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Mafia - Rules & How to Play - WestGamer
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 27, 2011 5:39 pm 
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Greetings WestGamer folks!

Mafia is a forum based game of betrayal and deception suited to players with regular access to WestGamer who are able to contribute throughout the week.


So have a read of the rules below and wait for me to start a new thread that will be for the actual game.

INTRODUCTION
-------------------------------
Welcome to Mafia, a forum game between two or more groups. The goal of the game is basically to be the last one standing with your group. The most basic design element in all games is Uninformed Majority versus Informed Minority.
The best way to learn the game is to play it, so after reading this post, just sign up!


BASIC GAMEPLAY
-------------------------------------
A game is divided into continuously alternating parts: Day, and Night. The players in a most elementary game are divided into two groups, a large Town and a small Mafia.

Town The majority of the players, usually a rough 75%. These do not know each other, and may only communicate inside the thread.
Mafia A minority of the players, usually a rough 25%. These do know each other and are allowed to communicate outside the game.

Night During the Night, the Mafia makes one kill. There is no talk in the thread. After having made their decision, the Mafia PM's the Moderator with the name of the person they want dead.
Day After the Night action is complete, the Moderator re-opens the thread and announces the results of the night: One Townie has died. The entire group now goes on to decide on whom to lynch.

Lynch During the Day, every player may vote someone they want to lynch. In order to make an official vote simply write "vote: Joe Bloggs" (in bold please). A vote can be taken back by writing "unvote" (again in bold) and you must unvote before you re-vote. Once a majority has been reached, this player is lynched and killed. Since the Town is in the majority, the Mafia will of course be pretending to be Town, just as anyone else.

Winning The winning group is the one that stays alive the longest. The Town's way of killing is through the Lynch during the Day. They must be careful not to be influenced by the Mafia in their voting process. The Mafia's way of killing is through the Nightkill, and through misleading the Town into lynching one of their own.

At this point you might be wondering how the Town will ever achieve a win. After all, unlike the Mafia, they do not know each other and have nothing at all to go on.

In this most basic set-up, the best strategy the Town can follow is to try and find links between persons in the voting discussion. Examples:
- When Player 1 is lynched and it is revealed that he was Mafia, the Town can grow very suspicious of Player 2 who kept on defending Player 1 in the discussion.
- When there are no leads whatsoever, yet a few people are quick to vote for someone and end up lynching a Townie, the Town can become very suspicious of people quick-to-vote.

Apart from this, the Town has little other hope than a Mafia making a mistake. For example someone posting "As I told you through PM...", but such mistakes are very rare.

At the moment, the game does not look very colorful. There are basically two ways to enhance the game, and both are very common. One way is to give players roles with special powers, another way is to have a theme.


ROLES
--------------
Mafia is mainly about two things: (1) Information, and (2) Eliminating Players. Almost all possible roles have to do with one or both of these, by giving a player special abilities. I will post a long list of common roles below, but a few basic examples will be needed here to illustrate the point:

Cop A Cop is almost always a Pro-Town role. A player who is a Cop has the ability to investigate one person at night. He will usually receive either "Guilty" or "Innocent" as result from the Moderator. Guilty usually means a person is Mafia, Innocent usually means the investigated player is Town.

This role of course greatly adds to the game. As you know, the Town must discuss who to lynch during the day. Imagine they picked Player 1 and are voting for that person. Player 2 however has been given the role "Cop", and happens to have investigated Player 1 on a Night. He received the result "Innocent". Because of this, he does not want the Town to lynch Player 1, so he defends that person. However, defending someone too openly may cause the rest of the players to wonder if Player 1 and Player 2 might be in a Mafia together.

After receiving a Guilty result, a Cop will try to help a Town focus the discussion more towards that person, and even try to get that person lynched. Appearing "lynch-eager", may cause the Town to go after the Cop himself though.

Now perhaps you are wondering why the Cop doesn't simply say that he is a Cop, and that he has investigated someone. There are multiple reasons for this. Here are a few:
- If he says he is a Cop, the Mafia will want to kill him as soon as possible. If there are no Docs, who can protect people at night, the Cop is likely to be dead the next day.
- Even if someone claims to be a Cop, the Town should not immediately believe him. After all, it is possible that someone from the Mafia claims Cop, and even sacrifices one of his mates.

Doc Our second example, the Doc, can protect one person at night. The Mafia will not be able to kill the person he protects.

