Commonly Asked Questions on Mafia Theory

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Ankamius
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Post Post #125  (ISO)  » Wed Nov 25, 2015 10:21 pm

First, you have to understand why they have the read that they have in the first place. If it's a gut read, try to get at least what posts they're gut reading.

Once you know why they're reading someone the way they are, find how their thinking differs from yours and find out why they went that route instead of the route you took. Double check to see if it matches up with the facts in the thread (hint: this is how you read Titus).

There's no real way of being less vague than this since a lot of the methods used depend on the personality of the other person, how people generally read you in that game, the gamestate, etc. It's just something you have to practice to get a feel for how it works.

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Post Post #126  (ISO)  » Wed Nov 25, 2015 11:06 pm

"Figuring out who the scum are is only the first part of the game, the rest is convincing everyone you're right." -Someguy Onmafiascum

I butchered that quote, but I think I read it in a sig a while back...
Ankamius is right.
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Post Post #127  (ISO)  » Fri Aug 19, 2016 1:42 am

I have a simple question.

If there is a clear cop and clear Vig, given there is no doc/bodyguard/other saving roles, who should Scum kill and why?
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Post Post #128  (ISO)  » Fri Aug 19, 2016 2:36 am

depends on what the vig's reads are like. if the vig is likely to shoot town, then kill the cop. if the vig is likely to shoot scum, kill the vig.
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callforjudgement
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Post Post #129  (ISO)  » Fri Aug 19, 2016 12:54 pm

Speaking from a purely mathematical/EV point of view, if there are an even number of players going into day (thus an odd number at the start of the night), shoot the cop, if there are an odd number of players going into day (i.e. evens at the start of the night), shooting the vig is better if close to endgame; shooting the cop is more viable the more players are still alive (although if you know that you can kill the cop tomorrow, you should still shoot the vig). (Note: I'm assuming NAR here: if shooting the vig prevents them from taking their shot, which is nonstandard but something that does happen in some games, the odd/even argument swaps the other way round, and makes shooting the vig a little more helpful in every case.)

This is because a cop confirms (as clear/scum) one player per night, whereas a vig confirms two players every two nights (because after the vig kills two players who would have been ynched anyway, that's effectively skipped two night phases; this gives you a spare mislynch which confirms the player you lynched and also confirms the player the scum nightkill). The cop's confirmations are more useful than the vig's confirmations because they're all aimed by town (as opposed to only half being aimed by town), so in the long term the cop averages as more helpful to the town. On the other hand, shooting a vig while the town's on odds will cause the vig shot to put town into evens, which doesn't help them at all, whereas leaving the vig alive another day would let the vig put town back to odds and give them another two confirmations. So while town's on odds, shooting the vig lets you strand them at an unfavourable player count, giving a short-term advantage. This is more useful than stopping a Cop shot close to the end of the game (and is more useful than stopping a Cop shot if you know you can get rid of the Cop tomorrow). Earlier in the game, it's probably worth taking advantage of an opportunity to get rid of a Cop if you aren't sure you'll get another one, because Cops will give the town a very large advantage over time.

In a real game (as opposed to the mathematical idealization), there are a few other factors to deal with. For example, do you know that the Cop is a full Cop? They're rather more likely to be limited-shot than a Vig is (and likely to have a lower limit when they are limited), and shooting a Cop that's out of shots hardly helps you. Another thing to deal with is that vigs rarely follow the optimal strategy (barring Jesters and the like, the correct shot for a Vig is to shoot whoever they believe is most likely to be lynched tomorrow); if a vig is acting as a loose cannon rather than playing as part of their team, and if their reads aren't great, leaving them alive may be helpful (because if a Vig shoots a townie who wasn't otherwise going to be mislynched, it only helps scum). You also have to take the players' reads into account (if a town power role is likely to investigate and/or shoot you in the near future, you probably need to kill them before they kill you).
scum · scam · seam · team · term · tern · torn · town

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Post Post #130  (ISO)  » Fri Aug 19, 2016 2:50 pm

In post 129, callforjudgement wrote:Speaking from a purely mathematical/EV point of view, if there are an even number of players going into day (thus an odd number at the start of the night), shoot the cop, if there are an odd number of players going into day (i.e. evens at the start of the night), shooting the vig is better if close to endgame; shooting the cop is more viable the more players are still alive (although if you know that you can kill the cop tomorrow, you should still shoot the vig). (Note: I'm assuming NAR here: if shooting the vig prevents them from taking their shot, which is nonstandard but something that does happen in some games, the odd/even argument swaps the other way round, and makes shooting the vig a little more helpful in every case.)

