Darthe's Mafia FAQ (Beginners Please Read!)
So you've found yourself in a mafia game and intend to have fun and enjoy the company of your fine community, but you also want to win. How does one go about winning a mafia game though? You realize that you don't know, or maybe that you do know but aren't as effective as you could be at making it happen. Luckily your friend Darthe is here to help!
A Brief History:
Before discussing how to win though we need to cover the basics of what mafia is and how it came to be. Mafia is, as you may know, a psychology game invented by a graduate counselling professor in the late eighties to help his students learn to profile one another more effectively because of how difficult it was to readily identify the traits of APD. The game was so successful that not only is it still used in class but the students took it out into the world and it became quite successful as a party game, especially among the college communities. Around the turn of the century one player of the game figured out how to make it an online game, accessible to anyone with internet access, and created the website MafiaScum which remains a strong and active community to this day.
So what is this popular social game? How do you play?
In its simplest form mafia is an uninformed majority versus an informed minority. The game takes place over a cycle of two phases which repeat until one side decisively has victory over the other. How this works is that the members uninformed majority each cast a vote against another player during the odd numbered phase cycle (starting with one) in an effort to reach a simple majority over the rest of the group or against the other potential voted candidates. The goal here is to gain a majority of votes against a member of the informed minority who are hidden among the group and also have equal voting privileges. Gaining a majority by the end of the timed phase or through hammer voting is called achieving a lynch. The voted player is then removed from the game and their role and alignment are revealed to the group. Once a player is removed they may no longer vote or speak and they do not count into the number needed to reach any majority. With the end of a phase comes the start of the next. During the even numbered phases nobody can vote and it is not uncommon for a moderator to prohibit speaking either. Also during this phase the informed minority selects an individual. Upon the start of the next odd numbered phase that individual is removed from the game and their alignment and role are revealed. This continues until either every member of the informed minority has been lynched and the uninformed group wins or until the number of uninformed players is equal to the number of informed players, at which point the minority is no longer a minority and therefore wins.
Last edited by Darthe; 12-19-2013 at 09:45 PM.
Town: Uninformed Majority. Also called townsmember/townie
Mafia: Informed Minority. Also called scum/mafioso/etc.
Third party: Any faction that is aligned with neither the town nor the mafia
Lynch: Removal of a player from the game by voting
Night Kill: Removal of a player from the game by mafia selection
Living/Alive: A player that may still post and vote and counts as part of the majority needed for a lynch
Dead: A player that may not post or vote and no longer counts toward their teams numbers
Phase: The even or odd segment of the game
Cycle: The period of time from the start of one day to the start of the next.
Day: The phase in which voting is allowed and people may talk freely
Night: The phase in which the mafia submits a night kill. Voting is not allowed and talking may be prohibited or restricted.
PM: Private message, the place in which the mod will provide your role PM and in which you may submit and actions you have at night
QT: A private chatline. Mafia generally have these but some specially roled townsmembers or other groups may as well.
Game Thread: The thread created by the host for all in-game communications
Signups: A thread in which the specific rules/theme of the upcoming game will be laid out and players may sign up.
MAMA: Mandate Against Metagame Anything, a code of rules and regulations stating that you do not intend to intentionally cheat, look for ways to cheat, or perform acts that may go against the spirit if the game. A copy of it with be posted at the end of this thread in the game integrity segment.
/in or /playername: a statement of intent to play in the game. You should post it and MAMA in signups.
/out: a statement posted in signups to indicate that you cannot play after all.
Replacement: a player who is substituting for another player who could not fulfill their obligations to mama or the thread for whatever reason.
Backup: a player who is willing to be a replacement should they be needed.
Inactive: a player that does not keep up with the game or contribute meaningfully to help their team win
Active: a useful member of their team
Lurker: a player who keeps up with the game at hand but does not regularly post
Player: a participant in the game
Roster: a list of all players
Policy lynch: the lynch of a player used to advocate a point of the metagame or mama that has not been dealt with by the moderator
Angleshooting/Hedging: Unethical play that is being intentionally done but does not warrant action from the modedator or manipulates loopholes in the rules/mama to gain advantage
Obvtown/obvscum: the state ment that you consider a persons alignment obvious
WIFOM: wine in front of me, a reference to circular reasoning that creates a null outcome by attempting to predict wgat another person may or may not do
Leader: someone who has firm control of the town through their play or actions
LL: lynch all liars
LLL: lying liar that lies
Policy vote: voting someone to advocatw a policy lynch
Lylo: lynch wrong and you lose
Mylo: mislynch and you lose, is different from lylo because you can no lynch or be saved bu power usage
Roled: someone who has an extra ability
PR: power role or post restriction
FoS: finger of suspicion
MFoS: middle finger of suspicion
ISO: examination of all posts by a single individual, stands for isolation
Train analysis: examination of who has voted for what lynches as they stood at the end of a day
EoD: end of day
Hammer: the final vote needed for majority or, in hammer games, the vote that ends a phase and signifies a lynch
Train/Wagon: the votes on an individual
Throwaway: a useless vote
GFY: go fuck yourself
Rule 14/14: GFY
GDIAF: go die in a fire
KIWF: kill it with fire
RVS: random vote stage/joke voting
AtE: appeal to emotion
WhymeFryme: exactly what it says. "Why me?" is a scum tell.