Here is one example of how this role adds to the game. What if there is a Cop, and he has already said that he is a Cop. The Doc of course wants to protect the Cop, because it is a powerful role on his side. The Mafia knows that the Doc wants to keep the Cop alive. The Mafia will therefore probably decide not to hit the cop, because that will waste them a night. However, the Doc knows that the Mafia is not very likely to attack the Cop, because they expect the Doc to protect him. Therefore, the Doc may want to protect someone else. This goes on infinitely.

To find many more roles, see below.


THEME
--------------
Apart from having roles with special abilities, adding a Theme to the game greatly enhances the fun. This is not only for flavor or roleplay. The discussion will change severely due to a theme. Rather than lynching, the Town may vote on a person in order to pressure him to reveal his role. If he is a Townie, he can give them his own role. If he is a Mafia, he must think up a fake one.

For example, imagine there are 10 players in a game themed Lord of the Rings. There are 6 votes on one player needed in order to lynch that person. Of course the Town does not want to lynch someone who is on their side, so they put 5 votes on that person and ask him for his role. The pressured person has little choice: Either he tells them his role, or they will vote that last vote and kill him.

Now imagine the pressured person is Frodo Baggins. He will probably post "Don't lynch me guys, I am Frodo", or something like that. The Town is likely to reason that Frodo is such a major character that he is bound to be in the game, and that this player really is Frodo. Provided no-one else claims the same role.

What if the pressured person is a Mafia though? In fact, what if he is Sauron himself! One possible approach he could take is to make up a Fake RC. In other words, he claims to be someone he isn't. This game has 10 persons, out of which he knows there are 3 Mafia. He reasons that the 7 Townie roles are probably filled by Frodo, Sam, Merry, Pippin, Gandalf, Aragorn, Legolas, Gimli or Boromir. Because these highly likely roles are already over 7, he assumes that other roles such as Elrond, Faramir, Arwen and Galadriel are not in the game. A good bet for him would be to claim to be one of these persons.
If he has bad luck, the Town doesn't believe his role is in the game and lynches him anyway. If he has even worse luck, he chose someone who is in the game.

Players can also be pressured into revealing their power or win-condition, though demanding that a player reveal this info too early will seem heavy-handed and perhaps get you lynched.


A SIMPLE EXAMPLE
-----------------------------------------
Imagine there are 8 people playing a Mafia with as theme Harry Potter. The moderator divides the roles randomly as follows:

1. Player 1 Town Harry Potter
2. Player 2 Town Ron Weasley
3. Player 3 Town Hermione Granger
4. Player 4 Town Albus Dumbledore | COP
5. Player 5 Mafia Peter Pettigrew
6. Player 6 Town Madam Pomfrey | DOC
7. Player 7 Town Severus Snape
8. Player 8 Mafia Lord Voldemort

Night 01
Now this particular game starts with a Night. Player 5 and Player 8 (Mafia) determine they want to kill Player 3. They PM this to the Moderator.
Player 6 (Doc) has no idea, and randomly protects Player 8.
Player 4 (Cop) has no idea, and randomly investigates Player 1.

Day 01
The Moderator announces that Day has begun, and that Player 3 has died. He also tells everyone that Player 3 was Hermione Granger, and had no special powers.
The Town starts discussing then on who to lynch, and there are some people who want to lynch Player 1. He has 4 votes on him already, with 5 votes needed for a lynch. Player 4, the Cop, decides to go out in the open. He posts that he is a Cop and knows Player 1 to be innocent.
The Town decides to go after Player 2 then. Player 2 immediately sees where this is going, and decides to tell everyone he is Ron.
The Town then decides not to lynch someone today.

Night 02
Player 5 and Player 8 (Mafia), want to kill the Cop (Player 4). However, they assume that the Doc will protect Player 4. The Mafia knows that the Town will not lynch Player 1 (confirmed to be innocent), or Player 2 (claimed to be Ron). Because the Mafia hopes the Town will lynch one of their own, they decide to kill Player 2.
Player 6 (Doc), protects Player 4 (Cop).
Player 4 (Cop), investigates Player 5 (Mafia).

Day 02
The Moderator posts that Player 2 has died, and was a Townie without powers.
Player 4 posts that he has investigated Player 5, and has received a Guilty result. Player 5 tries to get out of it, but has no chance. The Town lynches Player 5 and has gotten rid of one Mafia!

Night 03
Player 8 (Mafia) is now alone, and decides to take his chances on Player 4 (Cop).
Player 6 (Doc) figures that the Mafia will assume he protects the Cop, so decides to protect Player 1 instead.
Player 4 (Cop) investigates Player 3.