This is because a cop confirms (as clear/scum) one player per night, whereas a vig confirms two players every two nights (because after the vig kills two players who would have been ynched anyway, that's effectively skipped two night phases; this gives you a spare mislynch which confirms the player you lynched and also confirms the player the scum nightkill). The cop's confirmations are more useful than the vig's confirmations because they're all aimed by town (as opposed to only half being aimed by town), so in the long term the cop averages as more helpful to the town. On the other hand, shooting a vig while the town's on odds will cause the vig shot to put town into evens, which doesn't help them at all, whereas leaving the vig alive another day would let the vig put town back to odds and give them another two confirmations. So while town's on odds, shooting the vig lets you strand them at an unfavourable player count, giving a short-term advantage. This is more useful than stopping a Cop shot close to the end of the game (and is more useful than stopping a Cop shot if you know you can get rid of the Cop tomorrow). Earlier in the game, it's probably worth taking advantage of an opportunity to get rid of a Cop if you aren't sure you'll get another one, because Cops will give the town a very large advantage over time.

In a real game (as opposed to the mathematical idealization), there are a few other factors to deal with. For example, do you know that the Cop is a full Cop? They're rather more likely to be limited-shot than a Vig is (and likely to have a lower limit when they are limited), and shooting a Cop that's out of shots hardly helps you. Another thing to deal with is that vigs rarely follow the optimal strategy (barring Jesters and the like, the correct shot for a Vig is to shoot whoever they believe is most likely to be lynched tomorrow); if a vig is acting as a loose cannon rather than playing as part of their team, and if their reads aren't great, leaving them alive may be helpful (because if a Vig shoots a townie who wasn't otherwise going to be mislynched, it only helps scum). You also have to take the players' reads into account (if a town power role is likely to investigate and/or shoot you in the near future, you probably need to kill them before they kill you).


Thanks, that's very helpful.
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Post Post #131  (ISO)  » Fri Sep 09, 2016 4:08 pm

Question for anyone about a game not happening on this site for a mod to answer.

A lightning rod ability was used directing night actions to a specific player. How does that affect someone using a sensor ability? Would I still allow the sensor ability to go through or does it fail because of the lightning rod?

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Post Post #132  (ISO)  » Fri Sep 09, 2016 4:15 pm

You know, the rule against talking about ongoing games applies to games anywhere, right? If one of your players happened to come across the post it'd give information about the game.
Last edited by callforjudgement on Sat Sep 10, 2016 2:26 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Post Post #133  (ISO)  » Fri Sep 09, 2016 4:17 pm

I apologize. I'm fairly certain none of our players are on this site at all and I am very sorry for making my question public.

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Post Post #134  (ISO)  » Fri Sep 09, 2016 4:28 pm

I'd deleter it. Better safe than sorry

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Post Post #135  (ISO)  » Fri Sep 30, 2016 9:45 am

When playing as a jailkeeper, is it generally more advisable to play 'like a roleblocker' or 'like a doctor'?

My strategy when I had this role in a newbie game was to play like a doctor until one maf was lynched, then play like a roleblocker, but I'm not sure how this compares with how others play.
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Post Post #136  (ISO)  » Fri Sep 30, 2016 10:46 am

If you are the target, be a roleblocker. If anyone else is, do whatever.
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Post Post #137  (ISO)  » Fri Sep 30, 2016 3:59 pm

Normally the roleblocking part of the role is more important. Catching scum is normally much more valuable than saving town. It's easier to predict the nightkill target than the nightkiller, but the actual gains from a protection are much lower than the gains from a roleblock on scum. (The main exception is normally when you're protecting a power role, but jailkeepers can't usefully protect power roles anyway.)

