Help me improve at mafia: What is my tell?

  1. Post game format (video or forum)

  2. Do 2 of the following:

Post your scum tells for one player.

Refute a scum tell posted in the thread.

Challenge a player to post a scum tell on you

  1. Give a like for accurate tells

  2. Score points weekly

The most liked post 3 pts

2nd most 1 pt

Least liked -1 pt

Failed to respond to a challenge -1 pt

Subject of the most liked post -1 pt


Ok, I’ll start.

Video mafia, Ellibereth

Gameplay tendencies:

  1. Generally doesn’t bus
  2. Generally doesn’t make objectively bad plays (Or plays that he believes are sub optimal)

Physical tendencies:

  1. Generally looks closely at the screen when he’s looking for dirt on someone (which is situational - you need to understand the gameplay tendencies to use this)
  2. Generally looks away from the camera when he is thinking hard (ask the question what does he have to think about?)

Hopefully this will help you make it more difficult for me to read you!

Post my tells.



You are generally aware of your meta, and have an experimental playstyle. It’s sometimes hard to tell if the trolling is alignment-indicative or something you decided to do before you got your role PM. This can make you a tough read and meta on you should be taken with a pound of salt. That said, here’s my best take of what seems consistent throughout your games, both forum and video.

You tend to analyse the game from an alignment perspective. In other words, you try to figure out what the best move for each player is for each possible alignment.

  • As town, you are more vocal about what your best move in the present moment would be if you were scum. This is probably because it’s pretty awkward to say, “This thing I’m doing is the optimal scum play.”
  • As mafia, you try to turn past suboptimal plays to your advantage. If you miss a game-winning hammer or accidentally kill the wrong person, you’ll often say that you would not have made that suboptimal play as scum. I’m not sure how much of a scumtell this is; it might be safer to say that unless you mentioned it as it was happening, missing the optimal scum play is not a town tell for you.
  • A weakness I’ve noticed of this playstyle is that you sometimes overestimate the gamestate-analysing skills of the other players in a game. It can sometimes lead you to scumread someone for not playing optimally (or even close to optimally) as town.

@Nanook do me


You’re one of the harder players for me to read, but here we go anyways.

In both forum and video mafia, I think you tend to meme/make jokes/take the early game a bit less seriously. I don’t think this is AI on its own, but combined with how the game is going, can be used to read you. For example, if the game gets to D3 and two scum are dead and you’ve voted for both, you’re probably town. If town is about to lose, then you’re more likely scum. This obviously isn’t a foolproof read, just a sort of guideline.

So yeah, I generally find it easier to read you through POE than directly. I think one possible tell you have is that you tend to smile a bit more when you’re being directly pressed as scum? I’m not sure if this is an actual thing or not, but it’s like a sort of self conscious “you got me but I can’t admit it” thing I think I’ve seen on occasion. I dunno if that’s reliable or not though. You’re generally a very strong mechanical player in my experience, I think on occasion you can be caught out making or pushing a mechanically unsound or suboptimal play as scum, cause you generally don’t as town.

The memes aside, I do think you’re one of the strongest players. You’re effective as town, and hard to nail down as scum.

@Ellibereth do me bb


Spreadsheet insight soon

1 Like

@Nuxl since we were trading info.

I’m probably not the best person for this, but at the same time I don’t think I’ve ever gotten you wrong so maybe I actually do have something here. Maybe not the most helpful stuff but hey it’s something :slight_smile:

  1. Activity: You know this one, you tend to have extremely high activity at the beginning of games, and it usually tapers off as both alignments, but it tapers off much harder as scum I think.

  2. Tone: You have a very towny tone as both alignments to me at least. I feel like this is one of your biggest boons as a player, but something I’ve noticed. When being accused as scum you start exhibiting a super nervous energy (like trying very hard to shift blame elsewhere), while as town you tend to be much more calm and assertive when confronted.

  3. Macro: This is the big one for me I think. I think as town you normally have fairly “correct” interpretations of what’s going on, so if your reads seem super off or if you do something that later down the line reveals to have helped scum, that’s a big giveaway. I don’t think that you ever really bus unless you have to, and you tend to make fairly transparent scum plays such as opposing the former/ds/samo thunderdome in small street. Maybe try bussing more when you don’t have to, or make more token attempts to harm your team in ways that help you long-term.

@Nuxl or anybody else really, should do me :3


Forum though some points are applicable in video (e.g. replace pusback with profanity in LC S2):

  • Ratio of posts that are majority to game related to post that are majority otherwise. The curve is roughly V - shaped where the area under the curve is chance of being mafia (so most likely at extremes). Low point of the curve moves left (more relatively game related) as game progresses.

  • When mafia in a situation where you do not agree with a play you’re more likely to pushback/ridicule it to just enough to be town read by the list you’re playing with and then to relatively temper yourself (e.g. passive aggressive comments about it). You tend to cross the line into pushing back more aggressively to the point of being scum-read more often for it as town. Big reason why you’re slightly scumread more when you’re town than when you’re scum in an arbitrary list.

  • If you don’t think the list you’re with knows some of your theoretical beliefs you may violate them as scum to get the win, especially as the game is moving toward it’s later stages. This is only really useful for spectators/dead players to retroactively read you. You’re occasionally lazy as mafia and just let plays you deem sub-optimal happen with minimal involvement from you (especially in less serious games/environments where players are less familiar with you).

  • Generalization of the last point of the above: the amount you post/engage can be used as a “laziness/free time metric metric”. You usually err towards the side of hard mafia-aligning as mafia when lazier/busier.

  • Large takeaway is that you’re cognizant of the player list you’re in when considering how often and to what degree you do things that make you “you” as a player. This gives you an easy out regardless of alignment to point to isolated things you do as NAI or town since it’s not the action in itself but the ratio/relative degree.


  • You tend to express the “You really should be reading me as town here” spiel in different tones depending on when you’re Mafia/Town. In particular the tone of genuine disappointment is missing when you’re mafia.

@chesskid3 - give me something not related to read accuracy please!


Pretty accurate tbh


Man this thread is just telling me how differently I play mafia than most people

I dont have “tells” really, I just “feel” if a player is scum or not 90% of the time and build worlds from vote logic, game movement, and holistic shit like that.


I think the premise of the topic may make it seem that people (and it’s only been 4 so far!) are more weighted towards concrete things than they actually are (and even then if you read some of the “tells”, they’re fairly vague/holistic).

If there were an axis for players to place themselves on for degree of intuition vs. concreteness I’d be surprised if the majority of players weren’t heavily weighted towards the intuitive side.

I’m not posting tells because my reads are based on paranoid spidey senses, as well as voting and what other people think


uh i was expecting just dming each other