When your not confused by all the different roles, the actual gameplay of Mafia is simple enough.
The game is composed of two main teams: The Town and The Mafia. The town's goal is to remove all the Mafia players from the game, while the Mafia must outnumber the town players to "take over" and win the game.
Each game is composed of "Days" split into two parts called "rounds".
During the Night Round, certain roles PM the host with an action. The most important part of this round though, is that the Mafia secretly make their kill during the round, killing another citizen.
During the Day Round, every player has the option to vote for a player to kill. The town's goal is to vote out every Mafia member out during this round.
Asides from the core gameplay, a lot of toggleable rules exist. When the game starts, the Host will tell you which rules are on or off.
No-Kill: This rule should almost always be on, and gives players the option to vote to kill nobody. If more No-Kills exist than any other vote, nobody will be Lynched. Keep in mind this is different from simply not voting, as you are voting for nobody to be killed.
Night-Talk: The ability to post in the thread during the night. If it's on, you can talk. If it's off, discussing things at night will earn you a penalty. However, game questions are still allowed. This is usualy off.
Dead-Talk: The ability to talk after death as a ghost. This should almost always be off, as dead players can reveal information. Keep in mind revealing information after death will result in a penalty or ban. However, most hosts should allow a "closing statement", as long as it doesn't reveal information.
Hammer Votes: An optional rule where if the majority of players vote for someone, the voted player is "locked in" to death. The usual method is just to count up the votes when the round time is up.
Blind Games: Blind games come in three flavours. Half blind, Blind and Double blind.
A half blind game contains a list of roles, but no details on how they work.
A blind game uses random or new roles, with no list.
A Double blind game is the same as a blind game, but no group ratio is shown and the town is completely in the dark.
Role PM Quoting:
Despite being something of little concequence some people freak the fuck out when you quote your role PM. That includes screenshots. If they do (why? they're easily faked), they should say that role PM quoting is off.
Everything following here is not core gameplay, just notes and reference for players on optional roles and gameplay elements.
Rooms: You may here "Rooms" referred to every now an then. Rooms are basically the place each player is in, represented by a number next to their name. Each player has their own room, and certain roles rely on them. (i.e. Insomniac and room positions, Arsonist and burnt rooms)
Every role that targets a room counts as "Visiting" that room, unless otherwise stated, and will be detected by the Warden if the room is watched by him, and the Insomniac if he is in or adjacent to that room and killed by the Trapper if the room is trapped that night. (Note that the roles like the Warden, Trapper, Tracker etc. only "Watche/Trap" the room from outside, and can't be detected or killed.)
The Cult: Another faction that has the same win condition as the mafia, but works by recruiting players instead of killing them. If the town, mafia and cult have the same number of players however, the mafia will win.
Burnt Rooms: A few roles burn rooms, changing the effects of certain actions. The Insomniac and Warden will see player actions, instead of just which player entered or exited the room. The Ascender has a one time ability, killing every player in a burnt room.
Sheriff Variations: While the classic sheriff simply detects the alignment of the player checked, the sheriff can come in different "flavours". Some can find the role of the player, others get reversed results (Mafia players showing up as town, and town players showing up as mafia).
Anything and Everything you are likely to see in a mafia game, along with who's side they work for.
The villains of the game, their only goal is to kill anyone and everyone not on their side.
Mafioso: An Anti town role that wins when there is an equal ratio of mafia to citizen. Each member PM the host with a "vote" for a player to be killed during the night. Discuss who to kill with your fellow players, and try to all vote for the same person. In the case of a draw, no player will be killed.
Godfather: This role is the same as your average Mafioso, but appears to be a citizen when checked by the sheriff. He will also not show up in the Sensor's count, and cannot be seen leaving(he can be seeen entering) a room.
Sniper The sniper is an odd role who can claim an extra kill for the mafia every night. He can target any room at long range, but only has a 50% chance of hitting the player inside. However if the room is burnt or damaged, the sniper has a clear shot and an 100% chance of killing the player inside.
Because the sniper "Snipes" a player at range, it is not a visiting role and untraceable by the warden. Also because of the long range, a sniper may not attack a player in a room directly next to him.
Executioner: A powerful mafia member with the ability to kill any player with 1/3 of the total possible votes early by PMing the host in the day round. Can be prevented if the Governor PMs before.
Silencer: This role is the same as your average Mafioso, but can PM the host the name of a player every night. On the following day round only, that player can't talk.
Spy: This role is the same as your average Mafioso, but can send anonymous PMs to players using the host as a "relay point". Useful for gaining cult or other player's help, and tricking or confusing town roles.
Investigator: A very powerful Mafia sided sheriff. This player can check someone during the night to find out their role.
Thug/Goon: This role is a Mafia sided citizen that can PM the host during the day round die in the place of a player during the next day and night round. His goal is to prevent a mafioso's death by killing himself instead, and he wins with the mafia.
Defenders of peace and justice, they may not be as powerful but they outnumber the Mafia and aim to stop anyone who threatens the town.
Citizen: The bread and butter of the town: Along with every other player this role gets one vote to kill a player during the day, and nothing else. They win when all other teams are eliminated.