The main exception I can think of is when there's a player who's an obvious nightkill target based on dayplay (someone leading the town, etc., who is thus probably VT) and there's an even number of players. That way, you can gain yourself a mislynch and keep a strong player alive, at very little cost.
scum · scam · seam · team · term · tern · torn · town

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Post Post #138  (ISO)  » Sat Dec 17, 2016 7:30 am

Not a theory question but role question-

Can hiders who target scum be saved if also targeted by a doctor? Or does that work differently in the hider role?

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Post Post #139  (ISO)  » Sat Dec 17, 2016 7:42 am

In post 137, callforjudgement wrote:at very little cost.


Can you talk about this more?
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Post Post #140  (ISO)  » Sat Dec 17, 2016 8:33 am

In post 138, PantherPunt wrote:Not a theory question but role question-

Can hiders who target scum be saved if also targeted by a doctor? Or does that work differently in the hider role?


My intuition says no
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Post Post #141  (ISO)  » Sat Dec 17, 2016 12:16 pm

In post 139, LicketyQuickety wrote:
In post 137, callforjudgement wrote:at very little cost.


Can you talk about this more?

The main costs here are the opportunity cost of not using your role to block scum, and the (minor) chance that scum track/watch your ability and use it to gain information about the gamestate that can be used against the town (e.g. by killing you and preventing you catching them in future). Those are pretty small compared to gaining a mislynch and keeping a strong town voice alive.
scum · scam · seam · team · term · tern · torn · town

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Post Post #142  (ISO)  » Sat Dec 17, 2016 5:14 pm

In post 138, PantherPunt wrote:Not a theory question but role question-

Can hiders who target scum be saved if also targeted by a doctor? Or does that work differently in the hider role?

If the doctor targets the same scum, then possibly.

A doctor targeting the hider directly would fail.
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Post Post #143  (ISO)  » Sat Dec 17, 2016 5:32 pm

It's probably just best to conclude that nobody has a clue how hiders work :-)

One of the main reasons they were made not-explicitly-Normal is that there was no sort of consensus on what the role actually did.
scum · scam · seam · team · term · tern · torn · town

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Post Post #144  (ISO)  » Sat Dec 17, 2016 5:42 pm

In post 143, callforjudgement wrote:One of the main reasons they were made not-explicitly-Normal is that there was no sort of consensus on what the role actually did.
Not for lack of trying, mind you. I could probably dig up three or four topics at minimum between MD and the NRG private forum where we did what we could to try.

(Still bitter my idea wasn't accepted, though. It was rational, it made sense, and it was what most moderators who want the role to be pragmatic use. Treating the role like a commuter, with the modification that if the person they're hiding behind is shot at the hider also dies was perfectly sensible, since all it'd take to include the bit we've tended to associate with hiders of them dieing behind scum is to add an accepted modifier of 'weak' and bingo! Weak hider = a pragmatic, sensible role which could see good use in a game.)

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Post Post #145  (ISO)  » Sat Dec 17, 2016 7:09 pm

In post 138, PantherPunt wrote:Can hiders who target scum be saved if also targeted by a doctor? Or does that work differently in the hider role?

Generally, the doctor wouldn't save them, not sure I've ever seen a case where that would be the case actually.
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Post Post #146  (ISO)  » Sat Dec 17, 2016 7:17 pm

In the deflect-a-copy-onto-self variants, you'd expect a Doctor targeting the scum in question (i.e. the Hider's target) to work and save the Hider (because the role gets copied), much like a Weak role can be saved by a Doctor. Not all Hider variants work like that, though.
scum · scam · seam · team · term · tern · torn · town

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Post Post #147  (ISO)  » Sun Dec 18, 2016 9:35 pm

In post 138, PantherPunt wrote:Not a theory question but role question-

Can hiders who target scum be saved if also targeted by a doctor? Or does that work differently in the hider role?

Given how hiders can't be targeted, probably not.
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Post Post #148  (ISO)  » Sun Dec 18, 2016 9:44 pm

Am I totally wrong in thinking Hiders should be compulsive?
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Post Post #149  (ISO)  » Sun Dec 18, 2016 9:51 pm

Nothing should be compulsive

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