Different players use a variety of different behaviors throughout the Day/Night phases to prevent themselves from being lynched or killed. The usual methods include: why players whisper, suspicious role claims, suspicious behaviors in general, and psychology.
Whispering could mean many things:
- They are sharing their roles.
- An Investigator might ask for their target's specific role, since their investigation leaves them with multiple possibilities (and some may be evil).
- A Sheriff will know if their target is "Not Suspicious", which means a high chance of them being a Townie.
- A Lookout or Spy might have seen a visit and will ask their target questions to determine the visitors' roles.
- A Jailor might reveal their identity to a Townie that they choose to trust.
- If their target was attacked, the Doctor who healed them might reveal their role to them if the Doctor trusts the person they healed.
- A Consigliere might pretend to be an Investigator or contact a Neutral role to gain their vote for the Mafia.
- A Witch might have found a killer or Mafia member and will want to team up with them to stay alive.
- Townies whispering their roles to a confirmed Town (e.g Veteran, Vigilante, or Jailor).
- They are Mafia establishing their next target/collecting information.
- Sometimes, the Mafia can't wait to find out at Night what the investigated target of the Consigliere was. However, if they converse during the Day, they are doing this in plain view of the Town. This may lead to suspicion and is what some players call a "rookie move". The best way to figure out what they are saying is to whisper them back asking why the whispers. If they fail to answer, this will increase suspicion and therefore will have them lynched.
- Sometimes, when there is a Janitor in game, they might want to find out what a cleaned role was, or a Blackmailer telling their partners about whispers. Perhaps they may even be asking questions.
- They are a Neutral Benign role who is trying to choose a side.
- Neutral Benign roles, especially Amnesiacs, have a hard time choosing a side to play with. This is why they gain information by whispering, because otherwise, they will make each side to assault them with propositions (also by whispering). Keep that in mind before saying something like "These whispers are suspicious".
- They are exchanging information.
- If people are whispering around discussion or voting, they could be trying to grasp valuable information or are communicating with fellow players for protection methods.
- They could be a Guardian Angel revealing themselves to their target.
- It might not mean anything at all.
- Some players might be friends just chatting with each other. Others might recognize each others' names from a previous game. Don't assume too much.
Anybody can go wrong when claiming a role, and it is very easy to claim poorly.
- Many evil roles tend to claim Medium when they have been found by an investigative role because of the lack of Night abilities. The only role that could survive with claiming Medium (without being one themselves) if there is an Investigator is a Janitor, unless a Lookout/Tracker saw them in action, or a Sheriff visited them.
- Another common claim is Sheriff, as their Last Will is very easy to make up. Sheriff can be an even more common claim in Ranked since many Townies value good Last Wills. For the Werewolf and Executioner, this is common because it fits in their investigation result.
- Hypnotists would have a much easier time claiming and covering for their fellow Mafia members, since they can send false messages, and claim something such as Transporter or Escort.
- Experienced players might go for an Investigator claim if they are a Consigliere or Witch.
- Experienced players might say that they were a Survivor wearing a vest or the Executioner if a Vigilante attempted to shoot them. Some inexperienced players may go on to say that they were jailed that Night, but if the Jailor dies or says that they didn't jail that player, then that player is very likely to be lynched or killed by the Jailor.
- If there are no kills that Day, and a suspicious person with a suspicious claim says that they were attacked, it's a high chance they weren't and are actually the Godfather or Mafioso.
- Town mistakes and misconceptions:
- Because many evil roles claim Medium, the real Medium may be lynched if they were asked to reveal their role to the Town. A way to prevent the real Medium being lynched is by having an investigative role saying "No, that player is a Medium. I checked last Night." or that they are "Not suspicious". Lookouts used to be able to see dead Mediums during a seance but this was removed. They can also provide actual proof as to who is evil and what the dead are saying, if anything at all. Despite this, many players couldn't afford to keep a Medium claim and give them the benefit of doubt. Medium can also be a pretty hard role to fake-claim if you are asked to copy and paste dead chat.
