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It's Day 1. You're excited about finally being mafia, about how you found the village hooker with your inspector last night, and about how the village seems to be in peaceful repose. Suddenly, however, the village announcer steps up for claims, pointing out how a post he made during N0 matches his D1 announcement. Not claiming isn't an option. What do you do? The answer is as simple as it is obvious: you false claim. Unfortunately, what is obvious is not always easy. So, what do you do?
If you have a safe claim provided with your role, feel free to skip to step 3. Note that these steps do not have to be done in this specific order, as long as the final product takes into account each of the steps.
Normally this information is not in the rules, so you have to ask the host(s) about it. This is incredibly important, as the character you claim is one of the first things village leaders check when looking for fakes. Most games are open-theme, however, so there is a certain flexibility in what you claim your role name is. If at all possible, claiming your actual role name is always preferable to giving a fake one, because of the possibility of role name Checkers, along with the knowledge that your own role name will not be claimed by a villager. If you aren't familiar with your character, don't just claim him; do some research on Wikipedia, Google, and ask your teammates if they know your character. If your character is obviously not a village character, obviously you have to find a different one to claim. If this is the case, scouring Wikipedia or the Wiki of the game theme for characters is your best bet. Try to pick a character that is neither a primary character nor an obscure character, and make sure to link the flavor your action and PM to the character you claim.
While your role name can give you away at a moment's glance, a bad role claim will not give you much more than a cycle under the radar with a competent village leader. The first, imperative rule here is to claim a role you can actually "prove". For instance, if you have a full PM inspector on your mafia team, you can "prove" your role as an Alliance Checker, should you claim it, because you actually have that role. Remember that which role to claim depends almost entirely on the circumstances of the game. Also remember that creating a new role is a very good option if you are in a game with experimental concepts, as odds are most of the possible roles extending from the concept are not being used. Here are some common claims to make if you don't want to claim your team's actual roles, and possible problems with them:
Rogue: This is, without a doubt, the most common role to fake claim when mafia don't want to claim their actual roles. It is a well-known role thanks to #fluodome mafia, it is not used very often in forum mafia, and it is virtually impossible to disprove outside of an inspection. Of course, all of these positives make it such a suspicious role to claim that you are better off finding something else to claim if you want to be truly trusted. Still, if your goal is simply to not be lynched rather than to get village spreadsheet access, this is a good option.
Mayor: This role is claimed fairly frequently by mafia, but I am really not sure why. If there is a village mayor, and there often is, all the village leader has to do is have a "vote-off" between his mayor claims. Yet, for some reason, this tactic is not employed often. This is not a very good choice unless rogue is unavailable for some reason, although it has worked decently in the past. If you are ever put in a vote-off situation with an actual mayor, you can always claim the possibility of secret voters or negative voters, but, again, if you have to rely on such a far-fetched argument to not get immediately lynched... this is not a good role to fake.
Gains powers at a certain time: This is not claimed very often, much less than mayor, yet it is a hard role to disprove outside of an inspection, and it often allows you some leeway on what role to claim, as you don't really have to make up your mind until the time you say you should get the role, as long as you make the flavor ambiguous enough. Possibilities for this include both "gains powers at an unidentified date" and "gains powers at a specific time". I recommend going the unidentified route, because you are more flexible in what you tell the village leader later, but if you want to go the inflexible route and say you gain powers at a specific point, just make sure not to claim roles that gain powers after about N5, because that is roughly the stretching point of how long people will wait.
Odd/Even Night Vigilante: Here, you claim odd/even based on when your team kills, or odd if your team kills every night, in order to "prove" your role N1 instead of N2. It is fairly common for a village to lack a vigilante, and no village leader will lynch a vigilante until disproven by an inspection. The downside to this is that the village leader basically controls your team's kills, although you can always claim you were hooked if the village leader wants you to kill someone you are not willing to kill, such as one of your teammates. Another important factor to keep in mind here is kill flavor; your kills as a mafia have a particular flavor, and you have to make sure that the role you claim kills people in the same way your mafia does.
