The 'Shroom:Issue 103/Mafia 201
Today I will talk to you about a topic that was discussed in Issue LVII by Marioguy (you can read it here) that discussed the basics of Mafia play. For those that have played a game or two, or have graduate from the 101 status of Mafia gameplay, then look no further! I, Baby Mario Bloops, will continue this discussion about ‘’’Mafia’’’.
No, not the ‘’Mafia’’ that is a crime syndicate. We don’t affiliate with them anymore. We’re actually talking about the party game that the forum loves to play, or at least somewhat enjoys since we have a board dedicated to it.
This is a continuation of the Mafia 101 article that is to benefit players – veteran and newcomers – with helpful tips, strategies, and more intermediate discussions that will help create better gameplay and stronger players in the long run.
So let’s dive right in, shall we?
There are several roles on our forum, with roughly 114 regular roles – 144 including the gimmick-based roles – and counting! (Don’t worry; we have a list of them for use at ease). With the many possibilities and scenarios that you get when roles are put into a game, there are tons of possible combinations that defines what the dynamic of the game will consist of. All of this can be very intimidating at first, but fret not! We’ll talk about ways to approach dealing with several roles, especially more of the trickier roles.
- Lie Detector – This role’s power is to allow a player to tell if another player is telling the truth or not. So if someone says “I’m not Mafia”, they can check the statement to see if it is true or false. However, if there are statements that are more vague or simply an opinion, such as “I think they may be Innocent” or “I may or may not have used my powers, I don’t remember”, then the response will be tricky for the host to provide, and will not reflect positively since it will be of little use. The more specific the statement, the clearer the response will be, which is what you want as a lie detector. Be cautious not to be obvious about your interrogations, since it may shoot up some red flags to those on opposing alignments.
- Necromancer – The necromancer is a power that allows you to bring a dead player back from the dead. This seems very straightforward, but combinations and dynamics of a game can change that. For example, if the Necromancer was converted to Mafia, then (depending on the host’s preferences) they may revive dead players as Mafia. Likewise, if players revive players that had one-time powers that was already used, more than likely the player will not revive with that power renewed.
- Assistant – This role enables a player to double another player’s power. There are many powers that can be doubled, but several that cannot. If the power is passive, such as bulletproof, gallis, or vanilla, then doubling their powers will serve no purpose. Powers that affects the strength/count, like Public Speaker, may be doubled (going from 2 to 4 for example), or may not, depending on the host. Generally though, if the power can be used each night, or their power can affect others, then the power will most likely work.
- Copycat – The copycat allows players to copy another player’s role, but depending on the host, it may be only for one night, or for the rest of the game. This role can be very drastic from other versions of it, so the best rule of thumb is to ask the host what they can do with this role, such as the duration of the copycat, how they will show up on checks, and how it may affect other roles.
- Jinx – This role allows another player to “corrupt” another player’s role. Generally, it works best on the cop, as most hosts will have to where, if the cop checks an innocent and they were jinxed, their check will appear mafia. That doesn’t mean that it doesn’t affect other roles, but the way they do differentiates from host to host, so speak to the host.
- Bomber – The bomber is a power that lets you kill someone once you have died. This role is another that seems straightforward, but can be changed based on what the host’s preferences are. Sometimes it’ll kill the other person at the same time you die, and sometimes it’ll be later in the next phase, so watch out for that. There are also roles that affect how the bomber, or any other instant-killing roles, will work, so don’t forget to see how they work!
- Gallis – This role allows players to only be lynched if they are the minority in votes. The best way to view this role is to think of it as being the opposite of a lynch target. The thing that can be confusing about this role is what defines a “minority”. Sometimes it’ll be the least amount of votes, but when there are three or more people being voted, it can be hard to tell. Some hosts have it to where as long as you are a minority of votes, you are lynched. Others have it to where you have the second highest votes, you are lynched, and some have it like the first rule. As the host as to how the role functions so you are aware in case you are put in that predicament!
- Yakuza/converting roles – With the Yakuza role, you are able to convert people from one alignment to another. If you were to take an Innocent, they will turn into Mafia. Does this work vice versa? Depends on the host, but generally it should not, unless they are a cult leader or converter – which are similar roles in the alignment-affecting powers. When someone is converted though, they should ask the host these questions: Will the player I convert keep their powers intact? If I convert a cult leader, will all the people they converted be converted as well? Will their power be restored/renewed if I convert them? Knowing these will allow you to better convert players. Likewise, hosts will generally alert everyone when a conversion was made, but sometimes it will be hidden, so other players watch out. As a strategy note, be mindful of who you convert, because if you convert the obvious choices, sometimes it’ll blow up in your face. It’s hard to gauge who to convert, but staying away from people confirmed Innocent or someone people are already targeting will help in most cases.
- Godfather – This role is one of the most common roles in Mafia, so naturally there are a lot of variants to it. Usually it is known as the leader of the Mafia, but most often it has a check-proof status to it, meaning that it’ll appear Innocent on cop checks. This is where it can get a little wonky. Depending on the host, the check may actually show another player’s role, or a completely new role, and sometimes the godfather knows what they’ll appear, and sometimes they don’t. The godfather role may also not have that check-proof ability, meaning they’ll appear on the check as the Godfather. They also may just not be able to be checked. Ask your host for what the preference is, since it’s very crucial you know that.
