In Person Mafia

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In Person Mafia

Postby Pagane » 08 Nov 2013, 08:20

Hi guys....

For anyone who hasn't been playing with me for the last couple of days, I am the reincarnation of Santiago Matamoros. I played here a couple years ago, and just came back.
The REASON I came back, however, wasn't originally to PLAY mafia here. I got sucked back in when I was searching through the forum.

Oh man, this looks fun. So many great new games! WHAT'S THIS? RESISTANCE? THEY PLAY RESISTANCE HERE?

And, just like that, I was hooked again.

But the actual reason I poked my head back in the door was this: I'm setting up an in-person game for a bunch of friends and coworkers at my day job. I came here for tips on designing the game, since I've never done a long-term game(more than a few hours sitting in a room) in real life. This game I intend to run for a couple of weeks at least.

So without further ado, here are the rules I set up for the game:
(I replaced the name of my day employer with the word 'Work.')
(Many of these players have never before played Mafia.)

*Work* Mafia



Mafia is a game of deception and elimination. It pits a large and uninformed group against a smaller, informed group.

There are two factions: Town and Mafia

The mafia tend to be about one quarter of the total players. For the sake of example, I shall describe a 12-player game.

12 Players:
9 Town Players in total
7 Regular Town Players
1 Town Doctor
1 Town Sheriff
3 Mafia Players

1 Game Host: Runs the game. Cannot participate.

The Town players know their own alignment, and their job if they have one. The Mafia players know that they are Mafia, and who the other Mafia are.
Town players do not know who else is Town, or who is Mafia. No one aside from the Doctor knows who the Doctor is, and no one aside from the Sheriff knows who the Sheriff is.

The game moves through rounds, separated into Night and Day.

During the DAY:
Players talk among themselves. Townies try to figure out who the Mafia are, and Mafia try not to be caught in a lie.
Each Day, the players vote to lynch someone. At the end of the day, the votes are counted up and the player who has been voted to be lynched is declared dead and removed from the game. His role (Mafia, Town, Sheriff or Doctor) is revealed to everyone.
Day ends, Night begins.

During the NIGHT:
Mafia decide who they will assassinate.
The Doctor chooses one person to protect from the Mafia. He cannot protect himself.
The Sheriff chooses one person to investigate.
These players tell their decisions to the Game Host.

As the new DAY begins:
The Mafia’s assassination target is revealed. If the Doctor did not protect him, then he declared dead, and his role is revealed. If the Doctor did protect him, then he survives, and the Town is not told who the Mafia tried to kill.
The Sheriff is told privately whether the player that he investigated is Mafia or Town.

Victory:
The TOWN wins when all of the Mafia are dead.
The MAFIA wins if the number of Mafia players is equal to or greater than the number of Town players.

These are the basic rules of Mafia.

For a game of *Work* employees, I have added the following rules:

1) Instead of keeping all players in one room for discussion, or limiting discussion in any way, players may talk to each other whenever and wherever they choose during the Day. During Night, Town players are asked not to talk about the game. Mafia players may secretly discuss who to kill.

2) Players who are declared dead may not talk about the game to anyone still involved in the game. You can sit around and mope with the other dead players.

3) Day phases will last 72 Hours. The Day ends when the Game Host publicly declares it to be over.

4) Night phases last a maximum of 24 hours. If the Mafia, Doctor and Sheriff all submit their orders before then, the Game Host may end Night and begin the next Day sooner.

5) Official announcements (Start/End of Day/Night, etc) will be posted on a private Facebook group created for this game. Players may post their thoughts, accusations, votes, or anything else game-related there as well. It is the center of public discussion.

6) Players post their Lynch Vote on the Facebook game page. At the end of the day, the Game Host tallies up the votes and posts the total, including who cast which votes. If a player voted more than once, then their most recent vote is used. (So yes, you can change your vote once you’ve cast it, so long as you change your vote before the end of the Day.) Any votes published after the End of Day post (posted by the Host) will not be counted,

Players Cast their votes in all Capital letters.
For example:

Jane Doe posts: I vote to Lynch JAMES.

Votes must be in their own separate posts. A vote written as a comment to another post will not count.

7) Mafia, Sheriff and Doctor must tell the Host of their decision. They must tell him vocally, either in person or via phone call. The Mafia’s kill order is determined by a majority vote. If there are only 2 Mafia players alive, then they MUST be in agreement for the kill order to be executed.

8) Game Host will inform players of their roles vocally, either by phone or in person. He will not officially start Day 1 until all players have been informed of their role.

9) Players’ roles will be assigned randomly by the Host, who draws names from a bag.

Rules 7 and 8 prohibit written communication between the Game Host and Players, so that Players cannot simply show each other these written orders to prove who they are.
Players ARE allowed to show each other texts, emails, Facebook messages, or any other written game-related communications between players.

This game has NO restrictions on talking in any form during the day between players who are still alive in the game.




The biggest opportunities for abuse would be dead players talking to live ones, and town players talking at night. With no centrally controlled form of communication, I can't really block this.

I AM shooting for 12 players at least, which I should be able to get.

