FM Academy: Revamped

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FM Academy: Revamped

Postby TheCow » Tue Sep 22, 2015 6:41 pm

Welcome to FM Academy!

Forum Mafia 101 - Basic Strategies and Tactics


Please do not post in this thread without permission from the thread creator. All questions, comments, and concerns -- or those looking for additional help -- can be sent to TheCow by PM or Skype (pie3066).

Lesson 1: Basics to Town Play
    In this lesson we will be covering basic tips for playing as town. This lesson will not be covering strategy but it will cover what one should or should not do when they receive their town role card.
Lesson 2: Basics to Scum Play
    This lesson will focus on the basics of playing as any role which is not town, including Neutral and Mafia. Tactics and strategy specific to either faction will be covered in later lessons, but this one is meant to help players who receive Scum role cards survive the Day Phases.
Lesson 3: Common Scum Tells
    This lesson will focus on what it means to make reads and how to do it, specifically from a Town perspective.
Lesson 4: How to Not Suck
    This lesson will focus on not being bad at the game.
Last edited by TheCow on Mon Feb 01, 2016 3:30 pm, edited 6 times in total.
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Re: FM Academy: Forum Mafia Basics

Postby TheCow » Tue Sep 22, 2015 6:49 pm

Lesson 1: Basics of Town Play



When people ask me how to “get better at being town” or “how to not get lynched as town” the first thing I always tell them is this:

“When you are town don’t “pretend” or “act” town. You are town so there is no need to put up a farce. All that you have to do is act in a way which you know will benefit the town at all times in earnest.”


Generally, the immediate complaint is that these players get scum read anyway. Here are some quick and dirty tips for being “town” as town.

  • If you are town, your role card probably says so on it. Remember this in every post you make and never lose sight of what your victory condition is: the elimination of all factions who are not Town.
  • Be active. Inactivity is either seen as a scum tell or the tell of a Village Idiot. If you are not active, no one will be able to get a good read on you, and you will be read as scum.
  • The FM meta right now involves pro-town players to ask questions such as “thoughts on X” or “top scum/town reads”. Attempt to understand why these questions are being asked. If you do not understand why these questions are being asked, ask the questioner straight away.
  • After you understand why questions are being asked, answer them truthfully. As Town you have no reason to lie, and as the homage goes, “lynch all liars”. Try asking some of your own questions in response and use them to build reads.
  • Begin building reads as quickly as possible. Does a post look scummy to you? Write it down and why. Keep doing this so when a player asks you for reads (which will happen) you can respond in a timely manner.
  • “Lynch all liars” and “lynch the bastard just to be safe”. If someone is lying about their role in the thread, lynch them. If a player is acting scummy or claims something they cannot be, lynch them. This is more of a guideline than a rule, as people can either be Jesters or just stupid, but these two rules work most of the time.

Something you will see newer players say a lot is “I don’t know what to comment on” or something to that effect. When someone sees this they might not necessarily see it for what it is (a new player feeling awkwardly out of the loop in the game, and being unable to comprehend what exactly is happening in the game) and accuse the player of deliberately avoiding posting on the controversial issues in the thread. If you do not know what to comment on, reread the last few pages of the thread and look for any posts that stick out to you. Look for anything that you think seems scummy, and try bringing that up. Alternatively, you could look to see if any players were asking questions, and try answering those questions. If you really have nothing else to comment on, then just post your reads. Reads contain a lot of information and by posting them without someone asking you to it will appear that you are attempting to better the town by presenting your thoughts on the game at least. Always post your reads.

Another thing that newer players, or players looking to get better at the game, ask me is, “what NOT to do as town”. There are a lot of things not to do as town, but the rule of thumb is do not do anything which will directly or indirectly work away from the town’s win condition. This includes a few of the following things:

  • Gambiting. Do not gambit. Typically, gambits involve lies or falsely presenting information. A player is going to see through your deception and call you out on being scummy. It is not their fault when you are lynch and flipped town, it is yours for gambiting as Town.
  • Do not do “reaction tests”. Many players do something scummy or stupid and just say “oh, it was a reaction test”. This is not a good idea, in fact it is the very definition of playing stupidly. Just do not do it.
  • Fake claiming roles which are not your own. Because you are lying, if you attempt to change your claim later or are caught in your lie, you will most likely be lynched.
  • Avoid lying to other townies. Remember, “lynch all liars”.

