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Dec 8th 2009 edited

This thread is reserved for the organisation of Mafia games. If you would like to run a game, post and I will add you to the Future Games list. You may also request a theme and hope that another moderator will run it. I would suggest that for now, anyone designing a game aims for between 10 and 16 players. if you need help designing or moderating a game email me.

1. Mafia Games - Current, Future, Past
2. Introduction to Mafia
3. List of Roles

Current Games

Future Games
003. Lord of the Rings Mafia, moderator: alexbutterfield

Past Games
001. The Office Mafia, moderator: alexbutterfield. TOWN WIN
002. Harry Potter Mafia, moderator: alexbutterfield. MAFIA WIN

Dec 8th 2009 edited

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".

Dec 8th 2009 edited

Mafia Roles

Mafia games can contain many different roles. In games for veteran players, it is not uncommon for unique roles to be invented for that game. However, there are standard roles which might be expected to be in 99% of games, or common roles that might be in 75% of games, 50% of games or less.

This Flash movie has an excellent review of many standard roles. And below is a list of some common roles. Details can also be found on the mafiascum wiki This list is not comprehensive remember.

Mafia - can communicate behind the scenes

  • Goon - has no special powers
  • Roleblocker - prevents their target from using an action that night
  • Godfather - is found innocent upon investigation
  • +any town role that may be of use to the Mafia

Town - can only discuss the game in the game thread

  • Vanilla Townie - (or VT) has no special powers
  • Cop - investigates one player per night receiving an innocent or guilty result
  • Doctor - protects one player per night from a night kill
  • Roleblocker - prevents their target from using an action that night
  • Vigilante - can kill a player, sometimes each night, sometimes once or twice a game
  • Masons - two or more town players who know each other and can talk behind the scenes


  • Serial Killer - kills a player each night, must be the last man standing to win

Anti-Town and Third-Party Roles

  • Cult Leader - recruits a player into their cult each night, wins when the cult is the majority
  • Jester - must be lynched (or sometimes killed any way) to win
  • Survivor - must survive to win, can win with another team

Town Informative Roles

  • Tracker - sees who their target visits that night
  • Watcher - sees who visits their target that night
  • Flavor Cop - (or Thief) gains a small piece of info about a player, which will help identify them or their power

Town Killing Roles

  • Paranoid Gun Owner - kills anyone who targets them with a night action
  • Bomb - kills the last person to vote for them if they are lynched

Town Linked Roles

  • Backup - a player can be a backup for a cop or doc etc, in a large game, so that the game balance is not lost if an important player is killed early at random. they are activated when the original player is killed.

Manipulative Roles

  • Bus Driver - chooses two players and switches their places for a night.
  • Jailkeeper - protects and roleblocks the player
  • Miller - appears guilty though they are innocent

Town Protective Roles

  • Bodyguard - dies if they protect a player who is attacked
  • Governor - can block the lynch of a player, usually has restrictions
  • Commuter - can skip town for the night thus avoiding all actions aimed at them. usually restricted to non-consecutive nights
Dec 8th 2009


Dec 8th 2009

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