  • Watcher
    • Sane: Receives actual targeters
    • Insane: Receives everyone but targeters
    • Naïve: Receives no one
    • Paranoid: Receives everyone
    • Random: Receives players at random
    • Strange: Receives actual targeters, but under predefined nicknames
  • Oracle
    • Sane: Receives actual abilities
    • Insane: Receives abilities of opposite type (Investigative <-> Manipulative | Protective <-> Destructive | Preventative <-> Creative | Conversive unaffected)
    • Naïve: Receives random Protective ability
    • Paranoid: Receives random Destructive ability
    • Random: Receives random abilities
    • Strange: Receives actual abilities, but under predefined nicknames
  • Name Cop
    • Sane: Receives actual character
    • Insane: Receives character not actually in game
    • Naïve: Receives character of major Town member
    • Paranoid: Receives character of major Anti-Town member
    • Random: Receives random character
    • Strange: Receives actual character, but under a predefined nickname
 

AL sama

Red King
#6
This post will serve as a glossary of active abilities in traditional mafia. Its goal is to ensure that players and hosts have a set of terminology on which they can fall back on, so that everyone is on the same page as to what a particular term means. While this is not going to be 100% inclusive, and one should not limit one's self only to terms listed below, I've labored to make this as expansive as possible while staying within the character limits of the site. This post may be expanded in the future.

Active Abilities
  • Abductor
    • Phase: Night
    • Target: Living Player; Cannot Self-Target
    • Primary Effect (Preventative): The Target's active abilities automatically fail that Night.
    • Primary Effect (Protective): The Target is immune to all other effects for the Night.
    • Secondary Effect (Conversive): The Target is listed as missing at the end of the Night and is treated as being dead for all intents and purposes, except that no role information is revealed and abilities which specifically target dead players cannot target the Target. The Target is returned at the end of the following Day.
  • Addict
    • Phase: Night
    • Target: Self
    • Effect (Creative): The Addict receives a predefined item. Predefined items can grant active and/or passive abilities, but all such items additionally cause the user to gain Reckless for the Night. The number and nature of predefined items vary by game.
  • Assassin
    • Phase: Day
    • Target: Living Player; Cannot Self-Target
    • Effect (Destructive): The Target is killed by the Assassin.
  • Assimilator
    • Phase: Night
    • Target: Living Player; Cannot Self-Target
    • Primary Effect (Destructive): The Target is killed by the Assimilator.
    • Secondary Effect (Creative): The Assimilator gains a One-Shot version of each of the Target's abilities, provided the ability is not already modified by X-Shot.
  • Assistant
    • Phase: Night
    • Target: Living Player; Cannot Self-Target
    • Effect (Manipulative): The Target's vote counts for one more for the following Day, and the Assistant's vote counts for one less for the following Day.
  • Bartender
    • Phase: Night
    • Target: Living Player; Cannot Self-Target
    • Primary Effect (Investigative): The Bartender receives "innocent" if the Target is Town-aligned, or "guilty" otherwise.
    • Secondary Effect (Creative): The Target gains Reckless for the Night.
  • Body Changer
    • Phase: Night
    • Target: Living Player; Cannot Self-Target
    • Effect (Creative): The Body Changer and Target swap all active and passive abilities, except that the Body Changer retains the active ability Body Changer. Both the Body Changer and Target are now Death Millers, appearing as one another's Character and Alignment. Investigative abilities always treat Abilities (except Body Changer) and Character as swapped, and sometimes treat Alignment as swapped as well, varying by game. Alignment is not actually affected.
  • Bodyguard
    • Phase: Night
    • Target: Living Player; Cannot Self-Target
    • Primary Effect (Protective): The Target is immune to Destructive effects for the Night.
    • Secondary Effect (Destructive): Any player using an otherwise unprevented Destructive ability on the Target that Night is killed by the Bodyguard.
  • Brain Surgeon
    • Phase: Night
    • Target: Living Player; Cannot Self-Target
    • Effect (Manipulative): The sanity of all of the Target's Investigative abilities are reversed for the Night. Sane becomes Insane and vice versa; Naïve becomes Paranoid and vice versa; Random and Strange are unaffected.
  • Broadcaster
    • Phase: Night
    • Target: See Effect
    • Effect (Conversive): During the following Day, a message written by the Broadcaster will be posted by the Host. The identity of the Broadcaster will not be revealed.
  • Buck Passer
    • Phase: Night
    • Target: Living Player; Cannot Self-Target
    • Effect (Manipulative): All actions targeting the Buck Passer that Night affect the Target instead. An ability redirected in this manner onto an invalid target (such as causing an action to self-target when said ability cannot self-target) fails instead.
  • Bus Driver
    • Phase: Night
    • Target: Two Different Living Players
    • Effect (Manipulative): All actions targeting the first Target that Night affect the second Target instead, and vice versa. An ability redirected in this manner onto an invalid target (such as causing an action to self-target when said ability cannot self-target) fails instead.