- Survivors are another role that gets lynched regularly the moment they reveal because when investigated, they will show up as a Survivor, Vampire Hunter, or Amnesiac. They will most likely be lynched because the reward outweighs the risk (which is very little). Survivor is also a common excuse for Night Immunity, and thus is a suspicious claim. There is no clear way to figure out if someone is a Survivor except for a Consigliere or Witch.
- In a Classic Mode game, many players are quick to lynch the second person who claims a role. However, because of the Random Town slot in the roles, it is perfectly plausible to have two players with the same roles. However, if there are fewer players in Classic Mode, there will be no Random Town slots, meaning everyone's role is exact.
- Applauding Neutral Killing Roles
- Lynch Happy
- If someone seems too happy to lynch, they may be a Jester or Executioner hoping it will soon be them or their target's turn to die. Executioners tend to vote for their target, then change to fit the Majority, so if someone is voting a specific person without evidence it's probably an Executioner.
- They may be a Mafia/Coven/Vampire member, Witch or Neutral Killing role trying to miss-lynch to gain majority faster. If they commonly vote guilty without evidence this is most likely the case.
- They are an aggressive Townie who wants to kill, or a paranoid player conscious about Evils gaining majority. The aggressive player may guilty without evidence, but the Paranoid player will try to avoid mis-lynches and will either Abstain or Innocent when there is not sufficient evidence.
- They are an unrevealed Mayor already trying to take control of the lynches.
- They could be a Pestilence thinking that if they push for a lynch, they won't end up on the receiving end of one.
- They are a Neutral Benign role or trying to end the game.
- They are a Guardian Angel taking control to stop their target from being on the stand.
- Being too quiet
- If a person has not talked at all for a long time in the game and they start to talk right near the end, they might be a Neutral Killing or Mafia trying to make themselves fit with the Town.
- If a person is not talking at all, or they have nothing to share, they can be either a Jailor or a Bodyguard, which are either important roles or hard to claim, or they could be an evil role. However, they could also be an Away From Keyboard player or just a quiet player in general.
- If someone claims a Town Investigative role, and does not share any leads for about 5 Nights or more, there is a good chance that the person is evil and faking a role.
- If someone has been quiet for a long time, it is safe to assume they are not a Jester or an Executioner. However, some Jesters remain completely silent on purpose to be lynched, so keep that in mind.
- If they've been silent, they could have been blackmailed by a Blackmailer. Spam voting and un-voting can indicate this, but some people don't do this. If they start talking a Day after the Blackmailer is dead, and turn out talkative, this is probably the case. A Spy can confirm this.
- Being too talkative
- If a player spams or talks way too much, they are most likely a Jester or Executioner. Keep in mind the person could be a trolling Town or a talkative person (in character). Many people roleplay when there are no leads, or they are a Neutral Benign/Neutral Evil role.
- If someone is trying too hard to act like a Townie, (commentating on things, talking too much, telling Town what to do, etc.) they are most likely evil. Keep in mind that they still could be a Jester, Executioner, Veteran, or even an unrevealed Mayor.
- Pointing out New Threats
- They could be Mafia/Coven trying to take the heat off of them with the idea of a new threat.
- They could be a Neutral Killing or Vampire trying to do the same thing.
- They could just like pointing out the obvious or informing unobservant players. Remember, every suspicious behavior listed can still turn out to be a Townie.
- They could be a Survivor or Amnesiac trying to remind the Town that there are bigger threats than a Neutral Benign role such as themselves.
- Saying the Obvious
- Sometimes, evils roles, such as members of the Mafia, will say really obvious things such as, "The Medium is dead" or "There is a Janitor" to try and seem like they are talking and being useful.
- While this is usually an evil behavior, this could just be someone who thinks they are being helpful.
- It is often useful to tell people to contribute to the conversation or stop talking, as this may show you that they stop talking altogether.
