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Town of Salem - Ranked Practice Guide

Written by Chad Bradley   /   Feb 26, 2020    


From basics to advanced game tactics, this guide discuss interesting aspects about Town of Salem's ranked/ranked practice.

Guide to Game Tactics



Ranked Basics



If you just got to Town of Salem, played your share of classic games, and wonder how Ranked/Ranked Practice (RP) works, don't worry. We got you.

Differences

The biggest difference of Ranked/RP to classic is that roles aren't deterministic (with jailor being the exception). So, not every Ranked game has a sheriff, for example, while every classic game has one.

That is, the roles are going to be randomly determined for the category of each player slot. For example, in ranked, 2 players are granted to receive Town Investigative roles. Player slots in ranked is discussed right next.

Player Slots

Games will have 9 town members, just like in classic:

  • A Jailor.
  • 2 Town Investigative (Can be Investigator, Lookout, Sheriff or Spy).
  • 1 Town Protective (Can be Doctor or Bodyguard).
  • 1 Town Killing (Can be Vigilante or Veteran).
  • 1 Town Support (Can be Medium, Escort, Mayor, Transporter or Retributionist).
  • 3 Random Town (Can be any of the above, except jailor).

However, mafia will have an extra member in ranked games:

  • 1 Godfather.
  • 1 Mafioso.
  • 2 Random Mafia (Can be Framer, Disguiser, Consiglere, Consort, Blackmailer, Forger or Janitor).

Town and mafia sums a total of 13 players. The last 2 slots that completes 15 players are:

  • 1 Neutral Evil (Can be Jester, Executioner or Witch).
  • 1 Neutral Killing (Can be Serial Killer, Werewolf or Arsonist).

Finding Evils

In Classic, it can be said it's easier to spot an evil player. Like, if two players claim to be the same role (like, two sheriffs), it's likely one is a fake sheriff, since there's only 1 Random Town slot, making it only 7% possible they're legit.

In Ranked, however, you have 3 Random Town slots. Meaning it's certain that at least a town category (TI, TP, TS or TK) will have more than the "defined" ones. For example, games can have 2 TP (1 TP and 1 RT TP), or 3 TS (1 TS and 2 RT TS), or both in this case.

Now, how do you find evils with so many random variables and possible legit claims? In short, it's always a good idea to count the confirmed RT, listen to the Town Investigative and watch for contradictions. I know it's superficial here, but this will be discussed better in the next section :).

Ranked: Playing as Town



You started a Ranked/RP game, the girl spins the wheel, and you get a town role! Of course you want to win the game, but, as the game starts, anyone can be evil. What can you do to win the game?

Good Practices

There is some good practices for being any town role. They are:

  • Talk. Passive and quiet town members are as good as a mafia member for town.
  • Observe. Evils end up leaking information most of the time, and their insecurity can be noted.
  • Think. Your night/day actions will change the course of the game.
  • Deceive evils. It's not only evils who need to deceive town.

General Tactics

These are the tactics you can use in order to win a town game:

  • Take notice of confirmed RT and RT claims. There's no chance evils are going to be the only ones to claim a town slot, unless one of the Random Mafia is a Janitor.
  • Take account of TI results. Ask for TIs to come out D2 (Day 2), even if their results were "useless".
  • Watch out for contradictions. If you see any contradiction, say it to everyone.
  • Have an organized will. Showing your role, night activity and RT claims should suffice. I usually add some thoughts too.
  • Watch for numbers. If the number of alive evils equals, or surpasses, the number of alive townies, it's unlikely that any lynch would benefit town.
  • Ask for ccs (counter claims) in any judgement where the pushed player is the only one to claim a slot.

Surviving the First Night

It's impossible to ensure you're not dying N1 (Night 1). But there's some actions you can take that may lower your chances of getting targetted by any evil.

I usually go for saying something that can make evils think I may be a bad/not helpful town member. Useless sentences like "I'll brb" or "Jester" were the most effective ones for me. Also, you should avoid to be the first one to say anything, specially right after the game starts, because that's the first name people see in the game, and the chances of them subconsciously end up choosing you get higher.