  • Cab Driver
    • Phase: Night
    • Target: Two Different Living Players; Cannot Self-Target
    • Effect (Manipulative): The first Target affects the second Target's target that Night, and vice versa. An ability redirected in this manner onto an invalid target (such as causing an action to self-target when said ability cannot self-target) fails instead.
  • Commuter
    • Phase: Night
    • Target: Self
    • Effect (Protective): The Commuter is immune to all other effects for the Night.
    • Effect (Preventative): The Commuter may not take any other action for the Night.
  • Contractor
    • Phase: Night
    • Target: Living Player; Cannot Self-Target
    • Primary Effect (Conversive): The Target is recruited*, gaining the alignment** of the Contractor. The Contractor may communicate with the Target outside of the game thread for the remainder of the game.
    • Secondary Effect (Investigative): The Contractor learns the Target's Character and Role. This supersedes immunity to Investigative abilities.
    • Secondary Effect (Manipulative): The Contractor dictates the actions of the Target for the remainder of the game.
      • *: A Contractor is typically limited in the maximum number of total recruits at any given time.
      • **: A Contractor may not be Serial-aligned.
  • Converter
    • Phase: Night
    • Target: Living Player; Cannot Self-Target
    • Effect (Conversive): The Target is recruited, gaining the alignment* of the Converter. The Converter may communicate with the Target outside of game thread for the remainder of the game.
      • *: A Converter may not be Serial-aligned.
  • Cop
    • Phase: Night
    • Target: Living Player; Cannot Self-Target
    • Effect (Investigative): The Cop receives "innocent" if the Target is Town-aligned, or "guilty" otherwise.
  • Coroner
    • Phase: Night
    • Target: Dead Player
    • Effect (Investigative): The Coroner receives some amount of flavor regarding the nature of the Target's death, sometimes including which character killed the Target. The exact nature of these results vary by game.
  • Corruptor
    • Phase: Night
    • Target: Living Player; Cannot Self-Target
    • Effect (Conversive): The Target is offered the choice of being recruited. If this offer is accepted, the Target gains the alignment* of the Corruptor, and the Corruptor may communicate with the Target outside of game thread for the remainder of the game.
      • *: A Corruptor cannot be Serial-aligned.
  • Delegator
    • Phase: Night
    • Primary Target: Living Player; Cannot Self-Target
    • Secondary Target: Ability of a Dead Player
    • Effect (Creative): The Primary Target gains a One-Shot version of the Secondary Target. The Secondary Target ceases to exist for all other intents and purposes.
  • Dentist
    • Phase: Night
    • Target: Living Player; Cannot Self-Target
    • Primary Effect (Protective): The Target is immune to Destructive effects for the Night.
    • Secondary Effect (Creative): The Target gains Reckless for the Night.
  • Deputy
    • Phase: Night
    • Target: Living Player; Cannot Self-Target
    • Effect (Investigative): The Deputy receives "innocent" if the Target is Town-aligned, or "guilty" otherwise. The Deputy automatically fails if a Cop sharing alignment with the Deputy is alive and successfully uses its ability that Night.
  • Detective
    • Phase: Night
    • Target: Living Player; Cannot Self-Target
    • Effect (Investigative): The Detective receives each player affected* the Target that Night, as well as each player affected* by the Target that Night. The Detective continues to receive these results each Night thereafter without having to take further action until either the Detective chooses a new Target or the Target dies.
      • *: The Detective does not learn about secondary targets.
  • Doberman
    • Phase: Night
    • Target: Living Player; Cannot Self-Target
    • Primary Effect (Protective): The Target is immune to Destructive effects for the Night.
    • Secondary Effect (Destructive): Any player using an otherwise unprevented Destructive ability on the Target that Night is killed by the Doberman.
    • Secondary Effect (Creative): The Target gains Reckless for the Night.
  • Doctor
    • Phase: Night
    • Target: Living Player; Cannot Self-Target
    • Effect (Protective): The Target is immune to Destructive effects for the Night.
  • Dominator
    • Phase: Night
    • Target: Living Player; Cannot Self-Target
    • Primary Effect (Manipulative): Nothing occurs yet.
    • Secondary Effect (Conversive): The Target is informed that they have been dominated, and that another player will control their action that Night.
    • Secondary Effect (Investigative): The Dominator receives a list of the Target's active abilities. This supersedes immunity to Investigative abilities.
    • Secondary Effect (Manipulative): The Dominator dictates the Target's action for that Night. The Target is aware of what action they are forced to take and upon whom it is taken.
  • Drug Dealer
    • Phase: Night
    • Primary Target: Living Player; Cannot Self-Target
    • Secondary Target: Predefined* Item
    • Effect (Creative): The Primary Target is given the Secondary Target.
      • *: A Drug Dealer starts with a series of predefined items, which can grant active and/or passive abilities. The number and nature of predefined items vary by game. All such items cause the user to gain Reckless for the Night, in addition to their stated functions. Predefined items received from other sources can serve as the Secondary Target, and do not necessarily cause the user to gain Reckless for the Night.
