Author Topic: Mafia - Beginneers Guide - Updated  (Read 2621 times)

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Offline Sir Villain

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Mafia - Beginneers Guide - Updated
« on: April 18, 2006, 11:57:27 AM »
First of all scroll down to the bottom and look at the link that is scrolling across your screen. That link should explain all you need to  know. If that doesnt work or you want to then just read on......

Mafia - The Set-up
Once everyone who wants to play signs up for the next game and the roles have been finished then they will be sent out via PM or Email whichever is easier. Then everyone should read it and get back to me that they understand their role. The day will start in the Night Phase and everyone can send me their Night Actions. Only Non-Killing Actions only as its unfair to have some people die without even posting in somecases.

The game has all the players in a group, generally in a situation where they are all trapped in or by something. Within the group there are townies and there are mafia.

The Townies:
These are the good guys, the people who just want to escape and go home. Some of these may have abilities that are individual to themselves or a small group. If your character has a power like this then you will be informed of it as the game begins.

As a townie you will win the game when there are only townies left alive.

The Mafia:
These are the bad guys of the situation. They are there to try to kill off all the townies so that they are the only ones left standing at the end. They will generally be involved with the situation that everyone finds themselves in and will be using it to their own advantage. The mafia also have powers, most notably an ability to kill a player.

As a Mafia you win only when your Mafia stands tall at the end

The Cult:
A threat to both the town and the mafia. Normally the Cult will start with one member; The Cult Leader. Once per night he may attempt to recruit someone into his team. If the person he trys it on with is a townie then he will join the Cult and lose all previous powers he once had. If the Cult Leader attempts to recruit a Mafia member then the Cult Leader will end up killed. If he is killed then normally the rest of the Cult will have to be killed for a win for the Town.
If someone is sucessfully recruited then that person will become a Cult member and lose all previous team alignments. The cult can talk at night and become basically an evil Mason group that can recruit. They win when only them remain...

The Serial Killer:
A lone gunman who gets a kill at night. Basically he is like a one-man mafia but sometimes they are given additional helpful powers like Night Kill immunity and other bonus. They only win when they are left alive alone at the end..

Another thing to note is that if your side wins, you win along with it, even if you're already dead. So if the game ends with only 2 townies left alive, ALL the townies win, even the dead ones, so it may sometimes be to your benefit to sacrifice yourself to save others.
___________________ ___________________ ___________________

Those are the teams that are around. As for the actual game it all goes on in the same thread.
The game is split into two main sections, the Day phase and the Night phase.

The Day:
During the day, all players may post in the thread. Discuss what has happened the previous night and anything they want to talk about. Unless your specific ability states otherwise, you may not use PMs during this time. This is the time for talking with your fellow townies about what to do to survive the situation you all find yourselves in. This is the only place that you can discuss Mafia as a game, using outside communication like PM, email or IM is against the rules.

Also, during the conversations of the day you are able to cast votes on other players who you think may be mafia. If a person gets more votes than half the players they are lynched. When this happens the players all mob together to kill the lynched party, thus removing them from the game. This is how the townies eliminate the mafia players.

The Night:
During the night, nobody may post to the thread. If you have a night action ability, this is where it can be used. During this time it is understood that all the characters have retired to bed for the night. Some players may have a communication ability, it is during the night phase that this ability can be used. When selecting to use your night action, decide what it is you will be doing and then PM the game runner with your choice.

At the end of the night phase the game runner will PM people that require an answer to their night action and anyone else who has had anything happen to them that night.

This thread can also be used for any questions players have outside the games. If you have a question while playing a game and it is related to the character you are playing, it would be better for you to PM the person running the game.

Hope this helps...
« Last Edit: April 25, 2006, 04:07:08 PM by Der Hammer »

Offline Sir Villain

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Re: Mafia - A Beginners Guide
« Reply #1 on: April 23, 2006, 01:04:28 AM »

Here are some more notes that I have blantently stole from someone else using my old friends Mr.Copy and Mr.Paste.

___________________ ________
Author - Snap

So, Roleclaiming. What is it, why is it done and when should you do it?

Well, I'm going to try to take you through these questions, and give you some insight on the way.

The most basic type of roleclaiming, in a generic game, is simply that: "I'm a cop," "I'm a vigilante," "I'm a regular townie." Note that this doesn't necessarily mean the person isn't lying. For instance, a mafia goon's not going to tell you that, and it's very easy for someone like a serial killer to claim to be a vigilante, so always be careful. If you can find a way to test someone's claim, even better. Some games have a Role Cop, a powerful cop variant that can find out exactly what someone's role is, rather than just their innocence, but you may be able to find other ways. So always take claims with a pinch of salt.

