Mafia - The Game, the Way of Life... or Death!! Mafia - The Game, the Way of Life... or Death!!
This game is a truly amazing game. It is so fascinating, I get chills just thinking about it. Here you will learn the basics, or at least, the rules, of this mind-bending game.

Da Rules for a 7-Player Game
  • Most of the people are townspeople. They do not know from the start who anybody is. They are trying to kill the mafia, as are the cops and the "informant". They get to vote on who to kill in each round. It is done by simple majority. It is a very good idea to think before you kill someone, mainly because if you kill the wrong person, the mafia can win. Good townspeople usually live through the day, but can be killed off in the night by worried mafia.
  • There are 2 mafia members. They know who each other are. They do not want to reveal themselves to the rest of the group, because if they do, the rest of the people/townspeople will vote to kill them. During the night, while everyone is asleep, they get to choose one person to kill between the two of them, and that person is dead in the morning. Mafia want to kill pretty much everyone, especially the cop and the "informant".
  • The "informant" is a person who gets to have an "intimate conversation" about "human relations" with the person of their choice during the night. This person is usually chosen for one of two reasons. One, the "informant" believes that this person is mafia, and if so, the "informant" will learn that they are truly mafia. Two, the "informant" believes that this person is going to die during the night, and so if they are chosen, the "informant" will learn who both the mafia are. This can be very funny, especially in certain groups of people.
  • The cop knows who the mafia is from the start. They should try in some way to get the townspeople to kill the mafia in such a way that the mafia don't realize who the cop is, because if that happens, the cop will probably be killed in the night and the cop would lose; however, the townspeople could still win, but it would be harder as there would be no one who knew exactly who the mafia was, except perhaps the "informant" or some smart citizen.
  • The first round is set up like so. After everyone knows what they are, the mediator calls "Nighttime," and everyone puts their heads down. The mafia are then called up to acknowledge each other. After they have done so, they put their heads down and the cop puts his head up. The mafia are then either pointed out to him, or, in the case that there is no mediator with eyes open to point out the mafia, they make some kind of silent identifying gesture so that the cop knows who they are. Then it is daybreak. The accusations begin. In the first round, there usually isn't a lot of evidence to go over, so it is mainly a bunch of random accusations that the cop and the mafia can put to good use, mainly for disguising their identities under the veil of randomness. Sometimes this round can take forever, or it can be very quick, especially if there is a bad player who always screws up and is usually ineffective as cop or "informant", and would serve the rest of the group as better off dead. Then everyone goes to sleep.
  • Now the pattern for nights is established. During the night, the mafia get to kill one person. They usually kill someone who is either random or who they suspect of as being cop or "informant". Another strategy here is to kill someone whom someone else was being very vehement about killing, so as to frame them. It's all up to the mafia. Then the "informant" gets to choose. After that, it's daybreak. The mediator declares who is dead and who is "lei-ed" then. The accusations resume.
  • In some games, there is the player called the "Jackass," who pretends to be a mafia member, but is really on the side of the townspeople. He/she knows who the mafia are, but must not let themselvess get caught by being obvious, like calling out who the mafia are, because then the the mafia can kill them in the night. If the mafia choose the correct person, who is the jackass, then they get to make another kill in the night. If they are wrong, however, and they kill another mafia member, then life sucks for them and they aren't able to kill anyone else in that night. If it is down to 1 mafia member and one jackass, or if the jackass accuses a mafia during the night and there is an equal number of mafia voting for each one of them, then the mafia member gets precedent over the jackass. Happy happy.
  • The game is over for the mafia if both are killed. The game is over for the townspeople when the cop and the "informant" are dead. The townspeople win regardless of whether the cop lives or dies, but the cop only wins if he/she is alive to tell about it. Therefore, the cop wants to try to stay alive, because the satisfaction of having lived and won is better than that of saying, "Oh, I died, but at least the townspeople won."

This game is not for the faint of heart. It requires a lot of skill, much of which is used to spot changes in people's actions and mannerisms when they change roles each game. One person I've played with is so good he can usually determine what everyone is within the first few minutes. I am proud to say I fooled him for a while. His powers can be used for great good and for great evil, mainly because he is good enough to fool people like me when they are mafia; however, there is another at our regular games who can see through the other, and is a better liar. Between the two of them, there's an awful lot of talent and power. I'm afraid of them and in awe of them at the same time.
There are many variations on this game. We have put the Jackass through testing and it seems to be a good character, so we're sticking with it in larger games. Even if it didn't work, we'd probably still use it mainly because it's fun to kill that person...don't ask about the gesture. It's funny, but I DID NOT MAKE IT UP. So DON'T ASK.

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copyright 1998 Vincent Lam, Jason Van Glass