Evaluate and train your read accuracy with Ellibereth

What is this?

Do you think you’re better than a dice throwing monkey (random guesser) at reads when you’re playing town? This is a program where we work together to find out if you are, for you to get some feedback on what you’re doing, and potentially for some training to help you get better at it. At a minimum I’d hope you get a better sense of where you stand and what works and doesn’t work. I want to emphasize that this program is mainly about reads, I may incidentally touch on other facets of the game but they will not be anywhere near the focus. If there is sufficient interest there’s also training exercises that I can provide but no promises on that.

This program will likely change and evolve depending on interest and how things go. What I outlined here is my initial vision and it’s certainly experimental. I retain the right to change things or to stop whenever I want. The one thing I can guarantee will not change is that your information will be private unless you want it otherwise (see the corresponding section later).

How does it work?

  1. We have an initial chat to figure out if this is something we’ll want to do together. This’ll cover things like introductions, what you want out of this, a more detailed explanation on how things will work and what sort of expectations we’ll have. I’m fine with most mediums (messages on 451, text on discord, voice over discord, zoom, etc.) but I’m partial to voice or video call if possible.

  2. When you roll town in a game we agree on some frequency where you send me your reads (or lack thereof) on the remaining players in the game, along with who you think should die at the end of the day. Ideally each read is accompanied by a succinct reason. If you die in the game this can continue with some adjusted frequency assuming you’re unspoiled and still following the game. For obvious reasons I will not give feedback on your submissions during the game, though I may make comments and suggestions on the writing style and formatting.

  3. After the game we’ll go over what you submitted, both in terms of the statistics and in terms of the “why’s”. I’ll offer feedback, tips, and potentially examples on the techniques you’re using. Over time we’ll have a large enough collection of data to track your progress and figure out your strengths and weaknesses. That should help a lot on its own but if I really like working with you I may periodically send training examples catered to what you’re good or bad at.

What are training examples?

Just playing games is not the most efficient way to improve past a certain point - if you’re serious about getting better at reading people some of the best things to do after getting a sense for where you are is to independently collect data and to try and read people in curated training examples. This usually takes the form of snippets from real games that I find particularly instructive. This is non trivial for me to set up well so it’ll only happen if there are sufficiently many people interested.

Who is this for?

  • You actively play mafia. Sample size is required and I want to focus on current to future games, not games you’ve played in the past. If you play less than 10 games a year this likely won’t work out well. If you replace out of games with any frequency this also won’t work out well.

  • You’re genuinely interested in this stuff and will have a good attitude about things. This is for people who love mafia and want to develop a better understanding and appreciation for one aspect of it. There will be work involved so please be honest about the time you can put into things in our initial contact.

If you know someone who might be interested please do share this with them. It does not matter what site(s) you play forum mafia on (see the corresponding section later) so feel free to share this with any mafia community where people may be interested.

Why so serious?

I’m of the believe that mafia in its current form is a fundamentally uncompetitive game and should primarily be something you do for fun. That said, for some there is great joy in getting better at a skill and reading people in mafia is certainly something you can get better at. There’s no rating system in mafia, there’s no money in mafia, and there’s no good way to rank players - this program is for your personal growth. However seriously we take this please don’t lose sight of the fact that mafia is supposed to be fun and that most people play it purely for fun.

Can I play my games on any site?

Yes. You can play on whatever site you want. As long as I can view the game after it’s finished and you’re comfortable with using the 451 ecosystem as the primary platform for the non-playing portion of the program then we’re good.

Will you share my information?

No. All our communications will be private and between us and all the data and statistics we collect and go over about you will just be between us. The exception here is if we arrange some group activities - then everyone in the group will have access to the things we work on together. If you want to work together exclusively 1 on 1 and without anyone knowing that’s also fine, I won’t be publicizing who I work with without your permission. Feel free to tell others you’re doing this or to share the things we work on. I have no qualms about you lying about the things we do for game purposes as long as there’s the understanding that I’m free to point out those lies if I feel like it.

Who are you?

I’ve been playing forum mafia across several sites for 17 years and had among the best read accuracy as town for several of those years. I invented or at least popularized several read techniques, most notably ones concerning good use of meta and using activity data across games or sites. I’m more or less retired from seriously playing now if at all so you don’t need to worry about having to play with me in a serious capacity.

How do I get started?

Send me a message here on 451 or on discord to Ellibereth#1113 introducing yourself and letting me know why you’d be interested in doing this. If you’re unsure on things or have questions reach out too. I’ll be updating this topic based on common questions and points of confusion.

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It made sense to split some of what I was going to do here between public and private material so I’ve expanded this into a general academy, read about it here. The OP will probably get some minor updates soon in kind.