Suicidal: playing in a way that could get you lynched
Baiting: pushing buttons to draw attention
Breadcrumb: discreetly hinting at your role or knowledge to be found later
Full claim: claiming your role and character
Soft claim: stating vaguely that what you are without providing vlconcrete details
IIoA: providing information instead of analysis
Gambit: a trick play
Trapping: a single person gambit, generally risky
Discredit: attempting to lower someone's credibility on thread
Inner circle/Core: the group you trust most
Linking: players that are connected throigh on thread activities or communication
Distancing: pushing away from other players
Chainsaw defense: defending someone by attacking their attacker, thus drawing attention away from them
Bussing: a mafia member voting a teammate to better blend in
Meta: an undersfanding of how another person plays
WTL: willing to lynch
Follow the ___: the act of listening to a PR regardless of your own opinions
Fake claim: a false claim
Sheeping: following someone else
Last edited by Darthe; 12-19-2013 at 09:40 PM.
MANDATE AGAINST METAGAME ANYTHING (MAMA)
I understand and agree that by participating in the game:
All actions made in the game must adhere to the spirit of sportsmanship and fair play. All in-game actions are towards the in-game victory. All actions expressed in the game are without insult, ill-will, harmful intent, or personal grudges. Furthermore, any outside alliances, friendships, or other relationships will not affect any of my decisions in the game.
During any game, the Game Master's (and/or co-GM's and/or proxy GM's) judgments regarding the game are final, and not subject to review. This is excepted ONLY when a forum rule is broken, or under very extreme circumstances. All cases will be assessed and processed by staff members only. In these exceptions, the staff decision is then final.
The use of meta-game methods for collecting and disseminating information is grounds for penalization. This majorly includes (but isn't limited to):
- Screenshots of game-related content.
- Creating/using a secondary account.
- Using non-players to aid you.
- Threatening, extorting, bribing, or otherwise forcing/buying the behavior of any party involved in a game to influence the outcome of a game.
- Reading restricted conversation areas. (Includes, not limited to: Dead/Spectator Thread, Mafia QuickTopic, other player's role PM's, etc.)
I will always pursue the victory of my faction. I will not knowingly and/or willingly assist other factions, unless it does not interfere with my chances of victory. I will make no attempts, through any action or inaction, to knowingly hinder the efforts of others within my faction to achieve victory.
I will not, through any action or inaction, attempt to ruin the game's experience for others. I will not be arrogant in victory, nor contemptuous in defeat. I will be respectful toward all other players of any background and skill level.
The utilization of means to circumvent the phrasing of this agreement will be considered a violation. Anything determined to violate the spirit of this agreement is subject to penalties on par with a violation of any of the specific directives.
If for any reason it is determined that I am in violation of the MAMA, I understand that I will be penalized for my actions with or without warning, inclusive of being expelled from current and/or future games.
If you are incapable of abiding by this agreement, do not play the game.
I did not create this, all the credit goes to Vendetta Strada where I first learned of it.
Activity is the lifeblood of any mafia game. If you do not post you break the game. Keep in mind that when you sign up for a game you are taking responsibility for that slot and all related activity. This means that failing to remain active for the length of the game (barring personal crisis) is a violation of your responsibility according to mama and can result in harm to your team or even a ban from playing future games hosted by that mod in severe cases. Remember that nobody signed up to not have fun. If you are not playing you are not only harming yourself but you are making the game less fun for others. Do not sign up if you don't have genuine interest in playing the game.
Last edited by Darthe; 12-19-2013 at 09:47 PM.
Basic Town Role Strategies
Vanilla town: So you are powerless. That is okay, common even. In most regular games the majority of players will be role-less. This means that you are collectively the most powerful force in the game. Often times people undervalue this role and therefore don't perform effectively when playing it. Every single player in the game should base their play on how they treat this role because all other roles are additions to it. As a vanilla your only powers are your words and your vote. Thus a vanilla, and by proxy all townies, should be devoted to performing two things at all costs and avoiding two at all costs.