Quiet Players

Mafia doesn't want to get caught, meaning they might naturally show some insecurity when it comes to participating in the game. Actually, most starters just go full quiet when they're evil, to ensure they won't get caught in any lie. Knowing this, you might want to pull some strings on quiet people, and watch for weak claims (such as doctor). Sometimes, when town votes someone who end up being a town, you can check for the votes (not only innocent or guilties, but the votes to get the player to the stand) of quiet people, who weren't adding anything to the game, but wanted that person to die. Sounds like an evil play, right? You might want to spend your night on them if you're TI.

Votes

Check how consistent votes are. If someone voted a town member, but also voted a mafia, for example, they are likely to be NE/NK/Town. If someone voted a town member, but not a mafia, they're likely to be Mafia/NE/NK. If someone didn't vote a town member, but voted a mafia, they're likely to be town. If someone voted the NK/NE, and doesn't add anything to the game, they're likely to be mafia. You get to associate it easier with some practice.

Ranked: Playing as Mafia



And you got a mafia role. This is probably going to be tough, because you begin with a less number than town does. How can you win?

Good Practices

Like town, mafia also has it good practices list:

  • Do everything a townie would do. Meaning you should talk, observe, think and deceive AS a townie.
  • Trust your allies. Mafia's upperhand is having a known team for the whole game. Use that for your advantage.
  • Speak logical doubt. Doubt your team mates if needed.
  • And, most importantly, Don't give up. Not only your team needs you, but NE/NK also do.

Caught early game. What to do?

You fight. If a sheriff says you're suspicious, you can claim veteran who just alerted, or say you're trans who transed yourself into someone else. If a lookout says you visited someone, you say you're not a visiting role. There's a lot of possibilities, but if you don't fight back and just claim something like vigilante or doctor, or be plain giving up, you will most probably be the reason your team might lose.

Always buy time

Even in the worst case scenario, try to buy time. If you're jailed and jailor is about to execute you, claim mayor, retri, or an important town role. Be suspicious of silent non-mafia and try to lure TI/TK into them, repelling them from you or any mafia.

Chaos!

Town wins by putting everything into place. Evils win by raising doubts. Fun fact: You will get discovered as mafia at some point in the game. All you need to do is to delay it until you have enough numbers to be safe. Chaos is the word. Don't let town group you with your team: Sometimes, be against a mafia, then be against a town. But always be logical about it.

An enemy of my enemy is my friend

Caps: Do not out the NK early, specially if your mafia isn't doing so well. The NE and NK are the roles that make the game the most balanced, so you shouldn't take them out of the game early, since town is still at it's fullest.

Cooperate and be bold

Claiming vigi as mafioso? Claiming bg as godfather? You don't need an investigator to know not only that you're evil, but what evil you are. Great claims, such as investigator, lookout and transporter, can be built if you count on your teammates. It is more risky, yes, but, even if a teammate gets caught, there's no real proof you're evil with him. Besides, town usually don't focus on already confirmed players, in order to avoid losing a night.

Ranked: Playing as Neutral Evil



Neutral Evil might be the most fun role section of the game, as your objective usually isn't to just outnumber your enemies. But OK, you got a Neutral Evil, and to do now?

Good Practices

Here's what you have to know for Jester/Executioner:

  • Don't be obvious, but don't hide. You may end up getting shot or executed, and, what's worse, you may last until the late game, only counting on everyone's pity to get you the win.
  • You don't really need to hurry. Getting an early win is good, but a bad decision might just end up confirming some townies, and will prevent you to win the game, most cases.
  • Don't fully count on alliances. You will only get helped if that benefits whoever has majority.

As for the witch:

  • Do everything a townie would do. Meaning you should talk, observe, think and deceive AS a townie.
  • Cooperate with your evils. Get to know who they are, and help them buying time.
  • If you control a mafia, speak to them. Most people fear people can associate a whisper as witch to evil, but that can be talked off, plus whispering isn't the only way to show you know something town doesn't.
  • If jailor opts for meta, controlling them a night you know they will execute a confirmed evil is a great idea.