  • Eraser
    • Phase: Night
    • Target: Living Player; Cannot Self-Target
    • Effect (Creative): The Target loses all active and passive abilities and gains Vanilla.
  • Executioner
    • Phase: Day
    • Target: Living Player with Half Required Votes for Lynch (Majority Lynch) or Most Votes (Plurality Lynch); Cannot Self-Target
    • Effect (Destructive): The Target is killed by the Executioner. This ends Day as though a lynch had occurred.
  • Executive
    • Phase: Night
    • Target: Living Player; Cannot Self-Target
    • Effect (Manipulative): The Target's vote counts for one less the following Day, and the Executive's vote counts for one more the following Day.
  • Flavor Cop
    • Phase: Night
    • Target: Living Player; Cannot Self-Target
    • Effect (Investigative): The Flavor Cop receives some amount of flavor regarding the Target's character, role, and/or alignment. The exact nature of these results varies by game.
  • Forensic Investigator
    • Phase: Night
    • Target: Dead Player
    • Effect (Investigative): The Forensic Investigator receives each player that has ever targeted* the Target, as well as each player ever targeted* by the Target.
      • *: The Detective does not learn about secondary targets.
  • Framer
    • Phase: Night
    • Target: Living Player
    • Effect (Manipulative): The sanity of all Investigative effects targeting the Target are reversed for the Night. Sane becomes Insane and vice versa; Naïve becomes Paranoid and vice versa; Random and Strange are unaffected.
  • Freeloader
    • Phase: Night
    • Target: Living Player; Cannot Self-Target
    • Effect (Protective): The Freeloader is immune to all other effects for the Night, except those originating from the Target.
    • Effect (Manipulative): The Freeloader is affected by anything affecting the Target that Night.
  • Giver
    • Phase: Night
    • Target: Living Player; Cannot Self-Target
    • Effect (Creative): The Target gains an ability. What ability and the duration of this ability vary by game.
  • Godfather
    • Phase: Night
    • Target: Living Player; Cannot Self-Target
    • Effect (Destructive): The Target is killed by the Godfather.
    • Effect (Creative): If the Godfather dies, another player sharing alignment* with the Godfather gains Godfather.
      • *: The Godfather cannot be Serial-aligned, but must otherwise be Anti-Town.
  • Governor
    • Phase: Dusk*
    • Target: Living Player About to be Lynched; Cannot Self-Target
    • Effect (Protective): The lynch against the Target fails, and Day ends in a No Lynch.
      • *: A Governor must declare their action in the game thread as though a Day action.
  • Grave Robber
    • Phase: Night
    • Target: Dead Player
    • Effect (Creative): The Grave Robber loses all current active and passive abilities, except for Grave Robber, and gains all active and/or passive abilities of the Target.
  • Guardian
    • Phase: Night
    • Target: Living Player; Cannot Self-Target
    • Effect (Manipulative): Any unprevented Destructive ability targeting the Target that Night affects the Guardian instead.
  • Hider
    • Phase: Night
    • Target: Living Player; Cannot Self-Target
    • Effect (Protective): The Hider is immune to Destructive effects for the Night, except those originating from the Target.
    • Effect (Manipulative): The Hider dies if the Target is affected by an unprevented Destructive effect that Night.
  • Hitman
    • Phase: Night
    • Target: Living Player; Cannot Self-Target
    • Effect (Destructive): The Target is killed by the Hitman.
    • Aside: This ability can only be held by Mafiosi. For the Town/Independent variant, see Vigilante. For the other Anti-Town variant, see Killer.
  • Hostage Taker
    • Phase: Night
    • Target: Living Player; Cannot Self-Target
    • Primary Effect (Conversive): The Target is informed that they have been taken hostage and will not be able to act that Night, but will not be informed by whom they have been taken hostage.
    • Secondary Effect (Preventative): The Target's active abilities automatically fail that Night.
    • Secondary Effect (Manipulative): Any Destructive ability targeting the Hostage Taker affects the Target instead, but has a 50% chance to also affect the Hostage Taker.
    • Tertiary Effect (Conversive): Any player targeting the Hostage Taker with a Destructive ability will be informed that Destructive abilities will affect the Target with only a chance of affecting the Hostage Taker. Such players will be allowed to cancel or proceed, but may not otherwise change their action.
  • Interrogator
    • Phase: Night
    • Target: Living Player; Cannot Self-Target
    • Primary Effect (Preventative): The Target's active abilities automatically fail that Night.
    • Secondary Effect (Investigative): The Interrogator receives "innocent" if the Target is Town-aligned, or "guilty" otherwise.
  • Inventor
    • Phase: Night
    • Primary Target: Living Player; Cannot Self-Target
    • Secondary Target: Predefined* Item
    • Effect (Creative): The Primary Target is given the Secondary Target.
      • *: An Inventor starts with a series of predefined items, which can grant active and/or passive abilities. The number and nature of predefined items vary by game. Predefined items received from other sources can serve as the Secondary Target.
  • Isolator
    • Phase: Night
    • Target: Living Player; Cannot Self-Target
    • Effect (Protective): The Target is immune to all other effects for the Night.