A) Present yourself in such a way that others cannot help to see you as town.
B) Eliminate those that fail to follow part A
A) Presenting yourself in a negative light
B) Failing to discern logical truths
Each of these things can be expounded on fantastically. However for now they will suffice. If you follow those simple instructions you will be well on your way to solid and constructive town play.
Special note: Vanilla townies should never reveal their role. Doing so increases the chance that mafia can find town power roles during the night and eliminates them as a potential target.
Town Cop: This is the quintessential town role. A cop is a player that can "view" another player once per night and will be informed of that players alignment at the beginning of the next day. To do this you simply submit the name of a living player in a PM to the mod during the night phase. Effectively playing this role can be quite challenging but if done properly it is a game winner.
Cop play has numerous strategies, both for how one plays the game and for how one chooses to view other players during the night. Since your ability is so powerful it is a definite target for the mafia. Some cops choose to breadcrumb their role and viewings on thread but this is a risky strategy. Some cops choose to intentionally make themselves look scummy to avoid getting killed at night. This too is a dangerous strategy that shows a lack of confidence in the rest of their team. You are generally better off playing a clean game that leaves little room for mistakes. Below are a few examples of common strategies for viewing people at night
A) Random: this is a simple yet effective way to choose who you view. Traditionally you will catch a mafia once every 4 days degenerating each day. This is quite a threatening strategy because it makes you unpredictable.
B) Top/Bottom: you view those that are generally considered most town and let those who are least townie get lynched. Note that this doesn't work the opposite way.
C) Trainview: View everyone on a particular train or everyone who is a competing train to the main lynch.
D) Gut: Go with who you find scummy. Be careful not to immediately shift your opinions on those you discover to be town if you use this strategy. It is an easy way for mafia to find you.
E) Townhunting: This is something you will inadvertently do anyway. However it is a fantastic strategy to view from the middle. Your targets are unlikely to die and that is where most mafia will be found.
A few more things. When playing as a cop you do not want to reveal your information or role either too early or too late. LYLO is too late. Before day three is too early generally. You should not reveal unless if are forced to by it being the day before LYLO, believe that the mafia team knows who you are, are about to be lynched or have caught a mafia member and know at least one living townsmember.
Town doctor: You are the other VIP townie. Once per night, by submitting a name to the mod, you can protect that person from a night kill. Should you happen to do so that person is likely confirmed as town. Doctor is a fairly simple role to play. You either protect yourself all game, creating a confirmed townie in LYLO, or you protect others and protect the cop when he/she reveals until the mafia kills you. Each strategy has its merits. As with a cop your biggest danger to the mafia is unpredictability. The longer they remain unaware of who you are and afraid of what you will do the more powerful you become.
Last edited by Darthe; 12-19-2013 at 09:47 PM.
Basic Mafia Role Strategy
Mafia Goon: You are the basic role-less mafia. Your powers are a daily vote, a group chat and a group nightly kill. When playing the game you have three basic objectives. They are:
A) Present yourself in the most town-like manner possible
B) See to the destruction of the rest of the town
C) Assure that no townsmember plays in such a way that they are clearly town
In order to do these effectively you cannot idly sit by and allow the town to form a strong core. You must work with your team to weaken the town, create uncertainty and divisions by capitalizing on their mistakes. This not only makes them look worse but it makes you look better.
As mafia your game is all about finesse. Any member of the town can play a suicidal game and get another player killed. The ability to crack other players over time with logic and group effort is the real strength of a mafia team and is key to survival. You must work with your teammates without appearing to be working together and, if all else fails, you should play in such a way that when you are caught the rest of the team does not go down with you. Your main targets for night kills are the people that you believe have power roles. Examine each player for tells; changes in sentence structure, tone or position without reason. Logically recognize that if you can discern if someone is vanilla that it increases the chances of other players not being. Capitalize on every mistake of judgment, reasoning, or simple fallacy and you will win.
Last edited by Darthe; 12-19-2013 at 09:48 PM.
Click The Title to be taken to that Link
The MafiaScum Wiki
The EpicMafia Wiki
The Mafia Beginners Guide
Roles (most webgroups use roles from one site or another)
MafiaScum Role Guide
EpicMafia Role Strategy Overviews
Popular Mafia Sites:
- - - Updated - - -
I believe that I am done. Saving this spot for future updates but until then please feel free to add things here such as terminology that I may have missed, additions to the ethics section or strategic coverage of different roles and if they are done well I will happily add them to this FAQ.
Would a Mod please change the title of this to reflect that it is indeed a general mafia FAQ?
Just remind me when I'm home in a few hours and I can change the title.