Rant 3: Follow that lemming!
Its good to be the verified. It means everyone will blindly listen to everything you have to say and just flat out ignore every argument raised by whomever you want to lynch. Everyone will just run behind you right off the cliff.
Oh, and don't bother leaving a comment to tell me that lemmings don't mass suicide by running off cliffs. I'd prefer to do this without the peanut gallery pointing out flaws in my metaphors. For the rest of this rant, and quite possibly as long as I continue to see this happen, I will refer to people who follow or lead unwise lynches as lemmings. If you don't like that you can die in a fire.
I define lemmings specifically as people who don't put enough effort into picking their lynches. A lemming will often either pick someone at random, perhaps on a hunch, and let other lemmings all pile on their votes at once and then demand the hammer and/or threaten to kick. Being right or wrong is a pure matter of chance here.
The obviously cleared lemming
A situation where you have an unskilled player who is cleared is a dangerous one, because it often reduces your chances of success to random guesswork and 50/50 chance. Chance, as some know, is a hobby of mine. I like to play with numbers. Numbers have always made perfect sense to me, and I am frequently quite good at figuring them out. By the way, a bit off topic but a good way to give me a disguiser test is to give me a math problem to do in my head. something like this is the sot of problem I'll eat right up and go into great detail explaining.
Where was I? Oh right, numbers. Numbers are what I am good at. As a result, I traditionally don't like random lynching unless the town can afford a miss-lynch (Although I have come to accept that no argument I can make in a game will convince people to use their common sense rather than go random) Frequently, the numbers don't favor the town. What astonishes me most is when people assume the numbers are better than they really are. Many times I've seen people look at 5 players, 2 of which are scum, and declare that by random lynching, the town has a 25% chance of winning. Lets assume there are 2 scum remaining, and for the sake of argument, we have 1 cleared at the moment and no protection for them. 5 players alive, its lylo. Naturally, the cleared is going to be forced to try and pick correctly for that days lynch. This gives the cleared a 50% chance of success by numbers alone. In the event they pick wrong, game over. In the event they pick right, we go to another day where, assuming the cleared is dead by now, we have a 33% chance of picking the right scum by chance alone. This is in actually a 16.5% chance of town victory just from chance alone. Not particularly good odds, although a single hunter claim improves them This is why using reasoning is often so important in such a situation.
There is only one thing I find more frustrating than being lynched as a townie under the reasoning "Its random". And thats being lynched as a scum under the reasoning "Its random". Reason being is that often times I will be putting forth genuine arguments of why someone else is acting more scummy than myself (Sometimes even attempting to buss my buddy when doing so if I'm scum) and nobody is even willing to discuss anything, in favor of raw chance and sheer dumb luck. At least when I'm a townie I get the pleasure of saying "I told you so" after its over.
What the cleared should be doing, is getting everyone else to try and argue who they think is scum and provide reasons before they point a finger at anyone. Reasons are very important here. There is no logical reason why a cleared townie should turn a deaf ear to their town's voices.
Getting input from everyone is important because it gives people something to argue about and discuss. And the game as a whole is much more fun when there is something to discuss. I refer back to my prior argument about raw numbers, and point out that if everyone has blindly been doing what the cleared player has told them, then nobody is accountable for their actions. This is when it comes down to chance alone, and nitpicking over null tells such as "You should lynch them because they idled for the much of yesterday just after they said they would be sort of away from the computer because their girlfriend just called for them." If you have nothing, man up and say you have nothing and its come down to random. Don't go looking for null-tells just because you can argue them. Lynching me, or anyone else for that matter, over a null-tell like that will very likely irritate the hell out of me. Unless I'm about to get laid by the aforementioned girlfriend, in which case I really don't care what you do anymore.
The unclear lemming
This is a bad one too. There is no discussion, someone shouts out a name, and everyone wants to speed-lynch them. Especially frustrating in games with a warlock. The problem here is that once it looks like a large enough bandwagon has formed that everyone can vote for that person, too many players are basically afraid to unvote and ask for an explanation. Reason being that if they unvote and start to ask, this is viewed as defending their scum-buddy and not only will rarely prevent the lynch (Unless there is a really good reason to change involving a power role claiming), but in the event that the random lynch was correct, the town will be gunning for the person who asked "Why?" next.
Often times, someone ends up taking charge. I find this sort of thing good, though I prefer if everyone gives input. When a single person who isn't cleared takes charge, they shouldn't be blindly pointing fingers. They should be making arguments based on reason, asking everyone for their input, and basically working primarily to keep discussion going rather than leading to any specific lynch. The flip side here is, often times the argument of "I don't like the way XXX is trying to lead the town" is raised against a person trying to keep discussion moving. Then again, that same action can be argued as "XXX has been contributing more to the town", so, its a double edged sword which could go either way depending on who you play with.
