Opinions on vote-based roles (and your unpreferred roles)

I am just genuinely curious. If I were to make a setup with many vote-based roles (e.g. Doublevoter, Restless Spirit, Thug, Vote Stealer, Conditional Vote-growing, etc.) and mechanics, would you be interested in playing it?

Would you join a (heavy) vote-based setup?
  • Yeah, sure. I’ll join.
  • I don’t mind joining. Though, I don’t know if I actually will, let alone if I can.
  • No. I really don’t like these kind of roles.

0 voters

Additionally, I would like to ask something else: I noticed in the most recent April Showers Overhaul that some roles were unfun to play as.

For example, Martyr was designed to die so Mafia can access the anti-claim -which was straight-up bad designing in hindsight-, and Lich was immortal as long as Martyr was alive which can be seen as Town members getting punished for doing their job of scumhunting.

Aside from these roles, are there any roles which you dislike from my past setups, or role archtypes which you simply wish to avoid to encounter?

Note that I want to take note of which roles I should avoid, so (lack of) mechanics such as the anti-claim in April Showers Overhaul are hereby not taken to account.

I generally dislike percentage roles, particularly impactful percentage roles, where something important can or can’t occur depending on a metaphorical roll of the dice. Furthermore, while other roles seem like cool concepts, they sometimes promote weird playstyles (like the Spartacus Backup) which might end up annoying other people.


What if said roles were designed to promote weird playstyles, as a form of “cost” for activating their (presumably powerful) abilities?

I see it as an odd form of deterrent for people to use their abilities, but I generally always keep an open path for people to ignore the role in rolemadness, so they can play the game as Pseudo Vanilla. (Keyword: “generally”)

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If the so-called weird playstyles were fun for other players in the game, I would agree with that. Having one player fluffpost half the day can be frustrating, though.

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Well… If we are still talking about Spartacus Backup, then I’ll see this as a skill issue. After all, all you had to do to activate that ability is counterclaim and refuse to elaborate. Over time, people will more or less get the gist of what’s going on, and after you inherit the role, you could always explain the situation.

If we’re talking about something else, then I wouldn’t know what you are thinking of. I don’t think I have made a role (in FoL) that would promote players to fluffpost because of their role activation requirement.

I was employing the use of an example in order to get my point across.
Your interpretation of the Semi-Priest role halted the player with that ability from using an inherent VT ability, the power to vote first, in return for complete night immunity, which is problematic because the benefit outweighs the cost so that player just misses out on doing something forever.

Yes! Such is simply “the cost of that ability”.

The player may opt to give up “night immunity” in exchange to “vote first” …if they deem that the latter is actually worth giving up the former.

I love roles like these where “the player is given the option to use their ability” or “forsake it entirely to ensure other actions (which do not necessarily have to be related to using their ability) can be / will be executed”.

…do you perhaps wish to avoid roles like these in the future?

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This is a very broad category, but generally, I’m not huge on high-impact roles that rely on subjective moderator calls to function.

Subjectivity can be okay in very limited amounts - for example, what counted as a “claim” to be “counterclaimed” in the Spartacus Backup was subjective, but the consequences for messing that up were just… not getting to use that particular power on that particular day, and if we fumbled, we could just try again. The call there wasn’t going to win or lose the game.

However, the claimvig in the recent Strategem game was high-impact and high-stakes - the subjective calls on what counted as a claim there decided who lived and who died; they could win or lose the game for a given team, and very much did define the structure and outcomes of the game.

(This isn’t just about Strategem, either, I’ve encountered and been frustrated by this kind of role plenty in the past - the one that stands out to me most from memory is a Lovers role where the players could win with any faction if they were both alive at the end of the game, but could not “throw” their main wincon to go for the Lovers one, resulting in a litany of questions to the GM about “okay, is outing your mafia teammates throwing, how about just bussing them, how about asking them not to kill your lover, how about, how about…”, which made it feel like the whims of the GM were the thing standing between us and winning, not the other players.)

Subjectivity can work for me in some cases, but it has to

  1. be low-impact, not directly deciding something like a free kill in a low-power game or a win condition
  2. be unavoidable for a role to function; something like a claimvig could be redesigned to work on player calls guessing someone’s role, the Spartacus Backup kinda had to have some level of “okay, this counts as a counterclaim”, and
  3. have a good payoff; introducing subjectivity is a sacrifice, and the role that requires it should be novel and interesting - something like a vanilla claimvig isn’t really worth the frustration of relying on mod calls.

Obviously, what level of subjectivity is acceptable is up to individual preference… one might even say it’s subjective, but I definitely think it’s something that should be thought carefully about before being introduced, y’know?

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I would say that that kind of tradeoff can be very interesting, but there’s specific cases where the trade is balanced such that you have to choose between being mechanically optimal and having fun.

Mechanically, being night-immune is a small price to pay for not starting wagons. There’s no reason to ever give up your concrete ability in order to have that extra influence over day outcomes, so it’s not much of a decision.

Socially, starting wagons is like, one of the most fun things you can do in mafia. It’s the easiest way to exercise influence over the game. Not being able to start wagons just… makes it feel like you’re less of a participant in the day phase. Being night-immune isn’t a particularly fun power unless you can take advantage of it to make your voice loud, which not being able to start wagons prevents you from really doing.

