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General Mafia theory discussion

adumbrodeus

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This is a thread for discussing the theory behind the game of mafia, anything that affect how the game is or should be played goes here.



THIS IS NOT FOR SOCIAL DISCUSSION!

We have a thread for that.


Current topic: RVS


Ok, I was recently reading this over:

http://www.mafiascum.net/forum/viewtopic.php?f=5&t=13710

By Statusquo on MS. I am always for RVS and pushing it forwards, but this focus on the main points and I think it makes it clearer to me. I want to know everyone's opinion on the RVS. I encourage the newbies to state what they think of it too.

===============================

Stat's main points are:

1. Always make the person accountable for their actions in RVS
2. Try to limit how much randomness occurs in RVS
3. Ask people questions about a person's actions in RVS
4. Take a stance on a tell that would be otherwise NOT SCUMMY later on after RVS
5. Push players to put out a vote in RVS.

===============================

So sometimes players do stuff in RVS and others call them out, and that person may say "Oh it was just an RVS vote so I didn't really have a reason to do that". Others may say "Oh it's RVS y so srs? Ligthen up" which doesn't help the RVS advance. Some players like to vote the same person in every game as a tradition, which also doesn't help the RVS move forward. It irritates me a bit. :urg: I like to vote different and/or new people because I only have one vote, and would rather use the opportunity to get a reaction from that one person instead of voting the same person over and over again because their reaction may be predictable.

Here is an example where I try to attack a newbie [Completed game] and he refutes with:



So questions. What are your thoughts on the article? Would you vote the person in this quote? What do you think of RVS in general? How is the usual flow of the D1's you play, are they rich with information, or fluff? Does how someone handles RVS effect how organized the D1 is? (sorry if i'm not clear) [If you want to guess my alignemnt and his, go ahead]

One more thing. I remember Zen stating that he was always srs in RVS in FE. I didn't like his argument for finding Gord scum, but now that I think about it, I DO think his actions were pro-town in slating to a serious environment where it would be hard for scum to hide. : D How OS and friends got away, I do not know. (Ok, I had a town read on him, sorry X1)

GO!
 

vanderzant

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Alright I'll bite.
Idc if we don't have separate threads or not. Post count isn't an issue here and it's not as if active games aren't always at the top of the thread list. Adum/mods could use this as an index/summary and just update the first few posts with main points from other discussion. Like, if Ryker/EE are going to make a discussion thread, adum can just summarise the best parts into the OP of this. Whatever really. I like discussing mafia theory.


I'm a big fan of using RVS correctly (and Day 1 in general) and will smite those who think Day 1 is a "policy lynch" day, or a "we don't have concrete info yet so we can't find scum" phase of the game. I'm sure none of you think that way, but when I first played here I saw this dumb mentality all the time.

Some people call RVS the "joke phase" where people vote for no real reason. I think of it as broader than that. I define RVS as "the part of Day 1 before players get reads they are willing to act upon." If you have a scum read you'd lynch there and then, or a bunch of town reads you want to live to LYLO, you're out of RVS.

Edit: Shoulda read that link. A better definition for RVS: "The random voting stage is defined by a low amount of town information, so that all actions taken are a little bit random due to not being as informed as they could be. It is NOT an area of the game where it is ok to BE random, and where actions and votes do not matter because they are random. "

Anyhow, RVS should be viewed as a tool that helps Town start the game and build into serious discussion. Towns that fail to RVS properly quite often end up having a useless Day 1 mislynch. Deadline approaches and everyone is fine with Player A,B,C,D,E dieing and scum get away with not taking a specific stance. Policy lynches are the result of bad town play. If there are 6 potential lynch candidates, town needs to try harder. If the best reason you can find to lynch someone is "they're inactive", you're doing it wrong. I'm not saying inactivity is a bad reason to lynch someone, just that you should scum hunt and find better reasons.

There's a big difference between good and bad RVS. Bad RVS is where everyone makes "intro" posts, "joke" votes with no follow up, and some wise guy says "K RVS is over, serious discussion nao!!" Discussion after this is bland and no one does much to fix it.

Cartoon Cartoons Mafia is a good example of bad RVS, and consequently a bad Day 1 where Town mislynched the one player who attempted at breaking Town into serious discussion.

