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Not sure if anyone still plays this or runs games, but I've been continuing to refine our method that we used here many years ago. Have run a few different games on several forums over the last couple years and have made the final product pretty solid. I want to post the information but I probably won't get to it tonight.

But I know I'll forget so this is sort of a reminder for me. I'll get my spreadsheets and all that stuff up this weekend some time.

Alrighty, this information should be all you need to get a game going yourself. We've got explanations, roles, and there's a spreadsheet that should work well too.

There are two teams, maybe more... one team is the Mafia, the other is the Townsfolk. There may even be independent actors that might or might not have your best interests at heart. It's a game of information and intrigue, lies and deception: a small team of coordinated mafiosos versus a large team of ignorant townsfolk. The mafia is determined to kill off the townsfolk and the townsfolk must cleanse themselves of the mafia's presence. And if there's a deranged serial killer out there, well... hopefully someone catches that dude before he wins the game all by himself! But who knows? Maybe a roll of the dice will dictate that there is no serial killer... for this game.

It's a game built around teams and roles. I will be posting up descriptions of each type of role in due time. But for now I'd like to know who wants to play based on this premise. Mafia is a game that requires a fair number of people. I'd like at least thirteen (13) players. Any less and it doesn't really work. This is where you start helping me recruit!

As for a basic primer: mafiosos want to kill the townsfolk and the townsfolk want to kill the mafiosos. The game takes place on the forum and through the personal message system. All Mafia members are aware of other Mafia members, whereas the Townsfolk will only be aware of their own individual roles and must build relationships and find allies. It's very much a game of "lots of information" versus "no information". And it operates on a day/night turn cycle. Daytime is for lynchings whereby all players vote for someone to be killed, and nighttime is for action, whereby each player will secretly tell me (the GM) their moves. And when daylight breaks, the true scope of the night's events will unfold to the public. Generally speaking, the pattern the game falls into is that one player is unscrupulously assassinated at night, while another player is ruthlessly lynched during the day in retaliation for the night's murder. And hopefully each team is able to advance their own agenda.

As the GM, I'll be the arbiter of all information and be relaying the results of turns to each one of you via the personal messaging system. Each "day", the townsfolk will vote for someone to be lynched and each "night" players will tell the GM actions they wish to undertake based on their individual roles to hopefully impact the results of the next day's activities, up to and including mafia assassinations and even protection from such murderous activity. If you are the poor fool deemed ready for slaughter either during the night or during the day, that's it for you: game over. And if you're dead, YOU ARE DEAD!! No talking to living players, you must sit and watch the adventure unfold. At least for this variant of Mafia, there is no communication with those beyond the grave. Any violation of this rule will result in a "modkill", which means I will kill you. And you do not want that.

A victory condition is achieved when either the Mafia have killed enough townsfolk such that they have an equal number of agents when compared to the townsfolk, or when the townsfolk have successfully lynched all of their opponents. Basically, when the Mafia have culled the herd to a 1:1 ratio, the townsfolk lose!! And if the townsfolk are able to take out the entire mafia as well as any potential third parties, they win! But... if some wayward serial killer or mutant wanders along and manages to make fools out of all of you... well, they win. And if there is a case where a decision cannot be reached on who to lynch during the day phase, well, that is done at the Townsfolks' own peril.

This is Forum Mafia. Kill or be killed. The trust you place in another player might as well be up to the roll of a die, you never can quite know for sure. Or can you? That person you think is your friend could very well be the Don himself. Looking for at least thirteen players. You wanna play? Awesome! Help me recruit people. I promise you this is a good game, but finding the player-base is easily the hardest part. I may be able to run this with fewer players, but really, we want a solid thirteen or more. This game is crazy-fun when it gets going. It's all about deception and spinning a good story. The Mafia are always aware of who is Mafia (and who is not), but the townsfolk are completely in the dark. It's up to you to figure out just exactly who is who.

And hopefully you won't condemn an innocent person to the gallows...

