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The Mafia Series: Townsperson

Updated on March 19, 2015

Goal

Firstly, if you don't know what mafia is, or how to play, see my previous hub

The goal of the townsperson is to figure out who the mafia are and kill all of them. You will know you are a townsperson if you have a red number card (or whichever card the host designates as townsperson).

In the night, everyone with a "special role" (doctor, inspector, mafia, etc...) will be asked to open their eyes and carry out their role at some point. The townspeople will have their eyes closed for this entire interval. The townspeople will never open their eyes in the night. Instead, the townsperson must leave their mark in the day.

The goal for the townsperson is to eliminate all the mafia members. Then and only then can the townspeople win. There's plenty of strategy involved in that along the way, and that's what the rest of this hub will dedicate itself to.

Society of the Machine

When a power hungry robot named Sudokus tries to take control of the galaxy, Earth becomes the last safe haven. It is then up to the humans, and what else is left of the rebellion throughout the solar system, to try to halt Sudokus’s progress. But Sudokus won’t easily be stopped, as he is fighting for more than imperial gains. He is also fighting to preserve his immortality.

Follow Leon’s journey as he attempts to save himself and his planet from being forever ruled by a machine while simultaneously trying to answer the question of whether the corruption of a robot would be any worse than the corruption of the people in power on his own planet.

Society of the Machine

Society of the Machine: Leon
Society of the Machine: Leon

Like Science Fiction? Like supporting independent creators? Please consider purchasing my book.

 

Basic Strategy

There's really only one question the townsperson must ask themselves, but I'll stretch it and say there are two.

1) Who should I vote dead today?

2) Who can I trust?

Only the first question will need answering, but in the course of the game, you'll often find yourself asking the second question, so I may as well include it.

Who should I vote dead today?

Simply put, you vote the mafia dead. Now, how do you know who the mafia are? In the beginning you won't. Well, in theory, anyway. Just the other day, for example, the host had taken a long time to call for the mafia to open their eyes, and one player burst out and said "Are we ever going to be able to open our eyes?" Me being the keen player that I am immediately knew that he was mafia. Why else would he say "we?" Clearly the we referred to him and the other mafia player in the game. I was right in my guess, but I had also been killed the first night, and couldn't say anything. No one else picked up on the clue and it nearly cost us the game. My point is, pay attention to small things like that and you can sometimes get a clue as to who the mafia are.

Sometimes you'll have no idea. In a case like that, I prefer making "wild" accusations. Let me explain. There's two levels to wild accusations. The extreme version is making a wild accusation and then actually killing that person. Don't do that. Rather, make the accusation and then observe. If a few people immediately jump on the bandwagon, they are probably mafia just looking for an easy kill. If the person you accuse gets overly nervous, then they might be mafia. If neither thing happens, then ask the person "Why aren't you mafia?". If they give a suspicious answer, then take note (some people just can't answer this question, so keep that in mind, but some people will give themselves away--it's easier to answer this if you're not actually mafia, but it's never an easy question because you can't ever prove anything).

The other thing you can do is just pay attention to other people. If they're talking either excessively or not at all, that's usually a reason to be suspicious. If they're making reckless accusations with the intent to follow through, that's reason to be suspicious. Pay attention to people's wording too. If someone refers to the townspeople as "them," that's reason to be suspicious. Play long enough, and you'll notice all these things and then some.

However, as you play the game, actual clues and hard evidence will (usually) emerge. Whether it's something someone says, something someone does, or just a logical conclusion from a string of events, eventually you should get a sense of who the mafia are, and then you should kill them. Part of killing someone means getting a majority of people to support you. How do you do this? Present them with your logic. If you have strong enough evidence, you should be able to sway them. For example, if you notice two people keep voting together, then explain that you've noticed this trend, and you should be able to build a coalition around this evidence. If someone opposes your logic, they may be mafia, which leads to the next question.

Who can I trust?

Simply put, not the mafia. This question is pretty closely linked to the first, which is why there's really only one question, but it's still worth giving some extra attention. Mainly, when someone makes a strong accusation, how do you know if there trying to mislead you, or if they know something? It's tough to say. Many of the greatest games have been decided by whether or not one townsperson trusted the right person. My best advice is to always take a step back. It's easy to get caught up in the narrative someone else weaves, but just take a moment to consider "Who do I think the mafia is?" Justify your vote for yourself before you justify it for someone else. Also, you can generally trust someone who comes out as the doctor or the inspector if they came out at least one day before. Mafia who are playing the long game will only claim to be townspeople, because that can't be disproven nearly as easily. The real doctor and inspector would come out at some point if they mafia claimed it anyway. If the person says they're just a townsperson, be skeptical.

Be skeptical in general. When it comes to figuring out who to trust, there's no science. My biggest piece of advice is just to never blindly follow. Even those with good intentions can sometimes mislead.

The Original Link Broke...Enjoy This Video Instead

Video

This video is unrelated, but it since so much of this game is rooted in psychology, I thought it would be interesting to include. I find it holds true while playing mafia that people generally assume you're lying. Then again, there's a decent chance that you are.

Advanced Strategy

Inspector Alliance: (This has been copied from the inspector hub. It's told from the inspector's perspective, but you can imagine it from the townsperson's perspective).

This one involves some cooperation. In the first night, inspect the person next to you. If they are not mafia, then in the day, you must find a way to secretly tell them that you are inspector (you under no circumstances may show them or anyone else your card though). They may not believe that you're inspector, but they hopefully will when you present as evidence that you already inspected them and know for certain that they are not mafia (If you think about it, they're are ways for the mafia to cheat this system, but that's why I'm not guaranteeing the success of these strategies--they're just things I have seen work in actual games). Now that they know you are inspector, you must get them to agree to pretend to be inspector. The subtler the better. You, as inspector, want to feed them all your information, and then have the other person try to influence the group as if they were the inspector. This serves two purposes. Firstly, if the mafia get suspicious, they'll kill the other townsperson instead of you, and it's better for a regular townsperson to die than for the inspector to die.

Secondly, and more importantly is this: let's say there are three townspeople (none of which is the doctor) and two mafia. You must kill the right person and you know one mafia. Get the false inspector to "come out" and then the group will (hopefully) vote to kill the right mafia. In the night, the mafia will kill the false inspector, knowing the doctor is already dead. However, you, as the true inspector, will still be alive and will now only have two people to inspect (two of the original five in this scenario have died, and you obviously know your own identity). Either you'll pick the mafia, or you won't, but either way, you'll know who the mafia is between the two options. In the day, you come out as the true inspector and reveal the final mafia. Now, the other mafia may also claim to be inspector, but at least you'll have increased your chances of winning.

If not, kill me next: Have you figured out who the mafia is, but no one will believe you? Tell them, "If I'm wrong, then kill me next." Now, if you use this line, know that you have to be right, or you will die (99% chance). However, this is a good line to keep in mind.

Talk, but Listen: If you don't say anything, people will take that as a sign that you're the mafia. So you don't want to do that. However, if you talk too much, people will also take that as a sign that you're mafia. But, also, if you talk too much, you'll miss important clues. Therefore, it's important to find a balance. As a rule of thumb, don't dominate the conversation. If there are eight people, take up about an eighth of the conversation. A little more if you have a good hunch, but try not to do too much less.


Question

What's more important: You're side winning, or surviving for as long as possible?

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