Article #2: Seers/Cops and Keeping Good Cover
- written by Yates
“A secret's worth depends on the people from whom it must be kept.”
― Carlos Ruiz Zaf?n, “The Shadow of the Wind”
This is a guide on understanding the basic principles of being a seer, providing seer cover, and the information generated by the scum team’s seer hunt.
What is a seer?
A seer [also known as a cop] is a basic Town power role with the ability to investigate one person per night in order to determine their alignment. The game mod then sends these investigation results to the seer/cop at the beginning of each new day. These investigation results are called "peeks."
In basic games, there are three things that are always going to happen:
- A seer has to "drop peeks." This means that they have to find a way to post their results in the thread for the Town to see.
- The Town needs to provide "seer cover" [also known as "hypo cop'ing"]. This means that the rest of the Town should be providing fake peeks in order to confuse the scum team and hide the real seer results until it is safe for the real seer to claim or the real seer is killed.
- The scum has to "seer hunt." In basic games, the scum team does not have a lot of time to find the seer. In a typical standard game if the scum team doesn't find the seer by day 3 and the seer has 3 live peeks or 2 live peeks and a scum peek the game is mechanically locked and the Town always wins.
Seer Hunt Clear
Let's talk about "seer hunt clear" [SHC]:
Seer hunt clear is when a person is "cleared" as Town because the scum team killed the person with a fake peek on them.
Yates fakes a Town peek on Thingy.
That night Yates is killed by the scum team.
Thingy is considered seer hunt cleared.
Why? Look at point 3 above. The scum team has a limited amount of time to find the seer. They are very unlikely to kill someone who has a fake peek on scum. The reason they are very unlikely to kill someone with a fake peek on scum is because the "peek" is inaccurate which means that person can't be the real seer.
To continue the example:
Yates fakes a Town peek on Thingy.
Thingy is actually scum.
Thingy and his scum team now know that Yates is NOT the seer and will usually night kill someone else in an effort to find the real seer.
How to provide cover
The trick with providing cover is in figuring out accurate fake peeks and maintaining those peeks as the day progresses. As you saw above, once you fake a peek on scum the scum team knows you are not the real seer and that limits the pool of potential people who can be the real seer. This being the case, it is almost always advisable to fake your "peek" on someone you are Town reading. In order to do this, it makes the most sense for everyone to hold off on dropping their fake peeks [and for the seer to hold off on dropping their real peek] until there is enough information in the thread to give everyone actual reads. It is always easier to maintain a fake peek on someone you are Town reading anyway.
Some people think it's a good idea to drop their peek in their first post. While this might seem like a good idea, since statistically you are more likely to randomly choose a villager, you make it harder for the real seer to pretend their read could also be fake. This method also relies 100% on luck. While luck is certainly involved to a certain extent, we also like to think of this as a game of skill. So why not use your skills by waiting longer in order to improve your luck?
Make your peeks clear. Some people like to hide their fake peeks. This is a bad idea. If you get killed at night, you want your peeks to be OBVIOUS to the rest of the Town. This is especially true in Turbo games where every second counts. The less time the village has to spend figuring out your peeks, the easier it will be to soft clear Townies. Also, you will want your real seer to make their peeks obvious so you want to try to emulate that clarity. Using phrases like “if I’m the seer I peeked playerX Town n0” or simply “I peeked player Town last night” leave no doubt.
Once you have committed to a fake peek, you have to stick with that peek. If I call Thingy my n0 peek and I suddenly start suspecting him [even though the scum team knows he is Town], it becomes pretty clear to the scum team that I am not the real seer because I "dropped cover." So if I call Thingy my n0 peek, he has to always be the "Towniest" person in all future reads lists.
The hardest time to maintain cover is when someone claims to be the real seer. Do yourself and everyone else a favor and evaluate the authenticity of that claim before you just drop your cover [by unvoting or high fiving or something like that]. Scum will often fake claim seer when caught to see how people react so their team mates might be able to find the real seer.
How to drop peeks as the seer
Hopefully, everyone in the Town is savvy enough to know how to properly fake peek. [If they don’t? Refer them to this article post game!] One of the best ways to do this is to “disguise” your peek as a read. As you read above, the players who are better at providing seer cover drop their peeks based on reads. If they are doing this, it will make things a lot easier on you. If not, then it doesn’t matter too much because the scum will see your peeks and hopefully assume that your peek is “too easy” of a target because it is clearly based off of a read.
The trick to providing the Town with your peeks is to make them indistinguishable from fake peeks but also clear. If you are the seer you want there to be no doubts about who your peeks are. This is especially true in Turbo games where every second counts. Using phrases like “if I’m the seer I peeked playerX Town n0” or simply “I peeked player Town last night” leave no doubt. If you bury your peeks in long reads lists or rambling posts, there’s always a danger they will not be seen.
The biggest challenge you will face is when someone fake claims being the real seer. A good Town will evaluate all claims and will not immediately drop seer cover. If they do? You may be forced to unvote or vote for someone in order to appear to be a regular Townie. Even if you change your vote back, the hope is that your flinch will make the scum team think you are not the real seer because the real seer will know not to flinch. Ideally, you will have a Town hero who does NOT flinch at all and will eat the bullet for you at night. Knowing when to counter claim is an art and a whole topic of its own that I will leave up to you.
- EVERYONE should provide seer cover.
- Peeks should be clear.
- Seer cover based on reads is usually more accurate than random luck.
- Don’t drop cover.
- Seer hunt clear is a real thing.