Up next: roles and powers. In the meantime, if you are interested, please make a post. Remember, we want THIRTEEN players at least. Even if your interest is just in passing, voice it! I will be more than happy to take the time to personally lay out how the game works if you'd like. :)

Let's take a dive into the cast of characters that will make up our game. I'm keeping this one pretty generic so advanced role types will be ignored for now. But if the game is a success we can start adding more intricate roles. Additionally, this list does not necessarily reflect the roles present in the actual game. Sometimes you'll have multiple people playing the same roles, sometimes not. After all it's no fun if you know what to expect! As you look through these roles, you will notice that some roles infer great power while others have none. But sometimes even the most mundane role can sway the course of the game.

First up we'll look at...

[*]The Boss: The guy at the top of the pile, The Boss is the leader of the Mafia and the unifying force behind its power. If The Boss is investigated by the authorities, the report will declare him or her innocent. The Townsfolk will need to use all the tools at their disposal to sniff out whoever is pulling the strings. If The Boss is killed, the Mafia will be unable to murder a villager during the following phase.
[*]The Goon: Your basic Mafioso, The Goon has no special abilities, but is of course able to take part in Mafia activities and therefore has access to more-complete information than the Townsfolk.
[*]The Enforcer: An Enforcer is the Mafia's primary muscle, they have the ability to bully their way around and make things happen... or not happen. In this case, The Enforcer is endowed with the ability to disable the powers of a player of their choosing during the night phase.
[*]The Made Man: This guy has seen it all and knows his way around the block. The Made Man is able to sniff out the role of another player as their nighttime action. This ability is limited-use.
[*]The Lady in Red: Everyone knows this dame, she's the Boss' girl! And she is a liability. If investigated by The Cop during the night phase, her role will be revealed. If investigated a second time, The Cop will be given The Boss' name. But the Lady in Red is nobody's fool, she knows if she has been investigated and can alert the Mafia before it is too late. What the Mafia chooses to do with her beyond that is up to them...
[*]The Rat: This guy is a real piece of work. The Rat isn't the Mafia's favorite person, but he's still part of the brotherhood. The Rat cannot talk with other Mafia members and isn't even entirely sure who all the Mafia members are, but he'll do his best to mislead the Townsfolk into acting against their best interests.
[*]The Fixer: The Fixer is the beast that watches from the shadows. They can visit a player at night and if another player attempts an action upon The Fixer's target, that person is killed. This ability is limited-use.[/list]

[*]The Townie: Your friendly neighborhood villager. They have no special powers, other than numbers.
[*]The Cop: The embodiment of the law in our fair city, The Cop is a powerful role that is able to investigate other players during the night phase. Upon completing their investigation, The Cop will be told if a player is innocent or guilty.
[*]The Doctor: Old sawbones here is the fellow you need when you're in a jam. With their power, The Doctor is able to protect a player from death during the night phase. The Doctor will not be told if their protection was successful and they cannot protect themselves.
[*]The Vigilante: The Vigilante is a little bit crazy, but means well. That doesn't always mean things work out in the town's best interest when The Vigilante acts, though. During the night phase the Vigilante is able to kill another player. Unlike most other powers, this one is limited-use.
[*]The Drunk: The Drunk always shows up at the worst possible times. During the night phase The Drunk may use their power to prevent another player of their choosing from doing an action.
[*]The Gossip: The Gossip knows what's going on in town and if it isn't their business, they'll make it their business. During the night phase The Gossip can select a player to spy on. If another player attempts to use a power on The Gossip's target, The Gossip will learn the identity of whoever used the ability, though they will not learn the nature of the ability used.
[*]The Detective: Unlike The Gossip, The Detective is a bit more experienced at what they do. The Detective is able to select a player and monitor their actions covertly. If The Detective's target makes a move on another player, The Detective will know. The Detective will not be told exactly what the action was, however. If investigated by The Made Man, The Detective will simply appear as a Townie.
[*]The Vengeful: The Vengeful is just like every other Townie, except totally crazy. If The Vengeful is targeted for murder by the Mafia, whoever is sent to kill them will also die. If The Vengeful is chosen to be lynched during the day phase, the person who cast the deciding vote will die along with them. Be very, very careful.
[*]The Hoarder: This is the dude that has everything, including a bulletproof vest. Neat! The Hoarder is protected from the FIRST kill attempt made on them in the night phase. And this power is a one-off. And if The Hoarder has multiple people gunning for them on the same night, well... game over man.
[*]The Hunk: The Hunk is a real man's man and totally smoking hot. It's actually kind of distracting. The Hunk's power allows him to select a target to flirt with and another target to betray. If the target that The Hunk flirts with has taken an action that night, the result of that action will occur to whoever The Hunk is betraying. Cheating is a dangerous game.[/list]

