A Townie (also known as Citizen, Townsperson, Villager, etc.) is a player with a pro-Town Win Condition. Due to ambiguity, "Townie" has been known to refer to any pro-Town player who has no extraordinary abilities or simply any pro-Town player. Players who have no extraordinary abilities are specifically called Vanilla Townies (abbreviated as VT).
Townie is a role designation for a pro-Town role that has no active ability. It is possible to give Townies innate powers by applying a Role modifier to them. The following modifiers are legal to use in Normal Games: Ascetic, Backup, Bulletproof, Informed.
The colloquial name for a blank townie and the term used in Normal games is Vanilla Townie. Townie, Townsperson, Citizen are also permitted. A game cannot be considered Normal if there is not at least one VT-equivalent role in the game. A sample of a Vanilla Townie role PM must be provided in one of the opening posts of a Normal Game.
Outside of Normal games, a Townie can have any kind or combination of role modifiers applied to it.
Chocolate Townie is a common type of Named Townie. A Named Townie typically is just that, a name. Chocolate Townie subverts this trope by being named similarly and acting the same as the main type of Townie, the Vanilla Townie. Named Townies are stronger than Vanilla Townies: outside of Role Madness games, there should be a great number of Vanilla Townies in the setup, and not being one, even if just by name can be considered a type of power.
Vanilla Townies are the accepted term to be used. See: Vanilla. If all Vanilla Townies are named, that new name is considered a VT in its function.
Any role can become a Vanilla Townie if targeted by a Vanillizer. Similarly, any Vanilla Townie can use abilities granted by another role.
The rest of the article will detail the use of the Vanilla Townie.
Use and Balance
For non-vanilla townies, balance advice can be sought on their respective wiki pages.
The Vanilla Townie (VT) is a vital role for game balance. Generally, it is a good idea to start with the highest number of VTs you'd like to account for when making a Mafia set-up. To avoid problems related by having too few VTs the finished product should shoot for at least half the number of playing having the VT role.
A game in which all roles are Vanilla is called a Mountainous game.
Role Madness is a type of game where there are no Vanilla roles at all. As a rule, there's no way to balance a Role Madness game, as there are only precautions that can be taken to avoid the game from being broken. While it is possible to assign a Vanilla Town role in a Role Madness game, it is recommended to limit any VT role to 1, as the novelty of a single Vanilla Town effectively makes it a Named Townie that is difficult or impossible for scum to effectively counterclaim.
It is common practice to provide the role-PM of a Vanilla Townie role to the entire player list to avoid optimization strategies that could be attempted by comparing role PMs between VTs, or to make each VT role PM unique.
The Vanilla Townie plays a crucial role for the town. As game balance necessitates its existence, its power level is entirely up to the player wielding it. Generally, a VT should try to play as transparently pro-Town as possible, and show high aggression or concern for its survival. At the same time, it is best to avoid telling yourself as a VT: leaving something to the imagination leaves you open to soaking a Night Kill for your team. When in doubt, ask yourself if there's an element of WIFOM for scum to analyze. If they may agonize over killing you, you have found a great balance in your play.
VTs are in a unique position to look out for their team's Power Roles. While a Vanilla Townie will never produce a guilty result on scum on their own, they can take a night-kill for somebody that can. Simply because there are more than one VT likely not more than one of any given power role in a game, any power role without the name "Vanilla Townie" can offer the town power just by being named.
A strategy VTs can employ in specific setups is creating Cover for their power role, commonly a cop or investigative role of some kind. Each day you can state, "if I am a cop, I have an innocent on X player". This is optimizing strategic behavior that will raise the Town's Expected Value to win by providing a cop with safe days to out an Innocent result while avoiding being night-killed, up until they claim a real Guilty. If the cop is killed, all of their results can be taken as the truth, and no result they could have shared will be lost.
Similarly, it's possible to provide cover if you correctly read a player as a certain role, though it is important to communicate the plan in some way in thread so as to avoid being counterclaimed by your teammate.
Sample Role PM
Welcome, [Player]! You are a Vanilla Townie.
- You have no abilities other than your voice and your vote.
- You win if all threats to the town are eliminated and at least one town-aligned player is alive.
A Vanilla Cop is a cop that gets results in the form of 'Vanilla' and 'Not Vanilla'. In a way similar to Role Cops, it gets a Vanilla result on both Vanilla Townies and Mafia Goons, though it gets 'Not Vanilla' instead of an actual role on any Power Roles.
A Vanillaiser (or Vanillaizer) is a player who can target another player at night to remove their power, turning them into the Vanilla version of their role (Vanilla Townie and Mafia Goons).
Mountainous is a set-up where all roles in the game are Vanilla.