The second type of roleclaiming only appears in themed games, and is actually role name claiming. Now, while there's a lot less given away from a character's name, a clever person can often still deduce things from it. In my Lord of the Rings game, for instance, once it was known that Frodo and Samwise Gangee were members of a Mafia, it's a fairly good bet that Merry and Pippin will be in there too.
Once you know that Gimli is a mason, it's easy to figure out what powers Aragorn and Legolas have. In my Marvel game, a claim of Beast might give the Mafia a pretty big hint that you're a Doctor. These examples show that it's often a good idea to keep your role name a secret as well, especially if you have a power role or if you're in the Mafia. In a lot of games, the Mafia will stick out like a sore thumb.
For example, given the list: Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, The Joker, Martian Manhunter, Robin, Supergirl, it's fairly easy to spot which one might be Mafia. For this reason, non-town roles will often be given one or more "safe claims" by the game moderator in their role PM. This is simply a list of role names that fit with the theme of the game, that no player has. This will allow them to appear innocent and, unless the game contains a role name cop, there's really no way of finding out.

So, with all these reasons against it, why should you ever roleclaim. Well, the reason is quite simple: saving your life. Very often in a Mafia game, someone will latch on to something they think is suspicious and start a voting bandwagon. This is fine, and is actually a good tactic as long as the bandwagon doesn't roll to completion without giving the prospective lyncheea chance to defend themselves (if it does, remember who cast the lynching vote, as there's a good chance they're Mafia). It can take a lot of discipline, but try to let the bandwagon stop a couple of votes short of lynching, and give the player a chance to claim. Continue to argue your case against them, but remember that what you've picked up on as scummy may be a genuine error on their part, and you could be about to lynch your only doctor. Let them claim, then try to pick holes in their claim. Wait for a counterclaim. In a small game, it's unlikely that there'll be more than one Cop, or more than one Roleblocker, so see if someone else comes forward as one. If they do, it's likely (not guarenteed, but likely) that one of them is lying. You'll be on to a good bet lynching either one of them, and if the one you lynch is innocent, you've got a ready made target for the next day. If their claim is easily verifiable allow them to do so. If they're claiming cop, for instance, as for some results. If they're claiming roleblocker, think about giving them a night to block someone, or find out if they've blocked anyone already. If they have, and that person can verify they've been blocked, then they're probably innocent. There's many more tricks that I'm sure you'll work out. The most important things is that if you're looking for a full roleclaim, don't just accept a name-claim. "I'm Superman" tells you next to nothing. "I'm Superman, and my x-ray vision means I can watch someone at night and see who they target" is actually worthwhile. As I've said earlier, Mafia are often given safe roleclaims, so if all someone will tell you is their role-name and nothing more, you should be suspicious.

So when should roleclaiming be done. Some people advocate name-claiming from the beginning in a theme age. Personally, I'm not one of them. As I've said above, sometimes a lot of information can be gained from knowing someone's name, and the earlier you give this away, the more time you give your enemies to use it against you. My reccomendation would be to save your name claim until a bandwagon is beginning on you and claiming your name will help stop it. Never give away more information than you have to, so if claiming just your name will stop the bandwagon, then do it. Save claiming your role for much later, more like one or two votes away from being lynched. At any point before that there's a reasonable chance that someone else will slip up and a new bandwagon will begin on them, so claiming early means you've given away too much. Save it until the last minute, and get the most out of your secrecy.

Hope this is helpful in some way.
This is more from a different Author though..
Snap's covered a lot about why and how to roleclaim in the above post, but after reading a lot of posts on the game threads I think it's worth posting the other side.

Why should you be careful about roleclaiming?

An important thing to consider is who the Mafia wants dead. Obviously they want to get rid of the cops who can track them down, but their targets of choice, at least at first, are doctors. The doctors can protect the cops meaning that the Mafia can't eliminate them. The Mafia need everyone but themselves dead to win, and by stopping kills at night, doctors slow them down. Therefore, a very good early target for them is the doctor.

Roleclaiming means that everyone, both town and Mafia alike knows what you can do. While it may prevent you getting lynched by the town, it also means that the Mafia know how much of a threat you are to them and can decide how soon they need to kill you. This isn't necessarily too much of a problem if you're an important role that a doctor can protect, but if you're the doctor, the doctor roleclaims, or the doctor gets killed randomly, then you're in trouble. Roleclaiming as something that will hurt the Mafia effectively paints a big target on you and unless you're lucky enough to be protected.