    • Effect (Preventative): The Target's active abilities automatically fail that Night.
  • Jack of All Trades
    • Phase: Night
    • Target: See Effect
    • Effect (Creative): The Jack of All Trades has four One-Shot abilities: Cop, Doctor, Roleblocker/Prostitute, and Vigilante/Hitman/Killer. See those individual entries for more information.
  • Jack of Anarchic Trades
    • Phase: Night
    • Target: See Effect
    • Effect (Creative): The Jack of Anarchic Trades has four One-Shot Manipulative abilities: Bus Driver, Framer, Magnet, and Redirector. See those individual entries for more information.
  • Jack of Day Trades
    • Phase: See Effect
    • Target: See Effect
    • Effect (Creative): The Jack of Day Trades has four One-Shot abilities: Assassin, Journalist, Mayor, and Politician. See those individual entries for more information.
  • Jack of Deadly Trades
    • Phase: Night
    • Target: See Effect
    • Effect (Creative): The Jack of Deadly Trades has four One-Shot Destructive abilities: Assimilator, Executioner, Poisoner, Vigilante/Hitman/Killer. See those individual entries for more information.
  • Jack of Deductive Trades
    • Phase: Night
    • Target: See Effect
    • Effect (Creative): The Jack of Deductive Trades has four One-Shot Investigative abilities: Cop, Thief, Tracker, and Watcher. See those individual entries for more information.
  • Jack of Epic Trades
    • Phase: See Aside
    • Target: See Effect
    • Effect (Creative): The Jack of Epic Trades has seven One-Shot abilities: Bus Driver, Cop, Doctor, Messenger, , Roleblocker/Prostitute, and Vigilante/Hitman/Killer. See those individual entries for more information. A Jack of Epic Trades may use up to two of its abilities each Night. Some Jack of Epic Trades may also have a One-Shot Reviver ability, which counts as both actions for the Night.
  • Jack of Impeding Trades
    • Phase: Night
    • Target: See Effect
    • Effect (Creative): The Jack of Impeding Trades has four One-Shot Preventative abilities: Abductor, Isolator, Roleblocker/Prostitute, and Vote Drainer. See those individual entries for more information.
  • Jack of Medical Trades
    • Phase: Night
    • Target: See Effect
    • Effect (Creative): The Jack of Medical Trades has four One-Shot Protective abilities: Bodyguard, Doctor, Hider, and Vagabond. See those individual entries for more information.
  • Jack of Mixed Trades
    • Phase: Night
    • Target: See Effect
    • Effect (Creative): The Jack of Mixed Trades has three One-Shot abilities: Jailer, Interrogator, and Paramedic. See those individual entries for more information.
  • Jack of Other Trades
    • Phase: Night
    • Target: See Effect
    • Effect (Creative): The Jack of Other Trades has four One-Shot abilities: Bartender, Dentist, Rioter, and Sadist. See those individual entries for more information.
  • Jack of Passive-Aggressive Trades
    • Phase: Night
    • Target: See Effect
    • Effect (Creative): The Jack of Passive-Aggressive Trades has three Two-Shot abilities: Mercy Angel, Mind Flayer, and Stalker. See those individual entries for more information.
  • Jack of Religious Trades
    • Phase: Night
    • Target: See Effect
    • Effect (Creative): The Jack of Religious Trades has four One-Shot Conversive abilities: Converter, Corruptor, Mason Recruiter, and Necromancer. See those individual entries for more information.
  • Jailer
    • Phase: Night
    • Target: Living Player; Cannot Self-Target
    • Effect (Protective): The Target is immune to Destructive effects for the Night.
    • Effect (Preventative): The Target's active abilities automatically fail that Night.
  • Janitor
    • Phase: Night
    • Target: Living Player; Cannot Self-Target
    • Effect (Conversive): If the Primary Target is killed that Night, the Primary Target is listed as missing at the end of the Night and is treated as being dead for all intents and purposes, except that no character, alignment, or role information is revealed and abilities which target dead players cannot target the Primary Target.
  • Journalist
    • Phase: Night
    • Target: Answer to a Question Asked by the Journalist during Previous Day
    • Effect (Investigative): The Journalist receives "true" if every part of the Target was true at the time of being said, or "false" otherwise.
  • Killer
    • Phase: Night
    • Target: Living Player; Cannot Self-Target
    • Effect (Destructive): The Target is killed by the Killer.
    • Aside: This ability can only be held by Scum other than Mafia. For the Town/Independent variant, see Vigilante. For the Mafia variant, see Hitman.
  • Kingmaker
    • Phase: Night
    • Target: Living Player; Cannot Self-Target; Cannot Target Consecutively
    • Effect (Creative): The Target gains King for the following Day.
    • Aside: This ability is typically reserved for a specific setup known as Kingmaker.
  • Kleptomaniac
    • Phase: Night
    • Target: Living Player; Cannot Self-Target
    • Effect (Creative): The Target loses one active or passive ability, determined at random, and the Kleptomaniac gains that ability.