Do you have any questions? Comments? Disagree with any of the points I made? Send me a PM and I'll get back to you!
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Re: FM Academy: Forum Mafia Basics

Postby TheCow » Sun Sep 27, 2015 7:15 pm

Lesson 2: Basics to Scum Play


Don't claim neutral. Boom, end of lesson, we can all go home.





What is scum? Scum is any non-town role. What's that? You think Survivor isn't scum? Here, lets take a look at the role card for a second. Does it say "you are town" anywhere on it? No? You're scum. As said, scum is any non-town role, and despite converging victory conditions. The bottom line is, no matter what you are, you can win with a town loss and are therefore a threat to the town. This guide will be geared more towards the roles that cannot win with town or have victory conditions which contradict Town's.

On a more serious note, when playing scum attempt to play in a similar manner to how you play town. This means being active, making reads, and attempting to push a town agenda. The difference here is that underneath your town facade, attempt to undermine the Town's own plans. Here is what your agenda as Scum may look like:

  • Firstly, limit the amount of information Town has access to.
  • Secondly, attempt to eliminate members of Town to bring their numbers towards the number of current scum are in the game.
  • Third, After advancing your second objective, being eliminating Scum who's goals contraindicate with your own.
  • Fourth, buddy with other scum who's goals run parallel with yours.

Do not forget that the are above are your primary objectives. Do not lose sight of these objectives. If you do not do the above, you will lose because that is your win condition. Now that you know what you are supposed to do, bellow is what you should not do.

  • Do not reveal as Neutral early game. It confirms you as scum and makes you an easy lynch. There are some strategies which involve revealing as neutral and they can work, however if you are reading this guide, you likely do not know when or how to use them. Do not reveal as neutral.
  • Do not reveal other scum as scum when you are on the chopping block. Your goal is for the Town to lose. If you're a Serial Killer and you're going to die, why would you reveal a Godfather? You are both fighting the same enemy.
  • Do not reveal yourself as scum when pressured by the town. The only time your guilt should be 100% determined is when you flip.
  • Be active. You need to look pro-town to not be lynched, so make reads and post them as you would normally, however do not use them to further the Town's objectives.

If you are playing as Mafia or Neutral Evil roles which have allies, make sure to use your allies. By coordinating with them, you are increasing your odds of winning dramatically. Actively look for your allies if you do not know who they are, however do this in a way which will not give yourself away. By knowing each other, you and your scum buddies can becoming an anti-town voting bloc and do some serious damage to the town during the day phase.

Another very important point thing to remember is to push for a mislynch. Here's an older quote which outlines one general approach to pushing for a mislynch:
TheCow on Mislynching wrote:What you need to do is cherrypick, though. I read in an article saying something along the lines of "you're scummier as town than you think you are, and you're townier as scum. When you are scum and you analyse your own posts it looks scummier than you think you look."
If you take this theory and apply it to another player it should work in reverse, I think. It is easier to cherrypick a players post to make them look scummy as scum than it is to make a case against scum as town.

Something to remember while doing this, however, is the fact that cherrypicking looks extremely scummy if it is pointed out by a member of the town. You need to ISO the player you want lynched, and look for the scummy bits, however do not use too small of a sample while looking for your good bits, as that makes it easier for a counter-case against you. There are a lot of ways to make a player look scummy and to push for a mislynch, and that will be a Lesson all to itself in the future. The golden rule I have found, however, is this: put yourself in that player's shoes and pretend that you are the scum your you want to frame them as and think of WHY that role would act the way they are.

Do you have any questions? Comments? Disagree with any of the points I made? Send me a PM and I'll get back to you!
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Re: FM Academy: Forum Mafia Basics

Postby TheCow » Sun Oct 11, 2015 4:06 pm

Lesson 3: Common Scum Tells


The Shortbus
“If a player attempts to push an early lynch on a second player, where the second player is considered an “easy lynch” or “low-quality player”, the first player is scum.”
This is a semi-reliable scum tell in that it has become common for members of a Mafia to attempt to bus their lesser members as quickly as possible, for example Leyva45 attempting to have Milte345 killed as quickly as possible in CFM8. Alternatively, scum could attempt to lynch one of these players in a gamble for an early mislynch with few repercussions. This tell has been found to be reliable and should be mentioned whenever seen.


Over Dedicated Scumhunter
“If a player attempts to focus on a single anti-town faction in a game with multiple anti-town factions, that player is scum.”
This is a less reliable scum tell, but it holds true many times. The greatest example of this is Jesters and Executioners attempting to shift focus onto Neutral Evils, saying they should be seen as a threat. On the other hand, it could always be a townie who is tunneling on a specific faction, so caution should be used when approaching this tell.