A good RVS is where players use their vote seriously (even if it is for "joke" reasoning, e.g. Swiss is always scum) and follow it up. Players wagon and are aggressive. Not everyone has to participate in RVS (and usually if 13 people are simultaneously going at it, it becomes a cluster **** of 500 posts no one wants to read). As long as some players are doing stuff, everyone can take stances on what they do. This snowballs naturally until the point where players get "reads" and the game takes off.

In the same manner that players should be willing to take strong reads in RVS, they should be prepared to change stances upon new information. A grain of salt approach is necessary. Example:

"Ran tried to vote the mod in RVS. I thought he was scum trying to avoid taking a stance, but he responded well to the wagon on him, and now he's taking stances on X,Y,Z which I agree with, so now I have him as town"

See? Just because you took a strong stance in RVS, doesn't mean you should hold that view for the rest of the game. That's tunnelling. You should be looking at the other 90% of what they say afterwards. In the context of RVS, Ran trying to vote the mod is the scummiest thing that's happened, so people act upon it. But things should happen after that, and there will be plays scummier than Ran's RVS vote, hence the "grain of salt" approach.

...

Forgot what I was trying to conclude with. tl;dr:

Be "serious" in RVS. Be spontaneous, don't shy away from gambits/weird play, but remember you don't need 13 people faking cop claims. Keep it brief unless you're getting reads from your actions. Not everyone has to "participate" before RVS can end. Put people at L-1 and see what happens. The point of RVS is not the silliness of votes, but the meaningful discussion and reads that eventually result from it.
 

vanderzant

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Freaking hell why do I bother, the post Ran linked says what I was trying to explain much better.

But man, the dudes at Mafiascum sure love to over analyse stuff. Why are they worried that RVS is perceived as a phase of the game? Nerds :cool:.
 

Overswarm

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RVS is for manipulating people and directing attention, regardless of alignment. Make bold statements or hide in the shadows, either way, your goal is to get people to act on your actions in such a way that you can accurately predict similar behavior in the future. Occasionally someone will slip up, but generally it's just gathering information so later you can see them not give you the same information later, and use that as a mark against them.
 

~ Gheb ~

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We should keep this theory discussion active because a lot can be learned. I'd like to mention a few things in regards to WIFOM so if anybody is interested in debating along that should be the subject of the next discussion :3

:059:
 

~ Gheb ~

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Swiss is useless as both town and scum, anybody who doesn't understand this needs to.

:059:
 

Evil Eye

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I still remember the day when people didn't know what the **** WIFOM meant but threw the term around literally all the time. I don't think we saw the beginning of the end of it until Mediocre called some people out in Bruce Willis Mafia. And that was just over a year ago.

It was a dark time.
 

Overswarm

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Instead of having vague discussion, how about we do specific scenarios and roles, and how to play them properly? I think we'd get a bit more out of that rather than saying things like "What do you think of WIFOM". Mafia is a game of situations. A townie claiming mafia could be the right call in one situation, even if it is horrible in all others.

How would you play this role effectively:

Time Travel Mafia said:
James Cole (twelve monkeys) – Town Paranoid Gun Owner



Paranoid Gunowner – Should anyone visit you via time travel, you will kill them them at the start of the following Day phase. (e.g., if on N1 a player visits you on N3 via time travel, he would die at the start of D4) They will only die if you survive up to that point; if you are killed in any way, your paranoid gunowner action won’t come through. This ability also doesn’t activate for any actions in the present; only time travel.

Guilty – After killing someone, you will then kill yourself.

Miller – Any investigative role will have you turn up as scum.

Win Condition – You win when Town has an undeniable majority over everyone else or nothing can prevent this.
This is assuming you know nothing else about the other roles. In my game there were no investigative roles, but T-block (who played this role) didn't know that. He was about as anti-town a role as you can get. His role was designed to make the player himself paranoid and cautious (which can arouse suspicion easily), and he can kill not only another townie but also himself. Given the mechanics of the game, it was impossible for him to kill mafia. So, from N2 onwards this role could take out two townies in one go. Heavy responsibility, and I wasn't sure the best way to play it.

T-block did a good job in not drawing much attention to himself, but I was wondering how it should be played if someone decided to accuse you, or if you felt you needed to take a leading role in the town.
 

X1-12

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Because in true WIFOM situations there is no indication at all to which of the possible outcomes is true. Un.less you want to take a 50/50 then just ignoring any wifom points is the best play
 

#HBC | Ryker

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Disagree. Analyzing the motive of putting the WIFOM out there can lead to much better odds than 50/50.
 

