The 'Shroom:Issue LVII/Mafia 101
Mafia? Isn’t that an Italian crime syndicate? That’s what you used to think. But today, I, Marioguy1, am here to explain the intricacies of the lesser-known definition of mafia – the party game.
Mafia is a common game played at camps or in group meetings to help break the ice and get people active. It involves the majority of the people, dubbed “innocents”, taking votes to kill each other off in an effort to find the two or three “mafia” among their ranks. However the real life game requires that all participants be trusted to close their eyes when it comes to their turn, and determining facial expressions is a crucial part of the game. When it comes to mafia on a forum, these two things play no part.
Mafia on forums, as can be found in our mafia board, is a game revolving around the use of “roles” to determine who is mafia and who isn’t. Here are a few general rules of mafia:
- The game is split into night and day phases – each one lasting 24-48 hours
- During the day phases, all players will vote publicly and explain their logic for getting rid of other members of the game in an effort to kill the mafia.
- During the night phases, the mafia will converse amongst themselves and pick one innocent to kill. The innocents will use their roles during this time.
- When the mafia outnumber the innocents, they win the game.
- When the mafia are eliminated, the innocents win.
For more info about playing mafia games, contact me on the forums
These are some terms that should help in comprehending what is happening in a mafia game:
- Bandwagon - A group of people all voting for the same person.
- Flip - Die (i.e. he flips scum = he dies as mafia).
- Godfather - The leader of the mafia. Has different powers depending on the game.
- Host - The player in charge of hosting the mafia game.
- Independent - A player with no teammates who has a solo goal. They are usually overpowered.
- Innocents - The good faction of the game. The majority of the players are innocent and use their roles to try to kill off all the mafia before they are killed off. They do not know eachother, and must vote to kill mafia.
- Lynch - Voting someone off is referred to as "lynching" them.
- Mafia - The villainous faction of the game. They seek to kill all the innocents and can kill one innocent per night. They know the identities of eachother and talk to eachother either through other websites or through Personal Messages.
- Masons - Two or more innocents that know eachothers' identities and can work together to vote off mafia.
- Role - A special power granted to every player. See section below for more details.
- Roleclaim - Announcing your role publicly; can either be a false roleclaim (lying about your role) or a true roleclaim (telling the truth).
- Scum - A term used to refer to the Mafia.
- Sheeping - Voting for someone without believing in the cause. Voting just for the sake of voting.
- Third Party - a third faction, similar to the mafia that is unknown to the rest of the players until one of their members dies. Their goal is usually to kill all the innocents and mafia.
- Town - A term used to refer to the Innnocents.
Here is a list of the common roles. These roles can be combined together, made more powerful or altered in many ways - but these are the main categories of roles.
- Role-checkers - This category includes only cops. Corrupt cops, mafia cops, innocent cops - all kinds of cops. They can select a player each night and are told that players' role.
- Protectors - This includes doctors, martyrs and clerics. Doctors can protect one player per night, usually including themselves. Martyrs can select one player per night, if that player is attacked, the martyr dies instead. Clerics can select a certain number of players to revive from the dead at any point during the game.
- Roleblockers - This includes roleblockers and jinxes. Roleblockers can prevent one person per night from using their role. Jinxes can jinx a certain number of players causing their powers to backfire (i.e. instead of protecting someone, the doctor kills them).
- Killers - This includes vigilantes, bombers, grannies and hunters. Vigilantes can choose a certain number of players per game and kill them instantly (usually with no chance of protection). Grannies kill all those who visit them, regardless of alignment. Bombers and hunters both kill whoever killed them when they die.
- Changed Votes - This includes public speakers and drunks. Public speakers' votes count twice in vote counts. Drunks' votes do not count at all.
- Defended Users - This includes zombies, bulletproofs and bribers. Zombies can come back to life after death once, sometimes immediately and others a while later. Bulletproofs are immune to all night killings and can only be killed by voting (alternatively, a lynchproof can only be killed at night). Bribers can survive a certain number of deaths.