Mutual Defensive Pact
“If one player defends a second player by attacking that player’s accusers, all the while the second player defends the first by attacking the first player’s accusers, both players are likely scum.”
Attack over defense can be seen scummy at times, however when two players defend each other in this manner, it is usually seen to be scummy. This tell is generally also supplemented by other associative tells.


Abuse of FM Terminology
“A player over-using or misusing advance terminology is either scum attempting to push a baseless point, or attempting to sound smarter than that player is.”
As said, this isn’t necessarily a scum tell, but if you see a player doing this, give them a slap on the wrist. They probably deserve it.


Extreme Fencesitting
“If a player has an abundance of ‘null’ reads in a stage of the game where this should not be the case, or do not take stances on any issues, that player is likely scum attempting to stay out of the spotlight.”
By not making any bold statements, a player could attempt to avoid being noticed, and slip by. This is only helpful for someone who is scum, so a player doing this has an alright chance of being scum. This tell can also be interpreted as a player who avoids giving input on subjective things, and only posts information which is purely objective, thereby avoiding the any major scrutiny.


It should be noted that no single scumtell is a catch-all. As the meta evolves, so do scum tells. Eventually, a tell becomes so well known that scum avoid it all together, and the tell becomes obsolete. That is the ebb and flow of scum tells. As a tell is more and more well known, less and less scum get caught doing it. It gets to the point that only Town are caught performing that tell. At that point, it evolves into a Town Tell. However, Scum also want to perfom Town Tells, making it a Scum Tell again. This is the evolution of the meta. As a tell becomes more and more well known, it becomes less and less reliable.

With the above in mind, take tells with a grain of salt. Some players just act the way they do, and these may not apply to them. Conversely, some players have innate scum tells, which could be noticeable regardless of the meta's evolution. It should be noted that these are not the only scum tells, just some very common ones that you may or may not encounter each game. Be on the lookout for new tells, and always be vigilant of how you act when you're scum.

Do you have any questions? Comments? Disagree with any of the points I made? Send me a PM and I'll get back to you!
Next lesson will be a special one, combining everything above, and giving a thorough read-making method.
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Re: FM Academy: Revamped

Postby TheCow » Mon Feb 01, 2016 3:32 pm

Lesson 4: How to Not Suck


  1. Don't act scummy.
  2. Don't abuse FM Terminology. If you must use a term, know what it means first.
  3. Don't bus as scum.
  4. Don't be a pussy.
  5. Don't be an idiot.
  6. Don't fakeclaim as Town unless you know what you're doing.
  7. If you need to read this, you don't know what you're doing.
  8. Meta should be neither discounted nor treated as gospel. Use it, use it well, don't be a bitch about it.
  9. If you say "I don't have a meta", you're either scum or bad but you deserve to be lynched.
  10. Don't put your Last Will into the thread. You're claiming citizen when you do this. That, or you're just bad.
  11. Don't be lazy. Why play if you're going to be lazy?
  12. Ignore player's reputations. Reputation != Meta. Know the difference.
  13. Be yourself.
  14. If you're bad, don't be yourself. Be someone who isn't bad.
  15. Learn how to read into players intent instead of their implications.
  16. Learn how to do vote count analysis.
  17. Don't confirm yourself as scum through poor voting patterns.
  18. Learn how to vote without intent to lynch.
  19. Learn the difference between """pressure""" and pressure. The former is probably scum.
  20. Don't claim your role unless you know what you're doing, unless it will confirm scum or confirm yourself (in a situation where you need to be proven).
  21. WIFOM is never the answer.
  22. "Mind games" is what bad players call their poor play to make them feel better about how bad they are.
  23. If WIFOM is the answer, you're probably screwed anyway, so just go balls to the walls.
  24. There's a difference between a shitpost and a shit post. Shitposts are fine, shit posts are not.
  25. Don't scumslip.
  26. Knowing what a scumslip is is a good idea.
  27. Don't RNG your night actions. If you can't explain your action, don't do it.
  28. If you can't explain your actions, don't do it.
  29. Learn how to defend yourself without resorting to fallacious tactics.
  30. You don't know what OMGUS means so don't say it.
  31. Winning the game doesn't mean you won the game. Understand the difference.
  32. If someone says they were joking in a post that was obviously not a joke, they're scum.
  33. If you have a shit sense of humor, it's your fault when you mislynch.
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