Day 03
The Moderator announces that Player 4 has died, and was a Cop.
The Town does not know who to go after. They randomly settle on Player 7. Player 7 posts that he is Severus Snape. The Town believes Snape is bound to be Mafia, and thus lynches him. They find out they lynched a Townie.

Night 04
Player 8 (Mafia) decides to kill Player 6 (Doc).
Player 6 (Doc) protects Player 1.

Day 04
The Moderator posts that Player 6 has died and was a Doc.
Only Player 1 and Player 8 are left. Player 1 knows he is good, so he votes Player 8. He will never reach a majority though, so the Mafia has won. (Technically the Day can end in a No Lynch, and in the next Night the Mafia will kill Player 01).


MORE COMPLEXITY
-----------------------------------------
A Mafia can become much more complex than the above example. Usually, games have more than 8 or 10 players. It is common to have around 20 people at the start of a game.

One way to increase the complexity of the game is to have more than two sides. In our explanation and examples so far, we have seen a large Town against a small Mafia. You could just as well have a large Town against two small Mafia's though. Think for example of Lord of the Rings. One Mafia can consist of Sauron and his troops, another Mafia can consist of Saruman and his servants.

Another way to increase the complexity of the game is to add many more roles with special powers, or access to information. Apart from the Townie / Mafia / Cop and Doc which we have seen so far, there are many other possibilities. I will list these below, though the list will not be complete.


HOW TO...
----------------------
Play in a Game. When a Mafia has not yet started, it is probably still accepting sign-ups. Post in the thread that you want to play. The Moderator probably has stated in his opening posts how many players he is looking for.

Create a Game. First make sure that you understand Mafia and are up to making a game. Activity from a Moderator is very important! After that, you can sign up in the appropriate thread to join the waiting list.

Ask for Help while Playing Whatever you do, do not message someone you are not allowed to communicate with outside the thread. If you are in a Mafia, message your Godfather. If you are a Mason, message your Mason. In case of doubt, always message the Moderator. Any questions about the game, or your role, can be answered by the Mod.

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 27, 2011 5:45 pm 
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This list is an incomplete one, and probably will always remain so. Combinations of powers, new additions to the game, and variations of existing powers ensure that new roles will probably always be invented.

More roles and detailed descriptions included tactics can be found here, on the Mafia wiki.

List of Mafia Roles

Introduction

Every player in a game of Mafia is assigned a role. A role encompasses the players special abilities or lack thereof. Multiple people can have the same role, meaning that they have the same powers (or lack all powers). Note that a role is different from a character. Whereas a role denotes a special ability that a player has, the character is the person the player is playing within the theme of the game.

Alphabetical List and Explanations

Activated X - Any kind of role that gets activated through some sort of trigger. For example, an Activated Serial Killer that was activated through the death of his or her Mason. The player does not need to be aware of the possible activation.

Bus Driver - Has the ability two switch two people at night. If person X and Y are switched, all actions that other people perform on Y will end up on X and vice versa.

Cop - Can investigate one person at night to determine their allegiance. The result will show a Guilty (Mafia) or Innocent (Town). There are various ways in which Cop investigations can be compromised, for example through the actions of Bus Drivers or when investigating a Miller (Townie that shows Guilty) or Godfather (Mafia that shows Innocent).

Crazy Cop - The player believes to be playing as a normal Cop, but all his or her investigations results are actually entirely random.

Doc - A Doctor, or Doc, may choose one person to protect from dying at night. If the Mafia targets that person, the player will not die. Mafia Game Moderators vary on allowing Docs to protect themselves, and on what to do when a person is nightkilled twice yet protected only once in the same night.

Double Vote - A player, usually a Townie, with a vote that counts for two votes during the day discussion.

Faith Healer - A Doc with only 50% chances of actually healing someone.

Godfather - Head of the Mafia. Sends in the night kill and possible other actions that the Mafia has collectively. Is immune to Cop investigations (shows up as Innocent).

Goon - Similar to Vanilla Mafia. No powers other than the standard ability to communicate with the rest of his or her Mafia.

Governor - A Governor has the power to stop a lynch. If a player reaches enough votes to normally be lynched, a Governor can stop the lynch and therefore end the day without a lynch. Governors are usually restricted in their powers, such as not being able to save themselves, not being able to save someone more than once, or only having a limited amount of amnesties.

Insane Cop - The player believes to be playing as a normal Cop, but all his or her investigations will turn up the opposite of the normal result.

