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lyfe
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Discussion Starter #1
How to Play Mafia

Mafia is a simply concept to grasp and is fun to play once you get the hang of it, but it can be frustrating, challenging, and confusing for beginners. Hopefully, this thread will help if you don't know how to play, but are interested in doing so. I also recommend talking to experienced players as well because anyone who has played before will tell you that the best way to learn is by playing more games.


Signing Up
If you're around the Mafia forum enough, you will notice sign-ups threads going up every once in a while. To sign up for a game, enter the thread and follow the host's instructions (which usually are to post stating your intentions to play). You are pretty much guaranteed a spot by doing this, unless there are no spaces left or the host doesn't want you in their game. In this case, you might be put in the replacement list to replace in for an inactive person.


Role
When the game starts, you will receive a PM from the host that is your role. Your role is who you are in the game. It tells you your character (99% of the games here have a theme, so therefore, you will be a person from that theme), alignment, your goals, and what kind of abilities you have. You are not allowed to quote this information with anyone or screenshot this information to anyone unless specified in your role. You can, however, give details about your role in the thread, but please be careful to not break the host's rules by doing so. Note: Your role doesn't mean you roleplay, unless it says so in your role (which sometimes can be something known as a post restriction).


Alignment
There are three main alignments in the game of Mafia - Innocent, Mafia, and Individual (any other colour). The majority of the Town (players in the game) will be Innocent Aligned. Please be aware that the Town may also specify only Innocent players. If you are Innocent, this is generally a good thing as you are considered a good guy. The Innocents are trying to get rid of everyone who is not Innocent aligned.

A small group of players form the Mafia (Mafia Aligned). Every night, the Mafia has the privilege to kill one player in the game. The Mafia wins when they make up at least half of the players remaining because of their ability to make a kill every Night. Please be aware that the Mafia know who each other are, and therefore, have the ability to communicate and strategize with each other. This is different from being Innocent Aligned because if you are an Innocent, you have absolutely no idea what alignment everyone else is unless you find this out via an ability in your role.

Then there is Individually Aligned, which speaks for itself. If you are Individually Aligned, you're in it for yourself and are trying to get rid of everyone else. Note: Just because there is more than one Individual in the game does NOT mean they are aligned. In some cases, there are 'other factions' that don't fall into Innocent or Mafia (and therefore, they can be perceived as being Individually Aligned), but in other cases, you will not be aligned with anyone but yourself. In almost all cases, a person who is Individually Aligned is the same as Innocent Aligned in once concept - they have on idea what alignment any of the other players are.



Day Phase
The day phase usually lasts about 24 hours, but it can be much shorter depending on the outcome, but can also be extended much longer if the host wishes (or if the host goes MIA, which is very possible these days). During the Day, the Town (all of the players in the game) will hope to achieve a lynch. A lynch is when the majority of the players vote for the same person to die. To vote for someone who you want to lynch (and if the majority is reached on that person, they will be killed), you must post this: Vote: Name. You can also post it as this: Lynch: Name.

If, at any point during Day, you wish to change your vote, you must post this: Unvote/Unlynch: Name. This will help the host heaps and bounds for when they are making a vote count to see if majority has been reached on a certain player. Also, you must bold your vote so that the host is able to see it, which again, helps the host out quite a bit when tallying the votes (creating what is known as a 'vote count').

Once majority has been reached on a certain player, a writeup will be made by the host and he/she will make a post that recaps what has happened in Day. Usually, the person who the town just lynched will end up being killed (because that's the purpose of lynching them). However, the person who you just lynched may have a special ability that could save them, or another person could have an ability that they could have used to save them. Regardless, the whole point of Day is to get together as a Town and try to lynch the non-Innocents. On the contrary, please realize that you don't know who the Mafia/Individuals are, and so they will try and blend in with the Innocents. This means that they could be guiding you to lynch one of your own, so that's where 'scumhunting' comes in (trying to find out who the Scum/Mafia are based on their gameplay).



Night Phase

You may notice that there is far more activity in the thread during the Day than there is at Night. This is because everything that occurs at Night takes place through PM. In your role, it will say if you have a special power or ability that you can use at Night, and if it's Night, that's the time to use it. In order to use your role, PM the host with what you wish to do. Please note that a role shouldn't be taken lightly - it can affect the entire game. Also, if you have a role but don't wish to use it (you don't have to use it unless specified that you must), let the host know anyways so that he/she isn't waiting on you.

Once the deadline has passed (the host will specifiy the deadline, don't worry), a post will be made that recaps the events that occured during Night. If your role doesn't involve killing someone or being killed, it won't be revealed what you did (so for example, if you chose to investigate someone, it won't say that in the writeup).

So that's all there is to Mafia, and hopefully, new Mafia hopefuls are reading this and thinking that it really isn't as confusing as before. Of course, there is actually playing the game where you need to use your wits and observations to make effective decisions, but I can't teach you that as you will only learn from playing games.

If you have any further questions about how to play, please ask in the Host List/General Discussion Thread. If you are an experienced player and feel I should add/change something with this thread, please let me know.



