Welcome to the Workshop: What is Mafia?
This is the first Mafia Workshop and if it's succesful I'll host more! This workshop won't go very in depth yet, as mafia can be a complicated game. Don't worry, as no one knows it perfectly, and it can be as complicated as you want it to be! A lot of people enjoy it and I hope you'll too. There are tons of strategies, roles, themes and other stuff about the game that I could tell about for days, but it wouldn't fit the workshop. The main impact on this will be that strategies won't be explained yet, even if there are quite a lot, if you're interested though, feel free to ask. So the workshop will be focusing on introducing people to the game and giving them a general idea, not making them experts at once. That'll need experience, but if I host more I'll cover more subjects. Have fun! You can PM me anything that's not clear during the explanation, but if you have any substantial questions ask them after the explanation phase.
The workshop will have four phases. This is the introduction, which is the first. Then we'll get an explanation, in which I'll explain a lot of things about the subject. Next is the Questions and Answers session, in which you can ask anything you want and I'll answer your questions. Finally we'll play a game of Classic, so you guys can test out what you've learned during the workshop. During the game you guys can keep PMing me for support, but I won't be able to hint as I know all the roles. I'll happily answer all questions and give general tips. I hope you guys will enjoy it!
Welcome to Mafia. What is this game?
Welcome to the game of Mafia! Mafia is a common game and obviously this room is dedicated to it. The game has many formats, roles and playstyles, but it can be as complicated as you make it. Don't worry if you're new, as you can start off playing a few simple formats, or get help with the more complicated ones. Even if you think you might not understand it, time will learn and eventually it will be all right!
The main thing about mafia is that there's one "faction", or group of people that win together, that is smaller than the other faction, but the smaller one knows all players in the faction and the other faction doesn't know. This causes a psychological game as the larger group has to get rid of the smaller one, but they don't know who're in there, so they have to decipher using various tactics. These tactics can range from the so-called "scumhunting", which is basically seeing whether someone is one of the Mafia to inspecting people with a role like the Cop, who can get to know which role his target is. It can be hard job, but usually both teams have a fair chance of winning. Just make sure to think about things that happen and stay logical, don't make decisions too quickly!
The town, or the larger faction has to eliminate the Mafia, or the smaller faction to win. The Mafia win if they eliminate all of the town, or nothing can prevent them from doing that. Town can achieve this by lynching people during the day. Each day every player can vote for which player they want to kill. This is done use the /me lynch command. This causes them to kill people and it's the only way (outside special roles) for them to kill Mafia players. Mafia players can get the town lynched in the same way, but get a kill at night as well, so they can kill a "dangerous" player, or kill someone who has been cleaned. (A clean player is someone who's confirmed town).
Normally the mafia theme has two different phases, that keep repeating themselves. These are the Night and Day phases. Most mafia games start with a Day phase, though sometimes it starts with a Night. During the day players can lynch others and discuss what they think, and try to lynch a Mafia player. During the night, no one can talk, but everyone can use their action. At the end of the night everyone gets a result, if they should get one and it'll be announced whether someone has died or not. Afterwards, this repeats until the game has ended.
A player is dead if he's either been lynched, or has been killed. He can't talk anymore, nor use his night actions. He's out of the game, but will still win if his faction wins.
What are common themes and roles?
So far it may have appeared a little complicated, but it's not that bad. I'll start with the most common theme: Classic. It's a relatively simple theme, it's easy to play and not too hard to understand, nor to get the strategy. Classic also has a limited amount of roles, which are quite simple as well, so it's a very good theme for starters.
Classic has five important roles. There might be more when there are more players, which I can explain later if you want. Classic is playable from six players and up. The roles in it are usually the Vanilla Townie, the Mafia Goon, the Pretty Lady (Roleblocker), the Cop and the Doc. The Mafia Goon and the Pretty Lady are combined sometimes into a Mafia Pretty Lady, which is the combined role, but you'll get to know what it is later.
The Vanilla Townie is the most standard role of town. It's only powers are that it can participate in the daily discussion if he hasn't been killed yet. It doesn't have a night action.
The Mafia Goon is the standard role of the mafia faction. It doesn't have any special powers, but like the Vanilla Townie it can take part in the daily discussion and lynch someone to his choice. Advantages are that he knows his mafia partners and gets access to the mafia kill, but he doesn't have any other abilities.
The Cop is a town role. It's one of the most useful power roles in the game. It has no extraordinary day-power, but at night he can inspect another user and at the end of the night, the role of that person will be PM'd to him.
The Doc is another useful town role. It's like a normal role, but at night he can protect a user. This user will be protected from being killed that night.
The final role I'll explain for classic is the Pretty Lady. This is normally a town role as well and can target a user. This will block any action he used that night. He'll prevent the Cop from inspecting, the Doc from protecting and the mafia from killing!
Another simple theme is vanilla, it's not as simple as it might seem as it requires a lot of scumhunting, but it's extremely easy to understand. Vanilla only has two roles: Vanilla Townie and Mafia Goon. This means there are no special roles that can help town, so they'll have to trust their instincts!
A third common theme is dethy. This is a 5-player theme. It has 4 cops and 1 Mafia. This might seem a little easy as you can easily decipher the Mafia. Luckily there's a trick, there are 4 different kind of cops: Sane, Insane, Paranoid and Naive. Sane always gets the result a normal cop would get. Insane always gets the opposite of the result a normal cop would get. Naive always gets a town result and paranoid always get a mafia result. This causes town to figure out who is which cop first before being able to decipher the mafia, which the mafia can manipulate if he plays well.
The final theme I'm gonna explain is AitC, which is short for Assassin in the Court. This format doesn't use the normal role, but is slightly different. It's usually for 4 or 5 players. There are 3 roles in this format: The Assassin, the Guards and the King. The Assassin can kill someone once during the day by PMing the host. If he kills the King, he wins. If he shoots a Guard, he loses. The guards will have to prevent him from killing the King and the King wins if a Guard gets shot. It's a pretty simple and fun theme, so try it out!
Those are the most common and most starter friendly Mafia themes, so it's good to try them out first. If you're still interested, we're gonna play a game of Classic after the workshop, so stay tuned! There are many more other themes. Commonly way more complicated, but these are good to start out with! If you don't understand the game too well yet, make sure to stay clear of Closed Setup (CS), No Setup (NS) and Greater Idea (GI) as those are pretty hard.
What can I do to get into this?
Finally, I'll give you guys some resources and tips to get into the Mafia game and the room in general. A great resource at this moment is the Mafia scum site. It's a mafia wiki and you can find nearly anything on there: http://wiki.mafiascum.net/index.php?title=Main_Page. Our local PS Mafia site is a good resource as well. Most of the common Mafia formats are on there, and we're revamping it right now to include all roles as well. It's not done yet, so a lot of pages are empty right now, but they'll be added soon! There are also guides and tips from the staff on the site, which might be nice to read!
Besides getting to know information about the mafia game, you can also get mentored by our staff, or other helpful regulars. There's a page about this on the Mafia site as well, but you can also ask if someone wants to help you before the game. You can join a game with them and do everything with your mentor. This way you'll learn how experienced players play the game, get to know their strategies and they'll help you develop your own style. Of course, I recommend playing a lot on your own as well, as experiencing it yourself is the best way to learn.
Before hopping in, make sure to read the rules of the room first: http://ps-mafia.weebly.com/rules.html
Hopefully you're still interested, I really like the game and I'm up for helping anyone who has trouble with it. Now we're gonna go to the next part of the workshop!