Screams rang through the cold night and the Doctor burst out of his house, barely just grabbing his medical kit as he raced along the streets. Arriving at the source of unrest, he discovered a young boy, lying down, coughing and sobbing. Instinct made the Doctor cover his face with his trusty surgical mask, and he was right in doing so. A closer inspection revealed the alarming truth. The red rash, the hacking coughs, and the huge black boils that had risen on the pale skin… this boy had the plague.
The Doctor should have been scared, worried, horrified, he knew this, but instead, he felt... fascination. How quickly could this disease spread, how many people could it kill? Hastily he took a sample, and commanded the boy’s family to be quarantined. Then, he hurried home to test this intriguing sample further. A week, and the Doctor finally held the result he was looking for. All he had to do was drop the solution on the path outside everyone’s houses, and the fumes would infect everyone who ventured there. He started to question himself, but then he remembered the other Doctor who always took the credit for himself, the Investigator who always snooped inside his house, the Jailor who roughly threw him in a cramped jail cell, and he felt better.
Inhaling the sweet scents of the herbs he put in his mask, the Plaguebearer infected person after person, using his dark robes to blend into the night. On the fateful night that the plague spread to everyone in the Town, the evil Doctor realized his power. As the moon was concealed under rolling grey clouds and the panicked screams rose from the town, Pestilence, Fourth Horseman of the Apocalypse, laughed so hard that tears rolled off his mask.
- You are equipped with a Powerful attack and an Invincible defense. You rampage at any house you visit each night, and will attack anyone who visits you.
- Your Invincible defense means you can not be killed at night at all. You will bypass even the highest of attacks, such as an Arsonist ignition, an assault by a fully-powered up Juggernaut, a Jailor execution, and even a Jester haunt.
- Since you only deal a Powerful attack, anyone protected by any form of protection, such as from a Doctor, Bodyguard, Guardian Angel, or Potion Master will survive.
- The only way you can die is through being lynched during the day, so if the whole Town is against you (or any other faction that has the voting majority) you will most likely die. Utilize the support of any roles that do not oppose you to keep yourself from being lynched.
- Your main enemy is whichever faction is closest to the majority - usually the Town, but often the Mafia, Coven, and Vampires. Neutral Killing roles are rarely as much of a threat, since they are generally loners and cannot directly harm you.
- Since the Town starts with a large majority, it's important to wear them down. It can be helpful to you if you are still a Plaguebearer to narrow down the numbers so that you become Pestilence much sooner. Upon transforming, you should still consider keeping other Neutral Killing roles alive for suspicion, extra kills (since they can't kill you), and overall a better chance of winning and getting out.
- If you are still a Plaguebearer however, those Neutral Killing roles suddenly do pose a big threat to you are the Werewolf and Arsonist who can easily kill you. Although the Serial Killer can't harm you physically, they can easily expose you for being immune to their attack. So while you can't kill as Plaguebearer yet, you might want to lynch these roles early on to avoid getting called out or even killed.
- Confirmed Town are particularly dangerous; their existence makes it easier for people to find you by process of elimination.
- Vampires, when present, are a huge threat because their numbers are not obvious; they may be able to find you by process of elimination before you're even aware they're close. Worse, if they try to convert you the remaining Vampires will get a hint to your identity from the death. Fortunately, targeting most Town also weakens Vampires by denying them possible conversions.
- Mafia and Coven are massive threats because they know their own members, letting them narrow down your identity; and, as with Vampires, if one of them visits you the others may use the death to determine your identity.
- Given the huge threat you pose, it is not uncommon for Town, Coven, Mafia, Vampires, and even Neutral Killing roles to end up in an informal truce, halting all visits and ceasing to kill anyone else while hunting for you. Don't rely on them to take each other out (or even to visit at all) once you have become Pestilence.
- Keep in mind that even though you have an invincible defense, you only have a powerful attack, meaning that Town Protectives can still be a great nuisance to you. Because of your rampage ability, you will kill them if they protect your target, but your original target will live (just like with the Werewolf). Unlike all other killing roles, you don't have to worry about Bodyguards since they can't kill you and will die if they protect your target, making them just a worse Doctor (Bodyguards only protect against one attacker).
