Mafia is a party game modeling a battle between an informed minority and an uninformed majority. During a game, players are divided into two teams: 'Mafia members', who know each other; and 'honest people', who know only the number of Mafia amongst them. The goal of both teams is to eliminate each other.
A game of forum Mafia usually has 10 or more players. The roles of each participant are usually divided as follows:
The group opposite of the Citizens. The role of these characters will be to try and eliminate all of the nice upstanding Citizens playing the game, and will collaborate once a night to do so. The mafia will know who each other is, and may communicate outside of the game through the means of email, instant messaging, IRC or PM. They will each cast their vote on which citizen should be killed and give that vote to the Godfather.
The Godfather is of course, on the Mafia’s side. He is their leader, and in so gets the final say in who gets whacked. Even if all the other Mafia vote unanimously, the Godfather has the ability to veto the choice and kill a totally different person. In the end the Godfather must PM his final choice to the Game Host. In the majority of games, the Godfather is immune to investigations by the detective and always appears innocent.
The Citizens are really the core of the game, but also the least exciting. They are simply the regular members of society who just want to live their lives in peace. Unfortunately the sudden uprising of Mafia killings interrupts this dream of theirs. These Mafia members look and act just like everyone else during the daytime, so they cannot be sure to trust anyone.
Common Citizen Roles
The Detective is on the Citizen’s side, and is quite a useful member. He has the ability to investigate the innocence of one person each night. He will PM me the name of the person and the host will reply with either “Innocent” (on the Citizen’s side) or “Guilty” (On the Mafia’s side). He can use this knowledge however he sees fit in the daytime discussion.
In many games, the Godfather is immune to investigation. This means that if the person chosen by the Detective is the Godfather then the host's response will be “Innocent.”
On the Citizens' side, and very useful. This person is able to choose one person to protect from being killed at night. To protect someone the Bodyguard will PM the host the username of the person they want to protect. In some games the Bodyguard can even protect themselves.
On the citizens' side, and is capable of making things very hard on the mafia (but can also screw up the Citizens if he isn’t careful). The "Vig" is usually allowed to kill one player during the night, but unlike the Mafia, he doesn’t have to kill every night! Being on the Citizen’s side, he wouldn’t want to accidentally kill someone who is innocent, and may choose not to act if he is unsure. The Vigilante will PM the host his choice at night. If he chooses not to kill he merely needs to PM "No action". In most games, The Vigilante is not allowed to kill on the first night.
The Mafia’s killing almost always holds priority over the Vigilante. So if the Vigilante decides to kill someone who has already been targeted by the Mafia, then only that person will die, and the Vigilante will not get another choice that night. Also, if the Mafia chooses to kill the Vigilante, then his murder will not occur.
On the Citizens' side, and quite an interesting role. The Hooker can block mafia kills from happening, but can also stop good roles from performing their actions, so like the vigilante, they may not want to use their ability if they are unsure of who to target. Every night The Hooker can choose one person to target. That person will not perform their night action that night (as they are too busy sleeping with The Hooker).
Other Citizen Roles
Guilty/Cursed Civilian - A cursed civilian is just like any normal civilian in the game, apart from the fact that they appear as guilty to detective investigations. This is quite an unfortunate role to have.
Masons - Masons are a group of civilians - usually no more than three - who all know that each other are civilians. Apart from this they have no special abilities and act as normal civilians.
Graverobber - Graverobbers are like normal civilians at the start of the game. However, once a player dies who had a special role, the gravedigger can choose to dig up their grave the next night and steal their special ability to use for themselves for the rest of the game. They can only do this once per game however, so they must choose wisely whose ability they want to take over.
Watchman - The watchman can choose to watch any user during a night phase. By doing this, he will find out if that user targetted any other user that night, and who they targetted specifically.
Third Party Roles
Third Party Roles are on neither the side of the Mafia or the Civilians, they play their own game and often work completely alone. Here are a few known third party roles, including one of the most infamous and hated of all roles:
The Lone Wolf/ Serial Killer - The Lone Wolf is like a mafia member who works alone. He can usually make a kill once every two nights. His aim is to be the sole remaining player at the end of the game, and to do this must kill or outlast all of the civilians and the mafia. Often, lone wolfs remain hidden roles and are not explicity revealed until their presence is speculated by the majority of players in the game. Small games that have a lone wolf role in are often much quicker than normal games due to the increased amount of kills. It is not uncommon to see 3 deaths in one night in a game with a lone wolf: one mafia kill, one wolf kill and one vigilante.
The Jester/Kamikaze - The Jester is a strange role whose aim is to get themselves lynched using any means possible. They can only win by getting lynched. If they die in any other way such as a mafia or vigilante kill then they lose. Jesters are neither on the side of the civilians or the mafia, and so they can do whatever they like whilst trying to get themselves lynched.
Cults - Cults are started by the cult leader. Once every night the cult leader picks one user to recruit to their cult. If the user they target is on the side of the civilians, the become a part of the cult, but if the target is a mafia member, the cult leader is killed and no more users can be recruited to the cult. Cult recruits retain any special powers such as vigilante and detective while they are in the cult. The aim of the cult is to get every non-cult member in the game lynched so that only cult members survive.
Kidnapper - Kidnappers can abduct one member during a night phase, removing them from the game, that member will be unable to use their night action or post the next day. During the time while they are kidnapped, they can't be lynched due to nobody knowing their whereabouts. If the kidnapper dies while he has somebody abducted, that person will usually also die due to starvation or some other cause. Kidnappers can choose to keep their prisoner for more than one night if it suits them, it is up to them when to release them. A Kidnapper may be on the side of the civilians, the Mafia, or neither. They often are aligned with their own faction depending on what their goal is in the game. Kidnappers may have a goal to find a certain person by kidnapping them, a certain item, or simply to catch the Mafia.
The game always begins with a night phase. During the night phase all players who have a special role with a night action PM the game host with their desired actions/targets. After a set amount of time or once all night PMs have been sent, the day phase begins. If you miss a deadline for sending night PMs it's your own fault.
When the night ends, the day begins. During the day phase, the host will inform the players in the thread of the kills that happened during the night. In their post will be a hidden clue or clues revealing the identity of the killer. A clue can come in any conceivable form that the host can think of, and will require you to use your intuition. The Civilians must try to find and decipher the clues in the thread and then cast a lynch vote on the person they think is mafia. The Mafia will be posing as Civilians and trying to get an innocent person lynched. You can discuss clues as much as you like in IRC and in the thread. People must vote for somebody unless a No Lynch option is given by the game host.
At the end of the day phase or when a majority vote is reached, whoever has received the most votes will be killed and the next night phase will begin. This process loops and continues until the end of the game when only one side remain.
The game will end in one of two ways:
-If there are at any point more Mafia members than Citizens (special Citizens included), then the Mafia wins.
-If all of the Mafia are killed, then the Citizens are the victor.