[*]The Psychopath: The Psychopath is a faction unto themselves. Their goal is simple: Kill. Everything. If The Psychopath is the last player remaining, The Psychopath wins the game! If The Psychopath kills the only other player in the game but is also killed themselves, The Psychopath wins the game! He's crazy, don't try to apply logic to it. You get the picture?
[*]The Survivor: This role is slightly different in that The Survivor doesn't have a horse in the race. They aren't for or against anyone other than themselves. The Survivor wins alongside whichever team manages to win first, assuming that The Survivor is able to stay alive. How The Survivor spends their time and what sort of information they spread is entirely up to them.[/list]

These are some of the roles we'll be using in the upcoming game. Some may be absent to keep you all guessing. I think seeing them laid out should help make the game's premise a bit more clear to some of you. During the day phase, players will be discussing with one another in the game topic to try to determine who to lynch. They can even choose not to lynch someone, though this hands the Mafia a free turn so use it wisely. During the night phase, all players will send me a personal message with their desired actions, if applicable. They will tell me what powers they'll be using and then I will reconcile all of the results. When the sun rises the next morning, the outcome of the night's events will become clear to the town.

So now that you've all signed up for this, how about I shed some light on how the game is actually played.

As mentioned, the Mafia is a small group with lots of information and the ability to coordinate (on a hidden forum separate from this one). The Townsfolk are a larger group of unassociated individuals that only know that there's a problem in their town. They do not know who the Mafia are, but they know they need to find out and kill them fast before the Mafia is able to kill all of the Townsfolk and take over the town. The Townsfolk may only discuss the game in the public game thread which will be posted on this forum and the Mafia are also going to be in that thread, trying to mislead and misdirect to further their own ends.

One of the keys to this game is playing in good faith. Mafia members don't necessarily have to worry about this as much because they have a private communication channel. Townsfolk need to be a bit more disciplined. The main thing for Townsfolk is that you don't talk about the game in private with anyone and you do talk about the game in the game thread. You do not share private communications with the GM with any other players, either. It's an honor-based system and for the sake of the game, please abide. Plus it is for your own good, you might be revealing essential information about roles to the Mafia which will help them take out the most powerful Townsfolk. We want to have fun. You'll have a chance to play other roles and assume other personas in future games if this one does not see you as the role you hoped for.

There will also be graveyard/ooc thread where people can discuss the game and the meta and be amazed at the goofy stuff that just went down, but not the actual gambits being run. If you die, you may continue to watch the game but are otherwise restricted to the graveyard. If I find that anyone is violating the game's rules, your character will be killed. This means you are hurting your faction. So don't be a jerk, just play the game!!

There are two phases to the game: Day and Night.

The Day Phase
The day phase is when everyone in town comes together and talks about the events of the prior night. In the case of the first turn, I will be writing up a NPC death to get the ball rolling. During the day phase players must choose someone to lynch. It will go to a vote and whoever is chosen will be killed. The people may vote not to lynch that day, but this empowers the Mafia so be advised. When playing during the day phase, the bulk of activity is a social game taking place in the In-Character topic that will be posted. This is when you become your character or assume a persona. This is when the lies begin to flow and the intrigue gets out of hand. Choose your words wisely because the people you support or vilify during one turn may end up coming back as evidence to justify your own death on a future turn.

