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A Guide to Focusing on Scum and Getting them Lynched

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Original Publication: May 14, 2008 by Albert B. Rampage
Revised: July 27, 2011 by Uncle Pain

The original article by Albert B. Rampage can be found here.


Ever had a poorly skilled scum win a game because of a lurkerhunt? I have.

Let me preface this article with How to Direct your Attention on Scum 101, in three simple steps:

  1. Focus on the player that needs to be lynched. If a player catches your attention, concentrate on them. Probe, ask innocent questions, predict how the next stage of the game will unfold and ask them what they will do if such a situation arises. Surround them with their own convictions and corner them into their own self-imposed molds of accepted behavior. You want them to build a tree house for you to destroy later.
  2. Don't lose sight. Ignore other players' inquiries if their questions don't move you closer to lynching your target player. Take things further. Get an emotional reaction out of your victim by heavily accusing them of scum backed by whatever evidence you have. It should be 50% evidence, 50% accusation. You should make it clear to your suspect that you will never change your mind about them, and you will do anything to get them lynched, every day, every page, every damn post. This will work to your advantage. Keep the ball on your court, rob the scum of their dominance and place them in a frame of survival. This way, you are exploiting the maximum bussing potential of a scumteam.
  3. Do not justify your focus. Never justify your single-mindedness. If you present it as part of your personality, players will likely just go with it. Present your case and state your intentions, but never justify the jewel of your focal point. The reason for this is simple: you want to make the game about your victim, not about your obsessiveness with that person. The line between the two is slim but it makes a world of difference.

On focussing

Here's the section you have all been waiting for: examples!

Example for bad focus

Taken from Mafia 72: Peril in Panama (pages 16–17):

Albert B. Rampage: I'm pretty sure he's lying. Anyone up for lynching him anyway ?

Even this weak question managed to plant the seed for lynching a claimed doctor with no counter-claims. Imagine what you can do with a full-out war. Pay close attention as both the scum partners quickly unvoted, while the town still had their votes on, but lacked the conviction of following through with the lynch.

You guys need to step up and take responsibility for every single one of your lynches, because most of the time no one else will. People are looking for someone to blame when shit hits the fan. YOU are that someone. YOU set the trends, and YOU tell other players what lynch is "in" as far as you're concerned.

Dragon Phoenix (town): I did not agree with the bandwagon, but my gut reaction to the claim is: I don't believe it. Not willing to string up a claimed doc just yet though.
Gage (town): I'm not buying the claim either.
Porochaz (town): K having read over I feel BM is most scummy, however he is now at L-2 and I really dont have much more than a "feeling" that he is scummy... and in my book that isnt enough to lynch him so I won't vote unless theres some sort of deadline that I totally overlooked.

Notice that after the claim and my reaction, there were actually more town players who could have been swayed into lynching BM-scum. This goes to show how the lack of faith and zeal of a single player can undermine the entire town's effort to lynching scum.

Example for good focus

Look at pages 19–22 of the same game.

Here, I overcome every single obstacle and get my player lynched. It was long and arduous, but these kind of things are the most rewarding. Stick to what you know to be true, guys. You impose yourself to your target, and convince the others. Impose and convince. I see all these noobs trying to convince their targets and imposing their beliefs on their town comrades. This is shitty play, mayeng.

On not losing sight

You must realize that suspicious players are inter-changeable in this step. You cannot lynch more than one player at a time, so only pay attention to one target at a time. Do not implicate anyone else with your target. Your concentration can and should shift smoothly from one player to another when your suspicions die off or peak to an all time high. Once you have reached the conclusion that someone is mafia, you poke, nudge and harass until you get what you want.

Do not get into a logical debate with your target. This always ends with “I have my views, you have yours”. Only reply to what is necessary. Build the tension until your opponent feels the heat, is ready to explode, to give up and surrender at your feet. Everything your victim does at this point will lead to one of two things that MUST be pointed out and formally written for the town to see your thought process:

  • You see them act scummier and scummier.
  • They convince you that you are wrong.

Other town members (such as Setael at page 20 in the example above) will often try to build their own cases. Ignore their logical arguments and tell them bluntly that the player they suspect will not be lynched that day; maybe tomorrow.

Re-direct the town's attention every time they steer you away from your path. You are on a straight collision course with the scum and nothing can stop you. It always comes down to who wants it more, and who is more confident in their choice.

There are three pre-dominant factors that will influence other players to vote your bandwagon candidate:

  • How confident you are of that person being scum.
The only way to check off the first one is experience. You need to have seen it to recognize it. This is all about your analytical skills and observation prowess.
  • How compliant the rest of the town is to you.
This one is simple: look pro-town, never go back on your word, and get credit where it is due. Make points that other town players will agree with. Ultimately though, it’s a case-by-case scenario. Certain players will be severely hard-headed and will stubbornly oppose you no matter what you do.
  • How much you have adjusted your actions with your beliefs.
This is extremely easy. Put your vote where your mouth is. Don't create scumlists. There are a limited number of scum, and you are only focusing on one. Walk the talk.

I'm not telling you noobs to fake it until you make it… far from it. I'm giving you this information because, once in a while, some noob will find a scum and let the bastard slip right through his fingers for the win because he was too soft on the sod. Ever had that "I KNEW YOU WERE SCUM" post-game rant? This article was for you.


I'd like to thank Setael for giving me the inspiration to write this post with her comment after Mini 508:

Setael (scum): Yeah [Albert], but no one can compete with your "shove it down their throats" style. I definitely find it tough to escape once it's aimed at me. I think that's a compliment.

Keep your scumdars technologically superior, and happy scumhunting.