  • Leader
    • Phase: Night
    • Target: Living Player; Cannot Self-Target
    • Effect (Conversive): The Target is recruited, gaining the alignment* of the Leader. The Leader may communicate with the Target outside of game thread for the remainder of the game.
    • Effect (Creative): If the Leader dies, the player that has shared alignment* with the Leader the longest gains Leader.
      • *: A Leader may not be Serial-aligned.
  • Lie Detector
    • Phase: Night
    • Target: Statement
    • Effect (Investigative): The Lie Detector receives "true" if every part of the Target was true at the time of being said, or "false" otherwise.
    • Aside: A Lie Detector is typically restricted from claiming as such.
  • Lightning Rod
    • Phase: Night
    • Target: Self
    • Effect (Manipulative): All actions, regardless of whom they are targeting that Night, affect the Lightning Rod instead.
  • Magnet
    • Phase: Night
    • Target: Two Different Living Players; Cannot Self-Target
    • Effect (Manipulative): The first Target, regardless of whom it is targeting that Night, affects the second Target instead, and vice versa.
  • Masochist
    • Phase: Night
    • Target: Living Player; Cannot Self-Target
    • Effect (Manipulative): The Target, regardless of whom it is targeting that Night, affects the Masochist instead.
    • Aside: Because this ability clashes somewhat with survival victory, a Masochist with a survival win condition often has an alternate win condition wherein dying as a result of targeting a player of an opposing alignment allows the Masochist to win as an Independent.
  • Mason Recruiter
    • Phase: Night
    • Target: Living Player; Cannot Self-Target
    • Effect (Conversive): The Target gains Masonic keyed to the Mason Recruiter and any other player with Masonic keyed to the Mason Recruiter. This does not affect alignment.
  • Master of All Trades
    • Phase: Night
    • Target: See Effect
    • Effect (Creative): The Master of All Trades has a One-Shot ability for each defined ability that is used at Night (with specific exception to other Jack of X Trades and Master of X Trades abilities).
  • Master of Epic Trades
    • Phase: Night
    • Target: See Effect
    • Effect (Creative): The Master of Epic Trades has a One-Shot ability for each defined ability (with specific exception to other Jack of X Trades and Master of X Trades abilities). A Master of Epic Trades may use up to two of its abilities each Night, and one ability each Day, provided the selected ability can normally be used during the phase in question. Certain abilities () count as both actions for the Night.
  • Mayor
    • Phase: Day
    • Target: Living Player; Cannot Self-Target
    • Effect (Creative): The Target gains Unlynchable for the Day.
  • Mercy Angel
    • Phase: Night
    • Target: Living Player; Cannot Self-Target
    • Effect (Protective): The Target is immune to Destructive effects for the Night.
    • Effect (Destructive): If this is the same Target as the previous Night, the Target is killed by the Mercy Angel instead.
  • Messenger
    • Phase: Night
    • Target: Living Player; Cannot Self-Target
    • Effect (Conversive): The Target will receive a message written by the Messenger from the Host. Whether the identity of the Messenger is revealed varies by game.
  • Mimic
    • Phase: Night
    • Target: Living Player; Cannot Self-Target
    • Effect (Creative): The Mimic gains any passive or active abilities that the Target has. The Mimic retains these abilities without having to take further action until the Mimic either chooses a new Target or dies.
  • Mind Flayer
    • Phase: Night
    • Target: Living Player; Cannot Self-Target
    • Effect (Preventative): The Target's active abilities automatically fail that Night.
    • Effect (Destructive): If this is the same Target as the previous Night, the Target is killed by the Mind Flayer instead.
  • Miracle Worker
    • Phase: Night
    • Target: Living Player; Cannot Self-Target
    • Effect (Creative): A predefined change is made to the Target's alignment and/or role. The nature of the predefined change varies by game.
  • Motivator
    • Phase: Night
    • Target: Living Player; Cannot Self-Target
    • Effect (Conversive): The Target may take an additional action that Night.
  • Name Cop
    • Phase: Night
    • Target: Living Player; Cannot Self-Target
    • Effect (Investigative): The Name Cop receives the character of the Target.
  • Necromancer
    • Phase: Night
    • Target: Dead Player
    • Primary Effect (Conversive): The Target returns to life**, gaining the alignment* of the Necromancer, but is unable to post other than to vote. The Target loses all abilities and instead gains a One-Shot version of each of its abilities upon dying, provided the ability is not already modified by X-Shot.
    • Secondary Effect (Investigative): The Necromancer learns the Target's new Role. This supersedes immunity to Investigative abilities.
    • Secondary Effect (Manipulative): The Necromancer dictates the vote and actions of the Target for the remainder of the game.
      • *: If the Necromancer is Serial-aligned, the Target's alignment does not change.
      • **: If the player dies once more, that player is marked as destroyed rather than dead, and is thereafter immune to actions that target dead players.
  • News Anchor
    • Phase: Night
    • Target: Living Player
    • Effect (Manipulative): All actions, regardless of whom they are targeting that Night, affect the Target instead, except for the actions of the News Anchor and the Target.