- Trackers - This includes watchers and trackers. Watchers can see what actions were performed on themselves or other people. Trackers can see what actions a certain person performed at night.
- To Be Defined - This includes inspired innocents and users with hidden powers. Inspired innocents pick one of a few roles after those roles have died and they inherit those powers. Hidden powers can appear on any role, and give it a special effect.
Mafia specific roles:
- Cop-proof - The cop's checks will say the mafia is an innocent.
- Yakuza - Can sacrifice themselves to convert an innocent to the mafia.
- Confused - Does not know they are a mafia.
- Infected - Becomes a mafia midway through the game.
Here are a few strategies to help with mafia games. Remember, this section is not fact, it is my opinion. However since I am always right, it could be stated to be fact.
Bandwagoning has been given a bad name due to its confusion with a similar term - sheeping. Bandwagoning is like saying "per all" on a proposal. It is just you saying you agree with the above user, but don't want to retype their reasons. SHEEPING however, is voting when you don't agree with the above person, but don't want to look bad by not voting. Bandwagoning is perfectly fine, but sheeping should be avoided.
The user that kills an innocent is not always scum! This is a common misconception! The user who randomly kills another user probably is scum. But the user who comes to the logical conclusion that another user is scum and shows their reasons is almost always simply mistaken. Scumhunting does not imply killing the user that makes mistakes - you will usually end up killing your most proactive members.
Scumhunting implies doing exactly what the user who made the mistake was doing, looking at people's posts and how they coordinate with known information. For instance, if a mafia was killed on Day 5, for the Day 6 lynch it would be a good idea to look and see who supported that mafia on Days 1-4. If there are any consistencies, this could be mafia members banding together. If a mafia defends someone and dies a few days later, the person they defended could have been their ally. Looking through the past posts of the person is always a way to scumhunt.
Another way is to look for any users that are trying too hard to look innocent. A true innocent does not have to try to look innocent as they are innocent. Any user who is constantly lamenting the loss of other innocents or repeatedly asking if there's any way to kill the mafia could be a mafia member trying to look eager to help. Or it could just be a very inexperienced innocent; that's where the threat lies in this method of scumhunting.
Something I have noticed a lot around the forums is a lack of trust. Look at the game from an objective point of view. Every single player has around a 75% chance of being innocent. The players around you are most probably innocent. Trusting them should not be hard for you. If someone comes out accusing someone else, trust that they have knowledge you don't. There is rarely motivation for the mafia to randomly accuse another user as, in the long run, the mafia will end up losing a member. Of course, there are exceptions to this rule but not many. The rule of thumb should be to trust your companions as they are most probably on your side.
Roleclaiming is a useful tactic. It can be used to convince others of your innocence, it can be used to gain doctor's protection as a cop, it can be very useful. But it can also be very dangerous. Remember that when you are roleclaiming you are telling everyone about your role. If it is valuable, the mafia will usually have some way to make it useless or to kill you. Roleclaiming as soon as you are voted for is a horrible idea, you can easily just tie up the voting or start a counter-bandwagon if their logic is faulty.
If their logic holds true however, this is the scenario for roleclaiming. When users are voting for you and they actually have strong logic behind their votes. Roleclaiming could help you survive if you are something valuable.
- No Lynch
Is not the end of the world. Don't treat it as such. True it does not help in the long run, but one or two no lynches won't kill anyone.
This is the last topic I want to touch on. PMs not between third parties, masons or mafia members. If you are PMing other users behind the host's back, it could be defined as cheating. The host should really know all the actions going on in their game and cannot see PMs sent to other people. A simple way to solve this would be to send the PM to both the other person and the host. If the host sees a problem, they will intervene - it is their job to be impartial. It can't hurt to send the PM to the host, and it prevents any cheating so why not?
Thank you for reading this special section (at least I hope you read this special section), feel free to go onto the forums and start playing mafia! It is an excellent pass-time and lots of fun overall. I might contribute a special section to the January issue about hosting mafia games, but in case I don't, this has been Marioguy1! Merry Christmas!