Jester!

You got jester. Yay! Jester is a fun role.

Good jester claims

These are the claims I like to claim as jester:

  • Spy. Spies with a slightly wrong will (like a bug or a single visit) don't get executed, they get lynched. And, if someone says you're jester, sell them out as mafia if you get innocented.
  • Doctor. This is more of a passive claim, but it works really well if you get called out.
  • Medium. Another passive claim, yet so weak even mafia might want to push you.
  • Bodyguard. Bodyguard is usually an arsonist and godfather claim, making it really perfect for you.

You can also claim sheriff, but it's more obvious for me. You should avoid strong claims such as retributionist, transporter and so on, because you're probably not getting lynched with claims like that.

Depending on how experienced town is, you can always talk your way around. I did survive and got lynched as jester after claiming Jailor D1. When I was jailed, I claimed mayor. The day after, I said I wasn't really jailor, but said I was important.

The 1v1v1 case scenario: If you ever survive long enough to have a 1v1v1 scenario, tell the other people that whoever doesn't vote or innocent you gets voted BY you, meaning you will give the win to the other person who voted you. In a Jester/SK/GF case, GF needs to vote on you, while SK wouldn't want to. If they don't, they get voted. In a Jester/GF/Town case scenario, town needs to vote on you, while GF wouldn't want to. Same thing applies.

Executioner!

"This is clearly exe" is a harsh thing to hear as executioner. How can you hide as being exe, while still getting your target lynched?

Good executioner claims

These are the claims I like to claim as executioner:

  • Investigator. Ask your target their role, just to call them out as BG/GF/Arso right after. Works like a charm.
  • Transporter. Say you've transed yourself with them, while they didn't claim transported.
  • Escort. Same as transporter.
  • Vigilante. Claim to have shot your target and say they have deffense.
  • Medium. "Dead say target is suspicious" works too.

I use to avoid claiming sheriff because the majority of executioners claim that. Lookout can work too, but I think it can be more obvious you're an executioner.

You don't have to, but, if you win the game, please don't say you had your exe win. That not only helps town sorting things out, it's also cringy. The only person who cares about your exe win is yourself. If you don't say you had your win, you will literally lead the game to a chaotic path. Have other random results, explain yourself, blame other people... You're the king of this game now, and most people throw away that awesome power.

Witch!

Ah, witch. a.k.a. the least fun NE role. You will have to side with evils who doesn't know each other and will often harm each other. What to do, then?

Good witch claims

To be honest, I don't have great witch claims. Claiming investigator or lookout, both great claims, make you look more like a witch. You don't have anyone to help you claim transporter or escort. In this case, you should stick to some weak claims like sheriff, doctor or medium. A TK claim can also work fine.

As witch, you might want to try to control town into possible vets, and maybe get to spot some TK. Try to stay alive, participate in the game, yet try not to get targetted by the mafia or the NK. Saddly, you have to be as passive as possible as witch. Talk, but don't add anything to the game. Add doubts. With some luck, you will be useful to whatever group has the majority. You're a survivor who wins with the minority, with a few tricks and perks.

Ranked: Playing as Neutral Killing



Ouch. You got a Neutral Killing. Everyone is against you now, and the game might probably be a disaster, right?

Not at all. Some Neutral Killing roles are better than others.

Good Practices

Here is some good practices when being NK:

  • Have in mind that anyone will naturally sell you out, not only for the sake of getting an evil out of the game, but for the sake of confirming themselves. If you're playing with smart evils, they won't sell you out until late game.
  • Try to appear as town, and try to avoid having TI into you. Mafia will probably try to sell you and, in that case, you will have to predict it and sell them first.
  • Reason if you get pushed. Openly claim you're the NK, and say it heavily benefits mafia. Try to bargain that if you get innod, you will kill mafia and whoever guilties you.
  • Avoid claiming based on investigator results. If you claim doctor in a SK game, or sheriff in WW game, or bodyguard in an arso game, you will get lynched in a heartbeat.