  • Nurse
    • Phase: Night
    • Target: Living Player; Cannot Self-Target
    • Effect (Protective): The Target is immune to Destructive effects for the Night. The Nurse automatically fails if a Doctor sharing alignment with the Nurse is alive and successfully uses its ability that Night.
  • Observer
    • Phase: Night
    • Target: Living Player; Cannot Self-Target
    • Effect (Investigative): The Observer receives the name of each player that affected* the Target that Night, as well as the name of each player affected* by the Target that Night.
      • *: The Observer does not learn about secondary targets.
  • Oracle
    • Phase: Night
    • Target: Living Player; Cannot Self-Target
    • Effect (Investigative): The Oracle receives a list of abilities for the Target.
  • Paramedic
    • Phase: Night
    • Target: Living Player; Cannot Self-Target
    • Primary Effect (Protective): The Target is immune to Destructive effects for the Night.
    • Secondary Effect (Investigative): The Paramadic receives "innocent" if the Target is Town-aligned, or "guilty" otherwise.
  • Parasite
    • Phase: Night
    • Target: Living Player; Cannot Self-Target
    • Primary Effect (Conversive): The Target gains the alignment* of the Parasite, but is unable to post and loses all active abilities. The Parasite may communicate with the Target outside of the game thread for the remainder of the game or until the Target dies**, whichever comes first.
    • Secondary Effect (Investigative): The Parasite learns the Target's new Role. This supersedes immunity to Investigative abilities.
    • Secondary Effect (Creative): So long as the Target is alive, the Parasite's vote counts for one more than normal, and the Parasite gains Vigilante/Hitman/Killer as appropriate for its alignment.
    • Secondary Effect (Manipulative): So long as the Target is alive, any Destructive effect targeting the Parasite has a 50% chance to instead affect the Target.
    • Secondary Effect (Creative): If the Parasite uses this ability again or dies, the Target dies**.
      • *: If the Parasite is Serial-aligned, the Target's alignment does not change.
      • **: If the player dies, that player is marked as destroyed rather than dead, and is thereafter immune to actions that target dead players.
  • Poisoner
    • Phase: Night
    • Target: Living Player; Cannot Self-Target
    • Effect (Destructive): The Target will die after a predefined number of phases. This is an ongoing Destructive effect; abilities which grant immunity to Destructive effects can nullify this effect at any stage prior to the death of the Target. The number of phases it takes for the Target to die from this ability can vary by game.
  • Politician
    • Phase: Night
    • Primary Target: Living Player
    • Secondary Target: Living Player
    • Effect (Manipulative): The Primary Target's vote is counted towards the Seconday Target for the duration of the following Day, regardless of attempts to change said vote.
  • Prostitute
    • Phase: Night
    • Target: Living Player; Cannot Self-Target
    • Effect (Preventative): The Target's active abilities automatically fail that Night.
    • Aside: This ability can only be held by Scum. For the Town/Independent variant, see Roleblocker.
  • Psychiatrist
    • Phase: Night
    • Target: Living Player; Cannot Self-Target
    • Effect (Conversive): If the Target is Serial-aligned, the Target gains the alignment* of the Psychiatrist. Otherwise, this has no effect.
      • *: A Psychiatrist may not be Serial-aligned.
  • Psychic
    • Phase: Night
    • Target: Missing Player
    • Effect (Investigative): The Target is found at the end of the Night. If the Target is alive, they return to play as normal. If the Target is dead, their death is announced as part of the writeup.
  • Punisher
    • Phase: Night
    • Target: Living Player; Cannot Self-Target
    • Effect (Destructive): The Punisher kills any player using an unprevented Destructive ability on the Target that Night.
  • Quack
    • Phase: Night
    • Target: Living Player; Cannot Self-Target
    • Effect (Protective): If the Target is affected by an otherwise unprevented Destructive effect that Night, the Target is immune to Destructive effects that Night.
    • Effect (Destructive): Otherwise, the Target is killed by the Quack.
  • Redirector
    • Phase: Night
    • Primary Target: Living Player; Cannot Self-Target
    • Secondary Target: Living Player
    • Effect (Manipulative): The Primary Target, regardless of whom they were targeting that night, affects the Secondary Target. An ability redirected in this manner onto an invalid target (such as causing an action to self-target when said ability cannot self-target) fails instead.
  • Restrictor
    • Phase: Night
    • Target: Living Player
    • Effect (Creative): The Target gains Post Restricted for the following Day. The nature of Post Restricted can vary by game.
  • Reviver
    • Phase: Night
    • Target: Dead Player
    • Effect (Conversive): The Target returns to life.
  • Rioter
    • Phase: Night
    • Target: Living Player; Cannot Self-Target
    • Primary Effect (Destructive): The Target is killed by the Rioter.
    • Secondary Effect (Creative): The Target gains Pitfall for the Night. The Rioter is immune to this.
