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Serial Killer

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Serial Killer
S-serialkiller.png
Aliases:
  • Cannibal
  • Psychopath
Alignment:
  • Serial Killer
Role type:
  • Killing
  • Third-party
Choice:
  • Night

A Serial Killer is a player whose goal is to be the last player alive. They are aligned with themselves (meaning they have no allies) and have a factional kill at Night like the Mafia. Depending on the flavor, SKs may also be called Cannibals, Psychopaths, or Arsonists (note that Arsonist has since grown to describe a unique role).

Normal version

The Normal variant of a Serial Killer is as a self-aligned third party with no additional powers, other than a night kill. Other roles or modifiers can be added, however, but they are considered separate roles that are part of the role name and need to be shown when the SK flips.

A Serial Killer's kill is considered factional, so if investigated by a Role Cop or Vanilla Cop, SKs (with no further powers) should return a "Vanilla" result. Serial Killers traditionally kill with knives, so show up as not having a gun to a Gunsmith investigation - note that all deaths should still have the same generic Kill Flavor.

The presence of a Serial Killer can often keep a game going even at numbers that would normally lead another faction to win immediately (e.g. 1 Town, 1 Mafia, 1 Serial Killer going into the Night). As a general guideline, if a Serial Killer is still alive, the game should not be called over unless the Serial Killer has won or some groupscum faction controls more than half the votes in the game.

Variations

Serial Killer is the most difficult standard faction to win as, since being the sole survivor requires the player to dodge all of the Town's lynches and the Mafia's Night-kills. Thus, they are generally given a boost of some kind, depending on the game.

  • Serial Killers are often awarded the win if all players die, typically done by wording the win condition akin to "you win when all other players are dead, whether you are alive or not".
  • Serial Killers are often given One-Shot or unlimited Bulletproof. This stymies attempts to kill the SK by the Mafia or Vigs, if temporarily.
  • Serial Killers have also been seen with investigation immunity like Godfathers, or Tracker/Watcher immunity like Ninjas.

Occasionally, moderators will include a Psychiatrist that can "cure" SKs, allowing them to win via the Town win condition instead; however, it is almost never used.

In very complex games, Serial Killers can be complex roles unto themselves that just happen to have a factional kill and a self-aligned win condition.

Use & Balance

The Serial Killer exists to ratchet up the death count per Night and raise the swing of the game tremendously due to the SK's independent motivation. These are somewhat desirable in fairly stable Large games, but in role madness or smaller games SKs tend to lead to uncomfortable situations where their actions play a disproportionate role in deciding the game. This can be mitigated somewhat by including a Vigilante instead.

Play Advice

If you draw Serial Killer, do not claim NK-Immune Miller Vig. Although since that meme has appeared, some moderators actually have included that very role in their setups... Nonetheless, you are usually best off not claiming to be a Vigilante if you are a Serial Killer unless you are incriminated by a Tracker or Watcher result.

Sample Role PMs

The standardized Role PM for "Serial Killer" describes the faction as follows:

  • As a win condition: You win if you are the last player alive (or if nothing can prevent the same).

Example (vanilla)

Welcome to game! You are a Serial Killer.

You have the following active ability:

  • Each night, you may target a player. Assuming no interference with your action, that player will die.

You win if you are the last player alive (or if nothing can prevent the same).

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

Example (power role)

Welcome to game! You are an Ascetic Serial Killer Rolecop.

Actions that target you, other than kills, will fail as if roleblocked.

You have the following active abilities, but may use only one per night:

  • Each night, you may target a player. Assuming no interference with your action, that player will die.
  • Each Night, you may target a player. Assuming no interference with your action, you will learn that player's role (but not their alignment).

You win if you are the last player alive (or if nothing can prevent the same).

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