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Nov 16th 2009 edited

Contents

Introduction to Mafia Mafia is a multiplayer game in which at least two groups compete. The goal of the game is to be the last one standing, usually along with your group - but sometimes just by yourself.

Eliminating opponents One works towards this goal by eliminating opponents, done through one of two ways: (1) publicly achieving a majority vote against a player, or (2) secretly using a killing power against a player. The first of these is known as a lynch and occurs during the day stage. The second is known as a kill and usually occurs during the night period.

Town and Mafia In a most basic Mafia, there are two groups: (1) the Town, and (2) the Mafia. As explained above, the goal of both groups is to eliminate the other group. However, the Town is an uninformed majority - unaware of who is Town and who is Mafia. On the other hand, the Mafia is an informed minority - aware of who belongs to which group.

Day and Night Both groups have their own method and time for eliminating players. The Town goes about this during the day. The day is when the thread is open for discussion. All living players (both Mafia and Town) are free to post and vote. Once a majority of votes has been cast on one person, that person is lynched and is eliminated from the game. If the Town did a good job, the dead person turns out to belong to the Mafia. If the Town did a bad job however, they killed one of their own. Members of the Mafia will pretend to be members of the Town during the day, and attempt to confuse the group and misdirect attention. The Mafia on the other hand gets a shot at killing people during the night. They can send a message to the moderator with their choice for a kill. Unlike the Town, which is unaware of allegiances of individual players, the Mafia can not accidentally kill one of their own.

Basic gameplay A simple game will therefore see two groups competing. One large uninformed group of Townies, and another small yet informed group of Mafia. The game can start either at day or at night. During the day, all players decide on someone to lynch. The day ends either because of a time limit or because a majority has been reached. If a person got lynched, the moderator will post that players identity. During the night, the Mafia communicates with the moderator. They inform him of their victim. No-one is allowed to talk in the thread during the night.

When the moderator has received all night actions or when a deadline has been reached, the thread is re-opened. The moderator posts about what happened last night, and reveals the identity of whomever got killed. A new day begins. This cycle of days and nights continues until either the Town has eliminated all members of the Mafia, or until the Mafia has eliminated all members of the Town.

More night actions So far we have only seen one night action: the Mafia sending in their kill to the moderator. There is a variety of other night actions possible however. Even though there is no talk in the game threat, a lot can be going on. This greatly adds to the game, because people can get little bits of information through their night actions. The more players there are with night actions, the more little pieces of the puzzle there are. This makes the discussion during the day much more interesting.

Example: Cop One example of a night action is the investigation as performed by a Cop. A Cop investigates a player at night by sending a name to the moderator. The moderator of the game then replies either "Guilty" or "Not Guilty", depending on whether the targeted person is Mafia or not. If a Cop hits a Guilty, he can choose to post about it during the next day. This can greatly help the Town in their choice of whom to lynch. On the other hand, the Mafia then has a prime target for their next kill. Investigations are not foolproof. Sometimes a Townie can show up as "Guilty", if that Townie has a role called "Miller" (the characteristic of which is that he is "Innocent", yet shows up "Guilty"). On the other hand, a member of the Mafia can show up as "Innocent" despite being "Guilty". This is when that member has a role called "Godfather". There are many other things that can complicate investigations. I'll leave you with one final warning though: someone posting that he is a Cop can be lying. Mafia is a liars game!

Example: Doc A Doctor can protect someone from being killed at night. If a night goes by without anyone being killed, one of the obvious possibilities is that a Doctor protected the Mafia's victim. This could lead a Doc to guess that whomever he protected is not part of the Mafia. Doctors can choose to protect people that play a valuable role for the Town. If for instance someone has claimed to be a Cop, and seems to be telling the truth, a Doctor may decide to keep protecting that person. However, the Mafia realizes that a Doc is likely to protect a claimed Cop. Therefore the Mafia may decide not to target this Cop, but rather target someone randomly. This in turn can lead the Doc to protect someone randomly, hoping to hinder the Mafia. This reasoning can go on and on.

...there are many more available night powers. Examples are: the Roleblocker who prevents people from performing their night actions, the Vigilante who is Town yet has the ability to kill at night, the Mason who is connected to another person and allowed to talk outside the thread, and the Double-Voter whose vote counts twice during the day.

More competitors Up to this point we imagined a game with only two groups: (1) Town, and (2) Mafia. Most games are a bit more complex however.