  • Role Cop
    • Phase: Night
    • Target: Living Player; Cannot Self-Target
    • Effect (Investigative): The Role Cop receives the role (character, alignment, and abilities) of the Target.
  • Roleblocker
    • Phase: Night
    • Target: Living Player; Cannot Self-Target
    • Effect (Preventative): The Target's active abilities automatically fail that Night.
    • Aside: This ability can only be held by Townies or Independents. For the Anti-Town variant, see Prostitute.
  • Sadist
    • Phase: Night
    • Target: Living Player; Cannot Self-Target
    • Primary Effect (Preventative): The Target's active abilities automatically fail that Night.
    • Secondary Effect (Creative): The Target gains Reckless for the Night.
  • Salesman
    • Phase: Night
    • Primary Target: Living Player
    • Secondary Target: Living Player
    • Effect (Manipulative): The Primary Target's vote will not count against the Secondary Target for the Day, regardless of attempts to change said vote.
  • Scavenger
    • Phase: Night
    • Target: Self
    • Effect (Creative): The Scavenger receives a predefined item. Predefined items can grant active and/or passive abilities. The number and nature of predefined items vary by game.
  • Schizophrenic
    • Phase: Night
    • Primary Target: Living Player; Cannot Self-Target
    • Effect (Preventative): There is a 20% chance that the Target's active abilities automatically fail that Night. This is mutually exclusive with all other possibilities.
    • Effect (Protective): There is a 20% chance that the Target is immune to Destructive effects for the Night. This is mutually exclusive with all other possibilities.
    • Effect (Investigative): There is a 20% chance that the Schizophrenic receives "innocent" if the Target is Town-aligned, or "guilty" otherwise. This is mutually exclusive with all other possibilities.
    • Effect (Destructive): There is a 20% chance that the Target is killed by the Schizophrenic. This is mutually exclusive with all other possibilities.
    • Effect (Creative): There is a 20% chance that no action is taken. This is mutually exclusive with all other possibilities.
  • Searcher
    • Phase: Night
    • Target: Living Player; Cannot Self-Target
    • Primary Effect (Investigative): The Searcher receives "yes" if the Target shares an alignment with the Searcher and has Long Lost, or "no" otherwise.
    • Secondary Effect (Conversive): If the Searcher received "yes" as the result, then the Target loses Long Lost, and both the Searcher and Target gain Masonic keyed to one another.
    • Aside: As Long Lost can only be held by Scum, Searcher can also only be held by Scum.
  • Seraph
    • Phase: Night; Recurring
    • Target: Living Player; Cannot Self-Target
    • Effect (Protective): The Target is immune to Destructive effects. The Target retains this immunity without the Seraph having to take further action until the Seraph either chooses a new Target or dies.
  • Shifter
    • Phase: Night
    • Target: Self
    • Primary Effect (Protective): The Shifter is immune to all other effects for the Night.
    • Primary Effect (Preventative): The Shifter cannot take any other action for the Night.
    • Secondary Effect (Conversive): The Shifter is listed as missing at the end of the Night and is treated as being dead for all intents and purposes, except that no role information is revealed and abilities which specifically target dead players cannot target the Target. The Shifter is returned at the end of the following Day.
  • Sidekick
    • Phase: Night
    • Target: Living Player; Cannot Self-Target
    • Effect (Destructive): The Target is killed by the Sidekick. The Sidekick automatically fails if a Vigilante/Hitman/Killer sharing alignment with the Sidekick is alive and successfully uses its ability that Night.
  • Soothsayer
    • Phase: Night
    • Primary Target: Living Player; Cannot Self-Target
    • Secondary Target: Player
    • Effect (Investigative): The Soothsayer receives "true" if the Primary Target targeted the Secondary Target, or "false" otherwise.
  • Spy
    • Phase: Night
    • Target: Living Player; Cannot Self-Target
    • Effect (Investigative): The Spy receives "yes" if the Target used an active ability that Night, or "no" otherwise.
  • Stalker
    • Phase: Night
    • Target: Living Player; Cannot Self-Target
    • Effect (Investigative): The Stalker receives the Target's character, the name of each player that affected* the Target that Night, and the name of each player affected* by the Target that Night.
    • Effect (Destructive): If this is the same Target as the previous Night, the Target is killed by the Stalker instead.
      • *: The Stalker does not learn about secondary targets.
  • Suicide Bomber
    • Phase: Night
    • Target: Living Player; Cannot Self-Target
    • Effect (Destructive): The Target is killed by the Suicide Bomber.
    • Effect (Creative): The Suicide Bomber dies.
  • Summoner
    • Phase: Night
    • Primary Target: Self
    • Secondary Target: Predefined* Creature
    • Effect (Preventative): The Target causes the appropriate kinds of actions to automatically fail that Night.
      • *: A Summoner starts with a series of predefined creatures, which can block specific kinds of actions. The number and nature of predefined creatures vary by game.
  • Tagger
    • Phase: Night
    • Primary Target: Living Player
    • Secondary Target: Predefined* Passive Ability
    • Effect (Creative): The Primary Target gains the Secondary Target.
