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Mafia Game

January 27, 2011

I moderate a forum dedicated to the playing of an online version of the classic party game, Mafia.

No, this has nothing to do with the FB game Mafia Wars, this game was invented in the 70’s for parties and adapted for online play.

It is a battle between an uninformed majority, and informed minority. It is a bit like clue (you need to use logic) and survivor (you need to not get kicked out) with some roleplaying fun mixed in.

It is easy to play, but hard to master. The rules seem complicated, so the best way to play is to just jump right in.

If you want to play or just watch visit here:

We are currently taking sign-ups for a Harry Potter themed game, and signups will end tomorrow (Friday). Games last about a week or so. If you want to play, sign-up soon. If you just want to watch, join the group but don’t reply to the sign-up thread.

Below are the rules for the current game as well as the basic rules we include with each rule post…yes, it sounds complicated, but it isn’t once you’ve played a game. Beginners are very welcome in our group! We have 22 people in the group, and 17 have currently signed up for this game.




There are tons of different ways I could have run this theme- there are so many characters and groups to choose from! Since this is our first themed game, I decided to keep things simple. In the future, I may have another where I use character names and those characters have specific powers (ie Minerva can transfigure your behind into something less desirable). However, I have found people often get confused during the first themed game and ESPECIALLY if there are specific characters mentioned instead of just role titles. It also gets a bit more confusing when standard powers are replaced with crazy themed ones. Some of the powers here WILL be different, but I hope many of the role concepts are recognizable. I will put their standard counterparts in parentheses, for your own reference.


Basic Game Info:


Nightfalls: Every night at 10pm eastern.


Total Players: ??


Starting Teams:

Death Eaters (Mafia)

Wizards (Innocents)


Possible Communicating Teams:

Order of the Phoenix

Death Eaters

Healer, Seer, Auror



Moderator E-mail:


Random Events: None


Role Lineup:

# of Players; Role Added


12)3 Death Eaters; Healer; Spy; Seer; Traitor

13) Order of the Phoenix

14) Minister of Magic

16) Death Eater

17) Auror

18) Squib

20) Death Eater


Order of Nightfall:

1)     Auror’s Block

2)     Crazy Skinny Bitch’s Curse

3)     Minister’s Protection

4)     Azkaban

5)     Healer’s Protection

6)     Death Eater Curse

7)     Dark Lord’s Investigation

8)     Wealth & Pretty’s Bribe

9)     The Seer’s Vision

10) Order’s Recruitment

11) Squib’s Watching

12) Untimely Deaths


Basic Rules:





Before the start of the game, you will receive an e-mail indicating your Mafia identity. Your Mafia identity is composed of two parts: a) your alignment and b) your role.


Alignment: Your alignment is either good(innocent) or evil(mafia). All Mafia are Evil. However, there are sometimes characters who are Evil who are not Mafia (such as the Devil). Not all villagers are innocent- though most of them are. The teams may also be called “innocent” and “mafia”…and in this case “mafia” means anyone on the mafia-aligned team.


Roles: Your role is your job. Several players will be “villagers”. Villagers have no specific function other than trying to figure out who the Mafia is. Other players may have a protective role (such as the Doctor), roleblocking roles (Sheriff), investigative roles (Detective), killer (Mafia hitman), or a combination of the above. The availability of roles varies from game to game. See below for the exact roles in this game.




Discussion: Throughout the day, the innocents discuss on the forum who they think is Mafia and who they think they should vote to lynch. It also adds fun and interest if they add a dash of roleplaying to their posts (talking about their day in the small Italian village). This is the only place where all the innocents can talk, so they do post theories despite the presence of Mafia in the group. Responses and behavior are scrutinized in order to detect any oddities- potentially indicating someone as Mafia. During the day, the Mafia do their best to blend in with the crowd and make themselves seem like average innocent villagers- so as not to be lynched by the mob. The Mafia, however, have a separate forum which they can discuss who they want to put a Mafia hit on and any voting/daytime strategy.


Voting: Before nightfall, everyone in the village- innocent or mafia- must vote to lynch one person. In order to lynch someone, you MUST use the phrase: “I vote to lynch [insert victims name]”. This phrase must either: be written in bold OR on its own separate line and not within the text, and posted in the main forum. Not phrasing your votes correctly will result in a lynching! You can change your vote up until nightfall. If you want to change your vote please post: “I retract my vote on [insert previous victim’s name] and vote to lynch [insert new victim’s name].”