- One of the best, but also a very risky, strategies to avoid being killed at Night or lynched is to use "reverse psychology." This means telling players exactly what you want them to do, knowing that they will do the opposite. If you tell the Town "please kill me tonight," the Mafia and Neutral Killing roles probably won't go after you, figuring you're useless or a Veteran. Some Sheriffs or Investigators will visit you, proving your innocence. This works extremely effectively with Jesters in particular. If you voted guilty or abstained on a Jester and you think they will haunt you, plead the Jester to kill you tonight, telling him you don't want to live anymore or saying it will make you very happy. The Jester will likely pick someone else just to annoy you, but in reality, this is exactly what you wanted. However, some kind Jesters may haunt you just to please you, so be careful about using this strategy.
- Another way to possibly buy yourself a Night is to do everything you can to make yourself look annoying and suspicious during the Day. Evil roles tend to ignore players they figure will be hanged the following Day. The only downside to this is Vigilantes and a Jailor. If a Vigilante has proven himself to shoot randomly or a Jailor executes at will, do not bother trying this, they will likely not be able to see through your plan.
- If you are put on trial as an evil role and you have no credible defense, admit to the Town who you are and tell them everyone you killed, how you killed them and why you killed them, and why this role is stupid. If you are convincing enough, you will be bought one more Night and not hanged for the fear of being a Jester.
Bussing is a strategy used explicitly by Mafia, Vampires, and Coven members, which involves lynching a member of your team on purpose to seem like a confirmed Townie. Bussing isn't against the rules as long as you do this with the intention to win. This is used especially in Ranked, but can also be used in Custom or even Classic mode.
- A solid claim if you want to bus (or figuring out if someone is bussing) is Sheriff, Investigator, or Lookout to hang another Mafia member.
- Since the victim often doesn't say a credible defense on purpose, it is easy to lynch them. From then on, you can act as a "confirmed" Townie, which can be game-changing. You can make claims on who is innocent or guilty and people will often listen to you. However, a few experts might catch on, especially in games with people who have a high Elo.
- The victim is often someone who is not important to the Mafia, such as Janitors and Forgers with no abilities left. It is also commonly used to lynch Framers when there are no more Town Investigative roles left because they are useless and will not help out the Mafia.
- For Vampires, bussing can be used once they have four members, so the Vampires can thin out the Town and immediately refill the lost member with a conversion that Night (For example, four Vampires and four Townies are remaining in a game. A Vampire busses another Vampire and gets the latter lynched. Another Townie is converted to a Vampire that Night, so the Vampires now have the majority with one more Vampire.)
- This can also be used on a member of the Mafia who is Away From Keyboard, gamethrowing, a bad player, or someone you feel is incredibly likely to be successfully lynched. Counterclaiming them or putting them in a fake Town Investigative's Last Will as a member of the Mafia (or other evil) can help you win.
- Be careful: if you bus on the second Day, the Town may accuse you of being an Executioner.
Voting for Roles
When all leads have dried up or the Town wants to be proactive, players will "vote for role," commonly known as "VFR." They will select a player and vote them up to the stand to make them claim a role and provide a Last Will. While this tactic is often successful, it is also controversial and usually throws suspicion onto the player voting for roles, especially outside of middle/high Elo Ranked. Contrarily, this behavior is expected in Ranked.
- Normal procedure for VFR is to vote up the first player (number 1) and ask for role, moving down the list. However, most skilled players will instead vote up people who appear suspicious or quiet, instead of voting in a pre-determined pattern. It is incredibly uncommon for someone to vote a random person for role.
- Voting for Role is often seen as gamethrowing by some since it defeats the whole reasoning and deduction part of Town of Salem. VFR also gives Jesters free easy wins with no skills needed. VFR is usually used by inexperienced players who are unable to deduce results by themselves.
- A revealed Mayor will often vote for role any player who has yet to claim a role. Both Townies and evil roles will vote with them to avoid looking suspicious.
- If a Town Investigative thinks they may have found an evil role and the player is not responding to their questions, they might simply VFR that player to avoid outing themselves.
