A vanilla player is one without any kind of active role. The role has a number of named variants, usually to tie it into the flavor of the particular game in question.
The role can be both town or mafia aligned, although the term vanilla tends to refer to the town aligned version in general. The mafia aligned version is typically called goon, although vanilla works for both cases.
Vanilla is often used as a buffer to cover a hidden or powerful role on either scans or reveals. Most unique, third party players tend to scan as vanilla, as will mafia godfathers. A player's role may flip upon death to vanilla if the exact nature of the role is to remain a mystery, such as in the case of a mafia turncoat.
Normal Townie, Goon (Mafia Aligned)
Usage and StrategyEdit
Because a vanilla player has no additional night action, they have to make the most of the game during the day phase by being particularly pro-active in the discussion and lynching.
Outside of adding an additional lynch-vote, a vanilla player is a useful buffer on a night. If a vanilla player is night-killed, it prevents a more useful night role from being killed instead. As a result of this, a pro-active vanilla player who is being especially helpful in daytime discussions serves a double purpose, by also potentially standing out as an early mafia kill target and allowing more useful roles to progress further into the game.
A mafia aligned vanilla player will generally have a distinct advantage over the town aligned version, due to having access to the private mafia scumboard. Since the godfather will typically require a player to be sent out for a kill each night, the vanilla player is a good candidate for this, as the mafia also loses less should they be taken out by some kind of reactive role. They may also be a good scapegoat should the mafia need to throw a player under the bus.
Because the player can only participate during the day phase, vanilla roles are generally poorly received by players with some even going as far as to become disinterested in the ensuing game once they receive the role. It's worth noting that vanilla players can still, and should still contribute just as much in the day phase. All players win as a team, but some players want a more proactive involvement in the game.
When it comes to larger games, however, vanilla roles are almost always needed in some capacity. Having too many roles can quickly lead to a game that is either too unbalanced or too convoluted for both sides. Throwing players without roles into the mix eases up on things a little in this regard.
- EN-ville and the Cult of Fatal Death - Angrykoopa, Boc, Doc, ff_zero, im317, Leos, mikeycp (Town)
- A Fistful of Dollars: the Story of EN Town - Hupu, Malion, Triforce Wisdom, Wikey (Town)
- ENything Goes: A Mafia Extravaganza - Doc, ff_zero (Town), AttleboroTaco (Mafia)