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Stoofer's Laws

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Stoofer's Laws are adages coined by and named after Mr Stoofer.

Stoofer's 1st Law

In a C9 game, if a pro-town player is eliminated on day 1, both scum were probably on the elimination.


This is not really a law at all -- more a theory. Mr Stoofer had been propounding it for some time when Turbovolver suggested that it be named as one of Stoofer's Laws. It applies to C9 games, as well as old fashioned Newbie games, but not other types of game.

Exceptions to Stoofer's 1st Law include the case where the eliminated self-votes, and where the elimination goes through at deadline with fewer than 4 votes. Also where the mafia are really smart or the town is really dumb.

Stoofer's 1st Law is highly controversial. For example, Norinel has observed that the mafia is really smart or the town is really dumb almost exactly as often as you would expect there to be fewer than two mafia on the bandwagon if the law had no relevance and voting patterns were actually random.

Stoofer's 2nd Law

As a discussion in the Mafia Discussion Forum grows longer, the probability of someone voting for someone else in the thread approaches 1.


It has also been observed that discussions in other threads become more and more likely to contain a vote as they increase in length. For a discussion of Stoofer's 2nd Law click here.

bigAL's Calculation

Based on experimental data, in March 2006 bigAl calculated that the actual probability of someone voting for someone else in the Mafia Discussion Forum is approximately: 1 - (155/(155+n)), where n is the number of posts in a thread. See this post. However, due to Thok's Corollary and mith's Observation, the current probability is today significantly higher.

Thok's Corollary to Stoofer's 2nd Law

Thok has proposed a corollary to Stoofer's 2nd Law:

If necessary, Mr Stoofer will vote somebody in a thread just to make Stoofer's 2nd Law apply.

Thok's Corollary has become very well-known, even to the extent that it is from time to time confused with Stoofer's 2nd Law itself. It has led to further principles as set out below.

Stoofer's Observation on Thok's Corollary to Stoofer's 2nd Law

As first posted in the MafiaWiki, this observation is:

Interestingly, the existence of Thok's Corollary has encouraged Mr Stoofer to act in accordance with it.

This observation is now a self-fulfilling prophecy.

mith's Principle regarding Stoofer's Observation on Thok's Corollary to Stoofer's 2nd Law

The evident truth of Stoofer's Observation on Thok's Corollary to Stoofer's 2nd Law led mith to formulate the following principle:

Stoofer's Observation that he is encouraged to act on Thok's Corollary has the side-effect of encouraging others to vote even earlier in Mafia Discussion threads, before Mr Stoofer can get to them, in order to have a hand in upholding Stoofer's 2nd Law, often in spite of confusion over what the Law, Corollary, and Observation actually entail, thus further increasing the probability of a vote in a thread with N posts beyond even the observed upswing due to the effect of Thok's Corollary on bigAl's Calculation vis-à-vis Stoofer's 2nd Law.

Mokina's Conjecture relating the effects of mith's Principle and Stoofer's Observation

For each instance of vote augmentation via Stoofer's Observation or mith's Principle, an equal and opposite psychological impetus exists against posting votes in Mafia Discussion threads for fear of upholding the corollary. This has a net zero-sum effect such that bigAl's Calculation holds as originally written. The chance of a post containing a vote can be represented as 1 - (C/(C+n)), where n is the number of posts in a thread and C is Stoofer's Constant for the year in question.

Furthermore, it is clear that while a given user will view mith's Principle as either a positive or negative impetus, the influence of a Stoofer corollary cannot be estimated beforehand (see WIFOM).

Stoofer's 3rd Law

Because the more complicated a game is, the more difficult it is for the Town, there comes a point where increasing the number of pro-Town power roles may actually tilt the game balance in favour of the Mafia.


See Discussion of Stoofer's 3rd Law

Stoofer's 4th Law

When experimenting with new mechanics, keep everything else as simple as possible.


This is just common sense. The idea is that the starting point for a radical new mechanic should be a plain Mountainous setup, or one with only a few simple power roles. If the mechanic works, by all means try it with a more complicated collection of roles.

Seol put it this way when discussing a proposed new voting mechanic, but his point applies to all new mechanics: "I think it'd be interesting to run it mountainous first, then a roled version to follow up - there is definitely scope for new roles that interact with the mechanic here, but the mechanic itself adds another dimension to the game, and as such the game is in danger of getting excessively dense with roles - especially unprecedented roles - at the same time as a brand new open mechanic."

Stoofer's 5th Law

If Battle Mage is still alive on Day 3, he is Scum.


This Law (again, more of a theory) requires statistical analysis.