I guess the part of this I don't understand is how 17 days helps anything. Isn't this just kinda random guessing at this point? Am i missing something? Are we hoping someone slips up and reveals something about themselves? I mean, I see the OP, I've gotten a PM, but I have no clue who anyone is. Don't know anyone. Don't know what faction or race anyone is. Doesn't this just make this first vote mostly completely random?
Don't get me wrong, am not knocking 17 days of randomly attacking people for poor grammar or even grammer! And heck, I love baseless accusations, that is fun. I just get the feeling other people know something I don't. Guess I'll bold this next part for our fearless leader. Why don't we know what races we each are anyway? Do the races look different? Wouldn't we know who is what race already? Presumably we have all met before, right?
Mafia forum games are pretty random about such things. What matters is the structure (trying to guess people's function) more than the flavor (are we aliens or gangsters or cavemen or goldfishes), even though flavor often tells us what functions to expect. Sometimes the reason why we don't know each others role and identity is explicit in the flavor (gathering of hooded conspirationists), but most of times half of it is pure convention : you don't know if your colleague is a man or a woman or their pet monke until the role is reveal - the game kinda consists in guessing it. It's cluedo or chess logic. It's gameplay more than roleplaying. It's like a cards game, where the relation to the cards matters more than the narrative logic of what is pictured on them.
So, if it was a movie or a roleplaying game, you'd be right. But in a forum mafia game, such conventional absurdity is commonplace, and sometimes amusingly toyed with. To give you an idea, in one of the older games on GOG (before my arrival), one setting had everybody play the role of some piece of household furniture.
So, these questions of species identifications here are left up to us. Even though we are all in the same room (narration-wise) we don't know which one of us is whose voice. And we don't know more, about the setting's universe, than what we're being told - even if our characters do. We will have to decide, for ourselves, what info we'll consider safe to share, beneficial to the town, or beneficial to the scum. It's part of the strategy. Will you turn out to be Colonel Mustard or Miss Scarlett ? This is as much a mystery as whether you are a criminal or a potential victim. And when we'll know one we'll be closer to discover the other (but the bad guys may also be getting dangerous info).
So, there. This is the slightly (ncely) abstract aspect of these games. As for the first day, yes, it is mostly random, but, at the end, someone is still (usually) lynched. And the bad guys will have pushed us to lynch a good guy. Sometimes, the way they do it, or the way we argue about what flavour info (precisely suff like "races", etc) should or shouldn't be made public yet, gives already non-random reasons to suspect some people. By the time the deadline will be near, the discussions and accusations will have already turned way more serious than on the first page, you'll see...
How seriousness emerges from randomness is always a weird phenomenon.