Malazan Empire: WHAT IS MAFIA? (Start Here!) - Malazan Empire

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WHAT IS MAFIA? (Start Here!) Introduction and Welcoming Thread

#1 User is offline   Path-Shaper 

  • Mafia Modgod
  • Group: Game Mod
  • Posts: 1,255
  • Joined: 01-October 08

Posted 30 June 2016 - 05:45 PM

Hi there!

Did you find this sub-forum, but have no idea what "Mafia" is? Maybe you tried looking at the latest "sign-up" or game thread, but were very confused by the huge walls of technical descriptions and terminology?

This post will give you a shorter and easier to understand overview of what Mafia is.

1. What is Mafia?

Mafia is a social deduction game invented in the Soviet Union in 1986. It can be played anywhere and any way that a group of people can communicate - in person at parties, through the mail, over radio... and it is especially popular on internet forums!

You might also have heard of a similar game called Werewolf - Werewolf is actually the very same game as Mafia, just given a special theme, cards and artwork so that it can be sold as a product.

2. How does it (usually) work?

Each Mafia game will have a moderator who controls the game and passes secret information to players.

Most players will be secretly told by the moderator that they are "innocent", but a small number will be secretly told that they are "mafia" (also often called "scum" on this forum).

Then the game will begin, and there will be cycles of "day" and "night", arranged by the moderator. In the day, all the players can chat, and they may decide to remove one player from the game via majority vote. At night, the mafia players will choose amongst themselves one player to be removed. Then the cycle repeats.

For the mafia, the goal of the game is to not be removed during the daytime and to keep removing players at night until the mafia are a majority of all players.

For the innocents, the goal of the game is to use their majority of players to vote for the mafia players during the day and remove all the mafia from the game before the mafia kill too many innocents.

Since the moderator secretly told each player their role, an innocent player can't know for sure if another player is also innocent or a mafia player. Everyone will claim that they are innocent because no one wants to get voted off! So, innocent players need to ask questions and observe other players' behaviour to try and deduce who the mafia are, while the mafia players need to try and act normal so they don't give themselves away!

3. Is that all?

That's how the most basic game works, and that is all you really need to know to get started.

Often we will play with a few special roles mixed in: e.g. one innocent player may be a Healer who can prevent the mafia from killing someone at night, but only if they guess who the target is.

It is up to each game's creator/moderator to choose whether they want to use additional roles and which ones, and they will also need to ensure that the balance of roles and the numbers of innocents/mafia players is fair.

Sometimes, moderators will run games that have lots of special roles or even extra game mechanics beyond basic mafia. These games might not always be suitable for a first-time player.

If you aren't sure, the best policy is to simply ask!

4. How does someone get started?

If you are interested in trying out Mafia, or even just watching a game, then just post here! We have a very friendly community of players that are always eager to welcome new members!

When the current game is nearing completion (or has already finished), the moderator of the next upcoming game will post a Sign-Up Thread. The Sign-Up Thread will typically contain some general details about what the game will be like, when it will start and how long it is expected to run for. Then players who want to play will post in the Sign-Up Thread indicating that they want to play, so the moderator will know who to message with roles.

If you want to play, go ahead and sign-up! Feel free to ask lots of questions, right there in the sign-up thread or in private messages to the moderator!

5. What's with all these vampires, foods, samurai and funny hats?

Most moderators here like to give their game a theme. This doesn't change any of the actual game mechanics, it just provides a fun bit of novelty over-top of the game mechanics.

So, for example, a Lord of the Rings-themed game might refer to the innocent players as elves, humans and hobbits, and refer to the mafia players as orcs, instead. Some players might even be named, like Frodo, Sauron, etc. But the elves/humans/hobbits will still play the same way as innocents - deducing and voting during the day - and the orcs will still play as mafia - trying to act normal and killing a player each night.

6. I looked in the current game thread, and none of the players match the ones who signed up! Even the moderator is different! Who are Rashan, Nimander, and Path-Shaper?!

For most games on this forum, we use "alt accounts" - extra forum users that don't belong to anyone and are used only for playing mafia. So, for example, after you sign-up for a game the moderator will give you the username and password to log into the Serc account. Rather than using your regular forum account, you'll post in the game thread using the Serc account.

The main reason for this is that it gives the players anonymity and reduces the impact of "meta" factors - for example, a player who was given a mafia role might want to monitor the game thread very often so they can catch any accusations quickly, but it would be suspicious for a New Zealand player to be awake during the North American daytime. By hiding their identity behind an "alt account", that player can't be identified as being from any particular timezone, so their activity times are not suspicious.

Another reason is that alt accounts help keep users' private message inboxes tidy, as some mafia games can involve a lot of private messages being sent back-and-forth.

If this sounds a bit confusing, don't worry - the moderator will explain to you how to use the alt account when you play your first game.

Path-Shaper is the alt account used by the moderator, and likewise control of it is rotated through whoever is currently moderating a game, then passed to the next moderator, and so on.

7. Anything else?

That's it!

If you want to, you can read the Mafia 101 thread for more detailed information, lists of common roles and variants, or you can read the current or past game threads (don't post in the current game thread if you aren't playing in it, though!), but those are all entirely optional. The finer points of terminology, slang, play-styles, etc, are all best learned simply by doing!

If you're interested in trying Mafia out, then just go ahead and introduce yourself here and/or throw your name into the next sign-up thread!
Only someone with this much power could make this many frittatas without breaking any eggs.

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