      • *: A Tagger starts with a list of predefined passive abilities. Which abilities vary by game.
  • Talker
    • Phase: Night
    • Target: Living Player; Cannot Self-Target
    • Effect (Conversive): The Talker may communicate with the Target outside of the game thread during the following Day.
  • Terrorist
    • Phase: Night
    • Target: Living Player; Cannot Self-Target
    • Effect (Creative): The Target has a bomb placed on them.
    • Target: Self
    • Effect (Destructive): All players with bombs on them are killed by the Terrorist, and all those bombs are expended.
    • Aside: A Terrorist must choose which of these actions to perform each Night. A Terrorist may choose to perform both actions in the same Night, but dies as a result.
  • Therapist
    • Phase: Night
    • Target: Living Player
    • Effect (Investigative): The Therapist receives a list of the Target's abilities, as well as any hidden conditions relating specifically to the Target.
  • Thief
    • Phase: Night
    • Target: Living Player; Cannot Self-Target
    • Effect (Investigative): The Thief receives an item that either hints at the Target's character, abilities, and/or alignment.
  • Tracker
    • Phase: Night
    • Target: Living Player; Cannot Self-Target
    • Effect (Investigative): The Tracker receives the name of each player affected* by the Target that Night.
      • *: The Tracker does not learn about secondary targets.
  • Trapper
    • Phase: Night
    • Target: Living Player; Cannot Self-Target
    • Primary Effect (Preventative): The Target's active abilities automatically fail that Night.
    • Secondary Effect (Conversive): The Target is informed that they have been trapped. Unless another player affects the Target that night, the Target is listed as missing at the end of the Night and is treated as being dead for all intents and purposes, except that no role information is revealed and abilities which specifically target dead players cannot target the Target.
    • Phase: Day*
    • Target: Trapped Living Player
    • Primary Effect (Investigative): The Trapper receives the Target's character, a list of the Target's abilities, and the name of each player affected* by the Target thus far, including secondary targets.
    • Secondary Effect (Conversive): The Target is informed that they have been interrogated.
    • Phase: Day*
    • Target: Trapped Living Player
    • Effect (Destructive): The Target is killed by the Trapper.
    • Phase: Day*
    • Target: Trapped Living Player
    • Effect (Conversive): The Target is recruited**, gaining the alignment*** of the Trapper. The Trapper may communicate with the Target outside of game thread for the remainder of the game.
    • Phase: Day*
    • Target: Trapped Living Player
    • Effect (Investigative): The Target is found at the end of the Day. If the Target is alive, they return to play as normal. If the Target is dead, their death is announced as part of the writeup. This ability can be used alongside any of the other three abilities used on trapped players without penalty.
      • *: Unlike normal Day actions, this is handled via private message rather than posted in thread.
      • **: A Trapper is typically limited in the maximum number of total recruits at any given time.
      • ***: If a Trapper is Serial-aligned, they cannot use this ability.
  • Turtle
    • Phase: Night
    • Target: Self
    • Effect (Protective): The Turtle is immune to Destructive effects for the Night.
    • Effect (Preventative): The Turtle may not take any other action for the Night.
  • Vagabond
    • Phase: Night
    • Target: Living Player; Cannot Self-Target
    • Primary Effect (Protective): The Target is immune to Destructive effects for the Night.
    • Secondary Effect (Creative): Any player using an otherwise unprevented Destructive ability on the Target that Night receives some penalty from the Vagabond. The exact nature of the penalty varies by game.
  • Vigilante
    • Phase: Night
    • Target: Living Player; Cannot Self-Target
    • Effect (Destructive): The Target is killed by the Vigilante.
    • Aside: This ability can only be held by Townies or Independents. For the Mafia variant, see Hitman. For the other Anti-Town variant, see Killer.
  • Vote Drainer
    • Phase: Night
    • Target: Living Player
    • Effect (Preventative): The Target's vote counts for one less for the following Day.
  • Vote Locker
    • Phase: Night
    • Target: Living Player
    • Effect (Manipulative): The Target is unable to unvote for the following Day.
  • Voyeur
    • Phase: Night
    • Target: Living Player; Cannot Self-Target
    • Effect (Investigative): The Voyeur receives a list of abilities that affected the Target that Night.
  • Watcher
    • Phase: Night
    • Target: Living Player; Cannot Self-Target
    • Effect (Investigative): The Watcher receives the name of each player that affected* the Target that Night.
      • *: The Watcher does not learn about secondary targets.
  • Wingman
    • Phase: Night
    • Target: Living Player; Cannot Self-Target
    • Effect (Preventative): The Target's active abilities automatically fail. The Wingman automatically fails if a Roleblocker/Prostitute sharing alignment with the Wingman is alive and successfully uses its ability that Night.
  • Witch Doctor
    • Phase: Night
    • Target: Living Player; Cannot Self-Target
    • Primary Effect (Conversive): The Target gains the alignment Serial.
    • Secondary Effect (Creative): The Target loses all active abilities and gains Killer.
 
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