One common note that has been stated through all of this is the fact that many of these roles depend on the hosts’ preferences. That’s the point! Many times confusion comes from not knowing or asking what the host does for each of their roles. You should know what basic function of most roles are (and you have a nice list to refer to at any time), but when you get a role that can be complex or have different variants to it, you should ask a few questions to your host, if they haven’t outlined it themselves in your role card. Mafia games is all about collecting information and using it to your advantage, so why miss out on the easiest information to get in the game? They won’t tell you everything, but they’ll definitely clear things up as best as they can.
One of the unique – and exciting – things when playing Mafia games is that there is no set rule on how to play it. Now, you should be spamming and talking about the latest selfie you took, but you have full control over who you vote, who you believe, and how you use your powers. Let’s discuss the some strategies on how to better function in the game.
- Random Voting
Random voting is a very common strategy, mostly used during the first day or two of voting, as a means to get a conversation started. That it’s though; no further than that. Random votes should be used as a temporary move to break the ice, not permanent!
Let’s look at any example. If it is day 1, and there are five random votes on five different people, and the day ends, what does that accomplish? Do you know anything about said five people that were voted? Do you know what they might say, or what powers they might have? What purpose does voting them even do if it’ll lead to the same result as not voting them?
It’s crucial that, even on the first day, you try to get as much information out of people as you can. You shouldn’t bug the heck out of them, but get them to talk or post as to why they shouldn’t be voted. They most likely will not spill everything about who they are or what powers they have, but they can still try to persuade you and everyone else why they should not be voted.
Ways to counteract improper random voting: The best way is to vote someone that is already being random voted (with a valid argument). Doing so will add pressure to the player being voted, and will more than likely communicate and try to argue why the vote should be changed. Be careful with this, since people tend to sheep and go with the majority very easily. At least it’ll spark some conversation and some tells may appear that may get a valid lynch in the works.
Mafia is all about the communication, and what you say. People can and most likely will be analyzing every post you make, and whether they can use it to either defend your innocence, or to accuse you as scum. The point is to be wise with what you are posting, and how that may be useful to other people.
So if you are posting just to say that you’re here and you acknowledge the game is active, and do nothing else, what does that show to the other people? Are you going to be doing anything with the game, or are you just going to waste people’s time? Why play in the game if all you are going to do is that?
Posts that serve no purpose in helpful the discussions or what is going on is counterproductive, no matter what alignment you are on! If you are Innocent, then you are not scum hunting or getting leads started. If you are Mafia, then you are not trying to get information squeezed out of the Innocents that may be helpful for your alignment.
On the other hand, don’t post your role, power, and security numbers with your posts! There is a lot of things that should not be exposed directly to people. You can communicate with other players through Personal Messages (PMs) or in QuickTopics (if you have one/they are permitted), which will prevent other alignments from knowing certain topics that you don’t want exposed. Be warned that players can use that information and publicly state it as an argument, so be weary of what you say.
All in all, you can be active, but don’t waste people’s time with pointless posts. There is always something that you can comment on in a game, such as your thoughts of how the current lynch is going, why you are not voting, what leads you are formulate but not ready to execute (example, I think Person A has been suspicious because of their vote yesterday, but it’s not enough for me to vote them). All of these things may seem irrelevant, but other people can use that to further develop it and piece together, because – as I said before – the more information you have about the game, the more likely you will succeed.
There are many ways to getting information in the game, but most of these fall under the umbrella term known as “Analyzing”. There are many ways that you can analyze information throughout the game, so the best way is to train your eye for certain things. I will briefly explain a few ways that you can better see posts/discussions and how you can use it more productively.
You can analyze by lining up information. If someone is slipping up on what they are saying, then it will show. If they voted person A on the first day, and then on Day 5 they said that they have never voted that person, then call out that lie! You track someone during the night and find they visit the person that was nightkilled? Interrogate them! This will prompt discussions and will force them to defend themselves or else they will most likely get attacked with votes. The stronger the player, the more tight their story will be, so you need to try to search for any flaws or inconsistencies, and do not be afraid to argue against them, since many players can be deceiving!
As for those that are on the scum side, collecting as much information will allow you better sidestep interrogations and make stronger arguments as to your innocence, and if they keep on questioning you, keep up the story. Try to keep it just vague enough to where you can slide bits of info in places as you need to keep your story from falling at the seams, and do your best not to stray from your original story! Of course, you must do your best to protect your scum buddies, but in many cases, that does not always work out. When all comes to a lost, try to take the road that does the less damage, so if you need to cut a scum mate to save the squad, then do it. Don’t just willy-nilly throw your buds under the bus, so save that as a last resort.
Well, that is all I have to share for you guys! The Mafia community on the forum has been going strong for 5 years now, and there are tons of Mafia games waiting to be played, so don’t ever feel shy to sign up! It's never too late to play! Got any questions, concerns, or just want to say hi? Send me a message! The Mafia board is a very friendly place, even in the heat of the gameplay, so do not be afraid to go check it out. (It’s all right here, check out the General FAQ and General Discussion (Q&A) first if you are new)
With that, I hope you have an amazing month and enjoy the rest of the ‘Shroom. It’s always well-written by fantastic people, so don’t miss out!