Special Actions: Before nightfall, anyone with a role that has special actions should e-mail the moderator specifying the target of the action (and for roles with multiple options; which action). These e-mails do not need to be worded in any particular way. However, the title of the e-mail MUST have the word “Mafia” in it (for filtering e-mail purposes).


Communicating Teams: Certain groups of people will be able to communicate in a separate forum. When this option is available they will receive an invitation to the forum. Throughout the day, communicating teams may converse with each other in that forum.




Silence: When the moderator declares nightfall; all individuals must refrain from posting.


Length: Nightfall lasts as long as the moderator needs to send out e-mails, calculate results, and write the new thread. The next day begins when the moderator posts the new thread. Nightfall typically only lasts 30 minutes to an hour.


Random Events: The first thing the moderator will do is roll a die to determine what random event (if any) will be in effect this evening. Random events may impact lynching or special actions. It may alter them or discard them entirely for the evening. The moderator will not always announce when a random event occurred (such as an alignment change).


Lynching: The person with the most number of votes is lynched- unless they are protected via random events.


Mafia Hit: Each night, the Mafia can kill one individual in the town. This happens after the lynching. The victim may be protected by a random event or the doctor.


Winning the Game


Mafia: The Evil/Mafia win when their numbers match the innocents.

Innocents: The Good/Innocents win when the defeat all the Mafia.



For this game I would like to try a new rule that is standard practice in many Mafia forums, but is not how I learned. However, I think it will add an interesting dynamic, force more discussion and debate, and bring things together. If we like it, we can make it standard; if not we’ll go back to the old ways.

LYNCHING occurs ONLY by MAJORITY vote. A simple majority, but a majority. Yes, it will be a challenge, but it’ll be fun. J


This Game:


Important terminology changes:

Lynching is now “Send to Azkaban”

The Mafia hit is now “Avada Kedavra”

Mafia are now “Death Eaters”

Villagers are now “Wizards”


Roles in this game:


Death Eaters (Mafia):


The Dark Lord (Mafia Don)- The Dark Lord is a member of the Death Eaters and he is in charge of them. The Dark Lord decides who will be the victim of a killing curse each evening. The Dark Lord sends his victim choice to the moderator before each nightfall. In addition, the Dark Lord may choose one person to use legilimency on to learn their true identity. If the Dark Lord is sent to Azkaban, there is no hit for that evening. However, the Dark Lord escapes from Azkaban the following day, and returns to his followers. The Dark Lord can only be “put away for good” once all the other Death Eaters are locked up.


The Wealthy (and Pretty) One- The wealth and pretty Death Eater is an official member of the Death Eaters. Before each nightfall, he may use his charisma to bribe one person to vote for a specific person during the next day. The pretty one will send the moderator his victim choice, as well as the intended voting target before each nightfall.


The Crazy Pale Skinny Bitch- Don’t mess with this psycho death eater who just tosses the “Crucio” curse around like its “Lumos”. Before each nightfall, the Crazy Skinny Bitch will e-mail the name of her victim to the moderator, that victim will be role-blocked for that evening (and writhing in pain instead).

Death Eater Thugs- These guys are just plain ole death eaters. They get to participate in revels and kill folks without having any responsibility. What a life!


Wizards (Innocents):


The Order of the Phoenix (Masons): The Order starts with just one person. Before each nightfall, the Order must come to an agreement on who to recruit to their numbers. If the order recruits a regular Wizard, the wizard joins the communicating team. If the order recruits a special role wizard (healer, seer, etc…) or a third party role to their numbers, the wizard joins but their power is reduced (every other night). If the Order recruits a Death Eater, then one random member of the Order will die. The Order members do not have any special actions. Their power lies in a) their knowledge of who their fellow members are- as they know they are innocent and can be trusted; and b) their ability to communicate with each other in order to strategize and share theories. Order members cannot identify themselves as such. If they do, then the Death Eaters will wipe them all out at their next meeting.


The Seer (Detective): Each night the seer receives a vision. The vision will be based upon a random die roll that includes all of the players. The vision may indicate one of the following: alignment, role, or hints about strategy and communicating teams. If the Seer discovers the Healer or Auror, they can form a communicating team


The Healer (Doctor): The healer protects one person each night from the Death Eater killing curse. Before nightfall, the doctor sends the moderator a private e-mail stating which person they would like to protect. Okay, I know only a mother’s love can save you from a killing curse, but deal with it. :p


The Auror:  The auror is allowed to roleblock one person each evening. Before nightfall, the auror e-mails the moderator the name of the target they wish to block. For that nightfall, the target cannot perform its associated special action. The sheriff cannot block the same person two nights in a row. He is allowed to block the same person again, but must have a different target in between.


