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Mafia Philosophy

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Couldn't post this until after my death in Gen I:

When caught in a lie as scum, say nothing and shut down, so that nothing you say can be used against your teammates.

Also, post a lot of Lolcats. Lolcatting is good.

When "scum checked" as Town, defend yourself, but focus more on scumhunting in your last few hours before you get lynched. Your biggest trump card in these instances, and the best argument you have against your accuser is your flip.
 
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Also, it's a good idea to ask the person being hit by the lynch train as many questions as possible to get the most info possible out of their lynch.
 
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1. Analyze why someone says what they say.

When trying to get a read from posts alone, always focus on why a person says the things they say. You might be tempted to say, "But they said they were mafia! That's a tell, right?" Ignore that temptation. One player saying they are mafia is not the same as another player saying mafia. Sarcasm is a thing, so even someone literally claiming to be Mafia is not important without the intent behind it. You might be tempted to say, "But it's just words. How can you get anything from that?" Ignore that temptation. Actions may speak louder than words, but speaking itself is an action with intentions and goals. Why haven't they mentioned a certain player much? Why did they say that when they did? Why are they afraid to take a stand with their views, adding "but I dunno" to the end of their posts? Are they prodding for weak spots or actually pushing lynches, even unpopular lynches? Each player's wincon will show through in the narrative of their thought process.

Assuming that all or most town players follow the above advice, the following should hold true:

2. Look for gaps in the narrative.

Conversely, watch out for players who focus on whats instead of whys. Because of the position the Mafia are in, they do not have to think things through as hard as town and as a result cases made by Mafia are more likely to call another player out for making a "bad play" instead of tin foil hypothetical-ing the thoughts behind the plays they made. "This post hurts town's cause" is less useful than "this post seems to have anti-town intent". The first post is not a scum tell, but say a player only ever makes posts about the content instead of the intent. Since Town want to find scum anywhere they can, even the most asinine critiques get considered seriously, so soon after a scum makes a lazy content-based observation, some Town could come up with a theory to justify it, and both the blame and effort for the case are taken off the scum who started it.

Therefore a corollary of the above advice is that if the narrative created by a player's posts skips from one content-based argument to the next or seems to jump around opportunistically, you can conclude that they are not actually hunting for Mafia and could be Mafia instead.

What focusing on what looks like:
Player A: "I wouldn't do that as scum." (Self-meta)
Player B: "Appealing to WIFOM-y self-meta is a scummy thing to do."

^ B appears to be casing A on the surface, but doesn't address why they think A himself appealed to self-meta in this particular case. If another player counters B, B can easily back off with "I guess self-meta isn't always scummy". Since the argument is so distant, it is hard to get strong reads on A, B, or the A-B dynamic from this interaction.

What focusing on why looks like:
Player A: "I wouldn't do that as scum." (Self-meta)
Player B: "A is smart enough to know that self-meta isn't adding anything to the discussion, so they must be making that argument purely for defensive reasons."

^ B clearly feels strongly about their argument and has offered the thoughts they think were behind the post. It would be difficult to backtrack on such a personal critique, allowing people to form valuable reads on A, B, and the A-B dynamic.

In other words: Content is general. Intent is personal.

Your mileage may vary. As ME says below, any scum who knows about this will adapt to give whys. Another pitfall is that even when you're sure that someone is falling into a what pattern, they could just be a Town who doesn't care enough to think things through. These are guidelines, not sure fire tricks to win. Be aware of that as you read.
 
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Useful, but not always accurate. Some of us always like to ask why, regardless of whether or not we're mafia.

Example: in Build-It Mafia, I convinced everyone I was town because a player made a bad move, but instead of jumping on the lynch wagon to off the player, I explained why he could have done that move from a town mindset. I backed the lynch off of him and got another player mislynched, and then NK'd the first player, throwing suspicion on quite a few different people, which directly led to a third, and final, mislynch and a perfect scum victory.

However, problem is, I do the same exact thing as Town.