Neutral Killings win by balancing the game. Meaning you should take out whoever makes the game have an equal number of town and mafia by the next day. This means you should stay away from the war between town and mafia, but you should add some fuel to it in order to prevent yourself from getting caught.

Serial Killer will be considered, here, as the best NK role because they can consistently be taking out players from the game. Meaning you have better control about numbers and can coordinate better for your own victory.

Werewolf is not so bad, but there's the luck factor about the rampages, and killing only one or two player in every 2 nights is not so great (specially endgame).

Arsonist is basically completely luck based. You will end up having your doused people die and you will be sold out and lynched before you can do anything useful, most of the time. It doesn't matter how good you play, luck will determine if you will succeed or not.

Then what to do?

It's usually not fun at all to play as a NK role. It's stressful at best. But that doesn't mean you should give up, because mafia and town are counting on you to make that big plot twist of breaking a sure win for mafia or town, at best, or to just delay a lynching day/execution night for evils, at worst.

As Serial Killer, you have actually good chances to win if you know what to do. Start off by killing a town for the first 2 nights, then go for mafia and keep the number of players balanced.

As Werewolf, you might want to hit where it hurts more. If you see someone stands out in D2, you might want to go for them. If mafia is doing well, you might want to predict any mafia visit to get a town and mafia killed.

As Arsonist, you need to predict who won't be killed by town or mafia. Most town naturally end up discovering mafia and mafia will kill town, so it would be really lucky if you don't lose a doused person for the game. The best time to ignite is a mystery, but most successful arsonists I've seen had a lot of people doused when they decided to ignite.

Ranked: General Knowledge



Here, I'll discuss some trivia about the game.

Fake Claims

  • Strong claims: Investigator, Lookout, Transporter.
  • OK claims: Spy, Escort, Veteran.
  • Weak claims: Medium, Sheriff, Bodyguard, Doctor, Retributionist, Vigilante.
  • Wild card: Mayor (only if you're about to be executed by the jailor).

Interesting Plays

  • Revealing as Mayor D1. Completely excludes any fake bodyguard claim.
  • Not revealing as Jailor D1. Makes the game more fun and less mechanical.
  • VFR (Vote For Role). Having quiet people to claim early does give mafia extra information about town, but helps town to situate way faster (specially about votes).
  • Not abusing of VFR. Too much VFR makes the game too mechanical.
  • Always be vet/evil/bad player baiting. Dying N1 sucks.
  • Transporting yourself into someone else N1. If you die, you know that other person isn't whatever targetted them (or they were jailed).
  • Taking notice of the last 3 people to vote someone. If the player in the stand is town, one evil will most likely be in there.
  • Claiming investigator as mafia and showing a fake result that matches your teammate's fake claim.
  • Going 1 for 1 if you're evil (unless you're a solo gf or mafioso). Specially if your evil team has a consort.
  • Reviving the first person to die as Retributionist. Confirms yourself and adds to the number of town members.
  • Forging with consistency. If you kill a known TI and forge their will, you can confirm a mafia as town.

Insights

  • The base chance of having a veteran in the game is 60%.
  • If you pick 3 random players in the first day, you have 75% chance there's an evil in there. It'll go higher the more town die.
  • A single TP has only 15% chance (if NK is SK) or 9% (if NK isn't SK) of protecting someone in the first night.
  • The chance of sheriff investigating a suspicious role in the first night is from 21% (no witch and no SK) to 35% (witch and SK).
  • The base chance of Werewolf be randomly rampaging 3 town (1 target and 2 visits) is 0.6%. The base chance of Werewolf be rampaging anyone from a full (and visiting) mafia team is 47% by the second night.
  • Arsonists have 75% chance of losing at least a doused town, at night, in the first 4 nights (if they only doused town), for mafia.



Game:   Town of Salem
Written by Chad Bradley.