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Mason

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Mason
T-mason.png
Aliases:
  • Monk
  • Templar
Alignment:
Role type:
  • Linked
  • Communicative
  • Investigative
Choice: none

Masons are a group of players who can speak to each other privately and know that everyone in their group is not a member of the Mafia.

Normal version

A Mason group is a set of players who can communicate (via a shared Private Topic), and who know that every member of the group is Town. In Normal games, Masons are absolutely 100% Town; just as with the Mafia's private communication, it is up to the moderator whether the Private Topic is usable both Day and Night, or at Night only (although an Encryptor in the masonry will of course allow it to be used at any time regardless of the decision).

It is possible for multiple independent masonries to exist in the same game. A masonry must contain at least two players (as players know their own alignment and can already talk to themselves).

Variations

The Mason role has generated a fair amount of controversy and a few offshoots. Be sure you ask the moderator what precisely it means to be a Mason, as all of the below have been known to simply be called "Mason".

Masons are fully confirmed to not be members of the Mafia. However, in Theme or Open games, this confirmation does not always apply to other anti-town alignments; sometimes a Werewolf will be allowed into a masonry, even though the Mafia are absolutely excluded.

A Monk is a faction-flipped version of a Mason, giving absolutely confirmation that there are no Werewolves in the monastery, but potentially allowing the possibility of Mafia.

Despite the name "Mason" implying an absolute confirmation that the members are not Mafia-aligned, some moderators have been known to put Mafia members into a masonry anyway, with the role only implying a high confidence in the alignment of the masonry members (more than with a Neighbour). It may be worth asking the moderator how absolute the confirmation provided by a masonry is meant to be. (In an extreme case, if the game is advertised as bastard mod, the odds of scum in the masonry is probably rather higher than 50:50!)

The term for players who know each other to be Town but are unable to speak to each other privately is Best Friends, though this has fallen into disuse.

To contrast, the standard term for players who do not know each others' alignments but can speak to each other privately is Neighbors. (This means that a Mason is effectively an Informed Neighbor.)

There is nothing sacred about the Masons being forced to talk at Night only; allowing Masons to speak at all times raises their effectiveness somewhat.

Use & Balance

The most obvious power of a Masonry (and Best Friends) is the mutual confirmation of multiple players as Town. Consider that a Cop can find out over the span of two Nights that two other players are innocent, and if the Cop roleclaims effectively, the Town wins three confirmed-innocent players on Day 3. A three-person Masonry, on the other hand, has that same number of confirmed innocents from the start of the game. In addition, while a Cop's innocent results are mostly only useful if the Cop lives to claim them and is believed, each of the Masons can mutually confirm the others as soon as the existence of a Mason is made evident. (For instance, if someone dies overNight and flips Mason, the other Mason(s) can still claim and be considered confirmed Town.) Last, Mason is difficult (but not impossible) for scum to fakeclaim, as they need to put up a scumpartner to be their fake Mason partner and hope that neither of them die over the course of the game.

Some moderators consider two Masons to be a roughly equivalent substitute for a Cop.

The conversational aspect of Masons is not nearly as good (as opposed to with Neighbors, where the conversation is a means to the end of discerning the Neighbors' alignments). It can be used to allow the confirmed Town players to confer with each other and play strategically during the Day - much like scum do, but with the intent of helping the Town and confounding the scum instead of vice versa. To that end, the ability for Masons to speak to each other amplifies the skill of the Masons themselves, but has no inherent power by itself.

Play Advice

Because a Mason pair is powerful enough by itself that it has a major impact on a setup's balance, it is usually obvious whether a claimed Mason group is fakeclaiming or genuine by the time a massclaim happens, meaning that players are happy to treat claimed Masons as town until ELo (and beyond, if the balance checks out). As such, a Mason can effectively play like an Innocent Child (although should be cautious about gambiting too hard; confirming yourself may require exposing your partners). Assuming the Normal version that absolutely guarantees the other Masons are town, there's no reason to distrust your friends in the masonry; you should be completely honest and open with them, bounce read suggestions off each other, and the like.

Consider breadcrumbing your partners, but only if you can do so legally; unlike the sort of breadcrumb that would be used by a Weak player, your breadcrumbs are meant to be pointed out by your partners (to confirm themselves), and not found by players after your flip. Some moderators may consider breadcrumbs that can't be found even by players who are looking them to violate rules about cryptography, so it's best to ask first.

Sample Role PMs

The standardized Role PM for "Mason" describes the passive ability as follows:

  • As an unmodified passive ability: You know that player/players is/are Town-aligned, and may speak to him/her/it/them/etc. in this private topic at Night. (edit)
  • As a passive ability with a modifier: You know that player/players is/are Town-aligned, and may speak to him/her/it/them/etc. in this private topic at the nth Night OR Night on day n. (edit)

Example (unmodified)

Welcome to game! You are a Town Mason.

You know that player/players is/are Town-aligned, and may speak to him/her/it/them/etc. in this private topic at Night.

You have no active abilities.

You win if all threats to the town are eliminated and at least one town-aligned player is alive.

Confirm by replying to this PM with a summary of your role.

Example (modified)

Welcome to game! You are a Town Novice Mason.

You know that player/players is/are Town-aligned, and may speak to him/her/it/them/etc. in this private topic at Night from Night 2 onwards.

You have no active abilities.

You win if all threats to the town are eliminated and at least one town-aligned player is alive.

Confirm by replying to this PM with a summary of your role.

See also

Several Open setups are built around masonries, such as Masons and Monks, and Friends and Enemies.