- Evil roles will vote for role if they have reason to want a particular player dead, such as a Bodyguard or a competing evil role. Doing VFR on a Bodyguard often results in a successful lynch, as both the Godfather and Arsonists can safely claim Bodyguard.
- An Executioner might vote their target up for their role to throw suspicion on them and hopefully have them lynched, especially if the Town seems inexperienced or lynch-happy.
- Some players consider VFR to be random lynching and a suspicious behavior, but others believe it to be a tried and true method of establishing a full list of claims and outing evil roles.
- This tactic is less commonly used on someone who has previously claimed a role, usually a Town Investigative, to force them to provide their will. This can be done with the intention of checking the claim's validity or gaining new leads.
- Death of the Jailor Meta
In Version 22.214.171.12406, BlankMediaGames announced they are aware of the "Jailor Meta", and as a counter they buffed Arsonist, allowing it to bypass Bodyguard and Traps without dying. In Version 3.25, Arsonists now Doused anyone who visited them, making it even more risky. In Version 3.3.0, Ambusher and Hypnotist have escaped the Coven Expansion, making it even more risky. The usage rate of this meta has since decreased, with the exception of some gamemodes, including Town Traitor.
- The real Jailor will reveal themselves on the first Day.
- All Town Protective, Lookouts, Spies and Escorts should visit the Jailor on the first Night.
- Any Escorts would role block the Jailor (since they cannot execute on the first Night anyway so it would do no harm) in order to confirm themselves. Consorts and Hypnotists wishing to claim Escort may role block the Jailor, but they may be caught by a Spy.
- Any Lookouts will confirm themselves and all the other roles visiting the Jailor by whispering to the Jailor as soon as Day 2 starts.
- Any Lookouts will call out and lynch any Town Protective claims who weren't on the Jailor on the first Night.
- Any Spies will immediately whisper to the Jailor what happened to them that Night, according to their bug, in an attempt to confirm themselves.
- The Jailor will remain protected the entire game. If there is no living Town Protective, a Transporter should swap the Jailor to save them.
- When someone is lynched who is suspected to be a Jester, the Jailor will vote innocent to avoid being haunted whilst everyone else votes guilty.
- The real Jailor will execute any fake Jailor claims, usually on the second Night.
- The Arsonist normally attempts to Douse the Jailor Night 1, and the Werewolf attempts to kill the Jailor Night 2. Don't visit the Jailor Night 2 as a Lookout or any non-Town Protective role.
- Problems and solutions with this strategy
- The Arsonist almost always Douses the Jailor on the first Night. Since the Bodyguard can no longer kill the Arsonist, it is now very dangerous to reveal yourself as the Jailor as there is nothing to prevent the Arsonist from dousing you and igniting the following Night, killing you. A Lookout may catch the Arsonist, but it will be difficult to distinguish the Arsonist from Town Protective.
- The Werewolf almost always rampages at the Jailor's house on the second Night, usually killing all Town Protectives, half of the time dying to a Bodyguard. Sometimes, even a Witch or Consort who is trying to stop the Jailor from executing one of their teammates may also be killed. As any faction, unless you are a Town Protective or a Werewolf, never visit the Jailor Night 2 unless you are certain there is no Werewolf.
- An evil role may claim Jailor on the first Day in order to divert protection onto them, leaving the actual Jailor exposed to being killed. The Evils may then attack the other player who claimed Jailor (as they would be the real one) and since the protection may have been diverted onto the fake claim, the real Jailor would die. This, however, is a very risky strategy to kill the Jailor and may not be worth it as the Jailor can easily out you as a fake without even having to execute you on the second Night.
- An Ambusher may go on Jailor Night 1, resulting in someone such as a Lookout or Town Protective dying.
- This will however almost always out the Ambusher, because there is almost always more than one visit on the Jailor Night 1.
- Even if there is no second visit on the Jailor, Mediums may still find out who the Ambusher is, and even if the Mafia kills them the same Night, most Mediums will have it written in their Last Will, and they still have a seance anyway.