I’d say it’s the combination of the two powers that makes the Semi-Priest not a particularly fun role to play as: to play mechanically optimally, you have to give up your influence in exchange for never dying, knowing that unless the game’s a sweep, you’re going to be alive in F3 and forced to make that miserable decision. It extends the quantity of game days you’re going to experience and reduces the quality of them. That’s a frustrating trade to make. If you want to have fun, you have to throw the game.

Everybody, please note that this is a general statement about mafia and not one on the mechanics of this specific role. I am not only advocating for gamethrowing, I am stating that it is an emotional and even moral obligation. Keep this in mind.


Hm… I see.
Say, what are your thoughts on the following type of anti-claim? More specifically, its wording.

Words that are written like these are interchangeable, so they can be anything like 2-Shot or Success-Burnout, Strongman Vigilante or Vanillaizer, etc.

Is it perhaps too powerful when worded like this? I want for it to be able to trigger the ability if people were truthfully claiming concrete roles such as “Neighbor”, but not claims such as “I have an outside-thread communication with this and that player” because the latter doesn’t necessarily specify what the cause is of the ability; it does not mention “my role gives me the ability to do this and that”.

If it was claims such as “I prevented the last night’s kill”, then I would like for those to be uneligible for the anti-claim as well, because it does not specify how they claim they prevented the kill; it could be healing the target, preventing visits from the target (e.g. Rolestopper), roleblocking the assigned killer, or something else.

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I have two opinions regarding these parts.

Firstly, I feel like what you said about this is subjective, because they don’t apply to me.
Whenever I play mafia, I have the most fun winning rather than “actively participating in the thread” by voting first.
This is a social deduction game; there are still other stuff to do other than voting, namely talking, discussing, and debating.
You don’t have to “throw the game” and you don’t have to be loud either as long as you aren’t silent.

Secondly, I genuinely wonder why people haven’t been fakeclaiming more. For example in April Showers Overhaul, Achro fakeclaimed about getting an investigative item from beancat, which was an outright lie to bait scum into attacking him when it actuality it was a protective item.


Well. Even if it was an investigative item, I still wonder why people went after him when it was revealed that there were Doctor Masons around…

After it was determined that the anti-claim is unaccessible (which I already admit is an inherently flawed design) Achro revealed and confirmed what beancat’s ability entails.

My point is: Why aren’t there more instances like these? Clearly you don’t need to tell the truth. I am not saying you need to double down on claiming Neutral either, but I think people ought to be able to lie about their roles enough that it won’t be “unfun” which is what you imply would happen when roles such as Semi-Priest tells the truth about their role.

I think this can be explained. While you’re correct in saying that not everyone should be expected to tell the truth at all times, since there is always the possibility for a lie to sabotage one’s own side, anyone that wants to lie needs to be willing to take on that risk and responsibility. Especially if you intend on maintaining the lie instead of retracting it, because then people are going to hold it as being true.

This site doesn’t have a culture of fabrication and falsities. Most people understand that Mafia is a team game and play it as such. As a villager, lying might mislead a few evils, but you’ll also be misleading a lot more villagers. That’s okay if you can carry that burden, but not everyone is able or willing to.


Yeah, fair. I think the specific intense “this role makes it impossible to play the game” is a case of Maystyle - starting wagons is my favourite part of the game, dying is my favourite thing to do, I don’t give a shit about mechanics or winning, I just love making arguments.

… but I also think that the generally negative impact of the role on one’s fun is more universal. It would probably be at best a fun-neutral role for a player with your preferences… but I still think a fun-neutral role is not ideal.

Changing the tradeoff of the Semi-Priest to something that rewards active participation in the game would probably still make it a more entertaining role, you know? More than what I said before, which was, as you noted, mostly based on my personal preference, I’ve realized one of my big issues is this: the Semi-Priest takes away an active ability, starting wagons, a mode of participation in the game, in exchange for a passive ability, being night-immune, something you have no control over and don’t Do. That removes agency, which removes interaction, which removes fun.

Now, this kind of active-for-passive tradeoff could work okay if the decision was something that would ever be mechanically “worth”. Then you’ve at least got the interactiveness of “do I make this trade”, but as-is, it… just… doesn’t ever feel like starting a wagon is going to be better than being night-immune, so it doesn’t really feel like a trade you should make. When the role was actually in play, it was only by accident that the player with it gave up their immunity, and it ended up being a negative for their faction.


So your main criticism is that it wasn’t as cool as the original Semi-Priest fakeclaim, gotcha.

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I will remind you that we’dve not been swept if you let us execute Zorvo D1. But yeah, “try not to get this person executed” is active gameplay, and so having the active gameplay of hammering taken away from you feels like a fair trade entertainment-wise, despite being entirely negative utility winning-wise.

We weren’t swept.

Oh, right, Neon. She was bussed. Doesn’t count. Effectively a sweep (<-- Coping about being wrong)

And Jaiden.

Oh, right, Jaiden. She died after I did. Doesn’t count. Effectively a sweep (<-- Coping about being wrong)