Written up by Master Radishes.
Mafia is a game of psychology, deception, and strategy.
It is a game between two factions battling to the death for victory. Everyone is either a Townsperson or a Mafia. The Mafia know each other's identities, and work together in a group – once a night, they select a Townsperson to kill. The Townspeople do not know each other's identities, but must debate during the day who might be the Mafia among them, and then vote for someone to lynch. They must root out the Mafia through any information they can gather. There are often special roles that can assist the Townspeople, such as a Sheriff, a Doctor, etc. The winning group is the group left standing when all other members of the opposition have been eliminated.
The game was invented by Dmitry Davidoff of the USSR and has become one of the most popular forum games on the entire internet, with dozens of forums and communities regularly playing. Many different versions exist, but all follow the same basic principles of gameplay, as outlined above.
History on CDC
Krazz introduced the game of Mafia on White Noise way back in 2008. Games were run in sequence for quite some time, during the initial heyday of Mafia on CDC. But eventually the games died off as interest waned. Fortunately, over time, Krazz and others (notably T-rex930) have re-booted Mafia several times, allowing players old and new alike to experience the game again and again.
This is simply an outline of the most common aspects of a typical Mafia game. Many games carry special objectives, special roles, and so on. All procedures as stated here are therefore subjective to additional rules of the game's GM. If in doubt, ask the GM.
There are two main alignments or factions: the Town and the Mafia. Each side's objective is to eliminate the other. In addition, there are often third parties, most commonly the Serial Killer or Cult, which are unaffiliated with either side and also seek to be the last players standing.
The Town make up roughly two-thirds of the players, but have no knowledge of anyone's true alignment. The Mafia, conversely, are a minority group among the players, but are in contact with one another.
The Town win when all Mafia and third parties have been eliminated from the game. The Mafia win when their numbers are equal to or more than the Town, and no third parties remain. Third parties have their own winning objectives, usually to simply be the last player(s) left alive in the game.
The Town eliminate Mafia by voting for one player a round to "lynch" - that is, eliminate from the game. The Mafia, hidden amongst the Town, also get to vote. The Mafia eliminate the Town by choosing one player each round to "kill," i.e. also eliminate from the game.
The game progresses in rounds. On CDC, each round typically lasts 24 hours; the next round begins once the previous one ends with a GM update. [Typically, in Mafia, rounds are divided into "Day" (lynch vote) and "Night" (special actions). However, on this forum, we combine the rounds into one.]
During the round, the players will debate and discuss the identities of other players in the game thread, trying to uncover the Mafia in the group. They will then vote on one person, who they believe to be Mafia, to be lynched. At the end of the round, whoever has the most votes will be lynched.
At the same time, via private conversation over the forum's messaging system, the Mafia members will discuss and vote on who they wish to kill that night. Before the end of the round they will inform the GM of their decision.
Also during the round, other roles - such as the Sheriff, the Doctor, the Serial Killer, etc - will send in their actions for the round to the GM, unless their role description states otherwise.
At a specified time, the round will end. The GM will then post the results of who was lynched, who was killed, and whether any other actions took place. The new round will then begin.
Votes must be made in the game thread and must be bolded,e.g. Vote Intoewsables. If you wish to change your vote, please first unvote, e.g. Unvote Intoewsables; Vote Master Radishes. The exact format does not matter so much as long as it is bolded and clear who you are voting for. Only bolded votes will count. Nicknames are acceptable, as long as it is obvious who you are referring to.
Some GMs further require a number added to the vote to indicate the round, e.g. Vote1 Dral in round 1, Vote2 Dral in round 2, and so on. Check with your GM.
Any votes in edited posts will not count.
In the event of a tied vote, there will usually be no lynch. Instead, in the following round, there will be a tiebreaking vote alongside the regular lynch vote. Therefore, players will vote for two lynchings - one between the tied players from the previous round, and one for everyone else.
Order of events
All kills, investigations, saves, etc, must be sent via PM to the GM prior to the end of the round.