On the other hand, roleclaiming as something that's going to be very bad for the Mafia can be a useful tool for the Mafia. The town wants their cops alive as they're important in finding the Mafia, so this could be a way to avoid being lynched. You also know who's in your Mafia so can pretend to have investigated people and inform the town who's innocent and who isn't. Be careful though. Smaller games are likely to only have one cop and if you claim to be the cop when you aren't, the real one is likely to be suspicious. Larger games may have multiple cops so you're less likely to be discovered, but if there's more than one Mafia, you're likely to make yourself a target for them.

What about role name claiming?

While this is irrelevent in some games, in theme games you're often given a character name. I've noticed that the first thing a lot of people seem to do is post their character name and insist that everyone else should too. This can be a bad idea. It's likely in a theme game that your role is linked to your character. For example in a Simpsons themed game it's pretty obvious that Chief Wiggum is a cop and Dr Hibbert is a doctor. While claiming as a character name doesn't tell people what your role is, it can often give them enough information to work it out especially if they're familiar with the theme.

People often forget that Mafia was originally a psychology experiment and not a roleplaying game. Remember that you don't need to roleplay as your character or indeed even give away who your character is, and it's often safer not to. You don't want to give important information to the scum by carelessly telling everyone who you are unless your characters role could be anything.

Another important thing to think about on the subject of roleclaiming in theme games is the fact that Mafia are generally given safe claims. These are given for a good reason as the Mafia will often be interconnected and the obvious characters for the job. For examaple, again in a Simpsons game, Fat Tony is almost certainly going to be the Godfather ;), or in a WWE game, if Bubba-Ray Dudley turns out to be scum then the rest of the Dudley Boys are probably going to be too. These safe roles are given so the Mafia can join in with the name claiming safely without duplicating someone or it being obvious who they are. This means that you often can't go on names to work out who's guilty and who's innocent so there's not a lot of point in everyone posting their name unless either the Mafia slip up and don't use their safe claim or change their claim, or you're Mafia and want people to give away their roles so you know who the cops and doctors are.

To summarise:

Roleclaiming too early often paints a big target on you
Your character name is a big clue to what you can do
Doctors should think very very carefully about giving away who they are
Just because someone says that they're a particular character or role doesn't mean they are
« Last Edit: April 23, 2006, 01:15:36 AM by Der Hammer »

Offline Sir Villain

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Re: Mafia - Beginneers Guide - Updated
« Reply #2 on: May 04, 2006, 10:02:11 PM »
More Mafia goodness
The Mafia better watch out

___________________ __


The common tells for the mafia break down into two categories. The stand alone tells and the associative tells. The stand alone tells are most accurate early in the game and the associative tells are more useful later in the game. I'm splitting this in two sections. In part 1, I'll discuss the more obvious and well known tells. Part 2 will be the really interesting bit.

Rules for Finding Mafia

   1. The first player to congratulate the doctor is scum or doctor (+20, +10)
   2. Watch for WishyWashy*** voting (+10)
   3. Third person on a wagon is likely to be mafia (+15)
   4. Fourth person on a wagon is likely to be mafia (+10)
   5. Admitting someone is a townie without saying "IF" (+10)
   6. Mafia generally have more information than any other player, so the person who picks up on tells/hints easiest is more likely to be mafia (+10%; There are some notable exceptions and I always take experience into consideration).
   7. Acting foolish and starting posts with stuff like "I dont know what it going on, but....." and other belittling comments are often mafia trying to compensate (+10)


    * If you think someone is a doctor, he's probably a mafia. ;)
    * Day 1 and 2 voting patterns are most important after a mafia is found.

Day 1 mafia errors
Voting each other while FOSing an innocent. I don't know why, but this is uber common. After a mafia dies (or even an inncoent if you are observant) you can go back through your analysis.

Wishy Washy voting patterns and wagon jumping.

Asking for excessive explanation from co-mafia.

If a mafia is about to be lynched, they often want to try to play the WineInFrontOfMe**** game. Don't, it's too easy to screw it up and it's even more likely that you ALREADY screwed it up.

***A type of voting which can be a scum tell; when a player votes and then unvotes a particular player repeatedly during a Day, or switches their votes to several different players over the course of the Day, it may be because they are scum trying to find a good place to land their vote on an ProTown player without attracting too much suspicion.

On the other hand, it is hard to use this tell reliably, as some players simply move their vote around a lot, whether they are scum or town.

All right: where is the poison? The battle of wits has begun. It ends when you decide and we both drink, and find out who is right and who is dead."

"But it's so simple. All I have to do is divine from what I know of you. Are you the sort of man who would put the poison into his own goblet, or his enemy's?"