Sheriff: A town role that can PM the host with the name of a player to find that player's alignment during the night. In some games, the sheriff will find the role of the player instead.
Doctor: A town role that can PM the host with the name of a player during the night. The targeted player can't be killed, converted or anything else during the night. The doctor can target himself.
First Aider: The first aider is in essence a "weak doctor", usualy used to balance the town or stop noob fuckers from crying and leaving because they got citizen and are selfish bitches who ruin the damn game for everyone else. The First Aider has a 25% chance to save the person targeted from a kill. First Aider's protection is cumulateive, for instance 2 First Aiders give a 50% chance, and four First Aiders will always save their target.
Role Blocker A townie player that blocks the night action of any player he targets. May not target himself to cause a logic bomb and make the thread colapse. It's common to find them in the mafia too.
Warden: A town role that can watch a player's room in the night, and receives information on if the player left the room and which players entered the room during the night.
Tracker: Much like the Warden, a tracker is able to follow a player during the night and learn which rooms they visited.
Insomniac: A town role. At the end of the night round, this role gets a PM telling him which players moved into his room and rooms next to him. (If the Insomniac is in room 12, for instance, he would see all players to move into room 2, 11, 12, 13 and 22)
Sensor: A town Role. At the end of the day round, this role gets a PM telling him how many Anti-Towns were on the lynch bandwagon that day.
Vigilante: Pro Town role that can kill someone at night. Only has 3 kills. (Note to the Vigilante: It's easier for me if you still PM me to tell me you won't be killing someone.)
Trapper: This town role selects a room to trap at night, killing the first player to leave the room. This means that a Mafioso will kill the player, then die after leaving. The trap automatically kills a Mafioso if he targets the room, or picks a player at random. The doctor can still prevent the death of a player killed by a trap, and traps will not activate if the trapped player leaves their own room or targets themself.
Arsonist: A Pro Town role that can target a player's room at night. That room is burnt down, with a 50% chance of killing the player inside. The Warden and Insomniac can see player actions inside burnt rooms, as well as player movements.
Governor: A town role that has the power to prevent a lynch by PMing the host during the day. However, he can't prevent the same player's death twice.
Outsider: A basic citizen that appears to be a Mafioso when checked by the sheriff.
The shady worshipers of evil, they turn players to their side on the stroke of midnight. Although they only have one unique role, other roles can be turned to their side.
Cult Leader: This player can convert a player to the cult during the night. Various subjective rules may apply, such as certain roles having immunity to conversion, or losing powers.
Third Party Roles
Players or groups that work alone, or who's alignment is ambiguous.
Dreaming God: The ultimate role that has 10 actions to choose from. He can pick one every night, but he does not know what they will do. The actions are all powerful game changing acts of god.
Inhibitor: Third Party Role. Wins if either the Town or Mafia reach their win condition while this player is still alive. Unaffected by Night Kills, but detectable by the Sheriff. Undetectable by the Sensor.
Universal Backup: Starts Pro-Town, but can "steal" the role of a dead player. Just PM me the night after. Can't steal the Inhibitor role, but can steal Pro and Anti town roles.
Mason Leader: This Pro-Town player can invite a player into the masons during the night, revealing the names of all masons. However, he dies if an Anti-Town role is targeted.
Masons: A small group of Pro-Town players that know eachover. They have the same powers as normal citizens.
(Note: Variations on the masons may have a mix of pro and anti town players in the group) Hosting Notes
With the influx of new hosts, I see the need to add this.
1. Shake up the roles each game. Try to
make sure a player doesn't get the same role or simalar in the next game.
2. Don't give the best roles to players that can't use them. I don't want to be unfair, but it puts either side at a disadvantage if their key players are bad. On the flipside, don't give the same small group of players the best roles, it dosen't take a complete genius to play this game.
3. Leave a reasonable time for signups. Not everyone can sign up within three hours of the end of a game. Leave at least 24 hours, so each player has a chance to join no matter the time zone.
5: #mafia is vaugely active. If you want to, for instance, make up custom puns for each round then make sure to join.
6: The host can be voted for too. If the host is killed during the day, the game must either end or a new host must replace him. The host is protected from night kills. This is actually a staple rule on a number of other sites, so it's not a stupid one at all.
7: Day Rule. If you take longer than 7 days to update the thread, the game is automaticly over. (If you can't be around, tell everyone or ask another (dead) player to update for you)
Great first post you have there, it explains everything in a detailed form, but, can you also put an explaination of rooms? You begin to talk about burnt rooms, the Warden, the Insomniac and other rooms related things without even explaining what rooms are, so new players might get confused. I never understood how rooms exactly worked, so if you could put that in the first post it would be great.
Also, if the sign-ups already started, sign me up, please.
Vanilla contest entry - Download!
Whoa! I have a Tumblr! Layout made by me.
Thanks to Leod and algorithmshark for helping.
Are you planning to include the Trapper in that list of roles?
Also, could you explain entering rooms (Warden/Insomniac) in more detail? Is anyone (Mafia, Doctor, Sheriff, etc.) who chooses a certain person in the night round considered to have left their own room and entered that person's room?
Also, what's the "Ascender" that you mentioned in the line about burnt rooms?