The kill order for the most common roles is: 1) Town's lynch 2) Serial Killer kill 3) Mafia kill 4) Vigilante kill
Any of the above roles who are killed prior to their own attack occurring will not have their kill go through.
Saving or roleblocking roles usually trump kills. Any other killing roles will be slotted in as determined by the GM.
God Kills (for inactivity or rule-breaking) take precedence over everything.
Aside from the two competing factions, there are some special roles that usually appear in the game as well, helping one side or the other. Not all roles will appear in every game. Roles may go by different names to align with the game's theme. When in doubt, ask your GM - although they may not tell you either.
These are only the most common role/role types. Sometimes roles will be created by the GM, usually to match the theme of the game, with slightly different abilities.
The Sheriff can investigate one player per round. He or she will send a PM to the GM with one name; the GM will then inform the Sheriff if that player is Mafia or not. Third party roles will usually show up as "not Mafia" but this may vary under different GMs.
Alternate Sheriffs - These roles believe themselves to be the Sheriff, but will receive erroneous results on their investigations.
- Psycho Sheriff - receives opposite results, i.e. an investigated Mafia player reveals as "Town" and vice versa.
- Paranoid Sheriff - all results return as "Mafia" regardless of true alignment
- Naive Sheriff - all results return as "Town" regardless of true alignment
The Doctor can choose one player to "save" during each night. If the Mafia try to kill that player, their kill will not go through – he or she will be saved by the Doctor. The Doctor's save usually only applies to one kill attempt per target per round - if, for example, both the Mafia and Serial Killer target the Doctor-protected player, the first attempt will be "saved" but the second will successfully eliminate the targeted player. The Doctor may or may not be allowed to "self-save," and, if so, usually only once or twice per game.
The Vigilante can kill one person each night. By the end of every round, the Vigilante must send one name to the GM, and the player named will be killed during the night.
The Twinblade has a one-time ability to suicide-kill another player. Therefore, they will die as well in their attempt.
The Watcher chooses one player to "Watch" during the night. If any action is performed on the watched player (i.e. Mafia kill, Vig/SK kill, Doc save) the Watcher will be informed who targeted the player, although not what action was taken. If multiple actions were performed, the Watcher will usually only learn of the first one. The Watcher may or may not be able to "Watch" him- or herself.
The Tracker chooses one player to "Track" during the night. If that player performs any action, the Tracker will be informed who was targeted, although not what action was taken. If multiple actions were performed, the Tracker will usually only learn of the first one undertaken.
The Roleblocker can target one player per night and prevent that player from taking any action of their own.
Siblings are two players who, from the beginning of the game, know each other's true identities and alignment.
- Triggers - sometimes, the death of one Sibling will "trigger" the other sibling to take on a killing role from then on in the game. Most commonly, if one Sibling is killed by the Mafia, the other will become a Vigilante; alternatively, if one Sibling is lynched by the TP, the other will become a Serial Killer.
The Judge has the ability to veto a lynch. Sometimes they can insert their own overriding lynch choice. They must submit their decision to the GM before the update occurs.
Some players may be able to affect their own or other players' votes. For example, they can target another player and discount their vote; or they can target another player and double their vote (counts for 2 votes instead of 1). Or they might have their own vote automatically negated or doubled. The exact mechanics of such a role will vary.
The Kingpin is the head of the Mafia. The exact aspects to this role can vary, but often the Kingpin will get an investigative power every two rounds – he or she will select one name, and the GM will reveal if that name is a Regular Townsperson or a Special Role (i.e. Sheriff, Doctor, Vigilante). The Kingpin will usually also show up as "Not Mafia" to the Sheriff. However, the Kingpin usually cannot submit the kills for the Mafia.
The Lackey is a Mafia-aligned role-blocker who usually does not know who the Mafia are. The Lackey shows up as Town on investigation and has no initial contact with the Mafia. The Lackey chooses one player each round to role-block - the chosen target will be blocked from performing his or her action. This often includes blocking the Mafia from making their kill. The Lackey cannot block an action taken against himself.
