The online social deduction game, Throne of Lies, has me hooked. I love playing it. Why? I am yet to figure that out. Please help me. Being a 100% introvert (yes, I've taken the test and received a perfect score), I avoid social interaction in most forms - even online unless I can Tweet and shut the app seconds later.
It's stressful, sometimes vulgar, and some players can be downright mean! But for some reason, I keep logging in and entering a queue. The video below is my silly stream on Twitch when I first learned how to play. I wore costumes to fit what character I became while playing. That's just what I do. I am not offering minutes of your life back for watching this, so don't ask. I'm not that great of a player. I'm often called words that shouldn't be said, stupid, dumb, and one player told me to uninstall the game. I've seen a player tell someone on their team 'I hope you die irl.' Harsh! If you watch the stream below, you'll know what I'm talking about.
Why do I go back for more torture and verbal abuse from these keyboard warriors? Because it's fun! So, let me give you my take on how to play. These are my opinions and can be right, wrong, or not how the developers even intended, but this is what I know and how I play.
Where to find the game: Throne of Lies can be found on the online gaming platform - Steam. It's only ~ 10 USD for unlimited play.
Let's play: once you are ready with your game installed, you hit 'Start Solo' for a public game. You enter a queue and wait in the lobby for sixteen players to join. From what I can gather, I'd guess that most of the players are male. I could be wrong, though. You can chat in here, but I usually keep quiet, as you never know who these folks are and if they'll talk about farts, their penis, or some kind of Anime stuff I don't know about. There is a ton of trolling going on in here, I'll say.
Pick a name: once there are sixteen players in the queue, you are brought to a screen where you pick a name. Get ready to laugh at what your opponents will choose for this. If you go too extravagant, you'll get killed quickly - or at least I've found that to be true for me. Every time I choose Professor Chaos or Lord of Lies, I don't make it in the game long. I do better if I choose something boring like Blue or Stapler. You want to blend in, so you don't catch a killer's eye. I think picking names each game keeps it interesting. It also prevents other players from getting to know you and predicting your next move, as they won't know who-is-who in the game, as your account name is hidden once you leave the lobby. You have so many seconds to choose a name before it assigns you a standard medieval one - which is lame since it makes you look like you're lazy or not creative enough to choose a name for yourself.
The game begins: once you enter the king's court, there are sixteen low-res medieval people situated around the king's table. One player will spawn as the king. The king may be a good or evil king, but nobody knows but that player. The game is all about figuring out who is good and evil. The ultimate objective is to annihilate all players of the opposing faction and to find and execute the Neutral Killer before they murder everyone in your faction. If you win, you receive game gold that you can use to buy armor, weapons, death note colors (these are what killers draw to show 'who' anonymously killed a player), and titles. The armor isn't used to protect you - it's for show. The weapon is used if your character is chosen to executive a player after a trial. However, once you have everything they offer to buy in-game, the gold is pretty pointless.
Stone: I met this guy while playing the game, and he seems to be one of the most skilled players around. He's worth a watch if you plan to play, and here is his Twitter:
Blue Dragon Faction (BD): these are the good guys. There is a prince, healers (chronomancers, physicians), offensive players that cause chaos (drunks, butlers, court wizards), investigators (Maids, Princesses, Sheriffs/Paladins and Observers), killers (hunters, knights), and social characters, such as the noble and mystic.
There is a day-night cycle to the game. You are to keep logs of what you do during the day and night. Each character has different abilities. At night, you get to choose what to do, depending upon your character. Some are more fun to play than others, but hopefully, if you play long enough, you'll get a turn at the better roles. Each day, you'll wake up to seeing who was murdered the night before, and then, the chatting begins to find the evils. Your written logs account for your actions. If you are a member of BD, your logs must be real, or your team will think you are lying and erroneously execute you during the day. The game is called Throne of Lies. you see. The evils obviously make fake logs, as they are pretending to be the good guys.
The Evil Factions: this is a bit tricky, as there are two types of games, and you won't always know which game you are in at first. You will either enter a Cult game or an Unseen game. There are differences with both evil factions, and it takes time to learn all of the rules, descriptions, and nuances of correct gameplay for each type of player.
Cult games have a Cult Leader and various other cult members (apostles, invokers, seekers, etc.) who have different abilities. Usually, the other members are similar to one of the BD players, but they are the evil version. For example, a Noble is a social player for BD, and its counterpart is an Apostle. They pretty much do the same thing, but with slight differences that usually only experienced players can detect. The Cult Leader can either 'Brainwash,' which is to convert one good guy to join the Cult or kill two people at night (the ability is called 'Eradicate'). You must alternate between doing one or the other each night. Usually, the first night (N1), the Cult Leader will convert someone to make a three-player team. It's all about having majority, but given the numbers, the Cult won't have majority until later in the game if they are lucky. There can be up to four cult members at one time. The objective is to kill all members of the Blue Dragon faction. The investigator that finds the Cult players at night is a Paladin.
The Unseen has a Mastermind, an Assassin, and another type of Unseen on their team of three (at max). The Unseen can also convert players on their team, and the Assassin can kill one player at night. The Assassin has one ability to kill two players, but it's best to save that for later in the game when you 100% know who people are. The investigator that finds the Unseen is the Sheriff.
The Neutrals: the neutrals have various objectives.
There is a Fool who wins by tricking the court into executing him/her during the day.
A Mercenery earns Brilders (fictional money) for guarding people and wins when they make six Brilders.
An Alchemist can either heal or bomb (kill) someone at night. For some reason, when I'm Alch, I get killed quickly. I don't understand why others kill neutral players that have publicly claimed, but everyone has their reasons.
Scorned tries to frame the good guys, making them appear evil to the investigators, so they are executed during the day by their faction. This guy, as well as the Fool, has a 'Trollbox' ability during the day. They can make it seem like a player said something in chat, which can cause chaos.
Pretender who has the sole objective to become a Neutral King and survive the game.
Inquisitor that must kill three specified Heathens during the game.
In each court, there will be only 2-3 neutrals plus a Neutral Killer. Knowing how many of each faction there can be is a handy tool for deducing, especially in a late game.
Neutral Killer (NK) is my least favorite role to play, but most people I've spoken to say this is their favorite. There are three types of NK's, but you'll only have one in each game. The NKs will only win with other neutral players, and their objective is for all main players (BD and Cult/Unseen) to die. This is a lonely role, as you're usually all alone. The other neutrals will rarely ally with you for fear of retaliation from the other factions. However, it is very self-satisfying when you win as an NK.
A Possessor can switch bodies two times and kill at night.
The Sorcerer can place day bombs on players and detonate at night (or shoot direct missiles at night).
The Reaper will reap players at night, and it takes a day/night cycle for the player to die, so their corpse shows up in court the next day, but they can't speak.
So, those are my thoughts about one of my favorite games to play when I have the time. I try to play on Saturday mornings. My name is BonSlytherin, so join and find me there! You can friend each other and play in the same game(s), but with the uneven times you might die during a game, you'd be lucky to get in one game at the same time.
Here is a link to more information about the game on Fandom. And, once you purchase the game from Steam, there are more materials within the Throne of Lies game you can use to study up on the characters before playing. I hope you give it a try!