Partial Inspector: It is fairly common for a village to have one full inspector and a partial, or "backup", inspector, or even two partial inspectors and a full inspector. What this basically entails is having your team's actual inspector inspect people, and then cutting out part of the results to fit what you claimed (whether role name checker, alliance checker, ability checker, etc.). The downside to this is similar to the downside in claiming vigilante: the village leader controls your inspections. You can get around this by claiming you were hooked, but don't rely on the "I was hooked" fix too often. Remember that it is also possible to get information out of people without actually inspecting them, but don't rely on this in the stead of an inspection.
Martyr: Only claim this role if you actually have it on your team. I repeat: only claim this role if you actually have it on your team. This is an incredibly easy role to disprove, as most of the time it has higher priority than the hooker, so you can't even claim you were hooked when someone asks why you didn't redirect someone else. The same goes for any other kind of redirector.
Bullet-Proof Vest: This is an awesome fake claim to make because, like rogue, it is impossible to disprove without an inspection or a vigilante kill. On top of this, it is claimed much less than would be expected, giving it an advantage over rogue in that sense. Honestly, until people stop claiming rogue for a while, this is the overall best fake claim; just don't claim it too often, or it will become a lesser version of claiming Rogue. In short, it is a slightly worse claim than rogue because it can be verified with a vigilante fairly easily (for a rogue claim to be verified with a vigilante takes the village leader telling you to rogue the vigilante in the first place, and the vigilante can always be hooked/killed if you learn his identity), but it is not claimed as often, so it has the scarcity card on it' side. Overall a very good role to fake.
Lynch-Proof Vest: This is essentially a worse version of a Bullet-Proof Vest claim, because, like mayor, it can be easily identified and put in a checkmate position by being lynched. On the plus side, it is not claimed very often, but overall this advantage isn't really enough to make it anything other than a decent desperation claim. Bullet-Proof Vest is simply a superior option unless people start claiming it left and right.
Kidnapper: I am only including this here because it has actually been claimed before, and let me summarize my thoughts about it succinctly: don't claim it. There have been only a handful of village kidnappers, there are a variety of other possibilities to claim, and you don't want the village leader controlling your kidnappings. On top of all of this, it is such a fishy claim that you are unlikely to get access to the village spreadsheet even if you make a perfect fake.
There are many things that can happen for your claim to be discovered as a fake, such as inspections, redirects, or errors in the role PM itself; only some of these are within your control. However, it is incredibly silly to get caught over the ones that are in your control, and the one that people get caught for most often are grammatical errors or details consistent in every role PM.
First, look at your role PM, your partner's role PMs, and any village role PMs available (there may not be any, however). Focus on details, particularly line and sentence length, certain words or phrases, how abilities are phrased, or the exact wincondition phrasing. For instance, if your ability says "You may PM the hosts with "NX-Inspecting
Second, make sure you start writing your fake early, and have it ready to claim by Day 1, particularly if you plan on claiming a useless role. Besides, that's why people aren't allowed to spread role PMs during Night 0—to allow the mafia to get their fakes in order. Also think carefully about timing, as it looks odd when the rogue decides he is too important to claim until Day 3 because "I wasn't 100 percent sure of you yet". The inspector or bodyguard may be able to get away with such caution, but not weaker roles. Of course, if you are planning on claiming inspector, it might be better to be "more cautious" when claiming, as this fits in character with what you are claiming. In short, have your fake ready by Day 1, and claim it in a time frame consistent with the role you are claiming.
Third, be precise grammatically. This does not necessarily mean you must have impeccable grammar, however. If your role PM and/or your partner's role PMs have grammatical mistakes in them, replicating those mistakes onto your fakes is actually a decent idea, particularly since you can use the argument of "If I were faking, would I have included that bit with the error?" However, always double check your fakes before claiming unless you have no other options, and unless the village leader is demanding a claim now, you have options, such as getting the host(s) to check it is best, although often your partners can help you with grammar and details as well.
It's the small things, such as phrases, grammar, or length that often make the difference between getting access to the village spreadsheet and getting lynched or inspected. Of course, if you claim a bad role or role name, it doesn't matter how well your PM meshes with other claims, you will still be lynched, and vice-versa. Every aspect of a fake has to be polished and well thought-out, and no aspect of it should be hurried—again, you have 48 hours (or 72, as the case may be) during Night 0 to talk to your teammates and write these fakes. Don't be late, and don't rush it. Every lynch can be the difference between winning or losing for a mafia team, so don't take it lightly.
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