The Mafia also sometimes receive a Nurse (i.e. Doctor), Watcher, or other role as well. Check with your GM whether this is the case in your game.
The Med Kit is an alternative to the Doctor role; it is a moveable object passed between players that can protect one player a night from a kill. The holder of the Med Kit is automatically protected; however, he or she must "pass on" the Med Kit to another player for the following round. Generally this will mean submitting two names of other players, and the GM will randomize the selection. The same player can not hold the Med Kit more than once every three rounds. If either of the two nominated players are ineligible (a previous holder or an eliminated player) the second nominated player will receive the Med Kit automatically. If both are ineligible, the Med Kit will be assigned randomly or removed from the game. If no nominees are submitted, the Med Kit will be assigned randomly.
The Serial Killer gets one kill a night. He or she does not win with either Town or Mafia – only if he or she is the last one standing. Sometimes the Serial Killer faction will feature more than one player. Sometimes the Serial Killer will be able to substitute their kill for a role-blocking action.
The Cult is a third party faction, in opposition to both the Town and Mafia. The Cult has the ability to "convert" other players to their alignment throughout the game (usually once every second round). The Cult wins when they are a majority faction. They usually have no further abilities.
1) Rounds end at a specified time, usually during late evening PST; the exact time will vary depending on the GM. The GM will update as quickly as possible; please be patient if there is a delay.
2) Once you've been killed off, please do not interfere with the game. Don't post during in-game discussions or loan your opinion to players, not even privately. The only comments you make should be completely off-topic and in no danger of influencing the game in any manner. Do not even up-vote posts relating to the game. Please also stay honest when conducting private correspondence.
3) Please stay active. If you sign up, that means you want to play. If you do not vote at least once every two rounds, you will be killed off for inactivity.
4) Screenshots of any communication (especially with the GM) are not allowed. It is also against the rules to copy/paste any message from the GM. Do not invite the GM into any private conversations, unless to prove rule-breaking. Faked screenshots/messages are subject to this rule as well, at the discretion of the GM.
5) If you are lynched, you are allowed "last words." You can say whatever you like at this time. However, anyone who is killed by any other means does not get last words.
6) Please avoid editing your posts, in order to prevent changing or removing information in old posts. Some GMs may grant leeway if the edit is made within the first 10 minutes after posting; after 10 minutes, there may be punishment. Other GMs allow zero editing.
7) Do not bring outside factors into the game. Making bets, offering real-life rewards, or claiming to ban yourself from future games to prove your innocence will not be tolerated. You're all clever enough to come up with better defenses than that.
8) Do not violate the spirit of the game. Exploiting loopholes or doing anything against the spirit of the game without actually breaking a rule is considered "Angleshooting" and will not be tolerated. The exact interpretation of this rule will be at the discretion of the GM. An example of Angleshooting is if players were trying to determine someone's alignment by asking about the contents of their role PM.
9) All rules are subject to staying within the "spirit of the rules" as well. Just because there may be a loophole in the rule's wording does not mean the rule can be averted. The GM of the game will have final say on what constitutes rule breakage.
10) The word of the GM is final. If you disagree with a decision, feel free to say so (privately), but understand that the ongoing game will likely not be altered. And please remain civil if you do have a complaint – remember that the GMs are devoting their own time to running this game for you.
11) Remember, this is just a game! If things start getting heated or personal between players, take a breath and a step back. Just have fun, and don't take it too hard if you get duped during the game!
12) Any player who hereupon posts the word "Aladeenis" or propogates the use thereof in any Mafia game in which he or she is currently participating; OR refers to his or her hypothetical or real Aladeenis in such circumstances as defined and outlined before, will be God Killed instantly at the time of the transgression, whether it was made in the game thread or a private game chat, and an announcement of death and possibly a role and/or affiliation revelation will be made by the host as soon as he or she is aware of the offence and offending player(s) and has reasonable time to access the site to post.