Example: the same player made another suspicious looking move in Gen I Mafia. I completely backed him and attempted to explain to other players why he was town. Since said game isn't over, I don't know if he truly is Town or not, but the point is, I was Town (I got lynched, so no spoilers there), and I continously asked myself why people would say what they said from a town perspective. I based my answers on meta and likelihood.

Bottom line, whether scum or town, ask lots of constructive questions. As scum, don't be afraid to give out the occasional town clear on a person you know is town of it will help your case or your game in the future, especially if that player did something suspicous. Just make sure to have a damned good reason why you think they're town.
As town, be mindful of people who give clears for little to no reason, even if the person they were defending does turn out to be town. If the mislynch happened for a good, sound reason, and yet a particular player claimed to believe their Towniness for seemingly little to no reason, you've likely found scum.
 
Some kind of mercenary
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Useful, but not always accurate. Some of us always like to ask why, regardless of whether or not we're mafia.

Example: in Build-It Mafia, I convinced everyone I was town because a player made a bad move, but instead of jumping on the lynch wagon to off the player, I explained why he could have done that move from a town mindset. I backed the lynch off of him and got another player mislynched, and then NK'd the first player, throwing suspicion on quite a few different people, which directly led to a third, and final, mislynch and a perfect scum victory.

However, problem is, I do the same exact thing as Town.

Example: the same player made another suspicious looking move in Gen I Mafia. I completely backed him and attempted to explain to other players why he was town. Since said game isn't over, I don't know if he truly is Town or not, but the point is, I was Town (I got lynches, so no spoilers there), and I continously asked myself why people would say what they said from a town perspective. I based my answers on meta and likelihood.

Bottom line, whether scum or town, ask lots of constructive questions. As scum, don't be afraid to give out the occasional town clear on a person you know is town of it will help your case or your game in the future, especially if that player did something suspicous. Just make sure to have a damned good reason why you think they're town.
As town, be mindful of people who give clears for little to no reason, even if the person they were defending does turn out to be town. If the mislynch happened for a good, sound reason, and yet a particular player claimed to believe their Towniness for seemingly little to no reason, you've likely found scum.
You are right, but would it have went quite as well for you if the rest of the players followed that advice as well?
 
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Probably not, which is why I'm giving said advice. I'm not here to win every game I play in, I'm here to have fun and, in whatever small way I can, help make other players better at scumhunting or blending in as scum to enhance their gameplay.

...although I can pretty easily fake tinfoil hat wearing townie, since I happen to own a tinfoil hat...mostly for ironic purposes, mostly.
 
Some kind of mercenary
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Probably not, which is why I'm giving said advice. I'm not here to win every game I play in, I'm here to have fun and, in whatever small way I can, help make other players better at scumhunting or blending in as scum to enhance their gameplay.
You're overthinking it, I think. There are two distinct pieces of advice in my post.

First, in your own head, you should think about why people do what they do. Even when another player questions a wagon from a "why" perspective, you should ask yourself why they would do that in this scenario.

Second, if you find someone who is focusing on the what, examine why they aren't thinking quite as hard as you are.

If every Town does the first piece of advice, it makes it significantly harder to pull off pretending to do it as Mafia. In other words, your critique assumes they don't follow the first piece of advice but do follow the second, choosing to skip to the corollary for a get-good-quick fix. Haha.
 
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In other words: Content is general. Intent is personal.
I approve of this. Finding personal intent is how I've found most scum, and portraying it in a good manner for deceit is how I've managed to be seen as Town plenty of times. If the personal intent is questionable itself, it's worth looking into. Why would they do this? Who could they be doing it for? Why is this their belief? Why do they do/think X but not Y?
 
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Curious hosting question. What do you guys think of a role that can change the role owner's wincon mid game? Would it be bastard? or normal?
 
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Curious hosting question. What do you guys think of a role that can change the role owner's wincon mid game? Would it be bastard? or normal?
If they know about the role it wouldn't be a bastard one, as they could prepare for the potential win condition change beforehand in what they say and do. If they didn't know about it, it would be bastard.
 
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I can see where both Mak and ME are coming from; what Mak says is indeed correct for most games, but in practice, there are role-madness outside-chat games in Bulbagarden in which not all townies have to care enough to think things through.