The Squib (Watcher): The squib doesn’t have magic, so he has learned to pay attention and watch the world, in order to be useful. Before each nightfall, the squib sends the moderator the name of the person he wishes to watch that evening. After nightfall, the squib will receive an e-mail stating all persons that communicated/targeted/interacted with his target. The squib gets no information on any of the specific actions, nor does he get any information about role or alignment. While the information obtained from this is subtle, through reasoning, the squib may be able to find some answers.


Third Party Special Roles:


The Spy: The spy is a member of the Death Eater communicating team is originally designated as a Death Eater. Initially, he will count as a full member of the Death Eater team. The Spy will have a randomly assigned “love”, if that “love” is slain by the Death Eaters, the spy will join the Order of the Phoenix automatically. If the Order recruits the Spy before his love dies, he will join up. However, if the Wizards send his love to Azkaban, his allegiance will change back to the Death Eaters. The Spy will know who is love is, but he is not allowed to share it with anyone. The Spy can share his role with his fellow Death Eaters, but should realize that Voldemort can order his hit just to be safe. If the Spy joins the Order, he can share the information he knows.

The Traitor: The traitor starts out as an innocent wizard. However, if the Dark Lord finds the traitor through legilimency, the traitor becomes a part of the Death Eater team.

The Minister of Magic: The minister of magic starts off without an alignment. However, he is very easily manipulated by power. If the Dark Lord finds the Minister, he can order the Minister to vote one way or another. If the Order finds the Minister, they can order him to vote one way or another. Whichever team finds him first, is the one that determines his alignment. If neither team finds him, he wins as long as he is alive. In addition, the Minister may save a individual from being sent to Azkaban. If they wish to do so, they must e-mail the moderator their targets name before nightfall.


FAQS (General Mafia)


1.)   If I don’t have specific role, or even if I do, can I make one up for flavor-purposes?

Of course! The game experience is so much better if you can roleplay a bit and get in character. As long as your role doesn’t sound like another person’s role (unless you want to claim to be that role), then you are welcome to play make believe and invent your job. While you are at it, feel free to invent a spouse, children, your clothing, your house, etc… The more details the better. None f these will have any impact to the game mechanically, but they are fun!


2.)   Why do I need to write my vote in that very specific manner?

The moderator needs to be able to clearly identify all the votes. While the moderator usually reads every single e-mail thoroughly (if only for entertainment) she only posts the vote counts during certain hours. Therefore, she may need to go back and identify all the votes in the e-mails. This can only be done quickly and efficiently if everyone’s votes read exactly the same way and are therefore easy to recognize.


3.)   Can I send an e-mail after the designated nightfall time but before the moderator declares nightfall?

Technically, yes. But it is a risky game. If the moderator is sending an e-mail at the same time and it happens to travel faster in the tubes of the internet then you may be putting yourself in danger of getting a UD. Just posting a comment? Refrain. Changing a Vote: Your call. Getting in your first vote to save yourself from UDing? Absolutely go for it.


4.)   What if the Mafia try to hit the same person that gets lynched?

The lynching happens first, so there is no Mafia hit.


5.)   What is a “UD”?

A UD, also known as an untimely death, is the removal of a participant from the game due to: rule-breaking, lack of voting, or inappropriate behavior. They are typically embarrassing or humorous deaths.


6.)   If I am in a communicating team can I communicate with other members via e-mail, IM or phone?

No. Communicating members must exchange information in the designated forum.


7.)   What happens if the Detective investigates the Doctor or Sheriff on an evening that they are “framed” by the Mafia Hitman?

The target will come up as guilty and the Detective will not know he found the doctor/sheriff. The Detective should investigate all Mafia members twice if he wants to be certain of their allegiance.


8.)   Does the doctor protect against lynching?



9.)   Does the Mafia get another hit if their original target was saved by the Doctor?







2 Comments leave one →
  1. January 28, 2011 3:19 pm

    Uh…have to be honest-Didn’t read all of this.

    Wow. That takes dedication and attention to detail!


  1. Mafia Game | Mafia Wars Resources

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