-The Princess Bride, by William Goldman

So begins the game of wine in front of me, or WIFOM, for short. In gaming, it's any kind of game or subgame, especially a psychological one, in which a player is given a set of apparently equal choices where one or more is completely wrong. In such games one often may try to use what he knows of his opponent to make a better choice, but this often leads to recursive reasoning, as anything that one player could think of is something another player could think of, in the form of "But that's just what he wants me to think, so I'll do the opposite?but maybe that's what he want's me to think?so I'll not do the opposite?but maybe that's what he want's me to think?etc, etc.". Such games are basically random, and therefore should be carefully considered before they are engaged in.
In mafia, WIFOM arguements are usually a Scum tactic used to distract the Town. The scum will make an unusual play at night, which would lead to a situation that would 'clear' them. Also, these arguments are often used by Newbies and should be avoided if possible, in favor of clearer arguments.
« Last Edit: September 01, 2006, 05:59:07 PM by Der Hammer »

Offline Sir Villain

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Re: Mafia - Beginneers Guide - Updated
« Reply #3 on: May 04, 2006, 10:17:38 PM »
and to even the balance for the Mafia/Evil Roles out there...


The common tells for the doctor are disgustingly simple. There are a LOT of additional judgment signs, but these four are tremendously common. (Of 10 games, these rules identified the doc in 7 of them)

Rules for Finding the doctor:

   1. The first player to mention the doctor in a way that indicates they are NOT the doctor, is the doctor (+50%) THIS tell simply MUST go away.
   2. If there is a claimed doctor: anyone who disputes it, without trying to appear to be disputing it, is the doctor (+25)
   3. The first player to congratulate the doctor is scum or doctor (+20, +10)
   4. withheld [... boo :(]

Part of the reason Doc makes such a good claim for scum is that they have similar desires-- to remain under the radar. They are also (arguably) the most valuable pro-town role. This makes it risky to lynch a claimed doctor. IMPORTANT NOTE TO TOWNIES: Do not try the ploy where you claim to be a doctor "to draw mafia fire". It only helps the mafia find the real doctor(s) (see 2) and SHOULD get you lynched (see LynchAllLiars*****). Many intelligent/good players have tried this and it simply backfires. If you think that the mafia is stupid, then there is no need for you to try this and if they are not stupid, you're going to get bit.

Now what does 3 mean? One tactic used by the mafia is to claim doctor. It is such a powerful claim that it got to the point where a player who claimed doctor was more likely to be mafia than doctor. It's OFTEN used to draw out the real doctor. It's a difficult position for the Doctor to be in. Therefore, they often seem to babbly. Someone will definitely not believe a doc claim, but be super tight-lipped about why. It's a judgment call, but it's not too tough to spot.

(I told you that you would be disappointed)

Confusion and lies are two of the best weapons of Mafia. Thus, it is generally bad play for ProTown roles to lie. In order to encourage good play, the policy should be: Lynch anyone caught in a lie. They are most likely Scum, and if they aren't, then lynching them might teach them that they should not lie.

Some lies that have been repeated that don't turn out good for the town:

    * Townie claiming to be a Doctor in an attempt to get the mafia to target them;
    * Doc claiming to be plain Townie (you can skirt the issue and if you do the same when you are a plain townie, it won't be noticable);
    * "I don't need doc protection" when you have no natural protection. It generally just creates confusion for the pro-town roles and OFTEN will help the mafia find the doc.

And for the people who want to learn to play better as scum - don't get caught in a lie!

Finding Cops

OK, so this one is a little tougher. It requires that you judge the general category of the players. There is also a lot of interpretation about what constitutes "hesitant."

Generalities about cops
Newbies refuse to vote for a person "without evidence" and often blatantly try to derail bandwagons of innocents (don't confuse with Masons though). Intermediate experienced players are hesitant to vote without proof Advanced players don't put FIRST vote on someone unless they have investigation

Cops often show up as "linked" to one or two people early in the game. More on that in the relevant article.

Usually, the people looking for cops are mafia and doctors.

As mafia

    * If someone tags a vote on one of you and never lets up (esp. 1st day), that person is likely cop
    * If someone tags a vote, then quickly "confirm" votes, that person is likely cop

As doctor

    * Look for an early voter who never changes vote.

The numbers
First non-random vote   +10
"Not quite random" votes day 1   +10
Quick vote change first day   +5
Repeated "hesitance" to change vote   +10
Raw Newbie looking for REASONS to vote day 1   +10
Newbie that has played a couple games looking for REASONS to vote day 1   +20
Intermediate player looking for REASONS to vote day 1   +40
Advanced player commenting on how they are not random voting   +10
Intermediate/Advanced player probing for cop hints   +10
Subtle "confirm vote" (Good thing I'm already voting for him!)   +10
repeat Confirm Vote   +15