Jack of all Trades - This role changes its power throughout the game, usually every night. Most Moderators give one basic Town power each night, while taking the previous one away. A player can for example have a Cop's investigatory powers one night, and a Vigilante's kill another.

Jester - A player not allied to either the Town or the Mafia, with a unique winning condition: the Jester wins when he or she is lynched.

Masons - Masons are two or more people who are allowed to talk to each other outside the game thread, without being Mafia. Usually Masons are two Townies, but the rare Townie/Mafia Masonry does occur.

Miller - A Townie that appears up as "Guilty" in investigations yet is in fact "Innocent". The player does not necessarily need to be informed of this and can for example play believing to be a Vanilla Townie.

Naive Cop - The player believes to be playing as a normal Cop, but all his or her investigations will turn up "Innocent" as a result.

Paranoid Cop - The player believes to be playing as a normal Cop, but all his or her investigations will turn up "Guilty" as a result.

Reporter - The ability to check on whether someone has a night action or not. Anyone who 'stays at home' does not have any night action, whereas anyone who 'is not at home' has one.

Retired X - A role that takes over the powers of a previous X after that player dies. For example, a Retired Doc plays as a Vanilla Townie until the existing Doc dies and the Retired Doc gains Doc powers. It is a specific form of Activated X.

Roleblocker - Has the ability to block someone else from performing their role at night. Moderators vary on informing the targets of the fact that they have been blocked.

Self-Save - A player, usually a Townie, with the power to protect him or herself from nightkills/lynches a limited amount of times.

Serial Killer - A person allied neither to the Town nor the Mafia, with the ability to kill at night. Think of it as a one-person Mafia. Moderators vary on granting Serial Killers immunity from investigation (like Godfathers) and other powers to increase their chances.

Super X - Any role (X) with increased abilities. For example, a Super Cop has two investigations rather than just one.

Tracker - Has the ability to follow another player at night to see who that other player targets, if anyone at all.

Turn Coat Townie - A Townie that can change allegiance to the Mafia through some sort of trigger. Moderators do not necessarily have to inform the TCT of this fact. Various triggers are imaginable, including the death of a Mason or being targeted for a night kill by the Mafia.

Unblockable X - Any role (X) as it usually is, with the added power of not being susceptible to Roleblockers.

Vanilla Mafia - Similar to Goon. No powers other than the standard ability to communicate with the rest of his or her Mafia.

Vanilla Townie - No powers other than the standard 1 vote during daytime, allied to the Town.

Vigilante - A Townie with the power to kill at night.

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 27, 2011 5:47 pm 
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Quote:
Serial Killer - A person allied neither to the Town nor the Mafia, with the ability to kill at night. Think of it as a one-person Mafia. Moderators vary on granting Serial Killers immunity from investigation (like Godfathers) and other powers to increase their chances.
I so want to be the next Jeffrey Dahmer or Tedd Bundy :P


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 27, 2011 5:51 pm 
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Haha. I figured this was going to be a "Stop being a jerk or we'll ban you" type thread with rules to avoid it.

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- King Leto Raelthorne.


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 27, 2011 5:51 pm 
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Quote:
Quote:
Serial Killer - A person allied neither to the Town nor the Mafia, with the ability to kill at night. Think of it as a one-person Mafia. Moderators vary on granting Serial Killers immunity from investigation (like Godfathers) and other powers to increase their chances.
I so want to be the next Jeffrey Dahmer or Tedd Bundy :P
Glad to see you're interested :shock:

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 27, 2011 5:57 pm 
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Count me in, I love mafia!

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 27, 2011 6:36 pm 
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Sounds like alot of fun count me in!


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 27, 2011 6:57 pm 
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I'm happy to participate. :D

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 27, 2011 7:02 pm 
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I'm definitely in! ;)

Or as Jon would say: "I'm defiantly in!" :lol:

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 27, 2011 8:39 pm 
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Haha. I figured this was going to be a "Stop being a jerk or we'll ban you" type thread with rules to avoid it.
Yes. I thought they were making some secret group to ban forum users without anyone noticing :D


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 27, 2011 8:48 pm 
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sounds different i'm in

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 27, 2011 8:50 pm 
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Sign-Ups for the first game are now open - here

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 27, 2011 10:48 pm 
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quick question can a doc protect himself at night?


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 28, 2011 8:12 am 
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Quote:
quick question can a doc protect himself at night?
Yes. All powers can be used on yourself unless otherwise stated. But remember to be a team player :wink:

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 28, 2011 8:15 am 
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a cop, investigating himself! thats so crazy it just might work!

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