 

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Friends Come And Go,Banners Hang Forever
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This is really old, but this is DocBlue's response how to play well as town/just play in general and I think it could help any new players that want to improve/understand how others play:

DocBlue said:
Mix of things really. Main thing I'm not afraid to do is put myself out there and potentially make myself look foolish which a lot of people don't tend to do. (I wouldn't really include you/some others in this) Then again I tend to die early anyway so no need for me to keep most of my reads to myself.

You put out your reads and yeah you might get killed for them but at least you have reactions from people to go off/look back on. I can also adjust reads even though I can be stubborn which is something I've had trouble with in the past. NOTES help as in all things although these days I mostly use them for noting results/flips/soft claims/claims rather than actual reactions.

That just helps with gathering information/reads for later though really. I do need scum flips for the most part to be able to work off of. Once scum flips I usually go through post histories but not just their's, if they had a wagon on them or anything like that or I remember someone interacting with them I'll try to go through those pages and see what I pick up. Main place I get my reads are interactions and you sometimes pick up on things you might have missed before. I guess I can't really explain it fully but you just see some posts which a certain someone couldn't fake or wouldn't post if they weren't thinking like town (hence why I hate hunting indy's/multi-scum too because they can make these sorts of posts).

I've made a decent year generally out of reading the less experienced players because they're easier to read than the likes of you for example and more likely to make a mistake or a post without thinking about it. (probably a reason I struggle as scum)

Conversely to the above certain people post a certain way/make posts as town which make it obvious they're thinking like a townie which helps with POE. I start POE as early as possible really, it becomes a case of if I can't rule them out as town then they can be scum and this is who I focus my efforts on. Results etc. help whittle those numbers down. The group of townies I have aren't always set in stone and if I see something that makes me doubt myself I'll obviously re-consider but mostly if I've seen enough to convince me they're not scum that'll be enough until I'm forced to re-think. It kinda goes without saying that POE should become easier the further you get into the game.

Like I said a lot depends on the player. Gambit could make the same post as you in a game but I could see it differently. This is why I often can't rule you out as scum, likewise for a number of other players but that group tends to be a minority.

Sorry if that's long. That's the jist of it I suppose. Meta comes into it a bit at times but not very often in all honesty and there can be an element of luck/risk but as a whole I've been pretty successful doing the above. I've gotten lazier as a player due to work etc. but my lazier approach probably has made me a better player than last year. Maybe I looked too much into things before, or maybe I've just gotten better at reading people/situations idk.

I might be forgetting something but yeah that's how my games go. Sometimes I'll look to instigate something in a phase and sometimes I'll take a backseat, it depends what's happening/my mood.

tl;dr - Generate discussion etc. yourself if you need to, POE early, look for genuine townie posts, re-read interactions, hope for decent results.

What a load of rambling nonsense
 

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Aggressively White
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6,003 Posts
There isn't much of the video worth watching past the beginning. I agree with what they say at the start where they mention that it's not necessarily a town players job to hunt scum in the same way mafia would kill town. I do disagree later on when they say it is always the fault of the town player getting mislynched as opposed to the town who mislynched him. There are some cases where the town player is at fault for getting lynched e.g. end of game when they've been inactive and POE bones them, but on a larger scale it's poor advice. They do mention later on about fake-claiming cop, but this is obviously pretty useless as like nearly every game has a cop. Maybe if they changed it to fake-claiming JOAT or something it would be more applicable to this section.
 

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Premium Member
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This is really old, but this is DocBlue's response how to play well as town/just play in general and I think it could help any new players that want to improve/understand how others play:
Can you offer some basic/general tips to playing as scum? I wonder if there are just too many scum playstyles for that
 

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Friends Come And Go,Banners Hang Forever
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Can you offer some basic/general tips to playing as scum? I wonder if there are just too many scum playstyles for that
coincidentally, curry literally asked this same thing last night so here was my response to him:


Self analysis of your town game would be a good way to do it. Every time you make a town read, make a mental note(or literal if you want lol) of why you think that person is town and same thing for when you think someone is scummy. It doesn't matter if the read is right or wrong, as long as you know why you think that way or your own thought process behind it. Once you verbalize how you would think to someone else and how you arrive at your reads you should be able to mimic it.

Other things to keep note of is why people town read you and why people scum read you when you're town. See what things people are accusing you of being scum for when you're town and you'll know what patterns or styles to avoid as scum. When people read you as scum when you're scum those errors might exist or whatever in your play, but no one should really read you as scum when you're town. Being able to recognize why others are misreading you and why they think you're scum is a good way to avoid being seen as scummy. The challenge is every one typically finds you scummy for various different reasons so I'd focus on those that catch you most often or you think have the best cases against you. e.g. if Doc always catches you as scum then noting any time he misreads you when you're town and his reasons for that will give you insight into the sort of thought process he goes through to conclude you're scum.

I don't know if you want more than this or if this even helps lol. I'd say find whatever you might think is fun about being scum. Surely there is some aspect of deceiving others or mimicking your own thoughts/personality is somewhat appealing to you in some way?


