Thursday, June 14, 2007

Mafia

One of the most ridiculous games that I like is called mafia. The game usually consists of around ten to twenty players and a narrator. Each player is either a member of the mafia or a townie. The roles can be distributed in many ways, but it has to be in such a way that only the mafia members know who the mafia members are, and nobody else knows anyone elses roles. Additional roles can be added as well. For example, a doctor may be able to keep the mafia from killing a certain player at night, or a cop may be able to investigate at note and have that persons role revealed only to the cop. There are usually around 3 tonies for each mafia members.The first time I played there where only townies and mafia. To pick roles the moderator made a stack of cards equal to the number of players with a King for the number of mafia members that would be in the game. The cards would be shuffled and then distributed to each member. Each member would look at his or her card and then face it down in front of them face-down.The day would begin with everyone closing their eyes, the mafia then opening their eyes so they know who each other are, and then closing their eyes and everyone opening their eyes.During the day time phase, everyone discusses who they believe to be in the mafia. They get to lynch one player per day. Once a decision has been made the role of the lynchee is revealed and night falls. All members close their eyes and then the mafia open theres. They silently point around to make decision on who to murder. Once they have all agreed, through pointing, who to murder they close their eyes and everyone opens their eyes. The narrator then anounces who has been killed. This repeats until there are either only mafia or only townies.The best part of this game is how ridiculous it is. During the first couple of days you have no way of knowing who to lynch. Some people will look guilty and you can tell they are mafia. Others may be apparent by their eagerness to go after anyone and everybody except certain people. Someone has to be picked. As the game goes on you can start figuring out who is who by who has voted for who and how they react to being accused of being in the mafia. The game is all psychology. If you are in the mafia you have to do your best to act like a townie. Sometimes you may have to vote for another mafia member, so when (s)he is lynched you don't look suspicous. Other times you may have to work hard to help move the town in to lynching it's own members. Only the mafia knows who is and isn't in the mafia. They can use this to help sway opinions the way they want.As a townie you have to try to keep yourself from being lynched and you have to figure out who is mafia based only on actions and reactions. Each time you vote to lynch someone, and they turn out to be a townie, you have brought your team closer to loosing.We have recently started playing online at my favorite website http://www.dslreports.com/ You can read the original game at http://www.dslreports.com/forum/remark,18139855 and see an aggregation of all games at http://www.dslreports.com/forum/remark,18433948 All sorts of crazy twists have been added. The game I'm currently in is pirate-based. Starting Monday I will be hosting a version where the town has been invaded by body snatching aliens. Doing a little role reversal, the good guys have to pretend to be aliens, and get to take one out each night. During the days everyone pretends to be pod aliens and tries to lynch a town person.The hilarity that ensues in each of these games is impossible to accurately convey. The game is both ridiculous and addiciting. When a game ends it is fun to go back and reread the whole game knowing who has each role. The reason people vote the way they do becomes obvious. The tricks used by the mafia to try and get the townies to lynch each other is very interesting. Some times the whole town will line up, day after day, behind a mafia member pretending to be the crusador out to win the game. Other times a mafia member will just lay low, try to neither draw or distract attention away.If you get a chance, get your friends together and play. It may seem stupid at first, but once you get in to it you will be hooked. I absolutely gauruntee it.