- The main role that opposes you is the Mayor; if you end up in a 1v1 with them they can put you up on the stand and lynch you. Luckily, once you become Pestilence all the Town can do is delay their death. If a Mayor reveals, use paranoia to your favor to trick them into hanging the Town Protectives, and then go for the Mayor themselves since there is no Bodyguard to protect them.
- You are an extremely powerful killing role with a Powerful attack and Invincible defense. You also ignore role blocks and controls, unlike all of the Neutral Killing roles.
- While you can bait people into visiting you the same way a Veteran does, this carries a lot of risks. First, if too many people have you as the last target in their Last Will, the Town will likely realize you're Pestilence; second, knowing that Pestilence is present, the Town will likely view any attempt at baiting as suspicious.
- As with the Plaguebearer, Werewolf strategies are compatible with this role due to the similar mechanics - potentially even more so due to Pestilence's higher capacity for destruction.
- When you become Pestilence, the entire Town will receive a message about your evolution, and that will probably send them panicking as they try to find you.
- The message the Town receives is "A plague has consumed the Town summoning Pestilence, Horseman of the Apocalypse!"
- Use this to your advantage. Start accusing people of being Pestilence for one reason or another, and the Town will probably believe you and lynch that person, wasting one day of voting.
- However, back it up with fake proof and claims. Sometimes, it's also preferable to not accuse anyone and just go with the flow, as more experienced players may catch on. You also have to be careful that the information is accurate, and that you don't make yourself look suspicious in the meantime. Do try and act like a panicking Town member, but not to the point where you are obviously trying to mislead the rest of the Town.
- Another option is to claim to be a Town Investigative role that found someone that might be Pestilence. This method gives your lead credibility but will put you under suspicion when the Town realizes you were wrong. To avoid this, remember to claim that you investigated the person you are going after BEFORE they "became" Pestilence. Pestilence kills anyone who visits them, claiming otherwise will make it obvious that you are lying and it might even get you lynched. However, this may work as a Jester strategy or for a fake Jester claim.
- Always talk during the day, making suggestions that could "help" to find Pestilence, but don't be too talkative. This way, you do not look suspicious during the day, and you can go on with your nightly killings as an unstoppable force. However, do not excessively talk so that you draw so much attention, or look like someone who is trying too hard not to be suspicious.
- One strategy is to act as a Jester. The only way to be killed as Pestilence is to be lynched - and people want to refrain from lynching Jesters. As of version 2.3.0, Jesters can now haunt voters who abstain too, so it may be effective to keep acting like a Jester if you get on trial. Refer the Jester page for strategies regarding this. Town may be desperate to try and find the Pestilence. However, this may backfire as the Town could take the chance and attempt to lynch you if they feel they do not need you, or if they want to give you the win. In the latter's scenario, either try and delay your death, convince the Town that you're a waste of time to lynch, or accept your mistake and die.
- If you don't know who to kill at night, just kill someone with a name that sticks out, such as some that don't make any sense, are intended to mock a person or faction, or are about a controversial topic; essentially one that's the most likely to be visited by. You can also pick a default name because most people place suspicion on default names for virtually no reason other than that they were too slow. Another strategy for who to kill is to look back on the night you infected the most, and go to kill that player, as people could still be visiting and you could take out a huge chunk of the Town. This strategy also works for the Werewolf.
- As Pestilence, there is no point trying to be under-cover with your kills other than the stay at home Werewolf strategy. Any Lookouts or Trackers who catch you are going down, so your only threat is a Medium. Even then, Medium claims are rarely believed, so they might be lynched under suspicion of being you!
- Start the game out strong, and as a Plaguebearer, try and get confirmed as a Townie as soon as you can. This can be done in a variety of ways, and since you can see who visited your target, Lookout could be a viable option.
- Trying to get yourself confirmed as Investigator, Tracker, or Sheriff is a good idea as the Investigator will most likely not investigate you. However, you are considered a threat to the mafia or any evil so asking for a Town Protective when confirmed as a Town Investigative is a good idea as they will most likely attack you blowing your cover. Executioner is another great claim as it gives you the immunity defense.