~ Gheb ~

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Disagree. Analyzing the motive of putting the WIFOM out there can lead to much better odds than 50/50.
^^^^^^^

Each WIFOM situation has an implied risk / reward ratio between the two outcomes and it's hardly ever 50/50. Think about how much risk it takes for somebody to set-up a WIFOM scenario and analyze what reward can be expected to resolve it. If you see that somebody could possibly gain pro-town credit from it while putting himself at very little actual risk it's very feasible to assume that there's scum behind it.

:059:
 

X1-12

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Say you are scum and during Twilight I hint heavily at being a doctor

If I'm a VT I'm basically running low risk/low reward

If I'm a doctor I'm basically running higher risk/higher reward



I don't see how the above can help you determine which I am.
 

Overswarm

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Say you are scum and during Twilight I hint heavily at being a doctor

If I'm a VT I'm basically running low risk/low reward

If I'm a doctor I'm basically running higher risk/higher reward



I don't see how the above can help you determine which I am.
Easy. As scum you take the path of most resistance towards your own personal goals. If your kill gets blocked when trying to kill the claimed doctor's big town reads, he's likely a doctor and you get to kill him. If they don't, the other guy is bluffing.

If there's no counter claim and no doctor flip, you're told that there isn't a doctor unless he was a mason or something of the sort.

WIFOM situations rarely have a favorable outcome for town. Scum just play the long game and they generally come out on top.


rkyer said:
Claim everything except that I don't kill non time travel roles. Be super town.
Aren't you setting yourself up for a mislynch when someone inevitably uses an ability on you?

And, more importantly, aren't you guaranteeing that scum will leave you alone? Keep in mind, you don't know that you can't kill scum. Your method seems to be incredibly favorable towards scum; they can't be killed by your night action, if they have a redirect they can then force a townie to affect you (leading to yours and their death or a mislynch depending on the action in question), and you start off with a ton of suspicion on you since you're a miller.

How is that helping town? That seems more like attempting to save your own hide and hoping Town goes along with it. It gives you a greater chance for survival if you survive the initial scrutiny, but it doesn't help town in any way from what I can see.
 

X1-12

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Easy. As scum you take the path of most resistance towards your own personal goals. If your kill gets blocked when trying to kill the claimed doctor's big town reads, he's likely a doctor and you get to kill him. If they don't, the other guy is bluffing.
I hear what you're saying but this has nothing to do with Gheb's post saying how the risk/reward can give an indication of which is true

Furthermore, your plan relies on getting your kill blocked? And assuming you know who the player who hinted at being a doctor will protect. Aside from this if I am a VT I could easily share town reads with the real doctor and this would lead you to assume I was the doctor since my town reads were saved.
 

#HBC | Ryker

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Yep, it's saving my own hide. You and I have had a conversation previously on what I think my hide is worth.

Not knowing I can't kill scum is a large part of why I would do it.

:phone:
 

#HBC | Ryker

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Depends on the player and the game and the flow of the game. There is no fix all. TBlock played it well.

:phone:
 

Overswarm

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I hear what you're saying but this has nothing to do with Gheb's post saying how the risk/reward can give an indication of which is true

Furthermore, your plan relies on getting your kill blocked? And assuming you know who the player who hinted at being a doctor will protect. Aside from this if I am a VT I could easily share town reads with the real doctor and this would lead you to assume I was the doctor since my town reads were saved.
It's unlikely for this to occur, and easy enough to know as a possibility prior to it occuring. It's not something scum would really be surprised by. There IS no risk/reward when a townie claims doctor; it's all reward.

If they are the doctor, you now know who the doctor is once mass claiming comes because there is like a 0.1% chance that a non-doctor will claim doctor, not be counter-claimed by the real doctor, and then during claims the real doctor will fake claim. That never happens, and for good reason; the only way it would is if they were masons.

If they are doctor, you can repeatedly kill his town reads to determine if he's the doctor. If your kill is blocked, chances are he is the doctor. I don't think there are too many scum players that wouldn't lose a NKill to kill a doctor with certainty.

If they are or aren't a doctor and you repeatedly kill his town reads and they AREN'T protected, well they set themselves up for a mislynch. Imagine if I claimed Doctor, said "Nich is town", and then Nich died the next day. Then I stop a lynch on someone else, loudly proclaiming they are town, then they die the next day. Then all scum has to do is say "How do we know you're a doctor? There have been absolutely 0 protections and all your town reads are dying". Then the doc has to claim who he protected in the past, why he protected them over his town reads, and eyes are towards him instead of scum.