The Night Phase
The night phase is when powers can be used and when the chaos truly ensues. Once the night phase begins, players with roles that have abilities can (if they choose to) send the GM a personal message describing the move they wish to make and who they wish to make it toward. So for instance, The Doctor can tell the GM that they want to use their protection power on Player X. The Cop can tell the GM they wish to investigate Player Y. And The Enforcer can tell the GM that they wish to use their power on Player Z. If the GM does not get a PM from someone or if they tell the GM they do not wish to use their power, the assumption is that their power will not be used and they won't act during that particular phase. It behooves you to pay attention to the game as it updates, you could put your faction at a serious disadvantage if you are inactive and miss the night phase.

Once all the players have sent the GM their orders, the GM will then plug them in, run any priority checks that are needed, and be able to see what happened. At this point the GM will send out personal messages to anyone that requires one. In this case, The Cop would get a response from the the GM with the result of their investigation and so-on. Not every role will get a response during the night phase, in fact most roles will not. But those that do will have likely gained some powerful knowledge to be used the following morning. REMEMBER: These responses are sent via private message, they are for you and you alone and not to be shared with any other player. No exceptions. The point of the game is for you to have to be persuasive.

Once the GM has reconciled all of the moves for the night phase, the next day will begin. The GM will post a small story segment detailing the events of that evening and any other important information that has come out. And then the process begins anew... with slightly more information than the day before.

When a player dies or is lynched, their role and alignment will be revealed. Players will know very quickly if they've made the right choice or a terrible mistake. And when you are dead, you are dead. You may post in the graveyard/ooc topic if you'd like, but only as a spectator. DO NOT give out information about players/roles/powers/whatever if you are dead. No helping your team out from beyond the grave!! And that is the basic outline of Mafia. If there are any specific questions, now is an excellent time to ask. I will be sending out a PM to all of the players that have signed up. You must respond to me so I know you are on-board officially and you will also be agreeing to follow the rules of the game. Let's keep it straightforward, folks. This is a place for fun, not egos. And if you are confused or lost, please please just be honest about it and ask. We're all allowed to be new at something and this game can take some practice. I'm here for you if you need me.

Got a question in one of the PMs I sent out about how to use information gathered during investigations and whatnot. The rule about keeping your messaging and whatnot private is mostly about preventing players from outright quoting the GM's private communications in the game thread. If you are The Cop and have information, you can choose to divulge that information but you can't just paste the PM that was sent to you as irrefutable proof. Technically speaking the GM isn't an actor in the game. So that means:

Do not under any circumstance share any information given by the Game Master via quotes or screenshots or hieroglyph or interpretive dance or telepathy or any other form of verbal or nonverbal communication.

And remember, you're putting yourself at risk of assassination by revealing that you've acquired such information, as only a select few players on any given faction are capable of sniffing out roles.

Then again, revealing yourself may also infer a level of protection, as The Doctor would then be able to protect you, knowing that you're worth protecting; however, remember again that there are roles that can impact how other players' power usage fires. So even though you may reveal yourself as the cop, you may be putting protective roles at risk because someone could just wait in a corner and kill whoever comes along to help you out. It's tricky... a lot of mind games afoot.

Worse still for our investigator friends, if for some reason your investigation is tampered with and you receive faulty information, well... the unsuspecting villagers may think you were a mafioso trying to spin a lie. It's a tenuous proposition to out yourself in this game.

So to sum it all up: you can talk about information, but not in a way that proves it is genuine. The GM is not a player; therefore, the GM's communications are not applicable to play. Sorry if it seems like I'm beating a dead horse with this post. I just don't want any room for misunderstanding on this topic. The fun of the game is in trying to prove yourself in an environment of uncertainty.


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