Example: Multiple Mafia's Instead of one Mafia there can be multiple Mafia groups. This does not change the winning condition of the game though: the point is still to eliminate all other groups. In other words, various Mafia groups must try to eliminate one another in addition to eliminating the Town. Likewise, the Town has to eliminate all Mafia groups instead of just one.

Example: Serial Killer Another common addition to the game is the Serial Killer role, commonly abbreviated to SK. An SK is basically a one-person Mafia. He has the power to kill people at night, and wins by eliminating all opposition. Serial Killers have a difficult time and almost never win. This is why many moderators choose to give them additional benefits, for example making them show up "Innocent" in investigations.

...there are other groups possible, but they all have win conditions other than the usual "eliminate all opposition". One example is the Joker who wins when he gets himself lynched. That is a very uncommon role however.

Themes The vast majority of Mafia's are based on a theme. Having a theme usually enriches a game through increasing discussion. This is because the puzzle of the game is provided with a frame when there is a theme. Players can no longer just claim a night power and allegiance, they can now also claim a specific role. There are many books, films, plays etc. suitable for a game of Mafia. One perfect example is Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings.

Example: Lord of the Rings A typical game based on this theme would have all 'good guys' as Town. This means that among others, Frodo, Sam and Galadriel are likely to be Townies. Since they are also major roles, anyone claiming to be them is probably truthful. If the 'good guys' are Town, it makes sense to have the 'bad guys' as Mafia. Sauron and his minions are excellent Mafia characters. If there is a second Mafia, this one can consist of Saruman and his servants. A Serial Killer is typically an evil character independent of other evildoers. Gollum is a stereotypical Serial Killer. Various special powers can be assigned to the characters. The person playing Gandalf is likely to have a strong power, such as Cop or Doc. A very fitting power for Gandalf would be to have two lives. A good role for Boromir would be the Miller: he is Town, yet shows up as "Guilty".

Nov 16th 2009

If it's not too much trouble, mods, or alex, could all this info be put in one thread? I have a feeling I'm going to need to refer back to it again at various points.

Nov 16th 2009

Didn't Alexander Butterfield reveal the existence of the Nixon tapes?

Nov 16th 2009

You're thinking of the Nixon toupees.

Nov 16th 2009

I linked to it in the Original Post of the game thread.

Nov 16th 2009

Can any tell me if it's possible to link to a specific post?

Nov 16th 2009

It is, but in three years I've never figured out how.

Nov 17th 2009

You have to search for your comment via the search tab. Click on the specific post that you want in your search results. Then copy/paste that http string. When people click on that link, it will take them directly to that post.

Nov 17th 2009

Thanks that was the only workaround I could think of too. I'd hoped the string would have some logical name so I could work it out rather than search each time. But of well.

Nov 17th 2009

Yep. The one downside of the Vanilla software is that it doesn't have all that many bells and whistles. Then again, it's also one of the upsides. So, ipso facto, catch 22, you're it.

Apr 12th 2010

I think we should play this again. It was pretty fun.

Apr 12th 2010

I don't. It was fun in the moment, but I'm no longer in that moment.

Apr 12th 2010

Oh.

Apr 12th 2010

Shut DOWN! Boo -yeah!

Sorry Toos. I'm just not feeling it. But that's just me. If you get enough interest, I say go for it.

Apr 12th 2010

I don't think there is. Everyone sort of....quit.

Apr 12th 2010

I'll play!

Apr 12th 2010

I'll play too. But seeing how I'm new, I can already see my "death".

Apr 12th 2010

Yeah, I'd play. I have a second account at this board. Could I count as 2 people?

Apr 12th 2010

It looks this thread is dead. Why are you people posting here? Are you ghosts? Am I? Are we zombies? Are we The Zombies?

Apr 12th 2010

Perhaps this is the Zombie Zoo

Apr 12th 2010

Weird little freaks.

Apr 12th 2010

I have a second account at this board.

So, can I play, too?

Apr 12th 2010

Am I gonna have to talk to myself? 'Cause I will.

Apr 12th 2010

Looks like it.

Apr 12th 2010

I said I will. Please don't make me.

Apr 12th 2010

Looks like you're making me.

Apr 12th 2010

I hope this annoys everyone.

Apr 12th 2010

'Cause it sure is annoying me.

Apr 12th 2010

Ho. Leee. CRAP!

bows

It is so nice to meet you. I am like your biggest fan.

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