VFR: Why it's dumb and why you should stop doing it

VFR. Random voting. It’s dumb, please stop. The only two reasons people ever give to justify it are:

  • To get claims
  • To prolong the day for more discussion

But that’s not really the case. If it were, people would first out themselves, their own claim, and their own logs. Do you see any VFRers doing this? No. Nobody ever says, “I’m Phys, n1 heal 1 DNR, now let’s VFR going down the list.” Literally never. They only do it once you demand it, they never do it voluntarily.

Here’s another reason why VFR is dumb, even if practiced perfectly and completely randomly; e.g. going down the list beginning at 2, only voting them up when they refuse to claim otherwise. You can’t find any evils unless they post VERY bad logs. You can’t glean any useful information from the way people vote, because it’s just following a methodical agreed-upon process. There’s no associations between players to be deduced from the way people vote.

It is better to let the game flow naturally. Meaningful information (especially associations between players) is best gleaned from organic accusations.

VFR is a last resort for when you have no idea who to exe and it’s an exe-someone-or-you-lose situation.

Getting locked into a claim can be very bad for evils. Sure is bad to get caught as K/O after claiming physician. Or as the neutral maid. You can’t change your claim once the court knows it.

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I’m going to have to disagree here, for a few reasons.

I: Finding evils directly via VFR
VFR doesn’t only out the evils with overtly terrible logs, it outs the evils with logs that are off in more subtle ways – they claim a N3 smite on a jailed person, they claim to have visited someone who there was a CW swap on, they matched two people compatible as maid when they’re both royals.

II. Finding evils via voting patterns
For whatever reason, even in VFR, evils are often reluctant to vote other evils. You can often get a sense of associations from VFRing, and in particular a much better sense from VFRing than from doing nothing.

III. Locking evils into claims
With VFR, evils are locked into claims early. They can’t prepare chrono and butler logs, outing the butler logs only if they’re found K/O; they can’t claim obs conditional only on getting enough information.

  1. VFR outs BD first (usually), so evils can use the new info to better fake their own logs. It won’t be seen as “faking based on others’ logs”, it will be considered “confirming others’ logs”, if you do it right…
  2. That’s just dumb evil play, you gotta go hard or go home, be the first to up ur MM if he’s next in line.
  3. Only really applies to Sorc and Reaper, everyone else can claim something totally unsuspicious just to get pardoned. It’s okay if they get busted in the next couple days because they are expendable or can possess someone else. And Sorc and Reaper don’t need to be outed on trial; the evil faction usually does that for you.

VFR helps BD more than it does Evils:
-It gives protectives a target.
-It makes invests pick better targets.
-By association it helps confirm people.

And you don’t need mechanical confirmation to get someone executed. Posting logs is only one part of the trial. You can have perfect logs, but how you act on your information makes or breaks the deal.

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psst if you ever want to make VFR completely unviable remove “you were prevented” and “you were redirected” notifications for all non-investigatives like us cool kids in FoL did.

Unless, of course, you like having Neutral Killers and Assasins be stuck having to claim within the one grouping that contains almost nothing but bad claims and confirmable roles, in which case be my guest.


As compensation, change the action resoloution system in such a way that giving Occ/Redirect immunity is no longer neccecary, allowing Butlers to wine Butlers and so and so forth.

I have now fixed ToL, you’re welcome etc. etc.


sigh I mean i know this won’t actually happen because people care way too much about getting feedback from their actions, and in order to accomodate the feedback changes I’d need to modify the entire setup so that every class has some kind of action that’s interactive and cool.

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Vote For Role is a pretty popular meta, it allows everyone to deduce, allows “executing per majority”, noone feels useless. If you are a Chronomancer, but are good in deducing, you still can find evils on this way. It’s different than the whisper metas, where every deduction is on the shoulders of one/a few players. I think it’s one of the best metas for the fun of everyone.

You shouldn’t do it just down the list, but “just down the list” isn’t something I’m seeing often. It’s often just happening because noone decides to vote someone pseudo-randomly. If you try to lead the court, on a more or less subtle way, you often don’t go down the list.

I’m seeing a bit the danger of a completely open claim meta, especially when the prince is dead. I see half-outted as optimal, players who vote people up with “I think he’s evil”, but without telling why, even when they have a lead. Then the accused cannot change his logs based on your accusation. If the defense of the accused is so weak that you gonna exe him anyways, you don’t even have to out your lead when he is on stand.

I would also like to see more whispers between players. Some of the strongest plays are including alliances between single players. One example for this was, as I was Physician, and I did out myself to an open CW. As the sellsword stonewalled the prince, the CW just empowered me so I could save the prince.

LYLO situations are almost non-existant in ToL, since many classes are strong enough to change the outcome of the night completely.

If you remove the feedback from ToL, the result will be IMHO a lot of random executions, without real deduction.

tl;dr: VFR is one of the most fun metas I have seen in ToL, and IMO people are enjoying it.

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VFR is bad because it’s unfun for the wolves, not because it’s unfun for the villagers.

Why do you think I’m considering almost completely redesigning the game from the ground up so that this can be fixed? I’m saying that these are fundamental flaws in the way that ToL is set up at the moment, and if the whole setup can be modified to accomodate limited feedback while still having interesting mechanical deduction.

It’s not like this is impossible (See; Blood on the Clocktower), but it’ll take far too long for me to consider doing it unless there’s literally no good games on MU or anywhere else.

Why is feedback something bad anyway? I’m considering limited feedback a heavy flaw of FoL, which is kinda necessary thanks to having so much time to coordinate. It allows even non-investigative classes to investigate, and that’s something very positive imo.

And why is VFR unfun for non-BD, it’s easier with VFR than with the whisper metas?

ToL isn’t fun to wolf in, because the village gets far too much fucking information.


Also, Blood on the Clocktower proves that you’re wrong about feedback being needed to allow for non-investigatives to mechanically deduce things. There’s a setup in that game with only one village role that actually gets real feedback which is actually the one with the most solid information at all.

What we ideally want is for there to be deduction based around more than just receiving slips of paper with “[blank] is a wolf” writen on it.

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Can you give me a link or so, Idk anything about Blood on the Clocktower

Your argument is made on the basis that if there is no VFR, there is whisper meta or open claim meta, because for there to be deduction there needs to be a meta.
This basis is incorrect and thus the entire remaining point is invalid.

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I simply don’t experience ToL as boring for the non-BD classes, there are a lot of different strategies you can use and classes you can claim, you can do almost everything, you have many different abilities, and the win chances are decent, even for Neutral Killers.
Someone wrote a very good guide for how to claim each BD class as unseen.

General idea for my potential rework of ToL:

  • Removal of occupy/redirect feedback for everybody except for investigatives.
  • Occupy/redirect immunity is cut down upon.
  • Using the increased design space afforded by this, reintroduce uncomplicated but interesting abilities.
  • Add more potential for double-chain logical deduction.
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If you give feedback to butlers about their targets being immune butler is no longer an offensive class, it’s a pseudo invest class.

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