*takes notes on how Human plays as scum*

Human explained it to Aussie pretty well; I'll just give examples. There was a game, Switcheroo Mafia, in which it was explicitly stated in the OP that sometime in the game there may be a re-randing of role PMs. SWRMM, though, had a pair of lovers in which, had one of the lovers died, the other wouldn't die but become an independent Arsonist instead. That was bastard imho and I've told Elie that... HOWEVER, if the town wincon was not retracted, meaning they would get 2 alternate wincons, it would be fine.
 
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Elieson's game was actually the reason I asked. A town lover that instead of dying becomes an indep vengeful or serial killer (Or similar) does sound interesting to me, but I wasn't sure if it'd count as bastard.

Thanks.
 
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A little more about my mafia philosophy, for future reference:
I am a fatalist. I always assume that I'm going to die early on in the game, whether I'm town or scum. As such, I try to accomplish as much in as little time as possible. Both as town and scum, that means solving the game, but my definition of solving the game is the distinguishing factor.

As town, my definition of solving the game means finding scum, since I don't know who's who. Roleclaims and finding out other people's roles is just a means to that end. It's as simple as that.

As scum, my definition of solving the game is discovering the power roles and/or who to kill. We don't want to accidentally try night killing a Bomb or a PGO, after all. As scum, I already know who my teammates are, barring the occasional hidden traitor (ala RMafia), but even in the case of a hidden traitor, finding out roles is the key to solving the puzzle.

As I said in the game analysis of 100 Mafia, bop read my intentions perfectly on D2, and, although I died, I view that phase as a success since both flavor cops, the doctor, the masons, and the hacker all hardclaimed or softclaimed in that phase. That was a lot of useful information for FA and Mido to work with, and resulted in the Doctor being roleblocked almost every single night afterwards, effectively making him useless.
 
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What happens if a game comes down to a Bus Driver and a Mafia?

Would it be an automatic win for town, as the Bus Driver could just switch the two remaining players and get the Mafia to kill himself?

Or would we have to count for possibilities such as the Mafia shooting himself, or the Bus Driver not using his role?

If it's the latter, that would be the ultimate case of WIFOM.
 
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Bus drivers don't always redirect kills, but if they did it's probably be best to wait and see how the night actions play out.
What about a setup left with Mafia and town vig/granny/bomb? Does that end in a loss for both, or a win for the town since they have technically killed the mafia?
 
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Bus drivers don't always redirect kills, but if they did it's probably be best to wait and see how the night actions play out.
What about a setup left with Mafia and town vig/granny/bomb? Does that end in a loss for both, or a win for the town since they have technically killed the mafia?
Personally, I'd call that a draw.
 
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What happens if a game comes down to a Bus Driver and a Mafia?

Would it be an automatic win for town, as the Bus Driver could just switch the two remaining players and get the Mafia to kill himself?

Or would we have to count for possibilities such as the Mafia shooting himself, or the Bus Driver not using his role?

If it's the latter, that would be the ultimate case of WIFOM.
It would irresponsible hosting to call the game automatically, as there is a wide variety of potential outcomes including the ones you noted.

Always: "When in doubt, play it out."
 
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Bus drivers don't always redirect kills, but if they did it's probably be best to wait and see how the night actions play out.
What about a setup left with Mafia and town vig/granny/bomb? Does that end in a loss for both, or a win for the town since they have technically killed the mafia?
In this case, if it's an active role like Vig, then play it out because maybe somebody won't submit a night action. If both submit a night action, it comes down to action priority.
If mafia kill has priority over vig kill, mafia wins. If vig kill has priority over mafia kill, town wins.

If you're dealing with a Granny/PGO/veteran passive role, I believe they get priority over all active roles. For example, a cop or information role doesn't get information from their investigation because they die first.
Flavor of the role implies that they shoot before the "visitor" gets close, so the "visitor's" action doesn't have time to occur. Town would win in this case.

In terms of a Bomb, that's the opposite of a Granny in that it requires the kill to happen on it before exploding, in which case, technically, the last townie dies before the last mafioso, making it a scum win.

This is all just my interpretation of these particular roles, though. Other variations might exist.
 
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