I think I've removed the temptation to cheat (by showing my email/etc giving a player his role) by keeping all personal communications with the GM vocal only.

When it comes to night kills, is the democratic Mafia(which I currently have) better than a ranked mafia(having the highest ranked member chose the kill)?

Keep in mind that I want this as simple as possible. Many of the players are brand new to this.

Also: should I write up some general advice for players? From my own experience here, it seems to take a while for players to really get the game. Should I write a list of pointers to get people thinking, or maybe something a bit more in-depth?
(And, if I should, what SHOULD I tell them to get them going without taking away the need for them to create their own strategies?)


Let me know what you think, and how I can make this a better experience for my friends!
A fool thinks himself to be wise, but a wise man knows himself to be a fool.

Previously known as Santiago Matamoros.
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Re: In Person Mafia

Postby Zander » 08 Nov 2013, 12:59

Hi

Bob and I used to do a mafia game a setup lot like this back in highschool. Each day would be an IRL day, and there were two big classes that had almost everyone in the group. During the first of these classes the day would start and the kills would be announced. People would then debate and interact all day until the evening classes, when we would hang someone and do our roles in the later class. It was AMAZING fun, and led to some of the best mafia-moment I have ever had.

Some tips and stuff:

Don't worry so much about rock-solid rules, you WILL be making on-the-fly interpretations or re-interpretations of stuff. Especially when playing with noobs. RL mafia is a different beast then online, and this long-form RL mafia is particularly different when compared to forum mafia. Its more important your noobs understand the basic rules.

Be as laissez-faire with communications as you can. It doesn't really matter if townies talk at night or not, and its hard to enforce IRL. The only comm rule which really matters is that the dead shouldn't talk, and this should be stressed.

Make night phases short and sweet. Especially if you ban talking during them, because then the game will lose momentum. Mafia and power-townies can plot during the day.

Days shouldn't be too long, or you will lose momentum. However, unlike in-forum, you can pause if someone isn't present for whatever reason.

There are a number of ways to cheat, and there is little you as the GM can directly do about it. If you are playing with a group of friends the best defense is a sense of trust and fair play, something which really can't be established on the web. Stress the importance of fair play to those who play and the use the HONOR RULE, people in a face-to-face group generally don't cheat when you tell them they are part of a mature community and you trust them not to cheat. We never had a problem (besides a nasty habit of the dead talking), and we were playing with slimy high school kids.

Stress that you can still win when dead. This is the most unintuitive part of mafia.

Oh, and when giving out roles, tell them some basics about what they should be doing. Basic basics, like: don't get lynched as mafia. That way you don't have the guy who goes around telling people he is mafia.
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Re: In Person Mafia

Postby Pagane » 08 Nov 2013, 15:46

Thanks, Zander!

I think I will remove the talking ban at night. I don't think I'll shorten the days, however, as everyone's schedules are erratic. 3 days gives everyone time to get on the same page, and running things through a Facebook page gives them the ability to catch up on events remotely.

We'll see how this works!
A fool thinks himself to be wise, but a wise man knows himself to be a fool.

Previously known as Santiago Matamoros.
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Re: In Person Mafia

Postby Zander » 08 Nov 2013, 22:59

Also, if you ever add a vigilante, make shooting another player with a finger gun in front of the GM a valid order. It adds so much fun to the game. :lol:
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Re: In Person Mafia

Postby Pagane » 09 Nov 2013, 03:03

Zander wrote:shooting another player with a finger gun in front of the GM


The look on the victim's face when he gets shot must be priceless.
A fool thinks himself to be wise, but a wise man knows himself to be a fool.

Previously known as Santiago Matamoros.
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Re: In Person Mafia

Postby LOLSHOCK » 09 Nov 2013, 03:59

Something important that I've noticed from the occasional game I've player irl: don't let any 'veterans' get bogged down in tactics and 'best play' as this makes it boring for the other players.
"I'm here to kick ass, get to 18 and convoy Syria to St Petersburg" - me
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Re: In Person Mafia

Postby Pagane » 09 Nov 2013, 16:30

I'm the only one with much experience, and at least half have never played at all. I'm going to make some general pointers, but mostly everyone will be learning gameplay and strategy as we go!
Last edited by Pagane on 10 Nov 2013, 01:56, edited 1 time in total.
A fool thinks himself to be wise, but a wise man knows himself to be a fool.

Previously known as Santiago Matamoros.
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Re: In Person Mafia

Postby Zander » 09 Nov 2013, 22:11

Pagane wrote:
Zander wrote:shooting another player with a finger gun in front of the GM


The look on the victim's face when he gets shot must be priceless.


Yeah, especially when day orders are valid.

"YOU KNOW WHAT I THINK OF THAT??"

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Re: In Person Mafia

Postby Pagane » 09 Dec 2013, 02:15

Zander and LOLSHOCK, results of this game are here. The mafia were crushed, and I'm looking for some good advice to pass on before the next game.
A fool thinks himself to be wise, but a wise man knows himself to be a fool.

Previously known as Santiago Matamoros.
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