The unclear lemming who everyone thinks is clear
This is the worst kind of lemming. Its a flawed assumption to think that someone is clear because of their actions or claim. This holds especially true in setups with a Janitor, No Flip setups, Cults, and setups with a Yakuza. A claimed tracker who offers a guilty in a setup where a simple lack of a counterclaim isn't proof of anything. The problem here isn't the one who everyone assumes is clear, its the ones who blindly follow them without questioning it. Admittedly, asking for context, even in meetings, often has little meaning among the experienced players. But its important to note that no amount of experience can give a player precognition. Tracker reports, for example, should be provided with the context of the death, and preferably the first person talking as well. The faster all of this can be offered, the less time they had to put it all together in notepad. Its frustrating when an investigation role will take time before they paste their reports because that time might be spent frantically working to fake context correctly.
To the guy who is getting lynched by a scum people assume are clear
Stop spamming. Give meetings or reports once, along with your claim. Give your reasonings of why you're not scum and the other guy is. Explain things. But for all of our sakes, don't paste your meeting or report into the chat 50 times per minute. This just pisses people off.
The trusting lemming who can't make up his mind.
This one is pathetically stupid. I see it more often than I should, but some people who have the opportunity to lead the town will blurt out their first guess, who will claim to not be scum. The leader accepts that this person must be truthful, and goes with his second guess, who does the same thing. This continues until the leader has concluded that by process of elimination, the scum must be the people he hasn't accused yet because they haven't claimed town. I honestly am speechless at this one. It doesn't make any sense that they would accept the first instance of "It's not me", but not the second or third. People who do this strike me as extremely scummy, and I would likely push their lynch if they were not already cleared. In any event, its actually less helpful than being random, because frequently it "clears" the most scummy people first.
How to avoid a lemming situation
This is whats most important, isn't it? Avoiding the unfavorable situation that becomes a plague on the town. The best way to avoid this is to have some actual discussion, where everyone gives who they suspect, who they don't suspect, and their reasons behind all. Understand that I started playing mafia games on a forum, rather than on a fast paced chat client. We also use day starts where I come from. Nearly every game starts with nobody having anything. It often devolves into what we call the "Random Voting Stage". Random voting is where everyone accepts that nobody has anything solid, all finger pointing is weak, and it doesn't end up carrying much weight later in the game. This can go on for a while until someone finally casts a serious vote in response to something someone did Throwing their vote on every fair sized cluster of votes, pushing a no lynch, being exceptionally annoying, ect.) Which is quickly met by people either agreeing, or disagreeing. In any event, it is very rare that the first or even second bandwagon that forms actually holds until the end of the day. If you wonder what this accomplishes, then it does nothing more or less than give the town things to discuss the next day. Who accused and defended who. Who died. Who the person who died defended and who they accused. Why would the scum pick that specific person to kill? And so on.
You're the leader now
Its good to be the one everyone follows. But, as I said above, you have a responsibility when you're given this honor. Take the time to ask people questions. Remain aloof, and unwilling to give your own suspicions until others have given their input. Ask people who they would lynch if they got to pick the lynch. If you really want to mess with some heads, try asking an unusual question like "What if you were scum and XXX was your buddy? What answer would you be giving me then?"
Someone else is leading
Sadly, there is often very little you can do in a situation like this. Especially if whoever is calling the shots becomes mad with power and wants to do it all themselves. What I've tried to do, on occasion, is to force discussion. I'll give my opinions, with no regard to the fact that nobody asked for them, and demand that they be responded to. The problem that happens sometimes is that this forceful style of generating discussion can easily be called scummy.
Setup 1213 - Dont lose yo village!
It seemed a pity that I went this entire rant without actually referencing this setup again. I do like this setup, so don't misunderstand me. The problem is that its very easy to fall into false presumptions here. There is never a cleared player in this setup. Certainly arguments can be raised to support some things. For example, if someone claims hunter when there are 2 scum remaining, its safe to assume you don't want to lynch them that day, you want to wait until you have 1 scum remaining to lynch them. When you have a tracker posting a Yakuza visit report, there are always three possibilities:
All options should be considered by all players, and actions should be taken into account when determining who you believe. For example, the speed in which the tracker report is pasted, and if they took the small amount of additional effort to copy a little context as well. A tracker who gets such a guilty should post it as fast as possible. The longer it takes, the more doubt there should be.
Don't let yourself become a lemming. You were presumably born with a mind of your own, and it wouldn't kill you to use it every now and again. Read the game. Form your own opinions. Make them known. If everyone would do this, I guarantee you that the quality of the games we play would rise. However, my hopes are quite dim on such a world. I fear that occasional speed-lynches and deaf ears will remain synonymous with playing here.
Teksura is trying way too hard. He must be scum.