I think the biggest thing in improving as scum and to make yourself a great scum player is to recognize what other scum players and teams do wrong, from what they do wrong in the thread and what they do wrong in the QT.
You are a good town player, you should be able to recognize what things are allowing you to read another player as scum. Now what I don't know is if you understand what they did wrong from the onset and from the scum qt perspective. When I first started playing I'd read every scum qt, which I think I've said. I didn't read them to see what people said about me, I did it to understand why scum do what they do. Why they kill who they kill, how they react to certain claims and player actions, whatever. I wanted to recognize how scum react to situations and whether their reaction fucked them over and got them caught or if they reaction helped their team. Improving from other people's downfalls and mistakes is the fastest way to improve as scum as you don't even need to be scum to improve, just need to be good enough as town to know what they did that got them caught.


For someone that's a top town player there are also just general things you need to avoid. Odo aside, I never make it known that I can read anyone with any sort of consistency. Doddsy asked who we thought we read best and worst in a quicktopic awhile back, I didn't answer. Not to be malicious, but because it would hurt my scum game if I did answer. Someone might think I can read them well, but no one knows if I can read someone else well. For example during LC's streak of reading skybox correctly she made it known she could read him and the sort of setups she would do to read him. That made it for easier to read HER when she was scum because faking that sort of read or even just being incorrect about it would hurt her. During this same time I read skybox correctly every game as well and it started before her tell did. I knew his tells too, but I just never made it a point to announce that I was reading him with consistency. People can't know if you can read others well, it can be used against you.

Even general things. I know you do interaction lists well and can usually make sense of where you're coming from with those interaction lists. If you were to fake one as scum and something was off it would be pretty easy to spot and attack you for it. Compare that to me. Do you know what I'm actually good at as town? There's nothing really specific to it, is there? Here's what people might say I'm good at: "being active, giving reads, and driving discussion". Great, I can do all that as scum.


The last thing is making sure you always have a plan of action. Odo thinks I don't plan because I don't lay out what I'm thinking because I don't care for others to know how I think and operate, but you can see it in old scum games. Scum want mislynches. That doesn't mean you need to necessarily lead the mislynches, but instead guide town into doing it themselves. Like when poyser and I were scum together, there were two wagons and to ensure the wagon we wanted to go through was pushed I told him to vote on the opposing wagon. Poyser was suspicious. He voted that wagon and people then voted on the wagon we wanted. You want those mislynches to open up more mislynches. You want to minimize the amount of town confirmed from said lynches and you also want to ensure your town reads, as any top player will have, won't have you flip flopping without cause or reason. If you have a strong town then you're going to have to deal with that person just being town to you and not just flip flopping if they start pressuring you. Odo does this a lot where he'll just go back on his town reads to OMGUS when he's scum because he values self preservation so much that he thinks he can just talk his way out of town read and make that person into a scum read. Sure that might fool some lower tier players, but it's so easy to see through any time if you're going up against any good players.

the problem here is that I never actually struggled like all of you. For whatever reason there is a disconnect in other top tier town players progression as scum and my own. Not saying I'm the only two way player, but the others typically are better at scum than they are as town or got great as scum before they got great as town(such as cp/fitz/poyser for example). People would tell me what they thought made me "obvious" scum and I'd fix it or switch it up.
 

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Yeah that's what instigated it. Me and Curry talk shit behind everyone's backs ALL THE TIME.

Nah thanks for that. Interesting to hear how you did it. A lot to digest for sure. Are you saying I should change up my Town game, or at least the interactions lists that I sometimes do? I know I didn't do them in my previous two games but I hadn't planned on giving them up entirely
 

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The Sundance Kid
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Nobody thought to ask the Best Scum Player? :hmm:

Btw even though I had a lot of great scum performances last year (and often despite being the only one on my team trying), I think I'm equally good as either alignment. I have a lot of great town performances too I just tend to have no filter and vomit every thought I have which makes people think I'm off-base more often than I actually am.

Anyway I agree with Magic.

Actually there's a lot about kill selection and how to use roles as town or scum that I could talk about. Maybe I'll edit this post later!
 

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Friends Come And Go,Banners Hang Forever
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Yeah that's what instigated it. Me and Curry talk shit behind everyone's backs ALL THE TIME.

Nah thanks for that. Interesting to hear how you did it. A lot to digest for sure. Are you saying I should change up my Town game, or at least the interactions lists that I sometimes do? I know I didn't do them in my previous two games but I hadn't planned on giving them up entirely
I might have wrote that wrong. I did the reading qt things to improve as town, I just realized there was an overlap in what I was learning that could be applied to my scum game. I just had to do what they didn't do.

It helps I had a lot more incentive to do well as town than all of you do. The chip on my should was bigger than a boulder. :side:
 

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CHAMPION
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Nobody thought to ask the Best Scum Player? :hmm:

Btw even though I had a lot of great scum performances last year (and often despite being the only one on my team trying), I think I'm equally good as either alignment. I have a lot of great town performances too I just tend to have no filter and vomit every thought I have which makes people think I'm off-base more often than I actually am.

Anyway I agree with Magic.

Actually there's a lot about kill selection and how to use roles as town or scum that I could talk about. Maybe I'll edit this post later!
Ye, sucks when that happens :mj
 
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