If they aren't a doctor and they claim doctor, the real doctor would normally immediately counter-claim or, in some cases, counter-claim the day after. Occasionally you'll see a doctor do that because they are wondering if scum will NKill the claimed doc; when you DON'T do that, the doc will be assured he's got a scum under his thumb.

If they aren't a doctor and there is a doctor, sometimes the doctor will assume that player is scum but want to save themselves. It can be common for scum who think they will die to claim doctor; it's a powerful claim, like cop, that can save them.... and if someone counter-claims, scum can then kill that guy at Night, giving them an awesome NKill. So oftentimes the Doc will not counter-claim, but say things like "I don't believe him" and "I still think he's scum. Vote (whoever)!". Scum then night kill that person because A) it's incriminating to the person who claimed doc no matter what he flips, B) if someone is going to be the real doc, it's that guy, and C) if he is the real doc, when he flips the fake claimed doc would be lynched in record time.


For a townie, claiming doctor is high risk / low reward regardless of their role. Because the other townies can't know anything secret like roles, nor can they do anything about it but lynch, you're letting scum move the pieces on the board.

Best case scenario for a townie claiming doc, regardless of role? Town don't lynch them, and scum doesn't NKill them and instead manipulates the situation, eventually discovering if they are the real doctor or not. That's not the best situation you could get into, but it's the best in that situation.

There never will be a wifom situation for scum outside of lylo. In lylo, wifom can exist for scum. Otherwise? The winning move is to not play. Leverage the information in your favor and you are good to go.
 

X1-12

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I'm not talking about claiming doc at all. During late twilight saying stuff like "I hope everyone sleeps safe" etc etc. No town doc would claim to cc because at best its a softclaim. If you later try to lynch this player off their actions theyll just be like. Yeah i was trying to draw the nk because I'm a vt or I'm BP
 

ranmaru

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I try to stay away from wifom. Unless it's a very weird nk and I want to analyze it. : D
 

~ Gheb ~

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Nah, nothing wrong with staying away from WIFOM situations if you feel like it's beyond you. It's only stupid to make it a general maxime to stay away from it completely.

:059:
 

adumbrodeus

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Most of what you guys said isn't wiform, not really.

Just because it could be done by multiple roles doesn't make it wiform.
 

vanderzant

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Quick example: In Time Travellers, Nich tunnelled the **** out of Nabe, and then Nabe killed Nich.

"Nabe would of killed Nich to get him off his trail, therefore he's scum"
"But that's what scum would want you to think! Nabe would never kill Nich because it'd draw extra attention to himself upon flip! He'd most likely just continue to deflect Nich's tunnelling, therefore Scum are trying to frame Nabe and he's Town!"

So you ignore that ****.

Edit:

Another recent one: You claiming Treasure Mover in Detective. From my perspective, there was a 1 in 7 chance you were telling the truth, but for me to act on it would of been dumb.

"Ryker is trying to trick Mafia into targetting him at Night! Therefore he's town"
"But why would he claim like that as town? If he's scum he can scrutinise anyone who follows him, and townies generally won't follow him so he'll blend in easily. Or maybe he has a restriction and he's trying to hide behind his claim so he isn't outed! That's a massive boon to his team, therefore he's scum!"

Again, you ignore it.
 

~ Gheb ~

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Vand, there's a key difference between "regular" WIFOM [which is usually caused by a lie, a hypothesis or other unrealistic / false assumptions] and NK WIFOM.

In a regular WIFOM scenario you know who the causer is and you try to find out whether the risk / reward ratio implies that there's a scummy intention behind it or not. THERE IS NOTHING WRONG WITH THIS COURSE OF ACTION. It is absolutely not inherently scummy to create such a scenario and there's no reason to not try to resolve it unless you feel like the concept is beyond you. In fact, during my 2 1/2 years of playing this game on SWF I only saw *newbie* scum creating WIFOM scenarios [and usually not on purpose], while the majority of "regular" WIFOM scenarios were caused by townies.

NK WIFOM is the opposite - you have a case where the scummy intention is an integral, unquestionable part of the scenario and you try to outguess the action to find out who it was. Unlike the normal WIFOM situation where you try to figure out a solution based on the who an the what, in case of the NK WIFOM you already have the what an the solution and try to figure out the who. This is the fallacy and the WIFOM you should stay away from.

:059:
 
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