- Don't kill any roles that are harmless to you, such as Survivor, Jester, Executioner or an Amnesiac, unless the Amnesiac wants to join an opposing faction. However, if these roles show signs of wanting to vote against you, do not hesitate to kill, but make sure they aren't the only ones against you. Otherwise, you could be lynched.
- Killing Amnesiacs is less risky than killing the other neutral roles, as they have to remember to win and you are a one-man faction. However, if you kill the Amnesiac, they can't carry on your win if you are lynched, so you have to be certain that you have control over the votes.
- Gaining the support of roles such as Survivor is a big help for you, especially later in the game. They can give you extra votes, which can keep you from being lynched.
- Remember, you can still be lynched. Claiming to be an Investigator or a Tracker is a bad claim if the Town is notified of you being summoned due to these roles sharing investigative results.
- Since you can only die by being lynched, the Mayor is a serious threat to you and should generally be dealt with quickly.
- The Necromancer is one of the few roles that can effectively oppose you; they can use Doctor, Bodyguard, and Crusader corpses to safely block your attacks, and can send zombies to visit people in order to identify you (since they see how their zombies die.) Additionally, since they only visit the graveyard, their visits won't expose them to your rampage. You should prioritize attacking necromancers whenever possible.
Dealing with PestilenceEdit
- If you have identified a likely Plaguebearer before they transformed, finding Pestilence is easy.
- Otherwise, while Pestilence's ability to kill anyone who visits him is extremely powerful, it is also his sole weakness. Carefully read the wills of anyone who died to Pestilence, and try to figure out who he targeted. From this, you can deduce if anyone targeted him (and died as a result.)
- Additionally, once Pestilence has transformed, anyone who was visited and who didn't immediately die cannot be Pestilence. This can be used to rapidly narrow down the list of possible culprits.
- Pestilence kills both anyone who visits his target and anyone who visits himself. As a result, it is usually best to avoid unnecessary visits while Pestilence is active, especially if you are Mafia and there are few people left.
- If you are a Jailor, in your will write "Kill!" or "Execute" next to the names you execute. This way, if you die from jailing Pestilence, the Town will know who the Pestilence is.
- Because Pestilence can only be killed by voting, it's usually best for killing roles to cease killing as long as Pestilence is active; an active Pestilence can reduce the population of the town extremely fast, and killing anyone (even dangerous enemies) may leave you without the votes to lynch them. Additionally, visiting to kill while Pestilence is active risks exposing you to both their rampage attack and death by visiting them.
- In Lovers Mode, Pestilence will not die when their lover dies. Knowing this, you can carefully look at who claimed who was their lover, and deduce if they died along with their lover or not. If they did not, they are most likely the Pestilence.
- If you turn into Pestilence in Lovers Mode, and your lover dies, you will receive the message, "You care not for a lover for a Horseman feels no love, no pain, no happiness."
- A player can transform into Pestilence during the day, if all other players are infected except one, and that one uninfected player is lynched.
- If a Pestilence and a fully powered up Juggernaut attack each other, all players will get a message saying, "An unstoppable force meets an invincible object. The ground beneath your feet shudders." The Juggernaut will still die though, because its defense cannot withstand the Pestilence.
- There used to be a bug where the Juggernaut was able to kill Pestilence considering if they stayed at home. You can see the bug in a video linked here. Timestamp: 14:19
- Pestilence is currently the only role in the game that cannot die at night unless it quits. Not the loss of a lover, not a Jester haunt and not even the Unstoppable attack from a Hex Master can kill it.
- The outfit worn by the Plaguebearer is likely inspired by the outfit commonly worn by doctors in the Second Pandemic of the Black Death (1348-1352) for these reasons: the black wax cloth was covered with oil because it was believed that this would make it so the plague could not stick to them, and the mask (bearing the appearance of a bird's beak in the case of the doctor) was filled with fragrant herbs because it was believed that disease was caused directly by foul-smelling air, which would be filtered out by the herbs.
- There is currently an existing bug on the web version where a Plaguebearer can turn into Pestilence without infecting all alive townies.